Tips for a Sims 3 newbie in a Sims 4 world!

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Tips for a Sims 3 newbie in a Sims 4 world!

Post by ZeeGee » 18 Mar 2015, 21:58

So I tried to do a Tumblr blog about this but can't ever remember to check it OR post. Plus almost everyone there has switched to Sims 4 soooooo....here's hoping some of my hard learned lessons will be helpful to those of you who decide to make the switch to computer simming after getting fed up with SFP (my history).

FIRST TIP! Get the basic Sims 3 game and just play with it for awhile. Don't add expansions and don't add mods or custom content. Just play. It's very different from SFP, in a GOOD way! This will also ensure that your computer is powerful enough to run the game! My nongaming, very low dedicated memory desktop ran Sims 3 just fine until I added Pets. Then my game started crashing a lot. So play with it for a few days to see how the regular game works.

PS: The one cheat I recommend to start playing: hold down control, shift, and 'c'. A box will open up along the top of the game. Type in 'motherlode'. This will give you 50,000 simoleons to buy stuff with. You need this cause you start out very poor! There are people who like to play with no money cheats. I'm not one of them. So it's up to you :)

EDIT: If you're buying from Origin, you can get a starter pack with The Sims 3, Late Night Expansion pack and High End Loft stuff pack for $19.99, even cheaper if you hit a sale. You can download and install the basic Sims 3. The other two are separate downloads and installations. You don't have to add them to your game until you're ready. I mentioned this in a later post but thought it might be nice to know this from the start!
Last edited by ZeeGee on 23 Mar 2015, 18:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tips for a Sims 3 newbie in a Sims 4 world!

Post by Perturbee » 19 Mar 2015, 13:49

Great tips!

Maybe another good one is to turn off ageing or adjust the life span to suit your preference. Start out with epic (960 sim days) or no ageing, until you get a feeling of what might be a comfortable length.

Keep in mind that accidental deaths still might happen! You might want to look into how to resurrect Sims.

If § 50,000 is too much, kaching gives only § 1,000 each time it's used. I used that often to get some basic items in the house to earn some money a little easier.

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Re: Tips for a Sims 3 newbie in a Sims 4 world!

Post by ZeeGee » 19 Mar 2015, 15:53

Thanks, Perturbee, such an important point! I play with aging OFF. Right now I am remaking my SFP town in Sunset Valley (the town in basic Sims 3) And I watched in horror the other day as Emily Ann (Elizabeth Bennet's teen daughter) somehow managed to catch herself on fire and burn to death. I haven't learned how to resurrect yet but I had saved recently so I quit the game without saving then went back in and kept her WAY away from the BBQ grill. :)

So it's your choice, to age or not to age! If you do decide to let your Sims age it's very different from SFP. In S3 Sims all age at the same rate. A lot of people like to play this way and have generations of Sims. I might try playing a town this way some day, when I'm done with my SFP town remake. Yes, you can have more than one town! Don't know how many....

Oh, so here's how, cause we're newbies, right?! To turn aging off or slow it down drastically, in your game click on the three dots in the lower left hand corner. Then click on options, go to the game options tab, and remove the checkmark from 'enable aging.' Or you can keep aging enabled and give them a long life span in this tab as Perturbee mentioned.

In the last tab, advanced demographics, you can disable story progression if you want to completely control your town - who gets married, who moves in or out, who has babies...etc. Lots of options in S3! We like options :D

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Building & decorating tips

Post by ZeeGee » 19 Mar 2015, 22:48

If you're transitioning from SFP to S3, building is going to be a big shock. There are so very many more options to build that it's just mindboggling, however, it's also mind boggling to learn how to do it! Drawing some walls and putting some floor down is pretty simple (you should have learned how to do that in the tutorial), but to learn all the cool tricks my best resource has been watching The Sims Supply videos on YouTube. Do a search for The Sims Supply on YouTube, when you find his page click on videos, and then sort from oldest to newest. Start with "Let's build a house part 1" and so on.... He has lots of other videos on how to use some really cool cheats to get special effects. I recommend saving those until you have more experience or you can end up with some REALLY weird looking houses! (Wishing I'd taken screenshots now) :lol:

My favorite thing is redecorating the EA houses in the game. As in SFP, they build some REALLY ugly houses with very weird layouts. I love to go in and start knocking down walls, changing colors and adding furniture that actually matches! You can have the same baseboards and mouldings throughout the house without having to have the same color walls! Which brings us to the main reason I decided to go with S3 instead of S4. I'm not an S4 hater by any means (there seem to be a lot out there), might even play it some day. But in S3 there is a tool that allows you to change almost anything to almost any pattern or color. REALLY. It totally rocks. Clothes, furniture, floors, walls - you name it, you can change it. And you can even change the colors in the patterns if you want to! LOVE LOVE LOVE this. I'm going to try to attach some pictures as examples. Here's hoping I can figure that out. :o
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This is Zarabeth looking a lot different than in SFP, huh?! Zarabeth is waving 'hi' to the two people who are following this thread. :D (I think I overestimated that).

