Paradox Interactive hosted a stream on Twitch last week celebrating seven years of Cities: Skylines, along with new information and gameplay footage of the upcoming VR spin-off, Cities VR.
Creative Director Creative Director Erik Odeldahl spoke to Paradox about what to expect with Cities VR, as well as the differences between Skylines and the new VR version, before jumping into some gameplay live on stream.
You can watch the stream VOD here — the Cities VR discussion starts at around the 52 minute mark, and gameplay starts around 1 hour and 9 minutes.
This is the most in-depth look we’ve got so far at how the city management game will transfer across to VR. Notably, you can see how tool selection will work in Cities VR — you’ve got access to the same suite of options from Skylines, but spread across a wheel-like option selector on your Touch controller.
You can also see city requirements — like demand for residential vs commercial zones — by turning your left controller to the side, almost like viewing a wrist watch.
There was quite a few interesting tidbits revealed in the pre-gameplay chat as well. Odeldahl consistently reminded viewers (and existing Skylines fans) that Cities VR is not a straight port, but a VR adaptation and ultimately “a different game.”
“You shouldn’t pick up Cities VR and expect it to be a full blown port of Cities: Skylines,” he said. “VR is a different medium, it’s a medium that is very… We basically need to stay on frame rate 100% of the time. The simulation in Skylines is amazing, and also pretty heavy, so we’ve had to basically find what we feel is a good mix between the visual fidelity, the simulation etc.”
The simulation is the same in Cities VR, but it runs on a smaller scale — players will be limited to just one city tile, roughly 2km x 2km in size, so you won’t be able to build giant expansive cities over multiple tiles like you can in Skylines.
Odeldahl was also hesitant to call Cities VR a casual experience on Quest, as it’s a pretty in-depth city builder, but admitted it would be slightly “more casual” for those familiar with Skylines. To help those who are new to the franchise, Fast Travel Games has put a lot of work into the initial tutorial and made sure new players will be able to become familiar and comfortable with the game’s systems.
There’s a full day-night cycle in Cities VR, just like Skylines, and a lot of the same management options and tools are available, just on a smaller city canvas. As you might have guessed, mods (which became a big part of Skylines on PC) will not be supported in Cities VR.
Nine maps will be available at launch — all brand new for Cities VR — and the studio plans to support the game extensively post-launch.
When asked about other headsets, Odeldahl said the studio “will be talking about that in the future, but we have nothing to say about that at the moment” — a very similar response to previous answers.
Cities VR is set to launch soon for Meta Quest 2. Limited playtests should have just wrapped up.