Sims 4: My View

It’s never easy when one generation of a game you’ve played for several years comes to an end. I think most long-term simmers can relate to the odd conflict of emotions the advent of a new generation of our favourite game represents. We’re excited to see what the new one will be like but sad to leave the fully tricked out last generation behind. However I always find eventually that I gravitate to the new one completely and this has been no different with Sims 4.

Some of my urge to move on was motivated by the almost (totally if without Twallan’s mods) game breaking lag issues with Sims 3 but also it felt like the right time.

Sims 4 has been available to buy since September 2014 so I’ve had a good few months of game play now to really get a feel for it. Maxis / EA has  just released the first Game Pack for it which I haven’t purchased yet but probably will when they drop the price (I’m just not that into camping). Now feels like a good time to share my view of the game.

Below is a brief run through of the features that have really sold me on the 4th generation of the game.

Multitasking

The big sell with the 4th generation of the game is multitasking. Do not underestimate the difference this can make to the realism of the game. Until you actually experience it then it can be hard to explain but I’ll try.

In previous generations of the game it was rare for sims to do more than one or two tasks at the same time. Now they can do three or four things at the same time.

Combinations include

  • Working out whilst watching TV / listening to music and chatting
  • Eating whilst listening to music / watching TV
  • Watching TV whilst talking to other sims and fiddling with a smartphone
  • Cooking whilst chatting to the family and listening to music.
  • Sitting by the side of the pool or in the pool swimming and talking to others

There are so many combinations and this means each room / area that Sims are in seems much more alive as even non-playable characters (NPCs) automatically multitask around your Sim.

Tip: Put a music system in as many of the communal rooms in the house as possible as this will enable sims to listen to music and gain fun no matter what other task they are carrying out.

Interactions

Something I found surprising in a good way was the variety of romantic interactions that the base game shipped with. As you make the sims flirt even more romantic interactions open up for use. This is the same for all of the different emotions. The more you perform certain activities / interactions the more options for that emotional state you receive.

Different emotional states and plumbob colours include:

  • Fine – neutral state – Clear
  • Happy – Sims with full needs – Green
  • Energized – Sims who want to / enjoy exercise – Luminous Green / Yellow
  • Tense – Sims with a low need or embarrassed – Orange
  • Angry – Sims in a foul mood – Red
  • Flirty – Sims getting fruity with their significant other – Pink
  • Playful – Sims being silly and having fun with it – Violet
  • Inspired – Sims creating something like art or food to a good standard – Light Blue
  • Confident – Sims proud of themselves for an achievement – Bright Blue
  • Sad – Sims upset or gloomy – Dark Blue

All of the emotions have consequences for the options available to the Sim in question and they can experience more than one at a time however there is always an overriding emotion that is boosted by any others.

Tip: As your sim progresses in their chosen career they are rewarded with objects that have an emotional aura which you can activate to instantly change their mood. Make good use of these valuable objects. Emotional paintings created on the easel can also have this effect.

Warning: Watch out if any of your Sims become so Playful that they become Hysterical as they can actually die laughing. I found this out the hard way (hence the picture above)! Although it has led to me having a playable ghost so all’s well that ends well. lol

Building

Building has always been a big part of the game for me and although I’ve found myself playing more than building this time around I have still enjoyed the process.

At first I struggled with it as some of the tools, the foundation tool being the prime example, were very different from Sims 2 and Sims 3. But once you create the basic shape of a house it becomes very easy to decorate it and shape it how you like.

Standout building options for me include:

  • Malleable roofs – You can push and pull with the mouse to get unique roof shapes and use different tile patterns for each section if you please
  • Three different heights of wall are available and although you sadly cannot use a combination of them this does mean every house can look very different.
  • The foundation can be any height that you want it to be. Fancy tall stairs? you got it!
  • Placement of windows curtains and pictures can be at almost any height you please
  • Rooms can be easily re-sized by dragging the walls
  • You can place more than one thing on the same part of the wall without cheats
  • The two worlds that the base game ships with (Willow Creek and Oasis Springs) lend themselves to different types of building which is inspiring.

Tip: Draw out the shape of your house using the wall tool, even for porch areas. You can then add a foundation and delete and add walls as necessary. 

Note: I know many simmers are keenly feeling the loss of the Create-A-Style Tool however personally I don’t miss it that much. This is because it created massive issues with lagging and crashing in sims 3 for me. Yes it means being a little more creative with furnishings but I’m okay with that and it will get easier with each new add-on.

