With Cities Skylines capturing gamers minds in their droves, as thousands build sprawling landscapes, bustling with life, I sit down with Lead Game Designer Karoliina Korppoo to talk about the game and the communities already impressive amount of mods.
Q.Why do you think Cities Skylines has been so successful? Especially when compared to the latest Sim City release?
A.When compared to SimCity 2013, Skylines is a much more traditional city-builder. It seems that it was what a large audience was looking for. We chose to look back on older SimCities, like SimCity 2000, and have the depth that they had brought to modern day. For some reason the newest SimCity has very small maps, which can feel disappointing to the player. Skylines has huge maps, so that players have room to design their city in many different ways, creating new kinds of challenges.
Q.Did you expect such a large fan base of players ready to mod and create?
A.We had seen awesome things done by modders with our first game, Cities in Motion, but didn't think that some many people would come to mod Skylines. It's wonderful to see how creative and talented people are!
Q.Are there any mods or creations that have truly surprised or shocked you?
A.My personal favourite is the Flight Cimulator, which allows the player to fly around the city in controlling an airplane. There are also many very useful mods, like tweaked AI for garbage trucks or the extended public transportation mod, that helps users control different bus, train and metro lines better.
Q.Had you always planned on being open and encouraging to players wanting to mod and play around freely with your game?
A.Yes! Collaboration with players is something we absolutely want to do. Cities: Skylines is all about allowing the players to create things, be it a city or a mod, and modding works very well with the concept.
Q.What tips would you give to a player just starting out?
A.Go slow, see how your city works, and check the Cities: Skylines forums if you run into any problems. There's loads of useful hints and tips there! Also check youtube, there are plenty of let's play videos that show how to get started with your city.
Q.Is a console release something you've thought about?
A.Heavy simulation games are not very well suited for consoles, due to the controllers and the fact that they are played far away from the screen and items on the screen have to be quite large to be easy to understand. Currently we do not have plans to bring Skylines to consoles, but who knows what the future will hold?
Q.Ok, final question and it's a little off topic. Ok, very off topic. If you could have been a part of any game, past or present, what would you have loved to have been involved in making?
A.I would have loved to be part of the team working on Planescape: Torment! It's my all time favourite game and I just love how much dialogue it has and how interesting the characters are. It would be very interesting to see how it was done.
So there you go, a glimpse into yet another dev genius mind! A big thanks to Karoliina for taking the time to chat with us of course!