Neighbourhoods are where everything is in The Sims 2. This chapter introduces you to the functions of neighbourhoods, what exists in a neighbourhood and how to create your own.
There are three pre-made neighbourhoods in The Sims 2.
In these neighbourhoods you get.
- Neighbourhood story.
- Occupied residential lots. The sims living in them are all connected to each other in a way.
- Unoccupied residential lots. These let you move in sims of your own.
- Pre-made sims. These reside in The Sim Bin until you move them in. Most of them are related in a way to other sims in the neighbourhood.
- Neighbourhood bin houses. Unless Nightlife is installed, dragging them out deletes them from the Lots and Houses bin.
- Community Lots. Your sims need a place to socialise and get out of the house.
From the neighbourhood, you can perform several actions that will ultimately affect your sims. Most of them are performed with the tools on the bottom-left corner of your screen. From there, you can perform several actions.
- Sim Bin. Lets you move sims in, move sims out and delete sims from your neighbourhood. This is also where you go to Create-A-Sim.
- Lots and Houses Bin. Contains homes and community lots to place in your neighbourhood.
- Neighbourhood Decorations. Contains several objects such as trees, rocks, water towers, signs and even UFO debris to customise the way your neighbourhood works.
- Story Mode. This panel shows the current neighbourhood story and lets you edit it or write one of your own. Editing the story supplies you with all the photos ever taken in that neighbourhood.
- Game Options. Contains options to affect the way you play the game.
The main part of the neighbourhood is the houses. Functionally, there are two types of lots.
Clicking on them activates several things. For community lots, you can edit the text, enter them or package the lot. Entering them lets you edit them for when your sims arrive there. Packaging them lets you upload lots to the internet to share with other players.
Residential lots show different information. From there, you can see all the residents, their aspiration, aspiration level and any friends or relatives of theirs. It also contains text describing the family that you can edit at any time. Residential lots can only have eight or fewer sims residing at a time.
Creating Your Own Neighbourhoods
This section shows you how to create your own neighbourhoods and neighbourhood terrain.
You can create your own neighbourhood terrain if you own SimCity 4. First, go into the game and select a small city tile. Then go into it. Edit it with whatever tools you like, changing the elevation as you please. Next, activate mayor mode. Then lay out some roads where you want. Do not use streets, avenues one-way roads or highways. Save the city and quit. Next, go into My Documents and locate the city file. It will be in My Documents/SimCity 4/Regions/(Region Name). After that cut or copy it and paste it in My Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2/SC4Terrains.
When you load the game, select Create Custom Neighbourhood and a list of terrains will come up. If you've done everything right, the new terrain will be on the list. When you select, it may show a different picture than normal terrains but this is not a problem.
If you've created your own terrain or just want a new neighbourhood, then your ready for your own neighbourhood. First, load the game and select Create Custom Neighbourhood. A menu will come up with a list of terrains. When you've selected one, you get the chance to name the neighbourhood, describe it and choose terrain types. You can choose between lush and desert. Depending on what expansion packs you have, you may be able to also choose concrete and dirt.
After, you've chosen all these settings, the game will create the neighbourhood for you. You then get the opportunity to customise it how you like.
What follows is a list of how expansion packs affect your neighbourhood.
- University. A button comes up asking you to associate a college with your neighbourhood. You then get three choices. You can have multiple colleges if you wish.
- Nightlife. A button comes up asking you to associate a downtown with your neighbourhood. You can select a custom one or the Maxis-created Downtown.
- Open for Business. A button comes up asking you to associate a shopping district with your neighbourhood. You can select a custom one or the Maxis-created Bluewater Village.
- Pets. When loading a neighbourhood after installing the game, it will initially take twice as long. This is because the game needs to add pets to the neighbourhood. After that, loading goes back to normal.
- Seasons. When loading a neighbourhood after installing the game, it will initially take twice as long. This is because the game needs to add weather and seasons to the neighbourhood. After that, loading goes back to normal. You also can select what seasons you want for your neighbourhood. The seasons chosen for the base neighbourhood do not affect colleges, downtowns or shopping districts.
- Bon Voyage. Game takes twice as long to load, initially. You also get the chance to choose a vacation destination for your neighbourhood. You can choose all of them if you wish or none of them if you don't want them.
- FreeTime. Game will take twice as long to load as it creates the new secret hidden 'Hobby' neighbourhood.
- Apartment Life. Game takes twice as long to load as it creates the secret neighbourhood 'The Magical World'.