SimCity Central Forums

Full Version: The Advanced Tutorial And The N(etwork) A(ddon) M(odd)
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Sim City: Advanced Tutorial and the Introduction of the NAM: Part 1

For those who are completely new to Sim City 4, and/or Rush Hour, I would advise you to read the other excellent tutorials made by the fine folks here at Sim City Central. For now, I will just start off where the SC4 Newbie Tutorial Left off, but before I do, if you have read the SC4 Newbie Tutorial, there is one thing I need to get out of the way.

[Image: badexampleofbudgetcuttixx0.jpg]

First off, NEVER EVER CUT YOUR BUDGET ON ROAD TRANSPORTATION, THE FUNDS YOU SAVE FROM MAINTANINCE ARE NOT WORTH THE PENALTY OF SLOW COMMUTES. Sorry if that was interpreted as shouting or yelling, but that was capitalized to stress an important tip.

Second, you do not need the Avenue network if you are just starting a city. Avenues are pretty expensive in the early parts of your city, especially if you are playing the harder levels.

If you have still not followed my advice on reading the other tutorials, the links are here. I strongly recommend reading the others before you read this one.

Sim City 4 Newbie Tutorial

Special Tricks With Transportation (Rush Hour Users only)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

[Image: endcitymi6.jpg]

Now, the above photo is where the previous tutorial left off. Of course, a lot of stuff has changed since 2004, with the addition of BAT’s and Mod’s, from very creative people. Addtionally, there’s one thing that would definitely make your day, the NAM.

The NAM, or Network Addon Mod, is a special type of Plugin that adds more transportation options to your game. Ever wanted to have a road go over another road or rail line that you never wanted intersecting. The NAM can do that plus:

Add Turning lanes to some Avenue and Road intersections
Make the tolerance of commutes longer
Increase the capacity of your networks
Create Roundabouts (Traffic Circles)

And much more . . . (Wow, sounds like an advertisement.)

You can download it at for free.

This is the PC version. The Mac Version can be found here.

Remember to read the Read-Me for the NAM, or else things might not work properly (cough, bad installation, cough, cough)

Ok, Now that you have the NAM installed, lets begin building a city, NAM style.

I try to customize my city to conform to the land, so your results may drastically vary.


Finally, The Tutorial Begins . . .

[Image: thebeginningslx1.jpg]

This is the start of my city known as Longetta Lake. Currently, I just simply added a bowl shaped valley with a varied pot-hole filled with water, depending upon how you interpret it. In any case, here is the layout for my city. Sorry about the quality, it’s in jpeg format, but faster load times are worth it. Res stands for Residential, and Ind stands for Industrial. The Industrial areas are south, but will be in blocks of approximately 2 to 6 Ind Widths. (= six tiles across)

Everything reddish will be new bridges, initially roads, then upgrading to avenues and highways.

There was a depressed area in the southeastern area that was going tol be about Pegasus’s Stream Kit (requires free membership for to download), but I figured that’s off this topic.

I will start with my Industrial Area, because that’s where my dirty power plants will go and will keep pollution from impacting my residential and commercial areas, and it will help set up a good solid work area. Here I chose this location simply because it was the closest area I could get to my planned residential without sacrificing the lake beaches too much for ports and bridge approaches.

[Image: industrialbeforedl9.jpg]

Here, this will be my industrial area. I have to adjust the land here so that I can fit all the Industrial that I planned for this side, plus it’s a desirability booster to get flat land for industry.

[Image: industrialterraformedqg2.jpg]

Now, here is my detailed, yet primitive layout plan. Yellow is Industrial, red will by my corridors (highway, avenue, etc.), and the lightning bolt will be my first power plant.

[Image: finalindustrialmk5.jpg]

Finally, I have left out some space for future networks, such as heavy traffic corridors like avenues, highways, and perhaps a Rapid Transit Line (maybe elevated rail?).

[Image: residentialbeforelm0.jpg]

Ok, now it’s time for my residential zones. The thing you need to know is that depending upon where you want your poor and rich Sims, it pays off to plan ahead where you will put them. In my case, it doesn’t really matter, I’m going for the poor section first, then worry about it later (I got so much space to deal with).

Ok, remember to zone low density first. Quoting from the tutorial . . .

Quote: By zoning exclusively low-density early on, you are saving money when money is hardest to come by. - I'd rather pay $10 per tile now to zone and $50 later, than pay $50 now when I'm strapped for cash.

[Image: residentialafterpz1.jpg]

Here, the same thing happens in the Residential zones as the Industrial zones. I plan where I want them (those big arteries of asphalt (corridors)) to be. In this particular case, I chose this location for its proximity to my planned Industrial area. Also, I don’t need to adjust the land, so that‘s a plus (thank god, terraforming in mayor mode is expensive).

Don’t worry about commercial at first. You don’t need McDonalds coming to your town just yet . . .

It is better to build nothing but networks in your planned corridor areas. In my case, I have no choice, but I will use only Roads. If I could, I would use them away from my planned corridor. Why? So I don’t have to bulldoze anything, and in this game, bulldozing anything still costs money, but at least you can go into debt when you bulldoze instead of waiting for your funds to accumulate to bulldoze.

