Sunday, November 29, 2009

Killing Time, Peacar 2004

Peacar, winter, 2004
Julio is 37, Rebecca is 34, Abel and Amanda are 8

They should be packing, instead they invite Jorge and Jolie over to kill time.

"I'm nervous about the big move. I don't know how I would cope if I were pregnant."

Rebecca smiled. "You learn to remain calm, that's all I can do. I know that the move is for the best, the timing is great and I have to roll with the punches if you will."

"You're right, it's just that we just got the children settled into the new home in Apple Plains and now we have to move again."

"Same here, but the good thing is that since we've just unpacked, we still have the boxes to pack up again."

"That is true, by the way, I love your new haircut and color. I wish I could change my hairstyle as often as you change yours."

As the ladies changed topics to hair color, the men huddled in a corner discussing more important issues.

"I doubt you could talk Jolie into having another baby. Especially since you were the one who didn't want another kid."
Jorge nods, "Perhaps I should take her on a romantic vacation like you did. Obviously, it worked for you."
The twins laughed.

"Did Antonio tell you about their trip to Hacienda Bay?"
"Yea, did you examine Rojo to find out if there was permanent damage?"
"I did, I couldn't find a reason for the bone defect. To be honest, it's scaring me. I see these sims walk into the clinic daily and there are different unexplainable ailments left and right. Looking in the archives, it seems like exactly what was happening before the great flood."
"Do you think there's a connection?"
"I don't know yet. The good news is that by moving to the new terrain, we will have a clean slate to work with...almost."
"Well, at least we'll be closer than a thirty minute train ride and twenty minute ferry trip."
"I still can't believe that you're designing now. First cooking and now designing furniture collections."
"It's still a bit surreal to me. I can't believe that I'm a Design Consultant for Sim City Furniture. Keith is wonderful to work with, I have no clue how he is able to take my ideas and make them reality. It's amazing! One thing I'm looking forward to with the big move is getting my order from Keith and arranging the house. We're using the money Jorge won playing in that poker tournament last summer and some of my earnings so far from SCF."
"I remember you telling me about that poker game. You just came back from Simmington Hills. How was the trip? Did you see Ray and Lydia?"
"It went very well, I didn't have a chance to run into Ray while I was there. I'm glad that the flight is so close and tickets are cheap."
"I'm glad that Mayor Cunningham and Fiona are so close. The amount of trips that Apple Valley residents make to Simmington Hills is amazing. It seems like we should buy a charter plane to make the trips faster."
Rebecca stood up with a groan. "Once we get settled in the new terrain, you'll have to design a nursery for the new baby."
"That would be fun."
"How does the design process work anyhow?"
"Get a piece a paper and we'll hash out some ideas."

A few moments later, the women were huddled in a corner discussing the pros and cons of vintage 70's decor or sleek modern decor.
I don't know how I would play my game if it wasn't for the SUN and the connections I have with other hoods. It just makes things more interesting, especially the trips to other hoods.
What do you do to spice up your game?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bringing Home Baby Peacar 2004

Peacar, winter, 2004
Jadhira felt huge, her due date had come and gone and Dr. Julio Wilsonoff suggested several activities to help persuade the new Shazad to come out. Jadhira spent most of her days woohooing, eating spicy indian foods and walking. She even tried to take advantaged of the extra time by getting a manicure and a haircut. To be honest, she was tired, she wanted this baby out.

Johan saw how uncomfortable his wife was and suggested that they spend sometime outdoors looking at the stars.
The last thing Jadhira wanted to do was go outside in the winter cold, sit on the wet, cold ground and look at some stars.

However, only Johan could convince her to put aside her misgivings and relax and enjoy the nighttime air. The time spent together was short as Jadhira started to have back cramps and desired to lay down.

Less than 3 hours later, Jadhira was awakened from her sleep by intense pain in her back and belly. Apparently the late night star gazing helped to prompt the newest Shazad to make thier big debut.
Johan asked thier neighbors to sit with the twins while Julio helped Jadhira deliver a healthy, through late, baby boy. The proud parents named the new baby Udar.

Welcome baby Udar!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Emergency County Council Meeting, Givar 2004

Givar, winter, 2004
Fiona called the meeting to order. The tone was a mix of great concern and excitement.

"We have no choice anymore, we have to move by the end of the simyear to the combined neighborhood map. I thought the illness was contained, but it's spreading and getting worse. Thank goodness the weather has been fair for the construction."

"Did we ever find a constructor?"
"Yes, ClicknPyscho constructed the final combined terrain map, I've done a sweep of everything and things will be fine."

"How much money do you think we will need to finish the construction?"

"Constructing is going to be expensive, just think about the expenses after the great flood. It will be comparable to that."

"Thankfully we have plenty of affiliates willing to help. I've already secured two substaincial donations from affliates."

