October 3, 2014

A month later, how is The Sims 4?

So now that it's October, and most of us have had about a month to play The Sims 4, how does it hold up?  Many others have said that this version feels more like an update to The Sims 2 than it does as an update to The Sims 3 (I wonder if that was part of the reasoning for making The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection a free download last month).  For me, it's mostly good.  There are a few things I miss from earlier versions, a few new features that I like, and there are a few things that I absolutely detest.

My top picks on features that I miss from earlier games, are these:
  • Open world - The Sims 3 had the open world done right.  Once a world was loaded, my sim could travel to any location and go into most buildings.  There was a lot to explore, and I didn't have to wait for the game to reset everything when my sim visited a neighbor or went to the beach.
  • Vehicles - This goes right along with the open world.  Sims needed ways to get to the other end of the world, and they were able to use the most appropriate vehicles to get there.  The Sims 2 handled cars a little better in that sims actually opened the car door, got in, backed out onto the street and drove away, and The Sims 3 let us follow the cars (or bicycles or even witches' brooms) all the way to their destinations.  But in The Sims 4, all of the vehicles are just background scenery.
  • Playable careers - The Ambitions expansion pack for The Sims 3 added some careers that included some extra gameplay during a sim's work day.  The ghost hunter career was my favorite and the traits that enhanced this career path are the ones that I would more often choose for my sims.  While The Sims 4 does include some "homework" in the gameplay in order to get promotions, and they are more appropriate than just building up your friend list like it was all the way back in The Sims 1, a sim at work in The Sims 4 is simply non-playable.
  • Basements - I grew up in Los Angeles where basements were exceptionally rare, but I moved to the Midwest about 20 years ago, and around here, it's rare for a house to lack a basement.  The basement is often used as an extra living space, but can be converted into almost anything that the homeowner wants.  In The Sims 3, the basement tool was an invaluable tool that I used to expand the living space on every sim house I made or had my sims purchase.  I made wine cellars, theaters, gyms, art studios, servants' quarters, trophy rooms and garages, among many other room types.  The basement was an easy place for me to stash the extra skill-building items that didn't fit into the usual house decor.
Okay, so what do I like?  Well...
  • It works! - More than anything else, I love that I can play The Sims 4 on my current computer.  I'm using a refurbished laptop that is a couple years old now.  The game installed and worked wonderfully out of the box for me, and got a little better when I turned on the "laptop mode" option (with this option turned off, I actually had my computer automatically shut down due to overheating, but have not had that happen yet with this option on).
  • Visual style - I wasn't too keen on the more cartoonish features when the early screenshots were released in Spring and early Summer, but I've gotten used to them.  Touching on the fact that the game runs on my computer, the reduced detail on game items that is most noticeable in the characters' hair, reduces the computing complexity.  Every object in the game seems to fit its environment, and there are lots of little details to find (like the fact that the curtains will subtly wave back and forth as if blown by the house's air conditioning).
  • Conversations continue - I love that I don't have to queue up 80 different interactions when my sims are in conversations.  They will usually keep going with smalltalk between the interactions that I ask them to do.
  • Reusing birthday cakes - In earlier versions, getting multiple sims to age up at once was nearly impossible.  It was a little easier in The Sims 3, but I was still stuck with waiting for each birthday interaction to completely finish before aging up the next sim, then I had to buy a completely different cake for the next sim and go through the whole process again.  In The Sims 4, I can have a sim make one cake, add candles to it, and then add candles again and age up the next sim, and the birthday interactions are much faster than they were in previous versions (and there is finally a birthday song in the game too!)
  • Multitasking - I am continually surprised with the tasks that sims choose to combine.  My sim will change clothes on the way to getting breakfast out of the fridge, chat with other sims while repairing or upgrading objects, move to the ambient music while sitting and performing other actions (like writing a book on the computer or eating a meal and chatting with other sims in the room), and I finally saw one of my sims make a phone call from the toilet.
  • Build mode roof tool - Finally!  Now I can really put the roof pieces the way I want them without all the hassle that were roofs in the previous versions.
  • Sim path selection - I love that a sim in a small bathroom will not be blocked in by another sim at the door any more.  The two sims will be able to get past each other even in very small spaces.
I mentioned that there a few things that I absolutely hate in The Sims 4, and I would be remiss if I didn't list at least a couple of them here.
  • Loading screens - Every time I send a sim to a different building, no matter where it is, I have to sit through a loading screen.  Even going immediately next door forces me to wait for another loading screen.  Sure, having exactly one active building at a time can reduce the computing complexity, but this is overkill.
  • Unreadable text - My vision isn't quite what it used to be, and as a professional photographer, my computer screen is correctly color balanced to help me ensure that I am getting the exact colors I need on my photos and that they will print with my correctly color balanced printer profiles that let me print out exactly the same color (or as absolutely close as possible) that I see on my screen.  That means that my monitor's brightness and contrast are adjusted away from the defaults (which are way too bright).  The Sims 4 user interface is usually a very light blue or light green text, sometimes even yellow-green, against a white background.  This is almost impossible to read.  The notification wall does it right by using high-contrast colors, but the aspirations and job homework text, where I need to read the text more closely to decide on my sims' next actions, does not.
For my style of play, where I try to follow one sim from birth through adulthood and then continue the line by following one of the sim's children, The Sims 4 lets me play.  I remember the big uproar from The Sims 2 to The Sims 3 when players found they couldn't play multiple families concurrently any more, but this was less of a change for me because I've always played in a one-sim-at-a-time manner.  I was never the player who built death trap houses, and although toddlers in earlier versions provided an almost consequence-free time span for skill building, for the most part, The Sims 4 is fun enough that I'll keep playing.

