The Gardener/Angler/Cook Challenge (Draft #6—July 31) ALL CHANGES SINCE DRAFT #5 ARE IN BLOCK CAPS
This challenge takes advantage of three complementary skills in S3—Gardening, Fishing, and Cooking. The challenge has lofty goals, severe restrictions, and plenty of flexibility for how anyone wishes to play and score it. I think it's really fun, and a good way to learn how to garden, fish, cook, and scavenge in S3. (This is still a draft, so I welcome all comments and suggestions.)
Before the Deadline (as defined below), your Sim must:
Reach Level 10 in each of Gardening, Fishing, and Cooking
Satisfy the Lifetime Wish of “The Perfect Garden”
Catch at least 1 of every type of fish (the game's own “Amateur Ichthyologist” Challenge)
Learn every recipe, both Learned and Acquired (this is the game's own “Menu Maven” Challenge—please note that your Sim doesn't actually have to make every recipe, only to learn every recipe, which she can accomplish by repeatedly making meals—any meals, I think; as her skill increases, new recipes will show up in her Cooking Skill Journal, and she will be able to read new recipes she purchases at the bookstore).
Earn the Lifetime Reward of “Super Green Thumb” (which costs 20,000 Lifetime Happiness points)
Make as much money as possible from Gardening, Fishing, Cooking, Scavenging, and Investing/Owning certain businesses (see “RESTRICTIONS” below)
DEADLINE: It's up to you how you define the Deadline—it can be when your Sim dies, or the first day of elderhood, or the first day of adulthood (it might well be impossible to achieve the Goals before the first day of adulthood, but I'm going to keep trying). Or it can be whenever you decide to stop playing this GAC challenge. At the Deadline, you tally your points (see “SCORING” below).
Your Sim may never buy any produce, bait, seeds, dairy products, or anything else from the supermarket, except: she may always buy hotdogs/links, but only to use as bait for fishing (that is, not to EAT OR prepare a meal), and she may buy cheese, eggs, BURGERS, and steak to plant, but only after she unlocks the ability to plant those items (that will be somewhere between Level 8 and Level 10).
Your Sim may never eat a Quick Meal (at least without incurring a penalty—see “SCORING” below), may never cook anything at home that requires her to buy ingredients via the fridge (that is, she must already have grown/caught the ingredients herself), and may never eat in either the bistro or the diner.
Your Sim may never have a career or even a part-time job.
Your Sim may never move any other Sims onto the lot. (If your Sim is female and it would break her heart not to have a baby, go ahead.)
Your Sim may invest in/own only those businesses for which she has successfully completed an Opportunity, or with which she regularly does business, e.g., the market and the bookstore. (Don't forget to go by each business every week to pick up your check--it won't just get mailed to you!)
Your Sim may not earn money from Writing or Painting (they're just too lucrative).
No cheats at all, except for the one Family Funds cheat that's described below.
HOW TO PLAY:
Create a Young Adult Sim in CAS (your Sim may be male or female, though I will use “she”/“her” in these rules), with a Normal lifespan. Pick any combination of Traits you want, as long as you can select “The Perfect Garden” as your Sim's Lifetime Wish (THE WIKI SITE SAYS THAT THE PERFECT GARDEN LTW SHOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR EACH OF THE FOLLOWING TRAITS: GREEN THUMB, LOVES THE OUTDOORS, NATURAL COOK, PERFECTIONIST, VEGETARIAN). Certain traits make the challenge easier, but not choosing those traits earns more points. Don't forget to select your Sim's favorite Music/Food/Color, because experiencing at least one of these on a regular basis will give your Sim happy moodlets on a regular basis. Choose “The Perfect Garden” Lifetime Wish.
Move your Sim onto any size empty or furnished lot, as you like (she may change lots as often as you want), and pause the game. If she bought a prefurnished lot, she may sell whatever furniture or fixtures she wishes. Buy/build your Sim as much or as little as you want—you may choose to start her without a roof over her head, and even without a bed, stove, refrigerator, shower, or toilet (though I think you will need those items fairly soon—till then, she can use the park toilets when she's out fishing, and the toilet and shower at the gym). For any items you do decide to buy/build, the quality is up to you—obviously there are tradeoffs between expensive items (which help Needs significantly) and cheap items (which don't help Needs as much).
Whenever your Sim does buy a refrigerator, she should click on it, select “Open”, and drag each of the multiple food icons (click on the top left corner of each icon) into her inventory. She must use all of those items only for bait on fishing trips. (Hint: they are all the preferred bait for certain fish, most of them catchable at Central Park, where your Sim can also use the bathroom, eat fruit off of trees, stash some fruit in her backpack, pick up some seeds to plant later, and collect some insects to sell at the science facility. Be sure to check your Sim's Fishing Skill Journal once you're done with this trip to see the bait information she's acquired.)
