Aw! Don’t you miss it?! I do!
Anyway, for those of you who are interested, I thought it would be useful to give a little bit more background to how I play and how this hood came about. So the below will provide a little bit of background on the Sims 2 sims and families which Anthony and Katya are descended from and explain my play style. I am hoping as far as possible to replicate this in the Sims 4 but I attempted that with Sims 3 and it didn’t work so keep your fingers crossed.
The Hamiltons of Huntingdon
This picture sets out the many complex relationships between the families of Huntingdon. – Click for a larger version, then click again to zoom in.
As you can see from the neighbourhood tree above, the hood became about far more than just the Hamiltons. All sorts of families joined as I played, NPCs who met each other and fell in love were given the chance to live out their lives; made playable and moved into starter homes of their own. Also amongst my sims were born in game, or as I call them ‘BIG’, NPCs who married into the existing families and CAS families moved in fully formed when I realised I needed some new genetics because the NPC only ever used the stock faces.
Although I am not yet at the play style section, I think two things are important enough to mention here; I played a game where freewill was always set to max and where my sims were as autonomous as I could make them – which included as many autonomy mods as I could find. The most important of which was one that alloed my sims to choose who they dated, romanced, married and had kids with. Every sim you see born in the tree above was created by my sims freewill.
The result is 302 sims spread over 7 generations who arrived, lived and mostly died between when I started in 2007 and when I finally stopped playing in 2012 (and not through choice I might add!). Some had amazing personalities, some had amazing stories, some had amazing looks but all of them were interesting in their own way and for how they related to everyone else: they all had their own unique personalities, which I did not create. This for me was part of what was missing from Sims 3 and which I hope will return in Sims 4.
The Taylors and The LeTourneaus
I have picked Anthony and Katya (and possibly their daughters) to start my game in Sims 4 because they are direct descendants of my Hamilton founders through the oldest child of each generation. They are also the oldest of the gen 6 sims with kids who had not yet reached University. It therefore seems an idea to give a bit of background on their ancestors.
I said above that NPCs who formed romantic ties were given their own lives and Katya is herself descended from such sims. Her maternal grandparents, paternal great-grandparents and her paternal grandfather were all NPC. While Anthony is of course directly descended from my original founders Silvia and Peter Hamilton. Below are pictures of each of their direct ancestors and a little bit of backgrounds information.
Silvia was a family sim and Peter a pop sim, both CAS created. I originally made their sims to star in a build challenge. I don’t remember the particular challenge but I do remember it required a story and Silvia and Peter were a house buyer and the estate agent looking around the house. As part of the story, they fell for each other while looking around the house and I realised I liked them so much I decided to use the same sims to start my hood. I therefore kept that as their back story while they had two CAS made children, Lauren and Simon.
Lauren is Silvia and Peter’s eldest daughter and Goopy is her NPC husband. I believe Goopy started out not just as any old NPC but a service NPC. Lauren followed in her Father’s footsteps as a social butterfly pop sim and interestingly married a sim with her Mother’s aspiration: family. Lauren was always the nicest of goody two shows and Goopy suited her perfectly. They had 3 children, Crystal, Katie (twins) and Luke.
Now while Crystal is a twin, at the time she and her sister were born, I wasn’t really paying enough attention to who arrived first. However, Crystal was always the more outgoing and confident of the two and she certainly acted more like the eldest child. She was another popularity sim and married Serdar Pratt, a romancer who lived up to his name. They had 2 children, also twins, called Amethyst and Emrys but before they were born, Serdar decided it would be a good idea to have an affair with the maid. Amethyst caught them between the woo and the hoo and booted him straight out the house. She raised the twins on her own, successfully bringing them up with the help of her mother and sister while she powered her way through to the top of the business career. Meanwhile Serdar and his maid moved into a too small house where they proceeded to have 3 more children and barely scrapped by as Serdar didn’t work. While Amethyst and Emrys became very close to their half siblings, they refused to have anything to do with their father.
