I always have stories going on in my head, so I don't really get bored with the game. It's more like the game is the vehicle for the stories rather than being the means and end unto itself.
Autonomous sim behavior does help to drive the stories, at least for me. For example, in my largest neighborhood that I play most frequently, there are these two men who for whatever reason have never gotten along/liked each other. I guess they have almost diametrically opposed interests, so any conversations they have with each other end with negative points. Their innate dislike has built to epic rivalry, at least in my head, to the point they are in a vicious cycle of "keeping up with the Joneses" and deliberately doing things to provoke jealousy or further negativity. It doesn't help they live right across the street from each other, and their wives get along swimmingly. Look for these little sparks of unexpected interactions, positive or negative, and form a story around them.
Until I bore myself with my own stories, I'll keep enjoying the game. I've just started actual "storytelling" with the game, and that's very exciting, too. Maybe at some point I'd also like to make a film with it. I think even if you're bored with the game itself, either of these options add both a technical challenge and a creative challenge that may be right up your alley.
Right now I am doing the 'Poor-Happy Family'
The family is poor, lives in a small house, they just got out of college and live a happy life hiking every morning and finding jobs. I'd also like to make another family and test how far the male will go with cheating on his wife without being caught... Just a thing I've always wanted to do. /evil face/
Well, I like to make one sim marry another, have +100 relationship w/ eachother, stuff like that. Then have them cheat w/ another sim, and when they have been cheating w/o getting caught, have them cheat on THAT sim, then cheat on THAT one, so on so on so on, see how many I can get before I get caught by 1 person. I be sure I go out with each person a lot, keep the relationship stable, stuff like that. So it is soooo fun!!
Another interesting idea I saw was in the Apple Valley blog - the blogger assigns additional traits to her sims aside from the Maxis-made personality (borrowing from the sims 3 idea).
So take for example, Jane Smith Sim has the ff additional traits : Favorite Color: Yellow, T1: Fat, T2: Worry Wart, T3: Traveler. So, she ends up as an over-weight sim who worries constantly about everything, wears yellow clothes, decorates everything bright yellow, and travels a lot to exotic places ... the story kinda writes itself following from these additional traits. I find it super fascinating and that should make playing a sim even more interesting.
Randomise aspirations, personalities and just break your usual mode of playing. Get John together with Jane at the same time as being gay(no offense to anyone) with Bob etc. It makes great gameplay and can end up with some good story telling results.
Because all of my families are drama-free (just as I prefer), I choose from among my dozens of saved neighborhoods when I am bored with one. As a consequence, though, none of my families have reached beyond the 4th generation; there are simply too many of them to keep track of!
What keeps the game really interesting to me is the genetics. The game is the perfect engine to run some simple Mendelian genetics experiments .
"Make believe in magic, make believe in dreams
Make believe impossible, nothing as it seems
See, touch, taste, smell, hear, but never know if it's real"
--The Cure, "More Than This"
I found that when I got over the urge to custom-create and control everything, then the game got a whole lot more interesting.
Now, when I create a Sim, it's always done in CAS. (I only use BodyShop to recolor stuff.) CAS chooses their gender (unless I specifically need one or the other, like for a challenge) and their appearance. I do not allow myself to alter the appearance I get except for their clothing, hairstyle and, if they're female, their makeup. (I do have face template replacements that moderate the extreme ape faces, but I still get ape-y faces quite often.) Their aspiration, personality points, and turn-ons/offs are all generated with an online integer generator.
Once generated, I do not make any plans for my Sims, except in the most general of terms. (Like for instance, based on the Sim's personality and sometimes on the clothes he/she generates in, I'll decide that a new Sim is going to be a farmer and live off the land.) Otherwise, I play them strictly according to the LTW and wants/fears they roll; I do my best to fulfill their wants and it usually takes me in interesting directions.
If a Sim wants a mate or rolls an LTW that requires children, I let them pick their mate, not me. I send them to a community lot and let 'em scope the room. If no one there appeals, it's off to another lot. Repeat as necessary. Whoever my Sim wants, my Sim gets, even if I think he/she is the ugliest thing ever to walk the SimEarth. As it turns out, I've gotten some fun couples and surprisingly awesome-looking children this way, so I think in some ways the Sim knows best.
