Sort of continued from my previous post. Sort of.

One of my biggest complaints about The Sims has always been its lack of pretty much any difficulty, conflict, or actual gameplay. I mean, I guess the game is difficult if you’re naturally an impulsive spendthrift who can’t balance finances or go to work regularly, but for those of us who can, the game fails its “simulation” premise spectacularly.

First, there’s an enormous emphasis placed on designing various buildings (homes, dorms, parks, places of business) for the Sims. To such an extent that those gamers uninterested in pursuing an interior decoration career have little to fall back on until they’ve invested in several expansions. Also to note: Spore has the same problem.

The Sims 2 has little in the way of gameplay. Your primary antagonists are the Needs. You might consider work and other Sims to be antagonists if you don’t want anything to get in the way of creating a life of endless misery and torment for your Sims, but for some, real life is like that already and they want nice things for their Sims instead.

So if you’re easily bored by interior decoration, you can balance Needs with work and home finances, the game doesn’t have much to offer you in immediate difficulty. The Aspirations then, would seem like goals to pursue. You know, if they varied much in execution or gave you much to do outside the norm.

It shouldn’t be expected that the player provide all of their own challenges within the context of the game. I mean, some of the expansions provided a dizzying level of detail in their, uh… extra curricular activities, like visiting exotic locations and trying to master all of their hidden arts. But that necessitated a significant financial investment.

The basic game should be able to stand on its own. The Sims 2 doesn’t.

Open For Business adds a lot of interesting and difficult-to-use tools for breaking the built-in economy. If you want to know, all you have to do is create a very small building and buy the community lot, work on selling stuff out of the basic item catalog to one customer at a time until you master the business skills.

The buy the largest item you can stack on a shelf (I sold those blue vases) so all of your customers stand in the same area and you don’t have to walk far to sell to them, and restocking takes minimal time. Sims don’t get claustrophobic when standing together. You can then buy ridiculously cheap and sell ridiculously high.

Do that enough times that you can hire and train employees, then sic them on your customers and make sure everyone is happy, comfortable, and well-paid. Open for a few hours, sell a bunch of vases, then go home and return whenever you feel you need another huge cash influx. Like, to buy some new cars for your kids.