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Guide and Walkthrough by Mark_E_1990

Version: 2.0 | Updated: 10/22/2006

*****************************************************************************
*                                                                           *
*                     The Sims 2 - Open For Business FAQ                    *
*                                                                           *
*                                                                           *
*****************************************************************************

The Sims 2 - Open For Business is the third expansion for The Sims 2, 
following The Sims 2 University and The Sims 2 Nightlife. Open for business 
has loads of extra features which I think makes it the best expansion pack 
for this game. 

There are so many things you can do, set up businesses at home or on a 
community lot, create toys to sell at the workbench or open a hairdressing 
saloon. The possibilities are endless.


******************
* 1.0. Contents  *
******************

1.0. Contents
1.1. Copyright Notice
1.2. Version History
1.3. Credits

2.0. System Requirements

3.0. Business Basics
3.1. Bluewater Village
3.2. Starting a Home Business
3.3. Starting a Business on a Community Lot

4.0. Business beyond the basics
4.1. Business Perks
4.2. Talent Badges

5.0. Robots
5.1. Servo
5.2. MunchieBot
5.3. SentryBot
5.4. HydroBot
5.5. CleanBot
5.6. Toy Robot

6.0. Toy Making
6.1. Sir Bricks-A-Lot
6.2. Fire Engine
6.3. Jack in the Box
6.4. Kite
6.5. Twirl, Spin and Wobble
6.6. Water Wiggler

7.0. Flower Arrangements
7.1. Daisy Boquet
7.2. Wildflower Boquet
7.3. Tulip Boquet
7.4. Mixed Flower Boquet
7.5. Rose Boquet
7.6. Snapdragon Boquet

8.0. CJX's "DRED" Business method.

H.T. Hints and Tips

x.x. Contact Information


***************************
* 1.1. Copyright Notice   *
***************************

This FAQ/Walkthrough may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except 
for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise 
distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on 
any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, 
and a violation of copyright.
Main Guide Copyright 2006 Mark Eastaugh and respective contributors.
CJX's "DRED" Business method Copyright 2006 CJX

The following websites may host this guide :
www.gamefaqs.com and websites that it permits.
www.absolutcheats.com
www.neoseeker.com
www.1up.com
www.cheatcc.com
www.supercheats.com

If you see any other websites hosting the whole or part of this guide please 
let me know.

If you would like to host this FAQ please email me and give me the address 
of the site. I will only let you host this guide if your site is not full
of advertisements ect and that this faq is hosted without any ads and banners
on the same page.


*************************
* 1.2. Version History  *
*************************

22/10/06 - Ok, all the updates are done. Gonna re-submit to gamefaqs now. 
Might give it afew days before i start on the pets expansion guide.

19/10/06 - Ouch, I didn't realise I had left this FAQ lying there in such a 
state. Gonna start to finish off where I left off and try and finish the FAQ. 
With pets soon approaching (Friday!!) I thought id better finish one before I 
start another.

29/3/06 - Added the (possibly) last version of DRED. Thanks to CJX for 
updating me on all of his versions and allowing me to display them here. 
Added more hints and tips. 

27/3/06 - Got an email from CJX with A more in-depth version of his 'DRED' 
business method. That has replaced the old version as the new version shows 
you how to make even MORE money. A picture was included showing a 7.2 MILLION
$ profit in a single day. Now thats what I call a good business technique.

24/3/06 - Added CJX's "DRED" Business method. This guys a genius when it 
comes to this game. Check in section 8 for more details on this method.

21/3/06 - Wow, i have updated the Snap-Dragon section as CJX has supplied me 
with a load more information about them. This must have taken him ages! Many 
thanks to him for all this in-depth work.

18/3/06 - Removed hints by Nerdz after they were proven to be incorrect by 
Jersey. I must say that i have checked and agree with what he said - That 
closing your business will make them all line up and not cause customers to 
walk away with items. Also that the only way to have real shoplifters is 
leaving in a taxi whilst your business is still open.

17/3/06 - Added a brilliant part on Snap-Dragon Boquets submitted by CJX.

16/3/06 - I have had such a busy week and thats why i havent done much with 
the guide. I have managed to add some of the hints and tips which were 
submitted. Hopefully i will have time at the weekend to write alot more. 
Looks like next week will be really busy for me again. I had nothing 
important happen for weeks then as soon as I get this game everything seems 
to be happening all at once! Good luck with your businesses!

9/3/06 - Had exams all week so haven't done much. Added some hints and tips 
which have been submitted.

5/3/06 - Spent many hours today getting the first version ready for review. I 
keep flicking back to the game to check something out and then forget about 
it and just keep on playing. Submitting Tonight!!!

4/3/06 - Layed out abit more ready to have stuff put in. Ive been playing all 
morning and am really starting to get the hang of it. Gonna submit this as a 
partial FAQ sometime this week and continue adding to it over the next couple 
of weeks.

3/3/06 - Started work on Robots and also talent badges. Go together quite 
well because as you get new badges you also can craft new robots. Finished 
business perks. I took the descriptions of each perk from the game menu.

2/3/06 - I have the game! The shop got it in early. Gonna start some serious 
work on this. Will be hard work though because I am typing wit just the one 
hand after fracturing my elbow afew days ago. Thank god you don't really need 
to use the keyboard much to play The Sims 2. Gonna do basic stuff like talent 
badges and robots ect first, then go more in depth. 

1/3/06 - Started to prepare the FAQ. OFB is released in two days and i 
thought it would be a great oppertunity to write a new FAQ. Added Version 
History, Contents outline, Copyright notice and Contact information.


*************************
* 1.3. Credits          *
*************************

This will include your online name if you submit anything that is displayed 
in this guide.

System Requirements from the official Sims 2 website.

Business perk descriptions directly from game.

Thanks to Orion, Makuta999 and Yeno for submitting game hints and tips. 
Thanks to Jersey for spotting false information in the hints and tips. These 
have now been removed.

Many thanks to CJX for his EXTREMELY extensive research on Snap-Dragon 
Boquets, and also his 'DRED' business method.

Thanks to Cindy for her research on selling cars at home and on community 
lots. Thanks to texrebel for wholesale discount percentages.


******************************
* 2.0. System Requirements   * [From EA Support]
******************************

Here are the minimum requirements needed to play Open For Business:

- Windows 98/ME/2000/XP operating system.

- 1000 MHz (1 GHz) or faster processor.

- 256 MB or more RAM.

- At least 1.5 GB of additional hard drive space.

- Supported T&L-capable video card with at least 32 MB of video RAM.


Supported Video Cards:

- ATI Radeon 8500, All-In-Wonder 8500, 9000, 9200, 9500, 9600, 9700, 9800, 
X300, X600, X700, X800, and X850.

- NVIDIA GeForce 2, 2 GTS, 3, 3 Ti, 4, 4 Ti, 4200, 4600, and 4800.

- NVIDIA GeForce MX 420, 440, and 460.

- NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200, 55500, 5600, 5700, 5800, 5900, and 5950.

- NVIDIA GeForce PCX 5300, and 5900.

- NVIDIA GeForce 6200, 6600, and 6800.

- NVIDIA Quadro, Quadro2, and Quadro4.


If you have a 2.4 GHz or faster processor, the game may run with the 
following video cards:

Intel Extreme Graphics 82865, 82915, and higher.

