I’ve been enjoying James’ Prison Challenge for a while. It’s not the way I usually play, and while I’ve toyed with the idea I never actually did it until now. For some reason I randomly decided to try it. It’s just a bit of fun, and I’m not following any rules. I just built a random prison and off I went!
A big difference to James’ version and whatever it is that I’m doing, is that he has a warden and I don’t. I didn’t really think this through, but I wanted it to be more about the prisoners caring for themselves as a small community. I also didn’t want to add more than 8 sims to the household. So I guess the prison is automated, or maybe I’m the warden… I dunno! 😄
Anyhoozles! I decided that I’d make a women’s prison and rounded up some of my favourite pre-made luvvies into a new household. Then I lovingly stripped them of any outward sign of their individuality and stuffed them into a plain blue uniform (because blue is the new orange).
Well… they got to keep their hairstyles and make-up, because I figured that was allowed in real prisons. But their everyday, athletic and sleepwear is all changed to the new fabulous blue outfit. I figured I’d let them dress up if they ever have a party, and I doubt they’ll be doing much swimming since the prison doesn’t have a pool.
So, I gently ushered them into their new home. They seemed impressed by the luxurious concrete walls and liberal use of chain-link fencing, and quickly made the most of the leisure facilities. They always have access to the main hall where there is a TV, game table, and football table. They also always have access to their own cell and the shower rooms.
The other areas of the prison are usually locked. Access to these areas is determined by a couple of factors such as traits and time of day. Firstly, there are the kitchen and dining hall. The only Sim with access to the kitchen is Clara Bjergsen from Windenburg, because she is the only person with any interest in food or cooking. So she is the only current member of the Prison Culinary Program, a Get Together club. The door-locking feature includes an option to allow a certain club, so this allows access to certain rooms to certain members. However, to stop Clara from sneaking food whenever she feels like it, the kitchen door is usually lock for all Sims. I direct her to make a group meal twice a day. She is also responsible for keeping the kitchen clean and in working order.
Alice Spencer-Kim is the only Sim in the Prison Gardening Program as she is the only one with an outdoorsy trait. She is responsible for providing ingredients for the kitchen, and any extra produce will be sold to generate an income. I removed all excess funds from the household account, all I will give them is $10 per Sim every Monday. I’ll also take care of their bills. I’m using Graycurse’s Shop from Fridge and Recipe Overhaul Mod which means Sims cannot cook if they do not have the ingredients needed for a meal. So they will either need to grow or buy ingredients if they want to eat!
Alice is the only Sim who will have access to the gardening area.
Here’s an idea of their daily routine!
First thing in the morning, I wake Clara up at around 5am to go and make breakfast in the kitchen, then I wake up the others. I unlock the dining hall and direct all the Sims to go and stand in the room, then I lock them in. They can choose whether they want to eat or not, but they all usually do. Then they tidy up… sort of! I had to replace the bins with a sink.
After this I kick them all outside for exercise. I’ll direct all the Sims to do some form of exercise, the exercise they do depends on their personality or their mood. Katrina (KATRIIIINAAAAA!!!) Caliente is hot-headed, so she’ll usually opt for boxing rather than yoga to relieve some of her aggression. While I initially direct the Sims to do exercise I’ll let them decide how long they want to do it for and they can opt-out if they choose. The doors to the outside area are unlocked at this time so they can move freely between this area and the main body of the prison. They can choose to stop and take a shower, or go and watch TV, or even come back outside and try a different type of exercise if they like. It’s quite funny seeing how mucky they get!
At midday the outside area is locked and the women are called back inside. Then the activities start! I imagine this to be the time where Sims are encouraged to learn a skill to help them when they are released! The prison offers several Prisoner Improvement Programs (or PIPs if you like), I’ve already mentioned the Culinary and Gardening schemes, but since these groups only have one Sim each at the moment, they work a bit differently.
One room will be unlocked each afternoon. The first to be unlocked is the library. All Sims have access to the library and can ‘borrow’ a book. I let this happen autonomously, if a Sim enters the library and picks up a book, I’ll add it to their inventory if they leave it on a surface.
There are four computers in the library (I intentionally gave them too few) and the Sims in the Prison Writer’s Program get first priority. When the library opens I direct them to ‘practice writing’ and eventually I hope their skill will improve and they’ll be able to earn money by writing books. The Sims in this group are Sims with a writing or book based aspiration or trait as a priority, and then any Sim with a creative interest. So the leader of this group is Maaike Haas, and there is also Alice Spencer-Kim and Ulrike Faust. The fourth computer is spare and available for any other Sim to autonomously use, so far this has been Nancy Landgraab, who uses it to Troll Teh Forums. 😄
The activity rooms are unlocked on rotation, so while the library might be open one day, on another day it will be closed and the music room will be open instead. At first only Candy Behr was interested in the Prisoner Music Program as she has the music lover trait, and so became the club leader. Then Maaike Haas and Alice Spencer-Kim also joined, I think one of them joined in autonomously, and the other has a whim to play an instrument. I think another Sim also had a whim to join at some point but it was when the music room was locked, it may have been Nancy or Bella, so they might join soon too.
There are two more activity rooms, a painting room and a woodworking room. These will be very helpful because the prisoners can make art and furniture that can be sold to raise funds! Unfortunately, they also require funds to be able to provide the materials: the canvasses and the wood. Sadly, they do not currently have the funds for these programs to go ahead. 😦
At 5pm the activity rooms are closed and Sims are kicked out. They mill around the common area until dinner is served by Clara. This functions in a similar way to breakfast, where they all enter the room but can choose if they want to eat or not. They have until 9ish to tidy up before they are allowed a bit of free time before bed. ^__^
It’s quite amusing to see what each person gets up to: who they make friends with, and who they dislike. There are not super-strong feeling yet, but I think this will develop more over time. It’s funny that some Sims seem to be more interested in being helpful and getting involved in the programs, while others seem less interested. Nancy is probably my most difficult prisoner! I feel like Nancy, Katrina and Bella Goth are the least interested in taking part in any skill program, and are more interested in chatting and watching TV. Alice is my model prisoner! Her traits mean she is involved in the most activities and she’s the main source of income and produce. If it wasn’t for Alice, they probably would all have starved!
I don’t normally play challenge type games, but this was a random whim and I’m really enjoying it! If anyone is finding the wait for Dine Out difficult and is looking for a silly way to pass the time, I definitely recommend trying something like this!