The Eight-Sim Challenge, Day 1
(for The Sims 1)

Day One, and I now have eight sims to take care of and no mods to help me. It's been so long since I've played without mods, I hope I remember how! Welcome to the world, Anna, Bill, Carmen, Diego, Evelyn, Fred, Ginger, and Henry!

I built my sims half a house. Their house will eventually have a living room, kitchen, two bedrooms with four beds each, and four bathrooms. They can't afford that yet, though, so they have one main room, one bedroom, and two bathrooms.

My strategy for the first day is to get jobs for all 8 sims. The sims begin at 7:01 a.m., and the carpool for the majority of jobs comes at 8 a.m. That gives us 59 minutes to find a job that begins at 8 a.m. Since the carpool will wait until 8:59, that means we have a little less than two hours to get a job for all 8 sims.

Not only do jobs bring in money, but the entry-level job for most careers has almost no need decay. Keep a sim at home, and they'll get hungry, but send them to work, and they won't! (This only applies to the entry-level jobs, of course; needs decay a lot more at higher levels.)

When sims are created, their Bladder and Fun needs are down a bit, but all their other needs are totally full. So we need to get them all jobs, send the ones with the worst Bladder needs to the toilet, and get the ones with the worst Fun needs to watch TV.

We obviously can't get them all jobs if they're all sharing a newspaper, so that means computers. To get jobs for all 8 sims, we need at least three computers. Not only does this mean we can get jobs for three sims at once, but any one computer will only be used 2 - 3 times before we sell it back to the store, which lessens the chance that the darned thing will break on us.

To minimize the distance the sims have to walk, I buy a big table and put it right on the lawn, with computers at three different places and chairs in front of each. I also buy an excellent sofa and the medium TV and also put those right on the lawn. We'll be selling that sofa back to the store before it has a chance to depreciate, but while we're topping off all their motives, they might as well be comfortable. :-)

The first sim to sit down at the computer has the task of getting ANY job that starts at 8 a.m. Once anyone in the household has an 8 a.m. job, that means the carpool will come, and that gives us that oh-so-useful extra hour.

Bill happens to be closest to the computer, so he gets the honor of looking for jobs first. Ginger and Fred are also nearby, so they take the other two computer stations. Bill looks at the first job, and it's in the Fashion career, starting at 8 a.m. Yes! Fashion doesn't pay that well at the early levels, but that's not what's important for that first sim; what's important is that they get the carpool to come.

Once Bill has gotten a job, I send him to pee and wash his hands, then to watch TV. I don't click on the toilet, though. He's outside on the lawn, and the bathrooms are some distance away. So I click on the floor NEXT to the toilet, and Bill makes a mad dash to the bathroom. Once he's there, then I click on the toilet. The minute he leaves the computer, he's replaced by Henry. Meanwhile, Ginger has also gotten the Fashion job.

Fred now takes a chance, and instead of taking the first job offered, he continues the search onto the second job. Politics! Great! That pays well for an entry-level job, and it'll keep them at work (and thus not hungry) until 6 p.m. I send him off to attend to needs, and Carmen and Evelyn take his and Ginger's places. All three of the second set of job seekers take the Politics job, then I send them off to attend to their needs.

Six sims have jobs so far, only two to go! I think we're gonna make it!

At some point during the job-search extravaganza, the Mystery Man shows up with his box. Our room score immediately takes a nose dive -- Maxis REALLY wants you to open that box -- so I have Bill open the box. There's a bunch of stuff we can sell, for around 500 extra simoleons, and Bill now has some magic ingredients in his inventory. As soon as he takes the last item out of the box, the box sails away, and our room score goes back to normal. It isn't HIGH -- we can't afford decorations at this point, but it's still a lot better than it was with the box here.

Anna takes the Politics job and goes off to attend to her needs. Diego is the last one to look for a job, and I have him pass up the first two jobs, so we can see what the third job is. Golf Caddy in the Slacker career! No way! The carpool time for that job is already past, so anyone who takes that job couldn't go to work today, AND the pay stinks. Okay, Diego, start over. The car is out front and honking, but we have time yet.

A few sims have watched as much TV as they want, so their needs are as full as they're going to get right now, so I send them to work. Diego is frantically typing on the computer -- come on, Diego, get the job, but don't break the computer; we can't really afford the $999 hit that would be. Another couple of sims stand up, and I send them off to the car, making sure not to send them all, so the carpool doesn't leave.

Diego takes the Fashion job, since I'm not sure we have time for him to continue to search until Politics is offered. He races for the car, and I send the last sim after him. Henry gets to the car at 8:52, and all eight sims go off to work. Yay!

As soon as they leave, I sell all three computers and the nice sofa and bring the big table, the three chairs, and the medium TV inside. We have a phone, a smoke alarm, and a burglar alarm, because we really can't afford to have anything burn down or get stolen. The alarms cost money, but I think they're worth it.

3 p.m. rolls around, and Bill, Diego, and Ginger return from their Fashion job. Bill and Diego have gotten promoted! Thanks, guys; we sure can use the money.

Now that they're home, I buy them a sofa and a bookcase and get them to study Cooking. Once they've gotten two Cooking points apiece, I buy a refrigerator, stove, and two counters. The Fashion promotion requires Charisma and Creativity, so I also buy a mirror. Since Ginger didn't get promoted, I set her to cooking, set Diego to working on Charisma, and have Bill watch TV.

The Politics folks come home, and Evelyn and Fred have gotten promoted, as well. Excellent! Four out of eight sims promoted means that we can afford beds for everybody. They're the second-cheapest bed, but it's still WAY better than napping on the sofa.

The bedroom is 7 x 5, which means it fits four beds across and two along the other wall. Only two of you will have to sleep in the main room. I move the phone into the bathroom so that it won't wake them once they've gone to bed. I'll need to remember to turn the TV off, too, since it's in the main room with pretty much everything else.

I also buy an easel, so Bill and Diego can get the Creativity point they need for their second promotion. I get everybody to study Cooking and watch TV in shifts, so everybody reaches the level where they shouldn't burn down the kitchen, and everybody's Fun and Comfort needs are high enough that they might get promoted tomorrow.

Eventually, everybody has their two Cooking points, and I send them all to bed. I'm feeling pretty good about my first day ... and then the racoon knocks over the trash can, and all 8 sims immediately vault out of their beds. By the time I got them all back to sleep, it would be time to get them back up again, so I decide to just start their day early, even though their Energy isn't where I'd hoped it would be, poor things.

I'm just about to start having them do the eat-pee-shower-watch television rotation to get ready for work, and then the food I had Ginger make last night develops flies. Oh, that's right! I remember now! I've been using my Food Stays Fresh For A Week mod for so long that I forgot how fast the food goes bad in the vanilla game. Oops! Sorry, guys.

So ends Day 1. :-)

Onward to Day 2

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