Trying to Push the Limits

I’ve finished another week with a new sim and a few tweaks to the challenge to supposedly make it “harder”.Β  Sure she was unhappier more often, but it always seems easy to get through.

The tweaks I tried were:

  • using the cheaper tent – made no difference
  • giving the lot the Creepy Crawlies trait – which just meant she got attacked by bees, bats, and spiders a lot. Downed the mood, but it wasn’t over-come-able
  • giving the lot the Cursed trait. Never played with that one before. Basically, about twice in her year, she became dazed. And she got angry a couple of times. That’s it.
  • gave the sim the traits of clumsy, materialistic, and vegetarian. She got sad and sick whenever she ate fish, and a small negative moodlet a couple of times over not buying new stuff. That was it.
Lightening!

The new lot in Willow Creek

So all in all, they weren’t such horrible things, just slight inconveniences. I got tired of spiders falling all over her, and bees in the middle of winter was just… wrong. πŸ˜€

I’m thinking about removing the fridge altogether. That way, surviving on fish is a bit harder. Mind you, it’s pretty easy to survive on fresh vegetables. Kind of a pain to eat so many times a day, mind you, but easy.

I’m also thinking of taking out the tent. Just making a fake shelter that doesn’t afford another way to get fun up. It seems that if they have appropriate clothing on, shelter doesn’t matter, which is also a bummer.

And the last thing I’m going to test next, speaking of clothing, is not allowing them to wear their “hot” or “cold” clothing. That alone will make the biggest difference. My sim could stand in a blizzard for hours and sell flowers and not freeze to death!

To do that, I’ll have both the summer and winter clothing choices in all-red or some bright colour that I don’t use in the other outfits. That way, if they auto-change, I can change them right back. LOL I’m sooooo mean…

Let’s see if this fire pit really does have enough of a warming effect. πŸ˜‰

Land Lubber’s TS4 – Basic Challenge Rules

Land Lubber's TS4 Basic Challenge Rules

Well, folks, Cora made it through one whole year, so it’s time to post some rules!

I’ll paste the rules right here in this post, but they are also included in PDF form below and in the ZIP file that has my base empty world for you to use (also below).

Goal

See if you can live off the land for 1 year (28 Sim days) through all four seasons and survive! You will have very little in the way of shelter and amenities, but you must keep all of them in like-new condition and pay all your bills. Can you do it?

Go fishing (to sell and eat), gather plants from the wild and then grow them on your lot (to sell and eat). Try to avoid lightening, heat waves, ice, and freezing. Earn enough money to pay bills and replace any damaged goods. Good luck!

Setting Up:

