Testing is one of the most demanding parts of game development. Not only is it quite boring, but it also takes a lot of time and repetition, and trained testers are generally few and far between. With Cities in Motion, we did most of the testing with our team, just checking that the designed features work as intended and playing if we had some extra time on our hands.
Some of the bugs that came up were just general glitches but some were really funny, and those are the ones Id like to share with you!
First, there were the invisible waterbuses. All of a sudden, about half of the waterbuses in Amsterdam turned invisible. You could still see the smoke coming from the pipes and the number of passengers on board, but the vessels themselves were nowhere to be seen. Also, this affected only half of the waterbus fleet, even when they were all of the same type and on the same lines. The passengers didnt seem to mind; they confidently walked onto the invisible boats. This bug was likely due to old saves in a new version of the game, so your waterbuses should stay visible!
Next, we had people with supernatural abilities: they could walk on water! Again, this one has to do with the waterbuses. Every waterbus has gates through which the passengers enter and leave. All of the boats are different and are inspired by real boats and ferries, so the gates were positioned differently on each vehicle. Every vehicle in the game has certain entry and exitpoints for the passengers, so the little people really walk in and out of the vehicles through the doors. These points have to be marked on the vehicles' 3D models. Unfortunately, one of the waterbuses with a port on itsrear side had its entry and exit points a bit off. This made the passengers walk to the rotor of the ship, and since the piers are of a fixed size, they had to take a shortcut over the water to get there. So, there you have it: passengers walking on water!
Then on to my personal favorite: the flaming obelisk! There can be fires in the cities: sometimes, a building catches fire and the fire trucks arrive and block the street until they extinguish the blaze. However, this feature was built so that it affected all the structures that were not props, so everything that wasnt a small detail, like a phone booth or a park bench, could catch fire. During the first closed beta test, one of the testers found a stone obelisk on fire in his city. All weird bugs are now called "flaming obelisks"by the team.
The best part is that you can enjoy your own flaming obelisk in the game! The possibility of it happening is really small (since there are around 3-10 statues in a city and hundreds of buildings) but its still there, so keep an eye out for this rare and pretty funny feature. We decided that most of the statues in the cities have been coated with flammable paint.
Cities in Motions lead designer
Colossal Order Ltd