How To Make Money On Sim City 2000 – The mayor woke up in his dirty hotel room/apartment. He cleaned up, put on a cheap suit, and headed down the street to his rat- and roach-infested office in a commercial district three blocks away. He went to his office and sat down in front of his huge used oak desk covered in scratches and coffee cup rings.
Mayor – There is $1 left in the city’s coffers. Residents are also threatening riots if we don’t build a functioning water and sewer system.
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The mayor also just realized that he hadn’t actually installed any water pumps or water pipes, and that no one in the city had access to running water for three years. Presumably they all bought bottled water for cooking and bathing, just like him.
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However, with only one dollar left in the treasury, the mayor figured he wouldn’t be able to build any water pumps or mains anyway. So he sat down at his desk, pulled out a bottle of whiskey from his desk drawer and decided to wait a year and see how the building he had already planned would develop. Maybe the new growth would bring in more taxpayers and the city could start digging itself out of its hole.
As our mayor gets drunk on cheap bourbon in his office, we learn that Boston has installed a subway. It’s the game’s way of letting you know that new technology is available and that other cities have it and you don’t. And that you can’t afford to build them because you only have one damn dollar in your coffers.
That happened too. Justice Stevens is bound to get in trouble for commenting on pending legislation. Also, this sandwich sounds appetizing, doesn’t it.
A year passes. Despite the new growth in Hell, the city is still losing money and is now in the red. There has to be some way to keep costs down, right?
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There is! In the rules section, impose a sales and income tax on residents and businesses and cut funding for the police and fire departments in half. Crime will rise, but that is a risk we will have to take.
We don’t need more police stations. Citizens can simply buy guns and take the law into their own hands. It’s the American way, dammit.
So now we have $47 in cash flow per year. It’s not great, but at this rate we’ll be out of the pit in at least three years, and hopefully more citizens will move to Hell and add to the population base. Are there any other expenses we can cut? We don’t spend anything on health or education, so we can’t cut spending. But what about transit? Do they really need all eight dollars?
Raising property taxes is also an option, but we’ll hold off on that for now—higher tax rates mean lower growth rates.
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A year later… the plan is working! We now have a hundred dollar cash flow forecast for next year. We’ll get into it soon.
The decline in the city’s fortunes could be attributed to the fact that the industrial and commercial parts of Hell now look like this:
Maybe some drug deals go down in these abandoned buildings, but that goes for all the business that is done. (Actually, there must be more drug dealing going on because we cut police funding by 50%.)
We now need to do more residential areas to attract more residents and increase the demand for commercial and industrial areas. However, we cannot do this with negative $28 in the treasury. Money must be collected. Raising property taxes won’t help – it will only reduce the demand for residential areas and reduce the population, resulting in lower tax revenues. Full defunding of the police and fire services is also an option, but it will only give us a little money each year and then we risk fires and riots.
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The interest rate is only 4%. It could be much worse. Now, instead of interest payments on one loan, we will make interest payments
I swear I didn’t plan this, but it seems right that the amount we will owe on our loans at the end of the year is $666.
Now that we’ve issued a second bond and owe a lot of money every year, we need to move fast. Break free from this desert crater by creating a heavy residential building. Build rental houses with no running water and broken air conditioners and no fire escapes. We don’t care as long as people move in, start paying taxes and get jobs in our currently empty, dilapidated factories.
You may have noticed the little blue things to the left of the police station. These are water pumps. Each one costs $100 and takes water to supply the surrounding buildings. They can also be attached to pipes that you can build to supply water to all parts of the city. Our mayor finally decided to spend money on running water — not necessarily because he’s concerned about residents, but because he knows that running water means more population density and more tax revenue. Remember – it’s all about $$$.
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As the water system map shows, the newly run water pumps are doing… absolutely nothing. This may be due to the fact that Hell is in the middle of a desert.
In addition, we have spent more than a quarter of the proceeds of our second bond and are still losing money every year. The new residential zoning has spurred redevelopment in the industrial sector – but will it be enough to save the city’s finances? Probably not.
Meanwhile, the mayor is still drunk off his ass and lying on the floor behind his desk. His staff pretends not to notice, answering angry letters and phone calls from citizens who are forced to wash themselves by scrubbing their hair with soap and pouring water bottles over their heads. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.
This week, Gaming Made Me Wired UK’s Duncan Gear recalls how Sim City 2000 (and its incredible manual) taught him utopian values, gave him a lifelong fascination with impossible habitats, and gave him a new sense of the strange beast. is a city.
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I still have the SimCity 2000 manual. The game CD or maybe even the floppies – I can’t remember – are long gone, but I still have the manual. About once a year I flip through it – not because of nostalgia, but because it is such a beautiful creation.
It begins with a quote from Danish urban planner Steen Euler Rasmussen: “Looking for the perfect city today is pointless. Because all cities are different.”
Throughout the rest of the book, about every other page, there are more quotes chosen by architect Richard Bartlett. At the end of the guide is a “gallery” of art, poetry, essays and short stories that address people’s experiences and feelings about cities.
As an eleven year old it blew my little mind. I’ve lived in cities for much of my life, but I’ve never seen them as a whole—as more than a collection of houses, streets, and neighborhoods.
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I had never thought that a particular road layout could be more than just filling the space between buildings. I never thought that a public transport network could be based on principles honed over decades or even centuries. I never thought that urban planning could be as much art as science.
Playing SimCity 2000 allowed me to tune out a lot of what bothered my eleven-year-old self—mostly homework and the constant cold that every kid of a certain age suffers from. I was able to really lose myself for the first time. I’ve played NES games before, but I’ve never felt much of a connection to them – they never grabbed me the way Maxis’s city-building simulator did.
The reason it had such a powerful effect was because it fired my imagination. I imagined myself living in the streets I created on the screen, working in warehouses and chemical plants, and driving back across the suspension bridge to my home on the far side of the lake.
Strangely, there were never any other people in this vision. There were buildings, cars and roads, but no real people – just like the game itself. Other games at the same time tried to include humans, but failed miserably, ending up as cartoonish caricatures.
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Some aspects of SimCity 2000 have stuck with me more than others. The inexplicably angry transport councillor. I built my mayor’s house on an elevated site surrounded by waterfalls. Power plants explode every half century. The feeble-minded newspaper articles that talked about llamas in every other line. Grid splines.
But it was specifically Arcologies
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