Finlay leaves home

He’s gone to live with the cool geeks, but it’s a struggle to maintain their nerdiness! Is it wrong to complain that my Sims are so (too) friendly? All I want is for them to live with their loner, geek, clumsy and anti-social traits and all they want is to spread the love and hang out together…

Anyway, it started with (a Sim – insert name later!), one of the triplets originally dreamt up to be live in servants at the Simself’s penthouse. But then came the butlers, and then I didn’t enjoy playing the penthouse lots very much, and actually the triplets turned out to be really cool Sims on their own. (a Sim – insert name later!) was the first to leave home and moved into 19 Culpepper House (the ‘needs tlc’ apartment). It was fun for a while but eventually the rats, roaches and iffy green stink just became really boring. He was learning to be an astronaut so didn’t have the time or skill to fix problems, and the landlord was useless too. So he moved into 17 Culpepper House the one with gremlins!! And that wasn’t any fun at all 😦

Here’s a thought EA, why not enable those starter flats and fixer-uppers to be fixed up. If for instance the tenant regularly put rat/roach poison down why not make the vermin appear less often, and then possibly never again. And why not enable a ghostbuster service NPC to clear away ghosts too. Introducing real life challenges might just make the game more dare I say intuitive. Certainly having the Sims work hard and save to climb the social ladder will be much more immersive than numbing players with repetitive animations that get boring very quickly.

So, I have a cool Sim (a Sim – insert name later!), and he’s got cool siblings. It’s his mother you’ll see in a lot of the venue screenshots, the one with the big boobs and cowboy hat. Honestly she came like that and she’s the most fun at a party. He’s also got loads of mates from all the time he spends at the gym, loads of love interest. Again though it was the game that hooked him up with a really cute, though soppy guy (forgotten his name too!).

Most of the time hanging out in the apartment, his bf had a key 🙂 And going on dates or meeting up with friends in the venues was good, so I like the idea of apartments. And I like San Myshuno too, the background buzz and street food is very cool, I just didn’t like how locked in it became. I know it’s possible to move between apartments, and that if you’ve the patience to persevere it is doable to buy the Sims way up the property ladder (fill the apartments with high end furnishings, then sell everything to buy another empty shell), but I still think my idea is best!

Cool Sim + Liking apartment living = Learning to build!

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Which is not so easy after all as the game doesn’t provide an apartment lot type (yet?) and there’s no way of creating public/residential areas or level skip markers like TS3. However I have one apartment type lot already in the game already (Roomies Reimagined) and I enjoy playing that household, so I decided to have a go! And built a couple of boxes 🙂

So I am not a great builder and there’s much better available on the gallery, but for my first attempt – and I set myself some very challenging design challenges with this build – I am pleased with the results.

First off it’s in Newcrest which in my game is a fairly low level town, and the apartment building is surrounded by small, modern houses so creating a huge, towering box would look odd, so my first challenge was to build the entrance/kitchen/dining area in a basement. Warning! Don’t try that unless you’ve got a driving need for frustration in your gaming lifestyle, because you cannot set a front door in a basement 😦 I already had plans to get around that, but one thing that might work (although not for me in this situation) is set a staircase away from a wall so that it forms a landing, then fence off that landing and I think you can set the gate as being the front door.
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Basement level contains kitchen and small cloakroom.
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Living room and access to the garden is on the next level.

There’s also another building, that I am calling a bunkhouse on ground level. My original plan was to have young professionals in the three ‘apartments’ and then add random townies to live short term in the bunkhouse. That’s what I originally intended, but the first two random Sims I introduced are so cool (and from legacy families) that they’ve become permanent!
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The bunkhouse has a games room, communal kitchen and dining area and a large empty space that I’d like to use as a laundry/garage. Upstairs there are two large bedrooms with camp beds and two basic bathrooms. Or there was until I moved in the two visiting Sims who were too cool to purge, I’ve remodelled one of the rooms so it’s more comfortable for them 🙂
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Finlay Simself sharing a room with his BFF Max Villareal. He’s all grown up now and looking for work, I hope that’s what he’s doing!
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Loads of hangout and group activities outside. I’ve set the only door to the bunkhouse as the front door, and all the other ground floor and basement doors are locked to everyone but family. But I have also locked all the bathroom doors so each of the ‘apartment’ living Sims can have their own private bathroom. That leads to another bug! Locking the ‘apartment’ doors for just one or two (if there was a couple) Sims, meant that they couldn’t invite a partner to sleep over because once the doors were unlocked for their partner, then the rest of the household could crash their privacy. Keeping the doors unlocked and having a locked bathroom ensuite to their bedroom (with claimed beds) means that other household members are unlikely to spend time in each others bedrooms – unless it’s good for the story 🙂