This week's update that added ghosts is a welcome addition, and I look forward to the pools that are coming in next month's update and the new careers in December's update.  It is likely that this game evolution will lead me to stop playing The Sims 3 just like that step led me to stop playing The Sims 2 before it, but I am confident that the game will continue to improve and that I'll find a way to either tolerate or mitigate the shortcomings.

September 2, 2014

May the fork be with you

Okay, it's September 2, 2014.  A large portion of the simming community is playing the new release of Sims 4 today and probably staying up pretty late to continue playing.  My copy arrived around 4:00pm today (I prefer getting a disk over just a download, and I needed to get some work done before I could play today), so I've only had a few hours of Sim 4 time.

But, it didn't take long to get my first bonk from the game.  The seated sim in this screenshot is Amy Moore, a sim I created in the Create A Sim demo (and shared to the gallery).  Here she has just told her husband Harvey about the results of their recent woohoo.  It seems he was so excited that he held onto his fork from his most recent meal - it's the white-ish looking thing stuck to his right hand...

My sim is so excited to hear the news that he held onto his fork

I don't know what he intended to do with that fork, but after a few more interactions and another meal or two, he's not holding the fork any more.

That's enough play time for tonight.  I've got work to prepare for, and I'll put together a more complete post later with more detailed thoughts and analysis of the new version soon.

August 15, 2014

What is your Sims 4 personality?

Earlier this week, EA made the Sims 4 Create a Sim demo available to everyone with an Origin account.  If you haven't downloaded it yet, open your Origin client and grab it.  I was pleasantly surprised at the performance of the demo; it was responsive and there were no lags that I could see on my laptop (which is a couple years old now and a refurbished model at that).

Today there is a new video among all the other teasers that links to a quick quiz...

It's a typical "socially shareable results" quiz that has an oh-so-convenient link to instantly share your results on Facetube.  Rather than posting my result there, I'll put it here where readers are more likely to appreciate it.

Considering that my professional life is now that of a photographer, this isn't too far off for me.  Now how do I create that personality in my simself (which I am fiddling with and will share [my username there is Slmbo42] as soon as I am satisfied)?

July 26, 2014

A sim's personal space

So now that The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection is a free download this week (assuming you have an Origin account and can find the place to enter the I-LOVE-THE-SIMS redemption code), I decided to reload it and play it again. It's been a fun stroll through the memories of playing an older game, but as usual, it was not without its own problems.

The game downloaded and installed perfectly fine on the first try, and I was able to start and play the game as well, albeit with a very long wait as it built the folder structure and neighborhoods for a new game. The computer I am using now is much better than what I had used the last time I played The Sims 2 so I expected a better experience this time.  In general I was right to expect this.  Everything looked better except for one thing...

