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Story Progression

EA's Story Progression  
Alternative Story Progressions Awesomemod


Some Simmers find the built-in Story progression of the game unsatisfactory. Here is what EA's Development Team say about it.

Hello Simmers!

You’ve had some questions regarding story progression and the population
controller in The Sims 3 and how they work, so we’re here to shed some light
on some of the inner workings of these features.

SP and Pop.Con has two main goals in The Sims 3.

· Maintain town stability.(primary goal)

· Make the neighboring Sims feel as if they have their own stories and
are growing in the your world. (secondary goal)

What does “maintain town stability” actually mean? One of the new features
in The Sims 3 is the open neighborhood.

Instead of having multiple “save games”in roughly the same neighborhood, the entire neighborhood is the game, and everything progresses at the same time.

However, there are many new challenges that we needed to overcome if those
stories were to be believable. All of your Sims neighbors would die without
reproducing, causing an empty world, or there wouldn’t be enough children or
single adults for your Sims to interact with. These are gameplay reasons for
the game attempting to manage the other Sims in the neighborhood. Another
challenge we took into consideration was game performance. Our team has
standards for what the average player would experience in this open
neighborhood. If there are too many Sims in the world, overall performance
of the game would decline for several game machines. Therefore, the game
attempts to manage the population in such a way to provide both a good
performance for you as well as have enough interesting Sims for your Sims to
interact with.

After all of that is taken care of, the game then tries to make the Sims more
realistic. It gives Sims interesting jobs, moves them around based on
relationships (or randomly sometimes to stir things up), make them gain weight
or become thinner. These types of actions and the concept of story making
always takes a backseat to providing your Sim family with the ideal backdrop
for gameplay.

A couple of common questions:

1) Why did some Sims disappear completely from my game?

If you move your created families of additional Sims into your neighborhoods
the population increase may start to cause an overload. When overpopulation
starts to become a challenge, some households may completely leave a world
and some sims may sadly meet with an untimely accident. Currently the game
preserves Households that your Active Household knows (i.e. has relationships

2) Why when I change households do some Sims get moved around in career levels?

Story progression does occasionally have Sims get jobs, promoted/demoted, fired,
quit, and retire, but this should be done in a more normal and slow fashion.
The larger corrections you see are due to career fixing. Careers are more robust in The Sims 3 and require a boss and sometimes co-workers, so when your Sim gets a job it tries to find real living Sims in the world to promote or it might assign a neighbor Sim living in the world to be that Sim’s boss. The game will try to find a Sim in the career and promote them, but if there aren’t any available, it will pick a random Sim to assign to that career.

3) Can you explain the aging and story progression checkbox options?

This was done to give a little more freedom to you to choose how your game
functions. The aging check affects ALL Sims including your Sims and
neighborhood Sims. Story progression will still try to make interesting

changes to the town makeup and management; it just doesn’t have to
worry about most Sims dying of old age anymore. If you continue to move in
more Sims, the game population controller will grow concerned about
overpopulation as usual. When story progression is turned off, the game will
not try to cover the management and tweaking actions that occur outside of
normal gameplay. Neighboring Sims will still visit community lots, go to their
jobs, and visit your Sims. They just won’t move in or out, or change jobs
(except if careers need to be fixed for new Sims) or gain weight. If you leave
aging on and story progression off, eventually your Sim’s world will be
empty of neighboring Sims. Careers will still create “townies” (Sims that “live”
in the world, but don’t live in a house) to fix Careers, but they will never move

In future updates we will be improving the system to take into account your
feedback and make the system more robust. Keep an eye out!


The Sims 3 Development Team

Alternatives to EA's Story Progression

Personally I use Pescado's Awesomemod complete with its own Story Progression. You can get it from MATY.

Some also like Twallan's Story Progression. Both are Mods or Hacks, that is, user-made content. This means that whenever you put in a new EP, or patch, or sometimes other than that - whichever hack you use will need to be updated. You can't just put it in and forget about it. Be prepared to keep an eye on the forums of whichever you use and watch for updates, be ready to replace it or apply other mods recommended by the creator. It's ESSENTIAL to keep up with EA's game patches, even more so with any user mods installed.

For me, Pescado's AM is a good replacement for EA's Story Progression (or SP). My feeling is that while EA set off with good intentions, and it is a brilliant idea! they didn't manage to implement it quite as well as they should have. Bits of it appeared to be getting fixed with each patch, as we have come to expect from EA. What Pescado did is implement most of what EA said they wanted to do, so that it actually works.

If you are unsure which version to use, back up your game and then install according to instructions. In both cases there is some setup. AM has a configuration file that you can vary according to your taste, quite easy to use. Twallan's I believe has a set of menus and while more complicated, gives you a lot more control.


February 10, 2017