The Sims: Hot Date

Platform

zScore

85%

The Sims: Hot Date

Developer:Maxis Genre:Simulation Release Date: Download Games Free Now!

About The Game

THE SIMS: HOT DATE EXPANSION PACK represents an entirely new experience for your Sims--dating! With exciting new characters, interests, romance objects, and an all-new downtown area filled with restaurants, shops, and parks, you will get your Sims off the couch and into the singles scene. Play matchmaker for your Sims and watch them become lovers or liars!!

+Downloadwalkthrough64 KB
The Sims: Hot Date

The Sims: Hot Date Review

By Monica Bair |

Pets! Interact at work! Race cars! Build a bomb shelter! Awright, not yet. Sims 2 isn't out, so until then, we've had to keep satiated on the delicious but tiny scraps sent from Maxis. Livin' Large gave us weirder worlds to work with, and House Party gave us easier ways to get along, but still, in the end it came down to hot tubs, good wallpaper, and a great toilet. The world of the Sims has had some new paint, but nothing's truly changed. Until now.

Hot Date adds an entirely new area to the Sims universe -- downtown -- and more importantly, has made interaction between your characters a huge game in itself. Plus there's that dating thing, sorta the whole point of all of this. There's a lot to enjoy, and a ton of new ways to enjoy it. You can go to a fancy restaurant, check out the beach, or maybe just do some shopping at a mall. There's a park for relaxing, or a downtown center with a giant fountain and a few specialty shops and restaurants for entertainment. And it's all just a cab ride away from your home.

There are also two major additions to the way your Sims interact, as well. Sims now have specific interests, like the 60's or weather, that will cause characters to get along like old chums, or butt heads like bulls. Reading magazines will keep you up to date with topics, and better your chances with someone that you'd like to become friends with that has differing interests. Second, there are now two meters on your Sims, one for short term relationships, the other for long term. So you may entertain someone for one day, but to get them into your inner circle may take a lot longer. It's the payoff for the more elaborate and fulfilling interaction that Hot Date brings to the game.

Because Hot Date is actually more about all levels of personal communication rather than just dating, they've given you a surprising number of new options where there used to be just a handful. You can wave instead of just greeting, or you can give multiple levels of compliments. Want your hug to be friendly instead of intimate? Feel like growling with a flirt instead of just checking someone out?

Even objects give you more ways to interact. Benches and new swings allow you to move closer to your date, or cuddle up. You can get a little frisky, or even go for a kiss, which will end in a slap because, let's be honest, you're a pretty forward person, you fiend. You can show someone your muscles, discuss your interests, talk about specific subjects, or even (gulp) ask someone else on a date. Because Sims have interests now, getting into someone's pants, er, trying to be someone's steady date is a much more complicated affair, involving a set of artful steps that should include favoring their ego, finding common subjects, buying them dinner, and tenderly flirting. Then you can go in for the big smooch, and get in a little cuddling at the beach.

For instance, I put Stephen, Tal, and Dan into the game because -- obviously -- I wanted to force them to marry each other. Unfortunately, Stephen hooked up with a cute townie and got a little cuddle action (see pics), though he was brushed off when he tried to tongue it up on the first date. And poor Dan couldn't get play with Tal (not attracted), or that old grandma raver that loves the boats over at the park. The only thing left for him to do was sob, pee on the grass, and make burgers on the park barbecue.

For the first time, there are fully NPC characters to interact with as well, called Townies. Sure you could order up a weird clown, or get pizza delivered, but could you try to date them? Now you can start relationships with the locals in downtown, and even date and eventually tie the knot, bringing them into your home, and into your game as a playable character. How's that for a Sims RPG? Your quest, nerdy knight, is to plant one on that hot chick that hangs out at the ice cream shop. Or maybe just dance with that guy that looks like a red-headed Urkel over at the boardwalk. Dating sort of "connects" a character to you as well, so now when you go to dance, you've got someone else to do it with you. A fresh scoop of ice cream, or maybe just a snuggly picnic becomes more fun when you've got someone to share it with.

