I Got What I Wanted

As we were cruising around the Southcenter parking lot yesterday (with Phillip driving), looking for a vacant parking spot, Phillip asked me which I like better: The Sims 2 or The Sims 4.

I told him that each game has its positives and negatives. It’s tough choosing one over the other. I suspect that I’ll be playing The Sims 4 more often, simply because it loads so much faster. (I do some of my best reading while waiting for The Sims 2 to load.)

I told him that I like the level of customization The Sims 2 provides, but he already knew that.

I told Phillip that one of the things that has always bugged me about The Sims 2 is that each lot (household or commercial) exists in its own separate universe, with its own passage of time.

A sim can walk out of the house at 5:00 p.m., one hour before their carpool is scheduled to arrive, and go a nightclub. They can hang out at the nightclub until two in the morning, and then go home. And when they get home, it’s still 5:00, and they haven’t missed any work.

A couple can have a child. That child can grow up into a teen, and then an adult. When the parents are a few days away from being an elder, the child moves out, into a house of their own. If I play that child exclusively, and never play the parents’ household, the child grows up into an elder while the parents never age. The child dies of old age, and the parents are still a few days away from being an elder. When I go back to playing the parents’ household, they’re still cooking the same meal they were cooking when the child moved out.

It’s weird.

Now, with The Sims 4, that’s fixed. Households you don’t play age on their own. I got what I wanted, and I’m sorry I did.

I’ve created several households in The Sims 4. The first Sims 4 sim I ever created died of old age – rather quickly, I thought. I went back to play the young couple I created, and discovered that one sim was already an elder and the other had died – and I have no idea where. I found that the teen I created had become an adult – and she had had only one opportunity to do her homework.

It’s frustrating.

“So you’re supposed to play only one sim at a time?” was Phillip’s comment. “I guess so,” I replied. “That’s weird,” said Phillip.

I was playing The Sims 4 this morning, and decided to see what graphics setting I could play around with. And there, under the gameplay options, I discovered the option to turn off the automatic aging for non-played sims. Not only that, I discovered that I could adjust the lifespan for my sims. It’s defaulted to “Medium”, but it could be “Short” or “Long”.

The sims I’ve created in The Sims 4 no longer age when I’m not looking, and they have longer lifespans.

It’s cool.

It’s still going to be weird when a child grows up at a different rate than their parents, but I can live with that.

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