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A Family's First Day
We've created a family. It's now time to see how they play their first day, looking in detail at their aspirations. To save time, we've moved an empty house (Ranch Retreat - 2BR 1BA) from the house bin to near where the other sims of this neighborhood are living. It will be cramped to start so we will see how they get on.
Selecting a house to become a home
We ended the last part in the family bin with the Jones family. Click on the Jones family and drag them to the empty house, clicked on the house and confirmed it and they're ready to move in. The screen then says they're moving in. This would apply to any family who you are moving in. It takes time depending upon your processor, graphics card and memory.
Fulfilling early wants
We see a taxi pull up with the family and drop them off outside the house. It's Monday morning and the Jones family has arrived at their new home. Yes, families always move in on Mondays. As with TS1, they start with no possessions and only a bank balance.

At this stage, I recommend pausing the game at the first possible opportunity. Strangely, the Joneses all seem to be admiring the bathroom, the most functional of rooms.

The reason why I pause the game is to check their wants and fears and see how I can guide the first hours of their ingame life to their advantage. By running your mouse over the icons in the wants and fears boxes, you can find out the details. There are four wants and three fears per sim.

Elizabeth has the family aspiration. She wants to find a job, meet someone new, flirt with someone (no specifications as to who) and buy a bookcase. Her fears are her flirting being rejected, Ryan getting a very poor report at school and one of her family dying.
Anne has the knowledge aspiration. She wants a telescope costing at least §500, a bookcase, to play with Ryan and to talk with him. She fears Ryan rejecting her attempts to play with him and having a bad conversation with him. She also fears Doug rejecting her flirting.
Doug has the popularity aspiration. He wants to make a friend, meet someone new, buy a bar and get a job in politics. He fears Anne rejecting his kisses and flirting. He also fears having a bad conversation with Ryan.
Ryan, who has the fortune aspiration, wants to make some money, get a job in business, athletics or medicine. He fears the repo man, being rejected for private school and also being rejected for his very first kiss. Awwwww.

As both Elizabeth and Anne want a bookcase, we'll buy them a bookcase. Going into buy mode, sort by function, hobbies, knowledge and you'll find bookcases and telescopes. As we have §9,143, we can easily afford both a cheap bookcase and telescope for §750.

As wants are fulfilled and fears are realised, new ones replace them. Both Elizabeth and Anne now want a refrigerator so we buy them one. Again, points are awarded and the wants change. This time, Anne wants to flirt with Doug and Elizabeth wants a grandchild. Perhaps one thing could lead to another. Only time will tell.

Aspirations and Fears are very important to the game. Apart from the graphics, which look awesome, they are a major change in the mechanics. It affects how offspring develop and can provide our families with some beneficial limited-use bonus objects.

Some wants have a small bonus, others have a massive one. Also, the more wants that are fulfilled, the more ambitious the desires of the individual. In the above example, Elizabeth started by wanting a bookcase with 500pts reward. Now she wants a grandchild, which will give her 8,000pts reward.

In the same war, fear realisation incurs penalty points. If Elizabeth's flirt is rejected, that is -750pts. If a relative dies, that is -5,000pts.

If the Aspiration Meter drops really low by realising certain fears, your sim has the equivalent of a nervous breakdown.

You will not find using a toilet or eating as a want. Buying an expensive toilet or refrigerator is a want for those with the fortune aspiration and eating a certain type of meal sometimes does figure as a want. It is taken for granted that sims of all aspirations will use the toilet and feed themselves. The AI is bright enough to make them fulfil their needs, although sometime they do need some micro-management.

Sometimes more than one want or fear changes when it is fulfilled. Sometimes, they can be a major overhaul of wants and fears. A sim does have the right to simply change his or her mind and reassess priorities.

Taking it briefly off pause, we see over the heads of Anne and Liz a visual display that they have been rewarded some wants points. If a fear had been realised, those would have shown up as well but as a red negative.
The Personal Touch
We'll continue adding some furniture from the value collection to save them some money. As they have less than §8,000, they are on a fairly tight budget.

We will give one bedroom to Doug and Anne while Elizabeth and Ryan will have to share the other bedroom. Checking relationships, we see that Doug and Anne have a very good relationship so they could share a double bed.

In Build & Buy modes, we furnish the house and add some new carpetting and wallpaper. A reminder to all players. Strip the walls and floors before you redecorate. There is an invisible sim out there who pays good money for second hand flooring and wallpaper.

Here is a view of the house. They have over §1,500 left but it is better to hang onto some funds if that dream job doesn't turn up. It is time to let them get on with their life ... and out of the bathroom.