Even the addition of new items comes with a new twist -- you've got an inventory you can use now, as well as the ability to shop. Match that with the character's interests, and it becomes a much more complex affair. Does that old lady with the hot pants want a copy of The Sims, or would she rather have a teddy bear? Do you even want to spend your hard earned cash on getting some roses when maybe just some candy would do it? You can also bring the items back with you to your home to give as gifts, making the act of going shopping even more realistic. In our world of super-marketing, I was a little surprised that you couldn't buy Nestle brand chocolate, or a Ty beanie baby for your friends. I mean, I thought the 00's were about making even more massive marketing money on top of your fresh money. Perhaps for the next add-on, "productopia."

You can also add items to the existing downtown environments, raze an area and start fresh, or build something unique in the empty lot provided. You're going to be so busy running around and being a slut for so long that you'll probably wait before touching the empty lot, but just so you know, there are a ton of new objects to use, since they've pretty much had to create retail environments from scratch. Hot dog stands, booths, front counters, ice cream fridges, candy shop materials, magazine racks...you name it, it's there. Plus, no bedrooms to design, or kitchen to worry about! It's great.

There are other nice touches in the game, like employees that speak with new accents -- like an old grumbly maid, or a southern gentleman working behind a counter. A fancy restaurant has classy new music, while the park is filled with the gentle sounds of tiny boats and people at play. As with all Sims aural additions, everything's high quality. It's a nice addition to hear even normal Sim voices interacting in new ways, especially if you've been getting a little bored with old classics like "zzzhis fuushhul iz fresshheeaay!" every time they eat salad. Not that I'm bored with that. I live on their fressheay, every day. Wake up, shave, say fresshheeaay, and I'm out the door for work.

That's not to say that everything's perfect in your Sim world. There are still the same nuisances, like the sludgy camera and unreliable pathing, and you'll still find yourself working your butt off to keep friendships intact, and your Sims entertained. What Maxis has done with this latest version, however, is make the downtown environment a much easier place to exist in. Not only does time stop in the neighborhood world while you're in downtown but your energy meter depletes much slower, allowing you to enjoy the new environments much more, since you're not racing home after ten minutes of play because your Sim is falling asleep at the bench. While it's harder to build relationships in the game, downtown makes it easier, because you've got more time and ways to do it. More than House Party, downtown is a perfect place to please your Sims for their "regular" life back at home.

This isn't the full-fledged leap that you're looking for -- you'll have to wait for Sims Online and the inevitable Sims 2 for that -- but it's certainly the largest step that the game has taken over the course of its life. While the other expansions have been mostly superficial in their additions, Hot Date tries to add some new elements to the mix. The same problems with the engine still exist, and if you're tired of making people go to the bathroom in the middle of making out with someone, you'll still be annoyed. If you've never stopped playing the series though, or if you've been looking for a reason to get back into the lives of your little polygon people, then there's no better time than with a hot, smoldering, sweaty, groping, throbbing...good clean date.

