CO Developer AMA

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Welcome to the CO Developer AMA transcript! This has almost all of the questions answered by our beloved Colossal Order team on the recent Reddit AMA. I have excluded repeats, easily found Q&A, and unecessary banter.

Be prepared, as there is a lot of text! I suggest using search features (CTRL + F) to find specific things. Colossal Order and TotalyMoo replied over 300 times in this AMA! Incredible =)


Features​

New Features

Hi! thank you for the great developing work and for the awesome presence here on reddit, on the forum and on facebook: you guys really know how to make your fanbase loyal and happy.
First question. Rivers in this game are really awesome but to give a more realistic urban feel to our cities I think that it absolutely need various type of sea walls (classic, modern, industrial, dock like, suburban, etc..). as Sea walls (but that's just my example) are not only buildings but interact with the complex water dynamics in the game will the players be able to make them via modding tool?
to make my question less specific and more general: what type of modding will be easy for the players to do (buildings obvously but at wich level of funcionality?) and what other kind of modification will be kept for DLCs in future?
second question: do you have something planned in future for those people who would like to recreate huge and massive regions without having the need of having each cims simulated? there will be somewhat the possibility of change the fact that every single cim is simulated and "scale up" the game for bigger and more populated regions?

co_martsu
Thank you! And sorry for the wait :)
1. I agree. We don't have these yet and therefore there's no modding support for that either, but this is definitely high on our wishlist.
We hope to see a lot of feedback and ideas on what people actually want to mod and do with game. We will do our best to facilitate to that by improving the modding tools after the release.
2. This is not planned yet, but I'd like to discuss more about this after the release. Please feel free to join the Paradox Forum:http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?877-Modding-amp-Resources


Hey guys!
I love the look of the game, and can't wait to get my hands on it when it releases. Just wanted to say that I don't really have any questions, but I was a SimCity (newer version) player and I did enjoy it, but I'm looking forward to your game for a little more realism in the simulation!
I guess a question would be...any disasters that could either be modded in or will be included stock? I always loved destroying everything in SimCity when I wanted to start over haha
Thanks!

TotalyMoo
Hey, thanks for your support! We're not launching with any kind of disasters beyond the chance of planning your city badly (wink) but this is one of the features we'd love to expand into in the future.
Still, we're mostly holding off on the DLC/expansion plans until we've let players had their hands on the game and given us feedback as to what they miss.


1. Can we mod in some hobby activities for our cims into the game?
2. Can we mod a total new design like japanese style?
3. Can we use the map editor pre-release?
4. Can we buy the deluxe edition just online?
5. Are we able to share SaveGames only with friends and not for all? Or maybe just with Steam groups?

HenkkaArt
1. Hobby activities are currently not supported in the game (as in going off to play tennis, golf and the likes).
2. You can import a lot of custom buildings and even try to do a total building conversion if you will and are up to the task. You can also replace existing buildings with custom ones so you can basically have a different police station if you will.
3. Map editor, as the whole game, will be available when released. There is no separate map editor in existence.
4. If you want the deluxe edition the safe bet is to get it online.
5. Savegames can be shared through Steam Workshop and also through the old-fashioned "make a zip and send it to your friend" way.


Thanks for your great work so far!! Do you plan to have residential and commercial buildings not attached to road in the future? I'd like to see a big plaza (not for cars) and in the middle of it there would be some residential, but mostly commercial buildings.

co_martsu
That's a cool and new idea that we haven't had the chance to think about. The basic idea is that all buildings are built on the side of a road though there are a few exceptions, like the wind turbines.


For custom assets we create, how do we define the impact it has on the game?

co_martsu
You are able to adjust the values when importing the asset to the game.

Thanks! Is there a list of properties available, or can that be added to the WIKI?

co_damsku
Those will be documented, especially because depending on the asset type or service type, the properties can vary.


1) I read about "problems" with day/night cycle and your reasoning about it, but would it be still possible to add night time as toggleable option in the future? (or at least via Steam Workshop as some fanmade mod?)
I think your game looks pretty great and it would be awesome to be able see your city at night (and without night, street lamps are kinda ... unnecessary) :)
2) Do you plan "multi-layer" buildings as were in SimCity (2013)? (like you have Hospital for 500 you add another building to the back and boom, you have Hostpital for 800 without building new one)
3) Do you think I made sensible purchase buying Cities:Skylines Deluxe edition? :p

co_martsu
1. No problems as the game just doesn't have day/night cycle :) You can add different colour corrections through modding and why not add one that makes the game look like it's night time.
2. This is not planned, but maybe we'll get the chance to look into this later on. It would be cool.
3. Absolutely! :D Thanks for our trust and support. I sincerely hope you will enjoy Cities: Skylines!


I think I remember reading that there is a plan in place to add a day/night cycle. How soon after release do you guys plan on implementing it? Will it come along with the tunnel and European buildings updates? Or are you planning on releasing it separate of those?

co_martsu
No plans for day/nigh cycle currently I'm afraid.

Thanks for the response! Is it something that will be able to be modded in? Or is it too much of a core gameplay element to be modded?

co_martsu
If it's just for the atmosphere I'm pretty sure this is not a huge task to pull of. The issues arise if you want to affect the behaviour of the people living in the city.


day/night cycle question...
Wouldn't it be easier to implement this sooner than later so that modders wouldn't have to go back later and update their buildings to account for nighttime cycles? This seems like the longer it takes to implement the worse the situation would get?
Thanks for your work. Your game looks great.

co_martsu
We are currently not planning on implementing the day/night cycle as it's purely a cosmetic feature as the time in the game is abstract. There are other things more important to us that we want to work on. After the release we'll see what the community wants us to work on, but for now it's bugfixing and after the release it's tunnels.

co_damsku
This, the day/night cycle, is an issue we have many times discussed about at the office. Pulling a convincing day/night cycle visually is extremely time consuming, this is not just about moving the light around in the scene. The entire lighting in the scene needs to be able to adapt, the darkness need to be such it does not cause a gameplay handicap, this is likely to involve significant extra work for the artists too with textures and assets so the final conclusion was to focus on the gameplay because with the scope we had for this game, it was one or the other but not both.
There is also the fact that we would like a day/night cycle to be more relevant than just an eye candy, so that it would affect the gameplay as well.
So at this point, as much as I would like to see a day/night cycle in the game, I do believe it has been the wisest choice we could make to focus on what matters most to make a good foundation for a city builder. Maybe in the future we will get to add it ourselves, or maybe not. I just work here ;) In the meanwhile, a good news is that we do not bake/precompute any lighting so it is possible for modders to come up with some pretty nice things without instantly hitting a wall and that the entire set of game assets need to be remade.


I asked this on forum too,but I would love to have an answer from the devs.Are you going to add a water map when placing a water tower? Something similar with wind map for wind turbines. Secondly,will citizens/tourist use hotels and beaches?

co_martsu
Water towers work anywhere so no water map planned as the ground water is not simulated to avoid other issues (trying to add tunnels to the game!). Tourists will visit commercial sites and tourist attractions but there's not a specific hotel building where they would visit. Beach is not a thing on it's own, but requires buildings or at least pedestrian streets or footpaths.


Will there be any kind of story mode or quests for you to do other than support your citizens needs for housing?
Take for example cities in motion. You have quests to do while being free to do what ever the fuck you want. I can't wait for release lol

co_damsku
The game does not include a story/scenario/quests mode. But I personally hope it will happen at some point because I do like the idea ;)


I saw a nice skyscraper with a helicopter pad on top in a random picture or video once. It would be a fun thing to actually have a helicopter fly from and too the airport at times. Transport for the richest of the rich tourists/businessmen/women. Would such a thing be possible?

co_damsku
Adding new transport types with new navigation areas is not presently supported by the official modding API (one might take up the challenge and succeeds but it won't be a walk in the park). We will in the future be adding new transport types, but at this time, I do not know which those would be. We will also of course consider the possibility to make it easier to mod those, but I unfortunately don't have a road map to give you :)



Are there bicycles? Bikes and protected/separate bike infrastructure are increasingly an important part of city movement, especially in Europe and North America

TotalyMoo
Not at launch, no.


One feature I've always wanted in a city sim:
Mixed Used
Basically every urban environment ever and pretty much all buildings with exception of single homes, the first few floors will be retail then the higher floors will be commercial, residential or sometimes both. It basically ruins every sim game for me that you can't do that. It's like the all exist in communist Russia where everything gets partitioned into it's preplanned government approved zone.
Are there any plans to ever implement a feature like this?

HenkkaArt
Visually it would be great to have mixed zoning, especially in European cities but gameplay-wise it is a bit tricky thing to do since there are the different zone demands and sometimes you might have more demand for commercial or residential but since the mixed zone builds both at the same time there would be half-empty buildings until at some point someone might move in. I'm not saying it is impossible but at the moment the zoning is most clear when the zone types are clearly separated from each other. While I can't promise you this will be implemented, I'm sure we have it on the wishlist :)


Are there any plans for implementing a weather system? What about seasons?

