NEIGHBORHOOD STORIES SYSTEM - From the Neighborhood to the World

by EA_Cade

Original Post

NEIGHBORHOOD STORIES SYSTEM - From the Neighborhood to the World

Community Manager



Hello, Simmers! Nate here again. As promised, I’m back to update you on Neighborhood Stories!


First, a quick refresher about why I think Neighborhood Stories are a great addition to The Sims 4 (and super cool, though I am admittedly biased.) The base game is packed with interesting moments that lead to all kinds of life change for individual Sims. However, the Sims living in the active household have the potential to experience so much more life change compared to their Neighbor Sims.


Last November, we rolled out a free update that added a set of life changes for Neighbor Sims who have a personal connection to the active household. You can read all about that in my previous post about Neighborhood Stories. 


Today, I’m excited to update you on the new additions to Neighborhood Stories as we continue to build upon this feature over time.


Neighborhood Stories System


The first major addition is life changes for all Neighbor Sims, with or without relationships to the active household. The new Neighborhood Stories System opens up interesting, autonomous changes all over the world.


“What changes?” you might ask. Neighbor Sims everywhere may now:


  • Adopt young Sims into their household, aged between infant and toddler.
  • Become pregnant with their Significant Other, and eventually deliver. Family-Oriented Sims are more likely to do this, while Noncommittal Sims are less likely. If a Sim or their SO Hates Children, they will never do this.
  • Some Sims may instead adopt a dog or cat (requires The Sims 4 Cats and Dogs)
  • Join and leave careers. Sim Traits heavily influence these decisions. Elder Sims may decide to retire.
  • Households can move into and out of lots.
  • Die in different kinds of accidents, depending on risk factors such as Age, Traits, and Career.

All these life changes let Neighbor Sims have richer, fuller lives that evolve over time. They grow up in a family, get jobs, move around, raise children, and eventually die (possibly before their time!)


Some of these changes are obviously more significant than others. *cough*death*cough* This brings us back to the second major addition to Neighborhood Stories…


Configuring Neighborhood Stories


A critical part of the Neighborhood Stories System is a set of new gameplay controls that allow you to tune which life changes Neighbor Sims can and cannot have.






It all starts in the Starting in the Manage Households panel:




You choose how Neighborhood Stories affect your game, so the Neighborhood Stories System can be configured in a few ways:


  • Independent configurations for My Households vs. Other Households. For each group of households in a particular tab, you can choose to enable or disable each type of life change and even disallow all Neighborhood Stories for those households. This provides a fast and easy way to decide what happens to played households in My Households, versus Other Households out in the world. (Rotational players, we see you!)
    • By default, Neighborhood Stories is enabled for Other Households and disabled for My Households. Above all else, we want to avoid unintended changes to long-running games that we know you’ve put a lot of love into! 

When you’re ready to configure Neighborhood Stories, use this button under the respective tabs for My Households and Other Households.




  • Household-specific configurations. Want even more control? Do you have a vision for which households need which types of life changes? You can make it happen! Each and every household can have its own configuration, allowing you to tailor life changes that make sense to that household’s storyline.



  • Global enable/disable setting. If life changes happening all over the world are just not your thing, that’s okay! Neighborhood Stories can be entirely disabled under Game Options using the “Reset Custom Configurations” Button.*

*Neighbor Sim friends will still occasionally call asking for advice about life changes unless your Sim’s phone is on silent.

Like other game options, Neighborhood Stories configurations exist on a per-save basis. Because each of your saves has its own settings, you can switch back and forth between them without having to re-configure anything. Just load up and let the stories roll!


What Are Neighbor Sims Up To?


One last thing to note: These life changes are happening out in the world, beyond the active Household. This means that sometimes your Sims will never come in contact with the results of these life changes! Still, even if your Sims don’t see it, maybe you want to know everything that’s happened!


On any mailbox, try the new Check Recent Neighborhood Stories interaction. You can keep tabs on all the recent Neighborhood Stories. If you’re so inclined, use that information to visit the Neighbor Sims and see their life changes in person!




I hope both you and your Sims will be delighted and surprised by what happens in the world around you!


Dag dag,



Message 1 of 33 (4,237 Views)

Re: NEIGHBORHOOD STORIES SYSTEM - From the Neighborhood to the World

★★★★★ Guide

Thank you very much that you thought of us control freaks and that we can it disable complete.


I’m happy for player which prefer to play in vanilla or console that they get now so an adjustable story progress. I hope this make many simmers happy.

Message 2 of 33 (4,195 Views)

Re: NEIGHBORHOOD STORIES SYSTEM - From the Neighborhood to the World

★ Expert

THANK YOU for seeing us rotational players! <3

Message 3 of 33 (4,176 Views)

Re: NEIGHBORHOOD STORIES SYSTEM - From the Neighborhood to the World

★ Apprentice

This is more awesome than the new kit IMO. Thank you, Sims Team.

