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Open for Business Details from Chat [Update 2]
As we let you know last Friday, Tim LeTourneau would be joining a chat today to answer some questions about the upcoming expansion pack, Open for Business. The chat has now finished, and a full log will be posted tomorrow. The highlights are in the "Read more" part of this newspost. If your questions weren't answered, feel free to submit them to us. You have until Wednesday for that.

[Update 11 January, 23:30] Due to technical problems, the chat log of the chat has gone lost. We'll try to complete the information below with information gathered from affiliates and the official site. If there's an update here, it'll be marked as such. More information is likely to be given in a preview of Open for Business that will be posted on the Sims Zone later this week. For the information about the technical problems, check out the forum thread about it on the official UK site.

[Update 12 January, 0:55] The list was fairly complete, but a few things were missing. The list has now been completed with information from other sources. Thanks to those sources for the extra information. The new information is put through the list below, sorted more or less by topic.

Here is the new information that's been gathered from the chat. A few other sources helped completing this list (see marks and list below):
  • Sims can run virtually any business. Any catalog object can be sold. You can also run a Nightclub or restaurant (and customise the menu), but no hotels.
  • Starting up a business just takes buying a cash register, and if you want a community lot. No other costs are involved.
  • While playing a family, you can't visit a business that's run at home. You can visit community lot businesses though. *
  • Businesses can be ran at home as well.
  • Painters or other hobbyists can sell the items they make in their business.
  • You can't make a big mall, where each shop is owned by a different owner. You can put many small shops in one lot though, and even though one Sim will be responsible for all of them, you can assign employees to specific cash registers.
  • To prevent customers from entering private space (where your Sim can live quietly, e.g. above the shop), doors can be locked. This won't stop burglars though.
  • A business typically opens when your Sim is on the lot, but a sign on the door can also control the customer flow.
  • To clear up the above: the shop owner has to be on the lot to have it open. The sign can't open a business if the owner isn't on the lot. Businesses on community lots are opened automatically when you visit them. *
  • When a business is closed using the sign, personell can still be interacted with. They can help cleaning, or they can be trained. *
  • High customer loyalty and business rank will bring in more customers. Winning the "Best of the Best" award also helps.
  • As your business grows to higher levels, you can be rewarded with perks (new social interactions, influence boosts and cash rewards for example) (Extra info: 5 Of these perks deal with employee motivation ***).
  • You can pick a uniform for all your employees, or make them work in their daily clothes.
  • There are also several mascot outfits.
  • There are new signs to hang outside your shop, with 12 icons.
  • New interactions mostly involve those for employee or sales management, like motivational talks.
  • Motivational interactions will up the skill levels of employees for a short time. **
  • Children also get new interactions, like playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, or dancing together, showing off and blowing bubbles.
  • There's also a new "Network" social, that allows your Sim to meet friends of his/her friends.
  • There aren't new cars, and although you can sell cars in your shop you can't make a service shop.
  • Shoplifting doesn't exist in the Sims world.
  • If your job doesn't go well, employees will leave (because you can't pay them), items can be reposessed, and you'll lose customer loyalty. You can't take out a loan.
  • Teens too can own and work in a business.
  • Real young entrepreneurs (children) can start a lemonade stand.
  • Toddlers and babies can't go shopping, they have to stay at home.
  • Teens can't babysit or run a babysitting service. The nanny is still required if you want to leave the small sims home alone.
  • There will be elevators, including a shaft for multiple floors. No escalators though.
  • The lift shaft allows you to make the elevator skip a floor, so you don't have to let it go through all floors. *
  • There are also new modular stairs, but no spiral staircases.
  • Elevators can be broken, which isn't particularly healthy for your Sims...
  • Some sources say Woohoo might be possible in the elevator, if this is really true is unclear to me. ***
  • There are two types of elevators, in various colours for both interior and exterior.
  • Employees will have to give up their existing careers.
  • The business owner can have a job besides running a business, contrary to the employees (see above). *
  • On the fridge there's now a "Make many..." interaction, to create a type of food several times. This can then be sold in your shop, or be put in your inventory.
  • New recipes include cheesecakes and berry pies. *
  • There are several robots, each of which does a specific task. Some of the ones named were the Hydro bot (for gardening, and possibly extinguishing fires too), Sentry bot (good defense against burglars, furious sims and garden gnomes), and the Munchie bot (which makes food). *
  • Robots are made by Sims. Broken ones can be especially funny.
  • You can give makeovers to townies with new makeup and a new haircut in a Salon Chair - hair won't automatically grow though (Thanks to Hiki at TheHub (Dutch site) for the additional info.
  • There's quite a bit of new fashion, from clothes to hair and makeup. There are new clothes for all children, teens, adults and elders.
  • A new objects is the Water Wiggler, which sprays water and allows all Sims (including the elderly) to play in it.
  • The Giant Mascot Statues also have "great animations" and are made at the toy workbench, so your Sims can manufacture them (Extra info: A pink gorilla is one of these statues ***).
  • The expansion pack will be released 3 March in the UK. Across Europe the release date will be around this day, but it may vary a little depending on which country you're in.
  • There are no new aspiration tracks in Open for Business. *
* Thanks to Fabian from our affiliate SimsZone for (part of) the marked information.
** Thanks to Recludere1 in the The Sims 2 UK thread for marked information.
*** Mentioned in various other sources. Thanks to everyone on other forums who posted information from the chat.
Written at 22:26 on Monday, 9 January 2006 by ChEeTaH.

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Written at 01:18 on Tuesday, 10 January 2006 by GTNS (Gugas)
Really great information!!! Thanks, "The Sims Zone"!

Written at 21:55 on Tuesday, 10 January 2006 by Carys (Caggis)
Wow!, brilliant! answered most of my questions that i have, if not all.
Can't wait, but 3rd of March still seems too long too wait!
'I am Mama Wombat. In fact I am the Mother of all wombats. I created the wombat and was the purpose behind it.' Or at least that's what my friends say!:-)

Written at 03:44 on Wednesday, 11 January 2006 by Angie (bejewelled)
You can sell anything, including the plants in your yard.

The chemistry set is back.

As far as the "new creature", (i.e. alien, zombie, vampire) when Tim was asked, all he would say is that it's an "old new creature".

There are new ways to die and maxis expects us to discover every one on our own. In other words, no hints.

Didn't he say something about playable sims being employed by a business owned by another playable sim? We aren't limited to hiring NPCs. (I'm fuzzy on that one. If anyone else that can clear that up, please do).

Written at 20:06 on Wednesday, 11 January 2006 by fagen (no1fagen)
great stuff.

i'm sure the new ways to die will include a "Dr Drake Ramoray" elevator incident as in Friends!

Should be fun

Written at 04:25 on Friday, 13 January 2006 by Rich Hilborn (zujin)
an 'old' monster?

Written at 16:49 on Friday, 13 January 2006 by Carys (Caggis)
an 'old new creature' - so probably from sims 1 then? I cant think of any -can anyone else?
'I am Mama Wombat. In fact I am the Mother of all wombats. I created the wombat and was the purpose behind it.' Or at least that's what my friends say!:-)

Written at 17:13 on Friday, 13 January 2006 by Sim Media!! (Jonnie566)
Maybe that just means servo.
- Sim Media
- http://simmedia.co.uk

Written at 16:27 on Sunday, 15 January 2006 by Lucas (simgod)
I think it means werewolves or pets

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