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OfB Information from Strategy Guide
It's not uncommon that Prima's strategy guides for the Sims games are packed with little details for the games. The guide for Open for Business is no exception. A few people have already received the guide and are posting information out of it on the internet. Three of them are rosierealea (thanks to SnootySims for the link), Mmmyrs2 (thanks to Hiki for the link) and vibrateforyou. Altogether there's a lot of new information about the expansion pack in the guide, including cheats, new interactions, many details of robots and specifically Servo, and much more. Read on for the new details that have been posted. Beware for spoilers!

Social updates:
Open for Business adds a lot for kids, including several interactions. They are able to dance with adults and teens, by standing on their shoes. They can also show off cartwheels, handstands and somersaults. They can also hang out, play Rock, Paper, Scissors, or they can tease toddlers. Adults can now too hang out. Also, when Sims get married, you're able to pick the formal clothes they will wear during the wedding. More like that is included too: Parents can now take toddlers to a mirror and change their appearance. Children can use the mirrors to change their looks now as well. For Townies, you're able to use the new Salon Chair object if you want to change their appearance.

A business can be run on any neighborhood, except at University. It has been said before that Young Adults are able to run a business outside the campus though. When running a business, maintaining the relationships is important. Customer loyalty, which is necessary to get to the next business rank, is partly affected by the daily and/or lifetime relationship from a customer to the business owner and employees. Other than that, the environment score of the place, price and how fast the service is all counts for the customer loyalty.

You can also have some of your own Sims work at another business, ran by some other Sim. When doing this, they can't maintain another, normal, career, like the owner can. Instead, the Career panel will list their job as being an Employee. The name of the lot of the business will also be displayed. The Sim will have to work from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. The carpool arrives at 8 in the morning. For teens, that means they'll have to make a choice between going to school or work. They will get adult wages though. They (probably) can't be fired for missing work though, like any other Sim. The wage of the employees when you play them, is not the same as the one you've set on the business lot, though it is tied to it. It's substantially higher instead, scaled to make the job comparable with the regular careers for Sims with similar skills. If on the business lot you increase the wage of a Sim, their wage when you play them will also increase. Any changes to an employee's career can only be made on the business lot, so mood doesn't affect the job performance when you play an employee's game.

Badges and Crafting:
Open for Business introduces new talent badges, which help your Sims in crafting new items. Without a badge, Sims can create a Bouquet of daisies (The "That Smells Great" Floral Workbench), a Toy Robot (Presumably the Non-deadly Robot Crafting Station) or a Pet Brick (Crazy Fun Toy Bench). A Bronze badge adds the skill to craft Wildflower and Tulip bouquets (Flowers), Cleaner bot and Hydro Bot (Robots), and Clown-in-a-Box and Firetrucks (Toys). For the proper Silver talent badges, you get options to make Rose and Mixed Flower bouquets (Flowers), Sentrybot and Munchiebot (Robots), and the Sit-n-Spin and Kites (Toys). With a Gold badge you can make everything, including the Snapdragon bouquets (Flowers), Servo (Robot) and the Water Wiggler (Toys). Naturally Sims with a Silver badge can also create all toys that can be made without a badge or a bronze badge, similar to the way Sims with a Bronze talent can make the same items that don't need any talent.

Without a badge, Sims will be clumsy and slow when trying to make something. If the Sim has no additional skills, it will take about 12 hours to get a Bronze badge. There are 7 categories for badges, each with a Bronze, Silver and Gold badge, namely Cosmetology, Flower Arranging, Register, Restocking, Robotery, Sales and Toy Making. The value of the business is also affected by the total number of badges earned by the employees. To be promoted to a manager, a Sim will need to have achieved a certain number of badges.

Besides the objects mentioned above, therw are 2 new rugs, 4 types of decorational wall towels, 3 mirrors, a new single and double bed (no bunk bed). There are also new counters, 9 or 10 new lights and 9 new dressers. Some of the dressers take up only one square, to fit in bedrooms a little easier. You of course also get some crafting stations, a salon chair and more objects - but the chemistry set has not been spotted. There's a new Business collection, which puts all business related objects together in one place.

