E.G.G.S. Technique for City-Building in. Sim City 4. (E)ngineering. (G)oals. (G) lobal. (S)trategy . •Many strategy guides online, just search for. “Sim City 4 faq” or. For players of SimCity 4: Deluxe Edition and Rush Hour, however, much Prima's Official Strategy Guide 0£LUX£ HWTJOW • Chapter 1: Shows you how to . Sim City 4 at IGN: walkthroughs, items, maps, video tips, and strategies.
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SimCity 4 Rush Hour Prima Official caite.info - Free ebook download as PDF Dont take this chapter as a step-by-step guide; so much depends on your citys. THINK LOCALLY. – More refined desirability factors guide the game. – Encourage a focus on individual Sims point of view in your city. – Encourage the Mayor to. SimCity 4 - Full Strategy Guide for PC FAQ, Walkthrough, Cheat Codes, Tips, Hints, Cheatbook.
As density increases, tax revenue per occupant drops. You can see what sim time it is by hovering your mouse over the date display. Never let a Nuclear Power Plant be consumed by fire or get too old. If the conditions are right, these seeds grow into new trees. Mountains can have roads and rails over it, but this will make for a horrible driving experience, and some trains won't be able to make some climbs. Map edges are great places for Industrial zones, Landfills, Business Deal buildings, and any structure with a strong negative proximity effect.
This is one of the pre-city God Mode menus that is accessible after you establish your city. In the pre-city phase, two Disasters in particular Meteor and Volcano can give your landscape a great broken-in look. Use them now to add some meteor craters or dormant volcanoes without worrying about the consequences. You give up a bit of your god-like power when you incarnate as mayor.
The eons necessary for mountain building and erosion are beyond your control, but you retain power to inflict catastrophic events and even stop the earth from turning. The post-city God Mode menu. With a wave of your hand, all man-made structures The Obliterate City button and zones evaporate into thin air. Be careful with Obliterate City; it cant be undone. You can manually switch the lighting to day or night or toggle the automatic cycling of light.
This control remains available after city establishment. The only difference is that you have to be careful of any city The Reconcile elements you place in the Edges button areas to be leveled. If youve built near the edges and you enact edge reconciliation, anything within the highlighted red band will be destroyed. However, you need to comprehend the impact of these Disasters on your structures in this context. For full details, see Chapter Beyond the cool nighttime lighting effects, it is informative to watch the day pass.
The Control Day and Night menu. NOTE The clock that controls day and night has nothing to do with simulation speed or calendar. Its totally independent. Many activities in your city are triggered by the passage of these solar days rush hours, school attendance, etc.
TIP There is a cheat that allows you to access full God Mode controls even after youve established your city. Do it correctly to see the pre-city God Mode menu. This may not seem like a big deal, but it means you can terraform for free even after establishing your city. Post-establishment terraforming via the limited Mayor Mode Landscape tools is expensive, so this cheat saves you Simoleons and gives you more terraforming flexibility.
On the other hand, it empowers you to accidentally decimate your city with one erroneous tap of your finger, so be careful. All the action is in Mayor Mode accessed via the top hat button. The majority of what you need is in this mode of play. All your management, informational, financial, and structural controls are found here. The most crucial difference is that using them in Mayor Mode costs Simoleons. Use these tools to in a more limited fashion than in God Mode raise, lower, and level terrain.
Were talking engineering projects here, not divine creation. Spending money landscaping your already-established city is expensive. Its better to spend more time in pre-city God Mode and massage the terrain for free.
Landscaping tools give a level of control over flora placement that you dont get in God Mode. Most simply, you can choose what kind of trees youd like to place. Want palm trees on your mountaintops? If youve got the money, go ahead.
You also have precise control of placement, so that you can plant decorative groves and rows. But its difficult The Plant Flora menu for a Mayor to replant oldgrowth treesyou have to plant saplings that in time will pay off. These trees take anywhere from three to five years to grow from saplings to full-grown trees. In time, the full-grown trees will be replaced by saplings, and the whole cycle starts over again.
You select Airports and Seaports here, too. Police Fire Educational Health Landmarks.
Several Reward power structures will be grayedout until earned see Chapter Demolishing strucThe Bulldoze button tures costs you Simoleons. In keeping with SimCity 4s emphasis on the persistence of structures if not their original conditions , you have to pay fees to demolish buildings. The point is to make you think twice before wantonly tearing down existing structures. There is a difference between RCI structures and civic buildings.
RCIs are more expensive because bulldozing them obligates you to pay fair market value for the destroyed property. As Mayor, you own civic buildings, so the demolition cost is considerably less. NOTE When you build over structures or trees, the demolition of the existing structure is automatic. So too is the fee, which is added to the cost of the new building. Here you can see at a glance: Overall Mayor Rating. TIP There are low-cost ways to tear down even the most demolitionpricey buildings.
See Chapters 26 and 27 for some ideas. In the event of an emergency, head to the Emergency Tools menu. You can go to the Disaster site and cycle through all active Disasters and dispatch fire and police units.
The Emergency Tools menu. Residential population Date every city starts at year 0. These buttons expand your information tools from top to bottom: Rush Hour expansion pack, there will be some additional controls not listed here.
Plus, though their houses wont be highlighted with the floating so-and-so lives here word bubble, doing a query on a house inhabited by a My Sim shows their portrait. In My Sim Mode, you can choose or import a Sim and decide where he or she will initially live. These are not your only sources of hard information and one of your best is in its own all-new mode: My Sim Mode lets you get inside your city in heretofore impossible ways.
Its now possible to know what your citizens living in a precise area think about their city and neighborhood. Normally, someone of your stature would interact with the populace only selectively, such as when they petition you to do something. These squeaky wheels arent exactly a representative sample of your people. Now you can get inside their heads and know what they want and what concerns them.
Its like having spies in your city or the ability to tap into the subconsciousnesses of your Sims. However you want to view it, My Sim Mode is where you manage your set of up to five representative citizens. When you establish a My Sim, click on his or her portrait to pinpoint that Sims location in the city, check his or her Profile, and view a list of his or her most recent News messages. Move in a My Sim by selecting one from the menu or by importing one from The Sims or any of the expansion packs.
Rush Hour expansion pack. See Part 8 for details. To follow a My Sim as she goes through her daily routine, click on her portrait in her Information Panel. Your view follows her wherever she goes. Every My Sim has a home, though it might not be the one you originally chose. In My Sim Mode, each My Sims house is highlighted by a word bubble Artful Dodger lives here and the current location of each My Sim at home, on the road, or at work is shown by the portrait pointer icon.
The word bubbles show which My Sim lives where, and the portrait bubbles show the Sims current location. Click on the Sims portrait to zoom to his current location and follow him.
When properly enjoyed, this phase can dictate your success in the simulation years ahead. Thats what this chapter is all about: NOTE You can be successful without spending too much time in the pre-city phase. SimCity 4 comes with several pre-terraformed regions. You can alter them, but you also could jump into city-building without mucking about in the pre-city phase. The choice is yours. If you desire to make your city and the cities around it your own, read on.
A region is a large square of territory divvied up into city squares of various sizes small, medium, and large.
You can load up one of the pre-terraformed Regions provided with SimCity 4, or begin with a clean slate and create your own. Beginners should use one of the ready-made Regions. Even experienced SimCity players should begin with a premade Region, then alter it to suit their pleasure. Working from a totally clean A Region is a collection of individual city squares.
This one approxislate is primarily for dedicated landscape artists. In brief, SimCity 4 is designed for an unprecedented level of complexity and Regional interdependence. Though you begin with one city, you can build several more within the Region and create connections between them. Eventually, you can treat them as one large metropolis, cities within a city, and specialize cities to serve specific functions.
For example, one city could develop to be your Commercial downtown, home to a forest of skyscrapers, while the one next door could serve as an urban Residential neighborhood with funky, retail shops mixed in. Still another adjacent city could be home to your Industrial base.
The decisions you make, therefore, about your Region are important as time goes on. If you, for example, choose to begin your first city on an isolated island, later Regional expansion becomes more challenging and expensive. Regional strategy requires considerable foresight or the ability to make decisions that leave open the maximum possible future opportunities.
