Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Episode 43

The Land Rich, Cash Poor Challenge

I’m sure there are other similar challenges to this one, but here’s my take on the basic idea of having 2 sims living off the land as best they can. I’ve play tested this a few times, it’s doable. I had a lot of fun with it.

Note: this challenge requires Seasons. It's assumed you have NL, OFB, and Pets, but that's not required.

The outer regions of the sim word is a harsh and unforgiving place. With freezing winters, scorching summers, and plenty of wolves, very few sims have ventured forth to tame these extreme lands. Sim City government is desperate to expand due massive overcrowding caused by unscrupulous cheesecake venders. So a new "Free Land! Plus Money!" program was born.

Two poor, lonely, mismatched sims apply for the program and are accepted. They are whisked through an all too Brief Orientation program and quickly shuttled off to their new home. They must live together and make the best of their new life, their new home, and each other.

Who are these two crazy, brave sims?

- make 2 sims in CAS. They must be roommates.
- personalities don't have to be a default zodiac, but you must use one of these pairs:

- turns on cannot ever match the other sim
- the turn off must always match the other sim
- choose whatever aspirations you want

The Free Land! part:

(you might want a new neighborhood for this)
- adjust the seasons of the neighborhood to be in this order (1-4): Summer, Winter, Autumn, Winter. (If you start the challenge and find the day of the season to be anything but the first day of Summer, use the Season and Weather Controller hack on to fix it. It's under TS2/Objects/Other Objects on the website. In the game it's under Misc/Misc - a $3 vase. Choose Set Season, then Season 1 and the starting point should be 5 days of Summer remaining. Sell back the vase when you are done.)
- you may play on any sized lot you wish, but it should be decently large
- enter the lot before moving in the sims and adjust terrain to your choosing
- add at least one pond
- add $10,000 worth of trees that drop leaves (as close as you can get it, +/- $100 at least). No fruit trees.

The Plus Money! part:

- move the sims onto the lot and use familyfunds (contrary to popular opinion it does work in lot view) to adjust their cash balance to §2500 (or lower if you're game).

The Brief Orientation part:

"Welcome, welcome! I'm sure you're very excited about your new home. There are some very minor details we have to go over now that you've signed on the dotted line:

- There is no public transportation to your new land yet. You won't be able to get visit community lots until you can purchase a car or until we extend taxi service to your new neighborhood. By moving onto this lot, you agree not to steal good paying jobs from hard working city sims. Ever.

- We haven't zoned your land for business use. It's too far away to attract customers anyhow. We will eventually be building up a downtown or shopping district close by so you'll be able to purchase a lot to conduct business at that time, providing you can afford it. However, due to agreements with the businesses who are funding this expansion, you cannot compete with existing businesses by selling stuff already on the market. You can only sell stuff you grow, catch, craft, cook, or paint on your land.

- Because of the long trip to your neighborhood, the poor quality of the dirt roads, and the low population, only one truck makes it out each day. This truck must service everyone in the Free Land! Plus Money! program. So, due to size restraints, you can only purchase 2 objects a day, provided services for those objects are available (see below). This includes all Build, Buy, and Aspiration Reward objects. Planting soil is excluded from this limit. There is an exception for walls and foundations. We can send you up to 3 wall sections or 20 foundations for each 'object'. The truck arrives in your neighborhood at 8am and makes deliveries until sundown. No exceptions. We expect to expand delivery services eventually.

- On the return trip back, the truck can take back up to 2 items a day. Sorry, we only reimburse you the depreciated price. This includes used aspiration objects.

- Our truck is not refrigerated. Thus we can't deliver food unless you buy a refrigerator. There will not be any food deliveries nor food for sale in stores in your area. Probably ever.

- Currently the truck cannot make deliveries in winter. No buying or selling any items until we get funding for snow plows.

- Sim City scientists have devised a way to suck food right out of your hands and instantly transport it back here in order to feed our burgeoning population. So, we can buy your produce directly as you harvest them or buy edible items right out of your inventory (no boots) at any time.

- Sorry, but no services or deliveries (from the phone) are offered that far out from Sim City at this time.

- We do provide mail and repossession services, so don't ignore your bills.

- Of course, we couldn't offer this program without guaranteeing emergency and school services. At least that was the court ruling after a long and bitter legal fight.

- Your lot comes with plenty of trees. You can cut down enough trees to fund wall purchases. Furthermore, you can sell trees to fund the purchase of up to 3 wall sections a day (up to $210 a day but not over, unless you want to keep track of any carryover) over the item per day limit.

- The following utilities and specialized services are not currently available, but will be in the future (including but not limited to): phone service (land and cell), computer internet hookup, sprinkler system installation, cable television, radio station signals, gas lines for ovens and cooktops, burglar alarm hookup to the police station, fire alarm hookup to the fire station, aspiration reward delivery, ladybug loft delivery, driveway construction, fruit tree deliveries, non-owned career reward permits.

- Over time we'll be expanding standard Sim City services to your new neighborhood. Please be patient and just hang in there.

Well, that about covers it. The door's over there. Thank you and good luck. Next!"

