Hello!

Welcome to the tale of Alice and Kev.

This is an experiment in playing a homeless family in The Sims 3. I created two Sims, moved them in to a place made to look like an abandoned park, removed all of their remaining money, and then attempted to help them survive without taking any of the game’s unrealistically easy cash routes. It was inspired by the old ‘poverty challenge’ idea from players of The Sims 2, but it turned out to be a lot more interesting with The Sims 3’s new living neighborhood features.

I have attempted to tell my experiences with the minimum of embellishment. Everything I describe in here is something that happened in the game. What’s more, a surprising amount of the interesting things in this story were generated by just letting go and watching the Sims’ free will and personality traits take over.

If this is your first time visiting, click below to read the story from the start.

Go to the beginning

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83 Responses to “Hello!”


  1. 1 whykt June 9, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Excellent :D

  2. 9 Brock June 9, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    This is a very cool concept, and shows that the game has started to advance in some impressive ways. I’m really hoping for more, as I find myself strangely touched by the plight of two computer-generated characters.

  3. 10 KingFrozen June 10, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Funnily enough, this is awesome. It sounds really simple, but its actually quite fun. if you have just found this site it is definitely worth the read! Great work man!

  4. 11 Shimarenda June 10, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    I started following this story on Qt3. I’m another player who decided to buy this game because of it. It’s nice to finally have the opportunity (I can’t post at Qt3 yet) to tell you that I think this concept is brilliant. The picture of Alice hugging her teddy really sells it, too.

  5. 12 Ange June 13, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Wonderful Story!

    I think this is a good experiment because you are creating a certain level of challenge…the sims 3 is quite different from the sims 2 and is a joy to play. I can wait to read more of your story…Keep up the good writing!

    • 13 HAB June 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm

      How did you take away the money they had left?

      • 14 roBurky June 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm

        The best method I found that didn’t end up giving them some kind of positive benefit was buying lots of fish at the supermarket, then releasing them into a pond at a fishing spot.

      • 15 GerandLer July 8, 2009 at 3:16 pm

        I dont have sims 3, so I could be wrong, but on sims 2 you can put layers of floor on top of each other, so I layer the expensive ones on top of each other a couple of times then get rid of it all (use control button) they only refund you for the top layer, leaving your sims poorer

  6. 16 HAB June 13, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I made my own version. It’s called Deborah and Dexter. I’m recording their progress on Microsoft Word.

  7. 17 FF June 14, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Because of Kev and Alice, I now own a copy of The Sims 3!

  8. 18 trident June 15, 2009 at 6:06 am

    so I don’t get how do you make them homeless

    • 19 HAB June 15, 2009 at 2:43 pm

      Move them into a lot that looks like an abandoned park, buy a lot of fish from the supermarket until they have no money left, and let the fish free into a lake.

  9. 20 Monkey God June 16, 2009 at 12:30 am

    I just started reading this blog today. I enjoy it very much, and I eagerly await more. Great job!

  10. 23 trident June 16, 2009 at 1:36 am

    hey you can have one family per town right?

  11. 26 trident June 16, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    In sims 3 i cant put more then 1 family in a town can you help haha

  12. 27 HAB June 16, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    After you put one in go to “edit town” and put another family in a house. If you want to change which family you’re playing, click the icon that says “Change Active Household.”

  13. 28 trident June 17, 2009 at 2:10 am

    ok thanks

  14. 29 Dani June 18, 2009 at 12:14 am

    I love this…I find the Sims 3 hysterical….even the pregnant woman waddles!!!

  15. 30 Dylan June 18, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Is there a quicker way to get rid of all of your money? I bought all fish like people mentioned above, but when I go to stock the pond, I go only do one at a time and I have hundreds of fish! Any help would be appreciated.

  16. 34 Nik June 18, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Wow. I this is a great idea and you’ve gotten some great results out of it. Good work!

  17. 35 Thom June 18, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Hey, nice viral marketing, EA!

  18. 36 kk June 19, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Can i ask you a question? how did you take away their money?

    • 37 jack July 7, 2009 at 10:11 pm

      she bought fish intill they were out of money. then she let them go in a pond

    • 38 dynaboyj June 8, 2010 at 2:57 am

      An easier way to do it is to use the cheat

      testingcheatsenabled true

      and then use the cheat

      familyfunds (Household name) 0

      Cheats can be activated by pressing and holding the keyboard letters Ctrl-Shift-C.

  19. 39 Cilla June 19, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Someone needs to publish you Robin.

  20. 40 Marit June 19, 2009 at 10:15 am

    You havne’t told us much about kev’s job yet. What business is he in?

  21. 42 Joker June 21, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    oh my good…. this blog is terrible i cant read it ;o ;(( maybe U try write a book no blog…. ;D

  22. 43 jonnakaisweetiepie :) June 23, 2009 at 12:55 am

    This is a great story!!! I really like it :D!! Keep up the good work Robin!!! <3<3

  23. 44 Tragic June 23, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Whoa, smooth move Kev!

