Advanced Sim Creation
We will begin this by simply loading the Sim Creation Tool as we create the family unit, and proceeding in an orderly fashion from there... So from the starting screen you select New Game and then Twinbrooks, and you are presented with the "Let's Play" screen that shows an overhead view of the town and presents you with the options of Create Sims, Choose Household, and Move in Household. The first option is the one we want since we need to create a new family -- but of course if you have a pre-created family in holding you can choose Choose Household or Move In Household -- but we want Create Sims!
Selecting Create Sims brings up the Sim Making App -- and as we have decided that our family will consist of a pair of cousins -- one make the other female -- named Karl SuperCheats and Ute SuperCheats -- that is who I have made...
Starting with Young Adult, I then selected Male for the sex of my first new Sim and then as they are Germanic Sims I went with the lightest skin tone and picked what I considered to be the typical Germanic body type and appearances. Once I was happy with their looks I gave each a set of five traits that it seemed to me would fit nicely with the personality that I had imagined for each, and then gave them a Lifetime Goal that I felt was a natural fit to their potential career choices, and it was time to commit them as a family unit!
The next choice is one of the more difficult for most players -- where will they live? On the one hand the easy choice is to pick the least expensive furnished home and go with that since it is less work for you at the start (and that is what I chose to do) but you could also build your own home with the amount of starting money you are given... Your choice!
I ended up having them live on the bayou -- mostly because that environment gives you a lot of interesting options later when it comes time to add to and customize their home... Plus it puts them out in the middle of nowhere with less town-hassles. Or at least that was what I told myself.
Since I did not make my Sims a couple they had to spend their first day becoming friends and then good friends, as they needed to have that "I've got your back" sort of feel to their relationship -- besides that cousins should be best friends don't you think? Once that was managed it was time for my Career Sim (Ute) to get a newspaper and pick her career and get that ball rolling, while my slacker Sim (Karl) needed to start reading the basic books to get his homemaker skills going -- cooking, logic, repair, that sort of thing.
A home on the Bayou with room to expand
Picking a home on the bayou means your Sim is always close to a fishing pond -- which is great if you like fishing (grin) and what do you know?! My man Karl likes to fish a lot! Then there is the fact that there is a wide variety of Collection items to be found here and the separation from neighbors means he can play his guitar whenever he wants and hey, the bayou makes perfect sense!
When you go to pick your Traits try not to make them all work-related -- your Sim needs to have hobbies and interests outside of work because the more well-rounded they are the happier they will be, and the happier they are the better their life and happiness point gains will be. But in any event you should not pick Traits you do not fully understand, and serious care should be taken in planning out the Traits you do pick so that they are both complementary and serve the larger role of supporting whatever career path your Sim will be pursuing...
Take the time to create a Sim that looks good to you -- after all you are going to be looking at them a LOT for a long time. Take the time to research the Lifetime Wishes (see that section) so that you select one that makes sense for your primary career path, and bear in mind that your choice in wish may very well alter the choices you make in Traits. Something to consider.
The final tip on family creation is to try not to have your Career Sim begin their career too fast -- take the time to pick up a few levels of some of the skills that they will likely need in that career now, when they do not have to worry about maintaining their work schedule so that they can work on those basic skill levels without having to watch the clock, because you always want to have them clean, well fed, well rested, and happy when you send them off to work!
-- Adjusting the Time Sliders --
One of the first things you should do once you have created your Sim and Family and you have deployed them into the world is to open the main menu (the "..." selection) and then choose "Options," and then "Game Options" (the two meshed cogs) which will bring you to the time sliders.
The base settings are configured for what is generally considered to be the old-style play -- which is a game mode in which your goal in addition to building a career is to create generations of Sims. With the base settings there really is barely enough time to fully explore a single career path -- and you will almost certainly be into old age or approaching it before you are ready to retire. You can, of course, use those settings if you like, but if you want to play a game of careers -- which is really what Ambitions is all about -- you will want to adjust these to make that process much more attainable.