Everyone who entered my sim's home had this black rectangle appear under them.  The rectangle moved with the sims through the home and spun around to orient itself with the sim it was following.  I guess they had Wendy sew their shadows to their feet before they visited...

July 12, 2014

Misc tip – The fastest way to learn to drive

The Generations expansion pack adds some new interactions at various life stages.  When it’s time to teach teen sims to drive, there is one tip that I like to follow every time.  I can usually get my adult sims to fulfill their lifetime wishes before their children become teens, so I will almost always have one of them use their lifetime reward points to purchase the Motive Mobile van and then make it that sim’s default vehicle.  I direct my teen sims to ask that parent for help learning to drive and just let them go at it.


Normally when a teen sim is learning to drive, the fun bar tanks for both the teen and the adult instructor during the lesson.  Using the Motive Mobile, all the needs for both sims are constantly fulfilled so they can stay out longer.  I usually find that they will continue until the teen has reached level 2 before they stop the lesson, but then I direct them to start the lesson again and they complete level 3 and the teen learns to drive very soon, almost always within 12 sim hours of starting the first lesson.

Even better with this vehicle is that I can send them out after dinner and have them working on this skill overnight while the rest of the family sleeps, and they are also both ready for work and school in the morning with no extra effort.  And since the teen sim is out with parental supervision, she doesn’t get caught for curfew violations.

July 11, 2014

Not the footwear that I was expecting


When my sims age up, I usually let them pick what clothes they want to wear and what hairstyles they want to show with them.  It’s pretty rare for me to take time out of playing my sims’ lives to adjust their decisions, but sometimes I have to step in.  In this case, Michelle chose a pair of shoes that have invisible heels.  I like seeing my female sims in casual heels, but I couldn’t let Michelle go on tiptoes all the time with no support.

I forget where I got these shoes or even if they were an official EA release or not (I’m sure one of you will be able to tell me in the comments…).  They kind of look like shoes from Into the Future, but even with heels, they didn’t quite match the Generations top and Island Paradise skirt (at least I think that’s where the skirt comes from).

I did change the rest of her outfit too, but it was the shoes that got me to take her through CAS on her birthday.

July 10, 2014

A little more “eternal rest” for this sim

What do ghost sims do when they get tired?  They stop and take a nap, just like any other sim.


Bit I’m still wondering how ghost sims get tired in the first place.

July 9, 2014

When zombies get bored

If your sim is in the middle of an action when the zombies appear, the zombies will usually wait around for your sim to finish the action before they launch their zombie attack.  My sim kept fishing long enough for the zombies to get bored, so one pulled out her umbrella to wait a little longer and another chose to fly around with his jetpack for a while.


I’ve also seen zombies reading, eating and going potty (unlike mummies).  What have you seen zombies do?

July 8, 2014

Fishing prevents zombie attacks

My sim likes to fish and is working on his lifetime wish to have the perfect home aquarium with 13 perfect specimens of different species.  On one trip to the future, he landed just before a full moon, and you know that means that the stupid zombies will soon appear near my sim.  The thing is, if my sim is busy doing something, the zombie attack action can’t be performed because the zombie patiently waits for my sim to finish his action first.


Eventually the zombies will get bored and leave on their own or 6:00 am rolls around and they recover back to regular NPC sims and go home.

July 7, 2014

Driving the invisible monorail

Traveling to the future introduces your sims to a new form of public transport, the invisible-track monorail.  I was curious to see what it looked like inside the monorail car, so I zoomed in to try to see.  It works for other vehicles in the game, so why wouldn’t it work here too?


I guess the expansion pack developers didn’t think we would want to see the inside of the monorail car because it looks like they didn’t build it.  But I wonder what my sim thinks he’s driving here.  At least he’s sitting down.

July 6, 2014

A ghost to watch over me

Rather than moving the dead butler’s remains to the cemetery, they buried her in the backyard (okay, I wanted to get some ghost interactions in my legacy family, so I put it there).  So far my sims aren’t afraid of her, even when they know that she’s using the rocking chair right next to them.


