Sims 2 Custom Neighborhood Tutorial (Part 4 – Residents)

Welcome back to my Sims 2 custom neighborhood tutorial series. In part one, we went over planning our neighborhood, in part two we created an empty ‘hood, and in part three we started creating our residents in Body Shop.

Now in part four, we’re completing our resident Sims in Create-A-Sim (CAS). This is really more like part 3.5 since it’s a continuation of creating our resident Sims, but the first part was getting insanely long. So, I had to break it into two.

Creating Sims for my ‘hoods is serious business for me, so I take a very methodical approach. Here’s how I complete the process in-game after I’m done in Body Shop.

Zodiac & Aspiration

Before I begin creating my Sims in CAS, I plan out their zodiac signs and aspirations in my spreadsheet. Since there are 12 zodiac signs and I’m creating 24 Sims, I will create two Sims for each zodiac sign.

I use a custom system of choosing aspiration based on zodiac sign. You can read more about this in my post on choosing Sims 2 aspirations. Following is a chart showing the aspirations I assign to each zodiac sign.

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

Using the system above, I also get an equal number of aspirations in my ‘hood. There are two zodiac signs for each aspiration, and I assign each zodiac sign twice. This results in four Sims with each of the six aspirations. 

I roll a number between 1 – 12 on random.org. Then, I assign the corresponding sign/aspiration to each Sim – just going down the list. Once a sign has been used once per gender, it’s out of the running. Each sign can only be used twice – once for males and once for females. 

Here’s what my spreadsheet looks like after assigning zodiac signs and aspirations:

Sims 2 New Aspirations in Custom Hood
My planning spreadsheet after assigning zodiac and aspiration.

The only information in my spreadsheet at this point is favorite color and zodiac sign/aspiration. I also added a column for occupation so I don’t have to keep going back and forth between tabs. I fill in all the other information in the next step in CAS. 

Create-A-Sim (CAS)

Now we’re ready to actually bring our Sims to life in CAS. This can also take a while, depending on how many Sims you start with. But it’s usually much faster than the Body Shop part.

NOTE: I sometimes get tired of making Sims, so I will alternate between building houses and community lots in my ‘hood. When I get tired of building, I’ll make some more Sims and then switch again until it all gets done. It doesn’t really matter which order you do it in. I prefer to make a particular Sim before creating their home and business, though, because I like to get a feel for their style and preferences first.

Open your game and load up your custom ‘hood. Now, go into CAS from the neighborhood screen. This is a good time to name your Sim if you haven’t already. 

Naming Sims

My favorite name generator for choosing Sim names is Namey by muffin labs. I like that you can choose between “common” and “rare” names, it includes surnames, and it uses the US Census Bureau. (If you aren’t from the US or don’t wan’t US names, this obviously won’t work for you.)

Another option is using a Baby Name book (which I also own – even though I don’t have kids of my own). My Sims are my children. Don’t judge me!

Or, you can just make up the names yourself. In my custom ‘hood of Edgewood, I named my Sims after their occupations. The town baker’s last name was Baker and the town seamstress had the last name of Taylor. I like to use Behind the Name to find name meanings.

I first choose a name for my Sim, record it in the spreadsheet, then create them in CAS as outlined below. 

Finding Your Sims

In CAS, click on “Choose Existing Sim” to open up the Sim Bin. Here, you’ll find ALL the Sims you’ve created in Body Shop for that particular gender. You’ll need to have the gender set to female to see your female Sims and the gender set to male to see your male Sims.

Sims 2 CAS Sim Bin
Open the Sim Bin to find the Sims you created in Body Shop.

Select the Sim you want to work on. I always start with my #1 Sim (from my planning spreadsheet) just to make things easier to track.

Now your Sim will replace the random Sim in CAS, and you can put the finishing touches on. This is your last chance to modify the Sim, so make sure they’re exactly how you want them. (Technically, you can modify them later in-game, but this is your last chance in CAS.)

Appearance

First, I go to Step 3: Hair & Face. I make any changes I want to my Sim’s face. Because I can get a much closer look at my Sim in CAS (compared to Body Shop), sometimes I might need to fine tune the features here. For example, if the eyes turned out too big or the mouth is too close to the nose, etc. 

Sims 2 Sculpting Features in CAS
This is when I make final adjustments to my Sims’ features, if needed.

Next, I go to Step 4: Makeup, Facial Hair, and Glasses. This is where I apply my Sim’s makeup and add glasses or jewelry. As I stated above, I used to roll to randomly decide who wears glasses, but now I just choose the Sims I want to wear them.

And finally, I go to Step 5: Clothing. Now, I choose my Sim’s clothing for all outfit categories. I keep their favorite color in mind and try to find outfits that suit them in that color. I will also look at my spreadsheet to remind myself of their occupation and personality. 

