This is the story of a city. This is the story of a region. This is the story of a game. The name of the city is “By da beach”. The region is named “Jamaica”. The game is SimCity. Oh, and I’m Balance Designer Ross Treyz.
Shortly after SimCity launched in March, one of my friends created a region and invited myself and some other friends to join and start cities. What follows here is a chronicle of the trials and tribulations of this city and this region. Note: All screenshots below are from “By da beach” in its current state.
Built for Success
Right after joining Jamaica, I knew that I wanted to try out trading electronics because the prices on TVs were high. So I set up my city to have all my RCI on one side and then I built a nice area for my trade depots and electronics factories on the other.
At first, things went really well. I set up my processor factory, added more assembly lines, and then used the profits to buy a second factory and even more assembly lines. I wasn’t too worried about pollution, even though I was starting to feel the effects. I just kept planting trees and watching them die, hoping one day they would clean up this mess I was making.
At some point, I switched over from buying more processor factories to buying consumer electronics factories for making TVs. Of course, I was making so many exports that the basic trade depots started having trouble getting all my goods out of the city in a timely fashion. I was already running my budget in the red, so if there were any hiccups in getting my goods out it could have been disastrous for me. So I put down a Trade HQ and started to level that up along with my Electronics HQ. Getting the electronics storage lots for the trade ports really made a difference for me. I went crazy and built multiple trade ports on both sides of my city so that I could import and export goods by both boat and rail.
Having two highway entrances to my city really helped, especially because of the way I placed my roads. My side entrance was for my imports and exports. This side entrance connected to a long avenue that went all the way across the city. On one side, I built all my factories and trade depots and on the other, I developed the rest of my city.
My main entrance was where all my regular Sims came in. Commuters, tourists, busses, emergency service vehicles, and criminals from my friends’ cities all came in through this entrance. And boy did they ever! As soon as we started to get density three buildings, this entrance, as well as that entire side of the city had massive traffic jams. I knew this was going to be a problem if I didn’t do something about it, so I went into crisis mode. I had to separate the traffic to one side of the city. If the traffic from my RCI side spilled over into my electronics manufacturing side, then it could cripple my exports. So I bulldozed all the intersections that connected the RCI side of my city to the manufacturing side except for one connection all the way at the end of the avenue that extended out of my side entrance. Doing this guaranteed that the closest exit from my city for my import and export trucks was always free of traffic, but there was still a way for my local Sims to come and work in my electronics factories.
With all these factories, I started to run into power troubles. I knew that my friends needed power, too, so I put down a nuclear power plant to replace the oil power plant I was previously using. The nuclear power plant was great; it supplied me with enough power to run all my factories as well as enough excess to sell to my neighbors. Then one day, the unthinkable happened: my reactor melted down.
Road to Recovery
So what happened? Well, it’s elementary, actually – I had to move my university (which was responsible for the teaching my Sims the skills needed to run a nuclear power plant) and I took too long before I built another, resulting in some, well, uneducated workers running a plant filled with nuclear power. Fortunately for me, the nuclear power plant was off in the far corner of my city and the only things that were within the deadly cloud of radiation were my electronics factories, my recycling center, and my garbage dump.
Looking at my city today, it’s not that bad. Though I did need to upgrade my health facilities to deal with the escalating sickenss and injuries, my Sims still come to work everyday. As the blackened earth slowly crept across the city, I wondered, how long it would take until too many Sims were too sick to operate my factories. Most of my city is low wealth, so they don’t care much about ground pollution, but they can’t work if they’re sick or injured, so eventually the whole city will be filled with ground pollution and collapse in on itself.
As far as my power goes, I still use my nuclear power plant. In fact I’ve added two Gen II thermal reactors after researching them at my new university. The reactor that melted down stands to this day, now inactive, a silent remider of the horrible scar that the irresponsible god-mayor forces his people to endure.
Right next to my power plant I have my garbage dump and recycling center. The recycling center is great because it produces alloy and plastic, both of which I use in making TVs.
My friends and I still play in Jamacia to this day. In fact, we’ve claimed all the cities in the region. One of my friends made a mining city named “Blacklung” where he refuses to educate his people and taxes the rich so much that they won’t move in. “Numa1GoldenDragon” is a small, wealthy, spiraly city that resembles a spiders web. There is “Subourbon” a city filled with rich people looking for jobs. “Quatar” is a high-tech oil city rife with pollution.
Looking back on how we played, we made a lot of mistakes. For example, almost every city in the region has a university and every university has a department of engineering. There are several cities in the region that have tons of high pollution industrial and big business so the air carries pollution to all the cities in the region. Some cities use Vu Tower as a cheap and easy way to tech up their industy. As it turns out, Vu Tower is also an easy way to get a lot of crimials, so new cities that we make are almost instantly flooded with crime. In the end, “Jamacia” is not the most wealthy, cleanest, or safest region, but it’s our region and we have fun playing in it.