Sims 2 Custom Neighborhood Integrated Gameplay Rules

Gameplay Rules for Sims 2 Integrated Custom ‘Hoods

Sims 2 Custom Neighborhood Integrated Gameplay Rules

I’m playing my custom ‘hood – Edgewood – with an integrated economy. Each Sim has their own place and role in the community.

After researching many different methods, I’ve come up with a system that works well for me. Some of these rules are the same ones I use in my premade ‘hoods. But because the setup is so different and I plan to play in a MUCH MORE realistic way, I felt a separate set of rules was needed.

Feel free to use any of these rules in your own game. You could even play it as a challenge for creating a ‘custom hood.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS AND WILL BE CONSTANTLY UPDATED AS I CREATE & PLAY MY ‘HOOD. YOU CAN SEE THESE RULES IN ACTION DURING MY EDGEWOOD LIVESTREAMS ON YOUTUBE.

Table of Contents

Recommended Mods

Of course, I recommend using all the mods on my Recommended Sims 2 Mods List. But for playing a custom ‘hood like this one, I especially recommend the following for realistic gameplay:

  • Equal Genetics – ensures all genetics are valued equally, meaning no hair color or eye color is dominant over any other. For example, a couple with black hair and blonde hair will no longer have ONLY black-haired babies. There’s an equal chance their children will be born blonde.
  • Sim Blender – My favorite Sims 2 mod and a necessity for my game. Used to set hobbies, teleport Sims, change lifetime wants, facilitate adoptions and MUCH MORE.
  • Monique’s Hacked Computer – Allows your Sims to have bank accounts, take out loans, shop online, manage money, and more.
  • No Townie Regen – Prevents the game from generating random townies in your ‘hood.
  • No Rod Humble – Prevents the game from generating Rod Humble to bring you a free computer.
  • No Greeting NPCs – Prevents the game from generating a Gypsy Matchmaker and Garden Club member to harass your newly moved in residents.
  • No More Newspaper Delivery – Prevents the game from generating a paper delivery NPC. (In my hood, I sell newspapers at the post office for Sims who want them.)
  • Counterfeit College Diploma – Allows you to give your Sims college degrees.
  • Monique’s Individual Aging – Allows you turn aging off for individual Sims.
  • Job Seeking Notice Board – Allows your Sims to take a job in any career field. There are other ways to do this, but I prefer the job board because it’s more realistic than just cheating the Sim a job with Sim Blender.
  • Cyjon’s Edukashun Iz Gud – Sims can get into any career track regardless of degree, but promotions will be limited based on education.
  • Job Stopinator – Stops Sims from getting promotions, keeping them at their current career level.
  • Loan Jar – An object that allows your sims to borrow money as needed.
  • Monique’s Child Support – Sims not living with their children will pay child support.
  • No Inheritance – Stops the in-game mechanism that pays a Sim inheritance when an elder friend or relative dies.
  • NPC Careers Mega Pack – Unlocks NPC careers (like maid, repairman, etc.) for all Sims.
  • NPC Careers Mega Pack #2 – Same as above but with more jobs.
  • Autonomous Casual Romance (ACR) – Allows Sims to engage in autonomous romantic interactions including woohoo and try for baby, plus allows randomizing gender preference.
  • Baby Pet Creator – Placed on my animal shelter lot and used to create puppies and kittens when needed.
  • Watch Kids Enabled – This mod allows sims to ask their friends to watch their kids on all home lots.
  • Playable Cops – The game will use a playable sim in the law enforcement career track in place of a cop NPC when possible.
  • Custom Fire Service Career – A custom firefighter career.
  • No Hobby Stalkers – Prevents the game from generating hobby instructor NPCs.
  • Electronic Prisoner TAG – Any Sim who has one of these in his inventory will not be seen walking by lots.
  • Visitor Controller – Allows you to ban certain Sims from visiting lots (such as teens or children at bars, etc).
  • Four NPC Expurgators – Prevents the game from generating the Unsavory Charlatan, skunks, witches, and penguin.
  • No Repo Man – Prevents the repo man from showing up to take your stuff.
  • 18 Hour Pregnancy – Sims will have babies in just 18 hours instead of 3 days.

Getting Started

Following are the detailed steps I take to create a brand-new neighborhood for integrated gameplay.

I start by creating a new ‘hood with NO SIMS in it whatsoever. I want to control every single Sim who lives in my new ‘hood and that means NO TOWNIES.

Next, plan my starting sims, and then create them and move them into the ‘hood one at a time. Once they’re all moved in, I decorate the neighborhood and start playing.

Neighborhood Creation

I couldn’t find a neighborhood terrain that suited me, so I created my own in SC4:

Edgewood Small Sims 2 Terrain
Edgewood Terrain Map

It’s created so that a train can run through the mountain to the other side of the map, providing a way on and off the island. The small mountains will be covered in woods – hence the name “Edgewood.” You can download the Edgewood terrain here. Includes instructions for placing the train.

Whether you make your own or download one made by someone else, keep ONE THING in mind. You want a SMALL ‘hood.

If you download a map with tons of roads all spaced 10 tiles apart, you’ll never have a nice-looking map. You also don’t want a huge space with tons of roads that’s impossible to fill with usable lots.

If you want to make your own, I recommend Jessa’s awesome tutorial series – which is what I used to create the terrain for Edgewood. Since she covered it so well, that’s all I’m going to say on the matter.

After perfecting my neighborhood terrain, I created a brand new ‘hood with NO TOWNIES. If you don’t know how to make a ‘hood with no townies, you can watch my video tutorial on Youtube.

Next, I begin creating Sims, assigning their roles, and moving them into their new homes.

Sim Creation

All Sims are created as adults. They are pioneers starting a new neighborhood in an uninhabited area of SimNation – arriving with enough money to establish a new settlement. They don’t know each other (yet) and are starting their new lives with a fresh start.

