FAQ - Guide for The Sims: Hot Date Expansion Pack
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The Sims: Hot Date -- Full Strategy Guide FAQ written by PyroFalkon (firstname.lastname@example.org) Version 1.2 Last update: 22 February 2002 === --VERSION HISTORY-- v1.2 (22 February 2002) Added some info on children, thanks to a submission. Check out section 10 for the update. Also added how to take care of babies, in section 12d. For some reason, I kept forgetting to add it. v1.1 (21 February 2002) Not one day passed, and already someone submitted something. I only wish I could say the same thing about my website... Anyway, the submission details the relationship meters a bit more and can be found in section 7. Also, I did a thorough grammar and spell check, plus made sure all the parts where I referenced another section actually had the RIGHT section referenced. I added a bit of detail here and there too... in other words, I just polished the whole document up. v1.0 (20 February 2002) WOO HOO, IT'S DONE!!! And it only took me three days from start to finish... good, now my wrists can take a tiny break! v0.1b (19 February 2002) I finished up the jobs, then wrote sections 7 through 11 from beginning to end. I got a few strategies in too, but that section is still incomplete. If I work on it tomorrow (which I probably will), it will be done by then. v0.1a (18 February 2002) I'm writing two FAQs at once, but I'm going to delay my work on the other one, Ephemeral Fantasia (PS2), until this one gets done. I've already got a very large amount done, and I'll wager that this will be completely done in two days or so. === --TABLE OF CONTENTS-- 1. Opening blurb 2. Creating a family a. Attributes 3. Buying a lot and building a house a. Build Mode, and tips for building b. Buy Mode, and tips for buying ba. How sims cook c. the Option gump 4. Taking care of yourself a. Mood Bars 5. Taking care of others 6. Jobs and Money a. Skills 7. Sim Love a. Having and Greeting Visitors 8. Downtown: the new area of SimCity a. Having a date or friend with you downtown b. Constructing buildings 9. Throwing Parties 10. Kids a. Babies 11. Disasters a. Death 12. Strategies a. PyroFalkon's Alpha Strategy b. Money Strategies c. Relationship Strategies d. Other strategies and short tips e. Strategies Submitted by Readers 13. Customizing your sims 14. Other Hot Date stuff, like little bugs 15. Ending blurb and legal info 16. List of contributors and what they've contributed 17. Where you can contact me === --1. OPENING BLURB-- Ah, The Sims, a classic game by SimCity creator Will Wright. Hot Date is the third expansion for the game, and it adds a whole crapload of new happy features. I'll cover as much as I can here, assuming that you know nothing about any of The Sims series. If you've already played it, head to section 7. Maxis changed the whole spectrum of relationships this time around, so getting dates is a bit different; not harder, just different. This FAQ will cover every aspect of The Sims, from your sims' births to their deaths and everything in between. However, because I don't want to ruin the game for anyone, it will not contain detailed item lists and whatnot. Part of the fun of this game is exploring your options; I'm just pointing you in the general direction. Okay, enough of that. Away we go! === --2. CREATING A FAMILY-- Once you get past the title screen and all that, you'll come to a view of the neighborhood. There may be a few houses scattered around, one of which has a big flashing arrow. That's the tutorial house, and I recommend you play it before leaping into The Sims. Of course, you don't have to, and I cover in this FAQ pretty much everything it says in the tutorial. Across the top are a few buttons. The one you're interested in is the left-most of the center group, the one with a few people on it. Click that and you'll be taken to a screen that lists all the families that are not currently in houses (I call this the barracks; what can I say, I'm a fan of Worms: World Party). Click an empty line (or the button with a few people and a plus sign) to create a new family. You'll be prompted to enter a last name. For my examples, I'll refer to my primary family that I've got going here... so, type in the last name that suits you. In my case, "Falkon." After that, click the button that lit up: the top one of the group of three. Here, you'll get to personalize your first character. The simplest thing listed is at the top, the first name. Obviously, "Pyro" goes here for me. Next, you need to enter your character's attributes. <<2a. ATTRIBUTES>> The attributes are divided into five catagories: Neat, Outgoing, Active, Playful, and Nice. You can assign up to 10 points to any attribute, but you have a total limit of 25 points. NEAT indicates how environmentally-conscious your sim is, and what the chance is of it doing cleaning actions automatically. If it's set to max, then your sim will always clear the table and flush the toilet when finished eating and doing their business, respectively (at least, I HOPE it's respectively). A minimum rating of zero will make your sim a complete slob who doesn't mind being in its own filth. This rating has an indirect effect on the Room bar; see Mood Bars in section 4 for details. OUTGOING indicates how well your sim gets to know others. If set to 10, it makes friends easily; if set to 0, it makes friends as easily as a corpse. This rating had an indirect effect on the Social bar. ACTIVE indicates how much your sim likes to move around. A high rating means that it would rather play basketball, for example, than watch TV. A low rating means just the opposite. Also, the rating directly affects how long it takes for that sim to get up after it wakes up. A sim with an ACTIVE rating of 10 will literally leap out of bed. A sim with a zero rating will take one full game hour to get out of bed once it wakes up. PLAYFUL indicates how much your sim prefers games over serious things. This, combined with ACTIVE, gives you an idea of what your sim wants to do with itself to get its Fun mood up. Again, check out section 4a for details. NICE indicates just how well your sim gets along with others. This, combined with OUTGOING, affects the way your sim makes friends. Once you have your attributes set, check out the series of seven buttons to the right. The top two affect whether the sim is a child or an adult. Families should have at least one adult, since children can't get jobs to earn money. Below that are three buttons that change your sim's skin tone from light to medium to dark. The bottom two set its gender; the one on the left is for males, the one to the right is for females. Once you have your sim's age, skin tone, and gender set, take a look at the arrows that flank your sim's head and body. Using those, you can scroll through the available choices of heads and clothes (called skins, which are explained in detail in section 13). Don't worry so much about the clothes since those can be changed in-game, but once you choose a head, it's locked in for eternity. The attributes are almost permanent once you set them, so make sure you think carefully before you confirm your choice. At the bottom of this screen is a section where you can write a bio. It's totally optional, but I think it's fun to give my sims backstories. To confirm your choices, click the Done button. You'll be taken back to the family screen where you entered the last name. You can add up to seven more family members for a total of eight, but you have to be careful. The more people you have, the faster you earn money, but the more maintenance you pay. If this is your first family, I'd stick with no more than two. For my strategy (outlined in a later section), I use three adults: Pyro, Stephanie, and Pete. Well, Pete isn't the name I call him on my game, but I doubt CJayC will allow me to use that word on an FAQ, so it's good enough for now. In the bios, I declare Pyro and Stephanie to be married, and Pete is Pyro's brother. Now, there is no "official" way to set any relationship; I could consider the Falkons to all be siblings if I wanted, or all be married to each other, or both. Of course, since I'm normal, I'm just sticking with a simple marriage with a tag-along brother. If you make a mistake on a family member, you can click that sim, then the second button of the Create Family screen to edit him or her. If things go horribly wrong, you can click the sim, then the third button to end its life before it even begins. Once you're satisfied with your family, click the done button on the Create Family screen, but remember that you can never come back to the Create Family screen again to edit anyone. === --3. BUYING A LOT AND BUILDING A HOUSE-- On the family select screen, click the family you just made, then the button in the bottom-right (a family with an arrow pointing to a house). You'll be kicked back to the neighborhood screen where you can select which lot you want to buy. You have to buy a lot that does not have a family already there, but you CAN buy one if it already contains a house. However, I like building houses (and it's cheaper that way than buying a huge house off the bat). The more people that are in your sim family, the less expensive the lot you should buy. It's up to you, of course, but there's no reason to make this too hard if it's your first time. If the lot you want is taken by a family and/or a house, you can evict the family and/or bulldoze the house to clear the lot. To do so, click the button at the top of the screen with a bulldozer. Your cursor will change; click the lot you wish to clear after that. If there's a family there, you'll be asked if you want to evict them. Doing so sells all of their house objects (everything but walls, carpets, and wallpaper), then throws them and their money into the barracks. Either way, you'll then be asked to bulldoze the house. If you agree, the lot is slaughtered. Trees and hills stay as they were, but the walls, carpets, and roofs will be no more. Make sure your family is selected, then click the lot you wish to move into. All families start with §20,000 (simoleans), and once you buy the lot, the cost is automatically deducted from your account. <<3a. BUILD MODE>> After the game loads, your family will be standing near its mailbox beside the empty lot. There's a whole mess of buttons here, but this section of my FAQ covers building the house, so let's worry about only the bear essentials for now. Off the bat, click the small button that's fifth from the left; it has three dots horizontally through the middle of it. That's the option gump, and what you need to click is the disk icon in the top-left corner of the group of six. That's how you save the game, and I seriously suggest you save it immediately. If something goes horribly wrong during the construction of the building, you can always load and not have too many problems. Once it's saved, click the third button from the left of the main five; it looks like a house. That takes you to Build Mode, the place you go to construct your house. The two buttons on the far left of the gump that just appeared are Undo and Redo. Let's ignore those for now, since you haven't done anything yet. The first tool for house construction is the wall tool, which is located in the top row, third from the left. Click that, and you'll get a long list of choices for everything relating to walls. The wall itself is the very first item, and it costs §70 per section, which can add up to a crapload of money. To create a wall, simply click-and-drag across the landscape wherever you want the wall. To quickly make a room, you can hold SHIFT as you drag, and it will make a rectangle for you. To undo a mistake, either click the undo button (which also returns all your money), or hold CONTROL and click-drag (which only returns half the wall cost). You can't blow your remaining money on your house alone since you'll need to end up buying things like toilets and refrigerators, so try to cut corners whenever you can. The bathroom is really the only room you need to keep isolated; you can combine the living and bed rooms for now. Your rooms should not be more than 5 tiles by 5 tiles, but that doesn't mean you can't have an "invisible" wall. Check out this crappy ASCII art to see what I mean... +-----+-----+ | | | | | | | KIT | LVR | | | | | | | +-----+-----+ Now, this is two rooms that are 5x5 each (count the dashes, not the actual distance). The one marked KIT is the kitchen, and the one marked LVR is the living room. This is a good starting setup, but it can be improved by one little change... +-----------+ | | | | | KIT LVR | | | | | +-----------+ Now the wall that separated the two rooms is gone, saving you §350, which is enough to buy a burglar alarm and a phone with enough left over for a meal. If you absolutely must have that center wall, you can always add it later. This early in the game though, every single simolean counts. I recommend that you make the bathroom no more than 3x4, and the bedroom no larger than the standard 5x5. Again, this is ALL temporary; you can extend and expand to your heart's content once you have the money. To help you with the view, check out the buttons that are just above the clock on the left side. Those are the various wall views you can use. From left to right: first story / second story, roof view, walls up, walls cutaway, and walls down. Don't worry about the story selection since you haven't even built the ground floor yet. While building walls, I just leave the walls down. It lets you see your design clearly without having to rotate the view or anything like that. If you do want to rotate or zoom the view, you can use the buttons in the bottom left: the two curved arrows, and the plus and minus arrows. Play around with the views as much as you want; time is frozen in Build Mode. The next thing you need for your house is doors. The tool looks amazingly like a door; just click it and you'll get a list of door styles. The doorless frame for §150 is perhaps the most functional of them all, since your sims don't have to waste time opening doors all day. Of course, I always put closed doors around the bathroom; even though it makes no difference in practice, I don't think my sims would appreciate being spied on during their moment of privacy. Anyway, set up your doors however you see fit. Make sure you don't forget to get a door on every room, but remember that you don't have to connect *every* room to *every other* room. Also make sure you put a door on an exterior wall; that will be your front door. Any room will do, but the bathroom is not recommended unless you want all your visitors to get peeks of sims in showers. (Note to self: make an all female sim family and test out this method of door placement.) You can now add windows, wallpaper, and flooring, but I recommend against all of it for now. However, I'll tell you how to mess with it, whether you're doing it now or later. Windows are added like doors and can even go on interior walls, although I fail to see why you would want to do that. The smaller the room is, the less windows it needs to be fully lit. A 5x5 room only needs two windows max. By the way, some doors have windows in them and do add to the light in a room. They tend to be more expensive, but it's your choice. Carpet can be chosen by clicking the icon that's second to the left of the bottom row, below the water drop. After selecting the flooring patern you want, you can click-drag an area that you want to cover, or hold SHIFT then click, which fills the whole room. Wallpaper works the same way; just click the icon of a paintbrush to get started. You can remove any flooring or wallpaper by CTRL-clicking, or even SHIFT-CTRL-clicking, which will remove everything from that whole room. Finally, you need customize the roof on your house. Simply click the icon that looks like a roof, and you can choose the pitch and style of the roof. You don't have too many choices, but if you head to section 13, you can get some info on roofs and other things. I'll describe the other tools in Build Mode to you here... The far left icon of the top row is the landscaping tool. With this, you can raise, lower, or level the land; you can also grow or shrink grass, making your lawn a lush green or a dusty brown. Beside that is the water tool. You can add a pool with a diving board and ladder with three of the tools. The fourth tool, big water drop, lets you manually change tiles to little pools of water. In theory, you could make a river, pond, or even a moat. I haven't used it much myself, but experiment to heck and back. Next to the water tool is the