So there are beds available in the bunkhouse for occasional/frequent/OMG! use, which is kind of cool (for the guys anyway) because they don’t have to wake up next to their beer goggle conquests (if they could get drunk) and slip away in the night to their own bed. Or they could if it weren’t for the bed claiming bug! Woohoo in any bed other than their own removes their claim from their own bed. It’s not a game breaker, but it means I have to make them claim their original bed back every time, and I like to play with as little direction as possible. I love the way the game creates characters, and opens opportunities but there’s always some little snag that stops it from being laugh out loud cool. It would be awesome if the lads could invite a date over, go do their thing in the bunkhouse then slip quietly away to sleep in their own beds without me having to intervene. Anyway…
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The bedrooms are on the top floor with access to a private balcony. Here I’ve broken the rule about keeping the bedrooms private because there’s a yoga mat on the balcony, there’s also a running machine in one of the other bedrooms. I’ve put them in their bedrooms because I didn’t want to build a home gym, because I think that’s a bit lame. I much prefer to have the Sims travel to a town gym, but in real life a young guy living alone (sort of) and working long hours might have exercise equipment at home too – I really love the way they have workout video on the TV now too, that’s very cool. So very occasionally one of the other household Sims will want to use the running machine or yoga mat in the others apartment, I’ll only stop it from happening if it’s going to disturb a sleeping Sim.

So Finlay has left home, he’s started in the entertainment business but I am not it’s such a good choice though, his best friend Max is in the sports career which might have been better. Although to be fair he doesn’t need to work because his father can drop off bags of cash anytime he ever needs it [Stacks of Cash by plasticbox at MTS works a charm for transferring funds between households].

Other news from the Simself household, Gianni and Mrs Simself are living in separate houses! It’s not doom and gloom though, although they do say they’re ‘doing it for the kids!’ Bringing up two toddlers was too much, so they’ve separated with each looking after one toddler. Then I think it won’t be long before they’re aged up and become independant. There will be more babies in the future, especially as it seems future content will centre around the toddler life stage. But for now, I think they’re good for a break.

Thanks to those that have already downloaded, I hope it’s working for you – download the updated version when it’s ready, it looks better and it’s properly finished!

Toddler frustration. Building frustration. Vampire frustration…

Seriously! Is it just me or is this GAME getting harder?

I seemed to have spent most of this month building stuff, because it felt a lot less taxing than playing the game. I am not moaning though 🙂 I love this game and I like the way it’s gently (but firmly) led me into exploring the building aspect. Because that’s the thing I least enjoyed in the previous games. Now I am actually enjoying it. And that’s probably thanks to the game and expansion packs, because they’ve given me content to experiment with, and I love all the beaten up, grungy, weathered stuff that came with the vampire pack – especially the living cobwebs and the crumbling wall decor, it’s cool.
So it started with the glamour of a new bedroom in their swanky new penthouse. Honestly Mrs Simself was in a perpetual state of giddiness, like a queen bee in her three storey hive of glittering luxury. Not even a sulky teenage son, or the clumsy butler could make her feel down. Luckily her fundraising commitments took her out of the apartment for most of the day, but then the inevitable happened and twin babies were born!

And then they grew up into toddlers 😦 Urgh! I suppose it’s ok to say they weren’t very attractive… I mean, I wouldn’t say it outloud if they were some other Sims kids, but these are ours so I’ll just come straight out with it. Ugly! And that hair Urgh!!

Anyhoo, that’s what the CAS cheat is there for. Mrs Simself seems to always be wearing a bikini 🙂 that’s just because there’s a hot tub on the balcony and it’s where she goes to relax (honest). They moved out of the penthouse and into the Old Salthouse, I really don’t like the penthouses. Trying to follow three caregivers and two toddlers around three floors of sprawling real estate was a total nightmare. And I thought the smaller house would be easier, but because it was such a nightmare I channelled all my gameplay into building, and then because I ran out of commercial venues I started on their new home. And now that’s on three levels too! But at least now the toddlers are less dependant and are running! around on their own. Running!? Bloody hell 😦
I also rebuilt their holiday home, it used to be the over sized Greek inspired villa (with the cute housekeeper), now it’s more compact  and a lot easier to get around. Mrs Simself is still in the political career, their teenage son is actually quite cool now because he’s great with the toddlers, and Gianni Simself has quit work for good this time. It was all too much…

The vampire story

I really like the vampires, surprising because I really didn’t in TS3. There’s so much to them now that even if you don’t like the idea of them, it’s hard not to be impressed by the theatre. I love it when they pop up in a cloud of smoke, and the way other Sims react to their biting. The fighting is good and the smoldering in sunlight even better, though I’ve yet to see one die in the sunshine. I am playing Count Vladislaus because I like the way his dark half looks. One thing I really want to do is have his dark half wear a hospital gown, but I’ve forgotten how to find them in the catalogue. There are some CC gowns available but they’re all bright comedy coloured, what I would really like is to find a dirty, tattered version that looks like he was buried in it. Maybe that’s the boost I need to figure out how to make some CC of my own.

I’ve been slow to get going with vampires because I wanted a good Sim in one of the towns to be able to cure the victims. I had originally planned for one of the Goths to learn the trade, but I like them as they are. By chance I found a homeless single male Sim in household management. Melvin Wiley seemed perfect for the job because he’s got a really big beard and a cool surname ‘Wily’ Then I spotted another single, homeless Sim, Hakim Mounib, this one is fun because he’s big and athletic looking but he’s got that goofy walk which made him perfect as the wily vampire hunters dopey sidekick.

