Ask Mellindi: “How to Create Conflict in Sims Relationships?”

Mellindi answers: “How to Create Conflict in Sims Relationships?”

Hi and welcome to Ask Mellindi, a weekly (or bi-weekly) column in which I answer all your questions about gameplay, mods, builds — or whatever Sims 4 topic you find yourself needing help with!

Have a question you would like answered? Submit it here to be featured in the next column!


Question:

Hi! Do you have any tips on how to create conflict in sims relationships? I want my sims to have complex relationships but I can’t figure out how to do this. Thank you for your time! I’ve been loving your blog!!


Hiiii there!!! This is such a great question because just like with most things in life, relationships are never ever simple. There are so many gray areas and nuances which for us, in real life, can be a pain but for stories, gives soooooooo much to write about! Before you can write these amazing and complex relationships though, you first need to understand your sims. See, in real life, a lot of the conflicts we experience with other people usually spans from the differences between us. For example, one sim may be on the frugal side. They shop around for deals before making any purchases and try to save money wherever they can. Their savings account has a small balance that they’re working towards growing. Their partner on the other hand, is the complete opposite. They don’t mind paying full price for items and have made one too many impulse purchases. Their checking account always has a negative balance but they don’t seem to mind. These two sims, as different as they are, are madly in love and can’t seem to get enough of each other. Once they move in together though, it’s a whole different story. The frugal sim is finding that their partner spends way too much money and isn’t contributing to the household as much as they should. As a result, the wasteful sim feels that the frugal sim is constantly on their case — see, conflict!


These differences aren’t always as obvious as the example given though and can stem from many other things like our own personal goals, life experiences, past traumas, wants, needs, fears, even outside sources — which is why having a true understanding of each sim involved is vital. If you’re planning to go the gameplay route of getting to know your sims, check out this Ask Mellindi answer which is full of tips for how to get to know your sim as well as how to develop a gameplay driven story. If you’re looking for something to help with a more structured, fleshed out story, I think you’ll find this guide on developing characters, this guide on the different types of conflict that exist within stories and this list of common conflicts in relationships useful.

I hope you find these resources helpful and I wish you all the luck on your story! 😊

-India


Missed the last Ask Mellindi post? Check it out here!


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Ask Mellindi: “What holidays and events do you like to use to fill up the calendar?”

Mellindi answers: “What holidays and events do you like to use to fill up the calendar?”

Hi and welcome to Ask Mellindi, a weekly (or bi-weekly) column in which I answer all your questions about gameplay, mods, builds — or whatever Sims 4 topic you find yourself needing help with!

Have a question you would like answered? Submit it here to be featured in the next column!


Question:

Finding good holidays and events to fill up the calendar is super difficult for me. Are there any holidays that you like to place in the calendar? Also do you know of any mods that allow for more holiday behaviors?


When it comes to holidays, I like to have a good mixture of both real life and ‘made up’ holidays. The way I determine which ‘made up’ holidays to add is usually dependent on the personalities of the sims I’m playing. For example, if one of the sims in my household is into painting or photography, I may create a holiday called, National Art Day. If these sims were into music instead, I would call it Music Appreciation Day — or I may just merge the two and have a little something for everyone. For households with pets, I may create a Hug your Pet Day and for my foodie sims, a Culture and Cuisine Day. I actually have all of these holidays added to the calendar of my current gameplay save along with a few more that are directly influenced by my sims’ interests. When looking for new holidays for your sims to celebrate, try thinking about their traits, aspirations and what they enjoy doing and create a day around it. In the meantime, I’ll list some of my favorite generic holidays to get you started:


Spring

Spring Bunny Day
Hunt for eggs, meet the Spring Bunny and hang out over sweet spring themed treats!
— The Chocolate Mini Egg Cake, Bunny Cake, Chocolate Nests, and Lemon Blueberry Cake all by littlbowbubs are the perfect chocolate dishes for this event.

National Dessert Day
Another day all about sweets that provides the perfect opportunity for your sims to flex their baking skills and share with their favorite sims!

Mother’s Day
Moms work so hard and deserve all the love and appreciation. Have the family spend the day showing them just how much they care.