  1. You can play with any and all EP’s, SP’s, and GP’s, but you will absolutely need the following:
    • Seasons (for, um, seasons…)
    • Get Together (for fire pit, tent, camping shower, and β€œpee bush”)
    • City Living (for the yard sale table)
  2. The worlds in your save game must be completely empty. All of them. Not lots, no sims. Yours will be the only lot with a living soul on it. (Townies will still be generated and will walk by your lot and purchase at your yard sales.)
  3. If you need an empty base world, you can download my game save below. Instructions on where to put the file are included in the download package.
  4. It goes without saying that mod cheats are not allowed if they make gameplay easier!
  5. You can create any kind of sim you like. But there are some restrictions:
    • Traits that may help in this challenge are not allowed! Those would be:
      • Loves the Outdoors
      • Vegetarian
      • Loner
      • Genius (gives random Focused moodlets which improves gardening skill)
      • Geeks (better at finding collectibles)
      • Or any other trait you feel would give you some kind of advantage to living off the land
    • Aspirations that help in this challenge are not allowed! Those would be:
      • Food (gives you Essence of Flavor, ie, better food)
      • Knowledge (gives you Quick Learner trait)
      • Nature (gives you the edge of finding better collectibles)
      • Or any other aspiration you feel would give you some kind of advantage to living off the land
  6. Pick as many suitable “hot” and “cold” outfits as you like (the game allows you up to 5 for each category).
  7. If you want a bit harder of a challenge, pick some negative traits. “Queasy” makes it quite tough to fish, so that’s an interesting one. Any trait that throws a bad moodlet once in awhile will certainly add to your fun.
  8. In order to be able to fish and grow plants so you can store up food for winter, you should choose Spring as your starting season for the game.
  9. You can make your own lot or download mine from the gallery (called Land Lubber’s Dock Den or look for #landlubbers). I made this lot at Dock Den on the island in Windenburg, but you can place it anywhere you prefer to try this challenge.
  10. If you’d rather make your own lot, this is what you need:
    • Any size lot you want
    • You can’t use any positive lot traits. If you want to use some negative ones for a bigger challenge, go right ahead. LOL
    • Mailbox
    • Tent (Cabin-in-a-Bag)
    • Firepit (Rocks of Fire) and 4 chairs. Chairs should preferably the rocks (A Hard Place) or stumps (Stumpy Chair) for aesthetics
    • Trash can or recycle bin (lot kind, not house kind) (recommend Trashe Cann because it’s so nicely rustic)
    • 1 Bush to “fertilize” (such as The Anything Goes Party Bush)
    • Camping shower (The Shower Tarp!)
    • Yard sale table (Come and Get It Street Store)
    • Fridge (The Schmapple Fridge) surrounded by fence – the “cold room” to store fish for eating in winter
    • If you like, you may add shrubs and flowers for aesthetics. You could add trees, but you might need to rake some leaves in the fall! Your choice. πŸ™‚
  11. Move your sim onto the lot, even if you have to use the “freerealestate” cheat. Once there, open the cheat window again to turn on testing cheats (testingcheats true) and then take away all their money by typing “money 0“.

Game save set-up:

  1. Gameplay: Full autonomy, auto age = yes, lifespan = normal, max sim count = 80
  2. Set all weather to include thunderstorms and blizzards.
  3. Set all weather to include thunderstorms and blizzards.
    Season length = 7 days, unless you want it more challenging, then 14 days is fine. I wouldn’t recommend boring yourself with anything longer than that! LOL
  4. Sorry to say that the Calendar and Holidays are pretty useless in this challenge. Who has time to plan ANYTHING or celebrate stuff when you’re merely trying to survive??? Delete all the holidays.
    • However, let it be known that the day you age up in the year will forever be unavoidable. πŸ˜‰

You are now ready to start!

Basic Challenge Rules

Earning Money:

  1. Your Sim must never take a job of any kind. After all, the world is empty! Who would employ them?
  2. No collecting of anything other than plants and fish are allowed. Plants are only collected to re-plant, eat, or use for bait. Fish are collected for eating or fertilizer or using for bait. Don’t dig at dig sites or try to find frogs.
  3. However, whatever you fish up out of the water is fair game for eating or selling in your yard sales or growing in your garden.
  4. You may not sell anything out of inventory. You can only sell them by holding yard sales on your lot.
  5. You may hold as many yard sales as you need or as you can in a day. No restrictions here!
  6. Earning money in the challenge is for the following purposes:
    • Paying your weekly bills
    • Paying for replacements of whatever is on the lot if it gets destroyed somehow.

Survival:

  1. Your Sims’ main cooking and heating source come from the fire pit located on the lot.
  2. Your sim may only eat roasted fish over the fire (no marshmallows or hot dogs or other quick meals – keep an eye on those sneaky snackers!). They can also eat any fruit that they either find or grow.
  3. The fence is around the β€œcold room” so that your sim does not autonomously go for a β€œquick meal”. But you can drag fish from the inventory into the fridge so they last longer, and as long as fish are in there, you can “roast fish” over the firepit without having access to the door of the fridge.
  4. If your first Sim perishes, you may start again but you must use the same lot and leave the ghost intact.
  5. If anyone else perishes on your lot, you must leave the gravestone intact where it appears and not move it for the remainder of your year.

