Cities: Skylines was released as a modern take on a classic city builder back in March of 2015. The game became a massive hit, featuring residential, commercial, industrial and office areas zoned around tight road-building tools (with various city services and unique buildings sprinkled in).
Skylines can be played as a progression oriented experience where more building types, services and public transportation options are unlocked as your city grows, or it can be played as a sandbox experience where the player can elect to have everything available from the beginning, even with infinite money if their sole desire is to let their creative juices flow.
After the success of Cities: Skylines on PC, there was a strong desire to take on the challenge of bringing this game from PC to console. We figured the typical Skylines player doesn’t necessarily need to be sitting in front of a computer screen, mouse and keyboard at the ready to build fun, beautiful, crazy, creative and bustling cities; it can be perfectly suited for doing all of that from the comfort of your living-room couch.
The trick here is two-fold: first you need to take the gameplay and adapt it from the traditional mouse-and-keyboard setup to a controller, and after that you also need to adapt the user interface to reflect this new mode of input. All this while retaining all the fun and engaging gameplay of our initial PC release.
The controller is not an imprecise tool; it is just a different one. So our aim was to play to its strengths, which meant switching focus from a moving mouse to a snappier point-to-point navigation of the UI, including radial menus and dedicated Xbox One controller button prompts. The UI also needed some size adjustments while the camera controls were assigned to the left and right controller sticks, which is a standard that most Xbox players will already be familiar with. The end result is a game that feels very natural and smooth.
Our goal of creating an intuitive and pleasant city-builder for Xbox One exceeded even our own expectations, so we’re excited to see our fans get to finally play it. The wait is finally over and we hope that both our hardcore fans, and newcomers to Cities: Skylines in particular, will have as much fun playing this game as we had making it.