-- Vincent Lopez


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The Sims: Hot Date Cheats

Bring up the Cheat box/menu by pressing and holding, control, shift, and C. Then in the box, type ''move_objects on'' without quotes. To disable the cheat, type ''move_objects off'' without quotes. This cheat allows you to move anything, at any time, such as sims, or a chair in use, this can be helpful, or risky. Below are some risks of the cheat. DO NOT delete your Mailbox or original Trash Can, this can cause problems with your Newspaper, Bills, and Carpool. Also, Don't delete your sim without saving first, because when you bring your sim back, (Along with all of his/her needs being full) their Skill/Personality points are back at what they were when you last saved. To bring your sim back, simply click on their ''icon/Face''. Oh, one more warning, deleting your sim, and trying to bring him/her back where there is no space, such as over a pool, or crowded room, the game may just shut itself off, likewise, bringing them back over the ''Grey'' area that surrounds your lot can permanetly trap them there, unless you evict the family (Or the game may just shut off).
  • Cheat List During gameplay, press CTRL+SHIFT+C, and a prompt will appear in the upper left corner of the screen. Enter one of the cheats below to enable the code.CheatEffectrosebud1000 Simoleonshist_addAdd family history stat to current familywrite_destlistAppend route destination list to AllRoutes.txt when new route foundauto_levelArchitecture tools automatically set the level as needed sim_log beginBegin sim loggingprepare_lotFix lot objectsflushFlush to VM file when running Windows NTcrashCrash game:water_toolCreate moat or streamsshrink_text (font_size) (text)Create shrunk_text_#.bmp filesedit_charCreate-a-character modedraw_all_frames offDisable ''draw all animation frames''draw_floorable offDisable floorable gridmap_edit offDisable map editorpreview_anims offDisable preview animationsroute_balloons offDisable routing debug balloonsdraw_originsDraw dots at each Sim's origin[date:time].txt: core_dumpDump memory to core_dumpdump_happyDump most recent list of scored interactions to a filedump_mcDump motive contribution curve to a filedraw_all_frames onEnable ''draw all animation frames''draw_floorable onEnable floorable gridmap_edit onEnable map editor preview_anims onEnable review animationsroute_balloons onEnable routing debug balloonssim_log endEnd sim loggingcht (filename)Execute ''file.cht'' file as a list of cheatsassertForce assertimport (FAM File)Import and load specified FAM filegenable_objects offInvisible objectshouse (house number)Load house log_animationsLog animations in event log windowmove_objects onMove any object browser_failsafePrevent browser crashestile_infoProgrammer statsquitQuit gamerebuild_cpRebuild control panel/UCP from scratchrefresh_texturesRefresh character texturerestore_tutRestore tutorialrotation (0-3)Rotate camerasaveSave househistorySave family historyplughSay ''plugh''porntipsguzzardoSay ''porntipsguzzardo''xyzzySay "xyzzy"log_maskSet event logging masksim_speed (-1000-1000)Set game speedvalue edit_grass (number)Set grass changegrow_grass (0-150)Set grass growthlot_size (number)Set lot sizeallow_inuseSet menu items to appear for in-use objectstile_info onShow tile informationinterestsShow personality and interestsdraw_routes onSim's path displayeddraw_routes offSim's path hiddensweep offTicks disabledsweep onTicks enabledreport_assetsToggle assets reportauto_resetToggle automatic object resetcam_modeToggle camera modemusicToggle musicobj_compToggle object compressionsound_logToggle sound logsoundToggle soundshtmlToggle web page creationreload_peopleTotal ReloadsoundeventTrigger sound event
  • The Sims: Hot Date Game Walkthrough

    The Sims: Hot Date (PC)
    Full Strategy Guide
    
    Document written by PyroFalkon (pyrofalkon@hotmail.com)
    Current version: 4.1
    Last update: 24 April 2004
    
    
    
    +---------------+
    |+-------------+|
    ||LATEST UPDATE||
    |+-------------+|
    +---------------+
    
    v4.1 (24 April 2004)
    I guess I've got one more update ready. (No wonder CJayC recommends that we 
    never say an FAQ's version as "Final.") Again, this update SHOULD BE it for 
    this FAQ. That said, I'm always available by e-mail for questions you may have, 
    as long as I didn't already answer it in the FAQ.
    
    Okay, three tiny updates. First, I made a mistake in how to back up your sims, 
    so that's been fixed. Second, I read over my Alpha strategy again just to 
    proofread it and all that. Third, I've added the second way to get rid of the 
    Tragic Clown, so that's in the Disasters section.
    
    
    
    +-------------------+
    |+-----------------+|
    ||TABLE OF CONTENTS||
    |+-----------------+|
    +-------------------+
    
     1. Intro
     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
        c. the Option gump
     4. Taking care of yourself
        a. Hunger
        b. Comfort
        c. Hygiene
        d. Bladder
        e. Energy
        f. Fun
        g. Social
        h. Room
     5. Taking care of others
     6. Money
        a. Jobs
        b. Arts and Crafts
        c. Other Money Tips
     7. Skills
        a. Skill Gain Rates
     8. Sim Love
        a. Having and Greeting Visitors
        b. Interests
     9. Astrological Signs
        a. Aquarius
        b. Pisces
        c. Aries
        d. Taurus
        e. Gemini
        f. Cancer
        g. Leo
        h. Virgo
        i. Libra
        j. Scorpio
        k. Sagittarius
        l. Capricorn
    10. Downtown: the new area of SimCity
        a. Having a date or friend with you downtown
        b. Constructing buildings
    11. Throwing Parties
    12. Kids
        a. Babies
    13. Disasters
        a. Death
    14. Other Events and Rumor Killers
    15. Strategies
        a. PyroFalkon's Alpha Strategy
        b. Relationship Strategies
        c. Other strategies and short tips
        d. Strategies Submitted by Readers
    16. Customizing your sims
    17. Cheat Codes
    18. Unconfirmed Information
    19. Backing Up Your Sims
        a. Method 1
        b. Method 2
    
