- simcity manual
Enter SimCity and take control. Become the undisputed ruler of a
sophisticated real-time City Simulation.
Take control of San Francisco 1906, just before the great quake or
Tokyo 1957, just before a monster attack.
Show your pioneering spirit. Start with virgin territory and create
a living, growing city.
The quality of life in your city depends on you. Zone land, balance budgets,
install utilities, manipulate economic markets, control crime, traffic and
pollution, and overcome natural disasters.
Your city is 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. They Iet you know
if they need more housing, better transportation, an airport or a sports
stadium. If they get too unhappy, they move out; you collect excess taxes,
the city deteriorates.
A WALK THROUGH YOUR CITY
This entire document assumes that you have a mouse. If you do not have a
mouse, use the cursor keys in a similar manner and the space and enter keys
as mouse buttons.
Boot your computer and load the superlative UGC crack of SimCity. Do this
by typing "SIMCITY" at the DOS prompt after you've unzipped SIM-UGC1.ZIP and
SIM-UGC2.ZIP. After a few seconds, a screen with the options to start
a new city, load a city, or select a scenario appears. Click START NEW CITY.
A map of undeveloped land will be generated and displayed. You will be
given a choice: GENERATE A NEW TERRAIN or USE THIS MAP. Click USE THIS MAP.
You are now given a choice of GAME PLAY LEVEL. Click EASY, then click OK.
You will now be asked to name your city. Go ahead and name it, or accept
the default name SOMEWHERE. Click the OK box.
You are now in the MAPS WINDOW, looking down on an overall view of your
entire terrain, approximately 10 miles by 10 miles in area. The icons
along the left side of the MAPS WINDOW can be used to display different
demographic views of your city. We'll play with them later.
The small flashing box located somewhere on the map indicates the portion
of your terrain that will be visible in your EDIT WINDOW, your main work
area. Click and drag the box around the map, choosing the area you wish
to work on, then double-click in the box to go the EDIT WINDOW.
NOTE: The BUDGET WlNDOW will pop up once a year in city time. When it does,
just click the GO WITH THESE FIGURES box at the bottom.
You are now in the EDIT WINDOW, looking at a close-up view of the area
box in the MAPS WINDOW. Note the icons on the left. They work just like
icons in various draw and paint programs on the market.
You can use the scroll boxes along the right side and bottom of the window
to the window quickly around the terrain. To scroll over the terrain, use
the arrows on each end of the scroll bars or the joystick box in the upper
right-hand corner EDIT WINDOW. If you have cursor keys, they can be used
The EDlT WlNDOW may be resized by clicking and dragging the bottom right
corner or by using the zoom box to the left of the joystick box.
The EDIT WINDOW may be moved around on the screen by clicking and dragging
the title bar across the top of the window.
Your available land is made of three types of territory. The light areas
are clear the grey areas are forests and shrubs, and the dark areas are
water. You can build on clear land. You can clear forest and extend
coastlines with your bulldozer can run roads, rails and power lines
To clear the terrain, click the bulldozer icon in the upper-left corner
of the EDIT WINDOW. The "pointer" is a small square, outlining the area
will be bulldozed every time you click the mouse. Move your bulldozer
pointer over some forest land and click. The forest section under your
pointer is now clear land. Now, hold the button down and move slowly
across the forest. Clear a large a land to prepare for building.
Click the house icon, then mouse back to your terrain. Your pointer is
now a large square outline. This outline indicates how much clear space
you will need to create a residential zone. Clicking the mouse button
in clear terrain "zones" the land. The "R" in the center of the zone
indicates that it is a residential zone. The flashing lightening symbol
indicates that the zone has no power. Place a few more residential zones
adjacent to the first one.
Now decide where to position a power plant in your city. Point to the
power plant icon and hold down the mouse button. A small menu will
appear, giving you the option of choosing a coal or nuclear plant.
For now, choose the coal power plant. Then place it in some open space
near your residential zones. If your power plant is not directly
adjacent to a zone, you will have to run a power line from your power
plant to the residential zone. To do this, click the power line icon.
Using your mouse pointer and button, lay power lines from your power
plant to your residential zones. Adjacent power line sections will
automatically connect themselves to one another. Roadways and transit
lines conncct in the same manner. In a moment, the flashing symbols will
disappear, indicating that your zones have been powered. Any zones that
are adjacent to a powered zone do not need separate power lines run to
them. Soon you will see small houses start to appear. The Sims have
started to move in.
When you zone land, you designate where building is allowed. It is the
Sims who actually build.
