Author Topic: Household Skills Project Mk 3  (Read 64303 times)

Offline hazelnut

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Household Skills Project Mk 3
« on: September 16, 2014, 03:29:55 PM »
This is Samantha: Firewoman Sam.


A long time ago, she was a firefighter in Sunset Valley but her creator abandoned her shamefully early in pursuit of shinier objectives.  Now she’s back, with attitude.  She wants her line to succeed where others have failed – to complete the Household Skills Project.

For those who were following the Woods and wonder why version 3.0 is now up and running: I failed.  I didn’t know that the anatomy skeleton builds the science skill and sent Châtaigne off to Uni to do a Physical Education degree :(.  The project came to an end with her first practical class.

On the bright side, it means I can start again with the benefit of everything I’ve learned about Sims 3 in the year or so since I was last actively playing the Woods.  Fingers crossed…

Family tree and stats

House 1: handiness
House 2: athletic
House 3: cooking
House 4: charisma
House 5: writing & social networking
House 6: gardening
House 7: fishing
House 8: logic & science
House 9: martial arts
House 10: photography & nectar-making
House 11: painting
House 12: guitar & street art
House 13: piano & violin
House 14: alchemy
House 15: mixology & bass
House 16: drums
House 17: sculpting
House 18: inventing
House 19: advanced technology
House 20: bot-building and gambling
House 21: riding
House 22: scuba diving
House 23: laser rhythm-a-con

Epilogue: completing the missing supermaxes

Household Skills Project Rules
First attempt
Second attempt

Offline hazelnut

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Household Skills Project Mk3 - Family tree/stats
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2014, 03:30:39 PM »
Family tree

Spoiler: stats (click to show/hide)

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Offline Malley

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Re: Household Skills Project - third time lucky?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2014, 03:55:42 PM »
Yay!  Another project story!  Looking forward to this, Hazel  ;D  They say the third time is the charm, so best of luck in this attempt.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: Household Skills Project, Mk 3
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 04:25:47 PM »
Yay!  Another project story!  Looking forward to this, Hazel  ;D  They say the third time is the charm, so best of luck in this attempt.

Thanks :).  I certainly hope so.  At least there won't be any new dynasties to interrupt this attempt...

Getting Started/House 1

Once I’d decided to restart the challenge, I disabled most of my EPs and SPs with Game Selector – rather perversely, since I’d just finished installing absolutely everything on The New Computer.  For now, I’m playing with just Ambitions and Generations, plus High-End Loft and Fast Lane.

Since Firefighter Superhero was where it all fell apart the first time around and I’d been planning to do it next with the Woods, starting with a firefighter seemed appealing.  If the rescues didn’t appear, at least I wouldn’t be losing much gameplay.

I was originally going to clone Phil Gold as the founder, but without UL, he couldn’t have his hairstyle and he just looked wrong without it.  I tried the teddy boy quiff from Fast Lane, which looked kind of OK in CAS but didn’t work as well in-game.  Besides, he kept reminding me of Elvis Cridlington.

Following that thought to its logical conclusion, what about a family of kids’ TV characters?  Fireman Sam was the obvious choice for founder.  I briefly considered the squad from Trumpton, because I always had a soft spot for Cuthbert, but they were sadly lacking in personality.  Did anyone have even a single trait?  Sam is much more interesting as a character: even though he wouldn’t be able to learn inventing in this game, he could still be eccentric as well as helpful and heroic.  Sadly, my attempts to create a Sim Sam weren’t very successful:


I was about to try something else when I remembered that there had been another Sam, a long time ago.  She wasn’t much like Fireman Sam, apart from her name and wanting to be the Hero Next Door, although she did work with Station Officer Steele.  Well, nearly: Christopher Steel was a colleague.  I liked playing Sam but her lifetime wish was going very slowly and there were other things I wanted to try, so she was consigned to the Sim Bin after a relatively short time.

Was she still there?  I poked around on my old backup hard drive and there she was.

After a minor trait change (athletic replaced by technophobe) and a wardrobe update, she was ready to go.

