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The Sims - How do you play yours? (Part 2)
"The Sims" is a game that can be played more ways than I can describe here although I am sure ChEeTaH would not mind me writing article after article explaining everything I have found in the last four years. Even as I rewrite this article for the 4th time, I am finding more ways of playing the game from enthusiastic and talented newcomers who are in the online community.

In Part 1 of this series, I looked in detail at what I describe as the Traditional Style of playing "The Sims". In this part, I am going to look at a more unorthodox but equally valid playing style and some of the different methods to date of carrying it out..
The Homeworking Style
Not everyone wants to watch the clock and dash out to the carpool at the last minute. A lot of Sims - and real people too - would rather do their work from home.

The primary advantage is that a homeworker is not confined with regular working hours and is at home to meet people and answer the telephone for those sometimes-lucrative calls. They do not need friends and can actually expand their house into a very nice mansion without having to leave their lot. A home worker can make money in the early hours and they are not restricted to one cottage industry.

The homeworker's photo album can now show the family at work and play and friends can be made more quickly - not that they are a necessity but could actually help the other households in the neighbourhood. It is helpful to become the friends of others and save them time in making friends themselves.

A homeworker does not need to worry about taking a day off work to have a party. He can host one whenever he wishes without having to worry about losing his job. After all, he is his own boss.
The Art Collector
In the original game, there was already a way to make money without leaving the house and that was through collecting artwork.

The drawback with this is that there is no guarantee as to which painting will appreciate in value and at what rate. Also, this takes time and it is highly unlikely that the landscape hung above the fireplace will have appreciated enough in value over three days enough to pay the incoming bill.
The Artist
The other way from the original game is from Mortimer or Bella painting his or her own pictures. The higher the creativity, the better the price the picture can be sold for. The most creative person can sell her pictures for §166 and knock off two of them a day. This will pay the bills in a small house and allow the family to live in some comfort. Personally, I would like to be able to put pictures on the wall once they are completed rather than sell them, but that has not happened yet. If it has, could someone let me know? Selling them is inevitable as the easel costs more than the best picture.

It is also something all the family can do. Even children can have a high creativity level and paint valuable pictures. Cassandra Goth can do it. When I have a Sim child, I immediately get the child to paint a picture. Sell it and you might find you have a Da Vinci or a Pollock under your own roof. The other option in order to save on buying an easel is to save the game and view the family web page. Then, check out the child's skills. If their creativity skill is high, get them that easel and get them to work. Otherwise, don't bother.

The drawback in this is that it takes time for the adult to get to their Creativity level to the maximum. Buy the necessary tools in order to get to that skill level the quickest, buy the rudimentary in household items and let the family live in squalor until the creative one's talents have been honed and can be put to good use.
The Gambler
A SimDay download and also part of the "Living" Expansion pack was the Fruit Machine. Played properly, this can make a lot of Simoleons. No, this does not mean looking up the reels to try and glimpse a three bar line-up or working out an established nudge strategy.

To win on the fruit machine, just be miserable and quit when you are ahead. Go and do other things that allow your fun level to go down and return to the machine when your Sim starts waving at you and the "Low Fun" balloon comes up. A happy Sim is unlikely to make you money. Always gamble §100 and in most cases, you will have made at least §1000 for §300 put in. Once your family is happy, sell the machine. If you have enough funds in savings, you can always buy a fruit machine every day your sims are unhappy and sell it before midnight and lose nothing in the return.
The Carpenter
With the "Living" Expansion Pack - or as part of DL or DDL or MDL or SDL - came the workbench and the means for a Sim to make exploding gnomes and a potential livelihood.

The Carpenter - or Gnome Maker - is in my opinion the best way to make money at home. A fully skilled carpenter can make over §1000/day. Therefore, assuming maximum productivity over a billing period, there is an income of over §3000 that easily pays the bills and allows for savings or expansion.

