Posted in My Sims 4 Challenges, Sims 4, The Apartment Switch

My New Project

Guess what? I’m authoring a new challenge.

Think Drifter Challenge meets Movin’ On Up. As most of you know, I love the Drifter Challenge and have two (currently) saves going on that. Lately, I have been also playing the Moving on Up challenge, and it’s frustrating .. the way it’s written you bounce back and forth between one bedroom and two bedroom and always take the furniture with you, leaving behind unfurnished shells. For us “Drifters,” leaving behind empty homes after working hard to create a livable space is .. well.. the opposite of drifting. I am writing a more “drifter-style” challenge – where you leave behind fully furnished apartments for other sims to move into.. moving from the smallest apartment to the largest (not necessarily the cheapest to the most expensive like the Movin’ On Up challenge). With the way I’m designing this challenge, it can be played on an existing (finished) Drifter challenge save (if you want to continue your family and building the world) or on pretty much any other save. The only neighborhood affected by this challenge is San Myshuno, so it leaves you flexible to do other challenges with the same family. (ex. Building Newcrest or Windenburg… Drifting would have to be done beforehand, though, because your first drifter house is specifically started on a brand new sim, not one aged through the game.)

My current plan/idea is based around a 5 generation challenge (although testing may prove it’s next to impossible to do it in that short amount of time) .. or a 5 “step” challenge. The basic goal of said challenge is to get all the apartments furnished to a certain value point in the shortest amount of time possible, then the next generation moves onto the next challenge. I split up the apartments based on cost and size (in a big spreadsheet) and came up with five groups of them that are similar in cost and size. (a set of five starter apartments, then low cost 2 bedrooms, etc.. ) Each challenge will start with a “starter” and move through other apartments to a “finishing” apartment/penthouse, going up in value/size for each successive apartment. The first challenge will have a series of four apartments, then 5 apartments for the other 4 challenges (at least, that’s how it’s working out now, it may go to six challenges with 4 apartments on each.) Also, there will be two difficulties. “Normal” where you start with an unfurnished (but walls still there) version of each apartment (there are a couple that will be bulldozed, though, to keep the challenge fair and playable), and “Extreme” where all of the apartments are literally bulldozed and you have to figure out where rooms go inside the shell and everything. My daughter is far less into building than I am and really pushed for an “easier” version, and I can see where it would be nice to have one.

Prospective Challenge features/rules:

  • Like Drifter, you start from absolute zero for each challenge.
  • Like Drifter, you move on when the heir is young adult.
  • However,  there the similarities stop. There is no “house fail”.. if you’re not done with the challenge in the first generation, all that happens is you lose points and have to wait for the next heir to reach young adult to move on.
  • You also don’t go back to zero money between apartments inside a challenge (there are 4-5 apartments for each challenge.) Example: you’ve just finished the first apartment and it was valued at 8000-10000 simoleons like required, so you “move household” through the phone menu, choose “sell furniture” and “bulldoze lot” (for extreme) or “unfurnished” (for normal). This means that when you move in, you’ll have 8-10k funds available immediately to spend on the next apartment towards moving on to the next one. (If this turns out to be too easy, I may have to revert to zeroing funds before moving, but at least you won’t lose your skills and job and such.)
  • Yes, that means there will be a CAP on how high the value of the apartment can go for each apartment. If you caught the 8000-10000 it DOES mean that the first apartment in the challenge can’t be worth more than 10k when you move out. Gotta keep the rent reachable for the next sim to move in! (However, the final house of each challenge will NOT have this value cap… build to your heart’s content there.)
  • You’ll get to pick any three things to go with you to your next apartment. (These are put in the household inventory so they don’t count on your value tally. – Up to two frogs can be carried with you in your inventory as well. (can’t forget those froggies!) I may allow snowglobes to be brought along, as well, considering they’re low value and fairly useless.)
  • There aren’t as many house challenge-type goals. (I.e. specific aspirations and careers to be completed.. I haven’t decided whether I’ll include a couple goals like this or not. If I do, they’ll be the ones specific to City Living expansion so that this challenge can be played with only City Living installed on a base game. – i.e. the three careers that come with CL and the one aspiration. -Obviously, it’ll be more fun with more money making options from other expansions, but they won’t be necessary.)
  • You’re building within an existing “shell,” instead of building from scratch each and every time. (There are, though, a handful of apartment/penthouses that will be built from “ground” up.)
  • Possibly using a point structure to see how well you did, with a maximum of 100 points per challenge. The only downfall with this  idea is.. well.. nitpicking with the points. So it’s still a big maybe.
  • You can use any method of gaining money and furniture that doesn’t involve cheating. i.e. Jobs, collecting, crafting, festivals.. etc.  If you can figure out a way to get a garden in your itty bitty apartments, that’s okay, too. (Just remember you’re only allowed three items and each plant counts as an item – yes, they can be put in the household inventory, too.)
  • No bringing in a spouse, roommate or child without them having a place to stay/sleep.
  • Any funds a roommate or spouse bring in must be cheated away with the “money” cheat – you have to make the money yourself not get it from moving random sims in.
  • All sims in the household may be controlled! (That means they can help contribute to the money being made via job or crafting.)
  • Heirs must be made through “try for baby” with someone living in the apartment with your sim. (maybe. I’m still debating on this one.. doesn’t seem fair to allow them to be from outside the apartment when it won’t work that way for male main sims…)
  • Lot Traits can be added to the list, but never taken away. The traits that the apartment came with must stay, but you’re welcome to add other traits to fill up the three slots.
  • I have not decided about the commercial lots in San Myshuno – whether or not they’ll be part of the challenge. If they are, they will only factor into the “Extreme” challenge difficulty, not the “Normal” (in other words, they won’t be restricted or bulldozed and built in the normal difficulty)
  • On that note, Travel is up to your discretion. If you’re doing this as an add-on challenge after the end of a Drifter save, you’d have commercial lots available to you, so you can travel wherever you want. If, however, you want to make the challenge harder, you’re welcome to restrict travel. It does make the challenge significantly harder, though.