Shameless Self Promotion:
If you like any of the houses in the pictures above you can find my creations in the Sims 4 in-game Gallery under my user ID of KrazyAngelKat81 or you can login to the Sims website and find my creations under This Link.

The Sims Themselves

One of my major enduring bugbears with Sims 3 was the style of the Sims themselves. Unless you used a ridiculous amount of custom content it was difficult to get them looking anything other than a bit like people molded from dough. It made me long for my Sims 2 Simmies who had looked much more realistic.

With Sims 4 I feel that they have addressed this issue with aplomb.

Yes- you are correct that IS Don Lothario

In Create-A-Sim (CAS) you can now use your mouse to push and pull almost any part of their face and body to achieve the shape you want. This makes for much more realistic looking Simmies. The choices of hair look more real and less plastic too.

Okay there are not a huge amount of clothing options yet but this is getting better everyday and if you like custom content plenty of creators have already been churning out some marvelous work.

Maxis / EA have also made is easier to create parents / children / siblings based on the single sim that you have created. I like this option as in previous games you had to have at least two sims created in order to do this. Pictured above are the Opposite Twins (Georgina and Genevieve – one good, one evil) that I created and started my legacy play with.

Following tradition there are some familiar families to be found and they all look pretty good. Among them are Don Lothario, the Calientes, the Landgrabbs, the Goths and quite a few more. Long time fans will have fun spotting them out and about.

Tip: If you are still in two minds about whether or not to buy Sims 4 try out the Create-A-Sim Demo which you can download for free via Origin

Scenery

Some people think that Sims 4 looks a little cartoony in style and perhaps that’s true of the clouds but for the rest of the world it really is quite beautiful to look at. Especially when the rays of the sun filter through various landmarks.

You can find pretty places within the mini-neighbourhoods that provide the perfect setting for a private wedding.

I for one appreciate that the two worlds have been broken into mini neighbourhoods that your Sims can explore. It makes for a much faster running game than Sims 3 even if you do have to put up with short loading screens as you move between lots.

Tip: Take the time to use pause and the tab key to take spectacular screenshots when your Sims are out and about. 

Shameless Self Promotion:
I created a Tumbr / Simblr page where I will be sharing all the prettiest shots from my game play. I called it Love and Scenery Sims 4.
I also share generic game play shots in a public album on my Facebook account.

The Downsides

As much as I’m enjoying Sims 4 of course there are some features from previous editions that I miss.

Below are the few things that I’d like to see added to the game in future:

  • The toddler life state – this may be difficult as it would mean changing the core aging structure but I miss the little cuties, even their tantrums!
  • A city world – this might come in a pack as no base game has ever shipped with this so I will wait.
  • University – again I think this will come later. But I always enjoyed hedonistic student sim antics
  • The ability to swim in the sea / lakes etc – I’m glad they added pools for free in an update but I miss being able to get back to nature!

There have been a couple of annoying bugs but you come to expect that with new games and learn how to fix them.

Most have been fixed via game patches but others require a more manual solution. In instances such as the Sims No Longer Able to Cook bug I’ve used community minded Simmer Crinrict’s blog to fix it without losing my saved progress.

Summary

In all honestly I’m really enjoying Sims 4. I adore how the sims look and how light moves through the worlds. I also love how fast it is to load and how smoothly it plays.

Yes of course there are things I miss from previous generations but no I don’t miss the open world, I always preferred Sims 2’s game play anyway and Sims 4 is a good mix of Sims 2 and Sims 3 with its own touches on top of that.

I’m looking forward to what the Maxis studio provides us with in future. I’m very, very glad they are back on board as the main creators of the game. They have brought back the personality and quirkiness that EA led Sims 3 lacked.

Let me know what you think of it now we’ve all had some time to play.

~Kat

The Sims 3 Supernatural: highlights from the first live chat

Being the fantasy fan that I am, my excitement since the next Sims 3 Expansion Pack (EP), Supernatural, was announced has been hard to contain. Tonight was the producers first live chat about it. I am going to briefly detail the main points I gleaned from it.

Release Date: First week of September 2012 (day varies depending on region)

You will be able create supernaturals (witches, fairies, vampires, zombies and werewolves) in a variety of ways both in-game, through breeding, magic, biting and, uniquely for this EP, in Create a Sim (CAS). You will also be able to cure any turned sim.

