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The 4x4 Challenge for Sims 3

CharlottesmomCharlottesmom Posts: 7,015 Member
I have been working on this one for awhile and I have 2 versions: the more difficult 4x4 version and the slightly easier 5x5 version, the 5x5 version is better suited if you have only the base game or very few EPs, though the 4x4 is very doable with only the base game.

The object to this challenge is to build yourself a dream house 4x4 block by 4x4 block, each block will cost your sim $10,000.

To start make a sim of your choosing in CAS, either gender, whatever traits you like.

Buy an empty lot, the bigger the better as you will not be able to move for the duration of the challenge.

Start the game by building yourself a 4x4 block "house" (it's gonna be cramped!) it must include:

2 counters
A sink (either in the "kitchen" or "bathroom")
A microwave
A table
A chair
A single bed
A toilet
A shower
A bookcase
A computer if you have the funds
2 or more lights
2 or more windows
A door
A porch if you like any size within reason (I typically do 4x3) BUT the porch is NOT considered part of the house and may not have skilling objects or household objects placed on it. Only decorative objects like plants or a lounge chair as an extra spot to vege out but you must have all household items listed above IN the house).
Siding
Paint
Roof
Carpeting or other flooring of your choice
A small fenced in 6x6 garden (you may buy seeds at the grocery but only 1 of a seed not 15 apple seeds for example).

**I added everything up (including the 4x4 house with a 4x3 porch, and even with fairly expensive furnishings the total still came to less than the $16,000 that most Sims start with, you may kaching once if you wind up under the starting money of $500.00 but then must get down to $500.00.

Please note: if you have Into The Future do yourself a favor and get the All In One Bathroom, it is a big space saver, also look into a loft bed and put a small table and chair under it for your eating or computing purposes, another big space saver.

Buy your sim whatever extras and/or decorations you can squish in. Keep in mind your sims ability to get to everything without a foot stomping hissy fit. Buy as much as you want until you get close to $500.00 as you can, landscaping is good but keep in mind where you want to expand your house so you don't have to wreck all your pretty landscaping after you earn your expansion block(s), a bike is also a good idea. Then set family funds to $500.00.

Your sim may get a job, or work from home to make money though your options for working from home a pretty limited, writing, hacking are good because you should have a computer. Painting and sculpting are off the menu until you have room in your house for an easel or sculpting station. You can always collect, there is good money to be made collecting flowers, rocks, gems, bugs/butterflies, seeds, you can also dumpster dive and sell the items you find. You can garden and sell the produce. When you get your funds up to $10,000 you may add on a 4x4 block to your house, make every attempt to spend as close to $9,500 on the furnishing the new bigger house (save out $500.00 for bills) you can buy whatever you like for the house or to make your sims life easier (a car perhaps). Now you are set to start earning another $10,000 for the next expansion and so on until you have a house you can live in comfortably, my ultimate goal is usually 10 expansions so nine 4x4 blocks plus the original 4x4 block. It is one of my favorite challenges as it is really tough in the beginning because you are so cramped.

A few things to note: you may get married but when your mate moves in he/she must be unemployed or the challenge would be too easy, if they bring any money with them it must be deleted. They can do whatever you like but may not make any money, when my sim gets married in this challenge I tend to skill the heck out of the spouse, have then read all the skill books and max out skills, costs nothing if they read at the library and they become a jack of all trades.

**EDIT for boyfriend/girlfriend and marriage: you may either follow the rules above and just have an unemployed, unable to make money mate, Or you may have them work, collect, create, garden or whatever to make money BUT your additional 4x4s will cost you $20,000 as you will have 2 Sims bringing in the cash. Children can not make any money (hang the paintings they paint, or inventory them), as they reach teen if they get a part time job add another $5,000 to the 4x4 cost. This is only for the first 2 children, any extra kids can be money making machines ;). When the kids reach YA the $10,000 applies to them if they stay in the house.

**EDIT: if you want to add in a roommate, fiancee, husand/wife, or other person to the house you must get rid of any money they bring to the household. You can do this by family funds or buy as many objects you need to get to the total you need to get rid of then object delete the objects.

**Money making ideas that are frowned upon as it is way too easy to make a bundle: that crazy 8 ball thingie (will look up the real name).

Also adding that you do not have to lay your 4x4s all on one story, they can be a second story of the house if you like, stairs will have to be inside the house though.

For those without many EPs (mainly Into The Future) I reccomend trying out a 5x5 challenge first, it makes less of an issue of not having access to a loft bed and an all in one bathroom, though I have done the 4x4 using strictly only base game items.

