Calendar Specific Conversation Starters

The holidays are coming up fast and furiously, so let’s get you some conversation topics to help you through your social obligations.

Itty Bitty City Hall has received some questions about the social aspect of the new multi-holiday system in SimCity (2013), and would like to provide some basic information on which holidays can be celebrated, how they work, and what differentiates them from each other. Shown below is a graphic which details the main differences between holiday types:

As you can see above, there are four different types of celebrations that can be observed. The first two – general holiday statuses (which include Halloween) and religious holiday statuses (including Christmas) – are more or less selfexplanatory. They will create a generalized city-wide moodlet, and will be celebrated by Sims of many different beliefs and backgrounds. The second two – cultural holiday statuses and public celebrations (such as Winterfest) – are very similar but distinct in their behaviors. They do not create any moodlets, but they will greatly increase city-wide holiday cheer .

Of the two types of non-holiday specific celebrations, cultural holidays such as Lunar New Year can be observed by Sims who believe in one or more cultural pantheon; while public celebrations like Winterfest can be observed by any Sim who has an interest in celebrating the holidays. These celebrations cannot be observed if you lack interests! Neither celebration type will inspire any negative emotions, though each type can result in reduced (or increased) happiness depending on your Sim’s opinion of the holiday.

One thing to note about the new system is that there can be issues with having a multi-holiday system and mods which modify moods and city states: if you have no interest in celebrating a holiday, there will not be any corresponding negative or positive moodlet for it. Similarly, if you do not observe a holiday but one of your neighbors does, this will create a “fake” modifier (for lack of a better term) that may inspire negative or positive emotions in Sims who lack an interest in that particular holiday.

This information was gathered from early beta releases; as such Itty Bitty City Hall cannot vouch for its accuracy now that the game is shipping.

The more observant of you may have noticed that this article was actually authored by Itty Bitty City Hall and not Maxis. This is because the official release of the game and its manual (see: ) contain no information on some basic holiday mechanics unique to SC4 . After a little digging, I discovered that these mechanics are included in one of the four “holiday specific” data files that are part of every single-player save file. These are text files which offer an incredible amount of depth when it comes to observing holidays in all their glory. Unfortunately, they’re also incredibly obtuse – much so that even our resident code-head Supernorn had a hard time deciphering them. Consequently, there were some things I couldn’t find out no matter how many times I dug through those files. As such, this is not a definitive guide but merely the most detailed one that’s been published yet. Much of this information was translated from German by my friend and colleague , as well as from his experiences with modding SC4 . If you spot any mistakes or inaccuracies (or if you can fill in some holes), please do let me know!

The four holiday specific data files are: CensusHolidayTypes_EA.dat ResidentialHolidayTypes_EA.dat CommercialHolidayTypes_EA.dat IndustrialHolidayTypes_EA.dat

Some preliminary testing has been done on the initial patch for this expansion pack, and there are no notable changes to these or any other data files between them and the base game patch. As such, even if patched, these files should be safe to alter.

This article has a lot of information in it; you can either read it all now by scrolling down or skip around using the links below:

Holiday Types – General Holiday Type Moodlet Definition Religious Holidays Cultural Holidays Public Celebrations City Modifiers – General City Modifier Definition Community Moodlets

Just about all of this was originally written by Itty Bitty City Hall and published at Simtropolis under the title ” SC4 Holiday Guide “. For whatever reason, however, that page is no longer available. This article has been edited and revised with additional information provided by Supernorn and others. All information contained herein is subject to change with or without notification. Happy holidays! [COMMENT: I think we should add a note about how there are some issues about having a multi-holiday system and mods which modify moods and city states: if you have no interest in celebrating a holiday, there will not be any corresponding negative or positive moodlet for it. Similarly, if you do not observe a holiday but one of your neighbors does, there will be no modifier for it.]

I. Holiday Types – General

Most people who’ve played the game know that each type of commercial building can have different daily effects on the residents in its catchment area. Similarly, if the same type of building is placed every day, only one set of daily effects will be seen; this is good for repeating jobs or other practices which might benefit from having either Building A or Building B (or both) present without affecting overall well-being. The new system works much like these. With an understanding of how holidays work in SC4 , players are free to mix and match holiday types at their whim; buildings built on days that would be suitable for a specific holiday will “stack” their effects over one another, adding to any other modifiers the city might have. The specifics of this system are outlined below:

A. Holiday Type Moodlet Definition

There is a moodlet granted every day during a holiday depending on whether or not your sim observes that particular holiday. If you do not observe the holiday at all, there will be no corresponding negative or positive moodlet for it. In other words, if you don’t want to celebrate Christmas, you won’t get a bad moodlet from having Christmas ignored. However, if your neighbor does celebrate and decorates his house accordingly but you don’t, there will still be a bullet under his in the neighborhood view to indicate the same.

If you do observe a holiday but no one else does, your sim will get the appropriate positive moodlet for it; conversely, if another sim in the city observes the holiday and you don’t, your sim will get the corresponding negative moodlet. However, if both of you observe the holiday on different days (say, Christmas), neither of you will receive any associated moodlets that day. There is no modifier to indicate that more than one person observes a particular holiday at once – this would be redundant since cities are already labeled with “it’s” respective holidays (again, see below). If there’s anyone who’d like to make something like this happen, please do let me know!

A1. Religious Holidays

The moodlet for these types of holidays is a +10 “spiritual” positive moodlet. In other words, it won’t affect your sim’s hygiene or comfort needs at all. It also has no effect on children. Religious holidays are usually celebrated by those who believe in that religion’s mythology and follow whatever guidelines the holiday dictates (be they dietary restrictions, prohibitions against work, etc.). One big difference between SC4 ‘s system and my new one is that observance of religious holidays now has a direct influence on sims’ happiness . This seems to make sense based on what religion is supposed to be about.

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