Sim City 4- Who thought this was a good idea?

I recently acquired Sim City 4 and am shocked to discover that you no longer control how the roads are laid out in your city. What the hell? Isn’t the whole point of Sim City to design your own city? Determining the road layout is the first or second most important part of the city with zoning decisions taking the other spot. I can’t emphasize how stupid of a decision that was, but what makes it even worse is that they didn’t implement it properly.

You still have to build roads to connect different zones and because the auto built roads can’t handle much traffic. What ends up happening, at least for me, is that you get a haphazard layout of roads. Blocks of zones built at different times don’t line up their roads with their neighbors, and the roads you build don’t intersect well with the auto built roads. I hope someone got fired for this awful, awful idea.

It’s just like real life!

Here I come, to the rescue!

You can let them lay their own roads (not recommended) or you can lay them yourself. Laying them yourself is MUCH better.

If you want to know the winning strategy, lemme know either in this thread or via email. It’s pretty close to foolproof.

What? How? I tried doing that but my advisor started bitching about costs and IIRC how the Sims don’t like living on big streets.

4x4 grid. Grid the entire land in 4x4 squares. It ensures that the shitty little streets don’t pop up, it ensures that your buildings will point the right way, and it ensures total coverage and eases the traffic concerns you’ll have down the road.

Start a game, build the roads, make a crappy powerplant, slash funding, make EVERYTHING else farmland. Stay with that until everything is farmland. Don’t build anything else. Build a firehouse if a fire breaks out, then demolish it after the fire goes away, if you need to. Get the farmer’s market and the state fair (if your land is big enough/packs enough farmers in). After you’re relatively sure you’ve saturated your land with farmers, (I hate this part) kick their taxes to 20 percent and let the game run for a few years. You’ll be swimming in cash. Rezone land when appropriate, let the 20% farmers keep paying taxes because they can’t go anywhere. Remember, Sims don’t know what they’re missing, so don’t build a hospital, water pump, police station, or firehouse until you have to. You may need to demolish a couple of roads to get special structures in, but it’s not a big deal. You can also grid neighboring lands similarly, put the tax rate to 20 percent in the original city for dirty manufacturing, zone only dirty manufacturing, lots of power plants, and dumps there and use that place as your spot for your “unmentionables”. Let me know if you need more clarification or some further stuff.

I figured that out. I guess I should just ignore when my advisor complains then?

Its still a bad game though. They should have just made minor revisions to sim city 3000. They tried to get too fancy.

Right. Let them eat cake and all that.
I don’t remember exactly what the complaint is or how it’s worded.

brickbacon, I think they went too far with the Sims in the game. I’m not a huge fan of doing missions for rewards and having to deploy the firemen either. Outside of that, it’s a great game.

My city is going pretty good at this point. I’m trying to make a loop of highway surrounding my city to sort of define a downtown. The problem is that I can’t manage to figure out how to make turns in the elevated highway. What am I doing wrong?

lol, how true that is

You gotta think big.

Plan a region with at least seven connected cities, one being central.

Outsource garbage, power, and water to individual radial cities so as to isolate the majority of the population from the negative effects of said resources.

Route the buying and selling of all resources through the central city. This simplifies the region’s economic network and minimizes the chance your head will explode. Example: Electricity City sells electricity to Central City, Central City sells electricity to every other city, Central City buys garbage from all cities except Garbage City and then sells all garbage to Garbage City and so on…

My favorite grid network uses 5x4 zones which are alternately separated by 1 and then 3 spaces. So, zone, road, zone, road, space, road, zone, road, zone, etc… All roads are one-way. This optimally balances pop density, traffic congestion, building height/size limits, and creates space for bus stops, parks, subway stations, trees, etc…

Once you have the grid structure established, use it modularly. Don’t be ripping up streets and re-laying them when changing zone types. Just leave the grid alone and rezone types as needed while the city expands.

As for gifts/rewards , plop them as soon as you can, and don’t be afraid to smash them and re-plop them to suit your growing population. These buildings are very powerful and must be considered with/against each other in terms of synergy. Some are res+ but com neutral, some are + all around. Some are com+ but res -, etc… Also, some have a dramatic radius of effect, so consider that as well. When placing a reward, do not alter your grid to accommodate it. Just plop the damn thing and rebuild the grid if/when you move the reward later. This will let you maintain the modularity of your grid structure.

