View Full Version : The "Hardcore" Civilization Challenge.

16th May 2017, 4:43 PM
I made a challenge for myself. There are likely tons like it. I intend for this list to be as thorough as possible to begin with the required world-building of this challenge.

“World building?” you may be asking. “What does that mean? Three sentences in, and you haven’t even began to explain what the challenge is!”

If you are bored of your daily sim life, then you probably will want to try this hardcore, over-the-top civilization challenge. This is a harsh, open world. It is not meant for light play. It is called “Hardcore” for a very good reason as it will test your patience, skill, management and leadership.

The Premise:

Basically, for this challenge, I’ve put upon myself (and anyone else who is willing to go through with this) the task of putting two to four sims in a literally barren wasteland of a world. They must repopulate and survive. The list of mods that are required for this is extensive, but I will try to single out a the minimum amount needed for this challenge.
Unlike some other challenges, this is a very literal “hardcore mode.” It takes time, but I find it to be more enjoyable than the actual game at some points.

The Goal:

The aim of the challenge is to try and continue with a civilization with only two to four sims in the beginning. The recommended value I would give to beginners is two. Some would think “the more, the merrier!” but that just isn’t true. The more sims you have, the more you will need to feed, and the more they will need to keep up with. The story behind it doesn’t have to matter. For those who are less creative, I am providing these examples:

Scenario 1: Imagine a world before time. A small tribe has formed out in the vast and empty countryside, and in that tribe, a family is outcasted for a particular reason. In this scenario, the “family” (literal or metaphorical) must venture out to find a new home, creating their own tribe in the process or else die of starvation. Along the way, the family will grow and tame wildlife, create farming communities, and grow into a true nation with their own culture. (With this, you will require Pets.)

Scenario 2: Imagine the world after catastrophe. Something happened - disease, destruction, deliverance, none of which matters - but now, the only people left for miles are those right here in this very area. These few, that call one another family, must venture out into the open world for food. Zombies and other beasts will arise from the ground after a certain amount of time and so animals, children and crops must be saved before the night of the dreaded Culling Moon. Along the way, the family will revitalize humanity and re-purpose old technologies to start anew. (With this, you will require Supernatural and Into The Future.)

As was stated earlier, the story doesn’t matter at first. It can even just be two people shipwrecked on an island. What does matter is how much effort you know that you can put into the survival, and how much you are willing to sacrifice to get there.

Prerequisites (no matter which scenario):

Nraas Master Controller - Use the Traffic, Woohooer, Shooless, Traveler, Relativity, ErrorTrap, StoryProgression, Overwatch and Career. All of these have some useful relevancy to the setup stage of the challenge.
Shimrod’s No Cars - This will work in conjunction with the above-mentioned Nraas Traffic.
Ancient, prehistoric, post-apocalyptic, steampunk, or medieval-themed outfits of your choice - This takes hours of searching, but it does exist. This is mostly for immersion, but it really takes the tone away from the challenge if everyone is dressed in normal clothes. Be sure to add in many maternal-compatible dresses/outfits.
The following Sims 3 packs: Generations, World Adventures - It WILL work with every pack, but the minimum are these. Seasons and Island Paradise are not required, but if you are up for going against the elements in a more “hardcore” scenario, then you will definitely want them.
One big, empty, open world with NO roads. This is a must for Scenario 1, and a maybe for Scenario 2. With Scenario 2, the world can have roads, but no one can use them until they have acquired enough of a skill to fix the “Classically Cool Fixer-Upper Car” on the EA store. (Hint: there are ways to get this without buying it. You just have to “check 4 the world.”) However, during Scenario 1, you cannot have roads what-so-ever.
For the empty world, this (http://rhodalle.wixsite.com/simmerrho/single-post/2015/11/22/Survival-Island) is the best example I have been able to find.

The Soft Setup:

Yes. There is a setup process. But it shouldn’t take you longer than a few hours on your first try, and every time afterwards shouldn’t take any longer than that.