I began my ‘hood with 20 Sims – 10 males and 10 females. I tried to get the most genetic variety possible by using the following genetic combinations:

FEMALE SIMS

# Skin Eyes Hair
1 Skin 1 Brown Blonde
2 Skin 1 Lt Blue Red
3 Skin 2 Dk Blue Brown
4 Skin 2 Green Black
5 Skin 3 Grey Blonde
6 Skin 3 Brown Red
7 Skin 4 Lt Blue Brown
8 Skin 4 Dk Blue Black
9 Skin 1 Dk Blue Blonde
10 Skin 3 Lt Blue Black

MALE SIMS

# Skin Eyes Hair
1 Skin 1 Green Black
2 Skin 1 Grey Brown
3 Skin 2 Brown Blond
4 Skin 2 Lt Blue Red
5 Skin 3 Dk Blue Black
6 Skin 3 Green Brown
7 Skin 4 Grey Blond
8 Skin 4 Brown Red
9 Skin 2 Grey Red
10 Skin 4 Green Blonde

With this method, you will get:

  • 5 Sims with each skin tone
  • 5 Sims with each hair color
  • 4 Sims with each eye color (light blue, dark blue, grey, green, and brown)
  • No repeating combinations of eyes/hair/skin tone

This ensures the maximum variation in appearance and genetics, which I appreciate when I begin breeding my Sims. I use a mod that ensures genetics are equal (see recommended mods above).

When I later add more Sims to my ‘hood, I’ll create them with a combination of skin/eyes/hair I have not used before (or try to at least).

I enter this information into a temporary spreadsheet to begin the creation process. After I start playing, I use my Sims 2 Tracking spreadsheet to keep track of the residents.

Creating Roles

Each starting Sim has a role in the community. I start with the following 20 roles that I feel a small neighborhood would need to function (relatively) self-sufficiently PLUS the NPCs that are vital to create before the game generates random ones:

  • Seamstress
  • Baker
  • Social Worker
  • Animal Control
  • Grocer
  • Mail Carrier
  • Mayor
  • Teacher
  • Fireman
  • Exterminator
  • Police Officer
  • Farmer/Fisherman
  • Repairman
  • Priest
  • Doctor
  • Banker
  • Gardener
  • Maid
  • Burglar
  • Driver

Next, I go to Random.org and roll a number between 1-20 for Sim #1 to find out her role. Then I roll a number between 1-19 for Sim #2. I continue until each Sim is given a random role.

I create a new column in my spreadsheet to keep track of each Sim’s role. I also create a second new column to list the type of building(s) I’ll need to accommodate the Sim.

Hood Planner Spreadsheet
Sim Planner Spreadsheet with Roles

As often as possible, these starting Sims live in their shops and run home businesses. For the roles where this doesn’t make sense to me – like the Courthouse and Post Office, I also create a separate home for the Sim and have them purchase the community lot.

Sometimes, I have them live in separate homes just because I want to. The grocer in Edgewood, for example, lives in a townhouse but also owns the local grocery store because it’s too small to include an apartment.

Sims 2 Edgewood Grocery Store
Edgewood Grocery Store

You could have ALL or NONE of your Sims own community lots or home businesses. That’s up to your preference. What matters is that all the facilities are there, and they’re all owned by one of your Sims.

Creating Appearances

I create my Sim’s appearances in bodyshop using this method outlined by Pooklet on her Tumblr. Instead of rolling everything manually, I use the Generators created by chemtale. (If this doesn’t make sense, watch Building Edgewood #1 for a demonstration.)

Using this method, I end up with (mostly) beautiful and (always) unique Sims like these:

Female Sims of Edgewood
Female Sims of Edgewood

I don’t create all my Sims at once. Instead, I create them one at a time and get them settled into the neighborhood before moving on to the next. I don’t start playing until all 20 starting Sims are created and moved in, though.

Creating Personalities

Once I finish the Sim’s appearance in bodyshop and I know what their role will be, I load the game and open CAS to finish the creation process. I choose their alternate outfits first since you can only set a single outfit in bodyshop. Then, I roll for their personality.

I have a second tab in my ‘hood planning spreadsheet where I keep track of favorite colors, zodiac, personality, aspiration, LTW, degree, age, turn-on and -offs, hobbies, and starting money.

Hood Planner Spreadsheet

Here’s how I determine these aspects for each Sim:

  • Color: whatever color the Sim is wearing when I hit “Randomize” in body shop becomes their favorite color. I use this color to help choose clothing and decorate their home/shop/apartment.
  • Zodiac: determined by personality points and aspiration (see below).
  • Aspiration: I choose aspiration based on personality points (see below).
  • Personality: I remove all personality points from each category. Then I tweak the personality based on the Sim’s role. For example, I think the mayor should be outgoing, while the seamstress might be more on the shy side, etc.
  • Lifetime Want: I choose LTW based on the Sim’s personality and aspiration. In this beginning generation, ALL Sims will own or work at local businesses to sustain the ‘hood. So, many of them will not have career related LTWs. Teacher, mayor, doctor, and police officer are exceptions.
  • Degree: For each Sim, I roll a number between 1 – 100. If the number is 50 or under, the Sim did not graduate from college and does not have a degree. If the number is 51 or higher, the Sim is given a college degree. I use the Counterfeit College Diploma to give my Sims degrees. A few Sims require a degree no matter what – such as the Mayor and Doctor, so I don’t roll for these.
  • Age: see Aging System below.
  • Turn-Ons and -Offs: I like all my Sims to have a hair color as their first turn-on. I roll a number between 1-4 for the hair color. Then I roll a number between 1-33 (the remaining number of turn-ons) to get their second turn-on and turn-off. I allow these to be completely random, although I will reroll if I get something stupid like “stink” for a turn-on.
  • Hobby: I choose the Sim’s hobby based on their role. For example, the local baker would have a Cuisine hobby and the seamstress has a hobby of Arts & Crafts. If the role doesn’t have a logical corresponding hobby (like Mayor or Teacher), I allow the game to choose the predetermined hobby or simply choose something I think suits the individual Sim. I use Sim Blender to set each Sim’s hobby.
  • Money: I choose the amount of cash each Sim will have on hand (after purchasing their home, business, and all necessities) by rolling a number between 1 – 5000. I then use the family funds cheat to set their household money to this amount.

