Following its rocky launch, Cities Skylines 2 developer Colossal Order is working on bringing patches out faster to other platforms alongside Steam, improving the performance for those playing via Microsoft’s PC Game Pass service. CEO Mariina Hallikainen shares the first CO ‘word of the week’ for CS2, discussing technical issues, the hot topic of teeth rendering, and bugs causing “huge dog packs” to form in the city in the Paradox-published strategy game.
While we certainly found a lot of improvements and positives in our Cities Skylines 2 review, the game’s performance issues leave a sour taste in the mouth; something that’s been reflected across the audience reception. Currently, Cities Skylines 2 sits at a ‘mixed’ Steam rating with just 56% positive reviews across nearly 20,000 user submissions – not quite what CO would have hoped for its follow-up to one of the best city-building games on PC.
“Hi everyone, welcome to our little weekly update, where we share what Colossal Order is doing right now, and what you can expect for Cities Skylines 2 as a result,” Hallikainen begins. The ongoing feature, she notes, ran for two years from 2016 to 2018 for the first game, and is being brought back “in the name of transparency” for the ongoing development of CS2.
Colossal Order is happy that the game has finally launched, she says, but notes that “the launch was overshadowed by technical issues that caused disappointment, and rightfully so.” The first Cities Skylines 2 patch arrived quickly on Steam, but was delayed for those on the Microsoft store, which includes anyone who is playing the game via PC Game Pass, arriving almost a week later there.
“We will have to see how we can speed up the patching process so we don’t have players waiting for these important fixes longer than necessary,” Hallikainen says. As to the contents of the patch, she notes it included optimization for LODs (the ‘level of detail’ rendered on objects depending on their distance from the camera). Simply put, you don’t need high-quality models on your Cims while you’re zoomed out and planning your Cities Skylines 2 roads.
“Finding optimal LOD levels is a balancing act between visual fidelity and performance,” Hallikainen remarks, “and we’ll be addressing this in future patches. Yes, including the characters and their teeth! We also identified some offenders such as the depth of field, global illumination, and fog, all now tweaked for improved performance.”
Additionally, the blog digs into some of the gameplay issues players are reporting. This includes issues in education, where college and university eligibility is not being correctly shown, and insufficient demand for local business because “citizens are not consuming all different commercial types correctly.”
Perhaps saddest of all is news of a recurring, roaming pack of lost dogs. “It seems that some citizens are abandoning their dogs, resulting in a huge dog pack just stranded in the city,” Hallikainen reports. “Not cool, citizens, not cool at all.” Agreed on that – although I suppose at least it seems like they have each other’s back.