In the Options Menu, turn off all celebrities, story progression, opportunities, and creatures. If you want to randomly come across certain animals, enable pets. (This is not recommended. Adopt a pet if you think your family is ready for one.)
Disable Music. The music must be non-existent. The only music that should be made would be through the sims themselves. When you think it is necessary, give them an instrument.
Create a two to four sim household. The house must consist of one masculine figure. The others must be feminine figures (able to give birth). Do not include children, toddlers or the elderly. Do not place them in their world yet. Skip the tutorial and enter “Edit Town” through the menu.
Be sure the world has no lots besides No Visitors Allowed or Residential land plots. I do not recommend the use of specific Fishing locations as this may prompt the game to create townies that should not exist. There should be no other ways to satisfy their needs besides what they can come up with, so no restaurants or even hospitals should be present.
If there are no lots, create some No Visitors Allowed and Residential lots in key locations. These locations must be on flat land, near water sources, on secure-looking ground and in areas where they will more easily find nature. Desert areas can exist in between these plots of land. Be sure to spread them evenly so that a sim doesn’t starve or die of exposure on the way there.
On every lot, place some signature feature. Make sure to place a few bushels of a particular fruit/vegetable/edible plant. Be sure they blend in with the environment, even go far enough to create forested areas of weeds, bushes and trees around it. In water, place 2-6 Common to Uncommon fishing spawners per lot. If you want to make it truly interesting, in a hard to find place, put rarer fishing spawners.
Create a “home base” lot. For beginners, use a 64x64 plot of land. For those who want a challenge, go as small as 30x30. This plot should not contain any water, should be near (within one in-game hour walking distance) a plot of land with a fish spawner or plants containing food, and must be over 75% on solid, flat land. The home base should be entirely empty at first.
Place your sims on the “home base” lot and create a house. Take artistic license. Do what you wish visually; however, the home must have sleeping bags (enough for each sim), a fire pit with enough chairs for each sim, a refrigerator to use as a chest for food, an outside bathtub or shower, and toilet. Be sure to add in an inaccessable room with a cheap desk, computer and chair. Your sims are never meant to com into contact with this room, so it should never be in-view. It is for Nraas Master Controller uses only.

The (actual) Setup:

This is a required step. All of that was just aesthetics or the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae that is the challenge’s setup process. We need to go deeper. Master Controller can help us with that.

If you are unfamilliar with Nraas Master Controller, then I strongly encourage you to try it on your own with a separate save beforehand. It will be vital to familiarize yourself with just how much it controls the world. Be sure to navigate menus and do these steps very carefully. Click on the computer, and find the tab labeled “Nraas.”

[INDENT] Under Traveller, disallow: Weather stone, preform travel actions, show debugging… You want to make sure there are NO descendants, NO tourists, NO people. Alter the settings per your judgement.
Under Register, disallow: Immigration, resident assignment, show debugging… You want there to be NO service NPCs, NO paparazzi, NO PEOPLE what-so-ever. Alter the settings per your judgement.
Under Woohooer, find “General.” Disallow: Debugging, enforced privacy, link to story progression, interactions under romance. Allow: unlock actions for teenagers. Alter any other settings per your judgement.
Under Woohooer, find “Romance.” Disallow: Teen marriage only if existing offspring and remove romance on kiss. Set Jealousy to none. Find “Species: Human.” Allow: Allow Autonomous near realtion romance and allow near relation romance. Alter any other settings per your judgement.
Under Woohooer, find “Try for Baby.” Alter the targeting of pregnancy per your choice. This will be relative to what roles your family has in place in the beginning. Find “Species: Human.” Again, alter these settings per your judgement. This list of settings will depend on your choice of gameplay style.
Under Woohooer, find “Woohoo.” Allow: Teen woohoo, adult-teen woohoo. Disallow: Jealousy level, stride of pride, zombie… Find “Species: Human.” Allow: Near relation woohoo. Alter any other settings per your judgement.
Go under every tab in nearly every module and check for any inconsistencies or flaws that may cause issues or the creation of other sims. Sadly, there is no way to bypass this step. This is especially true for Story Progression, which requires a very laborious look at each option.
Make sure more than 8 sims per household enabled.

How to start?

The simple answer is to “just do it.” The more complicated answer I can give you is to “just try it.” The way I begin each playthrough is by having one sim become the leader.

This leader can be anyone, but usually it is the masculine figure. The leader must go without the other sims to find better locations for a new base, new exotic foods, and animals to tame. The other members of the family will need to stay near the base and their source of food, acting as farmers or fishermen. These people will overall provide more food than the leader. I do not recommend a feminine leader because pregnant sims move slower, and exploration is almost impossible. This isn’t “sexist;” this is strategy. Masculine sims will move faster than their counterparts, making exploration much easier.

