How do I work this thing? Oh and Sims 4

Wow. It has been a while.

Hello, I'm me and I've been playing sims games since the first one. My big sister got me hooked when I was a teenager. She bought the game at a Ross, a purchase her husband had to convince her to make because she was taking too long to think about it. After she brought it home, she was hooked, and I'm sure her husband regretted his help in the addiction.

Sims 4 came out yesterday, and I've heard a lot of opinions on it. The reviews on Amazon are sad, and I hope that anyone who worked on this game isn't looking at them. Because they are honestly not a good reflection on the game play. It's generally a lot of people complaining about how little content there is in a base game because they've been playing Sims 3 for years with expansion packs plus stuff packs plus mod content.

So here's my general thought: Yes. The game is lacking. (Literally, pools and toddlers.) And I find that the price point is rather high. (Was the Sims 3 base game $60?) But there's a bit more gained here too that's actually very subtle, and probably being over looked.

We like pictures though, right? So here's my Sim.

I made her an insane artistic type. I wanted her to start painting at home because I don't like sending my sims in for a 9 to 5 type job.

And classic sims style, the first time she got hungry, I let her make food, and she set herself on fire.

Wow, that nostalgia. My basic sim rule is no cooking involving fire until cooking level 2.

She was hungry, so I sent her out. Here's where I noticed the first important difference.

First con: There's no good place to get food for a starving sim or a sim on a date. She went to the night club and had some chips, which did tide her over, but was a little disappointing for me.

First pro: There's a ton of sims here at the night club! People were talking and dancing. At one point during the night, everyone lined up at the bar to order drinks.

Second pro: I didn't have to spend my entire night waiting for my sim to do things as she pondered existence and pathways. I'd tell her to do things, and she'd get up and do them.

Third pro: She multi-tasked successfully! She carried her drink with her. She danced and talked. She sat at the bar and talked and ate and drank.

She also managed to make friends and meet herself a romantic interest.

It's the guy she's glancing over at, though she also clicked with Eliza Pancakes there. (Her name is too good to not remember.)

Over all, her first night out I had fun. I didn't have to check her needs. There was no stress. If her needs dropped, she'd go and take care of them on her own. (The pee walk is really cute.)

Whenever I send her out, there are Sims all over the place. This is something I think they've managed to really bulk up. That feeling of community. I guess because the game isn't as graphically intense, it doesn't take so much effort for the computer to throw sims at a lot, and that is something I'd MUCH rather have than better graphics.

Other small details I noticed included spacing. Much like sims 3, there are multiple spaces on a surface which means a sim can appear to eat and drink or read and drink.

I really wanted the picture where he and his wife were sipping coffee at a table cluttered with dishes. Apparently, in my enjoyment, I didn't get that picture.

Sims will converse while cooking, while painting, while practicing coding. My sims had a kid, and they spent a morning chatting with him while he was on an activity table on the porch and they were eating breakfast.

Again, I missed the picture where Dad comes out and spends time on the porch with them all talking between his bites of salad.

Here's a much more subtle one. Mom is helping junior studying while Dad has decided (on his own) that it will be joke time. It took all evening to get his homework done thanks to dad.

I'm short on time at the moment. So I'll list the other things I am missing: community lots like the bookstore and grocery, the color wheel, being able to select bed sheets and bed frame colors separately, freakin' toddlers.

This game is not like Sims 2. It's actually much more like an updated version of Sims 1 to be honest. I spend most of my play time at the home lot or around the home lot. I can see why that would be a pain to people who are used to Sims 3 or even Sims 2. Personally, I've been looking to jump back into sims without all the bloat, and this take me back to when Sims were a simpler thing. When I could save in a second, load up in a moment, and just start playing with my sim lives. So over all, I'm enjoying it.

Alternate life: Pets

I'm due for an update on the story blog, but then Pets came out. I could not resist.

As I always do for a new EP, I made a new family from my story characters. This one stars Paula and Alex.

Aw, look at them out for their first ride together.

