Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hood Corruption Scare & Move Hood Tutorial

Currently, my game is on life support. Not all my hoods, just my favorite one. Pleasantview. Recently I was playing different families to get my hood back into some sort of time sync with itself and when I'd stop playing for the night, something would go wrong and the save wouldn't complete. The next time I'd load the game, Pleasantview would be missing. I have very recent backups, so I only lost a day or so of playing, but it's still frustrating to lose anything. I'd restore from backup and occasionally I'd get a head, but other times not. I tried removing all my CC to see if that was causing the issue, and sadly, no. I still was getting corrupt saves. Hood corruption is by far the scariest thing a long time sim player can face. This hood goes back to 2006 for me!

I knew I had to do something drastic and quick before I lost access to the hood for good. I made a duplicate of N001 and loaded it. The plan is remove all the sims to a new neighborhood. You'd think it would be easy, but it's not and there are so many ways to mess something up and corrupt both hoods and lose sims in the process. Just making look-alikes of my sims won't cut it. Most of them aren't that pretty looking to begin with, I need to save their history, their relationships, their played past. The key here is that everyone on a single lot will retain their relationships with everyone else on that lot. I needed to create a "Noah's Ark" lot and stuff it full of EVERY sim in the neighborhood I wanted to save, AND all their dead relatives. Upon Simpe inspection, my Pleasantview has 667 sims in it. (I love that fact, it was 666 when the corruption was first noticed, I had a devil of a time getting little Nico Caliente born and saved.)

See how to fix this for your own hood after the cut.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Seasonal Views Calendar Contest

The theme for this year's calendar contest is Seasonal Views. Basically, make a pretty landscape picture without any sims in it. I entered January and July. I ended up winning July, but because the January winner had already won another month (and you can't be a winner twice) my second place January got bumped up in her place, and July went to it's second place winner as well. That's perfectly fine by me, I liked my January entry better!

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's Nano Time!

Ok fellow crazys! It's November again, so pick up your pens and kick it up into high gear at your keyboards.

Last year I fell prey to the holidays being in the end of the month. I have a plan for this. I'm going to use the previous year's word counts to fill in days I can't get anything written. I'm hoping that I'll be able to write enough during the early part of the month to 'finish' halfway through the month. I have about 25k from before, so I'll still be pacing the same as everyone else for the first half of the month. I still need to do 1,667 words a day. I'm already likely going to miss today and possibly Saturday because I'm still wrapping up Halloween activities, but we'll see how the weekend goes.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The New and the Old

I've been trying to follow the TS4 news, and I have to say, I'm cautiously hopeful. I'd really love to rejoin the current game sim community again and mod and create for TS4, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the base game play, UI, and graphics don't suck so horribly to keep me away. I'm still jealous of the gorgeous TS3 landscapes, but the pudding faces kept me away. I did find mods and what nots to try to fix it all, but it just wasn't enough in the end.

I'm feeling the pressure to finish up some of my TS2 projects. If I do make the switch, they will likely never get done. In addition to all the new projects that are listed up at the top, I have a number of older projects that I want to do updates for. I promised a Pet Coats tutorial and more Halloween Costumes for my trunk. SexySims versions of my correlated skins and my own ethnic correlated skin set are long overdue (may or may not be released, that who project got a lot of heat due to my poor presentation of it.) Updates to my Playground set, apparently it has trouble being used on comm lots and the slides are seriously broken with AL. I also wanted to add more windmills, fix the bugs in my Tiny Tike Dresser (as that set *is* my most downloaded thing, it's a little embarrassing for it to be so buggy now, freaking EPs breaking things.) And lastly add a witch family to my SciFi Families and flesh out my Fairytale 9-5s a bit more, at least put in the career outfits. I likely won't ever get around to doing the Teen/Elder version nor the Villain one.

