The Sims 3 – Social Features Coming with March 2012 Game Update

So today EA posted a video explaining the social feautures coming with the March 2012 Sims 3 update which will link in with the new Sim Pages that they are working on right now (hence the official site being out of service today).

All I can say is that it seems totally pointless and judging by the overwhelmingly negative response on You Tube I’m not alone.

Traditional Sims Players are not interested in spammy updates about their friends games. If we want to know what’s going on in our friends games we’ll go to forums when we feel like it thank you very much.

Okay, yes we’ll be able to turn off this feature but I’m not sure I even want it in the first place.  I think I’ll definitely be holding off installing the next update. At least until Twallan has updated his mods to match and fix whatever EA break.

This will only serve to fan the flames of simmer rage that were ignited by the original announcement of the inclusion social features in the imminent Showtime EP. It seems even those who aren’t buying Showtime will be subjected to installing social features if they want to keep their game up to date.

I really don’t like what they are doing to my favourite game.

That’s my jaded viewpoint. What’s yours?


The new My Pages are live and they inform all your friends of every little comment you make.
This is live update overkill – if we had a news feed and our own wall to control (like Facebook) then it would be okay. But with this constant live feed, unless you are on the site 24/7 then you will miss most comments.  I’d happily like to see new uploads from friends but not every single little comment that they make to other people. That feels disconcertingly voyeuristic.

Child of the Night: The Kendra Magna Story – Chapter 5

This is chapter 5 of Child of the Night.

To read from the beginning please go to the Contents Page

Child of the Night: The Kendra Magna Story – Chapter 5

As I prepared to blow out the candles on my 21st birthday cake all I was thinking about was what I wanted to do with my life. I had dreams of becoming a world renowned author and getting married to Notzo.  I hardly noticed that the sun was setting.

Soon the smoke from my candles with disappearing with the day and I felt a rush of energy and excitement flow through my body as a red glowing light surrounded me.

I was suddenly acutely aware of the fact that all my friends and family were around me. It was almost as if I could hear their every thought about me as I grew into an adult.

When the transformation completed I no longer cared that all eyes were on me. I felt powerful, sexy and unstoppable.

I also finally felt confident enough to seek out my Dad, Kendrick, and ask him a few questions.

“So Dad, now that I’m grown up, what does that mean for me?”

Dad smiled, it seemed he’d been anticipating this question.

“For each vampire, as that is what you now are, the experience is different but there are several things we all have in common. You will age much slower than your human friends, you will crave blood but this can be sated by drinking plasma juice and at night you might develop powers over others that you must try not to abuse.”

I took this in with wonder. I realised that my life was going to be very different from that of my peers.

To take my mind off of my worries Dad asked me to dance.

“I feel very proud of you my daughter. You have grown up well and you are now a beautiful woman. Now, let me twirl you round that dance floor.”

I giggled.

“It’s no dance floor Dad, its my front room, but I’d be honored!”

The next morning I decided that now I was a grown woman it was time that I faced the world independently.

With this in mind I told my Mum, Lucinda, that I was thinking of moving out. I wasn’t sure how she’d take it as it would mean that she would be left living alone with our six cats. I knew that crazy cat lady was not how she had ever envisioned herself.

But she was surprisingly understanding.

“Kendra honey I get it. In fact I’ve been putting some money aside from my sports career ever since you were born. I think now is the time for you to have it and use it to put towards buying a house.”

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Child of the Night: The Kendra Magna Story – Chapter 4

This is chapter 4 of Child of the Night.

To read from the beginning please go to the Contents Page

Child of the Night: The Kendra Magna Story – Chapter 4

I had been spending so much time with my new friend Notzo that it was no surprise to my Mum, Lucinda,  when I invited him to her 60th Birthday celebrations at our house.

Mum aged very gracefully and she felt happy with all the she had achieved in her life so far.

She had recently been promoted to Football Superstar and had the admiration of the whole of Twinbrook as well as enough money for her not to have any financial worries for the rest of her life.

Mum insisted on an early night as she had a match the next day so she wished us both sweet dreams and headed off to her room.

This left me and Notzo alone to do as we pleased. Since night had fallen a rush of energy was coursing through my body so I suggested trying out the hot tub in the garden.

As we stripped down to our swimming clothes I couldn’t help but stare at his body. Notzo certainly did look after himself. Since arriving at our school he’d found himself excelling in athletics and had recently joined the running team. All that working out gave him a very muscular body, the sight of which took my breath away.From the way he looked at me it seemed the attraction was mutual and it wasn’t long before we found ourselves attempting to act on our feelings.

I’d never kissed anyone before and neither had he. So when we closed our eyes to kiss it was slightly miss timed and I ended up kissing his nose. But it was okay, we just giggled and tried again. It was the second time that the sparks really started to fly.
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Child of the Night: The Kendra Magna Story – Chapter 3

This is chapter 3 of Child of the Night.
To read from the beginning please go to the Contents Page

Child of the Night: The Kendra Magna Story – Chapter 3

It seemed that some higher power had heard my prayers as the next couple of years passed as quickly as I’d wished them to. My fourteenth birthday was upon me and I was excited that I would finally get to join Clara at highschool. I felt grown up and ready to party.