Unfortunately that all changed as soon as they started sharing a house, they took turns flirting and before I knew it they were romantically entangled! So back I go to the homeless bin. I’d noticed a very beautiful Indian lady, Ananya Gupta around town so I found her and moved her in also. It took a couple of days of misery for the two men to quit moaning at each other and crying under the covers, but now apart from the occasional outbursts of jealousy Melvin and Ananya are a happy couple. Happy to toil away in the garden night and day cultivating and harvesting the ingredients for the vampire cure. Hakim will come around eventually and his goofiness will win out especially since curing vampires is anything but simple!
They live and work in an underground bunker beneath an abandoned trailer in Oasis Springs. And I like it mostly, I wish I’d planned it better though, it might have been cool to hide the stairs in the old trailer so there’s no discernible entrance on the lot. But by that time I was done with building and bogged down with vampire hunting.

I know I am probably going about this the wrong way, and because I’ve been caught out moaning about stuff I was doing wrong previously, I’ll put in this soft moan quietly…

So Melvin the vampire hunter researched all there was to learn about vamps and qualified with the knowledge to make the vampire cure cocktail. Good enough, Ananya had been busy gardening and there was plenty of produce to make their first attempt. Vlad the bad had been seen biting into the neck of a pretty damsel in one of the clubs, so Melvin went hunting. Seeing the Sim transform into a vampire is cool too, although she hung about too long and started smoldering before she figured out it would wiser to get indoors! Melvin found and befriended her, then tried to invite her over – it was nighttime and she was sleeping! He tried the next day and of course “she’s a vampire and couldn’t do that” turns out there’s a brief window between 9 and 11pm where they’re willing to leave their nest. But then with the cure in his inventory he set about 8 hours solid mocking, hating, arguing and fighting with her with no option to give her the cure. He could have slayed her within the first hour, he was even able to throw ‘a drink’ at her but it wasn’t the cure and she laughed at his failure 😦

Eventually the sun came up, Melvin was wasted being truly nasty is exhausting. His two cohorts had quit trying to help hours earlier and were happily sleeping, and the vampire went home.

That evening he travelled to the vamps house, he still had the cure in his inventory and I’d read online that it still worked even if it had gone bad. It hadn’t by that time, so he knocked on the door and was invited in. The house was empty, and Mrs vampire was eventually found sleeping in a double bed with her teenage son!!!

And so began another marathon effort to apply the cure by any means available, but it wasn’t to be because that option never came up. The option to slay was always available, is that what I should be doing? It’s not what I wanted to do. Why provide a cure if that’s the only way to deal with vamps. There must be an easier way…

I think if I was a game developer and someone at EA were to ask me, I would suggest they keep the ‘Slay’ option in the mean menu and a ‘Cure’ option in the friendly menu. Maybe that’s how it works already and I am missing something. Whatever, Melvin left the cure at the vamps house because it had gone bad, so maybe she’s found it and cured herself – who can blame her? After enduring three days of verbal abuse she probably decided life would be more peaceful without the angry vigilante’s attempts at ‘healing’ her.
…to be continued!

edit 25/2/17: I think the ‘Cure’ problem is caused because the victim is only a fledgling vampire. I just tried with the Count. After a short fight Melvin the hunter was able to throw the cure at him and turn him back to mortal. If that’s the case then it makes hunting random townie vamps a lot more challenging, especially if they’re homeless. But it also adds a lot of realism because the hunter is going to make a lot of undead enemies in his quest to cure them all. And it’s also a tad easier to have Vlad turn Sims that I know already in the game, that way I can play them as vamps, then swap back to the hunter when I know he can cure them. As for the random townies he can always slay those anyway 🙂

The Goths are back

In all the years I’ve been playing Sims I’ve never had any interest in the Goths. I can’t even give a logical reason – I just didn’t like the look of them! And their house in TS4 is a bit lame. Although I do remember Gianni Simself having a bit of a fling with Bella, but she got old and died – and then so did the rest of the household.

Recently I’ve started tidying up the map, there is a lot of big empty house that need demolishing/rebuilding (or money cheats) because they’re too expensive for new households. As I don’t enjoy building houses from the ground up, my skills aren’t really good enough and I get frustrated easily! I prefer remodelling what’s there already – most of the time! – Ophelia Villa was a different matter altogether, I just couldn’t fix it up for another family.

So I had an idea to just reinstall the Goths, and leave them to it as I’d done previously. But then I also had an idea to introduce a vampire hunter into the town. My plan was to have a Goth descendant study vampire lore until eventually he would be able to start ‘fixing’ them.

I want a vampire hunter because I really want to play the vampires I have in the game already, I need for them to start turning hapless townies into creatures of the night – but before I start with that I really want an opposing force that can make ongoing repairs and keep a good balance.