Now that you have a few residential zones, you're ready for commercial
and industrial areas. Select the commercial icon and place a few commer-
cial zones near your residential ones. Then select the industrial icon
and map out some industrial zones. Connect all necessary power lines.
Note that when you select different icons, the icon description and its
associatcd cost will be displayed in the lower Ieft-hand corner of the
EDIT WINDOW. Thc message bar across the top of the EDIT WINDOW displays
your total funds available. If you do not have enough money in your
treasury to pay for a certain function, that icon will be "ghosted" on
your screen and is unavailable for use.
Now click the road icon and add roads from your residential housing to the
commercial and industrial areas to allow the Sims to commute to work.
Once you have roads, traffic will be generated.
Now select the BUDGET WlNDOW from the WlNDOW SMENU. This is where you
set the level of funding for your fire police and transportation depart-
ments. Click the up or down arrows to change the funding level. You can
also adjust the current property tax rate. If you have no police or fire
departments they don't need funds. Click the GO WITH THESE FIGURES box
when you are done.
Now select MAPS from the WINDOWS MENU. By clicking on the icons along the
left you can see different demographic views of your city. You will need
this information to build and adjust conditions in your city. For example
you can pinpoint the areas with the highest crime to determine locations
for new police stations.
Additional information can be gained through the GRAPHS selection from
the WlNDOWS MENU. Unlike the maps which only show the current state of
your city, the graphs give you a record of the past so you can gauge
trends and cycles.
This is all the basic information you need to run SimCity but we suggest
reading on. The User Reference explains in detail how to use each program
function. Inside SimCity explains the inner workings of the simulator and
gives some hints and tips for using it. There is also an essay on The
History of Cities and City Planning and a Bibliography for serious City
SimCity Menus follow the standard pull-down mouse menu interface.
LOAD SCENARIO provides you with a menu of available scenarios.
Click a city to load it.
START NEW CITY generates a new, empty terrain. You will be given
the option to accept it or generate another terrain.
LOAD CITY Iets you load a previously saved city.
SAVE CITY saves any scenario or city-in-progress for later use.
Once you have loaded a scenario, It can be saved and re-loaded,
like any city, without the impending disaster
PRlNT ClTY prints your city in either of two sizes; all on one page
or on a three-page by two-page poster. Requires a dot matrix printer.
Laser Printer is not supported.
QUIT ends SimCity
A checkmark to the left of an item indicates that the option is active.
AUTO-BULLDOZER allows you to place zones, roadways, etc., directly
on top of trees and shoreline without manually bulldozing first.
You will be charged the same as for manual bulldozing.
AUTO-BUDGET keeps your budget at the same percentage settings without
asking for approval every year.
AUTO-GOTO automatically transports you to the scene of a disaster or
SOUND ON toggles the various city sounds on and off. Defaults to the
"on" position. The simulation runs slightly faster wilh the sound off.
GAME SPEED MENU
FAST sets city time to maximum speed.
MEDIUM is the default setting, about three times slower than FAST.
SLOW sets the speed about seven times slower than FAST.
PAUSE stops time. Zoning and building are possible in paused time.
FIRE starts a fire somewhere within the city limits
FLOOD causes a flood to occur near the water.
AlRCRASH causes a plane to crash.lf there are no planes in the air,
one will be generated
TORNADO causes a tornado to appear within the city limits.
EARTHQUAKE causes a MAJOR earthquake.
MONSTER ATTACK sets a monster loose in your city.
MAPS brings the MAPS WlNDOW up on the screen.
GRAPHS brings up the GRAPHS WINDOW.
BUDGET brings up thc BUDGET WINDOW.
EDIT brings up the EDIT WINDOW.
EVALUATION brings up thc EVALUATION WINDOW.
EDIT WINDOW GADGETS
TITLE BAR displays city name. Clicking and dragging the Title Bar allows
you to relocate the EDIT WINDOW.
MESSAGE BOX displays treasury information, current date, and messages.
Status messages tell you about events - if a disaster occurs, the message
box will indicate the nature of thc disaster, and supply a GOTO button to
take you to the scene. Help messages are about the Sims' needs and wants,
such as more housing.
DEMAND INDICATORS in the lower left-hand corner of the EDIT WINDOW give a
constant reading of the residents' need for residential, commercial and
industrial zoning. Above the center line indicates a positive demand.
Below the line is negative demand.
CLOSE BOX closes thc EDIT WINDOW.
GROW BOX resizes the window.
