Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bare Bones Version 1

SimCity 2000: Bare Bones Version 1

You can watch the time-lapse of the build on YouTube.

In this previous post I described a "bare bones" city that I was planning to build. I call it bare-bones because it has the least amount of things you need to build a city which is ...

  • Transportation
  • Zones
  • Power
You need nothing else. No parks, no police, no fire stations, no hospitals, no schools, no water pumps, no power lines, no libraries, no museums, no airports, no seaports, no connections to neighbors, military, etc.

You can actually make a profitable city this way which can be taxed any amount from 0% to 20% and still make money from finance ordinances alone. Finance ordinances are the type that earn you money. The others require you spend money.

I started in the terrain editor with 100% mountains, 0% water and trees. I lowered the water table to the lowest you can have it and still have water. I started on Easy ($20,000) in the year 2050. My new city would only use wind power with no power lines.

I saved the city under a different filename every time I reached a new mile-stone then took a screen capture of it.

Here is the raw terrain I started with. It has no edits from me yet.

I created a small city and let it age over night on speed African Swallow and made about $30,000 which is plenty. You can see that it fully "mossed" over with trees.

Next I carved out a new lower city and added every form of transportation. The streets were all twisty. It had every bridge type.

I destroyed my first city and plowed a new plateau.

I added an upper level plateau and created a city of just street, zones and wind power.

On the upper level I created 3 small cities. The left one is subway only, the middle city is rail only and the right city is highway with some streets.

I grew bored with the direction this was going so I plowed it all flat.

I randomly drew wind power over the surface. Then I zoned the whole thing as low density residential then cross-crossed it with single tile strips of low density industrial and commercial. Then I strategically placed single tile sections of road and watched cities sprout around it. It spread like a virus.

Below is the final city for version 1.

One crazy thing about this city is that it cannot make up its mind as to which industry is in demand. Each month it changes. Watching that it full speed is crazy. It's also the first city I've ever seen to cause SimCity 2000 to freeze every few seconds when aging at full speed. When the power level drops to 0, most of the sims move out, but then the power rebounds and so does the population.

Here are some final stats about this city.

Year: 1,516,123
City size: 30k
Residential: 17k
Industrial: 6k
Commercial: 6k
Traffic: 50
Pollution: 1
Value: 174
Crime: 22
Power: 13
Water: 0
Health: 58
Education: 81
Unemployment: 12

Here are some stat snapshots

I'm planning a version 2 with the things I've learned. I gave up on this version for two reasons. 1. There's a bug in SimCity 2000 when you raise and lower terrain too much. It gets confused and it becomes really hard to impossible to access certain tiles. This made this city very annoying to work with.

Version 2 will have minimal terrain lowering or raising to reduce that bug. It will also have more structure. I'm also planning to have single tiles of each of the 6 zone types: High & Low RCI. In other words, there will never be two tiles touching of the same zone type. When I mean "touching", I mean left/right/up/down. The corners can still touch. The goal is to limit the sims to building single tile buildings. I will also have single tile roads. There will be no two tiles touching that are road tiles. Road will be the only form of transportation I use. Version 2 will be flat and only wind power.

I need to figure out whether the city should be the lowest or highest possible altitude. I remember reading that wind power works better in higher altitudes. I'll need to run some experiments to confirm this. Either that or I'll just make it the lowest level for the challenge.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

SimCity 2000

I'm planning to create a new city in SimCity 2000 but this city will be different than most cities. It will be the un-city ... the anti-city.

The city will have NONE of the optional stuff.

  • schools, colleges, libraries, museums
  • police, fire stations, hospitals, prisons
  • parks, zoos, stadiums, marinas
  • water pumps, towers, treatments, desalination
  • acros, mayor house, llama dome, city hall
I will fund 0% of Police, Fire, Health and Welfare and Education. Transportation will get 100% funding. Taxes will be maxed at 20%.

For city ordinances I will will only select the Finance ordinances.

  • 1% Sales Tax
  • 1% Income Tax
  • Legalize Gambling
  • Parking Fines

There will be no ordinances for Education, Safety & Health, Promotional or Other.

It will also have no power lines. It will be powered by strategically placed wind power and nothing else.

It will be a bare-bones city with just the following

  • wind power
  • zones
  • transportation

It will have both dense and light zones for residential, commercial and industrial. It will have every possible form of transportation. It will use every possible bridge type.

It will not have ...

  • airport
  • seaport
  • connections to neighbors
  • military base

I will start with a terrain of 100% mountains, 0% water and 0% trees. I will lower the water table down as far down as it goes (no ocean possible) then up one. It will start with no river and no coast.

I will start on Easy ($20,000) in the year 2050.

The forms of transportation it will use are streets, highways, street tunnels, subway tunnels, rail tunnels, bridges, rail and buses. Roads, subway tunnels and rail will be as twisted as possible. No straight lines. No patterns. It will also feature every bridge type.

I will build no water pipes, water pumps, water towers, water treatment or water desalination plants. It's going to be a dry city. The sims will just have to go thirsty. I will not add any water or trees.

I'm going to attempt this city with no cheats. I'm also going to screen-capture the city as I build it to create a time-laps video to upload to YouTube.

I haven't named the city yet but I'm sure it will name itself. As I build it, a name will emerge.

To get inspiration, I've been studying every city I can find which is over 1000 cities. The idea for this city came when I saw the city Newark.

It is one of the ugliest cities I've ever seen with high crime, pollution and half the buildings abandoned. It's a total slum and I love it (download).

Most people try for happy, shiny cities like this one (download).

Newark is the anti-city and it's very much reminiscent of the real Newark, NJ. I'm not trying to base my city on a real city. I just hit upon the idea of creating a profitable city that is high in crime, pollution, unemployment and low in value, education and health. A city with none of the usual elements people put in their city. Maybe I should call it "bare bones".

When I'm done, I'll post the city here along with a link to the YouTube time-laps build video.

I'm building the city using SimCity 2000 for Windows 95. I'm using Windows Vista on a fast Dual Pentium PC.