We can help you with both of these. The size and location of a city is important to how it will grow. They come in three sizes: Small City Dimensions: A raw Region contains a random arrangement of small, medium, and large city squares. NOTE The tiles you see in cities measure 16 meters by 16 meters. What size you choose doesnt matter if you plan to make a small city. But, if your goals are grander, use medium and small cities to form discreet districts in your future megalopolis.
Begin your city on a city square that has the maximum available number of adjacent city squares. A medium-sized city square could have as many as eight adjacent small city squares. Such an arrangement gives you eight possible partners for Neighbor Deals. Several adjoining cities are the right size to act as specialized add-ons to your main city see This medium city square is bordered by six neighbors.
In a ready-made Region, geography plays a role in your choice of location. Choose city squares that offer sufficient buildable ground not too many mountains or large bodies of water and as many neighbors as possible. To enhance land value in your city, find city squares with a fair amount of high ground and numerous tiles adjoining water. A large body of water is also mandatory for building a Seaportan essential element for a thriving This city has both high ground and waterfront for some potentially Industrial sector.
Your water supply system no longer requires open bodies of water; all water supply comes through the subterranean water table. As such, theres no water supply drawback to building on a city square with no visible water. After you find the most fertile ground for your city, the next step is to groom it to your whims. With one gesture of your hand, you can raise a towering, craggy mountain or punch through the ground to reveal an underground lake. You can smooth the terrain to create a gentle coastline or wish a thick forest of trees into existence.
All this power is yours in God Mode. If you have the imagination and dedication, you can turn your raw earth into a work of art. There are five tool categories: Each Terraform tool appears as a circle with the icon of the tool category in the middle. The circle represents the area of terrain affected when you push the left mouse button. The effect created by each tool is strongest near its center and dissipates toward the circles outer edge.
Each Terraform tool is a large circle in which the tools strongest effect is at the center. The larger the circle, the more area will be affected, and the more intense the terraforming effect will be. You can control the size and intensity of this circle in several ways: The level of your zoom dictates how much terrain the tool will cover.
The closer in you zoom, the more focused and gentle the effect will be. The farther out you zoom, the more expansive and violent the effect. If you want to do delicate work, do it in tight zooms.
Holding s in any zoom level makes the tools circle larger and its effect more dramatic. Conversely, holding c reduces its size and intensity. Zoom level dictates the size and intensity of the Terraforming brush. The mountain on the left was made from a far zoom level, the right from in close.
Changing the tool size has an obvious effect. The mountains from left to right are made with the brush set at 1, 5, and 9 using the number with s. The longer you hold the left-mouse button, the longer the tools effect lasts. To make a tall mountain, pick a spot and hold the button for a long time.
For a tiny hill, tap the left mouse button. With them, you can make: This creates a gradual hill on one side and a sharp, sheer cliff on the other. Really high cliffs develop water at the base. The gradual side of the cliff can be zoned, with houses on the edge seeing enhanced land value. Control which way the cliff faces with the direction you draw the cliff; the sheer face is to the The Cliff tool creates these stunning sheer-faced hills.
With a wide base and large flat top, a mesa looks striking and serves as an accessible place to develop. Few things are as beautiful as a cloud-crowned mountain range visible from a kitchen window. You cant build on a mountain, though you may be able to run tunnels through it and roads up it using switchbacks.
Even reasonably flat land should have a few small, round hills breaking up the terrain. These hills are easy to build on and around and run transportation over. Mountains show whats possible with terraforming. Make them as big as you want and run long ranges of them across the map. Steep Hill: Steep hills come to a point with two gradual sides and two sheer ends. Theyre useful for making small mountain ranges. Even small steep hills are difficult to build on best to do it with narrow steppes.
Higher-than-average-altitude land is more valuable than land at lower elevations. The high land value is more attractive to high-wealth Residential Sims and, once occupied, generates more tax revenue. You must use them to reveal waterhold them down long enough to hit the water table. The steep valley on the left is sharper and more V-shaped than the valley in the center or the softer and wider shallow valley on the right.
Lower Terrain to create: Shallow Valley: This is the best tool for making rivers you can build next to. The sides of these valleys are gently sloped, though if you dig deeply enough, the sides will become steep. Like a shallow valley, but steeper and wider. Use it for medium sized rivers. Steep Valley: Cut a sharper V-shaped valley with this tool.
Steep valleys consume less space than shallow ones, but the terrain around the valley is too steep to build on. Unlike valleys, canyons raise the terrain around their edges.
The shallow canyon left is narrower with more gradual slopes, while the normal canyon right has a wider bottom and steeper sides. Craters lower the terrain in the middle of the circle and raise a ridge around the outer edge. You can zone within them and run roads over their ridges. Canyons are sheer-sided valleys that can, if cut deeply enough, form rivers.
Shallow Canyon: Unlike normal canyons, shallow canyons sides are gradual slopes instead of sheer cliffs. Unlike valleys, shallow canyons raise the terrain around them to form a ridge. City Plateau: Either raises or lowers terrain within tool to match the elevation at the center of the circle. The edges of the resulting city plateau are steep.
The edges of the resulting city squares are gentle slopes. Quick Level Brush: Heres your eraser! When you want to flatten everything tall and fill in everything low, this is the easiest way. Clicking-and-holding the left mouse button remembers the elevation at the center of the tool and applies that elevation anywhere you drag it. The effect is a blunting of sharp terrain features.
To bring down raised terrain, or pull up lowered terrain, use the Level Terrain tools. Smoother, flatter areas are better for development.
Sometimes Terrain tools leave extra lumps that become more obvious as roads and rail roll over them. Smooth and flatten the areas you intend to develop with these tools to insure more smoothly developed cities. The effect is a cutting of lines through the terrain to make it look more weathered.
It also deposits sediment in low-lying areas, raising them. Point to a location and press the Seed Forests button. The longer you hold the button, the thicker and denser the forest will be; or, tap the button for a few isolated trees. The interesting thing about trees in SimCity 4 is how they start and how they spread.
When placed with the Seed Forest tool, theyre lush and mature unlike the seedlings you must plant in the Mayor Modes Landscaping tools. Over time, they spread seeds nearby. If the conditions are right, these seeds grow into new trees.
The rate at which trees grow and reproduce, and what kind of trees deciduous, coniferous, or scrub you get when you seed a forest depend on the tree happiness factor. Happiness is based on two terrain traits: An areas elevation above sea level impacts what kind of trees will grow there. High elevations favor scrub, medium elevations lean toward coniferous trees, and low elevations default to deciduous trees.
These baseline relationships can be changed by the second The trees on this high ground are coniferous pine trees. The moisture of a given spot is derived from its proximity to water on the surface and how far above the water table it is , wind direction if the wind blows over open water, it makes everything in its path moister , and terrain form hollows and ravines collects rain resulting in a higher degree of moisture.
The happiness of a tree is dictated by a combination of both factors. If a spot of high elevation is moist due to wind direction and being in a hollow , it may sprout the normally lowelevation deciduous trees. But, if a low altitude area is dry due to shielding from a large terrain feature , it sprouts coniferous trees. The ideal conditions for each type of tree are: High elevation, low moisture Coniferous: Medium elevation, medium moisture Deciduous: Low elevation, high moisture.
Some areas are stuck in between the variables of high and low ground and high and low moisture. If an area is marginal for specific tree happiness, a tree may sprout but will likely die. If it hangs on, it will produce few seeds.
Isolated trees rather than ones in large clusters tolerate marginal conditions best, but wont live long or reproduce much. Once a tree is established, its reproduction is dictated by its happiness, but also other factors. Generally, a happy tree one thats suited for its moisture and elevation will grow quickly and propagate many seeds over large distances. The density of a cluster of trees factors into tree propagation. Isolated or small groups of trees dont live as long or propagate as widely as trees that live in large, dense clusters.
Forests thrive, while a grove dies out over time. If you use the God Tools cheat to access your pre-city Terraforming tools, you regain access to the Seed Forest tool.