****************************
* 3.0. Business Basics     *
****************************

In this section, you can find out about the all new Bluewater Village and 
also how to start a home or community lot business.

****************************
* 3.1. Bluewater Village   *
****************************

Bluewater Village is the maxis made shopping village in Open For Business. 
Here is it's in-game description -

Come and enjoy an exciting new shopping and entertainment destination! If 
you're looking to update your closet, your image or your family room, 
Bluewater Village will have something for you.

When you first load Bluewater village there are already five familys living 

there. They are -

Landgrab IV - Malcolm
Owns two commuinity businesses - Club Dante and Electronics Superstore.

Ramirez - Checo, Lisa and Tessa
Owns one community business - Ramirez's Fine Furniture

Jacquet - Denise and Gilbert
Owns one community business - J'Adore Bakery

Delarosa - Florence
Has a home business - A Flower Shop

Tinker - Stephen, Wanda and Melody
Busy Setting up a home Toy Shop Business.


***********************************
* 3.2. Starting a Home Business   *
***********************************

I would reccomend starting a home business if you plan on selling any of the 
following - Toys, Robots, Flowers, Makeovers. This is mainly because these 
businesses do not require alot of space. There is no need for a massive 
community lot to have afew shelves filled with toys.

What I reccomend doing is making you house on the back of it or upstairs and 
making sure all of the doors are locked. Then, once your business closes you 
can make more stock at your workbenches.

To start a home business click the phone, then business, then "Start Home 
Business". The business tool will appear and there you have it. 
If you plan on selling toys, robots or flowers I would reccomend selling them 
at either Average or Expensive. This makes it easy to impress your customers 
and at the same time have a steady income.


*************************************************
* 3.4. Starting a Business on a Community Lot   *
*************************************************

There are two big advantages of owning a community business as opposed to a 
home business.

The first is that you have more space and therefore you can sell things such 
as beds, pianos ect. This also means you can build massive nightclubs and 
charge sims more to get in as opposed to a small nightclub on a home lot.

The second advantage is that you can have businesses options avaliable to you 
which you wouldn't have at home. For example, resteraunts and also a Car 
Showroom if you have the nightlife expansion pack. 


*************************************
* 4.0. Business beyond the basics   *
*************************************

As you business grows you will encounter things such as talent badges and 
Business perks. This section is for information about all those things. They 
will help your business grow much larger.


**************************
* 4.1. Business Perks    *
**************************

Business perks help your business in many ways. Below is a list of all the 
business perks that you can get. Business perks do not pass down to your heir 
when you sim dies, and they will have to start again. You gain business perk 
points every time your businesses move up through the ranks.


*********************
* Connections Grants 
*********************

Power Network - Your networking skills have become stupendous! You can now 
use ''Talk...Power Network'' to instantaneously meet all the acquaintances of 
another Sim...and you'll get a powerful starting bonus to those relationships 
too!

Head for Numbers - Spending so much time pleasing customers has given you an 
incredible memory. You now can call anyone in town on the phone now, whether 
you know them or not!

Network - You've learned the importance of knowing the people that other 
people know! You can now use ''Talk...Network'' to instantaneously meet all 
the aquaintances of another Sim...and you get a starting bonus to those 
relationships too!

Sterling Reputation - The work is spreading about your growing business 
abilities! You'll now get a bigger jumpstart to all new relationships!

Notable Reputation - People are getting to know who you are...and they like 
what they hear! You'll now enjoy a starting boost to all of your new 
relationships.


********************
* Perception Grants 
********************

Manipulation - Huzzah! You have attained a nigh-magical level of sales 
prowess! You can now use ''Sales...Manipulate'' to get customers to buy like 
they've never bought before.

Convincing Personality - You've seen a lot of sales by now, and you know the 
secrets of getting people to cough up their cash. You will now enjoy a boost 
to the effectiveness of all your Sales interactions with customers!

Look For Mark - You've learned that it can be hard to sell something to a 
grump who hates your store. Now, activating ''Look for Mark'' on yourself 
will let you detect the perfect sales target!

Assess Desire - You've learned that some Sims yearn secretly to possess 
something new - A leather armchair? A Remote Controlled Car? Your Sim has 
learned how to tap into the hidden signals of their customers give off and 
can use ''Assess...Desire'' to find out just what they want.

Assess Mood - You've gotten a pretty good idea of what a happy customer looks 
like. Now you can use ''Assess...Mood'' to evaluate how perky or peeved 
another sim is, and that makes you a happy Sim, yourself!


**************
* Cash Grants 
**************

Will Wright Grant - Outstanding! Your business is becoming a household name, 
and has won you this grant from the Will Wright Foundation for Economic 
Advancement.

Owners Association Award - Congratulations! Your reputation as a mogul is 
spreading, and has earned you this cash prize from the Sim Business Owners 
Association!

Chamber of Comerce Prize - Superb! Your business acumen has earned this cash 
award from the local Chamber of Commerce!

Valued Client Rebate - Well Done! The rising fame of your establishment has 
earned you this rebate from your suppliers!

LeTourneau Prize - Nice Job! On the recommendation of some of your customers, 
you've won the LeTourneau Prize for new business owners!


*******************
* Wholesale Grants 
*******************

Shark of Sharks - You've become the Shark of Sharks. Your ability to get the 
best wholesale deals is legendary!

Serious Negotiator - Profit is great! Your business skill has given you the 
ability to negotiate even lower wholesale costs!

Bargain Hunter - Your business' rising popularity has really given you an 
edge with your wholesalers! You can buy at much lower prices now.

Supplier Partnership - Your suppliers love to brag about having you as a 
customer! Enjoy this additional discount on your wholesale costs.

Wholesale Discount - Ka-ching! Your growing fame as a business owner has 
motivated your suppliers to offer you a discount on future purchases!

As a guide here are some rough discount percentages. [Thanks texrebel]
1- 2.2% 
2- 5.7%
3- 10.9%
4- 18.4%
5- 28.5%

********************
* Motivation Grants 
********************

Rally Forth! - You are the master of getting people psyched up! Now, 
activating ''Rally Forth!'' on yourself will cause you to give all onlookers 
a call to arms, sacrificing your own needs to boost theirs! Be careful with 
this powerful ability.

Boundless Influence - Your ability to amass influence is uncanny! You're a 
born leader, and now when you gain influence by fulfilling wants, you'll get 
more than ever. Start giving orders, chief!

Motivational Speech - You've learned to bring out the best in people with 
nothing more than a rousing speech! Using ''Talk...Motivational Speech'' will 
give other Sims the power to have increased talent for a period of 
time. ''Let's do this, people!

Perk Up - You've learned that goods and services won't sell without a smile. 
Bad Mood? No problem! You've learned to put a smile on anybody's face by 
using ''Talk...Perk Up.''

Simply Influential - While most people need a boatload of friends to be 
really influential, you just need to be yourself! With this perk, yourself! 
With this perk, your capacity for influence will take a nice swing upward.


*************************
* 4.2. Talent Badges    *
*************************

Talent badges are one of the largest features to be added in this expansion 
pack ans are very important to running a business. There are 7 different 
types of talent badges. Below is a list of them and what they allow you to 
do. All talent badges come in three colours - Bronze, Silver and finally 
Gold. To get talent badges, you must put a skill into practice. For example 
to gain a toy making badge you must be making toys to gain points towards the 
next talent badge.