The animations for the horses are gorgeous. I took a couple of videos that I mean to put up somewhere (probably on Tumblr). The animations are just so awesome and smooth and realistic.

The first ride went okay. Both sims got a skill point in riding their first time out, so things were a little less awkward by the time they got home.

Well almost.

Oops. Rico was in a bad mood, so he tossed Alex. Yay, that's one for their memories.

Rico is supposed to be Alex's horse. Don't they look good together?

But at some point, things went all to hell and everyone ended up deciding who they were going to bond with. (Isn't that always the way?)

Beauty started running around the house, bringing up her racing skill, so Alex has started training her as a racing horse. She actually wants to race, and had a wish to join a beginner's racing competition. Who am I to say no to that?

She broke out into the lead on her first race and managed to stay there and bring home their first win.

They celebrated that night with a hug.

Rico also raced (actually, he entered a competition before Beauty), but he came in third. Still respectable, but he's taken to jumping. And Alex, being this is improbable sims world is doing both, racing and jumping. He's self employed as a horseman, so these shows get them money which they need. (Although I'm cheating up a storm for needs and stuff, I am not giving them money unless they need to take out a loan, which they'd have to pay back, plus interest.)

I also made sim versions of our cats.

They look pretty close, but Trouble, the gray cat, has his stripes backward. My trouble has dark fur and light stripes. Plus a white chin. I'm going to have to fix that soon.

This shot above had my boyfriend and I laughing. The animations looked exactly like the way our cats play. Even had one cat on the ground, swinging a paw as the other prepared to pounce. Such amazing animations!

Another shot of Trouble rolling around in the bathroom. (All that's missing is someone's unmentionables. My cat is a perv.)

Yep, I went there, lol. Alex and Danger.

Good kitty. (Perverted subtext? I don't think I know what you mean.)

Alex, of course, is very much in love with Paula. Try to keep these two apart. (Okay, it's not that hard, since after Alex's long day, he usually smells and is tired.)

I meant Beauty for Paula.

But she hasn't been riding as much as Alex has. She stays at home writing. (It was what she wanted to do on the first day along with ride.) I did make her make a little garden, so she could start growing treats for the animals and making fresh food for the family.

Also, I love this shot. The new world is beautiful!

After a while of keeping the horses locked up, I let them out so they could run around and be free. They stay near the house. The problem is that they get hungry.

Instead of going back into her little pasture and eating her hay, she chose to eat Paula's tomatoes. Bad Beauty!

Plant gone! Helpfully, a tool tip tells you, when you hover the mouse over the plant, who ate your plant. Later on, the other tomato plant got eaten by Rico.

I am in love with Appaloosa Plains! I think I'm going to have to move over the other alternate life families and have them join Paula and Alex here. Wild horses now roam all over the place, plus you're likely to run across dear. Have not see a racoon yet, but I'm waiting!

The Saga of the Two brothers

How better for me to play Generations than to create families of the sims of two of my favorite characters?

First up, Brandon and Pat.

And poor little Melissa in the cutest creepiest PJs ever.

Her parents are so cute it's gross. They're going to be embarrassing when she's older.

As in another incarnation of him, Brandon is a firefighter.

But this here is one of my favorite pictures of him. He got home after work and Pat and Melissa were gone. So what's he do? Start playing with Melissa's toys of course. Childish sims are so cute!

See? How cute! I should share video of him doing this. He starts making noises and everything while he plays.

Another gratuitous shot (as they all are). Brandon had just woken up and stepped into the living room and Pat went up to compliment him on his appearance. He's wearing boxer shorts here, so I guess she likes that. I love his thought bubble like he's thinking how lucky he is to be married to her. Awww!

The whole family out for a stroll. I love the stroller though they take it out at stupid times sometimes. Like I sent someone to teach their baby to walk on the front yard and after they stepped down the porch brought out the stroller to walk a few feet. Still it's so cute when I send the entire family shopping.

And of course we're dealing with both brothers. For some reason, I thought it'd be fun to give Jimmy glasses. Perhaps that's just a personal bias?

