Saturday, 13 June 2015

Assigning hobbies to sims

Ever since I found out how sims get their One True Hobby, I've hated it. The way it's done basically means that all of your sims of one particular hobby will have similar personalities. That makes sense for some hobbies - sims who are into Fitness or Sports should probably also be active, for instance. But why, for example, do Arts & Crafts sims have to be nice? Why do Nature sims have to be playful? A lot of the criteria EA came up with just seems really arbitrary to me.

So I started randomising my sims' OTHs at birth. I was satisfied with that for a while, but after I had been using Starr's careers criteria for a while (which is partly based on interests), I thought I might try tying interests and hobbies together. This was a good while ago now but it's only recently that I decided to fine tune my system.

I'm going to start by showing which interests I assign to which hobbies. Then I'll show you a couple of examples of exactly what I do with that information to decide on hobbies for my sims, using a couple of Sullivan babies as guinea pigs. Babies are sort of blank slates anyway and I'm not yet wedded to the idea of any one particular hobby for them.

Anyway, so on with the interests!




Arts & Crafts: Culture, Fashion, Toys, Work

Cuisine: Culture, Health, Food, Travel

Film & Literature: Entertainment, Culture, Travel, Sci-Fi, Money, Crime, Politics, Paranormal, School

Fitness: Health, Sports, Food

Games: Toys, Entertainment, Sports

Music & Dance: Entertainment, Culture, Money, Travel

Nature: Environment, Weather, Animals, Travel

Science: Sci-Fi, Paranormal, Environment, Weather, School, Health, Animals

Sports: Sports, Money, Entertainment

Tinkering: Toys, Work, Sci-Fi

Some of these hobby/interest matches might be making you go "huh?" I did have my reasons for each of them though, so if you're curious about any in particular, just ask. I was going to explain them all but it got really long and rambly and really, this is long enough!

When I want to assign a hobby to one of my sims, I look at what they have a high interest in. "High interest", in this case, means 7 points or more. Some sims have 7 points or more in a ton of interests and some will have it in only a few.

The easiest way to explain the next part is to launch right into an example. Let's have a look at Zoe Benton's interests.



I normally check interests in game but this is the SimPE interests tab, so it's displaying Zoe's exact interest points, down to the decimals. I'll be rounding them off for this. So Zoe's highest interests are Sci Fi (8), Toys (9), School (8) and Paranormal (10).

Zoe has no interests that relate to Cuisine, Fitness, Music & Dance, Nature or Sports, so we can eliminate those right off the bat. That leaves us with Arts & Crafts, Film & Literature, Games, Science and Tinkering.

What I do now is check how many points she has in total in the interests that relate to each hobby. For Tinkering, Arts & Crafts and Games, she gets 9 points for each, due to her interest in Toys. For Science and Film & Literature though, she gets 18 points for her interest in both Paranormal and Sci-Fi. Seeing she has equal scores for two hobbies, I need to make a decision between them. I won't necessarily always decide the same way but for Zoe, I think she'd be more likely to be into F&L. With a Music & Dance mum, it just seems to fit better than Science.

Let's try this with one more of my babies. This time, we'll look at Mason Novak.


Mason's highest interests are Sports (9), Animals (10) and Sci-Fi (10). After we eliminate the hobbies he has no interests for, we are left with Film & Literature, Fitness, Games, Nature, Science, Sports and Tinkering.

Mason is much easier to match with a hobby than Zoe. He only has 9 or 10 points in most of these hobbies, apart from Science. For Science, he has 20 points, due to his interest in Sci Fi and Animals. I'm quite happy with that, because with a doctor for a dad and a natural scientist for a mum, it seems fitting that Mason would also grow up to be scientifically minded.

So that's it! Please feel free to simplify, complicate or otherwise adapt this system for your own games. If you do, I would love to know how it works out for you. As always, I welcome any and all questions in the comments. I would actually particularly appreciate comments and questions for this one, because I'm not entirely sure I made sense. So if I didn't, I'd love to know where so I can try to clarify.

18 comments:

  1. You made perfect sense to me, although I won't use this system for my Sims anytime soon ;-) I rather let "the game" decide on hobbies and interests, and don't really "do" anything with a Sim's favourite hobby, anyway.
    But I really like how much thought and effort you put into this!
    For Music & Dance, I wonder if Fitness would also come into it. To pursue dancing, one should be reasonable fit (and active).

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    1. Good, I'm happy it's all clear to someone besides me!

      Health (I guess that's what you meant by Fitness?) would probably be a good one to add to Music & Dance, so I will add that now. There are so many more ways for sims to pursue the Music side of that hobby than the Dance side, so I think I sort of forgot about that part of it!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  2. Oooh, I really like this. I don't currently do anything with interests sadly; I never really know how to incorporate them into my game.