So much to do still! Now that I've moved to an apt much closer to my work (regained a full hour thanks to a shorter commute) and I'm living on my own (and so making my own schedules) I hope to have more time once again to spend on sims. I do miss making things for the community. Keep your fingers crossed! :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Age and Time Syncing my Hood

So I've been recently wanting to actually play my game lately, and I realized that my hood is seriously out of time sync with itself. Cassandra Goth is older than Nina, Dina, and Don. Alexander Goth is nearly their ages. Some of my CAS families have gotten out of sync with their adult siblings, and somehow Skip Broke is now older than Beau. I went through my entire hood, Uni, Downtown, and Subs (Belladonna is my business district), and wrote down all the families and how old everyone was and tried to figure out how old everyone should be instead. I'm now playing Nina, Dina, and Don to catch them up, as they were the worst offenders, and then I'll be working on catching up the rest of the smaller anachronisms. (fun word, but rarely useable) After that I'm planning on resetting all the seasons and days of the week for everyone and see if I can't get some sorta semblance of real time going on. I had this in mind when I was recreating my Calendar, and included these options in it's debug menu. I'm not sure yet if I want to play in rotation, a week at each house, or play by who is supposed to have the next birthday. That sounds more fun personally, but it also means that my elders will get flat out neglected. (like they aren't already!)

On the subject of never playing my elders, I've come up with an interesting retirement home idea. I've tried to make one once before but didn't really have much success with it because of the limits of the number of sims you can have in a family. I've seen retirement homes get done with the Uni Myne Doors, which is very helpful, and I've seen them get done as apartments, but that still only gives you a small number of old folks to be plodding around the facility, not like real ones at all. Then it dawned on me to combine them. Using the Myne doors and apartments as 'wings', you could have 32 sims living on the lot, each with their own room! Now that's closer to a full house! Some lower end machines would likely through a fit over it, but I don't have a lower end machine, so this could be fun. The only other problem is that sims tend to stay hidden in their apartments, but Inge has Apartment Indicator Pictures that force sims out of their apartments, so this sounds like a plan now!

Friday, July 19, 2013

6 Years Creating for Sims

Today marks my 6 year Creator Anniversary, and as always, I've uploaded something special. This is also my 160th upload. Some of my favorite things to mod in TS2, are bodyshop stuff, so it was a fun project to work out custom pet markings. For some strange reason, that was never figured out. The reason I chose to tackle this project (instead of my other much larger secret project) was that on July 3, my dear Bootsie Cat died. She'd been sick with stomach cancer for a long time, and it was finally time for her to go.

My favorite part of my sim version of her is either the custom eyeliner marking I made just for her, or the very subtle changes in the grey color of her coat. While she is mostly a solid grey cat, there are tons of layers in there to change the grey from lighter by her tummy to darker on her back to even darker on her tail. The white tip on her tail is another custom marking. See the full post with more pictures here!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Upping the Contest Houses in Preparation for Creator Anniversary

In preparation for my 6th Creator Anniversary, I'm trying to upload the past 10 contest houses quickly, but with all the CC that I was using haphazardly for the contest, its taking me a bit longer to track down credit for some things. Other houses just have a ridiculous amount to begin with and I am trying to reduce, reuse, and recycle some of it.

I've always tried to have my creator anniversary post fall on certain round numbers. My first was on my 100th, second on 118th, third on 129th, fourth on 137th, and fifth on 150th. Okay, so maybe I didn't try all that hard, but some of them did, and I'd like my 6th to be on 170. I'm currently at 157, with 2 more houses from Pleasantview to toss up, then 5 from Veronaville. That should put me at 164. Here's some spoilers: for my 6th Creator Anniversary, I think I'm going to make 6 posts. That will put the final one at 170. I only have a month left at this point, so I don't know if I'll manage it, but I'm going to try. My boyfriend and littlest sister have both offered to help me with my project, so there is still hope I suppose. The biggest road block at the moment is getting these last seven houses up. Why didn't I do them during the contests?!? I've just got to knuckle down and push!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Upcoming Creator Anniversary!

Goodness, how time flies! May is nearly done and June upon us! Halfway through July is my Creator Anniversary, and I always release something interesting in celebration of that! Now, let's see. I have a month and a half, are any of these projects far enough along to be finished by then? .... <goes looking through blog posts and projects folder> Hmm. No. Not really. Well, drat.

Now what? What is something easy, but festive enough for the occasion? Something I can possible pull off in the month and a half I have left. Something to help commemorate the six years I've been creating and uploading to MTS. Something that shows how appreciative of everyone over the years. Hmm, what to do...