What does all that mean?

Wow. That’s a lot of bullet points. When broken down, this challenge will be more of an interior decorating challenge than anything else.  I don’t want to rely too heavily on the “drifter” or “movin on up” themes, I want this challenge to be able to stand on it’s own. Tentatively, I’ve given it the working title of “The Apartment Switch,” simply because we couldn’t come up with anything that sounded better. It may change!

Currently, my daughter and I are already starting some playtesting of this, and since our styles of play are very different, I’ll be able to get a lot of information out of the tests. That’s not to say I don’t need a few other brave souls to test it out once I get a rough draft of the challenges ready.. so if you’re interested, please speak up (the easiest way to say you’re interested is to just reply in the comments below. Alternatively, you can find me as IllusoryThrall on the sims 4 forums or as Wyldhawke on Origin.)

As I get the rough draft of the challenge ready, any and all of this might change, but I’ll definitely post about changes here on my blog. I will also be posting pictures and status updates on the playtests I have running while I get the rough draft ready, so that should be fun.

If you made it through all of that, you deserve a cookie.. so cookies for everyone! *grin*



Mom to an active and opinionated 17 year old. Have a wonderful husband who allows me to keep my Sims addiction. ;) Also, an avid crafter, mostly knitting and (some) crochet, but some needlepoint and cross-stitch as well. When I have time, I also enjoy reading and music.

20 thoughts on “My New Project

  1. I just wanted to let you know that I love your idea!

    I think it is a good idea to make an easier option (keeping walls) and extreme version (bulldoze everything). I know what I’d go for 🙂 I love to build so personally I love the extreme version, but I like that we will be able to choose what we want.

    Doing 5 generations where each start with zero money sounds good.

    I wonder if it is doable to go to zero money between the appartments….but that would be weird if you keep doing that in 1 generation.
    You start with money at the next apartment. I wonder if that won’t be too easy, but that depends on how much the value needs to be before you have to move on.

    I’m wondering how many sim days your sim will spend in each apartment.

    A value CAP sounds good. Will the first apartment be affordable for a starter sim? I think that is something I’d prefer.

    It might be fun to add the CL careers in it, though i can see that other money makers will be fun to try out too. Maybe in 1 of the challenges it would be fun if your sim is now allowed to take a “real” job.

    Personally I don’t like challenges where you need to keep track of the score. I always forget to write everything down, but I know some people do like it.

    With the money cheat on money a spouse brings in, you mean when you move them?

    I think it is a good idea the sim has to be made through “try for baby” with someone living in the apartment with your sim. It seems fair.

    Lot traits will make it more fun!

    Maybe for the community lots you can say you are allowed to replace the community lots.

    I think for the extreme version it would be fun to have restrictions to traveling.

    I’m very interested in play testing this!

    Have you thought about occult sims? Are vampires allowed? How about Aliens?

