CO word of the week #11 - 44/2017: Budget Panel

CO word of the week #11 - 44/2017: Budget Panel

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co_luukas

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TL, DR: There's some new tabs with cool data in the budget panel, go check them out :)


Hi everybody, it's time for Colossal Order's next word of the week!

I'll quickly introduce myself, I'm Lukas the UI programmer, and it looks like it's my turn now to write this thing - so here we go!

Since I mostly work with Cities: Skylines UI, I will write about a UI feature that was released with our recent Green Cities update, but not mentioned very much yet in trailers or marketing updates: A partial redesign of our budget panel.

Before Green Cities, the section in question looked like this:

1.png


As you can see, it already was somewhat cluttered and not very easy to read. Not our most favourite panel to look at, to be honest.

Then with Green Cities, we decided to add a new commercial specialization to this. And an office specialization. Oh, and separate statistics for tax income from the new self sufficient residential housing, with five different levels for each low and high density buildings. Sounds like more content than would still fit in there? Well yes, it was =).

And so we decided to redesign the whole thing. We added tabs with detailed information on residential, commercial and industrial/office tax income, and one separate tab for showing income and expenses of the city's public transport system.

This allowed us to summarize and simplify the main income/expenses overview, which now looks like this:

2.png


The tabs for residential, commercial and industrial specializations now each include a bar chart showing detailed info on where that sweet tax money is coming from. For owners of Green Cities, the same bar chart also visualizes how much of your residential housing is self sufficient:

3.png


The overviews for commercial and industrial tax income look similar, but also include any available specializations. Maybe most importantly, the pie chart on the right shows how much of your overall income the tab you are currently looking at makes, so you can easily tell if the numbers you are looking at are relevant in the big picture.

Finally, public transportation got its own tab showing both income and expenses for each transportation type, and how profitable it is.

4.png


Don't worry too much if your public transport system is not profitable, it may have other benefits (e.g. less traffic from cars, more tourism income) that are not measured here.

Have fun with the new statistics, I hope they'll give you some interesting new insights into your city!

Cheers, Lukas
 

Ionwind

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Nice! More detailed statistics are always welcome!

As a transport and traffic researcher I hope more real mayors and city politicians could understand the last thing you mentioned. While urban public transport typically isn't profitable per se, it prevents even higher costs caused by increased private car traffic (pollution, maintenance, accidents, etc).
 

Fox_NS_CAN

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I did notice that, and I do like it much better.

Keep up the good work!
:)
 

Anttonilla

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Yep, it's way better now that what it used to be. :) Do you think it would be waste of resources if you developed some tools for the UI? Right now it's a pain in the *** for modders and it seems that it's not easy for you either. It's just very inconsistent and rough around the edges.
 

Keltia_Vikinga

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Nice introduction but that's it for me.
I won't translate this & will do my way to this part.
I'll probably use yr pictures, or mines.. I will see.

Regarding the new panel, I like it very much. :)
 
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slornie

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That looks like a great improvement! Next step greater detail on expenditure-only items like policies and services? :D
 

Clemcy

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That looks like a great improvement! Next step greater detail on expenditure-only items like policies and services? :D

I agree as well as a more direct access to transportation options and graphs, but I really like the way it looks now !
 

Grapplehoeker

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Don't worry too much if your public transport system is not profitable, it may have other benefits (e.g. less traffic from cars, more tourism income) that are not measured here.
What these changes appear to show and what you briefly allude to, is the fact that Tourism income is no longer displayed.
Tourism has long been a problematic simulation for Cities Skylines. I am disappointed that rather than working towards improving it, CO appears to be sweeping it under the rug!
I do not worry about public transport profitability, but I do want to be able to see the data for Tourism in order to make a correlation between the effectiveness of public transport and the commercial specialisation zones.
Please put the Tourism income data back so that we may measure it and by doing so may clearly see what improvements CO makes to Tourism, if any.
 

Keltia_Vikinga

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I don't understand why sometimes I earn 43,000 on a small time,
good thing if you ask me^^ but how come ? i checked and paused but can't see the answer.

Since CS is also management game (despite some may say it isn't)...
I think it would be better to get complete list with policies, events and all related with money of the city, into the economy panel, and...

separate self sufficient buildings, ok its nice looking as it is but its impossible to look exactly their tax income as we already discussed, CO.
I think it would be better for us, virtual mayor^^, to exactly see money spent & received by stuff (RCI taxes, policies and all related with money of the city)
 

co_luukas

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Nice! More detailed statistics are always welcome!

As a transport and traffic researcher I hope more real mayors and city politicians could understand the last thing you mentioned. While urban public transport typically isn't profitable per se, it prevents even higher costs caused by increased private car traffic (pollution, maintenance, accidents, etc).

