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RiverCocytus

Forensia

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  • Original Poster
  • Let me explain the purpose of this thread. This thread belongs in all three of these forums, but I cannot cross list it.

    1. City Journals

    2. Game Experiments

    3. City Building Concepts

    I need to define two terms

    fo·ren·sics lay('F0254400')" onmouseover="return m_over('Click to hear pronunciation')" onmouseout="m_out()">Pronunciation (fschwa.gif-rebreve.gifnprime.gifsibreve.gifks, -zibreve.gifks)n. (used with a sing. verb)

    1. The art or study of formal debate; argumentation.

    ho·lis·tic lay('H0240200')" onmouseover="return m_over('Click to hear pronunciation')" onmouseout="m_out()">Pronunciation (homacr.gif-libreve.gifsprime.giftibreve.gifk)adj.

    2.

        a. Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.
    That should explain implicitly my aim.

    I recently had a debate (more of a tiff) with some members of the help squad regarding the function of taxes in the game. I was informed that taxes effect desirability, or rather, what the city desires (as though it has an ego.)

    Now, as far as I am concerned, the game defines desirability as the culmination of YIMBY and NIMBY effects which show up in the query window as a number like : 10/15. In such a case, the game is saying three things:

    1. this building holds 15 occupants maximum.

    2. This building is currently holding 10 occupants. (population.) and

    3. The desirability for this type of building over the tiles that it is built is 10/15, or something like 66%.

    Number three is shown approximately in the Data Views -> Desirability menu in the game.

    However, it has come to my attention, or I have been informed that 'desirablity' is more than just those YIMBY/NIMBY factors shown by the game as desirability. What they are, I was not really told-- it remained vague. I was honestly given to the impression that I was supposed to trust the authority of the help squad regarding this even though they couldn't explain (or didn't feel like it) to me what the factors were.

    Well, Okay, cool. I went and I created a city designed especially to test various questions I have. Its an ongoing process, but I've tried to glean as much information about game mechanics from the city that I'm working on.

    I'm using NAM -> Perfect Pathfinding, 2x volume on networks with 10x commute max boost.

    I'm also using NDEX's advanced query tool.

    Additionally, I am using Hardun Coal Power and Sim Goober's Modern Waste disposal plants to reduce the amount of pollution I need to contend with.

    Residentially, the main feature you should be aware of is R$ Crumby Arms (original, not reloaded.) I also have the dutch country houses for R$$.

    Comercially I have a selection of various midrises, and all (or nearly all) of jmeyers CS variants; CS$ stores, CS$$ stores, CS$$$ stores.

    Industrial wise, I have those giant cement tanks, perkins furniture, robust robots, and a selection of other industrial buildings that don't make much of an appearance.

    Its also important to note that I am using both of SimGoober's Church packs. They are of tremendous use in relieving R$$ demand capacity.

    This will be a brief introduction to Forensia I, the first test city. My goal is to leave it unconnected for as long as I can (single city tile without neighbor connections) mostly to test the validity of the NDEX advanced query mod.

    Forensia I is a medium city tile on a default created region in SC4. Here will show the first transformation from afar that Forensia I takes, which was the experiment I ran last night:

    Ghetto

    forensic1.jpg

    Year: 75

    Residents: 11, 275 (all R$)

    Two Hospitals, One small fire station, One Hardun Coal, One Modern Waste To Power.

    Budget: $6005 - $1680

    Funds: $1,588,830

    Avg. Approval: 42

    -----

    NDEX report

    R: 11,279  (all R$)

    ------

    low 17,033 ( 4631) 22% Taxes 9%

    
    
    
    

    C: 2477 (all CS$) / 6,613 (this second number is reported as 'occupance' by the NDEX query tool, and acts as a function of population and not of commercial demand. -- at least not from the figures I have seen)

    I: 5,874 (all I-D) 41%  (3) (this is, occupance (industrial population) cap status %, and active demand. NDEX does not tell me what the total demand (fulfilled plus active, but I can assume that it is 5,877 in this case to some amount of accuracy.)

