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Thread: Simcity 4: Strategy Thread... "How to make money"

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    Simcity 4: Strategy Thread... "How to make money"

    Basically, the best way is to cut all funding for buses and ambulances. This feature is grossly overrated and certainly not worth the cost. You might say to yourself, "But don't more schools cost more?". The great Sava says... "NO". They actually do not because you can control the local funding directly so that you effectively only pay for the education that you need to give your people.

    It might be annoying to pay attention to more schools and to clutter so many in a smaller area, but in the end, it's worth it. I've done extensive experimentation with this, and I've found that 1 school with full bus funding effectively equals about 3 schools with 0 bus funding.

    If your city gets to be a reasonable size, perhaps 20k, you might have about 10 elementry schools. Counting only the bus funding, you are paying 2,000 dollars a month in just bussing your students. With 30 schools, you pay 0 a month in bus costs. And even though there are more schools, you do not pay more per month in educating your sims because you control the local funding. Regardless of the number of schools, residential areas only put out a certain number of students.

    The other upside to doing this is that you can cluster your residential areas in tight spots and control the flow of traffic and the distribution of zones much more effectively in your city. And also, if your schools or health care facilities strike, only a small area is affected while you increase the funding to meet demand.

    Doing this is also better for when you start building up your city after you've filled it with low-density zones. If you have bus funding set to full, and you rezone your low density residential to high density, your schools will get maxed out easily and you will have to demolish existing structures and overlap them. So not only are you wasting money on bussing, your schools are overlapped and closer together anyways!

    The bigger your city gets, the more money you save because of this trick. And the best part is, you can start doing this at the beginning of your city building... you don't have to wait for a budget surplus before adding these amenities to your sims lives.
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    vovan
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    Well, that might work, I haven't tried that kind of strategy yet. But a couple of points: this is a good strategy for dense cities especially because an elementary school in the center of a high-density residential block and full funding might not have enough space for all the students even at 50% bus funding. So, it is better to put the schools closer together.

    One thing however, how large a city have you tested this with? I mean, you are saying that for 20k people, one would normally have 10 elementary schools? ! I have a 45K city (my biggest so far), and it has three elementary schools, one high school, and one library, and the education overlay shows green blocks all around. I have no idea what you would do with ten schools, not to speak of thirty in such a city.
    Last edited by vovan; February 12, 2003 at 10:25.
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    I think my 45k city has 4 elemntaries, 4 high schools, 4 hospitals, and 4 libraries. Each is centred with very little overlap in the primary residential zones.


    As to taking advantage of your neighbors, It is completly cost effective to sell water. If you're selling the entire output of a well, you're bringing in around 900 bucks, with a maintenence cost of only 350. Its a better deal than burning your neighbors garbage by far. My biggest city spends 4 grand a month to sending its garbage out of town, but I make most of it back by selling water at extorionist prices. . . .

    If you're having trouble making money, don't build services in all your town. Poor parts of town can be left to suffer, while you make a killing on their taxes. . . .

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    vovan
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    Double post...
    Last edited by vovan; February 12, 2003 at 10:26.
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    vovan
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    Well, I have a city that is basically industrial - has mostly dirty industry zoning, and garbage burning plants. And the workers are coming from neighboring cities by commute. Well, that city makes tons of money: it imports garbage from all the four neighbors - making over 8k monthly just on that - burns it, and sells them back the electricity - making an additional profit. So, it's a win-win deal. And besides, the neighbors stay clean and happy that way, since they don't have dirty industries, or manufacturing - only non-polluting high-tech - they don't have any smelly garbage, and they don't have any power plants. Great deal. And to make some money back, they are selling to the industrial giant the waterm because it cannot produce its own due to pollution. (Who would have thought that industries need clean water? )
    Last edited by vovan; February 12, 2003 at 10:27.
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    At 45k I had 3 elementary schools, 2 high schools, 2 hospitals, 1 library, 1 museum. An elementary school in an old neighbourhoot on 100% bus funding still only needed 25% teacher funding to cater for the students in the area. The hospitals weren't stretched either. I wouldn't want to lose the ground space needed to put in several more. Only when they started popping high density towers did I have to run round tweaking budgets as massive influxes of new people with young kids appeared. The bus funding was never an issue, nor was my budget strained. Its making a profit at 1-15k people thats hard, not 30+
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    When using the "no bus" strategy you also have to consider the cost of constructing the building it self, schools are pretty cheap but doing it for things like highschools or hostpitals could be quite expensive.
    Rethink Refuse Reduce Reuse

    Do It Ourselves

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    Osweld, the cost is minimal because you have a positive cash flow. I'm in the 13th year on my 20k city and I have $350,000. And I've been building a ton .

    vovansim: Despite the number of schools, the principle is still the same. 10 was just the first number I thought of

    This strategy is better than selling resources because each city becomes independent. And plus, in order to sell water, your neighbors must be big enough to demand a lot of water. This strategy doesn't require anything from neighbors.
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    yin26
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    I use a similar strategy, but I also keep an eye on the age group in the neighborhood. As time progresses, certain areas will become filled with aged citizens who no longer need the elementary school. At which point I destroy the school and put in a park or something.