TotalyMoo
That's one of the features/additions we've personally been very interested in adding, so perhaps!


Current Feature Questions

Hello there!
I would like to now more about how far can we play with water mechanics, for example, it is possible to cause a mayhem with player induced floods?
Thanks for being awesome devs!

co_damsku
With the Map Editor, you can easily create a map where the water will go all over the place when you go in-game. In-game, the dams can at time cause temporary floods which at worse will make people move away, but currently, the focus of the water simulation is about the water pollution. Disaster-like kind of flood is something we hopefully will bring to you in the future !


Will fires spread between buildings? Do you have to manually direct fire trucks to fires?

totalymoo
Nope, right now they are contained to the affected building.
And nope, fire trucks work automatically. :)


Is the water height static (i.e. the same over an entire map), or can water height be assigned dynamically in the map editor?
I would like the ability to have terrain features such as elevated lakes and waterfalls.

HenkkaArt
There are two parts to this: 1) There is a sea level that you can set in the map editor. 2) There are water sources/spawners that you can place in the map and create lakes and rivers with them that are on different altitudes. You can make a lake that is on top of a hill and then carve a river bed from the lake so that the water flows into the sea and so on. You can even make two separate lakes and have a river flow from one into the other.


Hi. First, I would like to congratulate you for your work. I have some questions of general interest:
We can fill the free zones between buildings selecting the style (park´s, sidewalk´s, etc) like in Cities XL?

HenkkaArt
There are various beautification tools in the game. You can naturally place parks and create more parks of different sizes in the asset editor. You can also place trees of various kinds if you like to amp up the backyard or the areas between houses. You can also build two different kind of pedestrian paths: gravel and pavement and you can also create pedestrian only bridges with these tools.


Does beautification cost anything? Does it have any happiness effects

HenkkaArt
It depends on the type of beautification. Pedestrian paths can create shortcuts for cims, trees generally look nice in the backyard and so on and the larger parks and plazas themselves look really nice and boost the land value and happiness. Parks and plazas cost different amount depending their size and description, pedestrian paths also cost to build and trees cost a little to plant.


Does a car still belong to a citizen even if they aren't in it? In other words, can you click on a parked car and see the citizen that is going to return to it?
Related question, will there in the future be a way to bookmark a citizen?

HenkkaArt
First question: Yes. When you see a parked car, you can click it and it pops open an info panel where it says to whom the car belongs to. And when you click the name of the cim, the camera will focus on that cim.
Second question: While "small" feature in itself, it will require UI work and so forth but I'd say it isn't totally impossible. Not high on the "wanted features list" but not completely out of the question.


Follow up: What happens to a citizen's car when they die? Does it disappear or does it become abandoned on the side of the road indefinitely?

HenkkaArt
I'm not 100% sure since I've been recently involved with making graphical assets and haven't had so much to do with testing, testing, testing on long runs and there is the constant balancing and adjustment going on so things can change more or less but from what I've gathered the car is tagged to the person and disappears when the person departs this reality to the next.


Hi there! This might be a silly question, but do plots that contain a lot of small buildings turn into one large building as the property values go up? You know, like how four low rent residentials can turn into one mansion in SC4?

HenkkaArt
Every upgrade is related to the lot size and house type (low res, high res, low com, high com and so on) and a building upgrades to a higher level building that is on the same sized lot i.e. a 4x4 lowres1 will upgrade to a 4x4 lowres2 and a 3x3 highcom1 will upgrade to a 3x3highcom2 and so on.

Are there some 1x1 buildings like a small garage?

HenkkaArt
There are small residential buildings as well as small commercial and industrial/office buildings. Residential, commercial and office buildings are just small buildings while industrial 1x1 buildings are usually large storage tanks and similar smaller industrial units.

Great. That means we even can fill the smallest spot with buildings. :)

HenkkaArt
Yes and you can also use the pedestrian paths and other beautification items to create interesting variations into the city blocks.


Hi, I got a small question. How many roads can you connect with one junction? In simcity (2013) it is limited to 4. I like to have a junction where 5 or 6 roads end/cross, so is that possible?

HenkkaArt
You can connect 8 roads to one junction. I just tested it and indeed if you build a regular 4-way junction, you can build another four roads to that junction between the already existing four roads. And these roads can be of any size that we have, from small roads with 2 lanes to large roads with 6 lanes, in any combination.


Really looking forward to this game!
Highway connections
I've noticed maps in Cities: Skylines require a mandatory highway connection. This was one of my perks about SC2013 as they were unrealistic, so I've got a few questions about them:
1. Can they be moved to a custom location, or are they in a fixed, unmovable position?
2. Are they able to be modded, such as cosmetic changes?
3. What if you don't want a highway connection; can they be swapped for other forms of transportation (e.g. roads, rail)?

co_martsu
1. You can modify them, just make sure there is a connection to the outside world.
2. Not currently, hopefully in the future.
Rail, ships, airports. Sure, but you have to have a connection at all times.


I'm not sure whether or not this has been answered anywhere - does the success of commercial buildings depend on nearby traffic (more traffic = more customers) ?
Or is it just that having them on the way to work means that the, uhh... Cims... will not have to go too far out of the way for some shopping?

co_martsu
No, it doesn't. The success of the commercial areas is depended on the amount of wealthy customers (citizens and tourists).


How hard is the game? Many city building games are too easy as you can build whenever and you will always go positive. Is there difficulty setting?

Check out the Hard Mod that is available at launch. If it's too easy still feel free to make an Even Harder Mod.


Is the cost of unlocking plots of land a flat cost, or does it increase with each unlocked plot?

co_martsu
It does increase, but luckily with a mod you can have unlimited money


Will there be districts inside districts? E.g. inside Manhattan there are Lower Manhattan, Soho, Harlem, etc..

TotalyMoo
Not currently, no. But you can draw them side by side which would have the same functionality (except that you manually have to define policies for each).


Hey guys, looking forward to the game! Is there a way to kill off cims? I'd like to create a "last man on earth" scenario in a major city, just to see how he copes with it. His glasses may or may not break.

TotalyMoo
You can force them all to drink polluted water, for example :p


I really want to buy this game, but there's one thing that make me hesitate.
Take this screenshot as an example.
That building with the red billboard on the roof appears in the screenshot ten times, just rotated. The brown horse-show apartment building is there, cloned over and over too.
That screenshot's from a dev blog, but will the final release have the same limited number of assets?

TotalyMoo
This is an older screenie, even has the old UI, but there is still not a crazy asset variation. You won't see something this intense in the current game, we have several hundreds of different buildings.
Compared to some other big budget city builders we don't have the same extreme variation, no.


How the day pass for cims? When they go to work?
When do they go shopping?
They do all their stuff in the 10 seconds days?

co_damsku
The time is not at scale with the real clock. Essentially, what you would do within a day is spread over several "day".


Will there be protests, riots and looting in the game if you're citizens aren't happy?

TotalyMoo
Not at launch, no. They mostly complain and then move to another city.


Can I delete the outside roads to the city (connections to freeways/trains), thereby trapping unruly citizens in my city?

TotalyMoo
Nope, you need at least one outside connection for the simulation to work.


Hi, will there be the possibility to drive into our cities ?

TotalyMoo
You can follow Cims around but not in "head level", you're still a bit above them. You can mark a car and have the camera go after it automatically.


Are all dams going to be those dinky small ones we have seen, or I could build a massive one between canyon walls and make an artificial lake behind it like if I had the Hoover Dam?

co_martsu
The dams can adjust to almost any river, so they can be rather big. I guess the examples you have seen have been from smaller streams.

Will they fill the area behind them into a reservoir? Like, does the outflow of the dam is on the top, so I can let the river stop flow for a while until there's a lake behind it?
Because I kind of worry I will build this, have the massive dam, and the water starts being pumped across the dam before it fills (In the streams it kind of looks like the water flow goes underneath it, rather than on top).
An option to close the dam would be cool.
Essentially, I want a city built in front of this giant thing.

co_martsu
I see what you mean there. Unfortunately creating lakes is not possible with the current dams as they easily cause a flooding issue. We'll be looking into improving the water behaviour in the future though!


Can we know , what sort of wild animals can we find in the jungle?

TotalyMoo
So far cougars and deer, and buffalo, but not sure if they are in that biome.


I noticed during several videos showcasing the game that a lot of the zones have very repetitive buildings. Will this be addressed in some way? Or are you just leaving that for modders.

co_martsu
Unfortunately as a small team the amount of content is something that we can't compete with. However as the land value increases there is more variation in the buildings.

TotalyMoo
Check the latest videos from PDXCON and that's WYSISYG level footage. We have a fairly large amount of models but not the crazy numbers some of our big competitors have right now :)


One of my favorite things to do in city simulators is designing the roads, except I often find you actually have little control over the actual traffic, short of making bigger roads where it is busy. How much control will I have over roads (can I design my own interchanges)? And how much will I be able to influence the routes people take?

co_martsu
You can create custom interchanges in the asset editor. Also ingame, but the nes made in the editor are reusable.
You can influence the routes people take by placing the zones and buildings in a smart way as offering optional routes or only one if you wish.