Toy Making - This badge allows you to make toys more efficiently. It also 
allows you to craft toys that previously were not avaliable. You can earn Toy 
Making talent badges faster if you have mechanical skill points.

Robotery - This badge allows you to make Robots more efficiently. It also 
alows you to craft Robots that previously were not avaliable. You can earn 
the Robotery talent badges faster if you have mechanical skill points.

Flower Arranging - This badge allows you to arrange flowers more efficiently. 
It also alows you to arrange flowers that previously were not avaliable. You 
can earn the Flower Arranging talent badges faster if you have Creativity 
skill points and your sim is playful.

Restocking - If you restock an item in your shop you will be working towards 
getting a restocking badge. To get this badge faster your sim will need Body 
skill points.

Sales - Using sales socials will help you on your way to earning these 
badges. To get this badge faster your sim will need Charisma skill points.

Cash Register - When your sim is at the cash register and another sim buys 
something, you will be closer to getting a Cash Register talent badge. Sims 
with Logic skill points will get this badge faster.

Cosmetology - Sims will be able to give better makeovers to customers with 
badges in Cosmetology. Use the Ug-No-More Makeover Station to work towards 
this talent badge. To get these badges faster you will need Cleaning skill 
points.

*******************************************
* 4.3. Selling Cars (Nightlife Required)  * [Submitted by Cindy]
*******************************************

There are two ways to sell cars in the game:

Home Business:

You want to sell lots of cars from home? Create a large lot.  Fill it with 
driveways and extensions. Make  a narrow two story house off to one side of 
the lot.  The offices downstairs have large windows and a door facing the 
driveways, an employee break room and a restroom.  Of course, a customer 
lounge area, desk, chairs, and a computer & phone.

Make a separate living area upstairs with it's own entryway.  Be sure you 
lock the doors and make the entry Household Only, otherwise, you'll have lot 
visitors watching your tv and eating your food. You can pick any car out of 
buy mode and put them on the driveways. Use the Open and Closed sign for your 
business

Community Lot:

Create a lot, pave it and place your office where ever you want.  Get the 
round car displays (in the OFB collection folder or in the Misc folder and 
put them on the lot.    

To Place the Cars: - The owner has to be on the lot. YOU CAN NOT pick cars 
out of Buy Mode directly. The car category is normally greyed out on 
commerical lots.  To place cars on the car shelves, you have to click on the 
Wholesale icon on the Business manager menu, located in the upper right 
corner of the screen.  Once you are in wholesale mode, the cars in BUY MODE 
become available.  Pick the ones you want and place them on the round car 
platforms.  The wholesale mode makes them glow yellow.  Now price them, 
either individually or as a class.


*******************
* 5.0. Robots     *
*******************

Robots have to be one of the coolest things in this expansion pack. Just like 
Nightlife added vampires and University added Zombies, this expansion pack 
also has its special... Thing.

To make robots, you need talent badges, different colors depending on the 
robot. You craft them at the Non-deadly robot crafting station.

Robots each need a special station where they can recharge. when they are at 
the base station and you want to use them you need to turn them on. When you 
are finished using your robots click turn off and they will return to their 
charging station. Servo is the only robot that doesn't need a charging 
station. Instead he charged up in the sunlight.

Sometimes robots will break, causing them to break things. There isn't much 
you can do about this, just wait until it shuts down and then repair it. Once 
I created a robot which was already broken, most likely because I only had 2 
mechanical skill points.

Below is a list of the 5 different robots in Open For Business, what you need 
to make them, what they do, and also how much they cost to make.

***************
* 5.1. Servo  *
***************

Talent badge needed - Gold
Price to make - $3000

By far the most unique item in the game. Either mark Servo for sale or 
activate it to make it a member of the family. You will be promted to whether 
you want your Servo to be male of female. Make sure that you have a free slot 
avaliable for Servo.

This is why Servo is so cool. He is played like any other sim, and can get a 
job, woohoo ect. The only thing that Servo can not do is try for a baby.

Once activated he will have 10 cooking skill points, 10 mech skill points and 
10 cleaning skill points. Servo's other skills will be given depending on the 
skills on the sim who activates it. Servo will also have the same personality 
and same aspiration of the Sim who activates it.

Servo will also have some talent badges, but these are chosen randomly, and 
are not affected by the sim who activates him.

Servo has 4 needs - Fun, Power, Social and Environment. To get fun, social 
and environment works like a normal sim.  Power is like energy, Servo 
recharges when he goes into the sunlight.

You can freeze Servos needs by turning him off. This is good when you have 
alot of sims on one lot and are mainly using Servo to do chores.

Servo will never grow up and therefore will never die of old age. This means 
that Servo can stay in your familt for generations. He can still die of fire, 
sickness, satalite ect.

Servos can create other Servos if they have a gold talent badge in robotics. 

This is great for when servo lives alone and means he can create himself a 
boyfriend/girlfriend.


********************
* 5.2. MunchieBot  *
********************

Talent badge needed - Silver
Price to make - 1200

Munchie bot makes sure you are never hungry. If there is a hungry sim at your 
house then he will leave the lot and return with food. This could be food 
from takeaways or food that you can cook at home. Bad thing is you have to 
pay for the food.

When broken this robot will bring back burnt food.


*******************
* 5.3. SentryBot  *
*******************

Talent badge needed - Silver
Price to make - $720

Just a little more expensive than a burglar alarm and you have Sentrybot. He 
will get rid of burglars, stop people stealing your newspaper or kicking over 
your rubbish bin.

When broken SentryBot will electrocute sims which may lead to them being 
killed.


******************
* 5.4. HydroBot  *
******************

Talent badge needed - Bronze
Price to make - $320

Great for stopping fire. Will spray water on fires when they occur, no more 
need for those terrible alarms.

When broken HydroBot will spray ater everywhere which will cause loads of 
puddles, great for sims who want cleaning skills, bad for environment score.


*****************
* 5.5. CleanBot *
*****************

Talent badge needed - Bronze
Price to make - $560

Cleabot is just like the maid. Will clean up old food, wash away puddles and 
generally keep the house looking tidy.

When broken Cleanbot will throw rubbish everywhere, not very good for your 
environment score. May also lead to being killed by flies!


******************
* 5.6. Toy Robot *
******************

Talent badge needed - None
Price to make - $108

A Small toy robot for your sims to enjoy.


*********************
* 6.0. Toy Making   *
*********************

There are some pretty cool things you can make at the toy making station. Not 
as good as the robots of course but still, there is alot of fun to be had. 
High Mechanical skills help when building toys.


***************************
* 6.1. Sir Bricks-A-Lot   *
***************************

Talent Badge Needed - None
Price - $32

The pet rock got old fast so why not treat yourself to an all new Pet Brick. 
This item is pretty cool, it can even learn a trick!!! (Even though the trick 
is Play Dead its still a pretty cool item).


**********************
* 6.2. Fire Engine   *
**********************

Talent Badge Needed - Bronze
Price - $45

Great toy for your sim kids to play with.


**************************
* 6.3. Jack-In-The-Box   *
**************************

Talent Badge Needed - Bronze
Price - $75

One of the more boring toys avaliable to craft. Still, its worth a purchase 
to given that authentic look to your kids bedrooms.