    I used to try to keep fewer schools filled to the max. students, but this lead to the inevitable teachers strikes when I was off doing something else as the school got an influx of students beyond capacity.

    On the larger issue of making money, the single most important thing to realize is: YOU DO NOT NEED WATER! Not until you've started to max out your map and need to switch to higher desnsities (which DO need water).

    By far the biggest money drainer is setting up water tanks and laying underground pipes. Don't do it.

    The same for firefighters. Wait until the first fire breaks out (though the smoke detector ordinance can help here).
    I've been on these boards for a long time and I still don't know what to think when it comes to you -- FrantzX, December 21, 2001

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    I import water and power in the beginning and it usually doesn't cost more than 60 bucks a month for 2000 units of water. Plus, without water, all of your buildings don't work as well and your land values stay low. Water is worth the expense. As your city gets bigger, build some water towers as they become more cost-effective than importing.

    In this pic, I have full water, I export about 60 units of garbage a month, import 2000Mw of power, and I have full police, fire, education, and health coverage; plus a museum, library and city college. There are about 7k people, and I have about a $1,200 budget surplus. I'm telling you people, the key is setting the ambulance and bus funding to zero and managing your local fundings!

    Look at how the residentials are circled around the schools and health care facilities. This is perfect for getting good commercial and industrial development because all the traffic goes to the intersections where the commercials flourish. On the right side (I'm not sure you can see it) I am starting a rail line. Rail lines are extremely effective if put between R and everything else. Having an efficient mass transit system is another tool for making money when your city gets large enough.
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    yin26
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    Right. I should have mentioned that on my lower-end system, using regional play is simply a nightmare. My scenario above is best used if you are trying to make a self-sustaining city, in which case investing in water tanks left and right will virtually ruin your budget.
    I've been on these boards for a long time and I still don't know what to think when it comes to you -- FrantzX, December 21, 2001

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    Sava
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    muahhaha my super system can handle it
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    yin26
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    I'm not talking about handling it. The subject of the thread is 'making money' -- and water simply isn't worth the expense money-wise until you need to shift to higher density. In fact, other than density, I see no effects water plays in the game. Your Sims get water on their own.

    Sure, you can budget for it and still make a profit (and the role-playing / challenge of doing it that way is likely satisfying), but from a cost-benefit analysis in the early game, water is money down the drain -- yes, horrible pun, I know!
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    Sava
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    Importing water is an insignificant expense yin. Plus, at this point, I have my own water tower. And the negatives of not having water far outweigh any of the money savings you may get. My budget in that city is about $1,600. Water is only a 50 dollar expense. And without the water, I wouldn't be able to get the manufacturing or high tech industry, which means less jobs, which means less taxes. Which means less money. Water pays for itself many times over. You should pick up the strategy guide. It explains in detail how beneficial water is.
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    yin26
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    I get all the jobs I need in the early game without water. And it is NOT cheap unless you are using regional play to setup water deals. Even then, a $50 needless expense is $50 spent needlessly.

    Once your population is ready to fill higher density jobs, you'll need water. This is part of a JIT (just in time) strategy that will make big differences in people's budgets.

    I didn't need (nor will I buy) a strategy guide to figure this out. I've played cities both ways --first with water coverage from the start and then with NO water at the start. The no water strategy saw a better budget and all the jobs I could handle. Once my population was high enough and educated enough to go to the next level, I added water. I reached a budget surplus of $500,000 before deciding to try some new design ideas on a new map.
    I've been on these boards for a long time and I still don't know what to think when it comes to you -- FrantzX, December 21, 2001

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    Well, I like having an educated, wealthy population with lots of high-tech industry from early on. I guess I should rephrase the name of my strategy to reflect this. The strategy guide is helpful in determining the exact affects of all the factors. And who said you needed to "buy" it?
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    Stunned

    Don't the teachers strike at low funding? 25% you said?

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    yin26
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    If I saw the direct links between water and education, I'd certainly add water. And since I don't see the link in gameplay, I also haven't seen the link between water and the higher-level jobs that higher education demands.

    So it is in the strategy guide that water coming from city pipes rather than through on-property pumps (one assumes they get water somehow!) makes Sim smarter?

    My assumption (seemingly supported by what I've seen in gameplay) is that education depends on your school network, and that Sims more or less start with little or no education and will remain that way for a number of game years until they graduate from these schools and move forward in their studies. Of course, reading ordinances and libraries give this a boost.

    That is the way I have 'raised' my Sims to be prepared later for higher-paying job. But if Sim water has the magical effects of making Sims smater all by itself, I'll start laying some pipes! I don't see the evidence, however (and I've read many a strategy guide that wrote about how things SHOULD work not, indeed, how they actually work in the game itself).
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    Sava
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    Teachers strike if there are more students than the capacity. I've never had a teacher strike when I fund like 5-10% and have under capacity.

    yin26, yeah the strategy guide specifically says that the education bonuses that education buildings provide are about 2/3rds if they are not connected to water.
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    Sava:

    That's interesting! I can see where I might have missed that 1/3 difference just by play testing. Certainly one can play the game without water early on and not see any blatant side-effects, but for a tweaker like myself, I can see the benefit of getting 1/3rd better education through water.

