Cinderelli Investigates: My First Pet Stuff

Thank you to EA for providing me with an early access code for this pack through the Gamechanger program so that I can investigate it for your beautiful faces.

Who thought one little rodent could cause so much trouble!? This pack has definitely been controversial. Personally, I don’t like how this has been packaged. I thought that small pets should have been included in Cats & Dogs and I think bringing us rodents in a stuff pack so soon after the expansion feels insensitive. I also think I’d have preferred them to have had the rodents as a standalone pack. I can see that some players do want more items for cats and dogs though, so I’m not adverse to having more paid content for that expansion. I just don’t like that this feels mixed, you can’t have one without the other.

I’m also not usually a big pets player. Sure, I like to have them in my game and I can definitely make use out of a rodent but will I ever use more pet clothes?

Well… it turns out this is the pack I never knew I needed.

It turns out dressing you kid or your toddler like you dog IS REALLY FREAKING CUTE!!! Who knew!? But not adults… because if you’re an adult and you wear a matching outfit with your cat then… that’s a bit weird I’m not going to lie. Even Hammy judges you.

So for this review I had to use a different family because Cinderelli is still lost in the jungle of Selvadorada. I chose the Jang family from San Myshuno, basically because I noticed there was a lot of orange in this pack and they seem to like that colour. Oh, and because they also have a child and a toddler in my game, which is perfect (purrfect?) for showing off the new children’s clothing. So I then decided to give them a dalmatian called Coco, a cat called Peanut that looks like a hamster, and a small dog called Fifi which reminds me of Englishsimmer’s dog and which makes me pull this face:

There are two new adult hair meshes in this pack, the short wavy style that is enabled for both genders and a long choppy style that comes in full colour and right highlight versions. I’m not too keen on the choppy style unless I’m making a goth or vampire Sim, but I think the short hair looks great on Anaya.

There are not many clothing items for Sims in this pack since the focus seems to be more on Pets. But you do get some t-shirt recolours which are cute. I particularly like the pocket-hamster t-shirt which reminds me of a real-life cat shirt (which I NEED) but I wish it came in more colour options. There are also some very sweet onsies for kids which are just adorable.

Then there are lots of new clothes and costumes for pets. Now… I don’t think I’m ever going to need to dress a dog to look like Bob Pancakes or Mortimer Goth… but I have to admit that having the option to do so is kind of amusing. There are some items that I do think I’d use. I think Coco looks sweet in the flat cap and I gave it to her as her ‘outdoor’ outfit. And Fifi actually does look kind of cute in the little dress. But my favourite outfits are the onesies and the outfits that match child or toddler clothes.

The Jang family needed a bigger house for their expanding family so I moved them to the big house in Brindleton Bay and did a bit of redecorating! I didn’t think I needed any more pet objects but I actually do like the new items that came with this pack. I think I prefer a lot of them to the expansion stuff, especially the pet beds which look a bit comfier and interesting. Those egg and beef beds are great for kitchens! However, the colour options on the large cat jungle don’t seem to match well with the rest of the pack which is annoying.

The furniture is cute and matches well with existing content and it is particularly useful for kids’ rooms. But I wish the office chair had little faces on them like the chair of the painting table. The new blinds come in three sizes, which is great because I always struggle to find blinds that fit all properly. Oh, and you get two new pet doors too.

The gameplay components of this pack are the rodent habitats with the option of having a hedgehog, rat, hamster or bubalus (which is a voidcritter from the Kid’s Room pack). What no mice!? Rude!

I know that some players were like ‘But my first pet was an African elephant!’ and I understand where they’re coming from. However, I do like the idea of hamsters being my Sim child’s first pet, and having them learn to love and look after their new little friend before moving on to bigger and scarier animals like vampire cats or dogs that think they are a banana.

I can also think of lots of ways I’ll use rodents. I’d love to have them in a school or nursery setting as a class pet. I could set up a petting zoo or have them in my pet themed retail store. And my natural scientist definitely needs a bubalus friend in her lab! In fact, any child with an interest in nature or science will be getting a new rodent buddy.

When I added a pet hamster to the house, the whole Jang family were instantly obsessed! Especially the pets who were constantly grouped around the poor mini-peanut. At first I thought this was really sweet but I think they need to tone that down just a notch. I did like seeing Coco the dalmatian watching Hammy intently in a very realistic dog-like way. And I like that cats can jump up onto the lid of the habitat, even though it is a little unnerving.