    Haha, love cookies! *grabs a cookie*

    1. Honestly, based on playtesting, it would be WAY too hard to go to zero money between apartments during each challenge. It sounds like it would make it too easy that you have that cushion of money from selling the previous apartment’s furniture, but it’s really not. I won’t make it in one generation on this playtest just for the very FIRST challenge.. and each one will be progressively harder. It took her nearly until four days from adult birthday just to get out of the first apartment and I DIDN’T restrict travel.. The second one was pretty easy to move past, but this third one will not be, I can already tell… and I still have another apartment after it for this first challenge. I think I’m going to have to split it into six groups of even four apartments each. Five is going to be out of the range of possibility, I think. The way I’m testing now, the first apartment is worth 8-10k (definitely affordable for a starter sim), the second is worth 16-18k (so I think still ok for starter, but close), the third .. we’ll see, it might need to be more than the 24k I’ve set for it because it’s a two story. And that’s just on what I’ve playtested tonight.

      Since I haven’t read past house 8 or 9 in the drifter challenge, I don’t know whether Vihisha uses any of the careers.. if she doesn’t, then I will definitely use them as goals for some of the challenges.. just not the first one. The first one is like the first house of drifter, just to get your feet wet and into the rhythm of the challenge, then with the second I can start throwing extra requirements at you. I’m thinking possibly requiring one sim in the second challenge to complete the City Native aspiration (which also requires level 10 singing). Then possibly going into the careers for the next challenges. It would definitely add difficulty to an already tough challenge and make it more like a “tour” through the City Living expansion.

      The money cheat when they move in is just when a townie or NPC sim moves in with, say, the 20k starter money, you deduct that from your total cash after they move in because technically it’s not money you “earned”. Just write down your total before the sim moves in and make sure it’s the same after they’re moved in. Make sense?

      I hadn’t even thought about occult sims! Thanks! I think probably aliens are ok, vampires are not. Vampires don’t age as other sims do, whereas alien doesn’t give you a whole lot of “extra” powers and change how they age. Since aging is a big part of the challenge, it makes sense to ban using immortal or slow aging sims (like vampires).

      For the Extreme version, I might restrict some travel.. sorta like Vi does with needing 1000 before you can go anywhere. Being that this is designed to be played easily after a run through the Drifter Challenge, it makes sense that you can visit most of the main types of lots (at least all the ones that are unlocked through the Drifter Challenge.) The new city living lots, however, I might make you bulldoze and earn the ability to rebuild them as you go through the challenge on Extreme difficulty. Normal won’t restrict travel at all. I’m not restricting it on my current playtest (and I’m bulldozing all the apartments).. and it’s still a pretty tough challenge. Like I said, I very seriously doubt I’ll make it in one generation and I’ve been pushing pretty hard for money.

      I think I answered all your major points and questions. If you have any other thoughts, please post away! I totally can use as much feedback as possible to help me get to a rough draft of the challenge where I can invite some playtesters in to try things out in whatever play style they use. Hopefully it won’t take more than a week or two of test runs before I can post some rough challenge rules. It’s not going to be a “just test the first challenge and make the other ones just like it” – I want each challenge to have something different to it.. like Drifting, to keep it interesting. And you’re welcome for the cookie. *wink*

  2. It does sound like a fun challenge.

    I’d not thought it would be so hard to move through the apartments, but then again my sims have never lived in an apartment and I have no idea how expensive it will be to furnish it.

    That vampires are not allowed make sense.

    I like that the first challenge will be more open, just so you can get used to it. It’s good all challenges will be different, which makes it more fun. I love the idea that this challenge will be like a tour of city living!

  3. Also, I’m pretty sure Vi doesn’t use any of the City Living careers in any of the houses. I’ve read through them once already, and I can again if you want me to see for sure. I’m not real worried about spoilers.

    1. Thanks! That’s good to know. I will definitely be using them as goals, then.

      My daughter’s playtest on the “normal” challenge seems to be flying past for her, while the “extreme” one I’m trying has been particularly slow. I’m wondering if I shouldn’t try a different way of making money… no worries, I’m very sure it won’t be my only playtest of the challenge. I’ll try something else next time. Part of the slowness I think is trying out a new CL career while playtesting.. probably shouldn’t have done that.. LOL. It’s interesting to watch the two games unfolding. We’ve been taking pictures and I will post them when we get past the first challenge.