    Misc: Life Expectancy is at 95 and still climbing.

    Metro

    forensic2.jpg

    Population is 155,000 in this picture.

    Year is 174

    As for the other stats, you will have to wait for them. Suffice it to say, the city has been turned upside down.

    Only one connection to another map is made; this is a rail connection (made at around 120000 population) to enable I-HT to have decent freight times. Other than that, no transit connections of any kind are made.

    ----

    The rest of this work is ready, I'm just publishing it in pieces, partly to make it easier for me and also easier for all of you. Is this really a city journal? Sure as crap it is.

    If you have questions, ideas, opinions or anything regarding this, feel free to post. In fact, I would invite anyone else doing cities of this type (a forensic city, one might call it) to journal it in this thread.

    (shuffles notes) Okay, rollin' out.

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    In reference to your debate with the help squad:  taxes affect DEMAND, not desirebility.  It sounds like something just badly phrased.

    As for the thread, this belongs more in the Experiments forum than here....

    -ACE

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  • Original Poster
  • I think I thoroughly explained that above.

    This is a different kind of City Journal. City Journals do not have to be purely story based, they can be experimental.

    ACE: you are correct. This was my point, but I was receiving a lot of heat about it, for some reason... Sort of sparked me to start this thread. I really wish I could cross-list this thread since it will likely fall quite clearly in all three categories....

    I'm not looking for comments here (so much as to bring this thread to the top) but I'm looking to spark some discussion. Think of this like the Grecian forum; a class where all are teachers and students in some regard; and forensics is the medium in which they learn. Don't consider the things I say here to be canon, feel free to question them.

    Note: Taxes do effect demand, but in a kind of... peculiar way. Has anyone ever done experiments to try to quantify the effect?

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    A City Journal that focuses on the more complex elements of actual game play. This looks to be an informative read.

    Off-Subject, even though many think of forensics as Quincy or CSI it is interesting how that approach of analyses can be and is used in so many venues.

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  • Original Poster
  • (shuffles notes)

    Yo.

    So my introduction, probably thew you off? yes? Well, we're gonna start at the beginning. I mean, the way beginning. Anyone ever seen one of these?

    forensic7.jpg

    If you haven't. by the way, you might want to see a therapist...

    I think this is the best part of SimCity4, really-- where does the first city begin? Everyone loves to look at skyscrapers, and wants to know when they will get them, but I think its always the coolest just looking at a new medium tile (or large tile... even better!) the potential is unspeakable!

    Well, (I'm using the underground texture mod if you wonder why its got that crazy dirt color.) I want to start this city right. Some might hold to the idea that your first city should be planned, but I have the notion of 'plan no plan' - that is, the plan that consists of not really having a plan. That's a plan, right?

    A good question is, what does one start with, residents or jobs? Industrial, Agricultural, or Commercial? The idea that it is a city almost makes us want to start with residents. But I think thats messed up, and why, because the jobs should precede the residents (argue me on that if you wish) always.

    I always have a vision (though be it in a mirror, darkly...) for my city. This city is going to be, for lack of a better term, ghetto-licious. To wit, I'm going to tax the living heck out of everyone but the poor, and deny all services for as long as I can (or feel like doing.) You with me? Lets roll this mother.

    Taxes are

    R$ 9

    R$$ 20

    R$$$ 20

    All others untouched.

    I've always wondered what 20 percent taxes really means, honestly. I know that 19.9% means 19.9%, but 20% means something else. Its like, the speed of light in taxes; infinite demand inertia! (Er, what I mean is, all active demand of the type goes to -6000.)

    Aside, I'd imagine that 20% taxes is either massless, or has infinite mass.

    ---

    My guess here is, someone discovered a metal deposit, somewhere, probably in this city tile. Anyway, my next steps are to choose a power plant, and figure out where to situate it. This might involve laying some roads and zones (potentially pausing the game, maybe, too.) and figuring it out from there.

