Hello Reddit!

We are the developers and publishers of an upcoming city builder game called Cities: Skylines, which was recently announced at Gamescom 2014. You can see our reveal trailer here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxfeBpagvQw) for a quick look at what we're talking about today. Our aim was to make a hardcore, no-nonsense city builder - big cities, modding, offline play (we still can't believe that's a feature that needs to be stated) and much more. We're huge management nerds and have been talking about making a proper city builder for years. We're really happy we finally got to do it.

To give you the best possible chance to get a proper answer to your questions, we've gathered several team members from different areas and responsibilities. With no further ado, here's who's up for interrogation:

Mariina Hallikainen - Colossal Order - co_martsu Colossal CEO, in charge of everything and constantly suggesting pink stuff to be added to the games

Karoliina Korppoo - Colossal Order - KaroliinaK Lead designer working on Cities: Skylines. Constantly saying NO to pink things.

Shams - Paradox Interactive - pdx_shams - @shamsjorjani

Head of the Unicorn division - in charge of the game portfolio at Paradox - finds, signs and designs new games.

Jacob Munthe - Paradox Interactive - JMunthe Brand Manager, in charge of the Cities games Paradox Interactive Cities and general strategy game nerdlord.

Feel free to direct your question to a specific person, otherwise you'll get a reply from whomever feels most relevant.

So ask away about the game, us, Colossal Order, Paradox Interactive, PC gaming, regular gaming, non-regular gaming, the industry as a whole or whatever!

Want to hear more about Cities: Skylines? Check out our webpage and sign up for the newsletter (https://www.paradoxplaza.com/cities-skylines) and, for further discussion, join us on the forums! (http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?859-Cities-Skylines)

Proofz: https://twitter.com/ShamsJorjani/status/502166036964466688

Edit: 23:55 CET - sleepy time now. But we'll be back first thing tomorrow to continue with the questions - so keep them coming. Thanks for all the stuff so far!

Edit #2: 09:14 CET - we're back in the office. We'll keep answering questions throughout the day.

Comments: 985 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

hitzu109 karma

Will we able to build car-free cities?

pdx_shams78 karma

Best question so far.


Golwar91 karma

Why is there no enforced online mode? I heard it was a must have feature and requirement these days?

Oh and for Shams: How is this connected to Rome 2?

pdx_shams198 karma

Hey Golwar!

Thankfully advances in technology have enabled us to do all city management calculations locally on your PC. We don't have to do them in the cloud anymore, which you know, was the ONLY way to do it a few years ago.

ROME2 DLC incoming.

visionviper58 karma

So when you say hardcore, how hardcore are we talking? What kinds of things can we expect that will make this a truly immersive sim in terms of city building and city feel?

pdx_shams109 karma

Somewhere between SC4 and Cities XL? We don't want to go overboard and Dwarf Fortress it - but still allow depth. We expect modders to do really, really hardcore stuff. Depending on what people ask for we're shift post release content/feature in that direction.

philemon197644 karma

The skylines have a very newyorkish look. single skyscrapers or houses. any chance to get the "european block" modus into the game?

pdx_shams105 karma

Paradox is a Swedish company, Colossal finnish. At least 30% of the audience will be German - you do ze math :)

YpsilonEule38 karma

Will it feature regions like in the Simcity series?

pdx_shams71 karma

Nope. It's an interesting concept/feature if done correctly though. But we don't expect you to depend on other players/cities in order to build a big sweet city.

Uchuu35 karma

What kind of DLC model will Cities Skylines be following? i.e. how much content and what type of content will be put into DLC

pdx_shams71 karma

Generally at Paradox - we follow a "reverse peel the onion approach" - ie we make a base game that's as solid as can be. We then follow up and add layers to the onion making the game experience deeper and bigger.

Sometimes we add really specific stuff - say Muslim rulers for Crusader Kings 2 - (with the Sword of Islam expansion) while at the same time we general gameplay improvements/features for the game - new provinces for everyone, the claim system, new events, new empires.

People who want to play the specific muslim stuff can buy the expansion. The rest get a ton of free features/content.

The idea for Cities Skylines is roughly the same. We want to keep adding a lot of free stuff and do paid DLC for stuff that's either cosmetic or fairly specific.

As long as people keep playing and want more content we want to keep adding.

MatlockMan21 karma

This is great.

Btw I picked up Crusader Kings 2 a few days ago and am loving it.

pdx_shams37 karma

Become the antipope!