When selling items in a shop, you'll need some shelves. There are several for §200, but also some for §220, §250, §400 and §500. A refrigerated display case for chilled foods costs §800. There is also a display mat for the floor, at the price of §50. It can hold a few small items or one medium item. Stacking cubes (which can be stacked forever as long as nothing is in the way) cost §150. If you have Nightlife, you can buy a car display for §500.

Toys can have some negative effects if they're not crafted very well. For example, the evil Clown-in-a-box will scare Sims, making them cry and receive a bad memory (if scared for the first time). The exception are mean Sims, who will clap. Otherwise outgoing Sims will react with joy to the clown. Shy Sims instead will show tears. The first time a Sim is scared, they will receive a bad memory. The Kite also comes in an evil form, which might cause your Sim to be electrocuted by lightning. Finally, there are also two new recipes, Berry Pie and Cheesecake. The latter of the two has the additional effect that a pregnant Sim gets a higher chance of getting twins.

Build mode:
Open for Business contains one new type of foundation, namely the split levels. These can be placed on top of foundations, and next to walls. Windows can be put right next to it, but doors can't. Another new feature are the elevators. When you want to use those, it's best to build a roof before placing the elevator, as otherwise the roof will not work correctly. When building a community lot, you'll now also be able to sort the catalog the way it's done at residential lots.

The new expansion pack brings 5 new robots, each with different features. The Cleanbot, which costs §240 to craft, will travel around the house, cleaning up the place. It will get rid of garbage, puddles, old food, old newspapers and ashes. The Hydrobot (§320) will spray water wherever it can. That means it'll put out fires and water plants. Munchiebot comes at §400. Whenever there's a hungry Sim on the lot, he will go out and get pizza, Chinese food, or other prepared foods. When returning, you will have to pay for the food. Sentrybot (§360) is the final "normal" robot, and will defend your house. It will stun rays at any burglar, after which the burglar will take off running (after recovering of course). It will also react to Sims trying to steal a newspaper, kick over the trashcan, or touch garden gnomes or flamingoes in order to mess with them or to steal them.

Only Munchiebot and Sentrybot are able to walk stairs or use elevators. You'll need one for each floor of the CleanBot and HydroBot if you want an entire house, with multiple floors, to be served. All robots can be turned on and off. When turned off they will go back to their base. There are "Hover" and "Rover" bots, which can use the bases of Robots of the same type. That means a CleanBot and HydroBot can use each other's bases, and so can the SentryBot and MunchieBot.

Robots might also break down, or be created in a broken state (after which they'll first need repairing). When broken down, they'll create havoc. CleanBot will throw out trashpiles everywhere, whereas HydroBot will spray puddles randomly on the lot. This decreases the room score, and in case of puddles outside it'll also grow weeds. A broken Munchiebot can return with spoiled food (that you still have to pay for), and Sentrybot will treat any visiting on the Sim like a burglar when broken, causing electrocution and sometimes even death. In all cases, repairing the bot at the base will return their behaviour to normal, but you can't just turn them off. They will have to shut down themselves. You can call a repairman to fix a broken robot at the base station, or a Sim with high mechanical skills can repair it.

Servo is a special kind of robot. It's also crafted at the Robot station, at the cost of §600. At first it might be much like any other object, which can also be put up for sale. As soon as it's activated by another Sim however, it will become part of the household like many other Sims, taking the personality of the Sim who initialized Servo. A Servo needs initialization, with which you can choose if it should be a male or female robot. The main differences are visual (the female version has long eyelashes and a bow). Gender preference will also be determined a little through the gender, though it's mostly determined by whatever sex he/she has the most interactions with.

When there are already 8 Sims living on a lot, you can't activate a Servo until one of the family members dies or moves out. As soon as you activate Servo, they will get level 10 skills in Cooking, Cleaning and Mechanical, the rest of the skills are taken over from the Sim who initialised Servo. Talent badges are picked randomly. The aspiration is also taken over from the initialising Sim. Kids probably cannot activate a Servo, as they have the "Grow Up" aspiration, although this is not confirmed.

Servos are less prone to be killed. They can't starve, die from old age (as they won't age), burn to death or get sick. Any other way to die is also one that cause death of a Servo. They also have just 4 need motives: Power, Fun, Social and Environment. They're all the same as the regular Sim's needs, except for Power. A normal Servo will need to recharge in the sunlight. If Servo has turned into a vampire, they will need to recharge in a coffin instead. If there's no coffin, the sunlight can be fatal. When the Power is gone, they will fall where they are and shut down.