So as you can see, I can change the color of her dress, I can change the pattern, I can change the colors IN the pattern (Yeah, I know that's ugly but it's just to show you how it works. I wouldn't ACTUALLY make her wear that of course. Unless she'd been naughty or something) ANYWAY, so I can also make it metallic, or wood, or even match the boots and dress!
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You can also use this tool for building with walls, floors, furniture, just about anything, which is why there are a bunch of create-a-sim pics in a building post...just to demonstrate the versatility. I guess I could have taken pics of walls, but where's the fun in that? Besides, I know y'all miss Zarabeth and wanted to get a peek at how she's doing nowadays and what she looks like now.

Have a nice day!

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Helpful links

Post by ZeeGee » 20 Mar 2015, 13:44

Links that were invaluable to me starting out:

http://www.carls-sims-3-guide.com/

http://modthesims.info/

Thanks to Catherina Perturbee for steering me to those two.

Two more:

http://sims3.crinrict.com/en/

http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/forums/list.page = This is the link to the Sims 3 forum, which is now shut down to posting. What is it with EA and shutting down forums??? Hopefully they will leave it up for searching because there's lots of helpful information on there.

And then there's always google!

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Custom Content - Part 1

Post by ZeeGee » 20 Mar 2015, 21:21

Custom content can be the most awesome addition to your game EVER....or it can totally bork your game. 'Bork' is the cool kids way of saying mess up. I feel my coolness factor going up everytime I type it. 8-)

When I say custom content (hereafter referred to as CC) I mean stuff like makeup, clothes and furniture, not mods. Mods is a whole different animal. For mod info see Perturbee's post 'To mod or not". She covers that better and shorter than I ever could. Plus I don't understand them really. I just did what she said and used a couple of NRAAS mods, which improved the speed of my game and gave it some cool new features.

The MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER to remember about downloading CC is to be careful what link you click. There are nasty people who depend on noobs (like me) that don't know where the actual download links are and they design ads to look like you're clicking to download CC but it's actually malware. It works. I've seen these links on the trusted CC sites. So learn where to REALLY click, and go to http://www.malwarebytes.org to get the free version of their program. Don't get the trial version cause then after awhile they'll start bugging you for money. The free version works fine. You're probably going to need it. It sure helped me.

I've just visited a couple of sites trying to get a sample pic of what to avoid and can't find any. They can pop up at any time so do be careful. My advice is to learn where the REAL download links are. Hmmm, I'll cover that in a later post. But here is a pic of a common tricky download program that some creators use. You click the download link and you get this:
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See the big fat red download link in the middle of the page? It even countdowns the seconds to make it look REALLY legit. Now notice the top right side of the navy bar where it says "Please wait..5 seconds.' THAT is where the real download will appear. This is what will appear next:
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See how tricky? Makes me mad just looking at it. Ignore the big link in the middle that says your download is ready. Look up to the top right again where it says in yellow 'skip ad.' Click that, and then you will get your download.

Another important thing to remember - CC is not necessary to play Sims 3. Some players choose not to use it at all. There are a lot of customization options in the base game and each expansion or stuff pack adds more. It's just, you know, EA stuff, which, you know...is usually not that great. So again, your choice.

This post is getting too long and there's still a lot of information to cover about CC so I've just decided to break it into parts.

Signing off for now?? Keep on simmin''?? Have a nice day?? I need a good tagline. Have to work on that.

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Custom Content - Part 2 How to get it into your game

Post by ZeeGee » 20 Mar 2015, 22:55

So you've decided you can't live without all that gorgeous hair, makeup and furniture? Don't blame you. My name is ZeeGee and I'm a CC-aholic. :shock:

The first thing to do is download 7-zip from http://www.7-zip.org. It will open up all those weird file types you've never heard of (and the regular zip ones) so you can stick the files in your game.

This link has some basic info on CC and links at the bottom with detailed instructions on how to get the three CC types (Sims3packs, packages and sim files) into your game.

http://simswiki.info/wiki.php?title=Gam ... _CC_Basics

This is explosive stuff. Enter at your own risk. Your game, and your life, may never be the same. You might start spending more time hunting and organizing CC than you do actually PLAYING the game. Every link with gorgeous hair, makeup and clothes links to ANOTHER site with gorgeous makeup and clothes and so on...and so on... So don't say I didn't warn ya!

One more warning, there are ways to avoid getting bad CC in your game though nothing is foolproof. That's the next post. Hmmm, maybe I should have posted that one FIRST?!

