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Sean's SimCity Page

I originally copied much of the following from the old SimCity manual many years ago.  While it was an unoriginal and plagiaristic to make a such website, it offers a very informative and interesting perspective on playing this classic game.  Now, if you want to play SimCity, there is no need to pay money.  The game can be found on the www.simcity.com website.  

Enter SimCity and take control. Be the undisputed ruler of a sophisticated real-time City Simulation. Become the master of existing such as San Francisco, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro, or create your dream city (or dream slum) from the ground up.
Whether you take over an existing city or build your own, you are the Mayor and the City Planner with complete authority.
Your city populated by Sims-Simulated Citizens. Like their human counterparts, they build houses, condos, churches, stores and factories. And, also like humans, they complain about things like taxes, mayors, taxes, city planners and taxes. If they get too unhappy, they move out; you collect fewer taxes, the city deteriorates.
The next few sections will explain the overall concept of SimCity and give information that will help you win Scenarios and design and build better cities.

About System Simulations
SimCity is the first of a new type of entertainment/education software, called system simulations. We provide you with a set of RULES and TOOLS that describe, create and control a system. In the case of SimCity the system is the city.
The challenge of playing a SYSTEM SIMULATION game is figure out how the system works and take control of it. As master of the system, you are free to use the TOOLS to create and control an unlimited number of systems (in this case, cities) within the framework and limit provided by the RULES.
In SimCity, the RULES to learn are based on city planning and management, including:

  • Human Factors - residential space and amenities, availability of jobs, and quality of life.
  • Economic Factors - land value, industrial and commercial space, unemployment, internal and external markets, electric power, taxation, and funding for city services.
  • Survival Factors - strategies for dealing with disasters, crime, and pollution; and
  • Political Factors - public opinion, zoning, and keeping residents and businesses satisfied with your city and performance.

The TOOLS provide you with the ability to plan, lay out, zone, build, bulldoze, re-zone, and manage a city.

  • Plan - Mapping systems give physical and demographic overviews of the entire city.
  • Layout - Design living and working areas, road and transit systems, and recreational areas.
  • Zone - Set zoning boundaries for parks, residential, commercial, and industrial area.
  • Build - Place roads, rails, airports, seaports, fire and police stations, sports stadiums, and power plants.
  • Bulldoze - Clear forests for city growth, build landfill along waterways, clear and re-zone developed areas.
  • Manage - Using the mapping and graphing systems, gather up-to-date information on traffic density, population trends, power grid status, pollution, crime, land value, police and fire department efficiency, and cash flow. Set the tax rate and funding levels for city services.

But the most important TOOL is the entire Simulator itself. Test your plans and ideas as you watch the city grow or shrink through the immigration and emigration of industrious Simulated Citizens. Sims will move in and build homes, hospitals, churches, stores and factories in the zones you provide or move out in search of better jobs or a better life elsewhere. The success of the city is based on the quality of the city you design and manage.

Simulator Reaction Time
The simulator is a very complex multi-tasking piece of software. It is constantly performing many checks, calculations, and updates, as well as keeping watch on the mouse and keyboard to respond to your demands. When you load in a city, give the simulator a few minutes to compile its data and update the maps, graphs, population levels, etc. Some of the other times when the simulator lags behind you are when powering zones and updating the city services map after installing police and fire stations.


The Goals of SimCity
There are many goals to be pursued and reached in SimCity.

Each of the eight included Scenarios is actually a game in itself, with unlimited ways to win or to lose.
Each Scenario is a city that is either the victim of a horrible planning or about to be a victim of a natural disaster. After you load in a Scenario, you will have a limited amount of time to correct or repair the problems. If you are successful, you will be given the key to the city. If not you may be ridden out of town.
If one strategy doesn't work, try another. There are a million stories in each city, and you write them.

Your Dream City
Perhaps you main goal in SimCity is for you to design, maintain and manage the city of your dreams.
Your ideal place to live may be a bustling metropolis, lots of people, lots of cars, tall buildings: high-energy, high-density living. Or it might be a small rural community, or a linked group of small communities providing slow-paced country living.
As long as your city can provide places for people to live, work, shop and play, it will attract residents. And as long as traffic, pollution, overcrowding, crime or taxes don't drive them away, your city will live.

I am done taking stuff out of the manual; you can start paying attention again.

SimCity Kicks @$$

Codes for the stand alone install version of SimCity
The only code I know is the fund code.

Type 'FUND'!

This code allows you at have money in $1000 dollar blocks. If you use this code 7-8 times in a row, you get an earthquake. After you use it a safe 5 times wait awhile to use it again. If there are any other codes could you please tell me and I will add them.

Where's you spirit of adventure?

The Edit Window Icons

Active icons are highlighted. Ghosted icons are unavailable due to lack of funds. When and icon is selected, a rectangle will accompany the pointer to indicate the size and area of land that will be affected.