I try to have a variety of personality types among the 20 starting Sims. For this reason, I tweak personalities and aspirations until I have the following:

  • 4 Family Sims
  • 4 Romance Sims
  • 4 Knowledge Sims
  • 4 Fortune Sims
  • 4 Popularity Sims

I don’t like having more than 2 Romance Sims to begin with because I want most of my Sims to marry and have legitimate children (although I do want a few bastards and cheaters just like IRL).

Creating Homes & Businesses

For my first 20 Sims, everyone gets their own home and business. As I said above, these can be combined into a single building for a home business or separated into a home lot and an owned community lot.

I use primarily buildings from Plasticbox’s Backdoor Lane set for the buildings in my custom ‘hood. I LOVE her buildings and they all have such a nice, matching style. However, she hasn’t built EVERYTHING I want. So, I convert her buildings and remodel them to suit my needs – and sometimes enlarge them to add parking lots.

For example, Backdoor Lane 59 is the Bakery in Edgewood and Backdoor Lane 16 is the animal shelter (after completely gutting it and adding an outbuilding).

Edgewood Buildings
Bakery and Animal Shelter

By using these buildings, I can maintain a cohesive style in my ‘hood and save myself time trying to build things from scratch.

However, you can always build everything from scratch if you’re a good builder and know how you want your ‘hood to look. Or find other creators that have lots of buildings in styles you like – such as WatermelonSandal or Honeywell’s Bespoke Lots. Or alternate downloading some lots and filling in the gaps with your own builds.

Moving in Sims

After I create the Sim’s appearance in bodyshop and flesh out their personality in CAS, it’s time to move them into their new home. Here are the steps I take:

  1. Place lot(s) in the neighborhood for the Sim I’m currently working on. Don’t worry about the perfect location or even name at this point. It can always be changed/moved later.
  2. Complete any renovations necessary on the lot. I don’t stock the business with goods because I want the Sim to do that in wholesale mode. But I do add all the displays, shelves, etc. that I need. I also add light switches, outlets, electrical boxes, heat/air vents, a thermostat, and a central heat and air unit (download Home Comfort System to get the vents and A/C units) to each home and business. And everyone gets a hacked computer for business purposes.
  3. Move Sim in (cheat enough money to purchase their home).
  4. Direct the Sim to start a home business or have them purchase the community lot business I created for them (cheat enough money to purchase business).
  5. Give Sim a Degree if applicable.
  6. Set appropriate LTW using the Sim Blender.
  7. Set starting cash to the amount I rolled earlier for this Sim.
  8. Save and exit game. Move on to the next Sim. Repeat until all 20 Sims are moved in.
  9. Change all Sim’s ages in Sim PE (see aging section below).

After all 20 Sims are moved in and setup, I start my rotations using the gameplay rules listed below.

NOTE: I only use money cheats for this first generation. This is the money the pioneers were given by Sim City to establish the new ‘hood. After buying their homes and businesses, they get no additional handouts. If they run out of money, they’ll either need to sell assets or take out loans.

How I Handle NPCs

Here are all the types of NPCs and how I’m handling them in my neighborhood. For services, I never use the phone to call and request a service since this causes the game to generate an NPC that I don’t want.

All Sims are given their NPC job using the NPC Career Mega Packs where applicable (see mods list above).

Maid

I create my own maids instead of using a game-generated rando. The maid will live somewhere in the neighborhood. When a Sim in town needs a maid, I teleport her over, instruct her to clean the house, and then pay her a flat fee of $50 for the service. I try to use maids only in the wealthiest families.

Gardener

I create a gardener to live in town the same as with maids. When a family requires a gardener, I teleport them over, instruct them to garden, and then pay them a flat fee of $100 for the service when they’re done.

Nanny

I use the mod “watch kids enabled” to ask other Sims to watch children instead of calling a nanny on the phone. I then pay the Sim $50 for babysitting when the parents return.

Exterminator

I create an exterminator to live in town the same as with maids and gardeners. When a family requires an exterminator, I teleport them over, instruct them to kill the bugs, and then pay them a flat fee of $75 for the service when they’re done.

Repairman

I create a repairman to live in town the same as with maids and gardeners. When a family requires a repairman, I teleport them over, instruct them to fix items, and then pay them a flat fee of $50 for each item repaired when he (or she) is done.

Animal Control Officer

I use the NPC Career Mega Pack to give one of my originally created Sims the job as animal control officer – the Sim who runs our animal shelter. However, I do not use the phone to adopt pets. Instead, Sims must go to the animal shelter and pick out their pet. This way, the game does not generate a random officer. See section on Animal Shelter below for more information on how I play my animal control/shelter.

Landlord

I do not play with apartment lots so the game will not generate landlords. Instead, I play all multi-family homes as one household. This is another reason why I like plasticbox lots – none of them are actual apartments. They’re multi-family homes on a single residential lot. I try not to play more than 2-3 families per lot.

Police Officer

I use the playable cops mod so that when an officer shows up to a burglary, it’s one of my playable Sims from the neighborhood. I am hoping to figure out how to create a similar mod for animal control, social workers, and possibly firefighters in the future.

Firefighter

I create my own firefighters and use a custom fire service career to give them the job. Nut as far as I know there is no way to prevent the game from generating a random NPC firefighter when the first fire in the ‘hood breaks out. See instructions below for how I handle this situation.

Social Worker

I create a Sim to serve as the ‘hood’s social worker – the Sim who runs the orphanage. But once again, the game will create an NPC if a child is taken away from their parents due to neglect. See instructions below on how I handle this.