JOYSTICK BOX moves you around your city. The city scrolls in the direction
you point as long as you are holding the mouse button down.
SCROLL ARROWS scroll your city horizontally and vertically.
SCROLL BOXES quickly move you to distant portions of your city.
ZOOM BOX sizes the window to cover the entire screen.
SELECTED ITEM & COST BOX displays active item and related cost.
EDIT WINDOW KEYBOARD COMMANDS
(Some key commands are not available on older keyboards.)
Q - (Query) - Hold down the "Q" key while clicking on parts of your city
to bring up a status box identifying the spot (zone, road, terrain, etc.),
and giving information on Population Densily, Land Value, Crime Rate,
Pollution and Growth.
Z and X - Cycle active icons in opposite directions.
B, R, T and P are shortcut keys. No matter which icon is selected, if you
Push and hold down the "B" key, you will be in active Bulldozer mode.
Release the "B" key to return conlrol to the selected icon. The "R" key
activates Roadbuilding mode in the same way. The "T" key activates Transit
line building, and the "P" key puts you in Power line mode.
CURSOR KEYS scroll the terrain around under the EDIT WINDOW.
EDIT WINDOW ICONS
Active icons arc highlighted. Ghosted icons are unavailable due to lack
of funds. Clicking on a ghosted icon shows the item's cost.
BULLDOZER clears trees and shrubbery,creates landfill along the water,
levels developed, existing zones and clears rubble caused by disasters.
Bulldozing the center of a zone demolishes the entire zone. The Auto-
Bulldozer option only works on natural terrain, not developed land.
It costs $1 to bulldoze a section of land.
ROADWAYS connect developed ares. lntersections and turns are automatic-
ally 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 bulldozing and rebuilding. Roads may not be placcd over
trees, shrubbery, or zoned areas. They can cross over power lines and
transit lines only at right angles. 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 feature is on).
Roadways are maintained by the transit budget, and wear out if there is
a lack of funding. It cosls $10 to lay one section of road and $50 to
lay one section of bridge.
POWER LINES carry power from power planlts to zoned land and between zones.
All developed land needs power to function. Power lines cannot cross trees,
shrubbery, or zoned land. Power is conducted through adjacent zones.
Unpowered zones display the flashing power symbol. There is a delay between
the line you power up a zonc and when the flashing light disappears. The
delay grows longer as the city grows larger. Junctions and corners are
automatically created. Lay continuous power lines by clicking and dragging
your pointer. Power lines across a river must be horizontal or vertical -
no turns, curves or intersections. Power lines consume some power duc to
transmission inefficiencies. It costs $5 to lay one piece of power line
on land, $25 on water.
TRANSIT LINES create a railway system for intra-city mass transit.
Place tracks in heavily trafficked areas to help alleviate congestion.
Intersections and turns are created automatically. Lay continuous transit
lines by clicking and dragging your pointer. Tracks laid under rivers will
appear as dashed lines. These underwater tunnels must be vertical or horizon-
tal - no turns curves or intersections. Transit lines are maintained by
transportation department funds. The level of funding affects the effic-
iency of the system.
It costs $20 per section of track on land $100 per section under water.
PARKS can be placed on clear land. Parks forests and water raise the land
value of surrounding zones. Parks can be bulldozed as fire breaks or reserve
space for later mass transit expansion. It costs $10 to lay one segment of
RESIDENTIAL ZONES are where the Sims build houses apartments and community
facilities such as schools and churches. 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-family homes to
high-rise apartments and condominiums. Factors influencing residential
value and growth are crime rate, pollution, traffic density, population
density, surrounding terrain, roadway access, parks and utilities. It
costs $100 to zone one plot of land as residential.
COMMERClAL 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, residential
access, labor supply, airports, crime rates, transit access, and utilities.
It costs $100 to zone one plot of land as commercial.
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 thc growth of
industrial areas are external markets, seaports, transit access, residen-
tial access, labor supply,and utilities. It costs $100 to zone one plot
of land as industrial.
POLICE DEPARTMENTS lower the crime rate in the surrounding area. This in
turn raises property values. Place these in high-density crime areas as
defined by your Crime Rate map. Thc efficiency of a station depends on
the level of police department funding. It costs $500 to build a police
FIRE DEPARTMENTS make surrounding areas less susceptible lo fires.
When fires do occur, they are put out sooner and do Iess damage if a
station is near. The effectiveness of fire containment depends on the
Ievel of fire department funding. It cosls $500 to build a fire station.
