In my previous article Fostering a Sense of Community, I gave some ideas for making your community feel more real and different levels of involvement you might want to aim for. This article is for those of you, like me, that want to have a more “build a city” type community. I decided not to make a challenge out of this whole integrated ‘hoods idea because it feels constricting as a challenge. This is more of a play style than it is a challenge.
A friendly warning: I cut into the things I originally wrote a lot...
I've ended up doing mine in a non-simself version of Bay Tides so, in the end, it's not really a blank canvas.Yea, no. That was the original plan until I bulldozed one freaking lot in Willow Creek and tried to think of a reason I was doing it and got a awesome idea that ruined everything I've done so far. Okay, back to this thing...
So, here you are with a blank canvas. You might have bulldozed everything, just certain lots, or none at all since the game doesn’t come with many of them anyway like restaurants and spas. What you want to do is decide how you want to set them up. You could make each “world” have a commerce area. Like Willow Creek and Oasis Springs already have. You could make different “worlds” have different income brackets. Or different areas on each map go up from very low income to high income and add a general store or something that they each visit exclusively. But, unless you just want to plop all of the lots down right away, which is perfectly fine, you want to get a bit more in-depth.
Note: I use the term world because that's what they are referred to in-game but personally I feel like they are just areas near each other that sims can travel to by car, bus, train, ferry, or in the case of the jungle small plane or helicopter. The term worlds make them seem disconnected to me hence the over-use of quotation marks, lol.
In other articles, I plan to cover personality profiles and what types of sims might go into different careers or own different businesses. (See note below for more info!) There is also government/community owned lots to consider. Once you have a general idea of the layout of the different “worlds,” whether you are doing one at a time or molding them all from the start, you want to decide what should be placed first. There are two different ways of going about this. Make a list of the “starter” buildings you feel a community needs and create sims to go with each of those. For city hall, you might create a greedy politician or activist who wants to bring change. For the grocers, you could make a poor farmer or a prosperous one. Or one of each for different areas that sell different produce types. The hospital and police station are on hidden lots but with Zerbus mod you can visit them. Or, you could place identical buildings in the world somewhere. I find the library to be a very important starting lot for the use of computers and skilling for poorer sims. The same with the park for skilling, socializing, and food. Especially if you’re starting with very little or no money, try to think of what lots you will require for filling their needs off of the home lot. Food, fun, social, even sleep. You could place a small camp for starting families.
Note: Yes, I'm weird, I know this. I found it hilarious when reading over this before it published that I mention everything I've already done but hadn't at that point so I just left it all for entertainment. The articles that aren't linked here can be found on the Masterlist.
I mentioned personality profiles earlier. I’ve already written
one five article(s) regarding this. I plan to write another that expands beyond personality and traits to hobbies, motivation levels, and job preference. I’ve already written a guide for my old attempt at a modded version of the build a city challenge that gives ideas of what types of careers or community lots sims with different traits or aspirations might pursue. So, you could do like I mentioned above and decide on the buildings and then create a sim to fit what you would like for that position or you could randomly roll and choose what you’d like to place them in. A lazy/loner/loves the outdoors would not be a museum owner for example.
Yet another note from the future: The Build a City stuff I mention here are now part of the guides for aspirations and careers. The idea I mention on creating a sim the way you want is mentioned in one of the personality profile articles because I've done it with my mayor-type sim by weighing the chances he will be highly motivated. It's confusing publishing something after I've written so much else!
And in the end, it’s your game. If you decide you hate the way you’ve set it up it might make a great story! How an arsonist burned a whole neighborhood! Thieves or gangs destroyed all the buildings in a business district. There was a rampant flu that killed all of the politicians and it has now been taken over by a peace-loving commune. A neighborhood in flux is exciting. Some of these examples might not be very realistic but it’s a game and it’s fun! And who’s to say that the farmer’s son doesn’t dream of being an astronaut leaving room for a new farmer to either take over or build another farm.
I hope, with the help of mods, to have sims of many different levels from the beekeeper everyone buys honey from to the candle maker (yay Icemunmum!) to the cafe owner to the teacher at the learning center… and on and on. These different sims might play small or large roles and the focus on them might fade over time and then take the spotlight again when something interesting happens. Only time will tell!
Regarding time… don’t get me into my extremely intricate calendar and aging system. I don’t plan to explain it because I barely understand it myself. This is the final Integrated ‘hoods article. If there’s something else you’d like me to write regarding ‘hoods let me know. Once I’ve gotten a feel for the various mods I might write up something about them. Cheers!