A community lot is a public lot which serves as the basis for commercial, recreational, and social purposes. Depending on the available objects on[TS1][TS2] or assignment of the lot,[TS3][TS4] community lots may contain goods and services that are not usually available elsewhere. Community lots will spawn their own set of NPCs to tend to certain objects or establishments, such as cashiers for cash registers; dining hosts, servers, and chefs for restaurants; and DJs for DJ booths. Some objects can only be placed on community lots, usually commercial objects such as food stands. Community lots do not contain mailboxes, and can be distinguished from residential lots in this manner.
Community lots first appeared in The Sims: Hot Date. Each The Sims expansion pack after Hot Date introduced a new sub-neighborhood with its own community lots. In order to visit community lots outside of Magic Town, Sims must call a cab, and may have to pay for the ride. (Magic Town's community lots may be visited by using the Hole in the Ground.) When Sims visit a community lot, their residential lot is saved, and will not change until they return home.
All community lots in The Sims have an NPC who serves as a janitor. This NPC does general clean-up and repair work on the lot. Vacation Island lots with a hotel will also spawn a maid that will clean the indoors area of the lot. Janitors also appeared in The Urbz: Sims in the City.
Community lots will not have a mailbox, but will always have at least one telephone booth that Sims can use to call a cab to leave the lot. They will also have at least one communal garbage bin, rather than the curbside trash can found on residential lots. These objects are usually located within the lot's boundaries, and can be moved around the lot by the player.
Except for Vacation Island lots and family members on Downtown lots, non-controllable Sims on The Sims community lots cannot be interacted with until they are either greeted, or autonomously interact with a controllable Sim.
Babies cannot visit community lots, and Sims will not be able to visit a community lot if that would leave a baby alone in the house. Children can only travel to community lots on Vacation Island and Old Town if they go with their entire family. Children can travel to Magic Town on their own if they use A Hole in the Ground. Neighborhood children and pets will only appear on Old Town community lots, and will always appear along with their entire family.
Players may build on community lots for free. In all neighborhoods except for Old Town, the lot boundaries extend all the way to the edge of the road, allowing the player to modify or even remove the sidewalk. Magic Town lots do not have roads, but will have an empty plot of land that players cannot modify for the Balloon Cab to land on.
The Sims (console)
In The Sims for console, there are 6 community lots that are unlockable in the game. Unlike in The Sims PC games, Sims cannot travel to community lots during normal gameplay. Community lots can only be chosen from the main menu, and all of them can only be played in multiplayer mode, where 2 players can challenge each other in a certain minigame.
These are the community lots in The Sims for console:
- The Handyman's House
- The Park
- The Museum
- The Frat House
- Taylor's Place
- Club Abhi
- The Maid's House
- The Party Motel
Note: The Handyman's House and The Maid's House are technically residential lots, since they are the homes of the Repairman's family and the maid's family. However, they are unable to be played as residential lots, and they have their own minigames.
The Sims 2
As in The Sims, residential lots become static when a Sim visits a community lot. Sims do not age while on community lots, but their aspiration bar will still decay. Any pregnancies will be paused when visiting a community lot; as such, it is not possible to give birth on a community lot. Sims cannot build skills or hobby enthusiasm on community lots, but can build fitness. However, there is a mod that allows Sims to build skill on community lots. Sims cannot sleep or nap on community lots, but they will not pass out from energy deprivation until they return home.
Any Sim teen or older can visit community lots. Babies and toddlers cannot visit community lots, but children can if they are accompanied by older household members. If a child is taken to a community lot, neighborhood children may appear with one or both of their parents, while townie children will come alone. NPC children will not appear if the currently active household did not bring a child along with them to the community lot.
Much like The Sims, all community lots have at least one telephone booth and garbage bin. By default, these are located outside of the lot's boundaries and cannot be moved without the use of the moveobjects cheat. However, additional phone booths and garbage bins may be purchased from buy mode and placed anywhere on the lot.
