This is a work of fiction that contains content that is intended for mature audiences; discretionary caution is highly advised. Thanks!
Initially, this Sims 3 story followed about 20 to 30 families, generation after generation. As kids grow up and make their own home, family branches grow bigger and interrelationships or overlaps are common.
There is undoubtedly a particular focus on the Golzine mafia family. Their illegal activities are often only hinted at, but there is some degree of violence in their daily life. Can you really find true love when you are leading a criminal organization? Is it fair to raise a child in such circumstances? How do you deal with the authorities? Or with dark forces only you are aware of? Just how far can familial duty take you?…
Other big families are either closely related to the Golzine family or are simply important to the main plot. The Leneufs for instance are a branch of the Golzines, working in business and investment, although their values are fundamentally different from their shady relatives. The Wongs are matriarchal, Chinese politicians. Recent heiresses have not been exactly dedicated to the people they are supposed to represent. Unbeknownst to the average man, witches, vampires or ghosts roam about freely. And even… the last werewolf?
Minor characters are not necessarily relevant to the storyline. Some are batshit crazy, others are lower class. Some enjoy a happy family life, others suffer from bad relationships or traumatizing events. But you’ll be surprised to see that some of them may take more and more importance, and even get directly involved with major characters.
If you wish to get all caught up, but do not want to suffer through the gazillion previous posts, I’d recommend you to read the summaries (First Part and Second Part are particularly recommended). Each of them is subdivided into families as many plots are happening at the same time. Please note that the story just goes on from one Part to the other.
Another way to quickly catch up until the middle of Fifth Part would be to read the Character Focus I made for Tumblr. It goes through various characters, detailing their life and making connections between events. If you don’t want to read all the summaries, this would be the best workaround. 🙂
Although there are many characters, some are obviously more important than others. They can generally be divided into main, side or minor characters. They should all be easily recognizable (hairstyle is the way to go: I rarely change a character’s hairstyle in their whole lifetime), and you will progressively learn to recognize them, especially since some are particularly recurrent. As you become familiar with the various families, you will be able to enjoy the interactions between them. The narration comes and goes from one family to the other, depending on what is happening in town at that specific moment in time.
I do not follow any particular legacy or challenge rules, but I do incorporate some typical “Sims” elements into the storyline (like instant aging up for example). Kids from major families are also referred to as “heir” or “heiress”. Over time (I’ve started writing this story in 2012), the plot has become more and more focused on specific generations of specific families. The writing style has changed a lot as well since pictures have gradually become more descriptive and numerous, while text has been reduced to dialogues only. Hence the move to comic book style from Fifth Part on.