Sunday, April 26, 2009

FSBS Confusion

I've been reading and recieving emails about confusion over FSBS (for sims by sims) hoods. Many of the questions involve "Can I join the SUN?" "Please let me in the SUN"

The SUN (Sims United Neighborhoods) is not a club or secret society-though it would be cool to have a limo take us to a secret location and we can hack our grades, but I digress. Applying for the SUN is very very simple. Simply submit the required information about your hood and viola! You're in the SUN! It's a two part process and it can take a while, not because of approval but due to volume of applications and real-life.

Once a SUN member, please take time to enjoy the SUN boards and chat with other sims in other hoods. You can arrange a SUN Exchange with another neighborhood, submit a guest article to the website or simply browse around and read the older articles.

Second source of confusion, "What are the rules for FSBS?"-the simple answer, there are none. FSBS isn't a challenge, but more of a style of playing. The simmer speaks through thier sims to other simmers in a type of role playing. For example, if Sandy Warwick wanted to contact her family in Simborough (another FSBS hood), then I would post on the boards as Sandy. Each sim has thier own personality and nuances in speaking style. Sandy for instance, is "sim-british", so I try to make sure her spellings are british as well as her ideas. In terms of websites/blogs-if you chose to have any, then typically every service in your hood is provided for by one of your sims. If you upload houses for downloading, then one of your sims is the architect behind those beautiful homes, if you publish a newspaper online, then your sims are the writers and editors.

I've been a SUN member and playing in a FSBS style since about 2004 and I've met some awesome simmers, gained some great ideas and reinvented my hood several times. I hope this post clears up some confusion, if you have any questions-post/email me. Also, if you have a FSBS site, please post below any additional comments to clear the general confusion regarding this playstyle.

Website Updates

Ugh, my blogs are updated, but I have neglected my website. I have a long to-do list:

-Reorganize website to reflect that all the dynamic news happens in the blog or the BTS blog
All resident journals are on the blog and I've been keeping BTS updates here, so the only thing on the website is laws, community information and links to blogs. I decided that the only thing on the website will be:
---Administrative Office (laws and links to council notes, council meetings and simyearly census reports in the main blog);
---Community Life (information about clubs-Historical Society will have it's own page, as well as AVA and Pierce University; Apple Valley News-see below; link to tours which will be updated in the blog);
---Yellow & White Pages (links to blog, SUN yellow pages; Pennelson Inc, Pahala Shore and A.Pentragnani)

-Update the administrative laws
With the merger and changes in the way I play the hood, some minor updates need to be made.

-Update tours and decide on a publication schedule for tours
Tour of the neighborhood will be linked from the BTS blog. Will start with a hood/county overview; followed by tours of individual lots and some gameplay on those lots-if applicable. Would like to publish a tour once every 4-6 weeks.

-Publish a few newspapers.
I haven't gotten the publication rate for the newspaper settled yet and would like some suggestions. Should I publish a paper at the end of every simyear (ie about 1 every 4-6 weeks) that has the updates for the simyear and few articles-or some other schedule (if you think some other schedule, please let me know what you have in mind.)

Suggestions? Comments? Please post them below.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Taxes and Fees

In honor of tax day, thought I'd share some insights of how Apple Valley collects taxes and fees.

The Old Version
The hood used to collect $750 per family and $1000 per owned business as a tax every Monday. Well, with only nine families and three owned businesses, that wasn't a lot of money (less than $10,000). Even after raising taxes to $1000 per family and $1500 per owned business the result was $13,500 every seven simdays. With the fact of the new simlonic calendar, this wasn't enough money to last 7 years!