Mail Carrier

I create a mail carrier for my neighborhood – the same Sim who owns the post office (or later an employee of the post office). But this is another situation where you can’t prevent the game from generating a random NPC. See below.

Carpool Driver

I create a driver for my ‘hood to take Sims to work in the carpool and drive the school bus. I use the same driver for taxis (see more info below). I use the NPC Career Mega Pack to give the Sim the job of “Taxi Driver” and just pretend that encompasses ALL driving in the ‘hood.

Burglar

I create a criminal Sim to live in my ‘hood (employed in the criminal career level 7 – cat burglar) and use him or her as the town’s burglar. See below for how I do this.

Community Service NPCs

Cashiers, chefs, baristas, hosts, etc. are not used in my ‘hood because ALL businesses are owned by playable Sims. This means every available job is filled by a playable Sim who lives in the ‘hood and is employed at the business.

Downtown & Uni NPCs

I don’t attach subhoods, so I have no downtown or Uni NPCs in my game. I plan to add a University in my main ‘hood at some point, and then I’ll create jobs for the professors.

Special NPCs

There are a few other NPCs that I can’t really do anything about. These include:

  • Grim Reaper – I allow him to generate and do his thing as needed.
  • Hula Zombies – same as above.
  • Social Bunny – same as above.
  • Therapist – same as above.
  • Reporters (OFB) – so far I haven’t found a way to stop the reporters from spawning so I just pretend they came from Sim City to review the business. Not ideal, but I’m still looking for a solution.
  • Santa Clause, Father Time, Baby New Year, Genie –
  • Pollination Technician – Nothing I can do. I let them be.
  • Big Boss – may rarely be encountered on community lots but is an incomplete Sim.
  • Unsavory Charlatan – I use this mod to ban him.

NOTE: For maids, gardeners, exterminators, and repairmen, I cheat to keep their motives up until they finish working just so they complete the job in a reasonable amount of time. They can handle their needs after work.

Unused NPCs

There are some NPCs I do not use at all in my ‘hood (including the Nanny and Landlord). Here are the others:

  • Bartenders – all community lots with bars are Sim-owned.
  • Butlers – at this time, I’ve chosen not to use Butlers in my ‘hood.
  • Gypsy Matchmaker – I use this mod to prevent the game from generating a Gypsy matchmaker.
  • Obedience Trainers – I don’t currently use obedience trainers. All Sims must train their pets themselves.
  • Repo Man – I use this mod to prevent the repo man from coming if Sims can’t pay their bills.
  • Newspaper Deliverer – I use this mod to prevent newspapers from being delivered. My Sims live in the digital age.
  • Pizza & Chinese Food Delivery – at this time I am not allowing Pizza or Chinese food delivery in my ‘hood. In the future, I may add a Pizza restaurant and then I will allow pizza delivery.
  • Bellhops and Housekeepers – Someday, I plan to add vacation lots to my ‘hood. When this happens, I will create new jobs for bellhops and housekeepers. Right now, I am not using these.
  • Headmaster – I don’t use the game’s private schools, so I don’t generate headmasters.
  • Hobby Instructors – I use this mod to prevent hobby instructors from generating.
  • Rod Humble – I use this mod to prevent the game from generating Rod Humble.

When the Game Generates NPCs

In some cases, there may be nothing you can do. Your game will generate a stupid NPC anyway. Some situations where this might happen include:

  • A Sim has their animal taken away by animal control. The game will generate a new NPC instead of using the Sim you created and placed in the animal control career.
  • You forget to put the No Newspaper Delivery mod in your game (like I did) and the game generates a newspaper delivery NPC.
  • A fire breaks out and the game generates an NPC firefighter.
  • A family has a child taken away and the game generates an NPC social worker.
  • The mail comes and the game generates a random NPC mail carrier.
  • A carpool shows up to take your Sim to work and a driver is generated, or a taxi shows up and a driver is generated.

When a random NPC is generated for which I have a playable Sim created (animal control, firefighter, social worker, mail carrier, etc.) there is no other choice but to use Sim Surgery to make the Sim LOOK like the playable Sim. They are in the ‘hood and there’s no getting rid of them, so this is the best option.

I don’t LIKE to do this and avoid it as much as I can. I don’t use this method on my maids, repairmen, exterminators, and gardeners. I can easily simulate their roles and it will be the actual Sim performing the job – not a clone who doesn’t share the same memories.

I don’t want to reinvent the wheel here. Follow this guide for instructions on how to use this method in your own ‘hoods. I will also be doing this in a livestream as soon as it becomes necessary in my ‘hood. I’ll try to remember to link to it from here.

Unwanted and Accidental NPCs

If you accidentally generate an NPC you didn’t mean to (like I did with the paper girl before I installed the mod to keep her from spawning), you have a couple more options:

  • Give the Sim a prisoner TAG so they’ll never walk by any of your lots again.
  • Manually ban the Sim from all your lots using the visitor controller.
  • Give them a makeover and back story, then move them into your town.

In the case of the paper girl, I decided to move her into the orphanage to be Assistant to the Director and someday take over the duties there. She was found wandering around homeless, so the Director of Children’s Services took her in.

Gameplay Rules

Here are the rules I use to run my neighborhood. Many of these are quite different from my premade ‘hood rules – but this is a much different way of playing. Some rules are the same – such as choosing Aspirations, Romance, etc. For the sake of consistency, I have listed them all here again.

In general, I play each household for 5 Sim days – or 1 full season.

I use a wants-based play system. This means I only force my Sims to perform actions they want to do. They don’t build skills, do homework, build relationships, get married, have kids or anything else unless they specifically roll the want to do so.

The only exception to this rule is careers. Sims who own businesses do not fulfill their wants to get careers. And I make them actually open up shop at least once per season or they’d never make any money. I also allow them to do woohoo autonomously through ACR (see the Romance section below). But I never force them to do anything else they don’t want to do.

