Author Topic: Tip: Rotational Play  (Read 48462 times)

Offline MarianT

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Tip: Rotational Play
« on: March 17, 2015, 01:00:08 PM »
Note: Much of this information can be found in the article on Rotational Play that's on the Guide. Click here for the guide page.

As of November, 2017, a new Culling system has been put into effect. More information can be found here. Basically, any household you play should be put into "My Households" to avoid being culled. This replaces any previous information about culling.

However, I'll be adding new info in posts to this thread, so scroll down to see what's new. Keep an eye on dates -- as things are added (and taken away) in patches, the information in an earlier post might be superseded by a later.

One of the things I enjoyed in TS2 was playing several families in the same file. That wasn't easy to do in TS3, so I was happy to see that I could return to rotational play in TS4.

Initially, there were some problems in the game that made rotational play difficult, primarily losing played sims during a cull. I've found that if sims are in a household, they do stay within the game if you don't play them for a few sim weeks.

Another problem reported is that married sims get involved in romantic relationships with people they're not married to. I haven't had this to any great extent, but I don't have many sims with romantic traits or aspirations that would make romances more likely. I should say that Bella Goth, who does have the romantic trait, has not gotten involved with anyone other than Mortimer. My sims have occasionally made friends (and enemies) autonomously, though.

Babies will be born after the 3rd day of pregnancy whether you are playing the mother or not; pregnancy also lasts 3 days even if you have aging off. The game supplies a bassinet automatically, but it also provides the baby with a name. I usually play a pregnant sim until the baby is born, but if I don't, I go back and age up the infant, so I don't know if babies become children automatically. You can send anyone into a house to age up a baby as well; you won't get to choose the aspiration and trait then. One odd feature I've had -- a couple of mothers who have given birth when I haven't been playing them have had twins.

I've occasionally had a child complete an aspiration while I was not playing him or her, and I suppose the same thing could happen with adults, especially if they were left with everything done except leveling up in a skill. The game won't automatically choose a new aspiration but will keep them on the old one. They won't make progress on their jobs, but I think children and teens might manage to become B students.

You can play with aging off and age up your sims manually. If you're playing with 4 households, the long setting will give you the same ages as the normal setting if you're playing your households for the same amount of time. Using the "age active household only" with the normal setting works also.

Tip #1 -- Keep hard copy records. I use index cards, but notebooks work too. At the end of each week I've played a sim, I put a checkmark next to their age category. I also keep track of their traits, aspirations, and jobs.

Tip #2 -- Don't check the "Fill Empty Houses" box.

I like to keep some cheap houses open for adult offspring to move to and for sims like the Goths and Spencer-Kim-Lewises to move into when they can't afford their current homes anymore.

Tip #3 -- Use "Repair Game" as needed and each time you change families, if you're playing each family for a week in each round. It's a good idea to clear your cache file, too.

I tend to regard small glitches as a sign that my file is getting too large. When Summer Holiday walked through 5 walls and a couch to get from the kitchen to the living room, I decided it was time to start a new file. It took me about an hour to move my 11 households into a new version of Willow Creek.

1. Go to "Manage World"
2. For each household that you intend to move, choose "Edit household."
3. Once in Edit household, choose "Save to My Library."
4. When you have saved all your households, go to the houses that you have built or significantly altered. Click on the "build mode" symbol and choose "Save to my Library."
5. Save and exit to menu.
6. Choose new game.
7. You'll start in CAS, so go to the gallery, go to your library, and pick one of your households to replace the sim in CAS. Move this family to an empty lot.
8. Go to Manage World and click on Edit household for each of the filled houses. Once in Edit household, choose Delete. If you just evict the family, you'll have a second version running around town in addition to your version.
9. Bulldoze the houses that you have altered and replace them with the ones from your Library.
10. Go around your neighborhood and make a note of the prices of each of the houses that you intend to move your sims into. I've found that the "freerealestate" cheat doesn't work. Your families will come into the game with only 20,000 simoleons (or a little more, depending on family size).
11. Go back to your family on the empty lot and click "Play". Do Ctrl-Shift-C, and type "testingcheats true" in the white space. I use the "motherlode" and "kaching" cheats to give them enough money to buy back the house they originally lived in, but you can give them an exact amount, too, with "Money X".
12. Go to Manage Worlds again. Click on the "Move out" option for your family, and move them back into their house.
13. Click on the empty lot, and choose "Move in." When you're in CAS, pick go to Gallery. Go to your library and pick another family to replace the sim in CAS. Then click on the check mark at the bottom.
14. Keep doing steps 11, 12, and 13 until you've resettled everyone.
15. Once you've finished moving in all your families, go into Manage Worlds, then Household Management (upper righthand corner). Check your "played households" and make sure everyone is there. Then go into "unplayed households." If you have extra copies of a family, delete them.

