Friday, December 25, 2009
Hapar - Herendez
Hapar - Kent
Lovar - PCU
Lovar - Graduation (S'Ahmisa & Verde) & School update
Lovar - mini-update
Lovar - Hood Council Meeting
Patar-McMillan Baby Due
Remar-Wilsonoff & Sweeny Baby Due
Havar - Grey
Havar - PCU (S'Ahmisa and Verde enter PCU)
Resar - McMillian
Resar - Humphrey (Faith)
Givar - Humphrey
Givar - Yoo
Peacar - Sweeny
Peacar - Christmas Party (Wilsonoff)
-Pick silly fight with sim of highest LT
-Host a sports party @ house
-Pick a fight with sim of lowest LT
-Go on Spring Break
-Sickness strikes community, one sim will die. YIKES
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Recall the plan for combined terrain, above. I always start with a plan, no matter how loose, there is a plan. I tend to build using the principles of new urbanism so taller buildings are restricted to a certain area of the hood, the hood is laid out in a pedestrain friendly manner.
To help me create the necessary lots I keep a list, taken from the Isle of Thyme tutorial linked on my main website, and check off as I create that lot (current according to snapshot in time #1):
- Bookstore/Coffeehouse/Bakery = CupaJava, done
- Baby/Toy Store = Toy Shoppe
- City Hall/Newspaper Office = S.Grey Administration Bldg, done
- Clothes Store/Salon/Jewelry=39th Ave, done
- Clothes, Bridal=TBD
- Farmer's Market = Grey Farms, done
- Gentlemen's Club = not sure if I will put this in the hood again.
- Gym = 39th Ave, done
- Nightclub = 39th Ave, done
- Park/Playground = I have several of these in my hood, 39th Ave/School/Jonagold Lane/TBD
- Performance Hall/Music Venue = TBD
- Pool Hall/Bowling Alley = TBD
- Pub/Restaurant = Several, 39th Ave; Apple Square;
- Art Gallery/Photo Studio = Herendez Art Gallery
- Church and Cemetary= Memorial Church
- Medical Center=39th Ave, done
- Firehouse = TBD
- Jail/Police Station = TBD
- School = done
- Hotel = 39th Ave, done
- The Brothel/House of Ill Repute = TBD
- University Campus=Pierce University Campus, done
- Beach lot = TBD
- Dawson home = done
- Humphrey home=done
- Humphrey, Faith home=Metropolis Apts, done
- Grey home = done
- Wilsonoff home=Jondgold Lane, done
- Herendez home=Jonagold Lane, done
- Kent home=Jonagold Lane, done
- Warwick Home=Jonagold Lane, done
- McMillian home=Metro Townhomes
- Sweeny home=Metro Townhomes
- Yoo home=Metro Lofts, done
- Shazad home=Daniels Townhomes
Snapshot in Time #1
Behold, the work in progress, snapshot in time #1. Pierce University has been moved to be closer to the Metro (the beige buildings near the rocks) otherwise the plans have stayed the same as the original plan. A few pieces of essential hood decor have been added such as the train tracks, Lady Bella and some rocks blocking the view of the train tracks from the Metro-they intefer with the whole urban vibe.
I tend to custom build most of my lots so that I have have the crowded city like vibe needed. Most pre-built lots don't give me the same ambience when placed around in my hood, unless I use the same builder, which I don't.
For example the Apple Valley section above is actually only five lots. The school (dark brown building) is a 3x2 lot, next to a pre-built, but highly altered 2x2 shopping lot (which I'm not happy with the height towering over the rest of the buildings, so it may face the chopping block soon), in the middle is a 3x5 lot with a "street" going through it and four homes and private spa/playground/pool in my 'apartment style, but not apartments' gated community style. On the other side is a 3x2 custom lot for formal events, outdoor dining and basic shopping, next to another pre-built, but highly altered 2x2 lot which contains the admistration offices.
I borrowed quite a few of the lots from the other Apple Valley neighborhood. Why reinvent the wheel when I have handcrafted some lots that I truly love, playtested and am happy with. As a result, I deleted some of the prebuilt metro lots and rearranged the Metro. The way it looks now, Pierce University has the land reserved near the rocks for future expansions while the Metro then spills over the to the rest of the upper island. The lofts are towering over other buildings in the Metro and it looks so lonely without any buildings around it, so I plan on adding some taller (4+ levels) buildings near it or simply adding some neighborhood urban building decor.
Apple Valley has expanded a bit beyond it's quadrant with the addition of some parks, sim-owned businesses, church and additional housing. I added more neighborhood decor in the form of lighthouses, waterfalls and rural decor in Apple Plains.
You might notice that there are some empty lots. They are reserved for certain functions, but until I can come up with a plan, they will sit empty.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I've started building some of the core buildings and progress is going slowly. After building all the buildings and adding neighborhood decor, I will do a clean sweep on the character files and start creating townies and dormies.
Monday, October 19, 2009
As a result, I fear that I may need to move to a combined terrain sooner. Why not just deal with the affected family? I can, it would be tedious in terms of memories, but it should even out after a generation. However, since I've been playing around with combined terrains, perhaps this is the push I need. I'm not ready to pull the plug on AV and move all the residents. I still haven't found a terrain that I'm happy about, most of them are too large, even the smaller ones. I guess when you're used to using tiny terrains, everything seems large if you have to move the camera around to see any part of the terrain :P
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Thus far ACR scores have increased, however, they have not increased like I thought they would. For example, before changing zodiacs S'Ahmisa and Verde had a solid 1 bolt. I didn't alter thier zodiac, yet when I viewed thier ACR, they were a solid 3 bolts. Perhaps this is because they were set to independent teens.