Any trees you place, however, wont grow or propagate; after you establish your city, that behavior cant be restored. Trees placed with the post-city-establishment Plant Flora tool start out as small saplings and grow over time though they dont reproduce , but they cost money to plant. Growth and propagation of trees generated with this tool continues until you establish your city. When you click into Mayor Mode for the first time and name your city, all natural growth seems to stoptree spread is harder to see when youre not living in deity time.
If you desire a lush and naturally grown forest, use the Seed Forest tool, then crank up to full speed for a long time. When the forest has grown to your liking, establish your city. TIP Thick forests generate wildlife, so have forest around your city for some wild ambiance and vitality. You have three choices in the kind of animals you can create: Wild Animals: Elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and lions Woodland Animals: Deer, moose, and birds Horses There is a substantial randomness to creating single beasts and larger herds.
You can create larger herds by click-dragging and multiple left-clicks. Whether or not animals spawn where you choose depends on the elevation. If its too high, using the tool has no effect.
The animals you spawn in this Spawning vast herds of animals is fun, but doesnt last long. NOTE Dense clusters of trees spawn wildlife throughout the simulation; so, seed some thick forests while you have the chance see Seed Forests.
TIP Use combinations of erode and soften to get the right terrain texture. The Terrain Effects menu. Erosion simulates the effect of centuries of water running over the terrain. Water cuts sharp lines in whatever it touches and deposits sediment in low-lying areas raising the floor of valleys and canyons ; thats what using this tool does.
On a broader aesthetic level, it makes your terrain look more realistic and lived in. Soften applies the effect of centuries of wind erosion.
Unlike water, wind erosion smoothes and rounds the ground it touches. These two tools raise or lower every point on the map by one elevation level. This doesnt change the relative elevations of mountains or valleys, but it changes their absolute elevation. Raise or lower the level enough, and tall features will flatten or disappear under water. The game has a tool for generating an entire region.
This is an unsupported tool. This landscape stays the same when you lower or raise the terrain level via the Terrain Effects, but the elevation of every point increases by one level. It looks at the edges of surrounding cities and conforms the edges of the current map to match.
If the adjoining tile has a deep river running to its western edge, the eastern edge of your city square once Reconciled shows the end of that river valley.
This indicates the location of the river so you may continue to draw it as it The lakes in this Region span several city squares. This is done using courses across your current city square. Draw a river up to the edge of a city square. Then save and exit to the Region.
Enter the adjacent Region and accept the Edge Reconciliation. You find the rivers end drawn into the adjacent Region. The Volcano Disaster leaves a gigantic dormant volcano that can serve as the centerpiece of an interesting city.
The Meteor Disaster punches a gaping, charred hole in the earth. Pockmark your landscape with these meteor craters to give the Sim geologists who move into your city something to ponder.
Do this by clicking on the Mayor Mode button. At this point, you can name your city and give To put all terraforming behind you, click the Mayor Mode button and yourself the perfect Mayoral moniker. To make further changes to the earth under your city, youll have to pay. Technically, you cant change your city or Mayor name once you start your city, but there is a secret way.
See Cheats in Chapter The lower the skill level, the easier itll be to start and build your city. When in doubt, choose Easy. The number of stars below the mayor name in the citys region view info bubble reflects the skill level you chose. With your city established, have a blast with tax rates, zones, ordinances, and all those things that make being a Mayor as opposed to a deity fun.
Thats why theres the Obliterate City button in God Mode. With one push of a button and a confirmation box to make sure you mean it , you evaporate the man-made parts of your city. After obliteration, youre left with the raw terrain you had when you entered Mayor Mode. Obliterating wipes the slate clean. PART 3: There are two kinds of buildings: Residential, Commercial, and Industrial Everything Else: Civic, Landmark, Infrastructure, Reward, Recreation There are many varieties and distinctions to be made beyond that, but this is the big one.
Above all, SimCity 4 is about attracting and fostering Residential, Commercial, and Industrial structures.
All other buildings, at their core, serve this purpose. Understanding SimCity 4 means understanding the complex and interconnected web of factors that make RCI grow and change. There is no way to clearly present these topics in a linear way.
They are so intertwined and interdependent that its impossible to discuss one without getting into one that hasnt come yet. To avoid confusion, these topics are presented in the order they occur in the simulation with a brief stop for some important definitions first. Youll find repetition and overlap as you read these chapters, but its for the sake of clarity. In this part, we cover: Demand Chapter 9: Zoning Chapter Desirability Chapter SimCity veterans and newbies alike should digest this information.
Both these concepts combine to inhabit your city, creating both economic classes among your Sims and a street-level indication of the desirability of your city. If you know what to look for, youll never need more than this visual information to measure a tracts desirability.
Its helpful to grasp both these concepts before moving onto the more complex quagmires of demand, desirability, and development. Your developer types desire different things in their real estate.
Look to the Desirability Data View to find out who wants to be where. As applied to buildings, developer types reflect the kind of Sim for which the structure was originally built. Buildings are, therefore, associated with various developer types, but can shift developer types based on changes of occupancy. NOTE Structures can downgrade but cant upgrade. You wont ever find a R Sim living in a R house. In this situation, the house would be demolished and redeveloped.
Every building has a developer type, as shown in its Query box. If a building has downgraded in developer type, any grayed-out signs indicate its original type. If, for example, conditions change, forcing a R Sim out of his or her large home, several R Sims may take his or her place.
The building now labeled R with the third grayedout then appears more run-down than its original state to reflect its downgraded developer type and new inhabitants. There are 12 distinct developer types in SimCity 4: Residential low-wealth R: Residential medium-wealth R: Residential high-wealth Cs: Commercial Service low-wealth Cs: Commercial Service medium-wealth Cs: Commercial Service high-wealth Co: Commercial Office medium-wealth Co: Commercial Office high-wealth ID: Industrial Dirty IM: Industrial Manufacturing IA: Industrial Agriculture IHT: Industrial High Tech.
The three wealth classes share affinities for various factors parks, land-value enhancements , but differ in how much they value some factors and how much theyll tolerate things such as pollution, commute time, or crime. Different Residential wealth levels demand different Commercial and Industrial levels and in different proportions. Residential demand for business needs works similarly, with each type distributing business demand among the available C and I types based on EQ.
The business demand profile for R med-low EQ would, for example, look like this: Commercial Service includes retail and service businesses within your city. These can range in wealth level from the most basic a greasy spoon or dollar store to the high end a swanky boutique. Commercial Office, on the other hand, comprises your citys white collar and professional establishments.
Because these businesses are, by nature, higher on the wealth continuum, there are only two classes: Both varieties of the Commercial population Commercial Office buildings serve your Sims employment needs. A They come in two wealth levels and and several sizes. Commercial buildings developer class dictates its employment profile. A low-wealth Commercial Service business will, for example, require low-wealth Residential Sims. A high-wealth Commercial Office business, on the other hand, requires predominantly medium-wealth Residential Sims professionals , some low-wealth clerical and support staff , and a smattering of high-wealth management.
As with Residential buildings, Commercial structures downgrade if their land stops being desirable to their current inhabitants. When the building changes hands, it assumes the developer type of its new occupants. It may look similar with perhaps a different storefront or more distressed , but everything about it changes when it shifts developer type. Industrial developer types arent broken down in terms of wealth, but in terms of function and pollution level. Agricultural AI is in a class by itself.
It is, like ID below , low-wealth Industry. All jobs offered on a farm are R, and the buildings never grow with population as they do in other Industry. Dirty Industry ID is traditional heavy smokestack industry and represents the lowest rung on the Industrial scale. Each also offers a small number of middle-wealth Residential jobs.
Their hallmark, however, is the massive amounts of water and air pollution they produce. A few high-wealth Sims populate the management suites above the production floors.
Its wealthy, its clean minimal pollution , and it employs the cream of the crop: High-Tech is demanded only by a population with a large and long-standing High-Tech Industry is easy to spot. It doesnt have pollution belching Mayoral commitment to education.