STADIUMS encourage residentiaI growth. The message window wiII indicate
when the city wants a stadium. You may build a stadium in your city prior
to this request without negative effect. Stadiums indirectly generate a
lot of revenue, but create a lot of traffic. Properly maintaining a stad-
ium requires a good road and transit network. It costs $3000 to build a
POWER PLANTS can be coal or nuclear, chosen from a sub-menu provided when
you click and hold on the icon. Thc nuclear plant is more powerful but
carries a slight risk of meltdown. The coal plant is Iess expensive, but
Iess powerful and it pollutes. Connecting too many zones to a Power Plant
causes brownouts. You will get a message saying "You need to build another
power plant. Coal power plants cost $3000 to build, and supply enough
electricity for about 50 zones. Nuclear power plants cost $5000 and supply
electricity for about 150 zones.
SEAPORTS increase the potential for industrial growth. They have little
effect in a small city, but contribute a lot to industrialization in a
Seaports should be placed on a shoreline. The shoreline must be bulldozed
prior to zoning a seaport. Once the port is operational, you may see ships
in the water. It costs $5000 to zone land for use as a seaport.
AlRPORTS increase the growth potential of your commercial markets. Once a
city starts geting 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. Once you build an airport
you will see airplanes flying above your city to and from the airport.
There is also a traffic helicopter which alerts you to heavy traffic jams.
It costs $10,000 to zone land for use as an airport.
When your first taxes are collected in a new city, and each year after,
the BUDGET WINDOW will appear (unless you select the Auto-Budget function).
You will be asked to set the funding levels for the fire, police, and trans-
portation departments, and to set the property tax rate.
You can raise and lower budget levels by clicking on the little arrows
that corrospond to each category. A percentage indicator will display
the level of funding that will be maintained if you turn on the Auto-Budget
function. You may adjust your tax rate by clicking on the arrows next to the
tax rate indicator. Click on "GO WITH THESE FIGURES" to exit the BUDGET WINDOW.
The level of budgeting requested by each department is based on the number
of fire departments, police stations, and the amount of roadways and transit
lines in your city. These figures increase as your city grows - it costs
money to maintain your city infrastructure.
WAITING... An hourglass icon is displayed at the top left of the budget
window. It indicates the time remaining to enter the budget information.
When the hourglass empties, the budget that is set is accepted. If you
need more time, click in the budget window to reset the hourglass.
The MAPS WINDOW gives you various overviews of your city. The portion of
your city currently visible in the EDIT WlNDOW is represented by a flashing
box on your map. You can click and drag this box to the area you wish to
edit. Double-click in the flashing box to go to the EDIT WINDOW.
You cannot resize the MAPS WINDOW but you can move it on your screen by
clicking and dragging the drag bar at the top of the window. Clicking on
the close box in the upper left-hand corner of the window closes the window.
By clicking on the icons along the left side of the MAPS WlNDOW you can view
the following maps and cartograms.
The CITY MAPS icon brings up a sub-menu allowing you to choose between
views of developed sections of your city. You may individually display
the residential commercial or industrial areas or all three.
POWER GRID shows you the network of the power Iines in grey and powered
zones as black dots.
TRANSPORTATION is a road map of your city displaying all roads and rail
lines in black. Use this view to examine your city's acccss to specific
areas and to plan future expansion of the network.
The POPULATION MAPS icon brings up a sub-menu offering two views.
The Population Density view uses degrees of shading to show the average
number of people occupying an area each day. The Rate of Growth shows the
most recent growth (positive or negative) of your city and where it is
TRAFFIC DENSITY shows the amount of traffic on your roads. Spot traffic
problems and determine where new roadways and transit lines are needed.
The POLLUTION map shows levels of pollution throughout your city.
Pollution is generated by industry and traffic.
The CRIME RATE map shows the level and location of crime in your city.
Crime is calculated from population density land value and proximity of
The LAND VALUE map shows the relative value of land within the city limits.
Land values are used to establish the amount of revenue generated in taxes.
The ClTY SERVlCES icon brings up a sub-menu offering views of police or
fire services. The service map displays the effective radius of each of
your stations based on their location, power and funding levels.
The GRAPHS WINDOW gives you time-based graphs of various city data.
You cannot resize the GRAPHS WINDOW, but you can move it on your screen
by clicking and dragging the drag bar at the top of the window. Use the
close box in the upper left-hand corner of the window to exit.
Clicking on the icons on the left side of the GRAPHS WINDOW will toggle
each graph on and off. You may have any combination of graphs displayed
at any time. Each graph is displayed as a different line pattern.