Travel to community lots is not instantaneous, and the game clock will reflect this. Since time stops on a Sim's residential lot while he or she is visiting community lots, this is primarily for "color", and has no real effect on gameplay. Sims must leave community lots using the same method of transport they used to get there. For example, if a Sim called a cab to get to the lot, they must call a cab in order to leave the lot, and cannot use a car or walk to get off the lot. Likewise, a Sim who walks to a community lot must walk off the lot, and cannot call a cab to leave.
Certain NPCs may only be or are primarily found on community lots. Nightlife introduced Mrs. CrumpleBottom, a prudish old lady who appears on Downtown lots and reprimands Sims for performing romantic interactions in public. Bon Voyage introduced the Unsavory Charlatan, a pickpocket that may appear on any community lot at random and will attempt to pick the pockets of Sims. Apartment Life introduced high witches that may also appear on community lots at random, usually accompanied by special effects depending on their alignment.
Until Apartment Life, non-controllable Sims on community lots did not need to be greeted before being able to interact with them. Starting with Apartment Life, Sims on community lots need to be greeted before other social interactions become available, much like The Sims. Sims may also autonomously attempt to greet Sims they have not greeted yet.
Starting with The Sims 2 and being carried forward to later games in the series, community lots will not spawn a janitor or other NPC to clean or repair objects on the lot. Sims will need to clean up or repair objects themselves.
Young adult Sims are able to build skills on university community lots. If FreeTime is installed, they are also able to build hobby enthusiasm on university community lots. University community lots cannot be visited by Sims in any other age group unless they are invited by a young adult Sim. The semester timer continues to run while a young adult Sim is on a university community lot, but time on the residential lot will still be stopped. However, if a young adult Sim visits a community lot in the base neighborhood or in another sub-neighborhood, the semester timer will pause until he or she returns to the university sub-neighborhood.
When young adult Sims are on campus community lots, the time on the community lot will affect when they go to class. Young adults can also go to all final exams except their last semester's final while on a campus community lot. The Sim will walk off the community lot, and will return to it when the class or exam is over.
When a Sim in a college household gets the five-hour notice for his or her last semester's final, all interactions which allow travel to community lots will become unavailable, and will remain unavailable until that Sim has graduated. If that Sim is on another residential lot as a visitor or walkby, interactions which allow travel to community lots will be unavailable until that Sim has left the lot.
If a Sim gets the notice for his or her last semester's final while on a community lot, the player will be told that the Sim needs to go home. If the Sim is still on the community lot when the last final is three hours away, the player will be given the choice of saving and sending the Sim home, or of leaving the community lot without saving. Sims who are five or fewer hours away from their last semester's final may still appear when Sims from other households visit campus community lots.
Nightlife introduces the ability for Sims to have cars, which they can drive to community lots. It also changed the way players select which community lot Sims will travel to. Instead of clicking on a lot in the neighborhood view, a dialog box will allow the player to select either the base neighborhood or a sub-neighborhood, and then directly select a community lot in that area via a list. The player can still go to the neighborhood view and select a lot in the old fashion by clicking on the neighborhood and, without clicking on a lot, directly clicking Accept.
Open for Business
Playable Sims can buy community lots, and establish businesses on them. A lot's owner, and members of their household, can build skills on that lot, though the progress bar will not appear. When the player sends a lot's owner or a member of their household to that lot, those Sims' inventories will be accessible, build and buy modes will be available, and the player will even be able to save. When a household has been saved while they are on an owned community lot, other households will not be able to visit the lot until they leave; loading a household while they are on an owned community lot will resume gameplay at that lot, not on their home lot. When the household of the owner leaves the lot, they will automatically chase out all employees and customers, and will not leave until all visitors have left the lot.
If Sims take their pets to a community lot, stray pets may appear on that lot. Prior to The Sims 2: Pets patch, stray pets would appear even if the active household did not bring any pets to the lot.
Bon Voyage introduces the ability for Sims to walk to community lots. It also changed the way players select which household members will go to a community lot.