Maybe in a future generation I’ll have one of the family members take the remains to the science lab to resurrect her…  or not…

July 5, 2014

Paparazzi shift change

When a sim starts out on the path toward becoming a five-star celebrity, the paparazzi start following the sim around.  Usually there’s just one NPC sim who watches, and takes notes and photographs, but there are times when that first paparazzi gets tired and hands off the watching duties to another NPC.  I often see their work periods overlap with two of them following my one-star celebrity like this time when my sim went fishing in Shang Simla..


No matter what worlds and traveling expansion packs you have installed, the paparazzi will find your celebrity sim whenever and wherever he travels.  The advantage here is that a celebrity sim is more likely to get the “In the limelight” positive moodlet during a shift change like this.

July 4, 2014

A pillow fight to the death

My all lifetime wishes legacy family hired a butler to keep the house clean.  Unfortunately, the butler tried to fix the dishwasher without mopping up the water first and got herself electrocuted.  My starter sim, Raven, couldn’t reason with the grim reaper to keep the butler so she started a pillow fight


Now she has a growing relationship with Grim.  I wonder how far it will go…...

July 3, 2014

Will I be able to run The Sims 4?

There has been a lot of talk over the last month about The Sims 4 since E3 and the presentations and announcements that were made there.  We learned that the toddler life stage and pools will not be included in the base game, and that each neighborhood in the world will have only five lots.  The screenshots that have been shown have been derided for a lack of detail in the hairstyles.  Features that simmers have been asking for over a long period are confirmed as not being included (still no height adjustment for sims).  But there was also talk of classic sim items (the cow plant, grand pianos, etc.) and characters (Bella Goth) returning in the base game as well as a bunch of new features (sims showing their emotions and having interactions that are available only in certain emotional states), skills (growing flowers) and careers (comedian).

One question that I have yet to see definitively answered is whether or not I will be able to run The Sims 4 on my computer.  There was a comment about a year ago when CAS was shown at Gamescom.  I don't remember who said it or where to find it anymore, but the comment was meant to reassure gamers that we would be able to play The Sims 4 on our current hardware.  With that in mind, it's pretty easy to see why some things have been left out and the style changed to be a little more cartoonish.  But that still doesn't really answer my question.

Today I went looking for a concrete answer.  The only place that I could find any mention of system requirements was a placeholder page on the Origin store website.  The page simply says "Coming soon!"  We're now less than 2 months from the launch date, so there isn't much time left to announce the minimum and recommended system specs, so I'm still cautiously optimistic that I'll be able to play it with my current computer hardware.

June 28, 2014

A new challenge - all lifetime wishes

There are a bunch of different gameplay situations that I have never tried in The Sims 3.  Usually when I create a sim, I assign traits that are similar to my own and I play the sim through lifetime wishes that I think are easy.  There are so many more ways to play than just what I've done, and the most obvious to me is to try to achieve the rest of the lifetime wishes that I've previously just passed over.

So, I started a new type of legacy family, this one will have sims with very different traits than I usually play so that I can work on achieving all of the lifetime wishes that I have available in my game.  I've got all the expansion packs, and a couple of stuff packs, so this will take a while.  I'll keep a page on this blog to show my progress.  I'll also post occasional updates on this family so you can watch it happen to.  I've got this challenge started with a family of four (mother, father and twin daughters); both parents have achieved their lifetime wish and the two children are well on their way.

More to come...

June 16, 2014

The most efficient way to do laundry

My sim wanted to do her laundry before returning from her term at Sims University.  She gathered up all the dirty clothes from around the house and then went down to the basement to start the load.  But she decided it would be most efficient if she cleaned her own clothes as well…


I can’t wait to see the spin cycle on this one.

June 10, 2014

Another Sims 4 presentation from E3

So yesterday at the EA press conference, there was a presentation about The Sims 4. That part of the presentation was posted to the interwebs last night, and now the rest of us get to see it.

There's not a whole lot that's new, but there is some discussion of The Sims 4 version of the Exchange (where players can share creations from their games) and that a new sim can be dropped into the game on the fly.  Also at the end of the demo they show a new type of death: death from laughter.

June 9, 2014

More Sims 4 info now that E3 is on!

Now that EA had their press conference at E3 today, there is some more information. TheSims.com has been updated with a release date of September 2, 2014, and there's this new gameplay video...

