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snorky

Zoning Distribution

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  • I've been building cities in Simcity 4 for awhile now. One thing I can't ever seem to get quite right is the commercial zoning. The residential zones always seem to build upwards before commercial zones do. I always end up with (what I think) is the perfect transportation network only to 35k population down the road have the RCI messed up. Idealy I'd like to have continuing demand for all three, however, I end up with negative overall demand for R and I and max demand for C. I like to developm my cities with realism and have a downtown area surrounded by residential areas (both high density and suburbs), and a port industrial area. I haven't delt with regional development yet as I obviously haven't mastered the zoning distribution on one map. My question is does anyone have a magical number? :D Like so much %R so much %C and so much %I? Thanks for your time Simtropolis community!
     
    Snorky

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    Personally, my zoning balance is usually a product of demand. I don't zone vast swaths of land, but instead do it moderately. Then I follow the demands, if I have +R, then I zone R, if +C, then I zone C. Of course it's not really that simple but that's the basic idea. I don't believe there's any magical ratio for R/C/I zones. In extreme cases, you can actually make entire cities filled with only one type of zoning, and have your sims commute between them.

    Generally, R zones are the most numerous, since only half of your population or so are working. Thus if you have work zones (C+I) that can employ a max of 10,000 people, your R zones should be capable of holding at least 20k, since the breadwinners also have children and grandparents. My C zones are usually the fewest since commercial structures can hold a great number of jobs. Your I zone distribution is just a matter of how much industry you want in your city. Personally, I don't like industry very much, since even IHT holds only a few jobs for the space it occupies. Once my commerce starts kicking in, I tend to demolish my IHT bit by bit.

    These are just generalities, and best applied to a single city. Region play complicates things. For example if you wanted a city with a very large commercial district, you should surround it with neighbors that have a scarcity of commercial zones. The unmet demand in them will be transferred to your commercial city.

    With regard to commercial zoning, do it in moderation because even small buildings can employ lots of people. For example, I remember building a city with way too much C zones because C demand was high. What happened was that I got a mass of small C buildings because all the demand was spread out among these. The better way to go is to zone fewer. If the demand is there, the simulator will be forced to grow the prettier high-capacity buildings.

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    Howdy Peorth. I do the total opposite: when my sims demand something, I hold it back from them, as long as possible(torturing them is fun to). Instead, I find optional ways, to fool them into positive growth. I have a high demand for $ comm; no worries, I give them $$$ comm instead. They want farms, I give them IHT and it all grows! Fast too!
     
     My main stratagy is to NOT install any modds as this corrupts the formula instilled by the game developers. No, you cannot find that formula in the code, because the code itself contructs a Logistic formula, by how it is arranged to work together.
     
    I can make my simizens do and work anywhere I wish this way.
    The secret is, to supply the one thing that makes your simizens accept all the awful things you will do to them. That one thing is, logistic mathmatics. Alieve traffic and all else falls away!
     
    Grid it baby!!

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    Ooh, a different approach frndofyaweh 18.gif. Interesting, maybe you could elaborate more on the concept.

    In truth, I use a more tyrannical approach for any virgin city (i.e. no neighbors), since that's the hardest one to build. But for my other cities, well, I guess I tend to pamper my sims maybe a bit too much. Well pampering isn't all that bad, I do mostly because my finances are always on the black (no money cheats here, I generate all my cash naturally).

    Regarding mods, anything that affects the gameplay significantly is a no-no. The NAM is perfectly okay for me but things like the Radical Demand ordinance or the like are plainly cheats. 20.gif

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    I'll have to agree with you there, Peorth. I do use money cheats in my regions, although my grids would still work with a slower growth rate and with normal funding. Had to speed up the experiment some how.

    Before I found the money cheats, I would set up a profit grid and then sit there and watch it for about 100 years. In order to test all those elaborate grids and find a solution; massive funds were necessary. I did find it challenging to build a small grid and see how much monthly profits I could make. I had one small city at 6000 simoleans in the black, but I had gotten the city a bit too big that time, passed the 50k mark.
     
    Concerning other cheats? well that would plain take the fun out of it!
     
    NAM is wonderful and obviously an improvement to a great game. The only problem is when you build all avenues in larger cities such as I did; then you end up with so many left turn lanes that the game barely runs. I found that cutting the amount of LTL's in half helped tremendously.

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    Poerth: well, you may have to ask one of the NAM developers that. I could only find one solution: remove the NAM. I still have it, but depending on which region I wish to load; I must put NAM file in and take it out of my plug-ins folder, when needed. Nothing else about the NAM though, seemed to be the problem. Just those very active LTL's.

    Just too much traffic activity with all those turning lanes going at once. My main slowdown was in the construction phase. I could click and drag out a stretch of avenue, 60 tiles long and then release and wait,....and wait,.....sometimes several minutes, just waiting for the avenue to start building and give me my mouse control back.
     
    once in place; NAM also causes a very large start and stop game frame deal. scrolling and zooming would also cause more frequent CTD's.
     
    Remove NAM completely and the crashes never happen to me.

