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Test Subject
Original Poster
#1 Old 11th Nov 2011 at 5:20 PM Last edited by lumiina : 14th Apr 2012 at 2:49 AM.
Default Free Will Project
UPDATE: I'm no longer playing this challenge, but if anyone else wants to, feel free to post here or create your own topic about it. Take care!

Objective: To see if a family of sims can survive with little intervention from the player.

Creating Your Family

Create a family of 3 to 4 sims, which consists of at least one young adult and one toddler. Pets are optional. Maximum of 2 pets.

In CAS/CAP mode, you have free reign. Customize your sims' looks and personalities to fit any story.

You may not switch households. Lifespan should be set to normal.

Choosing and Decorating Your House

Choose any affordable house and use the left over money as you please to decorate. Remember to leave some simoleons left over for bills and other expenses. After you start play mode, you can only enter buy/build mode to move around items.

Any item in a simís inventory is allowed to be placed in the household. This includes minor pets being placed into terrariums/cages/bowls. You may not control a simís interaction with that item, nor sell the item for the sim.

Every time a sim/pet has a birthday, you are allowed to buy one item for the household, as well as sell one item. (Ex: Selling crib, buying bed.)

Game Manipulation

Cheats

resetsim is permitted as long as itís used to move a sim who is stuck.

moveobjects on/off is permitted as long as itís used to move a sim who is stuck, to fix a glitched object or to decorate. It cannot be used to make a simís life easier, such as deleting an old newspaper.

The following cheats are not allowed:

testingCheatsEnabled true/false
kaching
motherlode
freerealestate

Saving

It is not permitted to quit the game without saving. Unfortunately, nothing can be done about game crashes, so in that case save often.

Mods

Let us know what mods you are using that may affect the results of this challenge. Especially mods that affect autonomy, such as autonomous try for baby. It may make the challenge more interesting to see how many generations the family will have.

Careers

Since sims cannot get a job on their own, when the newspaper is delivered to the house, you are allowed to choose a job for any of your sims who can work. A sim can freely quit and change part time jobs. Once a sim chooses a full time job, the sim cannot quit/change jobs. If fired from that job, that sim is allowed to work part time, but cannot choose another full time job.

Skill careers work the same as part time jobs. A sim is free to change/quit his or her skill career.

A profession is not recommended, unless you know the sim can handle it without intervention on your behalf. These count as a full time jobs.

When a sim is at work/school, you have the option to choose what that sim does that day using a random number generator. Every hour that goes by, you have the option of choosing another option using the random number generator. Otherwise, just have the sim work as usual.

In Game Player Choices

Randomize

When thereís a randomize button, such as for a childís traits, press it. If thereís a choice without a randomize button, use a random number generator like http://www.random.org/ to choose. This can be done through entering the minimum number of choices and the maximum number of choices, then pressing generate.

Paying Bills

You are allowed to pay the bills if a warning comes up saying thereís one day left to pay them.

Lifetime Rewards

Players are free to choose lifetime rewards as points are collected.

Points

Minus 2 points for:
-Being fired.

Minus 1 point for:
-Being demoted.
-Decreased relationship level.
-Negative pet trait learned (not including traits that you gave in CAP).

1 point for:
-Being promoted.
-Increased relationship level (ex. sim gains a friend).
-Positive pet trait learned (not including traits that you gave in CAP).
-Every birthday a sim/pet has.
-Every 1000 place simoleon you've reached. You do not earn double points if you've already reached that place. Money left over in the beginning of the game counts.
-Every child/teen who has a B or higher in school when they age up.
-Every 5 skill points gained in a single skill set (so 2 points for maxing out a skill).
-Every sim that has a medium tombstone at death.
-Every sim who dies from old age.
-A sim of a different life state entering your family (ex: imaginary friend, sim bot via lifetime reward).

2 points for:
-Every major event that occurs and is overcome (ex: there's a fire and no one dies).
-Every lifetime wish fulfilled. Choose your lifetime wishes wisely!
-Every sim that has a large tombstone at death.

3 points for:
-Every new generation (child grows up and gives birth to a child)

Spending Points

3 points for:
-1x Fulfill a wish the sim has (ex: throw a party)

5 points for:
-Ability to call repairman
-Ability to call maid
-Ability to send sims to and from community lots
-Ability to send sims to and from residential lots
-Ability to sell items made by a sim if it is a sim's skill career (ex: Sim artist selling his painting.)
-Ability to use Build Mode

10 points for:
-1x Try for Baby (if a sim has a wish for a baby, it will only cost 3 pts and can be repeated until sim is pregnant)
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Test Subject
Original Poster
#2 Old 11th Nov 2011 at 5:20 PM
Please feel free to join me in this project! I've played a similar challenge in The Sims 2 and wanted to recreate the experiment on The Sims 3. For some people, it may be too boring of a challenge, but I'm happy to play it.

