Cities: Skylines

Cities: Skylines

64 ratings
HistoryMod - Automatic Screenshots
File Size
0.068 MB
Oct 26 @ 7:35pm
Oct 28 @ 7:12pm
4 Change Notes ( view )

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HistoryMod - Automatic Screenshots

HistoryMod: Create Timelapse of previous saves by automatically taking screenshots of various views!

Hi everyone!

So what’s this about ?

Well, if you are like me and kept a lot of different saves of your city during the process of creating it, guess what, it means you have history records!

So how to make something cool from this ? Well, I wanted to make a timelapse of the evolution of my city during my +300 saves that I kept.

You are like me ? Then this mod is made for you ! Here is the kind of result you can get:

FEATURES (Options):
  • Set as much camera views as wished and access them at any time
  • Make screenshot of all your views automatically on the press of a button
  • Take screenshot of all previous saves from different views automatically (Even if you have +300 saves, but be prepare to let your game run all the night then to take the screenshots)
  • Automatically export a CSL Map View when doing a screenshot session of the current loaded game or each saves too. If you have the mod.
  • Automatically take day/night or both screenshots of your views
  • Choose to take screenshot with current weather/time or with clean weather, day/night time or both
  • Set a reminder to suggest you to let the mod take the screenshots of the current game every x minutes.
  • Usefull filters to select only the saves you wish to load for the screenshot session (prefix, date before or after, ignore some saves, max number of saves, etc)
  • Automatically shutdown the game if wished after a screenshot session
  • Get clear log file of what is happening with the mod.
  • ShortCuts to add views or stop the process.
  • ShortCuts to see up to 9 of the saved views. (you can have infinite views and access them without the shortcuts)
  • Switch to night/day view by clicking on a button
  • Change weather to normal weather by clicking on a button
  • Choose the screenshots pictures names and folder or way of saving
  • Automatically retrieve a screenshot session if the game crashed to finish the job.
  • Discover or :P
  • Start the screenshot session from a specific save.
  • On Windows, automatically restart the game during the screenshot session every x loaded saves, this is usefull if your game isn’t able to load a second save once it started due to mods.
  • On Windows, automatically restart the game if it crashed during the session

Long Tutorial video: (go below if you want text version)

Simply subscribe to the mod (+activate it/restart)
  1. Then, open any save you wish and go to the options of the mod:
    Add views, views are camera angle on specific locations that can be added, thus you can also see them at any point and there are saved on disk, even if you restart the game.
    - This can be use as a standalone option that allow you to always go back on differents views to look to your city, the mod use them to take the screenshots
  2. Once you added up to infinite number of views, set the following options:
    - Wich time of the day to screenshot ? Day, night or both ?
    - Include CSL MapView export ? This will produce a CSL Map export for every save, it’s a map that is like a metro map, learn more here: Discover the mod MOD REQUIRED for this feature to work.
    - What is the name of the screenshots files, or of the directory, so they are ordered as you wish.
  3. Then start the screenshot session by either:
    - Pressing on the button to screenshot only the current loaded game
    - Pressing the button to screenshot the current game and the previous saves of the city that meet the criteria you defined.
  4. Let the process do the screenshot, if you have 10-20 saves to load, it will take 10-40 minutes. But if like me you got like 400 different saves of your current city, well, please have a look on the video or read all the mod options explanations carefully to ensure the game doesn’t crash during the process, specially if you play modded.

No worries, there are options to handle this! (Mostly on windows)
But first, desactivate sleep mod on your computer and have enough space on your C:// drive for lot of screenshots
Also, if assets are missing, or errors messages are displayed during the session screenshots, usually it's not a problem, screenshots are still taken.
Finally, don't move the mouse during the session.
  • When restarting game, automatically continue the screenshots ?: This option will on Mac and Windows automatically continue the screenshots sessions if your game crashed when you restart it, so if your game crashed, restart it, do not click on load previous save in the Launcher, but just on play, with this option activate, the game will automatically load the last not screenshoted saves and continue the session.
    This option will also on window start a batch terminal programme (source code on github) that will open a small black window on windows during the screenshot session, this window will check every 15 seconds that the game didn't crash, and if it's the case it will restart it automatically to continue the screenshot session.
  • startFromThisSave this option allow you to put the name of a specifc save from wich to start the screenshots session. For example if your filters are selecting 100 different saves, but you already screenshotted the first 20, then put the name of the 21 save to start the session from there.
    This option is sometimes automatically changed during a screenshot session and emptied when finishing, because if a crash happen during the session, you can then directly now on which save name it happends and restart the screenshot session from there (if you didn't checked the option do to that automatically)
  • Restart game every x loaded saves ? => explained in the mod, will automatically restart the game every x loaded save or every loaded saves, a must have if you are heavily modded.

Future features ideas (comment if you want them):
  • Creating the mp4 video automatically with the screenshots at the end of the session (with options)
  • For those who don't have previous saves of the city: automatically deleting parts of the city between every screenshots to give a feeling of timelapse ?
  • Taking Small Videos instead of only screenshots ?