Data may be displayed on 10-year or 120-year graphs.
The RESIDENTIAL POPULATION graph shows the total population in residential
The COMMERClAL POPULATlON graph shows the level of development in commercial
The INDUSTRIAL POPULATION graph shows the level of development in industrial
The CRIME RATE chart shows the overall crime rate of the entire city.
The CASH FLOW graph shows your city's cash flow: money collecled in taxes
last year minus money it took to maintain your city.
Note: Cash flow has little to do with your current funds, or how much you
spend in building (except that city expansion will increase both taxes
collected and maintenance costs).
The line in the center of the Cash Flow graph represents a cash flow of
zero. Do not build more infrastructure (roads, rail, police departments,
fire stations) than you can support with tax revenues.
The POLLUTlON graph shows the overall pollution reading of the entire city.
The EVALUATION WINDOW gives you a performance rating. You can access it
through the WINDOWS MENU.
You can click and drag the title bar of the window to relocate it on the
screen. Click on the close box in the upper-left corner to close the window.
PUBLIC OPINION data is presentcd in poll form, rating your overall job
as mayor and listing what the public regards as the city's most pressing
problems. You are advised to keep your residents happy or they might
migrate away, and you will be Ieft with a "ghost town."
Some example problem-solving strategies are:
Crime-Build more police departments, or try to raise land values.
Housing - Provide more residential zones.
Unemployment - Build more industrial and commercial zones.
Traffic - Possibly add more roads or mass transit.
STATISTICS on population, net migration, and assessed value are displayed,
along with the city game level and an overall city score. This data is
calculated once a year at budget time.
Population shows how many people live in your city now; net migration shows
how much the population changed over the last year. Assessed value represents
the net worth of all city-owned property.
CATEGORY - Your city will be assigned to one of six categories - Village,
Town, City, Capital, Metropolis, and Megalopolis - based on its size.
The overall city score is a composite index of many factors (including
crime, pollution, employment, environment, housing), calculated once a
year based on a scale of 0 to 1000. A higher score indicates a more
efficient and successful city.
Disasters will randomly occur as you play SimCity. At higher game levels
the disasters will happen more often. Most disasters can be activated from
the DISASTERS MENU.
FIRES can start anywhere in thc city. Fire spreads fairly rapidly through
forests and buildings, somewhat slower over roadways and transit lines.
Fire will not cross water or clear terrain.
The effectiveness of the fire department (which can be viewed in the MAPS
WINDOW) is based on how close it is to the fire, and its funding levels.
Fires inside this effective radius will be extinguished automatically. If
you have no operational fire departments in the area you can try to
control the fire yourself. Since fire will not spread across clear
terrain, you can build firebreaks with the bulldozer. Just surround the
fire with clear areas and it will stop spreading and eventually burn
itself out. Note: You cannot directly bulldoze a fire.
FLOODS occur near the water. They gradually spread and destroy buildings
and utilities. After a while the flood waters recede, Ieaving behind cleared
AIR CRASHES can happen anywhere in the city if an airport is operational.
This happens whenever aircraft collide with things, such as a tornadoes or
another aircraft. When a crash occurs, a fire will start, unless the
crash is on water. A good strategy is to locate the airport away from
the central city to minimize the fire damage.
TORNADOES can occur anywhere on the map at any time. Very fast and
unpredictable, they can appear and disappear at a moment's notice.
Tornadoes destroy everything in their path, and can cause planes,
helicopters, trains, and ships to crash.
EARTHQUAKES are the most devastating disaster. This is a MAJOR earthquake
between 8.0 and 9.0 on the Richter Scale. It will destroy buildings and
start fires. The initial damage will vary with the severity of the
earthquake, and the eventual fire damage depends on your fire control
efforts. When an earthquake occurs, you will see the edit window shake
for a while. When it stops, you will have to take charge and control the
scattered fires. Use the bulldozer to contain thc largest fires first and
work your way down to the smaller ones.
MONSTER ATTACKS are provoked by high levels of pollution. A monster
destroys everything in its path, starts fires, and causes planes,
helicopters, trains, and ships to crash.
MELTDOWNS are only possible if you are using a nuclear power plant.
If a meltdown occurs your nuclear plant will explode into flames.
The surrounding area will be unusable for the remainder of the simulation
due to radioactive contamination. Meltdowns are not available on the
SHIPWRECKS can occur once you have an operating seaport. They can cause
fires where the ship crashes into a shore or bridge. Shipwrecks are not
available on the DISASTERS MENU.
