SNAFU (situation normal, all f***ed up)
Part II: My Brain Hurts…
A/N- As noted in the previous chapter: Reading these Building an Apocalypse chapters is entirely optional. They have absolutely no information story-wise. You can easily move from the Without a Compass Epilogue to the SNAFU prologue and happily skip over all of my yammering! There’s a lot of it. There also may be spoilers. You have been warned!
If you read part I, you know already that there are a lot of rules and decisions to make. I think I briefly mentioned restrictions. Basically, pretty much everything is restricted at the beginning. From the foods you can eat and the number of times you can eat them to where you can go and who you can talk to and what you can and can’t talk about. How you can build your house and what you can and can’t build and buy while building it. How many items they can have in their inventory. The weather and the zombie thing are obvious. There are also restrictions on who can visit you at your home and who can go inside your home. How you can get jobs is a huge one and I’m sure it will be extremely frustrating. I know it was when I did the Sims 2 version. Technology use is severely limited which is to be expected after an apocalypse. There are so many restrictions but those are just a few you’ll notice in the beginning I’m sure.
As I also mentioned in part I, I did a lot of reading. A lot of research. And so so much plotting and planning that my brain hurts. I have like 10 different notepad pages on my phone with ideas I got at night when I was attempting to sleep. I have spreadsheets I made with different information like the venues townies with different traits and skills visit. It’s actually quite interesting and much more advanced than anything in Sims 4. I made lists of the parts that I felt were most important about each restriction in an attempt to decide what order I should try to lift them. I made lists of the pros and cons of the different optional handicaps, how much more difficult they would be and if they lent anything to the storytelling aspect.
I tried to decide just how involved with the scoring I wanted to get. There are a lot of ways to earn points. Including the amount of time that it takes to finish. This is an aspect I feel like I should just try to ignore. I’ll note the dates of beginning and ending and days at uni and vacations like a good little girl but I’m not aiming for a high score from that. I was able to find one short blog that a tournament player did a few years ago and wow did they rush through it! Which is cool for that aspect of the scoring but kinda meh story-wise for my purposes. Plus, I feel like it would be extremely stressful. One thing that reading that blog did teach me is that you can drop handicaps you’ve taken if needed. It probably does say that in the rules. But there are so many and every time I read them again I find something new. Since I first wrote this I’ve actually gone back and changed what handicaps I plan to take.
Another thing I learned from that blog although it wasn’t very detailed is that I’m completely overlooking the use of the University advantage start! I was in awe of the things that they’d accomplished in that short time. As you might know, I’ve rarely played Uni in Sims 3. Actually, the only time I’d played it before recently was the first time I attempted this challenge! I’ve done a one-week dry run with another sim since I first started writing this and plan to do at least one more before I start. Which is wearing on my nerves because I am completely out of pre-written chapters after the Without a Compass Epilogue.
There is one rule that I feel I need to break because I believe that it conflicts with this one:
Architect: No space completely enclosed by wall elements is allowed on a community lot except for rabbit hole buildings and building shells. Rabbit hole buildings may also be placed in basements.
So, at first, I was only considering this rule and decided that I’m going to just start with basic bunkers for everything including rabbit holes in basements and then as restrictions are lifted I will edit town. But then I wanted to make sure I would have all of the lots needed and I looked at this huge list of Required Lots. This list suggests pre-built lots that directly oppose the Architect rule noted above and left me confused. Finally, I remembered this little tidbit:
!!!Prior to creating your challenge sim, make sure your lot and neighborhood are ready to move in. You may do whatever changes you need in your neighborhood before you start to play. However, once you are settled and hit “Play”, you are not allowed to go to Edit Town to change anything for the rest of the challenge!!!
Okay then. Confused, I spent an entire day setting up the world ignoring the Architect rule and going solely by the recommended lots list deciding that the edit town rule was more important. The only loophole I found would be to purchase the lots so that I could update them after Business is lifted. The idea of purchasing all of them so that I can edit them is ludicrous! Remembering that one of my favorite parts of my Sims 2 apocalypse challenge was visiting the newly unlocked lots I’d added I’ve decided to go with the original plan. Less is best. I designated lot types for everything and made bunkeresque rabbit holes to keep with the theme. I plan to edit the town as restrictions are unlocked so at the beginning every lot will be pretty crappy as is to be expected in an apocalypse! Any lots I plan for the family to purchase I won’t edit much. Whatever I do before buying them will raise the purchase price anyway though.
While I’m fessing up to being a Cheaty McCheaterpants… I was thinking of ways to make the world look more apocalypse like. Things that I could do for the story and ect. The one annoyance that would totally break immersion would be the constant presence of taxis. I did a lot of research and found a solution that I’m shocked more people don’t utilize. The LLAMA transports. The only reason I can imagine is that of the poor side effects that they sometimes cause. I was able to eliminate those with a mod. I did a test for a sim day after adding them to all of the houses and venue lots and after changing a few settings I can say that there are absolutely no taxis and all of the townies were zooming to and fro! Very cool. I’m going to work them into the story somehow. We have to remember, story-wise there was some warning… at least for those who would listen to Jade and Tessen’s story. Some precautions could have been made. I’ve decided that my founder owning one, on the other hand, is far too cheaty. First, it’s $500 above the allowable amount for a single purchase. Second, they are really fast! Especially since I’ve put them literally everywhere! Subways aren’t allowed to be traveled… zombies infest them… and I assume this is also due to the speed factor. I did a test and the carpool does still show up despite my mod settings.
Final cheat-ish admission! As I’ve already noted the founder will be a born-in-game sim. Since I’m aging them up myself and not actually playing them longer than maybe a few screenshots of each age stage there won’t be any skills or lifetime reward points. The only difference I can think of is the family connection they’ll start with. But the job they’ll be taking doesn’t require friends so that part shouldn’t be considered cheaty. I’m also putting known sims in their network ie the accessible neighboring houses. Now, if we consider this as cheating keep in mind that some people use other pre-made towns like Sunset Valley that I bypassed due to the greenness of them… I’ve read strategies for this, albeit old ones, where people would look up who the townies were and plan where to put their founder’s lot to have the ideal neighbors for finding a spouse later and such. Is there really a difference? I didn’t think so and personally, for the story factor I feel it’s worth people saying I’m cheating if they do. And really, how likely is it that someone who gives a lick about the scoring is going to read this?
My very long-windedness has made this chapter-type-thing a bit too long to add more. Sorry about that! The next one is the last I swear! Yes, unfortunately, there’s more. Which is a good thing considering I still haven’t actually started playing this! As of 1/19 I’m just completing set-up and getting ready to do a second dry run of Uni.
Note from the future: Second dry run of the first week of uni went great and I’m now actually playing the founder. Hooray! I even have chapters written! Speaking of which, I have a surprise chapter for you coming in a few days!