I've decided how to sign off posts...with pictures from my game. Tada! This is Zarabeth relaxing in bed with a good book, her favorite activity.
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Custom Content - Part 3 How not to *bork* your game

Post by ZeeGee » 20 Mar 2015, 23:44

If you're going to get a couple items, stick them in your game and try them out...no problem. However, if you play SFP with it's limited options and suddenly you have unlimited options to download creative CC from wonderfully talented artists, you're gonna go mad and download gobs and gobs of CC and totally bork ( 8-) ) your game. Then you're going to have to go back and try to figure out what went wrong, where is the bad CC, not be able to, and end up deleting everything and starting a new game. So you delete your EA folder, start a brand new game, thinking well THIS time I know what I'm doing. But you don't. And you do the same exact thing over again. After the THIRD time around, you finally realize If you want to use CC you're going to have to stop and do the research on where you're going wrong. (Yes, that's my story :oops: )

I recommend these three tools: Delphy's Dashboard and Custard (which you can get from Mod the Sims) and S3PE (which you can get from SourceForge). With these 3 tools, you can actually look into the files you're getting. Dashboard scans package files and corrupt files show up red. DELETE THESE! Dashboard also has a cool feature that clears all your game caches for you at once (a good thing). Custard opens Sims3Packs (S3P) to show you what's in them. S3Ps are basically an envelope for package files and artists can cram a lot of stuff in there. If you click on them to install them, whatever files are in there are going to be installed in your game. S3PE opens package and sim files to see if there's anything in there that shouldn't be. If there is, you can delete the problem or just delete the whole file. S3PE also merges package files. The more package files you have, the longer it takes your game to load. S3PE can merge a bunch of package files into just one package and help the lagging loading times. Just do a Youtube search on 'S3PE how to merge files". There's lots of videos explaining how.

Oops, forgot one. You need Delphy's Multi Sims3pack Extractor to change your S3Ps into packages, which I always do now. Packages are just so much easier. This tool is found on Mod the Sims.

I also found an amazing post on how to organize your CC. I wish I'd seen this in the beginning. It's a little labor intensive when you first download CC, but it will be so worth it later when you decide to delete files to get stuff you like better or just don't like something and want it gone or need to find a specific item and you have 1000 files to sort through. Here's the link:

http://ohmysims.tumblr.com/post/24336581511

I've changed it up a little (cuz I can be a little OCD too) but follow this guide for the most part.

This pic is a blatant plug for S3 if you're trying to decide on which Sims game you'd like to play. Notice the beautiful open world. Your sims can walk to their neighbors' homes or drive their cars to work. A few of the buildings are 'rabbit holes' like in SFP (ex: fire station). There are beaches and parks and it's just really beautiful.
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EDIT: Does the pic show? I had to edit it to a gif because the jpg was too big.

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Custom Content - Part 4 Some terms and examples

Post by ZeeGee » 21 Mar 2015, 03:28

Long time simmers throw these terms around like everyday words. It's a whole new language, and they've been speaking it so long, they forget that there are those of us noobs who don't have a clue! Here are some of the ones that stumped me.

SKINS: Skin? My sims have skin. Why would I need to download skin??

DEFAULT/NON-DEFAULT: I saw this on downloads and didn't have a clue.

Sims come with DEFAULT skin and eyes. You can change those by putting DEFAULT skin and eyes in your game, but ONLY ONE. You can only have ONE DEFAULT of any one item in your game. You will not see your new skin and eyes in any selection menus. They will just automatically go on your sim in the create-a-sim (CAS) menu.

NONDEFAULTS: You can have as many as you want. The nondefault skins will show up in the basic skin menu. The nondefault eyes (often labeled contacts or ND) show up in the costume section of the makeup section.

Here are some sample pics to show why new skins and eyes make such a huge difference. This is a sim with basic EA skin. (She is my favorite in the sim bin)
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Here is the same sim with one of the more popular skins out there. Notice how much more realistic she looks. She even has a belly button!
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These pics don't completely do it justice but you get the idea. Now here are some eye pics. These are regular default EA eyes.
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These are my default eyes. You can also see a better close up of the skin in this pic. Her bone structure on her neck and highlights on her face are from my default skin and make her look much more realistic.
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So that's it for the custom content tutorials! At least that's all I can think of for now.

Zooey drug her piano out of inventory and started playing in front of the hospital. Maybe hoping to cheer up the sick people?
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Custom Content - the down side

Post by ZeeGee » 22 Mar 2015, 03:10

It makes your game really laggy. After a frustrating day of decorating, I've decided to go through mine and delete a bunch. When I first started playing, I was so 'content deprived' from playing SFP that I downloaded every wallpaper, every hair, every pattern I could get my hands on. But seriously, how many three seater square couches do you ACTUALLY need?? And how many long, straight, parted in the middle hairstyles do you ACTUALLY need?? In some categories, mainly hair and wood patterns, I have to sit and wait for a minute for them to load before I can continue with my decorating or sim making. I'm not sure how much is too much, but I have about 4.5 GB of CC, and 2 GB of that is hair! Time for a cull...

I leave you with a warning pic. Sims can actually catch on fire in S3! If there's no firemen around head for the pool! Poor Zarabeth was quite fried, but back to her normal self after a cold shower. :o
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