Work out an overall plan and then stick to it. At the start
either take a chance and accept whatever terrain the PC throws at you
or terraform the landscape to provide better city-building conditions.
Flat land is ideal although distant hills provide sites for solar
power stations later on. Always build near a river. As soon as your
city reaches a decent size you'll need a port to increase trade with
other sim cities. Don't worry about clearing any nearby forests
though. This costs money and makes you unpopular. Your sims will cut
them down as soon as they start running out of space anyway.
Don't build huge industrial sites next to residential areas and
try not to build commercial centres miles away from your population
centres. Sims would rather walk to work given the choice. Build small
clusters of industrial commercial and residential zones - it's easier
to keep abreast of exactly how your city is developing. Parks and
sporting facilities can be added to enhance your neighbourhoods and
increase the value of adjacent land.
Policing is important if you want to attract big business and
hordes of tourists but can you afford the stations? The neighbourhood
watch scheme is a good way to cut down on crime and is cheaper than
funding a police station. Plan an even distribution of police stations
throughout your city - each has its own zone of influence and any land
falling outside this area is liable to attract unsavoury characters.
Only use bonds when there's an emergency such as a major disaster
or power faliure. Once your city's up and running you can usually
afford to have three or four bonds on the go - but the amount of
interest you pay will limit your ability for expansion.
The biggest problem is finding the space to lay the railway lines
or build a depot. Bus stations are a cheap resource but they soon
become under increasing pressure as your city expands. If you have
enough cash go for a subway. Don't forget you need to set up
sub-stations along the way otherwise nobody will use the system. If
gridlock persists take some drastic action. Demolish parts of your
city and build surface rail links.
Setting a realistic tax rate is probably the biggest challenge.
Set it too high and no one will want to come and live in your city.
Conversely set it too low and you'll quickly run out of funds. It's
best to set an initial tax rate of 6% to stimulate growth then whack
it up to 8% per annum to keep the readies rolling in.
Electronics play an increasingly dominant role so encourage early
growth. If you set a low overall tax rate for the electronics industry
- around 1% you'll encourage electronics firms to move into the area.
Once the industry shows signs of strong growth you can increase the
tax rate to hive off some of the profits.
Dealing with disasters:
FIRE: It might sound obvious but fires must be dealt with swiftly
unless you want to see your city disappear in a raging inferno. If
your fire stations are a bit thin on the ground and things are rapidly
getting out of hand try demolishing a ring of buildings to create a
natural fire-break. It'll save you a lot of money and rebuilding in
the long run.
FLOOD: If your city is in danger of being transformed into the
Lost City of Atlantis use the 'Raise terrain' option to put some dirt
between the flood waters and your precious sims.
MONSTERS: There's not much you can do about a rampaging monster
unless you've already established an army base. Even then the dumb
critter might hand out in your downtown area setting fire to anything
and everything. AIR CRASH: This is a minor disaster - unless you're
one of the sims on the plane. If you have four or more fire-stations
you should be able to cope with the carnage.
RIOTS: Should the populace rise up in revolt send in the riot
police to sort things out. Democracy? Never heard of it mate.
Taking a breather:
One of the most useful tools you have is the pause mode. As soon
as you start a new city - pause the game and plan your first few
zones. When there's a disaster you can still deploy your fire and
police units with the game paused. This is useful for fire-related
disasters and chemical spills which spread quickly if you don't
control them properly.
Swell the city coffers by using this cheat. Over $2,138,000,000
will go an awful long way and it's easy when you know how. Create a
city on easy level. Name it. Save it then quit the game. Now use a hex
editor to change a value in the save game. At offset 39 (hex 27)
change: 00 02 42 20 to: 7F 02 FF FF. Save the file and run the game.
Load up the saved game and start spending!
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