My goal is always 10 4x4s (the original 4x4 plus 9 add ons). You can make up your own goal if you want, make it fun for You! :wink:

Have Fun and be sure and let me know if you have any suggestions or criticisms (I can take it.... :wink: ).

Enjoy! Becky :smile:

Picture of first stage 4x4 house: Outside
Screenshot-99_zpsppusyqku.jpg
Inside:Screenshot-102_zpsuqandmqi.jpg
Post edited by Charlottesmom on

Comments

  • BSIReginaBSIRegina Posts: 5,110 Member
    You know, I really like the idea of this and it could be a lot of fun to build, as in a person wouldn't have to have the blocks all attached like a regular house, could even have some of them running off the top of a staircase with a little planning.

    Dang, now you've got me all excited about setting off on this and the last thing I need to do right now is get THAT wrapped up in my game. LOL

    One question I do have, is it allowed for the Sim to make purchases of other things they could use in their current 4x4 (or 5x5) structure between the additions?
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  • gamekittengamekitten Posts: 2,587 Member
    I am going to try it.. Sounds fun!!
  • CharlottesmomCharlottesmom Posts: 7,015 Member
    BSIRegina wrote: »
    You know, I really like the idea of this and it could be a lot of fun to build, as in a person wouldn't have to have the blocks all attached like a regular house, could even have some of them running off the top of a staircase with a little planning.

    Dang, now you've got me all excited about setting off on this and the last thing I need to do right now is get THAT wrapped up in my game. LOL

    One question I do have, is it allowed for the Sim to make purchases of other things they could use in their current 4x4 (or 5x5) structure between the additions?

    You can put the blocks wherever you want, attached or not, creativity is the best thing about The Sims. :)

    Yes, you can spend while you are earning for the next block but it would subtract from your goal of $10,000 so it would obviously take a little longer for your addition. I occasionally had my sim go out to eat so that would subtract from her total but it was worth it.
  • gamekittengamekitten Posts: 2,587 Member
    Collecting pets, festival tickets, and flowers help. I gave my sim a job but might have her quit being a professional festival goer, collecting wild animals, fishing and gardener.. It is more fun..lol

    I'll add picture later.. if I remember but this is fun!!!!!!
  • CharlottesmomCharlottesmom Posts: 7,015 Member
    gamekitten wrote: »
    Collecting pets, festival tickets, and flowers help. I gave my sim a job but might have her quit being a professional festival goer, collecting wild animals, fishing and gardener.. It is more fun..lol

    I'll add picture later.. if I remember but this is fun!!!!!!

    I'm extreamly glad you are enjoying it <3 ! I was playing it again today. :)
  • BSIReginaBSIRegina Posts: 5,110 Member
    gamekitten wrote: »
    Collecting pets, festival tickets, and flowers help. I gave my sim a job but might have her quit being a professional festival goer, collecting wild animals, fishing and gardener.. It is more fun..lol

    I'll add picture later.. if I remember but this is fun!!!!!!

    My Sims are almost always self-employed. It beats rabbit hole jobs any day of the week. :D

    Thanks, Becky! I thought it would probably work that way, just wanted to make sure. I'll try loading up my game a little later and seeing if I have a world I'd like to do this in.
    Thanks to AdBlock: currently blocking 184 annoying animated siggy .gifs ;)
  • CharlottesmomCharlottesmom Posts: 7,015 Member
    edited November 2015
    BSIRegina wrote: »
    gamekitten wrote: »
    Collecting pets, festival tickets, and flowers help. I gave my sim a job but might have her quit being a professional festival goer, collecting wild animals, fishing and gardener.. It is more fun..lol

    I'll add picture later.. if I remember but this is fun!!!!!!

    My Sims are almost always self-employed. It beats rabbit hole jobs any day of the week. :D

    Thanks, Becky! I thought it would probably work that way, just wanted to make sure. I'll try loading up my game a little later and seeing if I have a world I'd like to do this in.

    Since I thought up this challenge about 6 months ago I've tested it out 4 times in Sunset but since I tend to know where all the good gems and flowers and bugs (I usually do collectors too) are I should start over in one of my new unknown lands, I just got a great deal on Sunlit Tides a little while ago, will try it out there tomorrow. :smile:
    Post edited by Charlottesmom on
  • BSIReginaBSIRegina Posts: 5,110 Member
    edited November 2015
    BSIRegina wrote: »
    gamekitten wrote: »
    Collecting pets, festival tickets, and flowers help. I gave my sim a job but might have her quit being a professional festival goer, collecting wild animals, fishing and gardener.. It is more fun..lol

    I'll add picture later.. if I remember but this is fun!!!!!!

