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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    The thread in which Nalano's ego is stroked

    Quote Originally Posted by Caddybear View Post
    Ah, Nalano, if only a knowledgeable and kind gentleman such as you would write a SimCity 4 guide for us peasants...because no matter what I do, I don't get any cool looking cities and I don't want to cheat.

    Seriously, this game is harder than Dwarf Fortress.
    Because you asked, let me at least tell you how I do it, which may or may not be the best way but at least is functional. I will split this guide up into two parts: HOW TO MAKE A PROFIT, and HOW TO MAKE IT PRETTY.

    HOW TO MAKE A PROFIT

    First of all, silence your liberal bleeding heart about how your Sims need "services" such as "health care" or "police coverage" or "food." You must remember that your loving, ignorant meatsacks are there for you and that they exist largely to provide your coffers with sweet, sweet e-taxes. Unlike real people, they never try to renege on their fiscal duties, and as such are model (if quite daft) citizens.

    What this means is that you can and should dispense with any notions of providing what you, as a proper mustachio'd gentleman, believe should be necessary to a decent and honorable living. The great cities have always scrimped to get by. New York lasted two hundred years without a police department, and when they finally did, it was one hundred officers for 300,000 citizens. Sure, a couple people will get stabbed in the alleys by the Bowery Boys, but your Sims are made of tougher stuff - Well, at least the ones that aren't stabbed.

    You have only two services that are necessary when starting out your grand metropolitan plan: Power and water. You have four services that cannot reasonably be defunded: Power, water, police and fire. You will notice that I did not say police and fire are necessary. They aren't: They have a minor depressing effect on land value and desirability, but your poor, benighted Sims will move in regardless. They want you. They need you. They look up to you. Suckers. Delay placing a police department HQ and a fire department HQ until you are absolutely certain that the money you are raking in is enough. In fact, just do fire. In the corner. On its own. If a fire should break out, one engine company is enough.

    If only we could charge insurance for the service, like Marcus Crassus. Now that man could run a city. New York mayors learned from him, too. The Bowery Boys, when not stabbing people, for instance, also ran protection rackets with private fire departments. There's a reason we have the term "fire sale," after all. But I digress.

    Of the two malleable services, schools are more important than clinics. Schools make your Sims smarter, which means they get better jobs, which means they pay more in taxes. Clinics make your Sims live longer, which means that, once they are smart and employed and taxpayers, they remain smart and employed and taxpayers. One is investing in the future, the other is protecting your investment. Now, when you're still mostly sending your Sims off to their employment centers (which is henceforth the official name of the sadness foundries probably dotting your landscape), they're not going to last no matter what you do. Sure, they're a cheeky lot, soot-covered and calling you "guv'na," but they are not long for this world, so don't worry so much about extending their horrible, horrible lives. They are merely the fodder from which you will craft a bright, professional class. In short, they're fucked: Their children are the future, so build schools first.

    Now, every employment center/sadness foundry may only say they solely hire the poor and the indigent in a charitable effort to bring meaning to the lives of your unwashed masses, but they are liars. They hire everybody. While the vast majority are obviously going to be of the unwashed variety, a significant subset are still hired as managers and corpulent moneybags who selflessly volunteer to keep your rabble in shape and pay you more taxes.

    This is important, as they also do one other very important thing: Should you fail to build schools in the beginning - and you will fail to build schools in the beginning - they will build schools for you. For free. At great cost to herself and at no cost to you, Sister Mary will be paddling the behinds of entire generations of your future taxpaying minions. You should take her up on the offer. And also the schools.

    As you can see, my fellow mustachio'd gentlemen with oh-so-common fetishes, the general tack I am taking here is that the money comes first, then the services. The rabble will come regardless, and once they are here, then you may mold them into people. They are a patient lot, and resilient to boot. Your fantastic personality attracts only the best, after all.

    So, to recap: Build enough to defray the costs of power, as power is a cost that cannot be reduced. Then, as the money starts coming in, build a single fire station, then schools and clinics - making sure to micromanage the costs, as these can be underfunded - then, only when crime becomes unbearable, should you bring police into the situation. Donuts are expensive.

