Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Introducing the Baker Family and Ambitions

Welcome back everyone. Last time I indicated we'd be going back to the Medina-Britt household after installing Ambitions, but I ended up with a bit of a change of plans. I did install Ambitions as planned, but then I got to thinking about what I want to do with the Medinas and Britts, and decided that I really want to split them up into their own households partly so each family has more room to grow and expand, and partly so I won't have to deal with so many sims at once. I'm still pondering how exactly I want to do that, however, along with researching the different options and possible consequences. I also decided to try out Twallan's Story Progression mod so to see if I like it or not I started messing around in a new version of Sunset Valley with one of the pre-made families in the sim bin so I wouldn't put my established families at risk while I test. The family I chose, somewhat at random, was the Bakers (this shot was taken after I'd been playing them for a sim week or so).

I originally wasn't intending to make them part of this blog, because I thought I was just going to play around with them to test a few things out then be done, but as I was doing so I got interested in them and decided that I want to keep playing the family. I thought about just having them on the side, then decided that if I'm going to be playing them then I might as well include them in the challenge and the blog as well so I can count the things they do toward completion. This does mean that I don't have any pictures of them from what I've played so far, but I'll try to recap a bit. First, let's meet them (I should note they've all gotten makeovers from how I found them in the bin to start with).

Svetlana Baker

Age: Elder
Traits: Flirty, Family-Oriented, Good, Charismatic, Ambitious
Favorites: Pop, Fruit Parfait, Spiceberry
LTW: Super Popular (Be friends with 20 sims)

Heathcliff Baker

Age: Elder
Traits: Workaholic, Natural Cook, Perfectionist, Good, Computer Whiz
Favorites: Kids, Key Lime Pie, Irish Green
LTW: Presenting the Perfect Private Aquarium (Have 13 different perfect fish in fishbowls)

Becky Baker

Age: Young Adult
Traits: Hopeless Romantic, Mooch, Athletic, Heavy Sleeper, Lucky
Favorites: Pop, Cobbler, Yellow
LTW: Golden Tongue, Golden Fingers (Max Charisma and Guitar)

Topher Baker

Age: Child (started as a toddler)
Traits: Light Sleeper, Friendly, Neat (acquired when he aged up)
Favorites: Classical, Dim Sum, Spiceberry
LTW: None yet

I will be focusing first on Svetlana and Heathcliff to try to get their LTWs done. I don't know that they'll have enough time left to complete them and they won't have access to deathflowers or the like to extend their time, but challenge rules say I have to at least attempt to, so I'll be giving it the ol' college try as they say and we'll see if I can manage it. Becky and Topher will be getting attention as well, but I don't anticipate any problems with Becky's LTW since she has loads of time still, and Topher's still really young (just turned Child). I might try to steer Topher into one of the Ambitions careers, but we'll see what he shows an interest in as he gets older.

A lot of my play so far with this family was geared around toddler training for Topher. I did pretty well with him and he learned all his skills as well as had all of the skill books read to him and he maxed out on the xylophone and peg box. Since the family doesn't have much money for buying books (or much of anything else) right now, I had Heathcliff take him down to the library to read to him, and I think that's what I'll be doing from now on if I can manage it because it went really fast doing it that way. It only took them two afternoons to get through all 9 books, really more just an afternoon and a half since they didn't get down there until late on the first day.

Becky has been focused on her career and working on her guitar skill so far and didn't take much part in raising Topher through his toddlerhood. She did interact with him, and frequently had wishes to Snuggle, Toss in Air, Pick up, etc., I just felt her time was mostly better spent doing her stuff since I had the two elders there to take care of Topher and teach him everything he needed. This also means that the elders didn't get much of a chance to work on their skills or wishes much, but that's ok. Since I didn't see them having much of a realistic chance at finishing their LTWs anyway I wasn't too worried about it.