Billie claimed the hamster as her own and took the responsibility of feeding, entertaining and generally caring for Hammy. I like that the rodents have a happiness pop-up that appears if you hover the cursor over the habitat, it tells you if their needs are met so you don’t have to guess. I’m a bit paranoid about keeping animals happy and healthy in the game (which I think is why I often find them too much work to have them in every household) so anything that makes it easier to care for them is good for me. Hammy seemed to be quite content while I was playing with this family: running around his enclosure; exercising on his wheel; and rolling in his food. I didn’t see him doing anything weird though, like building a rocket ship, but I did keep excitedly checking on his habitat like ‘Let’s see what Hammy is doing now!?’.

Although I disagree with the way this content was packaged, the actual items are really nice and I’m glad I have them in my game. I honestly didn’t think I’d like this pack that much but as soon as I saw how pure the relationship was between toddler Sam and the dalmatian Coco was I was broken. Seeing them running around and playing dressed as superheros was just too much! They were naturally interacting with each other and Coco was always by Sam’s side and it was the sweetest thing.

So I think my favourite part about the pack is actually the matching child, toddler and pet outfits. There’s just something magical about seeing your toddlers and their favourite companion doing everything together while dressed in identical clothes. Having your Sim-child have that kind of relationship with their best friend is adorable to watch.

Should you buy this pack? I guess you have to weigh up how much you would use this content in your game. If you are the kind of simmer who usually plays with pets and families then you’ll probably get the most out of this pack. I think it really is aimed at quite a specific type of homely gameplay style. I don’t always play that way but I think I’ll be able to use the rodents in other scenarios, like in the natural science area of my museum as a hands-on educational exhibit.

While some of the items in this pack can be used without owning Cats & Dogs, I’m not sure it’s fair to buy a stuff pack if you can only use half the content. So unless you desperately want the rodents I’d probably wait for a sale. But if you do already own C&D and you’d like more content for your pets then this pack adds a lot of matching items which I personally think compliment the existing items really well.

I’m not adverse to getting more paid content for pets in the future, but I’d prefer to have a specific C&D add on with more gameplay, maybe with something like an interactive pet grooming or stylist career. And if they were to add more small pets or a pet store, I think that needs to be fully standalone content. But for now I’d like the gurus to move on to a different theme and… let sleeping dogs lie.

My grumpy-to-interested reaction to this stuff pack as acted out by an adorable hedgehog:

Thank you once again to EA Gamechangers for providing me with the code.

Advertisements

Cinderelli Investigates: Jungle Adventure!

I’m king of the woorrrld!!!

I was HYPED to receive an early access code for The Sims 4 Jungle Adventure Game Pack through the EA Game Changer program because I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS PACK and the wait has been killing me slowly like evil jungle spider poison!

WHY am I so hyped for this pack? Firstly, because I loved TS3 World Adventures and TS2 Bon Voyage! I really love getting new interesting places to explore in The Sims, it’s not just the vacation or adventure aspect (although those are great too!) but also being able to experience different cultures that I don’t normally get to experience in my day to day life. In Bon Voyage I particularly liked speaking to the local people to learn their traditional dances and songs, and I loved exploring The Majestic Ruins of Jumbok IV!

And World Adventures was a favourite pack for TS3 because I loved having those different worlds to explore and I particularly loved collecting all the exclusive items that were specific to those worlds, not just the relics, but also turquoise gems in Al Simhara and all the different grape varieties in Champs Les Sims. Of course, exploring the tombs was really fun too! And I loved bringing home all the goodies and decorating my house with them.

Another reason why I’m so happy about Jungle Adventures is that I recreated all my characters from TS3 in TS4 but I’ve been missing some of the features. So, for example, one of my Sims is an Indiana Jones style archaeology professor but having neither the education career nor much archaeology beyond digging up the small number of fossils I was at a bit of a loss with him. So I made my Archaeology Mod. But I wasn’t 100% satisfied with it and have been working out what do do to improve it. So when I found out about all the awesome features in Jungle Adventures I was SO FREAKING EXCITED!!! The archaeology aspect looks amazing and it even has it’s own aspiration! YAY!

So, before we sacrifice Cinderelli-Sim to the fate of Salvadorada, let’s watch the gameplay trailer so we know what’s in store for her!

Create A Sim

First stop, Create-a-Sim for some adventure clothes! I also wanted to make The Beast to accompany Cinderelli-sim into the jungle and generally do all the hard work. Since Cinderelli is a clumsy old bean I gave her the Archaeology Scholar aspiration and it’s close to my interests in real-life (I studied Classics at Uni and want to be Mary Beard when I grow up). And since The Beast is a lot more explorer-y and into, you know, actual physical movement I gave him the Jungle Explorer aspiration.

The new clothing is half traditional Spanish-ish style, or Spanish-ish inspired modern clothing. These have lovely bright Peruvian style patterns, cosy knits and LLAMAS!!! And then there are also new adventure-appropriate clothes like cargo pants and denim shirts which scream Indiana Jones and Lara Croft!