I noticed from videos that when upgrading roads, they will take up 2 additional grids on either side, which means the optimal set up of 8 grids between blocks would be lost.
Should I leave 2 grids in between zones (so 10 grid between blocks) to future-proof my city? Or do higher-density buildings develop on zones that are less than 4 grids deep?

co_martsu
The houses can be from 1x1 to 4x4 cells and somewhere in between. Of course leaving some room for bigger roads in the future would be smart and shows that you are able to think ahead. I applaud your observational skills!

TotalyMoo
All buildings that are zoned develop confined to the 4 wide grid :)


Will probably get lost in the shuffle and/or reveal me as an ex-Sim City player, but will the people in the game have a sense of persistence? If someone lives in a home, leaves for work, will they return to that home, and for how long, and based on what conditions? I'm just curious because that affects our ability to develop out from neighborhoods - for transportation, etc.

TotalyMoo
Yes, people keep their home, job, family etc. so they are persistent and simulated as entities. They change homes if they, for example, think the land value is too low and there's new residential zones developing that better fit their taste. Same with job, they usually keep the same job until they are overqualified.


AI Pathfinding - How do the cims choose their routes? Do they lock in their path to work at the beginning, or do the cims dynamically update their route during their drive? For example, if they get stuck in traffic on a highway, are they smart enough to take the nearest off-ramp and instead travel via a side road?

co_martsu
To make it possible to simulate individual citizens they lock down their path when they leave. However they try to avoid traffic jams after one has appeared somewhere in the city.


How do monuments work? Do they just attract tourist or do normal citizens come to visit them? Do they employ the cities' citizens? Can we make monuments in the asset creator and make a strip of casinos like Las Vegas?

TotalyMoo
Monuments are late game super buildings. They are often associated with powerful stats like raising land value a lot or attracting tourists, but they also come with a secondary - even more valuable - boon. That is the unique bonus they bring to the game.
So for example a certain monument can completely fill the city's need for electricity, or remove all ground pollution.
I'll let CO take the latter part of your question, a bit technical for me :)

By monuments do you mean buildings like the Eiffel Tower in the deluxe edition? It would be great if you could list the ones in the game.

TotalyMoo
No, that's a unique building. They "only" add land value, happiness and attract tourists.
 
Last edited:
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Azurespecter

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Changes + Adjustments

Sounds

Two questions:
Will it be possible to modify the sounds of emergency vehicles in the game? As an American, those European siren noises are annoying! A simple mod that just swaps out the emergency sirens would suffice, but an option built in would, of course, be best.
Also, can we change the speed limit signs to be American style signs, either as a setting in the menu or an actual mod?
Thanks!

co_martsu
Modifying the sound files is not currently supported I'm afraid. Let's put this on the wishlist!


Citizens

Looks totally tubular, can you create custom characters? I was thinking maybe graffiti artists or street gangs.

co_martsu
Not at launch but hopefully in the future!


Can i change the shirt color of my cim?

co_martsu
Not yet, maybe in the future.


Traffic

Hey! I'm a big fan of what you have shown and promised so far.
I just wanted to ask, are you able to turn up/ turn down the amount of cars being shown on the screen?

TotalyMoo
There's currently no dial for that, no. We're using pretty clever LOD scaling so, when you're fully zoomed out, you won't see the vehicles but as you get closer (to a reasonable distance) they will appear.
Thanks for your support!


Maps

Suomi Suomi Suomi! Torille mars! ;)
Is it possible to create new climates/terrain types for the maps by modding?

co_martsu
Creating new climates is not supported currently, but you can add different colour corrections and trees.
Torilla tavataan!


Animations

Wiki says "Custom animation is not supported". Will animation be possible later? Can you animate your assets with custom C#? Can you modify existing animated assets like the windmill?

co_damsku
Skeletal animations are not supported. We are keeping a very close eye to support them in the future. Many of the building and props animations you see in the game, such as the wind turbines, waving trees.. are not skeletal meshes and are using vertex animations. For your asset to use those, you simply need to select one of those vertex animated building as template and you will be able to have simple animations on your custom building.
You can open them in the editor and place props, quite a lot like any other buildings.


Miscellaneous

The game seems to be featuring animals such as dogs and different farm animals (or am I wrong?)
However, I haven't seen anything about cats. Will modders be able to correct this glaring mistake and introduce cats into the game?

co_martsu
We are not supporting animations currently, but maybe a cat temple or a huge cat statue could fix this unforgivable oversight. Luckily there are bigger cat animals in the woods as well as featured in the chirps.


In the screenshots Euros are used as currency, will there be an option to use other currencies like dollars or yen or whatever?
Those aren't Euros, that's afaik a fake currency (the "c" probably stands for "credits"?)

co_damsku
That is correct. The Currency sign is a ₡ or something like that. It is not mapped to real world money. The character can theoretically be modded.


Awesome! Now I am waiting for the mod that uses that feature for lava so we can recreate a Volcano!

HenkkaArt
That would be pretty cool. But then again if you change the water texture and shader, that would make all of the water turn into lava. A lush landscape would turn quickly into a hellscape! :D Of course, depending how the mod goes about adjusting the water element.


Water rendering. Will there be white-ish waves where water hits objects? Such as when waves hits riverbanks, bridge-poles, water-turbines and other objects?.. And I couldnt see a good animation on water trail where boats went either. Those effects would really up'ed the feel of naturalism. I'd be happy to see it on release :)

co_martsu
At least on the boats and waterfalls!


Can we get some bigger airports? Also, the game looks awesome, I couldn't be more hyped!

co_martsu
Modders could definitely look into making a new airport and we might as well, if it seems to be something people are looking forward to. And thanks!


Map and Population Limitations
*New Info Available – Modding of Map Size is Now Accessible Through API
*Outdated information removed


Is it posisble to remove the size limit with modding tools? So instead of 9 tiles you could have more space to build?

co_martsu
We will not have modding support for increasing the size of the map as we have pushed the size to the maximum already (given technical limitations and reasonable performance).

Maybe /u/Totalymoo can clarify this, as I think there is a misunderstanding.
It seems that /u/co_martsu is perhaps saying that the actual map size itself cannot be increased, but modders will still be able to unlock 25 tiles on those maps if they choose to?
EDIT: Or perhaps she means that while modders can still unlock all 25 tiles, this is simply not something that will be supported by CO?

co_martsu
Yes to your edit. We will not support this as the 9 tiles is already on the limit of a reasonable size for the city taking into account that most people don't own super computers.

Got it - for us that are building machines JUST for this game though, we'd love to have flexibility. Flexible games = dedicated fan bases and love.
How hard is it to unlock all 25 tiles?

co_damsku
Long answer short: very. Short answer less short: unlocking additional map tiles is not just about increasing the number of tiles available. There is need to deal with the unlocking logic, the indexing, the area limitations, calculating the available resources and most likely many other things I am not thinking about right now. Some of these systems are part of the core foundation of the game and rely on very specific data structures, many of which are not intuitive nor logical in favour of performances. So unlocking more tiles would require to hijack some of those systems to replace them by your own which will deal with the criterias above. So while theoretically possible, in practise it will require some reverse engineering, a bulletproof patience and some pretty intense modding swag. :) On the bright side, it only takes one to figure it out.


Hi guys, I have never found an answer to the following question:
What happens if the city has 1 million residents? Can we not continue to build? Or can we build more, but the remaining residents will no longer simulated?

TotalyMoo
You can continue building but no one will move in. So you're "stuck" at 1 mil pop. Things will continue working etc. but there's simply no new influx of citizens.

Thanks TotalyMoo! I don't like this solution. But I think you will have chosen this decision for good a reason.

TotalyMoo
Well, it's 1 million separately simulated entities at the same time. That's a pretty heavy simulation combined with the rest of the things happening in such a huge city. It's mostly about knowing ones limits and where to stop :)
 

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General Inquiries​

General

I tried to play Cities in Motion 2, but I found super complicated, could not do anything. Cities Skylines follow this style? Will have a lower "learning curve"?

co_martsu
Cities: Skylines has a better UI and has a lower learning curve for sure. We took the feedback we got for CIM2 and changed a lot of things for Cities: Skylines.


Where do you get your inspiration from regarding Cities Skylines? How did you choose the art direction?
Is there any building or other asset you are very proud of?

HenkkaArt
Inspiration for Skylines comes from many different sources but in general we had the idea of modern to slightly futuristic look found in the "newer" cities around the world and the architectural styles seen there. We also wanted to have a more "clean" and smooth visuals in contrast to the older games. We also took inspiration in a few instances from RTS games what comes to certain types of buildings and played with those ideas while designing the zoned buildings, especially industry.
Personally I am proud of the larger buildings I have made myself including the courthouse and transport tower as well as both of the trainstations. I'm also very happy with the maps I've created for the game. It was quite fun playing with the dynamic water and the heightmaps.