Gameplay:

  1. You must not build shelter (actual walls and a roof) for 1 year (28 days). You must live with what is on the lot (see Setting Up)
  2. Reward traits and potions are forbidden. Yes. All of them.
  3. You may fulfill whims and aspiration milestones as they come up, just don’t spend any of the points. πŸ˜‰
  4. Cell phone usage is not allowed. There is no cell service where you are. πŸ˜‰ If your sim starts playing a video game, stop them as soon as you notice and get them to do something else.
  5. Other sims may visit the lot, but you are not to move anyone in. If a visitor helps clean or repair something, you should thank them kindly! LOL If they kick over your garbage can, well, your response is up to you. πŸ˜‰

Losing:

  1. You must never lose water or power because of not paying bills. If that happens, you’ve technically lost the challenge.
  2. You must also have everything on the lot back in new condition by the end of Day 28. If you don’t, you have technically lost the challenge.

Winning:

  1. You have succeeded if, on Day 29, you are:
    • Alive
    • Have all items on the lot in new condition
    • Have paid all the bills throughout the year

Here are your downloads:

Land Lubber’s Basic Challenge Rules (PDF)

Empty Base World, Instructions, and Rules

I hope you have as much fun with this as I’ve had! I have a few ideas for harder challenges. I’ll test them out and post variations as I can.

If you have any questions, leave me a comment below. Also, feel free to share a link to your own Land Lubber’s adventure! I’d love to see how you all get on with it!

The Further Adventures in Testing

Today we get to the real fun. Rain.

test11

Yup, it finally started to rain on the island! Cora wasn’t as impressed as I was.

test12

Aww FRAM. Puddles already! My garden will drown!

I backed out to get a good view of the downpour. And then I realized – this was a true downpour!!!

test13

Yikes! A thunderstorm has started! I must get inside!

Well, the only “inside” was her tent. But that is where she stayed. I don’t know how many Wilderness Digests she read that day. But she is UP on her travel tips!

Just when it looked like she was well and truly protected in her nice “Cabin in a Bag”, disaster struck:

test14

* le GASP! *

She had just stepped outside to eat a strawberry! I’m not sure what would have happened if she’d still been in the tent!

test15

Oh my! That was close! But it looks like my tent survived!

Wrong. Mwaaahaahaaaa!

test16

All she could think to do was have a shower. As you do in thunderstorms…

test17

Once out, she cried over her lovely tent. I will admit, I almost cried, too. Those things are expensive to replace, and she didn’t have the money!!!

test18

I just want to go inside! I just want to go inside!! * sob *

She kept running around, trying to “go inside”, and then ZOT!

test19

Ooooooo. Pretty lights. Lights are pretty. Rain is pretty. Pretty rain.

Ooooh yeah. Totally dazed. πŸ˜†

She was so dazed, she figured researching a plant in a thunderstorm was a great idea.

test20

Pretty plant. Pretty picture. Pretty is dirt. Camels is green…

test21

By the end of the storm, Cora had survived, but her fire pit, this chair, AND the next two chairs were also toast. This was going to take a lot of yard sales to replace! πŸ˜€

Testing for Land Lubber’s TS4!

Well, folks, it was time – time for a new Land Lubber’s Challenge, TS4 style! I’m taking some of the rules from before and attempting to test and adapt the entire idea to our new Seasons EP. Let me tell you, testing has been FUN so far!

If you haven’t heard of Land Lubber’s, it was a challenge idea I came up with back in TS2 when we got the Seasons EP for that generation of the game. The basic idea is to live very simply off the land for one year (28 sim days) and survive – with very little in the way of shelter. πŸ˜‰ Some simming friends helped me tweak it back then and also came up with their own variations, which added to the fun! My goal is to once again come up with the “base challenge”, see if it’s even do-able (I’ve not hit winter yet!), and then enlist help for variations of various varieties. πŸ˜€

My test sim is Cora Dixon (my simself). She’s sporting a new Seasons haircut (one I’ve been known to have personally in the past) and some new traits. One of the traits I picked, unfortunately, was “squeamish”. As a result (unbeknownst to me at the time), she HATES fishing! Finds the whole thing highly distasteful! Whimpers and whines the entire time! And then when she finally catches something, she stops fishing and barfs in her bush! :facepalm:

test01

Cora, worried that she might actually catch a slimey fish. Ewwww! Don’t make me!

