Chapter 2: Pop 5,000 – 25,000 (Education and Manufacturing)
Please PM soldyne if you have any questions about this article.
To recap where we are now we have about 7000 sims in the Fairview region living in a nice quite suburban community with an industrial neighbor next door providing the much need jobs.
Suburbia is still in need of jobs:
…and Powerton has room to spare:
But, we are starting to out grow our standard leap frog routine of “zone and switch” which got us this far. Now we need to start attracting some big business. To do that we need to add some water:
Notice that I put the water pump as far from the industry as I could (well maybe I could have put it further but you get the idea). I also gave the pump its own power supply. This is important since we dont want our water supply to be dependant on our main power source. As our cities grow we may experience rolling brown outs where certain sections of the city lose power for a short time. This could be catastrophic if our water pumps shut down all of sudden. So always give the pumps their own power.
Now that we have water big industries can start to build but for now we have no more demand and must go back to suburbia and make more homes:
LET THERE BE WORK and so there was and the people saw that this was good and wanted to move in to our city! There was much rejoicing
*Link removed due to non-existent gif animation*
At this point it will be a good habit to start checking all of your graphs for important information. check on power usage, water usage (none yet), garbage levels, and anything else you can think of. If your city is starting to get close to running out of any of those then renegotiate your neighbor deals or build more utilities.
Our current situation is good. Things are stable and everyone is mostly happy. However, we dont want a small low class suburb forever so we need to start thinking about bigger and better things.
Just like in Powerton, we need water to get to the next stage in development. In our case we want more R$ to move in. The reason for wanting R$ is not because they pay more taxes (although that is nice). We want R$ because they are the driving force for all things in SC4. They produce the most demand for manufacturing, IHT and most of the Commercial sector, also, they prefer to use mass transit more than any other wealth class. Ultimatly R$ is what will support our region and will eventually make up the bulk of our population.
So our first step in attaining all of that is water:
Since we are doing so well with income and have plenty of money to spare I suggest we layout all of our pipes ahead of time. This will save us a lot of stress later when we start to expand as all areas of the map will already be watered.
Lay out your pipes with 12 spaces in between each. This will provide the most efficient coverage.
The next step in providing for R$ is education. Education coverage will not only increase desirability for R$ but it will also affect how our demand will change. The more educated our sims are the more sophisticated their tastes in jobs becomes. As it stands all of our population is demanding farms and ID. If we want IM and IHT as well as more commercial demand (so we can begin on our CBD to the south) we need to have high education.
To get the most out of your education system you have to understand how the game works. Different education structures provide different amounts of education to different age groups. In a young city with no health coverage, there will be many young sims. This means that we need an elementary school. Right now, a HS or college will do us no good as there are not enough older sims living here to take advantage of them.
One thing you can add at this point is a library. Libraries affect nearly all age groups the same by providing a bonus to EQ at every age level. Not only that libraries are cheap.
Unfortunately, education does not come without a price. Please note, that I am using the Large Elementary School which is unlocked as a reward. By now your city should be big enough to have unlocked it . If you have not unlocked it yet, then keep expanding until you do:
Another thing to think about when placing schools is coverage. Make sure that most of your sims are covered by your schools and libraries. We dont need to cover everyone just most of them for now. For the moment we only need 2 sets to get the best coverage:
By now you may be worrying about the high cost of the school system. Not to fret! Using the query tool click on one of the schools. You will see that there are two sliders here, one for staff funding and the other for bus funding. For now our bus coverage is acceptable. It is the staff funding we want to reduce. Slide the bar to the left until the total student capacity is reduced to a number that matches the current usage (if current usage is 0 then let the simulation run for a month or two). Then add about 200 for wiggle room. Do this for the libraries and other schools and now we are making money yet again:
Now we need some direction. Lets look at our demand graph. AH HA! The education system is already at work. Now we are starting to see some Industrial Manufacturing (IM) demand:
So to satisfy that demand we go back to Powerton. When we arrive the first thing we should do (for any city) is check our graphs. By now we may need to add another power plant and possibly another incinerator. If you are using the 0 funding technique for the incinerator then make sure to reset the power funding levels on all new utilities that get plopped.
Another interesting concept to mention here is the idea of industrial parcelization. Most of the time when you zone industry it does not make those little boxes with arrows (parcels). This lets the industry grow randomly and can create a lot of litle 1×1 industry buildings. To encourage big industry to grow we need to parcelize the zones.
We do this by holding down the CTRL key when we zone. Holding down CTRL and ALT will cause the zone to face in a different direction (for instances when zoning on a corner). Just experiment and you will eventually see what I mean. For more information on Industrial parcelization see StarrDarcy’s thread on the subject:
And now we have our big industry moving in:
And our first IM building!
Back in Suburbia we do what we do best; EXPAND! This is a good time to relax and enjoy the music. Be creative, have fun and make interesting neighborhoods. We want to take our time here because the education system we just put in is going to take a while to get up to speed.
After a while we will see that more and more manufacturing demand is comming our way:
It seems that back in powerton we have quite a few big industries popping in and all of our parcels are filling up nicely:
So guess what? We expand some more and keep expanding until we have 0 industrial demand:
I want to point out that water pollution is a real issue in an industrial city. Notice that no matter how much I expand I do not put industry any where near my water pumps. Industry can cause quite a bit of water pollution and even at this distance it looks pretty bad:
So I suggest adding a bunch of trees (with god mode if you like) just to be safe. The reason we do this is to prevent our needing a water treatment plant which happens to be very expensive. So long as the query tool says that the water pollution is acceptable then we are good to go.