There are five new sliders in CAS. Using these you can further adjust ear orbit & ear points, jaw line, brow definition and nostril flare. An extreme example of their use is on the poor sim below:

There is a new skill that all sims can gain. It is Alchemy and it is gained by mixing elixirs from collectables at a new Alchemy Station. You can make an elixir to turn another sim into a zombie but it isn’t a permanent curse (although they hinted that there are ways of making it permanent if you wish.) It is possible for your sim to die practising alchemy.   There was also a mention of a new haunted death.

If you install Supernatural a new lunar cycle will occur in all of your sim worlds and some sims will act strangely around a full moon. This will be particularly suited to the spooky ambience of the new world Moonlight Falls. It was also hinted that the new world has several mysteries for simmers to uncover.

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Sims 3 Adventure Download Update 17th June 2012

I’ve dropped off the radar a bit, I know, but its for good reasons.

I’m a lucky girl, I got to go to the Monaco Grand Prix and my fiance and I have started planning our wedding for next year in earnest. 🙂

But I do have 3 downloads for your enjoyment!

Small Barn Conversion:

Download Links:
http://www.sims3adventure.com/smallbarnconversion.htm
http://www.thesims3.com/assetDetail.html?assetId=5863928

The Springfield Family:

Download Links:
http://www.sims3adventure.com/households.htm
http://www.thesims3.com/assetDetail.html?assetId=5924311

210 Dauphine Street:

Download Links:
http://www.sims3adventure.com/210dauphinestreet.htm
http://www.thesims3.com/assetDetail.html?assetId=5513385

Click on the download links to see more pictures and details.

~Kat

p.s I’m so very excited about the new EP Supernatural, I can hardly wait until September!

My Take On The Katy Perry Sims 3 Endorsement Deal

Tonight EA opened a new section of the official forum for the Katy Perry Sweet Treats Stuff Pack. A simmer by the name of TheSimling started a debate about the endorsement deal with a sensible well thought out post.

The following is my take on the situation which I posted as a reply in the aforementioned thread.

“Thank you TheSimling for your well thought out post that shows understanding of the business world.

Yes EA is out to make a profit, nothing unusual there. However they have signed a deal with Katy Perry to endorse several sims 3 projects. That is unusual. The sims franchise has never done that before.

I am one of those long time simmers who has bought every EP and SP from the original Sims, Sims 2 and Sims 3 up until Master Suite Stuff.

I took a decision not to buy Showtime as I felt the price was too high for what was included. And when I do get it, when the price drops, I will not be buying the Katy Perry edition.

I really do not care for celebrity endorsement of the sims franchise and I don’t understand why EA feels it is necessary. The Sims has been the number 1 best-selling PC game in its own right for many years now. The only explanation for this kind of cross purpose marketing is falling sales.

Katy Perry isn’t doing this out of love for the game and EA isn’t doing out of love for her. They are both doing it to boost their own profiles and inject more cash into their wallets. It is cold hard business with a powerful and convincing marketing machine behind it.

I don’t hate Katy Perry, I just don’t care much about her or her music, it’s not my thing but I accept that other people are into her. I would feel the same about any celebrity who signed a deal like this. The extra pricing for versions carrying a celebrity name just rubs salt in this wound.

As for this Sweet Treats SP. I’m sad to say that the content doesn’t appeal to me as I prefer fairly realistic worlds. But again I accept that others will like it. It is a matter of personal taste.

The Sims game itself should be good enough to appeal to gamers. If it isn’t any more then EA need to start listening more to the community to understand what those who spend their cash on the game really want”

That’s my take what do the rest of you think?

~Kat

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!

Sims 3 Bon Temps – Update – Sam Merlotte and His Trailer

For anyone who has been following the progress of my Sims 3 Bon Temps project I am pleased to present an update.

There is now an exclusive section for the project on my downloads website:

To go to the download project page click the logo above

Updated Map Pictures:


New Downloads:

Click Picture to go to Download Page

Click Picture to go to Download Page

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Sims 3 Bon Temps – Intro (A fusion of Sims 3 and True Blood)

Since December last year I’ve been fusing my obsessions with Sims 3 and True Blood together by recreating lots and characters from the TV series in the game.

I’ve been using a copy of Twinbrook in which I’ve demolished all the premade residential lots.

Here’s how the map looks so far:

Twinbrook Bon Temps Map

Twinbrook Bon Temps Map

As you can see from the empty lots with labels I have quite a way to go but I’m really enjoying the project when I can give it time between work and college. In this project I am trying to use as little custom content as possible to ensure its accessible to most people.

Below is a list of creations that have been made so far. Click the pictures to see more detail and download.

Community Lots:

Merlottes Bar and Grill @ Sims 3 Adventure

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