Lake Kajake (A Study of Traffic and Efficiency)

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V4nKw15h
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Joined: 23 October 2010, 12:27

Re: Lake Kajake (A Study of Traffic and Efficiency)

Postby V4nKw15h » 23 July 2011, 11:36

Hey jwhitesj:

1. Yes, the blocks are quite large early in the game to later accomodate the high density buildings. So yes, early blocks may be 12x12 or larger sometimes. I don't keep a standard block size, it depends on what suits the surrounding terrain but generally you are right in your assumptions. I do try to keep one type of building inside a block early in the game. This makes life easier when it comes to demolishing things. I can delete a block in a couple of seconds and relocate it knowing that it was all unskilled workers for example.

2. A little of both. While a city is growing I might decide to spend an hour or two improving traffic flow. I will then decide to upgrade all the road systems that have the heaviest traffic. Other times I may want to relocate entire districts of one type of housing to a new area of the city and will automatically upgrade the road system while the blocks are empty.

3. Businesses like Hi-tech and Offices are far more dependant on quality of life. This means that I have to place these building where the quality of life is best to ensure high profits. This overrides my desire to keep things seperated early in the game however I would keep things organised and seperated where possible. Keeping things visually seperated simply makes bulldozing them and moving them around much easier. If I need to mix things inside a block I will try to keep a visual space between them so it is instantly obvious that things are mixed up.

4. You didn't ask this question but I wanted to talk about one last thing. The placement of schools, hospitals, fire etc.
Early in the game I put these in one block in the centre of my city, and surround them with the most demanding citizens first, moving out to unskilled workers furthest away. This is why making it easy to bulldoze entire blocks quickly is important. Originally I will have skilled workers close to my services, but the time will come when I will unlock executives and I will bulldoze things and put the executives near the services. Later again the same thing happens with Elites.
By the time your city has elites it will be getting very large and having a single central service block will have become inefficient. Then you will be forced to mix schools and hospitals into other blocks to cover your whole city. Whenever I do that I draw a farm road around the service building to enclose it. I then lay plaza between the service building and the farm road and delete the farm road. It makes the service building stand out visually so I don't accidentally delete it later when bulldozing. I don't worry too much about the wasted space created by putting a big plaza around the building, it makes life easier to find it later and means I'll never delete it by mistake. This is a good tip.

Hope that helps you to understand how I do things. I don't for a moment suggest that it's the only method of doing it, but it does make life much easier and faster during the early development of your city. If it is quick and easy to bulldoze a block and move it somewhere else it makes it easy to keep the city efficent and of course an efficient city requires less services and makes more profit, thereby it makes it really quite easy to grow your city without running into money problems.
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jwhitesj
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Re: Lake Kajake (A Study of Traffic and Efficiency)

Postby jwhitesj » 23 July 2011, 18:58

Thanks for responding, I have one more question. What is the difference between a block and a district?

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V4nKw15h
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Re: Lake Kajake (A Study of Traffic and Efficiency)

Postby V4nKw15h » 23 July 2011, 23:17

When I use the word district I'm talking about a number of blocks composing of the same type of industry or housing.
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timdog
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Re: Lake Kajake (A Study of Traffic and Efficiency)

Postby timdog » 24 July 2011, 10:51

You offered a post regarding my cities quality of life issues. Firstly thank you, you have some well developed ideas as to how to efficiently run a city.

My query is that I am having great difficulty getting the city balance right. I need cash flow to be able to improve services, as my city grows. Yet every effort to improve cash flow results in city expansion, which in turn requires more services, so on and so fourth. What i mean by this is that i try to overproduce, and in doing so the demand for waste, power, water and fuel rise accordingly. Ultimately my gains amount to very little, and my city has grown in a sort of make shift way just to support the expansion. My original city didn't overproduce and cash flow was fairly similar 30 to 40k( still not enough for me to build a decent freeway system or include a subway built to my liking amongs't other things). Anyhow city has just reached 1 million and i'm not prepared to turn back as this is my second attempt at getting the balance right (first city suffered huge congestion issues). Would offer screen shots to help illustrate my issues, but sadly i'm not that savvy.

Cheers

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V4nKw15h
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Re: Lake Kajake (A Study of Traffic and Efficiency)

Postby V4nKw15h » 24 July 2011, 22:43

Getting the balance right and making a city sing with efficiency is in my opinion the whole point of the game.

I would often spend many hours doing nothing but working on making my city more efficient and I enjoyed doing that as much as anything else in the game. To achieve efficiency takes experimentation but the obvious thing to focus on is understanding how businesses make money and tweaking your city to achieve the best results.

So if you are looking to increase your monthly cashflow without increasing the size of your city then you need to be looking to increase the profitability of the existing businesses and making your citizens happy. Happy citizens work harder, make more profits and require less services. Try to remember that. If a citizen is very unhappy with one level of service they become more unhappy overall and complain more about everything else. Getting a nice balance is profitable.

As far as business profits are concerned, take an office as an example. If you can place it in such a position that it gets a high quality of life then it's profits will increase dramatically. Improve it's passenger services and the profits increase further. Reduce the traffic nearby and the quality of life goes up and thus profits increase even more.