Aging

In my game, each Sim day represents one year (every two Sim hours simulates one month). I used the Aging Group Tweak hack from Simlogical to set aging as follows:

  • Baby – 2 Days (Ages 0-1)
  • Toddler – 3 Days (Ages 2-4)
  • Child – 7 Days (Ages 5-11)
  • Teen – 6 Days (Ages 12-17)
  • Young Adults – 4 Days (Ages 18-21)*
  • Adults (College Graduates) – 38 Days (Ages 22-59)
  • Adults (Did Not Attend College) – 42 Days (Ages 18-59)
  • Elders – Varies

At age 18, my Sims either attend college or begin working. If they go to college, their time spent there represents ages 18-21. I use Cyjon’s Semester Changes mod, which shortens University to 8 days instead of 24. Every two days in college represents one real life year.

After Sims leave college, I edit their ages in Sim PE so they have the correct number of days remaining in their adult lifespan. A Sim that attends four years of college should have 38 days remaining, while a Sim that only attends 2 years should have 40 days remaining, etc.

NOTE: I’ve posted a tutorial video for using the aging hack to create your own custom ages and lifespans if you want to use a similar system for your game.

For the beginning 20 Sims in a new custom ‘hood, I randomize their starting ages by rolling a number between 18 – 39. This is the Sim’s starting age. If the Sim has a college degree, I roll from 22 – 39. I use Sim PE to change the Sim’s age.

Aspirations

I choose aspirations based on my Sim’s zodiac sign. In the Sims 2, townies and other game-spawned Sims are automatically given an aspiration matching their zodiac sign. I apply the same rules to my born-in-game Sims.

Zodiac Sign Aspiration
Aquarius Family
Aries Popularity
Cancer Family
Capricorn Fortune
Gemini Fortune
Leo Popularity
Libra Romance or Pleasure
Pisces Knowledge
Sagittarius Knowledge
Scorpio Fortune
Taurus Romance or Pleasure
Virgo Knowledge

Secondary Aspirations

Once Sims have used at least three points in their primary aspiration tree, I choose their secondary aspiration. Sims must be full-fledged adults before choosing a secondary. Young Adults are still trying to find themselves and aren’t complex enough to make such an important decision.

I use my Secondary Aspiration Calculator to choose. This method uses a Sim’s personal interests to determine their secondary aspiration.

2nd Asp Calc
Sims 2 Secondary Aspiration Calculator

You can read more about how this calculator works and download a copy for yourself here.

Careers

Job openings in the community are prioritized over car-pool careers where Sims must commute out of town. If possible, Sims will work in the ‘hood. If a Sim must car-pool to their career, I try to have a building in the ‘hood where I pretend they go work. Sims in the law career, for example, work at the Courthouse; Sims in the education career work at the school, etc.

In order to keep unemployment levels low, local business owners are encouraged to hire other Sims to work for them at their businesses. The grocery store might hire a cashier or stocker and the local restaurant might hire a waitress, etc.

Sims must wait until there is a job opening in the newspaper or computer before taking the job (or until they are hired by a local business owner). No hacked items or cheats to give them instant access to a career. The only exception is the job seeking notice board – which I keep at the courthouse near the welfare table.

Choosing a Career

I never force my Sims into a career. They only get a job if they roll the want to – or if they show up as an applicant when a local business is hiring. In that case, I assume they have applied for the job of their own free will. Otherwise, they remain unemployed and make money other ways (or not depending on wants). Here’s how I decide which career to choose based on wants:

  • If a Sim rolls the want for a specific career (Science, Education, etc.), I lock in the want and check the newspaper, computer, or job notice board until they get that specific career.
  • If a Sim rolls the want to “get a job” but does not specify which one, I will choose a career for them based on their personality/interests using the system outlined below.
  • If a Sim rolls the want for more than one career at the same time (usually happens after graduating from college or aging to an adult), I use the interest-based system outlined below.

NOTE: These rules do not apply to my 20 starting Sims or other Sims who own/inherit businesses in the future.

Choosing When Sim Wants More Than One Career or Unspecified Job

I use my Career Chooser Calculator to select the career. This calculator takes into account the Sim’s interests and predetermined hobby. You can also use it with hobby enthusiasm points instead of predetermined hobby if you like.

Sims 2 Career Calculator V2
Sims 2 Career Calculator

It may look complicated, but it’s quite easy to use.

  • Enter the Sim’s hobby points into the Calculator.
  • Enter 1 point for their hobby (or enter hobby enthusiasm points).
  • Enter 1 point for their University Major (if they have one).

The calculator will determine the best career for the Sim based on the points entered. The result is highlighted in green.

The points are weighted so that the first interest listed under a job is given more points than the second and third. The University majors are also weighted. Sims with a major connected to a particular career are given higher points for that career path.

Download the Career Calculator and try it for yourself! If you don’t have Excel, you can grab it from Google Sheets. You’re welcome to use it for your own game, but please don’t post it anywhere else.

CREDIT TO: Anna C. and Shirley Z.

Thank you to my subscriber Anna C. for the idea of using interests to determine career and for the interests attributed to each career. Thank you to Shirley Z. for her amazing Secondary Aspiration Calculator – which served as the basis for the Career Calculator.

Career Progression

Sims may choose to go to college or not, depending on their wants, but this will affect their ability to progress in their careers. I use Cyjon’s Edukashun Iz Gud mod to limit promotions based on education.

Sims can get into any career track regardless of degree, but promotions will only be granted if Sims meet the following criteria:

  • College graduate – maximum level 10
  • Completed two years of college – maximum level 7
  • Didn’t attend college or dropped out before completing two years – maximum job level is based on final high school grade:
  • C or better – maximum level 5
  • C- to D- maximum level 3
  • F (high school dropout with no diploma) – maximum level 1

Sims who have hit their ceiling only have a 10% chance of being promoted past the job limit.