Cinderelli got some practical outfits so she can dress up as a renowned archeaologist, but also a couple of bright clothes for attempting to Salsa dance at the local cantina. The new clothing actually reflects what the Beast would wear in real life, it’s very much his style! Sort of an ex-SAS hanging out at the cantina look I guess? Only in rl he has a shaved head and I wanted him to model the new long-haired bandana style, so his simself grew a head of luscious locks just for this adventure!

I really like the CAS assets in this pack, they’re really wearable and adaptable, with plenty of plain versions of the more patterned items. 10/10 gurus, well done!

I’m not going to list every item here, but I’ll be spamming Twitter with plenty of screenshots of different items and how I combined them with other items in the game once the embago lifts. I’ll also try to link to some Youtube CAS videos below.

Adventure Time!

New world icon hyyyype!

The Beast and Cinderelli touched down in Selvadorada and rented a nice little house near the market. They were hungry so I sent them to the food stand to order meals that I did not recognise with my low Selvadorian Culture skill. So I grabbed them something that looked vaguely taco-like and they seemed to enjoy it, even if it did overwhelm their senses a bit, giving them a bad buff. This is a bit like when you send Sims to the Spice District and they have to build up a tolerance to the hot food.

Then I ordered them to grab all the supplies that were available (thank you Motherlode) and shared them out evenly between them. Only, the supplies change and not everything is available all the time. So you have to keep checking back to get all the supplies you need. Luckily (or worryingly) the game randomly gave the Beast a machete, so at least we didn’t have to pull down vines with our bare hands! Yeah… more on that later…

The marketplace area is really pretty! And the paths are kind of winding and it’s fun to try and find your way about at ground level. There’s a lovely little dock area too which is a great fishing spot.

Once they had full tummies and a backpack full of supplies I sent them off to the base camp to explore the jungle area! Once they got there, Cinderelli realised The Beast had forgotten to buy any camping supplies (I didn’t realise until later that you are supposed to buy them from the merchants by clicking directly on them). Luckily the magical jungle supplied a Granite Falls ranger station with the mighty ‘bb.showhiddenobjects true’ spell! And it worked surprisingly well there, I could buy all my camping gear, including the new toddler bed if needed and pet items. And it even correctly directed Cinderelli-sim to the cool looking canvas bathroom!

‘What do you mean you forgot the tent?’

‘Hey, at least we have barrel meat!’

*unamused face*

Next, Cinderelli pretended to be a real archaeologist and started hitting a dig site with a hammer. It made me laugh that her thought bubbles reflected what my childish brain would be thinking, doing Hamlet impressions (‘Alas poor Yorick, I knew him Horatio!’) and thinking I was Indiana Jones.

Artefact shaped dirt clump.

But The Beast was ready to explore!

‘Let’s climb to the top of the mountain!’ he cried, trampling all over the dig site. Without waiting for an answer he jogged off along the path.

‘Uh… sure,’ was Cinderelli’s unenthusiastic response. She was already getting attacked by all kinds of pesky insects including…

Well, the bee stings hurt and put Cinderelli off from following The Beast deeper into the bug infested jungle. So while he attacked some vines with his machete like Rambo doing his gardening, Cinderelli contented herself with cooking some nice, safe, non #BarrelMeat veggie burgers, enjoying the beautiful sunset, and carefully reading the information sign for more tips.

Also… THERE’S A MOUSE ON THAT SIGN!!! <3__<3

The Beast meanwhile, was a little too enthusiastic with the machete and umm… managed to lose it. Ooooooh no. Then he stumbled on some wild Capybaras and managed to anger a swarm of bees.

BEES!!!

So… they called it a night and went home.

While The Beast recovered from his ordeal, Cinderelli went back to the market in search of a new machete. She couldn’t find one, but she did buy some cute wicker baskets and wooden dolls! They’ll be helpful, right? She also found a handy archaeology table and worked on that ‘artefact shaped dirt clump’ and discovered that it really was Yorick all along! Where be your jibes now huh Yorick?

Cinderelli also spotted a wild pupper! Yep, a wild pupper outside of Brindleton Bay!

The next day of adventuring started off really well! Cinderelli and The Beast explored the new area they had uncovered which was a beeeautiful waterfall! Cinderelli found a new dig site while the poor Beast had to tackle the vines with only his machete-less bare hands and The Force. (His hands were more effective.)

Why isn’t this working?

But then… the jungle attacked!

First a friendly spider said hello to Cinderelli. Then they stumbled across a weird egg and were attacked by the creature’s fire-breathing mother!

But they managed to stumble into the next area where Cinderelli enjoyed the view, ate some granola from the cooler, ‘fertilised’ a bush and spent her time feeling generally paranoid about bugs. The Beast was attacked by bats while clearing the next gate, but luckily he had some Bat Bait which managed to distract them.