****************
* 6.4. Kite    *
****************

Talent Badge Needed - Silver
Price - $60
And the best thing it - You can actually fly them!


*********************************
* 6.5. Twirl, Spin and Wobble   *
*********************************

Talent Badge Needed - Silver
Price - $260

Now this is a great toy. Sort of like a Spinny See-Saw type toy for two 
people.


***************************
* 6.6. Water Wiggler      *
***************************

Talent Badge Needed - Gold
Price - $400

The perfect alternative to a bucket full of water is the Water Wiggler - 
Guarenteed to get you soaked! This toy also looks pretty cool, but as with 
the Twirl, Spin and Wobble takes up a fair bit of space.


******************************
* 7.0. Flower Arranging      *
******************************

Most flowers are just for decoration, but read a little further down for some 
information on the Snap-Dragon Boquet and how it could help you run a VERY 
successful business. Flowers are also alot cheaper to produce in large 
quantities than robots so it may be the way to go if you are just starting 
out. High Creativity helps with Flower Arranging.


*************************
* 7.1. Daisy Boquet     *
*************************

Talent Badge Needed - None
Price to make - $36


****************************
* 7.2. Wildflower Boquet   *
****************************

Talent Badge Needed - Bronze
Price to make - $47


************************
* 7.3. Tulip Boquet    *
************************

Talent Badge Needed - Bronze 
Price to make - $61


****************************
* 7.4. Mixed Flower Boquet *
****************************

Talent Badge Neded - Silver
Price to make - $68


*************************
* 7.5. Rose Boquet      *
*************************

Talent Badge Needed - Silver
Price to make - $96

****************************
* 7.6. Snap-Dragon Boquet  *
****************************

Talent badge needed - Gold
Price to make - $300

Thanks to CJX for his following extensive research into Snap-Dragon Bouqets.

After some experiment I have discovered that Snap-Dragon Bouquets are easily 
the most powerful new item in the game (not counting Servo which is not 
really an item anyway). A well-made Snap-dragons release a pink mist that 
boosts 6 of a Sims needs, excluding energy and environment (as opposed to an 
"evil" bouquet which releases sickly green mist that drains needs, you need 
to watch out for those). Thats right, Snap-Dragons boost Hunger, Bladder, 
Hygiene, Social, Fun and Comfort all at once! This has "exploit" written all 
over it.

A single Bouquet on its own does not do much, but their effects stack, so if 
you say, surround a crafting workbench with these fantastic flowers, the 
worker there (whether an employee or one of your own controlled sims) can 
work almost indefinitely, limited only by energy. Scatter these around your 
business to keep your salemen/cashiers/customers all in a good mood. Or 
build a needs-based charge by the hour business using these flowers as the 
backbone.

Not just that, it applies to Artist easel, while studying subjects from 
books, working out, even sleeping! If you surround a bed with these, your 
Sim will wake up extremely refreshed. Basically, a sim can survive with a 
large bunch of Snap-dragons and a bed. No more need for kitchens/ 
toilets/fun giving objects. An artist sim just needs these around his bed 
and his easel, and he can keep churning out master pieces, stopping only for 
sleep. Surrounding a workout bench with them keeps hygiene up, nullifying 
the hygiene destroying effects of the workout!

This plant is so powerful it almost renders the various needs based boosts 
(maxmotives, and the rally forth perk) useless. And they are relatively 
cheap to boot, costing 300 dollars wholesale. For the price of 1 hot tub, 
you can get 20+ of these. Basically, get one gold-badge florists to churn 
these out, set them on sale on a community lot, and get your other sims to 
visit that lot to buy these flowers.

You should also note that your chances of getting a green or pink snapdragon 
seem to be dependent on your aspiration levels. (So make sure your florist is 
platinum).

Snapdragons work within a 3 tile radius, except at the diagonal 
extremes. As shown in the figure below:

oxxxxxo
xxxxxxx
xxxxxxx
xxxDxxx
xxxxxxx
xxxxxxx
oxxxxxo

x=area of coverage
D=Snapdragon Bouquet
o=Diagonal extremes (no coverage)

Also, they cannot work across "sealed" areas, whether from fencing or from 
walls. If there is a wall/fence between you and the snapdragon, but you are 
within the same room, it will still have an effect. But if you are in a 
different room, then the effect stops (why the pink mist cant go through 
fences? No one knows...). Basically, if you don't have to use a door/fence 
gate to get there, the pink mist can also diffuse through.

The compensation point: This is the number of snapdragons that you need to 
be in the radius of, in order to your 6 motives maxed out. Normally, your 
sims bladder decreases the fastest among the motives, so this is the "weak 
link" to watch out for. This also varies for the activity you are doing: 
Working out on the exerto machine needs 6 snapdragons around to keep hygiene 
maxed. But otherwise, if you are just standing around, 2-3 will do. But 
there seems to be some random factor with these snapdragons, so with 2-3 
bouquets, if you check on your sim, the bladder may drop a bit, and then 
recover after a while. Therefore 4 or more is recommended to help your 
motives recover (e.g. after a hard days work, to cheer up grumpy customers, 
or when your employees come to work half-dead with an orange ball on their 
heads).

Based on the radius and compensation number, I can recommend the following 
arrangement for business sales floor, in order to keep all 
customers/salesmen within the compensation number (this diagram would look 
much better in courier):

D...D
.....
.....
.....
D...D

D=Snapdragon
.=empty space

The smallest effect would be on the horizontal and vertial "grid" joining 
the snapdragons, but here, there is still at least 2 in effect. Still, these 
would be the best places to put your sales object, hence forcing your 
customers/salesmen onto the higher effect areas. E.g.


DS.SD
.....
S...S
.....
DS.SD

where:
D=Snapdragon
.=empty space
S=shelf or other sales item

Final notes, buying snapdragons manually from a community lot is generally 
only good for getting small numbers. If you need huge numbers (e.g. for a 
very large house/community lot), and at a greatly reduced price (120 each) 
then you can try the following trick: Firstly you need a florist with gold 
badge, and someone who can meditate within the household (it can be the 
florist him/herself)

1. Back up your game
2. Open the goldbadge florist
3. Using setaspiration 5 (for platinum mood), maxmotives and motherlode, 
churn out, maybe about 100 snapdragons, or however many you want (preferably 
slightly more in case some are of the green variety)
4. Lay them out on the lot and observe them, preferably in batches, ensure 
they are all pink
5. Load them all up into the inventory of the meditator
6. Get the meditator to buy a completely empty small community lot (1x3 or 
2x2 will do). Ensure that it is community, not residential
7. Send the meditator there, and get him to start meditating
8. Unload all the garunteed pink snapdragons onto the community lot.
9. Leave them in the open, and meditate for about 5 days, until the price of 
each drops to 120 from normal depreciation.
10. Send the meditator back home, sell the lot.
11. Package the lot, save the package somewhere
12. Reload your backed up game, import the packaged lot

Now if you need lots of cheap snapdragons, just place the packaged community 
lot down, buy it, visit it, drag all the snapdragons into your inventory, 
and then sell off/bulldoze the emptied lot! This can be done more than once 
if the snapdragons from 1 lot are not enough. If you don't need them all, 
just take whatever you need, you will get your money back when you sell it.

One last thing to note, stacking them on shelves stops their effects, so you 
have to place these flowers on the ground.