There may only be ONE Mayor, High School Principal, College Dean of Students, Education Minister, Head of SCIA, The Law, Police Chief, Captain Hero, Chief of Staff, and General at a time. I use the Job Stopinator to make sure of this.

Other careers – like teachers – will be limited depending on the needs of the ‘hood. For example, if we only have two children enrolled in school, we don’t need more than one teacher. I plan to flesh out this system more in the future as I play my ‘hood and see what challenges arise. But this is a general guideline for now.

Clothing

Sims must purchase at least one everyday outfit for each season (in their favorite colors and styles). Some outfits are suitable for multiple seasons, like a sweater for fall and winter or t-shirt for spring and summer, etc. But each Sim must have at least one outfit for warm weather and another for cold weather.

Sims can always purchase more outfits if they roll a want for it. If a Sim has a wish to buy new clothes, I allow them to go to the clothing store and buy a new outfit. I roll a number between 1 and 7 to determine which new outfit they want to buy using this list:

  1. Everyday
  2. Formal
  3. Underwear
  4. Sleepwear
  5. Swimwear
  6. Athletic
  7. Outerwear

I then buy a new outfit in that category. That way, some Sims get new underwear and others get a new coat, etc.

Favorite Colors

I assign each of my Sims a favorite color to help me with clothing choices and decorating their rooms/homes. I choose the color based on whatever clothing color they’re wearing when they age up. In my eyes, they chose the color themselves so it must be their favorite. If a Sim is wearing multiple colors upon aging up, I choose the one I think suits them best.

Each Sim’s favorite color changes at each life stage (unless they choose the same one again by wearing the same color as the last age up). I do not assign favorite colors for toddlers. Sims get their first favorite color when aging up to a child.

Fertility

I use Autonomous Casual Romance (ACR) to help control fertility. With this mod, Sims autonomously woohoo and try for baby, and their fertility declines as they age. I only force Sims to try for baby when one of them rolls a want to. Otherwise, they just do normal woohoo. I never force them to woohoo unless it’s on their wedding night or if they roll the want.

These are the other guidelines I follow for Sim fertility:

  • If a Sim couple tries for baby three times and doesn’t get pregnant, I assume that one of the couple is infertile. I have them adopt at this point to fulfill their desire for a baby. If they want a second child, they can try again naturally up to three times.
  • I use the risky woohoo part of ACR, which means my Sims have a chance of becoming pregnant even when they are not trying for baby. I have the chance set to 20% globally.
  • Same-sex couples always adopt when they want children (unless one of them is abducted by aliens and gets pregnant that way). I don’t allow male Sims to get pregnant unless it’s via abduction (for realism).
  • I never give Sims the “super fertility” aspiration benefit because it results in way too many babies. I like my Sims to have twins only rarely, just like in real life.

Finances

All Sim households pay taxes once a year. Sims also have to pay child support and may receive welfare if they’re poor and unemployed.

Taxes

Taxes are due once a Sim year – on the first day of Summer.

I use Monique’s Computer to “donate” the money owed by each household. This removes it from the household’s balance, and then I add the amount to my tracking spreadsheet (I just create a new tab for taxes). Donating is my Sim’s way of paying taxes to the ‘hood’s treasury.

Current tax rates:

  • 10% of net worth
  • 7% for retirees
  • 5% for Sims with a net worth of over $100k

Net worth includes household funds, bank accounts, and property value. Renters are not taxed on property value. If any member of the household is a retiree, the entire household is taxed at the lower rate.

Deductions:

  • $1,000 deduction for home ownership
  • $1,500 deduction for married couples
  • $   500 deduction for each dependent (children under age 18)
  • $1,500 adoption credit (once per adoption)
  • $1,500 deduction for each local business owned

Exemptions:

  • Mayor does not pay taxes.
  • Renters do not pay property taxes.

If a Sim is unable to pay their taxes, they must take out a loan from the Loan Jar at 3% interest (or sell enough of their possessions to pay). Some Sims may even get a refund, depending on their financial situation.

Taxes are used to pay for new community lots and improvements to existing community lots in the neighborhood. For example, if I build a new restaurant, I must deduct the cost of the finished lot from the neighborhood treasury. If there aren’t enough funds, a new lot cannot be built until enough taxes are collected to cover the cost. Taxes are also used to pay Sim tax refunds.

Child Support

Sim parents not living on the same lot with their children must pay child support. I use Monique’s Child Support mod to manage this system.

Support amounts:

  • Pregnancy – $200 per day
  • Baby – $200 (M, W, F, and Sun)
  • Toddler – $200 (T, Th, Sat)
  • Child – $200 (W, F)
  • Teen – $200 (Th)

NOTE: After a teen goes to college, this mod will make the parent(s) pay child support to the teen if the teen moves before Thursday.  I consider this a gift from the parents to the new college student and allow them to keep the money. But you could always go and immediately age up your teens if this bothers you.

Divorce Settlements

When Sims are divorced, the Sim who moves out is entitled to part of the married couple’s estate. Edgewood Divorce Court decrees the following:

  • The divorced Sim is awarded 50% of what they originally brought to the marriage. I keep track of this amount on my Sims 2 tracking spreadsheet any time there’s a new marriage.
  • If the divorced Sim did not bring anything to the marriage, e.g. they were the original owner of the lot, that Sim is awarded 30% of household funds. This includes any money in bank accounts.
  • The divorced Sim will be exempt from paying taxes the round after the divorce takes place.

The Sim who initiated the divorce must use Monique’s Hacked Computer to transmit the funds into the household account of the divorced spouse.

Rental Fees

Sims must pay rental fees for using various public venues and resources. These include:

  • $500 for rental of the Church and Reception Hall for weddings – Paid directly to the current neighborhood Priest or Priestess.
  • $250 for rental of Park or other public facilities for parties and/or weddings – Paid directly to the Neighborhood Treasury.

I use Monique’s Hacked Computer to transmit the funds into the household account of the Priest(ess) or to “donate” the money to the Neighborhood Treasury.

