Karoliina from Colossal Order writes about some of the free features coming alongside Mass Transit. What are you waiting for? Go read it down below!
We at Colossal have a long history of doing games with public transport. Cities in Motion and its sequel are all about building and managing a public transportation system in existing real world cities. Naturally we are very excited to get to expand the transport systems in Skylines too.
Mass Transit is not just about new transportation methods. There are numerous improvements to traffic and public transport. Train stations can be set to accept or not accept intercity traffic, so you can decide if trains coming from outside the city stop at all stations or maybe use just one where passengers can then transfer to other transportation modes. Selecting a line now shows a list of stops and the amount of passengers waiting on each stop. A new slider allows for more detailed adjusting of how many vehicles each line gets from the shared budget. One-way train tracks can be used to better define where you want trains to go without any extra tracks taking up space. A whole new info view has been added to help you find out where citizens are going to and from.
A passenger train station which can receive intercity trains
Traffic routes info view
Open Traffic Routes info view and click on a citizen, vehicle, building or road segment to see a visualization of trips. If you have chosen a citizen or a vehicle, you can see where they are coming from and what is the destination as usual, but now this information is visual and you can also see the route they are using. Buildings and road segments highlight trips made to and from them, so it is easy to see where the traffic is coming from. Visualization allows you to quickly swap between selections and instantly see where the traffic is coming from. This information is very useful when for example you are looking a a segment of road that is prone to traffic congestion. Finding out where traffic originates can help you plan alternative routes or separate trips from different areas to different roads, so there is more capacity available.
The piece of road showing in green in the middle of the screen has been selected while the info view is open. Trips made through it recently are painted on the map. Pedestrians and vehicles are in different colours and can be filtered in the info view legend panel.
Visual aids to road building
Building roads is a big part of the game, so it should be even more intuitive and easy. While the road tool is very flexible and allows for all kinds of interesting intersections, there are now improvements to the basic use. New line guides and dots help you place roads just where you want them to be. The lines show distances between roads and how existing roads would continue. Dots mark places where you can start building a road at a 90 degree angle and get the zoning grids to meet perfectly with no gaps. There are many exceptions to these basic rules, but the main point is that when building roads, there is a lot more visual information available, so the dream road grids will be easier to build. These visual aids are something I’m personally very excited for. The team has played the game so much that naturally we almost always get the zoning spacing right, but it does still feel frustrating when its one square too much to the side and you have to cancel the road and try again. We will have much less of that when Mass Transit comes out!
When building a road connected to an existing road, you can now see its angle compared to the existing road, as well as guide dots on where to place roads for zoning to have no gaps.
The road tool now has a circle around the cursor circle to signify where zoning will will be marked. Blue dashed lines mark how existing roads would continue.
Public Transport improvements
As mentioned, passenger train stations now have a new setting. When you have outside connection train tracks coming to your city, you can now choose where the train will stop. Previously trains stopped at all encountered stations, which could end up in very slow train connections. Having more control over where trains stop helps a lot with this.
Passengers view shows the amount an location of passengers on a line. The blue dots are vehicles on the line, also showing their maximum capacity. Stops show the amount of passengers waiting for this line on a stop.
When you select a line, you can see in the line info panel all the stops and vehicles on the line. Both stops and vehicles show how many passengers are on board or waiting on a stop. Vehicles also show the maximum capacity, so you know if they are full or not. The vehicle markers move between the stop markers, so you can basically see the whole line easily at one glance. This helps you identify bottlenecks so you can check more closely where passengers are going to and why are they packing into one station. Or you can see if some stop is almost always empty, maybe it can be removed or it needs some lines feeding passengers to it.
As usual, the DLC pack will come with a free update which has all of the features listed in this text. For even more features and content of the DLC pack, check out the next Development Diary in a couple of weeks!
Karoliina, Lead Game Designer on Cities: Skylines