So guess what aspiration Amethyst rolled! Yep, popularity! And my god was she a pop sim! Her and her brother Emrys between them were the best sims I have ever had in-game for living up to their aspirations. Amethyst almost completely autonomously made friends with every single sim in the neighbourhood. All I had to do was direct her to greet them and within 30 sim minutes they’d be friends for life. Emrys (as a bisexual romance sim!) did pretty much the same in romance terms creating the first male party house in the hood. The two of them met Sean and his brother Adam Taylor when they were teenagers, Sean and Adam having moved to the hood from CAS. Amethyst and Sean, a fortune sim, took a while to fall for one another but once they did they were smitten and stayed together through uni and beyond. Meanwhile Emrys decided he had enough love in his heart to share it with the entire neighbourhood (his bed and the hot tub got a LOT of use!), but he always came back to Adam at the end of the day, who oddly didn’t mind their open relationship.
Richard was Amethyst and Sean’s only child, although they did try for a second. It was at this point that secondary aspirations were introduced in sims 2 so he was a Family primary, Pop secondary sim while Rishell was a pure Knowledge sim. Their relationship was a bit odd as Rishell came across as quite cold and frosty but Richard completely adored her. In this particular branch of the family, it seemed each generation was more laid back than the last and Richard was pretty much so laid back he was upside down, let alone horizontal, so maybe that also had something to do with his relationship with her. Anyway, Richard’s family aspiration combined with Rishell’s knowledge, meant these two had 4 children, Anthony, Jack and Lauren (twins) and Silvia – and yes, Silvia and Lauren were named after their ancestors, Lauren just because and Silvia because she was the first sim in this line to be born with blond hair (and yes, I tracked the genetics back and it comes from a hidden gen 1 recessive gene!).
Last but not least, a different family: Dasha Tsvirkunov (later LeTourneau) and David. Katya is the younger of their two children, her older brother is Sergei Tsvirkunov (her parent’s married between having them). Dasha was a romance sim and David a pop sim and while they were almost totally faithful to each other, they were perfectly happy living in sin. Up until right before they had little Ekaterina and suddenly they both rolled up marriage wants! So the bells chimed and Tsvirkunov became LeTourneau. But it all could have ended so differently! When David and his brother Carl were at uni together, they were both dating different girls, David was dating a feisty fortune sim called Hannah Charvat (who also happened to be his half brother’s half-sister! Honestly, they aren’t related so it’s fine even if it gives you the squicks like it does me!) while Carl was dating Dasha! At some point shortly before they went to uni, they all decided to switch things up a bit and so Carl ended up married to Hannah and David ended up with Dasha! And so lovely Katya joined the neighbourhood and fell for Anthony.
I’m not including anything on Katya’s earlier relatives, partly because I don’t remember much about them and partly because as NPC’s made playable I was really only just getting to know them when they died. This was one of the big upsides of BIG sims, you have far more time to learn who they are and get to know them!
I’ll turn now to how I played, which I really hope to be able to continue in the Sims 4 in a way I couldn’t in the sims 3. First a little background for how I came to play this way; I had played the legacy challenge previously, three times. The first time I managed to get to gen 8 before I got distracted by other things and swore I would come back to the family but never did. The second time I think I made it to around gen 4 or 5 but had to give up as I went to uni and lost my own internet connection for a year. The third time I wrote a Lord of the Rings based legacy which was moderately popular. Needless to say, I didn’t finish that either as I got distracted by this hood!
I got involved with a fabulous group of sims 2 (mainly legacy) players and there met a woman called PollyG who introduced us all to her way of playing autonomously. Please do not ask me to explain it as I can’t, I never did completely understand how she managed to play her sims but it did highlight to me that one reason my legacy’s kept failing was because I was SICK of micromanaging my sims: they all ended up the same. So I decided to try my hand at playing a hood rotation where I would let my sims do what they wanted.
So I downloaded a few autonomy mods and Silvia and Peter were deposited in a house and allowed to pretty much do what they chose to. My main ‘rules’ were:
- As the hood expands, each house is to join a (normally) 7 day rotation – it may be shorter if they are joining mid-week.
- Sims are to be autonomous as much as possible but especially when socialising.
- If a sim rolls a want they can’t autonomously fill, I can fill it.
- Every Saturday is a family reunion (woop for the visitor bush!) – all living direct family members are to be teleported in to meet and socialise.
- Every Sunday is a child or teen party depending on the age of children in the house – all children and/or teens are to be teleported in to meet and socialise.
