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Mad Poster
Original Poster
#1 Old 14th Apr 2009 at 3:27 AM Last edited by Phaenoh : 12th Feb 2014 at 4:02 PM.
Default The Build A City Challenge
Simplified Rules on post #109 by BlueJalepeno, spreadsheet on post #127 by Olliepop, BG rules on post #173 by NaeShelle, and variant rules on post #188 by jjdcoach.

I don't see a thread for this particular challenge, so I thought I'd start one.

However you play this challenge, it's big, intimidating, hugely complex, extremely long...but so far, for me, very fun. I didn't create this challenge at all. I found it while surfing around. It was originally suggested by a person on The BBS and then was further refined by users on the Boolprop forum. I took some ideas from each place and then added some of my own ideas and details to create my own style.

My rules are very long and very complicated, so I'm not going to directly post them here. Instead... Well, I'm currently working on moving my Build-A-City documenting from LJ (It's not a format that works well, I've found; too unwieldy and requires too much time) to a Weebly website. The new site isn't functioning at all yet, really, but I do have my rules page up, which is here.

In any event, in case people aren't aware of this challenge/gameplay style, I thought I'd post it up here. Like I said, it is huge and long and intimidating -- way more so, IMO, than a Legacy -- but I'm loving mine mostly because it's much more varied than a Legacy and not at all focused on breeding which, IMO, gets boring quickly. So, I thought I'd share.

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. :)
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Field Researcher
#2 Old 14th Apr 2009 at 4:14 AM
I've tried this before--it's definitely very hard. I couldn't finish it because of my computer crashing, but it was very fun!

“If your head tells you one thing, and your heart tells you another, before you do anything,
you should first decide whether you have a better head or a better heart.” - Marilyn Vos Savant
--------------------------------------
Just Call Me Allie :)
Lab Assistant
#3 Old 14th Apr 2009 at 7:34 PM
I'm doing something very similar to this at the moment, and I'm considering restarting just because of how cool this sounds.

I've read through the rules and such, and it has been detailed in a very good way. You should be more specific to the details of rich families, though.
For example, for every 500 people in your population count, you may use one of your saved CAS Sim Points to create a rich Sim who will receive 50,000 simoleons after creation, or something similar to that. That way the city will have no more than 100 rich CAS Sim Families.

On my latest project, however, I've been working on a massive neighbourhood (so this is going to help me to stick to it) that has a strict style to its buildings and the way that the 'hoods are structured, too.
Forum Resident
#4 Old 14th Apr 2009 at 7:51 PM
I'm following this at the moment, and I believe I've just hit a population of around 500 (not counted the new births in yet, last time I checked I had 70 sims for a population of 490; two births would push me over the 500 mark). I've got 6 careers unlocked fully (Culinary, Athletic, Adventure, Music, Military, Medical), a ton of positions open and also a University -- I put most of my free money towards a uni rather than community lots.

It's been quite an interesting challenge, loads of freedom to play how you want to.
Field Researcher
#5 Old 14th Apr 2009 at 8:43 PM
I've attempted this challenge before (still attempting), it is really really fun but incredibly long! Before I tried it, I don't think I'd ever had a sim own a buisness for more than one day, let alone one reaching level 10. iCad, I love your website idea and your rules page - out of curiosity what (if anything) did you change rules wise for your playing?

Grab more of my houses and sims @ LL30 & LJ
Random sim pics - Bits & BobsLivingSims
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#6 Old 14th Apr 2009 at 9:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by VincentAlliath
I'm doing something very similar to this at the moment, and I'm considering restarting just because of how cool this sounds.


It is a very cool challenge/way to play, I think. When I was first reading about it I thought it might be too complex/confusing to really enjoy. Maybe for some people it is, but I'm totally loving it. I've been playing this neighborhood pretty much exclusively since about the middle of February. I'm amazed at how ideas for the place just bloom in my head, making me excited about playing it later in the day.

If you decide to play this way, I'd love to hear about it. I don't know of too many other people currently doing this and journaling/documenting it, so the more the merrier.

Quote:
You should be more specific to the details of rich families, though.
For example, for every 500 people in your population count, you may use one of your saved CAS Sim Points to create a rich Sim who will receive 50,000 simoleons after creation, or something similar to that. That way the city will have no more than 100 rich CAS Sim Families.


This is a very good idea, actually! For all that I've been playing this for about two months now, I still haven't gotten too far. Probably because I play each household for a full SimWeek before moving on to the next, and that takes time. I'm thinking about changing my schedule to playing a season at a time... Anyway, I only have 10 households, though I have five Sims I've created "waiting in the wings," waiting for me to get to the bottom of the roster so that I can add them in to the neighborhood. So, I haven't thought too much about having too many created-rich families.

