Making It With a Band in Sims 3 Late Night
by Tom “Metro” Schlueter
Forming a Band
First of all, let’s state the obvious: you can’t ask another Sim to form a band until your Sim has one skill point in a instrument:
Metro: “Let’s form a band.”
Carl: “What instrument do you play?”
Metro: “Nothing. I’ll just move my hands around in the air and hope Sims will pay to see that.”
No. Homey don’t play that. So, as soon as a Sim does have a skill point in an instrument, then they have the option to Ask to Form Band (in the Friendly tab). If a Sim accepts, you then give the band a name. A band can have up to 4 Sims, so to bring in additional band members, any existing member clicks on another Sim and you’ll see the new Band social. Click Band > Ask to Join (band name).
One thing I was curious about is if it matters who is asked to Form/Join a band. The small manual that comes with Sims 3 Late Night says, “Forming a band is as simple as talking to other musically-inclined Sims.” When I first read that, I’m thinking...musically-inclined? Does that mean they need to have an instrument or be Artistic and/or Virtuoso Sims? So, it was time for a little testing. Let’s meet the Bandman household. Left to right we’ve got Mark, Harold, Marsha, and Hannah. They’re housemates, but they’re only acquaintances.
I kick started things with Mark grabbing a point in guitar. He then promptly formed The Bandmans with Marsha. Harold and Hannah were happy to quickly join as well. But, all of these Sims were unemployed and were Artistic/Virtuoso Sims. Does that make a difference in a Sim’s willingness to join a band? No. I turned on testingcheats and gave the other Sims different traits as well as level 10 jobs and they were all still willing to join The Bandmans. I even made one Sim Shy, Loner, Can’t Stand Art, Loser, and Grumpy, but it didn’t matter. But, one thing I did discover while working through the Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous LTW Walkthrough was celebrity level DOES matter when asking another celebrity to join your band: the Sim doing the asking should be within one celebrity level of the other Sim.
As soon as a band is formed you get a new Band tab in the Skill Journal that lists band members and the Statistics (total gigs played). The sole Band challenge is Gig Master which grants a gig pay boost after the band has completed 15 gigs. Good luck in completing that challenge!
Getting the Gigs
Gigs in Late Night come via a phone call opportunity from your agent. You should get your first phone call very shortly (a day or two) after forming your band. While you’re waiting for gig day to arrive that’s a good time for your Sim to register at the Courthouse as a self-employed band. If multiple band members are under your control, have them all register. Just click City Hall > Register as Self-Employed...> Band. It’s nice to track progress and fulfilling career wishes earns more happiness.
I’ve run through the first few four or five gigs with a couple different bands and there’s definitely a progression in the opportunities. Random opportunities are not thrown at you— it’s a chain of ops like the Omni Plant chain or the Ultimate Invention chain and it always starts with Ensemblely Challenged. There’s a huge benefit in having multiple Sims in the band under your control and in the same household — all members can then accept gig opportunities. The more band members you have in your household, the more chance of those phone calls to land more gigs.
When gig day came and it was 12 PM I had Harold click the venue (Waylon’s Haunt) and selected Go to Gig. It’s a sweet mechanic that EA built into this whole deal—every band member automatically gets to the venue with nothing else from you needing to be done. All the band members were in the same apartment, but it does not matter—your band members could be scattered throughout the city. Work schedules do not figure into the equation. There’s a 4-hour window which is good because it does take a chunk of time to get everyone collected at the venue. If you’re playing in Bridgeport and the venue is a place like Waylon’s Haunt, then everyone just shuffles in the front door and the stage will be right there. But, if the venue is like Eugi’s, which is in a tall building, then after you click Go to Gig, your band will congregate at the front door and the cue will cancel...
...a little annoying, but all you need to do is have them all pile into the elevator and click the available floor. Once everyone is at the venue you have the Sim who received the opportunity click his instrument and the other members will automatically go up and begin playing their instruments.
Show Me the Money
When band members begin playing their set, a 2-hour timer begins. When the timer is finished, you’ll get the Get Paid notification. Everyone will stop playing soon after the timer expires and the Sim who received the opportunity can then get paid.
The Bandmans got paid $1265 for their first gig. I did various tests and to the best of my knowledge, musicians’ skill levels and numbers of patrons do not affect gig pay at all. Kind of bizarre, I know. But, the one thing that does affect gig pay is making sure one band member has grabbed The Next Big Thing Lifetime Happiness Reward. Gig payments seem to steadily rise over time which is nice. The 2nd gig paid $1495 and the 4th one more than doubled to $3105. So, we’re not talking about a huge amount of money here. I did not play the Bandmans long enough to obtain the Gig Master challenge, but if the pay boost for completing that challenge is comparable to what the Star challenges do for individual instruments, then you’re talking about a significant bump in profit. What really surprised me is that the Opportunistic reward did not increase gig payments.
If you want your musicians to make the really big money in hopes of hitting the Band career cap, then Jam Sessions in front of the Theatre are the way to go. Spectators will toss Jam Session tips into the jars of whatever musician they happen to be eyeballing. Have each member try and get their skill journal composition number to at least 100. This isn’t too difficult when you employ the exploit of bringing up 8 Perform cues, and canceling each one as you hear the first notes. You’ll make far more as a band during Jam Sessions than you ever will from playing gigs. But, gigs are fun too and are the icing on the cake. So, go out there...form a band and crank it up to 11!
1.) Celebrity - Must be 1 or higher.
2.) Tips - You have to have made a fair amount of cash. "Perform" about 15 times then hop in a Subway to rake cash in (build one in your town if there isn't one).
3.) Skill - All band members must have 1 skill point in any instrument.
4.) People - Band must have at least 2 people in it.
5a.) Correctly zoned Venue with all 4 late night instruments, a stage, and a Mixologist.
6b.) The right venue - The first gig you get will be at a Dive Bar. Next 2 at a dive bar. Next 4 at Local Watering Hole. Next at Sports Bar. Next 3 at Fusion Lounge. Next 2 at Vampire Lounge. Then 2 at Exclusive Lounge. Make sure you have all those. Unknowns - Whether or not you need to have met the Mixologist or be friends with them. Whether or not.
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