Yes, that's it! That's what I'll do!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Millers Close the Chapter

The final family for jones' Veronaville Home Makeover for me was the Millers. I had been looking forward to them all contest. I was pretty close the being right with which houses I had guessed throughout the contest and this layout was the one I wanted for them. My intuition was correct. Though, with how jones set up the families, there really wasn't much of a better way to arrange the families per house. The twins from the last house wanted their own bathroom and aside from the double house (which was pretty obviously meant for the Winters) the only house with two upstairs bathrooms was the one most of us picked for it. The Williams went nicely with the first house because they wanted to downsize and it was one of the smaller houses jones gave us. Anyways, this house is awesome because I made the Miller's house a MILL. (clever right? :facepalm:)

I'm most pleased with myself about my movie reference and the way I wove a fairy tale into this family. I'm thinking I'm going to want to continue sneaking in fairy tales into this hood now. I recently read a fantastic little book called The Rumpelstiltskin Problem that probably had a bit to do with this is, and also the TV show Once Upon A Time. See the rest of the house in my post!

This concludes the contest. I'm not going to be anywhere even close to placing, but I'm ok with that. I only ever really lost points for changing the structure; I lost 9 points over the course of the contest for that. If those were not taken into consideration, I'd be in third right now instead of 9th. I don't regret it though. Neither this contest, nor her first cycle, was I actually playing to win. Quite the contrary, in the first cycle I was actively sabotaging myself. I already have the cute little blue ribbon icon, so I don't need another win (yet...)

I had a chance to create some fantastic houses, kickstart my medieval hood and download a ton of fantastic CC to add to my collection. I still have so much of it to sift through and clean and purge, but that's a never ending task. My one regret was that I wasn't able to play these families enough to get them aged up and married and having kids to the point where I could have put them in my pictures. I'll try to remember to make a post later with all of the families in front of their houses when I do get them that far.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dynamic Skies

I was reading a book today and it mentioned an innovative installation art product called Personal Skies. I've been thinking about the lovely Sky Objects available for the game (lot version & recolor, hood version & recolor). I've played with a couple of them and while I love the added richness of the details, they tend to look weird at night. They also look a little weird when the clouds NEVER move or change. I've been long on a mission to have more things change by themselves in my game, having everything being static for generations is seriously strange.

Simply Gorgeous "Veronaville View" image by nimi4

This got me thinking about one of my recent projects, my calendar. It updates itself every day, and knows what season it is. We also have animated textures available to us. What if all of this were combined to create a dynamic sky? The sky object would know when sunrise and sunset are to happen and would provide a gorgeous sky show for it (that actually moves) and then during the day could have clouds slowly traversing the sky overhead. The object would also need to be programmed to recognize weather and adjust accordingly. Maybe it could even try into the weather forecast from the TV (something I've pretty much ignored entirely). If it's raining, I want to see a dark sky with rain clouds. I want to see grey skies in winter and detailed stars at night. This is going to be a seriously texture heavy project, but I think it will be worth it in the end.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sims 4 Announced!

So, it's been announced today that Sims 4 is officially on and will be released in 2014. I don't have any insider information, but I didn't want today to be unmarked. I'm EXTREMELY hopeful that TS4 will be awesome and I'll be adding another Sims game to my collection. TS3 fell well below expectations so much so that I barely played it and never even bothered learning to mod and create for it. I'm hoping that this is not the case with the new game. Keep your fingers crossed everyone! Here's the official post.


For the third round of jones' Veronaville Home Makeover, I've chosen the Johnson family. While this is what everyone else is working with:
Stacie, Brian and the twins, Hannah and Teresa (aged 9) love the beach. They can't afford to move to the shore, so they'd like to bring the beach to their home. BONUS The twins don't mind sharing a room, BUT they would LOVE to have their own bathroom (their parents would love it too.
Because I'm doing this in my Medieval hood, things are a little different.
Stacia, Brian, and the twins, Bethany and Betryse (aged 9) love the ocean. Brian is a Captain of a "fishing" vessel. Their house is safely hidden from the coast so Brian doesn't have to worry that his family might be in danger from his high-seas "activities".
Yup, I made him a pirate. :) The best picture of their house is by far the little stream running through their property. They love pulling fish out of their little stream and are just as comfortable in the water as they are on it. Across the little bridge is a still pool that the family uses for relaxing in. The girls enjoy playing under the waterfall and love pretending to be mermaids. The statue near the falls likely had something to do with their choice of make believe worlds.

I can't choose just one more image to tease you with, there are a bunch that are really really good. Check out my whole post.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Adjusting to a New Schedule

For anyone unaware, I started a new job a few weeks back. I'm still trying to get into the swing of things; waking up early, going to bed early, packing a lunch the night before, wearing professional clothes, commuting, and only having 2 or 3 hours of free time in the evening.