For this first trial, I’ve settled Cora at Dock Den on the island in Windenburg. There are no houses or businesses in Windenburg. In fact, there are no houses or businesses anywhere in this save. So all the meandering sims are just generated townies. Makes for a bleak social life. πŸ˜€ And ensures you can’t just run to a neighbour’s house for shelter. πŸ˜‰

test02

One barf in the bush later, and she’s ready to roast the slimy beast!

As you can see from the picture above, I tested whether you could keep fish in a storage trunk so as to get rid of the constant attempts to get a “quick meal” from the fridge. However, the fish go bad in there too quickly. 😦 So I ditched the trunk and put a fence all around the fridge. Works like a charm! I just drag the fish into it and they are always ready for her when she needs to roast one over the fire pit! No opening of the door needed and no sneaky snacks! πŸ˜‰ Now it is more of a “cold room”, which is what I needed for the challenge.

test03

Mmm, ok, so it does taste good and it fills me up. I might be willing to try again…

test04

Ahhh, Windenburg. Sooo pretty! What a great place to camp!

Ha! She thinks that now…

So the only way to make money is to hold Yard Sales with the special table that came with GTW. This money will be used to pay bills throughout the year, and for other “emergencies”.

Cora started in Spring, so she planted some of what she could glean from around the island (snapdragons, strawberries, and bluebells, I believe), sold some in Yard Sales, and ate some when she was in too bad of a mood to fish. πŸ˜† Which, being as she hated fishing, was more often than I’d been counting on. 🀣

She’d made some acquaintances and invited one dude over to hang out at the campfire with her one night – when the inevitable happened.

Something caught fire. πŸ˜€

test05

Do you smell smoke? No, I mean MORE smoke????

At first, since this was the angle I saw this at, I thought it was her on fire! Thankfully, this was not her day to die. It was only her ROCK-SOLID CHAIR. (Really? These things can burn, EA? I’ve always wondered… Whyyyyy???)

When it was all over and the panic had subsided, the dinner she’d only partly eaten and two of her rock chairs were ka-put-nicks.

test06

Awww, FRAM! Now I have to fish again!

But that wasn’t the end of that Spring. Oh no. She had another yard sale on a particularly hot day and then, being low on Social needs, invited one of the purchasers to stay and hang out.

Around the firepit.

As you do on a hot day.

Well, Cora changed into her cool clothes once I saw her bad “hot” moodlet. The guest, however, didn’t.

What can I say? Oh, I know – Sims are stupid. πŸ˜€

test07

Yup. She died.

You know, you’d THINK that a straw hat, a tank top, and capris would be cool enough, but man, those fully-enclosed loafers just put the heat index over the top, I tell ya!

test08

Oh FRAMMM! Now I’m gonna have a GHOST to deal with??? What an IDIOT!!!

Meh. Never said she was overly kind. πŸ˜€

Grimmy was nice enough to hang out and chat with Cora while she cooked her fish. I’m not ashamed to say that he listened to aaaaaall her troubles. After all, he was there and seemed chatty…

test09

I know it’s hot here, but you should see where I come from… You’ll be FINE!

I’ve learned a few things. One, the cheaper tent doesn’t seem to protect a sim from the elements as well as the bigger tent. I’ll test further, but so far, that seems to be true. Two, fridges work with fences around them, but not in the rain. πŸ˜€ And three, a sim should always plant A LOT of whatever is in season if they want to level up and/or get enough Fun need out of gardening!

Oh. And don’t pick Squeamish. Frammit.

I’ll leave you with a pretty picture.

test10

le sigh

I have more adventures to share from testing out summer, so I’ll post that soon!

Seasons! They are Coming!

Before those afore-mentioned princesses arrive, I’ve got a few pics from my current game save. I wanted to take advantage of the Jasmine Holiday perks so I had a sim all ready to go for the 22nd and the release of TS4 Seasons. So I made “Jase Slade” – goes by Slade to most of his bro’s, because… bro’s. Yo.