(They also forgot the cooler and had to go back for it later!)

At last they stumbled into a magical swamp area with sunken ruins. Amazingly the bugs there were kind of glowy and pretty and didn’t want to kill Cinderelli! Some spiders did try to jump The Beast but he had some handy Dr Parker’s Spider Deterrent from that original survival package the game gave him. I noticed too that Cinderelli seemed to have improved her excavating technique, instead of simply hitting the dig site with a hammer, she was now using the hammer to gently chisel the rock away.

The best part was that they found a treasure chest! Cinderelli was so excited she managed to heave the heavy lid off herself! But her moment of pride was immediately dampened by a notification telling her she had angered the gods and was now cursed! Not to worry, I thought, I’ll just have her avoid anything electrical. But no, the gods affirmed she would definitely die of electrocution in three days!

Now… I’m not a fan of random death in the game so this didn’t exactly please me. But during the live stream, the gurus assured us that there were cures for all the poisons and curses, or at least ways to avoid them.

Cinderelli will be fine… right?

*sigh*

Well, Cinderelli if you insist on pillaging ancient cultures for their artefacts, what do you expect!? (Topical comment.)

It was late so Cinderelli and The Beast decided to make camp for the night then set back to the village in the morning to seek advice. But Cinderelli was not to have a good nights sleep! First she got attacked by spiders while inside her tent (too close to a real life camping experience for me!). Then she was rudely awoken from her sleep to be zapped by a peevish god! RUDE! At this point she gave up on sleep and since she was starting to smell worse than a festering sloth she made her way back to base camp. Unfortunately the stink was too much to bear and she stopped halfway down the trail to have an uncomfortably sexy bottle wash. By the time The Beast followed her back to camp, she was stomping around and ready to go home.

While Cinderelli recovered in a comfy bug free bed, The Beast went in search for some way to break the curse. He was supposed to be asking the locals at the cantina but had a few too many drinks and got distracted.

That is NOT how you Salsa, Beast.

Then he spotted the cute stray pupper and tried to befriend it. He even bought little Yogi a new food bowl from the vendor. But sadly, the doggo didn’t want to be adopted and bounded away into the Selvadorian sunset.

Maybe Cinderelli would have better luck? She spoke to a few locals until she found one who had information about an antidote! But she didn’t have any bone dust! Oh well, she’d have to visit the museum and order the 1000 simolean antidote online!

Success! The curse was broken! But the gods had ‘blessed’ her with a new problem…

‘I belong in a museum!’ Cinderelli-skelly giggled.

Well, at least this curse wasn’t as permanent as the last one and would wear off naturally in a few days. Perhaps she could have fun trolling The Beast!

‘What do you think of my new look?’

‘Uh…’ The Beast was lost for words. But he was glad he hadn’t brought home the dog.

That was the end of Cinderelli and The Beast’s first adventure in Selvadorada! If you’d like me to explore with them more please let me know. And look out for more of my random screenshots of The Sims 4 Jungle Adventure on Twitter. ❤

Thank you once again to EA for providing me with the code. Happy Simming!

TS4 Download: So Shady Lipsticks

I got tired of using the same 3 lipsticks and frustrated with the lack of natural matte shades to suit all skintones. So I decided to make my own and got carried away as usual! In total I made five lipstick packages.

* Matte Recolours – Natural: I used the matte lipstick from Get Together as a base and reduced the lipliner, especially around the corners of the mouth where the lipstick bleeds off the edges of the lip. I’d call these the ‘everyday shades’ in 30 summery colours. They particularly suit mid-tone skin colours.

* Matte Recolours – Natural Light: These are the lightest shades of lipstick, designed to look like nude lips with no makeup. However, they come in 30 shades of subtle peach, red and pink tones so they give just a hint of colour and are pretty easy to match with lighter skintones.

* Matte Recolours – Natural Dark: I’m in love with grungy late 90’s make up at the moment and these shades are my current favourites (can I haz irl plz?)! They come in 30 brown, red and plum shades. They look best on light to mid skintones, but a couple of colours look pretty glam on darker skintones too.

* Matte Recolours – Daring: 30 bright shades in orange, pink and red tones with a couple of quirky blue and black options for fun! These suit light to mid skintones best.

* Matte Recolours – For Dark Skintones: These lipsticks took the most amount of time as I graduated the colours across the lips to make them blend better and look less blocky on the edges. In the end I’m really pleased with how they turned out and I hope you like them too. There are 40 shades in a range of plummy or soft nude colours and they were made specifically for darker skintones.

Download Here!

* Special thanks to Sims 4 Studio and this tutorial on how to change the skin of the model in the viewer which was super helpful!

The Junk Mod V2!