I have also noticed that the scores change a bit more, perhaps this is because of the dynamic token status. Nothing major, but my couples seem to alter scores by +/- 4 points depending on the time of day :P
I'm happy to finally have a little more variety, it won't really take place until I alter personality traits as well. I think I'll alter the genetic personality traits of children and younger so that the personality can pass on via DNA.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The university has the basic MAXIS majors and is located on a small island.
It is not always required that teens have the want for university, as some teens will be forced to attend university by thier families if they do not have the want, but both parents have the want, money and relationship with the teen.
Teens must pass the entrance exam (since everyone that wishes to attend college can not) with at least a score of 15. They must also have a minimum of 15 skill points.
GPA (3pts-A, 2pts-B, 1pt-C)
+ Extracurriculars (1pt each)
+ Job Experience (1 pt for each level)
+ # Skill points (1pt each)
Dishonorable Discharge from University
Students aren't allowed to gain skill points, do homework, go to class, attend group study sessions, or write term papers unless they have a want to do so, or have a want to make Dean's List.
If a student fails, then they just let me know that they're not interested in college. Depending on the situation the student either withdraws from university or is expelled.
Semesters & Seasons
Students are played in one year rounds of two simdays with one simday for each semester. The fall semester is focused on school and going to class to earn skill points, not MAXIS class (unless they don't need skill points), but an actual lot where the academic buildings are located. The buildings have skill objects to help with gaining skill points needed for that major. Thus, my art majors gain creativity points in art class, fitness buffs take athletic classes such as tai chi, yoga or ballet, etc.
During the spring semester, grades are randomly chosen and students have the option for a spring break. If they chose not to go anywhere for break, they spend thier free time building up hobbies, reading and generally having fun.
University Students have spring break each academic year. One student plans a trip and invites a few friends to party it up! Students are also allowed to visit home on weekends and winter break.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Meet Suzanna (Carr) McMillian. Hailed from Eden, age 38, currently in the medical field and employed at the Veronika Kent Medical Centre as Head of General Medicine. Primary Aspiration: Fortune, Secondary Aspiration: Knowledge.
Now, keep those aspirations in mind as I tell you a little story. Bradford and Suzanna visit a friend after the birth of thier first child. I take control of the sims as I normally do, but I do not interfer with thier free will and ACR of course.
00:00=I notice Suzanna has a want to woohoo with Bradford. The elevator is free, so I indulge her.
00:01=The want rolls away, only to be replaced by-Woohoo in Bed. Oookaayyy, I find a nearby bed and indulge her.
00:03=The want rolls away, only to be replaced by-Woohoo in Bed. Are you serious?! Didn't you just go at it twice?!?! Ok, fine once more.
00:05=The want rolls away, only to be replaced by-Woohoo in Bed. Now, I see this as a dare-almost like she's taunting me. At this point, Bradford has finally rolled the want to woohoo with Suzanna. I indulge them-again.
00:06=The want rolls away, only to be replaced by-Woohoo in Bed (except Bradford, who rolls a nice fortune sim want of buying an expensive painting).
00:26= This cycle of indulgement continues. Those times to the side are not sim-time, but real-life minutes. Which is basically about an entire simday (thank goodness for max motives and set hour).
00:31= I begin to wonder why Suzanna's hormones are so...agressive to say the least. Maybe it's her way of saying that they want another baby, hey, they are getting up there in age-but why doesn't she just roll the want for a baby instead of the multiple wants of practicing for a baby.
00:38=My fingers are getting tired from the routine clicking and the owner of the bed would like to use it for her own...indulgence. Ugh! I check the ACR lot settings-it's not brothel-then I remember that ACR isn't at play here-this is pure wants. WANTS!!! These are romance sim wants and Suzanna is anything but.
00:48=I realize that I've almost wasted an hour indulging this sim who is not giving up this stupid want! Even Bradford is tired at this point, my hubby is wondering when I'm coming to bed and Suzanna is standing there with this smug smile and the want-Woohoo in Bed.
00:52=I give up! Suzanna has beat me. I'm tired, I'm sure Bradford is tired and believe it or not-after all that woohoo, there wasn't an oppsie pregnancy. So even if Suzanna was trying to tell me that she wanted to have another baby-no such luck.
00:53=I power down the game, Suzanna's smug smile and Woohoo in Bed want taunting me.
Have you ever had a sim behave in such a way that you had to recheck thier aspirations?
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
What about townies, downtownies and social groups?
As long as I have apartment buildings, then I will have social groups. These social townies pretty much nullify the need for townies and downtownies. I plan on having six sims in each social group for a total of 30 social townies. I would have a few teen townies, a countessa and count and a Diva and Mr. Big. The main difference is that in custom creating the townies, I would create relationships bewteen the townies (sibling groups, single parents, family groups, etc). I will also create six vacation townies for each vacation subhood (a total of four subhoods, one for each season which means 24 vacation sims).
----able to use small terrains such as Amber's Journey with faster loading times.
----load time of the subhoods
----seems silly to explain how far each subhood is to account for the fact that you can't see glimpses of the Metro from Apple Valley and vice verse.