After you have finished buying/building on your Sim's lot, make a note of the amount of HOUSEHOLD Funds remaining (you will need this number for Scoring later).
Then, reduce HOUSEHOLD Funds to zero. (From your challenge lot, Shift-Control C, THEN TYPE "testingcheatsenabled true" AND THEN TYPE "familyfunds yoursimslastname 0" (IN EACH CASE without the quotation marks).
Now, have your Sim head out into that great big seamless neighborhood and try not only to survive, but also to flourish and to achieve the Goals as soon as possible!
To build skills, your Sim may choose to learn by doing, take expensive classes, wait for discounted classes as advertised in the newspaper, buy books from the bookstore (she can always sell the books back for their depreciated value), or read the relevant tomes for free at the library. Or, depending which Traits you've selected, there may be books already in your Sim's inventory.
Your Sim should look for harvestables and seeds on community lots, so that she can start her garden from those. Depending on her gardening skill, seeds may show up in her inventory.
To stave off hunger, your Sim may eat harvestables off of trees and plants she finds on community lots, and put extra harvestables in her backpack (to eat or plant later). To make money to buy more items for her lot, she may scavenge for insects and sell them at the science facility, and for gems, metals, and meteorites that she can have processed and sell. Your Sim may sell produce and fish either at the supermarket (or at the bistro or diner, if Opportunities arise), or by dragging them from her inventory leftward to the Simolean area of her inventory tab. (Hint: she'll make a bit more money by selling items to the supermarket.)
Bait helps fishing, and fertilizer helps gardening, and gardening improves meals cooked. (And handiness helps gardening, to a certain extent.)
Though “Super Green Thumb” is a Lifetime Reward necessary to complete the challenge, it needn't be the only—or even the first—Lifetime Reward your Sim takes, if you find other Rewards useful.
At the Deadline, if your Sim has achieved the Goals, award yourself 20,000 points! And feel good about your accomplishment, because this was hard.
To that figure, add:
The value of your Sim's lot, furnished
Your Sim's REMAINING HOUSEHOLD Funds
If your Sim has invested in or owns one or more businesses, add the value of her investments (ADD THE DOLLAR VALUE THAT YOUR SIM HAS INVESTED--E.G., IF YOUR SIM INVESTED IN HOGAN'S DINER FOR $6,000, AWARD YOURSELF 6,000 POINTS).
If the GOALS WERE ACHIEVED while your Sim was an Elder, but before your Sim's death, add 1,000 points;
If the GOALS WERE ACHIEVED while your Sim was an Adult, but before your Sim became an Elder, add 2,000 points, and go to your Simology tab, find out the “Days Until Aging Up”, MULTIPLY THAT NUMBER BY 100, and add that number of points;
If the GOALS WERE ACHIEVED while your Sim was a Young Adult, but before your Sim became an Adult, add 5,000 points, and go to your Simology tab, find out the “Days Until Aging Up”, MULTIPLY THAT NUMBER BY 100, and add that number of points.
To the subtotal of the above, add the amount of HOUSEHOLD Funds you had at the beginning of the challenge just before you USED THE familyfunds CHEAT TO reduce the HOUSEHOLD Funds to zero.
For each Level 10 skill achieved other than Gardening, Fishing, or Cooking, add 1,000 points.
For each other “game challenge” accomplished—that is, those challenges that show up in the Skill Journals other than the “Amateur Ichthyologist” and “Menu Maven” (which two challenges are already required in the Goals and help you get the big 20,000 point bonus), add 1,000 points each.
Deduct 1,000 points for each Quick Meal eaten by your Sim.
Add 1.000 points for each of the following Traits that was not selected for your Sim either in CAS or as the result of a Mid-Life Crisis Lifetime Reward: Green Thumb, Angler, Natural Cook, Loves the Outdoors.
Deduct 1,000 points for each use of Life Fruit (using Life Fruit is okay, but you should do your own cost-benefit analysis to determine whether, in your Sim's additional days of life, she can produce enough money through her investments/ownership/sales to offset this penalty).
I think this is a really fun challenge, and it showcases the best of S3 (seamless neighborhood, etc.) while ignoring S3's problematic areas (which I think we all agree on: no complex multiple-household story lines, screwed-up relationship issues, story progression, etc.). Again, I welcome all comments and suggestions.
Thanks to you all,
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Join us next time, when we'll meet Gardenia Grower.