    My Sims are almost always self-employed. It beats rabbit hole jobs any day of the week. :D

    Thanks, Becky! I thought it would probably work that way, just wanted to make sure. I'll try loading up my game a little later and seeing if I have a world I'd like to do this in.

    Since I thought up this challenge about 6 months ago I've tested it out 4 times in Sunset but since I tend to know where all the good gems and flowers and bugs (I usually do collectors too) are I should start over in one of my new unknown lands, I just got a great deal on Sunlight Tides a little while ago, will try it out there tomorrow. :smile:

    Yeah, after a while you know where everything is and it's really easy to get a lot of money. I use one of Twallan's mods for the consignment shop and a whole lot of stuff that otherwise couldn't can go for sale on there, including the minor pets. Even without the gems and what-not a Sim can do pretty well on just those.

    I also got Sunlit Tides off the DD last week but haven't looked at it yet. I still have to apply EllaCharmed's fixes to all the Maxis worlds but I do have some of Rflong's I've yet to play in.
    Thanks to AdBlock: currently blocking 184 annoying animated siggy .gifs ;)
  • CharlottesmomCharlottesmom Posts: 7,015 Member
    BSIRegina wrote: »
    BSIRegina wrote: »
    gamekitten wrote: »
    Collecting pets, festival tickets, and flowers help. I gave my sim a job but might have her quit being a professional festival goer, collecting wild animals, fishing and gardener.. It is more fun..lol

    I'll add picture later.. if I remember but this is fun!!!!!!

    My Sims are almost always self-employed. It beats rabbit hole jobs any day of the week. :D

    Thanks, Becky! I thought it would probably work that way, just wanted to make sure. I'll try loading up my game a little later and seeing if I have a world I'd like to do this in.

    Since I thought up this challenge about 6 months ago I've tested it out 4 times in Sunset but since I tend to know where all the good gems and flowers and bugs (I usually do collectors too) are I should start over in one of my new unknown lands, I just got a great deal on Sunlight Tides a little while ago, will try it out there tomorrow. :smile:

    Yeah, after a while you know where everything is and it's really easy to get a lot of money. I use one of Twallan's mods for the consignment shop and a whole lot of stuff that otherwise couldn't can go for sale on there, including the minor pets. Even without the gems and what-not a Sim can do pretty well on just those.

    I also got Sunlit Tides off the DD last week but haven't looked at it yet. I still have to apply EllaCharmed's fixes to all the Maxis worlds but I do have some of Rflong's I've yet to play in.

    I don't do mods yet but have done some reading about master controller and a few of their other mods, sims runs fine on my laptop but some of the tweaks you can do with the mods might just inject some really cool stuff into my play time. Sunlit Tides is a pretty good world, it was very pretty and I did clear it out (I always clear all the townies out of every town except Sunset, I then move everyone from Sunset to my new world plus a bunch of my CAS families), but have yet to actually play there.
  • BSIReginaBSIRegina Posts: 5,110 Member
    Oh no, these aren't mods, they're fixes for the broken worlds Maxis designers created and turned loose on us poor unsuspecting souls. The problem is most of the worlds have routing problems that can cause serious lag and instability in a map. It will probably help if I explain how routing works. Each Sim has to decide a path before they head off anywhere. Any destination a Sim seeks must be reachable, aka "routeable". If the destination isn't routeable the Sim will get set in a loop of failed attempts trying to get to that destination. This happened in my game when I had sent a family to "Egypt". Three of the explorers ended up stuck on a bridge trying to get somewhere completely inaccessible. Try as I might with having my active Sim talk to them, I could never get them out of that loop. They'd stop for the conversation then go straight back into the loop. I finally used Master Controller to reset them.

    Some causes are on the lot level and easy to fix, like an object behind a locked door or in a room without a door. In those cases a little construction work fixes them right up. The fixes that EllaCharmed has made are for routing problems on the world level. When a world is built there is what in the game is an invisible layer of "routing paint" put over places the world builder doesn't think a Sim should go. Without the routing paint Sims would just be able to walk up the sides of sheer cliffs and get into a number of places that just wouldn't be good for a Sim to get into. The problem is, it's actually fairly easy to leave holes in that routing paint while applying it to the world. Any hole leaves a place that a Sim could potentially try to get to but can't because it's essentially a hole in the middle of no-Sim's-land with no path to it. Also, it's possible for Sims returning from vacations to end up stuck in one of these places when they return home. This actually happened in a custom-made world my sister was using. She'd sent her Sims on a honeymoon and they came back and ended up stuck clear out beyond camera view (that is applied with another paint and stops the camera from going beyond its borders) in an area that hadn't had any no-routing paint applied to it. Her game froze when it happened so she exited without saving and tried to go back into it in hopes of getting her Sims back home safely only the save would never load again.