    Once basic services are down in a manner in which you're still generating a profit, everything from then on is just a game of waiting (for capacity to be reached) and expanding (for more capacity). Bringing your Dickensian nightmare to a modern, gleaming metropolis is really only a factor of time. The American dream was correct: You can better your lot. Well, not you so much as your grandchildren, but that's better than nothing.
    Last edited by Nalano; 15-02-2013 at 03:16 PM.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  2. #2
    *Gently strokes Nalano's ego*

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    More than a few times I have consider to change my legal name to Nalano.

    But Sim City 4 is ugly like hell. Your guide is uncomplete without a small modding guide to make it pretty.
    Last edited by Tei; 15-02-2013 at 03:34 PM.

  4. #4
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Nalano is rubbish.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    Nalano is rubbish.
    Jams O'Donnell is jelly.

    HOW TO MAKE IT PRETTY

    Short answer: Mods.

    Long answer: As was suggested previously by a particular mustachio'd gentleman, SimCity 4 is like bonsai with bricks. There are ways to get what you want where you want it, but you have to know what you want and you have to tailor each spot for it.

    The simple stuff: The game will put in residential and commercial buildings based on their lot orientation, lot size and zone density. The game will put in industrial buildings by daisy-chaining buildings and lots with equal dirtiness to a road. This is, consequently, how industrial zones get filled in completely despite very few industrial lots actually being large enough to do so.

    The vast majority of lots for commercial and residential buildings are two to three tiles deep. This means that the ideal block width is four to six tiles if you want dense settlement. You can, however, make inner-block gardens and widen blocks a further two to three tiles, which will boost local desirability at minor cost, as parks et al do not need road access. You can use this to force the construction of a certain class of building, even in neighborhoods that would not necessarily accommodate such.

    The average block length is to taste, but if you should be working on mass transit in the future, remember that your Sims, however honest and hardworking they are, will not walk more than five tiles in their commute. As such, if you want full coverage for mass transit and do not want to make mid-block stations, your maximum block length is ten tiles. Mass transit is important because it doesn't add to congestion, which means that air pollution is nil, and the prettiest buildings are almost all extremely sensitive to air pollution.

    Shift/Ctrl/Alt all modify how zones are laid. Specifically, they eliminate streets, modify lot size and lot orientation. If you have a certain building that you want built somewhere, these controls are invaluable, as the game uses the path of least resistance when it determines development. Some lots are corner lots, and prefer to seek out corners. Some lots are not, and will build anywhere.

    The default architecture says "Chicago 1890, New York 1940, Houston 1990, Euro Modern." This is a lie. They should say "Los Angeles 1910," "Los Angeles 1930," "Los Angeles 1990," "Sacramento." If you like palm trees and parking lots, you'll be in hog heaven.

    For everybody else, there's mods.
    Last edited by Nalano; 15-02-2013 at 04:01 PM.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  6. #6
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Jams O'Donnell is jelly.
    Earlier, downtown:

    nalano.jpg

  7. #7
    Lesser Hivemind Node TechnoJellyfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Jams O'Donnell is jelly.
    That's an outrageous lie!

  8. #8
    A mod list would also be nice, I knew Nalano said NAM and CAM before, but I'm sure there are more.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caddybear View Post
    A mod list would also be nice, I knew Nalano said NAM and CAM before, but I'm sure there are more.
    HOW TO MOD IT

    For buildings, you will want to use Simtropolis' Building Architect Tool ST/Exchange and SC4Devotion's BSC Lot Exchange. In my opinion, the New York Building Team are awesome. But then, I live in New York. Barry Sanders Project also like to do my favorite types of rust-belt architecture, too, focusing as they are on Detroit. SimGoober's works, as well as Pegasus Productions, however, are pretty much universally lauded.

    There are plenty of other teams focusing on Hong Kong, Paris, London, Berlin, Vienna, et cetera. There's even a guy making fantastically run-down Stalinist concrete slabs. it just takes finding them.