Spring Festival
A seasonal festival for the whole town to gather and have a good time.
— The Seasonal Festival lots or Brindleton Bay Seasons lots by moonlightowl-es have everything your sims need to throw a fun festival every season.

Spring Break
Just a day or two for your sims to kick back and relax after working so hard on their goals. Can be used to take a vacation or hang out around the house, doing the things they love.

Summer

Father’s Day
Remember how sims showed love and appreciation for moms on Mother’s Day? Well it’s Dad’s turn!

Out and Play Day
A day for kids and toddlers to get out and play!
— Parks are the perfect location for this holiday and if you have the More Children in Parks mod by bienchen83 (scroll down to ‘morechildrenatparks’) kids and toddlers will automatically spawn, creating an unofficial play-date event.

Fireworks or Backyard BBQ day
Have your sims throw a backyard cookout complete with food, music, water fun and fireworks, to celebrate with their friends and family.

Summer Festival
A seasonal festival for the whole town to gather and have a good time.
— The Seasonal Festival lots or Brindleton Bay Seasons lots by moonlightowl-es have everything your sims need to throw a fun festival every season.

Beach Clean Up Day
Sulani natives (or those staying on vacation) can use this day to give back to the island by cleaning up trash on the beach.

Summer Break
Another day or two for your sims to kick back and relax after working so hard on their goals. Can be used to take a vacation or hang out around the house, doing the things they love.

Fall

Art & Music Celebration Day
A day for your creative sims to show their appreciation for the arts. Museums and art gallery lots are great places to spend this holiday. For this holiday, I usually throw a big party and invite everyone they know. They listen to music, dance, sing, paint, eat and have drinks.

Grandparents Day
Just like Mother’s and Father’s Day, this one is all about the grandparents. Craft/buy them gifts and invite them over for a home-cooked dinner and a movie.

Spooky Day
Costumes, candy and spooky things — basically an all around good time for everyone! If you own the Paranormal SP, hosting a spooky themed party on a lot with the ‘spooky’ trait will make your event even… spookier!

Day of the Dead
A day of remembrance for those who our sims have lost.

Fall Festival
A seasonal festival for the whole town to gather and have a good time.
— The Seasonal Festival lots or Brindleton Bay Seasons lots by moonlightowl-es have everything your sims need to throw a fun festival every season.

Fall Break
Just a day or two for your sims to kick back and relax after working so hard on their goals. Can be used to take a vacation or hang out around the house, doing the things they love.

Winter

Annual Snowpal Day
Have your sims build snowpals all over the neighborhood to get the town in the holiday spirit!

Winterfest Eve
A day to prep for the BIG holiday! From decorating the tree to preparing Winterfest dinner to cleaning and crafting gifts, your sims will be busy all day!

Winter Festival
A seasonal festival for the whole town to gather and have a good time.
— The Seasonal Festival lots or Brindleton Bay Seasons lots by moonlightowl-es have everything your sims need to throw a fun festival every season.

Winter Break
Just a day or two for your sims to kick back and relax after working so hard on their goals. Can be used to take a vacation or hang out around the house, doing the things they love.

Events

A few events that can be added to the calendar for sims to do in between the holidays:

  • Game Day
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Karaoke Night
  • Family Reunion
  • Sunday Dinner
  • Movie Night
  • Bowling Night

For more ideas to add to the calendar, check out these gameplay ideas for families.



Mods

For more variety, I use a few mods that add things like additional holiday traditions and custom holiday icons for the calendar:

Having a new holiday pop up every single sim day may get overwhelming over time so be sure to keep in mind, the length of your seasons as well as your age settings. I play with 14 day seasons and usually have about 4-6 holidays (pre-made and my own custom holidays) a season with a few events sprinkled in between.

I hope you find these ideas helpful and that they help your sims have a little more fun throughout the years 😊

-India

credits: bienchen83, littlbowbub, moonlightowl-es, zerbu, littlemssam,lolnyny and caradriel for their amazing mods!

If you need more ideas to enrich your sims’ lives, check out the link below:
Gameplay Ideas


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Ask Mellindi: “How do you manage to keep other sims involved with your main household?”

Mellindi answers: “How do you manage to keep other sims involved with your main household?”

Hi and welcome to Ask Mellindi, a weekly (or bi-weekly) column in which I answer all your questions about gameplay, mods, builds — or whatever Sims 4 topic you find yourself needing help with!