Sam arrived in Twinbrook and moved into ‘Swampy’, which doesn’t look bad from the outside, at least if you ignore the dam looming over the back garden.


Inside, it’s less inviting – definitely in need of a dehumidifier and redecoration.


Sam wasn’t impressed.


Fortunately, the house wasn’t intended as anything more than a postal address.  She called a cab and went off to apply for a job as a firefighter.


She didn’t seem much happier about the station.


Then she rolled wishes to learn handiness and take a class, so I sent her off to the military base.  I wouldn’t normally blow 40% of a starting budget on a class but hey, this project is supposed to be about trying out different things.


Sam quickly settled in at the fire station, tinkering with the appliances and having pillow fights with Alistaire Pine.


Outside work hours, she tended to wear her pyjamas.  I was glad I hadn’t given her skimpy undies.  (We can argue about the tastefulness of flame patterns for a firefighter some other time  ;).)


Yeah, that worked out well.


For a hardened criminal, Marigold Racket seems remarkably easy to shock.

As with my other recent firefighting Sims, Sam’s first few call-outs all cancelled.  I was hoping that playing with few expansions would sort that out but apparently not.  On the other hand, she was getting loads of opportunities – averaging about one per day.  Some were for repairs and upgrades, so she went home between shifts and fixed stuff.  Most of the jobs were for Alistaire, so she then had to trail back to the station to hand them over.

One visit home was different.  I was aware that time was passing and the only NPC she’d met was the paper girl, so I missed paying a bill and then sent her over to meet the repo man.  I somehow forgot to take any screenshots, so you’ll have to take my word for this.  Ree Treave walked around Swampy, sucking up lights with that gun thing they carry, while Sam trailed after him, wailing about losing her only possessions (well, apart from her sleeping bag) – and, all of the time, both of them had little pink hearts spinning over their heads.  Sims are so weird sometimes.

Finally, Sam was called to her first large fire and actually got to respond to the emergency.


After that, she started to fly through the career.  She successfully dealt with the science lab space-time rift disaster, which I’ve only seen once before, when I didn’t have the graphics to appreciate it.


It meant a day with no lives saved, of course, but it was worth it.  And soon after, there was an earthquake.  Only a horrible person would celebrate such a disaster  :-[.


By the Friday of week 3, Sam had almost completed her requirements.  She sabotaged the TV once more and, moaning loudly, was forced to repair it.


And that was it.  Handiness supermax completed.

The next morning, she visited her damp little house for the final time (and I forgot to tell her to collect the post, so her handiness certificate has disappeared into limbo).


One phone call later, she was the proud owner of an empty plot in the dry part of town.

Now she’d have somewhere to put her new personal fire engine and alarm.  She drove over to inspect the place.


House 1 summary
Skill: handiness

Samantha (founder)

Traits: Handy, technophobe, charismatic, brave, daredevil
Career: Firefighter
LTW: (Firefighter Superhero – not yet completed: 22/30 lives saved)
Supermaxed handiness
Building/property: Brunton’s Boxcar Diner
Unique rewards:  Discount Diner, Inheritance

Offline Malley

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Re: Household Skills Project Mk 3
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2014, 04:38:06 PM »
Sam seems to be doing really well so far. The shot of the science lab disaster looked pretty cool to me :)

Offline Trip

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Re: Household Skills Project Mk 3
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2014, 10:03:53 AM »
Third time's the charm. ;) I've never seen that science lab disaster! It looks cool, though.
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Offline hazelnut

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Re: Household Skills Project Mk 3
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2014, 01:19:32 PM »
Sam seems to be doing really well so far.

She is.  None of my previous firefighter Sims have been called out to so many large fires and she always seems to get three or four people to rescue.  I'm not sure whether it's a side-effect of playing with so few expansions or just the new computer producing different random numbers from the old one.  Whatever it is, I like it :).

The shot of the science lab disaster looked pretty cool to me :)

Third time's the charm. ;) I've never seen that science lab disaster! It looks cool, though.

It was pretty amazing - those rainbow effects kept looping around the building.  I sat and watched the whole thing on speed 1 and was almost disappointed when Sam dealt with the problem.  It's one of those jobs that has a special award as well - but it only fires at level 7 of the career, so the chances of seeing it are pretty low (unless you deliberately get your firefighter Sim demoted when they hit level 8, I suppose  :P).