    But power plants are something in and of themselves, aren't they? A City's power plant says something about that city. Since real cities rarely have a power plant per every 4 square kilometers, we can think of them as power stations. They are awfully small; the coal one taking up no more than sixty-four meters to a side! Big for a house, small for a place where they burn, you know, coal. Ask mc4ash about that one.

    What do you ask yourself? I ask myself, "What kinda attitude this city got?" with literally, that same misuse of the english language. Starting with wind power is economical. Natural Gas is almost cowardly. Oil is bold and sassy. Coal is, I think,. visionary. Visionary. The dreams of man do not burn in oil, no; they are fueled by coal.

    Lets look at the figures for a moment.

    Wind power = 50/mo

    Coal power = 250/mo

    Extra cost for coal vs wind = 200/mo

    According to my debtalator you will lose 2400 extra a year for your choice of coal, meaning if you score 50 a month for just, you know, feeling happy, you will go into debt in just short of... 42 years. Six times nine is...?

    Aside, putting in coal sets your timer for 400 months, or 33 and a third years.

    Wind puts your timer at 2000 months, or 166 and two-thirds years.

    That's your maximum time. (I don't even entertain debt spending, honestly. Or taking out a loan.) In fact, since things usually come multiples of 50 simoleans, we can create a unit called the windbag. This is, how fast a wind power generator will suck up one-hundred-thousand simoleans. Short, its 'wb'.

    We consider, naturally, that we will be making more money if we do anything but just sit there and watch our power plant create glorious, juicy electricity.

    So here's an utterly strange way to look at it.

    Every 50 you spend tics off a month. so, 1/2000th of a windbag. but a coaltime is one 5th of a windbag! So, if you're using coal, you need to spend 250 simoleans to tic off a month. Sounds better! 2.gif

    Obviously, this is misleading, but it sort of establishes that the mindset of a more expensive power plant is less... miserly.

    Cyclically, I might have made a point about power plants and attitudes.

    For all intents and purposes,. funding a coal power plant at 50 a month is like buidling a big, polluting, deteriorating wind power plant. You cheapo.

    If we're thinking long-run here, we will want to expand our city to fit our power plant, instead of the other way around. This way, our power plant lasts longer, and we end up with a bigger, more profitable city.

    If you're planning to build a wind farm, let me get out the banjo. Or maybe the hooka pipe. Looks nice, but industrial could care less. And I'm going for industrial.

    Ok, so I build, in my utter and extreme boldness, the optimal power plant; Hardun Coal! (you can argue me that if you'd like.) I would love, I mean love to build a nuclear power, but its just not available to me. I guess I could cheat for it. 15k, 12k mwatts, with 350 a month cost.

    So... we're talking about one-seventh of a windbag. My time is set for um... an irrational number. But since months, thank God, are not fractional, I can round. 2000 divided by seven, is um, I'm gonna say, 286. Let the counter begin! By making some little 2x2 industrial zones with the ctrl-drag-release method, Here's what we have in a few months:

    forensic5.jpg

    Sweet. So our good old mayor, lets call him oh, I dunno, Chuck Norris, has established a friendly relationship with regional industrialists, who've bought those zones and put some processing plants there. No-one worth crud works there (even, yet..) so I guess they manage the place from afar. Hardun coal provides 100 R$ demand.

    I've checked the lil NDEX thing here, and found that I started with 100 demand for I-D. I wanted to know the accuracy of the NDEX query, (or of the simulator in general, even) so I counted up what I had.

    I'm being told I have 75 city/regionwide industrial jobs. If I count up my facilities, I get

    14 + 12 + 27 + 14 + 8 occupants, or 74 (not exactly 75.)

    18 + 15 + 34 + 18 + 10 = 95 fulfilled demand, and my active demand is 5. This adds up to 100. Cool!

    The industrial citywide total reflects what the game says for industrial occupants.

    Chemical tanks, surprisingly, have a rate of 8.5 jobs per tile. Not as good as a yard, but nothing to spit at...