At the very beginning, start with you central city. Spam some residential and place one fire station. Tweak it until it generates a profit. Let it run for ages, until you have, say, 4 million dollars (simoleons?). Then, smash the feeble little town and get to the REAL work. This will give you some breathing room. Although you will still need to watch your +/-, you should be able to avoid the dreaded loan spiral. Nothing will crush you like a loan spiral.

Of police, fire, health, education, etc… I’d say education is the hardest to manage properly. It requires the most thought and tweaking. Stay on top of it. This goes a long way towards having a region awash in hi-tech industry, an essential quality.

Ensure that every city in your region is generating a profit. If you have a radial resource city that is losing cash, don’t leave it alone and work on something else! Work on that city until it generates a profit. One single, neglected city budget can crash an entire region. All cities, all profit, all the time. Pay special attention to the relationship between your Electric City and your Central City. This relationship is the cornerstone for the entire region. If it fails, bye-bye region.

With outsourced resources you can fill an entire large city tile with successful, booming high density res and com. Any ind still in the main city will (should) be hi-tech. The cities surrounding your central city will be loaded with hi-tech that is driven by and supported by your main city.

By this time, your region will be an efficient, clean juggernaut and your computer will be so bogged down in sim goodliness that it will take ages to load any one city and you will decide that you have won and you will quit.

Forgot to add: Keep one city empty and use it as a drawing board. Planning a freeway interchange? Go to the drawing board city and drop $50,000 drawing it/smashing it/drawing it there. When you are satisfied, remember what you did and destroy the city. Then go back to your original city and place what you learned. No sense blowing $50,000 and destroying built up areas while you figure out what NOT to do…

I downloaded the SNES Sim City on my Wii this past weekend. It’s fun and nostalgic to the max but all it’s really done is gotten me itching for Sim City 4 again. And now this topic comes along, I fear I can not resist!

I really want to give the mega farmland strategy a shot since I almost never use farmlands.

I’ve had this game for theree years now, and I’ve never gotten into it. Played and loved the first two Sim City games (Sim City 3000 was OK), but this one just leaves me cold. (Which is kind of ironic, given that this was one of the first games I bought when I got a new PC back in 2004, seeing as how it wouldn’t play on my old PIII piece-of-crap.)

For me the biggest drawback is the whole city/region concept. It seems to me that you would have to spend the whole game constantly jumping back and forth between cities to make the whole region grow. My personal preference is to spend a lot of time with one city, rather than a little bit of time with a lot of cities.

Is it possible to play with a focus on just one city? If you do, will all your satellite cities then go to hell in the meantime? What happens in them while you’re doing stuff in the central city?

It is but difficult unless you have a bunch of cash reserves. Personally, I use a third-party program to infuse $1 billion then build up my cities, concentrating on keeping my citizens happy.

They’re put in suspended animation, like in The Sims.

I also recommend checking out this website

They have all kinds of message board forums, tricks, cheats, downloadable buildings, examples of user created cities (some people try to recreate real-life to Simcity 4 scale) and other stuff.

I also recommend getting the Rush Hour expansion pack. It has all kinds of additional transportation options like ferrys, one way streets, 4 lane avenues and more highway options.
Also you can lay streets individually. It’s one of the road options in the menu.

Why is it so god damn hard to make a fucking highway make a 90 degree turn? I’ve spent the last 15 fucking minutes and I’ve only able to successfully make one fucking turn.

That irritates me too. For one thing, traffic problems seem worst around the “border” areas between cites and it’s a real PITA when you try to solve them by switching back and forth. You can’t directly go from one city to another. You have to make your improvements in one city, close it out, go to the region, and open the other city. I also don’t like the set borders for the cities in the region and wish there was some sort of way you could “merge” the separate cities into one another if you wanted.

Terraforming is not as good in Sim City 4 as it was in Sim City 3000. For example, in SC 3000, it was possible to have a freshwater lake or river above sea level. In SC 4, you can’t do that. (But maybe I’m doing something wrong.)