1 The Bulldozer clears trees and forests, creates landfill along the water, levels developed, existing zones and clears rubble caused by disasters. The auto bulldoze option works on natural terrain, power lines, roads and rails, but not on zones. This is the easiest and cleanest tool for destroying. You should also use this to clear away rubble after you have your fun....
Note: Bulldozing the center of a zone will destroy the whole zone.
Bull dozing one section of land costs $1.

2 Roads connect developed areas. Intersections and turns are automatically created. Lay continuous roads by clicking and dragging your pointer. Be careful--if you accidentally lay a road in the wrong place you will have to pay for the bulldozing and rebuilding.
Roads may be placed over zoned areas. They may be placed over trees, shrubbery, and shoreline only after bulldozing or activating the auto bulldoze function from the options menu. Roads can cross over power lines and rails only at right angles.
Holding down the SHIFT key while laying roads will contain them to a straight line.
Laying roads across water creates a bridge. Bridges can only be built in a straight line--no curves, turns or intersections. Shorelines must be bulldozed prior to building a bridge, unless the Auto Bulldoze function is active.
Roadways are maintained by the transit budget, and wear out if there is a lack of funding. The amount of yearly funding requested by the transportation department is $1 for each section of road, $4 for each section of bridge.
Roads suck... Pardon my French... They pollute... So they stink, literally. It costs $10 to lay one section of road and $50 to lay one section of bridge.

4 Power Lines carry power from power plants to zoned land and between zones. All developed land needs power to function. Power in conducted through adjacent. Unpowered zones display the flashing power symbol. There is a delay between the time you connect power to a zone and when the flashing symbol disappears. The delay grows longer as the city grows larger.
Power Lines cannot cross zoned land. They can be built over trees, shrubbery, and shoreline only after bulldozing, or activating the Auto-Bulldoze function from the OPTIONS menu.
Junctions and corners are automatically created. Lay continuous power lines by clicking and dragging your pointer. Power lines across water must be horizontal or vertical - no turns, curves or intersections. FALSE! Due to some creative building, power lines can be curved under water. Power lines consume some power due to transmission inefficiencies.
Holding down the SHIFT key while laying power lines will constrain them to a straight line.
It costs $5 to lay one section of power line on land, $25 on water.

3 Transit Lines create a railway system for intra-city transit. Place tracks in traffic areas to help alleviate congestion.
Intersections and turns are automatically created. Lay continuous transit lines by clicking and dragging your pointer. Tracks laid under water will appear as dashed lines. These are underwater tunnels, and must be vertical or horizontal - no turns, curves or intersections.
Holding down the SHIFT key while laying mass transit lines will constrain them to a straight line.
Transit lines are maintained by the transit budget. The level of funding affects the efficiency of the system. The amount of yearly funding requested by the transportation department is $4 for each section of rail, and $10 for each section of tunnel.
Rail lines can be used instead of roads entirely... this can be expensive, but beneficial in the long run. It costs $20 per section of track laid on land, $100 per section under water.

5 Parks - can be placed on clear land. Parks, like forests and water, raise the land value of the surrounding zones. Parks can be bulldozed as fire brakes or reserve space for later mass transit expansion.
Holding down the SHIFT while building parks will constrain them to a straight line. It costs $10 to zone one park.

6 Residential Zones - are where sims live, build houses, apartments, and community facilities such as schools, hospitals and churches.
Most residential zones develop into one of four values: slums, lower middle class, upper middle class, and upper class. They can range in population density from single from single-family homes to high-rise apartments and condominiums. Some residential zones will automatically develop into churches and hospitals.
Factors influencing residential value and growth are pollution, traffic density, population density, surrounding terrain, roadway access, parks and utilities.
To save room when residential zones are first being build, use the bulldozer to blow away some off the houses making the land they occupied usable. This is useful when there is a small area of land and a zone would only be able to fit if you used this method.
It costs $100 to zone one plot of land as residential.

7 Commercial Zones - are used for many things, including retail stores, office buildings, parking garages, and gas stations.
There are four values for commercial property, and five levels of growth, from the small general store to tall skyscrapers. Factors influencing the value and growth of commercial areas include internal markets, pollution, traffic density, airports, crime rates, transit access and utilities.
It costs $100 to zone one plot of land as commercial.

8 Industrial Zones - are for heavy manufacturing and industrial services. There are four levels of industrial growth, from small pumping stations and warehouses to large factories.
Factors influencing growth are external markets, seaports, transit access, residential access, labor supply and utilities.
It costs $100 to zone one plot of land as Industrial.

9 Police Stations - lower the crime rate in the surrounding area. This in turn raises property values. Place these in high-density crime area, as defined by your crime rate map. The efficiency of a station depends on a level of police department funding.
It costs $500 to build a Police Department. Full yearly maintenance of each police station is $100.

10 Fire Departments - make surrounding areas less susceptible to fires. When fires do occur, they are put out sooner and do less damage when a station is near. The effectiveness of fire containment depends on the level of fire department funding.
If the disasters are turned off, Fire Departments are not needed... you only have to put up with the constant whining of your citizens.
It costs $500 to build a fire Department. Full yearly maintenance of each fire station is $100.