The Possibilities
I debated property and income taxes, but with the sims living in apartments, thier net worth is a lot lower and besides, if they spent most of thier money on depreciable objects, then they won't have as large of a tax bill to pay, which seems like a tax shelter for those greedy wealthy sims that love to buy everything in the catalog. Not to mention making note of net worth or income before taxes were due was a little too much like work for me :)

The New Version-The Numbers
The sims are divided into tiers: wealthy (net worth $100,000+), mid-range (net worth$50,000-$99,000), low (net worth$25,000-$49,000) and proverty (net worth below $25,000). Thankfully with only nine families, I can easily tell where each family lands.

Then each tier pays a tax based on the number of sims in that household.
Tier I (wealthy)=$2000/sim
Tier II (middle class)=$1500/sim
Tier III (lower)=$1000/sim
Tier VI (proverty)=$500/sim

Misc Taxes:
Pet tax of $1000 per animal.
Luxury Tax of $5000 for each vacation home
Business Tax of $5000 for each owned business

$1000 for each child
$1000 each married couple
10% of significant donations ($10,000 or more) up to $5000.

So for example the Herendez family. Tier I, 5 sims, 1 business, 1 vacation home, no donations, 3 children, married. $10,000+$5000+$5000-$3000-$1000=$16,000 tax bill.

The Humphrey family. Tier VI (not making much on that pastor's salary), 5 sims, no business/vacation home/donations, 3 children, 3 pets, married. $2500+$3000-$3000-$1000=$1500 tax bill.

Continuing for the rest of the families
Wilsonoff=$5000 (donated to Simmington Hills & footed the bill for the new university building)

Total of $61,000 from the playable sims. Then to make things fair, each townie and NPC pays a modified tax, they use the community lots and public transport as well, brings in another $150,000. So $211,000 is the budget for 4 years.

The Timing
So every Monday and Thursday, the hood council president will collect taxes (this is about every 3/4 years). The current president visits the administrative office and using familyfund cheat, I'll collect the taxes and fees. Then the hood council will tell me in thier meeting ( via thier thought bubbles :P ) what to spend the money on and notes will be made in the council notes. As of now there isn't a seperate account for the hood council president and the hood's funds. I'm thinking of creating a placeholder sim and that sim will be the hood's accounts. We'll see since I'm more of a this lot cost about this much instead of a this lot was exactly this many dollars and cents type of player.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

At Home in Kimikura

Recently I drew a ROS for a family to live abroad for 3 years. Ok, that's a lie. The ROS was for the wife to leave the husband, but this couple are ALWAYS in the bed thanks to ACR and ALWAYS walking about in thier undies-even when the kids have friends over for dinner-a bit embarrassing if you ask me, but I digress. Since this couple is rock solid, I decided to chose another option in the ROS. The ROS is actually "Your family decreases" and it choses one of six options. So I chose the live abroad option. After brainstorming how and why the family would live aboard I then had the task of creating a dwelling place for them. The best part is that since the house is provided to them at a discounted cost I could spend a bit more than usual.

The spoiler for the ROS is that the family moves to Kimikura for thier time aboard. As an additional teaser, here's a preview of the home. Those who follow the Apple Valley families may be able to determine which family is moving away, but since the home is a traditional Kimikurian home and decorated in that sense, it may be a bit difficult.

Anyhoo, without further adieu, here's the tour of the new home.

Entrance of the home flanked by two statues rumored to bring good luck, health and blessings to the occupants of the home.

The foyer features space to put mail from family and friends back home in Apple Valley.

The kitchen/dining room is a cozy spot with bar, plenty of open shelving, bright green curtains and effecient kitchen layout (opps, I forgot the sink! Need to add that!)

The living area is sectioned into a comfortable seating arrangement for watching TV in Kimikurian (with simlish captions!) or chatting about the new culture. There is a desk area for emails, business reports and research, school work and basic bill paying and list making.

Upstairs are three bedrooms

one for each child. The oldest one insisted on plenty of room to study, especially with university so close, there isn't time for studies to go lacking.

The master suite has a private bath and balcony with room for a tea table and private tea ceremonies.
Did you guess which family is going to leave Apple Valley for a little while?


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