----lack of load time for each subhood
----simulated seamless neighborhood
----not very many "medium" hood terrains. Most as either very tiny or large. I would want something that has a variety in roads to accomadate three different types of "subhoods" but is small enough to not have to scroll around without a camera hack to see it all. I like the Lake Crossing Terrain, but smaller with a lot less roads. I've been thinking of buying SC4 just to create the smaller hood I envision. I did finally contact Amber's Journey to request the perfect hood (a combination of three of her hood terrains). She just had a baby-congrats!-and understandably isn't playing the game as much. So we'll see.
The last question would be how to explain the new terrain from a FSBS prespective?
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Hapar- McMillian Wedding
Hapar - Shazad
Hapar - Warwick
Lovar - PCU
Lovar - Graduation (Harvis & Susie) & School update
Lovar - mini-update
Lovar - Hood Council Meeting
Remar- Humphrey (Faith)
Remar- McMillian Baby Due
Havar - Sweeny (Tobi)
Havar - PCU (Susie & Harvis enter PCU)
Resar - McMillian
Resar - Yoo
Resar - Kent
Givar - Humphrey
Givar - Herendez
Peacar - Wilsonoff
Peacar - Christmas Party (Kent)
-Get a makeover!
-Go gambling, spend $1300 at poker
-Raise money for charity
Saturday, July 11, 2009
It started with ACR pulling rank. Grex Greyand Jolie Dawson-without any wants-proceeded to make-out with each other and then woohoo. Whoa! Where did that come from? They have two bolts, but ranked thier spouses higher. Since it was a one time thing, I decided to go with the storytelling view that it was an attack of passion, they didn't know what had happened.
Then we move on to Ginger Grey and Tobi Sweeny. They have three bolts with each other. For some reason Tobi's attraction score is more for his wife (his total attraction score), but when ranking bolts, Ginger is higher (He has 100/100-love with both, but is BFF with Ginger). I guess the game gives bonus points for that wedding ring since Ginger's attraction score is higher for Grex as well. They are both attracted to each other more than thier spouse-both ACR attraction (not total attraction score) score and bolts, but haven't acted on it based on ACR. Instead, they farted hearts all over each other and then rolled romantic wants. This proceeded in a want induced affair.
ACR vs Wants
Now that we have the background, how do I determine which trumps what? I decided that if the sim rolls the want, then they have logically thought it out-sometimes-and REALLY want that. However, ACR can just be hormones raging.
So Grex and Jolie shared a one night stand that is not to be repeated, while Ginger and Tobi embarked on a blown out affair. We'll see where this takes us.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
This might change since I've been debating switching to a larger terrain that would combine the three areas. I've had the seperation mostly due to the downtownies that spawn downtown-such as Mr. Big and the Diva and the Countessa and Count. If I move to the one terrain, I would create my own townies and then create the Count and Countessa.
Totally snatched this from Laura at Lakeside Heights.
Apple Valley is a quiet suburb, great for families however land prices are increasing and forcing families with smaller paychecks to look elsewhere for housing. The hood lies on a tiny island with jutting rocks surrounding it, making transportation to the hood very difficult. Apple Valley looks different from past views because it's growing and residents are demanding that facilities are updated.
Apple Valley Metro
Apple Valley Metro lies on an island smaller than Apple Valley about a 40 minute ferry ride west from the suburb. A light rail connects the urban mecca to a nearby airport and train depot. Lady Starr stands to the west of the island. Some cheap housing can be found, but for the most part young professionals long for the city life and everything at thier fingertips.
Apple Plains is the last land incorperated into Apple County. A rural landscape and rich soil are abundant here. Notable properties include an historical train station, farmer's market and general store. Land is plenty and cheap as well, however amenities are few.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Been doing some cleaning up in Apple Valley. Got the downloads folder down to 1.99 GB. I noticed that my Sims 2 folder is 2.90GB, so over half of the space was the download folder.
My downloads are sorted by the following:
---Accessories -> Type
---Clothes -> Male/Female/Mesh -> Age Group (Adult/Child/Etc)
---Eyes / -> Default
---Skintones/ -> Default
-Build Mode ->
-Buy Mode -> Creator
-Hacks and Mods -> Creator
-Temporary (all files being tested)
Once I realized that most of my Sims 2 folder was devoted to downloads, then I got on the clean up vibe pretty quickly-amazingly it also spilled over into real life so I'm multi-tasking by cleaning the house, blogging and loading up the game. :)
So far I culled it from 2.28 GB to 1.99 GB, but you won't believe what actually took up the most space! Those lot packages that you have to click and then they load. Well, you better delete those things afterwards since those lots are now in your game. Those files were HUGE! I'm talking thousands of megabytes! Then the next largest is a MAXIS file from the EA Store. That's right-one file! It's a hefty 10,000 KB !!! Yikes!
My goal now is 1GB for downloads. That would mean I will have to be pretty harsh when it comes to downloads and subsequent storytelling. Those themed lots-like Fish & Chips resturaunt, might have to be conveyed via Maxis objects. I'll also have to stay away from all those beautiful websites with WCIF info on yummy objects!
Speaking of yummy objects, what CC is a MUST keep for you? I vote for my blakeboy modular seating and a very beautiful modern chair from Bella Forum-I think.
Does anyone know how big the Sims 2 is without any CC, saved sims or uploaded lots? Basically the memory stats for the game only. I guess that's not quite true since I also deleted the shipped neighborhoods (Pleasentview, Strangetown, etc).
How does that reflect on game time. I have a very basic desktop-Compaq Presario with 1GB of memory, 250GB Hard Drive and AMD Athlon processor.