Let's imagine that you increase the profitability of an office by just 100. Do that for 50 offices and you have 5000 extra income each month. Examine the businesses you have and compare the ammount of money they bring in in taxes. Try to work out why one office might be making 720 each month and another of the same size may only be making 300. If you can tweak every industry in your city and understand what affects profits then you can make a substantial increase in monthly income.

There were times when a few hours of this type of tweaking would result in 50-100k extra income per month for my city and allow the next major expansion.

As this journal is already packed full of details about creating an efficient city I wont go into extra detail in this reply, but take my advice and settle down for a long session of profit tweaking and you will not only enjoy testing and experimenting with how everything works but you will end up with a more profitable city without it growing it any bigger.

Make your citizens happy with less traffic around their housing and the quality of their life improves and they demand less of your other services allowing you to save money there too. Efficient roads with no congestion makes all your services affect a greater distance and therefore you need less services.

This game is deep. The simulation behind it is way deeper than most people appreciate, and learning how everything affects everything else is a delightfully complex puzzle and balancing act.

One final tip if you haven't picked up on it from reading this journal. Hi-tech industry is by far the most expensive industry. It makes high profits but the infrastructure required to maintain it is huge. Don't try to over produce Hi-tech.
Also if land space isn't a problem then medium offices are hugely more efficient than large offices because they don't demand hi-tech. Try swapping out some large offices for the equivalent number of medium ones and you will see the difference almost instantly in increased tokens due to less demand in other resources. Hi-tech ultimately requires everything else in one way or another, so reducing the cities Hi-tech requirements frees up tokens in just about every other resource which ultimately increases profits.
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Justyburger
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Joined: 06 June 2011, 09:24

Re: Lake Kajake (A Study of Traffic and Efficiency)

Postby Justyburger » 25 July 2011, 00:27

Very nice indeed. I am only just begining with Cities Xl and have only built up a 600,000 inhabitant city so far. I sprawled it a fair bit with low density housing and put two CBD's in and a lot of farmland surrounding it. I used the River Plains map because of the amount of flat area and resources. I would like to build a city on a completely flat landscape and try to build a city such as Dallas or a flat city by a lake like Chicago but all the maps on cities XL have bumps and hills. I can't even seem to uplad pictures as it says Quota full. I do like your designs though and will keep an eye on the updates. Cheers

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V4nKw15h
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Joined: 23 October 2010, 12:27

Re: Lake Kajake (A Study of Traffic and Efficiency)

Postby V4nKw15h » 25 July 2011, 10:36

Thanks Justyburger. I wouldn't expect any updates to my city. I haven't touched it in months but I still check back on this journal almost on a daily basis to help others when they ask questions.

As I've said before, I like this type of game the most while I'm still trying to understand how the dynamics behind the simulation works. Once I understood that the appeal of the game waned for me quite dramatically. However, I still like discussing what I understood.

As for a completely flat map, that is easy to achieve. Turn the game up to 5x speed often while you have good cashflow and your will have so much cash in the bank you could terraform the entire map flat if you wanted to. You could of course use a money cheat to flatten it before you begin playing but I've never used any cheats because I like the challenge of solving problems without them.
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Caortiz97
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Joined: 27 June 2011, 17:29

Re: Lake Kajake (A Study of Traffic and Efficiency)

Postby Caortiz97 » 28 July 2011, 00:30

Hi another time, first thanks to V4nKw15h to give that tips that help me a lot to make my next city: Trumol
I tried to make a city based on rings and bealtways and I get this city it haves 4.8 million of habbitants approx. with almost no traffic.
I dont use any traffic mod. I only use the next mods: 8 lane road, 6 lane road, ped path, infinite trading with omnicorp (because I exceed omnicorp traffic capacity), and not polluting airport and harbor mod. This are the images:
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Spoken languages/Lenguas que hablo/Langues que je parle: English, Español/ Français

silegnav
Posts: 3
Joined: 30 July 2011, 09:11

Saved File

Postby silegnav » 07 August 2011, 21:24

Is it possible to submit the saved file of your city in order to look around?

This game is like composing music. You are great V4nKw15h. Thanks.

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V4nKw15h
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Joined: 23 October 2010, 12:27

Re: Lake Kajake (A Study of Traffic and Efficiency)

Postby V4nKw15h » 08 August 2011, 09:31

I would have nothing against uploading the city for others to have a look at but I don't know what files are required to do that.

I've been asked this question before and having had a quick look at the most obvious save files they look very large. Like 100Mb. I wouldn't have the ability to host something like that. But if someone can tell me what files would be needed and how the transfer would work, then I'd take a look at the overall size. Maybe someone else could host the files if they are too big for me.

The other issue is that the city is supported by three other cities, so for it to actually function correctly it would require those cities too. Otherwise the whole city will suddenly start failing and businesses would close down. Very quickly the city would be a disaster.

If you want a really good look at the city, download the fly-by zip file from the first post. It is full of photos of the city from just about every angle while flying the camera in a straight line across the city. You will get to see the whole city from close up angles and see how it all fits together.
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