wall selection. What I didn't mention above is that you can select fences and pillars here as well as the basic wall. Take a look at the selection, but you probably don't want to buy any of it this early. On the other side of the paintbrush is the staircase button. You can eventually add a second story to your house, but that's insanely unimportant at the moment. Keep it in mind in case you want to expand eventually. The last icon of the top row is the fireplace tool. Again, those are so stupid-expensive that you don't need to deal with it yet. Now, the bottom row. The left-most icon is the plant tool. You can buy flowers, trees, and shrubs to spruce up your lawn. This is another luxury you can deal with once you're rich. You know what the flooring, door, window, and roof tools do. The last one in that row is the hand tool. You can use that to move objects, flowers, shrubs, trees, fences, and a whole bunch of other stuff around. It's rather pointless since your house is empty at the moment, but it's there whenever you need it. <<3b. BUY MODE>> The button to the left of the Build Mode button, the one with a chair and lamp on it, takes you to Buy Mode. Here, you're greeted with a list of catagories of Stuff To Buy. Watch your money, but don't neglect the basics. You can use the eight buttons in the Buy Mode gump to select what precisely you want to buy. You have chairs and beds, tables and other surfaces, decorations, and electronics in the top row. In the bottom row are appliances, everything relating to plumbing, lamps of all flavors, and miscellaneous items. There's a secondary way you can sort the list. If you click the Buy Mode button again, those eight catagories will switch to a room sort. Then, you can click the appropiate button for the room you want to furnish, and go from there. They are: living room, dining room, bedroom, and study on the top row. Kitchen, bathroom, outside, and miscellaneous are across the bottom row. Once you click any sort, be it a room or catagory, you get a subsort to further your search. If you just want to browse a catagory, click the infinity symbol in any subsort to view all the items of that catagory or room (this is the only way to find some items). If you click-and-hold on any item, a short description and larger picture will come up. The price is shown along with any mood or skills it will raise. I'll get more into the moods in the next section, and skills after that. If a description of an item includes the line "Group Activity," it means that at least two sims can use the item simultaneously, generally increasing the Social meter as well as whatever else it normally increases. Some descriptions may include "Can only be used by an adult" or "Can only be used by a child," both of which are self-explanatory. I won't go into details of why until the next section, but for now you're going to need the essentials of living. Those are: a fridge, a toilet, a shower, a bed, some form of entertainment, a chair, a phone, a burglar alarm, and a bookcase. Most of these are obvious where to find them. The entertainment form I recommend is a TV, although if none of your sims are playful, you may want to just use the bookcase as your entertainment source (it can double as such). The bookcase is listed under miscellaneous objects or the study, depending whether you're looking at the catagory or room sort. Make sure you put the burglar alarm outside near your front door, and place a phone in any room but the bedroom. The phone rings in the middle of the night often, and your sims hate waking up before they're supposed to. If you didn't go nuts in Build Mode, you probably have plenty of money of left over to get a few more items that will seriously help your first few game days. First and easiest is a nice couch. It can double as a bed if need be, so take a look. You could also get a cheap table, put a few chairs around it, and shove it all in the kitchen as a temporary dining room. Though you can arrange anything in any order, there's one specific piece of advice I must give... <<3ba. HOW SIMS COOK>> Don't try this in practice yet, I just need to explain quickly how a sim cooks. Sims start their cooking at a fridge, getting the ingredients. It will then proceed to chop up the veggies if there's an empty counter, or use a food processor if there's one present. Then it will move to the microwave or oven, depending on which deals with hunger better, if one is available. Once the food is done cooking, if it's a family meal, the sim will put it on an available surface, preferring counters. If it's just a meal for one, the sim will take it to a table if one is available, sit down, and eat. Since you know this ahead of time, you can save your sims' time and effort by building your kitchen and dining room in a logical order. Look at this flow chart... FRIDGE ----- COUNTER - OVEN ----- COUNTER --- SERVED FOOD \ X / -- PROCESSOR MICROWAVE-- So, the logical order to arrange your kitchen is thus... +--------+ +-----------+ +------+ +---------+ | | | COUNTER | | | | EMPTY | | FRIDGE | | WITH | | OVEN | | COUNTER | | | | PROCESSOR | | | | | +--------+ +-----------+ +------+ +---------+ Then you can position a table and chair strategically on the other side of the empty counter. Efficency is the idea. Anyway, you should still have the money to afford two of the cheapest counters, the cheapest oven, and the only food processor. They will be worth their weight in gold, or at least simoleons. The last general tip I have for Build Mode is that just because you CAN buy something doesn't mean you SHOULD buy something. Just because you have the money to buy the §7000 DJ spintable doesn't mean that it'll help your sims' fun ratings any more than that plasma TV. Finally, if you ever want to sell an item, simply click on it while in Buy Mode (or use the hand tool in Build Mode) to pick it up, then hit your DELETE key. You'll get some of the money back; all of it if less than one day passed since you bought it. To see one way you can use that to your advantage, head to section 12. <<3c. THE OPTIONS GUMP>> Before we get into the game, you may want to save (or not, if you think all hell is going to break loose and you regret your construction decisions). I'll take a few lines here to explain all the other options. Across the top row are Save, Neighborhood Screen, and Quit. The first saves your game instantly without a prompt. The second sends you back to the neighborhood screen after prompting you to save if you hadn't recently. The last will send you back to Windows, also after a save prompt. The bottom three allow you to tinker with the video, audio, and game settings. The left icon of the bottom row gives you the display settings. You can change the level of detail of the terrain and/or characters, or toggle graphic options. All four graphic options, if checked, make the game prettier, but take a bit more processor power (not an issue if you're using a GHz processor with over 128 MB RAM). All of these are explained simply by click the words of what you want described, so I'm not going to waste your time by writing them here. The button in center of the bottom row adjusts the volumes for sound, music, and voices. The sound FX is all the sounds made from objects, including the TV. The music setting affects songs from the audio objects like radios, and it affects the volume of the fanfare that's played whenever your sims do something special. VOX is the measure of the sims' voices when they interact with each other. The last button is the game options. There are eight there, and I'll explain them. AUTO-CENTERING automattically brings the view to an event. If this is your first time, you may want to keep it on so you don't miss when something unusual happens. FREE WILL gives your sims the ability to act on their own, though their actions will be heavily weighed by their personality (for example, a sim with a Neat rating of zero will never take a shower). If you enact this, you can give your sims commands as usual, and your commands will always take precedence over anything they come up with on their own. EDGE SCROLLING allows you to move the view simply by laying the cursor against the edge of the screen. With this unchecked, you can only move the view by right-click dragging. SIM IN BACKGROUND allows the game to run if you task switch (ALT-TAB) out of the game. With it unchecked, the game will pause if you task switch. QUICK TIPS affect whether little hints will appear in the upper-right corner of the screen. If this is enabled, occasionally a box with a question mark will appear, and you can click that to get a bit more information. This is always enabled in the downtown area. AUTO SNAPSHOT lets the game take a picture for you whenever an event occurs. To take a picture manually, click the button that looks like a camera, then choose the size and quality of your shot. A box will appear in the game view, and another click will capture the scene for all of time. LIVE PIP makes the picture-in-picture (shown during some events) show what's happening in real-time. This SERIOUSLY drains processor power, and I recommend you leave it unchecked. The PIP will appear anyway, but it will be a still picture, not a moving camera. EXPORT HTML forces the game to create webpages of your families when you save. This has serious negative impacts on save times, so I leave it unchecked. There's a global command on the neighborhood screen that makes webpages for all the families, and I use that whenever I decide to make webpages. === --4. TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF-- When your house is built and the objects inside it are bought, click the button on the far left, the one that shows two people standing beside each other. This activates Live Mode, the meat and potatoes of the game. If your sims are on Free Will, they'll probably poke around and check out what you bought, either applauding or booing your taste. On the bottom of the screen are portraits of each sim in your family, along with seven buttons to the right of them. I'll describe each one in a moment, but right now, let me teach you how to care for your sims. Firstly, you can only have one sim active at once. Its portrait will have a blue border around it, and a big colored crystal will appear over its head. To change the active sim, you can either click on the portrait of the one you want to control, right-click the sim itself, or hit the space bar. The change happens instantly. Once you have a sim under your control, you can order it to interact with anything you have. Simply click an object, and a list of actions will pop up. Some objects only have a few actions, some have many. Explore; I'm not going to ruin the game by going over every little item. Once you give a command, a picture representing the command will appear in the upper-left corner of the screen. You can cancel the action before it's completed by clicking that icon. Only nine actions can be queued at once. The only things that need a special explaination are the fridge and bed. If a sim clicks a fridge, it can either have a snack, make a quick meal, make a normal meal, or serve a meal. If you select the snack, the sim will just grab a bag of chips out of the fridge for §5. If you ask it to make a meal or quick meal, it will go through the cooking process I talked above, with one minor note. If you picked the quick meal, it will skip the process or chop step. This is less filling, but takes less time. Either way, §10 will be taken from your account. If you choose to serve a meal, the sim will make a plate of food that has six servings, all for a measly §20. Get real intimate with that command, you'll be using a lot. No bed but one have any special commands, but I do want to point out that you can't just sleep anytime. The sim's energy has to be low enough (I *think* below 75%) before the sleep command will appear. Also, if you have a double bed, the two sims who share it must be at least friends with each other, or one of them will refuse to sleep there. That's why if you have a double bed, you need your two sims in question to start getting REAL friendly with each other. I cover sim love in section 7. Right now, though, there are more important things to do. It's time to start covering those buttons to the right of your sims' portraits. The one that's probably already open is the mood button. If it's not, click it; it's the one with the happy and sad masks. Above and below that button is a graph. The graph shows the overall mood of your sim, based on the weighted average of its eight individual moods. The overall mood is graded positively and negatively by 5 levels, plus the neutral mood. The color of the crystal above the active sim's head tells what mood it's in; a green crystal is a happy mood, and the deeper the green, the happier the mood. If the crystal is red, the sim is ticked off or depressed, and a blood red crystal is just a more intense version. I'll deal with the eight individual moods in a second, since they require their own section. Let's take a look at the other buttons first. The top button on the left, the one that looks like a word balloon, leads to your sim's interests. This button is new to the series starting with Hot Date. These are randomly generated, I believe. Poke around there for a moment if you want. It shows what a sim likes and dislikes talking about, and it can have serious impacts on friends. Below that is the personality button. Here, you can see what astrological sign your sim is, along with its attributes that you set in the Create Sim screen. The bottom-left button is the inventory screen, also new starting with Hot Date. If your sim is carrying any items, they will appear here. The top-right button opens the relationship meters, which shows how well your sim is getting along with others that it has met. Until Hot Date, there was only one meter, but now there are two. The upper meter indicates the daily relationship, while the lower one represents the lifetime relationship. I deal with those in more detail in the love section, too. The button in the right-center is the job button. There you can see what, if any, job you sim has, what its salary is, and what its skills are. Take a look at cooking. The higher that is, the more filling their meals are. Sims shouldn't cook unless they have at least one point in cooking, or they may end up setting the kitchen on fire. To raise any of those skills, your sim needs to perform a specific action. For cooking, just have one read a book. Click your bookcase, then click "study cooking." Your sim will grab the book and take the nearest seat, studying its heart out. The blue progress bar above its head will fill, and when it fills completely, you'll get a message that your sim gained a point in that skill. I'll get into skills in more detail in a later section. The last button, the one that looks like a house, gives you a rating on your happy home. It's probably kinda low for now, but remember that you didn't have too much money to deal with. That will change soon, I promise. Okay, now it's time for the mood meters. This is the heart and soul of the game. Click back over to the mood meters, and check out my next section. <<4a. THE MOOD METERS>> Remember I told you in section 3 that you'll need certain objects as essential for living? This is why. On the right side of the screen are eight mood meters. I'll describe each one here, what it means, and how its weighed in the overall mood. HUNGER -- This is arguably the most important meter of all eight. This obviously is how badly your sim needs food. No sim likes being hungry. Make sure you feed them often, or they could die of starvation. When the bar is low, let them eat. COMFORT -- This is how much sims are happy with their comfort, obviously. A sim that is standing will constantly lose comfort, although not as severly as a sim that's working out or swimming. Generally, this is weighed pretty heavily, although not as much as hunger. Comfort can be indirectly helped when the sim does another action, such as watching TV or eating. HYGIENE -- This is how clean the sim feels, and it's also the first one that is weighed by the individual sim. Sims that are neat are more interested in hygiene than slob sims are. No sim likes to be around a stinky sim, though, and if your hygiene is too low, it could affect whether others become friends or more. Would YOU like to kiss someone who hadn't washed their face in over a week? BLADDER -- This is how much sims feel the need to visit their old friend John. Take care of this one fast if it gets low, because if it drops to zero, the sim will wet itself. That will