Because out of its stacks and you could eat off the walls. More usefully, you these businesses demand a smart job base, you could locate one within a short drive of your Residential zones.
While Industrial developer types arent tied to wealth, they do correspond to the model of low-, medium-, and high-wealth. Dirty Industry represents low-wealth, Manufacturing represents medium-wealth, and High-Tech embodies high-wealth Industry.
This is important when setting tax ratesset individually for low-, medium-, and high-wealth. When you lay out your zones, theres no obvious way to tell which developer type you will see. There are ways, however, to predict and even control developer type when zoning. If theres high demand for one type and none or negative demand for others, you can be certain about what will grow.
Even, therefore, if you have Commercial demand through the roof, you wont get high-wealth Commercial Office if demand for it is flat. The basic demand relationships between R, C, I, and IA are the same among developer types of the same kind, i.
For example, Residential Sims demand Industry to provide their jobs. Which Industrial developer type they demand and in what quantity, however, differs by wealth level. For greater detail on demand, see Chapter 8. If a building ceases to be desirable to a given developer type, the building drops in occupancy and becomes abandoned.
If, after abandonment, the building is desirable to a lower developer type, it becomes reoccupied in direct proportion to amount of desirability to the highest possible developer type. For example, if a house is no longer desirable to R Sims, it will be abandoned and become reoccupied soon by R Sims. If R desirability is high, the building will be full in terms of occupancy.
If desirability is low, but still enough to occupy, occupancy will be low.
If desirability is low for all Residential types, the house will stay abandoned. For more on desirability, see Chapter One of the first issues in development is which developer type to choose.
This points out that, even at this most basic level of development, its not whether the zone is R, C, or I that matters, its what kind of R, C, or I. If the development simulator is thinking in these terms, so should you.
Second, consider the desirability factors of each developer type. If you can pick areas to zone that will appeal to a developer type, the chances of that type locating there increase. Display desirability by activating the Desirability Data Viewthis view shows developer type desirability of both zoned and unzoned land. Residential developer type initially has a profound impact on education and health. EQ 20, HQ 20 R: EQ 40, HQ 40 R: EQ 60, HQ 60 A Residential Sims wealth level, therefore, controls his or her innate and home-provided education and health.
The upshot is that lower-wealth Sims take longer to achieve high EQ and high HQ, and attracting more R to your city provides a bigger surge to your citywide statistics. A city of low-wealth Sims can achieve as much as high-wealth ones, but they take longer to do it. Crime levels, too, are affected by, among other things, Residential developer type. The percentage of Sims inclined toward criminality is highest among R. Therefore, the more R Sims in your city, the more criminals with whom you have to contend.
This effect can be mitigated with higher EQ, and is made worse by unemployment. TIP This relationship between criminality and wealth-level is important in providing an incentive to educate your Sims. You could focus economic dollars on the wealthy and increase your citys average EQ faster, but youll have the downward drag of high crime scaring your R Sims out of town. Unless you find an alternate way to reduce crime, universal education is your best hope.
The easiest way is to query a building. Doing so shows you its development type and its rating in several important desirability factors. For Industrial buildings, developer type is stated in the buildings character Agriculture, Dirty, Manufacturing, or High- Tech rather than wealth per se.
The list below the line shows how this structure is doing on several crucial desirability factors. When problems arise, check this first. Commercial and Residential buildings show their developer type in the props located on their lots.
See a swanky car? The property must be R. See a junker with primer-colored panels? Its probably R though the building may have once been of a higher wealth level. Commercial buildings display changeable storefronts; the basic box of the buildings stays the same but the awning and front window reveal the kind of business.
The physical size of the building dictates the number of Sims assigned to a building. For example, if an R house is occupied by its original R inhabitants, it might have a capacity of If it downgrades due to a shift in desirability, R Sims with a capacity of 17 will reoccupy it. In Residential buildings, the less well-off occupying Sims are, the less space they require and the more Sims can occupy a lot. The building dictates total capacity.
Because Industrial buildings cant shift between developer types an ID building cant become an IM building; it must be demolished and redeveloped , their occupancy stays the same. Where you see the change in an Industrial building is in its actual occupancy: This figure is tied to the buildings desirability. If desirability is low, occupancy will be low. If desirability is high, the building will be filled. After you know what to look for, you can identify a buildings developer type by looking at it.
In Industrial zones, the dirtiness of the building speaks to its developer typeDirty Industry looks dirty, Manufacturing looks cleaner but not immaculate, High-Tech looks sparkling clean, and Agricultural looks like a farm. Dont, however, confuse dirtiness with signs of distress and abandonment. The physical state of the building is a direct reflection of its occupancy; in good condition if full, run down and dilapidated if at low occupancy. There is one further force at work in occupancy; the workforce percentage of the building.
As youll see in the Demand section Chapter 8 , every Commercial and Industrial building comes with a certain workforce demand profile. If, therefore, This IHT building suffers from low occupancy; you can tell by the building has an occupancy of 10, 1 worker looking at it. The probable reason is the high nearby pollution reducing its desirability.
If, however, your town has regressed and there are few R in town, that building will never be able to fill its R capacity. Thus, the building distresses and is abandoned no matter how big the R population and no matter how great the demand for IHT.
In this way, occupancy makes the ebb and flow of SimCity 4 more complex and responsive. Though it seems more complicated, the insight and control this system provides allows unprecedented ease in diagnosing problems.
It, however, resembles Residential demand in the tendency of buildings to downgrade to lower-wealth occupants if circumstances force out the higher-wealth occupants. You see these shifts as changes in storefront. No matter how high demand for Commercial or Industrial is, nothing new develops if new areas have low desirability and existing structures are suffering low occupancy. This can happen for myriad reasons, but it always means that either the desirability or demand for this building is so bad that no one can inhabit it.
This can happen, for example, if desirability for the buildings wealth level drops and there is no demand for lower wealth levels. It can also happen if the building is denied power, its commute time is long, or the inhabitant cant find a job.
In abandonment, you learn how important occupancy is. Having someone in a building decreases its flammability and brings it into the tax base. This ID building, like many around it, has been abandoned. All the important stats in the Query box seem OK, so the problem must be deeper. The state of these buildings is what should spur you to investigate. Because occupancy is proportional to desirability, the visual indicators of occupancy are the same.
Look for the number of props strewn about a building e. Sparse props mean no ones home. But what drives them? What motivates everyone in SimCity 4 is demand. Demand for jobs begets demand for housing begets demand for jobs, etc.
Its a big circle. Understanding how these forces play out is critical to riding the wave of demand and keeping your city healthy and thriving. When you understand how demand works, you can control it. Demand is now based on the desire for structures, not zones. Zoning no longer, in and of itself, satisfies demand. Demand is the need for construction of a specific developer R, C, or I.
Residential demand calls for Residential buildings, Industrial demand calls for Industrial buildings, and Commercial demand calls for Commercial buildings. Your job is to help satisfy this demand by placing zones likely to produce the demanded buildings.
Residential buildings. Though the demand for buildings is a crucial part of the equation, its more important to understand what drives the demand that called for these buildings. Well, that depends on what kind of demand you mean.
Residential demand is formed and shaped by Workforce demand, while Commercial and Industrial demand are propelled by Business demand. The workforce of your city is a fraction of your Residential population presumed to be in the workforce. In other words, half the Residential Sims are available to work. Thus, when a business demands workers, it sends out demand for roughly two Residential Sims for each job.
Every C or I building comes with a fixed number of jobs usually proportional to the buildings size. Each job creates demand for roughly two Residential Sim as dictated by the workforce percentage , a. Workforce demand. Not any Sim will do; each building looks for workers in relation to their wealth level and requires fixed proportions of each. The proportions for all the employer developer types I, Co, and Cs are listed below:.
For example, a Co buildings with jobs would require 40 R, 50 R, and 10 R Sims, and would accordingly increase demand for each.
If there is an oversupply of each type of resident out there the unemployed , the demand will be satisfied immediately. If not, the demand meters for unfilled jobs Residential developer type will rise to show the unmet demand.
