Hello Mayors, and welcome to 2021.
As of now, NewCity has been released on Steam for over six months. Since our Indiegogo campaign just a year ago, our humble regional citybuilder has succeeded and grown into something we only dreamed of. To start the new year, we want to announce our plans going forward into the NewCity 1.0 release.
When we launched the Indiegogo campaign in late 2019, Lone Pine games was a two person development team. We’re happy to say that we’ve since added two more employees to our roster. As the company expands, our priorities will shift a bit to accommodate for upcoming projects, including a new game – but don’t worry, we’re still moving forward at full speed on NewCity.
As we announced last month, the release schedule for NewCity updates will happen on a two-week cycle instead of the one-week that it was. Our major content updates will also shift to a development cycle of six to eight weeks.
Coming from my experience in the corporate software world, I was used to a weekly release cycle, what is sometimes called Agile development. Weekly releases are great for bug-fixing, polishing, and getting quick feedback from our great community.
However, it is difficult to implement big changes in a week-by-week way. Having a longer period of time to test different approaches and really polish new features will enable us to move faster, not slower.
Going forward, we might switch to an even longer release cycle. Then as we get closer to 1.0, we might return to the weekly cycle as we tighten things up for the big launch. Whatever we decide to do, we’ll keep you informed.
Plans for NewCity
We have five major planned features that we want to release before the end of the year.
Buildings such as museums, beaches, and the amusement park will provide Tourism points which will attract visitors. They will stay in hotels and explore the amenities your city has to offer. Tourists will boost the economy with sales and they’ll bring cherished memories home with them. If your city gets a good tourist rating, tourists will stay for longer and spend more money.
Can you make your city a vacation paradise? Will you create tourist-focused businesses like casinos? What will the consequences be?
We want to add more complexity and depth to the current economic model. For example, a recession might bring an industrial bust, forcing you to refocus on offices or tourism. Your city might experience a fuel crisis, forcing you to build more mass transit or to bring workplaces and residences closer to the city. As the national economy evolves, and as you respond in kind, your city will grow and, hopefully rarely, decline. Can you combat this economic instability?
Full Mass Transit
Build custom mass transit systems based on your city’s unique needs. Design the appearance of trains, their power source (electric trains anybody?), their size (light or heavy), and more to meet the transportation needs of your growing workforce.
And the NewCity platform will allow modders to create transportation systems that we didn’t even think of!
Districts, counties, or prefectures? This update will let the map be divided into “municipalities”. Each municipality will have customizable budgets, taxes, amenities, and statistics. Municipalities can pass ordinances that give the player diverse district choices.
Full Modding Support
The NewCity modding features will be expanded to include as many aspects of the game as possible. This will allow modders to create brand-new gameplay mechanics and total overhaul mods.
In addition to these new features, you should expect to see continued performance improvements, general refactoring, and changes to game mechanics. Up until we launch 1.0, we may make changes which break existing save files – they will become either unloadable, or unplayable. This is necessary so that we can freely explore the possibilities and make the release version all it can be.
Is your most desired feature missing from this list? Don’t despair. There’s so much we want to implement, such as freight rail and airports. These things might come post-1.0, or perhaps even before 1.0. The list of five features above is just the minimum we want to have before we say the number “1.0”, not when we plan to stop expanding the game.
Our launch out of Early Access is targeted for the end of 2021, but we are not marrying ourselves to that date; if we need to take more time, we will. I hope this gives you all something to look forward to as we head into a new year.
Questions? Comments? Feedback on the game? Sound off on our Discord.
As always, we’re incredibly thankful for our great community across the web. We love seeing the hard work and attention to detail you pour into your cities, and it inspires us every day to keep building. Thank you again for your support.
If you want to play the game and haven’t got it yet, head over to our Steam page. We’re also on Reddit and Twitter. Give us a follow if you haven’t, and we’ll keep you up to date on what’s new with NewCity!