cut hygiene to zero and make the sim terribly embarrassed, possibly forcing bad relationships. No sim likes needing to do its business, but this mood is not weighed very heavily. ENERGY -- This tells how long the sim can go before it collapses (literally). Every waking moment expends energy (unless the sim is drinking coffee), and you need to send it to bed before it gets too late. Early to bed, early to rise make a sim healthy, wealthy, and wise... and at least still employed in the morning. I believe that sims with a high active rating can go longer than sims with a low active rating, but I'm not entirely sure. FUN -- No sim likes being bored, but sims have different things they like doing. Sims with low playful ratings prefer reading books, and sims with high playful ratings like watching TV. The playful and active ratings combine for this one, too; if a sim has high active and playful ratings, it prefers basketball or vitrual gaming. If it has low active but high playful ratings, watching the latest episode of Malcom in the Middle or playing The Sims on its computer is what it likes more. SOCIAL -- The sim's need to talk. This is HEAVILY weighed for all sims; a sim that has zero Social but 100 everything else will probably have a mood of +1 max. The balance of the weight comes in with the speed of the bar's decline. A sim with a high outgoing rating will feel the need to be social FAR more than a sim with no outgoing ratings. Also, a sim with high outgoing will fill this meter a bit quicker than a shy sim. ROOM -- This is the sim's opinion of the room it's currently in. All sims like large rooms and lit rooms, but neat sims dislike dirty dishes and pee puddles. Slobby sims are less picky, but even they get tired of the flies once in awhile. Decorations boost this meter considerably, but try to buy better windows or more lamps before you blow thousands on a statue or painting. This also scores your lawn when the sim is outside. If a sim has one particular mood extremely low, it may look at the camera (i.e., you the player) and scream bloody murder with an accompying picture to tell you what mood is suffering. You need to fix that quickly. All eight moods are weighted, then averaged, and that becomes your sim's overall mood. Its mood, among other things, severly affect what options pass or fail when they do an action to another sim. I cover that in the Sim Love (#7) section. === --5. TAKING CARE OF OTHERS-- Let's face it: just like real life, one person alone cannot do everything. Maybe a particular sim stayed up too late and doesn't have time to cook the next morning. This is where a second sim in the family is very helpful. A second sim can pick up the slack for another. Some methods could be obvious; one sim could excell in the cooking skill and be the only one who prepares meals, for example. Sims work best as a team. If any one sim is doing nothing, probably the rest of its family is suffering or could at least better off. More on this in my strategy section. Your sim can interact with other sims whenever you wish it to. With a sim active, simply click any other sim and you'll get a list of actions you can perform. I talk more about that in section 7. === --6. JOBS AND MONEY-- Now that your family is settled in its house, you need to turn to earning money, since bills arrive at your house every 3 days. At 9 AM every morning, the paper is delivered to your doorstep. You can check that to see what jobs are being offered, along with their salary. For the first day, take whatever job is offered; "Beggars can't be choosers," as the saying goes. You can also get a job by using a computer, but you may not be able to afford it unless you "cheat the system" a bit. Check the money strategy subsection. Once you take a job, your mission is to get promoted to the next level. There are 15 career paths, each with 10 levels. You begin every path on the lowest rung, with one situational exception, which I'll explain in a moment. Each job pays daily. I'll list all the career paths, the rungs of each, the salaries, and the required skills to advance to the next level. Remember, the requirements for jobs are just minimums. You can always have more than what's needed. Here's the legend: CO = Cooking ME = Mechanical CH = Charisma BO = Body LO = Logic CR = Creativity FF = Family Friends <
> +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 120| | | | | | | | | 2| 180| | 2| | | | | | | 3| 250| | 2| 2| | | | 1| | 4| 320| | 2| 2| | 2| | 3| | 5| 400| | 2| 3| | 3| 2| 6| | 6| 540| | 2| 4| 2| 4| 2| 8| | 7| 660| | 2| 5| 2| 6| 3|10| | 8| 800| | 2| 6| 2| 7| 5|12| | 9| 950| | 2| 8| 2| 9| 6|14| |10|1200| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 100| | | | | | | | | 2| 150| | | 2| | | | | | 3| 200| | | 2| 2| | | 2| | 4| 275| | | 3| 3| | 1| 4| | 5| 375| | 1| 4| 4| | 2| 6| | 6| 500| | 1| 6| 5| | 3| 8| | 7| 660| | 2| 8| 6| | 4|10| | 8| 900| | 2| 9| 7| | 7|12| | 9|1100| | 2|10| 8| |10|14| |10|1400| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 120| | | | | | | | | 2| 150| | 2| | | | | | | 3| 200| | 3| | | 2| | | | 4| 240| | 4| | | 4| | 2| | 5| 400| | 4| | | 4| 4| 3| | 6| 610| | 4| 2| | 5| 6| 5| | 7| 800| | 4| 4| | 6| 7| 6| | 8|1100| | 5| 6| | 7| 9| 8| | 9|1300| | 7| 8| | 9|10| 8| |10|1550| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 120| | | | | | | | | 2| 200| | | | | | 2| | | 3| 230| | | 2| | 2| 2| 2| | 4| 350| | | 2| | 4| 4| 2| | 5| 420| | | 3| 1| 5| 5| 4| | 6| 510| | | 6| 2| 5| 5| 6| | 7| 660| | | 8| 2| 6| 5| 9| | 8| 850| | | 9| 5| 7| 6|11| | 9| 975| | |10| 5| 9| 7|14| |10|1200| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 240| | | | | | | | | 2| 320| | | | 2| | | | | 3| 380| | 2| | 2| | | 1| | 4| 440| | 3| | 4| | | 2| | 5| 490| 1| 3| 1| 5| 1| | 4| | 6| 540| 1| 3| 2| 5| 3| 1| 6| | 7| 590| 1| 4| 3| 6| 5| 1| 8| | 8| 625| 1| 4| 4| 7| 7| 3|10| | 9| 650| 1| 4| 4| 7|10| 5|12| |10| | TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 140| | | | | | | | | 2| 200| | | | 2| | | | | 3| 275| | | 1| 2| | 1| 2| | 4| 350| | 2| 1| 2| | 2| 3| | 5| 425| | 3| 2| 3| 1| 2| 4| | 6| 530| | 3| 2| 5| 2| 3| 6| | 7| 640| | 5| 2| 5| 3| 5| 8| | 8| 760| | 5| 5| 6| 3| 6|10| | 9| 900| | 5| 7| 6| 4| 8|12| |10|1100| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 200| | | | | | | | | 2| 275| | 2| | | | | | | 3| 340| | 2| | 2| | | 2| | 4| 410| | 3| | 2| 2| | 3| | 5| 480| | 3| 1| 3| 4| | 4| | 6| 550| | 4| 2| 4| 4| 1| 5| | 7| 625| | 4| 3| 5| 6| 2| 7| | 8| 700| | 5| 4| 6| 8| 3| 9| | 9| 775| | 6| 6| 7| 9| 4|11| |10| 850| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 250| | | | | | | | | 2| 325| | | | 2| | | | | 3| 400| | 1| 2| 2| | | | | 4| 450| 1| 1| 2| 4| | | | | 5| 500| 1| 2| 4| 4| 1| | 1| | 6| 550| 1| 3| 5| 4| 3| | 3| | 7| 580| 1| 6| 6| 4| 5| | 5| | 8| 600| 1| 9| 6| 7| 6| | 6| | 9| 625| 1|10| 8| 9| 9| | 8| |10| 650| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 90| | | | | | | | | 2| 120| | | | | | 2| | | 3| 190| | | | | | 5| 2| | 4| 250| | 2| | | | 6| 4| | 5| 325| | 5| | | | 7| 5| | 6| 400| | 5| | 4| | 7| 8| | 7| 550| | 5| 2| 5| | 9| 9| | 8| 700| | 5| 7| 7| | 9|12| | 9|1100| | 5|10| 7| 4| 9|15| |10|1400| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 100| | | | | | | | | 2| 130| | | 1| | | 2| | | 3| 200| | | 2| | 3| 2| | | 4| 300| | | 2| | 4| 2| 3| | 5| 375| | | 3| 1| 5| 2| 5| | 6| 480| | 1| 5| 1| 6| 3| 6| | 7| 600| | 1| 6| 1| 7| 4|10| | 8| 810| | 1| 8| 1| 7| 5|13| | 9|1000| | 1|10| 2| 9| 7|17| |10|1200| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 220| | | | | | | | | 2| 300| | | 2| | | | | | 3| 360| | | 2| | 1| | 2| | 4| 430| | | 3| 1| 1| | 4| | 5| 485| | | 4| 2| 2| 1| 6| | 6| 540| | | 4| 3| 4| 2| 9| | 7| 600| | | 5| 4| 5| 3|11| | 8| 650| | | 6| 5| 7| 4|14| | 9| 700| | | 9| 5| 8| 5|17| |10| 750| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 120| | | | | | | | | 2| 170| | | | 2| | | | | 3| 230| | | | 5| | | 1| | 4| 300| | 1| 1| 6| | | 3| | 5| 385| | 2| 2| 8| | | 5| | 6| 510| 1| 2| 3| 9| | | 7| | 7| 680| 2| 2| 4|10| | 1| 9| | 8| 850| 3| 2| 7|10| | 2|11| | 9|1000| 4| 2|10|10| | 3|13| |10|1300| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 155| | | | | | | | | 2| 230| | | | | 2| | | | 3| 320| | | 1| | 3| | 1| | 4| 375| | | 2| | 4| 1| 3| | 5| 450| | 2| 2| | 4| 3| 4| | 6| 540| | 4| 2| | 6| 4| 5| | 7| 640| 1| 6| 4| | 7| 4| 7| | 8| 740| 1| 7| 4| | 9| 7| 8| | 9| 870| 2| 9| 5| |10|10|10| |10|1000| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 90| | | | | | | | | 2| 110| | | | 2| | | 1| | 3| 150| | | 2| 2| | | 2| | 4| 180| | | 4| 2| | | 4| | 5| 220| | 3| 4| 2| | | 6| | 6| 280| | 5| 4| 2| | | 7| | 7| 350| | 5| 7| 3| | |10| | 8| 400| | 5| 8| 6| | |12| | 9| 450| | 5|10| 9| | |15| |10| 600| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ < > +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ |Lv| Pay|CO|ME|CH|BO|LO|CR|FF| +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ | 1| 175| | | | | | | | | 2| 250| | | | 2| | | 1| | 3| 325| | 1| | 4| | | 2| | 4| 400| 1| 2| | 4| 1| | 3| | 5| 475| 1| 4| | 6| 1| | 4| | 6| 550| 1| 5| 2| 6| 1| 3| 5| | 7| 650| 1| 6| 3| 7| 3| 4| 7| | 8| 725| 1| 6| 5| 7| 5| 7| 9| | 9| 825| 2| 6| 8| 8| 6| 9|11| |10| 925| TOP LEVEL | +--+----+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+ Promotions will happen automatically, and you will be informed of them once the sim who got promoted comes home. You'll get the next level's pay, along with a one-time bonus that is twice as much. For example, if a sim in the X-treme Career is at level 2 and gets promoted, he'll bring home the new salary of level 3 (§325), plus twice as much for a bonus (§650), for a total of §975. Generally, you would want to use the extra cash to buy anything you may need to hone new required skills. Demotions can happen too, if the sim keeps showing to work in a bad mood. I haven't done it myself, but I'll test it out later and give a full report. Carpools set to take you to work will arrive at a certain time. If two sims go to work at the same time, they use the same carpool. Your sim has one hour to start walking toward the car before it will drive away. Sims can miss work without repercussion so long as they don't miss two days in a row. Two skip days will result in being fired, but skipping one day, going the next day, and skipping the next day is fine. No matter what job you have, there's a chance a random event will happen (I call them Chance Cards; what can I say? I love Monopoly.). Most are in the form of skill bonuses, but many give you extra money. Chance Cards can be bad, however; you may lose money or skill. The chance of a Chance Card appearing is slim, but I don't know the exact percentage. The most lucrative one I've found is in the Hacker career track. If you're lucky, you'll end up getting a boost of a whopping §30000. Yes, thirty THOUSAND simoleans. That's more than enough to remodel your house, including buying carpet, wallpaper, windows (in any style), doors (in any style), and lamps (in any style) for every room. And after that, you'll still have a great deal left over. Personally, that's one of the main reasons I tend to favor the Hacker career with Pyro. If you stay at the top level of any job for awhile, you'll get a chance card that will boot you to another career at about the 5th level. There's no real positive of this, it's just a way for your games to be more random. That's the only time you won't start at the bottom however. If you quit or get fired, then take another job, you WILL start at the lowest level. <<6a. SKILLS>> The six skills you need are Cooking, Mechanical, Charisma, Body, Logic, and Creativity. Only four of them can help you directly; the other two serve simply for the job. All skills start at zero can be raised to 10. They won't decay unless you're unlucky enough to get a chance card during the course of a job. When you start working on any skill, a little blue progress bar will appear over that sim's head. When it tops off, you'll get a message informing you that the sim gained in that skill. COOKING and MECHANICAL can be learned by studying them from a bookcase or buying and using the appropiate work table. The Cooking table is a homemade preserves cooking set, which you can buy under miscellaneous items. The Mechanical table, also under miscellaneous, is a wood working table. Both enable you to work on your skills while making money, although you'll have to work a little bit to see any profits. To use either table, simply interact with it, and choose the sole option that appears. If you're wood working, your sim will continue until it gets in a bad mood or you give it a different order. The same applies to the preserves table, but your sim will stop if it makes a set of six jars. By far, the better item is the wood working table. While it chops at your comfort level (since you're standing while you're working), you can make mass profits from being fully knowledgable in Mechanical. If your Mechanical rating is 10, then each gnome you craft with the table nets you §100 (you can sell the gnomes in Buy Mode). A family could EASILY make a living on just that table alone, but I'll deal with that specific strategy in the strategy section. The homemade preserves table will advance your cooking, but you can only sell the preserves for §60 a set when your Cooking is at 10 (these are sold as an interaction, not in Buy Mode). However, you can use the preserves as gifts, also with an interaction to the table itself, if you so desire. I cover gifts in the next section. Cooking contributes to how filling the sim's meal is. The higher the Cooking skill, the better a meal (whether it be a family meal or a single meal) will improve the Hunger mood bar. Mechanical affects how fast a sim can repair a broken appliance or clogged toilet. With a low rating, it may be worth the §50 or so it takes to call a repairman. CHARISMA is the next skill, and it's gained in only two ways. You can either Practice Speech when you interact with any mirror, or you can buy the item called Bezique's Folly Card Game, found in the miscellaneous items and PRACTICE it. While the card game is a group activity, you don't gain Charisma from playing with others. It doesn't make sense to me, but hey, I didn't program the game. Anyway, there's no purpose for Charisma other than job advances. BODY is gained from either swimming or working on the exercise equipment, found in the miscellaneous items. This too has no purpose aside from job advancements. By the way, while your sim swims, there won't be a blue progress bar, but trust me, Body IS going up. LOGIC is gained by either playing chess, looking in the telescope, or working with the chemistry set. I prefer the chess set, since it boosts your fun as well as logic; plus, since you're sitting, your comfort will be going up as well. If you can find another sim to play with you, you'll have the social meter getting a boost too. Logic determines the chance that making a potion in the chemistry set will be a positive potion. I have always made good potions when my logic was at 10. CREATIVITY can be raised by playing a musical instrument or painting. Creativity affects the quality of what you're painting too, but even a painting that was painted by someone with 10 Creativity points won't sell for much. There's no way you could make a living off paintings alone, verified by one of my friends who was too stubborn to play one particular family any other way. Anyway, try to raise your sims' skills as much as possible without compromising your moods. Of course, you can kill several birds with one grenade if you can. As I said up there by Logic, playing chess is a great way to raise Fun, Comfort, Social, and Logic all at once. Besides, if two people play chess, they both learn Logic simultaneously. Not a bad deal! Just be careful with raising Body. It absolutely drains energy and comfort levels, so don't try it if your sim is already uncomfortable or tired. Check out my strategies section for general tips on raising skills. === --7. SIM LOVE-- "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amoré!" ..Well, something like that anyway. First of all, let me start by saying that your sims start off their lives by not having any sort of sexual preference... either that, or everyone is a bisexual. In other words, any sim can fall in love with any other sim. I suppose if you really want to, you could have incest stories going, but that's a little weird. The point is that you cannot "set" whether sims are homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual. However, you can point your sim in one direction or another. If you want a heterosexual sim, just don't do any of the "love" actions (explained below) to the same gender of sim. There are plenty of actions that aren't