JMunthe60 karma

We are looking into something similar to Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV; Major expansions together with a patches full of free stuff, and some minor dlc besides

Moving_Slashman29 karma

That sounds great, at least for CK2 and EU4 this business model worked really good. Will there be any "first-day-DLCs"?

pdx_shams43 karma

There will be some kind of pre-order bonus - so technically that's DLC. But we're not locking content behind DLC day 1.

ilkarius34 karma

Currently, There're no Linux/SteamOS in the system requirements on the game's Steam page. Will these operating systems be supported at launch (or later)?

pdx_shams40 karma

Will be added. Linux/OSX will be supported!

Think different!

pdx_shams29 karma


Linux System requirements now added. Enjoy


MrKyleJ25 karma

Will CSL be deep with its visuals? I.E one of the problems I always had with Cities XL was that I never got the feeling that I built a city that was actually alive... I was never immersed in it. I built a fire station but never saw a fire crew come from the fire station to put a fire out, or I built a school but never saw school buses pick up and drop off kids. It may seem weird... but just that ability to zoom in and see your police(wo)men fighting crime or saxophone players playing in the park makes me really feel like I'm building a city that has sophisticated life living in it... :D

pdx_shams30 karma

This is a super hard balance to strike. On one hand we've got 9 man/woman team working on the game - that's really small. But we definitely want to see some visual representation for schools etc. Maxis does this really great. They've put a ton of work into the visuals. Unfortunately the simulation depends on the visual stuff. In other words - if the fire truck doesn't drive up to the fire it never gets put out.

We feel it's more important that the simulation works - that's our first priority - second is having a good visual representation.

DaveSilver15 karma

This game is being built by only 9 people? I was already super happy and impressed but now I am floored. I will 100% be buying this on release day!

pdx_shams15 karma

It surprised me as well :)

pollux_ar21 karma

Will there be reports or graphics to analyze how well(or bad) is the city going? Also if we're losing money, and where we can fix that. (Expensive taxes, bad services, and so on..)

pdx_shams15 karma

yes - SC does this amazingly well - we'll do our best to give you the tools to analyze your city.

DracoVolans20 karma

Will there be disasters in Cities: Skylines like in the Sim City series? If so, what kind of mayhem can we look forward to?

pdx_shams30 karma

It's on the roadmap. We'll see when it's added. What kind of disaster would you like to see?

bighi5 karma


pdx_shams17 karma

too soon.

Uchuu17 karma

How much will the game cost or what price range are you aiming for?

pdx_shams55 karma

We're looking at starting at $29.99 - that's HALF of some other management games. But we'll likely have some kind of Digital deluxe edition, or even a super collectors edition (if there's interest) - is there?

bighi33 karma

$30 is too low for a good sim game. Make it more expensive or offer me a collector's edition.

You guys have no idea how many people are starving for a good city management. Well, maybe you do, based on how many people rushed to buy SimCity 2013.

I want to give you guys more than $30, so make that Collector's edition become reality! And available outside US too.

pdx_shams51 karma

We actually do know how much they're starving. We're them and that's why we're making the game. We first spoke about making this game like 4 years ago. Our hopes were dashed last year and we said "eff it - let's a make a proper city builder ourselves"

ChancelorThePoet12 karma

I wish I had that much talent. "No fun games on the market? Fuck it. I'll make one for myself. Teach those bastards at EA how to make a real game."

pdx_shams20 karma

Theyre nice fellas. SC is a fine game, it's just not the game we'd like to play.

Xannepan16 karma

Will you have visual represention of wealth/poverty of neighbourhoods (graffity, trash on streets)? Or road degradation (potholes, cracks) (e.g. Due to heavy use and lack of maintenance)?

pdx_shams17 karma

Yes. But we won't go overboard with it :)

hitzu15 karma

How big population could we reach on the average PC?

pdx_shams20 karma

Great question - to be honest we can't answer that right now. A few more months of development when the simulation layer is more mature we'll be able to give you a more accurate answer.

Is there a population size where you go: "Fuck I have to buy this game now" - that would be helpful for us to know.

hitzu14 karma

1kk - that would be enough :)

pdx_shams15 karma


word_number12 karma

I have another one - will pollution / traffic / development / parks / schools produce positive/negative influences on development? Additionally will NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard) occur?

pdx_shams16 karma

Yes on the first part. Kinda to the second. You'll be able to create districts through policies. thus creating hipster/militant/business neighborhoods - they'll behave differently to different things. Some of them might not like change.

DePiddy12 karma

How in depth will the economics of the city be? Part of why I still play SC4 is because the city is always growing/changing and that means the city's finances must follow. So checking up on a particular elementary school's funding is almost necessary or your somebody (either the teachers or the city accountant) is going to eventually get ticked off.

