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Author Topic: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!  (Read 6760 times)

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R^2

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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #60 on: January 02, 2013, 08:50:19 PM »

 People hate to walk, so mass transit stations will only carry a few squares' distance of pedestrian traffic before petering out. And people can't take their cars with them on the bus or train, so they need a bus/rail stop right next to where they need to be. This means you need to pretty well cover your low-income residences and workplaces with bus or rail stops.
In Bob-omb Battlefield I always build a subway station and a bus station next to/across the street from one another, and there's a parking garage mixed in if they're serving a residential zone (people will park in the garage, get on the subway, and walk the rest of the way to work). My subways aren't at full capacity -- I have a lot of high-wealth residents who don't use any sort of mass transit for any reason -- but they alleviated a lot of my traffic woes.

Use the route examination tool (the question mark with the arrow on it, near your minimap) to get info on how to build your mass transit lines. Clicking on a house will show you that person's commute to work (multiple routes for higher-density residences with several people living there). Clicking on a commercial or industrial zone will show you how people get to work there. Clicking on a road or rail segment shows all the routes that use it. Clicking on a bus or rail station shows how many people use it, where they come from, and where they go. That can give you a good idea of where to improve, in no small part by figuring out where your dead weight is. I found I could cut out two passenger ferries off the main island in City of Mana, because all they did is connect to another passenger ferry on the other side of the same landmass. Road traffic can handle that sort of thing!
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Zaratustra

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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #61 on: January 03, 2013, 06:46:31 AM »

What if they like the scenic route

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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #62 on: January 03, 2013, 05:49:18 PM »




Reconciling the edges with the neighbors gives a mountain on one side courtesy of Bob-omb Battlefield and some coastline thanks to City of Mana and Hyrule on either side. And like some sort of moron I completely fail to screencap the finished landscape, but it's mountains on one side with water wrapping around the other.

It's Termina. The Majora's Mask version, not the Chrono Cross version. The mountains reference Ikana and Snowhead, the water Woodfall and the Great Bay.


I don't care what the source material is, whether this is a blighted wasteland or frozen in endless winter or whatever. I'm planting trees for the easy land value.


No factories! No factories! I can only assume this funky RCI demand comes from being connected to so many other areas.


Whereas in Bob-omb Battlefield I started at one edge and grew over the map, in this instance I'm starting at the center in hopes of having a reasonably-structured downtown by the time I'm done.
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R^2

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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #63 on: January 03, 2013, 05:51:34 PM »




I hooked up Hyrule and Bob-omb Battlefield with road and rail connections to Termina, and reciprocate by building adequate bus stations, passenger train stops, and freight stations within Termina borders.

I still really hate working with rail.


At least the seaport is easy to place this time.
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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #64 on: January 03, 2013, 06:01:41 PM »


Let's talk traffic. These roads leading up to my commercial zones are clogged with commuters. I use the Route Query tool (lower left, marked) to gather some information.


Hovering over the street tells me 118 cars take this route to get to work. Which I guess is a lot!


Clicking on the street tells me where they're coming from and where they're going. Turning off the traffic data view helps.


Mostly they work in the commercial zone, with a few industrial jobs. (Those are all high-tech industry, and I didn't have to do anything! Interregional demand is weird.)


We'll start with the simplest of mass-transit options: the bus station. Sims get on at one, and get off at another -- and for their trouble are rewarded with reduced traffic congestion. The poorer a Sim is, the more likely he is to use mass transit.


Since Sims can only board or disembark a bus at a station, you have to put them where Sims start their commute as well as at the end. I scatter several around my commercial area.


Clicking on the bus station with the route query tool shows me cars commuting in to work in the station as it provides a couple of jobs (green arrows), pedestrians walking in to catch a bus (pink arrows), and buses departing to take them to their destinations (blue arrows).


That was... not as effective as I'd hoped.


But people from all over this neighborhood are driving into that commercial zone, so if I give them a place to Park-and-Ride they may patronize my buses a bit more.




Nope. People are walking right past the garage, rather than driving into it.




Guess there's nothing for it but to upgrade the overloaded streets into roads. Making this in-depth look at how to build a mass transit system pretty useless! :whoops:
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R^2

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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #65 on: January 03, 2013, 06:09:01 PM »


Time to upgrade this dinky lot into a proper downtown. First, I pave an avenue to handle the increased traffic.


It wraps around to Bob-omb Battlefield in two places. I'll have to remember to connect those properly once I start playing that map again.


Farms hate being next to heavy traffic, so it's only a matter of time before this one shuts down.


I knew I'd have to pave through a residential neighborhood to get this done, but I'm not going to pave over my own house! (I have no idea if you can demolish a reward building and have a chance to place it again somewhere else, so I don't risk it.)




Connecting avenues is almost, but not quite, as terrible as connecting rails. You can't connect a road to an avenue corner, for instance.


While I'm upgrading, I guess I'll start my subway network.


And if I'm going to provide all those nice offices and shops, I might as well remodel an adjacent area to provide people to work them. This time I'm definitely putting in a parking garage to handle the commuter volume.