Because of this shocking lack of time in the evening, I've been late with both of the last two rounds of the housing contest I'm competing in. I'm trying to juggle my schedule around and might have a solution. My lunch hour is a mandatory 1 hour and I usually only use 15 mins to eat my sandwich. On days I pack my lunch, I can bring my lappy in with a copy of my Medieval hood and sim on my lunch hour. I like this idea a lot, sim-withdrawal is harsh!

For the second round, I, like many other contestants, chose the family with the live-in mother. This house is well suited for the family because it's actually one of the double houses in Veronaville. When I was setting up my hood months ago the last time I was playing, I'd actually converted all of those lots to apartments. Apparently, I'd also made some structural changes as well to my copy, so I just used jones' and deleted my original. I'm very pleased with the result, take a look!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Vacation Inspiration

In our Veronaville makeover contest, lipe2k has built a gorgeous beach house for the beachy family. I'm seriously in love with his style and now I want to create a nice South Carolina / East Coast beach vacation spot. In my last vacation post I mentioned not knowing what kind of beach vacation hood to create and now I've got it. Not sure how I managed to forget one of the only 2 types of beach places I've been to. Weird. Anyways, here's his entry in full and his fantastic backyard.

Friday, April 12, 2013

First Round House and Some Rather Morbid Mods

I've finally got my first round house up! I had asked jones for an extension because I recently got a job and moved back to Cinci. This happened during the same week that the house was due. I'm very committed to my sims, but after job searching for over 9 months, I do have my priorities straight.

As part of the contest, jones gave us bios for 4 families, and we are free to pick whichever family we want for each house, but the catch is that we don't know what kind of house will be next and we can't reuse the families. After some figuring, I decided that all 4 families could be related and proceeded to make them in game. I started a generation back so that the future adults will be able to have good skills and such, but it put me a bit behind. At the time of having to turn in my house, I haven't yet gotten the families all aged up and appropriately matched.

The Williams family (empty next of 5 kids) is the main family. Hugh is the oldest, and he has already moved out and settled into the Application house with his bride-to-be, a romance lady who may or may not be having extramarital affairs, and who will die in her third childbirth. (See below about this morbid issue.) The next oldest is Stacie, who is still a teen and just starting her relationship with Brian Johnson. According to jone's bios, they will be having twin girls. After her is a son named Richard, who was added to bring the count up to jone's required 5. I decided he needed to be a boy and in the middle to help explain the age differences between Stacie and the other two moms-to-be. After him is Johanna, and her betrothed is Lowrie. (I really dislike the name Larry, Lowrie isn't much better, but it is better imho.) Johanna just recently grew up to a child, and the toddler of the house is Lora.

I've got a lot to do to get them all grown and fixed up with their partners, who are also at the same ages in their own households. Little Lora and Joshua are going to be my Round 2 house, and they are the furthest from adulthood! I need to step on it. I think this weekend I'm going to start work on the house and get it a fair amount done first just in case I run into trouble meeting the deadline again. I really prefer taking my pictures with the families in the house and in the shots, but I only have so many hours to play now that I have a job. Anyways, here's the house:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Medieval Career Conversions

For the longest time in my medieval hood I've just ignored the Maxis jobs and flat out told my simmies not to want them. Unfortunately, removing the careers seriously strips the game of much of its flavor. I recently stumbled upon a post about people saying they either wanted or made default replacements of the careers to be more in keeping with their game. I was already working on a set of stand-alone medieval careers, but doing them as defaults is a much better idea.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cycle 2 of ‘Renovating the Base Hoods’ Contest

Jones has posted the second cycle of her Home Makeover Contests. This time we are in Veronaville. Unfortunately, for anyone hearing about this for the first time from me (seriously?), I just barely squeaked in and filled the 20th and last spot in the contest. As some of you may be aware, Veronaville is my medieval hood, so instead of following everyone else and creating lovely contemporary houses like I did in the last cycle, I’ll be doing my best to rework them into lovely little Shakespearean cottages. I’m excited and a little nervous about a few things. The main challenge will be of course to satisfy the families’ requirements that are part of the contest. One family in particular enjoys the beach, I’m not quite sure how to translate that into old-timey decor yet. The second challenge is going to be not reusing all the same CC over and over again. I’ll have to do some more hunting for quality items. The quality with the medieval CC I’ve seen is usually hit or miss. It’s either fantastically well made, or the textures look like something ripped out of a poorly scanned-in magazine page from the 80s. The final bit I’m nervous about is what the judges are going to do with my houses. There are rules about things, and I think not having an indoor bathroom might be something they’d dock points for. If anyone has some links to good medieval CC, put the link in a comment please!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Changes Coming!