    This blog is like crack… I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and get my next fix. :D

  24. 45 Wesley B June 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    This is a very interesting idea, though I have one question I’m not clear on (having not played Sims 3, yet). Who are the other players int he game? Are they NPCs, built by the same person who built the homeless couple, or are they online players?

    I guess what I’m asking is, is this an experiment in how the game handles the situation of two homeless people or how strangers in an online environment handle the presence of two virtually homeless people?

    • 46 roBurky June 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm

      The Sims 3 is an entirely single player game. All other characters are controlled by the game, as are the two main characters some of the time.

    • 47 Nikki July 11, 2009 at 1:55 pm

      Ok look. You’re a little mixed up. Here is the right way:

      Alice and Kev are NOT a couple. Their father and daughter, and Kev got all these bad traits like Insane and Dislikes Children, so he’s “basically the worst father in the world.”

      And on your second question, it’s how the game handles the situation of two homeless people. Your welcome for all the answers.

  25. 48 Micsk8111 June 26, 2009 at 12:12 am

    omggg this is apsolutly genius….this is amazing! u should be so proud. i cant wait to read more. im going to exsperiment this one too. but instead im going to have a mother and a daughter who is a teen. but im going to make the mom all crazy and physo but nice at the same time. and maybe she will get pregnant with another hobo. lol idk but i really wanna try this really bad. thanks so much for making this! it inspires people like me try different things like u do!

  26. 49 lachatnoir June 26, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Fabulous social gaming experiment! Sims3 is quite remarkable isnt it :o)

  27. 50 natural healing June 27, 2009 at 8:19 am

    haialice..niceto meet you..keep your write..

  28. 51 Matt June 27, 2009 at 10:56 am

    This is absolutely amazing!!

  29. 52 Dazro June 27, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Great story, this is like something on TV! And because of this I’m gonna try to make a story like this, and I hope that’ll be succsesful too!

  30. 53 saw June 29, 2009 at 1:24 am

    Sad, Heart-Warming, simply Amazing! Great job robin, and thanks for the continuing posting!

  31. 54 Cheshire June 29, 2009 at 4:54 am

    i love the idea! im acually going to try this myself,the story so far is great and im loving it!

  32. 55 Cookie July 1, 2009 at 1:20 am

    I love reading this. It’s amazing how in depth the character’s personalities are, and it’s really fun (and sad actually) watching the sims do things on their own. ^-^ Good job!

  33. 56 Question: July 3, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Which neighborhood do Alive and Kev live in? Did you make one just for them? (Can you do that in this sims? I haven’t checked…)

    • 57 Potato July 5, 2009 at 12:33 am

      You can’t make custom neighborhoods in the Sims 3. The game gives you a neighborhood called Sunshine Valley, and they give you another one to download called Riverview. I’m pretty sure they live in Riverview.

  34. 58 fedeikal July 5, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Sorry but I’ve not understand… you sad they survive on free meals from work and school… ok, she goes at school, but Kev hasn’t got a job, so how can he get free meals from work??
    Or does he have a job? And if he’s got a job what do you do with the money he earns??

    • 59 romanspqr July 6, 2009 at 4:59 am

      I’m with fedeikal on this. I’d love some clarity of your approach. The progress of the characters is very enjoyable to watch, but I want to know more about your involvement as a player.

      At what point do you STOP the characters’ free will?

      Do you deliberately ignore money earned by your characters or do you let them decide?

      Does Kev have a job?

      Do you foresee a love interest for Alice in the future?

      If Alice were to get married, would you let her move out of the household or bring the new husband/wife into your current homeless one?

  35. 60 Lucy July 6, 2009 at 10:01 am

    How do you make them homeless?

  36. 61 Yona96 July 7, 2009 at 12:56 am

    I think this is an awesome story!!! Also, how do I make one of these myself?

  37. 62 jack July 7, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    they live in riverview right robin. oh and by the way my last name is burk. and everyone calls my sis burky.

  38. 63 Penfold July 9, 2009 at 12:42 am

    Robin, I just wanted to tell you how awesome this whole thing is. Keep up the good work in all you do!

  39. 64 Jill July 10, 2009 at 1:53 am

    I am really enjoying reading your blog. ::applause:: Congrats on a great idea! It also helps me pseudo-play the Sims without having to shell out the cash. :)

  40. 65 youtube giriş July 17, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    You can’t make custom neighborhoods in the Sims 3. The game gives you a neighborhood called Sunshine Valley, and they give you another one to download called Riverview. I’m pretty sure they live in Riverview. thanks

  41. 66 altugi July 18, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    This is a very nice project and I’m interested in seeing how it will evolve over time.