But I did get bored with the $20,000 Sims quickly, so I created one household with unlimited money and one crazy hermit guy that I started with I think $3000. He lives on the smallest lot in a one-room shack with no bathroom. (So he's perpetually stinky and goes to the bathroom outside.) He has a cheap fridge, counter, and stove, and a cheap recliner to sleep in and that's about it. He makes enough money to pay his bills by selling excess apples that he grows on his two apple trees and selling any extra fish he catches at the pond in the community park. In the winter, when the pond is frozen and the trees are dormant, he spends pretty much all of his time reading a CC Bible that I downloaded. He has no phone (I gave him one for two seconds so that he could open the "home business," and then took it away) and basically no friends. Even so, I think he's my favorite so far.

Anyway, I probably should be more regimented about adding rich Sims, and I'll definitely take your suggestion under consideration. Thanks!

Quote:
On my latest project, however, I've been working on a massive neighbourhood (so this is going to help me to stick to it) that has a strict style to its buildings and the way that the 'hoods are structured, too.


Ah, I wish I could be so structured that way! Although I like building, I just don't have the patience to build everything in a 'hood -- I'd rather be playing! -- and it's hard to find downloads that all match in style and while having a range of prices, except for maybe Plasticbox's stuff.

ETA:
Beatdoc, I have to say that reading your LJ is what inspired me to look into this challenge. I loved reading the little bit that you'd started (as well as your legacy), and I hope that you intend to continue, even if you don't write entries in story mode. When I get this website fully operational, I'd like to link to other people doing this challenge. Might I have your permission to link to yours, even if you DON'T intend to continue? I'm also planning to snag Charlie's cabin, if I have the right expansions for it, for an upcoming Sim I have planned. Hope you don't mind.

Anyway, as to the rules I changed: One of the main ones is the addition of allowing hacked computers/objects so that Sims can take out loans to buy businesses more quickly. I really, honestly did try, with my founder, to have her save up money to buy a business, but I got impatient. She had like 10 days to Elder and she still didn't have enough money! I wanted to get to the "meat" of things. So I extracted my founder, restarted the 'hood, and allowed Monique's computer this time, and I've been much happier. My founder married Benjamin Long (she was a spinster in Mark I) and he opened the first business. Since loans have to be paid back, I didn't think it was too bad of a cheat. I also created a penalty if the loan thing doesn't work out and the Sim goes belly-up.

The other big one has to do with the Military career. The original rules said that you just had to place a community lot to represent a military base in order to unlock the career. Then someone on the Boolprop forums suggested using a business district as a military base, and I really liked that idea and ran with it. I ended up creating a whole structure of military-specific rules and stuff based kind of on how a real military works. (My brother was Air Force, so I have a vague idea. ) We'll see how it works when I actually earn mine. Once I do, there will probably be some minor modifications made.

Other than those, the changes I made are mostly just little things. I put restrictions on private schools, disallowed car ownership until there is a car dealership in the city, made rules for restocking food that were a little less severe and a little more realistic, that sort of thing. I also made some of the careers require a specific college degree instead of just any degree. I simplified the rules for creating universities in that I jettisoned the idea of private vs. public universities. In some cases, I made the rules for opening/unlocking some of the careers simpler or more complicated, as it suited my fancy. I think that's about it.

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. :)
#7 Old 14th Apr 2009 at 10:12 PM
wow, this is something I've not seen before -- amazing. I would love to read about your develpments as they go along, so keep us posted
Lab Assistant
#8 Old 14th Apr 2009 at 10:42 PM
This sounds like a lot of fun! I'm going to try this. =) But, are there any rules about a sim renting an apartment? if so, please tell me.
Field Researcher
#9 Old 14th Apr 2009 at 10:53 PM
Of course you can link to my BACC iCad, with luck that will inspire me to play it some more (actually just reading this thread is giving me the itch again!!). I hit a hurdle with the story format, I love writing it but it just takes me a long time (and I have other sim projects coming out of my ears to distract me!!). I like your rule changes, especially the military base and the car dealership ones. It's funny, I never had troubles with my sims making money though... they wrote novels, painted pictures, dug holes, built things etc until I could grab enough for a 1x1 community lot with a lawn setup. When this buisness got a few levels, I sold it off and got a bigger land plot. That and the gamer job track (as I found it not too hard to grab those few items needed to open it up for my sim, and the money earnt soon made up for it) was how I got my simmies by. Although a loan setup sounds like fun! I look foward to reading about your little families! Also snag away! :D...

