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Laid-off SimCity dev launches Patreon for creation of Cities: Skylines buildings

As Paradox outlines bugs to be squashed.

A former Maxis employee who worked on SimCity and its expansion, Cities of Tomorrow, has launched a Patreon to crowdfund the creation of Cities: Skylines buildings.

Shannon's Coal Power Plant for Cities: Skylines.

Bryan Shannon worked at Maxis Emeryville as an artist before he was laid-off in the final months of the much-loved EA-owned studio's life.

Fellow city builder Cities: Skylines already has hundreds of mods available, including a recreation of Los Santos from Grand Theft Auto 5 - just a week after launch.

Now, Shannon has got stuck in and released two items: "Coal Power Plant 01" and "In-and-Out Burger", through Steam Workshop.

They're part of a Patreon Shannon launched in the hope of funding Cities: Skylines content creation while he looks for a new job.

"I enjoy content creation for Cities: Skylines (CSL), and I'm currently in between jobs in the games industry," he writes.

"I'd love to generate content for a community that loves to mod their games, but the process takes a bit of time that takes away from my job search. So while I'm on the lookout for full-time work, or contracts as they come up, this is something I feel like we can all enjoy! More content!"

Earlier this month EA shut down Maxis Emeryville, the studio behind Spore and the recent SimCity game, as part of a move to "consolidate" Maxis IP development.

"The games industry is experiencing one of the hardest times right now," Shannon continued. "Many students are graduating from Game Art schools, many companies are going through layoffs as the economy is improving (that's right, the better the economy is doing, the less people are playing games! Sad days!).

"I, too, was laid off from the industry... specifically, Maxis of Emeryville in their final months. To keep my dream alive, I need to find work soon, or it might be time to start cleaning dishes and wrapping burritos. Instead, I'd rather be here working on artwork to inspire generations to come."

Shannon said a building typically takes between 15 and 30 hours to create, depending on size and complexity. "This is a significant amount of time taken out of my weeks that I could be looking for a job."

The video, below, is a time lapse of the seven hour production of Down-and-Out for Cities: Skylines.

Watch on YouTube

Meanwhile, the sales success of Cities: Skylines continues. It's just shot through the 500,000 units sold mark - an impressive achievement for a game just a week old.

Paradox has also outlined the raft of Cities: Skylines bugs and issues it's set to tackle with updates.

In a post on the Paradox forum, community manager John Rickne said that while the launch of the game had gone smoothly, a number of problems had been identified.

Top of the list is the following:

  • Black screen on start-up
  • Grey Load/New Game button
  • Save issues (corrupted saves, saves not saving, cloud not working properly)
  • Poor performance on high end computers (mostly Linux)

There are also gameplay-related issues Paradox and developer Colossal Order is keeping an eye on:

  • Commercial demand possibly being "killed" by parks and rec
  • Potential traffic AI issues/improvements
  • Cause/effect for workers getting to their jobs

Rickne warned Cities: Skylines players that Colossal Order was taking a cautious approach to gameplay rebalancing.

"We understand there's a lot of passion for this game and many of you want to see it grow in the best possible direction - your feedback is highly appreciated - but this does not mean we will 'blindly' do everything people ask for," he said.

"CO are very collected, down to earth developers. Do not expect knee-jerk balance / gameplay changes due to active feedback on a specific topic."

Cities: Skylines' first patch is expected soon, Rickne added. "CO are currently fully focusing on solving the core technical issues before we switch to working on the first major content update."

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