The Redmond Flats Archive

Tracking Spreadsheets

Before I even begin, NOTE THIS:
 The attached files are Excel spreadsheets, built in Excel 2003. They are in .xls format. (NOT .xlsx format.) In order to use them, you will need a program that can open Excel spreadsheets. Since these were built in an Excel version from before the time when Microsoft stupidly decided to change their format to .xlsx, you should be able to open them using any version of Excel. OpenOffice, the legally free office suite that is actually far better than Microsoft's, will open Excel files, too. (And is legally free. Did I mention that? :) ) Otherwise...Well, I know Microsoft Works, which a lot of computers come pre-loaded with WON'T open Excel files. Because Bill Gates wants you to shell out for Microsoft Office, of course.  So if you've got that...go download OpenOffice. ;)
That said, below are the download links. As you can see, there is a template based on my original rules and one that incorporates my more recent rule modifications. Make sure you download the right one because they are NOT the same! That said, if you are competent with Excel and want to create a hybrid of the two, you can easily copy/paste bits and pieces of each into a new spreadsheet customized for your own needs. In that case, you might want to download both and then dissect and merge as you see fit. Further blabber about these spreadsheets that might or might not be useful is below. Consider the blabber the user manual or something...
The Original BACC Stats Template
File Size: 193 kb
File Type: xls
Download File

The New BACC Stats Template
File Size: 349 kb
File Type: xls
Download File

As I've said, I've taken many stabs at playing this challenge. A while ago Olliepop on the MTS forum posted a spreadsheet for BACC tracking purposes. I took her basic layout and some of her tabs, and monkeyed around with all of it, adding stuff for my own purposes. So, a lot of the work with this was hers; I've just customized what she did for my own purposes. So thanks, Olliepop!

Both versions of the spreadsheet are "tabbed," with each tab tracking a different aspect of your 'hood or, in some cases, a tab is just a list. When you first open either of these spreadsheets, it will open to the "General Stats" tab, which tracks basic info about your 'hood. It has formulas embedded in it to do Scary Math, like calculating percentages, for you. Initially, when you open it, there will be many cells that show an error, specifically "#DIV/0!" Do not worry about this. Once you have some population and fill in some of the cells that currently have a zero in them, the errors will go away because the embedded formula will no longer be attempting to divide by zero. (Because we all know that if you try to divide by zero, a hole rips in the space/time continuum.)

This tab will also track your "raw" and your multiplied population. However, you must keep track of and adjust your multiplier manually. The computation that determines your multiplier isn't something that a spreadsheet can calculate. But assuming that your multiplier is right and you're scrupulous about keeping the TOTAL in the "Age Percentages" section correct, then your population will calculate correctly. (You need to make sure the total box in the "Age Percentages" section is correct because that's the cell that the calculation formula in the "Current Population" cell is linked to; the totals in the other sections don't matter and are really only there so that you can easily tell whether or not you've missed accounting for anyone in those sections. IF you choose to use those statistical areas at all, that is; you don't have to, obviously. I just really like trivia like that. In fact, the further-customized version of this that I personally use has even MOAR geeky statistical calculation areas...

Also as a note: The info in the "Law Enforcement Slots" section will feed directly into that career on the Careers tab. So, if you accurately keep track of your number of fires, your number of burglaries, and your number of Criminal Masterminds, then the number of positions available in Law Enforcement will automatically calculate AND feed into the appropriate cell in the Careers tab. However, since THREE fires are needed to open a slot, this number will often be a decimal; you just have to know that you really only have the whole number of slots available. (For instance, if you've had one burglary and one fire, your total slots available will show as 1.333333333333 on the spreadsheet. Really, you only have one slot open, of course.) If you are playing by the original rules for Law Enforcement, you will need to manually add the slots that open with increments in population; the spreadsheet won't calculate those.

The other tabs included in both versions of the spreadsheet are:

  • A "Families" tab that tracks some individual Sim info by household.
  • A "Careers" tab that tracks the status of each career in terms of whether it has open positions and how many open positions there are. Formulas are in place, so all the math is done for you, even though it's only simple subtraction, and there is a cell containing the rules for each career and a cell where you can put the names of the Sims who are currently in that career.
  • A "Military" tab that you can use to track your military base when you have one, assuming that you want to play the military career according to my rules. If not, you COULD delete that tab, with the following  proviso:

