Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Episode 16 - I'm Surrounded by Idiots

ISBI Challenge Rules

I'm Surrounded by IDIOTS!
Codename: ISBI Challenge
By: DylanTK/GloamingMerle

Big Thanks to: Reggikko/Reggikko1960

UPDATED DECEMBER 14th, 2006! REVISIONS ARE IN BLUE! Pets, a few tips/tricks, a couple questionable hacks that have been given the okay by me, and thoughts on the possible issues that may arise with the newly announced Seasons pack. Look towards the very bottom...

UPDATED JULY 25th, 2006! REVISIONS ARE IN RED! Note: I made the decision to revise a couple things to make the game more... streamlined, I suppose you could say. There are also a few things added just for clarification purposes.

What's this about anyway?: The point of this challenge is to try to manage an entire household through several generations while only having one character under your control. Other household members must rely entirely on their artificial intelligence (or lack thereof), while their wants and needs remain forever hidden. Do you have what it takes handle all the responsibilities of a sim household from one sim's perspective? Pass along the torch of awareness and keep the family going.

What will I need for this Challenge?: A hefty helping of patience, and a large dose of self-control...

What about Hacks & Cheats?: If it looks/smells like a blatant cheat in regards to this challenge, it probably is. Use common sense and you should be fine. I use many hacks myself, so I wanted to make a challenge that was as hack friendly as possible. Most of all, I dislike strictness with anything. This is all for fun, so have fun with it in your own way, then share your experiences. In simple terms: No money cheats, no mood/aspiration cheats, and no grade/performance/career cheats. Please avoid mods that significantly assist your sims' AI. Such as the Baby Controller, or hacks that tell your sim when they should go to bed, and so on. Things such as the 'No Stranger Dance', 'No Napping' mods, or others like it are fine. One other thing. No reloading the house if something bad happens.

Game Over: The only automatic game over is if your Torch Holder dies. There should be a game over for cheaters, but chances are, if you're a cheater you don't have the good sense to penalize yourself for naughty behaviour. You know who you are.

On With The Game!

Start with a single Adult or Young Adult Sim.


*Interests (optional)
*Lifetime Want (optional)

(Interests and LTW must be adjusted as soon as possible and remain permanent from then on.)

Alternately, for a truly random experience, you may move a non-playable teen townie to college. If you do so, you may not change anything about them!

If in College: Move them into whatever type of housing you'd prefer. If you move them into housing containing playable characters, you may play those other characters as you normally would.

If NOT in College: Move them into a new house/lot with no other residents. Choose any lot size you fancy.

Finding a Mate for Your Founder.

*If your founder is a Young Adult, and they fall in love with a University Townie/NPC, you must wait until your sim graduates to move them in with you. Obviously, if they fall for a Neighborhood Townie/NPC, they'll have to wait until graduation too.

*If your founder is an Adult, they can marry N.Townie/NPCs or U.Townie/NPCs.

*There's one exception to the Townie/NPC marriage rule. If your sim fancies a Maxis-made sim that you have never played (, in that incarnation, for those of you who restart a lot), it's all good.

Ex: Torch Holder meets Lazlo. Torch Holder fancies Lazlo. You have yet to touch Lazlo either ever, or since the last time you restarted Strangetown. Go get 'em!

Life after Marriage.

*Once you finally have another sim in your house, the fun really begins! For each lifestage of your non-torch holders, you are allowed one command. Once that lifestage is over, so is the chance for that single command! When preparing to use your single command, press the Live Mode button to retract your toolbar. The ONLY personal info you should be able to see in the retracted state is their age, aspiration, influence, and aspiration level.

*like so*

After you're sure it's in the right position, select your non-torch holding sim and select one command.

Command Rules:

*You may X out the current queue before selecting your command.
*You may NOT select a macro as your command. It must be a single action command.
*You may NOT use this command to reroll LTW, Max Interests, ect.
*You may NOT save up command chances from lifestage to lifestage. If you don't use it, you lose it!