    I've heard that this particular guide is actually useful. Considering the, ahem, 'manual' included with the game, virtually any more information they include about game mechanics is going to help.

    Still, I refuse to fall into that trap. So, if you've got any hints on a good place to 'borrow' the guide for a while, that'd be great.
    I've been on these boards for a long time and I still don't know what to think when it comes to you -- FrantzX, December 21, 2001

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    Grumbold
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    Sata

    Its an interesting design but I would expect your 30x6 strips to have massive traffic levels when density increases. I don't think its going to work well when you've got 60k people in the area covered by your screenshot. Where is the industry by the way?
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    Smile

    Originally posted by Sava
    Look at how the residentials are circled around the schools and health care facilities. This is perfect for getting good commercial and industrial development because all the traffic goes to the intersections where the commercials flourish. On the right side (I'm not sure you can see it) I am starting a rail line. Rail lines are extremely effective if put between R and everything else. Having an efficient mass transit system is another tool for making money when your city gets large enough.
    Well thought-out strat. Small is beautiful.

    Also nice screenshot. Wish people would put up more screens of their cities, for those of us who don´t have the game yet.

    Great sig as well.
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    Sava
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    Thanks Comrade Tribune... the city now about 20k, I'll post a pic on Saturday when I get home. I'm visiting my parents this weekend.

    Grumbold. Believe it or not, there are no traffic problems with that design whatsoever. As I expand the rail lines, they fit nicely across those empty horizontal strips of land in between the residential blocks. The industry is along the bottom, and also along the new rail lines that I have laid out. (Again, sorry I can't post a pic now, I will later tomorrow.) At this point with about 20k people, I've upgraded a lot of the Res to medium density. The intersections are lined with flourishing medium commercial zones. The industry is mostly high tech. The only problems I've had with this design is monitoring the local funding levels of all the schools and hospitals. Because I'm so frugal with my local fundings, I need to constantly monitor the efficiencies in order to prevent strikes. I work mostly in the Education overlay on the map because I zone Res in the education zones and place other zones strategically around the Residential. Hey, can you guys share with me some of your layout strategies? Maybe post some screenshots? I'd like to pick your brains in my quest to form the ultimate Simcity 4 formula!
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    yin26
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    I'm working on an Uber-city idea, but the release of 1.06 for Europa Universalis 2 has taken all my time.

    The sub-division idea is nice. I did note, however, that the game seems to be geared toward having a 'critical downtown mass' comprised of commerical and high-end industry. In my last game, the center of my map exploded upward as a result, so unless a person plans to keep his city a sleepy (albiet nice) town, it seems that you've got to have a focused economic center before the density demands shoot up far enough to get massive high-rises and skyscrapers.

    Of course, if you don't care about those buildings, no worries...
    I've been on these boards for a long time and I still don't know what to think when it comes to you -- FrantzX, December 21, 2001

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    Grumbold
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    PM me an address and I'll email some shots. I've not got my own web space or the faintest idea what to do with it if I had. I'm SQL literate but I have no web expertise I'm afraid.
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    Sava
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    Why not just post them here?

    Yin... yeah I haven't gotten to that point yet in any of my cities. I will definitely adjust the midtown areas to adjust for that type of development.
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    Smile

    Originally posted by yin26
    I'm working on an Uber-city idea, but the release of 1.06 for Europa Universalis 2 has taken all my time.
    This I understand well.

    Nice to have you back.

    Did you try HoI, already? What do you think?
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    Arrow

    Originally posted by Grumbold
    I'm SQL literate but I have no web expertise I'm afraid.
    Heh; you can simply include the screenshot in your replies, with the 'attach file' option down below. (The 'search' button searches your desktop.)
    Now, if I ask myself: Who profits from a War against Iraq?, the answer is: Israel. -Prof. Rudolf Burger, Austrian Academy of Arts

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    yin26
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    This I understand well.

    Nice to have you back.

    Did you try HoI, already? What do you think?
    Good to see you, too! [sorry for the momentary thread jacking...] I haven't tried HoI as I swore I'd try to save more money this year. But ... and I shouldn't ask, I know, ... is it much better than EU2? PM me perhaps so we don't get Sava killing us.
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    Bergen, Norway
    Posts
    16,240
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    This is Nikolai's Country Flag
    Thanks
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    Thanked 49 Times in 38 Posts
    Local Date
    October 26, 2014
    Local Time
    03:01
    Most people think it is a step backwards. I for one think it is a good and enjoying game, but not nearly as good as EU2!
    Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.-Isaiah 41:10
    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made - Psalms 139.14a
    Also active on WePlayCiv.

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