      1. I like that you’ll use them as goals. I haven’t really messed with them much (they’re not super easy to do in drifter lol). I’m really anxious to see what you guys come up with 🙂

      2. Yeah, I definitely will be using them. I’ve got a pretty good idea in my head of how to work it, it’s just deciding whether it will be 5 challenges, or 6. As I playtest, I’m leaning towards 6.. even though the version I’m testing uses 5… dividing them up for six will be more complicated, but I’m starting to think it may be better that way. The first challenge is straight “how fast can you earn money” like house 1 of drifter. Challenge 2 will be aspiration and money based, while 3-5 will be career/money. If I split it up for six, the sixth will culminate in the biggest penthouse and maybe using the Mansion Baron aspiration (sorta like drifter 6). I dislike using the same goals as one of the drifter houses, but I think it may be the way to go if I do six. I’ll test both ways and see which one works better. The big positive is either way will get all 24 apartments “built” by the player as well as learning about the aspiration and all the careers that come with City Living. I’m still debating on having the commercial lots built by the player in the extreme version, but that’s a decision for later on in the testing process.

      3. With drifter having 24 houses, it would be hard not to have some of the same. I don’t know how many commercial lots there are, but if you do 6 challenges, maybe you could throw a commercial lot in each one? Mansion baron may be hard with the columns? What was the other one, fabulously wealthy? That’s another one to think about.

      4. The problem with Fabulously wealthy is you’re hoarding cash, not designing the house/apartment. And hoarding cash will not pair well with trying to decorate 4-5 apartments in a challenge.. whereas Mansion Baron involves designing and building .. using the money instead of hoarding it. There are exactly six commercial lots in the city, but two of them are the same type of lot. So it could go either five or six very easily. Basically build one after each challenge goals are met as a kind of a reward. It would be possible to have the sixth lot be whatever you wanted.. or even a space for a restaurant or a spa, since there aren’t any of those designated in the world without the player specifically making one. As for Mansion Baron needing columns.. it’s a penthouse.. you have the same building freedoms with it as you do with a regular house lot (except for needing an elevator and not being able to build a basement.) There’s no set “shell” that you have to use.. and don’t forget columns can be used inside or outside just as easily. My concern with re-using the Mansion Baron requirement is that that is quite literally a ton of money. You’d have three apartments to furnish before you even get to START on the penthouse and the aspiration!! I know it’s at least theoretically possible based on the money I managed to earn in house 6 of my drifters.. but it’s not going to be an easy task at all. But then, maybe that’s what you need for the final challenge.. something crazy to shoot for!

      5. Ah, that is true. I wish there had been more aspirations for city living than what there are. I like the idea of building a lot after finishing each challenge. The columns are my least favorite part. In fact, in drifter, I stuck them all in a basement just to get the points (I didn’t think about them when choosing my house plans, and they just don’t work). That would be a lot of money, but like you said, it would go out with a bang lol!

      6. Totally. I just finished re-sorting the tons of apartment info into a list for a six challenge scenario, and it looks neater than the five by far.. as much as I like the number 5, I think six may be the magic number for this challenge. Now to get back to testing. On the third apartment of the first challenge and baby on the way..pretty sure I won’t get it in one generation, but if not I’ll get to see how it works if you miss. Daughter’s home sick from school today so she got some playtime in on her test save, too, and she’s doing far better than me. I think she’ll make it pretty easily in one generation… so it shows it’s possible.

      7. I bet it helps having your daughter help playtest! It sounds like you each may get to test a different scenario too (making it or not making it in one generation).

      8. I may just squeak by this generation, but the teenager is going to be on her own for several days unless I move someone else in to help out. Luckily I’ll still be able to play him/her! I just waited too long to get married/have the kid..and wasted too much time messing around with a new career, too. LOL

      9. Yeah, I decided that would be okay pretty early on. It’s simply too much money to make with one sim alone… and I apparently should have waited and saved some more before taking the plunge and moving into the last apartment of challenge 1… I’m practically “lawn living” in a big old shell of an apartment. Can’t even afford stairs to let them go upstairs.. haha! Whee.. now it feels like “Drifting” just without the big garden. This challenge is crazy.. but at least I’m definitely having fun with it!

  4. I really like your six challenge scenario!

    The Mansion Baron aspiration sounds very ambitious, yet I like the idea. But like Misfit I wonder where you would leave all columns!

    It is always the question when to have the baby lol I hope you had fun with that new career though lol

    1. Yeah, it’s ambitious for sure. I just can’t think of anything better or more epic for a final test than trying to build the best at the end. The six challenge scenario seems to work out (at least, on paper) the best, so I think that’s what I’ll be going for.

      And speaking of Epic.. my test save sim, Mallory, just gifted me with TWIN boys. I was so not planning on another kid! One of the very few times I’ve had twins in sims that I wasn’t trying for. And while I’m playtesting, no less. LOL Great.

  5. I agree, it makes a great final challenge!
    Congrats on the twins!! You’ll have your hands full for sure lol Have fun! I hope you’ll share some pictures of your playtesting!

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