Sims Expansions I'd Like To See
Many of you, I'll assume, are familiar with the Maxis game "The Sims", where players control the lives of tiny computer people. You build and decorate their house, buy their furniture, control their love lives, etc. It's the game where you spend hours and days trying to get the Sims' lives right--cleaning up after them, making sure they hang out with their friends enough, making them pee when they have to--and when you finally stop playing, your house is a mess, you've been neglecting your friends, and you've had an accident all over your Comfort: 5 chair.
The Sims has several expansion packs: Livin' Large, which just has a bunch of different options, including a bed your Sims can have sex in, and makes cockroaches be in your house a lot; House Party, which allows you to invite the whole neighborhood of Sim people to your house; and Hot Date, which makes it much more complicated to have a love life, but when you do, the sex is that much hotter, and which allows you to go to a Downtown area with stores and stuff in it, you know, for dates and stuff. We here at Lance and Eskimo (with the possible exceptions of Yahtzee and Jacques) have experience with all of the expansion packs, but we don't like Hot Date, because it's too hard.
We've heard advance word that the next expansion pack is going to be "The Sims Vacation", which we think is wiggity wack, because the Sims don't need to go on vacation. The Sims need weekends. The Sims need new furniture. The Sims are hungry. The Sims are tired. The Sims want to go home. If I ran Maxis, I'd do things much differently. Here are a few expansion packs I've come up with right now off the top of my head:
The Sims: Weekends In the current game, the Sims have to go to work every day. The can miss one day, but if they miss two in a row, they're fired. Even if they go to work every single day for a million days, and then miss two days. Bang! They're canned faster than peaches in heavy syrup. Your best bet if you want to keep your job is just to try and make them go into work every single day, seven days a week. This is lame! The Sims need weekends so they can catch up with their social lives and have time to go to the bathroom.
The Sims: Orgy The Sims manual is all proud of the fact that your little Sim people can be in love with as many people as you want. It's Polygamy! they rave. The trouble is that the polygamy doesn't work--if persons A, B, and C are in love, and A catches B and C kissing, A will get intensely jealous of one or the other or both of them, and slapping will abound. In "The Sims: Orgy", there would be free-love communes and sex beds and heart-shaped hot tubs big enough for three or more.
The Sims: Three Story House Currently, you can only have one or two stories on your house, which is fine, because it's easier to keep track of people on one story anyway. But it would be nice to build mansions with three stories, especially when you're trying to build your own house, and your house has a basement and an attic. I think you should be able to build three stories down into the ground, too, but one will suffice for (a) building real houses with basements and (b) building secret underground spy lairs and such.
The Sims: Houseguest I'd like it if, while playing one Sim, you could go over to the house of another in the neighborhood and hang out there. You can sleep over and everything, but they get mad if you don't ask first, and they don't let you if they don't like you. After awhile, you overstay your welcome and they kick you out.
The Sims: Weather Sure, it would make the game harder if it snowed occasionally, and the passing of the years would serve only to remind you that your characters aren't aging and, goddammit, you have no life. But I think a passing of the seasons would be nice, because sometimes, you could have Christmas.
The Sims: Teenagers Teenagers don't exist in the Sims world. Little babies grow into children, but children never grow up; which can be useful, if you want to play a concept house, but I think you should have the option of letting them grow up. Anyway, teenagers would be useful because I was trying to make Mr. Darcy's house, from Pride and Prejudice, and he lives with his sister, Georgiana, who's sixteen, and I couldn't decide whether to make her a child or an adult. (I ended up making her a child so Mr. Darcy couldn't fall in love with her. That would be gross!)
The Sims: Infinite Money This set should come with a lot more superexpensive objects and a career track of "Heir". In this track, you either get a dowry of a certain large sum every year, or week, or day, or whatever, provided you don't get a real job. To increase the sum of money, you should have to meet ridiculous requirements, like getting married, having babies, and maxing out your Charisma skill bar. That way, you don't have to cheat to be a rich fool with no job.
The Sims: Lord of the Flies This set should come with options that make it unnecessary for adults to take care of kids, like afterschool jobs so the kids can earn money. And a lot more different kid outfits and options that make having kids more fun.
The Sims: Victorian Era I'm always trying to make Victorian-era houses anyway, and while it's almost possible, there are still some things that don't quite work. Refrigerators, for example, are necessities if you want your Sims not to starve. There is a robot that will cook for you, but I think there should be a very expensive object, Servant, or Servants, which are basically live-in maids and butlers that cook for you, and you don't need a refrigerator. Also, the Victorian set would have a lot more house textures and objects specifically for an upper-class Victorian home. Goes well with the "Infinite Money" set.
The Sims: Japan Miniature furniture and appliances, traditional Japanese clothing, and most importantly, tatami mats and bedrolls for sitting and sleeping on the floor. Sleeping bags would also be useful for a "The Sims: Gypsy Encampment" set.
The Sims: Autonomy For those of us too lazy to actually play the game, there should be an effective way of making the Sims completely self-sufficient. Of course, we can intervene whenever we want to make things more interesting, but we can also just sit back and let things happen. Or go watch TV. Whatever.
You see? There's enough stuff we actually want, and which would make our own neighborhoods more interesting, that they don't need to resort to "change of location" to renew our interest in the game. To reword, before we go going on any vacations, there's plenty of game flaws to work out right on the home front. In other words, I feel that I would be more entertained by my own game ideas than those of the actual game designers, but I'm too lazy, inexperienced, unskilled and resourceless to make my own games.
While you're at it, Maxis guys, you could lower the price of all the Sims games to $10, cause even if you did make one of my dream games, I couldn't afford it.