To satisfy this demand, zone Residential in a location thats desirable to the wealth level you This Co building hasnt filled all its jobs. That may mean wish to attract.
Business demand is the need by Residential Sims for businesses to provide their employment. It serves as the force behind the various Industrial and Commercial demands. Whenever a Residential building is constructed, it demands jobs from businesses. Different Residential wealth and educational levels dictate what jobs the occupants of the buildings will demand. If all goes well, a business building will appear that satisfies the demand and brings down the appropriate RCI Demand Meter.
If theres a glut of jobs in any or all the developer types, all or part of this demand will be satisfied immediately. To meet unmet demand, you must zone land that will be desirable to the developer type youre trying to satisfy.
It is of no use in specifically gauging what your city needs; its a rough indication of the current state of affairs. Here you can see, on a relative scale of -1, to 1,, how much unsatisfied call there is for each developer type. Negative demand causes mass abandonment and other ugliness. Negative demand occurs when theres an oversupply of a demanded developer type. Say, for instance, theres high demand for Residential.
If you zone to meet this demand and something subsequently changes in your Commercial or Industrial zones that cause Residential demand to drop, you may have more workers than your Abandonment can be a sign of many things. Negative demand is other developer types can absorb.
Oversupply causes the simulation to take over and restore equilibrium between supply and demand. Its only tool is mass exodus of population. All of the excess inhabitants abandon their buildings and move out of the city to restore demand to 0. Theyre gone but you have to stick around and deal with the cascading consequences of mass abandonment heightened flammability, wildly swinging demand fluctuations, etc.
Its not a precise process, so bad things are bound to ensue. Underreact to demand. To see why, consider the concept of overdevelopment. If, in moving to satisfy demand, you provide too much of the demanded zones, your Sims may develop too enthusiastically. Sim developers are inclined toward overdevelopment, so keep them on a tight leash. This is problematic with high-density zoning where one building can contain several thousand occupants demand satisfaction. Too much development can become negative demand see Negative Demand and this can lead to abandonment.
As a rule, zone less than you think you need, especially if youre dealing with high-density zones and their potential for high-capacity buildings.
You can also increase taxes to temper overdevelopment. If desirability is low, occupancy will be equally low; theyre directly proportional. Low occupancy, in turn, eventually stagnates demand.
If your occupancy numbers are low, dont zone more to meet outstanding demand. Read Chapter 10 to see what you can do to enliven desirability instead.
If you fail to tend to it, demand for your city will dry up. Demand Caps are fixed ceilings beyond which a population cannot grow, overriding actual demand. With every increase in the population, you move one step closer to the cap and the maximum demand pushes down. The closer you get to the cap, the lower the demand maximum drops until, at the cap amount, demand registers The Major League Stadium makes it possible to have larger R and R population thanks to the magic of Demand Caps.
They dont span a Region nor affect other cities in the Region. For example, a city has an Initial Demand Cap on its R population of 20, Unlike in SimCity , these cost, and some are astronomical in price. You can only have one of each per town. The sixth button gives you access to rewards You can also build business-deal buildings such as casinos and malls, although those aren't listed initially.
The seventh and final button is where you can build recreational buildings and sites. Green cities make the environmentalists happy, especially because they cut down the pollution poisoning the city.
This is your destruction tool, used for taking out trees, buildings, pipes, power lines, and everything else in your way.
This does NOT remove zones. Whenever there's an emergency, used the options in that to send your boys in blue and yellow to their targets. In SimCity , there was an emergency siren here as well, used to warn the city when a tornado or alien attack threatened their lives. It's been removed, so you don't have to stress about hitting a warning button the instant disaster looms. The button on the left re-enters God Mode.
However, it's a VERY limited version. You can start disasters, reconcile the city edges talked about in the God Mode section , or nuke the city. If you have a dark monitor, you may want to force the world to stay in the day the whole time so you can see what you're doing.
Doing so will not change the internal clock that your sims live by. The middle button takes you to Mayor Mode, with the tools. The third button takes you to My Sim Mode, which I'll get into later. Below that is a question mark.
That's your query tool. In the very bottom-left corner is a mini-map. There are arrows where you can rotate it, or zoom in and out. There are also speed settings near there, in case you want time to fly. Finally, you have your options button. You can save the city, exit to the region, exit to Windows, or alter your options. As a new city, you have access to only the most basic plants: This is your first big decision: If you want a clean city, stick with wind or natural gas.
If you just want to get a high population quickly, go for coal. Whatever you choose, find a nice corner of the map and plop it down. City edges are absolute, and pollution that spills off your map does NOT enter adjacent cities.
This way you can remove almost half of the building's pollution from the start. If you chose windmill plants, you'll need several, but if you chose anything else, one will do. Now that you've got some power, you'll need to zone land so your sims know what to build where. Not In My BackYard. Do you want to live next to a stinky coal plant? Neither do sims. Go a fair distance away from the plant and build your first industrial zone. I always start with dirty industrial zones to get a solid foundation of the city, then expand outward.
Your industrial zone or zones should be large enough to support a decent influx of people, but they shouldn't be so large that your town is flooded with smoke.
I normally go with two 8x8 zones that are fully enclosed with roads not streets. Those will go up, but they have no place to give their finished goods. You need to build some commercial zones, but right now you'll have nothing but tiny local businesses. Go some more away from the industrial zone in the direction opposite the power plant, and build a few commercial zones of light density. Let the computer build streets as it needs to; you can take finer control of that aspect later, once you get more accustomed to the way things work.
Once that's ready, both the industrial zones and commercial zones need workers. Build a large number of medium residential zones as close to the commercial zones as possible on the side opposite the industries.
That way, your people won't be smelling like smoke TOO badly, if at all. Again, let the computer build streets as it needs to. However, make sure you build roads that connect all the zones to each other.
You'll also need one road that links the power plant with the rest of the city. Within a month or three, you should be getting your first people and businesses! Woo hoo! Let your city run awhile, because you'll have to wait for things to happen before you can take additional steps.
If you're impatient, speed the game until you have a few hundred or few thousand people. You need to be provided with detailed maps and such of situations, and luckily, it's all there for you! With Mayor Mode active, check out the stuff to the right of the buttons on the bottom edge of the screen. You're presented with several things: The six status bars to the right are heavily weighed for your mayor rating, but it's not that simple of a calculation.
The money and population counts are self explanatory, but the RCI meter is not. The taller the bar, the more that zone is in demand.
The lower the bar, the less it's demanded. Bear in mind that no other situation is taken into account: You can click the RCI meter to get even more detail about what's hot and what's not, but don't get too dependent on the details. For example, if nothing but farms are being asked for in the industry zones, but you don't want farms, just ignore the demands. The sims will have to deal. If you did click the RCI meter, then you'll notice that the fifth tab became active.
I'll talk more about it in a sec. For now, click the second tab, the one with a person. This is your advisor screen. They give frequent reports about everything in their departments. If their picture is on a green background, they're happy about things. If the background is red, they're none too pleased.
If it's blue, they don't care one iota either way. Click on any one of their pictures to get a list of their reports. As a new mayor, their first reports are just introductory resumes, where they tell you what they do and what they watch for. As time goes on, they'll make real reports about different things as they need to.
The third tab of that section takes you to your budget. You're given a simple chart of your current money, your monthly expenses, your monthly income, and your projected total after the month ends. Obviously, you want your income to be higher than your expenses, but young cities will struggle in doing so. You can get a more detailed look at your budget by clicking the small report.
The screen will expand and show your expenses and incomes, and you can further go into detail. I'll worry about that later as well. For now, just click the fourth tab in that group. This is your data view, or map. You can see various aspects of your city through this to hunt down problems or see successes. As an example, click the traffic option. You'll see which roads and streets are more traveled than others.
Red routes mean the path should be upgraded, whether that means changing a street to a road, or adding bus stops, or something else. The last tab takes you to a bunch of charts and grafts. This is where you can get a general breakdown of people or services. Wanna know how your crime rate compared to five years ago? You can do that here. Use this information as much as you need to.