Some of the more obvious things I noticed were the Mexican wrestler masks and the cow plant. I'm sure all the sim vloggers will have breakdown videos later today or tomorrow, so watch those too. But in the meantime, now we know when we'll get it.

May 28, 2014

More details on Sims 4 build mode

Here we go again with another official video on The Sims 4…

Sims 4 Build Mode official trailer

This looks way cool.  Some things that I spotted in my first viewing that weren’t explicitly pointed out by the narrator include:

  • curved walls!!!
  • trees that look like they’re from a swampy area with moss hanging down from the branches
  • the streetcar is operational
  • skills include grand piano and some kind of crafting at a workbench

Overall, it looks like the default town is based on architecture and styles found in and around New Orleans, right down to a model of the New Orleans St. Charles Line Streetcar.  There will likely be more info at E3, and I am eager to see more.

May 18, 2014

Sim pile!

What happens when 20 or more sims try to get through the same set of doors at the same time? They pile up and make things take way too long.

Too many sims trying to get through a door all at once

My sim is stuck in the middle of the crowd there, and she's very hungry right now (thus the red plumbbob above her). She's been stuck in this crowd for about three sim hours so far and it will probably take her another sim hour or two to get past everyone. There's not a whole lot that I can do other than reset my sim to get her out of there.

When sims bunch up like this, they try to take turns, but the algorithm they use is pretty bad and they all end up trying to step in front of each other all the time, which makes them stop and think about their position for a few minutes, which puts them in front of other sims that are trying to get by... Unfortunately, when the sim is at University, the Tuesday morning class is always at the student union building (which is seen here) and there are too many students that try to get in at once, so this pileup happens every sim week.

May 17, 2014

Using the dream pod to your sim’s advantage

The Into The Future expansion pack adds a bunch of content that will make sims’ lives easier in the sim present.  One of my favorites is the dream pod.  It’s the same size and has the same functionality as all of the other two-person beds in the game, but it adds a few interactions as well.  You can exercise a little more control over a sim’s dreams with the “Influence dream…” interaction, which could lead to consequences after your sim wakes.


With each selection, the sim will have either a bunch of smiley faces (for a positive influence) or a bunch of frowney faces (for negative) appear around her dream bubble to tell you what kind of result your influence has had on the dream.  After enough influence is built up in either direction, the sim’s Zs will change color from white for a neutral dream to either green for positive or red for negative.  If you send your sim to dream, you should always influence the dream to your desired outcome because when a sim wakes from a dream pod dream, the sim will almost always have something changed, either a trait change or some other effect, based on the dream; check the resulting dream pod moodlet for more information on what effect your sim has gained.

One thing that I’ve noticed with this interaction, however, is that the upper and right-most selections in this menu will (almost) always have a positive influence on the dream while the lower and left-most selections will have a negative influence.  I’ve only had one instance where this wasn’t the case.  In this screenshot, my sim is dreaming about close relationships, so the romantic rocket ship ride and the bacon ferris wheel will both have positive influence, while selling the car for cotton candy or washing the darks with the lights will both have negative influence.  There is also a very limited set of influence interaction descriptions for every dream type, with only about 6 different texts in total (and they always show up in the same position on the selection menu).  For me this takes away a lot of the fun of the influence and turns it into just a routine to create the dream outcome I want.  In my games, I don’t even read the selections on this menu any more and just manipulate the dream as desired.

The dream influence routines could have been improved just by adding a randomizer into the menu selection to at least make me read which selections are where in the menu.

May 14, 2014

More about Sims 4 CAS

The Sims 4 team has been hard at work improving and finishing off the new version for this fall's launch. We've been promised that there will be some more info released at E3 this year (coming up in a couple weeks), but today we get another look at Create-A-Sim with this new video...

The teaser mention in this video is that we'll see more about the new build mode soon.

So Bella and Mortimer Goth are back, but I'm still wondering where Goopy GilsCarbo is? He did get writer/producer/director/everything credit for at least one Sims 4 teaser video...

March 30, 2014

What are those things?

I’m working on a new lot with a number of levels this week. Sometimes in build and buy modes there are these diagonal pieces that become visible. The lot has to be rotated at a certain angle to see them and they don’t appear to affect how the lot works, but they are really ugly.


