The Sims 2: Open for Business is the third expansion pack for The Sims 2, released on March 3, 2006, which allows Sims to run a home or community lot based business. Aspyr released a port of the game for Mac OS X on September 4, 2006. Although it is not a direct reimagining of Open for Business, The Sims 3: Ambitions introduces a related theme of following playable sims to work and creating salable items using numerous skills.
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The main change to the core game introduced by Open for Business is a new neighborhood type — the Shopping District, the default one being named Bluewater Village (which is also the name of a British shopping center). A number of Sims live here, such as a toymaking family, a woman who owns a home-based flower shop, a family bakery, and a rich tycoon who owns a nightclub and an electronics shop.
Community lots are more flexible now, removing many of the gameplay restrictions that were present on them in the original game. Players can now save the game while their Sims are visiting community lots. Reloading their household automatically takes the player to the community lot where the Sims are located.
Like the previous expansions, new Wants and Fears and interactions were added, including a new Lifetime Want and several new interactions for children. Some changes to items from the base game are also present. For example, doors are now lockable. They can be set to allow only one Sim, the whole family, or just employees to enter.
There are new objects in this expansion. While furniture styles and the build-mode selection have been expanded, the biggest difference is the addition of business-oriented items such as cash-registers, shelves, elevators, and crafting centers that Sims can use to create things to sell.
The concept of running a business is the game's main new feature. This is a new direction for The Sims 2, as it now includes elements of a business simulation game. The game allows the player to control various aspects of running a business including picking which products to sell, hiring and firing employees, crafting goods, and restocking shelves. The game also rewards the player for meeting several predetermined goals; also, a mystery shopper may visit the business and critique it.
Around the house
Open for Business adds new functionality to a Sim's productivity around the house. Sims are able to craft new items, including toys, flower arrangements and robots. Additional items include those aimed specifically at enhancing the business setting like an old-style Cash Register, Beauty salon chairs, child-oriented toys, and Mission Style furniture. Also added is the Servo, a household robot, which can perform basic tasks and function like a Sim in regards to Social interaction. Some new items, called "Bots" in general, aim to increase productivity on a lower scale than Servo's operation, usually performing one task, such as cleaning the floor, watering plants, bringing food or stunning burglars. Servos also appeared in the original game's expansion pack The Sims: Livin' Large as it's known in North America and Australia and The Sims: Livin' It Up as it is known in Europe.
A robot that Sims can build if they have a gold robotics badge. Servos can be activated as either a female or male, then become playable Sims for the player to control. A Servo will copy the traits, aspiration and the turn-on/offs of the Sim that activates it, and usually have maximized skills. Servos have only four needs; power, fun, social, and environment. Power can be restored by recharging during the day (solar based recharging), or sleeping in a bed if the sun isn't out. A program Servos perform is to do chores automatically, and will clean, cook, or repair for the normal Sims around the house. Being robotic, Servos do not age, so will not die from age. If a Servo is neglected from its needs too much, it will end up destroying itself.
Open For Business adds more functionality to Build Mode. New elevators both open a new possibility for public interactions and create a risk for fatality by plummeting. Domed, conical and octagonal roofs in different sizes are now available. Players may also add awnings.
"Open for Business" adds a new "talent badge" system. A Sim must repeatedly perform an action to raise that badge's level. The talent badges include:
- Sales: The ability to convince a customer to buy an item. A successful sale will raise the sales bar, which, when full, will cause the customer to buy the item. The sales can be accepted or rejected depending on customer loyalty, mood, and the badge level of the salesman. The different actions include the basic sale, the cheap offer, the "hard sale", and the dazzle. The higher level sales have better pay offs, but more serious consequences. A salesman can also select a customer that looks confused, and use the "Sales... May I Help You?" command. This badge is raised by using a sale interaction.
- Register: The register badge affects how quickly an employee can ring up a customer. With this badge the process will take less time, and reduce the chance that customer loyalty will be lost by long wait times.
- Restocking: The restocking badge affects how quickly an employee can restock an item before it has been purchased. This is raised by restocking items.
- Salon: The salon badge increases the chance that an employee in a barber shop will successfully cut hair. Bad haircuts reduce customer loyalty.
- Flower Arranging: It allows a Sim to make a bouquet of flowers. The flowers are then sold, given as gifts, or used to improve the room score. A higher level badge increases the types of flowers that can be arranged.
- Robotics: It allows a Sim to make robot toys and devices. The robots are then sold, given as gifts, or used for fun and services. A higher level badge increases the types of robots that can be built.
- Toy Making: It allows a Sim to create toys. The toys are then sold, given as gifts, or used for fun by children. A higher level badge increases the types of that can be built.
A new musical genre titled New Wave is included, along with its own speaker. Major bands from the '80s each contributed one of their major hits re-recorded in Simlish. In particular, the game features:
- Depeche Mode with "Suffer Well"
- Kajagoogoo with "Too Shy"
- Howard Jones with "Things Can Only Get Better"
- Epoxies with "Synthesized"
Also, a new station known as Shopping has been included, which features the "Buy Mode" music from The Sims.
- ↑ IGN: The Sims 2: Open for Business
- ↑ The Sims 2: Open for Business for PC - The Sims 2: Open for Business PC Game - The Sims 2: Open for Business Computer Game
- ↑ Windows system requirements. EA Games. Retrieved on August 29, 2006
- ↑ Mac OS X system requirements. Aspyr Media. Retrieved on October 18, 2006
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