Hello! Thank you so much for all of your great communication thus far and for your work on Cities: Skylines! I really like the idea of a transport sim, but city builders are where it's at for me. While I tried to enjoy the Cities in Motion games, I had difficulty enjoying them. I believe that the best way for me to enjoy a transport sim would be for the elements of a transport sim to be incorporated into a good city builder. Would it at all be possible for the micromanagement of the Cities in Motion series to be incorporated into Cities: Skylines later on? Thank you again!

TotalyMoo
The future of Cities: Skylines depends on our players. If, by launch, an overwhelming amount of people ask for deeper public transit micro and this is by far the most requested feature, then of course we'll look at how feasible it is to make happen. :)


Hello! Thank you for working on what I consider to be a replacement for a game that I had REALLY high hopes for that were crushed when the simulation turned out to be a lie.
Three questions if I can be so greedy :)
1. Skye Storm did a video that addressed the vanishing traffic feature that limits a "true" simulation but keeps the game from being unplayable and fun. Are there other adjustments similar to this in the simulation?
2. I really enjoyed watching emergency vehicles respond in the latest Sim City game and even though it was a little cheesey, seeing cops chase criminals. Is there anything similar in Cities Skylines?
3. Are there any videos that show a large city being actually played? Say 5+ min of gameplay with all of the expansion tiles purchased. I'm very wary of the lack of "big city" footage from Cities Skylines.

co_martsu
1. There are a few fail safes to help players getting started, like if important vehicles can't reach their destinations they will teleport to some extent. However a skilled player shouldn't encounter these.
2. You can see the fires being put out etc. However I'm afraid the emergency vehicles behaviour in the traffic is not a advanced as we would like to.
3. I believe in the trailers the cities have been very big, but otherwise I can't think of any. However I'm sure there will be some soon!

Will you guys be working on improving the Emergency Vehicle behavior? As you say if its not as advanced as you'd like it, in my mind that means you should be continually trying to improve it for us!
Also, so looking forward to this game

co_martsu
Thank you! We'll see what can be done, unfortunately these are the type of features that a small team like ours can't easily achieve.


What is your biggest fear for the initial launch of the game?
Why did you choose the name skyline?

TotalyMoo
Cant answer from CO's side, but personally...
That people expect too much from us and can't see what we set out to create and deliver.
Because it's darn hard to name a citybuilder if you want any kind of proper SEO and this turned out to be the most sensible name, plus CO made the Cities in Motion games prior to this - so Cities SOMETHING was a good way to go.


Just out of curiosity, will there be like a story mode of some sort? And thank you for this AMA!!

TotalyMoo
No story mode or campaign, but we do have a "milestone" functionality that is part of the core gameplay. Basically you unlock more features, buildings etc. as your city grows.
This is of course something you can toggle so you don't need to be restricted by our set phasing.


Will I be able to CHANGE the keyboard controls? I don't like/use WASD. Also what about controller usage?

co_martsuCEO OF COLOSSAL ORDER - CITIES SKYLINES 4 points 7 days ago
No controller support, but edge scrolling is available and you can map the keys almost as you wish.

What are the mouse controls for moving around, and rotating the camera? Can we use mouse3 like in EU4 to move?

co_martsu
I'm not sure how it works in EUIV, but you can move around in the map by taking the mouse cursor to the edge of the map, zoom with the mouse wheel, pan and rotate the camera pressing middle mouse button and moving the mouse.


You said you would sell physical copies right? You guys have any idea what stores they will be sold at?

TotalyMoo
The one I know for sure is Amazon UK


With the addition of mods, and their ability to add new building types and skins what is your persuasion to get someone to buy the deluxe version with its 5 monuments? Couldn't a modded create their own versions to publish or would you guys have them removed? Thank you, and looking forward to reviews because I'm very interested in this game.

TotalyMoo
It's mostly for people who want to support us that extra bit and just get the full package. The normal edition is a really good deal imho and the buildings we add in deluxe will most likely become mods within a few days of release :)


Can't remember being this hyped. Just one question.
In the trailers you see two cities as if they communicate. Is this actually in the game or is every city a seperate place without possible intercity interaction?

TotalyMoo
The latter, no multiplayer in the game. The story in the trailer was mostly for funsies :)


How do you feel about games being released incomplete with "optional" DLC tripling the overall cost?

co_martsu
I'm not able to speak for anyone else but we at Colossal release games we feel are worth their price and complete gameplay experiences without any DLC. Additional content is a great way for us to earn more money and for the players to get new content if they so wish.

TotalyMoo
Not a big fan of the practice, but who am I to judge other peoples business strategies? In my honest opinion the market decides. So if people buy it and enjoy it, good for them, you're entitled to that no matter the price or amount of content "locked away". What I can't get behind is when companies outright lie about content, graphical fidelity and what you're buying into. Like I get that you can make mistakes in communication but then you need to be clear about that and do your best to correct it.


Colossal Order Questions

You guys have such a small team. Has that ever been a problem during development, or do you think keeping your team so small meant you guys were able to focus the game's development better than a bigger studio, like Maxis?
Have you ever reached out for help from the ParadoxDS guys?

co_martsu
Our small team is very dedicated, skilled and just awesome. Naturally we can't compete in the amount of content with bigger studios and therefore we focus on building a solid base and then hopefully we get to expand on that in the future.
We love the good people at PDS but (I'm trying to say this without sounding horribly arrogant) we haven't yet had the need to ask help on the development. I'm sure they are super busy with their own work!


Was the progress from Cities in Motion > Cities in Motion 2 > Cities : Skylines something you planed from the very beginning? Or did someone see how spectacularly Sim City 2013 failed and went guys this is our chance to make a true city builder that will be remembered.

HenkkaArt
In my personal opinion there was no 3-step roadmap from CiM1 to Skylines. It was more like an organic growth and direction that we started to steer towards as our skills as developers and our size as a team grew. However, I won't deny that there were people who probably had the dream/idea/inspiration to develop a city builder at some point or another. And after CiM 1&2 Skylines sort of felt the next logical step. If any of this makes sense :D


If I were only allowed to buy one City builder game, why should I buy yours over other city builders like Simcity, Banished, Cities (indeterminant amount of X's)L (year), or Tropico, What can your game give me that none of these games can offer?

TotalyMoo
As much freedom as possible, long post release support and a platform with room for lots of expansion (in addition to a close relationship between developers and community).


Are you planning on doing some live-streams prior to launch, similar to the Let's All Be Mayors event that EA/Maxis did for the most recent SimCity? I found it to be very entertaining, and would be a great way to promote the game just before launch.

TotalyMoo
We've already done several and plan to do a longer "marathon"esque stream a day or a few prior to launch :)


First off, thank you all for being bold enough to resurrect the city building genre. And thank you for what all evidence says is going to be a great game
On that note, what lead you to say "lets make our very own city building game?" other than recent failures by other studios and companies?

TotalyMoo
I think Shams, our acquisitions manager, mentioned that we started talking with Colossal over 4 years ago about a city builder. It was simply the time for us to make one, and CO is the perfect developers to do it as they are super passionate about the genre.
Both PDX and CO are big fans of older city builders, it's natural that we want to bring our own to the table :)


You are a city building sim so that automatically means that you have to go up against games such as Cities XXL, Sim City, Tropico and others. Do you feel yourself as a direct competitor that focuses on fixing the mistakes of your competition? Or one that kind of sits back and does their own thing and makes a City Sim how YOU see fit?

HenkkaArt
Genre-wise there is obviously the aspect of competition (it can't really be avoided) but on a personal level (what I think) we are doing our own thing, coming up with our own decisions and designs and mixing up things we have learned from the whole genre going back to the early days of city building.

TotalyMoo
We're striving to make an awesome game no matter what else is on the market :)


I want to love this game. I have three options, this game, last Sim City, last Cities XL, what are the pros and cons of each, why do I buy your game?

co_martsu
I can only speak for our game Cities: Skylines. Reasons to getting Cities: Skylines: 1. Price 2. Awesome devs who listen to you and are willing to work on the game for the long haul. 3. Bears. 4. Big maps, district and policies.


published by paradox
How was it working with Paradox, considering some of the games I listed are pretty mainstream?

co_martsu
Working with Paradox is great. I think our philosophies meet perfectly and we have a long working relationship together (CIM, CIM2 and now Cities: Skylines). They have love for simulation games just like we do :)

TotalyMoo
The PR gods smile upon you this day.


How long has Cities Skylines been in development?

TotalyMoo
Roughly 2 years.


What would you say makes your game really special? What makes it stand out over other city building simulators?

co_martsu
We do!
Sure, I apologize for my Finnish humour.
Cities: Skylines is all about player control and freedom to build the cities you want. It's inspired by classic city builders and has a couple of nice additions like the districts and policies. Also the dynamic water system with the ability to place dams is pretty sweet.
I would recommend you try the game and then recommend it to your friends, or at least check some gameplay videos on youtube first. You don't want to recommend a game just because the devs told you the game is awesome :D
EDIT: The price point is not too bad for Cities: Skylines and the pre-order is ongoing ;)


EDIT: also, what do you feel you offer over your competitors such as Sim City?
Are there any features that you feel are revolutionary?

co_martsu
We as a developer are open for community development and feedback, Cities: Skylines is all about player control and freedom, we have a couple of really cool features like districts, policies and dynamic water system.
I don't think there's anything revolutionary as we just aimed to make a good old city builder that would make people enjoy building their cities the way they want.