    In the template for the original rules, the "raw," un-multiplied population of the military base is added to the population calculation, the results of which shows in the "General Stats" tab. But in order for this to work properly, you must manually enter the base's civilian population in the appropriate cell. The population calculation automatically takes into account those in the Military career, assuming that you fill in the "Positions Filled" boxes  in the "Ranks" section correctly.) So, if you delete the military tab, this might cause an error in that cell on the "General Stats" tab. I have not tested this, so I don't know. If it does cause an error, then retype exactly the following into cell M3 on the "General Stats" tab: =L3*B13
    None of the above babble applies to the newer template because my new rules don't include military Sims in the population calculation. If you want it to, you'll have to monkey with things yourself. :)

  • A "Businesses" tab that tracks business info, including ranks, owner name, and the items/services offered. (I have the latter because, once I have a business that sells a given kind item, the residents of the 'hood must go to that business to purchase that kind of item. That item can no longer be bought out of the buy catalog. So, it helps to know at a glance what store sells what, which can be easy to lose track of as time goes on.)
  • Two tabs with lists of names, one for boys, one for girls. I name CAS Sims and their in-game-born babies randomly, and I use these lists to do it, rolling to determine what letter a Sim's name will start with and then rolling to determine which name that starts with that letter to use. If you don't want lists of names, feel free to delete these. Or add to them, if you want to use them in whatever way. You'll see if you look that I have a fondness for old names. As in, ones that were mostly used in the Middle Ages in addition to ones currently out of favor. Like, say, Vernon. Or Mildred.
Now, the template that incorporates my recent rule modifications has two additional tabs. These are only needed if you've chosen to use my idea of random marriage because all they are simple empty worksheets where you can list all of the Sims in your 'hood. There's one tab for males and one for females. They are called "Available Men" and "Available Women." If you don't want to do random marriage, you don't need these tabs and can get rid of them without affecting anything. Then the only differences between the two versions is that the Careers tab is different, the population calculates a little differently (due to the military thing above), and there are some differences on the "Families" tab.  

Probably the most unwieldy thing about these spreadsheets is the "Families" tab, in fact. It could be designed a LOT better. But it serves my purposes, and I don't mind the side-scrolling, personally, so I haven't really put any thought into how to make it more efficient.Since it isn't obvious how one might use this tab just from looking at the template, here's a screenshot of Redmond Flats's "Families" tab at the moment:
(Click the thumbnail to see the full-size image.)

It isn't very full, because I'm just beginning to play this 'hood, but basically, every time a household gets a new member through marriage or birth or creation or moving someone in, I add a row to the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet tracks the "major" information about the Sim that I might need to know while I'm playing him/her without having to be on that Sim's lot and/or selecting him/her. I have a database set up where I can keep track of things that are more trivial to me, like zodiac signs, personality points, predestined hobbies, etc. But if you wanted to track those things or other things here, you could certainly add or replace columns, if you wanted to customize it to suit your needs. Nothing from this tab feeds anywhere else, so you won't mess anything up if you monkey with it, no matter what you do.

The "Base Residents" section of the military tab is set up to work pretty much the same way as the "Families" tab. I just wanted to keep those separate because with my rule modifications, the base residents don't count toward the population.

Note: This screenshot above has several columns that aren't in either of the templates. I've highlighted them in pink, so you know which ones to ignore. :)

If you're curious as to what those extra columns are, though, from left to right we have:

1) Polygamy: All male family Sims have a 30% chance of being polygamists and male Family Sim sons of polygamists have a 60% chance of becoming one. Why? It's not because I'm sick, I swear! It's just that I find it fun to play crazy-hectic polygamist households, and they tend to generate population quite nicely. :) The hacked wedding arch allows multi-marriage, if you have and are using that. All you need to do is turn off jealousy on the lot, so that wars don't erupt, and then you can have a Sim have as many wives (or husbands, I suppose, although I'm a "traditionalist") as he wants. I limit mine to five, determined by a roll, and they get a new one each rotation. Good ol' Dom...gets 5 wives.)

2) Crafting: I randomly determine whether or not a Sim will engage in a craft, and if they do, I randomly assign them one and they get the equipment they need for free. This craft may or may not be used to stock a business. (I find it difficult to keep stores stocked with crafted items, so I don't do that too often. Usually, I just let them craft and then sell the items to thin air right off the crafting table or whatever.) As you can see here, Stu the "fearsome" zombie...will be a flower arranger.

3) "Xenophilia": No, this doesn't mean "Xenophilia Challenge," specifically. I just like aliens. A lot. So all of my Knowledge Sims have a 50% chance of being alien-spawners. (I have a hack that allows women to be alien-impregnated, too.) If they're a "spawner," they get a hacked expensive telescope for free, one that allows me to command them to be abducted at any time of day, which I'll do two or three times during their life, but also allows Sims to autonomously choose to be abducted. The telescope I use is here.