It’s finally here! Thank you all for your patience! ❤

I've completely re-made this mod from scratch and there are a few changes. Firstly I've taken away the actual junk pile as I didn't feel like it fit the art style of TS4 properly. Instead the interactions have been added to most of the outdoor bins you find all around the existing open worlds and on community lots. So you will be able to search for junk as soon as you install the mod without having to set anything up (assuming there is trash in the bin, if the bin is empty you obviously won’t find anything in there because… logic).

You can now specify what kind of trash you are searching for: furniture, electronics, or random junk. This is useful in different scenarios, for example a runaway teen might be looking for a tent and a shower (junk), a handy sim might be looking to repair some electronics to sell in their store (electronics), or a student might just need some cheap and cheerful furniture for their dorm room.

Of course, it would be too easy if you could simply find a load of awesome stuff in the trash! So to balance this out a little, I reduced the value of all the items to around 10% of the normal price. So you can’t earn a huge profit from simply selling the items as-is. To make it a bit more realistic I tried to also make the objects dirty or broken where possible, so they will need fixing and cleaning when you pull them out of the trash. Other objects are given descriptive text like ‘wobbly table’ and I created dirty looking swatches for most objects.

However (I’m really excited about this part!!!) I really love the idea of up-cycling salvaged objects. So I spent a lot of time adding custom swatches for many of the items! I particularly chose a festival/beachy style which I think fits the art style of the game. I also found that the beach recolours work really well in Brindleton Bay, especially on the Outdoor Retreat items which have a new lease of life! So once you’ve pulled your salvaged items from the trash and cleaned/repaired them, you can drag the objects onto a lot (community lots work just fine as long as it’s not in the open world) where you can use the design tool to change the look of your items as though the Sim has given them a makeover with some new fabrics! The mod works great for festivals on a budget and I plan to have my design student up-cycle furniture and sell it in a store to pay her way through uni!

I’ve thoroughly tested the mod and everything seems to be up and running perfectly on my end, but do let me know if you find any issues. I hope to continue to update this mod by adding more items.

The items that you can find require:

* The Base Game
* Get Together
* City Living
* Outdoor Retreat

So all the above are REQUIRED for the mod to function properly. You can still try to use it if you are missing any of those packs but the missing objects will not drop and the game will throw an error at you when it tries to drop those items. Also note that I removed the yoga mat for now as I wanted to use the minimal amount of expansions for this version, but I plan to re-add it again in an alternative version.

Download Here! (Dropbox)

Created with Sims4Studio.

Updated! 7th December 2017. Since the code for salvaging items was based on EA’s ‘rummage’ code, the interaction was disabled on home lots. Sadly, this also meant that Sims couldn’t rummage for trash in the open world areas around their lots (apparently Sims own the whole neighbourhood… go figure!). I changed the code to allow Sims to salvage items on their home lots and surrounding areas as I felt like this was more beneficial for players who like to avoid loading screens. This means that Sims can also salvage on their home lot, which isn’t ideal, but we can imagine some naughty Sim has dumped their trash on our lot. XD Thank you to Jymm for drawing my attention to the problem. ❤ Please redownload and replace the file.

Vote for Gameplay Features for a New Stuff Pack!

If you haven’t already heard, Sim Guru Graham and the Stuff Pack team have opened the development of a new stuff pack to the community. Graham has been explaining the kind of decisions that have to be made and the process behind designing and making a pack. The community have been able to vote of aspects like the style of the objects and which clothing concepts are chosen for Create-A-Sim. Now it’s time to vote for the GAMEPLAY of the pack! The choice is between: 1. Carbon Conscious; Laundry; Food Preserves; and Off the Grid. And you can vote for your favourite on the official site.

Here are screenshots of each design blurb and I’ll say what I thought of each below.

1. Carbon Conscious

At first glance this seemed like something I would be very interested in! I have my Freegan household which I’ve been playing for a while.

I really like the idea of a ‘freegan’ trait and I like the idea of rummaging in trash cans because this made me think of the dumpster diving in TS3 University Life. However… only ingredients??? I get that freegan thing of not wasting edible food but Sims can already rummage in trash cans for food so that doesn’t really add anything new. And you can already get free ingredients by collecting them from plants around the open world areas. So there doesn’t seem like much point to this. I’d rather something more like the TS3 dumpster diving where you collect random junk, mixed with the TS3 junk yard. I’d love to collect old dirty furniture and broken electricals, clean and repair them, and sell them on for a profit.

I like the idea of the composter a lot, but would prefer this along with an ‘eco-friendly’ trait which I’d prefer over the ‘freegan’ trait as I think I’d use it more.

I like the idea of recycling bins but feel like it’s overkill alongside the composter. I’d be happy with a trash can mimic that looked like recycling bins in different colours.

As much as I’d love more eco-friendly features, I feel like this concept is underdeveloped and the ideas could be incorporated into a larger pack or be combined with one of the other ideas.

