- Starting near the edge/border of the map reduces delivery costs for auto-buy function. This also applies to auto-build.
- There is a way to cut down on terrraforming costs (Explanation below).
- Plan out your buildings without using the auto-build option enabled in the construction menu.
- When building aggregate production, plan out where your conveyors go and use them where ever possible. Transporting e.g. 210 t of coal ore is hard to achieve with only trucks at the beginning.
- Build gravel processing near your quarries to cut down on transport time/costs.
- Remember that if you import electricity and reach zero money, your production stops entirely, so always keep a couple of thousand in your bank account.
- A great way to save a lot of money is to play on the populated map and relocate the citizens from the prepuilt towns to your apartments, rather than inviting them. Dont forget to uncheck the auto-invite option before building the residence.
- Get familiar with the workplace choosing mechanic. Citizens will first populate workplace reachable by foot before heading to bus/train stations. Keep the waiting capacity of stations in mind.
Some nice starting industries are:
- Steel - Requires coal extraction and processing to be profitable. Steel helps in construction later on, since its the most expensive type of good in construction. Cut down on extra costs by building an iron processing plant and buying the iron ore. Keep in mind that the steel mill can take 500 max. workers to fully work. Four coal processing plants and two iron processing plants are required to sustain a steel mill at max production.
- Clothing - Building the fabric and clothing factory uses less money and workers. This chain can be expanded with the farm later on too expand in the food/meat chain.
- Oil / Fuel - Its a great option because the wells dont need workers to function. I didnt use it yet in the beginning, however i think its possible to survive on it as well, if you find a oil deposit near the border to cut down on transport costs.
Terraforming Like a Pro
I figured out that terraforming is crucial in setting up your buildings. If you dont take care of that before plopping down the buildings, theres always going to be a gap between them to form the slope.
So usually the first step in any new game I did, (I failed a lot because I wanted to start on the hard option for starting money) is to build a street depot and buy an excavator (the big one for dollars is the best one, for 9k $ though). With the excavator present any future terraforming is practically free (except for fuel for the excavator, it needs a working fuel station to refuel). Also the more free excavators you have the quicker you can terraform. The max amount of excavators to use at once is 7 though.
The provided tool for smoothing down the ground is okay, but i found another way to get a smooth area much quicker and more reliable. To do that, find the place where you want to start building up and terraform it with a building. Don't plop the actual building down if you got the building lot smooth. The next step is moving the building towards the edge of your smooth area while keeping the center of the building (red square) on your smooth area and terraforming a new building lot, adding smooth area to the already existing space. I usually use the steel mill for that, because it has the largest footprint. The technical university building is great when you need a straight line for streets or rails.
E voilá, you have a huge, open and smooth area to build your next city/industry. Just keep in mind that you need to do that before building any infrastructure there (including roads, paths and power lines) because any building/infrastructure has a "no terraform" zone around it.
You cannot move entire hills in one go doing that. For getting rid of cliffs you need to lower/raise the land before smoothing it with a building.
Tips on Citizen Satisfaction
- Every citizen has free time activities that he desires. However, you dont need to provide your citizens acess to every single need to get them to full satisfaction (i didnt try that on hard citizen reaction though).
- If a citizen finishes an activity, there is a chance that he needs more of that activity to get happy next time. For example a citizen with 0% sport satisfaction only needs 30 mins on a sports field to get satisfied, a 90% satisfaction citizen needs 120 mins to get satisfied.
- Keeping no.2 in mind, when changing the provided activity, your citizens will take some time to get used to the new activity (happens when moving citizens out of the old towns (on populated maps) which are used to the church free time activity).
- Providing sports activity is a great way to start of since its cheap. The cinema offers the most efficient way of free time activity.
- With the radio/tv station, you can influence the free time activites of your citizens (i didnt experiment on that yet though).
- Food however is a basic need which every citizen needs. Meat is an on top food to satisfy the hunger better and slowing health loss rate.
- The Health stat is not tied to satisfaction, however your citzens die if it reaches 0%
Various Other Tips
- Citizens wating in a transport station will always hop on the first vehicle arriving, without regarding jobs capacity at the destination. Keep that in mind when choosin vehicles to use.
- Citizens will despawn in vehicles when travelling to long.
- Rather than using one high capacity vehicle, use multiple medium/low capacity vehicles to keep the flow of passengers more constant.
- Auto-buying ressources in a building that uses a lot of ressources might not satisfy the full demand of it. I have experienced that in the iron processing plant. Counter that by placing a storage facility next to your factory and buy ressources there too and delivering it via connections.
- I havent figured out if theres a throughput limit on conveyors/pipes. However transport through them is only happening when the source building is staffed (except for storage facilities).