    20. Contributor List
    21. Version History
    22. Copyright Info
    23. Contact Info
    
    
    
    +----------+
    |+--------+|
    ||1. INTRO||
    |+--------+|
    +----------+
    
    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 the Sim Love
    section. 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
    the Mood Bars section 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 has 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 the Mood Meters section 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). 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 Pud.
    
    In the bios, I declare Pyro and Stephanie to be married, and Pud 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
    bottom button of the Create Family screen to edit him or her. If things go
    horribly wrong, you can click the sim, then the middle 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 bare 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.
    
    You now need doors for house. The tool for this 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 (which covers both interior and external
    walls), 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 there should be plenty to do things with.
    
    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 appropriate 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.
    
    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.
    
    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.
    
    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, which is half the price.
    
    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 the
    Money section.
    
    Though you can arrange anything in any order, there's one specific piece of
    advice I must give. Check the Mood Meters section for details.
    
    +--------------------+
    |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 automatically 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 thing that needs a special explaination is the fridge. 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 talk about in 4a, 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.
    
    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. I talk more about interests later.
    
    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. Remember I told you that you'll need
    certain objects as essential for living? This is why. I'll describe each meter
    here, what it means, and how it's weighed in the overall mood. This is the
    heart and soul of the game. Click back over to the mood meters to follow along
    as you check out my next section.
    
    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, severely affects what options pass
    or fail when they do an action to another sim.  I cover that in the Sim Love
    section.
    
    +----------+
    |4a. 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.
    
    To make a sim eat, make the sim that's hungry the active sim, then click a
    fridge. For now, choose "Have Meal" or "Serve Meal," so you can see the whole
    cooking process. Sims start their cooking at a fridge by 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
    flowchart...
    
    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.
    
    +-----------+
    |4b. Comfort|
    +-----------+
    
    This is how much sims are happy with their comfort, obviously. A sim that is
    standing will constantly lose comfort, although not as severely as a sim that's
    working out or swimming. Generally, this is weighed pretty heavily, although
    not as much as hunger.
    
    Comfort is rather easy to raise, espeically when you consider that sims do a
    lot of things sitting down. Watching TV, for example, will help comfort as well
    as raising the Fun meter. You have to be wary though; sometimes, if their path
    is blocked, they may watch TV or eat while standing, which is perfectly capable
    to be done, but it kills the Comfort meter. Some actions, such as playing chess
    or playing on a computer, cannot be done at all while standing.
    
    So basically, while a low Comfort meter is bad, it's hardly anything to panic
    about. If push comes to shove, just click a chair or couch and select "Sit." If
    another sim sitting at the same time, the two will talk idly, which can bring
    up the Social meter in the process as well.
    
    +-----------+
    |4c. 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?
    
    Hygiene gets directly healed via bathtubs and showers. Hot tubs do the job too,
    but not as well. Sims typically don't have a problem stripping down and taking
    a shower if someone's in the bathroom, oddly enough. I guess the door is so
    well blurred that you can't see anything once you're inside.
    
    Anyway, if you don't have a maid, be sure to clean your shower or tub often. If
    you don't, Hygiene won't go up as fast as it could; and besides, that dirt ring
    looks nasty.
    
    +-----------+
    |4d. 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.
    
    If the meter drops rather low, and then you tell your sim to get to the
    bathroom, he'll RUN for it. Although it's certainly not something you exactly
    want to intentionally set up, it is pretty cool to see sims tearing through the
    house.
    
    Sims will often times stop whatever they're doing if they need to go. They can
    wake up in the middle of the night or stop eating before their plate is clean
    if they get the urge. There are two solutions here. You can take care of the
    problem when it happens, then send them back to bed or their meal. The other,
    more logical solution is to send them to the bathroom BEFORE they take the
    action. That prevents any and all bladder problems, so you'll be fine.
    