A useful tip I have learnt from experience is to stop the game every few completed gnomes and sell them especially if there are visitors in the house. I had over §600 of gnomes destroyed in a chain reaction when a visiting Betty Newbie kicked one of them.
The Pickle Maker
With the "Hot Date" Expansion Pack came the Boggs Home Canning Centre. This way, you can quickly increase your Cooking skills by making six-jar boxes of preserves that can be sold or kept as gifts. The higher the skill level, the higher the value of these boxes, although the returns are not as high as the Carpenter.

Whereas the Carpenter would carry on making gnomes until he had no motivation to do it, the Pickle Maker stops after every completed box. Therefore, you need to keep an eye on him.
The Pig Farmer
"SimsPlus" came up with a modification to the game in the form of Puffy the Porker whereby you can have the Goths - or your own Sim Family - either have one as a pet or decide to become pig farmers. If treated right, these pigs increase in value and can be sold on. However, they can die. Dispose of the carcass yourself instead of just deleting it. It costs loads of money. If you dispose of it yourself, it costs nothing.

Played correctly and with a large plot and plenty of workers with high Neat characteristic levels and your pig farm will flourish and perhaps raise enough money to pay off the worst bill outstanding. It is similar in some respects to "The Art Collector" and I am yet to get a farm running properly that can pay the bills on its own merits.
The Gardener
"Unleashed" now allows Sims to plant crops. This can allow them to be self-sufficient by putting their harvest in the larder. Alternately, they can pop down to the gardening store and sell them. However, there is no guarantee on how much money your Sim will get for the harvest. It is also VERY hard work.
The Pet Breeder
With "Unleashed", your Sims can own pets. As well as owning them, they can also train them and breed them. Although I have never tried this style with this expansion and being tied up on other projects, I have heard of people making a living by breeding pedigree pets for resale.
The Investor
This is more the player's expertise than that of the Sim. The player knows the workings of the game and knows about the behaviour of user objects from the Internet. Certain items can be bought for a low figure and sold the next day for a good profit. Some of these are as follows:

There are many items out there. To name a few of them, there are Christmas Lights, Prison Showers and Wooden counters... but the best bargain I have found is from 7 Deadly Sims.

The refrigerator found on the "7 Deadly Sims" site as part of the Fringe Set costs §250 to buy. It can be sold the following day for §750, which is a huge §500 profit. In one of my neighborhoods is Tony Contralto, who is a Domestic Appliance Dealer with a 10x6 warehouse full of refrigerators. This makes a profit of §30,000 per day.

There is also a Money Tree, available from "The Sims Resource" that appreciates in value by §50 per day. Buy a lot of them and the longer you keep them, the more they will sell for. Also, burglars don't appear to be bothered with them.
The Businessman
No, I don't mean running a branch office of Amalgamated Amalgamations Inc. from your Sim's living room. "Sim Wardrobe" has a team of up to four gnome makers who will turn up and make high quality gnomes. All you need to do is build them a place to work, buy four workbenches and give them a call. They will carry on working until there is no place left to put them. Stopping periodically allows you to sell ("delete") their work and see the cash roll in. They even work while your Sims sleep, they don't ask for a salary and don't go on strike. "Sim Wardrobe" even has a gnome buyer, who comes and buys gnomes - whether your Sim has made them or your hired workers have. However, I have found this to slow the game down.
Harry Potter & The Celebrity
Neither of these career tracks with the "Superstar" or "Making Magic" requires you to follow a rigid work pattern as you can go there when you choose. Therefore, they are compatible with the above playing style. A sim can get up when he or she pleases, go to Studio Town or Magic Town and when they come home, they can make gnomes, breed their pets, look after their pigs or other styles described above.
And finally...
In this article, you will have seen several different ways of playing the game and making an income without religiously waiting for the carpool. Although not strictly against the rules, one of these ways overlap with the one of the other styles that I am going to look at in Part 3.

The Cheat.

Dag dag!
Written at 01:29 on Monday 7 June 2004 by Andy.

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