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Future City 2012 eNews: Vol 1

Future City 2012 eNews: Vol 1

From this point forward I will be sending a bi-weekly eNews to you. The purpose of this communication is to provide updates, competition hints/suggestions, links to information, reminders, and an overview of FC in GA. Items in RED indicate that I definitely need a response.


Future City 2012 eNews: Vol 1

GA FC 2012 is better than ever! I have been to visit 22 schools so far this year and am finding more enthusiasm, more creativity and more involvement than ever before. I am very impressed with what I have seen – keep up the great work.


GA FC Overview

We have 60 schools registered to date. The registration deadline is October 31, 2012. More than 300 teams are formed and starting to work. The biggest change for 2012 is the SimCity Download keys. I know some of you have had problems accessing via download. I encourage you to work with your technology people to get this working in your school because EA is no longer producing hardcopies of SimCity so download keys will be the only source for the future. I have distributed hard copies as requested, but the supply is now very limited (at the national level). If you need assistance in using the download keys the resident expert at national is Alex Underwood. You may reach him at alexunderwood@futurecity.org. You may want to have him work with your Tech person. You may request additional download keys from Bill Knight at bknight@futurecity.org.


Links to Information

Below are links to specific information available on the national website. If you want to see the winning essays, presentations, models, etc. from 2011 or access the Learning Blocks (curriculum), follow the links provided.

***Research Essays from 2011 Competition:
***City Narrative from 2011 Competition:
Curriculum Learning Blocks:
***Pictures of winning models for 2011 Competition:
Video of Winning Presentations for 2011 Competition:

*** -indicates sections that have a left-hand toolbar on the website where you can filter items to get specifically what you need.


The first two student workshops (Presentations and Essay Writing) are now posted online for your convenience . Go to: http://luna.spsu.edu/asc/futurecity_sept/index.html


Hints and Suggestions

Have each team name their city and stick with that name throughout the competition to avoid misplaced points!


SimCity Tips from the Judges 

  • THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP OF ALL: The judges are your “customers,” and they have told you (in the scoring rubric) exactly what features are important to them.  Look at the rubric early and often, and plan for those features.
  • Sim City 4 gives you tools for looking at your map with different kinds of data superimposed on it.  Use them to isolate different aspects of your city (crime rate, forest cover, farmland, pollution) that the judges will look at.
  • Listen to your Sims!  You can save money, early on, by building things like schools, fire stations and police stations only when residents start to ask for them.
  • Remember: SimCity rules don’t always match up with common sense.  In the real world, landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty are major tourist attractions.  In SimCity, though, the judges aren’t allowed to include Landmarks when they’re counting Attractions.
  • The higher-scoring cities in the SimCity part of Future City tend to do better than the lower-scoring ones in the following areas (because they’re rich in points and comparatively “hard” to build”): public transportation, recreational areas, garbage processing,  high-tech industries.
  • Putting industrial zones too close to residential ones raises pollution and lowers property values.  Putting them too far away makes it hard for your citizens to get to work, and can hinder growth.  Trying to find the right balance is one of the major challenges in the game.
  • Putting some commercial zones near residential areas can increase property values for both: Being able to walk to the shops makes citizens happy, and having lots of customers nearby improves business.  Too much commercial development can drive down residential property values, though. Trying to find the right balance is one of the major challenges in the game.
  • Coal and oil power plants are cheap, and may be your only option when starting out . . . but microwave and fusion plants are far more efficient (and less polluting) in the long run.  As your city grows, keep an eye out for opportunities to start converting your power system
  • It’s a huge temptation to build roads in a tight grid (three squares or even two squares apart) to avoid traffic problems.  Remember, though that, roads cost money to build and eat up “buildable” land.  More roads = less room for buildings.  If you arrange your roads in a grid system, consider larger space between them . . .  6 x 6 or even 6 x 13 squares in area.
  • Natural areas = livability!  Rivers, forests, and hills near residential areas can raise property values and your citizens’ happiness.  Parks can lower pollution levels (grass, bushes, and trees suck up carbon dioxide) and reduce crime.
  • Bus networks and subway networks both get you points for public transportation, but busses seem to reduce traffic congestion a lot more than subways.
  • When you plan for an airport, zone it big (at least 4 x 6 squares to start) and make sure that it has more power than a development that size “should” need.  Airports “grow” according to different rules, and ones that start too small don’t grow at all.
  • Road and rail connections to your neighbors (other cities) may not seem important, but they are.  Not having them will cost your city points, and having them will help your commercial zones.



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