Inheritance

I do not allow Sims to inherit money when a friend or relative dies (via the in-game system). I use this mod to stop the inheritance from happening because this is just free money that comes from nowhere. For an integrated ‘hood, most of the money should be generated from within the neighborhood itself.

Family homes, businesses, and earned fortunes, however, may be inherited. I typically go on a case-by-case basis for home and business inheritance, as all family situations are different. But these are the general guidelines I follow:

  • The oldest male child inherits the family assets. (The exception to this rule would be a gay couple in which the oldest male is moving in with his partner, or if the oldest male child dies.)
  • If the oldest male child cannot inherit, all assets go to the second male child.
  • If there is no male child, the oldest daughter can inherit (unless she’s moving in with someone else).
  • If there are no children to inherit, the next of kin closest in relation to the family that is not inheriting another home or business may inherit. This would typically be a niece or nephew.
  • If there is absolutely NO ONE to inherit from a household, the home and business go back onto the market to be sold to a new family, and any cash the household has goes into the neighborhood treasury.

Jail System

Sims who break the law must pay for their crimes by spending time in jail. Here are the jailable offenses and sentences for each crime.

Offenses

Sims may be placed in jail for any of the following offenses:

  • Burglary
  • Fighting
  • Joyriding (Teens Only)
  • Pickpocketing (Criminal Career Chance Card)

Sentencing

After being arrested, criminal Sims face the following sentences:

  • Burglary 1 (stealing 1 item) – 1 day in jail
  • Burglary 2 (stealing 2 items) – 2 days in jail
  • Burglary 3 (stealing 3 or more items) – 3 days in jail

If a Sim gets away from the police after a burglary, he or she has evaded arrest and does not have to go to jail. Only Burglars who are arrested go to jail.

  • Assault 1 (Starting a fight) – 1 day in jail
  • Assault 2 (Starting AND winning a fight) – 2 days in jail
  • Assault 3 (Multiple fights in the same day) – 3 days in jail

Maximum sentences for Burglary and Assault are 3 days in jail. If a Sim gets into a fight in jail, 1 day will be added to the sentence for each additional fight. Sims who are involved in fights but DID NOT start the fight will not be jailed. Only the Sim who takes the first swing will be arrested.

  • Joyriding– If a teen sneaks out and gets brought home by police, he or she will spend one day in the Juvenile Detention cell. The driver of the car does not go to jail – only the Sim brought home by police.
  • Pickpocketing – If a Sim gets caught pickpocketing through the level 1 Criminal Career Chance Card, they will spend 1 day in jail. If they don’t get caught, no jail time is required.

If a teen Sim is in jail during their 18th birthday, they will age up to an adult and will not go to college – even if they have rolled the want. They have missed that opportunity.

Sims in jail for assault are required to study Anger Management as part of their sentences.

Lifetime Wants

I ignore lifetime wants randomly assigned when my Sims are teens. Instead, I wait until they finish college and become adults. Then, I assign the lifetime want that most closely fits what they truly want to do with their lives.

If they roll a want for a specific career and take a job in that career, I will often give them the lifetime want for that career. Some Sims may have a non-career-related lifetime want if it fits their personality. For example, Popularity Sims may have the want for 20 BFFs or Fortune Sims may have the want to earn $100,000 or own 5 Top-Level Businesses.

I don’t really have a method for choosing these types of wants. I just look at the Sim’s personality and make the most logical decision. For example, a really shy Sim with no interest in money probably won’t be a business owner. An outgoing Sim with an interest in culture and travel would probably love to make 20 BFFs, etc.

Magic Lamps & Wishes

Yes, I actually have rules for magic lamps. This is because I was struggling to find a way to use these in a way that didn’t feel like cheating. Here’s my method.

The Sim who gets the memory of finding the lamp can make one wish based on aspiration:

  • Family – Give Me Peace of Mind
  • Fortune – Give Me Wealth
  • Knowledge – Give Me Power To Cheat Death or Resurrect
  • Popularity – Give me a Long Life
  • Pleasure – Give me Wealth or Long Life
    • Wealth – if Sim’s aspiration meter is in green or below at the time of making the wish
    • Long Life – if Sim’s aspiration meter is in yellow or platinum at the time of making the wish
  • Romance – Give me Beauty

If the Sim with the memory of finding the lamp is a baby, toddler, or child, they must wait until they are at least a teen and have an aspiration before making their wish.

After the first wish is made, any Sim who rolls the want may make a wish until all three are used.

Neighborhood Treasury

The neighborhood treasury is the neighborhood’s current balance of tax money available for spending. I use the money to pay for City Employees (such as the Director of Children’s Services), to build or improve new community lots, and to pay tax refunds. When money is spent in the neighborhood, I subtract it from the treasury balance. The money may be withdrawn at any time for spending in the ‘hood.

I track the balance in my tracking spreadsheet. For each year, I track each household, how much money they paid or refunded, and a total balance. Any money we haven’t spent on the ‘hood gets rolled over to the next year and the cycle begins again.

Naming Conventions

For the first 20 Sims in my ‘hood, I choose names based on occupation and/or character. For example, the seamstress is named Nora Taylor and the Mayor is named Athena Meyer (thanks to my Youtube subs for that one).

For Sims born in-game or later moved into the ‘hood, I choose names based on which letter of the alphabet currently has the fewest living Sims with a first name beginning with that letter. I begin with the letter A and go through the alphabet (skipping the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z). If there are living Sims with names that begin with the letter A, I move to letter B, etc. until I come to the next letter of the alphabet that does not correspond to the name of a current living Sim. In the case where all letters are taken, I will start over and find the first letter with the fewest living Sims.

I also use family names from the Sim’s deceased ancestors if they start with the correct letter, and I will sometimes use ethnic origin as a guide. For example, my Sim named Anna Luisa Speziale may choose an Italian name for her child.