considered love, although there are a few of each that I don't agree with. More on that in a second though. Remember the button that lets you view relationships? It's in Live Mode, and the top-right button of the group of seven (the one that has the two people on it). That shows all the sims whom the active sim knows. You may have scroll the list if you know a lot of others. I'm going to use my own sims as examples here so I don't have to say "your sim" and "the other sim" every few seconds... The background color of the portrait indicates the general feeling of your active sim to the other one. For example, if Stephanie's picture is gray when Pyro is the active character, it means that Pyro barely knows Stephanie at all. If it's a faded green, it means Pyro is starting to know Stephanie, just not all that well. When it turns bright green, Pyro knows Stephanie inside and out (though that may not indicate love). It works negatively, too. A dull red means Pyro sort of resents Stephanie, but he can suck it up for awhile. A bright red indicates that Pyro openly wants to whoop Stephanie's candy ass whenever she appears. Directly below the portrait is a number, and below that is a bar. These show the same thing, in different ways; they show how the daily (i.e., short-term) feelings specifically. The number can range anywhere from -100 to 100. At 0, Pyro just met Stephaine. At 100, they're very good friends. At -100, they're enemies. Below that is another, thinner bar, and another number. These show the lifetime (i.e., long-term) feelings. At 100, Pyro and Stephanie have been lifelong friends since childhood. At -100, they've been enemies before they were even born. Both the daily and lifetime meters combine to determine the overall feelings. I assume they're weighted, but I'm not sure. The purpose of both meters allow Pyro and Stephanie to be in love but be fighting, in theory. It doesn't work that easily, though. If two sims do not interact with each other, the bars will slowly go toward 0. I've experimented and found out that the lifetime bar affects the general speed of decay. For example, if Pyro has 100 daily and 100 lifetime to Stephanie, there may be no decay at all before the day is done. If Pyro has 100 daily and only 20 lifetime to Stephaine, the 100 may trickle down to 90 or so that day. I got a contribution from Clay (email@example.com) detailing this a bit more... *** The top bar (current relationship) is similar to the old style bar. So, you can directly affect it (higher or lower) through interactions, but it also degrades by several points by itself. It also degrades a bit faster now, about every 2-3 hours instead of overnight. The lower bar (long-term relationship) is the life time relationship and isn't directly affected through social interactions. What it does is, every few hours or so it moves a few points in the direction of the top bar. So if the lower bar is at 20 and the upper bar is at 70, after a few hours the lower bar will jump a few points up to 22 or so. All this bar ever does is try to match the top bar. So, if you can keep the top bar high, the lower bar will eventually match it. *** Beware that just because Pyro likes Stephanie doesn't mean she likes him back. In fact, most if not all of sims' relationships will be very slightly different if you compare both sets of numbers. Generally, the numbers won't be TOO far off; Pyro could be 95 daily/90 lifetime, while Stephanie is 92 daily/87 lifetime. Differences that small are more or less negligable. Below the bars and numbers, two symbols may or may not be there. A blue smiley face indicates that Pyro considers Stephanie a friend. A pink heart would indicate that he's starting to feel some butterflies whenever she's around. That heart could change into a red heart, which means he's head over heels in love. Until the Hot Date expansion, there was only one level of love; this latest expansion throws in that second level. The numbers, overall mood, and love or friendship status affect what actions are available when two sims interact, and whether those actions will fail. Because I don't want to ruin the game for you, I'm going to just touch on the actions sims can do with each other. I divide all the positive actions into two classes: those that initate love, and those that don't. This is VERY important to remember. You see, if two sims love each other, they get jealous or angry whenever other sims hit on their lovers. If Pyro loves Stephanie, and Pete tries to kiss her, Pyro will be ticked. No matter how Stephanie reacts, be it positively or negatively, Pyro will take a cut in his Social meter, and he'll normally stop whatever he's doing to slap Pete. He'll also lose several points of friendship against Pete too. Now, the only actions that can do this are those that initate love. Pyro won't get mad if Pete talks to Stephanie or gives her a friendly hug, but my namesake will get very angry if Pete tries to sweep Stephanie off her feet. Pyro can only detect this if he's in the same room, however. If Pete coaxes Stephanie into his bedroom and tries to move in on her, Pyro won't know and will ignorantly continue whatever he's doing. Wow, this is turning into the latest episode of Days of Our Lives. Anyway, the moral is that you'll want to stay innocent with other sims if someone who loves them is in the same room. If you're in different rooms, well, do what you wish. In any event, all actions will boost the Social meter and add positive points to the relationship bars if the move is not rejected. Just because the option to kiss a sim appears doesn't mean your target will accept your advances. The only option that is never outright rejected is Talk, although there's a slim chance one sim will get a bit aggitated at the conversation. I'm going to sound like a complete moron with my next statement, but I can't think of a better way to put it: all actions that can induce love have a chance of inducing love. That is, all kisses and a few hugs may make one sim fall in love with other, or they may fall for each other at the same time. Typically, the sims will go to a pink heart before a red heart, but I've seen a few instances when they skip the pink heart step. The only exception, the one that makes me scratch my head in wonder, is the Compliment > Admire action. This causes other sims to get jealous, but it never induces love. I can understand why Compliment > Worship would get some tempers rising, but admiration? Ah well, just be aware of it. If love is not your cup of tea and you just want to be friends with another sim, your actions become slightly limited, but not significantly. No group activity can induce love, so you can have two sims improve their friendship by playing chess or watching TV for example. Once the daily relationship meter is high enough, that sim becomes a friend and the blue smiley face will appear. This generally happens around 50, but that number could be significantly higher. If two sims have conflicting zodiac signs, or one is particularly shy, or one is particularly mean, the number could reach as high 90. It's one way the game more or less forces you to have variety among your families. When a sim becomes a friend, it's counted as a FAMILY friend. The number of friends a family has is indicated in the bottom-right corner by the green smiley face. The reason I stress FAMILY friend is because that's the number that is considered when a sim gets promoted. In fact, my main strategy, takes full advantage of that. You can check that out in the strategy section. As far as I know, there is no real border to whether a sim will fall in love, but I do know that a sim will not fall in love with someone that's not a friend first. Summary: "All lovers will be friends, but not all friends will be lovers, and no lovers will not be friends." So by now you're probably asking how you get your sims to fall in love. It sounds simple on paper, and may be simple in the game, but it could end up getting rather complex. Let's go back in time before Pyro and Stephanie were married, when they were both still in SimCollege. The first thing that had to happen was a meeting. After that, they talked casually about their interests, occassionally entertaining each other with jokes or puppets. As their relationship grew, they became friends, and started getting slightly more forward with one another. One day, their hug was an intimate one, lasting longer than normal. That's when both started feeling a little flustered. Pyro and Stephanie did a lot of flirting, whispering sweet little nothings in each other ears and sharing back rubs. Pyro eventually found the courage to give Stephanie a little peck on her cheek. That kiss carried bucketloads of fireworks. Stephanie returned the kiss with a passionate one on Pyro's lips, and he got all red and giggly. Pyro's a dork, what can I say? They were married soon after that, and Pyro started giving Stephanie back rubs from the front. The point is, all you have to do is slowly get more forward with your target, and it will happen automatically. There's just a few general rules: 1. WATCH YOUR MOOD -- If you're in a bad mood, you may hug a little too hard or miss your aim with that kiss. It's best to keep it simple if you're ticked off. 2. WATCH YOUR TARGET'S MOOD -- Your target may be a little angry and doesn't feel like being hugged or flirted with. Again, keep it simple. 3. DON'T BE STINKY -- No one wants to be kissed by a pair of lips that have the remains of yesterday's pizza. If you're not clean, you may want to avoid trying anything until a shower. 4. DON'T BE TIRED -- If you lean in for a kiss and end up falling asleep on your target's shoulder, it kinda ruins the night for both of you. 5. DON'T BE TOO FORWARD -- If you met your target ten seconds ago, he/she is not going to want a deep passionate kiss. Save those advanced moves until you're both ready, Romeo. Don't make me get the hose! Since friends care less about each other's moods and hygiene, you can pretty much pull the meter up to 50 without any sort of issue of cleanliness and energy. Still though, you want to be in the best mood you can be at all times anyway. Some say that you can get from a relationship rating of 0 to 100 in one day, while others say you can't. I can tell you from the bottom of my soul that not only is it possible, it's very likely if you play your cards right. In my strategy section, I deal with that very issue. Even if you're a veteran of The Sims, do not try old strategies. Maxis has slightly changed the way sims get their relationship meters up; it's nothing weird, but it's slightly harder. More details in the strategy section. (By the way, I'm talking about getting the DAILY meter up to 100. There's no way you can get the lifetime meter up to triple digits in one day.) Once your sim has a strong daily and lifetime relationship with one person, you can ask the target to move in with you if they aren't already. If this is accepted, they do so immediately, and if they're the last one of their family, their money and friends are added to yours! It can be a quick boost to your bank account as well as a ticket to eternal happiness. If a sim is up to 100, in love, and of the opposite gender, the option of marriage can come up on the list. If accepted, a very short ceremony commences, with a chunk of your cash being subtracted to cover the expenses. After that, they move in as they would with the move-in command I just described. For tips on how to accomplish either, head to my strategy section. The last thing I want to touch on is the art of giving gifts. Before this expansion, "Give Gift" was a basic action that subtracted §20 from your account in order to give a green package to your target. The target would generally gain 5 points, and this action could never be rejected. In a very real sense, you could buy your target's love. Now, it's not so simple. In order to give a gift, you have to possess it first. Not everything can be gifts, and most of them must be bought when you're downtown (next section). Only the homemade preserves can be added to your inventory, which can be accessed by clicking the button with a little gift-wrapped package. Once you have a gift, there's no cost to give it, but it will disappear afterwards. Therefore, Pyro can't give Stephanie a necklace and have her give it back, for example. I think the boost is now around 3 points for gift giving, making it terribly unprofitable. <<7a. HAVING AND GREETING VISITORS>> Sims in the same neighborhood will show up on your family's doorstep on the day you move in, but they only do that until you've met them. After that, you have to invite them over. To do so, click a phone, then the last name of the sim you want to invite, then the first name of the sim. A little pop-up box will appear; click Invite. This can be declined, but they're far more willing to come over if the relationship meter is high. Calling while your target is at work won't do anything, and calling in the middle of the night will tick him or her off. The sim may ask if another sim can come over too. This is up to you, and if you accept, you may have up to four others come over. All visitors expect you to feed them, so you may not want to do this until you've got a meal ready. If you decline, you're not penalized in any way. If the sim is an exceptionally good friend, he or she may bring a box of chocolates or a vase of flowers. The flowers are worthless, and the chocolates aren't that great at helping the Hunger meter, but the gesture is nice I suppose. By the way, speaking of things that are worthless... you may have noticed a "Talk" option in the pop-up box after you call a sim. Never choose it; it wastes time and doesn't boost the relationship meter by more than a few points. If the sim does not bring a gift, it's up to you to decide how you will greet them. Shaking hands is generally the considerable thing to do, but you could be more forward if you think you can get away with it. Just be careful; being too forward can lead to any number of things going wrong. When you want a sim to vacate your house, you should do so politely. Click the target, choose "Say Goodbye...," then something appropiate to the situation. Only enemies will want to leave with a wave. Most prefer handshaking, although you can try a kiss if you're daring. The "Hug" option means a friendly hug, so no one is going to get jealous as a result of it. Remember, you can never control a visitor. Just make sure you have a healthy balance of stuff so the sim won't go away angry, and you'll be okay. === --8. DOWNTOWN: THE NEW AREA OF SIMCITY-- Previously, your sims could not leave the lot. Now, they have the option to call a cab to head to the big city. To initiate it, click a phone in your house, then Call Cab. For §50, one adult sim can get a ride downtown. Be aware that the game will save when you do so, so make sure you WANT it saved first. You're taken to a screen like the Neighborhood Screen, but it shows the downtown lots. If you hover the taxi cursor over a building, you can get a short description of it. To pick one, simply click it. Once downtown, you cannot enter Buy Mode or Build Mode, but more on that later. You can only use that one sim, and you can't save. I know the technical reason, but let's not deal with it. If you want to know, toss me an e-mail. Anyway, as soon as you're downtown, you can do whatever you wish. There are shops, places to eat, recreational places, and other things. The moment you arrive to any place, a hoard of other sims show up, including any others that you moved into houses already, although they won't cross neighborhoods. That is, if you're visiting downtown with a sim from neighborhood 1, you won't find one from neighborhood 2 running around. There are several actions that were added specifically for the downtown area. The initial two, "Let's Hang Out?" and "Let's Date?," are explained in a moment. Like all other actions, they can be accepted or declined based on any number of factors. Again, because I don't want to ruin the game for anyone, I won't go into details about every little thing in Downtown. It's all pretty self-explanatory anyway. What I will do, however, is have a word about saving and leaving downtown. In every downtown lot, there will be a big yellow phone. You can use that to call a cab to go home for free, or to go somewhere else for another §50. In order to save the game, you'll need to get back home. If your game crashes or you quit while you're downtown, the game will load you back at your house. The budget you had while you were downtown WILL save, but your relationships WILL NOT. <<8a. HAVING A DATE OR A FRIEND