My Mum, Lucinda, put a dampener on my excitement by insisting that I finish my homework on a Friday night.

“It’s for your own good Kendra, if you get this done then you can relax and enjoy your party tomorrow.” She told me with a sigh.

I glowered at her but did as I was told. I knew better than to mess with my mother.
Which was more than can be said for the opportunist thief who decided to break into our house that night.

My Mum is super fit, thanks to her career in local football team the Twinbrook Llamas, so the second the alarm went off she did not hesitate to get out there and beat the skinny thief down. By the time the police arrived the crook was begging for mercy.

I was glad the drama was over as it would soon be time for my friends to arrive for my party.

Just like old times Clara and I were soon indulging in a pillow fight which turned into a massive match as our school friends joined in.  However I didn’t have all of her attention that night.

Clara had been dating class joker Jeb Humphries for little over a year and they often stopped whatever they were doing to lock lips, much to the annoyance of other girls who were a bit jealous.

After a whole evening of pillow fights, dancing, joking and eating too much junk food it was time to collapse into a carb coma in our sleeping bags.

I was a little self conscious about sleeping in the same room as my friends as I’d been told in the past that the sounds I make when I sleep are a little different. Luckily everyone was too zonked out to notice anything strange.

Now that Clara and I were at the same school again we renewed our friendship. We would often be found together giggling about boys or the latest celebrity scandal.  But as close as we were it became obvious we moved in different social circles. Whilst I found myself drawn to the group of amateur hacks that made up the school newspaper Clara was a cheerleader and always surrounded by the poplar kids.

When I voiced my concerns about our differences Clara laughed and gave me a hug.

“Aaw Cous’ you use that grey matter of yours too much. I love you, we are family. Blood means much more than friendship. Don’t you ever forget that.”

With my mind put at rest I relaxed a little and that weekend I decided to go and watch my football superstar Mum lead her team out at the Llama’s stadium.  Her team won 5-0 with her scoring a hat-trick of goals. She really was a true local hero.

If I was honest with myself I felt slightly jealous of both my Mother and Clara. Both of them were well-known around our town and both were appreciated for their efforts within the community. I felt invisible compared to them.  I suppose that’s why I then did the stupidest thing I ever did at school.

On a Monday morning I left for school early with the intention of creating my own news worthy story. I was going to let all the frogs out of their terrariums in the science lab and set them free in the school grounds.  However I hadn’t realised that teachers get into school early. I was caught out and taken to the police station as punishment.

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Child of the Night: The Kendra Magna Story – Chapter 2

This is chapter 2 of Child of the Night.
To read from the beginning please go to the Contents Page

Child of the Night: The Kendra Magna Story – Chapter 2

The day I started school happened to coincide with the day my mother Lucinda was promoted to MVP within the Twinbrook Llamas football team. The extra money this brought in paid for the special Plasma Juice drinks which our Doctor had prescribed for my stable growth and development. They tasted slightly metallic but were oddly addictive so I didn’t question the decision.

With Mum busy at work I started to spend more and more time with my Cousin Clara. I would often go to her house after school. So often in fact that the bus driver soon stopped questioning where I needed to be dropped off every day.

We fell into a comfortable routine that included working on our homework together. I marveled at how smart Clara was at mathematics when I couldn’t even calculate the simplest equation.

Once our homework was done we would play tag in her garden. This was something that I found came easier to me as darkness fell. In fact I realised I felt more alive at night than at any other time of the day.

Not long after dark Mum would arrive to take me home. I always felt a little sad when I had to leave Clara, she was becoming more like a sister to me than an older cousin.

But the good thing about living with just my Mum was how close it enabled us to be. We would stay up late talking about our days and I would often fall asleep in her bed and she would let me stay there.

At the weekends Clara and I would spend our time causing chaos by running around my house having pillow fights. Mum would have had a fit if she saw all the mess we created, but I was smart enough to clear it away before she saw it. Time always seemed to fly when the two of us were playing together.

One weekend when Mum had to travel for an away match with the Llamas, and Clara’s family were out of town, my Dad Kendrick came to babysit me. I still knew very little about him, Mum rarely talked about him with me, all I knew was that she still loved him deeply.

He was in the military so I tried to impress him with my best salute and I called him “Sir” which seemed to make him smile. I longed to ask him why he didn’t live with us but didn’t feel I knew him well enough to ask such a personal question. So rather than rocking the boat I decided to enjoy what little time I had with him. I discovered that he shared my love of fiction and I was thrilled when he decided to read me a bedtime story.

On that Sunday evening Mum returned home. She came into the bedroom and lay down next to me just as Dad was tucking me in for the night. I was dropping off to sleep but not quite there so I overheard their whispered conversation.