Or, sometimes ACR happens, since I have that. But usually it's the "scope room" thing for me.
But basically, when I first started playing, I would have all these plans for the Sims I created or who were born in game, and I would make the Sim live that life, their own wants and such be damned. That got old really quickly. Plus, usually, I pretty much only ever created Knowledge or Family Sims. By playing more randomly, I discovered the virtues of the other aspirations, and it made the game a lot more fun.
...Though I confess that I still can't stand the Pleasure aspiration, and I further confess that sometimes, when a Sim rolls that aspiration, I'll roll again.
So I'm taking another stab at documenting a neighborhood. This one stars Benjamin Long. Pathetic attempts at humor can be found here.
I caved and made myself a Simblr. Woe is me. But hey! There's already stuff there that isn't here at MTS. :)
Right now I have one going where one of my female sims is in love with a married man. Natasha Una in Desiderata Valley. Everyone in the town hates her right now,lol. I made her go on vacation to Twikki Island, and she teleported her love to her. Now she is expecting, what to do? lol. I would like to actually make her break an engagement with another man, leave town, and start over with her baby. But she wants to live on her vac home on Twikki Island. Does anyone know if you get pregnant on vacation, does the baby leave with you or is it like UNI and it gets stuck?
Your Sim can get pregnant on vacation, but the pregnancy won't advance there. She'll give birth at home.
ETA: Oops. I went off-topic. When my multi-generational game starts to feel like I'm just counting days instead of enjoying each family's story, I incorporate a mini-challenge or set a high-level goal for the "dull" families.
What I like to do is create some story lines and then play them for a while. Like right now, I had two extremly rich sims that lived in a huge house and had lots of money. They were happily married and expecting their first child. Then I burned down their house and their money too(there aren't banks in the sims 2) and now they're completly broke and will soon have a baby to look after. Now they're on a mission to restore their family's former glory. Stuff like that. i think its fun.
10th Nov 2009 at 2:09 AM
Last edited by KittyKuba : 10th Nov 2009 at 2:11 AM.
Reason: added stuff
My custom hood is mostly romance sims- I only have the base game and that is my favorite aspiration. I have many married romance couples- totally keeps drama going. It really lends itself to scandals well I don't even have to manipulate much to get something horrible going. A lot of the times I'll marry a family and romance sims. Most of my sims are very attractive romance sims.
But I usually I only use the same zodiac signs, I wish I could find a chart like the sims 1 had for which signs get along best and worst.
ETA- I also create a lot of offbeat families, like how the Goths were the Addams Family of their hood, I make at least one random Victorian themed family to not fit in. The sim in my avatar is one of two random Victorian twin sisters I have creeping out the sims in my hood.
I got a hacked object called The Mind Control Mirror. It lets me select other sims and control them. It also lets me look at who their friends are, their jobs and if anything is in their inventory. I have my sims put their old stuff in their inventory. When they get a new sofa, telescope, or other upgrades, the old stuff goes in their inventory. So, when they go visiting, my sims get to shop by looking in the inventories of the visitors. Most of the townies don't have anything in their inventory until they get a move in proposal. If I take something for my sims, I have to add something. That's where all the extra trees, shrubs, lamps and stuff from downloaded houses go.
I was using the mirror to find out which sims were friends with Michelle Gibson because one of my sims really liked her when they met on a community lot. But I hadn't seen her in a long time. Found another sim who knew Michelle, so my sim befriended her, invited her over, and the next day they were best friends and Michelle got to move in. This makes it more fun to search out specific friends than the hacks that let you teleport anyone in the hood to your house.
Other times, I use the Mirror at community lots I made to see which romance sims haven't fulfilled their woohoo wants and what their turn ons are. Then my sims keep their "targets" occupied until they are ready. I created a woohoo club downtown that is so much fun. I also have a club in the woods, and a lovers lodge, and a rendezvous park. So far, I never run out of things to do.