Colossal Order Ltd

Colossal Order

Game Development Studio

Hello and welcome! It’s a new day and that means a new Cities: Skylines II development diary. Today we take a look at the companies and billboards in the game. In the effort to make a more realistic city-building game, we have given companies and their billboards a significant upgrade from the original Cities: Skylines. Companies now play a role in the game mechanics, and billboards represent the companies that reside in the buildings.

Cities: Skylines II introduces companies as a working entity. They will move into the city if there is enough demand and influence the availability of jobs and the type of education needed. Companies contribute to city wealth and can import and export goods from outside the city. These features can greatly influence how you build public transportation within the city and outside connections to neighboring cities.  The types of industries that are in the city also impact the types of companies that move in. Industry types will attract companies that can utilize the materials from those industries.

So let’s dive right in and start looking at all the different ways this shows up in the gameplay.

COMPANIES

Billboards have a function and meaning beyond being static advertisements on buildings. After a location has been zoned, companies that operate in that zone type can start to move in. When a company moves into the building it will display its logo on the billboard. The amount, size, and style of billboards on a building varies and is not the same each time the building appears in the game. For the company to stay in the location it will need utilities, materials, and workers, while also being profitable. Access to the location plays a big part in this as does the level of education in the city. Cargo routes can be a great help in keeping companies in business. You can learn more about all of this in our previous development diary Economy & Production.

The company that moves into a building will have its logo on the billboards of the building

BUILDING COLORS
When a company moves in they can also paint the building in the company colors. Different buildings may take on more color from the logo than others. The color can show up as a highlight color in the details of the building or as the main wall color.  Some buildings can have more than one color from the logo in different elements.

Companies have three colors picked from the company logo that are used as color variants in the buildings

COMPANY CHIRPS
Chirps inform you about what’s happening in the city. Citizens chirp about their lives and service providers about how the services are working. Companies also chirp about moving in, opening new locations, open positions, and more. They can be found in the chirper along with the other chirps. Companies show an icon of their logo next to their name, and the street address of their location is often in the chirp.

Selecting the street address highlighted with green will focus the camera on the location of the company

COMPANY PRODUCTION CHAIN
Companies are a part of the production chain, and one company can own and operate a production chain from harvesting and storing raw materials to producing and selling a final product to customers. Each company has a zone type where they can operate and a material they produce or sell.

One company can be seen in several facilities in different stages of the production chain

BILLBOARDS

Before a company has moved into a building the billboards will advertise space available in that location. These were designed to make it easier to spot where there are still empty buildings without a company.

There are a few variations on the empty space available advertisements, but they can all be easily recognized from further away by the similar blue color scheme.

COLOR VARIETY
Creating a large amount of logos in a variety of styles to make sure no one color dominates the billboard landscape proved an interesting puzzle to solve. Our approach was to make a chart with the background colors in columns and build a logo on top. The tricky part was to add an equal amount of logos to each column while keeping the colors and logos different enough from each other. There are some old familiar names from Cities: Skylines that have gotten a makeover and plenty of new ones. The brands also include a few nods to our developers and some word plays.

Example of some of the logos for companies arranged by color, to make sure enough color variation is present.

ACCESSIBILITY 
With the colors chosen, it was time to make sure that each logo was distinct and readable. That meant checking that some logos were darker, some were lighter, and that there were some bright colors and some muted tones. In this process, we also made sure that each logo was readable for the colorblind. Finding the color combinations that would fulfill all these criteria was quite challenging and a little frustrating at times, but one of the most interesting and fun things to figure out.

Here is an example of logos checked for Deuteranopia and Protanopia.

That’s it for today. We hope you enjoyed this look at what’s behind the billboards and a sneak peek at all the brands available in the game. We continue this series tomorrow where we go behind the scenes of the Citizen Characters, so stay tuned.

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