So with all that in mind, I really did want to like TS4 Goths, and I do! They’re cool, but I think I am going to leave them as they are. Probably I’ll have Mortimer hunt vampires, and Bella doesn’t work anymore either – she’s a lady of leisure now – possibly she’s a resting (out of work) actress. I’ve put horror film posters around her dressing room, so I think she’s a B-Movie queen. Cassandra is awesome because she’s so gloomy! And little Alex wakes up screaming every morning because his bedroom is in a crypt! He’s never going to do well fighting blood suckers – Though he could be a Xander for Cassie’s Buffy…

Anyway, all of that is dependent on them having the right house to live in. I found Oxford Vampire House by ConceptDesign97 and I love it 🙂 But, the builder has used MOO a lot! There are route blocking vines everywhere! And it took quite a bit of fixing up to create living spaces for the family. But, it looks amazing and hats off to the original builder, it’s a creative gem.

Better still, Cassandra has taken a shine to a geeky kid that lives across the street, and that’s loads of fun 🙂

Fixing up the old town

Yesterday morning I woke with a bee in my bonnet! Not unusual in the slightest, and probably due to a fast approaching spring.

The sun was shining and the gales had blown away, so I wandered around the garden looking for something easy to fix. Eventually after a mug of coffee and a long conversation with a tame pheasant, I decided to remove a concrete step that was jutting out from the edge of the lawn. My house is over 200 years old and I think that step has been there for all those years. It took me a good half hour of hitting it with a sledge hammer before it was crumbled enough to shovel it away. Now when I cut the grass I won’t have to worry about wrecking the blades when I drive over the edge, so all in all “A good job well done!” – there’s a big hole to fill in, and it’s going to need reseeding before there’s any grass to cut – but that’s by the by, I’ve done what needed to be done. I am happy 🙂

And that lead me to think about Simsville, and how easy their lives are. Planning a refurbishment? Or contemplating some groundwork? It’s as simple as a couple of mouse clicks to completely remodel your house and fix up a boring yard.

Now I’ve never been much of a Sims builder, but I did study interior design, I did even consider it as a career – the only thing that stopped me was that I know I’d be rubbish at listening to what other people (paying customers) really want. I have tried over the years to offer guidance when asked, but I lock up when people say stuff like, “oh I don’t know…” or “that’s not quite what I was thinking…” But in Simsville, I am in charge! I’ve got no one telling me how it should be done, and bless them all they’re so perpetually happy – there really is no effort.
It started with the vampire update, although I regularly spend time trawling through household management – making partners, kids, adding a next generation for elderly townies etc – keeping the continuity in check. But it was the garlic plant introduced with the vampire pack, and a need for all the households to have access to the plant. That and enabling them to learn the skills needed to craft the decorations so preventing vampires from obliterating their townships, that inspired me to change up the town venues.

It just didn’t seem very realistic that every house had fully stocked gardens, I know that a lot of the Sim characters have no interest in gardening – some of them have never even cooked a family meal, they get by with an occasional BBQ and the neighbourhood is full of places to eat. So I decided that each town should have a community garden, where they can grow and collect produce freely. Except for San Myshuno because they’ve already got the produce stalls.

In Oasis Springs I’ve used the roof of the science museum/library which works really well because it’s an ideal venue for space plants and obscure grafted plants. But I wanted to do something different in Willow Creek, it’s an older town and I really wanted to build a community garden. There’s a small National (cruising!) park that has the ranger station which is good too.

GGOYAM-BANGSAIN-004 fits the bill. It’s perfect, I changed it from residential to a cafe, put a load of planters in so the Sims could plant their own. A playroom and plenty of toddler pottys and high chairs. It’s a joy to have somewhere for the Sims to socialise, hang out with the kids and grow/harvest the produce that they need.

That lead me into fixing up all the community lots in all of the worlds! I haven’t finished yet 🙂 Here’s some from Willow Creek.



There’s a whole other story due soon, after seeing the Pancakes’ toddler I’ve reintroduced some familiar faces…

Here’s Herbert

Herbert Of Liverpool
RIP Herbert Howe 1944 – 2016

A long, long time ago in a tiny, cluttered office above a trendy salon in Liverpool, I met a man who changed my life. I was working in his office as part of a YTS training scheme – now that shows how long ago it was! There was an attempt to revamp traditional apprenticeships in the early 80’s and they were rebranded as ‘Youth Training Schemes’. Mine was in office work, and the scheme run by Herbert Of Liverpool gave kids a chance to work in hairdressing, fashion, beauty, retail, he even offered workshops where kids could learn about computers and IT – Outstanding at the time, because even in his up-to-date world we were still using electric typewriters in the office. His Aunty Christine was the bookkeeper and office manager and that poor woman went home most days with a migraine brought on by my constant need for Tipp-Ex!

Anyway, this one Monday, I was making coffees out in the corridor and suddenly the air was filled with the most delicious fragrance. I could still hear the rumble of traffic and the street noises outside, but it all seemed so distant for a brief moment when he brushed past me in that tiny alcove. “Hello, who are you?” he said, and I told him my name and what I was doing. And he paused, you have to believe that even a millisecond in his gaze felt like hours. In that moment he saw right into me, completely from head to toe, inside and out he’d measured me up – NOT in a creepy way – he wasn’t that kind of man. He broke the gaze with a blinding smile, “you’re too good for this type of work, come and work with me and I’ll show you the world” he said as he opened the office door then disappeared inside.

