A Sims 3 Experiment

For the last several months (maybe even longer), I've had a hard time completing Sims challenges that I start. Yes, I know I've never been good at seeing the challenges through, but I feel I used to be much better at carrying them on for a decent amount of time. I've also tried playing without a challenge or a goal of blogging, but that doesn't work either.

I has assumed it was because of my mood. For the past year or so, I've struggled to keep my spirits high as some life challenges (not the fun kind) were presented to us. We navigated a lot of them, and while they aren't all gone, we have more resources (both time and financial) to tackle the rest. My spirits have been on the rise. However, I find myself unmotivated to play the Sims 4.

I really want to play the Sims. It is, afterall, my favorite game of all time. However, I seem to be on this cycle of: being super excited about a new challenge, planning/dreaming about it, finally getting the time to play, and then not being able to commit for very long and stopping play altogether.

Then, I had an epiphany. As someone who has championed the Sims 4 from the start when confronted with the naysayers, it hadn't occurred to me that I might be trying to play the wrong version. I had firmly believed that the lack of content was because it was a base game and that I had felt exactly the same when the Sims 3 came out. The Sims 4 has been fine...it is a good game. It runs 10 times better than the Sims 3. The emotions are interesting. It's smoother. Lots are filled with more Sims. But something is missing...or maybe several somethings. My passion and enthusiasm for my favorite game of all time doesn't carryover to the Sims 4.

The realization of my problem came in two steps...first, the next expansion for the Sims 4 was leaked. City Life....meh. I'm sure it'll be GOOD just like Get to Work and Get Together were GOOD...but I'm a family player. My favorite expansions were Generations, Seasons, University and Pets. I want to play a realistic life story...I do not care about wealth, clothing, stardom, or parties. The current expansions would be fine if we had some of the other things the game is lacking. But they are continually producing content that I'm just sort of excited by. In the Sims 3, I was obsessing over some expansions. Also, toddlers are the cutest thing in any version of the Sims.

Next, I watched this video from the Lazy Gamer, which describes my feelings almost exactly.

After that, I started wondering if The Sims 4 is my problem. I headed over to the Sims 3 forums only to find a super active community with other simmers who had the same experience I did. They are all loving the Sims 3 again. I also found out the the Sims 3 store is still open.

So...tonight I'm going to be installing the Sims 3. I'm going to start with just the base game. At the suggestion of some other Simmers, I'm going to make a release schedule for myself with the additional content. That way I will have a constant trickle of new and interesting content, while not being overwhelmed (by content, loading time, or download/install time).

Of course, I will be blogging this experiment. And I'm certain I'm not done with the Sims 4. Who knows how long this will last, and if I still have any readers left, LOL.

I recall with great fondness Dumpster Dan and Brady the Mooch....I long for a revival of those good ole days.


Edward Gracey Meets the Neighbors

If you have not read Edward Gracey before I suggest starting here

I tried. I put forth a dragon-sized effort to befriend the local peoples of this land that is apparently where I live but is not my real home. I inquired as to their favorite form of local entertainment, and made quips about Mac n' Cheese. Nothing pleases these people.

Sometimes they were polite, or even nice, but I had the sinking feeling they were just humoring me. "Good lad", pat on the back, "Run along home then," is what it felt like they were saying. 

One red-haired creature began doing some form of exercise right on the sidewalk while we were having a conversation. And what on this holy earth was she wearing? Pajamas? A Swim suit? Surely not something to be worn outside.

This place is strange. Tonight I shall play the piano to console myself.

In addition to being gloomy, Edward is also self-assured and materialistic. 

The Appearance of Edward Gracey

I'm uncertain as to where I originated from, but I'm inclined to think that it was not from here. As of this moment, I am only aware of today. My first memory is showing up on the doorstep of this home. A home that is mine, apparently. I know this for certain, though I have no idea why I know this. I know many things, in fact. My name is Edward Gracey and that I am a musician by trade, for instance. I knew the recipe for fish tacos, which is unfortunate since I apparently have not mastered the actual cooking of them.

However, I don't have any memories until today. I don't know where I'm from, and I don't know anyone. I'm a complete stranger in this land. I feel totally out of place. 

I am an artist...I play music. I enjoy paintings, sophisticated food and beautiful architecture. My home should have paintings, a fireplace and overstuffed chairs. This does not look like any home of mine Alas, I have no money. It is going to take quite sometime to remedy this situation. I'll need to settle for these simplistic furnishings and the appalling foodstuffs in my fridge.

Hah...I do not believe my misfortune. I have boxes upon boxes of this stuff called "Mac n' Cheese". Ghastly.

Sigh. I'm becoming quite lonely, if I'm honest with myself. I think I'm going to need to introduce myself to some of the inhabitants around here. A few of them came to the door this morning, but I ignored it. I needed to express the hollowness of my existence with my violin. I hope they did not take offense at this. I just couldn't deal with anything more in that moment.


Edward was created as the founder of my Completion Challenge. His traits consist of one that I chose (gloomy) and two randomly generated traits. His aspiration was selected by me, and I created his appearance. The idea for Edward came from a very particular things that I love, which will not be obvious to very many. You are welcome to guess (I know some of you will get it; and future happenings may give you more clues).

The Return of the Completion Challenge

Dumpster Dan from on of my Sims 3 challenges.

Dumpster Dan from on of my Sims 3 challenges.

One of my favorite challenges for the Sims 3 I didn't discover until close to the end of my time with the Sims 3. I found the Completion Challenge by Robin in the Sims 3 Challenges group on Yahoo!. The Sims 3 had a LOT of content and I was overwhelmed by it. My normal play-style doesn't often let me explore all the content (as my Sims are often poor). The Completion Challenge provided clear goals for investigating all the random things that expansion packs and stuff packs added.

A couple weeks ago, I found myself in a similar place with the Sims 4...too much content, not enough time. The Sims 4, in addition to the base game, has two expansions, three game packs, and EIGHT stuff packs. Here's a very small fraction of the things in the game I have yet to do:

  • Visit an alien planet
  • Reach the top of ANY career
  • Be a scientist
  • Own a retail establishment
  • Own a restaurant
  • Use the DJ Skill
  • Use the Dance Skill
  • Use the Herbalism Skill
  • Explore the spa treatments or wellness skill
  • Make ice cream
  • Carve pumpkins
  • Make popcorn
  • Use the Wishing Well
  • Have a puppet show
  • Play with Voidcritters
  • Use the water slides
  • Have a bird feeder

And the list goes on and on. So...I searched for a Sims 4 Completion Challenge...none existed. I searched for a similar one...nope...asked on the forums for a similar one...nope. Finally, I contacted the creator of the Sims 3 version, Robin. She said the Sims 4 one did not yet exist, but that I was welcome to make my own. She even volunteered to help a bit (she's been busy with a new set of (real life) twins). 

Sims 4 Players...if there is anything you'd like to see incorporated into the challenge, please leave a note in the comments. I will definitely do all the standard stuff (every aspiration, all the ghosts, all the careers, etc...) but if you have anything in mind that I might not think of...particularly small details (like different places to Woohoo!), I'm interested in hearing your ideas!