In your new file, your sims will have the same traits, aspiration progress, job progress and household relationships that they had before. They will, however, lose their relationships with sims outside the household, and these sims will not show up in the family tree. I don't know what happens with whims -- they might still have a whim they had before but it will be unpinned.

I do enjoy playing rotationally, and I'm looking forward to GTW, when I can have my families buy stuff from the shops owned by other families. It's fun seeing them make friends with each other, and occasionally they surprise me, like when Summer Holiday and Ronan Chappell started a romance when I wasn't controlling either of them.

I have a whole story going (the link is in my signature), but I thought I'd provide a more basic "how to" post as well.

Edited to add step 15 -- I discovered a second Summer Holiday running around town.




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Offline Tawnee

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2015, 04:16:07 PM »
These tips are extremely helpful! DionysusDreams (who updated the Prosperity Challenge at Boolprop) addressed some of these issues but not all. So this will help me immensely when playing my Prosperity rotation. :D I'm going to check out your rotational story. It looks very interesting. :)

I've also bookmarked this topic. <3



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Offline Cheezey

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2015, 03:55:56 PM »
These are great tips.

I've got an ongoing rotation game as well, and I'd like to second the recommendation to uncheck "fill empty homes." I started determined to play every family that moved in, regardless, and even moved in one or two early on because those sims became important to a family I played in the first few rotations. After completing all the premades and a couple of the move-ins, I wish I hadn't. I've still got empty lots to build on, but I foresee a housing crisis in my sims' world in the future.  Plus, if I play each of them a week, that is a heck of a long game, making the file larger and larger each time. I have it set to age only the active family, so after many weeks of game time, for the world, it's pretty much still only a week in.

The autonomous romances with other sims that sims form when they're not under your control are a good thing to be aware of.  They make for great drama if you want a more spontaneous game, but if you're determined to have a story play out a certain way, they can be rather annoying, especially if the unplanned/unwanted love interest shows up a lot.

One hint for sims in expensive homes who get ridiculously high bills with low or no pay: the trash can that lets you turn dirty plates and cups into $10 for each sim in the home can be a lifesaver.  Giving the Goths that trash can, and working on Bella's party animal aspiration by throwing parties with lots of drinks and food (I also bought them a bar) was a huge boost to their funds and helped cover their insane bills.

Offline MarianT

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2015, 11:20:55 AM »
Since going into my families who have recently been moved, I've learned a few other things:

Your inventories, refrigerators, and family inventory are emptied when you move to a new version of the same town. Also, your garden reverts to a "just planted" state.

Since the patch, unplayed adult and teen sims will be given jobs. I don't know if this is a one-time thing, but if you're playing rotationally, check all your families to make sure that your stay-at-home gardeners, etc. are not now employed. It doesn't really make much difference, as they won't make any progress on the garden or at work while you're not playing them, but it is something to check.

ETA: the information about refrigerators and gardens.
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Offline MarianT

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 03:10:17 PM »
A couple more additions:

I noticed recently that some sims that I moved into a new save from a previous save had lost the traits that they gained from completing their childhood aspirations.

You can send a sim that you're playing into the house of another sim to age up a baby. The game will give the child a random trait and childhood aspiration.
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Offline MarianT

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2015, 09:07:54 PM »
Another addition:

I've switched to playing with aging on for the active household and normal lifespan. This means that my NPCs don't age up. I can do it manually, however, in Household Management.