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    1. Well, that's EA's fault, really. They never really made interests mean much. :\ They sort of affect conversation - sims will have easier conversations if they're talking about a topic both are interested in - but even that can be overcome if the sims just get to know each other enough. So I've been glad to be able to work interests into my gameplay a little more.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  3. Wow, this is so clever and I think those make total sense and this is coming from someone who has never fiddled with changing the hobbies myself, I have always just let them to whatever was game assigned. Your whole game is so involved and so wonderful.

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    1. Thanks for the compliments - I'm always glad to hear others enjoy reading about my game. I didn't fiddle with the hobbies myself for a long time. But once I started tracking everything and trying to pay real attention to what was going on with everybody, I noticed the hobbies were really imbalanced! Tons of Sports sims, due to my high proportion of one-nice-point sims. I already have a system for varying the personalities but hobbies are applied at birth, so it doesn't fix the hobby imbalance. This doesn't necessarily do that either (depends on what interests come up - I'm pretty sure they're random) but it still does a better job than EA!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  4. Such a great system, I usually change oth based on what I think the sim should be interested in and I try to have a variety of hobbies in my hood. I do either change interests to match hobbies or look at interests when I chose hobbies but nothing as systematic as your process

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    1. Ha, I love a good system! I kind of want to refine the careers criteria too, so I can have a little formula of sorts. But with the amount of careers even without including custom ones, that might get insane. Still thinking about it though.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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    2. That would be cool. It's possible to do that in excel especially if you have all the info there. Otherwise you could make a macro of sorts and have where you enter all the values in and then the output gives you possible careers.

      -Starr

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    3. Ha, no, anything in Excel beyond entering data in a spreadsheet someone else has already made for me is beyond my skillset! Even then, I only do it at work, where I get paid to do it. ;) If I did a careers formula, I'd make something I can do manually. Just need to do a lot more thinking about it!

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  5. I used to do something similar, like Starr said, I would often change the OTH to what I thought it should be for that sim, taking into consideration interests, aspiration, career, and personality, but not in a systematic way. This makes total sense to me and if I was playing Sims 2 I think I would adopt it. By the way, your pictures for each hobby look great, like something out of a commercial publication. And I am curious if Mason (even as an infant?) has such high interest in those areas because of his parents both being in scientific fields?

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    1. I'm glad you like the pictures - they were all just pics I already had in my Storytelling folder. I'd been planning on taking new ones but left it to the last minute and forgot!

      I don't have any evidence to suggest interests are assigned any way but completely randomly but I could be wrong. Story-wise, I can assume that Mason's interests are influenced by his parents but game-wise, I don't know for sure. I do like looking at these seemingly random things through the lens of the story though. Makes it more fun!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  6. I loved that you shared this! I know there was a post on N99, a good while ago, and ever since that post I've been doing something similat with my sims, but I might change some things now that I've read this. I didn't calculate like you do, but I'm considering it now :)

    I was wondering though, do you seperate film and literature, into 2 different hobbies? I'm just wondering because lately I've started to do that. The criteria would be the same, but afterwards I'd asign one of the two. Same goed for music and dance. I'm just wondering if any one else seperates them or if I'm the only one...

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    1. Was there a post on N99? LOL, was it mine? I definitely didn't post this exact system there, as I was still fine-tuning while I wrote it! The calculating makes it a lot easier for me. I like to take a lot of guess work out of things and this does it for me and lets me see clearly which hobby is the best match for each sim.

      I don't always separate Film & Literature - depends on the sim. Zelda, for instance, is really a Literature sim. I don't see her as having any particular interest in film. But with Sylvia, I think it's both - she loves acting, wants to direct films and she wants to write. Music & Dance, I always separate though. I can't think of any sim I've had who was into both sides of that hobby. I don't note it down or anything - I just know. :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  7. You know, I just posted about interests at N99. I should've known you had already worked out a system, I'm just so much behind in all my reading that I haven't checked this out before!

    It just really started to irritate me when I was doing the "choosing careers" for a few teens that they were all pretty much maxed out on Entertainment and Culture. I'm just going to use this sort of backwards because I have a different way to set up the hobbies for each sim (by threadandsandpaper). So I'll just steer my sims' interests into those that are related to their hobby.

    So yay, thank you for posting this! Now I can play instead of geeking around with this system the whole day LOL.

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    1. Ha, well, this is relatively recent and I know you've been away from the game a bit recently. Not surprised you missed it!

      Yeah, I seem to have a lot of Entertainment/Culture sims too. That's part of the reason why I assigned those two interests to so many of these hobbies - so I could still have a decent amount of variety. Plus, they are both pretty broad interests and I think most people are interested in one or the other, at least on some level. Entertainment in particular could be almost anything. :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  8. This makes a LOT more sense than the Free Time EP criteria! I am thinking to borrow some of your ideas,particularly taking interests into account, although I think I'd also take memories, personality, and upbringing into account to, which becomes a lot more subjective. But thank you again for posting this!

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    1. Feel free to borrow anything you like! That sounds complicated but I'm interested to see what you come up with it! In my game, I'm really only doing this for babies, so memories and upbringing aren't really things that can come into play yet.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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