It is the job of the masculine figure, leader or not, to impregnate all of the feminine figures once they have a steady source of food. For those who want a true challenge, use Seasons for the harshest effects: supply food, find shelter before winter, and don’t get caught outside for too long in the heat/cold. Any other masculine figures born after this will have the ability to marry feminine figures as a more normalized marriage process. “Feminine to Feminine” and “Masculine to Masculine” marriage is allowed when there are more than 5 masculine figures in a household. (I say this because it is very possible to run a civilization of only men or only women. All it takes is “Same Sex Pregnancy” to be enabled.)

Zombies are not necessary. It was only a bit of an idea, as it would be very hard to control food sources around zombies. I personally have not yet allowed zombies into my worlds as it would be too difficult.

Once there are considerably more sims (usually around 15-30), the group must split off into individual villages, inhabiting other lots in the world. At this point, the game should start to look more like the actual base game. You will have the ability to “set up” shops and outlets (the best way to do this is with Rabbit Hole doors and/or rugs). The further in that you go, the more settings you can revert to default, such as the spawning of NPCs.

For those with a bonfire, the fire must be lit every time a sim is married or gives birth. This is ceremonial and should be done as if it were tradition.

On towns with roads, cars can only be re-enabled once the “Classically Cool Fixer-upper Car” is completely fixed. When this is the case, that means your sim has invented cars, and travel will be available for all. This gate should only be unlocked when a community has enough free time to create it.

:new:Food Explained:new:

In the beginning, food is only eaten at a fire pit. Sims have the option to cook individual bits of food when they are sitting in front of a bonfire. If you wish to restrict yourself further, have it so that each sim must eat a specific number of roasted food items (as you can put more than one item on a stick to roast it). Food can only be eaten raw when it is a fruit, mushroom or vegetable, just like in the normal game. This is not recommended since this food does not fill sims' hunger meters entirely, and this would potentially waste food. What food you will be able to get relies on the world-building you did earlier.

As you continue growing your population, you will eventually need to "find" or "build" a stove. This will be for when you have many more sims and it is easier for one to cook for everyone rather than everyone sit down at a fire and cook for themselves. This allows you to have more than the limited number of people who can be huddled around campfires; although, I do still like for them to cook their food that way during the winter.

:new:Quality of Life Concerns:new:

This bit is one I'm adding in later. Something to consider is that you may need mods to make it harder/easier. Things such as the "Children Can" series will give you an upper hand against the elements. Changing how animals feed and interact with one another can transform your experience easily. Sometimes it may seem fun to have a society made of purely fishers or purely gardeners. If you place spawners and autosoil plots in good locations, you may even be able to create a society of pure gatherers. These variations on gameplay often help you more than it helps the sims; for example, having auto-harvest on will save you having to click on every individual plant, especially if you have fields and fields of crops.

How do you win?

Don’t expect a big screen to flash up with, “You won!” because it won’t. This is a self-made challenge. Much like any other Sims challenge, you win when you want to win. I personally find it to be a “win” once the town looks like it could operate without any mods, as if it were a downsized version of the base game. This makes it the ultimate simulation of "life," where a society literally grows from an Adam and Eve.

Another way to look at it is that you’ve gone back to the beginning again: the world that you as a player have altered so heavily from its original form is now back to being a normal town willed with normal people and jobs. Perhaps you would even outcast a small group of a few people from the society and transfer them to a different empty world to complete the cycle and start anew. Everything is cyclical, and the circle of life goes on.

But why, though?! It’s so much effort!

I started doing this on my own around two or three years ago. I felt that it was time to document it. The whole idea behind it is that you must manage everything for a long-term goal rather than a short-term one. This goal is typically far off from your current sims' life spans, and stretches to an end that you may even never reach. It brings up simple questions on the meaning of life, why the sims are even there, what they're fighting so hard for... The restrictions I've given here are simple guidelines. If something doesn’t fit in with your style, then change it! Make it modern. Make it alien. Make it weird if you want to.

This is how I play. I want to give others the option to do so, too, as I begin my experiments with this game’s limitations once more.

If you used anything from this “challenge,” please tell me. If you’re having trouble with the setup, I’d be happy to help if there are any complications.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and remember: I love you. <3