At the map, do a CTRL-Shift-C and type "testingcheat on", hit Enter, then type "CAS.fullediton". Go into Household Management and click on "Unplayed Households." When you choose to edit them, you'll have access to the Personality section as well as appearance.

While editing an NPC household, you can also add spouses, children, and even aliens.

Every 7 rounds (each household is played for 3 days), I age up the NPC children, teens, YAs, etc. I also delete elders, unless they're friends or co-workers.
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Offline MarianT

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2015, 10:10:15 PM »
A couple more additions:

You can change the name of a child (or older person) in CAS without having to use the cheat, CAS.fulleditmode. However, as far as I know, you're still more likely to get twins if you're not playing the pregnant sim at the birth.

I tried playing each family a week at a time and found out that married couples are more likely to have romantic interests in addition to their spouses when you come back to them. Also, I had a couple of sims who weren't teens lose jobs. Maybe a 3-4 day span is better.

Someone on the official forum has said that you get a lot of money from the Fabulously Wealthy aspiration reward if you're playing rotationally. I haven't had a sim complete that yet in a rotational game, so I don't know if that's true. I'll test it eventually, but if anyone knows, let me know.
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Offline MarianT

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2015, 04:33:46 PM »
I've moved my 10 families to a new save file (maybe they all have the nomadic trait). Although I dropped only 20mb (going from a file size of 188 mb to 168 mb), I seem to have solved the problems of lag and a non-functioning mailbox.

I said in an earlier post that adults didn't retain the traits they gained from completing a childhood aspiration. That seems to have changed. I haven't checked all my teens and YAs, but the ones I've looked at do have their "creatively gifted" and "socially gifted" traits.

As a negative, though, no one owns a retail business anymore, my writer and musician aren't getting their royalties, and a rocket ship that was built (and had a few upgrades) reverted to a kit.
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Offline Steellace

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2015, 09:51:51 AM »
Hi!  I finally found this thread again!  I kept searching for something to do with moving to a new save file, so it took me a while.  I have a rather large group, not just 10 families, but my game is now not only lagging but crashing.  As I started with 12 families and am now playing all of their multitude of offspring, I'm positive it's because of how big the save is.  I really appreciate all of the work you did to get the tips, tricks, and process outlined for moving everyone.

I hate losing the inventory the most, I think, at this point.  What I have done so far is to go into each house I want to move and make basement room.  Then I put everything from household inventory that I want to keep in that room along with stuff from the household members' inventories.  In my trials, everything arrived successfully.

It's really unfortunate, however, that their royalties will disappear.  I don't mind rebuilding rockets and regrowing plants as much of that sort of thing was done by previous generations, so this one needs to work a little too (lol).  I really wish that we could eliminate all of the NPCs from the town and stop the generation.  I will have more than enough played sims move into town to take care of all roles.  Do you know of any way to decrease the non-played sim population?

I'll share any new things I discover along the way, just in case someone else wants to do the same.

Offline dodi90

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2015, 01:21:46 PM »
I do remember that there are one mod that reduce the townie generating but sadly is not maintained anymore by Shimrod. Currently i am playing another games while waiting for Get Together and occasionally play sims to try different roleplay on my sims.

Offline Steellace

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2015, 09:27:06 AM »
The mod by Shimrod was picked up by Simsical and has been updated here:  http://simsicalcreations.tumblr.com/post/128543455501/reduced-townie-generating.  Unfortunately, Simsical has retired, so patches in the future may make it stop working.  I'm really hoping to find a replacement before it dies, but I'd really LOVE to find one that would make it stop generate altogether if there are sims available in the game already to fill rolls.  I'll keep dreaming, I guess, because there's no way I could figure out how to make a mod myself, lol.

Offline dodi90

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2015, 01:11:10 AM »
I can make some XML mods back in sims 3 since it was so easy editing the XML. But of course I have no idea how to make more complex mods. I believe townie generation will be a problem again because they will have to include new neighborhood introduced by the EP / GP.