    For roads, we of course start with the Network Addon Mod. This gives a great deal of options for highway exchanges, turning lanes, on-street trolleys, roundabouts, etc, as well as a host of gameplay tweaks and pathfinding fixes.

    There's also the Street Addon Mod for different pavement types, the Network Widening Mod for higher capacity roads, the Real Highway Mod for highways to take all the space they do in the real world, the Roadtop Mass Transit Mod, which allows you to put subway and bus stops on the sidewalk instead of on their own lots, and the Bridge Height Mod, which allows bridges that are equal in height to the roads that feed them.

    For general scenery, there's the Coastal Development Kit for better coastlines, the SimPeg Agricultural Mod for better farmland, the BSC Canal Mod for canals, and a whole host of flora packs.

    There's a bunch of mods for tweaking gameplay and fixes, such as the Colossus Addon Mod, which changes the rate at which your cities get denser, and the Industry Doubler, which as it says, doubles the jobs offered by industrial buildings, allowing you to mar less of your landscape for industrial zones.

    Tool around on the top two sites, however, and you should be able to find everything there is to offer. In no way is my list exhaustive, and thankfully most everything works with everything else, as the community is small but diehard.
    Last edited by Nalano; 15-02-2013 at 05:00 PM.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  10. #10
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    What is the ease of install for mods? My mother is a SC4 fan, but she's starting to get bored with it. If mods are easy, she could probably handle them.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    What is the ease of install for mods? My mother is a SC4 fan, but she's starting to get bored with it. If mods are easy, she could probably handle them.
    The larger teams, like Pegasus Productions or New York Building Team, and the most popular mods, such as the Network Addon Mod, all provide installer executables, which just plonks them straight to the Plugins folder of your SimCity installation while simultaneously deleting older versions of themselves.

    Everything else you just copy to that same plugins folder.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rauten's Avatar
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    Today, on RPS news watch:

    Jams O'Donnell, honest question? or cranking out the mom jokes?

    More as it develops.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus somini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rauten View Post
    Today, on RPS news watch:

    Jams O'Donnell, honest question? or cranking out the mom jokes?

    More as it develops.
    EXCLUSIVE: Jams's mom caught stroking Nalano's ego in the SimCity

    More news at eleven
    Steam(shots), Imgur, Flickr, Bak'laag, why do you forsake me?

  14. #14
    Network Hub SMiD's Avatar
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    This thread makes my penis go "eh?!". I am booting up SC4 when I get home.
    Game Library Completion: 212/246 - 86.18%

  15. #15
    Lesser Hivemind Node mnemnoch's Avatar
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    This thread is getting weird.
    Add me: Steam, Raptr: mnem

  16. #16
    What have I indirectly done?

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somini View Post
    EXCLUSIVE: Jams's mom caught stroking Nalano's ego in the SimCity\
    Hey, Mammy Jams is a classy, mustachio'd gentleman.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    If only we could all play SimCity online togeth... erm .. *cough*

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tei View Post
    More than a few times I have consider to change my legal name to Nalano.

    But Sim City 4 is ugly like hell. Your guide is uncomplete without a small modding guide to make it pretty.
    Ugly? What world are we on? I'm on the one where SimCity 4 has beautiful pixel art. :)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    Ugly? What world are we on? I'm on the one where SimCity 4 has beautiful pixel art. :)
    Sorry :(

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    The simple stuff: The game will put in residential and commercial buildings based on their lot orientation, lot size and zone density. The game will put in industrial buildings by daisy-chaining buildings and lots with equal dirtiness to a road. This is, consequently, how industrial zones get filled in completely despite very few industrial lots actually being large enough to do so.
    Sorry?.

    You have to emulate the geekines of the dude that made MAGNASANTI ???
    Your post read half like alchemy, half like tetris with dead human bodies in a mass grave.


    I will finne tunne my question: how I can make it pretty... with mods. I want high res textures, I suppose.

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