Cozy vs Chaotic Gameplay In The Sims

We Simmers are notorious for the wild shenanigans we get up to in the game. A Sim can never know if they will be part of a cozy and wholesome story or find themselves at the bottom of a pool in a basement dungeon, or sometimes both. We can have a lot of fun nurturing or nixing our sims, but what’s the story behind these cozy or sometimes deranged scenarios?

From creating heartwarming family legacies to unleashing your Sim’s😊 worst nightmare, in this episode I talk about how much fun both cozy and chaotic gameplay can be.

Listen to this episode if:

  • Life is too perfect and you want to add some spice to your game.
  • You need wholesome gameplay ideas other than playing a family.
  • You need tips on how to let off steam on your innocent Sims.

Resources mentioned in this episode:


[00:00:00] Gloria from Yellow Llama Co.:

Welcome to Sentimental Simmer, a podcast made for emotionally attached simmers and storytellers with wild imaginations. I’m your host, Gloria, and I run Yellow Llama Co., a planner shop made to help simmers play with purpose. Every week, I talk all about things, sim life planning, storytelling, and memory keeping. I’ll also brainstorm new ways to obsess over our pixel people, whether they be in the Sims or another live sim game. And now let’s get into it.

Gloria [00:00:35]:

Welcome to the Sentimental Simmer podcast. Keeping to the theme of storytelling in The Sims, today, we’re gonna talk about the 2 maybe most common themes we play in the game, either wholesome or chaotic or slash spicy, but we’ll get into that. We Simmers are notorious for the wild shenanigans we get up to in the game. A Sim can never know if they will be part of a cozy and wholesome story or find themselves at the bottom of a pool in a basement dungeon, or sometimes both. We can have a lot of fun nurturing or nixing our sims, but what’s the story behind these cozy or sometimes deranged scenarios? Why is it that we tend to fall into one of those 2, so our story lines? And why I mean, let’s be honest. Why do they always end up chaotic? I always end up adding some extra spice to mine. I don’t know. I just can’t stay cozy for too long.

Gloria [00:01:25]:

In terms of wholesome gameplay, I’m talking about your classic family gameplay, you know, the Hallmark movie kind of story lines where, you know, there might be a little bit of conflict, but in the end, it’s it’s all really hunky dory. And I think for the most part, it’s building a family and and a cozy home and watching them thrive. I think legacy gameplay is definitely cozy and wholesome gameplay, though, of course, it can go the other way around as well, of course. So in essence, wholesome gameplay in the Sims is relaxing. It is being kind to your Sims and giving them what’s best for them, giving them a lovely life. That could be a family or that could even be going on vacation a lot and traveling and being this, you know, successful baddie. Whatever. In essence, this Sim is living a good life, and you’re helping them and you’re nurturing them and you’re taking care of them.

Gloria [00:02:17]:

And that’s a lot of fun. It can also be very satisfying. I’m thinking about, like, spontaneously, like, Tamagotchi pets. It’s very satisfying to take care of them and and keep them alive and feed them and play with them. And I feel like it’s maybe the same with the Sims. It’s it’s fun to give them the best and a story line that leads to a happy ending. When I think wholesome gameplay in the Sims, my mind instantly definitely goes to that classic family gameplay. But there are also other ways to play wholesome.

Gloria [00:02:45]:

For example, if you wanna stick to family gameplay, to add something different to it instead of, you know, just straight up getting married, having kids, and growing old. You could also play a blended family where, you know, you have 2 sims that fall in love that happened to already have children of their own. And then when they marry and come together, move in with each other, then they’re basically joining 2 families. Or maybe you could adopt instead of having kids the traditional way. That could be something fun, and you could think of a story of why where this kid came from. Maybe it’s a kid from another family in the in the world, you know, not just from out of nowhere. I don’t actually know. Like, I think in I don’t remember if it was since 2 or since 3, if your Sims if the if social services took the sim away, the the child, then that child would be in, like, a bucket of kids for adoption.

Gloria [00:03:34]:

So if another household was adopting children, they had a chance I think it was Sims 3. They had a chance of getting that child that was taken away, which I think is super cool. What a story line. Right? That kid would then see their actual birth parents in the real world as well can bump into them. And, yeah, that could you could that could that’s a whole another route. Maybe almost chaotic. But it you can make it wholesome. You can make go full circle so that that child can be happy in the new family and and maybe reconnect with their biological parents later down the line when their biological parents are able to get their, you know, things together and they’re not, you know, not be able to take care of kids anymore.

Gloria [00:04:10]:

You know how it is. In some of the games, it was actually quite hard to take care of the kids, so, I mean, no judgment there. But, yeah, that’s a fun way you could play the game in in a wholesome scenario ending, or you could dedicate your next gaming session to creating cozy holidays. I mean, we don’t only have, of course, harvest day or or, you know, Christmas. We could create other holidays where traditions I think there’s a bonfire tradition in The SIms 4, but that that could be a tradition where people are standing around the fire and then other cozy things like, I don’t know, maybe dancing or sharing, I think they can be thankful in the, I think that’s a tradition because I think that’s even part of Harvest Fest tradition. But you can create something special to your game, maybe special to a family, and that’s another way to add on the wholesome goodness in your game is by creating holidays that encourage your sims to be fun, friendly, and happy. Or how about you could play households full of elderly sims like a la Golden Girls. You could have their own personality that’s unique to them, that makes them maybe 1 is quirky, 1 is sassy, one is a bit introverted, and, that could be fun.