Message 4 of 33 (4,160 Views)

Re: NEIGHBORHOOD STORIES SYSTEM - From the Neighborhood to the World

★ Expert

This is quite possibly the best release I've seen for TS4!  And that's saying something, considering how much I love ROM and my spellcasters ;-)  I love the customizable options for the stories; right down to individual households.  I can tell a lot of thought and hard work went into this. Thank you very much!


(Now, can we get an option to disable sentiments? :-)


I love this game!  Thanks again, Sims Team! <3

Message 5 of 33 (4,065 Views)

Re: NEIGHBORHOOD STORIES SYSTEM - From the Neighborhood to the World

[ Edited ]
★★★★★ Novice

Although this feature seems really good on paper, it does not function very realistically. No sims seem to fall in love and marry each other, at all. I will have the same neighbors call to ask if they should date SimA, then call about dating SimB. Not much longer later they will call to let you know that they are pregnant. Turns out many of the female sims in the world have been getting busy and have 5 or 6 children without ever getting married or having a romantic interest. Perhaps I'm getting old in my age, but I would like to see some marriages rather than tons of single mothers running around in the world (is this what you guys really want?).


Also, I just had a teenager show up to my house pregnant on her 3rd trimester. This means she has been pregnant for 2-3 sim days at the point, yet she is on day 1 of her teen life. This makes no sense at all. Not to mention that she has no romantic relationships with any other sims in the world, so there is no father. I guess the Sim "God" is going around spreading his seed.


I suggest more testing before simply rushing to release content as this doesn't seem like what the developers had planned (at least I hope it isn't). I have to, unfortunately, admit that mods still do a much better job of handling story progression.


A for effort

D for results (and that's being generous)

Message 6 of 33 (3,875 Views)

Re: NEIGHBORHOOD STORIES SYSTEM - From the Neighborhood to the World

★ Expert

@xRipRizzle  This iteration of Neighborhood Stories doesn't include marriages, no. I've turned off all of MC Command Center's story progression EXCEPT marriages in favor of Neighborhood Stories for that reason.


I'm pretty sure that pregnant teenagers shouldn't occur in an unmodded game. Are you using any mods?

Message 7 of 33 (3,849 Views)

Re: NEIGHBORHOOD STORIES SYSTEM - From the Neighborhood to the World

★★★★★ Novice

Question: If this update doesn't include marriages then why have my neighbors call me to ask me if they should get married? Seems like something that needs to be removed from the game until it can be fully implemented.


I'm not looking for support, as this is the wrong place for it, just providing feedback as to how this update is not "working". I have no mods that would create a pregnant teen, or child as EA has done, the game did that on its own.


When I worked in IT we created many different systems that we would find worked well on paper, worked well in our test environment, but then failed when they went live. I'll be giving this game a break as I am now dealing with the error code: 0 when attempting to save. Too many bugs, but this is typical of a company trying to rush out content rather than making a stable game. Thank you for your input though.

Message 8 of 33 (3,819 Views)

Re: NEIGHBORHOOD STORIES SYSTEM - From the Neighborhood to the World

[ Edited ]
★ Expert



The autonomous portion doesn't include marriage. Your neighbors will still do the "OMG I FOUND A RING IN [NAME'S] BAG WHAT SHOULD I DO???" call but will NOT get married after that. They'll just be engaged until they die of old age (or in an untimely accident, if you've enabled that).


I'm not trying to say your not liking it isn't valid. It's your opinion, and therefore a valid opinion. I'm just saying that 1. this version does not include marriage, that's presumably planned for later and 2. teens cannot get pregnant without mods unless there's a very serious bug in Neighborhood Stories and you're the first one to spot it.


MC Command Center, on the other hand, has (by default, you can tone it down) very aggressive story progression that includes marrying off EVERYONE (thereby breaking your Sim's heart if you're slowplaying it, lol), giving EVERYONE illegitimate children, there's a toggle to allow illegitimate children from affairs, etc. It also includes an option to allow teen pregnancy that you have to specifically enable, so even MCCC shouldn't produce pregnant teens running around your save unless you specifically set it that way.


In short, your pregnant teen NPC is super weird and is either a mod or a bug.


(Do I need to do the "don't work for EA" disclaimer here?)

Message 9 of 33 (3,803 Views)

Re: NEIGHBORHOOD STORIES SYSTEM - From the Neighborhood to the World

@xochiquetzl_xkvn wrote:

(Do I need to do the "don't work for EA" disclaimer here?)

I don't know whether you meant this seriously, but just in case, no, you don't need to say (anywhere, ever) that you don't work for EA.


I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 10 of 33 (3,772 Views)
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