You’ve likely heard of the “cutting room floor.” In creative fields like film and literature, there are often scenes carried along deep into development before the decision is finally made to cut them. Perhaps you’ve enjoyed the deleted scenes from your favorite shows or alternate chapters an author posts online once their book has hit shelves. There’s more than a few games with files buried deep in the codebase that allude to what could have been.

In order to get NewCity to v1.0, we’re going to have to make judicious use of the cutting room floor. But that shouldn’t be a scary thing. Freeing the team up to focus on improving the features we’ve already implemented will result in a better product. We don’t want to be “as wide as an ocean and as shallow as a puddle,” after all. Expect to begin hearing us use the phrase “out of scope” more often. It’s time to batten down the hatches and get this ship ready to sail.

It's sculpting time
It's sculpting time

One feature that IS NOT on the cutting room floor is our Earthworks feature. We’ve heard you loud and clear: you want more freedom in designing your own maps and forging the world where your city will take root. We’re working on that.

We’ve been working on adding a “Continuous” mode to the Earthworks tool, which will allow you to raise or lower the earth as long as you hold down the button. Instead of raising or lowering terrain to a specified height, the height value is repurposed as a strength value. Left-click raises terrain and Alt+Left-click lowers terrain. Just like that, you’re able to sculpt the terrain you’ve been dreaming of. No more spamming new cities hunting for worthy seeds; go forth and bend the terrain to your will. The screenshot above is WIP sample of what you’ll be capable of.

For every feature we cut, we’re going to funnel work right back into the features we already have. Like earthworks and the modding toolkit.

Our goal is to ensure NewCity lives long and prospers, and the key to that is a robust modding community. One big, red, underlined bulletpoint on our v1.0 to-do list is improving the modding experience. This will likely be a multi-pronged endeavor, including improving the in-game Steam Workshop functionality as well as broadening the aspects of the game available to users to mod.

If there’s a particular amenity or even a wholesale feature you’d like to see that ends up on the cutting room floor, we hope to ensure that players like you can mod it in.

That’s the goal at least. There may even be aspects of modding that end up on the cutting room floor. I’m fairly confident that repurposing the NewCity engine for a first-person game or an RTS are already axed. Yeah, we did have plans for both of those at different points. But as far as forging the citybuilder you yet dream of, we’ll get as close as we can. Then we’ll empower modders to tweak it to their hearts’ content.

Expect to hear more details on our plans for modding in Q2 of this year.

The #feature-suggestions channel on our Discord is a fertile ground for both players and developers to sow seeds together. The improvements to the Earthworks tool are just one fruit of that interaction. Rest assured, we’re not done taking suggestions. We still need to hear from you.

But the time has come to prune the NewCity tree, so it can bear the best fruit.

At Lone Pine Games we are always looking for feedback to improve our game! The best way to provide it is through the NewCity Discord.

We are thankful to have such a lively and dedicated group of Mayors participating in discussions regarding new features, city planning strategy, development news, and just about anything else.

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.

Steam Reviews are always appreciated as well!