Beginning with Bon Voyage, when sending a Sim to a community lot, the player will be able to choose which other Sims and pets in the household will go along. The Sim who initiated the "go to community lot" action must be the first to enter the taxi, car, etc. or walk off the lot, and the action will be canceled if that Sim is route-blocked. Players should note that Sims chosen to go along to a community lot can be left behind if they take too long to get to the taxi, car, etc., or if they are blocked from reaching it.
Apartment Life allows Sims to visit community lots using a helicopter, if they own a helicopter and helicopter landing pad. If the Sim is a witch or warlock, they can use the option "Fly to" to go to community lots. They take out a broom and fly to that lot.
Pets for Console
Unlike in the PC version of Pets, in the console version there is only one community lot in the whole game, that being Town Square. The park is a place where Sims can take their pets to interact with other Sims and pets, where all the events are held, and also where all the shops are located. Pet Points are used in this community lot instead of Simoleons.
The Sims 3
Sims can perform the same actions on community lots as they do residential lots. Babies and toddlers can visit community lots with an adult Sim. Community lots can only be placed on designated areas in the neighborhood. Time is no longer held static when a Sim visits a community lot. Several community lots have rabbit holes. Sims can be a partner of certain rabbit holes, but can own any community lot provided they have enough money. These options are only shown when the household has enough Simoleons to perform the action. Sims can visit community lots by walking, riding a bike, or taking an automobile. There are no loading screens when a Sim visits a community lot. Other Sims in the world can freely visit community lots in real-time, and will usually be pushed to visit lots where a Sim from the active household is currently visiting.
In the base game, with no expansions or updates[which?], Sims get deeds to the community lots they own. These deeds give the Sims the ability to receive money from the shops. These deeds can be passed around the household, as long as the Sims receiving them are teenagers or older. If a Sim carrying a deed dies, their deeds will go to the eldest household member. If a Sim carrying a deed moves out of the house, the deed will go with them, and the household will have to buy it from the establishment.
After updates and expansions are installed[which?], the deeds will be removed; Sims can easily buy lots through the phone or computer, or by going to city hall. The ownership of an establishment will go to the whole household, and teens and older can go pick up the money.
There are several classes of community lots, largely determined by lot assignments. Upon release, the game determined these classifications according to the objects on the lot, but a patch altered this.[which?] They are now set either in the Create a World tool or from a drop down menu in edit town mode.
The Sims 4
Similar to the "no visitors allowed" lot type in The Sims 3, a generic venue is a community lot that has no requirements, and NPCs and townies don't autonomously visit it. If community objects such as food stands or DJ booths are present, their relevant NPCs can be hired for a fee. Generic lots can be used as club hangouts[TS4:GT], but not as party venues.
Other community lot types have specific functions and visitors, and they each usually have a set of required objects that must be placed before they become functional. For example, a lounge requires a musical instrument for NPC entertainers to play and a park requires playground equipment. Sims can travel to almost any lot through their phones, or if the player exits to the Manage Worlds screen. Most venues can be edited in build mode at any time. Some lots, however, such as active career workplaces, can only be accessed by working in said careers and edited through using the "bb.enablefreebuild" cheat.
Aside from residential lots, there are a few business lots that Sims can own and operate, such as a retail business[TS4:GTW], a restaurant[TS4:DO] or a vet clinic[TS4:C&D]. Businesses can be managed in the "Owned Businesses" tab in live mode. Ownership of a business is tied to a household and not an individual Sim. If circumstances result in there being no teens or older left in a household, or the household moves to a new lot, any businesses they own will be released back to the community. If Sims want to buy back their businesses, they only have the option of buying them unfurnished, so it is advised to save a copy of them to the Library beforehand.
The Sims Medieval
In The Sims Medieval, community lots are generally owned by Hero Sims and partially function as residential lots. Owned lots have a section that is meant to be open to the public, and a section that is meant to be used as private living quarters. The structure of lots cannot be changed, as they exist in shells, but they can be furnished.
There are a few public areas available at the start of the game that are not owned by a Hero Sim, such as the forest, the docks, the judgement zone, the cave, the cemetery and the town square. A training area for knights, spies and monarchs becomes available after barracks have been built. The reception hall is an extension to the monarch's castle that can be built and used for social gatherings.