Grab more of my houses and sims @ LL30 & LJ
Random sim pics - Bits & BobsLivingSims
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#10 Old 14th Apr 2009 at 10:55 PM
DancingSimmer: I don't have Apartment Life, myself, so I have no apartment-specific rules in my rule list. I think if you go to the Boolprop forum thread about this challenge (There's a link on my rules page, right up at the top), I think I remember there being some discussion about apartments. I didn't pay much attention because, like I said, I don't have Apartment Life.

I would say, though, that in real life apartment buildings usually exist only when the population reaches a number high enough to support the idea of apartments, if you know what I mean. Like, you don't see apartment buildings in rural farming communities, but you do see them in more densely-populated cities and towns. So, maybe make up a rule that says you can build your first apartment building when your population reaches, say, 500? 250? 1,000? I guess it depends on how quickly you want to play with apartments.

Other than that, I don't see why playing an apartment would be any different than playing a detached house. You would just need to play each resident or family for the same length of time each.

ETA, because Beatdoc and I cross-posted again.
You know, with the loan thing vs. building up a business thing, I think you could do both, depending on the individual Sim. Some might not want to be in debt and so choose to build up a business slowly and humbly. Others are impatient (like me!) and want to immediately buy their very own Wal-Mart. Now that I've got things a bit established, I might try a few Sims the harder way, and hopefully I won't get so frustrated.

And I'm glad you're itching; I really liked your fledgling BACC. (And your Legacy. "Nancy" cracks me up. ) I understand about the story format thing, though. I was finding it difficult to do non-story LJ entries for mine, which is why I decided to go the website route because I think (I hope!) that it will be less time-consuming. Having to come up with an actual story would take even longer.

I think the military is going to be really fun. Since I haven't done anything with the business district I've earned yet (I was lazy and used Bluewater Village), I think I'm going to package everything on it and convert it into a military base, so that I can see if my rules/ideas will actually work, in the practical sense. If they don't, I'll modify the rules and let everyone know here.

Thanks for the link permissions. I just dashed over to your LJ, and I see that Charlie's cabin requires all the expansions...which I don't have. No BV and no AL. So maybe I'll reproduce it with the expansions that I do have, because I do very much like the layout of the cabin and the landscaping. Your houses rock.

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. :)
Lab Assistant
#11 Old 15th Apr 2009 at 4:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingSimmer
This sounds like a lot of fun! I'm going to try this. =) But, are there any rules about a sim renting an apartment? if so, please tell me.

Easily fixed. Rather than saying, "Okay. I'll put apartments down at a population of X." do it this way. Only have apartments in your Business Districts and Downtown. It's that simple. Not simple to GET those, of course, but simple to do, nonetheless.

As for my city, it's going great. My founder, Sam Boswell has a wife and daughter and he's at the third rank in the Gamer career, the crappiest ever.
His neighbour, Andrew Carpenter is a Pleasure sim who is going to, very soon, own his first club so that he can get into the slacker career.
He's been on two dream dates so far and he's written 4 restaurant guides. xD

Because I have my laptop next to my desktop, I use a spreadsheet on the lappy to keep my progress going. I also use it for my Residential and Community Directories, and everything pertaining to jobs.

For anyone who wants to use it, it's attached... NOW!

Basically, if you want to, all you have to do is replace my data with yours and add in stuff where you need to. Note on the Job Positioning. Don't replace anything on the column for "Total Positions" because that's a code that adds the open and taken position column numbers together.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#12 Old 15th Apr 2009 at 6:06 PM
Very cool. I'm glad your city is going well. I'm getting ready to start filling in the family info on the website I'll be using to document mine, so anyone who's interested can take a gander over there. I'll post a link when there's actually something of minor interest to look at.

And yeah, I use a big Excel spreadsheet with multiple worksheets to track all the details in my city. I'm thinking I'll clean it up a bit, comment it, and then remove my own data and offer a blank version for download on the website in case anyone else would like to use it.

I play on my laptop, which isn't the highest-end machine in the world, but it is usually capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. At least, I can run the Sims with most expansion packs and lots of CC, Excel, AND Photoshop all at the same time and none of the programs greatly lag unless I'm using a really complex Action in Photoshop that eats lots o' RAM. So, I play the game in windowed mode and have the spreadsheet loaded at the same time, so I can flip back and forth between the game and the spreadsheet as necessary. I've still managed to miss things, though. Like, for the longest time I didn't realize that I had an Architecture position open. Didn't realize it until I had a teen have becoming City Planner for an LTW, at which point I looked at the requirements for that career and went, "Duuuuuuuuh!"