2: Laundry

Love it! Want it! Would definitely purchase!

I like that it specifies that it would only come into effect if you actually placed the objects on the lot, like in TS3, because I may want laundry as gameplay for some families but not others.

I like that it has machine and non-machine options. I think hand washing and line drying would suit historical games. I love the idea of a line.

My only concern is that it doesn’t specifically say that ‘eco concious’ is a trait, and I would really want it to be.

3: Food Preserves

Nooooooo! Why would you do this to me!? How can I choose between this and laundry!? Canning and nectar making are two of my all time favourite Sim things!!!

I AM IN A GLASS CASE OF EMOTION!!!

Wait… these features are close to my heart and I have concerns:

1. Are there different fruit flavoured jams? I want the jam to reflect the chosen ingredient, not be generic ‘jams’.
2. Do the jams, cans and nectars have a value? Because I’m going to want to sell them. A lot.
3. It says ‘a new harvestable plant’, indicating there will be one new plant in this pack. But it also says there will be new grape varieties. It’s important to me that the new grape varieties are also harvestable plants.
4. Can I can, preserve and nectarificate (nectarify? We’ll just say ‘ferment’) ANY ingredient? No matter how silly? Because if I want to make 2000 year old chicken and onion nectar and force my Sims to drink it to see how sick they get then I AM ENTIRELY WITHIN MY RIGHTS TO DO SO!!!

5. ‘electric’ canning pot? Urgh, I hope it’s not some huge mechanical monstrosity like the cupcake machine! A key thing I liked about canning in TS1 and TS3 was that it had that adorable stove and it was so old-fashioned and lovely. The word ‘electronic’ puts me right off!!!

See, how great does this look from Butterbot at Mod the Sims?!

I’m surprised that the pack suggests we will get canning, preserves AND nectar all in one pack and I am VERY concerned that this means the development will be stretched and it won’t be as in depth as previous versions and mods. If that were the case I’d rather have one or the other in this pack and have it done properly, then continue to hope for the other in another pack.

I actually did vote for this one, because I just loved nectar making so so so much and I know I’d use this so often! But it was difficult to decide between this and laundry.

4: Off the Grid

I do really like this idea! Particularly the idea of having the new lot trait which would switch off utilities. I think this would be good for history players and households like the Freegans.

Like the Carbon Conscious pack, I feel like this one is missing something. I feel like those two packs could be combined by keeping the stronger features and dropping others. Or that this could be part of a larger pack like Seasons or Farming because of the water/solar aspect and rustic theme.

I’d prefer a traditional, slightly rustic/industrial style for the objects, like a handy Sim cobbled them together in their shed. The whole ‘tree and leaves’ thing sounds weird to me.

Conclusion:

I basically like all the ideas and would like ALL THE THINGS!!! But I think Carbon Concious could offer something more interesting like dumpster diving and cleaning/upgrading/repairing broken objects like my junk mod. I think this would be more useful as rummaging in the trash for food and collecting free ingredients is something that already exists. And as much as I like the sound of Off the Grid, it sounds like it could be included in a bigger pack like Seasons or Farming. Although I’d still be happy to get it in a Stuff Pack too! I would love both Laundry and Food Preserves and I would get the most use out of those packs. I am just concerned that nectar making and jam making won’t be as flexible as I would like it to be.

TS4 Download: Parenthood Counter Top Recolours

I really love the country counters that came with Parenthood and thought they’d look great with the wooden texture from the hipster base game counters. So… here they are! I cloned all the original counter colours and added either a light, dark, or black wood surface depending on the original counter colour for each swatch (or variant if you are Sim Guru Daniel).

The texture works really well on the wall counters, but sadly it doesn’t quite match when you place different shaped pieces island counters side by side. I don’t think it’s too bad (see pics below).

They are standalone recolours and they do not override the originals.

Parenthood is required for the counter meshes.

Download Here!

Parenthood Blog: Nihil Legacy – Part 2

The next time I played the Nihil’s life (and apartment) was still a mess. But Krista woke up in a better mood. She felt less ill than she had at the start of her pregnancy and I caught er autonomously dancing to the stereo while Tre was out busking.

She was eating breakfast when she started to feel like she needed a nap, unfortunately there was a lot of shouting going on in the street outside and it seemed to be some kind of protest. Krista went out to speak to them: to explain that she was pregnant and tired, and to ask how long they would be there for because she needed to get some sleep. The protesters were nice enough, they tried to explain what they were campaigning for, but Krista didn’t really understand and just wanted to finish her breakfast and have a nap.

Tre had been busking all day, people were friendly and interested in his music, but for some reason they didn’t tip much. That is until Nancy Landgraab turned up dressed as a tourist and tipped him about five times in a row! He made over $100! Thanks Nancy!