***************************************
* 8.0. CJX's "DRED" Business Method   *
***************************************

General Introduction
--------------------

The pay per hour business is one of the easiest businesses with which to 
turn a profit, and at the ultimate level, it is THE way to rake in cash. It 
requires a fair amount of starting capital to purchase the facilities 
needed, but otherwise its a solid choice for any entrepeneurial Sim. 
However, your neighbourhood may appear a bit boring if all you have are pay 
per hour businesses, but I digress.

I have gotten the first few stages to work on a residential home business. 
Nonetheless, a community lot has several advantages, the main one being that 
time does not pass, the disadvantage being slow and painful loading time. 
However, the ultimate end stages MUST be run on a community lot. I also 
recommend you keep your lot small (e.g. 2x2 if community), that way, running 
the lot will be easier on your CPU, and it can handle more customers before 
slowing down.

The key to building a decent pay by hour business are
1. Lots snapdragons (specifically pink ones, at least around 20, but the 
more the better)
2. Expresso (and something to clean up the cups with e.g. sink/dishwasher)
3. something to occupy your customers with

I shall assume you already understand the basics of snapdragons. The thing 
with which you use to occupy your customers will vary depending on the 
expansion packs you have. With no other pack, then hottubs and pinball 
machines will do. With other expansions, you can bring in pool tables, poker 
tables, bowling alleys etc.

Starting capital needed: If you are getting everything brand new, then be 
prepared to fork out 20k over. Otherwise, you might use a pre-fabricated and 
depreciated lot, that may set you back maybe 10k or less. (See my extra 
notes below for how to make depreciated lots)

Note that this is only for a decent business. There are a total of 5 stages, 
each stage needs everything from the previous stage, and has ever increasing 
additional requirements (and payoffs):

1. Decent
Pay off: several hundred a day,
Requirements: as above

2. Good
Pay Off: 1,000,000+ a day
Additional Requirements: Gold sales badge

3. Excellent
Pay Off: 2,000,000+ a day
Additional Requirements: Must be run on a community lot, sim with gold sales 
badge needs to be friends with most townies

4. Optimal (aka DRED Supercombo)
Pay Off: 3,000,000+ a day
Additional Requirements: 2 seperate controllable sims, one gold sales and 
one rally forth. Level 10 business. And you need to squeeze all your 
customers into the rally forth zone (see below).

5. Super Optimal (aka DRED Ultracombo)
Pay Off: Depending on CPU speed, TENS of millions a day.
Addiational Requirements: Fast computer (as in your actual playing computer, 
not the moneywell/little sister computers in the game). Sales sim (with gold 
badge and friends with townies) further needs to have manipulate.



Choosing Customer Objects
-------------------------

There are 5 things to consider when selecting which object to occupy your 
customer with:

1. AI preference: This is the likelihood that the AI will use the object 
without micromanagement or interference from you. There is a quick and 
simple experiment to determine AI preference. Simply place a variety of 
objects on a lot, and see which one the AI will consistently go for. Low AI 
preference causes your customers to wander around, poking/annoying/fighting 
each other. E.g. if you put darts, swings and pinball machines on a lot, and 
the AI always goes for the pinball machines, then pinball has the highest AI 
preference.

2. AI interuptability: This is how easy the AI will be disrupted from using 
the object, causing it to revert to free wandering (and hence 
poking/annoying/fighting) mode. This depends on the nature of the object. 
E.g. Customers which are playing pinball are very easily interrupted if some 
wandering AI decides to chat/joke. On the other hand, Sims in a hottub will 
only come out when called out by you, or when one of their needs is low (and 
if they are surrounded by snapdragons  they effectively wont come out till 
their energy is critical and they want to go home). So a hottub has 
virtually no interuptability, while a pinball machine is easily interupted.

3. Social Interactivity: This is important if your aim is to climb up 
business ranks as quickly as possible. Basically, customers gain loyalty 
stars for positive social interactions, so if you want to gain stars 
quickly, then use objects that allow social interactions between customers. 
For example, hot tubs can have up to 4 customers talking to one another. 
Swings on the other hand, are a relatively lonely affair.

4. Space: This is only important if you are going for the DRED 
super/ultracomboes. In these combos, you use rally forth on your customers, 
but rally forth has a limited area (see below for details), so you need 
objects that confine customers to a small area. E.g. a swing occupies a huge 
5x2 area, but only holds 1 customer. A hottub on the other hand takes 9 
tiles, and holds 4 customers.

5. CPU burden. This is the burden that using the object will have on your 
CPU. Only important for DRED ultracombo, where you push your CPU to its 
limit. There is no easy direct way of measuring this. But basically, if your 
CPU slows down when you have 20 customers in hottubs, but a similiar slow 
down happens only when you squeeze 40 customers in front of a TV, then 
hottubs have a higher CPU burden.

For the DRED comboes, space and CPU burden are by far the most important 
attributes. And to a lesser extent, interruptability. You can mix your 
objects to help control customers. E.g. I put several hottubs and 1 pinball 
machine on my lot. The pinball machines have high AI preference, and will 
keep fresh customers occupied (to prevent poking fests), until I can 
micromanage my sim to ask them to join the hot tub.


The Rally Forth Area
--------------------

Rally forth covers an approximately circular 12x12 tile area, and takes up 
2x2 tiles at the centre. In other words:

....oooo....
..oooooooo..
.oooooooooo.
.oooooooooo.
oooooooooooo
oooooRRooooo
oooooRRooooo
oooooooooooo
.oooooooooo.
.oooooooooo.
..oooooooo..
....oooo....

Where
o is the area of coverage
R is the the rally forth area
. is outside the area of coverage

If you want to go for the DRED super/ultracombo, you need to make sure ALL 
your customers are confined into this area. You also need to find a way to 
ensure your rally forth Sim performs rally forth at the middle (otherwise he 
may not cover the original area intended, and may miss some customers). The 
easiest way to do that would be to put a little fencing at the centre area 
to ensure he rallies there. And when I say fencing, I mean using snapdragons 
to block out the area. E.g.

SSSS
SRRS
SRR<
SSSS

Where
R is the empty rally area
S are snapdragons
< is an empty space to let him move in and out of the 2x2 space

In terms of practical gameplay, it may also help if you mark out where the 
rally zone starts and stops using different coloured floor tiles. That way 
you can easily visualize how your customer objects should fit.


The Practical CPU limit
-----------------------

Unfortunately, not all of us run lightning fast computers. As a result, the 
sims 2 seems to limit the maximum number of customers on your lot 
(henceforth referred to as max cust). This number also depends on the number 
of controllable sims you have. Normally, it tries to give you at least 3 max 
cust, and adds another 1 for approximately every 2 ranks you gain (so at 
rank 10, you get 8). But there is a lower maximum overall sim number that 
you will hit, which seems to be based on your CPU speed.

E.g. One business I had, with 4 controllable sims got only 2 max customers 
all the way from rank 0 to rank 5 (4+2=6). While another business with only 
1 controllable sim, had 3 max customers at rank 0, and then reached 4 max 
cust at rank 2, and 5 max cust at rank 4, but then this increase stopped. So 
even at rank 8, I still only had 5 max cust (1+5=6). See the pattern? So my 
maximum overall sim limit on a lot is 6.

