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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.
    To us, it is the BEAST.

  • #2
    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, 11:25.
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    • #3
      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. . . .
      By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.

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      • #4
        Double post...
        Last edited by vovan; February 12, 2003, 11:26.
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        • #5
          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, 11:27.
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          • #6
            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+
            To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.
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            • #7
              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

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              • #8
                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.
                To us, it is the BEAST.

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                • #9
                  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

                  "Yin": Your friendly, neighborhood negative cosmic force.

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                  • #10
                    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.
                    Attached Files
                    To us, it is the BEAST.

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                    • #11
                      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

                      "Yin": Your friendly, neighborhood negative cosmic force.

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                      • #12
                        muahhaha my super system can handle it
                        To us, it is the BEAST.

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                        • #13
                          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!
                          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

                          "Yin": Your friendly, neighborhood negative cosmic force.

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                          • #14
                            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.
                            To us, it is the BEAST.

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                            • #15
                              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

                              "Yin": Your friendly, neighborhood negative cosmic force.

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