(I have a technique now to hijack the busking stations. I have Tre talk to the Sim who is using it, then click the ground a distance away from them to use the ‘chat here’ interaction. This makes the original busker leave the station and I cancel the interaction and have Tre run back and use it himself. Clara Bjergsen’s expression after Tre did it to her was amusing. Tee hee hee!)

The next day Krista woke up feeling desperate for the bathroom, apparently the baby was using her bladder as a football. They grabbed leftovers for breakfast and sat down to figure out how they’d pay their bills. No one would hire a heavily pregnant girl with no skills or experience, would they? Anyway, Krista was too tired all the time to work too hard. Tre thought his guitar skills were improving an he was even starting to sing a bit, he was sure his big break would come soon!

‘That’s great!’ Krista enthused.

…and then the lights went out.

They hadn’t been in the apartment long enough to have received any bills. So it wasn’t like they’d missed an electricity payment and had their service cut off. So… Krista rang the landlord. It turned out there was a problem with the fuse box and he sorted it out. He was friendly enough and even hung round to watch a bit of telly with Krista. Until she got sick again and he left quickly. She thought it was morning sickness at first but it turned out she had some kind of bug.

Krista and Tre really were in a sorry state! I’m genuinely worried about how they will pay their bills and if they’ll get kicked out of their apartment. They might end up living in a tent! Not good when you have a baby on the way. And I don’t think the apartment is a healthy environment with all the damp and problems. Krista seems ill all the time. I hope I can help them turn things around!

TS4 Download: Portable City Living Chair + Recolours

I really love the simple, affordable Ikea-like chair from City Living but I’ve always thought it should be portable. I like the portable chairs from Outdoor Retreat and use them often, but they don’t suit every scenario. So having a portable version of the City Living chair is super-handy, especially when used alongside other portable objects such as the fire pit, outdoor table, game table and flea market stand! They also come in handy if you want to throw a party and need extra chairs.

I also wanted to make some recolours. I do like the matching coloured frames, but also wanted some with a basic metal frame. So I did that. I added a purple and cyan option as well. And I got a bit carried away and made 4 versions with bright retro patterns because why not?! You can mix and match them too.

The chairs are standalone recolours, so they do not override the original version. You can find them next to the original version in the buy-mode catalogue. I included swatches of all the original colours too, because I wanted to make them portable.

City Living is required as the modded versions reference the original mesh.

Outdoor Retreat might also be required as I use the official portable chair tuning, however I’m not sure if this tuning was patched to the base game or not. So I’d appreciate feedback on that.

Download Here! (Dropbox)

Parenthood Blog: Nihil Legacy

The recent additions to The Sims 4 have been making me want to try a legacy style game again. I normally play with ageing off in a rotation, and I’m not very good at sticking to one family for long, but we’ll see how it goes.

So I had to make my founders. I didn’t want to start off easy with some quaint suburban house and a loving couple with perfect parenting skills. So I came up with Krista and Tre, a young couple barely out of their teens who are madly in love with one another! They are completely alone in the world, with no support from their families. They had a bad start in life and didn’t do well in school so they have no skills, and no plan for the future. They are both ‘childish’ because I wanted them to be kind of emotionally immature. For their clothing style I went for a teen-like casual look, sort of somewhere between ‘skater’ and ‘grunge’. Krista is lazy and Tre is a slob and I wanted their clothing to reflect their carefree approach to life.

I decorated their apartment like a messy teen’s bedroom. Imagining they brought all their bedroom furniture from their old house because they couldn’t afford anything new. I figured they would have picked some stuff up at the flea market too, like the portable shower from Outdoor Retreat as their apartment only had a toilet and sink.

The apartment is badly maintained, with cracked walls, damp and leaky plumbing. But they don’t care because they’re just so excited to get their own place! They have a naivety about what adult life entails and have a happy-go-lucky attitude. Krista tries to make the apartment look nicer by decorating it with flowers, posters and twinkly fairy lights.

Krista and Tre are soulmates and they can’t keep their hands off each other! They’re constantly flirting and touching, and they are taking advantage of having their own place by woohooing all the time!

So it wasn’t surprising that this carefree romantic pair had a little… surprise of their own! Krista had been feeling a little bloated and sick, so she took a pregnancy test and it was positive! She made breakfast, thinking that she’d need to improve her cooking skill if she was going to be a mummy, and took it out onto the balcony to wait for Tre to wake up and join her. This apartment is my favourite and I always choose it because of the balcony! When she revealed the big news to Tre he was super excited! He promised he would find a way to make money and would go out into the city that very day to look for work. Krista felt ill after eating the eggs and Tre went to give her a hug. Then… they ended up in bed again. XD

After a quick nap Tre woke up feeling ready to do the ‘man-thing’ and provide for his family. He went out into the city to try and figure out how to find an income. There was a guy busking… and a Sim covered in gold acting like a statue… tourists seemed to be tipping them quite a lot of money. Hey, maybe he could do that! He had his old guitar, sure it needed tuning and he had only ever played ‘twinkle twinkle little star’ on it but maybe he just hadn’t discovered his inner rock star yet?