    Oh, one more thing. If a sim is rather close to having an exploding bladder,
    there's an action another sim can do to intentionally make it wet itself. If
    two sims are close in relationships, have the one who does not have the empty
    Bladder meter the active sim. Then, click the sim who does need to go the
    bathroom and select the "Tickle > Extreme" action. Your active sim will do some
    serious tickling, enough to make the target wet itself. Ah, gotta love social
    interactions.
    
    +----------+
    |4e. 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 makes 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. I do know that it takes far
    shorter time for an active sim to actually get moving in the morning. If a sim
    has 10 Active, then they'll literally hop out of bed, bright-eyed and
    bushy-tailed (whatever THAT means). A sim with zero Active will take a full 30
    minutes to get the cobwebs out of their head.
    
    Adult sims are rather light sleepers. The slightest sound will keep them awake,
    so make sure all radios, TVs, and computers are shut off if they're in the same
    room. Lights don't bother them, but certain sounds that other sims make might.
    For example, if there is a weight set in a bedroom, and one sim is sleeping,
    it'll be woken by the sound of another sim working out. Also, they'll wake up
    to the phone, and since most nighttime calls are prank callers, keep phones out
    of the bedroom. Remember, as long as the object is in another room, it won't
    matter in the slightest.
    
    Kid sims are far different. They can be woken from the alarm clock, but other
    sounds won't bother them. That means you can shove a kid in the living room
    with your speakers blaring and phones ringing, but they won't stir a bit. This
    more or less ensures that they'll have max energy when the time comes for
    school.
    
    Once a sim goes to sleep, assuming there's no offending noise in the room, it
    can only be woken a few ways. First of all, a sim will wake up if its bladder
    meter gets extremely empty. You'll have about 10 game minutes to get a sim to
    the bathroom before it wets itself. The second way it will wake up is to alarm
    clocks. If an alarm is set, it will ring two hours before the carpool arrives.
    Third, sims will (or should) wake up automatically when the sun rises at 6 AM.
    It's not guaranteed, and sometimes you make have to wake a sim up manually.
    
    As long as the Energy meter is not full, a sim will be sleeping. If it is woken
    up before its Energy tops out, it will throw a fit for about 30 minutes for
    sleep deprivation.
    
    If the sun is out (anytime from 6 AM to 6 PM), the sim will stop sleeping if
    its energy tops out. However, if it's nighttime, it will keep on sleeping
    anyway until the sun does rise, or until you give it another command. If time
    isn't a factor, then you can simply order a sim to go to sleep, and issue
    another order directly afterwards. The sim will sleep, and the moment its
    Energy tops off, it will wake up and take the next action you gave it.
    
    There is only one bed that has any special commands. That's the heart-shaped
    love bed, which gives three additional options besides Sleep: those are
    "Vibrate," "Relax," and "Play in Bed." If a sim elects to Vibrate, he or she
    will pay about $20, then get nekkid and go under the sheets. This raises
    Comfort through the roof, though Energy won't go up. Relaxing is a free, but
    weaker, version of Vibrate in practice.
    
    If a sim is either Vibrating or Relaxing, another sim can elect to Play in Bed
    with the one already there. The second sim will approach, get naked, and start
    a healty match of sheet-wrestling. This brings Comfort and Social way up, and
    Energy and Hygiene way down. Once they finish, they'll hop out of bed and react
    to each other depending on how good the whole thing was. Stephanie has slapped
    Pyro before, evidentally because he used his hands a little too roughly. Pyro
    has laughed in Stephanie's face before, also. Most of the time, Pyro will
    whisper something to Stephanie, who starts giggling. You may see other
    reactions as well.
    
    Oh, and kids can come about from Playing. It's not guaranteed, but there's
    certainly a chance.
    
    By the way, the Sleep option for beds will not appear unless the active sim has
    about 85% of its Energy meter. Any higher, and the option simply won't be there
    at all.
    
    +-------+
    |4f. 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.
    
    There are many actions that can boost Fun. Sims can even boost each other's Fun
    by tickling or telling jokes. Playing in Bed or Playing in hot tubs will boost
    fun also (everyone likes playing like that, right?).
    