The scenarios provide both real and hypothetical problems for you to deal
with in seven famous cities (and one not-so-famous). They present various
levels of difficully. Some problems are in the form of disasters which will
occur some time after you start. Other problems are more long-term such as
crime. Your task is to deal with the problem at hand as well as possible
under the circumstances. After a certain amount of time the city residents
will rate your performance in a special election. If you do very well you
may be given the key to thc city. However if you do poorly they might just
run you out of town. To avoid the disaster which is tied to a scenario save
it to disk and reload the city from the saved file.
DULLSVILLE, USA 1900 - BOREDOM
Things haven't changed much around here in the last hundred years or so
and the residents are beginning to get bored. They think Dullsville could
be the next great city with the right leader. It is your job to attract
new growth and development turning Dullsville inlo a Metropolis by the
21st century. (Easy)
SAN FRANClSCO, CA 1906 - 8.0 EARTHQUAKE
Damage from the earthquake was minor compared to that of the ensuing
fires, which took days to control. 1500 people died. Controlling the
fires should be your initial concern here. Afterwards clearing the
remaining rubble will allow the city to start rebuilding. (Very difficullt)
HAMBURG, GERMANY 1944 - FIRE
Allied fire-bombing of German cilies in WWIV caused tremendous devastation
and loss of life. People living in the inner cities were at greatest risk.
You must control the fire storms during the bombing and then rebuild the
city after the war. (Very difficult).
BERN, SWITZERLAND 1965 - TRAFFIC
The roads here are becoming more congested with automobile traffic every
day, and the residents are upset. They demand that you do something about
it. Some have suggested a mass tansit system as the answer, but this may
require major rezoning in the downtown area. (Easy)
TOKYO, JAPAN 1957 - MONSSTER ATTACK
A large reptilian creature rose from Tokyo Bay and rampaged through the
city, destroying much of the industry along the bay. (Moderately difficult)
DETROIT, Ml 1972 - CRIME
By 1970, competition from overseas and other economic factors pushed the
once "automobile capital of the world" into recession. Plummeting land
values and unemploymcent increascd crime in thc inner-city to chronic
levels. You have just been elected after promising to reduce the crime
and rebuild the industial base of the city. (Moderately difficult)
BOSTON, MA 2010 - NUCLEAR MELTDOWN
A major meltdown is about to occur at one of the new downtown nuclear
reactors. Thc area in the vicinity of thc reactor will be severely
contaminated by radiation, forcing you to restucture the city around
it. (Very difficult)
RIO de JANEIRO, BRAZIL 2047 - FLOOD
In the mid 21 st century, the greenhouse effect raised globaI temp-
eratures 6F. Polar icecaps melted and raised sea Ievels worldwide.
Coastal areas were devastated by flood and erosion. Unfortunately,
some of the largest cities in the world are located on the coasts.
GAME PLAY LEVEL
When you first start a new city you must pick a difficulty Ievel.
Once a city is started you cannot change the game level; it remains
at your initial setting for the life of the city. The game level setting
is displayed in thc evaluation window. This Ievel - Easy, Medium, or Hard
- adjusts the simulation to your current abilities by altering several
factors. A harder setting will increase the chance of disasters, make
residents more intolerant of taxation, cause maintenance costs to grow, etc.
KEYBOARD REFERENCCE CHART
GENERAL KEYBOARD COMMANDS
COMMAND A - Activates Auto-Bulldoze option
COMMAND B - Brings up BUDGET WINDOW
COMMAND E- Brings up EDIT WINDOW
COMMAND G - Brings up GRAPHS WINDOW
COMMAND L - Loads a City
COMMAND M - Brings up MAPS WINDOW
COMMAND N - Starts a New City
COMMAND Q - Quits SimCity
COMMAND S - Saves a City
COMMAND 0 - Stops City Time
COMMAND 1 - Sets City Time to Slow Speed
COMMAND 2 - Sets City Time to Medium Speed
COMMAND 3 - Sets City Time to High Speed
SPECIAL EDIT WINDOW KEYBOARD COMMANDS
d Z - Cycle through and activate icon functions
Q - ( Query) - Point to a zone or object in the EDIT WINDOW, hold down "Q"
while clicking the mouse to bring up information about the zone or object.
B activates the Bulldozer while depressed, overriding active icon.
R activates Road laying while dcpressed, overriding active icon.
T activates Transit line laying while depressed, overriding active icon.
P activates Power line laying while depressed, overriding activc icon.