WITH YOU DOWNTOWN>> You can have up to one other adult sim accompany your sim downtown. This is a standard interaction, and can also be initated over the phone with no extra clicks. I've never known it to be rejected, but you never know. Once you're downtown, your date or friend will have a tiny blue crystal over their head. This indicates their mood (just like your green crystal): the bluer it is, the happier the sim is. If the crystal turns purple, you have a problem. The crystal is the ONLY way you'll know their mood. Why's that, you ask? Simple, and make sure you memorize this: YOU CAN'T CONTROL DATES WHILE DOWNTOWN, EVEN IF THEY LIVE WITH YOU. Yeah, it sucks, but I didn't program the game. A command that you need to get real intimate with is "Ask..." then "How are you?." The target will tell you what mood meter is the lowest. Fix that as soon as possible. The date will follow you around like a sheep and will do whatever you're doing if it's a social activity. If you order food, you'll order for the both of you (and pay for both). If you dance on a dance floor, your date will join you. I don't need to go on with examples, I hope. All the standard interactions are still there, including the romantic ones. Now, here's where the game can get funny. There is typically a sim running around downtown. She wears gray and is an old crotchity woman. She can do whatever standard sims do, but you cannot interact with her. Her name is Miss Crumplebottom, although that could vary. On many sites and message boards, she's referred to as the Old Prude. Now, there's been bickering about whether she was in the game. Some said that she was there all the time. Some said that she was there only 1/40 times (2.5%). Some said that she was never there. Some said she'd only be there if you downloaded a particular patch from a particular site. Here's my take: I don't recall ever seeing her when I initially installed Hot Date, but after I downloaded the v2.0 patch from http://thesims.ea.com/us/ in February 2002, I saw her all the time. Will she appear when you play? I have no idea. Try it and see. Anyway, what Miss Crumplebottom does is yell at your sims if they do a PDA (Public Display of Affection). Please note that this has absolutely no bearing on anything; a message box will pop up with her repremanding you, but that's it. For such a small (albeit funny) thing, people made a big deal about it. Okay, enough of that. Once your sim gets real friendly with the other, and the other's mood is high (its crystal is deep blue), you can attempt to invite the sim back to your house. Well, you can make the attempt anytime, but it's likely to fail. The mood and relationship meters of the target must be relatively high before it will be accepted. Be careful with that command. The two quickest ways to end a date are to run out of money and get too personal. If you ask someone you just met to come home with you, you'll probably not only be rejected and lose a LARGE chunk off the relationship meter, but that sim will walk away, leaving you the only one downtown. Of course, if the sim already lives with you, there's no option and you can't be walked away from. While downtown, you can click another sim and try the Let's Date? or Let's Hang Out? options. If accepted, the other sim gets the blue crystal and follows you. You don't have to have a friend or date to talk to strangers, but you can't dance or order food for strangers. By the way, make sure you say goodbye to the sim when you're ready to call it a night. If you just leave without saying goodbye, your date may take offense and send the relationship back a few steps. Just as if you wanted them to vacate your house, try to pick something that's appropiate to the situation; in other words, don't kiss a stranger. <<8b. CONSTRUCTING BUILDINGS>> Like everything else in The Sims, you can completely overhaul the downtown area and make your own lots. On the neighborhood screen, there's a button that looks like a small group of buildings, just to the right of the bulldozer. That will switch you over to the downtown screen, and you can click any lot to edit. Of course, you can also click the bulldozer and flatten a lot first. Veterans of The Sims used to set aside one lot or two as party houses before this expansion pack. They'd use the money code to get millions of simoleons and build a customized party place. Now, you can do the same thing without wasting a lot. When you click a lot from the downtown screen, you can edit and build WITHOUT REGARDS TO MONEY. You have infinite cash to buy or build whatever you want. Play around! The Build and Buy modes work exactly the same as they do when you're messing with families. The only exception is that certain items available to families won't be available downtown, and vice versa. Once you decide to save your lot, you'll be asked to enter a name and a short description. In order to build shops, there are three essential ingredients: a cash register, a desk for the cash register, and something to sell. When in Buy Mode, click the Shop sort to get all these items. The cash register will make a shopkeeper appear once you visit the lot with a sim, so don't worry about that. The game knows what people will be needed to staff your shops, so you can concentrate on building. The fancy, antique cash register makes a person in a suit appear, while the modern register spawns someone who looks like they came from K-Mart (in other words, unemployed). This is meaningless in practice, but it helps give your store a certain look. After all, do you want that moron from your high school gym class handling that diamond necklace for your spouse? The desks that the registers go on don't matter in the slightest, except again to enhance the look of the store. Under the miscellaneous items subsort of the shops sort are the items your sims will buy from. They include candy racks, magazine racks, jewelry displays, and clothing closets. Simply place one, and your sims can interact with it. I suggest that you make a throwaway family for testing. I keep a one-person family in my barracks named "Ester the Tester." I move her in whenever I make a new lot, then send her to that lot to test that everything works right. It's very easy to forget a door or cash register if you're making a bunch of shops on the same lot. Of course, with 10 lots, you may not have to pack everything in the same area, but I have one lot set for a mall. Anyway, you can also make parks and restaurants. Simply click the dining or outside subsorts, and you'll get items for those. While I don't have much experience making parks, I know quite a bit about restaurants. The essential thing you'll need is the podium. That is where your sim will order food. You'll also need a few tables and chairs. Since no more than two sims will sit at any one table, you can arrange the place accordingly. When you make the dining area, make sure that it's technically in the same room as the podium, or the maîte d' will tell you that their tables are full. This is annoying, but not too bad. If you want a door, you can make an artificial one. Check out this ASCII art... D=Door P=Podium +----------------------------------+ | | | | | | | +------------------+ | | | | D | | DINING AREA | LOBBY P D | D | | | | | +------------------+ | | +----------------------------------+ Let's say this is how you want your restaurant. Since the lobby is in a separate room, the person behind the podium will insist that their tables are full, regardless whether there's a door. You can do two things about this. The easiest is to knock out the divider wall: +----------------------------------+ | | | | | | | +------------------+ | | | | | DINING AREA LOBBY P D | | | | | +------------------+ | | +----------------------------------+ I do this, then color the walls and floors differently in both sections (although if you do so, you can't use the SHIFT-click shortcut since the lobby becomes the same room as the dining area). The other solution is to make a "fake door"... +----------------------------------+ | | | | | | | +------------------+ | | | | | | DINING AREA | LOBBY P D | | | | | | +------------------+ | | +----------------------------------+ In this one, there is no door, but there's no wall either. Technically, they're the same room, but it has the same effect as if you used the open frame door. This way, like the way above, removes the SHIFT-click shortcut, but if you wanted everything to be the same, it wouldn't matter anyway. Of course, you can combine everything in the first place to save yourself the trouble... +----------------------------------+ | | | | | | | | | LOBBY | | & P D | DINING AREA | | | | | | | | | +----------------------------------+ Your design, as always, is up to you. Be sure to get bathrooms and decorations somewhere, too. Remember, no sim likes wetting itself (although seeing a dozen sims parcipate in Syncronized Peeing would make a nifty snapshot). === --9. THROWING PARTIES-- Once you have a bunch of families in your neighborhood, plenty of room, and tons of money, you can initate All Hell And Chaos Mode, also called a "party." Parties are, in practice, like going to a downtown lot. However, parties are far more variable, and far more fun. A bunch of sims will show up to your door, eat your food, clog your toilets, and play with your toys, all while doing little to help you. Basically, all the visitors become like Fat Uncle Charlie, that one relative you just don't want to see. Your guests will need food, entertainment, and bathrooms. You could make food, you could have a TV, you could have your one or two bathrooms, but don't expect anyone to enjoy themselves. There are two major, MAJOR buys I recommend; without either, don't even bother trying to hold a party. The first is the buffet table, somewhere under the appliance sort. It's a refillable table that instantly fills with food with a simple command. Filling the table costs you §100, but if you're expecting a large crowd, that just may not be enough. In that case, it would be best to hire caterer. To do so, click a phone, then sevices, then caterer. He'll charge §350, but he'll be there all day and everytime he fills the table, it's free. That means he pays for himself in four fills, not to mention the fact that you'll actually have time to socialize. He's automated too, so you won't have to do a thing as long as he's provided a table. The caterer also fills punch bowls, but the buffet table is far more important. The second major item you need is the bathroom stall. Generally, if a sim is going to the bathroom, he or she doesn't want anyone to come into the same room (although once they love each other, that limitation is removed). However, if you're sporting stalls, then as many sims as there are stalls can be in the same room and they won't care. This also applies to port-a-potties, but who wants to go in one of those? I suggest you make a special party room that's a little bit away from the rest of your house. Make a large bathroom adjacent to it, and fill the bathroom with stalls and sinks (no mirrors or showers). Obviously you want to throw your buffet tables and punch bowls in the party room, too. You'll need at least two or three tables and plenty of chairs too. Entertainment is a little easier. While no one just wants to watch TV, having one is certainly a good idea. The best things to have are those that allow a bunch of people to join in. The campside fireplace, which can only be placed outside, holds a whopping EIGHT sims. Indoors, stick with pinball machines, dance floors, stereos, pool tables, and the big train set. All of those ensure that every single sim will have something to do whenever it gets bored. Another fun item is the cake. Once you buy the big cake (under the miscellaneous items sort), you can click it to hire a male or female dancer. Everyone loves those kinds of dancers, don't they? Once you're ready, click a phone, then click "Throw Party." In effect, you're calling one person, who then calls everyone else that you know. Soon enough, everyone in the world will show up on your doorstep. You won't have to greet them, luckily. They'll ring the doorbell, but then let themselves in. There are several ways you can tell how successful your party is. None of these work until a few game hours pass, so don't expect instant ratings. BAD PARTIES get the mime. You'll know that he's going to appear via a pop-up box that, well, pops up. If he appears, it's a sign that something's wrong. You may want to double check your food, entertainment, and bathroom locations and fix it for the next party. NEUTRAL PARTIES don't get any visual indication. If a party goes smoothly and people leave with smiles, then you did well. While there is room for improvement, you can pat yourself on the back with pride. GOOD PARTIES get party crashers, although that's not entirely a good thing. These are just random people who look like they lost a fight with a can of paint, and they come into your house just like Fat Uncle Charlie does... at least your guests talk to you. The only interaction you have with a party crasher is to ask them to leave. If you do so, a box will pop up with their protest, but they'll exit the house. Beware though... once they exit the house, they'll hang outside for a few minutes, then come right back in. As long as you're not cooking, you shouldn't worry about it. The caterer doesn't care one iota, so neither should you. GREAT PARTIES will be interrupted by a special guest in addition to the party crasher. None other than the famous Drew Carey, star of the self-titled sitcom and guest competitor of the 2001 WWF Royal Rumble, will appear. You can't do anything to him, but he'll go around and talk to everyone. He'll leave eventually, but if he appears at all, you can celebrate hosting a fantastic party. Parties are a great way to expand or enhance your network of friends. There's just one major problems in general, but it's actually the main reason I hold parties in the first place. See, all visitors will be out of your control, as normal. However, they don't understand who they love and who they don't. Due to my strategy, I typically have every male in love with every girl, and vice versa (yes, it's weird). This becomes REAL entertaining when one sim decides to make a move. It causes a domino effect that makes about a half-dozen sims get angry and jealous. Indirectly, this situation once caused a casualty at one of my parties. I'll go into details of that little incident in my Disasters section. You cannot throw parties until you have enough people. I think the limit is 10 people or 5 families, whichever is lesser, but I haven't tested it. Before you hit that point, the Throw Party option won't appear on the phone. === --10. KIDS-- Kids. They're so cute and innocent at that age. AWWWWWWWWWWW!!! Kids are an optional part of The Sims. You can create kids when you create families, but I tend not to due to cost. You see, in my humble opinion, sim kids are wastes of money, time, and air. They do make the game more challenging, but kids are pretty much worthless otherwise. They can't get jobs and any money they earn is from Grandpa for good grades, which happens too infrequently since you only get 100 bucks. However, if you wish to have a kid, there's plenty of ways to get one. Occasionally, you may be asked via a phone call if you want to adopt one. If you accept, then there's no muss, no fuss. If you want two sims to procreate (and yes, they have to be opposite genders), then just keep doing extremely romantic actions back and forth, and you may get a dialouge box that says "Should we have a baby?" However you get one, the gender will be given to you and you can name it. Again, I won't list what I call my kids, since CJayC would probably ban me for life from GameFAQs. We'll go with Pyro Jr. if I need him in an example. Now, kids are retarded versions of adults. They can do most of what adults can do, but not everything. They can't cook (although they can grab snacks), and they can't go into hot tubs for obvious reasons. If an object can only be manipulated by a child or adult, it will say so in the item description of Buy Mode. If there is no line like that, either age can use it. Kids' eight meters and personalities work the same way as adults. Kids can have relationships with either age, but can't fall in love with anyone. Their interests are slightly different than adults, but nothing too weird. Kids do have a "job" of sorts. They have to go to school every day at 7 AM, and their grade will appear if you click their job button. They can study for school using a computer or bookcase, but their grade