Cities: Skylines Final Dev Diary Details Features


Buildings, yeah? Like large, emotionally neutral tanks. Cities: Skylines [official site] is the hot kid on the block currently, with release just a few days away on March 10th. Thus devs Colossal Order/publishers Paradox have released the final dev diary, showing off some of the more original systems the game has. It also features the most adorable bit of music I’ve ever heard. You have been warned.

Duhduh-duhduh-DA-duhduh-duhduh-DA-DA. Happiness tunified, a pleasant backdrop to talk of which way pollution runs in a river, flooding towns and the misuse of dams. I’ll admit, city-building is not my forté. I’ve dabbled as much as the next twenty-something, but Alec’s stream is as close as I’ve gotten for a few years.

Is Cities looking like a good place to jump in? What about for you old hats, are these new and exciting improvements? Would a noobie like me be better off with the latest SimCity, or something else altogether? Do let me know below, all this excitement has me interested.

We’ll have Alec’s review for ya’ll soon.


  1. SuicideKing says:

    I’m new to city builders too, though I’ve played a lot of Zoo and Roller Coaster Tycoon. Considering that the latest SimCity was a broken game, and that C:S seems to be what SimCity should have been, it’s probably where we both should start, Ben.

  2. Gargenville says:

    I can’t get over the awful name, It’s like they’re trying to pull an Asylum Entertainment on the Cities XL series even though nobody even really likes the Cities XL series.

    • aldo_14 says:

      Struggling to think of another way they could tie back to the Cities In Motion series, though.

    • airmikee says:

      I absolutely love Cities XXL. My favorite city builder of all time, a game finally worthy of dethroning SimCity4 in my eyes. My main XXL city is above 10mil population now and still runs smoother and with less lag than SC4 does in a city of 1mil.

      • JaminBob says:

        Really? Might be worth trying this then. I’ve been playing cities ‘x’ since the first incarnation and they have always been disappointing.

        • ThatFuzzyTiger says:

          No, don’t. Really. Don’t. Avoid cities XXL like the plaeeg. It’s terribad. Wait for Skylines to come out, it’s less than a week away.

        • airmikee says:

          I joined the series with XL2012 and the game definitely had problems. I picked up Platinum and found the problems continued if I loaded an XL2012 city, but starting a fresh city solved most of the problems. When I got XXL I uninstalled the other two games and haven’t had any problems. On my 10mil population city it does slow down to 1fps, but it’s a city building game, fps is the last thing I need, and it still runs smoother than SC4 which is choppy and stuttering at 1mil.

          I’m going to pick up Cities:Skylines eventually, but only after all the planned DLC is released with a GOTY or Ultimate or whatever edition. Colossal and Paradox absolutely love DLC, Cities in Motion is $5, Cities in Motion with all the DLC is $50, CiM2 is $20, CiM2 with all the DLC is $40.

          And the hilarious irony about people whining and crying about FHI and XL is that Paradox is guilty of the exact same sins. Warlock2 was nothing but a minor update to the series, and added absolutely nothing to the series except a few minor cosmetic changes. The City Life series was so bad that the original publisher abandoned the project, allowing Paradox to publish the 2008 version of the game, which stayed so bad it was abandoned by the developer and a new game was made, Cities XL.

          I’ve got 40+ hours into XXL, 4 cities with close to 11mil population total, billions of dollars in the bank, trading with Omnicorp maxed out for income and the hundreds of tokens moving between cities. The game runs wonderfully, has incredible multicore support, and is definitely better than any other city builder game available right now.

        • AngoraFish says:

          airmikee has been effusively praising the disaster that is CitiesXXL in every post about Skylines that he can find. The hilarious irony about airmikee’s one-man campaign is that, although he criticises Paradox for releasing DLC containing actual content, he doesn’t seem to have any problem with Focus Home Interactive charging $40 every couple of years for what is effectively a stability patch.

          For the record, Focus Home Interactive purchased an unfinished game from another bankrupt developer, stripped out the multiplayer component and re-released it as a full priced stand-alone game. They then rebrand the exact same game every couple of years with a couple of minor stability improvements, and a couple of new buildings salvaged from the original dev’s discard pile thrown in.

          Focus Home Interactive are a thoroughly unethical developer who shouldn’t be getting anyone’s money, but sure, if you liked the original Cities game, and think it’s worth paying extra for a stability patch, go ahead and buy it I guess.

          • airmikee says:

            Ah, what, can’t make it about the discussion so you need to make it about me? $40 for each release? You don’t realize that they’ve given owners of previous titles massive discounts on the new ones, right? I picked up XL2012 during a Steam sale for $5, that qualified me for the 80% discount on Platinum and the 50% discount on XXL, bringing my grand total spent on the series so far to $31. Yeah, sure sounds like $40 for each release, right? Keep on parroting what you’ve been told, don’t bother looking into things for yourself, and one day someone might give you a cracker, Polly.

          • AngoraFish says:

            Keep throwing around your weird-arse insults, dude. For what it’s worth, I lived it, but whatever. This thread is not for your fanboy/stock-holder benefit.

            Anyone who has any questions just needs to read the 837 negative reviews on Steam, or the dozens of articles on the topic in mainstream websites.

            But seriously, whatever, we won’t bother looking into things for ourselves, let’s just take your word for it instead.

          • Phasma Felis says:

            AngoraFish, dude, people are allowed to like things you don’t like. Chill.

          • jrodman says:

            I don’t think that’s what’s going on here, at all.

  3. MrFinnishDude says:

    She has a really strong Finnish accent. So if you’ve ever wondered what a real Finnish accent sounds like then listen up.