Gloria [00:05:23]:

I I love Golden Girls. Definitely a recommendation if you’re maybe younger and you don’t know. Golden Girls is a super cute series with a bunch of old ladies living their best lives, I think, after I’m pretty sure after retirement because they’re pretty old. But it’s super funny and cute and definitely wholesome. And I also think we don’t play enough with elderly sims. I mean, I can speak for myself. I definitely don’t play enough with elderly sims. I kinda forget them along the way.

Gloria [00:05:22]:

And, also, I don’t play them as ever really the main character. I usually play them they’re a a grandparent of someone. They’re part of a legacy, but I don’t really play them on their own. Like, have you ever started a save file with an elderly Sim, like, straight out of the gate? I mean, like and because I know a lot of us don’t play with aging on. So the fact that they might be gone next week is not the reason not to play them. So why? That is actually that’s too that’s a shame. We should play more with elderly Sims. And I’m sure we could get a lot of cozy gameplay out of that.

Gloria [00:06:17]:

They could visit their their, grandkids. They could go on holiday a lot because they’ve got enough time on their hands. They could give others Sims advice and and help around the community. And, like I said, be in a in a home together and do things together. Maybe now that they’ve got time, friendships and connection are number 1 on their list. And so they’re out and about going to cafes, getting dinner, maybe at the local restaurant together. Maybe they join a or create a club and just good times. Good times.

Gloria [00:06:17]:

Wholesome good times. Now while I often start with wholesome gameplay? I do not know why, but I usually end up adding some conflict. I mean, it could also just be because wholesome gameplay sometimes doesn’t really hold me long enough that it, like, it doesn’t stay interesting enough, long enough for me to actually want to continue playing. Because for me personally, I need a little bit of drama. I need a little bit of spice in my stories. In general, good story has conflict inherently. But, of course, you can have conflict in a wholesome story as well. But I don’t know.

Gloria [00:07:17]:

For some reason, I always go full out. Like, I have this one story where this woman keeps cheating, and I have this mod that, lets people die of burning belly disease and stuff like that. And literally, if I had saved my game the last time I played, she would have lost their 2nd husband to some sort of disease of flu or something. And she already, of course, had a side piece. So husband number 3 was already lined up. But it’s generally a wholesome story, I’d say, when I’m playing with that family. But for some reason, something’s neat something like spicy and chaotic always sneaks in. I don’t know why.

Gloria [00:07:49]:

Maybe one could dive in another episode about the psychology behind all of this. I mean, I’m sure we play a wholesome gameplay because of the relaxation aspect of it, the same reason why we play cozy games. It’s it’s just chill. Right? And it’s the same reason maybe during Christmas why I’m so sucked into Hallmark movies. They’re just it just gives you a warm and gooey feeling. And, I mean, what level of achievement do you feel when you get to help a sim live their best life, AKA your best life, or maybe just a and he made it by his best life. Okay? I don’t want to live off the lives all my Sims we live in. I don’t wanna be astronaut.

Gloria [00:08:26]:

Okay? I don’t wanna own a restaurant, but I know my Sims think they want to. So that’s the lab I’m giving them. And it just I feel so accomplished when they end up, you know, meeting their goals and reaching their dreams. Maybe that’s why wholesome gameplay is so fun because it’s kind of in real life as well. You want the best for yourself, your friends and family, and so maybe that’s why we lean towards that, but like I said, I end up I always end up pivoting to chaotic gameplay eventually. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just fun to be bad without a consequence or to add a bit of spice to a story and and add that drama. I think it’s also great stress release.

Gloria [00:09:02]:

Inherently, like I said, conflict is fun. It just adds to a story and or you could go all in whether at the very beginning or maybe mid wholesome gameplay, you can say, you know what? What are some chaotic stories I can play now? Like, for example, I know in the Sims, dungeons are always good fun. I found a really brilliant underground city made by Kelsey. I found this on TikTok. She had made a it almost looks like a mall, like an underground city really with little rooms and also, like, areas of activity for men to be captive and store your captive men. I don’t know. I mean, what could be a storyline behind that apart from the just the fun there is to be had with hosting a dungeon and keeping Sims captive, but you could have, like, a twist to the standard bachelorette storyline. Like, maybe you’re capturing men or your Sims.

Gloria [00:09:56]:

Obviously, you would never do this in real life. Your sim is capturing men to that are forced to woo her and, yeah, I haven’t really gone further with that storyline. But, hey, you could jump in game. And like I said in the last episode, the game is your improv partner. So run with it, see where it goes. But that could be fun. Dungeon gameplay is classic, classic Sims. Or I still haven’t gotten over this darn build by snarky witch, but you could run a cult.

