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From Woo Hoo To Babies
With grandma filling in her time canvassing door-to-door for the Simocratic party, Ryan busy cleaning the locker rooms for the SimCity Llamas and glancing covetously at the mascot's outfit, Anne and Doug are longing to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet ... and they don't mean the burglar or the repo man.

This section of the review covers the period from lustful thoughts to your baby becoming a toddler.
From Woo Hoo To Babies
It's quite easy to have a baby. In fact, our sims are extremely fertile creatures and once they decide to have a baby, that's usually it. The female sim is pregnant.

Before you can try for a baby, you may as will understand a little about about the facts of simlife. As I can't really give that proverbial talk about "the birds and the bees" as sims don't know what they are, should I talk about "the flies and the roaches" instead?
The Way We Were
In the days of TS1, there were two ways to have a baby. The old traditional way that happened from when sim-time began was for a couple to kiss a lot and then one of them might have an idea that they have a baby. If they were a same-sex couple, the option would come for them to adopt. If they chose "yes" in either cases, "et voila" and there was a baby.

From the first EP, you had to be very rich and have absolutely no taste in beds for your adult sims to be able to "play in bed". You didn't choose whether you had a baby or not, though. Sometimes one would materialise in a basinette right next to the bed. It didn't even matter how old your sim appeared either. Et voila. A baby.

In "Hot Date", which was the 3rd EP and in my opinion still the best, you got to cuddle on couches and what can logically develop. That "fake yawn" as part of the cuddle animation is legendary but so true of life. These interactions provided a set of gradual interactions to help bring couples together and create babies.

"Hot Date" also allowed a couple to "play" in more places. If you were at home, there was the lovetub. If you were downtown, there were the changing cubicles and if you were really crafty the rental shack once "Jack" was doing his rounds.

By the end of the series, not a lot had changed. That is why TS2 had to be and is so much better.
From Hug To Woo Hoo
  • You don't have to wait for any EPs to be able to cuddle, kiss and make out on the couch. Thankyou, Maxis.
  • You don't have to remortgage the house in order to buy a really expensive and very tacky bed in order to do what comes naturally. Any bed will do. Thanks again, Maxis.
  • You don't have to wait and go home from a community area in order to do what comes naturally. If there is a hot tub or changing cubicle on the lot, your luck is in.

    Already, there are a wide range of interactions of a romantic nature whether your sims are both standing up, on a couch or together on the bed.

    Anyone from adults upwards can have "Woo Hoo", the new term for "playing". Teenagers cannot "Woo Hoo" or try get pregnant. I'd better rephrase that. SIM-teenagers cannot get pregnant. The best they can do is make out.

    Kissing a lot does not make you pregnant. Nor does woohoing automatically create a baby. Another blessing.

    You can now "woo-hoo" all over, you can make out and do have some control over your sims's destinies and their lovelives.
  • Trying For A Baby
    With Ryan and Elizabeth out at work, Doug and Anne have the house to themselves and decide that they are going to try for a baby. It starts with a tender caress and leads them to their double bed where they have a little bit of making out.
    Doug checks out their options and they go ahead and try for a baby. After what looks just like Woo Hoo, as they relax afterwards in each others' arms, the first bar of "rock-a-bye-baby" is played indicating that things might have gone well.
    Adults can also "Try for Baby" if their relationship is high enough. An Elder Male and an Adult Female can also "Try for Baby" as well. Sadly, Elder Females are no longer of a childbearing age. Perhaps this is wise. We wouldn't want the grim reaper turning up for the new mother just after she has given birth. Now THAT would be heartbreaking.
    Extra Terrestrial "Pollenation"
    Unfortunately, none of my sim families have had this happen to them. Yes, men can become pregnant through being abducted by aliens. Be using the expensive telescope from 7pm to 2am and there is a 5% chance of being abducted. When they return, they are pregnant and go through the same symptoms of pregnancy and could deliver a baby who "doesn't look as though he comes from around here".

    As an example of alien pregnancies, you could play out the Curious family in Strangetown.
    One of the first indicators is the female dashing to the toilet and vomiting. It varies from one sim to another on how bad the morning sickness is. A few sims I have known did not have morning sickness at all. Anne, however, has morning sickness ... and a lot of it. One thing that amuses me is that a messy toilet is green whereas vomit is blue.
    Pregnancy is a very visible thing. Anne is no exception as she gets a tummy bulge and a pregnant waddle. Her wardrobe changes as well to maternity clothes. Even her undies have changed. The belly gets larger every 24 hours for three days until the baby is ready to be born.
    There are new interactions for others with pregnant women. They can stroke the woman's belly and even talk to the baby inside her. Awwww. It depends upon how close the relationship is as to how the pregnant woman will react. Here, Ryan is showing his interest in who will be his future brother or sister.
    The Big Moment
    After three days, there was a lot of moaning and crying from Anne and we were informed of the coming arrival. A quaint cutscene follows that focusses on her green diamond and we see it splitting and a little diamond coming off it then dropping down to show Anne holding her newborn. I find it to be so sweet. Once the child is born, you are told what gender it is going to be and get to name him or her. In this case, it is a baby girl and Anne chose to call her Giselle.
    You can choose to adopt a baby instead by ringing up the Adoption Service. I am not sure of the criteria but if a couple are working and have a good house, they can be approved for adoption of a baby, toddler or child. Even a couple of elders can adopt. It might be an idea to try and extend their life to see their new child up to their teens, but that's another section that we'll look at later.
    Looking After Baby
    Unless you want your baby to sleep on the floor, it might be an idea to buy it a crib and optionally a changing table. You can choose the colours of both of these. Anne has chosen a wooden crib with pink bedding as they have a baby girl.

    Otherwise objectwise, there isn't much you can do until your baby turns into a toddler ... and you don't have long to wait for that.
    You need to make sure your baby's diapers are changed, they are bathed and bottlefed from the fridge. They need rest and playing with ... just be careful the baby doesn't vomit in your face.

    In Anne's case, she wasn't careful enough.
    About a day after your baby enters the world, just when the family was getting the hang of things, he is she is thrown up in the air by whoever is holding him or her at the time and while in midair, he or she changes into a toddler.

    This is where the fun REALLY begins ... but that's for the next part.
    To be continued ...
    We have just looked at how Anne & Doug have brought Giselle into their simworld and seen her through her first days and how the methods have improved since TS1.

    For the next part of this review, we are going to look at Giselle's life as a toddler, how reward objects can help the family out and how a sim's learning of skills can begin at such an early age.
    Written at 02:43 on Wednesday 29 September 2004 by Andy.

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