13 mins for game to load to start-up screen
1 min to load neighborhood of choice
slight lag of 4 min when click apartment lot and for family choice to load (not sure if this is because I'm on the net at the same time)
3 min to load family
So about 20 minutes to load and start playing. Not bad since it used to take a good 35 minutes to load. I want to get my load time back down to 10 minutes, I downloaded something recently that really lags the system. I have some clues as to what it might be, so I'm off to cull some more.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Lovar-Sweeny Baby Due
Patar-School Update & Apple Festival
Patar-Dawson Emergency Update
Havar-PCU Fall Semester
Givar-Dawson/Grey Babies Due
Make Like Rabbits-Woohoo 15 times in the next 24 hours. This will probably result in a pregnancy.
Vacation-ok, this was due for this family anyway.
Crafting Obession-Toy Bench: Craft until gold badge recieved. Will be funny :)
Thursday, June 4, 2009
The Herendez Foundation for the Arts will increase awareness of and appreciation for the quality of arts produced and presented in Apple Valley and Apple County by providing programs and services to promote and assist Apple Valley Artists.
The Herendez Foundation for the Arts has two arms.
The Arts in Education arm supports artist education in the elementary and secondary levels. This includes donations of supplies, equiptment and funding to expose students to local art and culture through field trips, lectures and hiring artists/teachers as well as scholarships for students showing high artist merit.
The Partner in Art arm supplies fellowships for artists to move to Apple Valley to persue thier artist endeavours. This arm also provides funding to establish a community art collection, hire artists for various events, lectures and teaching positions, and host booths during the annual summer Apple Festival.
HAC (Herendez Artist Community)
Highly qualified adult sim writers, visual artists, composers and performance artists are invited to apply via email to HAC. Residences vary in length from 1-3 simyears, afterwards the artists may immigrate to Apple County or return to thier home hood. During this time, a furnished space is provided for in the enviromental sensative artist community. Artists are given a stipend of §500 for thier bills, supplies and food costs during this time. A community garden is provided to supplement food costs for the artists and each residence is responsible for thier own plot, while the harvests are shared amoung the group. Up to eight artists can be accomadated at a time.
-How does this work, really?
The HAF affects the game by allowing me to move in sims with a purpose (besides the whole, I need fresh DNA) both from CAS and from other sim-to-sim hoods. HAF will also allow the Herendez Art Gallery to offer the crafted products of other artists, which frees Antonio up for retirement and allows there to still be a nice selection of art to chose from.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Since the SimLonic calendar has 1 rotation/1 simday=1 simyear (or 8 SimLonic months), a pregnancy can't be 9 months and I also don't want to "speed my pregnancy" vis Tombstone of L & D and miss all the cute belly shots. So here's how I deal with it:
Once a pregnancy is "confirmed" either through throwing up, pregnancy scanner or -it too late-belly pop, then I continue to play that household for the three simdays until the birth. Instead of turning aging off, whenever it gets to be 5 o'clock PM, I set the hour to 9 o'clock PM (since at 6 o'clock the sims age).
Using this method, babies are due 6 SimLonic months after conception and will be featured in a mini-update :)
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Let's start at the very beginning.
I decided to go for a New York City/Chicago (especially Chicago) vibe since they are both waterfront cities and Apple Valley Metro would be an island. Why an island? The terrain is smaller and faster to load! I LOVE Chigaco and would live there if it wasn't so cold (remember, I'm an island girl in my soul). I knew I wanted a beach boardwalk for closer beach access than a vacation and some urban apartments. I added Lady Starr (the Bella statue) by editing the terrain and building up a small island to place the neighborhood decor. Using MTS I found some ferry decor and pier decor to make a small walkway and Lady Starr Isle was born (modeled of course after Lady Liberty). Lady Starr is not named after my webname-starrsim, but it is named after Greymount's (Apple Valley's TS1 roots) first spokesim-Starr Grey.
Apple Valley Metro couldn't be much of a city, mostly crowded and urban. The ferry access is to the north. Luxury apartments and penthouse are towards the north, seady cheap residences are towards the south. The beach is to the east while Lady Starr lies to the west. The center is the business and civic center and a small apartment complex based on a set of lofts (I've found that my commerical lots made with Lot Adjuster lots don't seem to work as well so I'm in the process of creating commercial lots on default maxis lots-ETA: Duh! There's a seperate download for community lot adjuster lots-whoopie! Now I can still have tiny commercial lots!). Not much room for other neighborhood decor except a raised train and a few billboards.
AV Metro is still in process and undergoing lots of construction and reconstruction until I like it. I recently took out a lot of the apartment buildings (there was room for about 45 sims, which I barely have that many in the main hood) and replaced them with more green space.
Needless to say, the apartments went (are going) under multiple renovations, deletions and rebuilts. I deal with mostly 3x3 and smaller lots, which meant that sometimes entire apartment units would have to fit on a 2x1 or 1x1 lot. At the moment the city is overcrowded with apartments. There are 12 lots total, 8 are apartment lots. I am working on decreasing that number to 4-5. Why? Well, I want various lifestyles represented and space is limited so I narrowed it down to the following apartment types:Morningside Co-Op [2x2]
Description: 2-2 bedroom luxury apartments with one 2 level penthouse (north). Penthouse includes a lower level rooftop garden. Common area includes bowling alley, business center and sauna. Heavily based on this building from dacyco which I couldn't download :(
Construction Progress: Complete, currently being playtested. MAXIS thinks this expensive lot should be for low class ($1,230 (for the smaller apartments) and $6,450 (for the penthouse) in rent?!!?) I am testing it with the cheat-lot class changer, but I have to reset it each time I enter the lot/add a family. Grrr! I am looking for something a bit more permenant in terms of changing the lot class.