Is there going to be that level of micromanagement or will there be more of a Tropico approach with the three levels of funding?

I could ding questions off you 25/8.

pdx_shams14 karma

We're aiming for that - cities shouldn't be static. It'll be deeper than Tropico's system.

Keep dingin'

samben2211 karma

What are your plans concerning the games economy?

pdx_shams6 karma

Deep, but manageable. It's a tricky feature to balance out. What's deep enough for you?

bbates72820 karma

Victoria 2 or deeper!

pdx_shams45 karma

NOPE. Tbh the Vicky model is so complex it barely holds together. It's almost too niche.

FrostPegasus11 karma

Are/will there be any "mechanics" or "measures" in place to reduce lag or pc strain in larger cities?

I distinctly remember CitiesXL having this issue where middle to large cities had massive fps drops.

pdx_shams27 karma

The game will be optimized to run on the recommended hardware for the max city size. You can uncouple the city size limiter through an option - but you and your PC will be on your own.

Mav1222210 karma

Will there be landmarks (Ie famous like the Statute of Liberty or Eiffel Tower)?

pdx_shams24 karma

What kind of city builder would it be if we didn't?

Uchuu10 karma

Could you give any approximate game release window yet?

pdx_shams28 karma

first half of 2015.

Axeran9 karma

To Karoliina

Did you get any inspiration (Even if stretched) from strategy games like Europa Universalis 4 while designing Cities Skylines

To the people at Paradox

Earlier this summer, I had this little Twitter conversation with you CEO. Is what he says actually true?

pdx_shams9 karma

Fred plays a lot of games. He'll fire up EU4 once in a while but he's not that great at it. He spends most of his time with Magicka: Wizard Wars and League of Legend right now.

t_bagger9 karma

One of the things I actually really liked in the new Sim City was the ability to place a utility/service building and then gradually expand it with additional functionality as my city grows instead of replacing it completely. Are there any plans for something similar in Cities: Skylines?

Really enjoyed CiM2, and could absolutely see the potential for it to be a full-fledged city builder. I know CO and Paradox can deliver what we're all after.

pdx_shams9 karma

Agreed. that was a nifty feature. I actually don't know but hopefully the devs will get around to your question.

Uchuu8 karma

Will there be an alpha/beta program?

pdx_shams9 karma

We're looking into it. Definitely something closed through the Paradox forums.

pollux_ar5 karma

Perhaps taking into account people of previous beta ?? (Cim/Cim2)

pdx_shams7 karma

perhaps ;)

ErcanKazaz6 karma

Hagia Sophia will be in the game right?

pdx_shams9 karma

She's a beauty. Not at launch likely. But some enterprising modder might make it day 1.

hitzu6 karma

Could we flood the city by destroying the dam or smth like this?

pdx_shams4 karma

Not at launch.

Uchuu5 karma

How many simulation speeds will there be?

pdx_shams11 karma

Right now there are 3.

ErcanKazaz5 karma

Do you plan making Steam Early Access for Cities: Skylines? Also how much will the game cost? Will it be $20 like Cities in Motion titles or will it be $50 like AAA titles? Thanks.

JMunthe16 karma

No Steam Early Access, we aim at release a finnished product.

Price point we are looking at is 29.99 USD, a little heavier than CiM2 as it is a much bigger game, but no AAA level

pdx_shams23 karma

haha "finnished". That was so not deliberate.

pdx_shams8 karma

No Early access. It'll be around $29.99 - half of some other management games ;)

Uchuu4 karma

How detailed will the underground infrastructure be? Will there be water pipes, sewage pipes, underground power lines, etc... that we'd have to place?

pdx_shams3 karma

Detailed. It's exactly what you'd expect for city builder.

Uchuu4 karma

Will we see Magicka wizards walking around our cities? Could they be a disaster that happens from time to time?

pdx_shams7 karma

No wizards at launch.

DePiddy3 karma

Haven't seen this yet... What games do you four (and the devs) enjoy playing? Sim games or not.

But then a part two: what sim games do you four (and the devs) enjoy playing? Any that you draw from? Any lesser known/low simulators you enjoy? I'm always looking for new ones.

pdx_shams4 karma

Right now I'm playing a lot of Kerbal Space Program, Dota 2, Zelda: A Link between worlds, Skyrim, CK2 and I just started on the Pillars of Eternity Beta.

My all time favorite sim games are Transport Tycoon and Caesar 2.

Try Kerbal!