Loosely based on a Sims 4 homeless challenge, but without any of the rules! This is the story of my Simself, I called him Giovanni (Gianni to his family and friends) because he’s a lover not a fighter 😉 or, it’s because he’s the suave, sophisticated Sim I’ve always dreamt I could be…
Previously he had been married with children and was employed as an ‘Angel Investor’, their household was worth over 2 million Simoleons, and they spent most weekends at a fishing lodge in the woods. He is a techy geek with dreams of becoming a best selling novelist, although it was his game development skills that provided him with a rocket ship to fulfill his ambition of deep space exploration and intergalactic woohoo!
In essence, with aging turned off the game was beginning to get (I hate to say) boring – I am not sure any of the EP’s would help either, because as he’d achieved so much so early, and I am not keen on seeing him die, there didn’t seem much of a future beyond repetitive skill building and relationship boredom. Starting from scratch, homeless and alone with no bed for a good nights sleep, or money gave the game structure and me a reason to play on.
The story begins like every other homeless challenge, when he’s set down on the biggest, empty lot available. Then having bought the plot of land, making a rich Sim poor is as simple as typing testingcheats on then money 0.
There’s absolutely no hardship in the Sims 4 though, and the freedom to earn money digging up treasures, and harvesting wild plants around the world is enviable. I wasn’t ready to see him rummage through bins either! So unlike other homeless challenges I didn’t prevent my Simself from finding a job, because in real life you can still earn a wage even if you call a park bench home. Couchsurfing, cooking even bathing at his friends homes is easier than ever in the Sims 4 and I think building on those budding relationships is as important as learning to cook, or finding that first job, not just because it puts them in a happier mood, or because they have more energy, but also because it provides relief from the drudgery of starter jobs – good for the player as well as the Sim!
Still not adhering to the rules! I made some changes to the public lots too, putting coffee machines in the gym and library and a microscope in the museum. A swimming pool and showers in the park are good for reducing stress, and I also placed a couple of conservatories in the park (one at the museum too), because they come with benefits 🙂 Theres a great little mod to make life easier for a run down, worn out Sim – SpecOpBookie’s Shower Bladder Reliever
By the end of the first day, he’d learnt the basics of cooking, gardening and fishing, and found a job as a dishwasher – the handiness skill is slightly more difficult to get going on, because stuff breaks less often when they don’t own it, but that’s another good reason to get out and meet the neighbours. Fixing broken appliances, mending and ultimately upgrading the plumbing on public lots is a great way of building skill and unwanted upgrade parts can be sold.
In the early days the treasures dug up were dealt with in three ways, the common junk was sold off for much needed simoleons and he gave away a lot of the rare collectibles and crystals found – I like being able to leave them in his friends homes, especially if he’s spent the night there or raided their fridges, they can always be claimed back too if there’s an outstanding bill and not enough funds to pay. He also kept some of the rare findings, especially the voodoo dolls, they became very important when he was living in a tent because even though he could call up friends and invite them to hang out in his field, they wouldn’t hang around with no front door to knock! Binding the dolls to Sims means they go direct to your Sim and are less likely to wander off so quickly.
Of all the collectibles, plants were the most important because they’re a free meal and can be sold. He also collected samples to convert into prints using the microscope at the museum, which he then also sold. Putting toys and gadgets on community lots usually means that when your Sim arrives there’s a townie already on it, don’t hang around waiting for them to move away though, click on the Sim using the microscope and initiate a conversation, as soon as they stop using the microscope and start chatting to your Sim, stop the chat and jump on the machine!
The camping equipment from the Outdoor Retreat game pack is fantastic and essential for a homeless or traveller Sim, because everything including the fire pit can be stowed in their inventory and pitched up on any public or private lot.
For a while it was fun juggling his many romances with work commitments as he made his way up the culinary career. There were boyfriends and girlfriends, an affair with a married woman (the very beautiful Nancy Landgraab), and he also had Bella Goth bound to a voodoo doll, athough she didn’t always play nicely.
However it felt as though I was locked in a battle of wits with a stubborn, unyielding game as I tried to get my Simself from the bottom rung of the property ladder where he was constantly hungry and exhausted and into his first house. In the previous saved game my Simself had earned millions from the weekly interest payments of the Frugal reward, but this time when I was counting on those payments to raise him from a tent dweller to a life more comfortable in his own home, those payments were gone. And I couldn’t figure out how or why it had become so merciless!
Even so, I pressed on making him work and study non stop! Until he had enough money for me to build him a box to live in – I am a useless builder so it was literally an oblong box with a small bathroom. There was a kitchen at one end and a bed at the other, though I did try and furnish it with the best stuff he could afford so he wouldn’t suffer negative buffs. When he could afford to I upgraded with better equipment, and decorated with motivational pictures, career rewards and collectibles to make the place feel more comfortable.
He changed jobs and went into the business career, and got engaged to Zoe Patel who had been an on and off girlfriend for a while. I still believed the interest payments were linked to the career path, so I pushed him through all the promotion challenges. He was at level nine when Zoe gave birth to his two children, luckily she was still living at her own place so the times they spent together were an enjoyable break in the work/study stress of his life.
It was during this frantic period when all he needed to do was max out his logic skill to gain the final promotion to ‘Angel Investor’ that I came to my senses! He was in the park playing non-stop games of chess with everyone available, including his own children (although I don’t think they knew he was Dad!) when I remembered the interest payments were linked to an aspiration and not just the reward. Stupidly I had changed aspirations on probably the second day of playing the game, because I was fed up having a running total pop up everytime he sold something from his inventory – the pop ups actually covered the items in the inventory which made selling large collections of stuff like plants incredibly frustrating – so I had swapped for a less irritating option!
I can’t remember if he did max out the skill on that occasion, because I’d had enough of seeing a stupid little box on the map screen and after noticing he had enough money for a pre-built house, I got side tracked on the gallery. Once I’d found what i was looking for, I sent him home to pack all his collectibles and furniture, and dropped the new house down on top of the ugly box.
Finally I could relax 🙂
My next brilliant idea was to plan a party and invite Zoe and the kids to see how they all got on before maybe asking them to move in, because that would stop them aging too – and I could ease the game down a couple of notches. The stress was not good for either of us by that stage, I was considering restarting the game again because I felt I’d cheated the game (can’t help but think I’d let him down) by foolishly focusing on doing one thing badly, I had missed opportunities to explore the game and enjoy their social interactions.
Then came a leveling jolt of realisation like the moment of nothingness after bashing your thumb with a hammer, only for me after enduring an epic session fueled by Frazzles and enough Jelly Babies to bring about a pre-school riot, the pain didn’t explode – the realisation that it all gone horribly wrong was more of a deflating numbness that left me feeling even worse. I may or may not have said “What have I done?” out loud, but I certainly thought it!
It didn’t matter that I had remembered that the interest payments were actually linked to the Fabulously Wealthy aspiration, and not the career. Or that he was close to attaining that goal as well. Nor did the new plan to paint, craft and dig up everything he could find in as short a time as possible, so he could attain that aspiration goal and really have something to celebrate. All my plans came to a crashing halt seeing that the romance was well and truly over! I knew this because while he was in his garden painting modern masterpieces one after another, I caught sight of a familiar Sim crossing the road in the distance…