And if I'm dealing with Jimmy, then I'm dealing with Mary too.

But in this alternate reality, they already have kids. Remember the last one? Unfortunately, she went invisible, most likely due to some sort of corruption.

So let me introduce teen Kaya (v. 2.0) and Allison.

Kaya is not Mary's, she's only Jimmy's daughter. This is actually cannon. She's mentioned here (for those who read Ruin). Jimmy was a young dad. It wasn't his choice if you can believe it, he was jumped by the girl and Kaya was the result. He was only about 15, and I imagine that Kaya is now 15 here.

In the sims story in my head, she's just come to live with Jimmy and Mary. Right now she isn't sure how she feels about Mary or her little sister, as cute as her little sister is.

Here she sets up a prank just for Mary. Jimmy, with some crazy innate father second sense, came downstairs to scold her, but when he got to the bathroom...

Mary shooed him out and sealed her doom. He went off to go clean.

Oops. Sadly, she went back and washed it all out. It would've been awesome if she'd left her hair pink like that!

Kaya is actually a pretty good teen most of the time. She asked to go to a friend's house and they did homework together.

Kaya also has the very large master bedroom/study, which I think her father gave her partially out of guilt. It's her own space, plus because the other two rooms are on the other side of the house, Jimmy and Mary can be near the baby.

Kaya's room/the study:

I'm not great at decorating. I just wanted to have some fun, and Kaya strikes me as a girl with some personality who likes bright bold colors.

I left my sims alone while setting things up, and wouldn't you know it, both brothers knocked up their wives!

Mary and Pat ran into each other at the bookstore. Gah, I LOVE pregnant sims! Plus it's nice that in Sims 3, both women recognize each other as sisters in law. They're family, basically.

Mary announced her pregnancy to Pat.

And Pat looked appropriately excited for her. I just thought it was cute. Did she think Mary was just getting fat?

Then she threw this face. Like she's saying, "Those boys."

Next time on "As the Sims sim":

Brandon has a minor heart attack. Facing fires is nothing compared to his wife having a baby. (Also, he was asleep and it was three in the morning, why did he feel a need to hop out of bed and change into his work clothes to face this crisis? Training?)

Bonus-- bath time shots!

What? You thought I meant of the babies? ;) I'm just showing off the chest hair.

Pose Boxes

It's been a while since I've posted here! But I haven't really been playing the game. It's a lot of work to get a story chapter out every week with pictures. Which is a shame because one of the fun parts of TS3 happens to be getting the pictures, and I've been breezing through that part to just be sure I have something up every week.

So I have started testing out the pose player. I've got the updated version now, and it's pretty awesome. You can add poses to a list to be used again and again. And instead of looking for a specific box like in TS2, you just have the one box and you type in the name of the pose you need. Sometimes this can be really handy or really not handy. Many poses do not have any sort of description, so it's hard to know what pose it is until you use it.

Many artists include the picture of a pose with the name beside it, so I've been keeping the pictures that come with the pose files. I've also got a notepad file where I'm putting in the names of poses. If I can, I put in the description too just to help me out.

The other day, I saw this pose pack and I had to use it. (I knew exactly who for too.)

I've been wishing to pose them forever on the floor of the meadow. In my head, they used to meet on the meadow and then just lay side by side. The closet I could imagine were the TS2 animations of sky watching (and later on cuddling under the clouds/stars). Nothing like that at ALL in TS3. Why would they take that detail out among the ones they did take out? Maybe Generations will put it back in?

Anyway, this is what I came up with.

Using the earlier link floor pack from Club Crimsyn. It's not bad, but here's the thing- the artist can mold the faces. And since there is no over lay yet, the face that goes with the pose is just the face with the pose. This isn't really Brandon's face. So that's the main issue I've got with the poses on pose boxes. Even if the pose looks great and natural because of the care an artist took (and these poses were pretty neat), they will still look stiff and unnatural because of the faces.

And I really deal with faces.