    If you decide to tell your sim to watch to TV or play on the computer to get
    the Fun meter up, you'll need to take precautions. See, for some reason, if you
    give them more than one command, they'll drop the TV or computer to do whatever
    you ordered after it. So, make sure that playing on the computer or watching TV
    is the LAST command on the action list.
    
    Sims prefer to watch TV while sitting down. Should a chair or couch be
    provided, they'll sit it in automatically. They'll try to pick the most
    comfortable one, but they'll even settle on standing if there's nothing
    available (although that kills Comfort). Once a sim tops off its Fun meter, it
    will stop whatever it's doing.
    
    However, if a sim is having Fun but doing something else in the process, it may
    continue the action anyway. For example, if it's playing chess, it won't stop
    even after the Fun meter tops off because it is still studying Logic at the
    same time.
    
    +----------+
    |4g. 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 or +2 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, but will fill the meter a bit quicker than a shy sim.
    
    The Social meter is not entirely in scale to the relationship meters. So, just
    because you raise the relationship by 50 points doesn't mean that the Social
    meter increases by 50%. Talking, for example, only mildly helps the Social
    meter, even if two sims talk for hours. However, a few kisses, especially the
    passionate kind, will kick the Social meter into overdrive.
    
    Because the Social meter is independent of the relationship meters, it won't
    matter who is doing what as far as the Social meter goes. So, if Pyro is
    talking to Stephanie, the Social meter will go up the same as if he's talking
    to Pud, no matter what the relationship numbers say.
    
    The Social meter can also be brought down by choosing negative interactions,
    such as Fight and Insult. Still, some sims get a kick out of being insulted for
    some reason; it has to do with their level of Nice that you assigned in the
    Create Sim screen. The nicer a person is, the more of a chance they'll do
    positive actions, and the less of a chance they'll be Socially better by doing
    negative ones. Still, every neighborhood has a bitch that you just want to beat
    the crap out of, and variety in sims is the key to doing very well in the game.
    
    +--------+
    |4h. Room|
    +--------+
    
    This is the sim's opinion of the room it's currently in, or how much it likes
    the yard if it's outside. 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.
    
    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...
    
    +------------------------------+
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    |                              |
    +------------------------------+
    
    Do this...
    
       --------------------------
      /                          
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    /                              
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    |                              |
                                  /
                                 /
                                /
       --------------------------
    
    Not only does this save money, but room scores will get better. You can also
    get super-fancy, though it's more expensive...
    
       ---------------------------
      /                           
     /                             
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    |                              |
    |                              /
    |                             /
    |                     /-------
    |                     |
    |                     |
    |                     |
    |                     -------
    |                             
    |                              
    |                              |
                                  |
                                  /
                                 /
       ---------------------------
    
    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, but lights light up
    during the day as well as the night.
    
    Once you have a bunch of money, you should start buying decorative things for
    the rooms. Certain things, like the more expensive chess set, have practical
    uses as well as boosting Room scores. Upgrading furniture and fireplaces will
    help too. Statues and paintings actually appreciate in value, so you can buy
    one and sell it a few days later for a profit. Coat the walls liberally with
    paintings either way: your sims' Room meters will go through the roof.
    
    Outside, coat the yard with plants. Pink flamingos, while pretty damn ugly,
    still boost the yard score significantly. The only thing you need to avoid is
    the Topiaries. For some reason, sims run into them, and can't figure out how to
    go AROUND them, so they just give up whatever their current task is. Must be a
    fault in the object code, but whatever the cause is, don't build any. There are
    plenty of other flowers you can plop down that won't have the same problem.
    
    
    
    +--------------------------+
    |+------------------------+|
    ||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 the Sim Love section.
    
    
    
    +----------+
    |+--------+|
    ||6. MONEY||
    |+--------+|
    +----------+
    
    It's all about the Benja-sims. 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. There's a million ways to make money.
    
    +--------+
    |6a. Jobs|
    +--------+
    
    The easiest way to earn money is to have your adult sims get jobs, because the
    jobs pay daily. Polish up those resumes, it's time to start working!
    
    At 9 AM every morning, the paper is delivered to your front lawn, near your
    mailbox. 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 20 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.
    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.
    
    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 third 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.
    
    +-------------------+
    |6b. Arts and Crafts|
    +-------------------+
    
    There are many things you can make to earn a living. If you decide to go into
    business for yourself, you'll first need the creation tools.
    