There is a way to increase this limit, BUT MAKE SURE YOUR CPU CAN SUPPORT 
IT!!! If your game slows to a slide show, and starts crashing more often, 
then you might want to lower the limit back to where it was previously. To 
raise this limit, at the neighbourhood screen, open the console 
(ctrl+shift+C) and type in the following: intprop maxnumvisitingsims X. 
where X is the limit number you want, and for most purposes, 8 is a good 
enough number. Obviously, any business an benefit from having more 
customers, but use it with care. (It also seems you need to re-enter the 
code each time you enter Sims 2, possibly because the game recalculates the 
maximum overall number each time it restarts.)

I now go on to the 5 stages you can reach, for pay per hour businesses. Each 
higher stage builds on principles in the previous one, so if you are a 
beginner, I recommmend going stage by stage, starting with the simplest.


A Fair business
---------------

Basically, as long as you have 3-4 snapdragons covering every customer, 
he/she will stay until his energy is depleted (as snapdragons effectively 
take care of everything else. Also, scatter snapdragons in the ticketing 
area, to keep improve customer mood, so that they will be more susceptible 
to sales social. If you can afford it, you can place a solid row of 
snapdragons across the entire front of the lot, so that by the time your 
customers reach the ticketing machine, they will be completely helpless to 
your swindling. Use various objects to occupy them, and prevent them from 
poking/annoying/fighting each other. Because snapdragons take care of 
everything, you dont even need toilets, baths or food. And you don't need 
employees. Just one sim (the owner) can run this on his own, in a community 
or home lot.

If you set your prices to cheap or average, and most customers will buy your 
tickets and come in without needing you to sell to them. However, now is a 
good time to build up your sales social, so you can instead set it to 
expensive or higher and get your sim to keep doing basic sell, trying to 
make more money in the process. In between customers, chug expresso to keep 
energy up, and surround your sim with snapdragons to take care of all his 
other needs. The goals at this stage are 3 fold:

1. get a gold sales badge
2. gain customer stars and business Rank (to raise max cust and gain perks)
3. gain relationship points with your customers (via sales socials)

A side advantage of this system is that you will know when a reporter comes, 
because they will buy a ticket without needing any selling.


A Good business
---------------

Once you gain the gold sales badge, you can jump to the next stage. If you 
are not yet experienced with what the full DRED method entails, then for 
now, set your ticket prices to $999 (nine hundred ninety nine) per hour. And 
then you use Dazzle rather than basic sell, and you can convince townies to 
buy your your overpriced tickets (your other playable sims on the other hand 
generally don't have enough cash, and should be driven away). As for your 
owner sim, keep chugging expresso to keep your energy up, as Dazzle consumes 
a fair bit of energy (I reckon about 7-8%, on top of normal motive decay. 
Notably, you can't pull off more than 11 dazzles in a row as your energy 
will bottom out).

Following the same system as above, they will stay until their energy is 
depleted, but this time round, they will be paying you far larger amounts. 
The figure $999 was derived from repeated experimenting. Basically, at 
$1000, the customers need 2 dazzles in order to be swindled. Once you have 
gotten the hang of dazzling, jack up the price, to $9,999. Then it will 
require 2 dazzles to con most customers.

The resulting drain in energy is so high it starts becoming difficult to 
handle the influx  of customers. As a result you will losing some, as they 
come during your coffee break. E.g. although you may have 8 max cust, your 
lot will normally only have 5-7 actual paying customers who bought tickets, 
as you don't have enough energy to dazzle all your incoming potential 
customers. So by the time you can dazzle the new ones, the old ones have 
already left. But the near 10x payoff is worth it.

There are 4 ways you can make a slight improvement at this point. Since the 
influx of customers is greater than your energy can handle, you can:

1) Bring in another player controlled goldbadge salesman to cope (i.e. 
someone from the owners family). I DO NOT recommend using computer 
controlled employees. The problem is that you need to hit the customer twice 
in a row with dazzle, anything else, and it falls flat. The AI rarely does 
this, and fails at sales. Therefore, you need one of your own player 
controlled sims for the job.
2) Use the energizer rather than coffee to recharge energy, that way your 
energy can cope with the customer influx, but it costs a hefty chunk of 
aspiration, and requires gold or platinum mood.
3) Use a servo which can quickly recharge power during the day.
4) Cheat, use maxmotives to keep yourself going. But if you wanted to cheat 
to get money there are far easier ways.

If a customer stays for 20+ hours, thats basically $200,000 per customer per 
day. Multiply that by however many max cust you have, and you will have a 
rich sim very soon. And while this is a mere fraction compared to the 
millions you can pull in using the excellent, optimal and super optimal 
strategies, its more than enough money to buy a dream home in a matter of 
days. If you are not a greedy person, you can stop here.

If however, you feel that you can never have too many simoleons, then read 
on.


An Excellent Business
---------------------

The next few stages are a huge jump in terms micromanagement, and real life 
time required (but not Sim time as it must be run on a community lot). IMO 
they are not worth the trouble, as the previous stage already earns you 
enough for most purposes, making these next stages completely unneccesary. 
But you can pull it off anyway just for kicks, or if you want to earn 
ridiculous sums for some challenge.

From here on, you need to run the business on a community lot. You also need 
to be friends with most of the townies. These 2 requirements are actually 
indirectly related as you shall see.

Why a community lot? Because on community lots, time does not pass, so your 
sim is effectively immortal, as long as you keep him/her supplied with 
snapdragons and expresso (and no 'accidents' happen). Further to that, 
relationships do not degrade over time: since dazzle adds points to both 
daily and lifetime, as the business runs, you quickly accumulate a fat chunk 
of lifetime points. If you were running this on residential, these points 
would be lost over the days, but not in community lots. So you will 
eventually become friends and best friends with everybody! This is great for 
popularity sims, and if you need family friends for promotions.

Why be friends? As your relationship score with the customer improves, you 
can swindle them into buying higher ticket prices with your 2 dazzles.  If 
you have been saving up those business perks, you might go for the 
connection grants that will give you relationship boost to the whole town, 
but it isn't necessary. At the end of the line, you can set your ticket 
prices for $19,999 an hour, and your townie friends will be swindled into 
buying it with 2 dazzles.

Initially however, when your sim is merely an acquaintance with everyone 
else, you can't set your sights so high. So set the ticket prices for $9999 
as above. Every week or so, raise the price by $1000 (e.g. $10999, $11999, 
$12999). Your aim here is to keep the number of dazzles required to 2. So if 
you find the new price needs 3 or more dazzles, than lower it back to the 
previous price, and try raising it again next week. As the weeks roll by, 
you should eventually reach the magical $19,999 mark. In my experience, from 
here on, raising the price causes the number of dazzles required to rise 
exponentially, but you can try anyway.

Following this, at 7 actual customers a day (out of total 8 max cust), you 
should be able to pull in around 2.8 million a day. (20+ hours a day x 7 
customers x 20k an hour) To be perfectly honest, at this stage, you are 
probably raking in more money then you (and possibly your children, 
grandchildren AND great grandchildren) can ever spend. Furthermore, it can 
be run on a community lot, and can be run 24/7, giving your Sim unlimited 
time, and hence letting him rake in as much as you want. But if you want to 
be greedy to the limit, read on...