I probably did one of those cartoon head shakes, I know I was faffing about for a while finishing up the drinks because Christine said hers was too cold to drink by the time I got it done. Herbert was in the office for about an hour, moving quickly from one pile of folders to another. VAT, PAYE, rent payments etc, he swept through them like a whirlwind until all the decisions had been made and he left…

A couple of weeks later and I was standing at the reception of his flagship Liverpool salon, going through the most bizarre interview ever! He led me by the hand around the massive salon, I think he introduced me as a country bumpkin to all his managers, staff and customers! And I probably looked a lot like a startled deer as I trailed behind, following him through his glittering world. Trust me when I say that growing up in Liverpool during the 70’s was harsh, no-one that I knew had any money, and luxury was a foreign concept. I was one of the more fortunate ones because my hardworking parents had provided us with a decent home, but even that seemed grey and lacklustre compared to the over-the-top glamour and sparkle he was showing me.

I started working with him there and then, and in time rose to the position of managing his barbershop. I let him love me, though I think I loved him more. And the times we spent together will be forever special. I did over thirty years in the hairdressing business before retiring (early!) but it will always be the years I spent at Herbert Of Liverpool that mean the most – sorry everyone else! But you know it’s true – I’ve never met anyone else since that powerful. His charisma was his strength, but he used it like a gift. I learnt early on (and it’s something that I’ve tried to pass on too over the years) that anyone can cut hair, physically it’s just a process or method that can be taught to anyone. The real skill lies in knowing that person, understanding what it is they want or need, and making them feel good. That was his power and strength, even if he never even touched your hair, even if you only met him in a queue at the bar, or in a car park, that brief spark of warmth and joy would be enough to raise your day, and make you want to spread the goodwill to the next person you met. I loved you Herbert and I am so sorry we lost touch, I wish more than anything I’d made time to come and see you before you left. As far away as I am now from the big city we both loved, I’ll never forget the good times 🙂

Adding some sparkle to The Sims 4

I had to do this, and I know it’s not a terrific likeness but the traits work and the little Sim does light up his environment!
I had to run the money and free real estate cheats to get him into one of the penthouses in the fashion district. And I had to do quite an extensive remodelling because over-all they’re not very special. The apartments work well though, and the penthouse is huge – probably too big, because the scale of the rooms seems off. Still it’s a good addition to the game and they can be built on so there’s plenty of room for future content.
There are two companions sharing his penthouse, one to cook and clean, and the other to fix and maintain things and keep the bar stocked with sparkly cocktails. There’s been no romance though! But I think that’s OK, the cowboy has unflirty traits yet Herbert has made stronger friendship bond with him. It’s the little guy that does the cooking and cleaning that worries me the most, he could end up the wrong side of the duvet and as Herbert’s world expands and his entourage grows that might not work so well. I might have to find a love interest for him elsewhere, because the last thing I want to see in the apartment is anger or sadness.
Last time I started a list about all the good stuff I like in the new EP and I completely forgot the games console! I am so happy to see that reintroduced although, none of the multi-player options seem to increase their social levels, and even with all whooping and hollering they don’t seem to interact with each other when they’re playing together. Doesn’t matter though because it’s a thousand times better than the old gaming rig. I also love that high backed loveseat, it looks amazing and very high end. Sadly though, the big, high backed executive desk chair seems to no longer work, even though it slots into the desk with no problem the Sims can’t sit on it, so as you’ll see in the screenshot I’ve had to replace it with another chair. Hopefully that’s an easy fix because I really liked the way it looked.
There is a nod to the Herbert I knew and loved in his en-suite, the real Herbert had a Christmas themed bathroom in his little house in Roby. He used to say it was Christmas everyday in his home 🙂 There’s also a tricked out pink bidet (because why not!) and a large shelving unit ready to be stocked with elixirs and good times potions.
Rose petals around his bed and some of the best looking furnishings yet released.
How can you not love this game?

If you want to learn more about Herbert and see the great man in action – I warn you it’s compelling! Here is a video from the late 90’s, I moved away from Liverpool in the early 90’s and it’s how I remember him.

island idyll, relaxing at their second home

A while back I had the idea that my Simself household should take some time out. They are both retired now, and with only one child at home why not. So I decided to set them up with a big, beautiful house on the island. They could leave the housekeeper and her brood in their old family house, and they would move in with whoever was going to be the housekeeper in the beach house. It’s so simple 🙂

First thing I did was download Greek Dream by Thurid666 I did mess it about a bit, but I’ve put it down next to another of her Greek style houses and they look great together.