Social Groups: Socialites
Metro Center Lofts [2x1]
Description: 2-Mid-Range Apartments in Loft Style (center). Each apartment has a large lofted bedroom and 1 full baths. Features exercise room, party room with bar and buffet and rooftop .
Construction Progress: Complete, currently being playtested and reworked. Will probably add additional floors to showcase an urban view or simply add a penthouse. However, the lofts are in the center of the city, which would mean the other lots would need to be built higher as well as I don't want the lofts to be the highest building. I added rooftop amenities instead and remove the sauna and massage center to add more square footage and am currently playtesting the changes. Social Groups: Techies
Oakwood Townhomes [2x4]
Description:3-Mid-Range Townhomes (west). Each townhouse has four bedrooms, three full baths, enclosed backyard and front yard. There are no common areas...unless you count the bus stop by the street. Great for families.
Construction Progress: Complete, being playtested. Again, for some reason MAXIS thinks this expensive lot should be for low class ($4,450 in rent?!!?) I am testing it with the cheat-lot class changer, but I have to reset it each time I enter the lot/add a family. Grrr!
Social Groups: Jocks, Techies
Carmela Artist Community [2x2] or [1x4]
Description: 3-4 Mid-Range Apartments. This is the urban Artists Colony with community garden (south). I am experimenting with building with containor crates, but I also like the look of Black Orchid's Green Village.
Construction Progress: 2x2 complete and playtesting, 1x4 in progress.
Social Groups: Gearheads, Bohemians
Economy Studios (south)
Description: I would love to have cheap cramped studio apartments, we'll see where they fit in since AVM is so small and the seedy part of town is really close to the the nicer parts of town (there's pretty much no seperation!)
Current Commercial Lots in Progress or Built:
Cultural Musuems (Regional Aquarium, Musuem of History), Coffeehouse, Clothing Store & Salon, Gym, Pet Shop, Electronics Shop
Seedy Nightlife (dance club, strip joints, hotels)
Art Gallery, Indoor Skating, Concert Halls (Regional Orchestra, Regional Ballet). In Progress: Jazz cafe
White (or East) Shore
Pier and Boardwalk with beach access.
Parks & Green Spaces with view of Lady Starr
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The SUN (Sims United Neighborhoods) is not a club or secret society-though it would be cool to have a limo take us to a secret location and we can hack our grades, but I digress. Applying for the SUN is very very simple. Simply submit the required information about your hood and viola! You're in the SUN! It's a two part process and it can take a while, not because of approval but due to volume of applications and real-life.
Once a SUN member, please take time to enjoy the SUN boards and chat with other sims in other hoods. You can arrange a SUN Exchange with another neighborhood, submit a guest article to the website or simply browse around and read the older articles.
Second source of confusion, "What are the rules for FSBS?"-the simple answer, there are none. FSBS isn't a challenge, but more of a style of playing. The simmer speaks through thier sims to other simmers in a type of role playing. For example, if Sandy Warwick wanted to contact her family in Simborough (another FSBS hood), then I would post on the boards as Sandy. Each sim has thier own personality and nuances in speaking style. Sandy for instance, is "sim-british", so I try to make sure her spellings are british as well as her ideas. In terms of websites/blogs-if you chose to have any, then typically every service in your hood is provided for by one of your sims. If you upload houses for downloading, then one of your sims is the architect behind those beautiful homes, if you publish a newspaper online, then your sims are the writers and editors.
I've been a SUN member and playing in a FSBS style since about 2004 and I've met some awesome simmers, gained some great ideas and reinvented my hood several times. I hope this post clears up some confusion, if you have any questions-post/email me. Also, if you have a FSBS site, please post below any additional comments to clear the general confusion regarding this playstyle.
-Reorganize website to reflect that all the dynamic news happens in the blog or the BTS blog
All resident journals are on the blog and I've been keeping BTS updates here, so the only thing on the website is laws, community information and links to blogs. I decided that the only thing on the website will be:
---Administrative Office (laws and links to council notes, council meetings and simyearly census reports in the main blog);
---Community Life (information about clubs-Historical Society will have it's own page, as well as AVA and Pierce University; Apple Valley News-see below; link to tours which will be updated in the blog);
---Yellow & White Pages (links to blog, SUN yellow pages; Pennelson Inc, Pahala Shore and A.Pentragnani)
-Update the administrative laws
With the merger and changes in the way I play the hood, some minor updates need to be made.
-Update tours and decide on a publication schedule for tours
Tour of the neighborhood will be linked from the BTS blog. Will start with a hood/county overview; followed by tours of individual lots and some gameplay on those lots-if applicable. Would like to publish a tour once every 4-6 weeks.
-Publish a few newspapers.
I haven't gotten the publication rate for the newspaper settled yet and would like some suggestions. Should I publish a paper at the end of every simyear (ie about 1 every 4-6 weeks) that has the updates for the simyear and few articles-or some other schedule (if you think some other schedule, please let me know what you have in mind.)