"From the financial reports, I'm sure there is still some money left, but we will probably have to resort to a loan. We also have to notify the residents about the move."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Finally, Givar 2004

Givar, winter, 2004
Antonio is 53, Carmela is 44, Verde is 18, Rojo is 12, Serendipity is 9

The blue ocean and lush landscaping seemed like something from a postcard, but it was reality. They were finally in Hacienda Bay, after years of planning. It wasn't lack of money that kept them from the island paradise, but timing.

Serendipity made sure to enjoy herself by destroying many of the sandcastles left abandoned by previous owners.

Carmela worked on a tan and relaxed under the sun's warm rays.

Antonio tried to keep occupied, but his mind kept wandering to his many projects and even the status of his little art pupil, Veronika Kent. The little star was amazing and he wanted to make sure that he challenged her.

Serendipity finally convinced her father to help her build a sandcastle.
"I want towers and a moat and a princess and a dragon and then the princess could slay the dragon and then..."

Antonio listened to his daughter ramble on and on about her dream castle.

Finally it was done and not a moment too soon as the hotel clerk came running towards them on the beach.
"You must leave! Hurricane! Hurricane is coming! You must leave!"

After thier quick departure, but not before Carmela received a nice burn, the family enjoyed a few days of quiet at home.

Quiet was relative as Rojo was busy with his electronic equiptment,

while big brother Verde made a few secretive plans of his own. Considering he and S'Ahmisa both were visiting the University of Riverdale campus, S'Ahmisa's parents thought it would be wise for her to stop in Apple Valley before the flight to Riverdale.

Verde made sure that the preflight activities included an hotel room for the couple to reconnect in private.

Talk about reconnection!
There was a major glitch during the Herendez vacation, Rojo had the body of a teen, but the height of a child. He looked like a little person and I tried everything to restore his correct height. All it took was for the family to return home for his height to be corrected.
Verde and S'Ahmisa, all their own. I swear, now that they're independent teens, that's all they want to do.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Combined Terrain, Part 1, Building

Here's a peek at the progress so far for Apple County-the combined terrain for Apple Valley, Apple Plains, Apple Valley Metro and Pierce University. I want to show you a step-by-step overview of the progress of building the new combined terrain.

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

Residential Lots

  • 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.

Snapshot in Time #2

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.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Custody, Givar 2004

Givar, winter, 2004
Li and Tobi still enjoyed a fairly amicable relationship after thier divorce. In fact, Tobi continued to help Li with her fitness training once a week, something that Cameron wasn't the most pleased about.

"You should stop by the house and meet her, Li." Tobi urged. "Hit higher!"

"Agh!" Li grunted punching the bag. "I don't think your little friend would be too comfortable with that."

"Or are you not comfortable with that?" Tobi asked.
Li laughed. "Tobi, no offense, but I don't have any feelings for you anymore. You're my friend and the father of my children, but I simply don't have any desires for you. Thus since I have no desires for you, meeting your girlfriend who is pregnant with your child doesn't bother me. I'll be happy to meet her, but I'm not sticking around for some sort of blended family dinner thing."
Tobi laughed, "ok."

"Thanks again, and I'll see you guys this simweekend, right?"
Tobi nodded, "The triplets are excited."

When the couple met outside the building, Tobi couldn't help but think about thier marriage. Could they have saved it? Could they still be a couple. Unfortunately, Li couldn't help but think of the day she was free from her marriage. Perhaps if they had dated for a longer time, then they would have noticed that they were different in some very important ways.

However, that was the past and now it was time for them to spend time with thier children. The triplets made good use of the skating rink's facilities, by hanging off the video games and begging for 'one more simolean!'

The entire family tried thier hand at skating, which was the purpose of the trip,

and Li spent some quality time with her daughter, Simora.

Soon it was time for dinner, and Li couldn't help but admire her husband, opps, her ex-husband's physical assets. That was always her favorite part of him.

The next stop was Giovonni's Italian Bistro, where they ate the standard spaghetti.

"We could have made this at the house," Tobi grumbled.
"You're not paying for any of this, so just eat." Li whispered

"Can we have dessert?" The triplets whined after finishing thier plates.
Tobi started to say no because of the cost, but Li gave him a look.
"I'm not sure, what do you think?" He said turning to his ex-wife.
"Well, they ate all thier food, so I don't see why not."

The server quickly arrived to take the dessert orders for the table of five. A few moments later, everysim had thier favorite sweet in front of them from Baked Alaskan with Italian Creme sauce to stuffed crepes.

"This was a really fun night! I can't wait until we do it again!"
Li and Tobi occasionally meet up to have family outings with the triplets, Matt is too young right now and will join in some family fun a bit later. Li really has no wants for Tobi, so we'll see how meeting Cameron goes.
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