Colossal Order Ltd

Colossal Order

Game Development Studio

Welcome back to the second development diary for the asset pack Beach Properties. Today we cover the references and inspiration for the buildings and the two approaches we took for the North American and European themes. But enough intro, let’s just get into it!

For the North American theme, we headed (virtually) toward The Sunshine State, Florida. To make sure the buildings fit into existing cities, we didn’t venture crazy far from the vanilla North American low density residential buildings stylistically, but you will still find these assets different from anything that we already have in the game. The paint on the walls is a bit lighter and the colors are more playful. Since we are on the sunny side of things we also have lots of outdoor spaces and swimming pools for the citizens to enjoy.

Let your citizens enjoy the new North American Waterfront Housing either near the water or inland

If all of our American dream houses are still closely tied together visually, the European theme takes a different approach with the new zone buildings having a noticeably different style. In this case, we traveled (again, only virtually) to the Mediterranean coastal areas of southern France and Spain and got our hands dirty with the stucco walls and tiled roofs. Like in the North American theme, they have large fenced yards, but there are also balconies and flat roof areas that have been turned into rooftop terraces, so citizens can get their daily dose of solar radiation without even leaving the lot.

The European buildings are also a bit different under (or maybe over) the hood: Many of these buildings were ideal to see how far we have come with Cities: Skylines II compared to the limitations of the propping system in the first game. We decided to rely on propping for many of the building features that would previously have been modeled as a part of the building meshes. Decorative elements like roof terrace fencing, window ornaments, window guards, and window hatches have been added to the buildings as props in the in-game Editor.

Bring a southern vibe to your European cities with the European Waterfront Housing

There are big benefits to this approach. Since all propped elements are using randomized versions, we can achieve a greater amount of variation without touching the building mesh itself. Also, if we ever decide to add more visual variations to any of these props, they will pop into the already finalized buildings automatically if those have been propped with randomized props.

From the first days of developing Cities: Skylines II, the building color schemes have been a big part of creating subtle but noticeable differences between the two themes. That’s why we wanted our new European props to fit in perfectly with the buildings they are used on which meant the system we already had in the game where company brand colors can control different parts of color variations on the commercial and office buildings. All the new European props have been set up so that the parent building colors are overriding the color variations of props used in that building. This means that the new props will never look too out of place. Good stuff!

While there are benefits to this prop-heavy approach, there are also some challenges. To ensure that all our assets will actually work together in the end, we needed to set some additional rules for the creation of both buildings and props, which can be frustrating for our artists. For example, there was a situation where we needed to change the design of some higher window ornaments so that they didn’t end up clipping through the eaves of certain buildings. We were able to work around the issues, but of course, too strict rules will always limit the creativity of individual artists, and limiting creativity too much will never benefit the final outcome. It’s a balancing act and we will keep evaluating case by case how beneficial this approach will be for us in the future, but overall we all learned a lot and for sure keep using this approach whenever it suits our art needs. Individual modders will most definitely push this system even further and we’re excited to see what we can achieve with the system together!

With the spawning buildings come Signature Buildings. We have three for both North America and Europe and boy are they glamorous. While base game low density residential Signatures could be viewed as “modest” in some way, there’s nothing modest in some of the monsters included in this package. We took inspiration from the same regions as the zoned buildings but, as we wanted the Signature Buildings to really stand out, we allowed ourselves more variation in the architectural style to bring some luxurious mansions to the city. Prepare to bulldoze small family homes and make room for the mansion of a professional golfer.

Architect’s Mansion from the North American theme (left) and Golfer’s Villa from the European Theme (right)

In addition to new buildings, we also have a large collection of new props available. The majority of those props are related to the more prop-heavy approach that we took with especially the European Buildings, but there are also pergolas (both free-standing and modular), pool ladders, and wall fountains to spice up any backyard. And as this was the perfect chance to add them, we of course have some palm trees for you! There’s Royal Palm Tree, Sylvester Palm Tree, Coconut Palm Tree, and Florida Palm Tree included in the pack ready to be planted in your city – with all age variations from child to stump of course.

With that, we’ve reached the end of the development diaries for Beach Properties. We are really looking forward to seeing what you create with this pack, so don’t forget to tag us in your amazing screenshots! 

Economy 2.0 Development Diary #2 – Duplicate – [#2286] Hi everyone. As we have seen a bunch of questions about how the …

Economy 2.0 Development Diary #2 Welcome back to the second dev diary detailing the changes coming in the next patch. If you …

Economy 2.0 Development Diary #1 Hello again! We are back with another development diary. This time we look at the economy re-work …