Gloria [00:10:19]:

She built this brilliant cult build. I think that that goes another step further than dungeon build. Because in a dungeon build, you’re holding Sims captive against their will. But in a cult build, you’re kinda still holding them Sentimental maybe, but they think they want to be there. But in the end, they’re really just for you. And so it adds more to the story. Right? It’s not just a space to hold Sims captive. It’s more than it’s like a system that you can use to benefit your Sims, to put money in their pocket, cheap workforce, just to enjoy that power play.

Gloria [00:10:52]:

Definitely a great stress release after work maybe to go into your game and have your cult sim, you know, just do their thing. Or I think also another very popular way to play a Llama. And I must admit, when I play Barbies, I I love the storyline. And I think there’s a lot of overlap also between simmers and this topic. True crime. Serial killer stories. So you could have, like, a serial killer that has a cause, though. I really, really enjoyed the series Dexter.

Gloria [00:11:19]:

And so you can have, like, a Dexter style sim who has a thirst to unalive under other sims, but they have felt like a moral compass or moral code. They only target those that they believe deserve it, like maybe evil Sims or Sims with certain traits that are maybe negative. If you wanna add to it, there are also mods that add more violence to the game. But you can also kill sims in creative ways without any mods. Of course, your standard, lock them in a room and starve them. But if you wanna be even more diabolical, you could create an outside area in the middle of your home, so you’ve got, like, an inner garden, so to say. And then during winter, you could lock sims out when they’re in that winter garden, and then they freeze to death. Or you could have, like, an evil chef that is trying to kill a competition, and they serve them up pufferfish.

Gloria [00:12:10]:

Classic Sims 4 death possibility. And you can really get creative with this with so it can either be a solo Simmer or just somebody in general. Just one particular Sims is on their hit list and and they need to get rid of them. Yeah. I would definitely say killing Sims. It’s probably top one of chaotic gameplay. You can get creative with it and keep them in a dungeon first or have them work for you first, but in no shame in my game, I have unalived a sim or 2 in my 20 year no. It’s going on 24 now.

Gloria [00:12:40]:

I’ve been playing since 2000, since my 24 year history with the Sims. Just 1 or 2 sims. Just just a couple. But, yeah, I can definitely recommend some other scenarios you could play if you’re not in the mood for your Hallmark movie style gameplay. You want, you know, something more wild and crazy, well, you could do a social experiment where you have, like, big brother style, a house full of Sims with conflicting traits. So you’ve got neat and, you know, messy Sims together with good versus evil and all sorts. I think this is probably the most fun in the Sims 3 because their traits, in that game, traits really matter and really have a huge impact, but you don’t intervene. You just observe and you watch as things fall to pieces.

Gloria [00:13:24]:

Keeping to Big Brother, instead of it being a social experiment, you could also do something more of a survival of the fittest. So here, the plot twist is not adding a bunch of Sims into a a room or in a space that have conflicting traits. It’s about adding just any random Sims or more into a space that has, like, no resources to see who dies first. You could also have, like, a story line about a dystopian society where bad things have just happened to the world, like maybe postapocalypse. There are a lot of save files that are great for that that you could use for that type of storytelling. But that definitely adds chaos to the mix. And then you can imagine all the the terrible ways people are to each other in this type of environment, and you can play that out in your game. That’s definitely not wholesome anymore.

Gloria [00:14:10]:

Okay? Because sins can get primal and real when they got no resources, they got no home, they got no place to stay, when they got nothing to lose. And so, yeah, even at conflict there. I mean, there’s a reason we love zombie movies and and the world movies and horror movies. We can enjoy both. Right? We can enjoy the wholesome gameplay and the cozy gameplay, and at the same time, have a safe file that is less kind to our Sims and and play out those maybe less so sunny scenarios. Oh, and even you can also turn things around. It doesn’t have to stay chaotic and and dark and dim. Like, you know, coming back to that postapocalyptic world, maybe a lot of bad stuff went down in the first half of your gameplay.

Gloria [00:14:58]:

Few Sims lost their lives. Few Sims lost their homes or whatever, broken relationships, but then you can turn things around. You can turn chaotic into wholesome. You can play that way around too. I think, in general, whenever you’re playing the game and if you’re not, like, playing a strictly scripted storyline, it can really go anywhere. It can go from wholesome to chaotic, but also from chaotic to wholesome. And back again. Right? Maybe your serial killer can redeem himself or that previous dungeon has turned into an athletic space, And a serial killer gives up their evil ways and decides, hey, you know what? I will get through this urge instead with more productive hobbies like weight simming and, I don’t know, just something that doesn’t involve harming other sims.

Gloria [00:15:43]:

Whether wholesome or spicy or chaotic, all gameplay is great and fun. And the beauty of it is in the Sims, it can be anything you want or all of the above. In the next episode, I’m going to dive into how to use plot theory to inspire your Sims gameplay. So sometimes you might feel stuck and not know where to go next with your storyline. You know, sometimes the game doesn’t give you enough prompts to continue, and especially in the Sims 4, partners a bit could use some work. In the next episode, I’m going to talk about how you can use tools that creative writers use and that how you can translate that to your own gameplay to keep things going. Until then, Happy Simming!

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