Suggestions? Comments? Please post them below.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Old Version
The hood used to collect $750 per family and $1000 per owned business as a tax every Monday. Well, with only nine families and three owned businesses, that wasn't a lot of money (less than $10,000). Even after raising taxes to $1000 per family and $1500 per owned business the result was $13,500 every seven simdays. With the fact of the new simlonic calendar, this wasn't enough money to last 7 years!
I debated property and income taxes, but with the sims living in apartments, thier net worth is a lot lower and besides, if they spent most of thier money on depreciable objects, then they won't have as large of a tax bill to pay, which seems like a tax shelter for those greedy wealthy sims that love to buy everything in the catalog. Not to mention making note of net worth or income before taxes were due was a little too much like work for me :)
The New Version-The Numbers
The sims are divided into tiers: wealthy (net worth $100,000+), mid-range (net worth$50,000-$99,000), low (net worth$25,000-$49,000) and proverty (net worth below $25,000). Thankfully with only nine families, I can easily tell where each family lands.
Then each tier pays a tax based on the number of sims in that household.
Tier I (wealthy)=$2000/sim
Tier II (middle class)=$1500/sim
Tier III (lower)=$1000/sim
Tier VI (proverty)=$500/sim
Pet tax of $1000 per animal.
Luxury Tax of $5000 for each vacation home
Business Tax of $5000 for each owned business
$1000 for each child
$1000 each married couple
10% of significant donations ($10,000 or more) up to $5000.
So for example the Herendez family. Tier I, 5 sims, 1 business, 1 vacation home, no donations, 3 children, married. $10,000+$5000+$5000-$3000-$1000=$16,000 tax bill.
The Humphrey family. Tier VI (not making much on that pastor's salary), 5 sims, no business/vacation home/donations, 3 children, 3 pets, married. $2500+$3000-$3000-$1000=$1500 tax bill.
Continuing for the rest of the families
Wilsonoff=$5000 (donated to Simmington Hills & footed the bill for the new university building)
Total of $61,000 from the playable sims. Then to make things fair, each townie and NPC pays a modified tax, they use the community lots and public transport as well, brings in another $150,000. So $211,000 is the budget for 4 years.
So every Monday and Thursday, the hood council president will collect taxes (this is about every 3/4 years). The current president visits the administrative office and using familyfund cheat, I'll collect the taxes and fees. Then the hood council will tell me in thier meeting ( via thier thought bubbles :P ) what to spend the money on and notes will be made in the council notes. As of now there isn't a seperate account for the hood council president and the hood's funds. I'm thinking of creating a placeholder sim and that sim will be the hood's accounts. We'll see since I'm more of a this lot cost about this much instead of a this lot was exactly this many dollars and cents type of player.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
The spoiler for the ROS is that the family moves to Kimikura for thier time aboard. As an additional teaser, here's a preview of the home. Those who follow the Apple Valley families may be able to determine which family is moving away, but since the home is a traditional Kimikurian home and decorated in that sense, it may be a bit difficult.
Anyhoo, without further adieu, here's the tour of the new home.
Entrance of the home flanked by two statues rumored to bring good luck, health and blessings to the occupants of the home.
The foyer features space to put mail from family and friends back home in Apple Valley.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Apparently my family died and the twins taken away. How? I have no clue. I thought they were on free will, but who knows. The tombstones were littered about the house (the parents were in the bedroom, one tombstone in the bathroom, the other tombstone in the other bedroom) and roaches were crawling about. So a bad case of the flu could have been to blame.
Thank goodness for exit without saving.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Recently a few of my sims have been rolling in the simoleans. Even with expensive property taxes they have plenty of money. This is my fault. Most of them are business owners and I had all business owners sell thier lots (1x3) and purchase 3-1x1 lots for thier businesses. Of course, the construction and furnishing everything was cheaper. Then I had several of them sell off thier extra businesses and focus only on one business. Since I was beginning to not enjoy the OFB concept since so many of my sims had thier own business or had several business lots to tend. Thus, sims have tons of money. I had one commission an university building, which leaves two more families with excess funds. Well, the Warwick family told me :P that they wanted to spend thier simoleans on vacations. So I obligied and now here's a peek into vacations in my hood.
If a sim purchases a poster, this is thier indication to me that they would like to travel to that location. The cost of the poster serves as thier deposit for the trip.
For example, if a sim buys poster #7, which is a ski vacation to Schatazweitzier Mountains (soon to be destined as a fall foliage vacation and the new Cusinaire Ridges (I'm a teacher :, all my other teachers will recognize the name) will become the winter vacation destination) , then once they get home, I book them for a vacation and allow them to stay in the ski resort. I only book the 3 day/2 night trip. It's the perfect amount of time to play in one play session and it syncs nicely with my one simday=one year aging in my hood. Of course, the sims can pretend that they were gone for longer :P
During thier vacation, I make sure they experience plenty of snow sports and snow ball fights.
Notice how tiny the terrain for Schatazweitzier Mountains is.
If a sim buys the same poster repeatedly, that serves as an indication that they would like to buy a vacation home there whenever possible.
This is what happened to the Warwicks. They went to Three Lakes (the precessor to Schatazweitzier Mountains) for thier honeymoon (http://thekentfamilyfujicourt.blogspot.com/2007/09/husband.html and http://sun-exchange-sandy-warwick.blogspot.com/2007/09/some-fotos.html). Then they took thier daughters there for a family vacation (http://thekentfamilyfujicourt.blogspot.com/2008/09/family-vacation.html and http://thekentfamilyfujicourt.blogspot.com/2008/09/more-family-vacation.html) and finally they rolled a want for buying a vacation home. They brought thier vacation home in none other than Schatazweitzier Mountains.