As for other updates and items of note: Becky is currently at level 4 of the Music career, level 5 Guitar skill and level 3 Charisma skill; Svetlana has 3/20 friends needed for her LTW and is 85 days old so only about 5 sim days left guaranteed - if she hits it hard with the friend making she might have a chance, but it's a slim one; Heathcliff has level 3 in Fishing skill so hasn't caught that many different kinds of fish yet, and hasn't gotten any perfect ones so far and he's 83 days old, so has about 7 days left guaranteed - chances of finishing his LTW are slim as well. As I said at the start, they're currently in Sunset Valley (a different one from the one the Medina-Britts are in) and on the same lot that the Medinas started on (it's my favorite starter lot in SV), but I'll probably move them to another town after a bit. I have a few different worlds I've gotten from the store that I've never used, so would like to try them out. Available options are: Hidden Springs, Lucky Palms, Monte Vista, and Dragon Valley - if anyone has any recommendations, feel free to leave a comment below :) I'll probably be moving the Britts to Twinbrook, so I don't really want to take the Bakers there. A move likely won't happen until after the elders die, or at least until Svetlana goes because I don't want to sever what relationships she has going so far and damage her chances of finishing her LTW even further.

That pretty well catches things up to where this family is at now. They really haven't done a lot so far that would have been really worth taking pictures of aside from the toddler stuff with Topher, so we haven't really missed a lot in terms of blogging their story. Certainly far less than I'd missed recording with Alesha Medina when I decided to start this blog with her. Anyway, on with the show!

We pick up the tale on Wednesday morning. Topher headed off to school and Svetlana called up Nancy Landgraab to work on a friendship with her. Heathcliff went to the park to work on his fishing, and Becky went to perform for tips. She had the day off from work, so hoped to get her skill up as well as make a bit of cash since they need the money and she's the only one bringing any in.

Heathcliff managed to catch a perfect Minnow, so that's one down, 12 to go. He started working on Goldfish next. Topher had to stay after school to help clean some bug cages but then he came over to the park and hung out for awhile to do his homework. Meanwhile, Svetlana joined her family at the park once she'd become friends with Nancy over the phone. Once there she started chatting up Victoria Andrews and later Dorie Hart.

By the time they were all too tired and hungry to stay any longer, Becky had made §353 in tips from her playing and raised her Guitar skill to level 6. Heathcliff caught a perfect Goldfish so he now had 2 of the 13 he needed, and Svetlana had become friends with Victoria and good acquaintances with Dorie.

The next day everyone except Topher slept in since they'd been up late the night before. Svetlana spent most of the day on the phone with Dorie and became friends with her. She also called a few of her other friends and started talking with another acquaintance before it got too late to make any more phone calls. Heathcliff tended the small garden he'd started then went back to the park to fish, but didn't have any luck getting another perfect fish. Topher had another after school activity then had a friend over. Becky went to the library for awhile before she had to go to work. All in all it was a pretty ordinary day with not much progress made on needed things.

On Friday, Svetlana made another friend on the phone and Heathcliff caught a perfect Rainbow Trout at the park. Becky worked on her Guitar skill a little bit before work, but didn't get very far with it. As evening fell, the house next door developed a ghost problem that a local ghosthunter came to take care of (so far I'm thinking I could do without that addition because the music that plays when there's a ghost infestation gets very annoying very quickly).

Later in the evening when Heathcliff was still at the park, Cornelia Goth passed away while he was nearby to witness it.

On Saturday, Topher worked on making some baked goods to try to do a bake sale, while Heathcliff headed to the salon to see about a tatoo. When he got there, he encountered Pauline Wan, who was going into labor.

It was late afternoon before Topher made it to the park to try selling his muffins, but he did make it and set up his table. Interestingly enough, Pauline Wan and Hank Goddard were there having a picnic - the same Pauline that had just been in labor earlier at the salon. They did not have a baby with them, so it's unclear what happened with it. Sadly, Topher didn't have any luck with his sale and hadn't sold a single thing by the time it was late enough he had to pack up and go home.

Sunday was another park day for most of the family. Topher set up his bake sale table again, but didn't have any better luck than before. Becky set up nearby to play for tips and made around §200 in a couple different sessions. Heathcliff fished and managed to get a perfect Black Goldfish, bringing his total to 5/13 perfect fish needed. Svetlana stayed home and worked on friendships over the phone, but unfortunately lost one friend from not talking to her in too long.

The next day went by fairly normally, but that evening was Topher's birthday. Becky had to work, so she wasn't able to be there when he blew out his candles, but Svetlana and Heathcliff were there and cheered him on. He grew up well and picked up the Savvy Sculptor trait.

That same night, Becky got a promotion and was faced with a choice of which direction she wanted to go with her music career. She choose to pursue a career in Rock music as it fit her style better than the Symphonic did. The next day she was off, but she did a performance at the theater in the afternoon. When she got home that evening, she had her birthday to Adult.