    One way is to be the Bill Gates of gnomes. Once you're in a lot, grab a wood
    working table through Buy Mode. You may want to zone off a large room (about
    8x8) as a garage or whatever for this. Put only the table in it; if you insist
    on lights, use hanging lamps or wall lamps to keep them out of the way.
    
    Once your sim wakes up in the morning, take care of your moods, then
    immediately get to work on making lawn gnomes! Keep working through the day and
    night, only stop when your sim stops on his own.
    
    Remember, you'll be gaining your Mechanical skill along the way, so every
    moment that you're working on the gnomes, you're getting better at it.
    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. 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.
    
    Instead of gnomes, you could try to dabble in paint. Now, I don't think you can
    earn a living JUST by painting, but Joseph Bull (JoeBull@HotPOP.com) says the
    following...
    
    ####################################################
    
    This is incorrect - it is possible. At 10 creativity points, paintings sell for
    $166. A Sim can easily paint 2 pictures in a day, and just about manage 3. That
    means a daily income of $332 - $498 - more than enough to survive. For example,
    my sim, with 10 creativity, paints two pictures a day. This means a 3-day
    income of $996. She gets bills of $498, spends $60 on food, and $20 on a
    gardener. That leaves $418 to spend/save.
    
    ####################################################
    
    If table working is more your thing, but you don't want to deal with gnomes,
    you can make homemade preserves with the preserves table. They sell for even
    less than paintings, but you may be able to make enough preserves per day to
    get a good living going.
    
    Finally, you can try being an art dealer. Paintings and statues that you buy
    through Buy Mode actually APPRECIATE value before depreciating. So, if you buy
    a statue, you can leave it in your house for a few days, then sell it again to
    make a profit. Of course, you'll need large capital to start in the first
    place, so you may not want to try it at the beginning.
    
    +--------------------+
    |6c. Other Money Tips|
    +--------------------+
    
    +----------------------------------+
    |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 die.
    
    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!
    
    +-------------+
    |Renting Items|
    +-------------+
    
    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 no matter how much you used.
    
    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 like this, be sure to do so no
    later than the early evening.
    
    One basic 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.
    
    +----------------+
    |Pre-Built Houses|
    +----------------+
    
    Houses are expensive to build from scratch, and with only $20,000 to work with
    (well, less since you have to buy the lot), you may end up starting in a house
    small enough and ugly enough to be appropiate for under a bum's shoe.
    
    However, there is a way to save a bunch of money on homes from the start. For
    some reason, if you buy a lot with a house already on it, then you get a HUGE
    break on the price. So, the idea is to build a house before entering the lot.
    
    First, you need to make a throwaway family (for this example, I'll call it the
    Tester family). It doesn't matter who is in it or anything. Move the Testers
    into the lot you want your real family to be in. Then, as the Testers, build
    the house the way you want it. Don't bother with objects, just get the walls,
    windows, doors, wallpaper, carpet, and roof the way you want it. Once that's
    all done, save the game and go back to the neighbood screen.
    
    Now, evict the Testers out of the lot, but DON'T demolish the house. Any
    objects you bought will be sold, which is why I told you not buy any (landscape
    items will still be there). Then, move in your main family, and they'll get a
    huge break in price for the house!
    
    
    
    +-----------+
    |+---------+|
    ||7. SKILLS||
    |+---------+|
    +-----------+
    
    The six skills you need are Cooking, Mechanical, Charisma, Body, Logic, and
    Creativity. All but one of them can help you directly; the other simply serves
    for the job. All skills start at zero and 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. By the way, while your sim swims, there won't be a
    blue progress bar, but trust me, Body IS going up.  Doyle Brigman
    (d_brigman@hotmail.com) reminded me that there is a third way: you can ride the
    mechanical bull. Erik Swinson (CronoFiend@msn.com) and Samuel Loucks
    (gragnoth@yahoo.com) e-mailed me and told me that Body actually has a purpose.
    It enables you to more easily win fights against others. So if you want someone
    with low Body to move, just get someone with high Body to whoop on them enough
    times.
    
    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.
    Other than that, Creativity won't affect anything else in-game.
    
    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 d 
                        

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