Have a question you would like answered? Submit it here to be featured in the next column!


Question:

Hi, Mellindi! I’m so happy you’re doing these, I have a question for you regarding something that I’ve ALWAYS struggled with. My question is; How can you manage to keep other households/sims involved with your main household/sim? Whether it’s friends or family that don’t live with my main sim, I always struggle to keep them involved in activities to keep their relationships up and show them off in my gameplay. I often get too fixated on the main goal of finding a love interest and having babies for the next generation, that I leave out important friendships or other family relationships.


Hiii! I’m so glad to hear this because these have been a lot of fun to write 😊. I feel you on the struggle with keeping up relationships outside of the household though. That was my biggest struggle for the longest time. It’s like once my sim fell in love they would barely interact with anyone else and once kids came along — it was RIP to their social life, lol! I hated all my sims being hermits and barely having any relationships with anyone else including extended family, so I had to make a change and that change was — making socializing a priority.

Now, the thing about socializing is that it doesn’t have to be this big ordeal, unless of course you want it to, but it can be small things that you weave into your sims’ daily lives so that it doesn’t feel like it’s taking away from your main goals. Some of my favorite ways to do this are:


  • Inviting sims over for dinner. I mean, your sims have to eat, right? So why not have them do it with a few of their favorite people? To keep this event low-key though, I usually break the guests up into groups. So maybe a couple (sim and their partner) Monday night, then the grandparents over on Wednesday night and the sibling with the spouse and kids on the weekend since they’re the larger group. Since part of our quest to prioritizing socializing is actually getting our sims out the house more, have these dinners at a restaurant once a week or pack and meal and have it at the park. There’ll be tons of sims there providing even more opportunities for your sims to meet new people. As an added benefit, if you have the More Children at Parks mod by Bienchen83 installed (scroll down to/search for ‘morechildrenatparks’) more kids, toddlers and teens will spawn at parks providing even more opportunities for the little ones to make friends. (There are three versions of this mod but I personally use version 1).
  • Accepting invitations for hangouts. Okay, I don’t mean every single invitation because they can get a little out-of-hand at times but occasionally — at least once or twice a week — say yes to an invite. Now, I know this one is a little harder to commit to because it takes your sims away from home and more importantly whatever they were working on but that’s kind of the point 😉. If you’re worried about the host’s event being a little bland, I recommend making a habit of keeping things in your sim’s inventory like the fold up card table, books, tablets, toys and other things that they can use to keep themselves entertained in between conversations. Socializing over meals is one of my favorite things to do (if you haven’t noticed already, lol) so while they’re there, have your sim prepare a meal for the whole group. To keep this from becoming a problem, I recommend purchasing the ‘Always Welcome’ rewards trait or using a mod like More Welcome by Bienchen83 (scroll down to/search for ‘morewelcome’) so that the host doesn’t see attempting to feed their family as some grossly inappropriate behavior. If you rather the host prepare the meal instead (great idea if they’re a much better cook), you can use the Ask to Cook/Bake mod by LittleMsSam that allows your sim to click on the stove or refrigerator and ask any sim to prepare a meal for them.
  • Starting a Club. Clubs are a great way to have sims spend time together with their favorite people. Contrary to popular belief though, club activities don’t actually have to center around hobbies or skills and really can just be about hanging out. Activities can be as simple as performing friendly or funny social interactions, watching TV, playing games, etc… You can have one club for everyone or divide it up! There could be one for the whole family, another for siblings, another for friends — the possibilities are truly endless. And the best part about the club feature is that if you go too long without starting a gathering, your sim will get bored from not knowing what’s going on with the club and club members will call to suggest you start a gathering — which is a perfect way to remind you that it’s been a while since your sim has spent time with others. To customize your sims’ clubs even more, check out the More Club and Holiday Icons mod by zerbu.
  • Special Events. The calendar is your best friend when it comes to scheduling social time. Once my sims have a solid group of friends and acquaintances who they enjoy spending time with (this includes extended family as well), I usually take some time to add events to the calendar throughout the seasons. Events can be big ones like Harvestfest Dinner or the annual Winterfest Party or smaller ones like my sims’ wedding anniversary or sleepover events for the kids. Planning these things in advance, keeps me on track so that I don’t forget about everyone else and the little pop-up reminder you get the day before the event gives me enough time to set-up any necessary decorations. If you need more ideas for events to add to the calendar, check out this article which is all about family activities.

