Colossal Order Ltd

Colossal Order

Game Development Studio

Hello everyone and welcome back to another development diary. Today we’re sharing our plans for the Editor in Cities: Skylines II. Currently, the game does not include the Editor, but we will update the game post-release to include it as soon as it’s out of beta testing.

From the start, we knew we wanted to include an in-depth editor powerful enough to bring your ideas to life. This time around we have a good sense of what modders and creators may need, based on all the amazing things they created for Cities: Skylines, and our goal is to support that with the new Editor currently being worked on for Cities: Skylines II. We’re developing it in close cooperation with the modding community, and while the tools are something we’ll use internally as well, the goal is to offer you the possibility to create your own content for the game. That’s what the Cities: Skylines experience is really about: Freedom to create!

ONE EDITOR TO RULE THEM ALL

In Cities: Skylines we had several different editors for different functions. If you wanted to create assets you would open the asset editor, and within it, you would select specific categories all bringing you a subset of features. If you wanted to work on a map, you would need a different editor to do that.

In Cities: Skylines II we have one Editor capable of everything. Whether you’re making a new map or creating a new building, you will enter the same Editor. This means you will have a lot of options at your fingertips, which can be a little daunting at first, but it comes with a lot of benefits too. 

Your new building doesn’t exist in a flat empty world. You can load a map, place the building in the environment, and place other buildings or roads around it to get a better sense of what it will look like in your city. The same goes for maps. You can place buildings as you’re shaping the landscape to ensure the scale of hills and valleys is how you want them.

Preview your asset in the surroundings you want while adding finishing touches

ROADMAP

The Editor is currently in beta and being tested by our modding beta group, which consists of seasoned modders and asset creators. The Editor will be released in several steps, the first of which will include map creation, asset import, code mods, and sharing those as well as savegames through Paradox Mods.

Creating custom maps in Cities: Skylines II includes what you might expect: Shaping the landscape, setting up water sources for rivers and lakes, painting in natural resources and forests, and setting up the basic outside connections for a city. But map creation also includes setting up the map’s climate, including its temperature variations and weather.

The initial release of the Editor supports the creation of custom buildings with more asset types to be supported in the future. It allows you to import custom .fbx files with a matching set of textures, set up color variations, decorate the asset, and tweak its stats to fit your new asset. You can of course also edit existing assets, giving your favorite building a new look through different color variations and decorations. All the technical information about modeling and texturing assets can be found on the official wiki, which will be updated as more information is available.

Last, but definitely not least, this update will support code modding. We have given a lot of the prominent modders from Cities: Skylines early access to Cities: Skylines II, giving them a chance to get familiar with the game and get inspired to create mods. That said, please remember that the game uses new technology and has a deeper simulation, so mods need to be created from scratch and nothing done earlier for Cities: Skylines can be used as such. We’re very excited to see what the modders create for this time around!

This first update will also enable sharing to Paradox Mods. Here you can share and download custom maps, buildings, and code mods, as well as share your savegame or download other people’s cities to explore. Paradox Mods will be available on all platforms, not just PC, within the limits of each platform. We’ll get into the details of what will be included for console closer to their release.


THE NEXT STEP
Following the release of the Editor our next goal is to expand its capabilities to include more asset types. We want to give you the ability to create your very own vehicles, trees and bushes, as well as the option to import custom citizen models. Both trees and citizens are more complex than their counterparts in Cities: Skylines.

As trees go through a lifecycle in Cities: Skylines II, from saplings to adult trees and eventually to dead trees, custom trees require several models corresponding to each stage of their life. Similarly, citizens go through different life stages which are reflected in their character models changing from children all the way to seniors. We’ll take you behind the scenes of character models in a future development diary which may help potential creators get a sense of what to expect once the Editor supports custom characters.

YOUR FEEDBACK
We have intentionally left our plans for the Editor open-ended. Besides the features we have planned for it, we want to leave room to implement improvements and features that will help you create modding content for Cities: Skylines II. While we of course cannot make any guarantees, we’re excited to hear your feedback and wishes for the Editor, both now and once you get your hands on it.

We’re very interested in hearing about your experience with the editors in Cities: Skylines. Which ones did you use? What worked well? What did you find challenging? And of course, we want to hear about what you would love to create for Cities: Skylines II, whether it’s among the items supported with the initial release of the Editor, something that will be supported down the line, or perhaps something completely different. Let us know in the comments below.

In the next development diary, we take you behind the scenes of Game Balancing, diving into the process and challenges that come with balancing a deep simulation like Cities: Skylines II.

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