How to help me (on other things):
I hope you like this mod, maybe you may help me:
I have my own IT company, where I create Tourist AudioGuides for Public Transport Companies, by using a smartphone, without an APP and sync by GPS. If you happen to know someone working in such a company, can you email us ? :) Thanks !

We also make digital Reports, invoices, or quotation systems for any company that still uses paper when being on an intervention. They can then use our iOS/Android App to create the report and automatize it. If you have 2 minutes, would be nice to have a look at our website and let us know if you know anyone who may be interested :)


Any trouble, questions, specific points ? Let me know ! I will answer any comments too

Github: (doesn’t mean you can copy the code for your own without authorization, it’s just there so you can ensure there is no malware or take inspiration for your own mods or suggest modifications)

MOD WASN’T TESTED ON MAC YET, if someone can comment and let me know if everything work fine it would be great, thanks !
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Big Headed Dutchman Nov 29 @ 8:05am 
When I set my second position my PC crashed. Idk if it was due to the mod, but this is the error it gave me after. I can't find something wrong with the mod via compatibility report, and by own testing it's not conlflicting with any mods I use.

Not sure if this is an error on my side. Thought id report it anyways. Below is the error code I get
A Mod caused an error [System.Exception]
System.Reflection.TargetInvocationException: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation. ---> System.IndexOutOfRangeException: Array index is out of range.
at HistoryGamePlayByMicroscraft.HistoryMod.getConfigs () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
at HistoryGamePlayByMicroscraft.HistoryMod.getConfig (System.String key, System.String def) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
at HistoryGamePlayByMicroscraft.HistoryMod.OnEnabled () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
at (wrapper managed-to-native) System.Reflection.MonoMethod:InternalInvoke (object,object[],System.Exception
microscraft  [author] Nov 20 @ 7:00am 
Hi @AkalaMangala,

I will have a look into your suggestions, unfortunately the end of year is very time consuming these days so I can't give you any ETA. Will MP when I have news.

Thank you very much for your feedback ! :D
AkalaMangala Nov 17 @ 4:18pm 
@micorscraft. Hey, first off I absolutely love your mod. Gives Great results with hardly any effort. I wanted to make a few suggestions if you don't mind. First, could you add a shortcut to run the screenshots so we don't have to go into the content manager to take them. Second, could you integrate with Play It so we could chose what time(s) of the we took the screenshots at. Even just being able to set two times, one for day and one for night would be pretty awesome. Thank you
microscraft  [author] Nov 4 @ 3:35pm 
@thajonah Will be a pleasure to see the result! If you have any question with the mod feel free ton contact me :)
thajonah Nov 2 @ 5:01pm 
@microscraft i'm in the same boat so i'll give that a shot, thanks
microscraft  [author] Oct 28 @ 7:29pm 
Hi Biffa,
so I downloaded with "Start a New City Like a City Planning Pro in Cities Skylines!" to debug a bit, there were some problems with your other mods but should be fine now except that unfortunately as your game will not load a second save when starting the screenshot session, you have to set up the anti crash option to restart the game on every save. I tried like this with your config and it worked, did you tried already ?

I also put a system to prevent the mod for trying to load the save on start if the last time it failed.

If you still have trouble, if the mod pack you made is not up to date, I may miss a mod conflict. If you wish send me the mod logs (no private data inside) or mod config (or also LOT mod config), both in the HistoryMod folder, but in all case better to try again with new version of the mod first. I'm sending you a Steam MP so you tell me more precisely if you wish me to try to make the mod compatible with your config :)

Thank for feedback also!!
microscraft  [author] Oct 28 @ 7:19pm 
StayHungryStayFoolish: The new version now has an option to set a timer every x minutes, when it pop up, you can accept or refuse, if you accept it will take the screenshot of current game according to your views, and then go back to actual view, weather and time so you can continue playing. Is that what you wished ? Because I can't do it in the background while you still play, I need to move the camera to do the screenshots.

Also I corrected other things with this version, you may have a look on the change notice if wished. I also added an option to not have the mod change the weather or time of day when doing the screenshots if wished.

Thank you for feedbacks :)
microscraft  [author] Oct 28 @ 9:36am 
Hi StarrWulfe, thanks for the feedback!
The mod is only adding the screenshots automatically ordered by views and time and cityName in the HistoryMod folder which is created. There is no mp4 creation yet but this is something I'm planning on! Maybe next week :)

So for now, every x time you wish to do the timelapse, just copy paste the screenshot in your video editor to render it. What is happening with the mod for now is mainly taking the screenshot without you needing to move or go to each views manually + also doing this for multiple saves by loading them automatically if wished.
StarrWulfe Oct 28 @ 9:25am 
(bonkers -- meaning COOL!)
StarrWulfe Oct 28 @ 9:24am 
This is bonkers-- I do this manually by just saving screen positions and "flyovers" with ACME and just keep screenrecording into MP4. Remember you can always use FFMPG to remux video and and new pieces into the end without having to redo/recompress the whole thing, saving time and precious GPU cycles.

If that's what's happening here, awesome. I'll check through the code later and see if I can contribute something with my not-the-best coding skills ;p