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Offline hazelnut

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Re: Household Skills Project Mk 3
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2014, 03:02:42 PM »
House 2

Sam had stayed in touch with Ree Treave after their ambivalent first meeting, phoning him whenever her social bar dropped. (Incidentally, why do phone calls fill the bar faster than face-to-face conversations?)  Now she invited him over and asked him to move in.  According to SimsWiki, he should have aged up to elder a few days before this, but he still looked the same as usual in her relationship panel.  When he arrived, though, he’d had a birthday.  Sam found him as attractive as ever, despite the grey hair and mismatched clothes, so she invited him to move in.  Then she was called away to be presented with the key to the city.



It was the best-attended presentation I’ve seen in ages.  Half the town seemed to have turned out to cheer and throw confetti.  Sam was very pleased with herself.


She met Ree (who’d been at the gym starting to learn athletic) for a meal at the bistro before parting again in pursuit of various errands.  On her way home, Sam got out of the taxi to have a birthday.


Ree clearly wasn’t going to be able to achieve his Rock Star LTW, so my first priority for him was to earn the happiness points for a change of wish.  He called in at the theatre to join the music career, then, being a daredevil, rolled a wish to visit the graveyard – for the second time that day.  While he was there, I sent him into the mausoleum to apply for a job.  He wouldn’t have time to complete a rabbithole career, so he might as well get a part-time job somewhere that he wanted to visit anyway.


A day or two later, Sam started feeling unwell.


And, later that week…


…she gave birth to the daughter she’d wanted.


Ree hadn’t shown too much interest in Sam’s pregnancy but now that the baby had arrived he was very keen to make an honest woman of her.  Sam was also holding wishes to get married in general and to marry Ree specifically, so she proposed as soon as little Stella was settled in her cot.


The wedding followed immediately.  Well, immediately after a quick change into their formal clothes.



With 10,000 extra lifetime happiness points, Ree was able to change his lifetime wish to Swimming in Cash.

Stella grew into a toddler with a strong resemblance to her father.  She also appeared to have acquired a hidden grumpy trait from somewhere.  An undocumented side-effect of being the offspring of a repo man, maybe?



On the other hand, she was delighted whenever her daddy took her out in the pushchair…


…and she adored her toy rabbit.


Her parents took turns looking after her, spending most of their ‘off-duty’ time at the gym.


Not that it was always to Sam’s taste.  Why did they have to have a TV?


Maybe it wasn’t Ree who was responsible for Stella’s grumpiness.

Sam did her best to ignore the hateful technology and got on with building up her athletic skill.  Her wedding/maternity leave was fast running out and she wanted to make a better show of breaking down the doors next time she had to deal with a large fire.  It had often taken her several attempts in the days before she was allowed to start learning the athletic skill.


Ree made far less fuss.  Despite his age and a lack of suitable traits, he developed a real enthusiasm for working out.


Sam returned to work shortly before Stella’s child birthday – and another earthquake hit Twinbrook.  None of my previous firefighters had experienced more than one, even playing on longer lifespans.  Dealing with the aftermath took Sam to within a single rescue of her lifetime wish – and the large fire the following day completed it.


With the happiness points that brought, Sam bought a second inheritance – and Ree achieved his revised LTW.


Stella had a birthday cake this time, so that she could make the most of a long weekend with no school.


She spent her time maxing the blocks skill…


…playing in her tree house…


…and working out to the stereo at the gym…


…while her parents used the more serious equipment in the basement.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: Household Skills Project Mk 3
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2014, 03:03:25 PM »
Ree became the first member of the household to max athletics.


Sam’s training was interrupted by another summons to City Hall, to be presented with a golden fire hydrant.


Soon after this, Ree, aged 91, started to feel light-headed.  Light-everythinged.


He shook hands with Grim, content that he’d done a good job.  Then the fire alarm went off.


Sam was far too distraught to rush out and deal with the fire – it was only a small one, anyway.  After a while, the alarm stopped: just like the old days.  Grim, meanwhile, was making the most of his visit to their house.