Nice to hear this from an actual transport and traffic researcher, thanks for the feedback! :)


What these changes appear to show and what you briefly allude to, is the fact that Tourism income is no longer displayed.
Tourism has long been a problematic simulation for Cities Skylines. I am disappointed that rather than working towards improving it, CO appears to be sweeping it under the rug!
I do not worry about public transport profitability, but I do want to be able to see the data for Tourism in order to make a correlation between the effectiveness of public transport and the commercial specialisation zones.
Please put the Tourism income data back so that we may measure it and by doing so may clearly see what improvements CO makes to Tourism, if any.

Not sweeping it under the rug, just swept it into a different tab! ;)

Tourism.PNG


Income from the tourism specialization is now listed in the commercial tab, as it is a commercial specialization. It's the same number that was previously shown, it's just moved here now as part of tidying up the income/expenses overview.
 

Grapplehoeker

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Not sweeping it under the rug, just swept it into a different tab! ;)
View attachment 312016
Income from the tourism specialization is now listed in the commercial tab, as it is a commercial specialization. It's the same number that was previously shown, it's just moved here now as part of tidying up the income/expenses overview.
That's great! Thanks for unveiling that.
I'm wondering though, if that is the case, if it only applies to those that have After Dark, since commercial specialisation is specific to that DLC.
 

Fox_NS_CAN

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That's great! Thanks for unveiling that.
I'm wondering though, if that is the case, if it only applies to those that have After Dark, since commercial specialisation is specific to that DLC.

I would presume yes, because that is income from Tourism specialized commercial zones.

What about money earned from tourists elsewhere? I would assume there would be money to be made in other places?

I have 0.00 income for it, because in my current city there apparently is not any tourism specialized zones, but I do have tourists.
 

co_luukas

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I'm wondering though, if that is the case, if it only applies to those that have After Dark, since commercial specialisation is specific to that DLC.

I would presume yes, because that is income from Tourism specialized commercial zones.

What about money earned from tourists elsewhere? I would assume there would be money to be made in other places?

I have 0.00 income for it, because in my current city there apparently is not any tourism specialized zones, but I do have tourists.

I'll have to apologize, I think I misunderstood Grapplehoeker here: The tourism specialization income that is shown in the commercial tab is not the income from tourists, but the income from tourism specialization buildings. That specialization comes with After Dark, so it's only shown for players who own that expansion.

There used to be one number in the old version of the panel which showed the amount of money that tourists spent in commercial areas, which is in fact not shown any more. It didn't account for other sources of tourist income e.g. from public transport tickets though, so it was somewhat misleading.

Now that you're pointing it out, I do agree that there should be a nicer way of seeing how big tourism is for the city. You can currently check the amount of tourists from the public transport info view or the outside connections info view (tourism tab), but that doesn't tell much about the financial side of tourism.
So I think you are right that income from tourism should be shown in the budget panel. I'd want to do that properly though, not just with one number that doesn't actually give you the whole picture. So I'll do exactly that, I'll look into a way of doing properly. Good point, thanks for the feedback, and sorry for the misunderstanding!


EDIT: It's done!
 
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Steve B.

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Thanks for your work. It has made the budget panel more informative and easier to read. Do you think you could change the sliders as well? I don't think anyone needs to change the budget sliders in 1% increments; it's very hard to manipulate them (at least for me). I would think that 5% increments would satisfy everyone's needs and be much easier to handle; or, perhaps, eliminate them altogether and allow us to just enter the desired percentage.
 

Keltia_Vikinga

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Good news. Thanks @co_luukas
About sliders, that topic about services like education and others & day/night cycle remains still...


Also, I return with management per service buildings that is needed more & more.....look at each service in economy panel, there are more & more buildings & opporunities to manage for each stuff ( healthcare, police, etc).

As for example, you have for firefighters branch, the big and small firefighters service, radars, disaster response unit etc etc etc
Education, you have the institutes, schools , high school..... etc

That's great to get more opportunities in game but step by step, we lose more and more the view and control on these services buildings and its economy...
I think for education as one example that it would be great - depends on situations in game - if we can set more money for school than downtown university
or again if one school located to a small village far of the city on a map seen as one region by the player, it would be best to get management of that school building, & we would lose less money and we'd get more control.

I think that request will be needed more and more.

My example here was with Education but its needed for all services....water service and all
Also, I think the player should get the choice to rise number of buildings desired in addition of paying servicing... setting his economy as he wants.
Currently if you do that, its a waste of money because you cannot set economy per service building, nor their radius.

Coding behind is probably not easy but i don't think thats impossible thing for you as I don't think to be the only one in the need to get one great vision and opportunity on that such important matter that is Economy & our city services.
 

boformer

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Thanks for the detailed post, I really appreciate this kind of communication with the community!

And the new statistics are really nice. Still a bit too hidden for my taste, but still great!