Finding ways to incorporate other sims into your household’s daily activities is the easiest way to make sure they stay-in-touch so I hope these tips get you one step closer to the balance you’re looking for.

-India


If your sims enjoy food related activities just as much as mine do, check out Better Food & Cooking in Sims 4 for the holy grail of custom food, HD food textures and recipes!


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Ask Mellindi: “How do you make your sim family feel like a real family?”

Mellindi answers: “How do you make your sim family feel like a real family?”

Hi and welcome to Ask Mellindi, a weekly (or bi-weekly) column in which I answer all your questions about gameplay, mods, builds — or whatever Sims 4 topic you find yourself needing help with!

Have a question you would like answered? Submit it here to be featured in the next column!


Question:

Hi lovely!! So currently I started a small casual generation challenge to get back into the flow of gameplay but I wanted to ask you how you make your sims family feel like a real family? Like how do you add realism to your game?


Heeeey! I love this question because family dynamics are something I find really interesting — so interesting, that every story I’ve ever written has been greatly influenced by the characters’ upbringings and relationships with those closest to them. If you’ve been following me for a long time, you know that both Graylight and Camilla in San Myshuno started off as gameplay that over time, evolved into its own story. This evolution happened right around the time I noticed complexities within the relationships between the sims and a relative of some sort, ie: Lux with her dad and Salim with his ex-wife (which ended up affecting Camilla big time). Now, I give all this unsolicited info about my characters to say that even if you aren’t planning to write a full blown story, gameplay still provides an excellent opportunity to explore your sims’ relationships and help you get what you need to portray them as a ‘real family’.


Adding Realism

To get to the real family part, you would first need to understand your sims as individuals. What are their interests? What are their goals? Who are their favorite people to socialize with? What’s their favorite channel to watch on TV? What’s their favorite type of music? All of these questions can be answered through gameplay. If you play with autonomy turned on, just observing your sim’s choices can answer many of these questions for you. In the first Ask Mellindi post, I talk in great detail about how to figure out the core of who your sim is as well as allowing the game to develop a story for you as you play. I think the tips outlined there will help you out a whole lot as about 90% of what you’re looking for actually takes place there.

Portraying a Real Family

The word ‘family’ can mean something different to everyone so I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all approach to this but I’m thinking you may mean in terms of how I usually portray the lives of my non-scripted gameplay families so I’ll answer from that standpoint.

Make Time for Family

Just like your sim’s individual personalities need to be developed, their relationships with each other do too. Allowing them to spend time with each other, socializing and doing things together — especially small, everyday things — like eating dinner, watching TV, playing dolls, etc… gives them room to grow closer with each other. If you need more ideas for activities they can do together and a few mods that help with that, check out this post.

Acknowledging Special Bonds

Another great thing about playing with autonomy on — and this goes right back to developing their story — is that it gives the sims the opportunity to show you who they enjoy spending time with. You may find that your child sim always seeks out one sibling over the other to socialize with with or maybe the toddler always goes to one parent over the other whenever they need something. Just like within real life families, sim’s sometimes have favorites and watching their autonomous actions and their whims can help you figure out who they are.

So the key to realistic families in your game are:
Fleshed out sims & Making time for family

Once you have that down, the rest will come naturally ❤.

-India


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Ask Mellindi: “Could you do a tutorial on how you build your homes?”

Mellindi Answers: “Could you do a tutorial on how you build your homes?”

Hi and welcome to Ask Mellindi, a weekly (or bi-weekly) column in which I answer all your questions about gameplay, mods, builds — or whatever Sims 4 topic you find yourself needing help with!

Have a question you would like answered? Submit it here to be featured in the next column!


Question:

Could you do a tutorial on how you build your homes? Thanks!


Building is one of my favorite things to do in The Sims. In fact, when I was first introduced to the game, back during Sims 1 days, I spent countless hours in build mode, building and decorating little houses for sims I never intended to play with. One day though, after catching a glimpse of my sibling’s chaotic gameplay, I decided to give it a shot and now they both share equal space in my heart.