Personality

The personality part is easy since I’ve already planned out the basics for each Sim. I choose their zodiac sign and aspiration, and for the FIRST Sim with each zodiac sign, I leave the personality points at default.

For the SECOND Sim with each zodiac sign, I change it up a little while still keeping their sign the same. For example, I might remove one point from Neat and place it in Playful, etc. I do this just so that no two Sims have exactly the same personality points. 

Sims 2 Aspiration Personality Points
You can usually move around a couple points before the zodiac sign changes.

If I’m playing around with the personality points and the sign changes, I undo and try again. I want the personality to fit within the chosen sign. I just want it to be slightly different. 

I record the personality points in my spreadsheet so I know I haven’t made any two the same by accident (auto-fill lets me know if I do). 

Turn-Ons & Turn-Offs

For the first turn-on, I like all my Sims to have a hair color. I roll a random number between 1 – 4 to choose the color. I try to distribute the hair color turn-ons evenly, so everyone has a chance to be attractive to someone.

Sims 2 Choosing Turn Ons and Turn Offs
I choose a hair color for the first turn-on and roll randomly for the second.

Then, I roll 1 – 32 (the remaining number of turn-ons) to get their second one. For the turn-off, I also roll randomly 1- 31 to choose. This gives me a lot of interesting combinations. I will adjust if I roll something I don’t like (such as stink for a turn-on).

Now we’re all done and can save our Sim! They’ll be placed in the Family Bin in our neighborhood, ready to move in. I don’t move them in yet, though. First, we need to create their homes and businesses – which is what I’ll cover in the next part of this series (coming soon). 

Conclusion

Creating Sims for my custom neighborhood is so much fun to me. This is where I start getting to know them and who they might become in my ‘hood. Of course, this is just my way of creating Sims. You don’t have to get as detailed as this. Do whatever you like!

I’m simply posting my methods to give you some inspiration and show you what can be done. As with everything else when it comes to The Sims, take what you like and disregard the rest. See you in the next one!

Sims 2 Custom Neighborhood Tutorial Series

Read more in this series below:

14 thoughts on “Sims 2 Custom Neighborhood Tutorial (Part 4 – Residents)”

  1. Hi there! Stumbled upon your streams on YT and love your tutorial of rotational play with a custom neighborhood. Any thoughts on why my Sims always hang out in the ‘lobby’ area of the apartment? I end up with multiple crushes by the time I get the 3rd or 4th person in that apartment complex with all the interactions that’s happening in the lobby. Is it because I’m not as random as you are with choosing attraction?

    Reply
    • Hmm, I’m not sure what would be causing that. Sims do tend to hang out in lobbies of apartments. I think that’s just the way the game is coded. But if they never leave or go back into their own apartments, you may have an issue. I usually turn testing cheats on and use the move objects cheat to delete them through build/buy mode when that happens. Then, I would use batbox to “fix bad apartment residencies” (I think is what it’s called in the menu). That always seems to fix those issues for me. Hope you get it figured out!

      Reply
  2. Hey Cindy — I’ve been a big fan for a while and I’m loving this new tutorial you are doing for us! I did have one question though — I see in the occupations you have some like gardener and maid and I was wondering if you’re assigning sims to NPC jobs and how you would do that or is there another way you make this into your gameplay? On another note, for a career like a teacher, do you just assign them the job and what do you use the actual building for? Sorry for all the questions, but I would love to be able to do the same in my custom hood.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  3. I just love you!! That’s it, all I wanted to say!! Love watching you on YouTube and I’ve recently found this website of yours and I utilize it all the time. Thank you, everything is super helpful!!

    Reply
  4. Hi again!
    I took that habit of giving your Sim an aspiration based on their zodiac a while ago too but I do include Pleasure Sims so that you get an even spread of aspirations over the signs. I go
    Pleasure = Capricorn and Sagittarius
    Romance = Libra and Taurus
    Family = Aquarius and Cancer
    Fortune = Gemini and Scorpio
    Knowledge = Pisces and Virgo
    Popularity = Aries and Leo
    I took that system from kidhedera at pillowfort I think, at least it’s mentioned in their spreadsheet.
    Created all my families in CAS last night, had a blast!

    Reply
    • So glad you’re having fun! I love creating my Sims so much too!
      ETA: I really like that system you posted, and I’m thinking about co-opting it myself. I can’t help but love the even number of zodiac signs per aspiration. Thank you for sharing!

      Reply
    • I also use this system, I’d seen Cindy mention it before and love it! My assignments are:
      Family – Cancer, Pisces
      Knowledge – Aquarius, Virgo
      Popularity – Leo, Gemini
      Fortune – Capricorn, Scorpio
      Romance – Libra, Aries
      Pleasure – Taurus, Sagittarius

      Reply
  5. Just wanted to say that you’re beyond amazing, Cindy, and thank you for everything you do to keep the Sims 2 community alive. You truly are an amazing person, and I’m always thankful for each and every one of your guides and videos <3

    Reply

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