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    Hey there Snorky! You certainly paint an interesting picture... I often have precisely the opposite problem, where nosim wants a dang thing to do with my commercial districts! But unlike its Earthly counterpart, Sim life at least affords some explanations for its irrationalities (which has had a terrible chilling effect on the Sim philosophy trade, but I digress. 4.gif)

    Your ratio question is right on target, but there are also some factors which can affect demand even though they have nothing directly to do with zoning. (Just FYI, these are things I remember from the structure of the SimCity 3000 game model, but I believe they're fundamental enough to the simulator that SimCity 4 will have kept them. If anyone can confirm or deny this, please let us know!)

    I'm thinking mostly of Demand Caps, a/k/a SimBoredom. Sims are notoriously difficult to keep entertained, and certain buildings (mostly Park and Reward structures) can satisfy this need for a particular number of Sims before more bread and circuses become necessary. (In other words, a softball field might satisfy the recreation needs of, say, 2,000 Sims.) Total these caps together for each structure in your city that has a cap, and you'll have a rough idea of the maximum number of Sims willing to move into your city. (These capacities aren't exactly the same thing as you see in the locally funded schools and hospitals, but the general idea is similar.)

    While I'm not certain how many parks and rewards you have in your city, it's possible that you have more Sims than your current recreation infrastructure can satisfy. This would directly explain your city's lack of Residential demand, and may also be the source of your Industrial woes. If this game's large-scale economic model is anything like that in previous incarnations of SimCity, residential demand is closely yoked to industrial demand at early stages of the game. This is because the simulator assumes the economy is primarily industrial rather than commercial (think Chicago in 1890 vs. now!), and hence that your Sims are looking for industrial jobs. And needless to say... industry won't be interested in a city that lacks Sims! (As for why commerce still seems interested, 1) it doesn't have the same intense dependency with residential, and 2) the presence of two extreme values in a three-variable system often does completely irrational things to the third variable no matter what.)

    Hope our posts have helped... let us know! 1.gif

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    more likely your running into the stage limit glitch...the original game had the residental and comercial value for Residential stages different from the Comercial both how you reach them and the % chance of each appearing...so you could reach the higher Residential stages way before the Comercial (CO) stages, this caused a lot of issues including abandoment and comute times issues traffic noize etc etc... your city would be getting a lot of higher stage Residential buildings, eg project Bootstrap or Ong Condos while there were no large comercial building appearing which are need to to sustain them

     
    if your looking for a non-cheat solution to this problem try Toroca's stage mod it does work properly, I've used it in the past...personelly i myself just work around the problem by building more cities in a region, playing them longer and wait til the comercial stages catch up with the Residential stages...I tend to build a lot of cities in my region...I sort go nuts in that direction and some players either like to keep their regions small cuz thats the way they like to play or because of spec reasons
     
    ^^ stage mod link
     
     ps guys....plaease stick to the original question at hand...stay on target...please don't hijack someone elses thread

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    Peorth and frndofyaweh, you are aware that the avenue turn lanes are an optional component of NAM and can be removed while retaining the rest, right?

    Anyway, it's interesting that you two both find success with two very different strategies. Interesting in that it tells me that there is no one right (or possibly even best) way to play the game, though perhaps we can agree that there are strategies that fail.

    As for mods, besides the NAM, I use Toroca's industry quadrupler, and I'm recently experimenting with Bones1's less abandonment mod. (For those unfamiliar, the industry quadrupler quadruples the number of jobs provided by ID, IM, and IHT, and also doubles their tax base, because taxes are apparently not figured per-job. It does not mess with demand directly, but industrial zones become 4x more effective at filling demand.) I haven't found that the quadrupler has any game-breaking effects, and the less abandonment mod really hasn't come into play in my latest region yet (currently working on a farm town).

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    Date: 2/23/2006 1:10:36 PM Author: Keiran Halcyon Peorth and frndofyaweh, you are aware that the avenue turn lanes are an optional component of NAM and can be removed while retaining the rest, right?
    Hehee, nope. I new you could switch between left hand/right hand, but wasn't sure about taking it out completely. You may notice I make an awful lot of posts, but almost never ask for help or question things. *Silly me* Thank you for the insight, Keiran.
     
    Snorky: sorry, we got a bit excited with our observations. Tolomar has the correct solution.

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    I've been building cities in Simcity 4 for awhile now. One thing I can't ever seem to get quite right is the commercial zoning. The residential zones always seem to build upwards before commercial zones do.quote>

    Simplest solution: Don't zone medium or high density residential unless you really want the high-rise residential look.

    The way the game plays out, residential high-rises will just appear well before commercial high-rises of similar size. That's just how the stage-limits and demand-generation interact within the game. If you don't like the look of early residential high-rises, just zone miles and miles of low-density residential.

    Alternate solution: Take advantage of the fact that a single building will not build across the border of different-density zoning. If you zone residential like this:

    HMHMHMHMHMHM

    HMHMHMHMHMHM

    MHMHMHMHMHMH

    MHMHMHMHMHMH

    You'll end up with a nice-looking block of 1x2 rowhouses...and a much more realistic appearance than 30-story condo buildings next to a Walmart.

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