Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holiday Calendar

As is MTS custom, we had a calendar contest and we are about to announce the winners. Like last year, I made the TS2 version and will again. Last time I made a longer 20 day SSN calendar. This time, I'll be doing the same, but also adding a version that has pop up notification on the holidays. I've created a few sim holidays in addition to the more traditional ones. I also looked at how TS3 is handling their new SSN EP and they have 4 main holidays - one per season. I'm mirroring it a bit, but with better names I feel. The winter holiday in TS3 is called 'Snowflake Day', wtf right? My version calls it 'Winter's Day'. Leisure day became Nation's Day, Love Day is Lover's Day, and they did well with Spooky Day so that's the same. I also included Llama Fool's Day, Founder's Day, and Winter's Day Eve (when Santa comes) and New Year's Eve (father time and baby new year). I figure the holidays can be in the background and if your sim family observes it then they celebrate, if not, whatever. I've been letting Llama Fool's Day go by without much fanfare, but Lover's Day is now a big engagement and wedding day.

I mentioned in my last post about this that I was working on school mods to match, and somehow I made it so that kids can still go to school in the summer if you direct them to (I've been sending anyone with a C or lower to 'summer school') while no sim can go to school on Winter's Day; it's just not an option. I have no idea how that worked out, but I kinda like it. In my game Winter's Day is celebrated with a tree and lights and cookies for Santa the night before, but it's not Christmas. There is no Christ in my game. This makes it easier for all my sims of whatever background to all celebrate it too. I can have 'jewish' sims celebrate the same Winter's Day with a menorah. I prefer not to drag religion into it, so it can be anything to anyone.

You should see this calendar up in a few days when Heaven announces the winners of the LolSim calendar contest. I will also update last year's calendar to have the new improvements of auto-updating and I'll include holiday versions too.

Edit: And the age and vacation mods are up!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Playing Oprah: Giving Away Cars

So, it's not really a project per se, but I just spent some time going through all my families in Pleasantville and the surounding subs deleted ugly Yomoshoto cars and replacing them with awesome new cars I finally got around to downloading, choosing the right recolors, price fixing, and editing to show up in parking lots. After some careful math/research, I've concluded that to correctly price a sims car you need to take the price that car would be today (if it's an older car you find what the used price would be) and divide it by 3. This puts all the CC cars inline with the original ones and it keeps them on a relatively correct scale with each other. Likely the creator didn't bother with keeping things like comfort and fun in check, but all in all, that's not actually a problem for a car.

After I did my research on all the cars I had downloaded (26), some of which were harder to find, I edited their cost in simpe and tweaked the two values required to make them show up in parking lots. I decided that not all my new cars should be allowed to show up, mostly the fancier older ones, and I kept that in consideration while working. Then I tested it out, discovered I had a bug that prevented me from being able to go to comm lots, spent about half an hour tracking that down and nuking it, and finally I was able to send a delegation of sims to a community lot with parking spaces. Lo and behold, it was beautiful. All the sexy new cars I downloaded and what a pretty range of colors and shapes and styles. It was so real and wonderful looking I spent another half an hour just regenerating them and watching the pretty dance of cars in front of me. So happy! I'll do Strangetown and Desdirata later, I need sleep.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Final Two Pleaseantview Contest Entries

Edit: I took SECOND PLACE! :D

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, my part in the Pleasantview Renovation contest comes to a close. I didn't want to make each house it's own post here and clutter up the important WIP stuff, so here are the front views of the last two houses. Links to each one's entry post are included if you would like to see more picture (and you should! These two are really good!)

The third house is for Will and Elise Gibson to try to help them ease past the pain of losing Anne, wife and mother. Will picked up what was left of his family and moved to the seaside. He picked up a nice coastal home and started trying to make a new normal. Check it out here!

And the Wilson's have the final house. When Sarah and Tom added on to their family, suddenly the little one bedroom townhouse wasn't big enough so they packed up and moved. Sarah likes contemporary country, Tom is into sports, and their toddler is a dragon-slayer! See their house here!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Holidays and Calendars

I have some exciting new updates! A day or two ago I spent time fiddling with aging mods to see if I can't balance my game better (I'm liking it so far, further testing then I'll upload it), fiddled with summer school break mods, and uni length all working together to try to help bring some sort of real time to my game. I like the length of seasons being five days, but the toddlers seemed to grow up too quickly, I could never get all their skills in, kids grow up super fast and teens just seem to drag. You could have a teenager in the house and then have another baby and it would become a teenager before the other one has to move out or go to college. IRL, it takes 13 years to become a teenager and you only stay a teenager for 7, so that's like half the time. I had to rebalance it. I also wanted my kids and teens to have the summers off, but the nice hack I had made it so kids had half the year off in Strangetown where it is summer for half the year. I instead picked up his (?) alternate version that does it by quads and then tweaked it to be the second quad. Then I changed all my neighborhoods season rotation to have the years start in spring and the summer break month be the second quad. I prefer looking at the UI with the beginning of the year in Spring. My name is April, and that means 'spring, new beginnings'. Also, calendars used to begin on April 1st, which is where we got the holiday from. From how I see things though, spring really starts in late Feb, so that's pretty close to the beginning of the regular calendar year anyways.

I swapped out some of the pictures in my copy of the MTS calendar from last year to reflect my personal favorites and how I want my seasons and holidays to go. I'm working on making a tiny little mod to it to notify me when it was Christmas, Halloween, New Years, Valentines Day, and the first and last days of school. I personally like Christmas being on the third day of winter, but often it slips past me without realizing.

I've done some initial testing and it looks pretty doable, and on the upside, that also make the calendar more usable because it will set itself to the correct day. I'd love to stay up and work on this more, but I want to go to bed now. My bf was really nice to me today and I want to curl up with him. <3