So, it's been a while since I posted anything. I've got a few reasons for that. The one that's actually relevant to you is that MTS is revamping our submission system. Delphy has been hard at work coding out the new system and I've been helping him get the user interface just perfect. (I'm an industrial designer, remember? That's something I can do in my sleep!) We are hoping that the new system will feel more positive to the users and be easier to comply with. It will be a much more standardized system and we are also working on updating the Creator Guidelines to reflect these changes. We want it to be easier for everyone to upload, and we want it to be a positive experience, but we also need everyone to follow the guidelines, so this should help everyone out. Here's your spoilers: "stars"

Sunday, January 6, 2013

College Progress

I'm pleased to report on a few different aspects of my College Collection Project. The first was that a few nights ago I had success with adding a college tuition! I was able to hook my code into the Payout BHAV so that every time that gets called, another $2500 tuition bill shows up in your inventory. The reason this is awesome is because it's not a BHAV that is normally in custom majors, so regardless of your major (custom or default) you will still have to pay the same tuition. I was not yet able to do an inventory check to see if that bill is still there and has not been paid before the next semester or you'd be put on Academic Probation, but I'm still working on that.

The second happy piece is that Cyjon got back to me about his Talent Badge Scholarships mod and has given me permission and a bit of guidance on adding the FT Hobbies into that system. I've lowered the required skills from 8 to 7, and lowered a few of the other scholarship payouts because the grand total has to stay below $30,000 and I was adding 10 new scholarships on top of the 12 Jfade and Cyjon put in.

The third and final bit is that I've gone through and mapped out all the inventory items that will be added to all the Maxis majors. I love that I figured out how to do that with my own major, but it is a tad trickier with the defaults. They all share the same 'Next Semester' BHAV that I put my code into, so first I'll have to add a way of making it know while major you are in to give the correct items. I'm pretty sure I have an idea for it, but I haven't tried it out yet. I tried to make sure each major was in line with the others and that there isn't one singular best major to be in. It really depends on what kind of sim you have and what kind of job they want. The items all correspond to the class titles and with the exception of Economics, I didn't change any of the orders. In Econ, I moved the counterfeiting workshop to much later because it was much cheater than the others. As I recall, after beginning your Junior year, you can't switch majors, so I tried to put all the really good stuff behind that gate. I stand corrected, they can't switch after the end of their Junior Year, so Literature and Econ just became kinda sneaky if you want to cheat. I think this set looks pretty good, I'm having a hard time deciding which set I like best, so that means that they all must be pretty good. The Physics nerds have by far the coolest toys though. ;)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Painting Recolors

While going through my catalog and cleaning out CC I don't want I had the idea to combine a lot of the Maxis paintings that are basically recolors of themselves, the the A, B, and C Stroke paintings, just like Gwenke did with the kid paintings. The timing of HugeLunatic's IKEA Lost and Found Paintings was perfect. I'm totally in love with that zebra painting and I wanted to have more recolors of camoflage/closeup animals on it, but it wasn't originally recolorable and I tried to enable it and I failed. So I asked her if she would make a few of the others recolorable for me and she did. It is too perfect.

I went through the entire painting catalog and wrote down every single painting by EP and what kinds of recolors they should have. If the painting already had 3 color options I skipped over it, and as for what kinds of recolors should be made, I actually read all the names and descriptions. This will be a huge project, but I think in the end it will be fantastic and well worth it.

Here's my spreadsheet.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Working with Mootilda

Mootilda recently uploaded something to do with Inge's Stay Things Shrub and she mentioned that she was working on redoing it all together. I PMed her about it, saying that I had an interest in the project too and we've gone joint on it since. Since it isn't that big of a project I don't think there will be a modding group out of it - most of the work on the shrub is hers, so I suggested she upload it when she gets it done.

Today I finally had a few spare moments and was mildly paranoid that she would upload it without me finishing the part I wanted included, so I edited the borrowed mesh, created a new texture for it, and remapped it. I love making simlish signs that you can still read. I really need to create my own Simlish font that has the characters on the correct keys already. It takes forever to match them!