    When it comes down to what we commonly refer to as mods, that's a very personal choice the player has to make because only they can decide what about the game they would like changed with one, but when it comes to the so-called mods like Overwatch and Error Trap that fix problems in the game, everyone should be using those.
    Thanks to AdBlock: currently blocking 184 annoying animated siggy .gifs ;)
  • CharlottesmomCharlottesmom Posts: 7,015 Member
    BSIRegina wrote: »
    Oh no, these aren't mods, they're fixes for the broken worlds Maxis designers created and turned loose on us poor unsuspecting souls. The problem is most of the worlds have routing problems that can cause serious lag and instability in a map. It will probably help if I explain how routing works. Each Sim has to decide a path before they head off anywhere. Any destination a Sim seeks must be reachable, aka "routeable". If the destination isn't routeable the Sim will get set in a loop of failed attempts trying to get to that destination. This happened in my game when I had sent a family to "Egypt". Three of the explorers ended up stuck on a bridge trying to get somewhere completely inaccessible. Try as I might with having my active Sim talk to them, I could never get them out of that loop. They'd stop for the conversation then go straight back into the loop. I finally used Master Controller to reset them.

    Some causes are on the lot level and easy to fix, like an object behind a locked door or in a room without a door. In those cases a little construction work fixes them right up. The fixes that EllaCharmed has made are for routing problems on the world level. When a world is built there is what in the game is an invisible layer of "routing paint" put over places the world builder doesn't think a Sim should go. Without the routing paint Sims would just be able to walk up the sides of sheer cliffs and get into a number of places that just wouldn't be good for a Sim to get into. The problem is, it's actually fairly easy to leave holes in that routing paint while applying it to the world. Any hole leaves a place that a Sim could potentially try to get to but can't because it's essentially a hole in the middle of no-Sim's-land with no path to it. Also, it's possible for Sims returning from vacations to end up stuck in one of these places when they return home. This actually happened in a custom-made world my sister was using. She'd sent her Sims on a honeymoon and they came back and ended up stuck clear out beyond camera view (that is applied with another paint and stops the camera from going beyond its borders) in an area that hadn't had any no-routing paint applied to it. Her game froze when it happened so she exited without saving and tried to go back into it in hopes of getting her Sims back home safely only the save would never load again.

    When it comes down to what we commonly refer to as mods, that's a very personal choice the player has to make because only they can decide what about the game they would like changed with one, but when it comes to the so-called mods like Overwatch and Error Trap that fix problems in the game, everyone should be using those.

    I've actually looked into CAW, so I know about the routing paints, I would love to create my own world one day, though I hear it is a time consuming, difficult task. Could you just use resetsim to get them out of the routing issues, I do it all the time when I find someone stuck in the bushes by the science center (I now just delete those darn bushes when I start up a new Sunset) or anywhere else the little dingbats get stuck.

    I save my families to the library regularly just incase something drastic happens like getting stuck at university (happened once to my sim Dylan) and having Egypt glitch out on me, I avoid Egypt...
  • BSIReginaBSIRegina Posts: 5,110 Member
    Okay, so you're familiar with that then. Yeah, building a world seems to take something like forever! I'm sure it would take less time if I could just plod on through one but I always have to get side-tracked with other things in the meantime.

    Oh, sure, you can reset the Sim if you know where the Sim is and can get to them. :D In Egypt the problematic Sims were on the bridge and resetting them, since they were explorers, sent them back from whence they came which was supposed to be their home country. Of course we know that isn't where they really are but yeah. And see? that's the problem. I don't want to have to not play with something like Egypt because of something being buggy.