There's plenty of trouble that can happen, and the sooner and more you know about it, the better. Don't use it just to figure out what's wrong, though. See what's right, and make sure you don't ticker with what's working. Services such as police protection are still not needed, but the time is coming short. For now, just look to see what can be expanded. Plan out new neighborhoods, new industrial zones, and new business sectors.
Zone them once you can see them in your head. Don't bother zoning for new places if the ones you already haven't aren't full. My experience tells me that residential zones will fill up fastest, so you'll have to be zoning for more houses first. The only thing aside from zones you'll want to build at this second is a landfill. Garbage becomes a problem fairly early, so you'll need to take of that one as quickly as possible.
Make sure to give it road access as well. Not one to be heartless especially after the neat gift they gave to you , you need to take your sims' lives out of your hands and put them in someone else's. Education isn't much of an issue at the moment, but your sims' safety is. After all, if they get murdered, who's going to be around to pay taxes? The first thing you need to build is a police station.
Click the appropriate buttons, then select a small police station. Take a look at it as you drag it around the landscape.
See the big circle around it? That's the range the police station has access to. It's scalable, so a crime committed two doors away will have a better chance of being stopped than a crime on the fringe of the radius. Place the police station in such a way where you can cover the whole town aside from the power plant if you can. The worst crime is probably in the industrial zone.
I'm sure you have a large amount of money left, so build a fire department now. Get a small one and place it so it too covers the whole city if possible. Favor the residential zones if you have to; losing a business won't cut much into your economy, but losing people will.
You may also want to put a second small fire department next to your power plant. That prevents your plant from catching flames and exploding, which would result in the loss of power, which is absolutely devastating this early. That second fire department does not need to cover its full radius if it's right next to the plant, so I'll teach you how to make it a little more efficient.
Click the query tool the question mark near the mini-map , then click the station. That's way too expensive for a station that has only one objective, so let's fix that.
Click and drag the little box to the left to lower the building's funding. Notice that the radius shrinks as you do so. Don't lower it too much, or else the people will go on strike. By now, your people should be going along smoothly, and your people are ready for new challenges.
You don't have much for kids to do, so build a few parks or plazas around the town. Unlike previous SimCity games, each rec area costs monthly, so don't go nuts. About five small parks will do for now. Kids can't just play, of course. It's time to address the education issue, and this is where most new cities go down. Build an elementary school, and make sure you place it so it only covers residential areas. Commercial and industrial zones don't breed little sim kids, so it would be a waste to put a school too close to those places.
Once the school is placed, grab your query tool and examine the building. The radius is determined by the bus fund, and lowering it any will catch up with you in the end unless you monitor it VERY carefully.
The main funding affects how many students it can hold. That's still probably high, but you can lower it later. Speaking of which, there's nothing more to do for now. Let your city run itself for awhile. Hope for a profit, but know that your large treasury will hold out for awhile as long as you didn't go crazy with building things earlier.
After about two months, query the school again. You'll get a count of its current students. Adjust the funding so you can accommodate all the students and about 50 more. If you put in more funding than that, you're just wasting it, and at this stage, every simoleon counts Trust me, though, that education will pay off Sim the game for awhile until you get roughly people. If your population deadlocks before that, you probably have too few residential zones.
Once you hit that milestone, your sims' throats will feel a little too parched. Fix that by giving up some cash to build a water tower. Water pumps offer more water, but cost way too much for tiny cities. Choose a site far away from pollution, or else black liquid will come out of faucets, and I'm not talking oil.
Once the tower is placed, use water pipes to connect your tower to the rest of the city. Water pipes have a six-tile radius, so you don't have to cover every square inch of your land.
An old strategy that I used to subscribe to is to line your roads with water pipes; that way, you can guarantee that every building is watered. However, since you have a monthly fee for every section of pipe that is laid in the city, you can't do that anymore, at least not starting out. They take up valuable land and don't pay taxes, but they improve your people's morale. As everything, it's up to you; personally, I always build them. All right, your sims now have police protection, fire protection, health care, educational facilities, garbage disposal, and water.
Everything is in place to make your city run Money is probably a serious issue at the moment, so you need to start looking for a way to fix it.
For the first step, I'll teach you about a really, really nice tool. Click the Data View tab the fourth one in the batch of five , then click the Desirability category.
Here you can see which class of people want which plots of land. Generally, the low class will be happy anywhere, and the rich class will only be happy with places provided with services. If you built your police station, fire department, school, and clinic relatively close to each other, the land value for the radii is astronomical. High land values attract richer people, but you can't soak their cash from their rich little fingers if they have nowhere to live. Spend any remaining money you have on upgrading your zones.
Get any medium-density residential zone to its high-density cousin by selecting the high-density zone tool and painting over the residential zones that already exist. You do NOT have to destroy the current buildings to do this. Once you've upgraded the residential zones, upgrade your commercial zones as well. Be aware that you'll need more commercial zones also; your city gets more and more commercial as the years go by, especially in the early days.
Reasons are explained later. With all that expansion, you cannot neglect your industrial zones. Expand, expand, expand. Your city is gaining physical size pretty quickly, so consider upgrading your fire department and police station to their larger cousins.
One large police station or fire department covers almost an entire city built in the smallest city size. If you took my advice and are playing on the second-smallest plot, a large station effectively covers a quarter of the map.
Feel free to upgrade your police station and primary fire department, but you may want to leave your small fire station that is guarding your power plant. Of course, if you CAN eliminate it through intelligent fire coverage, feel free.
Unlike zones, you'll have to destroy the original building to replace it with a bigger version. Avoid upgrading your hospital and school for now. It will just eat up your money. I've found that generally the more you try to make things happen the Peanut Butter Point excepted , the worse they get. Don't force the issue; if you're impatient, just speed up the sim time for awhile. The goal of the game is whatever you want it to be.
Assuming you want a friggin' large city, then you'll have go slow and steady. From your medium city that you've got running, expand outward.
Try to fully envelop the radii of your services before seeking out new places to conquer. Keep those land values up, the rate of expansion down, and you'll have success! After you get done upgrading your services, you may still find yourself in the red. Rest assured that it's normal and easy to recover from if you're smart. Take out a loan, then prioritize zoning or building money-making ventures.
The easiest way to gain cash is through taxes, so keep those zones filled at all times. Only stop zoning if you're short on cash or there are still empty zones for you. Keep tabs on the population by listening to your advisors. They really do know what they're talking about, although catering to everyone's wishes will leave you broke. Pick and choose what you believe will be the most effective strategy, whether that means blitzing for cash, or blitzing for people, or whatever.
One thing that I've noticed make people more happy than anything is education. I detail education and its entire role in your city in a later section. Unless you've got a tiny city or are ridiculously lucky, you will come to a point where the city will simply stop growing. Your education levels will level out, your hospitials will be exactly where you want them, all zones will be filled but no more will be asked for, and you'll be getting a steady income with average-or-less complaints about tax rates.
The city becomes stagnant as far as growth goes; it becomes a sticky trap, where everyone comes in, no one leaves, but everyone reproduces to keep everything running like a machine.
The stickiness is what I call the "Peanut Butter Point. Ha ha ha! Anyway, the Peanut Butter Point is deadly, because you may think your game is over. It seems that if you try to make any additional zones or other things, no one wants them. If you take stuff away, then you're defeating the purpose. What's the point of continuing? Of course, you can always start a new city, but I don't like doing that until every single tile within city limits has a purpose.
Okay, let's say you've got a good-sized city going. Even if it seems no one is moving in, you may not have hit your Peanut Butter Point yet.
Here's a checklist Those problems are easy to fix. Of course, if you answered yes to those questions, here's the second shorter list If the answer to those questions are "yes" also, then you've hit your Peanut Butter Point. The first thing you need to do when hitting that point is not to panic. In my rookie days, I used to think that the reason people weren't coming in was because there was something wrong with my policies.