    • Hunchback says:

      City Builders (and other sim/tycoon types) have always been one of my most favourite types of games. I really hope there’s Norway they fail this project, it looks really promising so far!

      • atticus says:

        Agreed! And a nice Scandinavian accent just Sweden the deal.

        • jrodman says:

          Let’s just hope when push comes to shove, the features don’t fly Oulu the window.

    • Koozer says:

      A bit like German with a dash of French. Languages!

      • Fanbuoy says:

        Which is kinda weird, since Finnish does not at all sound like German or French. I was really confused by her accent and I’m from Sweden. I had no idea that there were people using that kind of R in Finland. I actually jumped back in the video just to see if she had a Finnish name.

    • jrodman says:

      The CEO or the designer?

      The gent sounded just like my old friends from the deemo skeneh.

      • Fanbuoy says:

        I didn’t make the post, so I’m only speculating here, but I think MrFinnishDude is talking about the designer. The CEO is more in line with the Finnish accents that I’ve encountered, but it’s not really a strong accent.

        The guy has a pretty typical Swedish accent (although perhaps a bit higher than average proficiency).

  4. Kempston Wiggler says:

    Nice trailer. They seem like nice people, too. Love me a city builder – maybe this team can Finnish what the SimCity crew started?

    • Hunchback says:

      I replied to the wrong post… :/

      My post was meant for here:

      City Builders (and other sim/tycoon types) have always been one of my most favourite types of games. I really hope there’s Norway they fail this project, it looks really promising so far!

  5. Kempston Wiggler says:

    And god have I mentioned how much I love fluid simulation? My first city will be called Atlantis.

  6. Cei says:

    You can flood cities with dams?

    Consider me sold! Tuesday is going to be exciting.

    • airmikee says:

      Haha, that’s what I thought. Finally someone brings back disasters from the earliest SimCity games!

    • Guppo_26 says:

      Yes you can technically flood your city. The water physics are pretty well done from what I’ve seen, especially the way waste flows out in rivers and the sea for example. It does look quite nice, but at least in the current press-release build the water seems to have no actual effect besides the visuals. Traffic just keeps on going, bridges will just remain like they are, buildings and streets all don’t care about getting submerged either which really seems like a shame and missed opportunity (thought it might still get ‘fixed’ before on soon after launch).

      • jrodman says:

        Finally my dream of an underwater metropolis can come true.

  7. Hunchback says:


    Can’t wait for this to come out…

  8. Nereus77 says:

    Gawd, I hope this is good. I pray this is good.

    Soon the dark, dystopian city of Nerium will be built, yes…..

  9. HopperUK says:

    Do not get the latest SimCity. It’s pretty but it’s broken as a simulation and always has been. This one’s looking pretty good so far, judging by streams and such.

  10. AngoraFish says:

    I’m still waiting for a city simulator that’s able to cope with tessellated property boundaries, instead of using identically sized lots leaving nature strips isolated between parallel rows of identically sized lots, surrounding any odd shaped road, and at the corners of intersections. Surely it can’t be that hard, tessellation has been used in PC game map generation for at least 20 years now and it’s not like these boundaries need to be constantly recalculated.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      Um, it’s quite a bit more than tessellation, the lots need to be procedurally generated or reshaped so that they properly flow with the map, which takes quite a bit more work than the fixed-size lots all games have been using so far. Generating realistic city buildings is complicated. Just extending some sort of surrounding area (say gardens) is easier, but still complex if you don’t want it to look really ugly.

      • AngoraFish says:

        No it’s not. If you were lazy, you could get away with a green texture for grass and an algorythm for dropping a ocuple of trees into it. The ability to “paint” garden into these nature strip gaps was already in Sim City a couple of generations ago.

        The building sizes don’t need to change, only the lot outlines which could be filled with a generic carpark or garden texture, depending on the building. The ground is probably tessalated already, making it ludicrously easy.

        Whether it looks ‘ugly’ is perhaps a judgement call, since I reckon that these nature strips look pretty butt-ugly, but painting into uneven lots has already been done and it looked pretty reasonable to me.

        • AngoraFish says:

          Also, the main face of the building can easily be programmed to snap to the road, as presumably happens in the game already, so the vast majority of any weirdness would be around the back of lots, where it currently is anyway. In my world, the backlots of buildings are typically pretty weird anyhow, it’s just that we’re not usually able to see them when we’re walking along the footpath.

    • Nintyuk says:

      I think the way this game handles it is pretty decent, when you place roads it shows a outline of were plots can go and it fills every space with as many squares as possible. The great thing is they have buildings that can go on any size or shape of plot meaning if you have a odd few squares somewhere there never going to go wasted.
      Of course perfect grid systems will always make the best use of space but that’s true in real life as well.

    • Harlander says:

      Maybe someone could license some of the tech that got made for Subversion

  11. April March says:

    Is that an ice cream truck at 2:31? MEGASOLD

    • Nice Save says:

      Apparently if you preorder it you can build a bouncy castle.

  12. GHudston says:

    I’m letting the hype build for this one despite recent disappointments in the genre. I can’t help get excited by how confident the devs are with their game. They’ve been throwing copies of the game at youtubers and twitch streamers, so they’re clearly convinced that they have a finished product.

  13. caff says:

    I will wait for reviews.

  14. HyenaGrin says:

    I’ve watched enough (aka, too many) let’s plays and streams of Skylines to know that they really knocked it out of the park with this one. There may be some issues that need to be hammered out, but nothing foundational that can’t be either patched or modded.

    I don’t usually preorder games. Made an exception in this case.

  15. LionsPhil says:

    That tractor towing a trailer and joining the highway at around 2:50 gets it up on two wheels.