So, for the past two weeks I have been furiously building and designing from neighborhood view.
It all started with creating an overland map for my world. At this point, I discovered that the distances between my subneighborhoods were actually quite far by foot. So, I began planning some self-sufficient communities for each subneighborhood. This began with laying out the town walls of Shropshire, the country's main marketing center. Well, one thing led to another and before long I was on a building spree. Seriously. I'm getting tired of building. But it led me to some intriguing conclusions and long-thought decisions.
One thing that has been bothering me for a long time now is the fact that there is a huge silent corporation lurking behind all of the commerce in the game. Whenever a sim buys a house, the money goes straight out of his/her pocket and into the void. Vanished into the silent corporation that sucks up nearly every dollar spent in the game. When a merchant restocks an item, same thing happens. So, I got to thinking about how I might work around this problem for myself. I really want money and goods to circulate in the neighborhood. How else can poor sims ever hope to become wealthy? Especially without those lucrative Maxis jobs? The first decision that I made was that I would create a guild of masons who would be responsible for "building" the lots in a given neighborhood. I haven't yet hashed out the gory details, but suffice it to say, whenever a lot is purchased, the purchase price of the unfurnished lot will go to the mason's guild. That way when the money comes out of one sim's pocket it will travel into another sim's pocket. The neighborhood as a whole will get richer with time. To address the issue of merchants and restocking, I have worked out supply chains for each of the products available in the neighborhood. For example, a joiner must be supplied with wood or he cannot make furniture to sell. A woodcutter is thus needed to produce the raw materials and bring them to market. This problem gave me a headache for several days. Lots to think about while I was building! I finally remembered that I had those investment coins Christianlov made over at MTS. Could those be put to use in this situation? I decided that they most certainly could. I built a woodcutter's lot, stocked it plentifully with trees, had my rugged woodcutter, Joe Borden, purchase investment coins equalling the value of the trees on the lot, placed the coins on the shelf, and began to wait. During the season, my woodcutter kept busy with the axe throwing game and viewing his axe on the stump. When he tired of those industries, he trained his dogs or jumped rope. In all, he didn't have many dull moments. At the end of five days, Joe sold the investment coins for a tidy profit. Then, the money earned was converted into piles of wood, logs, and boards. He sold a portion of these to the local joiner. Others may be sold to the cartwright, or even to the general store as firewood. This method looks like it will work well for most of these situations where the goods are ephemeral, rather than actual. In the case of the joiner who bought the wood, I will have him sell the wood piles for furniture, which he will in turn sell to the end consumer. I may avoid the restocking issue altogether this way. Alternately, I could see the possibility where I simply credit the merchant back the restocking fee in light of the goods already purchased from a local merchant. Of course, there will be the issue of how much raw material is necessary to produce the goods. More on that later--haven't thought it all out yet. Which brings me to another thing I've been thinking about--for goods like Beer, one needs Hops. For goods like Bread, one needs Flour--which means wheat. But stand crops are not available. Alas. This really had me bummed most of the week. I finally decided that I would simply code a stand crop to each of the six available vegetable plants in Seasons. To this end, the six vegetable crops will double as stand crops. Vegetable fields will be limited in size to 20-24 plots, whereas stand crop fields will range from 64-80 plot squares. Thus,
Tomatoes = Hops -- Sell to Brewer, for Beer
Strawberries = Rye -- Sell to Miller, who then sells to Baker
Cucumbers = Barley -- Sell to Brewer, for Beer
Pole Beans = Wheat --Sell to Miller, who then sells to Baker
Peppers = Flax --Sell to Draper, for cloth, who then sells to Tailor
Eggplants = Grapes (I know, not a stand crop--but we need them) --Sell to Vintner for Wine
In the process of working out supply chains, I realized that the neighborhood would need a lot more merchants than I had previously planned for. It also helped me to see the relationship between subneighborhoods emerging more clearly. Shropshire is clearly a large town in Warwick. Warwick, the region, is tiny--a hamlet at best. Hampshire, once it is all built, will be a bustling city. Warwick will have more raw materials for sale. They are the agricultural center, and they supply goods to Shropshire. Shropshire is the mercantile base of the region. And Hampshire is the political center, the cap of money and power. The merchants there offer fine and exotic goods--things that the poor people of Warwick have never seen, nor probably even imagined.
So, all of this means that I'm building ... and not exactly playing for a while. But that does NOT mean I'm not writing! Chapter 3 is already in the works--hope to have it up by the end of the week. Also, I will try to post some pictures of the neighborhood view in each of the three subnh's--maybe later this week. I keep forgetting to take pictures and when I do, I forget to transfer them to the firefly so I can access them on the laptop. The downstairs computer is receiving a 24 hour workout now that all of the kids are home from school.
Here's the To Do List:
(Some of these are Long-term)
1. Build the remaining Vegetable Farmer Lots in Lord Chesterfield's estate. DONE
2. Build the Livestock Herder Lots in Lord Chesterfield's estate. ON HOLD, for now ...
3. Build the Crop Farming Lots in Lord Chesterfield's estate. DONE
4. Finish building the Home for Foundlings and Orphans DONE
5. Build a small church and graveyard for Warwick. DONE
6. Build Harold's personal Towers ON HOLD, for now ...
7. Build Baron Aquamarin'e's Estate BACK BURNER!
8. Create Sims:
Priests for Warwick and Shropshire DONE
Sextons for Warwick and Shropshire IN PROGRESS
Ladies in Waiting for the Queen -- probably three needed I have ONE so far ...
The rest of Harold's interior ministers-- there will be several here IN PROGRESS
And that's all I can think of for now, but that seems like Enough!