I'll take a gander at your spreadsheet and see if it's a little less unwieldy than mine is. I'm sure it probably is because I've just kind of cobbled mine together in a most disorganized fashion as I've played.

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. :)
Lab Assistant
#13 Old 15th Apr 2009 at 6:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCad
I'll take a gander at your spreadsheet and see if it's a little less unwieldy than mine is. I'm sure it probably is because I've just kind of cobbled mine together in a most disorganized fashion as I've played.

I did about the same. It's a little more refined, though.
Lab Assistant
#14 Old 24th Apr 2009 at 8:22 PM
I have a question about this challenge. I just started playing and I took out a loan to open a grocery store/community lot, am I allowed to hire people to work in it?

also when hidden hobby lots open are we allowed to visit them?

thanks

People who like this sort of thing will find this is the sort of thing they like. -Abraham Lincoln
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#15 Old 24th Apr 2009 at 9:02 PM
If you can afford employees, sure you can hire them. Just be careful because, depending on the business, they can really suck your money from you. I've got a restaurant owner, for instance, who's floundering a bit. The restaurant breaks even, basically, but doesn't make much profit and once she pays her bills she'll have about $100 to her name. Ouch. But if I raise the price of the food, then you don't get as many people deciding to eat. Restaurants are hard!

On the other hand, my founder's hubby opened the grocery store in town and it quickly reached fairly high rank so he could easily afford two employees, a cashier and a sales/stockperson. Especially because by that point he fully paid off his loan.

And yeah, you can visit the hobby lots. It's not like you can earn them or anything. I just don't think about them much because I hardly ever visit them.

Thanks for pointing out these holes!

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. :)
Lab Assistant
#16 Old 25th Apr 2009 at 2:15 AM
Thanks iCad. This is such a fun challenge and i never would have heard of it unless you posted it here.

People who like this sort of thing will find this is the sort of thing they like. -Abraham Lincoln
Test Subject
#17 Old 1st May 2009 at 6:50 PM
This looks incredibly interesting, and I'm very excited to try this out.

In regards to Apartment Life, does anyone have any suggestions on how to work Witches and Warlocks? one per city, one of each alignment, unlimited (if you know them and are friends with them, you can become one?)

Perhaps the paranormal career can be opened once a sim becomes a Witch/Warlock, Vampire, Werewolf, or Zombie, gives birth to an alien, and there is a cemetary with 2 graves.

Also, maybe magi can only be open to sims of a certain hobbie persuasion, or interest (Supernatural interests being one of their top interests)

I dunno. Just a thought.

I'm definately going to be playing this way, though.
Lab Assistant
#18 Old 2nd May 2009 at 9:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltaylormoore
This looks incredibly interesting, and I'm very excited to try this out.

In regards to Apartment Life, does anyone have any suggestions on how to work Witches and Warlocks? one per city, one of each alignment, unlimited (if you know them and are friends with them, you can become one?)

Perhaps the paranormal career can be opened once a sim becomes a Witch/Warlock, Vampire, Werewolf, or Zombie, gives birth to an alien, and there is a cemetary with 2 graves.

Also, maybe magi can only be open to sims of a certain hobbie persuasion, or interest (Supernatural interests being one of their top interests)

I dunno. Just a thought.

I'm definately going to be playing this way, though.


I don't see why that would open a position in the Paranormal career. I also don't see why becoming a witch or warlock, OR any of the other creatures would affect any of the careers.
It only changes YOUR Sim. Nothing else. Besides, once you have a University, Paranormal is essentially unlocked because any Sim can get into it if they take those specific Majors, they can get into it.


That said, if you want to create your own handicaps to make your game harder, like saying that you can only get into those careers if you are one of those creatures or are related to one or something, I'd say go ahead. Just don't change any rules to make it easier.

For example, I have a church and I play it that every family has to get married there, and if they don't then they're counted as heathens and have to have their own family mausoleum because they can no longer be buried in any of the church graveyards.
Test Subject
#19 Old 3rd May 2009 at 10:22 PM
You're right. Paranormal activity, like the undead, shapeshifting, alien abductions, or supernatural people being sighted wouldn't have anything to do with getting a paranormal career. Can't imagine what I was thinking.

I'm not looking to change rules to make it easier. I'm looking to include the supernatural and the paranormal aspects of the game INTO the paranormal career. It was just a question, no need to spaz out on me, ok?
Lab Assistant
#20 Old 4th May 2009 at 2:58 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltaylormoore
You're right. Paranormal activity, like the undead, shapeshifting, alien abductions, or supernatural people being sighted wouldn't have anything to do with getting a paranormal career. Can't imagine what I was thinking.

