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The 4x4 Challenge for Sims 3



  • KaytayRoallKaytayRoall Posts: 923 Member
    I saw this challenge months ago and thought it looked like fun. I'm finally getting around to doing it, in combination with another challenge. You can see my progress (and story) here.
  • BlackSandBlackSand Posts: 1,775 Member
    @suzses ... Your house and lot look lovely.
    I like the way you put the water mill on the garage.

    @danibostonian ... I don't know, I am just getting started.

    But I fit everything I needed in the house.
    I actually like my little house ... And it will be hard adding things on to it.

    @Charlottesmom ... A Challenge question.
    I understand the specifics of the challenge ... But have a question about money.

    My sim wants to grow grapes and make nectar ... And I don't want to use cheats.
    It is my understanding that the challenge pretty much has the sim's money going towards improvements.

    Is it okay to spend money on things like a trip to France to buy a nectar maker and collect some grapes?
    Do you think that is too easy of a way to make money?
    I eat pickles on my hamburgers ... MWWAHAHAHAHA
  • BlackSandBlackSand Posts: 1,775 Member

    New 4x4 Challenge … Amanda Holland … Lot: 9 Azure Lake Ave, Hidden Springs


    Here’s My 4x4 Starter House ... Spent all but 468 simoleons.
    It has all the required items … And a bicycle.


    I really like the house … I almost don’t want to change it.
    I don’t have the money yet so that doesn’t matter.


    The first day I went fishing and seed hunting.
    Put the extra fish up for sale at the consignment store … And planted the seeds I found and could plant.


    Met Nicholas Riverhawk while out and about.
    Told him how thrilled I was moving into town.

    I eat pickles on my hamburgers ... MWWAHAHAHAHA
  • KaytayRoallKaytayRoall Posts: 923 Member
    @BlackSand Lovely job on your new 4x4 home. :) And your sim is very pretty, too. Good luck!

    I'm not @Charlottesmom, so I can't give you an official answer, but from my understanding of the rules, any money spent while not doing one of the $10,000 expansions just doesn't count toward the money you need to earn the next expansion. Based on this post.
    For me, I had my sim doing photography. It was a really rough start and I was worried I had made the wrong choice because every picture she took cost money and at first she was barely breaking even when she sold her photos. Then I finally saved up enough for her to make a trip to Egypt, where she made so much money with her photos. I kind of broke the challenge, I think. She also bought the best camera while there. Anyway, when she got back, I considered the money she actually had on hand to be what she could use toward expansions, not any of the money she had earned then spent on her new camera or just taking pictures. I hope that makes sense...

    Hmmm maybe I'll post just my 4x4 progress pictures here, too...
  • suzsessuzses Posts: 2,254 Member
    @Blacksand Love your little house, and I don't blame you for not wanting to change it. If you get into nectar making, maybe you could put your nectar maker in there and build a house on the side? I, too, understood that any money you spent like that just didn't count toward what you need for the next expansion.

    @KaytayRoall I'll look forward to seeing what you're doing whether you post your pictures here or elsewhere. Heading out to check out your link.

    Realizing I miss my Dragon Valley people. May have to go visit . . .
  • KaytayRoallKaytayRoall Posts: 923 Member
    Cyprus Griffith
    2200 Pinochle Point




    I tried and tried and tried to get an actual bathroom in there, rather than the all-in-one, but just couldn't manage it. At least, not if it was going to be a separate room. That's why I decided to put the all-in-one into a "room". I realized I did have room for a fully functional kitchen, though, and went with it. Also, I decided to replace the bookshelf requirement with a dresser. Same footprint and I had plenty of money before I cheated it away at the start, just thought it fit better for my purposes.

    To read about Cyprus's first day, her backstory and other adventures, click here.
  • BlackSandBlackSand Posts: 1,775 Member
    @KaytayRoall ... Thanks for the Nice Comments.
    Also ... Thanks for the input on my question ... That is pretty clear.
    Nectar making might have a little overhead in the beginning ... Travel and expenses ... But growing the grapes just takes time/skill.

    I also visited your thread.
    Liked the backstory you developed and your Sim's house is lovely.
    I eat pickles on my hamburgers ... MWWAHAHAHAHA
  • KaytayRoallKaytayRoall Posts: 923 Member
    @suzses Thanks :) If you choose to revisit your 4x4 save, I hope you have fun!

    @Blacksand You're welcome. :) I wish you luck getting your nectar-making business going. And thank you for reading my little story.
  • suzsessuzses Posts: 2,254 Member
    @KaytayRoall Very intriguing story. I'm going to keep it bookmarked. :)
  • KaytayRoallKaytayRoall Posts: 923 Member
    @suzses Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. :) I hope you continue to enjoy it as the story unfolds.
  • BlackSandBlackSand Posts: 1,775 Member
    Yeah ... That's Right Missy!
    I put the alarm system on the outside of my tiny house.
    That way I can whip your hiney before the police show up.