Still in the bathroom, Elizabeth and Ryan are playing "Punch U - Punch Me". Other options under Play include Red Hands and Tickle. Anne is flirting with Doug, which has fulfilled another of her wants. Kissing Doug is a further want. With having such a high relationship rating, Peck, Romantic, Tender, Up Arm, Smooch and Make Out are all available choices of kiss.
At about 10am, the paperboy (or depending on where you are, papergirl) passes the house and drops off the newspaper. Doug takes the opportunity to pop out and say hello to him, getting his want to meet someone new fulfilled.

You can interact with all service personnel. You can even marry them or get them to move in, if the relationship goes that well. As a tip, the mail carriers are extremely skilled and good relationship material.
Employment & Skills
Doug brought in the paper but there were no vacancies in either the political or business career tracks. However, there was a vacancy for an Emergency Medical Technician and this satisified Anne's wants to get a job in either the medical or science career tracks.

This job is grunt-level work in a major medical lab from 8am to 2pm, 5 days a week. It pays § 280/day and she has Mondays and Saturdays off. She doesn't require friends but does require one skillpoint in Cleaning, which is a new skill that has been added to TS2.
Ryan then picks up the newspaper and manages to get a job as a waterboy. For promotion, his job requires a mechanical and a body skill point and also needs a friend.

You can learn some skills now through using the skill around the house. You can improving your cooking by cooking. Trial and error, you could say. Also, you can also get on-hand skilling for cleaning by rubbing down counters, tables, toilets, sinks, baths and showers. In fact, if you need a good cleaning rating, don't hire a maid. You can also increase your mechanical skill on-hand by repairing things ... although starting with the TV might not be a good idea.
A Day With The Neighbors
At about 12.30pm, there is a ring at the doorbell. A welcome party of three have arrived to welcome you to the neighborhood. In this case, Victor Regras, Paul and Elka Mioff have called to visit. In some cases, "townies" visit instead.

A welcome change in TS2 is the option to greet everyone instead of having to greet them all individually. There have been many times when I have had visitors in TS1 and one of them has left because I haven't been able to greet him in time.

Elka was a bit too familiar with Doug. Even though he rejected her hug, it apparently caused great distress to Victor, which was possibly the result of one of his fears being realised.

Nevertheless, the afternoon proceeds fairly well otherwise despite Doug's attempt at cooking a TV dinner backfiring and his dinner getting burnt. He ate it nevertheless. Ewwww.
Today was not a day off so Ryan had to get himself to work and was picked up by this sad-looking subcompact.

There was more trouble with the guests as a small fight flared up. As the Jones family were new to the neighborhood, theirs not to reason why as to what lay underneath it.
Ryan got home and brought Orlando with him from work. As if the house wasn't crowded enough now with Doug inviting someone else in from off the street. He chatted with Orlando for hours by the kerbside before finally bringing him inside to meet the family and visitors.

Bringing people home from work or school is a new feature. Sometimes, as in this case, they can be townies, who are those NPCs who don't live anywhere or grow up, or sims from other houses in the neighborhood.
Anne was the first one to go the bed and went to sleep in her undies. Sims have the option whether to sleep in their PJs or undies. Autonomously, they prefer to sleep in their undies.
By 11.30pm, a few of the guests had gone. Doug was left chatting with Victor and Paul. Neither were sure who was sat in the middle of the couch and left a bit of a smell.
One of the early-leavers telephoned and asked to speak to Elizabeth. Had she made a good impression? This is another feature where as well as ringing your friends or other people you know, they can ring you.

After a 30-minute chat, Elizabeth was exhausted. With Victor and Paul still bickering, she decided enough was enough and bid them goodnight. In a similar way to being able to greet everyone at once, you can say goodbye to everyone at once, a very expedient way of emptying a house.
Final Score
Before we bring this day to an end, we'll take a quick look at the aspiration points totals for the housemates.

Doug only had 1,000 points
Elizabeth had 3,100 points
Anne and Ryan were tied on 4,500 points

You could say Ryan had an edge as his Family Aspiration Meter was Gold whereas Anne's was only Green. Gold and Platinum levels are special levels that are achieved upon a succesful run of wants being fulfilled or one major one.
In this part of the review, we have seen wants and fears in action. We have seen our family trying to learn some skills, getting on with each other and meeting the neighbors. Snapshots do not do justice to what happens in the game and even volumes of description cannot fully describe the detailed life that sims can have.

All in all, quite a long but fairly eventful day and quite untypical of how a sim family starts their life in a neighborhood.

What is the problem between Victor Regras and the Mioffs?
How will Anne find her first day at work?
Will Doug find a career opening?
Will Elizabeth get her wish of having another grandchild?

Find out in the next part as we try and keep up with the Joneses.
Written at 02:43 on Wednesday 29 September 2004 by Andy.

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