An Optimal Business (aka the revised DRED SUPERCOMBO)
-----------------------------------------------------

In case you are wondering, DRED stands for: Dazzle-Rally-Expresso-Dragon. It 
is recommended that your business is at rank 10 for this, to get a full 8 
max customers (or whatever rank needed to bring in the maximum number of 
customers, based on your CPU limit). Unlike the above models, once you start 
doing this, its very hard to gain customer loyalty. The above models have 
customer turnover, old ones leave once their energy is depleted (with full 
stars), new ones come (with no stars). So they can keep accumulating stars, 
gaining rank, and gaining higher max customers. This one is stagnant: the 
customer stays on the lot for all eternity (or until you close shop), and so 
its very difficult to gain stars and climb ranks.

Basically, everything is the same as above, except that you try and keep 
your customers on the lot for as long as possible. In each session, 
customers waste time deciding whether or not to buy your tickets, and when 
customers leave, the game may take some time before it spawns another 
customer. Furthermore the game spawns dirt broke playable sims as customers 
half the time, and they can't afford your tickets, so it may take a long 
while to get another townie customer in. And in this line of business, 
wasted time equals wasted money.

Based on this, the way to improve your earnings further would be to stop 
your customers from leaving, and keep them on the lot 24 hours a day. Then 
no time is wasted spawning/deciding. The easiest way to do this is to cheat 
(maxmotives). The non-cheating way involves rally forth. As per the 
requirements stated above, you need to sqeeze your customers into the rally 
forth zone for this to work.

Space is stringent, so the easiest way to limit customer movement is to WALL 
IN THE AREA WITH SNAPDRAGONS. If you also fenced out the rally area with 
snapdragons, that effectively covers the whole area, and you won't need any 
more. You can devote the rest of the space to customer objects/ticketing 
area.

You need at least TWO controllable sims for this, one with rally forth and 
the other goldbadge sales (who is friends with the townies). In this case, 
it is recommended that you squeeze the ticketing area into your rally forth 
zone, to ensure your sales sims benefits from it, but since he/she is 
controlled, you could just move him/her into the zone whenever you need to. 
You can also bring in more than 1 salesim if you want, but it isn't 
necessary.

For the Rally Forth sim, you need to do a fair bit of micromanaging, 
alternating between Rally Forth, and chugging expresso. Rally Forth helps 
keep the energy of everyone else up, so your customers can stay on forever, 
while your salesman can drink less expresso, and cope with the customer 
influx (but he still needs to chug expresso constantly). Once your max cust 
is reached, and no more new customers come, your sales sim can take it easy 
(e.g. join the customers, or just meditate in a corner). Then you can focus 
all your attention on the rally sim.

The problem with this tactic, is that for a fair bit of micromanagement, you 
can bring in an additional $1 million or so. And while that is normally 
actually a large amount, its only about 35% more of the hefty $2.8 million 
you already earn. Its up to you whether you think its worth the effort or 
not. But if you have managed to set this up, its only a small step away 
from...


A Super-Optimal Business (aka the DRED ULTRACOMBO)
--------------------------------------------------

At this stage, you can't raise ticket prices any more, so the next best 
thing would be to jack up the number of customers provided your CPU can 
handle it. After reaching the normal max customers (8), you can try and push 
the limit even higher by INVITING more townies to the lot and getting them 
to become customers. But make sure you have the facilities to keep them 
occupied, least mass fights break out. This is similiar to the optimal 
strategy, but tries to pack more customers into the given Rally Forth zone.

DON'T TRY THIS WITH A SLOW CPU!!! If your computer can barely handle 8 max 
cust, then don't try this at all! Don't be greedy and know when to stop. Lot 
size starts to become important, as smaller lots leave more CPU space (but 
not actual sim space) for more customers.

If you noted above, there is one extra requirement in that your salesim 
(with gold badge and friends with most townies) should have manipulate. The 
reason for this is that for some unknown reason, dazzle does not seem to be 
enough, once the number of overall sims on lot starts to exceed 8. 
Therefore, you may have to hit them with 2 dazzles AND one manipulate to get 
them to buy. This might also be a side effect of inviting them over (i.e. 
they are less willing to buy). However, it might just be that my overworked 
processor isn't calculating the numbers correctly anymore, so experiment a 
bit on your own.

Once more your rally forth sim can sacrifice his energy to replenish 
everyone elses (including the sales sim), while relying on good old expresso 
to keep his own energy up. This lets you accumulate customers, as the old 
ones don't leave, even as the new (invited) ones come in. Once you hit your 
normal max number of customers, switch your salesim  to invitation duty and 
call all the other townies you are friends with to come over. Once they are 
there, they will automatically become customers, and your sales sim has to 
dazzle, and may even need manipulate.

Because you are relying on invitation, you need to watch the clock, and 
invite townies at reasonable hours. Sometimes the townie may be at work 
also. Because you may need manipulate, the energy demand is much higher now, 
so there is a limit to how many townies you can invite a day. As a result, 
it may take you several days to reach your planned number of customers. This 
is very hard to set up, so once you have set it up, you should run it for as 
long as possible.

This is also slightly risky as you might guess, but doable with a fast CPU 
(I have a mid range computer managed 36 customers at once, with 2 controlled 
sims, but experienced a discernable drop in speed). This may net you a few 
million more or so each day, depending on how many more customers your CPU 
can handle (with 36 customers, I could swindle them of over 17 MILLION a 
day). Question is: is it worth all that effort and micromanaging?

If you need/plan to earn obscene amounts for some particular challenge (and 
when I say obscene, I mean by the hundreds of millions), then this is the 
tactic to go for. Just set it up and run for as long as you need. E.g. the 
legacy challenge awards 1 point for every $100,000 your family earns

I might note that there is a space limitation to this technique. in that you 
have to squeeze all your customers into the rally zone. By my reckoning, 
even the most space conservative customer objects wont be able to fit more 
than 50 customers into the zone. But then again, I don't have the other 
expansion packs, so I am not sure if there is any other magical way of 
sqeezing customers in.

Without expansion packs, the most space efficient way of squeezing customers 
in would be by television, and lots of dining chairs (not sofas or living 
chairs). Watching TV has about slightly above average AI preference, and is 
easily interupted, but it packs them in like nothing else. An example on how 
this may be done, can be found here:

www.angelfire.com/anime3/jenesis/sims2dred36/index.htm

If you are going for TV packing, you need to do a bit of micromanagement, in 
getting one of your sims to watch TV, and then asking incoming customers to 
join him. Heres how:

1. Set up the place initially such that all your chairs are turned SIDEWAYS 
(ie.e. not facing the TV).
2. When a customer comes in, get one of your controlled sims to watch TV. 
Because there is no available chair, he/she will just stand in the centre 
rally zone and watch.
3. Now switch to buy mode, and rotate a chair to face the TV.
4. Now get your sim to ask the customer to join him. The customer should go 
for the chair and sit down. (If he/she doesn't, you may need to make sure 
that the chair is accessible)
5. Cancel your TV watching Sim and have him/her resume normal duty, whether 
rallying or inviting/selling.

Because you get your sims to watch TV standing up, they waste less sim time, 
then if they had to sit down/stand up from chairs. This lets them switch 
duty quickly.