What feature would you like to see to be made by the modders?

co_martsu
Gotham city!


What has been the most difficult challenge in developing this game?

co_martsu
Having so many ideas and so little time. We want to have so many things in Cities: Skyline! Luckily we'll have the opportunity to add more content and features in the future and these will come as free updates alongside with paid content.


How many of the developers that are working on this title now, will be working on it post release? is it being handed off? I mean, I assume that the same people who enjoy creating games from scratch probably do not enjoy supporting fully functional games? :)

TotalyMoo
9 through most of development, 13 nowadays. Can't be sure how many will work on it post release but CO is dedicated to post release support. This is a project we love so, so much that we can't stop working with it ;)


DLC

Hi guys, super excited for this game and just can't wait to play! My question is since we will be getting a lot of cosmetics from the super modding community and small tweaks to the game, how big will your DLCs be in comparison to the free tweaks we get from the modders? Sorry if this has been asked and answered before! 13 more days!! =D

TotalyMoo
Expect most expansions/DLC's to be larger more "old school" type updates where we bundle many new features and content in one go. There might be smaller things here and there but our main focus lies with substantial expansions that make you feel like they add a lot of value to an already great game :)


2 Questions
A) Is there a "Development Plan" Post where we can read what is coming in the future?
yeah a link or something where is condensed all the info of what they want to add in the future like. Transport 1) Big trains 2) Jet Skis... (idk)
Game Modes 1) Multiplayer 2) industry mode... (idk)
Buildings 1) goverment buildings 2) theme parks. 3) multifuncional buildings etc... (i found your FAQ at the official forums but there is not a dev plan)
ALSO
B) Will be there government Buildings?

co_martsu
Not yet, as we want to hear your feedback on the game first (after you have had the chance to play). ;)
Not sure about the government buildings in the future, not at launch at least.


Can roads me moddable? Like realistic turn lanes and ramps? Is this somthing CO might add as DLC?

TotalyMoo
Roads aren't moddable at release but we'd love to add that functionality. Theoretically we could also release additional road options as paid or free DLC.


Hey all, looking forward to the game! As you all get closer to launch of the CS, do you have any plans/ideas for expansions or DLCs?

TotalyMoo
Some plans, yes, like European buildings and tunnels. But were mostly waiting on community feedback before we decide further.
 

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Custom Content Tools​

General

As a 3D artist, I'm very excited about modding in various buildings and props (but also very sad because I'm going to GDC on Monday and will miss the launch :( )
Are we restricted to making smaller things or will we be able to create things like bridges and the like as well?

co_damsku
Don't be sad, GDC will be a blast and you will have Skylines patiently waiting for you when you get back :) I am not sure on your semantic of smaller things but currently, you can import Buildings, Props, Trees, make Intersections and Parks. We will progressively add support after launch more types, hopefully for roads/bridges, vehicles and citizens. One of the reason they are not here at launch is because they are significantly more difficult to create, assets need to answer very strict specs and tons of properties need to be set right to ensure the procedural generation of road segments / bridges succeeds.
In term of usability, that would have been a ticking time bomb to work with.
PS: Bridges are actually fairly small mesh segments which are proceduraly turned into bigger infrastructures.


How easy will it be to mod the game without knowledge of coding? Will it be possible for me to mod buildings by uploading new textures?
Thanks.

co_damsku
At the time being, the non-programming modding consists of making custom Maps with our Map Editor combined with 3rd party heightmaps-friendly editing software if you wish and importing 3D models with textures + LOD in the Asset Editor and propping/decorating them as well as customizing their gameplay properties. The game does not support simply replacing a texture without an associated mesh because it is a little bit more on the hack than modding side to over paint pre-UV mapped textures which you likely don't even have a model in a format supported by your modeling software. However, your own model + texture you can do.
In time, I am sure, while I am not saying that out loud, there will be a mod which will export our models in a format you can open in any industry standard modeling software, so reskinning will then be in the picture as well. The coding is a 3rd aspect to the modding and has no connection with the 2 explained above, so I think there will be things for you to do even if zero programming knowledge.
Also, nowadays with the Workshop, select the assets you want to bring to your game is a form a modding so there are choices.
I hope this answers your question !


Hopefully the pizzas were delicious.
• Will there be a little tutorial added to the Wiki to make a building for beginning modeling noobs like me? (Something that maybe gives us an example fbx model, covers size/scale, polycount, best way to do it so for example 20 installed mods will not bring the game down performance wise, LOD working, etc....)
• I know there are ploppable bigger buildings, but could we also plop down buildings that normally would show up from zoning? (For example picking a certain house or hotel and place it directly instead of zoning.)

co_martsu
Napoli Restaurant in Tampere, hands down the best pizzas in town!
Good feedback on the tutorial. I'm sure we could improve on the instructions before the launch (Wiki is WIP).
If you take those building models and make them ploppable, then yes.


Will mods have the ability to add new assets, like buildings or cars etc to the game or will they only have the ability to reskin assets already in game similar to what the new SimCity did?

TotalyMoo
The former :)


Are you considering taking stuff built for the workshop and permanently adding them to the game in updates?

TotalyMoo
Probably not, but I am personally planning to have an official, curated list of mods and assets that people can just click in the workshop and get all the things we consider, well, awesome.

As always, you are so very moo.
One thing I forget, you can add buildings to the list of possible stuff that pops up from zoning from the workshop, right? That's my biggest want right now, to increase the variety of those random zoned buildings. You could even have categories and a building manager for the districts so you can use policies to say "this district can only pop up these european-style residences in it's residential zones" and stuff like that.

TotalyMoo
Yes to the "add buildings to a zone brush" but I don't think there's any policy that restricts a district to certain models, no.


Lot Editor

3 questions please :)
1. In the lot editor can you place designated parking spaces that cims will actualy use?
2. Can we make and share props for people to use in the lot editor in steam workshop?
3. If someone uses a prop from the workshop in the lot editor and then shares that lot on the steam workshop will said prop be auto downloaded. If not does the person sharing the lot need to link the user to the other prop. And if they DONT download the prop, what happens?
Thanks! Yall are great for doing this for us modders.

co_damsku
1. Yes, there are parking props: invisible markers and with the white paint and the citizens will use those designated spots automatically.
2. Assets such as buildings and props can be shared on the Steam workshop. Other people can subscribe to either use in game or in the case of a buildings, reorganize its props to his own wish in the Asset Editor. It is not possible to prop a prop in the Asset Editor, so in the case of a prop, it will come down to you using it while decorating buildings.
3. At launch, it will be the user's responsibility to share link to dependencies. In the Workshop, one way may be to create a collection, or just write the needed links in the item description. The reference tracking is one of the improvement we are already planning.
You're welcome, we are looking forward to see your creations ;)


On the properties panel at : http://youtu.be/jj2paF9IcqM?t=1m42s
What does the properties "FirstHeight", "SecondHeight" and "FloorCount" stands for ?

HenkkaArt
The "FirstHeight" refers to the height of the first floor of the building and the "SecondHeight" refers to the floors above that. The height of the floors can be adjusted so that they fit the custom building a person has created and the reason why there is a separate first floor is so that you can make the first floor higher as is in many buildings such as the lobby floor to a highrise and so forth. The "SecondHeight" value refers to all the other floors in the building and the FloorCount simply refers to how many floors there are in the building (usually this can be set to the default value since the game won't draw floors that rise higher than the building itself. However, should you have a large ballroom in the top floor of the building with a glass ceiling, you could set the floor count so that it would not draw any more floors above the ballroom area if the area was higher than the set height for the SecondHeight value is.

So if I understand correctly, we can duplicate floors to create towerblock/highrise looking buildings ?

HenkkaArt
No, this is for the "interior" look of the building. You can see the floors in some of the more glass-walled buildings. This setting applies to those floor and their height. Floor height doesn't lengthen the building model itself.

co_damsku
It is a texture trick which fakes some perspective behind the windows without the need for actual geometry. So because the position of the floors is "projected", there are a few settings like the first floor height, and their interval.