In this screenshot, we see two pieces at the floors of two basement levels. These are phantom ceiling pieces that, as far as I can tell from a few searches around the interwebs, are a byproduct of the autoroof tool. Luckily they are easy to remove. Just use the sledgehammer tool to delete them. The tricky part of removing them is getting the sledgehammer in just the right place; sometimes you’ll only see a very small sliver of the edge, but if you’re careful, you can remove them.

March 22, 2014

Bonus SimPoints? Not quite…

Have you noticed the little box in the lower right corner on The Sims 3 launcher’s main screen?  Here’s a closeup with that box highlighted:


Yeah, it says that we can get bonus SimPoints for watching a video or two.  The thing is, I have never seen a video after clicking that box in my launcher frequently for the last two or three years.  Where are the videos?  I can understand EA limiting the number of videos that I am presented, but to have this teaser up and never even show me one video even for a measly 10 SimPoints seems a little sketchy to me.

Hey EA!!!  Either remove the box from the launcher or show me the videos!!!

March 12, 2014

Sim house – The Barcelona


As I write this, there are 810 lots on The Exchange that were designed for Aluna Island, the world created by James at The Sim Supply.  This lot is number 806 in that list, and it’s my latest contribution to the simming community.

Inspired by Spanish Colonial revival architecture, this spacious house is ready for the up-and-coming Leader of the Free World.  There are three bedrooms and three full bathrooms in this house on a 25x40 lot.  The main level features an open floor plan with a great room that encompasses living, kitchen and dining areas.  A home gym resides at one end while an office and study room is at the other.  The great room's expansive windows look out over a wide deck that is a perfect location for extraterrestrial exploration by telescope or just for a grill next to the dining area.  Stairs lead down from both the great room and the deck to the lower level with a bar, small library and its own deck and hot tub overlooking the ocean.  The master suite has a private full bathroom.  The other two bedrooms and the second full bathroom are also located on the lower level.  A central climate control system keeps this home comfortable regardless of the weather.  Outside there is a carport that can be expanded to hold three cars, and there is a series of solar panels installed on the roof to help defray energy costs.  Growing families can easily expand the living space by adding another level above the main level; there is space for a staircase, currently used as a sculpture display, next to the wide stairs leading down.


This was a fun lot to build and required more extensive use of the constrainfloorelevation cheat to get the lower level to work the way I wanted.  I had started on another Sears house build and had the main floorplan set for it when I saw a couple more videos that James released this week.  One of them was the first of what I hope will be many lot showcase videos where he took a closer look at fifteen of the lots that have been created for the world.  He commented in that video that he wanted lots that were a bit more colorful and that would be more appropriate for a tropical island.  The other video was a tutorial on building multilevel houses on cliffside lots (actually two videos: building on cliff lots and building multilevel houses on cliff lots), of which there are many on Aluna Island.  I hadn’t had much luck building walk-out basements and these tutorial videos solved the problems I was encountering.  So I decided to try building something new based on Spanish Colonial architecture with a walk-out basement that would fit on one of the island’s cliff lots.  This house is my first entry following those suggestions.  The lot is on The Exchange (download).  I didn’t go very far with the color palette, just started with an ever-so-slight pink stucco for the exterior wall and used lighter colors on the interior.  I did add a few color accents here and there as I thought appropriate.  Since this house was built on a lot with a cliff (Aluna Island lot number 60), it might do weird things to the surrounding land in worlds that don’t have lots with terrain like this one.

By far, my favorite part of this house is its walk-out basement and bilevel deck.  When placed on the Aluna Island lot, the hot tub is at the edge of the lot that is above the ocean.  I can imagine sims lounging in the hot tub watching boats go by as they sip Avornalino and Gralladina Fran nectar (that they may have obtained from an adventure and stored in their nectar rack just inside the deck).  Another interesting feature is that the foundation on the main level is just one stair-step high.  Since this house descends down into the cliff, I didn’t want a full four-step foundation on the upper level, and I really liked the way this one-step foundation looked.  This didn’t require a cheat, but was easily achieved by holding down the Alt key when I placed the first foundation piece (I am so looking forward to the variable height floors and foundations that are promised features in build mode for The Sims 4!).