    Lets let some locals take these jobs. I guess, people are coming in from sim nation right now. But there's no freight... no where to take it! No neighbor connections, remember?

    So in retrospect, these industries aren't doing anything yet. Where the folks at?

    forensic4.jpg

    The distance I put between is totally just, eyeballed. The streets are mine. NAM should ensure these boys are undisturbed in transit to work.

    I stop the game before the house is built to look at the NDEX query. It says

    268 (270)

    50 (-6000)

    24 (-6000)

    I'm approximating that the I-D are generating 68 demand for R$ with 100 coming from the coal plant (though it offers only 50 jobs!) and 100 that is just, like, the starting credits.

    This establishes, what I think, is the key source of NJZ's: overzoning R. (Coupled with limited I or C.) If i laid just the coal power, I could get 200 residents in the city, yeah? But with only 50 jobs. Dangerous! Considering, that... checking these boys, they create 2 commuters (for 6 people.) So there would be about an  8% unemployment rate.

    Another cool thing. As soon as they grow, The active demand disappears. But, no residents show up. Waiting a month, I find that there are 6 residents. But, looking at the NDEX query for I-D, I don't see any new demand. Egads! It, in fact, takes a whole 'nother month for the demand to appear. Interesting, mon ami, interesting.

    6 residents, create... 3 I-D demand. So it pops up to 8. If I add another zone, I get 12 residents (though counting the residents as displayed on the houses, for some reason i get 13...?!) and another 3 demand, carrying me to 11.

    forensic3.jpg

    One house has 6, the other 7.

    Each creates 2 commuters. Who is lying, the simulator, the default query, the NDEX query, or does it even matter? It looks like 1/3 of 'residents' be they R$, go to work. Or maybe all of those houses create 2 commuters. This is something I don't know. It also seems like each R$ person (resident, not occupant shown on the regular query) generates 1/2 a point of demand for I-D.

    This is good. So my jobalator tells me that

    100 demand for R$ = 33 jobs needed

    if each I-D generates, at most, 1 point of demand per actual occupant, and we assume best-case, 100% occupancy,

    we get

    100 residents and no I-D = 33 jobs needed, 150 I-D demand

    100 residents + 150 I-D = 150 R$  active demand.

    250 residents + 150 I-D = 75 I-D active demand... full employment! (that's cool.)

    If we expand the series, we taper off at

    250,225,75,0

    325,225,0,37

    (skip the intermediate step, cut out the demand...)

    362,262

    381,281

    390,290

    395,295

    ....

    we're approaching

    400,300.

    So, without commercial or civics, eventually we stagnate. In fact, without special things to attract people to the city or region, they eventually are just going to get old, and die. So If I had built wind power, being a cheapo, I would have lost 100 starting credits in the R$ slot.

    I think this is an important basic mechanic of the game. And of life. Chuck Norris knows better, though. He called Hardun up and had a coal plant delivered. Fact: Chuck Norris can ask for a Coal Power plant, and it gets delievered, overnight.

    Fact: Chuck Norris can will coal out of dirt to fuel his city, for 174 years.

    Er, Lets see where we're leaving off today, walking down the street to find a small, peaceful neighborhood...

    forensic6.jpg

    65 people! We're off to a good start. But the timer is STILL GOING. Charles, deal with that budget deficit, or the people are going to leave! Or make you run for senate.

    Fact: Chuck Norris does not need to lose 200,000 simoleans to run for senate

    Fact: Chuck Norris laid every brick on the streets of Forensia, with a lasso and a small Italian man.

    OK, Discuss!

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  • Original Poster
  • heheh. Well, perhaps I should point out that the idea here is to actually talk about the city instead of giving compliments. Not that I am unhappy- flattery will get you everywhere!

    Are you going to just let me go unchallenged here? Natural Gas is cowardly? Wind power is for cheap hippies? Come on, people...

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  • Original Poster
  • This journal is closed now, as I'm not getting any interesting comments. I might try opening it in the Game Experiments section with the same format to see if I get better discussion. Later folks!

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