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.

Of creepy gnomes and other things

I really want to play Late Night, but that's going to take some work. Most of the hacks I use are updated, but not the Chaos Mod painting yet. I'd like to take a few pictures before I update with the latest patch and make the Mod Painting completely (or possibly only mostly) unusable.

So I decided to play some more Ambitions. (Starring Mitchell and Paula which I last showed way back here.) It started out with a fire.

Yes, that's the maid deciding she doesn't get paid enough for this and walking away. She's a horrible maid anyway. I've watched her snacking on food and brushing her teeth.

Finally found a gnome! Kinda. Mitchel actually made him. I've been watching where he appears each day.

Mitchell managed to create a time machine finally. And we had a little adventure in the past.

He came back with a little surprise.

For something completely different- TS3 on the DS

I need to talk about this, but I have no where to talk about it.

The Sims on consoles have been overwhelmingly disappointing. The first round, they gave it a good try with TS2 on the PS2, but it was lacking something. The play was very goal oriented because for some reason anything that comes out to the consoles absolutely must fit into some neat little box. You can't have an actually open sandbox type game without putting missions or goals as part of the game.

Playing on consoles is boring anyway. Unless you're new to the Sims or you don't have a working PC, there's no point in playing on the console.

(I will add here that the only fun version of Sims on the console I have ever played is Castaway on the Wii. Goal oriented, yes, but it was also really fun and well done and I actually liked it better than Castaway for the PC.)

So I really can't see a reason for playing Sims on a console. Until TS3 on the DS which promised to be closer to the real thing. I wouldn't have bothered personally because I had my doubts, but Mom got it as her free game at a Best Buy sale and handed it over to me.

I have to say that I'm impressed! They have managed to keep all the best elements of TS3 and give me pretty much what I've always wanted.

Being on the DS, the graphics are just so-so of course. But game play does manage to capture the best elements of the DS as well. Like you can use the touch screen to customize your sim.

This is Chris, my shy klepto with a want to be a master thief. I know, not much to look at, but you don't really have to see their faces all that often. The experiment with her was to see how open the game really was. Could I create a sim that didn't live at home?

Yes, it turns out you can. I've hardly had her stopping off at her lot at all. She only has the basic necessities at home- a bed, toilet, fridge. Nothing else.

It's actually an open neighborhood. She can take showers at the gym and eat hot dogs on the grill at the park and then nap on park benches.

Here she is taking a jog through town. She's much too stylish for sleep on park benches though. So she has a number of boyfriends around town. Once you've got a boyfriend, you get free use of their house any time, even when they aren't home apparently.

Since she's a klepto, I had hoped originally we could steal items for her home, but it doesn't work that way. She can only rifle through drawers and steal money. That's kinda lame. I'm hoping making her a master thief will give her some extra ability and she can steal properly.

The building tools are also awesome. It's a touch screen, so they give you the ability to draw walls and add onto houses. You are limited though to one floor and by the number of objects you can put in a house.

A different house with a married couple. (Interestingly to note that thanks to the open neighborhood they were married by the town light house on the look out point.) This house is close to the object limit. I guess 'cause there's a lot of deco objects throughout the house?

My favorite room in the house is the study.

The painting is Olivia's. I'm having her be a stay at home sim working on alternate ways to earn money. (I'm having way too much fun with their story.) Apparently, you can take paintings and then use them to decorate walls. I haven't given it a try yet, but she has the option to sell or take the paintings and there's a family inventory, so I'm assuming she can then hang them up.

Down sides: No woohoo (so all they get for being the klepto's boyfriend is some lost money and an occupied bathtub), no way to switch characters in the same save file, the save files are also not connected so my shy klepto will never meet my over worked prince and his stay at home wife, and no way to switch homes that I can see.

Oh, and you know, no same sex flirtations. I won't even go there, but that's really annoying and limiting.

Also, loading screens. But the upside is that you can spin the plumbbob. That's kinda fun!

I don't know if sims can die. I starved one guy once and he was zapped over to the hospital. Also, I don't know if I can kick sims out or not. I'm working on the drama, and I'll see. That would be a way to keep things fresh in a save file. Let a relationship deteriorate, and then kick out the old sim and play with the new one.

Anyway, I'm impressed. I wouldn't really sit and play this at home, but I do get a lot of playing done at work.