Heathcliff went down to the beach to try fishing as he'd only had moderate luck the day before at one of the lakes. He managed to catch a perfect anchovy and then a perfect jellyfish in a reasonable amount of time bringing his tally to 8/13 perfect fish. While he was still doing that, Topher asked Becky to help him with his homework since she was actually home in the evening for a change (she's been working most evenings and is rarely home when Topher is). Becky hadn't had a chance to do much with him in a long while, so she readily agreed.

Sadly, while Becky and Topher were doing his homework, Svetlana passed away while checking on the broken shower in the bathroom. She had made it to 11/20 friends I think, possibly 12/20, so she did better than I thought she might, though as predicted she didn't finish, so none of her points count (it would have only been 1 or 2 points at most anyway).

Svetlana wasn't ready to go :(
As if losing his wife wasn't bad enough, Heathcliff also had a setback that night when two of the fish in his aquariums died, the Red Herring and the Black Goldfish. Thankfully he had another perfect Red Herring in his inventory, so the loss only took him down to 7/13.

It's kind of hard to see, but there's green stink clouds over the middle two bowls that have the dead fish
Everyone in the household was really depressed the next few days of course. Topher had school, and spent time with his best friend Donnel over afterwards. Becky had the first day off, but she performed at the theater in the afternoon then played in the park for tips afterwards. The second day she tried to squeeze in another concert before she had to be at work and ended up being late, but it worked out ok. Heathcliff spent most of his time fishing at the park was able to replace the Black Goldfish and added a perfect Siamese Catfish to his collection. A perfect salmon proved rather elusive though.

Heathcliff finally caught a perfect Salmon on Saturday, bringing his count to 10/13. At this point I'm just crossing my fingers he'll hang in there until he can get the last 3, but he's on borrowed time now. Topher spent Saturday doing stuff around the house, while Becky had to work that evening. Sunday Heathcliff got a perfect Alley Catfish and a perfect Angelfish, so he only needed one more to complete his LTW. Becky hung out in front of the theater for awhile playing for tips before her performace at 3PM.

Finally, and amazingly, on Sunday evening Heathcliff at long last caught a perfect Shark. This completed his LTW just as soon as I got it into a bowl for him. It won't be much I'm sure, but his points will now count toward the challenge.

The next few days fell into a routine of Topher working on schoolwork and occupying himself best he could to keep his fun up outside of school. Becky worked on her guitar skill, learning new songs, playing for tips when she could, and doing performances at work and on her days off. Heathcliff kept fishing and eventually had caught all of the fish available in Sunset Valley save for the Deathfish and finished the Amateur Ichthyologist challenge. He stayed up late one night, resorting to taking a nap on one of the stone benches at the cemetery, then tried for that last one. It didn't take him very long to get one.

There's not a lot to tell in the several days following. Topher got a part-time job as a Spa Receptionist because he got an opportunity at school that asked him to get a part-time job. Becky continued to work on her Guitar and Charisma, doing performances and playing for tips as much as possible. Heathcliff tended the garden and otherwise tried to occupy his time with watching the Yummy Channel or reading. He's 100 days old and I'm largely just waiting for him to die at this point, though I am considering taking him to China to fish to see if he can get the Commercial Fisherman challenge done as well. I could just do that in town, but I don't want him to end up dying all alone out at some remote lake. Will see what I decide to do when I play them again.

I think I'm finally ready to get back to the Medina-Britt family, so the next update will probably be about them, but I reserve the right to change my mind. ;) I'll be splitting them up and likely moving the Britt family to Twinbrook. Here's how my score stands currently:

Until next time!


  1. Congratulations on finishing a fishing LTW! I usually find those very time consuming and never finished one

    1. It was quite time consuming and I'm still amazed he actually finished it as an elder since he started with no skill and only store bought produce for bait. He pretty much did nothing but fish for 3-4 days straight once he started getting close. I only let him go home long enough to eat something and get his energy half-full or so before I'd send him out again. Having to look at all the fishing areas and nodes to see where he could get what he needed got rather tedious.

  2. I like to send my sims fishing....gets them out of the way for a while when I have a stuffed house. Interesting seeing the Bakers...have never played them. Only saw them living their lives in the background. :)

    1. I agree it's great for keeping them occupied. Just gets a bit crazed when you have to actually keep track of what they're catching so you can move them on to something else once they get what they were after. With only 3 sims in the household though, and Becky and Topher being fairly low maintenance, it wasn't too bad. I'd never played them before either.