    I eat pickles on my hamburgers ... MWWAHAHAHAHA
  • BlackSandBlackSand Posts: 1,775 Member
    Amanda’s Rocky Shoals Vineyard Gets Started.
    Gaining skills in the garden and traveling overseas for supplies had made everything possible.
    Amanda was certain that her garden and first crop of grapes would provide her with a fortune.
    Watching the workers at the nectary and a little help from the internet … What could go wrong?


    She had everything she needed to advance to the heights of nectar manufacturing.
    I mean … Throw the grapes in there … Stomp them good … Then turn the handle and pull the lever.
    The nectar maker rumbled a little before chugging along and making her first batch of nectar.
    Amanda couldn’t wait to try the product of her efforts when the bottles were ready.


    Okay … That was interesting.
    It was probably the worst nectar Amanda had ever tasted.
    She didn’t even finish the remains … And decided to pour it down the drain.


    For a brief moment she wondered if her dream was too lofty.

    Perhaps she should go into business selling Holland’s Industrial Solvents.
    She was pretty certain Holland’s Organic Drain Cleaner worked … Maybe that would be worthwhile.

    I eat pickles on my hamburgers ... MWWAHAHAHAHA
  • KaytayRoallKaytayRoall Posts: 923 Member
    @BlackSand lol Gotta love sims beating up burglars in their undies. Oh no! Sounds like Amanda's nectar-making dream is off to a rough start, but I'm sure she can do it if she just sticks to it. Good luck! :)
  • BlackSandBlackSand Posts: 1,775 Member
    @KaytayRoall ... Thanks for the comments.
    I got busy playing the challenge yesterday and it was pretty fun.

    It is still too easy to make money in Sims 3 ... I don't know how people play otherwise.
    So ... I pretty much budget out how much I want to spend on an expansion (it is hard to spend 9500 in a 4x4 square).
    To stay within the challenge rules ... I usually make enough money to expand and equip ... Then hang a bunch of expensive painting.


    Made it through 4 expansions already ... All in the basement nectary.

    Have enough space to work, cellar nectar and keep a small garden going in the cooler seasons.


    Amanda sells almost everything out of her garden now.

    She pretty much harvests and replants on the same day trying to improve the quality of her plants.
    Once she gest all her plants to perfect ... She will start growing "stock" for nectar making.


    I know nectar recipes ... And can make a bottle of nectar that comes out of the machine worth 638 simoleons.
    So instead of defeating the purpose of the challenge ... Amanda is going slow and easy on the money making side.

    I eat pickles on my hamburgers ... MWWAHAHAHAHA
  • BlackSandBlackSand Posts: 1,775 Member
    edited April 2016
    I am currently having difficulties with my 4x4 challenge.
    Since I have played other challenges ... And I am used to hitting targets ... I make money faster than I want to grow my house.
    Without cheating or using quick money scams ... By the end of week 5 I have enough money I could build a house that covers the whole lot.

    What do people do to keep their Sims poor?
    Or ... What do they do instead of earning money one way or another?

    I eat pickles on my hamburgers ... MWWAHAHAHAHA
  • VunecaVuneca Posts: 1,686 Member
    edited April 2016
    I have the same prob @BlackSand I make my expansions cost exponentially more for each one. 10k, 20k, 40k, 80k, etc.

    It is WAY too easy to get filthy rich in TS3. I think the income vs bills is one of the only things I like TS4 better for.
    Post edited by Vuneca on
  • BlackSandBlackSand Posts: 1,775 Member
    Thanks @Vuneca ... I will try that out.

    I eat pickles on my hamburgers ... MWWAHAHAHAHA
  • suzsessuzses Posts: 2,254 Member
    It absolutely is too easy to make the money and hard to find ways to spend it all on such a small addition. Spending is the more challenging part of this challenge. ;) I kind of started slow with the moneymaking - did gardening and sold produce at the grocery store only (I think you can make more on consignment, but I just never do that with produce). I also scavenged, picking up ores and gems. The ores were just sold as picked up, but my sim did start cutting the gems. I let him get married and have 3 kids while building the house - that kept him busy for a while. ;) If I were to do this again and went the same route, I think I would not cut the gems or would not sell them on consignment (pretty sure I did both). With gardening, winter helps slow things down, and you can also choose not to harvest every day - or not sell everything (I've taken to keeping things "for later" in the storage chests).
  • CharlottesmomCharlottesmom Posts: 7,015 Member
    edited February 2017
    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).
    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

    Sorry this got posted, I was trying to post a link...thanks for the awesomes though... :wink:

    Huh, it looks like it did work... :open_mouth:
    Post edited by Charlottesmom on
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