will automatically rise as long as they're going to school. Kids cannot be taken downtown. Despite my feelings on how worthless kids are, RHunterLand (RHunterLand@netscape.net) found a rather convincing use for them... *** The Children of a Sim household, besides being very entertaining, are EXTREMELY beneficial, have often kept a household a float while mom and dad were struggling with lack of sleep/depression, another lost job, starting at the bottom again. A. The household has a discount in daily cost for each child. In other words with the same items, size etc...your household bills are less AFTER the child than before...ie income tax deduction. B. A child who loves to paint sells their masterpieces for $111 (they'll paint a minimum of one a day, and consider it great fun.) The money starts after they have completed a few paintings, but MUCH, MUCH, MUCH sooner than the adults larger payments. Granted NOT ALL of them are artistically inclined, but for those that are...) C. An A+ student can study on the computer and be rewarded $100 from the Sim Excellence in Education Foundation. This occurs on a regular basis, is much more often than grandma/grandpa. D. A child's friend is the household's friend, be it another child, or an adult. E. when you are having a party, they will SOCIALIZE/minglewith BEFRIEND the guests. E. A musically inclined child will entertain your guests, something that all of the guests seem to LOVE. F. A child will CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. *** Since I have a very distinct way I play the sims (i.e., "greedy bastard"), I decided to test out the bill worth. I ran two families with identical, extremely large houses for six days apiece. The first family had one adult. The second family had one adult and four children. Here's the whopping difference: FAMILY A FAMILY B DAY 3 (1st Bill) §1753 §1047 DAY 6 (2nd Bill) §1687 §1015 TOTAL 6 DAYS §3440 §2062 DIFFERENCE: §1378 Now, §1378 will buy a frickin' load of stuff, and considering that that's the total for only SIX days, you can only guess what your savings will be if you have a kid from the beginning. The difference is around 60%, so I'm guessing that each kid you have shaves 10% off your bill. In the early days, that won't be much, but if you think ahead, that will add up to stupid-large amounts. Maybe having kids isn't so bad after all. <<10a. BABIES>> Of course, kids have to come from somewhere. Babies are the first step to raising a child if you didn't create one in the Create Sim screen. Babies take three sim days to become a kid. Babies are also a pain. First of all, it takes two working people or one unemployed person to care for a baby, and it's a full-time job. Randomly, the baby will cry, and then it must be interacted with. Your options are Feed, Play, and Sing. When you sing to a baby, if's it's satisfied with its mood, it will go to sleep for several hours. If it's not satisfied with its mood, it will keep crying. Once asleep, babies cannot be woken up for any reason. They will wake up and scream when they darn well feel like it. A baby takes three sim days to turn into a kid. Its face and clothes are random, as is its personality and interests (its personality points can actually exceed the usual limit of 25). Its skin tone will match one of its parent's, although you never know what you get when you adopt. Taking care of babies is easy, but tedious and will shoot your sims' moods to hell. I'll tell you what I do, but let's remove Pete from the equation for a moment. Whenever a baby comes into play, I offset a temporary special room (usually the living room, if it has a couch) and put the baby bascinet in there (moveable through Buy Mode, although you can't sell it). While Stephanie goes to work, Pyro stays home to care for the baby. Once she's home, they trade places; Pyro goes to work, and Stephanie stays home to care for the kid. Then, Pyro will get home and care for the kid again, while Stephanie goes to work. That's the three days, and then they can both relax. This way, no one gets fired. With Pete in the mix, though, I have another method, shown in the strategy section. I also detail how precisely to take care of a baby there. === --11. DISASTERS-- One of the best parts of the SimCity series was the fact you could activate fires, earthquakes, tornados, and alien invasions on a whim. While there's no insta-disaster in The Sims, you can still wreck havoc the same way with a bit of ingenuity. I'll list all the disasters, how to intentionally do it, and how to prevent it. -FIRE- HISTORIAN: Man discovered fire in prehistoric times. It has always been a tool, but a double-edged one at that. It can cook food well, but it can also cook-- PYROFALKON: *sets the historian on fire* HISTORIAN: It can also cook humans, as my friend here just demonstrated. Wait, that's not a fake fire. Wait, come back! It burns! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *dies* PYROFALKON: *laughs* If there is any one disaster you can do off the bat, it's fires. Ovens of all flavors, including microwaves and toaster ovens, can catch flames and pass them off to your sims or other pieces of furniture. Fires can come from more than the oven, though. It can result from a flying spark in the fireplace, or a mishap with the toy rocket. Fires spread rather quickly, so if one starts, you need to take steps. Unfortunately, though, sims are stupid. If they're in a room with a fire, they'll immediately drop whatever they're doing and panic. You have to manually cancel the panic action (by clicking its icon in the queue), then do something else. Sims can extinguish the flames themselves, but it's not always guarenteed to work. You can call the SimCity Fire Department, but it takes a bit of time for him to appear. What you can do is have one sim try to extinguish the flame while another calls for help. Your sim should be able to keep the flame relatively contained until The Man In Yellow arrives. If there is a smoke alarm in the room, the SCFD will be summoned automatically. If a fire is taken care of fast enough, whatever burned will not take damage. If the fire is allowed to continue, not only can it spread, it could turn whatever item burned into a pile of ashes. You won't be reimbursed for the lost item, and you're stuck with a mess that has to be cleaned up. If a sim is caught in a fire, its hygiene, comfort, and energy will be sliced. If the flame around him or her continues, the sim could die. I cover death in a moment. To prevent a fire from starting, always make sure that whoever cooks food has at least 1 in the cooking skill. I've made fires happen even then, though; the safe zone is 3. If you have a fireplace, make sure to put NO object within two tiles in all directions. As far as the rocket goes, well, there's not too much you can do about that. If the rocket is far away from other objects, the chance of something wrong is reduced. If you want to start a fire, there is one sure way to do so: launch a rocket inside the house. SOMETHING will catch flames. To ensure that your sim will burn, simply order them to stand right beside the fire. They will catch shortly after, and you'll have one sim, extra crispy. -ELECTROCTUTION- I have never actually seen this one, but from what I know, it's relatively simple. Just have your sim change a lightbulb while standing in a puddle water. Its Mechanical skill is weighed, I think, and a sim with 10 will never be killed. This will cause death to the sim, but nothing else gets damaged. To prevent it, simply don't change lightbulbs while there's water on the floor. Mop up puddles before changing lightbulbs, and you'll be fine. I think you more or less HAVE to set this up before you see it. If anyone as any other way, contact me, and I'll test it by roasting Pete for the next update. -DROWNING- This one is popular. Simply get a sim in the pool, then leave them there. When their energy hits 0, they die. Prevention and intentionally causing should be obvious. Remember in section 9, I talked about a party that had a casualty? This was it. I had a pool party, and a few sims jumped in for a swim. After that, Pete tried to get fresh with Stephanie. Pyro and Sixam, both of whom were in love with her, ran up and slapped him. Arguments started, and Stephanie went away to get a piece of cake. (She chose cake over three men? That's sound thinking, but if it was three chicks fighting in front of one guy, something tells me that cake would not be as interesting.) Anyway, this fighting just happened to be occuring in front of the ladder to the pool. The victim (I can't remember his name now) was the last one in the water. He swam during the whole fight, then decided he had seen enough. However, with the three fighters all blocking the ladder for the pool, he had no means of escape. He panicked and yelled, but the fight was still going on. Eventually, the victim drowned, and three men made up, probably all the while laughing at the dead guy. Ah, memories... -STARVATION- I think this is self-explanatory. If I need to go into detail about how to make sims eat or not eat, you have larger problems than this FAQ can fix. -DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY- The overall mood meter has five levels in both directions, but from what I can tell it also has a SIXTH level in the positives. If you sim hits that, it can die of happiness. First it will look like the sim is having a seziure, then it will collapse and concede to death. Good luck trying to intentionally cause this, I've only been able to do it once. It seems slightly random more than anything else. There's no real way to prevent it since it's VERY hard to get that happy. If you're paranoid, just make sure at least one meter is partially low, say 90% or less. -THE REPO MAN- If for some reason you can't pay your bills, the repo man will come and take away an item that has a value around the cost of your bills. To cause it, don't pay your bills. To prevent it, pay your bills. Yawn. -BURGLARY- It doesn't matter how safe you think the neighborhood is, there's always a moron who steals things from innocent people. The burglar will randomly appear, and he'll walk into your house, taking whatever he desires. Once he's on your lot, you're locked out of Buy Mode and Build Mode (to prevent you from cheating by removing doors or selling items before he gets to them). You can get one of your sims to call the police department, but since he only appears at night, your sim will probably be cranky about waking up, and he'll waste a half hour complaining while the burglar is shopping. Also, once it knows that a sim is awake, it'll haul ass after getting a few items. If the burglar is caught, you'll get a §1000 reward, plus the insurance company will pay you some money to replace your stolen items if in fact he did manage to steal anything. Sometimes, the insurance company seems to give me money anyway... I wonder if that's a bug? You can't intentionally cause this, and I don't really see why you would want to. To prevent it, put a burglar alarm by your doors. When the burglar steps close enough, it'll make the most annoying sound in the history of gaming, and the police will automatically be summoned. Just make sure you put alarms around EVERY exterior door. I thought that they only used the front door like house guests, so that's the only one I protected. When the thief appeared, he apparently SAW the alarm, so he walked out of its range to the backdoor. It sucked, he took all my nifty electronics. Grr... Anyway, there's a way you can guarentee that the thief cannot even reach your front door, and it's not a cheat. It's in the general strategy section, so take a peek. -MILITARY SCHOOL- If a kid constantly skips school, he'll be sent to a military school. In practice, this removes him from the family PERMANENTLY. There is absolutely no way to get him back, unless you want to reload your game. You can easily prevent this by sending the kid to school daily. You can easily cause it by keeping the kid home. -SOCIAL SERVICES- If a baby is cared for correctly, you'll never have any problems. If the baby is neglected however, a worker from social services may appear and take the baby away. This could be good or bad, depending on your feelings of kids. -MOVE OUTS- If two sims who are under the same roof absolutely hate each other, the "Fight" interaction may appear. After enough fights, the loser will say that he or she won't stand for anymore. He or she will then pack his or her bags and leave the house. In practice, this is the adult version of military school. The sim who leaves is gone permanently with no possible way to get it back. You can cause it by simply doing as many negative actions as possible, and you can prevent by doing as many positive actions as possible. <<11a. DEATH>> Whenever a sim dies, its corpse will be on the ground for all to see (except in the case of drowning). Also, the grim reaper will appear on your front lawn and head to the deceased. If another family member wants to, it can plead with Death to spare the dead's life. Several things can happen here... If Death is in a bad mood, it'll just blow you off and take the corpse. If Death is in a good mood, your sim plays a game of rock, paper, scissors with Death. On a win, the dead sim is rezzed for a second chance at life. If the sim loses the game, Death will either take the corpse, or he'll be nice and rez the body, but turn it into a zombie. The zombie thing is a mixed blessing. The sim may be alive, but it has a nasty green skin tone and loses ALL personality points. It's normal otherwise, though, so maybe it's not so bad. There's no way to save someone who drowned. He should've gotten out of the pool before Pyro started the fight! Once the corpse is taken, the body changes to an urn or a tombstone (depending on whether it's inside or outside the house). You can move this around in Buy Mode, and can put it in the house or make a little graveyard. Either way, sims can interact with the object, though the only option, "Mourn," only cuts down the Social meter. Ah well, it's realistic. If there is an urn or gravestone on the property, the ghost of the dead may wander around the house scaring everybody at night. This really sucks since ghosts can wake up sims that are asleep, and there's no way to get rid of the ghosts. Well, there IS a way, but it's awfully cruel. You can actually sell the urn or tombstone through Buy Mode for §5. I guess you really can put a price tag on life. === --12. STRATEGIES-- Woo hoo! The fun stuff! Off the bat, a disclaimer: I make absolutely no guarentees that any of these strategies will work. They're simply built by the experiences and opinions of the strategies' authors. If you just plainly suck at The Sims, strategies may not help you at all. You are perfectly free to alter the strategies in any way you need to compliment your playing style, and you can even resubmit them here. Just remember that all the strategies worked for SOMEONE, so don't slam an author simply because it didn't work exactly the way you wanted it to. Okay, enough of that... <<12a. PyroFalkon's Alpha Strategy>> This is PyroFalkon's Official Super-Duper Happy Fantastic Strategy For The Sims (note: that's copyrighted). This is the exact way I play my primary family, the Falkons. I'll make notes here and there about variables, but other than that this is a very solid strategy. This is by no means the only way to play, and it's by no means perfect, but it's very solid. If you're new to the series, you may want to try it out (it's compatible with all The Sims games, not just Hot Date). Pieces of it will be in other sections here, so don't have to read every word of my alpha strategy. Firstly, I did not choose to create exactly three sims by rolling dice or throwing darts. I carefully studied strategies, did a bit of trial and error, and came up with the number. Remember that every sim has a maintenance cost, in simoleons, time, and other sims' time. For example, if you have two bathrooms and three people, SOMEONE is out of luck if their bladder gets full. On the other hand, more sims equal more money... but can they make enough in the early days to compensate their cost? That's the big factor that you must decide. I calculated using my play style and found that three sims (MAYBE four if I buy lot 6 or 9, the cheap lots) strikes the perfect balance. Read the rest of the strategy, then decide for yourself whether three is a good choice. I also did not choose their personaity randomly, nor who they're "related" to. Basically, I need one couple and one extra. The couple is required so they can share a bed. However, getting a