- All romances are to be autonomous (though if two sims really obviously like one another and the in-game attraction system is stopping the hearts flying, I can interfere)
- Most marriages need to be requested by at least one party via want, unless the sims have personalities that would want to marry.
- All children must come from autonomous try for baby (thank you mods!)
- All teens must go to university but how well they do is dictated by their wants and personality (similarly for school).
- All single sims move into the party houses (1 male 1 female) to keep rotation times down.
- No free money – all in-game inheritance and neighbourhood screen freebies are to be removed (again thanks to mods – I passed on the actual money and houses the family had accrued so my sims did not need freebies)
- All sims at least once a week to spend an evening topping up relationships by phone (woop for autoyak!)
- Walk pasts are to be greeted and invited in as often as possible. Similarly every child or teen invited home after school must be accepted.
- No supernatural sims.
I’m sure I had more unofficial rules but at this point in time, I can’t remember them. I am sure I will once I am playing again!
So how did I keep track of so many sims in each generations I hear you ask! Well…. gen 1 and 2 and even 3 were pretty easy but then things got a lot more complicated (and therefore a lot more interesting) the answer is this: My Excel spreadsheet! Duh duh duuuuuuh!
Yes I am a bit of an excel geek! This is how I kept track of the rotations (notice Anthony and Katya at the top!) and also notice all the tabs at the bottom.
- So first my timeline kept all the houses and families in line so no one ever ended up too old or dying before they were supposed to.
- Coupled with that was the rotation tracker which I put together at the beginning of each rotation to ensure everyone was played in the right position: houses with teens going to uni, teens to grow up not yet going to uni, then uni, then graduates and new couples, then any elders due to die and then any elders not due to die. This always meant any due babies would be born before their grandparents passed away.
- Next up the age groups tab let me see at a glance which sims were babies, toddlers, children etc.
- The pop codes tab is by far and away the most interesting. It contains personal information for every sim; name, aspiration, life time want, personality, turn ons and turn offs, school grade, scholarships, Uni Major, Jobs, Grandparents, parents, siblings, spouse, children, grandchildren, gender preference, first kiss, any casual relationships, current and previous girl/boyfriends and any general information and personality quirks. All this together with an attached photo of the sim in question – yes, I’m mad!
- The twins tab is to keep track of the number of twins born in-game (answer 26 sets out of 302 sims)
- The genetics tab is by far and away my favourite – it tracks the genetics of every sim so I can see who has what features from which ancestor. So, for example, I can tell you that Anthony has his paternal grandmother’s eyes and nose, Serdar’s mouth and jaw line and Goopy’s brow while Katya has her maternal grandmother’s brow and nose, her maternal grand father’s mouth and her paternal great-grand father’s eyes and chin. Anthony also has a hidden recessive gene for blond hair carried all the way from Silvia in gen 1 and another hidden recessive for light blue eyes which came from his mother. Katya hides a recessive for red hair from her paternal great-grand mother alongside a recessive for grey eyes (although I doubt this will be seen in Sims 4 due to their lack of genetic background). Following the genetics of my sims is also part of the reason for having a picture of each adult sim along with the memories and another reason I wanted to follow this hood.
- The uni tab is another rotation chart but this time for each year at uni. Rotations at uni go per year with all the kids moving into a “waiting dorm” before being moved into either the boys or girls house when their first year comes up. Uni gender is the same chart but split by gender as with so many students it was getting hard to see who should be moving in each time.
- Kid friendships I use after the kid and teen parties to see how relationships are fairing and spot any future pop, romance or family sims.
- Asp Couples was a one-off because I was interested to see how many odd ball couples there were where aspirations that you would think should not work got together and how many kids they chose to have. Unsurprisingly there were no romance family couples! But also interesting was that most pops paired up with fortunes and most family sims paired up with knowledge sims! (Romance sims preferred pops over romancers in case you were wondering)
- Names is what it sounds like – a list of unused names to look through for the next baby born.
- SS members – a list of NPC members just in case I ever run out of playable members to get people into the secret society with.
And that is a brief run-down of the history that led to Anthony and Katya and how I played my sims 2 hoods (complete with geekynerdish info logging!) Hope you enjoyed and will stick with the blog through Sims 4!