TS3 lighting

So I thought that I was already using a lighting mod in my game, but apparently I was not. Laura reminded me about it, and then Tamo brought it up again in her blog post.

So I thought I would update my mod and found I didn't have one. Oops! Let me tell ya, the mods actually make all the difference.

Take for instance the chapter from the week before last. Night time and fire, what could go wrong? But it seemed too bright to me.

This is the original shot.

Here is what it would've looked like if I'd had the lighting mod in.

Makes me want to retake those pictures!

I'm using the darker version of the mod. I want my nights pitch black. In the Wildlands, even though there are buildings, there really aren't many lights except for fires from pits, bonfires and oil lamps. Probably a few other ingenious inventions floating around.

This doesn't affect the indoor lights too much. But the windows do appear darker which makes a big difference. Before I was desperately trying to hide that the rabbit holes I was using for decoration actually have lights. Now it's really not noticeable except for the marquee on the movie theater.

Also, this mod affects the light at sunset, the fog, over cast and stormy. This will either be really awesome or a pain to work with. Generally, it' nice to have consistency from picture to picture. If it starts out sunny, I'd like it to stay sunny. I'm pretty sure the Relativity mod will prevent things from changing at all when I don't want them to though.

Also, I added a new default hi-res moon which is gorgeous. It probably won't be seen very often, but still, I like knowing it's there looming over us.

Test pictures

So I've mentioned before that after I create a character, I give them a test run in the sim world to see how well they match up with the character I see in my head. Some come out perfectly the first time, and some I have to edit quite a bit.

Pat is one of those that came out fully formed, perfectly. While looking for pictures of her body, I ran across the original test shots I ran her through after I made her. These were also Brandon's test shots as an adult.

But, of course, it wasn't until these pictures below that I was absolutely SURE I had them down perfectly.

Love LOVE this shot, because it looks like he's trying to cajole her into doing something. I would bet he does this to her from time to time when they're alone, just the two of them. They aren't often alone, not if Pat has her way. But if he stops by when they're cleaning up or closing, I can see Rita (Pat's mom) excusing herself and taking Melissa with her. (I think she'd make it very obvious that she was leaving them alone, and she'd invite Melissa in on this very obvious not so secret secret. I can imagine Melissa giggling about it even if she isn't completely sure what is going on and needs her grandmother to explain it to her which would bring up some awkward questions from Melissa later I'm sure.)

And of course, he wins here. Did she ever really have a chance?

Kyrene was made at the same time, and so Brandon was also used for her test shots.

Kyrene's first try. So not her. It was her eyes, so I sent her back to CAS.

What I love about Kyrene's sim is how expressive her face is. She can look dangerous, sultry, and sad with very little facial movements.

Three days?

Don't know why, I guess I've just been killing time. But it was three days to make three sims.

It started with this guy.

I'm calling him Luke right now. He is Kyrene's father. He knew Henri when they were both teens; I'm certain of that. But they weren't exactly friends. Though I see Luke as being somewhat laid back, even in his youth, so it was probably more like a slightly unfriendly competition between the two men-- err, boys really at the time.

And then the Revolution happens and they run across each other again, and together, the two of them were the founders of the Southlands. Now they're good friends. Luke is Henri's adviser and his partner, though his role is probably less visible.

I see him being a pretty intimidating man, very much like Henri. He can definitely back up his words. But he's also got that laid back streak that I think surprises people.

One of the surprising aspects of this man who is very much like Henri and at the same time very much not like him is the fact that he fell in love. So of course I had to make her.

I don't have a good name for her yet. Kyrene's mother was a complete surprise to him. She really came out of nowhere, and it was really lucky for Henri and Luke.

I don't think he was this nervous before in front of a woman or this nervous since.

I love her eyes. They're not my normal defaults. They're actually Tamo's Ultra Plain Tri-color Eye Contacts.

Luke, of course, required that I download more tattoos. I actually see him having a tattoo of some sort on his face. His hands have tattoos by Newone that say "Free Mind" which is actually very fitting and slightly important. I also downloaded a bunch of new Ambitions tattoos.

But there are a couple he's missing. The older Luke will have a tattoo ring from his bonding with Kyrene's mom that will match her tattoo ring, and I think I'd like to make that face tattoo. It's not going to be large, but very small.