The following settings are what I use in my game with the focus upon careers -- you may want to duplicate these in your game (or you may want to devise your own settings):
-- Lifespan Settings --
Sim Autonomy: High Free Will (slider set all the way to the right)
Disable Autonomy for Selecting Sim: Not Ticked
Enable Aging: Ticked
Enable Story Progression: Ticked
Suppress Opportunities: Not Ticked
Sim Lifespan: Epic (slider set all the way to the right)
Baby: 2 Days
Toddler: 2 Days
Child: 30 Days
Teen: 77 Days
Young Adult: 168 Days
Adult: 225 Days
Elder: 182 Days
As you can see the settings are arbitrary and mostly set for convenience. They not only provide you with a maximized career path but also allow for extensive application of the education process that I anticipate will be added into the game with an upcoming expansion similar to the University expansion from the previous series. Ideally when my Sims reach the point where they are close to the end of the Adult phase, they will have kids, and raise them, and their kids will go through both the traditional Primary/Secondary School process but will also -- with the addition I anticipate within the next year or so -- enjoy a long and entertaining College/University experience.
Fishing in Ambitions is a hobby and a profession
Once past that they will enter the Career path like their parents did, and provide as much or more entertainment along the way. These settings are calculated to guarantee that in addition to founding a dynasty that will, over time, enjoy great wealth, they also ensure that this dynasty will be able to experience ALL of the careers without my having to burn through dozens of generations to get there!
I cannot stress enough that you should spend the time required to read and become familiar with the following sections, and grow to understand the Lifetime Rewards, the Wishes, and the Traits that are all very significant aspects to the character creation process and strategy. While there is no firm word on just how many expansions there will be for The Sims 3, if we look to the past we can make a pretty shrewd (and accurate) guess.
-- The Original Sims --
(0) The Sims (2/2000)
(1) Livin' Large (8/2000)
(2) House Party (3/2001)
(3) Hot Date (11/2001)
(4) Vacation (3/2002)
(5) Unleashed (9/2002)
(6) Superstar (5/2003)
(7) Makin' Magic (10/2003)
-- The Sims 2 --
(0) The Sims 2 (9/2004)
(1) University (3/2005)
(2) Nightlife (9/2005)
(3) Open For Business (3/2006)
(4) Pets (10/2006)
(5) Seasons (3/2007)
(6) Bon Voyage (9/2007)
(7) FreeTime (2/2008)
(8) Apartment Life (8/2008)
-- The Sims 3 --
(0) The Sims 3 (6/2009)
(1) World Adventures (11/2009)
(2) Ambitions (6/2010)
(3) Late Night (10/2010)
(4) Generations (5/2011)
(5) Pets (10/2011)
(6) Showtime (3/2012)
(7) Supernatural (9/2012)
Assuming that the established pattern is maintained, The Sims 3 should be viable as the dominate series through to Spring 2014, and it should include a minimum of 9 expansion packs, 7 of which have already been released or confirmed. It is reasonable to anticipate that at least one of the remaining 2 expansions will be focused upon college/university life for the third series, and as for the other expansion, who can say?
We do not include the Stuff Packs of course, or the expansion contents offered on the Sims 3 Online Store -- though the expanded Sims Marketplace with its game-connected web-based interface is an amazing and very welcome addition to the game to be sure.
So bearing all of the above factoids in mind, setting the time sliders in the manner that I chose to and that I suggest to you appears to make perfect sense, assuming that the game will follow the established traditions with respect to expansions and, more to the point, that you will want to extract the maximum measure of entertainment that you can in the process of creating and raising the following generations of Sims after you have created your first...
To sum this up in simple steps then:
(1) Create the legend and bio for your family
(2) Determine how many members there should be
(3) Determine your housing strategy
(4) Study the Wishes, Goals, and Traits
(5) Create each of the individual Sims
(6) Adjust the time sliders to fit your anticipated play
With all that managed, you are ready to play the game -- but of course before you can manage all of that you will need to read and study what follows, as well as our in-depth discussion of the various traditional and non-traditional careers and professions that makes up the bulk of the remainder of this guide. You will also find some anecdotal, trivia, and special information also included towards the back-end of the guide, and a wealth of information all thanks to SuperCheats! Now how cool is that?