So I decided to give is another shot with a different pose pack from My Blue Book. Pose Set 003- Couple Poses. She says she worked hard on them, and it really shows. I think she did a great job with it considering how difficult it must be to pose one sim, let alone two and get them to line up!

My favorite picture:

It's adorable, but still those faces frozen like that.

But then I suppose my own attempts at couple posing like this have been the same for the most part. It's why I end up having weird camera angles to hide strange eyes or the fact that two sims may be going through one another. Like the first couple of pictures in this chapter.

But still, my favorite pictures of Pat and Brandon happen to be the standard EA animations. Catch them between animations, move them around a little and you have unique poses with unique faces and they will generally turn their heads to face each other. The Pose Player will also play those standard animations, so I still need to do even more experimenting.

I guess I just don't see myself becoming a major poses downloading whore. Though I do note the good ones I like and see possibility for future reference.

My sims have become alcoholics

Okay, Late Night is pretty fun. I get the feeling sometimes that the developers are actually paying attention to the community and listening to what they want in the game and then trying to implement them but in a way that's different from what came before. I don't really have anything too specific, but I just get that feeling.

Anyway, onto Bridgeport!

Confession here, Mom just upgraded her graphic card in her computer and gave me her old one that was like SUPER powered. (I didn't even know she really knew she could do that.) Man, it's a huge difference between this one and the 8800GT! So Gayl, if you read this, I'll be sending your card back soon.

First up, of course I had to play around with the sliders. I was bemoaning the fact that the men all had the same torso no matter the muscle mass, so I was glad to see the change! (It works on the women as well, but women already have so many custom sliders that their body variety is huge compared to the poor men.)

So first up, regular Brandon with my default skin. I've always liked this skin for the face and the way the abs on the body are just shadowed. Never have been a fan of painted on abs, but these work for me for the most part.

Here is Brandon with the new slider maxed out.

I wanted to see if the default skin really gets in the way. I'd say no, but this skin doesn't look great on larger sims, so I think I do need to edit this one or something to get rid of those abs.

Also, Ick. I'm not a fan of large muscly men like this.

What I settled on. Something in between. Brandon is supposed to have more mass than his brother and be shorter. Jimmy will probably have a bit more muscle since he uses his body much more often than Brandon .

So for this EP, I decided to use Brandon and Kyrene. Who better to explore downtown Bridgeport?

New things I love- one fancy drinks actually do something. I actually like that sims will gain the party animal trait or the insane trait after drinking. I sent Kyrene out, and we almost had a bar brawl.

I also love that sims can form groups again. They can go to bars and order drinks for the group or a round for the bar. The bartender/mixologist will put the drinks on the bar counter, then the sim can actually deliver drinks to people personally.

Here's Kyrene picking up a tray of drinks for her and the guy she's with.

Sims can now stand around while drinking and talk! They'd sort of do it before, but now I can direct them to. I can have them flirt and do other things as they drink.

Also, they can eat at the bar. This is also just a gratuitous shot of Brandon who met up with Kyrene after his work was over.

Brandon has managed to become a minor celeb. See, he was working as a fireman, and he met another minor celebrity there. He managed to impress her, and so he gained a star. So far it got him a slight discount on one drink, he got into one club without having to bribe the bouncer, and he managed to get recognized which gave him a little moodlet.

But Kyrene is the one in the movie start career! I really need to get her on that.

My one complain is the proliferation of stupid elevators. I guess it makes sense. I mean, if you live on the 18th floor, you're not going to run up that many stairs. Still, it seemed silly when there was a house fire in a high rise for Brandon to do this:

Especially considering how difficult it can be to get out of an elevator.

Smooth. Good thing he's cute.

The other funny thing is that both Brandon and Kyrene can think of nothing other than drinking. "Have a drink" is a persistent want that keeps rolling up for Brandon. Sometimes even having a drink at two different places. But then anyone reading Ruin probably won't be surprised to hear that about Brandon or Kyrene, lol. Next up will be some creative woohoo.

So my hacks page has been updated. And if anyone uses the invisible furniture I whipped up using Buzzler's script, I did fix them for Late Night. They're over here.