    At any rate, it should be okay now. It wasn't what I had planned to do this evening but I now have got all the world fixes put into my game. I'm just sad that now it's too late for me to start it up and look at worlds to choose one for this challenge.
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  • laydaywaylaydayway Posts: 259 Member
    I made a 3x3 house not long ago using into the future elevaters
  • CharlottesmomCharlottesmom Posts: 7,015 Member
    laydayway wrote: »
    I made a 3x3 house not long ago using into the future elevaters

    I may just have to try that!
  • JACKIEJOYJACKIEJOY Posts: 802 Member
    Can I use the tea set? It is cheap and provides fun, hunger, energy and social all in one go. And what about dragons?
  • CharlottesmomCharlottesmom Posts: 7,015 Member
    JACKIEJOY wrote: »
    Can I use the tea set? It is cheap and provides fun, hunger, energy and social all in one go. And what about dragons?

    Sure on both counts, I never thought to use either but will do a test with each later on. I really want a green dragon but keep getting purples!
  • JACKIEJOYJACKIEJOY Posts: 802 Member
    Dragon "breeding" is a REALLY good way to make money. 1000 for every unnamed dragon you sell.
  • CharlottesmomCharlottesmom Posts: 7,015 Member
    edited November 2015
    Screenshot-76_zpsq69f9fkn.jpg?t=1447273701

    This is the 4x4 house I started with for the last test. :)

    ****Edited to add, I just realized I only have 1 counter in this house, there should be two! no wonder it set up so well! :(
    Post edited by Charlottesmom on
  • BSIReginaBSIRegina Posts: 5,110 Member
    That's nice! I haven't started mine yet as I was looking through the worlds I have for just the right place and when I found it discovered I need some Sims for it so went on a minor Sim downloading spree last evening.
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  • SurrealSurreal Posts: 3,236 Member
    @Charlottesmom - need some clarification on the whole gardening thing... I decided to try this out but wasn't sure about the gardening so for the moment my sim has a job. Can your sim garden on their own lot? I figured no, because how would fit that into 4 x 4, but... maybe there is an exception? Can use the community garden but... is it possible to increase the quality of the plants on a community lot? Anyway... need a definitive answer. :smile:
  • CharlottesmomCharlottesmom Posts: 7,015 Member
    Surreal wrote: »
    @Charlottesmom - need some clarification on the whole gardening thing... I decided to try this out but wasn't sure about the gardening so for the moment my sim has a job. Can your sim garden on their own lot? I figured no, because how would fit that into 4 x 4, but... maybe there is an exception? Can use the community garden but... is it possible to increase the quality of the plants on a community lot? Anyway... need a definitive answer. :smile:

    Oh, I did forget to mention this, sorry.....I usually put a small 6x6 fenced in garden on my lot (far away from the house) before I start the game just make sure you only use it for gardening, not setting up an easel or sculpting station in the gardening area, gardening only. The only reason for the fence is the darn Zombies! I guess it could be technically cheating to have a garden on your lot but you can't live in it (unless you spend the night in a sleeping bag) so maybe not. I made up the rules so I say a small garden of 6x6 or smaller is fine. ;)
  • SurrealSurreal Posts: 3,236 Member
    Hahaha - yay for being the lady who makes the rules! OK then... she can take up gardening full time - didn't need that silly refrigerator anyway. I'll post a pic or two soon.
  • CharlottesmomCharlottesmom Posts: 7,015 Member
    Surreal wrote: »

    Sorry for the delay replying, I lost sight of this thread. Those pictures are awesome, I love how colorful your house is! Doesn't it make a world of difference to add that first 4x4 addition, when I did it back when I was first writing out the challenge and test playing it was like a sigh of relief and I couldn't believe all the extra space!

    To answer your question about the husband gardening, to keep it a bit more honest I would say no, he can not garden. I may write up a couples version and crank the dollar amounts so marriage would be better addressed. To keep him busy have him take classes (though that will eat into your savings), dumpster dive (as long as you don't sell what he finds), skill up, have him become Mr. Popular, see how many friends he can make while his wife works her fingers to the bone making money. ;)
  • SurrealSurreal Posts: 3,236 Member
    Thanks :smile: I figured any sim insane enough to work this challenge would probably have fairly eclectic tastes lol Yes, that first expansion is a biggie! The all in one bathroom was a lifesaver, let me tell you. As to spouse working, that's pretty much what I figured. Sigh. What will I do with him.... not that it much matters - didn't realize when I married him in how old he was. He's set to hit elderly any second now. Are there any rules about children? Not the having of them so much as any profits from skills they work on? Just wondering because I think Lenny is going to have to be Mr. Mom - he can train the kid(s) and cook and clean and repair, etc. Next extension (or the one after) will be a child's room so... need to get that in the works since he's so much older than her. Thought about a young again potion but so far one hasn't shown up at the potion shop, so I guess he's just going to have to be old. Oh well - lol
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