Stella shared Sam’s bed that night.  Both of them needed the comfort of another human being nearby.


Once the mourning period was over, mother and daughter took to going out on the town together regularly, to swim, see a film or just eat at the bistro.


It seemed hardly any time before Stella was sparkling again.


Not many teenagers get to learn to drive in a fire engine.


Once Stella had her licence, Sam bought her a rather more sensible Sloppy Jalopy in her favourite colour, white.

The following day, it was Sam’s turn for a birthday.


Being an elder didn’t stop her doing a very effective job as the town’s premier firefighter, although she did seem to have become a little careless about proper protective equipment.


She wasn’t neglecting her fitness regime, either.  She might have maxed athletics but could she get a second supermax?  Marathon Runner was already in the bag and she wasn’t far from becoming a Fitness Nut.  Stella, on the other hand, was just starting out.


While they were both at the gym, in pursuit of wishes to work out for four hours in Stella’s case and ten in Sam’s, one of the other clients reached the end of his lifespan and interrupted their attempts.  Once Grim had reaped the man’s soul, he decided to see what all this exercise stuff was about and climbed on to a treadmill.


His robes were apparently too tight to allow for a proper run.  Instead, he just held on to the handles and bounced up and down.  Obviously deciding this wasn’t really his thing (well, it didn’t exactly look dignified), he faded away in mid-bounce.

Stella had another birthday.


She graduated as Valedictorian and Most Likely to Save the World.  (Hadn’t Sam already done that?)


They celebrated with brunch at the bistro.  Lately they’d both been too busy for anything other than quick meals.


Stella joined the military and was soon rising through the ranks.


A few days after her daughter’s birthday, Sam ran out of time.  Despite being a marathon runner, she only made it to 93.  She was still several strength workouts short of the supermax.


She gave in gracefully, shaking hands with Grim…


…who had clearly been missing their water slide.


Now that she was all alone, Stella threw herself into her career and her athletic training.  She was far luckier than her mother when it came to uninterrupted workout sessions and, a few days after Sam’s death, she had completed her requirements.  Time for a change of scene.  She took out her phone and called the estate agent.


And so Stella left Twinbrook, leaving behind Sam’s impressive collection of career rewards…


…and two new headstones in the graveyard.


House 2 summary
Skill: athletic

LTW: Firefighter Superhero
Supermaxed handiness, level 10 athletic

(Traits: daredevil, never nude, party animal, inappropriate, frugal)
Career: Mausoleum clerk (PT)
LTW: Swimming in Cash
Level 10 athletic

Traits: brave, athletic, perfectionist, lucky, schmoozer
Career and LTW to be finished in next house
Supermaxed athletic, level 10 hopscotch :)
Building/property: Grocery Grab Supermarket
Unique rewards:  Bookshop Bargainer, Collection Helper

Offline Malley

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Re: Household Skills Project Mk 3: updated 28 Sept
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2014, 05:17:59 PM »
RIP Sam and Ree  :'(  Poor Stella!  She grew up into a lovely young lady though.

The shots of Grim on the waterslide were pretty darn awesome  :).  You always get great shots of Grim.

Offline hazelnut

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Re: Household Skills Project Mk 3
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2014, 03:05:32 PM »
House 3 – Part 1

Stella moved to Hidden Springs and I built her the family’s first proper house.  The garden still needs some more work but I got bored of building and wanted to carry on playing  :).


Since two houses is quite long enough to go without proper food, the skill this time is cooking.  So, illogically enough, the first thing Stella did after moving in was to order a pizza.  While she was waiting for it to arrive, the Winterlys turned up on the doorstep to welcome her to town.  Stella was immediately attracted to both of them, slightly worryingly.  Since Adele was her new boss, a friendly conversation seemed a good idea, while she waited for someone she was allowed to get romantic with.

The pizza arrived – and so did a possible spouse.


Rather rudely ignoring her visitors (who didn’t seem to mind – they spent the rest of the day playing on the water slide and flirting with each other), Stella asked Ken the pizza guy to hang out and, eventually, to move in.