11 Stadiums - encourage residential growth, once a city has become fairly large. You may build a stadium in a smaller city without a negative (or positive) effect. Stadiums indirectly generate a lot of revenue, but create a lot of traffic. Properly maintaining a stadium requires a good road and rail network.
It costs $3000 to build a Stadium.

12 Power Plants - can be both coal or nuclear, chosen from a sub-menu provided when you activate the Power Plant icon. The nuclear plant is more powerful but carries the risk of a nuclear meltdown. The coal plant is less expensive, but less powerful and it pollutes.
When the meltdown occurs (Hopefully it doesn't) bulldoze all the land around in it so the fires don't spread. You will not be able to build anything in the radioactive wasteland you've created because and the value is so low. Try building power plants in the area if you can. Eventually it will go away and you can rebuild (I have never been around long enough to see this happen because I always restart a saved game if this happens).
All zoned land needs power to grow and develop. When developed land loses power, it will degenerate to barren ground unless power is restored. Connecting too many zones to a power plant causes brownouts.
Coal power plants cost $3000 to build, and supply enough energy for about 50 zones. Nuclear power plants cost $5000 and supply electricity for about 150 zones.

13 Seaports - increase the potential for industrial growth. They have little effect on a small city, but contribute a lot to industrialization in a large city.
Seaports should be placed on a shoreline (MAXIS people are saying this). The shoreline must be bulldozed prior to zoning a seaport, unless the Auto-Bulldoze is active. Once the port is in operation, you should see a ship in the water.
What is not told to you is that you DO NOT have to place a seaport on a shoreline. Even if you are trying to play on a map with no water, the seaport will help your industrial areas.
It costs $5000 to zone a seaport.

14 Airports - increase the growth potential of your commercial markets. Once a city starts getting large, commercial growth will level off without an airport. Airports are large and expensive and should not be built unless your city can afford one. Position airports to keep flight paths over water whenever possible, lessening the impact of air disasters.
A technique for saving the 10 by 10 space of an airport is the removal of some of the airport. When the airplane is crashes into the airport, the airport catches on fire. To crash the plane in the airport, watch when the plane takes off or lands and hit the plane disaster option and it should crash and start fires. If the fire gets to the middle the airport is gone, but if the fire goes out before this, you should be able to build in the area where the fire was.
Once you build an airport you will see planes flying above your city to and from the airport. There is also a traffic helicopter that alerts you to heavy traffic areas.
It costs $10,000 to zone land for use as an airport.

Are your eyes tried?

Tips and Hints

  • Grow slow. Watch your money.
  • All zones must be powered to develop.
  • Zones must develop to produce tax money.
  • Roads or rails must provide access to and from each zone for it to fully develop.
  • There is a yearly maintenance cost for each additional section of road, rail, bridge and tunnel. This can add up. Don't build too many roads and rails that generate high maintenance costs before your city can generate enough tax revenues to support them.
  • Extra power plants and redundant power lines are expensive, but keep zones from losing power during a disaster or emergency and deteriorating.
  • Rails can carry much more traffic than roads. While building and zoning an area that you predict will generate heavy traffic, install rails instead of roads in the early stages of development.
  • If you get a lot of heavy traffic warnings, replace roads with rails. You can even create a city without road all together.
  • Grouping zones together, four or five in a row touching each other, can eliminate a lot of power line segments.
  • Airport, seaport and stadiums won't help a small city grow - so save your money until the city gets larger. The sims will tell you when they need these things.
  • Place zones, roads, etc. carefully - they cannot be moved, and you will have to pay to bulldoze them and rebuild.
  • As a rule of thumb, the number of residential zones should approximently be equal to the sum of commercial and industrial zones. When your city is small, you will need more industrial zones than commercial, and when your city gets larger, you will need more commercial zones than industrial.
  • Separate residential areas from industrial areas.
  • Proximity to forests, parks, and water increases land value, which increases taxes collected. Don't bulldoze any more forest than you must. Natural shoreline increases land value more than landfill shoreline.
  • Keep in mind that proximity to downtown increases land value. The simuator defines the downtown area as "the center of mass of popularity density." It calculates the average geographical center of the population.
  • A bigger, more populated city is not necessarily better. Having a self-supporting, profitable city with pleasant surroundings is better than a huge city that is always broke and has no forest or shoreline.
  • Use the various maps and graphs to plan city growth, locate problems, and track your progress. Look for areas that need police and fire coverage as you go, so you don't have to go back and bulldoze developed areas to make room for police and fire stations.
  • Save your city to disk before trying any new policy so you can go back if you plan doesn't work.
  • Print out your city in different stages of evolution to track and plan growth.
  • Check the EVALUATION WINDOW often. The sims will let you know how you are doing. Also the statistics can be useful; if your population is shrinking, don't go zoning new areas that may never develop, look for problems in the existing zoned areas, and spend your time and money solving them.
  • Save you city to disk often!
  • NOTE: There is only one animated train car at one time in SimCity. It will not necessarily cover every section of track. This does not mean that the tracks are not working. Don't worry, everything is okay.