*You may select a sim at any time to 'Change Appearance' at the mirror/vanity, or 'Plan Outfit' at the dresser. If you have a mod that allows you to buy clothes at home, you can use that for them. Or if they're at a community lot, you can tell them to buy clothes. (Don't use this as a loophole! You are not allowed to X out anything from their queue, or conveniently decide they need a change of clothes to avoid a particular situation... Such as a fire, or nearly catching a cheating spouse.)

*If a glitch takes a strong hold of your NTHs (non-torch holders), you can to direct them to do whatever necessary to remedy the issue.

*When sending a spare heir to college, once the heir has taken the torch you may use their one command to apply for scholarships then immediately send them off to college as if the these two particular commands, and only these, are one. (Keep in mind that you can also send them to college from the neighborhood view at any time during their teenhood so long as the heir for that generation has already taken the torch.)

Always remember to keep the toolbar retracted while you have a NTH selected!

Money Makes the World go 'Round:

So you're going to use a NTH's free command to get a job, eh?
Here's what you do (get a die ready to roll):


*If you roll 1-2, select the first job listing.
*If you roll 3-4, select the second job listing.
*If you roll 5-6, select the third job listing.


*1 = 1st
*2 = 2nd
*3 = 3rd
*4 = 4th
*5 = 5th
*6 = Reroll

For ALL sims, not just NTHs, you cannot choose 'Ignore' for any chance cards you get. You must play them... Good luck.

Here Comes Baby!:

There's no way to complete this game without introducing new generations.


*Invite partner to Try for Baby. (Same-sex pregnancy mods are in.)
*Use the Tombstone of L&D to get pregnant by your partner, or use it to impregnate females with aliens upon returning from an abduction. (Note: if you choose to impregnate one adult female sim upon returning from an abduction, you must do the same with all future female adults returning from abductions. Make a choice and stick to it!)

They Grow up So Fast!:

Concerning Aspirations: Roll a die to determine their aspiration upon reaching teen-hood. The numbers you assign to each aspiration doesn't actually matter (I use the Legacy Challenge numbering system myself), just as long as you actually stick to that one way. If you roll your spare/unassigned number, roll again. Sorry, no 'Choose Your Own' stuff here.

The Heir: When you get the first pre-birthday announcement that your heir is going to become an adult, you can now pass the torch to them. Keep in mind that once you hand over the torch, you can NEVER GO BACK to your former torch-holder. This is a sad moment indeed... However, if you are awesome, your former TH (torch-holder) will already be in permanent platinum, and at the top of their career. Decide now on whether you want to send them to college, or prepare them for their birthday into adult-hood. If you've managed to get them a (mutual) love interest by this point, you can send their love to college along with them, or move them in and grow them up if the TH is not going to college. No teen 'intended's. They must be in love to grow up with the TH. If your heir brings their love to college with them, you may control their love throughout college as you would with any other sim, then give up control of them once you've moved them back to the base neighborhood.

Concerning University Aspiration Changes: When your heir gets to the point in college (If you send them) where they are offered the chance to change aspirations, you may roll for a new one if you wish to do so.

Concerning Interests and LTWs: You may not change their LTW, or their interests, ever.

And that Useless Spare?: Once the heir has taken the torch, the spare becomes void. If the new TH dies, shame on you, it's still an automatic game over regardless of the existence of the spare. Spares can only replace the heir if the heir dies before coming into his/her age-of-awareness and inheritence of the torch.

Here's Your Options:

*Let them remain in the house, clog all your toilets, and rot on the couch until their end.
*Cull them.
*Ship them off to college via neighborhood view access.
*Use their command chance to apply for scholarships and send them off to college.
*Use their command chance to find their own place.
*If you manage to make them fall in love (must be mutual love) with someone, you can now take control of them regardless of whether or not they have command chances, but must move them out in a timely fashion.

Once they move out, they are forever free, and can never return to the household.

From here: wash, rinse, and repeat.

Points and Completion:

There are four game levels:

*Amatuer - Successfully pass on the torch to the 5th generation.
*Average - Successfully pass on the torch to the 10th generation.
*Expert - Successfully pass on the torch to the 15th generation.
*Supremely Awesome - Successfully pass on the torch to the 20th generation.

Points? More like a Tally System: Keep tally of these events, then share them either at the end or to post your progress.