Orphanage

The Orphanage is a place for unwanted to children to live while waiting for adoption.

Caretaker

The neighborhood orphanage is staffed by the Director of Children’s Services – one of my original 20 created Sims who will later teach another Sim the job when she’s ready to retire. This Sim serves as the caretaker of the property and orphaned children, manager of the money, facilitator of adoptions, and overall social worker for the neighborhood. She is given the “Social Worker” job via the NPC Careers Mega Pack.

The caretaker will be paid a stipend of $500 per quarter from the neighborhood treasury. This includes money to buy groceries and have a little leftover for personal living expenses. If repairs need to be made or services need to be hired (such as a Nanny for respite care, gardener for yard work, maid for cleaning, etc.), the caretaker must also pay for these out of the stipend money.

The stipend will be paid on the first day of each new Season. The money will be removed from the neighborhood treasury after being transferred to the caretaker.

New Residents

When an unmarried female Romance Sim gets pregnant, I roll a number between 1-100. If the number is 50 or under, the baby is unwanted and will go to the orphanage upon birth. If the number is 51 or over, she will keep the baby and raise it herself. Married romance Sims always keep their babies and attempt to raise them.

Any children, babies, or toddlers taken by the social worker will also be placed in the Orphanage and will be made available for adoption to other families in the neighborhood.

Aging Out

Children who age up to teens are allowed to stay in the Orphanage as long as there is space available. If room is needed for another child or baby, a teen must move out on their own with a $2,000 stipend paid for by the tax payers.

Once a teen ages up to an adult without being adopted, they “age out” of the system and must move out on their own. Teens who go to college do not receive an extra stipend, as they will get scholarship money. Teens who do not go to college will receive $2,000 to rent an apartment or a room in the flop house. This is paid for by the neighborhood’s tax money.

Adoption Process

When any of the Sims in the neighborhood roll a want to adopt, they will visit the Orphanage. The first teen, child, toddler, or baby they interact with is the one they will adopt. I use the Sim Blender to facilitate the adoption. See my video tutorial on this process for more information.

Same-sex couples who roll the want for a child and Sims who have tried for baby unsuccessfully three times are also eligible to adopt (see Fertility rules above).

Pregnancy

Pregnancies in my custom ‘hoods last 18 Sim hours – simulating 9 real life months. You can download my 18-hour pregnancy mod here.

Sims may get pregnant through risky woohoo or autonomous try for baby. However, I will direct them to try for baby if at least one Sim in a relationship rolls a want to have a baby. My fertility rules apply whether Sims try on their own or at my direction.

Romance & Marriage

I allow my Sims to choose who they want to marry, date, or procreate with. Sims only go steady, get engaged, and/or get married when they roll the want to do so. Otherwise, they can still live together and/or have children together as unmarried partners.

Gender Preference

In the beginning of a new custom ‘hood – after all Sims are created and moved in – I use the Autonomous Casual Romance (ACR) mod to randomize gender preference for all Sims in the ‘hood. This results in roughly 10% of the population becoming gay or bisexual. And I won’t know who they are until I play them. Fun!

NOTE: If you don’t know how to use ACR, I have video tutorial on Youtube.

When a Sim ages up to a teen, I manually randomize their gender preference using Sim Blender.

Shelter (Animal)

Edgewood Animal Shelter Sims 2
Edgewood Animal Shelter

My custom ‘hoods use animal shelters to house stray animals available for adoption. This is where my Sims go to adopt pets when they roll the want to do so. I keep a Baby Pet Creator statue here to fulfill their wants for a puppy or kitten if there are currently none at the shelter.

NOTE: You need at least two animals of the same species in your ‘hood to use the baby pet creator.

I have a live-in caretaker who runs the shelter (one of my original 20 Sims), and I also run this lot as a home business pet shop to raise funds to care for the animals. The caretaker is given the job of Animal Control Officer via the NPC Career Mega Pack. Then I use the Institution Sign somewhere on the lot so that the officer doesn’t actually leave the lot to work.

When you begin a ‘hood with no townies, you’ll also have no stray animals. I begin by creating 4 animals in CAS to populate the shelter:

  • 2 cats (1 male and 1 female)
  • 1 large dog
  • 1 small dog

I roll to randomize the breed. Yes, you CAN create a pet-only family. Just move them into your shelter with your caretaker. I’ve learned that any more than 4 pets at a time in the shleter is WAY too much for a single caretaker to handle while also running the business.

Once these animals are adopted, I replace them with more CAS pets until we start having puppies and kittens naturally through breeding. If a Sim’s pet has puppies on their residential lot, they may either sell the puppies themselves, or bring some or all of them to the shelter.

University

I will keep the University in my main neighborhood, as I don’t want any subhoods attached. I haven’t experimented with this yet, but when I do, I will update this section. In the meantime, here are my basic University rules:

  1. Higher education is free for all Sims. However, bills in college must be paid as a “room and board” fee.
  2. Every sim chooses the major they want. If a Sim doesn’t roll a want to declare a specific major, they remain undeclared until the end of their Sophomore year when they are automatically enrolled in the Philosophy major.
  3. I don’t force Sims to study, do assignments, write terms papers, build skills, or go to class. They will only engage in these activities if they roll a want to do so (or automatically do them without my direction). Sims will flunk out of college if they don’t keep their grades up.
  4. Sims keep the scholarship and grant money they receive in college so they have something to live on after graduation. I use the mod No20Khandout so my Sims do not automatically get $20,000 just for becoming adults. Most Sims have to live in Slappy’s Flophouse after college until they can save enough for a house or larger apartment.

Updates

Click the button below to see updates.

  • 11/16/2019 – Updated aging system back to my original 1 day = 1 year system. The 1k day lifespan was too much.
  • 11/16/2019 – Added “Animal Shelter” section.
  • 11/25/2019 – Added sections on handling NPCs and updated beginning rules for starting with 20 Sims instead of 16 to account for all NPCs.

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