[Image: 1stbudgetdz2.jpg]

Right now, my income cannot cover all my expenses, but I don’t have to worry too much about loosing money at this point. Hopefully I won’t have to take out a loan, and will gain income after I build (or zone) more neighborhoods and work areas. The high amount of funds will act as a buffer for me, so you should not be worried about it at this point. It is likely that you may be in a different situation, so here are other cases:

Case 1: Income > Expenses and Funds are high

Normally, cities don’t make money off the bat. It takes many months to a year to get income if your simulation is running at turtle or rhino speed. I still have reserve funds left, so I will continue expanding my city in the necessary areas.

Case 2: Income > Expenses and Funds are low

I have relatively little funds left, so its time to try to expand conservatively. I have to wait a little while before I can begin building large neighborhoods like this again. If you need to, reduce funding for your power plants, but remember never to do it for transportation. I cannot stress this enough.

Case 3: Income < Expenses and Funds are low

I have to worry a lot about my income, and might need to take out a loan. At this point, I am going to need to use that money wisely. Hopefully I won’t need to worry about zoning for both residential and industrial, or building another power plant, or else I’ll be stuck here for a while. You might get offered business deals, which give you perhaps a needed boost of income, but at the price of pollution, crime, and an off chance for disaster. Choose which business deals you want., to me, it doesn’t really matter which one, but I would prefer the Army Base over perhaps the Toxic Waste Plant or Missile Base.

[Image: advtutorial1co9.jpg]

This is how you Take Out a Loan . . .

Here are some tips for loans:

-Use loans wisely. If you need to build more power plans, and have a lot of zones that are empty, go ahead and build them. Don’t forget to keep demand high, and on a tight leash,; zone conservatively, your on borrowed money and time.

-Don’t take out large loans. They’re expensive, and a lot of cash at one point isn’t necessarily good. You won’t be able to zone conservatively without going into major debt. I would advise loans between §10,000 and §50,000 Simoleons. Anything larger could mean gambling with the future.

-Remember to cut unnecessary expenditures. For example, you can sacrifice education and health to keep your city in the black. After all, loans aren’t free. You pay what you borrowed plus interest, and you cannot pay them back early. It takes 10 years for a loan to expire.

So, as you can plainly see, the financial game is pretty complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy.

Now that my city has grown, I need to plan where to sprawl out my zones. For industrial zones, look for relatively flat areas, that are near water or the border of your city. Industry needs a place to ship it’s goods out to, and quick.

For Residential zones, look for areas that might be of high land value, or near workplaces. Some Sims are more tolerant of pollution than others, but don’t have Residential and Industrial mixed with each other (unless it‘s High Tech industry we‘re talking about here).

Commercial zones are pretty rugged. You could have them mixed in with Residential, or use them as a buffer against dirty industrial areas. Commercial developments though would prefer to be near Residents, and any Commercial Office building, like those high class and high rise buildings.

Here are some pictures of my developing tutorial with some tips.

[Image: overviewshot1ot3.jpg]

[Image: overviewshot2fp9.jpg]

[Image: budgetphoto1zd1.jpg]

Remember to keep that budget in check. I finally got some income, but can I get it to stay that way?

[Image: budgetphoto2zu8.jpg]

Inside the picture, you will find your answer, grasshopper . . . Lol

[Image: expansionyt4.jpg]

The picture explains itself here.

Wait, do I smell smoke?

[Image: advtutorial2xa3.jpg]

OMG!! Someone get the fire brigade! Oh wait, there is no fire brigade, and, where's the fire?

[Image: firexv8.jpg]

Oh there it is. That stupid safety advisor was blocking my view . . . Mad

[Image: overview2wq4.jpg]

Here is another overview shot. I don't know if you can see the tiny things in the red circle I am pointing to, but they are the dreaded No Road Zots. They basically mean two things: No compatible transit for them to go from touching them, or they're not linked up to a job zone properly. In this case, it's just outdated information.

(The Next Picture is a PNG. Give it time to load. Saving it as a JPG ruined the congestion data as I found. Good tips for posting: Back up data)

[Image: congestionviewbackupat4.png]

I finally have some form of traffic congestion. It took a long time with that NAM Capacity Booster Mod.

[Image: advtutorial3ml9.jpg]

It's not just congestion you have to worry about; it's trip times. Trip times are a simple way of saying, "How can I get to B from A without spending half my work day just getting there?". Well, this applies not only to commuters, but industry as well. Why? Their goods have to go somewhere besides their workers. This is why the message pops up; no connections whatsoever, and it's not good planning as well.

[Image: budgetphoto3ni6.jpg]

Another look at the budget? Come on, we just looked at some stupid car data. . .

More coming up on the next post . . . (Man I edited this one too many times).

Please forgive me, I messed up the poll, so vote one that fit's you best.
There's a lot of things I don't know about the NAM, and generally transportation networks, so I'll be following this Smile
Good start!! Really imformative! Look forwards to follow this and get some tips!
What I read I really liked it. Thank you for your information!
Reference URL's