In theory, you could expand the lot, and have 2,3, 4 and up to 7 seperate 
Rally Forth zones, each one run by a controllable sim (Not 8 as you need the 
8th controllable sim to be a salesman), and each one holding 40 or so 
customers. At full occupancy, that rakes in 40 customers x 7 zones x 24 
hours x 19999 per hour = nearly 134.4 million simos a day. But it requires 
nightmarish levels of micromanagement (that is, if you don't want to cheat), 
and nothing short of a NASA supercomputer to run. Otherwise, if you are 
lucky enough to possess a cutting edge high end system, you might manage 
maybe 2-3 zones, with around 80 customers in all. (We could try and make a 
competition out of this, how many customers can you squeeze into your lot)


Servos Instead of Sims
----------------------

My instructions so far have been for your run-off-the-mill flesh and blood 
Sim. But you might replace the Sim with a servo, in which case energy will 
come from the sun rather than from expresso. Servos also can recover energy 
a lot faster this way. If you are using a rally servo, then you have to spam 
rally during the day, but perform Rally maybe 3-4 times per night, powering 
down in between to conserve power. Hopefully the excess energy from the day 
rallies will keep your customers in place. Similiarly for the sales servo, 
You can probably handle any number of customers during the day, but you 
should power down at night to conserve power (you can power back up quickly 
if another customer comes, thats the advantage of powering down as compared 
to meditation).


Undead: Zombies and Vampires
----------------------------

I don't have any other expansion pack, so I cant really tell you about these 
guys, apart from the obvious. Zombies are just like normal Sims, except for 
speed, but if you pack everything into the small rally forth zone, it won't 
really matter

Vampires probably won't make good customers, they can only stay for half a 
day, and effort spent on dazzling them into parting with their life (or 
unlife) savings will be cut in half. And since you exert a large degree of 
selectivity on your customers (I.e. if you don't dazzle them, they won't 
come in), it might be a good idea to keep vamps out. Vamps also probably 
won't be able to run this business properly, at least not on their own.

Since Servos rule the day, and Vamps rule the night, one obvious tactic 
would be to have both of them working in shifts.


Special Instructions
--------------------

There are some methods of doing things which are not immediately obvious, 
but which I will list here.

1) Having 2 player controlled sims on the lot.
Normally when you take a taxi to the community lot, either a single sim or 
the whole family will go. How then do you select just 2 controlled sims from 
the whole family? You basically have to send just 1 sim to the lot, and then 
get that sim to telephone->call sim and invite over the other controllable 
sim you want.

2) Scrambling the ticket machine prices. When you start out with no gold 
sales badge, and you set the ticket machine to whatever price (e.g. 
expensive), how then do you bump it beyond that scale, and give it a custom 
price? Simply, do the following:

a) Set the ticket machine to the cheapest price possible first (e.g. 
ridiculously cheap)
b) Buy huge expensive items (e.g. hottubs), as much as you money can afford. 
The amount you need to buy depends on the present price of the objects on 
your lot. A good rule of thumb is to buy 1/2 the value of the stuff already 
on your lot.
c) If you bought enough, it will move the price on the machine off the 
scale, and the next time you set price, it will give you the option for 
custom price.
d) After you are done, delete the furniture immediately, lest it depreciate 
in value.

3) Depreciated Lots
Do you find yourself making the same type of residence/business whereever 
you go? Do you simply package a particular template lot, which you then use 
all over your neighbourhoods? Ever wished things could be a little cheaper? 
Well then Lot depreciation is for you!

Basically, you take a rich sim family, preferably one with a meditator, and 
you purchase the commuity Lot in question. Then you get the meditator to 
take a taxi ride over to the lot, and meditate there for 5 days and nights, 
until the objects on the lot fall to rock bottom value (about 40% of 
original price). Finally, the meditator leaves the lot, and sells it, 
usually at a significant loss (which is why this should be a rich family to 
start with). You can then package the lot, and the objects on it will retain 
their degraded value. This makes it:

1) Cheaper to Buy (especially for poor Sims). Think of it as buying second 
hand property, which is just as good, and much cheaper.
2) No further depreciation. So if you don't buy anything new, you will sell 
the lot back for the exact same price you bought it for.

This technique works easily enough for commercial lots. If you wish to use 
it on residential lots, you have to use the ChangeLotZoning cheat to change 
the residential property into a community one at the start. And then change 
it back to residential at the end. A personal recommendation is that you 
should alter the decorations each time you place the lot down, so that the 
neighbourhood wont be full of generic clones. Maybe add an extra wing or 
turret, to give each lot a distinctive appearance. This is by no means 
necessary, its just to help your neighbourhood look nice.


*************************
* H.T. Hints and Tips   *
*************************

If you feel any of these tips/hints dont help you or do not work please email 
me and i will check them out properly.

[My hints and tips]

- One good way to make quick money in a home business is to buy a card table, 
place 4 chairs around it and start charging customers to use it. Lock all 
other rooms apart from the bathroom. As you earn perks use them on the cash 
grants. This will give you a big boost to buy more items such as a pool table 
and bubble blower. You may also want to buy a munchiebot to bring in food for 
your customers. This is best used when you are starting with a new family. It 
is to expensive to run a profitable store early on in the game, so you can 
always switch your strategy later.

[Following hints and tips submitted by Orion]

- Maxis implemented a subroutine into the cheesecakes that gives any
pregnant sims that eat them twins. Those that register get the hint
about that. However, as they are prone to do, they forgot to activate
this routine, so it doesn't work. You'd need the new forcetwins cheat
to do it. I don't know if it would work on men's pregnancies as well,
although I assume so.

- There's a lot of doubts on shoplifting. If you want to confirm it,
build a sentrybot and place it in your store, and it'll start zapping
particular people. However, there's also a hidden badge called
'security'. So far, I don't have a clue how to gain this badge, since
I have no idea on how to catch shoplifters myself.

- Even though the Prima guide says that defective robots will shut
down on their own, they won't. You have to go out and use the turn off
command. Don't forget to repair them once they've returned, or they
will go out on their own again a few minutes later. And keep Servo
away from water. This includes cleaning the bathroom. Kind of defeats
the purpose...

[Following tip submitted by Makuta999]

- Employees getting you down? Their motives drop fast, and as such your 
limited to a certain number of work hours. But, when using the "maxmotives" 
cheat, the effect spreads to your employees as well. Maxed out motives, so 
you can keep going and going and going.

[Folllowing hints and tips by Yeno]

- You don't need to buy items using wholesale mode because as soon as you 
price an item from the buy catalog you will be refunded the difference in 
wholesale costs.

- As you get more and more wholesale business perks the set price for 
items, for example 15% above wholesale, remains the same as if you were 
paying regular wholesale prices so you don't have to increase prices to make 
the same profit.

- Reputation business perks are also active when at home, so making 
friends is really easy.

[Following hint submitted by AryaSvitkona]

- My cashier was in a bad mood one day. I think it was because I didn’t have
her where she wanted to be. Anyway, I fired my stylist, because WHO gets 
their hair cut in a TOY STORE? It was a slip of the mouse that made me hire 
him anyway. Not the point. Anyway, because my cashier was so mad, immediately 
after firing my stylist (I didn’t lay him off, I clicked the ‘You’re Fired” 
option) my cashier came up and started poking me. I then got the message that 
she quit. 

Moral of the story: Don’t fire an employee if another employee is mad. 


******************************
* x.x. Contact Information   *
******************************

Email me if you have any questions or would like to contribute anything to
the  guide! My email address for emails about the FAQ is
Mark_Eastaugh@fsmail.net

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