Flower gardens make good filler for lots that are on wonky slopes and won't fill with houses. Use a variety of blooms in different shapes and colors to attract residents to the area. It's a good thing.


Of course, every time you add a new block of higher-density residences and/or offices, expect to get yelled at about power shortages, lack of water pressure, and that the funding for your schools and health facilities can't handle the influx of new users.
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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #66 on: January 03, 2013, 06:16:13 PM »


Plazas are to commercial zones what flower gardens are to residential zones. But I want to set some of this space aside for reward buildings that come later, so I'll just give that bitch some trees. Bitches love trees.


I have never seen this before. A bus station is over capacity, so I build another one adjacent to handle the load.


I have seen medical centers overflowing before, but it's always bothersome when they do. These things are expensive, you know.


Within moments of opening a new medical center, it's already nearly two-thirds full.


Using larger facility buildings (large elementary school, large high school, medical center, large police station, large fire station) has a lot of benefits, but I guess one of the drawbacks is that secondary uses might get overwhelmed. The prison cells and drunk-tanks in my existing police stations -- there are only two -- are starting to overflow. Further investigation reveals they're not handling crime very well, either, so rather than build a jail, I just build two more large police stations.


The private school is also overflowing, but there's nothing I can do about it. I'm not even 100% sure what grade level private schools cover, but both my elementary schools and high schools have extra capacity that isn't being used -- only the rich kids are too snooty to use them.


The footprint looks much smaller from the air, but Termina is only 10,000 residents shy of being the same population as Bob-omb Battlefield. It dwarfs all the other surrounding areas.
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R^2

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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #67 on: January 06, 2013, 01:39:57 PM »








Today's project: is it possible to build a city with no traffic at all?




Answer: no. Zones don't develop without some sort of road access.


Is it possible to build a city with very few traffic problems because people will take the subway to reach various disconnected spots around the city?




Answer: no.




The Donut Plains remain geographically, but I don't know what to experiment with next.
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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #68 on: January 07, 2013, 08:03:38 PM »




Let's try this idea again, only without the border connections.




As far as I can tell, citizens will walk no further than eight spaces before or after leaving a subway station, so my lots are that long in each direction. I guess I could branch out the side streets a little to keep them from all looking like crosses, but I like that I have little gaps here and there that I can fill with police and fire stations, schools, and clinics. Turns out students will in fact take subways to school, and police will enforce the law via subways too. So that's nice. Not sure what the firemen will do when a fire breaks out, though.


I have no idea what makes Industrial lots develop. They work, and they ship out freight -- even if no one commutes in to work in the factories. Every factory apparently has its own stock of Oompa-Loompas who never come out of the building.


This whole "no traffic, only subways" thing is... actually kind of viable! Donut Plains has a lot of growing to do, and the idea might not scale very well, but I aim to find out.
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R^2

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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #69 on: January 08, 2013, 02:09:20 PM »


Turns out I'm getting a little shorted in World 1-1. Most of my cities are only in medium sized lots -- Norfair is in a small one. But there's a lot size that's four times the size of Bob-omb Battlefield! (This is the "New York" region, modeled after what I'm assuming is Manhattan island.)


Anyway, back to my little counties.


Termina is starting to have some of the same problems I've seen in Bob-omb Battlefield. Which makes sense, considering they're about the same population. Apparently Termina's citizens are wealthier, though -- Bob-omb Battlefield never got offered a second private school.


I remodel a stretch of sorta-coastline properties into highrise apartments.


And with any influx of new residents, it causes a strain on my medical staff. I have to build a third hospital. Oddly, my schools seem to take the additional load of students without a hitch.


It makes things confusing to have both street-level traffic and subway traffic on the same map. That central red line is a busy surface road, while the orange line immediately adjacent is a trunk subway line.


I don't even remember the notice that I got this.


Here's something new that allegedly helps with traffic congestion: one-way roads keep traffic flowing smoothly by forcing all of it to go in one direction. I personally hate them as a real-life driver but they must work okay, otherwise no city would bother using them. Right? Right?


I extend them into my newly-remodeled commercial zone, too. One-way streets have to start and end at an intersection; otherwise where would the two-way traffic go at the conversion?


Like Bob-omb Battlefield, it's getting to the point that one large pump is a lot less bothersome than building a new small pump every year or two when my utilities advisor bitches at me about it. I also ditched the old coal plant for a pair of solar plants when he got a wild hair about overconsumption of power, too. Waste to Power plants are good for managing garbage, but since the level of garbage put out by a city isn't constant, they cause some fluctuations in the level of power they can provide -- it's a good way to drive your utilities advisor completely bonkers.
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R^2

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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2013, 02:13:54 PM »


I adorn my new commercial wing of the city with a Major-league stadium. That oughta get traffic moving through the area and stopping in at local shops! Sure enough, several buildings nearby immediately remodel themselves into bigger shopping centers and offices (you can see two doing this just below and to the left of the stadium).