CURSOR KEYS scroll the terrain under the EDlT WINDOW.
HOW THE SIMULATOR WORKS AND
STRATEGIES FOR USING IT
Many factors influence the chance of your city's prospering or floundering:
both internal factors (the structure and efficiency of your city) and
external factrs (the regional economy, disasters, etc.).
Your city is divided into three primary zones: residential, commcercial
and industrial. These zones symbolize the three basic pillars upon which
a city is based: population, industry, and commerce. All three are necessary
for your city to grow and thrive.
RESIDENTIAL ZONES are where the Sims live. Here they build houses, apartments
and community facilities such as churches and schools. Sims are thc workforce
for your city's commercial and industrial zones.
INDUSTRIAL ZONES are used to site warehouses, factories, and other unsightly
and polluting structures which have a negative impact on surrounding zones.
One of the major goaIs of planning is to separate these nuisances from thc
areas where people live. In this simulalion, industrial zones represent the
"basic" production of your city. Things produced here are sold outside the
city to an "external market," bringing money into the city for future growth.
COMMERCIAL ZONES represent the retail stores and services in your city,
including gas stations, grocery stores, banks, and offices. Commercial
areas are mainly dedicated to producing goods and services needed within
your city. This is called "non-basic" production or production for the
The major factors controlling residential population are birthrate,
availability of jobs and housing, unemployment, and quality of life within
Birthrate as used here is actually a combination of the birthrate (+)
and the deathrate (-). Within SimCity there is always a positive birthrate.
Availabilily of jobs (the employment rate) is a ratio of the current
commercial and industrial populations to the total residential population.
As a rule of thumb, the number of commercial and industrial zones together
should roughly equal the number of residential zones.
If there are more jobs in your city than residents, new settlers will
be attracted. If the job market declinces during a local recession, your
people will migrate away in search of jobs.
Housing for your residents is built in the residential zones. These zones
must be powered and connected to the places of employment with a road
and/or rail network. The structures built in residential zones are
influenced by land value and population density.
Quality of life is a measure of relative "attractiveness" assigned to
different zone locations. It is affected by negative factors such as
pollution and crime, and positive factors such as parks and accessibility.
EXTERNAL MARKET - INDUSTRIAL
There are thousands of variables that influence your city. All these
variables can be influenced by your actions with the exception of one.
The external market (the economic conditions that exist outside of your
city) is controlled by the simulation-there is nothing you can do to change it.
In many ways, this external market is the original source of all city growth.
Towns frequently begin as production centers (steel towns, refineries, etc.)
that service a demand in the surrounding region. As time passes, the external
market grows to reflect the regional growth going on around your city.
The industry in your city will attempt to grow as the external market grows.
For this to happen there must be room for expansion (more industrial zones)
and an adequate labor supply (more residcntial zones).
The internal market is completely influenced by the conditions within your
city. Internal production, created in the commercial zones, represents all
the things which are purchased and consumed within the city. Food stores,
gas stations, retail stores, financial serviccs, medical care, etc. - all
depend on a nearby population to service. Within SimCity, the size of the
internal markel determines the rate at which commercial zones will prosper.
Commercial zones need enough zoned land to build on and an existent,
sufficient workforce to employ. The structures built in commercial zones
are mainly influenced by land value and population density.
Commercial zones grow and develop to serve the expanding internal market.
Commercial growth will usually be slow at first, when the population is
small and needs very little. As your city grows, commercial growth will
accelerate and the internal market will become a much largcr consumer of
your total city production. This accclerating effect, when the external/
industrial production is overtaken by the accelerating internal/commercial
sector, can turn a sleepy little town of 50,000 into a thriving capital of
200,000 in a few short years.
The tax rate you set controls the amount of income generated by your city.
As taxes are collected each year (city time), the BUDGET WINDOW will appear,
giving you the fiscal details of your city and a chance to adjust rates.
The simulation determines the amount of revenue collected by assessing each
zone an amount based on its land value, current level of development and the
current tax rate.
The tax rate has a global effect on your city's growth rate. If you set it
low (0 - 4%), growth will be brisk but the city income will be low. If you
set it high (10 - 20%), you will collect a lot in the short run but in the
long run tax income will decrease along with the population. You must keep
tax income high enough to meet city maintenance costs and invest in new
development, but low enough not to scare off residents and businesses. A
high tax rate is one way to control city growth, should you want to
experiment with "growth control" measures.