Expanding Services - At the end of every winter (twice a 'year') Sim City expands it's standard services to your sim's neighborhood. There are 7 basic restrictions that can be lifted in any order you desire (technically restrictions are lifted the first day of Summer and Autumn, excluding the first Summer, of course):

- Phone services - all options on the phone except grocery and food delivery are permitted, provided you have a phone

- Public transportation - sims can travel via taxi anywhere, make purchases at non-owned community lots, except purchase groceries or eat at restaurants.

- Driveway installation - doesn't count for the item per day limit.

- Downtown/Shopping District opening - sims can purchase a community lot. Ideally in a downtown or shopping district sub-neighborhood, but if loading times are an issue for your computer you can purchase a community lot in the main neighborhood.

- Speedy courier delivery of craft bench supplies - Sims can use craft benches to produce goods. You can't sell them from the bench or inventory though. You can only sell crafted items on a community lot.

- Road/highway upgrades - doubles the number of items per day you can buy/sell. This can be unlocked multiple times.

- Snow Tires, Plows - the first time you unlock this, items can be delivered during winter except when there is enough snow on the ground to make snowmen/snow angles. The second time you unlock this, deliveries can be made all throughout winter according to the trucks normal schedule.

Utilities and Specialized Services - The first day of each new season (except the first Summer) brings a new option to your neighborhood. In addition to unlocking these items, you get to purchase your first item in that category unrestricted by any item per day rule. Unlock them in any order you wish:

- phones (land and cell)
- televisions
- radios
- computers
- garden sprinklers
- stoves/cooktops
- burglar alarms
- fire alarms
- ladybug lofts
- fruit trees
- aspiration rewards (except the ReNuYu Senso Orb and the weather machine)
- 2 career rewards - use boolprop to give your sims any two career rewards you like. These are not subject to the 2 item per day rule. This can only be used once.

- The Garden Club - is very excited to help out those moving to these new neighborhoods. They can conduct inspections once you have a phone and the city provides transportation to your area for all services. If your garden is found to be in suitable shape, the Garden Club will make a donation to help you further develop your garden. All money from received from the GC must be spent on gardening supplies (anything in the Garden Center of Build mode, purchases using the GC money that are made on the day of inspection do not count towards the item per day limit). Use the wishing well at your own peril.

- End Game - eventually you'll get tired of this challenge and go back to your usual way of playing. Eventually the family will make tons of money. Just play until you get bored, or you've decided that the family has 'made it' and then toss the remaining restrictions.

The actual fine print:

- No cheats except aging off. You can turn off aging if you'd like and turn it back on when you want to have kids.

- The no-plant-sim hack from DJS Sims ( is highly recommended (I think plant sims make this too easy). Other hacks are allowed. Fixes (like the warmth fix from MATY) are fine. But always perfect plants is not. Neither is Pescado's indoorplant fix. It fixes a bug, but also makes greenhouse plants too easy to care for. Generally anything that affects farming or fishing to make things easier is, well, if you are going to use those then why play a challenge? Put the no plant sim hack in a separate Hacks folder so you can remove it easily when you are not playing the challenge. I have it and do not intend to keep it in my game, just for this challenge.

- If you don’t get the no plant sims hack above, you must cure all plant sims immediately. The challenge will be easier for you since sims are cured with full needs, but then you’ll need to purchase the potion. I suggest buying some before hand.

- You can use any method to give your sims University equivalent want slots and locks, if you wish. Except sending them through Uni first. boolprop, hack, whatever is ok.

- Custom content must be reasonably priced (no $0 wall coverings).

- Build mode objects: One 'truck object' from build mode equals - up to 3 wall sections, up to 20 foundation/deck tiles; for wall and floor coverings one entire room counts as one one 'truck' object (enough wall coverings to cover all the walls in one style in one room or enough floor coverings to cover the entire floor in one room); one roof of any size; one dormer; one door; one window; one staircase; etc. Recoloring counts as a new object. You get up to 3 wall sections a day independent of the limit if you sell trees to fund the purchase and you can lay down as much planting soil as you want.

- You can essentially trade trees for wall sections, but only up to the cost of 9 wall sections a day (the limit that can be delivered), or $630 a day. You can't go over and actually make a profit (although it you want to keep track and roll over any unavoidable 'profit' from one day's tree sale into the next day's wall purchase, you can).

- For a community lot business, you can't sell anything in build or buy mode. Only produce, fish, boots, foods you've cooked from the produce, crafted items, and paintings. All cooked foods you intend to sell must be cooked on the home lot then transferred to the business via inventory. If you want the community lot business owner to also start a home business just so food that's cooked automatically goes to the his/her inventory, that's fine, but you can't ever open the home business to service customers.

- Sims can write and sell novels on computers.

- No craft benches since supplies can't fit on the 'truck' until you unlock it (see above).

- By no "services or deliveries (from the phone)" I mean that nothing in the Services or Delivery option on the phone is permitted.

- You can 'move' existing walls by deleting them and rebuilding them. The difference between the depreciated sale price and the cost of new replacement walls is 'labor.'

- Dating and outings on community lots only.

- You can't use the ReNuYu Senso Orb or the weather machine.

Thanks - to Twain and Izus for comments and testing during development, and LK for the initial poke to write something, and everyone else on for their comments.

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