Jase started out on the 40×30 empty lot in the “golf course” section of Oasis Springs. This was not a “rags to riches” thing, so he had some money to spend on a wee house and some seeds. My thanks to Carmiinaa and her house on the Gallery called “10K Build Challenge” – it started Jase off just right!

Of course, the idea is to grow and modify the house as he goes. But he does have to earn the money to do it. And that is, for now, by his garden.

Now I’ll catch you up to these pics: Jase maxed his Gardening skill with the help of the perks. Then he maxed his Cooking and Gourmet Cooking skills, and he got his Baking all the way up to level 8 before that perk ran out. πŸ™‚ Then he took the perk where he wasn’t as hungry or grungy all the time, and that gave him extra stamina to both garden and to explore for more kinds of plants. And fish – because fish make good fertilizer, yo. Not to mention the odd dinner…

Now he has the perk to boost Handiness, Painting, and Photography. Not sure why those are included in these bonuses, but there MUST be a good reason, so dangit, he’s gonna work on all of ’em! Handiness is already at level 10. He will be a super sim in no time! LOL

Here are the pictures of where he’s been heading and where his once-modern-looking little house is at now.

01Jase

Jase need help! My Nefertiti seemed willing to at least consider it! πŸ˜€

02Jase

She agreed to move in with him and learn how to garden. After all, she lived in a dive next to the diner. πŸ˜‰

03Jase

The small bit of money she brought with her helped to grow the house a bit larger.

04Jase

They have matching bedrooms now, and there is a bit more living space in the front.

05Jase

Neff is learning to garden and Jase is happy! But wait, what is that fenced area over there???

06Jase

AHAAAAAAA!

And with that, Jase Slade has now completed his Aspiration of becoming a Freelance Botanist! Woot!

Now Nefertiti will follow in his footsteps in the garden while he continues work on the “extra” perks of Photography (currently just at level 3) and Painting (level NOTHING. πŸ˜€ )

Eventually, I hope that these two collect pretty much everything there is to collect. But let’s face it, that’s a big order for this Controller since I’m soooo fickle. πŸ˜€ However, they WILL be ready for Seasons and whatever kind of business they can set up with that EP. And then I’ll choose “Mansion Baron” as the aspiration for both of them and they can work their tails off to make their teeny home into the biggest and best Southwestern Hacienda on the block!

Many years later…

05Doo joo noe… I apparently forgot I had this blog!

But I’ve recently re-discovered it and decided to go “whole hog” and pay for a bit of upgrading. Just a bit. Enough to get my own domain back again (happy dance!) and get rid of the ads.

Party time! \o/

So I started a completely different (and still freeeee) blog for my CC recordings. Which ia now getting a tad old and out-dated and I’ve downloaded stuff that I haven’t recorded and taken out stuff I haven’t deleted from the blog.

Great idea. Waaaay too much work. LOL

I really wanted my own home on the inter-webz that wasn’t tumblr, however, and this was affordable. I’m pretty happy with it. I’ll call it my “Happy Mother’s Day to Me!” present. πŸ˜‰04

I have a story to tell. And this will be the best place to tell it. It’s all about 6 ordinary girls, a queen’s interesting idea to find a bride for her son, a reluctant prince, and the building of a castle while I played it all out.

Stay tuned. πŸ˜€

The CC Conundrum

Well, TS4 is barely out for 2 months and I’m downloading all kinds of CC for it. Good grief, Charlie Brown.

I am, however, attempting to be very picky with the stuff I keep. Along with having to work well and not be glitchy, it needs to fit well enough with the art style of TS4. If it does all that, I’ll keep it.

I’m keeping a list of all the CC I use in-game in OneNote. I include the link, creator, and pictures. But I’ve been thinking that it might be good to keep a list online. I don’t know why, exactly. What’s the difference? I never sim away from home where I’d need to see the list! πŸ˜€ However, it might be handy as a reference for others…

I shall think about that. This random blog might be just the place for such a thing. πŸ˜‰