The pre-dynastic levels are pretty simple, but things get harder in the Archaic period - here's some hints and tips for that level, along with a few pics to help you on your way.
First off, put the speed down to 10%. This will give you a chance to get your bearings and decide where you are going to put your first housing block. You don't have to do exactly as I do in the pics shown here - they're merely guidelines.
The first priority is to get a basic farming community up and running. Go to the bottom of the map and build a housing block there (6x11 is a fairly good size for this one). For the moment, only place the most necessary services in there - you want to have plenty of workers free to do the farming and staff the granaries. So, put in 2 each of the following - firehouse, water supply and engineer's post. Add a temple to keep Osiris happy. Next, place 6-8 farms in the dark farmland next to the housing block, and put in 2 work camps to produce the labourers, and a couple of granaries to store the grain. After all that, you should have something that looks like the pic above.
Next, speed up the game and wait for the harvest (which will come sometime in August). When the fields are harvested, you'll notice that 1 cart pusher is left behind from every field - don't worry about that. They're carrying straw (a by-product of grain), which has to go into storage yards (you can't build any yet). Sadly, you'll have to let them drown.
Slow the game down, and stick a couple of bazaars in to service your housing blocks. Add a couple of juggling schools and 4 booths (on each corner) to provide the block with entertainment. It might be just as well to pop a festival pavilion in there too, in case you need to please Osiris in a hurry.
Time to get some industrial activity going. Away from the main settlement, put in 5 or 6 clay pits, 3 or 4 potters, and some housing to provide them with workers. You'll also need a firehouse and engineer's post if you want them to last more than a few months. Next to this complex, put in 3 storage pits - 1 for clay, 1 for pottery and 1 for straw. Don't worry about overproducing clay - you'll need it (and straw) in order to produce bricks for your small mastaba. If you need to, add another storage yard for clay later on (ditto for straw, another ingredient needed to build bricks).
Time to get a blessing. Hold a Grand Festival to Osiris (watch those chaps scurrying for the festival pavilion), and add another small housing block to the North of your current one. Put in 6 or so more farms, another work camp, and another granary. If you get the desired blessing from Osiris, then you'll probably need yet another granary. After a little while, the healthcare window will appear (left).
Build apothecaries to serve all your housing blocks (even the ones serving the industrial areas) to prevent malaria. After another short delay, the "Municipal structures" window will appear (right). Put in some roadblocks to keep your walkers under control, and pop in some gardens and statues to help your houses to evolve.
That should give you a good enough base on which to build your city, ready for the construction of the mastaba. If unemployment gets too high, either add some more farms or destroy some of your housing. Ignore the Caanite army attacks - naval combat isn't fully implemented into the demo, and they won't do any damage.
That completes the hints and tips for the demo. Any questions, please feel free to post them in the forum.
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