I'll post my family here later today. I haven't created them yet.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#3 Old 12th Nov 2011 at 12:38 AM
Default Re:Free Will Project
Findings: One in a half days in, I've learned that sims are able to care for their children without guidance (changing diapers, feeding putting to bed). However, it takes awhile between actions, even just placing food on the high chair. Dogs and cats are able to grab toys from the toy crate, which I was afraid they wouldn't be able to do. Dogs don't have to be trained to go outside, depending on their personality I assume. My sims will serve food for their family, but won't put it back in the fridge to prevent spoiling.

Points:
+1 pt for imaginary friend
+2 pts for surviving a major event
+2 pts for 2000 simoleons.
+1 pt for increased relationship with pet (became friends)
+1 pt for increased relationship with pet (became BFFs)
Total: 7 pts





The house.





Meet the Wilson Family. Wife, Saori, an aspiring journalist; husband, Josh, an aspiring rock star and daughter, Euna.





Two pets: Sophie, the cat; Pepper, the dog. Pepper has become best friends forever with Josh.





There's also Haru, Euna's imaginary friend.





A little foreshadow to later that night...









Josh tried to make macaroni, which started a fire. Now the stove is unusable. Better get used to autumn salad.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#4 Old 12th Nov 2011 at 1:14 AM
*Added Rule*

I discovered sims cannot autonomously pay bills. The game would end very quickly if every item was taken away by the repo man, so I amended the rules to prevent this.

Paying Bills

You are allowed to pay the bills if a warning comes up saying thereís one day left to pay them.
Theorist
#5 Old 12th Nov 2011 at 1:30 AM
I'm attracted to this challenge because I tend to not let my sims do anything on their own.
One question I have is, should I use the shortest lifespan (usually I play on epic)?

Much as I like reasonable persons, I hate completely rational beings. ó Lin Yutang
Lab Assistant
#6 Old 12th Nov 2011 at 1:56 AM
Seems interesting but, how do the sims gain all their skills for work i.e. writing, charisma etc.?
Lab Assistant
#7 Old 12th Nov 2011 at 1:58 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseCity
I'm attracted to this challenge because I tend to not let my sims do anything on their own.
One question I have is, should I use the shortest lifespan (usually I play on epic)?


Most challenges want the age span to be normal. I use to set my to epic or long, but I'm so use to normal now.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#8 Old 12th Nov 2011 at 3:17 AM Last edited by lumiina : 12th Nov 2011 at 3:53 AM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseCity
I'm attracted to this challenge because I tend to not let my sims do anything on their own.
One question I have is, should I use the shortest lifespan (usually I play on epic)?


Oh, in my original draft I had written to play on a normal lifespan. It must've not made it through to the final post.

Play on normal lifespan. I usually play my normal games epic as well, but for a challenge like this where you have no control over your sims, I figured it would be too long to sit through. And like dedreav says, most challenges have normal lifespans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dedreav0531
Seems interesting but, how do the sims gain all their skills for work i.e. writing, charisma etc.?


They won't. The challenge is about seeing how far a sim can get without us as intel on a sim's strengths and weaknesses. Some objects, such as the easel, sims will go to automatically. Since you are allowed to move objects, you can move the painting onto the wall or into their inventory so they can keep improving their skills. Also, there are skills cultivated as a toddler through childhood. But other skills, such as writing, I don't think can be cultivated autonomously.
Theorist
#9 Old 13th Nov 2011 at 2:54 AM Last edited by RoseCity : 13th Nov 2011 at 3:18 AM.
It took me a while to get going; I decided to play in Barnacle Bay. There are only 3 starter houses there and had to get rid of all the celebrities. Then make the family and decorate the house. I made a family consisting of Edna Cronin, her daughter, Myra Cronin and Myra's son, Garrick.




Everything went along fairly well, but then the shower, bathroom sink and kitchen sink all broke around the same time as they usually do. The sims mop the floor periodically, but don't try to repair or call for the repair person. Maybe I should've given one of them the Handy trait (I randomized the traits.), but don't know if that would've helped.