Now, as much as I love building, I also know it can be frustrating at times, especially when you feel like you can’t get it right or worse, you’re not even sure where to even begin! I talk all the time about how I make the homes I build for my sims feel cozy and lived in so let’s talk a little about my process for the actual build itself.


Finding Inspiration

I almost always go into a new build with a reference photo (or two) that encompasses the overall look that I’m going for. These can be found literally anywhere, from a simple Google search to houses in your actual neighborhood and while I do draw inspiration from the architectural styles found around my city, Pinterest is my favorite place to find (and store) new ideas.

While we’re on the subject of inspiration and reference photos, before you get started on your new journey as a Sims 4 Architect, I recommend taking some time to check out Build Mode. Once you get more comfortable with the items we have in game (including CC), it’ll be much easier to figure out what styles will and will not translate well into the game.

For example, this Victorian house is beautiful! But the intricate roofs, columns and window placement makes it a little difficult to replicate. Even with with CC, you might find yourself more than frustrated trying to get it just right and in the end too discouraged to continue. This isn’t me saying it’s impossible, because I have seen some amazing stuff from this community, but that the difficulty you’re finding while building may actually be due to your style choices not lack of skill.

Photo by: victorianhouses.tumblr.com

The Tutorial

For this tutorial, we’ll be building a small one bedroom home inspired by this house that I have saved to my ‘Build Inspo’ board on Pinterest.

The house in this photo looks to be a split-level home but we’ll be making our version a one story.

Photo by: heartlandlettering.com

The Exterior

The Structure

Whenever I’m building any kind of lot whether it be a house, a restaurant, a cafe/bowling/workplace/daycare (yes, this was actually a thing, lol) I start with the basic shape of the build or the structure. As you can see, what we have here is not large enough for what we’re actually going for but its fine because right now, we just want to get the base (the front of the house) down.

Initial Details

Next, I add the front door and first set of windows to make sure I like the direction the house is going in. For me, it’s very important to do this from the beginning because there have been times where I’ve skipped this part, finished the entire structure, just to place the doors and windows and realize I hate it and if I hate it — I’m bulldozing it — no if ands or buts about it, so this just saves me a headache and an afternoon of time wasted.

The same goes for little details like shutters, window box planters, fencing and railing. Seeing these things all together help me visualize what the end result will be.


The Floor Plan I

Once I have a base that I’m happy with, I move on to the floor plan — expanding what we have…

into something livable.

Now, I usually don’t use a reference photo for the floor plan, instead, I just build around what I see working for my sims and a set up like the one below is perfect for a single sim. If you do find yourself needing help in that department though, you can find floor plans on various sites as well as Pinterest.

The Roof

This seems to be where most people find trouble. In fact, I’m almost willing to bet that like 85% of people who say they’re bad at building in this game actually aren’t — they just don’t understand roofs.

I don’t have a solid process to follow when it comes to this part of the build as I tend to just go along with the reference photo but I do allow myself freedom to improvise especially for things I think would look better done another way and areas that aren’t visible from the photo.

For this build, we’ll start off with the gable roof on the left side. Since this area sits out further than the rest of the house, it makes the most sense to me to start here.

When deciding where to ‘end’ the roof, I usually make it match the edge of the room its on top of. That might not make much sense now but it will as we continue.

Next, we place a half gable roof, on top of the room, right next to it.


Right here, you can see where both roofs ‘end’. I chose an edge that wouldn’t leave an overlap. Don’t worry about the empty areas, we’ll fill those in once we’re done with the front roofs.

Now, lets add another half gable roof right next to the first one (second roof, but first half gable roof).

For the final roof, let’s place a gable roof right over the room with the door and that’s it for the front! Let’s move on to the back.

Here’s where improvising comes into play. From the photo, we can’t tell what kind of roof is in the back so we’ll just go by what looks best. This, of course, is subjective as what I think is good may not be the same for someone else, so don’t worry about getting it right, just go along with what you like.

I chose to go with a hipped roof, placing one on top of both of the remaining spaces.

The Floor Plan II

The next thing I like to do is add all of the interior doors and remaining windows. The inside should look more like a house now.

Finalizing the Exterior

Now that we have our base completely done, it’s time to finish up the exterior with paint, flooring and landscaping.