third bed is not too hard, so it's easily possible to have three unrelated sims. When I make sims, the number one rule is "No kids." At the game's start, you need money, and kids simply don't make it. I make three adults, with the names Pyro, Stephanie (sometimes if I'm lazy I'll call her Steph), and Pete. Pyro and Stephanie are the couple (married), and Pete is the extra (Pyro's brother). Again, you can call them whatever you want since relationships are not "set" in the game. Anyway, one sim must have 10 Active and at least 6 Outgoing. I chose Pete for that one. The other two sims are variable, but for them I balanced the 25 points between Active, Playful, and Nice. I now must buy a lot. Lot 2 is out of my price range because I won't be able to afford the nessecities of life. However, I want a big house and I'm not willing to move my family out of one lot into another (I'm stubborn like that), so I need a plot of land that gives room for later expansion. I choose lot 1, costing me §10,500 (§1000 less than lot 2) and leaves me with §9500. With that money, I immediately go into Buy Mode and buy the cheapest computer, desk, and chair I can. Then I have each of the three sims accept whichever job has the highest salary. After that, I go back into Buy Mode and sell the items, getting all my money back because less than a day passed since I bought them. I go into Build Mode and make the walls for two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small living room, and a kitchen-dining room combo. The living room and bedrooms are 5x5; the bathrooms are 4x4 and attached to the bedrooms; and the kitchen is 6x4. I put the open-frame door connecting all the rooms, except that the bathroom has the basic walnut door. I put a nicer door on an exterior wall for the front door, confirm my roof, then get into Buy Mode. I funish the master bedroom (the one Pyro and Steph sleep in) with the cheapest double bed, cheapest end table, and an alarm clock. I furnish the other bedroom the exact same way, except I use the cheapest single bed. Then I buy the cheapest couch and the §500 TV for the living room. Then I buy the cheapest fridge, two of the cheapest counters, the food processor, and the cheapest oven for the kitchen. I arrange them like this (this was up in the FAQ earlier, but I'm repeating it for emphasis)... +--------+ +-----------+ +------+ +---------+ | | | COUNTER | | | | EMPTY | | FRIDGE | | WITH | | OVEN | | COUNTER | | | | PROCESSOR | | | | | +--------+ +-----------+ +------+ +---------+ Then I buy the cheapest table that takes up one tile, and three of the cheapest dining chairs. I put the table on the side of empty counter opposite the oven, and put the three chairs around it. I then buy the wall phone and put it in the living room somewhere, and the cheapest bookcase right next to the couch. Then I buy a burglar alarm on an exterior wall beside the front door. The bathrooms both get the cheapest toilet and the cheapest shower. I put in sinks only if I can also afford a dishwasher (which I normally can). Because I need to save money for food, the house will have to be without carpet, windows, wallpaper, and lights. Thems the breaks, as they say. Due to this, the sims will have terrible room ratings, but it's for their own good. All money I get from the job goes to windows, then carpet, then interior wallpaper, then exterior wallpaper, always in that order. See, windows will greatly boost the room ratings due to the light, although it only makes a difference during the night. Carpets and interior wallpaper finish getting those room scores up. Exterior wallpaper makes the house presentable. I definitely can't afford it all in one day, I'm just planning. I then have all the sims check the paper to see if the job they can get pays higher than what they currently have. I'm aiming for the military, since it has the highest starting pay and no friend requirements until level 6. While Pyro and Stephanie bond (I need them to sleep together that night, after all), Pete studies cooking. Make absolute sure that the sim you set to be outgoing is the one doing the studying. This will have major impact soon. Once Pete gets one point of cooking, I save the game then tell him to serve a meal while the other two go to the bathroom and take showers. If Pete starts a fire, I reload the game. Once the meal is served, all three eat. Pyro and Steph bond as much as I let them dare before I consider them staying up too late (8 hours before the alarm clock rings, or 10 hours before the carpool arrives), then I send them to bed. Pete calls and hires a maid, then goes to the bathroom, takes a shower, and goes to bed. Every day, I check the paper if my sims aren't in the military career track. If they are, I don't worry about anything. When a sim gets promoted, all money goes into getting an object that improves the skills needed to get promoted again. The beauty of all the sims having the same job is that I don't have to buy multiple items to pull it off. I want all three to work on their skills, but Pyro's relationship to Stephanie is the priority. Once the house has all of its carpet, windows, and wallpaper, I switch Pyro's and Stephanie's jobs to what they were intended to be. I always send Pyro to the Hacker career track and usually Stephanie to the Pro Athlete track, but that doesn't matter. What DOES matter is Pete remains in the military career track. This move will cut your income, but that little problem won't last long. If I have the money to spend, I put a second toilet and second shower (both the cheapest variety) in the bathroom attached to the master bedroom. It's at this moment I get serious. Everyone works in their jobs until Pyro OR Stephanie require friends to be promoted. At that moment, I make Pete quit his job by keeping him home. This is where the plot thickens. If the Falkons are the first family in the neighborhood, here I save and stop playing with them. I make a few more families, move them in, give them phones, then switch back to the Falkons. Pete stays home all day and studies cooking. He may refuse to study if his Social meter is shot to hell (which it probably is), and if that's the case, he just watches TV and relaxes. Once Pyro and Steph get home, I start the main strategy... Pyro and Steph get to sleep on time, but bond first. While they do so, Pete goes to the bathroom, takes a shower, and then goes to bed. Let me interject here with a quick lesson on how sims sleep. Once they're asleep, they will sleep until their energy tops out. Now, if it's nighttime and you haven't given them any commands, they will STAY ASLEEP, and they'll wake up at 6 AM (when the sun rises). If you give them a command, then they'll wake the moment their energy hits 100. Of course, you can always manually wake them up. Okay, here I let Pete sleep until 6 AM, when his body wakes him up. That's PROBABLY when the other two wake up also, but depending on their job, maybe not. However, as long as they wake up AFTER Pete, the strategy holds. Pete immediately serves a meal while Pyro and Stephanie BOTH go to the same bathroom to relieve themselves and take showers. They should finish JUST AS Pete gets done cooking (maybe not if one is very active or very inactive). All three eat, and I monitor their table talk so no one starts hating the topic. After breakfast, Pete goes to the bathroom, takes a shower, and watches TV. If the others do not take the same carpool, whoever goes last spends a bit of time improving their lowest meter, which is usually the Fun meter. If the others DO take the same carpool, then they go to work together. By the time Pete's done watching TV, his Energy, Hunger, Bladder, Hygiene, Fun, Comfort, and Room meters are all quite high. The only bad one is the Social meter, but that will be fixed. If Pete is in a good enough mood to study, he studies cooking until another sim knocks on the door. He greets the stranger with a handshake, then I order him to grab another plate of food no matter what his hunger rating is. I'm going to interject again to give some advice. House guests always perform the same actions in the same order: eat, bathroom, TV. They may delay a bit before any of those, but they will get there. Remember that. The house guest (we'll call him Sixam, another one that I make a lot) goes for the food since flies haven't been attracted to it yet. At the same time, Pete is doing the same. As they eat, they talk, boosting Pete's Social meter as well as improving their relationship. Sixam will head to a bathroom, and I delay long enough to figure out which one he's going to. I send Pete into the other one. Then, both will go watch TV, further boosting the meters. Now, Pete may get bored and get up from the couch. If that happens, I tell him to study cooking until Sixam gets up from TV too. Once they're both done with the idiot box, I tell Pete to talk and give friendly hugs to Sixam. With any luck, this boosts the Relationship meter over 50, making Sixam a family friend. I keep talking and hugging; eventually, Sixam will get bored or hungry and leave since I don't allow him to watch TV or eat. Pyro and Stephanie return home with their pay checks. I buy items that boost their skills if I need to, or I start upgrading furniture if they don't. I prioritize the fridge, oven, chairs, couch, and showers in that order when I upgrade. Pyro and Stephanie work on their skills if they need to or bond if they don't. When the time limit hits, I send them to bed. Meanwhile, Pete studies cooking if he's in the mood and it's early. Otherwise, he goes to the bathroom, takes a shower, and goes to bed. This cycle repeats itself eternally. Pete is the chef who prepares Pyro's and Steph's meals as they get ready for work, and he makes friends to assist the two in getting promoted. Pyro and Stephanie are low maintenance since they're out of the house for a good part of the day, and they just work their hardest to get their paychecks. Once Pete becomes friends with someone, I take them "out of rotation"... in other words, I don't talk to them anymore. If I have a choice, I always talk to the sim who has the lower relationship value. Eventually, Sixam will no longer be a friend since he's been neglected so long. The game gives a pop-up warning, so I don't miss it. I then begin with Sixam again, boosting the relationships with everyone in the same order as I met them. This way, Pete himself can single-handedly maintain up to about 15 relationships, enough to get promoted to the top level in all the career tracks except politics and paranormal. As I get money, I upgrade the beds, the showers, and everything else. Lamps are the last priority. Then I extend the house however I see fit, perhaps making a party room, and build my little empire from there. When Pyro and Steph are forced out of their job, I roll with the punches and try to promote them up THAT ladder. Once I'm finished, my bills can exceed §1500, but I make more than that in one day with the combined incomes of Pyro and Steph. Even if I'm a bit short on cash, I can take Pete away from making friends for a day to make gnomes. The only change I make in this pattern is that I eventually fire the maid and replace her with a Servo, although that's not a very high priority. The Falkons' house becomes THE party house on the block, and in fact they do hold frequent parties. Drew Carey practically lives there. Once I decide to have a kid, things change a bit. When the baby comes, it becomes Pete's job (and only job) to care for it. He no longer cooks or makes friends, he focuses all his attention on the baby. Once the baby becomes a child, Pete resumes what he normally does. Anyway, after I'm satisfied, I simply switch to another family and start anew. ^_^ <<12b. MONEY STRATEGIES>> -A VERY LIBERAL RETURN POLICY- I don't know what shop sims buy from, but it has the greatest return policy I've ever heard of. Whatever you buy, if you return it the same day, you get all your money back. Now, notice I said that you need to return the SAME DAY, not "within 24 hours." If you buy the item at 11:59 PM, then you have one minute before it loses its full value. If you plan on "renting" an item, be sure to do so no later than the early evening. One way to take advantage of this is to buy a computer, desk, and chair so your sims have more options for employment. Then, when they have a job, you can return all of it to get your cash back. -DAMN IT FEELS GOOD TO BE A GANGSTA- You could take a very underhanded and mean way to get large sums of money in relatively short times. You'll be damaging the life of a poor, innocent sim, but hey, you're mean like that. Let's take two sims here for the example. We'll make Tony the gangster, and Trixie the sim he steps on. Okay, Tony moves into whatever lot he wants to, builds his house into whatever he wants to, and generally starts his life like normal. Meanwhile, Trixie moves into a lot, but she only buys a table and a phone to put on it. Tony then goes through life, and soon enough, Trixie will come up to his house. He flirts with her, making her fall in love with him. Eventually, they'll be married, and all §20,000 of Trixie's money will transfer to Tony's account. Then, Trixie will be in a, um, "horrible accident" and dies. Trixie may be dead, but Tony still has all her money. He's 20 grand richer simply by marrying and killing an innocent sim. Weep not for Trixie; she'll get even by having her ghost scare him. Then again, he could just sell the urn for a quick fiver, and that will be the end of that. The cops will never touch him! Ha ha ha ha! -THE BILL GATES OF GNOMES- First thing, make your Bill Gates with 10 active and zero Outgoing. The other three attributes can be set to whatever you wish. You can have other sims in the family, but this will work quite well with only one (although two will make it perfect). Once you're in a lot, grab a wood working table, then zone off a large room (about 8x8). Put only the table in it; if you insist on lights, use hanging lamps or wall lamps to keep them out of the way. Remember Pete's routine from my alpha strategy? Make your sim do the same thing, but instead of making friends, have the Bill Gates type make gnomes. If you have two sims, have the second study cooking. Eventually, when the Bill Gates type get 10 Mechanical, he can make over 20 to 25 gnomes in one day if he starts with a +4 mood. Each sells for §100, so you'll have a DAILY income of at least §2000! Considering that you don't need friends or work hours for this, it's a great, lazy way to earn money. The only real problem with this is the Social meter. If your sim lives alone, he can head downtown to meet someone, or just have one friend or two. If he lives with someone, his friend / brother / lover / whatever can compliment the Social meter. Even if only your Bill Gates works, you'll earn PLENTY of money to make a living. <<12c. RELATIONSHIP STRATEGIES>> -A PRISON JUST DOWN THE STREET- There are probably quite a few gamers out there who don't want to deal with 10 families. It really is a hassle sometimes to keep everyone happy while not being confused about who loves and hates who. Those gamers play with one or two families max. The problem is that friends are a very important part of The Sims, and for some jobs, the numbered required is quite steep. It's impossible to get friends if you don't make additional families (although the Townies in the downtown area of Hot Date relieve that a little), and some don't want to take the trouble. If you play like that, there's an easy way to get a bunch of friends with little muss or fuss. Simply create a family with 8 sims and set each to 10 Outgoing and 10 Nice. After that, move them into any open lot that you don't really care about. Give them a wall or desk and a phone. You never have to play that family again, since your primary family will do all the work of getting friends. If you want to be a bit evil, you could give this throw-away family a house, but make it extremely simplistic. Whenever I use this technique, I make a huge house with 8 little cells and have barred doors and windows, making the place look like a prison. Of course, the only thing that's required is a phone, but this makes it look a bit more neat in the neighborhood screen. -GETTING TO 100 IN ONE DAY- Before Hot Date, your sims could go from zero to 100 in the relationship meter in one day easily. If you wanted to bribe someone for their love, all you had to do was use the Give Gift action repeatedly. Another strategy was to alternate Hug and Kiss until you hit that triple digit. However, I found out through a bit of testing that this no longer works at all. If you