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Concert Review: R and B Superstars II – 12th February 2012 – Hammersmith Apollo – London

In recent years when Valentine’s Day rolls around there seems to always be a good soulful R&B concert to go to in London town (UK). This year was no exception and it was sorely needed in light of the recent shock passing of Whitney Houston. The line up at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo was a mouth watering one for those of us over 25, and possibly for a few discerning youngsters. Silk, Dru Hill, Ginuwine & SWV were all on the bill meaning the title of R&B Superstars was more than justified.

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Child of the Night: The Kendra Magna Story – Chapter 1

This is chapter 1 of Child of the Night.
If you have not already read the Prologue please go HERE

Child of the Night: The Kendra Magna Story – Chapter 1 – Where It All Began
The best way to explain how I came to be a vampire living in Bridgeport with my cousin is to tell you where I come from and how I came to be.

When I was born I was just like any other baby born into this world. Small, pink and wriggly. I ate the same food that other babies did and slept and cried just the same as them.

The only thing that made me stand out was the slight glow to my skin and the fact that the cats in my household seemed very inquisitive about me.

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Child of the Night: The Kendra Magna Story – Prologue

My cousin Clara was distraught when she arrived home from working at city hall to the apartment we shared in downtown Bridgeport.

 “It’s over Kendra!” she wailed, “I’m never going to make it into congress!”

I looked up from the computer I’d been sat at most of the day, got up and walked over to her encircling her in what I hoped was a comforting hug.

“Calm down cous’ well find a way around whatever it is that you feel is blocking you career-wise.”

Clara isn’t just my cousin, she is also my life long best friend.  Leonardo Magna, the Mayor of rural town Twinbrook, is her father.  My mother, Lucinda, is one of his younger sisters. Clara is only two years older than me but lately she’d begun to look a little worn around the edges.

“it’s not fair!” she mumbled into my shoulder, “I’m 40, by the time my Dad was my age he was being taken seriously as a politician. I should have stayed in Twinbrook. Moving to the city was the stupidest thing, looks matter here just as much as ideas. My PR team told me the latest polls show that the city thinks I’m too old to be in touch with their needs! Damn bunch of ungrateful yuppies.”

I smiled at her, ever since the age of 35 she had become obsessed with looking younger. She’d had plastic surgery to smooth out her skin and bought every anti-aging cream going. It was extremely neurotic yet completely endearing and fascinating to me.

“Oh come on Clara, you’ve always said those polls are joke, that they never ask a wide enough selection of people. Sit down, I’ll make you some dinner.”

It was then that she switched on me.

“It’s alright for you,” she stormed, “it will be many years before you start to age. You don’t know how good you’ve got it. I’m becoming a dried up old prune and you still look the same as you did at 21!”

Ouch. That hurt. I turned my back on her and walked to my bedroom and slammed the door.

I guess I should have seen this coming. As we grew up I always knew that it might become an issue with friends. You see I really did look the same as I did when I was 21. But it wasn’t my fault. I was born a vampire.

It had never been a problem when I was a child. In fact I barely realised that I was different at all until the night of my 21st birthday. That’s when I developed an intolerance of prolonged exposure to sunlight and developed a taste for blood. There had been a few years of ‘adjustment’ to my condition but now my blood lust was mostly under control and my career as a writer meant I didn’t have to go outside often.

Perhaps naively, I thought it would never become an issue for Clara.  We had been inseparable since we were children. There was nothing we didn’t know about each other and there was no one in this world that either of us trusted more.

Now however the differences between us were starting to tear us apart. I hated to see her hurting like this just because of getting older.

It was as I was fretting over what to do to make her feel better that there was a soft tap at my door.

“I’m sorry Kendra, I shouldn’t have lashed out like that. It’s just the older I get the more invisible I feel in public. People don’t look at me the way they used too. I know I’m still a good-looking woman, but I’m no longer young and the population of Bridgeport seems to get younger every year.”

I sighed, I did not want to have this conversation.
“It’s okay Clara, I get it. I just think maybe it’s time that I got my own place. It hard for you to come home and see me looking the way I do. I get that.”

Clara had a strange look in her eyes, like an exciting idea had just appeared in her head. It was then that she asked me the question I dreaded hearing from anyone that I was close to.

“I know how to fix it. I want you to turn me before I get any older.”

It was an impossible request but I had never been able to deny her anything.  Growing up I had idolised her. She was pretty, popular and excelled at everything she tried. Now she needed me, I had something that she wanted. The balance of power in our friendship had tipped towards me and it was intoxicating.

I took one last look in her eyes to make sure that she was certain this was what she wanted and then I sank my teeth into her skin and began to drink.

How had it come to this?
Click here to read Chapter 1 and find out!

High Rise Living: Redecorating a Bridgeport Penthouse

In preparation for my forthcoming story Child of the Night, I needed to find a place for two young female sims to live in Bridgeport. Annoyingly, most of the high rise apartments in Sims 3 are set up for single sim living. So I took it upon myself to redesign one of them so that it was functional for room-mates. This also gave me the opportunity to make the most of my custom content (CC) collection which was a lot of fun as usually when I create I try to use a little CC as possible.

So I released my inner clutterbug and came up with this dual floor penthouse apartment for cousins Kendra and Clara Magna:

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