    JFYI, a while ago I formulated the idea for a game which I called Hunger. It was the result of a discussion at the IGDA forums on how to explore new theme and topics in video games.

    Check it out: http://altugi.wordpress.com/2009/04/12/game-idea-39/

  42. 68 matthew farmer August 4, 2009 at 4:24 am

    Alice and kev was a trivia question on 1 vs. 100 on xbox 360, like right now. You’re a trivia question! 12000 out of 22000 got it right.

  43. 69 med August 4, 2009 at 10:53 am

    This is a very cool concept, and shows that the game has started to advance in some impressive ways.

  44. 70 lilwitch513 August 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    If anyone is looking for a similar blog, check out The Life She Deserved at http://thelifeshedeserved.wordpress.com/

  45. 72 Anjubee August 21, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Dear roBurky,

    I help run the Build-n-Share Weekly challenge over at The Sims 3 forums and this week, I have decided to use Alice and Kev’s story for the “Home for the Homeless” challenge.

    It seems like you are taking a needed break from the story at the moment, but I figured I would attempt to notify you anyway just in case you were curious to see what people were building for Alice and Kev. :)

    Here is the link to the thread: http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/92529.page

    All the best and looking forward to more Alice and Kev (at your own leisurely pace!).

    Anjubee

  46. 76 Truth Unleashed August 21, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    I love this! I have a set of “novels” that I’ve done about the neighborhoods in The Sims 2 and I’m planning to do the same for The Sims 3, and it’s good to see another storyteller who does it the way I do – giving things a nudge once in a while, but largely for the most part letting the Sims create their own story. You tell it so well for them, too! Great pics – what kind of graphics card do you have?

  47. 77 Noelegy December 16, 2009 at 1:55 am

    I downloaded Alice and Kev and started playing them, but I decided to let them have a marginally happier life in my Sims world. They started out with the same lot and the same relationship with each other. I sold one or two of the brambles and told Kev to go buy an apple and a tomato, which he planted. When these grew and produced fruit, he and Alice had a steady source of food, and as it turned out, Kev REALLY liked gardening.

    Hygiene and sleep were still a problem, and they would go to the 28 Hour Gym to grab showers, naps, and quick meals. Kev started a Criminal career (which he wasn’t very good at; he got picked up by the police immediately) but this gave him a little bit of money. When Alice aged up to teenager, she got a part-time job. Eventually they were able to buy one cheap bed, which they took turns using.

    Kev was still difficult, and he would scare off Alice’s friends if she brought them home. But gardening really seemed to give him peace and purpose, so I encouraged that in him. They built a little one-room shack, one section of wall at a time, and finally they had a room with two beds in it and a roof overhead. Then a shower was added.

    Kev’s garden has flourished (he’s currently at a level 8 gardening) and he sells his produce for income. He’s aged up to Elder and retired from his life of crime. Alice is an adult now and turned out to have a surprising wish: to become a surgeon. She got the “Perfectionist” trait when she aged up, so she’s a fanatic cleaner and keeps their little space clean. They now have a bedroom/living room, tiny kitchen, and bathroom. It’s not much, but they both work to take care of it.

    They have a careful friendship, though they get on each other’s nerves.

  48. 78 xSasha January 6, 2010 at 6:58 am

    http://xsasha.wordpress.com/ I just finished my version. I gave you credit and everything, I think you’ll enjoy it (:

  49. 79 leeandtori February 23, 2010 at 6:12 am

    I have a blog like this too, but it involves totally different people and more stories with different characters! I love this blog, too, by the way. :]

    But here’s mine! Come and read. :]

    http://simcomix.wordpress.com/

  50. 80 Gledwood February 26, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    This looks really interesting, but I’ve not the time to read all you put as I’m in an internet caff and about to be terminated for lack of more dollars!! What I’ll do instead is put a link to you from my blog post today, which was about the Sims.

    Now I only play Sims 3 on my mobile phone… so I take it the PC version you’re on about is slightly more involved than the repeated round of rushing to the toilet, snogging (or speaking to) other sims, desperately reading books/watching television and trying to spend as much time as possible fishing to get time to go faster… that I engage in…?!??!??

    Even so, it is far too addictive for words.

    And ps I play it in GERMAN ~ trying to be educational as I go, know what I mean..>??!?

  51. 81 mich April 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Recently discovered this blog and found it a fascinating of humans and video games, stretching the possibilities of both. I’ll most likely showcase it in one of my next posts.
    Great job!

  52. 82 William July 5, 2010 at 3:29 am

    I’m not going to lie this makes me want to go buy the Sims 3 haha

  53. 83 David August 20, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    You should make some sim cops to harass them.


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About Me

My name is Robin Burkinshaw, and I am a student of games design in the UK. I am also known in some places as roBurky.
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© 2009 Robin Burkinshaw

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