repeat any command more than once, it may be rejected for no other reason. This changed my strategy somewhat since I depended on "Kiss, Hug, repeat 4 times" to get by. Now, you need to throw variety, but it's still not too bad. House guests always do things in the same order: they look for a meal, and then go to the bathroom after they eat, then they seek to do something fun (usually they watch TV). Since you know that, you can prepare when you expect a guest. If you know someone's coming over (or you know you're going to invite someone), make a meal first. When they come over, they'll immediately be able to eat, and you can eat with them to pull the meter up. Your guest will go to the bathroom (obviously they should be left alone for that), then head to your couch to watch TV. Watch TV with them, and you'll pull that relationship meter up higher. After that, you need to Hug, Flirt, and Compliment. Maybe you can get away with repeating the three in the same order, but you definitely can't repeat twice. Kiss should be available by then, so you can throw a few kisses your target's way. Giving a gift, while no longer a very reliable way to boost the relationship meter, still throws variety into the mix and helps avoid repetition. Don't neglect Talk. Seldom will it fail, and it will generally boost both sims' relationship meters by 9 to 15 points. By the way, it's MUCH harder to maintain 100 as it was in earlier games. Thanks to the decay, you may not be able to get more than 60 (sometimes less) in one day no matter how hard you try. Just remember that Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are close friendships. -EVERYONE HAS ENEMIES- It's doubtful that one sim can be friends with every other sim in the neighborhood. Maybe it's bad luck, maybe it's a conflict of the astrological signs, but either way, some sims won't be considered a friend until they hit 90. That's a large time-waster for your sims, since your 10-point cushion will decay extremely fast. If one particular sim is having issues with your version of Pete in my alpha strategy, it may be best to give up and just move onto someone else. Unless every single other sim has been friended to Pete, he'll still have other options. Just make sure to make a note somewhere not to bother trying to bond with that sim. <<12d. OTHER STRATEGIES AND SHORT TIPS>> -BE A SLOB AND HIRE A MAID- In The Sims, just like in life, there just doesn't seem to be enough time in the world. I hate wasting time, and I hate my sims wasting time too. That dish may not wash itself, but getting that last point of Logic to be promoted one more time is far more important. However, if the sim in question has a high Neat rating, it will try to wash the dish anyway. Though I can easily cancel the command manually, there's no reason to have had the command in the first place. I recommend that all your sims have zero points given to Neat. Room scores will fall a bit since they won't clean up after themselves, but they won't mind a mess as much anyway, so it will balance out. A maid can take care of the majority of the filth, and a Servo robot can take care of it all. Maids charge §10 per hour. That's ridiculously cheap since she'll single-handedly raise room scores and make the house presentable while your sims do something constructive. The only major issue is that she shows up in the mornings and leaves whenever she's out of stuff to do, and your sims may make messes at night. The (expensive) solution to that is to get a Servo. They cost §15000, but they take the place of repairmen, maids, and gardeners all in one. Plus, they can work whenever you want them to. I usually order my last sim that's going to bed to turn it on, and it'll clean the entire house as the sims sleep. Of course, you have to ask yourself if the §15000 is really WORTH it. Does the initial cost outweigh the fact that you get more time? That's up to you. I personally think so. However, maid are definitely cheaper, so if you do decide you want a Servo, make sure you have plenty of money and no major expenses before investing in one. -LIGHTING AND ROOM METERS- Lights are optional, and they don't seem to improve room ratings too much. I had a room that was 5x30, and any sim in it had a full Room meter, even though it was unlighted. You see, sims like light, but they like space more. They would rather be in a dark room the size of a small country than a small bathroom with a billion lights. Sims are weird like that. They also prefer diagonal walls over normal ones, so making an octognal room will significantly help. *Don't do this...* +------------------------------+ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | +------------------------------+ *...Do this...* -------------------------- / \ / \ / \ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | \ / \ / \ / -------------------------- Not only does this save money, but room scores will get better. You can also get super-fancy, though it's more expensive... --------------------------- / \ / \ / | | | | / | / | /------- | | | | | | | \------- | \ | \ | | \ | \ / \ / --------------------------- Eventually, you'll want lights, but if for no other reason than to make the room a bit more realistic. (In real life, I wouldn't want to live in a dark house, and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't either.) When you buy lights, think about the room you're buying the lamp for. That should help lead to your decision about just what lamp to buy at all. If you're buying a lamp for the bathroom, and it's a tiny bathroom, you don't need any huge expensive lamp. Since floor lamps would get too much in the way, you would want to go with a wall lamp or hanging lamp. Hanging lamps even have life-long light bulbs, so you wouldn't endanger your sim's life when it's time to change bulbs and there's water on the floor. The cheapest hanging lamp, the red one that looks like it belongs in a bar, would serve better than anything else. Just one could easily light a 3x3 bathroom, and two could cover a 3x4 or 4x4 bathroom. Also, make sure you know how much light is being generated. Most lamps send light one or two tile(s) in every direction. If you space your lamps accordingly, you can cover a whole room while not spending too much on extra lamps. You could also take the completely opposite route I just described and coat the walls with wall lights. I noticed that if there are enough lamps in one room, every tile will be lit no matter how far away the lamps are. You could, say, put one wall lamp on every wall section, and whatever room you do that to will be bright all night. Of course, doing so prevents windows, so you may want to do that only in the party room or bedroom where sims only would be at night. -PREVENTING BURGLERS- If you want to ensure that burglars can't rob your house, try the following. Remember that the burglar alarm goes off the moment a burglar comes near it. However, a cop won't show up instantly, and the thief may have the time to snatch one expensive item or two. There is a way you can completely prevent thieves from getting anything, but it makes the house look a bit weird from the neighborhood screen. I used to do this, but because I've suddenly been obsessed with the appearance of my neighborhood, I've stopped. It's up to you. Anyway, here's the lot... A=Burglar alarm D=Door E=Entrance point +------------------------------------------+ | | | | | | | +------------------+ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | HOUSE | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | +---------DA-------+ | | | | | | | E=>| |<=E +------------------------------------------+ | | | | | = = = = = = = = = = = = = = | | | | | +------------------------------------------+ If you notice, all sims enter your house from only one of two points: the piece of sidewalk on the edges of the lot. Because of that, you can try this... +------------------------------------------+ | | | | | | | +------------------+ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | HOUSE | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | +---------D--------+ | | | | | | A A | E=>| |<=E +------------------------------------------+ | | | | | = = = = = = = = = = = = = = | | | | | +------------------------------------------+ You make one section of wall as close to those entrance points as you can, then slap a burglar alarm on them. The INSTANT the crook steps on your property, the alarm will go off. The cop may even catch him before he gets to the front door! Having two single sections of wall looks a bit ugly, but the tradeoff is that you ensure your items' survival. You could take a middle-of-the-road approach, balancing beauty with safety... +------------------------------------------+ | | | | | | | +------------------+ | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | HOUSE | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | A---------D--------A | | | | | | | E=>| |<=E +------------------------------------------+ | | | | | = = = = = = = = = = = = = = | | | | | +------------------------------------------+ Placing burglar alarms on the corners of your house gives you an unfair advantage against the criminal, but he still may have time to get inside and swipe something, especially if your front wall is narrow. Of course, it's up to you. -HOW TO TAKE CARE OF BABIES- Babies must be taken care of, or they may get taken away by social services. They take three days to grow into children, and although that's a relatively short time, it can wreck havoc on your sims' moods and relationships. The first thing you need to do is offset a special room as a nursery. It doesn't have to be a new room, just a room without a phone and with something to do to sleep with. A TV would help, too. I prefer using the expensive recliner with the §500 TV. Whenever, and I mean EVERY MOMENT, the baby is sleeping, put an adult in that room and tell him or her to nap. When the baby wakes up screaming, it will wake up the adult too. Since the adult was only NAPPING, it won't be ticked off for a half hour as normal. Anyway, tell the sleep-deprived adult to do the following to the baby: Feed, Sing, Play, Sing, Feed, Sing, Play, Sing. Remember, the baby goes to sleep if its mood is satisfied and it's sung to. Now, if it wakes up, obviously it's in a bad mood, so singing immediately won't do anything. Babies are simpler than other sims in that they only have two "moods": Hunger and Fun would be the equivalent. There's no way to overfeed or overplay with your baby, so alternating Feed and Play are options. However, the adult sim needs to take care of itself too (especially if it works), and it needs to eat and shower. This is why you enter all eight commands at once. When whichever Sing works and puts the baby to sleep, the other commands will cancel themselves automatically. The sim can then do what it needs to, then go back and nap in the special room until the baby wakes up again. Only VERY VERY VERY rarely will that 4th Sing not work. If it doesn't, just enter all eight commands again. It's never taken me eight Sing commands to get the baby to sleep. Note: Don't worry about the Social, Hygiene, or Room meters while the sim is babysitting. The sim can recover once the baby is a child. <<12e. STRATEGIES SUBMITTED BY READERS>> Nothing yet. If you want to submit something, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be posted here with all due credit. === <<13. CUSTOMIZING YOUR SIMS>> One of the absolutely best things about this game is that a very large majority of it can be tweaked with any way that you, the player, wishes. Most things need a very decent picture editor that can change bitmaps (*.BMP). MS Paint is an option; a VERY crappy option, but still an option. Most people use Adobe Photoshop. All the tools I mention (aside from MS Paint and Photoshop of course) can be found at http://thesims.ea.com/ -CLOTHES- What your sims wear is determined by bitmaps called SKINS. Heads are also Skins, but they're independent of clothes. In order to see what a Skin looks like, open a file in the following directory: c:\[wherever you installed The Sims]\GameData\Skins Any one in that folder will do. If you notice, the skin tone is there if the skin shows any... um, skin. Make a note of that! A sim who has dark skin can't wear something that a light-skinned sim can, or else it would look really odd. The file name of the skin tells the game what exactly the skin is for (body tone, body type, gender, and age). Other sites have better information on skin-making, so head to http://thesims.ea.com/ and click Make Cool Stuff first to get some information. -WALLPAPER, FLOORS, AND ROOFS- You need a special tool in order to import wallpaper and floors, but it's not needed for roofs. The tool is called Sim HomeCrafter. The first thing you have to do is create your design. Walls need to be around 128x240 pixels. Floors and roofs should be 64x64. Once you're happy with your design, save it wherever you want with any name you want. Using HomeCrafter, you then set a price and description for your wall or floor, then you can import it one simply click. (The exact details on how to operate HomeCrafter can be found in the program itself.) Roofs only need to be saved AS BMPs in the \GameData\Roofs directory. -MUSIC- The radio stations can play your own MP3s. Find the directory \Music\Stations in your main The Sims directory. Then, move or copy any MP3 you want played into the directory with the same name as the station you want it to play in. You can't change the name of the radio stations, so you just need to try the best-fitting genre for your song. A quick note: the directory called "Country Dance" is empty and can be deleted. All songs that play on the country dance station are in the directory called "CountryD." === --14. OTHER HOT DATE STUFF-- As of this writing, there is a patch for Hot Date on http://thesims.ea.com/. The only problem I've experienced with it is that the cheap eats podium will not spawn a person to take a sim's order, so you'll have to stick with the fancy podium for now. For those who are curious, sims do not speak any real language (I call it Simish). This was a move on Maxis's part to make the game more universal. If you have something to add, send me an e-mail. === --15. ENDING BLURB AND LEGAL INFO-- This document is copyright 2002 for J. "PyroFalkon" Habib. If you plan to use any of it as part of another FAQ, you need my permission first. However, if you plan to post it on a website or e-mail it to someone or whatnot, you may do so without my permission. I'd like you to drop me an e-mail so I know where you're going to take it, but I will not require you to do so. You may download it or print it at your lesiure. The most updated version will ALWAYS be found at http://www.cheatcc.com/ and http://www.gamefaqs.com/. Other sites may have up-to-date versions, but check CheatCC or GameFAQs first. === --16. CONTRIBUTOR LIST-- I would like to sincerely thank everyone on this list. Even if you did not recieve a personal reply from me, consider yourself deeply thanked anyway. Clay (email@example.com) contributed some information on relationship meters for FAQ v1.1 RHunterLand (RHunterLand@netscape.net) contributed several uses for kids for FAQ v1.11 === --17. CONTACT INFO-- If any information is incorrect, or you wish to sumbit something, please e-mail me. My address is found on the bottom of the FAQ. Credit will be given where it's due. If you submit something to me, I will credit you by the name you signed in the message body or by the name attached to your e-mail. I will also post your e-mail address unless you specifically tell me not to. The number one question I get asked is generally: "Do you have a download of The Sims?" The number two question is: "Can I have a CD code for The Sims?" Let me answer those two right now: no and no. If you write me with either of those questions, you're a moron. First of all, I don't know of any sites with a warez copy the game, and even if I did, I wouldn't tell you. As far as the CD codes go, I don't want to deal with thinking I gave you a code to a game that you DID download from a site. There are ways to recover your CD code if you lose the case aside from asking random people online how to do so. Okay, that ends that rant. Generally, I don't like plugging myself, but my website covers The Sims, so I'll put the URL here. Be advised, it hasn't been updated in quite awhile since no one has submitted anything to me, but check it out if you want a few free downloads. http://www.geocities.com/pyrofalkon/ firstname.lastname@example.org Good luck in The Sims, and may all your sims be happy and free.