They were only friends at this stage but, since he was right at the beginning of the young adult stage and she wasn’t much more than halfway through it, there was plenty of time for their relationship to develop.  After all, who could resist this face? :P


Stella immediately challenged Ken to a game of hopscotch.  Rather oddly, given that it must have been his first game and she was at level 10, they both won.  (Presumably, pop-up-speak for a draw.)


I took Ken off to the mirror and dresser before bed.  He had that mullet that suits about as many Sims as Agnes Crumplebottom’s hairdo, together with an oddly formal everyday outfit.  I made it his formalwear instead, to replace the loud check jacket seen in the previous screenshot.  (No idea why he was playing hopscotch in formals.)  Maybe EA intended him to be colour-blind – his athletic outfit was also quite hard on the eyes – or just to have awful dress sense.   It was quite hard to find a hairstyle to suit his features but I eventually settled on this one, with a casual shirt in his favourite colour.


Like the other Hidden Springs and Monte Vista NPCs, Ken Woodard has no traits.  He randomly rolled the Fashion Phenomenon LTW, so, like Ree, he was going to be saving up points for a change as soon as possible.  I’d been planning to do Culinary Librarian with Stella’s spouse but, since he was so young, he might as well go for a career-based wish instead.  Master Thief, for example.  Funnily enough, just as I decided this, there was an unexpected visitor.  I haven’t had a burglar in a Sims game for ages, so I was quite pleased to see him.


He tried to run away as soon as the alarm went off but Stella was having none of that.


She was given a reward of §500, which makes a nice change from the usual ‘false alarm’ accusations when Sims deal with crises on their own.

A week after the move, Stella joined the officer ranks.


It was high time she moved her relationship with Ken on to the next stage.  So she asked him out.


Carlotta Shue seemed fascinated.

The next day, they went on a second date and Stella proposed.


She immediately wished to marry him but Ken seemed less bothered, so I left it at that for now.


Stella achieved her lifetime wish a couple of days later and Ken finally decided he wanted to marry her.  They went off to the Hidden Gardens for a private ceremony – and Stella appeared to have a last-minute panic.


Or maybe it was just their less-than-expert cooking catching up with her  ???.  She quickly settled down, rather than throwing up over the bridge railings as I’d half-expected, and they exchanged rings uneventfully.



Then they both rolled ‘first woohoo’ wishes…


…and soon Stella was a mother-to-be.

They both wanted a boy, so she gorged on apples throughout her pregnancy and their son was born after the usual interval.  (Annoyingly, I’d slightly lost track of time and Stella had just paid for the expensive spa package when she went into labour.)

They gave him an appropriate name for a future chef: X Benedict (or Ben for short).  Stella carried him carefully out of the hospital…


…while Ken raced past her to call a taxi.  Now that he was finally progressing through the criminal career, he never missed a chance for a jog.


Stella took to motherhood with great enthusiasm, although I can’t help feeling that it might have been better to take Ben out of the blanket before bathing him  :P.


Ken was finding life harder.  Unlike Stella, who probably wouldn’t have to go to work ever again, he was combining new fatherhood with long hours at the criminal warehouse and training at the gym.  And then, just to make things worse, he got arrested when he was sure of a promotion and had been planning an easy night at work.


A villain’s lot is not a happy one.

Ben aged up into a bald toddler but, after a quick crawl to the mirror, proved to have his father’s hair along with his mother’s skin.  It’s too early to say for sure but I think he may have inherited Ken’s features as well.  I certainly hope so  :D.


Edit: Forgot to say that I've now added Pets, Outdoor Living and Town Life.

Next chapter

Offline hazelnut

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Re: Household Skills Project Mk 3: updated 4 Oct
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2014, 03:56:14 PM »
He does!  He may have no official personality but he's great fun as a spouse anyway :D.

Offline KTK10

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Re: Household Skills Project Mk 3: updated 4 Oct
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2014, 08:43:51 AM »
I love all the interesting things that are happening in your game. I also LOVE this project, I would always start one when trying to force myself to explore all things Sims. Hope you keep going, its great so far!  ;D