So, I lowered tax rates, issued more ordinances, built tons of parks, and generally threw in a whole bunch of stuff to make everyone happy Between the lowered tax and new ordinances, though, my money well quickly ran dry. The question you're asking by now is, how can you make your city overcome that Peanut Butter Point. A common phrase in comedy and the entertainment industry in general is "Leave your audience wanting more. There is very, VERY seldom the perfect city. If you've hit the Peanut Butter Point, it's not because the city is too bad, nor is it that your city is too good; it's because there's too much of a balance between what you have right and what you have wrong.
I hate saying this, but for the sims' own good, the best way to make your city get out of its sticky trap is to piss everyone off. Before starting, make sure you have plenty of cash. This method can get a bit expensive. Find the best part of town. Just check the map and look for whatever place has the highest land value and highest city aura. If you have multiple spots, pick an area that is pretty big, but not the biggest.
Call this place "Ground Zero. Grab the keys to your trusty bulldozer, start that MF'er up, and give the kiddies a permanent vacation from school--break open the jails too, while you're at it. I know it sounds crazy, but trust me. Let the city be confused for awhile. They'll complain and yell about how crappy the town is, but believe it or not, that's what you want temporarily.
Take some money in your coffers, if you can, NOT a loan , and go to a new section of town. Start a "new city" over in that corner. Pretend you're starting a new game, just with an inflated bank account. Build a new, cheap power plant.
Build some zones of all three flavors, use streets instead of roads, avoid any police or fire coverage, and refuse to give them any education.
Meanwhile, head back to Ground Zero and take out a few dozen parks or so After a few months, the city aura and value in Ground Zero will just absolutely plummet. However, your sims try to move across town before across the nation.
They'll see that new little area you've got developing in the corner of the map, and they'll take interest. While they're thinking of the good ol' days, cut off their water. You MIGHT already have a few people coming in, but still not enough to make you get out of your trap. After that little colony is established, expand it out. Again, pretend it's a new city; just ignore that big mess of people on the other side of the river.
Build some parks and other recreational areas, and raise the zones' densities now and then. Once it looks pretty solid, build a road that connects this little colony to the main city. Get a subway connecting the two also if you can to make any commuter stupid enough to make THAT trip happy. This is not an instant method here, it takes some time.
But, while you're biding that time, you can help out other sectors. For example, one thing that's commonly overlooked in SimCity 4 is your industrial zones' distances to freight access. They like being close to extra-city connections, especially railroads. If that's not an option, they want a freight station linked to a railroad going out of town, of course that's very close by. Try to improve that too.
Eventually, the demand will be met for the colony, but because it was smaller than Ground Zero, there will still be demand for the city as a whole. You may want to start upgrading stuff around the colony like bigger police stations and such , but don't. Otherwise, that's the ghetto of your city; let it suffer for now. So, to fill the rest of that demand, you need to restore Ground Zero. Work backwards: Do it slowly enough that the area doesn't get flooded, but work fast enough that everyone forgets the place exists.
I find that restoring one part of Ground Zero ever three to four months works the best. In time, people who moved to the colony will move back, or the newcomers who started in the colony will move into Ground Zero. Once Ground Zero is restored, start upgrading the colony to make it a full-fledged suburb, or maybe a large city of its own. Even before it maxxes out its borders though, expand as much as you can.
The big thing is to keep low land value areas that are ripe for the poor to live in. This way, you're always "leaving your sims wanting more.
If your Ground Zero is the heart of the city, then everything will end up collapsing, and you may never recover. It's ridiculously expensive too, because you'll be going on abbreviated taxes until everything gets restored. There are a couple more tips I can offer if you don't want to risk the above technique, or you don't have the cash. This is a little less sure and slower, but if the sims don't bite, you won't lose nearly as much. The basic thing is that you still have to force the sims' polygonal hands.
There's no Utopia; all cities can be improved. You have to isolate one part of the city and make it so damned attractive that anyone who's anyone will want to live there. Find an area like Ground Zero above, the best of the best districts in your city. Double-check all its civic buildings and services. Check the roads and intersections. Check freight times for industrial zones and commute times for residential zones.
Improve the obvious first. Next, look for ANY spot of yellow on the crime map. It doesn't matter how big or small. If there's a region of parks, take them out and try to get in zoos or stadiums or something instead. If you put a landmark near that high-value area, especially near the fringe, then you'll really make people want it.
You can also look to steal people away from other cities. Enact a few tourist ordinances, give them a year to kick in, then zone and build a colony like I stated above. The tourists will stop by and see your city, drool over it, and want to be a part of it.
Give them a place to go, and you'll have growth faster than you can say "Choosy moms choose Jif. Get rid of any business deal buildings if you can. That alone can do wonders for growth. In theory, this provides you with exacting detail about one part of town, and you can hear about problems a little sooner from your little sim than your advisors. Also in theory, if you're lucky enough to also own a copy of The Sims and any of its five-going-on-six expansions, you can get even more personalized info.
In practice, the My Sim Mode falls partially short of its goals. Although you can indeed import your sims from The Sims, any sim is like any other sim. The ones that ship with SimCity 4 are no better or worse than your own creations. Also, once you inject a sim into a house, you lose complete control over it, and can't really dictate what job class or whatnot it chooses. That's not to say it's totally worthless, though. You still do get sound advice from your sims quicker than your advisors, and they are a pretty good representation of their neighborhood.
I normally keep about two or three in my cities to stay on track, though I normally know about their problems before they tell me. Anyway, to start off, click the My Sim Mode button. You'll get five empty portraits; click one to bring up the list of available sims. Your sims from The Sims aren't on the list at the start.
To get them there, click the Import Sims button, the one that looks like a computer. SimCity 4 quickly scans your The Sims directory and adds any and all non-Townie sims to your roster. You'll only have to do this once, unless you make more sims in The Sims and want to move them in.
Select any sim, but be advised that they're only faces and names. A kid sim will be no different in your town than an adult. Once you select a sim, you'll get an arrow. Point it to the house you want the sim to move into. Doing that will immediately make them take on the personality of the house They'll take a job based on their class, and you can see them drive to and from work every day.
You'll get reports on their lives through the main news screen, or you can click their portrait in My Sim Mode. You can choose to just ignore them and let them deal with your decisions, or you can actively try to kill their problems and improve their assets.
They'll keep you guessing, sometimes changing careers, sometimes moving across town Luckily, they'll be replaced with a new sim with the same name, just with a number. Also is a description of the various ordinances in the game. However, this section is NOT strategy None Initial Cost: The power plant with the best value is also the dirtiest.
Its low monthly cost, however, and high value make it perfect for young cities. At the beginning, avoid this one only if you're bound and determined to keep your grass green from start to finish. By the time you CAN build it, you can probably afford it. It's extremely clean and totally reliable. There are other alternatives, but for its capacity and cleanliness, you can't get a better deal.
Although cheaper than a coal power plant, it makes far less power. A nice alternative to coal if you're starting out. Nuclear power doesn't pollute much, but there's a chance that the plant will meltdown, especially if it catches fire. If it does that, it will make a rather large radius of land radioactive, and you can't do anything with radioactive land for the rest of the game.
Although that's a high risk, if your power plant is well covered with fire stations, you'll be fine. The second-best deal on the market has a high initial price tag. It's cleaner than coal, so you may want to trash your coal plant in favor of oil once you're making a large profit. Cleaner than your grandma's kitchen, this plant is a reward for having rich people inhabiting your town. People have little problem living next to it. The problem is that it's darn expensive for clean power, and one little solar plant doesn't produce nearly enough power to keep a large town satisfied.
Only build these if you're simply expanding your power, not replacing it. A cheaper version of the solar power plant, this type is available from the start. However, its initial cost is a little high for young cities, and the pollution it generates is ridiculous. It reduces garbage, but don't look here for a permanent waste OR permanent energy solution. The cleanest form of power is the worst deal. However, windmill plants are excellent to use if you need temporary bursts of power when you don't have the money or desire to get a full-sized plant.
Unless you want to lose a bunch on money, don't rely fully on these. To access them, click your budget tab, then expand it, and click the eye beside the City Ordinances line.
They are listed here in the same order as they are on the budget screen. Still, young cities seriously benefit from it, and it leads to getting a casino business deal. This increases the lifespan of all sims, and it improves their overall attitude.