Then I found a single Sim in the household bin and moved him in using the freerealestate cheat. Previously I’d given the Simself family a sexy female housekeeper, but Gianni never even gave her a second glance – which kind of spoilt my fun – but at least it shows he’s decent! Mrs Simself is something else altogether, that Sim would flirt with her own shadow if it was possible, so a hunky male housekeeper should liven things up a bit.
I’ve forgotten his name already! I played him intensely as I tried to skill him up quickly. Then swapped back to the Simself’s, (the screenshot below shows how long ago it was because my all time favourite mod was still working) I had Gianni draw out a load of credit cards before visiting the beach house. Then while the housekeeper was struggling to cook a perfect salad! Gianni blazed around the house upgrading every appliance and planting a garden.
Back to the beach house once more to continue working on the housekeepers skills. And then I forgot all about it while I was playing a different household and another story line, until EA announced the City Living EP. Immediately I started planning how they could have a penthouse with staff, because somewhere in the world already there are super-cute triplets (male) that would be available to live in and pander to their every whim… and then I remembered the beach house 🙂 So in the meanwhile they’ve moved in.

With only a day or two left before the next EP is released, and presumably another game breaking update. Now seems as good a time as any to showcase my two newest fave mods. One of them is undoubtedly going to get broken! The other is just perfect.

Willow Creek retirement home

Where do all the old people go in your world? The culling thing isn’t really happening in my game and a lot of the houses always seem to have one elderly occupant. I really want those houses to be available for young families  although there’s no problem filling the cheap, starter homes, the game does that much. Cheats are needed for the larger properties.

I had an idea to free up some real estate by creating a rest home for the town’s elderly population. The huge ‘Oakenstead’ lot seemed like a good enough place to start, it’s a really nice southern style mansion in the most exclusive Sage Estates part of town. Surrounded by parkland and ponds, the front porch give it a timeless ambience, although in ‘real’ life not one of the residents will choose to sit out there and enjoy relaxing in the setting sun because the great big TV is more appealing.
Of course I didn’t know that when I started (should have done by now!) I took a single female Sim from the family bin, modified her traits to make her happy & caring. Gave her a teenage son (who isn’t!) and then gave him lazy, playful traits – needless to say I really like him, he’s hot-headed and brattish yet also really charming too. The old folks love him 🙂 Then in edit Town I fixed up the old mansion and used freerealestate to move them in.
I moved the first resident in the old fashioned way, the manager visited him at his home and persuaded him to live with them. (I added others using household management). Next I aged up the teenage son because it works better with him ambling around rather than rushing away to school everyday.
In the early days the visiting massage therapist worked well but recently it’s more miss than hit, and far too frustrating. The residents can call a therapist who arrives soon after, the chairs are OK but sometimes the actions are cancelled and I have to click on the chair a couple of times to get it working. The therapist and the bed is another matter, that’s just not working he goes and stands waiting while the poor old dear keeps having their action cancelled. I gave up when the therapist started teleporting up the stairs. No matter how many times I tried I couldn’t get it to work . I’ve no idea why because there are no mods that would cause a conflict, and it works perfectly if one of the ‘staff’ offers a massage.
All the bedrooms are locked for that resident and the manager. They all have comfy beds, a TV and a book case. But it’s unusual for the Sims to choose the bedroom TV rather than the huge one in the lounge, and I’ve yet to see any of them pick a book up. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms for privacy.

I had to expand the toilet facilities on the ground floor as the number of residents grew because they were constantly walking in on each other – causing constant grief!
The updated Male Urinal by Menaceman44 @ MTS is awesome because it has no privacy limitations and doesn’t break or need cleaning. It also seems to have removed their ability to wash their hands, which is a bit alarming – and realistic!

Serving food was more frustrating than even the troublesome massage therapist, because I couldn’t get the retail displays to work. I figured out that the heated display will only work with baked goods – although they can store some cooked meals the Sims reset when you tell them to take a portion of roast chicken (for instance) – there’s no issues with bagels and pies! And the chiller works with harvestables, ice cream too but only after it’s served as individual portions – which is a bit a faff, but worth doing.


The buffet table works well though, it’s easy enough to drag plates from the kitchen for breakfast and fill it for dinner. Sadly though the bar is more attractive than the tray of iced tea. I can get the Sims to take a class of tea or lemonade, but they’re more likely to go to the bar autonomously.

*edit Nov/16 The buffet table is not working 100% anymore, you can still click on it and serve food as intended. But dragging served food from the kitchen isn’t working anymore, the food rebounds back to the counter!

It was around the same time of noticing one of the elderly residents still had a day job, that I realised playing the household with aging turned off made it all a bit of a waste of time! Luckily though I had a plan B in place.

I’d already put a small church in Willow Creek as a park. All I needed to do was pull a father (?) and son from the bin to live there and then leave them alone! That way the household should age naturally and any elderly Sims that I send there will die a natural death.

I had to make some changes for it to work as a residence, and that’s easy too as long as you remember to do all the building work from the map screen because I think doing it that way doesn’t count as a played household and therefore aging shouldn’t be affected – only time will tell.

Sadly the day beds had to go. As cool as they are, the separated mattresses act as a bed so Sims will sit on either side which looks really odd. I also put a dormitory down stairs with bathrooms and cluttered up the small office to make it looked lived in.
And then something cool happened. The care home manager was visiting the father and son that lived at the church. I quite liked the look of the teenage son, his story seemed very much like the managers son. So I had him visit too, I thought that they wouldn’t get on and that the two young Sims would argue but the opposite happened, and thanks to the teen romance mod there’s another cool relationship blossoming.
They’re like twins – only one is older and the other cute with puppy fat 🙂 I really wanted to get their relationship up to best friends, because I thought as the two households would be working together they could become allies for each other. So I sent them both to the gym! neither showed much interest in the other, even though they were supposed to be working out together.