Servos will autonomously go out and power down to recharge, waiting for the sunlight if necessary. This interaction can be cancelled by powering on the Servo. Manually turning them off will also be possible. This will freeze the needs of the robot. Servos also can't wear the same clothes Sims can, or change their appearance. They can only wear Formal wear, with the help of a dresser or wardrobe.

Servos can do pretty much anything normal Sims can, including Woohooing (with Sims or other Servos) or doing things for needs they don't have (e.g. sleeping in beds). They won't do stuff for needs they don't have autonomously, but you can instruct them to do these things. A special interactions for Sims towards Servos is "Tune up". This can cause a crush or love with the right relationship scores. About the only thing robots can't do, is reproduce the natural way. They can clone themselves, by crafting a new Servo. This does mean they need a gold talent badge in Robotery. Although not mentioned, they are probably able to initialise another Servo as well, effectively cloning themselves. Autonomously, a Servo will continuously look for work to do around the house, like cooking, gardening, fixing objects, helping toddlers and cleaning up. This is useful with the high skills they have.

Finally, like any other robot, Servo can break down. They will then "Run Amok," running around waving their arms and showering electrocuting (and sometimes killing) sparks, that might hit nearby Sims. You can't turn it off when broken, but Servo will power down automatically itself. It will then need to be repaired. A Servo living alone can call a repairman using its internal phone. The phone can be used solely for this purpose.

Bluewater Village:
There's one pre-made shopping district, called Bluewater Village. It contains a few families and business lots, the cheapest of which costs about $18,500. Four families have been moved in already:
  • Florence Della Rosa: Owns a home based business called "Della Rosa Flowers," selling plants and crafter flowers.
  • Malcolm Landgraab IV: Runs"Club Dante," which is a restaurant. He also owns the "Electronics Supercenter" which, as the name suggests, is an electronics shop.
  • Denise and Gilbert Jacquet: Own the "J'Adore Jacquet" crafted foods shop.
  • Checo, Lisa and (child) Tessa Ramirez: They have "Ramirez's Fine Furniture Shop."
  • Stephen, Wanda and (teen) Melody Tinker: Are not running a business yet, but do have a toy bench in the backyard. You can turn their home into a business. They also have plenty of funds to purchase the "Inner Child Toys and Gifts" shop.
Despite previous statements, Open for Business will introduce a few new cheats. Three of them are mentioned in the guide:
  • forceTwins: This forces a pregnant Sim to be pregnant of twins. This needs to be entered with a pregnant Sim selected.
  • addNeighborToFamily [on/off]: If you enter this, you can hold Shift and click an NPC sim and choose to add them to the current household, breaking the 8 Sim limit if you want. Service NPCs currently at work (e.g. a cleaning maid, gardening gardener, etc) cannot be added, just like special NPCs like the Grim Reaper or Mrs. Crumplebottom. If a service NPC is just visiting, or hanging out after work they can be added.
  • plumbBobToggle [on/off]: This allows you to make the overhead plumb bob (the diamond) visible or inivisble. Can be useful in combination with Nightlife's showHeadlines cheat.
Besides all the above, there's one more thing to mention. Open for Business will provide a few things from University and Nightlife, namely restaurants, attraction and turn on/offs (Nightlife), and the influence gameplay from University.

That's all the info in the threads linked to above posted there so far. Thanks to those who posted it for the info, and Prima for the guide. If you want to get the guide yourself, you can order it from our shop.
Written at 19:07 on Saturday, 25 February 2006 by ChEeTaH.

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Written at 15:50 on Sunday, 26 February 2006 by Kacey (cooly_wooly)
Thanx that's so helpful. It sounds gr8. Can't w8 til it comes out!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lo simz fanz

Written at 15:06 on Monday, 27 February 2006 by GTNS (Gugas)
That information is awesome! ;-) Thanks!

Written at 16:36 on Monday, 27 February 2006 by Mangerico7
Weeeee!! I'm loving this!! thanks!

Written at 16:43 on Monday, 27 February 2006 by Xianah (SimderZ)
Thanks for the info, i'm really looking forward to this one.. one thing tho' children have always been able to use mirrors to change their appearance.

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