Some random vacation photo spam
Tiny Residential Cabin, available in Schatazweitzier Mountains for a small fee of $25,653. It's located on a 1x1 lot, features one bath and one loft bedroom (with double and twin bed), tiny kitchen and living room and room outside for a small garden...if my sims decide to stay here for a long while.
Larger Cabin, available in Schatazweitzier Mountains for a modest fee of $73,096. It's located on a fairly large 2x2 lot, features three bath and four bedrooms, large kitchen and family room and large living room with fireplace. This is actually the vacation home of the Warwick family I was speaking of earlier.
Jah Sal Bazaar, downloaded from Parsimonious and renovated for my purposes. The Warwicks just returned from thier holiday here. Located in my Tiki Isles tropical vacation destination, the bazaar is my interpetation of Arabia. The small outdoor market, colorful tents that also serve as sleeping tents, bright colors and wonderful foodstuffs. To be honest, it's still a little bare. I'm experimenting with leaving the lots bare instead of filling them with crappy items/concepts. In this lot the far right lower building is empty waiting for a purpose. Same thing for the top two middle levels. I do have a restroom, a resturaunt, DJ booth and bar taking up space in the middle two sections, hot tub on the roof, random easels and chess sets, bubble blower, store that sells clothing and perfume and the camping tents.
So if you have suggestions for this lot, let me know.
Monday, March 2, 2009
It goes to The Farmer's Market, owned by the Grey family. The Farmer's market is next door to the farm, so Grex walks there everyday.
The Farmer's Market sells fresh organic produce. Grex doesn't use pesticides on his crops and until recently had been hand watering everything. Now he has a greenhouse with a sprinkler system so he can spend more time talking to the crops. Yes, he chats with the crops. He says it makes them happier and healthier.
Besides veggies and fruit, both crated and loose, the market sells fresh fish. Once a week there are fish sales called Fishy Fridays in which the loose fish is marked down for customers to buy. The market offers turkey dinners seasonally and orange blossom honey. The market is also host to the annual summer Food Expo and quarterly All Natural Cooking Contest in which participants bring dishes created from all natural organic produce and fish. There's even a popular spot to get married overlooking the boulders and silos.
Recently, Grex had the idea (to be honest, his mother-in-law told him to do it) to sell hand crafted items. Now there are handsewn potholders in the midst of fish and fruit and there are plans to add handcrafted quilts.
Grex recently promoted Jadhira from cashier to full time florist. The previous arrangement had Jadhira delivering batches of flower arrangements that she crafted in her freetime and manning the register. Now she is free to spend her working hours creating beautiful arrangements and she throws pottery, for the Herendez Gallery, in her freetime. The arrangement works a lot better now. There's a corner devoted to floral crafts inside the market and Jadhira is on hand for custom arrangements for parties and weddings, as well as general questions of 'which arrangement is best for a first date?'
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I was playing around with some of the ingame settings-since I hate printscreening and then cropping the images, no matter how crisp and large they look. When you have a full time teaching job (which is really a job and a half), husband, cat and social life, the time spent cropping each image adds up to a lot.
Anyhoo, I played around with the settings and now I can see lots of things! Paintings have details! There's a tweed jacket! Did you know sims had toes!!! TOES!!! I didn't!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Education in Apple Valley is very hands on. Currently, the education director owns the school. It is a community lot that stays closed. The director goes there whenever school is in session (he works in the education field as well, so right now we follow him to school M,W,F) and using Simlogical's Meeting Controller, calls the students and the other teacher to the school building.
The school day starts with the primary grades (K-5) working in a common room. They have to pass five skill exams with at least a one (have at least one skill point in five different skills, usually cleaning, cooking, mechanics, creativity and charisma). Since most of them come with the required skill points, they usually play and enjoy interacting with friends, drawing on the activity table or playing for recess. All students bring thier lunch from home (a single serving of a meal, usually lunch sandwiches, soups, or leftovers from dinner).
Junior high students work upstairs in thier room. They must pass seven skill exams with at least a one (at least one skill point in each skill). Any skill they are lacking they study on the computer, with lectures from the teacher (impart knowledge interaction) or interacting with different objects (painting for creativity, dancing for body, etc).
High school students must pass one skill exam with a score of six (six skill points in one skill), so most students chose an area to specialize in and then focus on building skills for that. Any skill they are lacking they study on the computer, with lectures from the teacher (impart knowledge interaction) or interacting with different objects (painting for creativity, dancing for body, etc). High school has two floors and a larger cafeteria with vending machines, for those who forgot thier lunch.
Grades and Skill Exams
Grades are assigned by rolls (11=A+, 10=A...3=C-, 2=D, 1=F), if a student doesn't pass a skill exam, then they fail by default. Students do not have to do homework, since there is no correlation to homework and grades. However, they are assigned projects thier last year of elementary/junior high/high school.
The skill exams are the bare minimum they need to pass to the next level. Of course, most high school students are going to try and have higher grades on thier skill exams in order to get into university (that's another post).
Classes and Field Trips
So what are the students doing if they're not working on skill points (since the requirements are so low) and are not doing assignments (like Simlogical's school hack). Well, they're exploring thier hobbies. Students take classes in different hobbies (painting, photography, pottery, etc) and even have field trips (the musuem for viewing art collections, the park for nature lessons and bird watching, etc).