Local businesses are clamoring for it, so I consider building an airport. Not a dinky little airstrip like those yokels up in Bob-omb Battlefield have, though! No sir!


Holy Christ this thing is huge! (That's what she said.)


As with the old version of SimCity I'm used to, once you have an airport for commerce and a seaport for industry, you earn an Expo center.


Not pictured: very shortly I build a stock exchange just across the street. This corner of downtown thrives.


If you didn't notice in the last couple of screenshots, Termina now has over 100,000 residents. It's about 20% cooler than Bob-omb Battlefield.


And still has room to expand!
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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #71 on: January 08, 2013, 02:27:44 PM »

I realized something.


Hyrule has 7,348 residents, and offers 5,328 commercial jobs and 1,159 industrial jobs. That's 861 residents who have to commute out of Hyrule to find work.


Termina has 107,569 residents, of whom a whopping 57,082 have to commute over county lines.


Bob-omb Battlefield has 82,417, of whom 32,118 cannot be employed.


Donut Plains, while still tiny, imports some of its workforce, offering 2,994 jobs to townies. But Donut Plains, fledgling town that it is, isn't connected to anywhere else yet.


Norfair, as noted previously, is all industry -- 16,496 jobs theoretically available to anyone who wants to drive over and get one from C-Island. But as observed, not a single Sim does that.


C-Island has 32,002 more citizens than jobs. Even taking Norfair into account leaves 15,506 people unemployed.


The City of Mana is actually one of the worst off: of 28,531 residents, there are a meager 13,083 jobs, leaving 15,448 without.

For my regional population of 278,000 Sims, there are only 160,000 jobs available. I guess a quarter of my overall population is still in school, and a quarter of my overall population is retired? Is that even economically viable? Why am I not getting shouted at for crippling unemployment instead of getting shouted at about every other damn thing?
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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #72 on: January 08, 2013, 02:29:02 PM »

Can you convert that stack of four medium-sized plots nearby termina and hyrule into a large plot?
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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #73 on: January 08, 2013, 06:17:44 PM »

Have you tried doing the weird as heck driving missions that rush hour gives you? I tried them, but they are basically nearly unplayable due to the perspective.
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R^2

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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #74 on: January 08, 2013, 07:42:30 PM »

Can you convert that stack of four medium-sized plots nearby termina and hyrule into a large plot?

I might be able to.

Have you tried doing the weird as heck driving missions that rush hour gives you? I tried them, but they are basically nearly unplayable due to the perspective.

I intend to try a few of them out at some point during the LP, but haven't yet.
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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #75 on: January 08, 2013, 08:14:42 PM »


Turns out all Norfair really needed was a passenger ferry. People don't want to drive across the map to get to work, but if the transit route analysis through the City of Mana and C-Island are any indication, I have people sailing here from Termina to get to work. After this was installed several lots across the map remodeled themselves into higher-capacity buildings, so it worked out pretty well.


Meanwhile, I'm expanding Donut Plains.


It occurs to me that if I don't have any automobile traffic, I don't really need high-capacity roads. And if people aren't trying to get from one part of their little cross-shaped lot to another, they don't even need to be connected.


I wonder if I'm to a point where I need high-density housing.


Pretty close. They're not skyscrapers, but they're certainly large apartment buildings.


I eventually realize that even if my citizens are okay with using the subway to get everywhere, my industrial lots are producing freight that needs to get places. Via truck. So I remodel the rise of land I've started thinking of as the Vanilla Dome to carry the Plains' industry -- connected by roads to Bob-omb Battlefield and Norfair.


The factories leave a bit of a scar on the hillside, though.


As always, industry does not hesitate to move in wherever it is allowed.


Trees, because trees.


This game is so damned picky about how you connect transit sometimes.  :rage:


Anyway, Donut Plains is growing smoothly. It needed a new hospital, which is highlighted here, but now everything is looking good.
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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #76 on: January 08, 2013, 08:17:17 PM »


Anyway, here's the landscape.


Region seperations -- what I've referred to as county lines in the LP, although there's no ingame basis to call them that -- are saved in a tiny color-coded bitmap file. Red plots are small cities, green spots are medium cities, and blue spots are large cities. They have to be the right size, but if you know what you're doing...


...you can remodel the map a little. I'm hesitant to change any areas I've built on already, but now I have a new (very large!) playground to play in.
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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #77 on: January 09, 2013, 01:56:40 AM »

I was thinking you could create a large plot that was adjacent to both hyrule and termina. But they both border that region with water... So, maybe that's stupid.

Maybe you could do some more intense remodeling of the spare area adjacent to hyrule, bob-omb battlefield, and donut plains just to the north of your new large area?
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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #78 on: January 09, 2013, 04:39:23 AM »

Also possible. Really as long as it's a square plot and I have room around the edges to make sure everything around it is also a square plot, I should be fine.
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Re: Guys, I think I might have a problem -- Anyway, Let's Play SimCity 4!
« Reply #79 on: January 09, 2013, 01:38:40 PM »

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