Really the only part that I don’t like is that the lower level’s perimeter walls (except for the wall with the windows and door) are actually foundation walls, so I can’t put any wall-mounted decorations on them.  I didn’t want to sacrifice another square perimeter row of real estate to build interior walls, so I’ll have to live with bare walls that are all the more apparent in the master bedroom.  I put a sturdy concrete fence around the carport mostly because of the comments about vehicle safety in the lot showcase video.  There probably should be an entry from the carport into the office space; having a separate exterior door would be perfect for clients visiting that office.  The only other change that I would make right now would be to add more landscaping around the gym, but as this lot is already well over $120,000 furnished, I didn’t want to push that cost up yet.  I’ll let the future residents of this lot add to the exterior.

The sculpture area on the main level could easily become the location for a stairway leading up to a future expansion of the house for more living and/or skill-building space.  The resulting third floor could also extend over the carport area for additional space.  I had originally envisioned that the main level bathroom would only be a half-bath, but added the tub anticipating that the gym and office might be converted to bedrooms.

Now let’s take a tour of the house through screenshots:




















March 8, 2014


So as the legend goes, zombies eat brains. But in Oasis Landing, they’ve found a new way to satisfy that need with the food replicator. It may be a plate full of brains, but that’s no reason not to be civil about the meal, even if it is a zombie’s meal.


March 7, 2014

Sim house – Sears plan #165, bungalow

If you haven’t been paying attention to what James is doing lately over at The Sim Supply, do yourself a favor and go check it out.  Recently he released a new small island world called Aluna Island; the world grew out of a video series he did called “Let’s Create a World” and he has also built a section of his website to feature lots (all of which are available on the Exchange) that were specifically designed for the world.

My connection is that I have uploaded a few lots that I created for this world, and I’d like to share a little bit more about them with you here, mostly because the images that I am able to include in the lot packages don’t really show the rooms as well as they should.  So here’s the first lot that I made and uploaded for Aluna Island.

The first lot I decided to build was a simple bungalow plan.  It’s based on the plan for Sears kit house number 165 that was available in the 1911 through 1913 Sears Modern Homes catalogs, and was priced at $1,362.  Architecture of the time, especially for basic houses, was fairly simple, and it was still somewhat of a novelty then for houses to be built with bathrooms, air conditioning and wired for electricity.  The fireplace in the central hallway would provide heat for the home in winter, while opening the windows would get air flowing through to cool the house in the summer.  Also prominent on this house is the expansive front porch, which would be used as an exterior “room” on warm days.  The single bathroom is quite small and added onto the rear of the house behind the kitchen.

Adapting this plan for use in The Sims 3 was pretty straightforward.  There are no diagonal walls and the roof is a simple peak, so there really weren’t any cheats that needed to be used to build this lot.  I used moveobjects to get the porch and deck posts out to the edges, but that’s really the only cheats that were used here.  The rooms in this adaptation are a little larger than they should be if the house was strictly built to the plans; this is mainly to accommodate the game and sims’ abilities to navigate through the house more than anything.  This is built on a 20x30 lot; lot number 11 on Aluna Island.  The lot itself is flat, and using one of the standard lot sizes with this flat terrain seemed a great way to start with this house building series.

I tried to keep the lot to just base game content, but as you can see on the download page (NOTE: this link may change once I have a chance to update the default screenshots with custom images) on The Exchange, there is some content from World Adventures, Ambitions and the Sims 3 Store.  What is used should be easily replaceable with base game content.  The decorating features wood floors in the main living area with linoleum and tile in the kitchen and bathroom and ceiling tiles in almost all of the rooms.  I used a fairly basic color palette for this house, with the red wallpaper in the dining room showing the most vivid color.  There is enough space in the backyard for some children’s activities and a reasonably-sized grilling and picnic area.

Here’s a tour of the lot in screenshots (click the images for larger views):

Now that this lot is built and has been available for a little while, I can start thinking about ways to improve it.  The first update I’d like to try is to build this with smaller rooms that are more appropriate for the plan.  This is a very basic house that should be affordable to sims as a first house, so I’d also like to try to get it down under $20,000 in sim currency.  I suppose I would like to see the restroom closer to the center of the house, maybe where the fireplace is now, and the fireplace could be moved to the wall between the living and dining rooms, but I really like that the chimney comes out near the center of the roof.