And Myra doesn't smell so great at the moment, being unable to use the shower. The tv is also broken - just waiting for the toilet to clog to achieve the perfect storm.

Much as I like reasonable persons, I hate completely rational beings. ó Lin Yutang
Test Subject
Original Poster
#10 Old 13th Nov 2011 at 3:41 AM
Points:
+1 pt for imaginary friend (Haru)
+2 pts for surviving a major event (fire)
+2 pts for reaching 2000 simoleons
+1 pt for increased relationship with pet (Josh became friends with Pepper)
+1 pt for increased relationship with pet (Josh became BFFs with Pepper)
+1 pt for positive pet trait (Pepper became adventurous)
+1 pt for reaching 3000 simoleons
+1 pt for increased relationship with pet (Saori became friends with Sophie)
+1 pt for Euna's birthday
Total: 11 pts







Because Saori was a little late getting home, Josh called a babysitter before leaving for work. So, when Saori came home, she had someone to talk to. The next day, a different babysitter came. Finally some variety! They don't go out of the home except for work, so it's rare for them to meet new sims.




I got a warning if my sim didn't pay attention to her cat, the pets would be taken away (-_-). Thankfully, shortly after my sim gave her a lot of attention.













Although my sims pay a lot of attention to their pets, Saori and Josh hardly interact with each other. One night, she even slept in Euna's bed. Later that night, she was woken up by Euna, and when she went back to bed, she joined Josh in bed. He finally flirted with her the next day, and later that day chatted over dinner.







The bathroom is worn down. Even though Josh has the handiness trait, he won't fix the bath or toilet on his own.










Instead of a nice toy oven, I had to buy a bathtub. I went for an expensive one, so that perhaps it wouldn't break down. Poor Euna. Since she didn't age up well, she was given the mooch trait. Her mother tried to read to her once, but was interrupted by her father playing with her. She never touched any of the other toys except her imaginary friend, so she never gained any skills. I hope her childhood goes better.










I have high hopes about Josh's career. He's gained a skill point in guitar and cooking. Although, every time I randomize the chance cards, it ends up picking no. Saori, on the other hand, has no way of gaining her writing skill. But she did read a book for work, which raised her performance. Even so, she is usually in a bad mood at work. It isn't looking good. On her days off, she paints. She's gained a skill point in painting.




This is Saori's depiction of me. She's wondering where her player has gone, or perhaps if I even exist.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#11 Old 13th Nov 2011 at 3:43 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseCity
It took me a while to get going; I decided to play in Barnacle Bay. There are only 3 starter houses there and had to get rid of all the celebrities. Then make the family and decorate the house. I made a family consisting of Edna Cronin, her daughter, Myra Cronin and Myra's son, Garrick.


Everything went along fairly well, but then the shower, bathroom sink and kitchen sink all broke around the same time as they usually do. The sims mop the floor periodically, but don't try to repair or call for the repair person. Maybe I should've given one of them the Handy trait (I randomized the traits.), but don't know if that would've helped.



And Myra doesn't smell so great at the moment, being unable to use the shower. The tv is also broken - just waiting for the toilet to clog to achieve the perfect storm.


Glad to have another player doing this challenge with me! My toilet is clogged, but fortunately my sims can still use the toilet. I had to use Euna's birthday money to buy a bathtub. Handy trait doesn't help.

I forgot to give one of my sims a clean trait. They take so long to clean up the plates. But I think because of that, they only mop on occasion.
Theorist
#12 Old 13th Nov 2011 at 5:10 AM Last edited by RoseCity : 13th Nov 2011 at 5:26 AM.
Garrick's birthday is in 2 sim days - but if I use the birthday credit to get a new bathtub, I won't be able to get him a bed which I didn't plan ahead for. Myra is in the Business career - I wonder if she'll lose her job due to smelling so bad. I might have to just delete the crib and replace it with a bed.

Much as I like reasonable persons, I hate completely rational beings. ó Lin Yutang
Theorist
#13 Old 13th Nov 2011 at 1:05 PM
Maybe since, as with bill paying, the sim can't autonomously deal with broken appliances, you should be permitted to call the repair person.

