I'd like to discuss the subtleties of creating and responding to the various types of demand.
I played the original when it first came out, and several others, but SC2000 was the last one I played. Now I'm coming back to the franchise and select SC4 as opposed to the Cities XL franchise. So far I love it, but I feel like a Bronze-level player (sorry for the terminology, just came from the world of Starcraft 2 *shudders*). I love the complexity of SC4 but feel the need to reach out to the community for clarification on a few things. Some of my topic points are going to be very, very basic. I like to post in outlines because it's easier to skim so responders can pick and choose specific points easier.
Commercial Services vs. Commercial OfficesDo I understand correctly that commercial service is like a retail store, pizza shop, graphic design company, and various other companies that would basically work to serve the community, but not necessarily be a big job creator?Conversely, commercial offices would likely staff many more people and be a job creator for the community?Finally, what stimulates demand for these various commercial applications?Residential Zoning - Light, Medium, and Dense. It makes sense to me that wealthy offices require a wealthy residential base to both create jobs for and serve, so does it stand to reason that lower income residents create demand for low level commercial service? Or does having an industrial workforce stimulate demand for commercial service?Does the density have any impact on the income level that will potentially develop there, or is it strictly the type of buildings that will grow?When I look at the RCI meter, and focus on ® for instance, do the three bars correspond to the densities I should be zoning, or is it strictly telling me what type of income level my city is attracting? For instance: If I see the wealthy (R-$$$) bar showing demand does that mean I can zone any density level of residential, but should make sure I do it in a way that is desirable for wealthy residents (i.e. water it, parks, education, health-care, etc?)[*]Taxes to create demand, or make money, or both?I understand taxes = revenue for the city, but they also have an impact on demand. Low taxes = higher demand. How much do taxes in one city affect demand in the next?[*]The RCI MeterHow can you have negative demand? I guess I just don't get it. Why isn't it just zero if there is no demand?It appears like you have have less than zero demand. What does that mean? Does that mean my city no longer wants that at all, like it should be bulldozed, or is it just SC4's way of saying "there is really no demand for this type of thing here"?[*]Neighboring CitiesI understand that using neighboring cities for supply and demand is a major economic concept in SC4 but I'm having trouble figuring out how to use it.I find it rather simple to build agriculture, or low-wealth industries, and low-wealth residential. I can even have an industrial city and a neighboring low-wealth city that both prosper, but I can never seem to create demand for manufacturing, or high-tech industry, or any of the higher wealth commercial services or offices. Is it because I start of with industry and that attracts low wealth?Sometimes I can create wealthy residential areas but then they have no jobs or complain the commute is too long.I essentially just want some basics on how to cross-stimulate demand between neighboring cities and how to get out of the dirt-hole that is low-income SC4.
Thanks to everyone who contributes! I hope this spurs a discussion that is not only educational for me, but that could potentially help other players like myself and provide some satisfaction for those who are in a position to educate.