Coded blue.

Monday 7 August 2006

?

Pic of the day: "We are going to starve to death, mark my words, STARVE TO DEATH! The taxes are killing us!" Lissa, with clothes this time.

Sims2: The Near Future

I am not talking about "Pets", the next expansion pack to Sims2, even though it is indeed slated for the near future. I have never been so unexcited over any Sims expansion pack, neither for the original game nor for Sims2. I remember the corresponding expansion for the original Sims; it was called "unleashed" and contained several nifty extensions to gameplay: A much larger neighborhood, gardening with edible food, and a new shopping neighborhood with a more rustic style. Despite this, this was the only expansion pack I did not install on my next computer. I found that the pets added nothing to the game except more work (well, unless you were single and lonely, I guess). They distracted my guests so I could not so easily make new friends for my human Sims, who needed them for their career. Then there were the strays who peed on my property during the night, and in the corners at that, so my Sims had to get up an hour or two earlier to clean up before they went to work. And yes, strays too distracted my guests. In addition there was sloppy coding that made my Sims move erratically. Un-recommended.

Pets is not yet announced to contain anything except pets. I already have Nintendogs, which I don't play anymore. I don't need another pet game to not play either.

***

Luckily I don't need a new expansion pack to make the game exciting. These days I get up earlier in the morning so I can play The Sims 2 before I go to work. What is so exciting? Well, the bed with added freewill is part of it (although it is not quite exciting in THAT way, you know, arousing) but there is also more realism, which I have added myself. I'm fed up with my Sims rolling in cash even though I never use money cheats and indeed often choose to focus on other things than riches. I know some players build these huge, intricate manors which cost a lot, but I don't do that. And the sheer lack of realism puts me off. I know the game is not meant to be quite real, but there are so many realistic parts: Pregnancy, stinky babies, flies if your garbage is not taken out (or if the can is kicked over by a spurned lover) ... even death is in the game. But the bills are just not up to the easy money, so money more or less loses its meaning after the first days. That's why I created the Near Future scenario:

In the Near Future, some 10-15 years from now, everyone has a computer and Internet access. The first object in your possession should be Monique's computer from Mod The Sims 2. You'll need it, as you'll soon see.

In the Near Future, people don't get handouts when they establish a new family. Borrow 20 000 using the computer and pay back the handout for your founder. Monique's computer will take care of calculating interest and adding payment to your bills. You can pay back the loan faster if you can afford it. In fact, you should. You will have other things to spend your money on than interest, this time around!

In the Near Future, college is mandatory. Unless you have a college degree, you won't get a job. Ever. And no pension either. Hopefully you'll paint some masterworks eventually. You can also work as an independent blogger using the computer, or invite people in and play music for tips. There are a lot of ways to earn money, some of them quite fun, but none that will make you rich. Well, except marrying the mayor, I guess.

In the Near Future, a college degree will not land you a boss job. You have to start at the bottom and be glad to have a job at all. (Use the paper instead of the computer while looking for work.)

In the Near Future, colleges will not be free. Time to start saving up for your kids' education! To send a teen to college, pay 40 000 (or if you can't afford that off the bat, play the parents in between each semester and don't continue to the next until they have paid another 5000.)
(If you HATE HATE HATE playing Uni, I suppose you can use Pescado's Lot Debugger (from More Awesome Than You) to fake an education, but you still have to pay the 40 000 on Grow-Up Day.)

In the Near Future, taxes will be higher because of all the retired people, and to pay down the deficit from the "milennium party". The rich will be eaten by the dreaded Progressive Tax. Each Monday, check your family's net worth. Donate 10% of the value that exceeds 50 000. (Remember that each day is really more like a year, so this is hardly excessive.)

All realism hacks are allowed and recommended, including macros. Male pregnancies and same-sex pregnancies should be OK, this is the future after all and it doesn't really upset game balance. No cheat hacks like motherlode, maxmotives or the happiness painting.

That should be it, until I detect any loopholes. ^_^

***

I'm still on my first story using the new rules, but I love it already. In fact, I may tell you about it, since it doesn't require any new thinking on my part. But not today. I have done my public service announcement for today. My Sims are waiting...


Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Runelords book 1 review
Two years ago: Norway as oil nation
Three years ago: Looking crooked
Four years ago: Literature
Five years ago: Bush vs sex
Six years ago: Confessions of a sick man
Seven years ago: Day of the good people

Visit the archive page for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.


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