For paint, I chose a wall covering similar to the photo. For the landscaping, I went with a simple look, choosing plants that I felt like matched the theme of the build. With flowers on the door and underneath each window, I felt a colorful assortment fit well here. If you find yourself needing inspo here, you can find tons of it on Pinterest as well.


The Interior

This is where the real fun begins!

So, whenever I decorate a room, I always follow this exact process. Not only does it make it much easier for me to get it all done — it’s never failed me.

The Focal Point

First, I find the ‘focal point’ of the room. This can be something like a painting, a rug, a throw pillow, curtains — anything that has a theme or collection of colors that I like. Once I find this focal point, everything in the room will follow its lead.

In this build, the focal point is this painting (the one the arrow is pointing to). It has a color palette of: salmon, peach, teal and a little beige. These are the colors I’ll use as a guide to decorate the room. Along with this palette, I’ll also keep in mind which wood tones I think would compliment them.

As you can see, the sofa, cushion, rug and painting on the wall all follow the focal point’s theme.

Accent Pieces

Things like plants, candles, books, baskets and other accents can easily fill up empty space and keep a sim’s home from looking too empty. I usually try to place several of these things throughout each room.

Making it Personal

Selfies, collections, achievements are all things that make the home personal. It shows character and makes it feel like it was really lived in. If you’re just starting out, you may not have any of these things yet and that’s fine because just like in real life, your sim brings a little piece of their life home with them everyday so it’ll feel just like theirs in no time.

And that concludes our tutorial for the day. If you have any questions or need anymore tips, let me know!

-India


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Ask Mellindi: “How do you stay in love with your families and interested in gameplay?”

Mellindi Answers: “How do you stay in love with your families and interested in gameplay?”

Hi and welcome to Ask Mellindi, a weekly (or bi-weekly) column in which I answer all your questions about gameplay, mods, builds — or whatever Sims 4 topic you find yourself needing help with!

Have a question you would like answered? Submit it here to be featured in the next column!


Question:

Hi India! I have been looking through your “how to get back into gameplay” tips and tricks post on your other acc and was wondering if you could do an updated version talking about out how you stay in love with your families and create your sims and builds in a way that keeps you interested? I haven’t opened the game for more than ten mins recently and it bugs me cos I wanna get back into it. Plus I just love your sims xxxx


Hii!! Okay so, sticking with one family was NOT easy for me for a looooong time, lol! Same with gameplay because I often found myself not knowing exactly what to do with my sims and to me, playing this game with no kind of direction is like the quickest way to find yourself bored. It took a while but I finally got to a place where I enjoy loading up my save and checking in with my family and I think it’s because I have a process — for lack of a better word — that’s really been working for me:


Goals

First, I think it’s helpful if you know how you like playing your game or at least what you would like to accomplish while playing — that’s a great start, actually. For me, setting goals that sims can achieve gives them purpose and me, something to work towards. These goals don’t have to be the obvious ones defined by the game like maxing a career or completing an aspiration (although, these goals work fine too as I usually have my sims attempt to do one or both of these as well) but they can also be other things that you can see your sim (and you) being interested in. For example, one of your foodie sim’s goals might be to try and learn every recipe from the marketstalls in San Myshuno. Once they achieve this goal, they can throw a huge dinner party to celebrate. Another example, would be an outdoor loving sim who’s goal may be to make every potion from Outdoor Retreat. Once they meet this goal, the next could be to earn enough money to open a their very own retail store specializing in herbal remedies.

The Sim

Now when it comes to the sims themselves, I don’t ever fall in love with them fresh out of CAS. At that point, they’re still strangers to me. Cute strangers who I want to get to know better — but a stranger nonetheless. Mods can help with this though, especially if you’ve always wanted to know more about your sims. For me, the three (very shallow IMO) traits we get in CAS are not enough. I need to know more. More about what they actually want in life — more than what the game itself offers. With that being said, my favorite get-to-know-my-sim-mods are:

  • Wicked Whims (18+) or Wonderful Whims by turbodriver — the personality and attractiveness systems help me find out who my sims really connect with and who they’re attracted to. If you decide to go with Wicked Whims but don’t want all the sex stuff, you can find out how to turn that off here.
  • Open Love Life and Woohoo and Wellness by lumpinou — let’s me know what type of relationship my sim is interested in as well as whether or not they want a child. Honestly, these two mods do so much for my game, but you can read all about that here.
  • Slice of Life Personality System by kawaiistacie — I’m not using this part of the mod right now but when I was, I loved reading the personality types that were assigned to my sims and let it help guide me towards their interests.
  • Life Decider Mod by kawaiistacie — I’m also not using this one right now but it’s super helpful for when you want to add a little backstory to your sim. It gives them special traits, decide how well they handled their money and even gives them friends or enemies!