I'm not looking to change rules to make it easier. I'm looking to include the supernatural and the paranormal aspects of the game INTO the paranormal career. It was just a question, no need to spaz out on me, ok?

Wasn't having a "spaz" anyway, but okay.
Test Subject
#21 Old 4th May 2009 at 1:35 PM
So, apart from "Don't change any rules to make it easier", does anyone have any suggestions on the special races?

I found something, for Apartment Life, on Simlogical that allows a player-controlled sim to own hotels, apartment buildings and dorms. While I wouldn't suggest owning the dorm, turning your sim into a real-estate giant could be an opportunity. You have to have the capital to purchase the entire apartment complex outright, but then you get the rent money every monday. Likewise, with the option of selling deeds to land as an OFB business, you could have your own economy within the city itself.
Lab Assistant
#22 Old 4th May 2009 at 2:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltaylormoore
So, apart from "Don't change any rules to make it easier", does anyone have any suggestions on the special races?

It would be great if you could specify more than just "suggestions". I'm trying to think of things to suggest, but I don't exactly know what you want. I don't see the need for changes to careers or anything, but if you want something new for it, I might be able to lend a hand. I just need you to give more of an idea of what you want.
Test Subject
#23 Old 4th May 2009 at 6:47 PM
It's not so much that I'm looking for changes in careers, or anything like that. However, the OP stated that they did not have Apartment Life, so had no rules for governing the new content in AL. With everything else, it can happen to you autonomously, (Plantsim from gardening, Vampire/Werewolf from attacks, Zombeh from being too cheap with Death, Aliens from surprise alien secks). But for Witches/Warlocks, you have to actively seek them out, befriend them, and ask them to turn you. The High Witches appear quite often on community and home business lots, so there's nothing to keep your entire town from turning into a community of witches.

I was just looking to see if anyone had any ideas on a rule to help govern who has the gift and who doesn't. In my Royal Kingdom challenge, I had it that only sims with Arts & Crafts hobby affinity can be turned, and can then become good/evil based on their Playful/grouchy personality.

While that could work, I was wondering if anyone else had other ideas that they use, if any.
Lab Assistant
#24 Old 8th May 2009 at 2:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltaylormoore
It's not so much that I'm looking for changes in careers, or anything like that. However, the OP stated that they did not have Apartment Life, so had no rules for governing the new content in AL. With everything else, it can happen to you autonomously, (Plantsim from gardening, Vampire/Werewolf from attacks, Zombeh from being too cheap with Death, Aliens from surprise alien secks). But for Witches/Warlocks, you have to actively seek them out, befriend them, and ask them to turn you. The High Witches appear quite often on community and home business lots, so there's nothing to keep your entire town from turning into a community of witches.

I was just looking to see if anyone had any ideas on a rule to help govern who has the gift and who doesn't. In my Royal Kingdom challenge, I had it that only sims with Arts & Crafts hobby affinity can be turned, and can then become good/evil based on their Playful/grouchy personality.

While that could work, I was wondering if anyone else had other ideas that they use, if any.


With detail this is much easier.

I see why Arts and Crafts kinda fits, so that makes sense, but there is probably a much easier way to have a criteria for becoming a Witch/Warlock with restriction. Depending on how you want them to be thought of in your city, you could play them as being not necessarily outcasts or frowned upon, but feared and semi-rejected, so they can only be friends with other witches and warlocks, and then depending on their grouchiness or whatever they could be good or evil.
That way they couldn't get into any careers or anything, but I'm going to play it the same way. My sims become certain ways just for the fun of it, so I don't particularly care if they become Witches or Warlocks. It's only an added help for me. It's like getting them the Voodoo doll. It's more of an add-on, nothing that really affects anything for me.

That's just me. You might also want to consider only placing apartments in your Downtown and business districts. That's also just me.
Field Researcher
#25 Old 8th May 2009 at 3:39 PM
I'm doing something very similar to this at the moment and so far I've really enjoyed this playing style. I modified the rules to suit my liking (I wrote them here) but I definitely didn't try to make the challenge any easier. This is actually the first challenge I've ever tried to do because it is the only challenge I've been really interested in. I've been thinking about doing a Legacy Challenge too but I'm quite sure that I would get bored with it after a few generations because it just seems so isolated. In Build a City Challenge every Sim has a life to live but in Legacy Challenge I would probably have a billion spares sitting in the Sim Bin forever. That's not the playing style I personally like because I prefer to have a real community where most of the Sims are connected to each other one way or another.

For everyone that hasn't done this challenge yet: Give it a try! You're most likely going to enjoy it.

LJ
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