Tuesday, August 3, 2010

SimCity2000: Screen Shots and Building Tips

SimCity 2000: CD CollectionFeeling a bit nostalgic, I busted out my copy of SimCity 2000 and DosBox and went to work as the mayor of a thriving metropolis. But it wasn't a metropolis right away. I built this city, slowly, from the ground up. I was surprised that I had forgotten some of the intricate details and strategies for building a successful city. However, these mistakes only set me back a couple of decades of development as I waited for my coffers to refill. 
So, just for fun, here are a few screen shots of my city as it grew throughout the years. Enjoy!

"Commerce needs connections."  I kept getting this message until I realized what it meant. The commercial sector needed a way to do business with the world outside of my immediate city. Building roads that extend to to the neighboring cities is one way of connecting your city to the outside world. Additionally, building seaports and airports will also do the trick. Another tip regarding ports - they need roads and power like any other zone - however, unlike residential, commercial, and industrial zones, do not stretch power lines across the available squares to speed up development. The power lines actually hinder growth at ports. So, only stretch the power lines across the road in a few places and let the ports grow from there.

Your sims need to travel. You can use the query tool to check on how much traffic a section of roadway is getting. Add subways and rails, or build a complete highway system with on ramps and off ramps. The bus system, however, is one of the most effective at moving your sims along. This allows them to travel further distances and reduces pollution. Sims will only attempt to travel so far. They need to be able to reach each of the different zones. They need to live and go to work and go shopping. The better the transportation infrastructure, the further they can travel and the more valuable the zoning arrangement will be. Remember, this game is all about developing the most expensive real estate because property taxes are what fill your coffers at year's end.

As property values increase, you will notice the building types to look cleaner and crisper. Use the query tool to view each property and its characteristics.

Hydroelectric power is the overall cheapest method to power your city. Every other power plant looks cooler, is more expensive per megawatt, may produce lots of pollution, and also has the expensive requirement of needing to be replaced after every 50 years. Hydro is also nice because it can fit in nicely where ever you have a slope with water to build it on. While this is not very realistic sometimes, it also has the added advantage of spreading out your power supply. During an earthquake, any number of buildings could be lost - and if one of them happens to be a costly power plant - your city could be without power while you try to recover from the wreckage. Disasters are the primary reason it is recommended that your power and water grids be as interconnected as possible. In the event of a disruption on one block, power can still be rerouted around the problem center. Take the time and place extra power lines around the block.

Another trick I remembered was how well water pumps perform based on their location. The amount of water each pump can produce is directly dependent upon the number of fresh water squares that are adjacent to it. That is why most of my water pumps are sitting next to my hydroelectric dams - it increases their output tremendously. One adjacent square of fresh water will increase output by nearly 50%. This will ultimately help reduce the number of water pumps you need to quench your thirsty city.

The military will come knocking on your door when your population reaches 60,000 residents. Apparently, you need to have a pretty hilly terrain in order to get the elusive Army base. They are useful when you have a disaster because they are additional units to deploy to assist your police or firefighters in containing riots and fires and whatnot.

The SimCity BoxIf you do not want to play the original SC2000 inside of DosBox - you can pick up SimCity4 along with its expansion and a few other games in the SimCity Box. I have been wanting this latest version for some time. If you have it and have played both, please share your comments below.

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