City budgeting effects the way your city grows. City infrastructure cost
is represented by three departments: police, fire, and transportation. You
may set the funding Ievels separately for each. All three departments will
request a certain level of funding each year. You may supply all or part of
the requested funds, in the attempt to balance safety needs and budgetary
Police stations lower the crime rate within a territory. The effective
radius of your police station is related to the amount of funding allocated
to the police department. There is a positive corrolation between the value
of land and proximity to a police station. Police stations cost $100 per year
Fire departments prevent and extinguish fires. The level of funding deter-
mines the effective radius of a fire department. Fire departments put out
fires witnin this radius much sooner than outside it, and decrease the
chance that they will start in the first place. Fire departments cost $100
per year to fund.
When you build roads and rail systems you are charged for construction and
yearly maintenance. The larger your transportation network, the more it will
cost for upkeep. If you decide not to or are unable to pay this maintenance
cost, roads will slowly deteriorate and become unusable. The maintenance
cost for each piece is: Road - $1, Bridge - $4, Rail - $4, Rail tunnel -$10.
Electrical power makes modern cities possible. Efficient and reliable powcr
transmission to all zones is the goal of good "power management."
Periodically in the simulation the entire power grid of your city is
checked for links to power. If a zone is connected (by other zones or
power lines) to a power plant, the zone is considered powered (unless
the power plant is overloaded).
Zones must be powered for development to occur. Many things (such as fires,
floods monsters and bulldozers) can knock down power lines and cause
blackouts in parts of your city. Development will stop in unpowered
zones, and if power is not quickly restored, the zone will decline back
to its original state of emptiness.
Redundant power connections can make your power grid more reliable,
but running more line adds construction costs and transmission line loss.
TRANSPORTATION - TRAFFIC
One of the most most important elements of city structure is the
transportation network. It moves Sims and goods throughout your city.
Roads typically occupy as much as 25% - 40% of the land in urban areas.
Traffic along these roads indicates which sections of your road system
are used the most.
Traffic levels are simulated by a process known as "Trip Generation."
Over time, each populated zone in the city will generate a number of
trips, depending on the population. Each generated trip starts at the
origin zone, travels down the road/rail network, and if a "proper dest-
ination" is reached, ends at the destination zone - otherwise, the trip
fails. Trip failure indicates inaccessibility of a zone and limits its
The majority of generated trips represent people commuting to and from
work. Additional traffic is generated by residents traveling to shopping,
Each road has a limited capacity for traffic. When this capacity is
exceeded traffic jams will form. Traffic jams drastically lower the
capacity of a road, compounding the problem and frustrating drivers.
Traffic condilions fluctuate quickly, responding to things such as open
bridges, sporting events and port activity. Avoid traffic problems by
providing several routes for the traffic to take, and building rail
systems when you can afford to. The traffic helicopter will spot traffic
bottlenecks and report them.
Pollution levels are tracked in all areas of your city. This is a
general "nuisance level" which includes air and water pollution, noise
pollution, toxic wastes, etc. Pollution has a negative impact on the
growth of residential areas. The primary cause of pollution is industrial-
ized zones. The level of pollution created by an industrial zone increases
with its level of growth. Traffic is another cause of pollution. As your
city gets large you may notice periodic smog generated from automotive
commutes. Fires, Seaports, Airports, and Coal Power Plants also pollute.
There are limited means of combating the pollution Ievel. Lowering traffic
density, limiting industrial developmenl, and separating the pollution from
the residential areas will help.
Crime rates are influenced by population density, local law enforcement
and land values. As population density increases in an area, the number
of crimes committed increases. Crime will also increase in areas of low
land value. The most effective way to deal with high crime rates is to
introduce a police station into the area. Based on its level of funding,
the police slation will reduce the rate of crime in its sphere of
influence. A long-term approach to lowering crime is to raise the land
value of the area. One way to do this is to demolish and rezone (urban
Land value is one of the most fundamental aspects of urban structure.
The land value of an area affects how that area is used. In this simulation
the land value of an area is based on terrain, accessibility, crime,
pollution, and distance to downtown.
The farther the residents have to go to work, the lower the land value
where they live, due in part to transportation costs. The value of
commercial zones depends greatly on accessibility by the populace.
Land value is also affected by surrounding terrain. If land is closer
to water, trees or parks, its value will rise. Creative placement of
zones within the terrain, with little bulldozing, can make good use of
this natural advantage.
Land value and crime rate have a feedback effect on each other.
Lower land values cause crime rates to rise. Higher crime rates
cause land values to drop, and can cause "transition areas" near
your central city to rapidly decline in value.