Meanwhile, back in Suburbia: our education is on the rise:
Hmmm, whats this? Industrial High Tech Demand along with IM! Our schools are doing very well! Also take note of the ID demand. It is in the negative. This is because all of the ID workers are starting to get an education and are looking for jobs in IM . Are we starting to see how the whole education/demand thing works?
And just to keep on track we are doing very well on income:
Now that we have some IHT demand it is important to go back to powerton and start manipulating the taxes. In powerton we want a strong IM labor market NOT IHT. If IHT starts moving in then the pollution will cause them to abandon and we are left with a bunch of buildings that have nothing in them. So to prevent IHT from moving into powerton we set IHT taxes to 20%, and while we are here we might as well relieve some more IM demand:
OK, Back to Suburbia (getting dizzy yet?). Things in our little burb are looking good and income is high. Now is the time to start thinking about health care.
Not all sims in a population of any city will be old enough to work. With poor health care the average age of the city will be low and people will die off before they have a chance to retire. To help increase the number of sims in our city that are of working age we need good health care. In other words a city of 10,000 sims and low health care will have fewer workers and lower demand than a city of 10,000 sims and high health care.
So here is the cycle of things with health care: better health means a higher percentage of workers in a given population. More workers means more demand for jobs. More jobs means more demand for workers and thus higher population. The cycle continues and grows and that is how we build a region.
Our city so far will need 2 hospitals for best coverage. Again, manipulate funding of the hospitals to ensure that our expenses remain below our income.
Another important aspect of the game which needs to be addressed at this time is that of Demand Caps. Demand Caps are a whole article unto themselves so I will only discuss them briefely here. When a population gets to a certain size the game has a cap which forces the demand to drop and no more of that developer type will grow. If demand cap relief is provided the cap is raised and more of that developer can come into the city.
The initial demand cap for R$ is set to 2000. We are getting very close to that now so we need some relief or else our city growth will stall. The best relief for residential is parks. The large flower garden and the large plaza provide the best demand cap relief. Thats right, plazas provide demand cap relief for residential not commercial. commercial gets demand cap relief from neighbor connections and airports.
One of each park should give us about 16,000 demand cap relief for all wealth levels.
Our next concern is commercial development. Our sims are getting more educated and are starting to demand more commerce. Zone your commerce along your main roads and let the sims build to their hearts content:
Another thing we can do while we are here in suburbia is to start providing for some of that IHT demand we have been saving up. IHT is nearly pollution free and has the same desirability requirements that residential does. We can very easily build a small IHT district right here in the city which will help by reducing commute times for the those people on the west side.
Before we start to zone, however, we must set taxes for ID and IM to 20% each or we might get a few stray IM buildings in the mix which can really screw us up (because of pollution).
OK, great, our city is off and running. By now we need to check on our education levels and by the looks of it, education is starting to level off. This could be due to many things such as abandonment or it could be due to our population getting older.
When a residential building abandons and new sims move in all of their statistics are reset to 0. this means 0 EQ and 0 HQ. So when we have lots of abandonment (common in a new city) the average education and health will seem to stagnate or fall. At this point in our city’s evolution stability will be difficult.
To address the issue of our population getting older we can simply add a High School. One HS should be sufficient for our small town:
All of our primary services are now provided for and everything is going according to plan. Now we just keep expanding and growing our population. Add a new set of schools to cover any new development. Keep a close watch on power, water, garbage, demand and jobs. Remember that when adding new residents to the city our average education and health will seem to stagnate or fall. Give the game a few years to allow the new population to get up to speed before making any rash judgements.
Now that suburbia is starting to stabilize lets check in on powerton one more time. It seems that even with extra power plants, incinerators, and lots of water pumps we are making quite a profit:
Before we end this chapter there is one last concept to cover: mass transit. Our region is growing quite a bit now and the people on the west side of suburbia have quite a trek in the morning to get to the east side of powerton.
Our first and best option at this point is bus stops:
Once we put in bus stops in powerton we must let the simulation run for about a month or two to let the game realize what is there. When you start to see some busses on the roads then you should be ok to save, exit, and go back to Suburbia to set up some bus stations there.
There are many guides, FAQs and topics about mass tranist already on the forums so I will try to make this brief. Mass transit needs at least two stations to work; one in a residential area, and one in a job area (commercial or industrial). Try to have stations no more than 12 tiles from each other as sims are too lazy to walk more than 6 or so to get to them. Don’t expect to make a profit off of mass transit in a suburb. The population density is not high enough for it. When we start getting into medium density and more that is when we will start to see profit in mass transit systems.
For now, our mass transit system is here to help reduce commute times and help stabilize the city.
As we end this chapter on making money I want to show a few graphs about where we are. We are starting to see more commercial, IM and IHT demand, our education is steadily rising, our R$ population is looking healthy, and above all we are MAKING MONEY!
At this point you can start to decorate your city. Parks are more than just eye candy. They provide much needed residential demand cap relief. Don’t go overboard though since you will have to pay for it all. also, your population should be stabilizing which means that while you decorate your education should be increasing steadily.
In Chapter 3 we will start to focus on commerical development, IHT growth, and try to build up some more neighbors to help our regional demand.