Welcome to Windenburg

I think it’s better than anything that’s ever come before it in the Sims series. Even though there are bugs and glitches, it’s beautifully made with great content like the bluffs and the big haunted estate. The club (group) feature works well and the venues are much less frustrating than TS3. Tomorrow sees the launch of yet another add on yet I haven’t even scratched the surface of this stunning world.

The first thing I did was move the household from an average house in Oasis Springs into one of the beach front properties, it looked amazing but I had to build a basement to provide room for all their different activities, which wasn’t ideal as it spoilt the look of the original house. In the end I evicted the household living in the Van-Windenburg Estate and moved them all in there instead, it’s an older property with loads of space to spread out in.

Next on the list was birthdays, three in one day! Duncan became a young adult because all the other Sims in his groups were older than him which meant so many missed opportunities with his romantic traits. Then the two boys George and Dean were aged up into teens. I ballsed it up a bit there, because I gave George the Fabulously Wealthy aspiration like his father without thinking, and in no time at all he was earning §300k a week! that I have to deduct using the money cheat.
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There’s a ‘get together’ glitch, because Sims are now more inclined to flock together clicking on the closet in art studio next door for a bit of adult fun, sent Mr and Mrs Simself into their teenage son’s bedroom to crash about in their closet!

That aside the closets are more perfect than the most perfect thing ever! I put them in almost every venue now because it makes it easier than ever to change what the random townies are wearing, even their hair.
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I also gave them a housekeeper (I’ve forgotten her name!) to cook, clean, tend the garden, help with the boys homework and seduce Mr Simself! That’s not happened though, Gianni Simself is still too obsessed with Luca and she seems much more interested in Duncan his step-son. That’s probably OK too as Duncan has the serial romantic aspiration and now he’s a young adult Sim what’s he to do when the live in nanny attempts to seduce him, he’s got needs too!

Then somebody on the EA forum asked whether there was still issues with tent woohoo in the vacation world, and another plan came to mind. I love Granite Falls and had remodelled it in the previous save, I hadn’t been back there this time around because the homesick mood annoys me. I could understand it if they were on an extended vacation, or were travelling back and forth every other day, but within minutes of stepping off the tourbus (or plane, boat, Llama) they’re stomping about with miserable ‘home sick’ buffs, and it was their first trip away from home in the new save. Previously I had sold herbal remedies in the outdoor store in Magnolia Promenade, but that was in the old saved game so that store doesn’t exist anymore. I thought about the bug museum in the forest and trying to sell the bugs in a store back home – but before any of that they had a night under canvas and as it turned out unrestricted woohoo to look forward too. Mrs Simself had a lot of pent up lust to expend and Gianni Simself did his best! The boys totally ignored the fireworks and spent all evening playing horseshoes and watching clouds.

The next day everybody went hiking to collect fireflies and Elderberries so Gianni could cook up some remedies just incase my plan didn’t work – it wouldn’t be the first time the retail system has thrown a spanner in the works.

Back home again, I switched households and dropped in on Luca and Colin, Colin used to run the Outdoor Store while he was part of the Simself household so I had to run the money cheat again and have him buy the store again.
And it works a treat! I used buydebug to stock the shelves (buy de bugs!) and had Colin travel to Granite Falls to harvest all the wild plants he could find to plant outside the store, there is an option to sell the plants, but I don’t trust that to work, besides I am not sure anyone would be able to tend the garden if they were for sale and that means they’d probably be poor quality. I kept the rest of the stock simple selling all the camping equipment the Sims can carry in their inventories. And while I was in buydebug I put a couple of the ‘anti-alien’ satellite dishes for sale too, because no sooner had I started playing Colin’s household again he was abducted! Although thankfully no babies this time.

While I was playing that household I decided to revisit Luca’s café, last time I had remodelled a copy of the Movers and Shakers gym from Willow Creek and it was OK, but I was never really happy with it. Although none of that mattered when I dropped in because everything that had been in the fridges was gone! It seems there’s a reset bug happening when you change households.

Because I didn’t like what was there already I decided to download a bakery from the gallery, I found a really simple one that I did like and set about restocking it and then played it for a while. Everything was OK until I swapped households, when Gianni Simself arrived there to pick up some chocolate donuts the shelves were empty again!

I was getting really ratty by this time but I thought I’d try one more way, so I cheated up Luca’s needs and made him restock everything again. Then I went into build mode and saved a copy to the library. Made him sell the business (though that didn’t take much persuasion!) With Luca back home having a well earned rest, I went back into build mode and demolished the lot completely then downloaded the library copy. I can’t remember why it seemed so important to demolish and reinstate, but it didn’t really matter because I’d ballsed it up again!

