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*