Much as I like reasonable persons, I hate completely rational beings. ó Lin Yutang
Test Subject
Original Poster
#14 Old 13th Nov 2011 at 1:11 PM Last edited by lumiina : 13th Nov 2011 at 1:25 PM.
It looks like your priority might be a bathtub, and the kid might have to sleep in mom or grandma's bed, or on the couch. The first time playing this is a learning experience. I'm thinking if I do the challenge again, I'll have one room with five bathtubs (>_<), haha. I also bought some useless items, like the toddler's potty. I wanted to see if my sims would use it, but they didn't. But there were other objects that I wasn't so sure about that they did end up using.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#15 Old 13th Nov 2011 at 1:15 PM Last edited by lumiina : 13th Nov 2011 at 1:28 PM.
If you want to add your own amendment with the game, that's fine. Perhaps you can set a day (such as Tuesday) when you're allowed to replace one item via buy mode (sell it, then buy the same exact model). If you call the repairman, he fixes all the items, and that takes away part of the challenge, so I don't recommend it.

I'll continue to play without using that amendment. I want to see how long my sims will last in a disastrous situation.
Theorist
#16 Old 13th Nov 2011 at 1:59 PM Last edited by RoseCity : 13th Nov 2011 at 2:13 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lumiina
It looks like your priority might be a bathtub, and the kid might have to sleep in mom or grandma's bed, or on the couch. The first time playing this is a learning experience. I'm thinking if I do the challenge again, I'll have one room with five bathtubs (>_<), haha. I also bought some useless items, like the toddler's potty. I wanted to see if my sims would use it, but they didn't. But there were other objects that I wasn't so sure about that they did end up using.

I was thinking that too - that I should have bought cheap toilets and showers and stored them in the back yard. It's always irritated me how often things break in the game. If real life was like that, you'd go mad. I only suggest the repair person because if we're trying to see how much of the game is autonomous and what a sim can accomplish on their own, we already know that they can't fix things on their own. And things (even expensive ones) break so frequently that the resulting chaos takes over the challenge. I think I'm going to have the stuff repaired, but I'm going to wait a little longer and see just how bad things are going to get.
So far I only have 2 points: 1 because Myra got a promotion at work and 1 for 1000 simoleons.
Maybe because Myra has a rabbit hole career, being smelly didn't seem to hurt her job performance. I didn't have Edna get a job, so that she can be there with Garrick. But she's a Coach Potato so spends most of the day watching tv (except now it's broken) or on the computer. And now she's stir crazy on top of everything else.

Much as I like reasonable persons, I hate completely rational beings. ó Lin Yutang
Test Subject
Original Poster
#17 Old 13th Nov 2011 at 6:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseCity
I was thinking that too - that I should have bought cheap toilets and showers and stored them in the back yard. It's always irritated me how often things break in the game. If real life was like that, you'd go mad. I only suggest the repair person because if we're trying to see how much of the game is autonomous and what a sim can accomplish on their own, we already know that they can't fix things on their own. And things (even expensive ones) break so frequently that the resulting chaos takes over the challenge. I think I'm going to have the stuff repaired, but I'm going to wait a little longer and see just how bad things are going to get.
So far I only have 2 points: 1 because Myra got a promotion at work and 1 for 1000 simoleons.
Maybe because Myra has a rabbit hole career, being smelly didn't seem to hurt her job performance. I didn't have Edna get a job, so that she can be there with Garrick. But she's a Coach Potato so spends most of the day watching tv (except now it's broken) or on the computer. And now she's stir crazy on top of everything else.


Ah, I see what you're saying now. That's right, this is more of an experiment than a challenge, so you can take it the way you want to go. We're testing the limits.

Perhaps we can make a system of growing player intervention based on the point system. Like lifetime rewards, you can buy the ability to intervene. 5 points equals the ability to call a repairman (and after you buy that ability, you can call at any time). Another 5 points equals the ability to send the sim to a park and go home from the park. This is just an idea, I don't know yet. Basically, I don't have any idea how a sim reacts at a park autonomously unless I intervene in some way. So the challenge is a bit too limited. What do you think about this idea?
Theorist
#18 Old 13th Nov 2011 at 8:53 PM
The intervention points sounds like a good idea - I was wondering if so far you've had an active sim leave the house on their own? So far I haven't - only to go to work.

Also can you change their clothes? Garrick aged up wearing this swimwear. His eyes hadn't uncrossed when I took this picture.




Not that he'd probably ever go swimming on his own.

Much as I like reasonable persons, I hate completely rational beings. ó Lin Yutang
Test Subject
Original Poster
#19 Old 13th Nov 2011 at 9:54 PM
Okay, I'll work on making an intervention point system. None of my sims have left their home except to go to work. I know children get invited over to friends' homes after school, so that's one way of a sim leaving their home.