When making a new building in the asset creator, Will we be able to assign the building to any type of ploppable? For example, new subway entrance.
It's it possible to edit how a building affects crime, land value, pollution?

co_damsku
You make buildings by first selecting a template, then selecting if you wish to modify the prop of the existing mesh or import your own. So if you select Public Transport > Metro Entrance, then a custom mesh, you got your new subway entrance. Once you have done these steps, the building will show it what looks like a prop editor where you can set all kind of props to decorate the building and on the right side of the script is a small property inspector which expose most of the standard gameplay values for the building. Some of the properties are not currently customizable, for the same reason importing procedural road/bridge/pillar bits, there are too many cross referenced assets which require perfect calibration to work as expected to make it a user friendly tool. We will try to increase the amount of properties every time we get the chance though. :)


Can you speak a little bit about if we are able to create/mod tourist attractions such as Zoos, amusement parks, museums, art galleries etc.. and if we are able to zone these as a "Tourist" attraction and have our building bring in revenue/expenses?
p.s. Thank you for being awesome.

co_martsu
Thank you for being awesome!
We have a couple of things in the game that attract tourists: Parks and plazas, and unique buildings such as museums, malls, expo center etc. There are a few ways you can create your own. You can model a building, import it to the game and set it's values as unique building or you can use the asset editor to create parks of the existing props and assets available in the game or though the Steam Workshop.


So could you theoretically set a pre-made industrial (for example) building as a park that you could place? And then it would act just like a normal park?

co_martsu
Yes, you could do that. Will we see a factory park on the Steam Workshop after the release?


For buildings in the workshop, will there be some kind of filter so that I can find (for example) airports? Or different parks? Great looking game Btw! :)

co_damsku
The workshop tags are presently based on asset type: building, prop, tree, save game, map, color correction lookup table... I am not actually sure if you can apply custom tags in the Workshop, if you can, then there is no problem, if you can't, we shall increase the granularity of the tags filter sooner than later.


One question: Is it possible for modders to create buildings that are both commercial (at ground level) and residential (top levels)?
Thanks! Looking forward to the 10th!

TotalyMoo
No mixed zones at launch, sorry.
Thanks for your support!

Do you mean it's not possible for modders to do this (at launch)? Because I know it's not in the game at launch. :) Thanks for your reply!

TotalyMoo
Correct.


Hello!
I am just wondering whether we will be able to create full on fields within the farming industry? As in we decide the shape and scale?

TotalyMoo
Not at launch, no. They evolve within the 4 wide tile limit :)


Parking

Does that mean you can mismatch the marker and the white lines to make it look like people are bad at parking? I think it would look good in poor neighborhoods.

co_damsku
That is something that must be tried xD You can not overlap markers, but you certainly can make them crooked enough!


Can you mod a parking garage that is functional?

co_damsku
Sadly, not with the current implementation. Parking spots are markers to enhance a building and the simulation does not expect dedicated parking garages. So while the naive approach would be to create an empty park and fill it with parking spots, people will use those but they will just visit the parking as if it was a cool touristic hang out, which is silly :p So if by functional, you mean you would place parkings close to commercial area and it will make the place more attractive by having people park there and walk to the nearby building, then it's a no. If by functional, you mean people should park there, even if the location they are headed to feed a bit off and it should increase nearby buildings happiness cause of the parking spots, then yes, you could do that. ^

Can you clarify that very last sentence? I didn't quite get it, sorry!

co_damsku
I mean that when you look at it, it would feel like they are parking there to go to the commercial buildings, while what they really do is go and hang out in the parking. Because it will look like cars are going there and park, it will feel like it is for the commercial center even though it is not. Also on a gameplay perspective, if the garage is created as a park, parks increase happiness in the neighborhood, it will not quite work as one would expect, but would still have an effect on visual & gameplay. I hope this makes more sense :)

So there is no way to basically create a park-and-ride for commuters, since they would see the park-and-ride as just a park to go to, that has a bus stop next to it?

co_damsku
That's correct.


Roads/Transportation

Do custom ploppables have to be connected to a road?

co_damsku
It depends on your ploppable. If you create yours out of an hospital template, it will need to be next to a road to function as an hospital, so the placement tool will not let you place it anywhere else. If you are making a custom wind turbine, then you will be able to place it anywhere on the ground, there is the same mode for water. Do remember if a building does not have a direct road access, then services can not access it. :)


I have a quick question about the road systems, As I have seen from the video the citizens park their cars in front of their houses by the road. Is it possible to disable this? So for example we can build a parking building next to their homes so they can park there instead of the road? Hope it made sense. Thanks!

HenkkaArt
There are different road types, some of which have the parking spots next to the road and others (usually the decorative ones) that don't have parking spots since the decorative grass/trees take the space of the parking spots. We don't have parking buildings but cims can park their cars in parking spots that are on the building lots such as commercial buildings and residential buildings. These can be either visible spots with white paint or invisible parking spots that usually go to the driveways of single family homes i.e. detached houses and so on. These parkings spots (both visible and invisible) can be set in the asset editor and if one would create a custom ploppable building with a large lot, they could fill that with parking spots and so forth.


Sounds interesting! How does the pathfinding work with those parking lots? Does it attract Cims going to a nearby, say, airport and park there instead of on the road in front of the airport?

HenkkaArt
Cims in most cases (if not always) use the parking spaces on the lot of the building they go into or the side of the road.


Just 1 question :) will there be any kind of textured roads ingame (other than the default flat grey) or if not can they be modded in ? Kind Regards :D

co_martsu
There are several different road types that are asphalt and also gravel roads and footpaths. We unfortunately will not have modding support for the roads at launch, but I'm hoping we get to add this in the future.


How hard is it to make roads EXACTLY the way I want them? Watching some early footage I noticed that roundabouts tended to be drawn as ovals, however I also noticed that someone had made a city entirely of perfect concentric circles.

TotalyMoo
Not too hard if you put effort into it. When you do curved roads there's a "ghost" thing that helps you see the angles, and you can turn on/off snapping to grid.


What is the maximum size road you can make with mods? Can I create an 8-lane one-way highway? In the mod tools, how do I designate lanes in my road?

co_damsku
Roads types will not moddable at launch. What you can create are intersections, so you can reuse a carefully crafted road infrastructure in multiple places while you play a game. Those intersections can be created out of the same road types available to you in the game.


Will we be able to create roads without forced sidewalks? I like to create roads in natural places (forests, mountains...) and it's waaaaay better without sidewalks which would not make sense. Thanks.

HenkkaArt
There are dirt roads and the highway roads are also without sidewalks (highways are also without zoning possibilities). However, all the other roads at the moment have sidewalks.


Asset Editor

I've been an avid player of Paradox games since EU3 and particularly enjoyed the campaign in Cities in Motion 1. I've got a few questions to do with modding:
1. Will it be possible to create custom prop families? For example, the ability to place a prop that represents a storefront which in game will render a prop from that family (e.g a hairdresser or newsagent) that is placed in the same position?
2. In the new modding video, there's a brief clip where a windmill is shown being painted, will it be possible to paint only part of model? i.e. Painting the exterior walls of the house a different colour but leaving the roof colour alone.
3. Will I have the ability to add in new citizens and families into the spawn roster? I always enjoyed adding people I knew into Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 and later unexpectedly spotting them puking after riding my roller coasters in game.
Thanks for taking the time to answer and good luck with the rest of development. I've already pre ordered and look forward to playing in March. :)

co_martsu
1. Yes.
2. I would assume so.
3. Not yet, as citizens and animations are not currently supported.


hello thanks to all the Dev of this fantastic game. Everyone waiting for. I read the wiki on modding but how importing an asset? I mean I can put trees or other things to my building?

HenkkaArt
You only need to import the building itself and then use the asset editor to prop it with trees, bushes, yard items such as grills, swingsets, parking spaces, boxes, trash containers, sandboxes, tables and more.

Can we take a fan-made building/art and add/modify our own props?

HenkkaArt
You basically need to model the building (or have a friend model it for you, as long as you have their permission and so on) and do the textures and then import it into the game and from there on use the game's asset editor to further customize it with the values you want and the props you like to place on the yard/roof/walls and then activate it to use it in the game. Same goes for custom props. For more modding info go here: http://www.skylineswiki.com/ModdingThe site is constantly updated to have the most relevant info on the topic.
 

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Technical Questions​

What is modding??

co_martsu
Game specific modifications that alter the behaviour or look of the game.

API

What sort of mods can be made in the C# API?

co_damsku
In theory, your imagination is the limit. In practice, the limit is partially set by how much of the game do we expose for customization and by your ability to bend those toward your goals. With the API which was added to the wiki earlier today, you could mod the economy to be driven by criminality for example, you could make it so buildings are always at their max level. Using the API from the wiki, the game ships with 3 mods Unlimited money mods, hard difficulty mode and all progression milestone unlocked from start. Those will be fun to use once you have learnt the mechanics playing through the unmodded game. The game interfaces are aimed to be minimalistic at start, then we will expand them in the direction the community requires the most. This will allow us to minimize performance impact and keep the API clean for the modders, while regularly opening new possibilities. A set a callbacks will also be exposed so that you could add things in parallel of the game. We are allowing access to the UnityEngine assembly (http://docs.unity3d.com/ScriptReference/) so if you know Unity or research a bit online, you will think of several possibilities, including using hacks which we would not intentionally expose at this point.