Back home I had the older Sim send a happy text to the teen, who replied asking him to go on a date in the park. They hung out for a while, then I noticed some flirting and the ‘have first kiss’ option seemed too good to miss.
They actually went around the back of the building to kiss!
Then back to the nursing home where one of the elderly residents caught them ‘fooling around’ in a spare bedroom I’d unlocked.

Earlier on in the summer I had been moaning because the game bored me! I think I’m getting it now, all the tools are there, the Sims look great – all you have to do is dream up a storyline and watch it play out – It doesn’t have to be boring.

Curses, foiled again!

Thanks to this stumbling, fumbling game it all went pear-shaped. I was playing a different household when the teenage kid that lived in the church went jogging past – nothing unusual about that – the fact that I could see straight through the part of him above the knees and below his belly button was very alarming though. Literally nothing there like he was turning invisible man.

So I quickly paused the game ran the cheats and did a CAS edit. It looked to me as though there was a problem with CC, but when I checked his athletic outfit it was all base game although for some reason they weren’t showing up. So I swapped them for some other shorts and went back to the game, big relief to see everything was good. Then I noticed that while he was in CAS the game had swapped households and he was the playable character. Still not a huge problem, I had been avoiding playing their household as I wanted him to age naturally – the really BIG problem was that I had already started moving cantankerous old people into the church, and now they too would stop aging too. Doh! (and loads of other expletives!) There was only one thing to do, evict everyone and install a new caretaker into the church, then move the old folks back. That should kill off (I mean provide a warm, caring space to spend their final days) all the oldies. Who knows what has become of the cute kid and his father now they’re homeless 😦

Roomies Re-imagined

This isn’t part of the story but it’s a fun household to play. For a while I’ve been taking homeless Sims and putting them together to keep them in the game a bit like the Roomies household but they don’t know each other beforehand. It’s fun watching how their stories develop even with no planning involved.

It made me want to try an apartment scenario, I could take random Sims from the homeless bin and put them together, but this time tweak their traits to make it interesting.05-23-16_9-42-24 PM
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NewCrest Apt. Building by APOCOLYPSE1021 looks great in the neighbourhood, but I did mess about with it a lot! I changed the staircases on the ground floor so now one leads up to the first floor and the other to a basement. I am hoping to put a laundry down there one day. There are two apartments on the ground floor, two on the first floor and one big open loft on the second floor.

I have locked some of the interior doors so that only those family groups can access their own apartment, but I’ve also left a couple open so the whole household can have group meals. Space is limited outside but there is a garden and communal eating/grilling area. Locking some of the doors does sometimes glitch when they try to clean up dishes, but it’s not a big deal.
Madge Orwell is a spinster with the klepto trait her apartment is on two floors and is filled with stuff she’s stolen. For a long time I couldn’t figure out the klepto trait, I knew she was stealing stuff but I couldn’t find it in her inventory, I found it by chance in the household inventory which was a good surprise!
Jamel and Gregory Talbot (father & son) share the other ground floor apartment. Jamel looks after the garden and I put Gregs bedroom in the basement as he’s a bit of a loner and is happier alone playing computer games.

Rowan Douglas and Ariel Posey share a flat on the next floor, their relationship is complicated and more off than on as I play the other households. I never know what’s going on until I check in and find one of them sleeping on the sofa.

Frank Tidwell lives next door, he’s the token gay guy and I think he’s cool 🙂 For the record I should say that all I’ve changed about these Sims are hair, clothes and some of their traits – and that’s only because the game generated them almost perfectly, I just tweaked them a little to fit my storyline.

I was hunting for artwork to decorate their rooms when I had an idea. Frank is shy. He’s not a loner just awkward around meeting new people. He’s also (how to say) inexperienced in love. Which combined with his new career as a law keeper led me to a dark place…
Slightly stalkerish but it’s all harmless really. He actually needs to use all his charm and wit to win the confidence of the boys he meets, he then needs to muster all his courage and keep his nerves in check when he asks them to show him their underwear! Like I said it’s just a game – I couldn’t resist.
Layne Orellana an aging rock star lives in the top floor loft. He likes nothing more than listening to retro tunes on the radio and exploring his creative talent at the easel. His door is never locked and from time to time one or both of the girls from downstairs commandeer his bed, but he doesn’t mind he’s so chilled he just crashes on the couch.


they bought a castle

As soon as I saw Rivendell, elven outpost by artrui at MTS I knew they had to live in a castle, Gianni Simself may not be the millionaire Sim he once was but, he’s worked hard and has enough money in the bank to start showing off a little. Sadly though not enough for that glorious pile, still it made me think. What he really needed was a dilapidated, old  castle that could be modernised to look like a cash happy banker had snapped it up in a showy impulse. There are loads to choose from on the gallery, but it was the scale and proportions of Dracula Castle (Bran) by Angerouge24 that caught my eye, and I love how it turned out.
sims 4 castle
One of the first things I did (after the mandatory pool), was put a rocket on the roof and a staircase in the room below for access, because I am still jerking young Amber between the science and medical careers. That was when I noticed the gorgeous effect of sunlight streaming in, sadly though I couldn’t replicate it in any other room though and even sadder, I lost it in her room too after putting lockable doors in to stop the rest of the household from sleeping in her bed. (I think it’s more likely to do with ceilings, or lack of to get the sun shine streaming in. Building without ceilings is tempting, but then there’s no sprinkler system in case of fires).