The Story

Another thing that keeps me coming back for more is the “story.” Even with gameplay, developing a story makes things so much more interesting for me. It doesn’t even need to be this in-depth, intricate plot and you don’t even need to have it all figured out because the story — is forever ongoing and develops as you play. The more time you spend with your sim, the deeper the story goes and you, even as the watcher, get to see it all play out in real time. This may sound like a lot of work but I promise it’s not. You just need to pay attention to your sims actions/interactions with other sims and put a little thought into why they do the things they do. For example, if your sim moves into a new apartment and the first interaction they have with one of the neighbors is a negative one, think about why that happened. Was your sim doing something that angered the neighbor like playing music too loud? Or maybe the neighbor is just having a bad day and took it out on your sim? Maybe the neighbor is just a jerk? Pay attention to how your sim responds. Do they get angry and instantly insult them or do they apologize? What does their response tell you about their personality? Since they’re clearly not the neighbor’s favorite person right now, what kind of relationship will they have in the future? You can leave this up to the sim and let them decide via autonomous interactions or you can decide yourself. The story doesn’t just apply to your current sim either, it goes for all sims: the future spouse, the kids, everyone! They all play apart in the story of your sim’s life. How things will play out is a HUGE motivator for me and part of what makes playing so fun!

Whims + Aspirations

Whims are also super useful for getting into your sim’s head — especially when it comes to dating and other relationships. For example, if your sim has multiple romantic interests but they continuously get whims to marry one but never any for the others. Or maybe they do get whims for the others but they’re always things like ‘be friendly with’ or ‘woohoo with’, they might be trying to tell you that they just aren’t that in to them. Whims in the vanilla game are pretty repetitive, IMO, so I use the Whim Overhaul mod (scroll down to ‘whimoverhaul’) by bienchen83 which mixes things up to give you more of a variety and makes whims actually worth completing.

Aspirations can be a big help in your sim’s story too. For example, a sim with the Serial Romantic aspiration, can get into all kinds of trouble juggling multiple relationships. How does your sim handle such a chaotic life? Why are they interested in this kind of life anyway? Will they end up alone as a result of playing with so many sims’ hearts? Or will they find the one in the process who they’re willing to change their life for? Same goes for the Public Enemy aspiration which can lead your sim down a dark, lonely path if they aren’t careful. Because they’re hated by so many, are they forced to hide out in Strangerville where no one will find them? And why is this place called Strangerville anyway? Is it cause of all the weirdness going on? Maybe your sim will be the one to find out!


The House

When it comes to where they live, I almost always build my own houses (I’m a builder at heart so I can’t help it!) and build/decorate keeping where they are in life now in mind. If I’m playing a single sim (this is how I always start out) I build them a one or two bedroom home (renting the second bedroom to a roommate*) and fill the house with only the essentials (living room, kitchen, bed, bath furniture) and a few decorative pieces (lamps, wall hangings, plants, etc…) since this is a brand new sim who is just starting out. For a more in-depth tutorial on how I build my houses, check out this post.

Filling the house with items they collect throughout life such as: selfies and photos with friends, rewards from promotions at work, paintings purchased at festivals, snow globes found around the city of San Myshuno and gifts from successfully completing custom events (the housewarming party is great for this) from the Memorable Events mod by kawaiistacie (one of my all time favorites and a must have for my gameplay) makes the home feel lived in and helps show off the sim’s personality. Once they get married or start having kids, I usually expand the house or move them to a new one to suit the growing family.

*If you’re interested in playing with roommates but don’t have University (or are not a fan of the game’s roommate system), check out this guide here.