*Perma-Platinum sims. (One tally per LTW achieved.)
*Shrink Visits.
*Social Bunny Visits.
*Social Worker Visits. (One tally per child taken at SW visit.)
*Accidental Deaths.
*Number of Special Tombstones vs. Total Death Count. Ex: 8/15

NEW: As suggested by DancerTricia from (Thanks Tricia!)

*Reach top of a career. (One tally each time your sims do this, even if it's the same sim doing it!)
*100,000. (One tally for every 100,000 simoleans. You can check this number in the neighborhood view in the form of their networth.)

Whenever any of these things happen, add a point/tally to that category. So, your tally board should look something like this (If you're keeping tally in a notebook):

Torch-Holders: |||||
Perma-Plat Sims: ||
Shrink Visits:
Social Bunny Visits: |

Or this (If you're keeping track of it on the computer):

Torch-Holders: 5
Perma-Plat Sims: 2
Shrink Visits: 0
Social Bunny Visits: 1

*And so on...

Nightlife Update!:

Ask Socials: Here's what you can use, and what you can't as far as the new "Ask" socials go.

You're allowed to ask...
*Do you want a ride home?
*Do you want to go back to my place?
*On date
*To form/join casual group

You're NOT Allowed to ask...
*About interests
*Do you like what you see?
*How much money do you have?
*What are your skills?
*What do you fear?
*What do you want?
*What turns you off?
*What turns you on?
*What's your job?
*What's your sign?

The Dating Game:
Feel free to scope the room, or even hire the matchmaker, but remember this! Never, ever, expand your date's wants through the Date Meter!

Other Stuff:
*Keep in mind that cars can be assigned to sims without having them selected, which should certainly come in handy.
*Vampirism is allowed, but I beg you to think long and hard before you try it. In my opinion, that's an accident waiting to happen (for non-torch-holders that is).
*Remember that spare number when rolling for aspirations? Now you must assign it to the Pleasure aspiration.
*Turn-ons and turn-offs appear to be adequately randomized when growing into a teen, please correct me if I'm wrong, therefore it must be left on what was randomly chosen!
*The Re-Nu-Yu Senso Orb aspiration reward can only be used to access the Grilled Cheese aspiration, and nothing else!
*The Re-Nu-Yu Porta Chug can never be used.

Pets Update!:

Originally I wasn't going to post anything about this, because I thought it was fairly obvious, but after reading a few blogs I decided to go ahead and do so...

You must keep their panel retracted as with human sims, but you may issue commands\scold\praise them through your TH... There.. That wasn't too painful, was it? ;)

Tips & Tricks:

*This wasn't originally intended to be an allowable part of gameplay, but since I completely overlooked it and some savvy players found it, I decided to acknowledge it as a legitimate game tactic. As some of you have realized, your NTH sim's LTW can be accessed even with the toolbar retracted. Thanks to some sneaky loophole-finders, and my own forgetfulness, you may all benefit from this trick.

*As long as their toolbar is retracted, feel free to select your NTH regardless of whether or not you're issuing a permissable command. This is helpful is you want to know precisely where their aspiration level is.

*Homework is easily the most aggrivating aspect of this challenge, and a very good incentive to have small families. Coax kids out of their current activities with a game of red hands, as it is a quick social interaction that gives them a significant fun boost, then queue up the 'help with homework' command while they're still playing so they don't have time to run away and conveniently occupy themselves. ;) Also, though this is a bit tricky, most children will have the want to do their homework in the morning if they haven't done it the night before. Helping them with their homework every day before school is a good way to keep their aspiration level pretty, but make sure you can get it done before the bus arrives.

*Cook several group meals and store them in your inventory. Unless you have crappy/cheap kitchen appliances, sims generally only need two meals a day... Two or three times a day, pull the group meal from your inventory and leave it out for a while, or call to meal. Afterwards, put the leftovers back into your inventory so that they don't spoil... This trick is the perfect segue into my next order of bussiness...