The callbacks, are you saying I could write for example, an external program that collects various metrics on how my city is doing, and then displays a dashboard of graphs on a second monitor?

co_damsku
Yes and no. The mod is not technically an external program but you could make the mod dump data to a file which another application on your other screen reads to build stats. For all I know, you should even be able mod in a simple tcp server and connect to it remotely to read the values it has collected and use a complete different app to display those. So you can use your ipad to display the stats given you do write the client software for it ;)


How fleshed out is your API documentation going to be?
I'd like to develop a "Big Business" mod, that allows the player to drop in their own custom corporations and watch their progress and growth.
Is this something that you'd say would be possible given the current modding abilities?

co_damsku
I am not sure exactly what you have in mind, however it does sound like it might be rather tricky to achieve with what will ship at launch. However, you are very welcome to join us on the paradox forums and elaborate on your ideas. That will help us shape up the API to give you more and more freedom overtime.


Can new gameplay features be added by the C# API?
• Is there a framework to store "new" data items to an individual object?
• Can a Mod influence objects, like roads. (change how lanes work, traffic light, traffic flow) (Example: create a bus lane mod, change turn lanes)
• Can the UI changed/extended by the API
• Can the loading/saving tell the user Mod/Addon XYZ is missing.
As example for creating a monorail, tunnels, underground trams, or lane management.
About mentioned "hacks", how are we allowed to explore the internals of the game?

co_damsku
• At launch time, we do not plan to support an infrastructure to add transport types or new road types.
• The current UI is an in-house solution and it would take a crazy amount of resources to test it, fix all the corner cases we did not have to worry about because we did not use any of those in Skylines. It has been a great fit before but now UnityGUI is out, any modding in need of UI should be using it instead. The API is already there, it is well documented, very clean, very flexible and with the amount of users in the Unity community will soon be really well tested.
• Mods are intended to be global and not tied to a save game.
• When we refer to "hacks", we generally are referring to some unholy practice from the C# language to achieve something which is not supposed to be possible within the designed system at the first place. While we can not offer official support for those "hacks", we do encourage the modders to experiment with them, because that's how real cool things happen, so you are allowed to explore the internals of the game as deep as you have energy for.

You mean reflection and class introspection? :)

co_damsku
That would indeed be the first thing that comes to mind. But it is good to remember if you attempt to access anything through reflection, the risk for a mod to break when an update happens is higher. Using the API we expose provides more guarantees not to break mods when new things are added/patched to the game since we can change the underlying systems in the game without breaking compatibility with the API.


General

Do you plan to add a proper Anti-aliasing after release? MSAA maybe?

co_martsu
We don't have MSAA since we use deferred rendering. We do have SMAA however.

Maybe i'm wrong, but Battlefield 4 and new Dragon Age uses MSAA with deferred rendering. Is it some kind of tricks in their Frostbite engine?

co_damsku
I am not sure how they deal with their AA. Possibly they achieve that with some dx11 tricks. We would never say no to more proper AA solutions, but the scope to develop those needs to remain realistic for our team :)


A few questions for the Linux crowd: Is the Linux version being done in-house?
How hard has it been to support Linux?
What sort of sale numbers are you expecting from the Linux crowd?

co_damsku
We do have a lot of native code. Most of the asset importing and a lot of utilities are done on the native side, so there is a lot of porting work too. Most of the game is however in C# and that part has not been to difficult to port, the shaders however rarely work between direct x and openGL (mac/linux) at first try (even if they do on Windows OpenGL). ;)


Two questions here:
1. What is the point where the game will start to slow and stutter? Will this point be reached with an unmodded game?
2. To what extent will graphics options go to? I'm talking about stupid stuff like shadows on every car's lights.
Even if you don't answer, thanks for everything you've been putting out about this game. The openness about the game that was there long before preorders were even available was what got me to get the deluxe edition day one.

co_martsu
Hi and thanks!
1. This is depended on your system. With recommended system requirements you will be able to play smoothly with the big cities and good graphics quality settings.
2. There are a bunch of options to adjusting the graphics quality.


What does "minimum requirements' mean? Can we have a big city on 9 tiles on low settings if we meet minimum requirements?

co_martsu
With minimum requirements you can run the game with the low graphic settings. You can have a big city of 9 map tiles. The simulation speed can be affected but the game is playable.


What sort of impact on preformance does running water have? Like if i have a large water-fall in my city will it noticably effect gameplay.

HenkkaArt
With a rig that is within the recommended specs I'd say you can use the water sources pretty nicely. Of course, like in all of computing, when you go overboard you'll notice it. At once I basically created two separate seas, one with the sea level tool and the other by placing approx. 20-ish water sources on an elevated sea bed I had created and it didn't affect performance at all. And you can also play with the capacity of the water sources so that instead of having multiple small sources creating a river you can have one big source with a proper max height.


Will this game benefit from being installed to an SSD? Are there any frequent loading times?

co_damsku
Outside of the loading screen, there is very little disk access so SSD should not be critical in any way. I am however quite sure loading time would benefit of it if you happen to have extra space :)


Hi there first i love paradox games and thanks for the quality you put into them My question is at the moment the two big city builders are having two majors flaws , City size or performance issues seeing the sizes of the maps how performance will be affected as the city grow bigger? Thanks !

co_martsu
The simulation speed will slow down with huge cities, which is to be expected. However the game will remain playable as long as you meet the system requirements and adjust the graphic settings to suit the system. Lower end machines might have difficulties with the highest graphic settings.


Big fan of CiM here,
How hard would it be for me to mod the resources system to add a full-blown industrial simulation to the game (assuming i'm sooper good at coding, which I ain't). Are the mods only for assets and existing logic, or will the logic also be fully moddable so that new functions and concepts can be added?

co_martsu
It would unfortunately be very hard.

So you're telling me there's a chance?
Oh well, thanks for the reply!

co_martsu
Given enough time and skills I believe this would be possible. However it is a huge feature you are describing :)


Greetings. First, awesome game and I actually LOVE the chirper!
My question is this: Is it possible to multiply everything (costs, revenue, taxes, etc...) in the economy by 1,000 units of currency? To be clear, building a mile (or 2 km) of road would never cost $600 in the real world, it would probably cost at least $500,000. So, can I mod the game so that all aspects of the economy are scaled upwards by 1,000? This way I can start the game with, for examples, 70,000,000, and a mile of road would cost around $500,000, and all costs, taxes, revenues, etc... in the game would be scaled upward by 1,000. I hope that makes sense.
Again, awesome game and it looks like it is shaping up to be something special.

co_martsu
This totally makes sense. Unfortunately I'm not sure what this would require and the modding API is something we will keep developing with the community. This is exactly the kind of feedback we expect to get to further develop the tools!


As we write mods, is there a way to hook into the logging system or pop up runtime messages to let us know when there are errors or at certain points in our "script" ?

co_damsku
There is a kind of Console Output, which you can use to get compiler warnings/errors or simply throw a debug message. However, you can also use Unity's Debug.Log if you simply want to output something to the text log.


How do LODs work for custom content? Like how do you tell the game which file is what LOD?

co_damsku
You have your normal model (let's call it the "high poly version") which is called "model.fbx", "model_c.png" is the color map, "model_d.png" is the diffuse etc... When you select your model in the importer panel, the game will load the fbx, triangulate, consolidate and do more things of the kind such as calculating tangents/normals if unavailable for your model. It will then load the textures and map them to the preview model. At this stage, if you are pleased with this model and press continue, you will get to the Decoration part of the asset editor and a little task notification in the top corner will notify you it is Compressing the textures and Generating LOD. During that process you can freely start propping and editing value, though you cannot save the new asset until those tasks are finished. In this scenario, the game will create a LOD automatically. Our algorithm does not perform great for every possible shape of buildings, even though most of the time, the LODs are so small when you see them in-game, it is not even that big of a deal. In the case it does not, or in the case you want to do a better job with your own hands. You can model a lod and place it along side the model and call it model_lod.fbx. If you do this, you need to UV map the model but no need to texture it as the game will bake the LOD textures out of the high poly version of the mesh. If you are a purist and you want both the LOD and the LOD textures done by yourself, then just add the model_lod_d.png along side and the game will simply load them.


Are any of the roof top props the stock game like the animated AC units and such. Able to be placed on custom buildings?

co_damsku
Yes, there are a bunch of rooftop props for that purpose :)


Will it support touch or only mouse/keyboard ?

TotalyMoo
No touch support.


Multi-Core Support

Multicore support - I'd love to hear about the techniques you used to parallelize Cities Skylines! E.g., how many threads do you use and how do you partition the work up? Is the pathfinding multi-threaded? What kind of help does Unity provide developers on this front?

Good Q - a follow-up, will a 8-core i7 have any noticeable advantage over a 4-core i7?

co_damsku
The game is best optimized for a 4 cores CPU (being the most mainstream and quite fitted to our simulation needs), we have the main thread, audio, pathfinding, simulation & water flow. Unity does under the hood also use threads quite heavily (main and rendering) and we do use some extra worker thread during the loading/saving process, so 8 cores should yield a noticeable performance improvement but it will not be in the 2x faster figures.


