The long awaited first Expansion Pack for The Sims 4 means another visit to EA Games to get hands on with Get To Work. But I’m thinking to myself, with so much detailed information already released about the new Active Careers on the recently released videos, what more can there be for us to report back to our communities that isn’t already public? Well, not much really, as far the headline features go. I’m going to break from tradition (which is actually traditional for me), and not even try and cover this whole pack with the limited time of around three hours that we had. Instead I’m going to focus in great detail, on two of the aspects of this pack that I’m really drawn to. But first, my overall opinion and thus preview of Get To Work.
I’m not being all fanboy here and just bigging up another EA product because they invited me along. I am genuinely excited that in effect, one of my favorite EP’s of all time, Open For Business from Sims 2 is back with an awesome update! But at the same time they have also bought something completely new to the game which also solved one of the problems that OFB solved. That is of course, the very much requested ability to not only follow your Sims to work but to influence their careers too. So this pack for me really does offer value for money, with something old that we loved being bought back bigger and better than before, and something completely new. I expressed to SimGuruAzure that I hoped all Sims 4 EP’s would follow the same trend of old and new, but as she didn’t take bribes we’ll just have to wait and see on that!
More of the old making a comeback with bells on are Aliens. Abductions and alien pregnancies are a given, but there are many new elements not seen before too. Basements also make their return to the game but will actually be included in a free update to coincide with the EP release, so you get two floors of basements as well as an additional above ground floor, making six storied buildings possible.
There are other great preview articles around the community that have focused on the new Active Careers, so from here on in I’ll be concentrating on two things that will have a major influence on the way I play my game: the new Retail System and the Baking Skill.
In Sims 2 I combined the best bits of Open For Business and Seasons to create a Farmers Market complete with huge greenhouses so that my stay-at-home Sims could harvest tons of fresh goods to sell in their shop. With Get To Work‘s addition of the Baking Skill and the already excellent food system of base game, I’m a man on a mission to recreate this in Sims 4!
The Get to Work Baking Skill
Azure explained to me that the introduction of the Baking Skill was to allow players to make better use of the fresh produce available to them in the base game. And if you are thinking “why baking when we have cooking,” then let me quote the tooltip for the Baking Skill: “Baking is science in action. You can’t just throw random ingredients into a bowl like some chef. You have to have a plan!” Fortunately, that plan involves a large helping of sugar! Some essential objects will help with baking in the Retail System like the Cupcake Factory and the Warming Rack, which are used to store baked food items. As Sims progress in the Baking Skill, they can add toppings, frostings, or piping (at a small extra cost), to add quality and value.
I was able to find 36 new baked goods, many of which need fresh ingredients. Here is a list, along with some images of my first Store and Baking Skilled Sim preparing some dishes:
- Bread Sticks
- Pre-made Brownies
- Sugar Cookies
- Cereal Marshmallow Squares
- Oatmeal Cookies
- Fish Pie
- Blueberry Bagel
- Whole Wheat Loaf
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Plain Bagels
- Onion Bagel
- Fruit Pie
- Cheesy Bread
- Sourdough Loaf
- Everything Bagel
- Sweet Potato Pie
- Carrot Bread
- Lemon Bars
- Carrot Cake
- Spinach & Mushroom Quiche
- Potato Bread
- Spinach & Onion Quiche
- Fudge Bars
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Exotic Fruit Pie
- Bread Pudding
- Banana Cream Pie
- Banana Bread
- Fruit Cake
- Rainbow Gelatine Cake
- Artisan Herb Bread
- Chocolate Souffle
- Lemon Meringue Pie
- Lava Bundt Cake
- Cowplant Essence Meringue Pie
The Get to WorkRetail System
Sims can own more than one store. You can use the phone to start the process of buying a Retail Lot. The game ships with three premade stores and one empty lot in an area called Magnolia Promenade, which is a pretty waterfront area complete with scenic paddle steamer. Here are the details:
- Paddywhacks’s Emporium (20×20) $21,540
- JF&S Clothiers (20×20) $119,868
- The Roadstead (40×30) $127,125
- Preeminent Domain (30×20) $3,000
The Retail System is more advanced than the old OFB model. Sims won’t just rock up and buy stuff. They need to be sold by yourself or your staff. The number of customers visiting your store will depend on the store’s curb appeal. You can purchase advertising to temporarily increase curb appeal, or place retail and neon signs for a more lasting impact. You can view your curb appeal from the financial report on the cash register.
When you set up a new business, you will need to add some funds to it from your family funds balance. Each store you own has its funds managed separately to cover its expenses and actions, such as building, placing items, restocking, paying staff, and advertising. Stores can also go into debt where they can then not reopen until you transfer in more cash from your household funds. Likewise, profits from a business can be transferred out to household funds at any time.
Display units can be placed in a store (including freezers for perishable goods) where items placed on them will automatically be set for sale, unless you specify otherwise. Craftable items can be copied but will sell at a lower value. Copies of copies will sell at an even lower value still, but can help maintain a supply of goods.
Employees have three different skills that determine how well they will work: Sales, Maintenance, and Work Ethic. Sales will influence how they interact with customers and how quickly they can ring up sales. Maintenance is about how quickly they will restock items and clean, while a high Work Ethic means a Sim is less likely to slack off during their shift. If you do see staff playing with their phone, socializing with each other or goofing around having fun, you should use the “berate for slacking” interaction on them. You could also fire them. You can have a maximum of three staff members per store, unlocked gradually as you acquire Perk Points from sales.
To summarize our Get to Work preview then…
I wish I had more time to delve into creating and running a business at the event, but then again, it’s given me something to look forward to when I get my hands on the game on April 2nd (US is lucky enough to get it March 31st). I have a sneaking suspicion that many of you will be looking forward to the same additions to your game too. You can, of course, create a Photography Store using the new Photography Skill, an Art Gallery, Clothing Outlet, Furniture Store, or almost anything else.