Questionable hacks:

*No Food Spoilage?-I went back and forth with this one for a while, trying to decipher if it was too much of a cheat. With consideration of the inventory trick, and new word that sims will be able to save leftovers in the fridge with the next expansion pack (which should have been the case from the beginning), I decided that the no food spoilage hacks, or hacks that simply prolong the time it takes for food to spoil are perfectly reasonable. The ones that make food never spoil are a tad outlandish, but since the normal lifespan of leftovers is a week and no group meal ever takes that long to get finished in the sims I figured there's nothing wrong with it. Especially since food basically becomes immortal with the use of the inventory. Besides, who ever heard of food left on the counter spoiling in 3 hours?

*Make Selectable?- It was trickier to decide whether or not this one should be made taboo or not, benign as it may sound initially. Then I decided, as long as their toolbar is retracted and you're not issuing any illegal commands, why the heck not? This does give you a clear advantage if you know precisely how to use it, but I'll let you try to figure that out on your own. Generally speaking, it's nice to make over potential spouses who happen to be NPCs when your TH has appearance related turn ons since the game won't let you make them over through normal gameplay tactics. Mind you, this does NOT mean you can make a non-ISBI sim selectable in your ISBI household and start controlling them as you would on their lot.. ISBI lot, ISBI rules, and that's final.

Thinking of Seasons to Come:

Just in case I get too wrapped up in the excitement of the Seasons pack to update the rules in a timely fashion, I want to say this now... After reading everything I can get my hands on, it sounds like weather may potentially be highly dangerous for autonomous sims. You may obviously have them dress accordingly, as changing appearance is already permitted in the rules, but since I strongly doubt they'll know it's not a good idea to then go swimming in an outdoor pool in the middle of winter regardless of the fact you just told them to put on their coats and ear muffs, I'm setting up a temporary rule that you can command them to "go here" at anytime after installing the Seasons pack if they're doing something seasonally inappropriate/dangerous.. This rule may or may not remain intact after I evaluate their ability to prevent themselves from freezing or heat stroke.

A Few Last Words:

If your lot gets too glitchy, just toss it. Don't bother re-killing all those sims unless you really want to. Remember that this challenge isn't meant to be so much about your end distribution of points as it is about the journey to it. What I'm really interested in hearing about is the highs and lows of the players. Brag or lament.. You've earned it.

Dylan's Blog
Wen's Blog
Shaunna's Blog

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Episode 15: TheRights of Women Challenge

The Rights Of Women Challenge - The Long-Awaited Updated Version

The Premise

To start with a single male/female couple and progress through the historial trends of womens' rights, using the female offspring of each generation to push the family forward until we arrive at modern woman.

The Outline

- Make a male and female couple in CAS; they can be set as married or wed later.
- Once they are married, begin to Try For a Baby until they have at least one female child (code name - Child A).

- Treat the original couple using the rules of Generation One (see below).
- Raise Child A, using the rules for Generation Two (see below).
- When she is an adult, she will marry and have at least one female child (Child B).

- Raise Child B using the rules of Generation Three (see below).
- When she is an adult, have her marry and have at least one female child (Child C).
- Raise Child C using the rules of Generation Four (see below).

- When she is an adult, have her marry and have at least one female child (Child D).
- Raise Child D with the rules for Generation Five (see below).
---------------Generation Five is the end of the challenge.

- Note: each female continues living her life using the rules of the generation she was born into. For example, Child B is the generation three sim; when she has Child C, she must continue living using the rules of generation three until her death, even though Child C is now generation four and living by those rules.

Generic Rules

There is a (very!) short list of rules that apply to each generation; the rules are mostly different to show the evolution of the rights.

- no cheats;
- no re-trying for babies to get chosen genders.

Generation-Specific Rules

Each generation also has specific rules that suit the time period it is meant for; assume that a) once you can do something, all following generations can and b) if I don't say you can't, you can do it.