Previously when Luca owned and ran the business I would litter the place with plates of cookies and cakes, and fill the coffee pots so the customers would actually sit at the tables and eat. But then because he didn’t own the business (no-one does!) all those plates of food and full coffee machines only serve to create failed routing issues 😦

Back to square one, but at least I had seen enough to know that the business would be fully staffed, and that they were all doing their jobs. Swapping households didn’t seem to affect anything, so it would just take a few tweaks and I could be happy.

That was last night… today I hatched a new plan! Filled with inspiration and energised to do something positive, I decided to bulldoze the lot (again!) and rebuild it all myself. I usually avoid building projects because I can’t get them right and I am soon frustrated when they look odd against the rest of the map. Building in the Sims 4 is OK though, it’s so much easier than TS3. Even though it took me the whole afternoon to build and decorate a couple of boxes stacked on top of each other, I was totally absorbed and really enjoyed it.
Next I got Luca to buy the new business, cheated up his needs several times as he baked, cooked and filled every available retail space with tasty goodies. Then I had him plant the roof top garden and upgrade every toilet, sink and dishwasher before I play tested it all. Previously he had sold his own paintings, but this time after discovering that building unowned venues allows for everything in the build catalogue, I thought it would be good to sell pictures and paintings normally locked out.

So after lengthy testing, and all the walls covered in cool artwork, the fridges full of best quality food, coffee machines emptied, and double checking to make sure all of the doors were unlocked. He sold the business again, and went home with stars spinning around his head!

Then back into build mode, I deleted all the previous copies from the library including the original. And saved the newer one, then bulldozed the lot and reinstated the newest saved copy. Switched households and lost myself for a couple of hours, I don’t know who was happier me or the Sims having a constantly restocked bakery, open 24 hrs for an endless supply of chocolate donuts. It looks great on the map, it works great in the game. I’ve got a small apartment and roof garden upstairs. Bakery, tables, sofas, bookcases etc downstairs, and toilets, stock room and a closet in the basement. There’s also a movie projector, bar and comfy seats outside under a tree hung with lanterns, besides a big pile of firewood. What’s not to like?
Well that actually! I bulldozed the lot and rebuilt from the basement up, I am the original builder! Grrr 😦
It doesn’t really matter though because I won’t be sharing! I’ve used too much custom content.

[edit 1/16/2016] It is still bugged, after all that hard work, wishing and hoping! Swapping households clears the food displays, I’ve tried every way I can think of to make it work but it just doesn’t. I think there’s two ways to play the game now, have a household buy the bakery and stick with them until it’s fixed. Or keep playing in rotation but stay away from food retail venues, because otherwise it’s going to be too frustrating. I did a couple of hours playing the bakery household, I had them all stay at the bakery and sleep in the apartment upstairs while they ran the business. It’s OK because the food isn’t being deleted, but it is hardwork keeping all the family members on the retail lot all the time and it does get boring after a while. Eventually I swapped households and I am playing my Simself again, he can’t pop out for donuts and a chat anymore, but he does have a chirpy housekeeper that bakes all the time anyway. And when he needs social stimulation he has plenty of pubs and busy gyms too.
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[edit 1/18/2016] I’ve been playing over the weekend and no matter how many times I changed households the retail food is not being deleted. The only thing I can think of is that I’ve stopped rebuilding. I had been messing about with my Simself house on and off during the last week and every time I changed the bathroom tiles or repainted a bedroom I would have to reset the front door – it didn’t happen with buy mode only building. That was beginning to get very irritating. Discovering that the retail food items were not being deleted anymore has now made me afraid to rebuild anything! Which would normally be OK, but actually it’s quite boring and I am just not getting into the game anymore, I am seeing stuff that I would like to change or improve, but I am too scared to get stuck in for fear of losing all the bakery stock. Of course those two issues could be completely separate, and I could end up feeling very foolish but, I am so discombobulated with all the coming and goings I think I should take a break and wait until they release a fix update.
I tweaked the Harbour Quarter Gym a bit, mainly because after adding closets to the changing rooms the townies were getting stuck behind the staircases, but also because I wanted to add a natural pool to the basement – like Roman baths, but I didn’t like the stone edging (or the green water!) The yoga instructor needs to be replaced every time I visit because somehow the mats move around and some get deleted, but you don’t need to cheat with venues now and it’s easy to go into build mode and make changes while your Sims are there.

The Priory by Simply Ruthless is a beautiful medieval chapel (museum venue) that doesn’t need any fiddling and sits well in the world. I had to change the outside tables and chairs though because I really don’t like the clunky base game chairs. The other wedding venue is at the huge haunted estate, both are beautifully made and add to the game.
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The pubs are really cool, I don’t know what this one is called but I put a bedroom in upstairs and the gents loo is down a stone corridor in the basement. I’ve changed almost all the wood textures in the world for a lighter, warmer tone because the dark wood was a bit too dull and cold in a world of perpetual sunshine – for me anyway. There are two upright pianos at Mod The Sims, this one is my favourite despite the other having slots (although this did in TS3) because I like the stool and prefer the simple textures.

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