Woah, that is crazy swimwear. Yeah, feel free to change their clothes.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#20 Old 14th Nov 2011 at 4:03 AM
Okay, so I created this simple system. The idea is not to gradually gain full control over the sims like a normal game, but instead to gradually guide them. So, through gaining abilities (such as sending sims to community lots, fulfilling their wishes), sims are still accountable for their actions, but we broaden the potential of what they could do.

What do you think?

Spending Points

3 points for:
-1x Fulfill a wish the sim has (ex: throw a party)

5 points for:
-Ability to call repairman
-Ability to send sims to and from community lots
-Ability to send sims to and from residential lots
-Ability to sell items made by a sim if it is a sim's skill career (ex: Sim artist selling his painting.)
-Ability to use Build Mode

10 points for:
-1x Try for Baby (if a sim has a wish for a baby, it will still cost 10 pts)

So, suppose you have a journalist. If that journalist wishes to increase their writing skill, and you buy ability to send to community lots and 1x fulfill a wish with 8 pts, then you can send her to the library and sit her down at a computer to practice her writing skill until that wish is met.
Theorist
#21 Old 15th Nov 2011 at 12:37 AM Last edited by RoseCity : 15th Nov 2011 at 2:26 AM.
Can't decide what I'm going to spend the 5 points I have on - maybe go to community lots. Actually never mind - I have to use it for calling the repair person because I already did that. What about using the cellphone?
So far, I've discovered that undirected sims are pretty boring - but it is realistic in the sense of comparable to humans.
Edit: I'm going to take away the tv and the computer and see what happens.

Much as I like reasonable persons, I hate completely rational beings. ó Lin Yutang
Test Subject
Original Poster
#22 Old 15th Nov 2011 at 2:38 AM
Agreed. Even on maximum autonomy, it seems sims are only driven by needs (food, bathing), responsibilities on occasion (cleaning dishes, feeding baby) and emergencies (fire). On a rare occasion in my game, my sim will talk to her husband or daughter. Although, when the babysitter came over, she talked to him a lot. It seems like something is missing. The desire to live a meaningful life perhaps, which I guess is where our intervention comes in. I feel like something more dramatic should happen. But still, I remember sims talking more during a free will challenge for Sims 2.

Hmm... What options do you think the cellphone would bring to further the challenge? If sims make a friend, that friend will call them on occasion already. There are some things, like throwing a party, but if your sim wishes for that then you'd be able to do that. And you can already use a cell phone to switch to a skill career. If you can think of something, then I will add it.

I have eleven points, so I'm thinking of buying the repairman option, community lot option and saving up for buying a wish because my sim needs to improve her writing skill for her job (if she doesn't already get fired by then). If she does get fired, then I'm making her an artist and buying the selling items one. Oh, and don't forget, if your sim's LTW doesn't seem to be working out, you can change it if you earn enough lifetime reward points to change it in game. If she does get fired, I'll be changing it.
Theorist
#23 Old 15th Nov 2011 at 3:27 PM
Creating an elder for the family wasn't a smart move - mainly because she won't be having any more birthdays. And I forgot to create a pet. Live and learn.

Much as I like reasonable persons, I hate completely rational beings. ó Lin Yutang
Test Subject
Original Poster
#24 Old 16th Nov 2011 at 12:42 AM
Oh yeah, that didn't occur to me. I thought your choice of family members was creative. And I figured you just didn't have Pets yet. Do you think a sim can fall in love autonomously? Perhaps you can send the mother to the park and see what happens.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#25 Old 22nd Nov 2011 at 9:23 PM Last edited by lumiina : 22nd Nov 2011 at 9:36 PM.
New changes:

3 points for:
-Every new generation (child grows up and gives birth to a child)

Minus 10 points for:
-1x Try for Baby (if a sim has a wish for a baby, it will only cost 3 pts and can be repeated until sim is pregnant)

If your sim doesn't have the wish for a baby, it'll cost 10 points per Try for Baby interaction. But! If your sim is family oriented (mine isn't), then it'll only cost 3 points and unlimited tries until the wish is fulfilled if the sim has that wish. It is only fair, since certain traits wish for certain things. And since new generations are now possible, I felt a new generation should be rewarded too.

Minus 5 points for:
-Ability to call maid

We can call the repairman, so I think calling the maid should be a possibility too. Especially since the house gets so dirty unless the sims have the clean trait.
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