I plan on having one of the play sessions being a field trip day, so that they can explore thier hobbies in more detail or get exposure. Some field trips planned include:
-Arts & Crafts: trip to the art musuem
-Film & Literature: Trip to the movies (an educational film of course), book discussions by local author
-Fitness: Trip to the park for a tai chi lesson or have a tai chi master come to the school for the lesson, trip to obstacle racing course for team building :P
-Music & Dance: Trip to the concert hall for behind the scenes of the dance company and orchestra
-Games: This is called recess :)
-Nature: Trip to the park for hiking, bird watching and bug collecting. Maybe even an overnight camping trip under the stars. Trip to the aquarium
-Cuisine: This is called lunch :)
-Science: Career Day at the medical center, trip to the observatory
-Sports: This is called recess :P
-Tinkering: Trip to the historical musuem
How does education work in your hood? Is it strictly MAXIS? MAXIS with a storytelling lot? Fully intergrated?
Monday, February 9, 2009
One simday is equal to one year in the hood, so each age span is as follows:
infant-1 simday (0-1 year)
toddler-4 simdays (1-4 years)
children-5 simdays (5-10 years)
teen-7 simdays (11-18 years)
*young adult-4 simdays (19-22 years)
*if teen decides not to attend university, then they spend an additional 4 simdays as a teen*
adult-29 simdays (23-50 years)
I only celebrate the big birthdays in which the sims change life stages. These birthdays are the resident's rites of passages.
Birthdays are usually marked with cake and your family nearby (unless your family is full of workaholics who forgot your birthday causing you to grow up alone in your bedroom, but that's another story).
The 1st birthday includes cake and usually a family only event, unless your family is part of the movers and shakers crowd. The child birthday (5th) includes a guest list of local children so the birthday sim can meet new residents and start making friends. The young adult birthday has no fanfare as this is when the sim enters college, so to my sims, this isn't a big birthday celebration, though entering university is a rite of passage. The adult birthday also include cake, or in some cases a night out on the town with lots of bar hopping and drinking.
The teen birthday is a BIG rite of passage, marking when the child is on it's way to becoming an adult. Depending on the culture of the family it is similar to the Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah, Quinceañera, Seijin Shiki or a Sweet Sixteen party. Parents usually start having "the talk" with the teens, and the teens recieve thier own cellphone (from the hood for free-nice perk!). Of course, the financial status of the family will indicate if the celebration includes a large formal event or simply family members present when you grow up and your favorite meal.
Weddings are a BIG deal in Apple Valley. I create a custom gown created for the bride (usually I post the gowns at A.Pentragnani) to reflect thier personality and style of the wedding. Anything from African inspired gowns, to glamourous hollywood art deco gowns. Sometimes tuxedos, bridesmaids gowns and accessories like veils, flowers, hats, or purses are made.
Inspiration boards from Style Me Pretty are consulted for the theme of the wedding. These boards help give direction in terms of colors and textures for the reception, types of food, formality of the event and invitations. Yes, invitations. Since Apple Valley is a sim-to-sim hood, a lot of residents have families in other SUN hoods. They are invited to send thier sims to Apple Valley for the event and many times it's a large family reunion.
Sometimes bridal showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties are held depending on the sim and the urgency of the wedding.
Photographers are hired to snap photos of the event. This is a fairly simple process of inviting the photographer (currently Antonio Herendez) to the event and selecting him. He then snaps photos of the event with the personal camera and larger antique camera. These photos are then given to the family and he is then paid a nice fee for his services.
Like all weddings, the formality and expense varies from a large church wedding, to a modest backyard event, to a visit to the courthouse, depending on the sim.
Annivesaries, retirement parties, house warming parties, etc are held as well. This depends on the family and thier financial status. Sometimes a simple dinner out is enough, other times there is a full fledged party that is planned for years.
So, how do you celebrate life's events for your simmies?
Friday, January 30, 2009
The Centre features several amenities for residents and visitors of Apple Valley. This complex is owned by the current Hood Council President and many other residents assist in making the building run. The lot has three attached buildings with several offices.
The ground level contains: the Apple Valley Welcome Center and Gift Shop where you will find Apple Valley souveniors (teddy bears with Apple Valley t-shirts) , the latest edition of the Apple Valley News (newspaper from SimStash), and a small area to plan your next vacation in or out the hood (my version of a tiny travel office, more on that in another post).
Next to the welcome center, residents can find a small bank (with an unoriginal title of Apple Valley Bank) where they can purchase investments, deposit/withdraw from savings accounts, and make arrangements for thier mortgage or student loans with the Financial Advisor. (more on banking in another post)
To the other side of the Welcome Center is the two level Apple Valley Ballroom. The ballroom is the site of many formal events in Apple Valley and can be rented for weddings, formals and even elaborate parties-all for a fee of course. Sims can hold your wedding ceremony downstairs and upstairs enjoy cake and champagne for a lively party. To hold a party, I simply have the hosts visit the lot, teleport in the guests, fill the buffet and poof! instant party. The only downside is that when the hood council president is visiting the lot for her play session, residents have a tendency to crack open the champagne :P
Former President, Ayanna Kent, (top) Current President Fiona Kent (bottom)
This is where the hood president does most of thier work. They collect taxes and fees (more in a later post), dispense salaries, respond to emails and chat with spokes sims from other SUN hoods.
Back of the admin buildings as the good witch arrives :P
EDIT: So what's the government like in your hood?