Swapping the roof tiles (new roof, every renovators worst nightmare!) roof trim, flipping the windows so the shutters are on the inside (who wants to climb a 30ft ladder in a storm?) and adding a disneyesque stone foundation with freshly painted railings all round made the place look a lot smarter. It also encouraged me to start meddling with the roof structures (something I really shouldn’t do), I apologise to the original builder because there’s very little left of the dark Gothic towers left, but in the spirit of Grand Designs I couldn’t be happier, because I think it looks as though the old castle has been through a ‘money no object’ modernisation, and is now a family home, albeit a slightly ‘over-the-top’ one 🙂
sims 4 castle
sims 4 custom content by plasticbox
Everything that plasticbox at MTS does is cool and that bookcase override is a favourite. I love decorating with different styles and textures, and the worn, vintage pieces look so good alongside more modern furniture. Another favourite are the base game panelled doors, I just love how beautifully simple and well made they are, it’s a such a shame that they’re invisible most of the time!

I started remodelling the castle before the spa set was released so there was a few empty rooms that I couldn’t figure out how to use, but I’d put a fireplace and a couple of reading chairs in the master bedroom, and that little space was ideal for one of the massage chairs. I love the way they can phone for a masseuse to visit, and that it’s free!! Great after a stressful day 🙂 Thanks to the team that put together the Spa set because the animations are cool and the equipment have small footprints that are easy to place and look great. The venues are awesome too, and for those of us not up to building from scratch, they fit into all the towns, and you can play straight out of the box with no need to faff about.
sims 4 massage service
sims 4 spa sauna
sims 4 office clutter
I love the layout of the rooms upstairs, there are three bedrooms and four bathrooms, a sauna, gym, a couple of cool little courtyards, one of them has enough space for a hot tub. Gianni has an office with a grand fireplace and there’s a really neat corridor that twists around the rooms and staircases. I can’t remember how much of that is original to the build, or how much I’ve fiddled with it, but the basic layout is so cool it’s been easy adapting it to fit my storyline. There’s one more floor above with a games room in the attic, I am still holding out for game consoles and arcade machines because that motion sensor thingumy, as cool as it is, isn’t a group activity and I really think that’s what they need.

The ground floor is something else entirely! There is so much room but nowhere to hang a painting because all the interior walls drop down, that’s given me a bit of trouble because I am so OCD about stuff like that, so I am using the huge entrance hall to display their masterpieces. Honestly I am not complaining though because I love the way it flows. There’s a family room that leads out onto a patio, (then down to the pool) and also connecting doors into a music room. A huge central room with high ceilings and a big old fireplace and sturdy, old fashioned doors leading to more corridors. Little Duncan’s room is big enough for the tent, and there’s a hidden staircase behind a fireplace that leads down to a cellar (but I haven’t figured out why!) From the main hall another door opens onto the main staircase and also stairs down to another cellar (still no idea what for!) and at the end of that corridor there’s a door leading to another patio where they have all the gym equipment. Behind another door there’s yet another corridor giving access to the kitchen, pantry, and an exterior door leading down to the kitchen garden. The corridor winds around to a cosy little nook where Gianni has a desk and reading area for his writing hobby. Lastly there’s a huge dining room with a bar, I love it all 🙂 and I take my hat off to whoever it was that put it together in the first place, because even though the rooms are grand in scale, and there are a lot of them! It’s not like one of those sprawling buildings that you see on the gallery with three of every item in it to fill the space, I think it’s perfect.

sims 4 houses
sims 4 photo glitch
Something horrible happened after the last update though 😦 One of the photos that they’ve moved from the last house, has broken. It’s been on that same wall since they moved in and there’s no reason why it should have broken now…

(edit) it’s fixed after the Aug update

sims 4 piano
sims 4 castles
sims 4 DIY beautifully
Couldn’t resist sharing that last one 🙂

I really like the kitchen looking so dated, it’s just a functioning room for one purpose, but that will probably all change when the kitchen stuff pack is released. I’ve got to try and control myself though because I don’t want it to be too glossy and sleek (do need an ice cream maker again though!) There’s another staircase leading to another unused cellar but I am hoping that soon we’re going to get a wine making machine and some dusty old wine racks, and I love that tiled staircase so much.
sims 4 gardening
sims 4 perfect patio

If you haven’t seen the ‘Get Together’ trailer yet it’s here. I’ve pre-ordered already because I am speechless every time I watch it…”I want need walk in closets!”