Previous players have made various suggestions over the course of a couple years; while I haven't integrated them into the challenge (I don't want to dictate your game), I did write the best ones down so you can take note of them if you wish. For more, visit the original thread at

Generation One
- must be of Family aspiration;
- wear a traditional-looking dress (CC is allowed);
- must keep hair up
- must remain unemployed (including in businesses), but is allowed to add money through a) breeding pets or b) tending to a garden;

- cannot own or run community lot or business;
- cannot venture into any neighbourhood other than the one where she lives (not DownTown or Shopping);
- cannot have an affair or any sort;
- cannot have child out of marriage;

- cannot get divorce (can only Move Out to break up).
__________Player Suggestions
_______________- only ever use Try For a Baby (no WooHoo option mimics no contraception);
_______________- must do all the housework and child-rearing;

_______________- can only have female friends.
Generation Two
- must wear traditional clothing and keep hair up;
- can be Family or Popularity aspiration;
- may work in Criminal, Culinary, Education or Slacker track;

- can run business/community lot, but not own it (husband/other male must);
- may not attend university;
- must marry a male and take his name (if NPC/Townie, ask to move in and he proposes marriage);
- must move into his house (or, if he is an NPC/Townie, must both move out);

- can have heterosexual affair;
- male must have better job than her (use own judgement as to what is 'better');
- must quite working when she has her first child;
- can go to to DownTown or Shopping Neighbourhood, if asked by a male.

- may have a male-instigated divorce;
__________Player Suggestions
_______________- can hire help around the home (Maid, Nanny, Gardener, etc);
_______________- can host social parties.

Generation Three

- can begin wearing plain trousers and knee-length skirts, but not jeans, decorated trousers, short skirts or untraditional tops;
- must still keep hair up;
- can be Family, Popularity or Wealth;
- may get job in Atheletic, Criminal, Culinary, Education, Journalism, Music, Politics or Slacker tracks;

- can own a business/community lot;
- must marry male and take his name (if NPC/Townie, ask to move in and he proposes marriage);
- must move into his house (or, if he is an NPC/Townie, must both move out);
- male must have a better job than her (again, use judgement as to what is 'better');

- may keep her job when she is married, but cannot get promotions (if qualified for one already, cannot try to qualify herself for any more promotions);
- can go to DownTown or Shopping Neighbourhood with a male accompaniment (she can ask him);

- can instigate divorce, but he has to have house.
__________Player Suggestions
_______________- can have friends in either gender;
_______________- cannot get a pension (ie, cannot retire from job, only quit).

Generation Four
- can wear jeans, mid-thigh length skirts, but not decorated trousers or tops that show the stomach;
- can have hair down, but not elaborate;
- can be Family, Popularity, Wealth, Pleasure or Romance aspiration;

- may go to university and do Art, Drama, History or Literature majors;
- cannot drop out of her own choice, but must drop out if she gets put on academic probation;
- may get job in Adventurer, Artist, Atheletic, Criminal, Culinary, Education, Journalism, Law, Military, Music, Paranorma, Politics, Science, Show Business or Slacker tracks;

- must marry/live with a male, but does not have to take his name;
- may have child out of marriage, but must be in stable relationship;
- can have homosexual affair;
- may continue living at her (parents) home after marriage, but must move out before she has children;

- both spouses can have equal jobs, but she cannot be 'better';
- can go to DownTown and Shopping Neighbourhood accompanied by another sim (can be female now);
- can divorce male and kick him out of the house.

__________Player Suggestions
_______________- can use WooHoo and Try For a Baby seperately now;
_______________- can retire and get a pension.
Generation Five

- may wear any clothing styles she wishes;

- may have her hair styled in way she wishes;
- can become any aspiration;
- must attend university (if you have the University EP - if not, ignore);
- can drop out at will;
- can use her second chance if she is put on academic probation;

- she can now go into any of the career tracks;
- may have better job than a male partner she may have;
- doesn't have to be in relationship leading to join with anyone (can be single throughout life);
- can be in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship;

- can adopt a child;
- may be single with a child (no need for relationship).
__________Player Suggestions
_______________- is now completely free.


I used a simple points system in order to prevent getting players caught up in pedantic note-keeping throughout the challenge:

- allocate 500 points per generation (maximum number of points = 2500);
- deduct 10 points each time a generic rule is broken and 20 each time a generation-specific rule is broken;
- add up points at the end.

The closer you are to 2500, the better you did the challenge according to history.

Sally's Rights of Women Blog
Rachel's Rights of Women Blog