Offline brand485

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2015, 12:46:09 AM »
I'm using rotational play for my legacy family. I remember in the Sims 3 that you could see the total amount of time you were playing a family by clicking on or hovering over the clock. Can you still do this somehow in the Sims 4?

Offline MarianT

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2015, 08:40:36 AM »
Welcome to the Forum, brand485!

Figuring out how much time you've spent with a group of sims is difficult in TS4. I have to do it manually -- making a tick for every time a family pays bills, for example. I've also moved to playing each family for a week and changing families between midnight and 6 a.m. on Sunday. I wish there was a way to track time in game, but apparently there's not.
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Offline JulianneALee

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Re: Tips for Rotational Play
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2015, 01:08:39 AM »
I've always played rotationally, and mostly with the settings and suggestions here. I always play a family with pregnancy until the baby's born, because I hate returning to a household and discovering I'd missed the event. It happens even with aging for unplayed Sims turned off.

I have a couple of suggestions in response to some issues described here. Keeping track of things is sometimes a challenge in a rotational game, because of having so many Sims interacting. With Sims 2 I used to use something called Sims Database, where I recorded every detail of every Sim and household, including family tree. With Sims 4, I was dismayed to not be able to do that. So I bought a genealogy program (Ancestry.com) and set up a family tree where I could record every single detail of every single Sim, and it would keep track of family relationships, shared information...everything. It works even better than Sims Database did, and can include screen captures of Sims and their houses.

I also have an Access database (yes, I'm that anal), where I keep track of all the lots, their addresses (What, you don't give your neighborhoods street addresses? ;D), current value, current occupant, name in library, name of floor plan, etc. And another sheet tells me the name and occupants of each household, the rotation order, available cash, and notes on what's upcoming for each household. I'm a big believer in letting chips fall where they may, but it's hard to remember what's going on when I'm playing ten or twenty households.

I do use the no-cull mod because I was tired of losing my ghosts. Not because I like to play ghosts, but because I use the gravestones/urns as memorials to dead Sims and the culling was removing the names from those items. Not to mention that it was removing them from the in-game family tree. Now I keep the ghosts and manually purge the unplayed households from time to time. I feel like the Black Death, deleting NPCs rather randomly, but I think it keeps things tidier and enables me to control the gene pool. Too many NPCs with the same hair color? To the trash. Too many single moms? Out they go. Too ugly? Gone. Three families with exactly the same demographic? Doomed. I like the idea of manually aging up the NPCs. Up till now I've just been deleting folks who have been around too long. I think I'm going to try the aging up and see how the towns look then.

As for keeping track of how much time I've spent with each family, since I do a strict weekly rotation, all I need is to make note in the household database what day/time it was at the end of the last Sim week. That way I can figure out how old the Elders are. I don't know whether my problem is the usual, but my Elders have ages up in the hundreds that have no relationship with the number of Sim days played. So at the end of each household week I add those days to the age of each Elder. When one dies I note the TOD and record the appropriate number of days lived in the family tree.

One thing I found very interesting that is different from Sims 2 (I skipped Sims 3 entirely) is that a played male Sim can father a child with a female NPC. Don Lothario and his son Danny have both done it and have five such children between them. It's a little addictive, but since I always feel compelled to bring those children into the neighborhood I don't do it so much anymore, lest I end up with nothing but Lotharios everywhere.

Lastly, I've noticed that even with aging turned off for unplayed Sims I'll sometimes return to a household and find someone has aged while I was gone. One Sim gained an entire week on his otherwise twin brother. I figure that they age whenever they stroll or jog past a lot while I'm playing it. If they're hanging out, like in a park, they can gain quite a lot of age.

So far I haven't felt the need to move everyone to another save file. I did something similar in Sims 2 and ended up losing everybody because I did it wrong. It was a bloodbath. My current game was getting iffy a couple of months ago, but since the last few patches it's all smoothed out nicely. Glitches are at a minimum, and I've only repaired the game once since I began playing a year ago. I gather Maxis has been deliberately working on improving efficiency and plugging memory leaks, etc, and it's working. I do wonder how to empty a cache file.

Jules

 
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