Are pathfinding and simulation algorithms themselves multithreaded, or are they limited to one thread?

co_damsku
During normal game flow, there are limited to one thread.


is the number of thread dynamic ? (8CPU -> 2threads main, 2simu 2pathfinding ...)
or fixed like simcity (1thread simu, 1thread audio) ?

co_damsku
Game simulation related threads are a fixed number. The asset importing process may spawn more if needed but that doesn't really count. :)


Fantatic information. Would a really good graphics GPU's assist with any of the simulation or is that strickly handled by the computer's CPU?

co_damsku
We use the GPU mostly for rendering. Animations are also GPU skinned. But we do not use GPU based technique, for example with the water, if this is what you are thinking about.
While very tempting, it is much too easy when walking that road to end up with a game which will only start on very high end machines, and we wanted as many people, even with lower end kind of computer to be able to enjoy the game.

Does it still run on a dual-core? I know it won't run as well as on a quad, but some recent games like Far Cry 4 have made me worried if the game will even start :p

co_damsku
The thread distribution per core is ideal for our implementation choices on a quadcore. But that definitely does not mean a quadcore is required to play the game :) dual cores are perfectly fine too.
 

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User Interface​

General

Will there be support for borderless window mode at launch?

co_damsku
If you are talking about borderless fullscreen: Currently, we are a bit bound by the way Unity handles the fullscreen modes. We intend to support it but at the moment, it is not possible to switch exclusive to borderless just by a click in the Graphics settings. There is a good chance borderless window mode will be the official fullscreen mode but we are still looking into our options at this time.

CapnRat [Unity Developer]
we are a bit bound by the way Unity handles the fullscreen modes.
Yeah... we should just fix that :\


Will there be 4k support? Like with proper UI scaling?

co_damsku
You can select 4k, we do not prevent it, but sadly, there isn't a completely remade version of the UI for that resolution so it will upscale the textures. It however doesn't look bad at all.


UI Scaling?
In another thread, someone brought up that having high resolution monitors could be an issue with the UI. As someone with a 3440x1440 monitor and always complaining about this in most games over the years, will there be UI scaling?

co_damsku
Yes the UI will be scaled. Though being quite old school and living in the fear of letting go of my VGA cable, I think I'm out of the loop when you refer to what happens with other games. Is the problem that some games don't scale the ui leaving you with a few tiny pixels to interact with? Or is the problem that the ui is scaled but doesn't not have a higher resolution authoring, leaving you with magnification blurriness in places?


Can you turn off UI completely to make a screenshot of your newest creation?

co_martsu
Yes, the game has a free camera feature that gives you a bit more fluent controls and hides the UI. Looking forward to amazing screenshots!


Will Cities: Skylines have a color blind mode or is it possible to mod one? I've heard from several people that they have problems with the colors of the data maps.

co_martsu
We have tried to take it into consideration as much as possible. Please feel free to give us feedback if you experience any issues with the game!


Modding

Hello guys, I love this game and I already preordered it. I feel that is going to be an awesome game!
But I have a concern.. The User Interface and the Main Menu are not "nice" and "smooth" to see, I mean, thats a very huge important part of the city building and simulation games, it must be nice and intituive and I feel that the colors and the design is not the best that you guys can do.. I mean, that must be improoved!
The questions:
1. Is the UI and main menu going to be improoved? Or it is final?
2. Will we have the option to change the game language in the menus?
3. Are you guys going to let the modders improove/mod the User Interface (UI) ?
Here is an example of what we (the general users) would love to see in Cities: Skylines.. http://discuss.simnation.tv/t/slick-cities-skylines-user-interface/122
¡Thanks! PS: Sorry for my english, my native language is Spanish :p

co_damsku
The UI is not officially going to be moddable. However, it is possible with the modding API to write a mod to skin it, and with a good push, even make custom panels. The current UI is built on top of our own UI solution because UnityGUI was not available at the time. In the future, we are hoping to move toward UnityGUI which will give you modders much more freedom in term of UI control.
You can change the game language in the Options menu, it will be available in English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Polish and Portugese (BR) at launch.


Hi CO team - really looking forward to the game.
My question - will I be able to create new Infoviews as mods, e.g. could I add something like the SC4 'desirability' view?

co_martsu
This is actually a really exciting idea and to be honest I'm not sure how easy/difficult this would be. Please feel free to join the modding discussions at Paradox Forum: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?877-Modding-amp-Resources


Hardware

Will there be triple-screen 5760x1080 support for the game? You all are doing God's work! Especially you Moo.

TotalyMoo
Dude, thanks but I'm not OK with being set aside like that. CO are the ones developing the game, I just get paid to talk about it. They deserve all the credit!
And no triple monitor support, unfortunately.

Wait.. so the game only supports 16:9? =(

TotalyMoo
21:9 too :) And 16:10 etc. normal resolutions.


Chirpy-related

Will we be able to move or remove the bird-thing that is in the top center of the screen?
I have only recently started looking at this game and that bird just hurts my eyes for some reason. I think that if it was off to the side it would be fine, but top center is just...yuck.

co_martsu
I'm sorry the Chirper is not to your liking. I assume this will be one of the first things modded in Cities: Skylines. Maybe replaced by a cat?


Can you turn off the twitter bird?

TotalyMoo
You can disable the notifications and sound :)
 

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Off Topic Bantering with TotalyMoo​

I'm planning to spend some time travelling around Scandinavia this summer. Are you (PDX or CO) averse to fans dropping in to say hi and thanks in person if they're in the area?

TotalyMoo
Can only answer for Paradox, or honestly personally. I'd totally be down for a fika if a Cities fan dropped by.

Fika (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈfiːˌka]) is a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning "to drink coffee", often accompanied with pastries or sandwiches. [...] In some social circles, even just a sandwich or a small meal may be denoted a fika similar to the English concept of afternoon tea.

I had to google "fika", but now I know that it's not a terrible typo I'm sold.
Also /u/TotalyMoo I think it's safe to say that you have been the face of Cities: Skylines on Reddit. The fika would be on me.

TotalyMoo
I'm not going to turn down a coffee and cinnamon bun bribe any day soon. Give us a poke if/when you're around :)


What bribe would it take to give me access to the game?
edit: apparently people don't get 'jokes', I've preordered long ago...

TotalyMoo
Press the pre order button on steam, follow the on screen instructions. Warning, this bribe may take a few weeks to activate.


Thanks for doing the AMA! I'm abig fan of Paradox and Colossal Order as I really like how you do business and how you treat your customers. To me it seems pretty miraculous how a small team such as CO can pull off a complex and thought through simulation game like Cities (let's assume it is a great as it seems so far!).
• What do you think were the factors that made you so succesful in your venture?
• Totally Moo mentioned in an interview that Mariina was/is a very strict boss. Can the other CO guys confirm that and do you think it was a crucial for the quality of the end-product?

TotalyMoo
Upvoting because Mariina hasn't reacted to that quote yet, at least not to my knowledge, and I can't live much longer without knowing if that was a goof by me or not ;)


What games do you guys like to play?

TotalyMoo
Right now, lots of Dying Light and Darkest Dungeon. Although not much of the latter because I hate the notion of my soldiers dying :(
Trying my best to not play Cities until release so I can join in on the hype March 10 :)


Rollercoaster Tycoon Derailment

If you could only play three games for the rest of your life, what three games would you pick?

TotalyMoo
Since I can't rely on servers or multiplayer working forever...
1. Cities: Skylines (duh)
2. Rollercoaster Tycoon 2
3. THE GAME OF LIFE (seriously couldn't think of a third game that I can never get enough of)


Who knows what's even being asked here?

Näkyykö teidän toimistosta Sorsapuisto hyvin ? :)

co_martsu
Nope, only the University of Tampere :(


A Section Dedicated to Peanut the Cat

Ugh...I just found out I've got to put down my 17 year old cat (Peanut) in a half hour. Any chance I could get early access to make myself feel better?

TotalyMoo
Dude, not fair to guilt us. But really sorry to hear about Peanut. Remember that the memories are worth more than the sadness and best of luck to both of you :)

co_martsu
I'm very very sorry to hear this. I'm sure Peanut has had a wonderful long life. Please allow yourself a couple of weeks to grieve. Cities: Skylines will wait and be there for you when you are ready.


TotalyMoo’s Wall of Shame

Have you ever played one of Paradox Development Studio's games?
Thanks!

TotalyMoo
I've failed the tutorial for CK2 twice.
Proud Paradoxian here.
 

Letar

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illage2

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I have a question. One of the things I really liked about Sim City 2013 was its Cities of Tomorrow expansion where you can make your builidings more futuristic. Will there be anything like that planned for Cities: Skylines.
 

Zed68

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I have a question. One of the things I really liked about Sim City 2013 was its Cities of Tomorrow expansion where you can make your builidings more futuristic. Will there be anything like that planned for Cities: Skylines.

Why was it interesting in SC2013 ? Because the maps were microscopic and it allowed to grow upwards instead.

I don't think this is such a good idea in a real citybuilder. But who knows...