Cheats

Not using cheats — like those for money or needs — adds a level of difficulty that makes accomplishments feel much more worthwhile. When my sim really needs to make a new purchase but can’t afford it, they have to figure out a way to get more cash. There are a number of ways they can do this, of course, but it will ultimately come down to the sim’s personality. Once they do get the money though and are able to make this purchase, it feels so much more special because you know they really earned it.

Other Tips

One of the biggest changes I’ve made in the way I play is allowing my sims to be social. Sending them out to the bar, having them go on dates, throwing parties for no reason, inviting friends out to celebrate new promotions — basically giving them opportunities to meet new people and bond with those they care about the most. If you need some inspo for social events, check out my post, 20 Family Style Gameplay Ideas for Sims 4, which is all about this kind of thing.

I’m sure this all sounds daunting, lol, but once you get used to it, it’ll come to you naturally and hopefully help you enjoy your game too!

If you still have questions or need anymore tips, let me know!

-India


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It was the first day of their candy selling scheme and Case and Dash were eager to start making money. They stood with their uncle in front of the first place on the list that he’d put together for them, Ingram Oaks, a small apartment community in San Myshuno.

“Alright, our first stop is this building over here, Ingram Oaks,” Nathan pointed at the building across the street from them,” the people that live here all have good jobs and will probably be more receptive to buying more than one candy bar, which is our overall goal.”

They had gone over the plan several times since he agreed to help a few nights ago but Nathan wanted to make sure they were fully prepared.

“Dash, why are we selling candy?” he quizzed.

“To collect donations for the orphanage in Brindleton Bay.”

“Good,” he looked over at Case, “Case, what will these donations provide?”

“Food and clean clothes for the kids with no parents.”

“Good, but, let’s call them orphans, kids with no parents sounds a little harsh.”

“Got it,” Case agreed, “orphans.”

“Alright, I think y’all are ready,” Nathan leads them across the street, “let’s make this quick though, your mom said she need’s y’all back home in a little while.”

previous | next | beginning

After being at Josh and Alanna’s all night, they finally made it back home. Nicholas laid in the bed watching Ali walk back and forth past him, distracted by her phone. They were supposed to be watching a movie together but she was still busy doing other things.

“Are you gonna leave me in this bed by myself?” he said, finally pulling her over to him.

She sat her phone down on the dresser next to the bed and climbed on top of him, “I was texting Carter, he said Trisha had the baby a little while ago,” she smiled, “and she’s sooo cute, her name’s Caia. I’ll show you the picture he sent later.”

“Cool. Lux’ll be happy to hear that. She’s been making plans to go over there since they were here the other night,” he laughed.

“Yeah …” she smiled faintly, “that makes two things she’ll be happy about.”

“Well there’s only two things she wants right now and that’s a dog and a baby,” he laughed.

She didn’t say anything.

He sat up a little, “did you get her a dog?”

“No …” she lifted up and sat on the bed next to him.

“… You’re pregnant?”

She paused for a second, then nodded, “yeah.”

“How though?” he sat up completely. “I thought you were taking your pills and stuff?”

“I don’t know, Nicky, I was, it just” she sighed, “happened, I don’t know how.”

They both sat there quietly, staring off into different directions. After talking to Alanna earlier, she felt better about the whole situation. She just hoped he was okay with it too.

“Are you mad?” she asked, not really sure what his response would be.

He reached out for her and she crawled over to him.

“Naw, you know I could never be mad at you,” he hugged her tight., “I just wasn’t expecting this.”

“I know,” she said, “me either.”

They finally turned their attention to the movie which was rolling the credits at this point.

“We’ll figure all this shit out though,” he hugged her again.

“You always say that,” she laughed.

“I’m always right though, right?”

She smiled, “Yeah, you are,” she looked up at him, “I love you, okay?”

He kissed her forehead, “I love you too.”

previous | beginning

New Gameplay

I finally got back to playing, yay!! So meet Warren and Ivory. These two were in a long distance relationship for almost a year until Ivory made the move to Willow Creek. She was sick of her busy life in the city and needed a change. The commute to see each other, every other weekend, was becoming more and more of a struggle so the timing was perfect. She’s an aspiring artist and just landed a job as a painter at the Art Museum. He is a writer on his way to becoming one of Willow Creek’s most talented journalists.

I’ll be positing gameplay photos of these two soon!