I recommend it once your city gets going smoothly to assist your health clinics and hospitals, but not from the outset of the game. Residents don't have a problem with it, but industries don't like it one bit. This reduces the industry demand, but seriously increases your water capacity. It comes with a hefty price tag, though. Again, don't enact it if there are industrial zones empty. Use it to support your sanitation department. City-wide health greatly increases at a monetary expense.
I don't like this one, because I prefer to have rich people in my cities who can afford to go to hospitals. If you have a tiny town, though, you may want to consider it. This cuts down on city-wide flammability, assisting your fire departments. The only downfall is the cost, which isn't much at all. I recommend you enact this one as soon as you can. Not too bad of an option, considering its relatively low cost, but I don't normally use it. More people will come to check out your town, which adds to your commercial sectors' coffers.
This increases your commercial demand, but can congest your roads when people come to visit. Also, you should have some good attractions landmarks or rewards in your town before enacting this, or it won't work as well. This cuts crime because the kids have something to do in the afternoons aside from holding up 7-Elevens, and it increases schools' effectiveness because the kids want to work hard and maintain good grades to keep their athletic eligibility.
This comes at a mediocre cost to your budget. However, this ticks everyone off--especially industries--and comes with a nasty price tag. This cuts down on road congestion, which also cuts down on air pollution, especially around main streets. This isn't too bad of an alternative to busses, though both can be used in tandem for best effectiveness. This gives people more of an incentive to ride mass transit, which reduces traffic and air pollution along the busiest streets.
However, you'll need SOME mass transit in place for this to work; don't bother enacting the ordinance if you have no bus stops or train stations. This will cut down air pollution from industries pretty well, but it will tick off all dirty and manufacturing industries. Of course, if your aim is to have a clean, high-tech city, go for it.
The cost is rather steep, but the payoff is worth it once you can afford it. This highly cuts crime, but it ticks off every kid in the city.
Be careful; it's a good assist for the police, but you'll have issues with city morale. Enacting this will set standards for cars so their pollution is reduced.
This cuts air pollution to a pretty large degree, especially around busy streets. There are no negatives aside from the cost, although this won't cut down on traffic like other ordinances will.
Still, I enact it once I can afford to. Sadly, that discount is no longer a part of it. This eliminates the option to build nuclear power plants and toxic waste dumps, but the environmentalist will be happy, and aura will improve city-wide. This ticks off the dirty industries, but not to a very large degree. It does not impact museums. I'll also talk about what each type looks for when choosing land. Generally speaking, as you get more dense, you get a richer populace, but that is not a rule set in stone.
The light residential zones look for nothing in particular. They just want some plot of grass to plant their trailers and be happy. The people living in these houses typically look for jobs in light commercial zones like fast food joints. You won't get much money from them, but they are your lifeblood at the beginning of your city's life. Medium residential zones have small apartments or typical, middle-class houses like the one you probably live in. Rarely, you'll get a small mansion here too.
Either way, you get a moderate amount of money from them. They hate pollution and usually require at least one or two of the Big 4 services. Their typical jobs are middle-paying affairs like secretaries and shift managers. Dense residential zones house celebrities like Gary Golf in huge mansions or skyscraping apartment towers. Jobs get as high as CEO of the power plant or manager of the town. The rich need a lot of their needs attended to, so make sure you've got ALL of the Big 4 services, plus some recreational areas.
Landmarks and rewards don't hurt either. Any pollution at all will kill the desire to move in. Light commercial zones provide local shops. These offer cheap services for cheap prices, employ cheap people, and pay cheap taxes. You see things like ice cream parlors and car dealerships here.
They will set up practically anywhere, so long as they're relatively close to customers. Medium commercial zones hold two types of buildings: Offices employ white-collar workers who are paid a decent amount. Businesses employ no-collar workers who are paid less than the white-collar, but more than anyone in light-density zones.
They need to be closer to customers to be inhabited, and farther away from pollution. Dense commercial zones hold both offices and businesses, too. Your tallest buildings will probably come from dense commercial zones. Businesses include malls, which accommodate customers from all classes, and which make absurd amounts of money that you can tax to death. They've got to be practically on top of customers, and very far away from pollution.
Offices are more picky than businesses, but you can't control whether businesses or offices inhabit zones. Light industrial zones, also called agricultural zones, are areas that you zone for farms only.
Farms, unlike all other zones, can be as big as you want them to be. They don't employ too many people, but they're pretty and are required for larger cities although cities can share that demand, but more on that later. Farms appear once given road access, provided there's little to no pollution.
After they're created, only pollution will shut them down. Medium industrial zones can house dirty industries or manufacturing industries. Both pollute the former worse than the latter , and neither make a tremendous amount of money.
However, they do employ the largest number of people, no education required. They produce large amounts of crime, so keep them away from homes and make sure they are provided police protection. Dense industrial zones eliminate dirty industries, but manufacturing industries are still around. However, so are high-tech industries, which are clean and rich. You'll need very well-educated sims in the city for high-tech industries to hire, so don't bother with dense industrial zones until your education program is in full swing.
Also, high-tech industries hate pollution, so if you re-zoned, don't expect any HT industries to move in while black smoke still hangs over that part of town. Industrial zones farms excluded need two additional things to grow. There has to be some way for the goods to get from your industrial zones to your commercial zones and other cities.
To do that, you'll need trains. If you cannot do that, place a rail line anyway, then place a freight train station. The industries will ship their goods by truck to the freight train station, which will then in turn carry it away.
Be aware that the longer the freight time, the more ticked off industries will be. Freight stations, by the way, are arrival-only stops. You do not need to place them at destinations, so don't, or you'll be losing cash with the monthly cost for no reason. Industrial zones can be up to eight tiles away as long as the zone is unbroken and one part of it touches the road.
Zones expand and grow in terms of density when provided with the right services. If a dense zone doesn't seem to be developing, query it to see the problem, and try to fix it. Zones can be re-zoned to something more dense without the buildings having to be destroyed. Just "paint" over the existing zone with the new one. One strategy is to use the densest zone type right from the beginning.
That prevents you having to spend additional money on re-zoning later. I believe, however, that the initial cost of the expensive zone is too great; young cities won't see the potential of dense zones, so there's no point in building them.
However, that IS just my opinion Young cities favor industrial zones because industries are looking for the cheap land. As cities grow, they become more self-sufficient, so they favor more commercial zones.
Adjust your zones and zoning techniques as you need to based on your population. Educational buildings are divided into four classes: Elementary schools educate the young kids. Each one holds a maximum of students, and they have a radius that represents the bus range no more stacking all your schools in one corner of the map like in SimCity Place them in the hearts of your residential areas, because no one from businesses or industries will be heading to school no child labor in this city, Kathy.
High schools educate old kids. Each holds a maximum of students and increases young people's EQ as they go through the ranks of school. They also have a radius, so use the same strategy as in elementary schools. City colleges and universities help out the young adults. Getting a degree is one of the greatest feelings in life for a lot of people, and it opens the doors to higher-paying jobs which in turn leads to more money you can bleed from your populace. Colleges hold a maximum of 7, students, more than enough room to hold quite a few generations.
Also, the college does not have a radius since most people will live on campus. Universities hold no students, but instead act to assist and improve colleges to make their education better. Local branch libraries and the Main Library let sims of all ages excluding the seniors maintain their education. Libraries are essential to keeping adults from forgetting everything they learned in college, which could lead to a loss of job or status in the city.
Local branch libraries hold a number of books, which represent its radius. Main libraries assist the local branches. City museums and Major Art Museums offer relics of old for the people who routinely tell kids to get off their lawns.
The presence of museums assists the schools and prevents seniors' brains from turning as mushy as the rest of their bodies. Don't bother with them until you have a fair number of years behind you. Take away his keys. Sims love driving as much as humans do. There are twice as many cars on the road as there are people if not more, but no one is going to be moving their gas guzzlers without roads.
Streets are minor, low-capacity and low-speed routes. You probably live on a street as opposed to a road; the best indication is the presence or lack of a line painted down the pavement.