Krista woke up and followed Tre out into the city wilderness. She met another pregnant lady who was really friendly. Krista asked her when her baby was due and announced (a little too excitedly) that she was pregnant too! Maybe the lady could tell she needed advice because she gave her lots of tips and said they should meet up at the coffee shop one day. After a quick emergency trip to the public restroom (she was never doing THAT again!) Krista noticed that there was lots of boxes of junk left abandoned all over the streets, maybe left behind from a festival or something? Well… beggars couldn’t be choosers! She rummaged around and picked up anything that was salvageable: a snow globe, a mixology guide and some bubble mix (well… she does have the childish trait after all!). She also grabbed some cool looking posters to disguise the cracks on the apartment walls.

When they got back home Krista asked Tre if he’d had made any money. He said no, but he had lots of ideas. He didn’t seem concerned but Krista was starting to feel a little nervous. In fact, she constantly feels tired and uncomfortable already because of the pregnancy and she’s getting a bit worried about the situation. I feel so bad for her! XD

And even though she has the ‘lazy’ trait, she was first up the next day and autonomously scrubbed the toilet. She got really tired doing it though, and had to go and have another nap. Poor thing! And she even got back up and was eating breakfast while Tre was still snoozing in bed. She looked so annoyed with him! I think she’s suffering a bit with the pregnancy and is worrying about money, and I feel so protective over her now. And Tre is just so laid-back and unconcerned about everything, I feel bad for him too because he is oblivious to all the problems and doesn’t realise how frustrated Krista is feeling right now. He just thinks everything will turn out ok. I’m looking forward to playing with these two some more!

And if you want to play along, Krista and Tre are available on the gallery along with their apartment. Search for the #Nihil hashtag. (‘Nihil’ means ‘nothing’ btw… because people might look at this young couple who are just so hopeless and call them ‘losers’, and people like this who are struggling are often overlooked or invisible to society. But I want them to really try hard in their own little way and maybe the next generations might be ‘something’. There’s a Shakespeare quote I like which goes ‘Nothing will come of nothing’ and I’m hoping the Nihil’s will prove that saying wrong.)

The Dixon-Phillips Family: Arranged Date

Astor Dixon was pleased with her current situation. Her husband was making steady progress in his political career and impressing all the right people. Her interfering mother-in-law was distracted by various societies and charity organisations that she had taken upon herself to crusade with. And her eldest daughter Anastasia was doing very well in school, her piano skills were becoming particularly impressive with all the extra tuition she had invested in!

However, her youngest daughter, Claudia, was still disinterested in her studies and seemed more interested in joking around with her new friend than achieving the grades that were required to stay on at her private school. Astor had recently had to deal with a stern phone call from the headmaster about Claudia’s commitment to her education, and Astor had been forced to drop subtle hints about her interest in funding a school trip to France. At this rate the family would have to pay for a whole new wing just to ensure Claudia’s place at the school was assured!

The next morning, a family meeting was called. In tense whispers Astor discussed Claudia’s future with her husband and mother-in-law. ‘We all know Anastasia will be fine. We know all the leading universities are scrambling to offer her places, and she will have a choice of excellent careers. She will be able to support both herself and the family interests. However, I am concerned for Claudia’s future. She is already draining our finances with her propensity for trouble! And her behaviour reflects badly on the family image. If Antony is to be successful in his political career, we cannot have a bad apple causing scandals! There is only so much our media friends can smooth over.’

Anastasia walked in at this point, uncomfortable with the situation. She stood quietly in the corner waiting for the usual family drama to be over.

Astor glanced at the stairs to see if her younger daughter was also descending. Satisfied she was not within earshot, she leaned forward and hissed, ‘We need to ensure Claudia’s future. If she cannot make the right choices, we must make sure she associates with people who will keep her on the right path. I do not like this boy she has befriended, the son of an ageing rock star no less! He is sure to cause trouble!’

Her mother-in-law stirred her cup of tea slowly, one perfectly arched eyebrow raised. ‘Son of an ageing rock star? Seems a perfect match for the daughter of an ex actress,’ she shot a sharp look at Astor.

Antony scrambled to clear the tension, dropping his teaspoon which the butler swiftly caught and returned to his saucer. ‘Now, now, mother. You know that Astor is right, we cannot have Claudia destroy all that you have worked for.’

Felicity added another lump of sugar to her tea and continued stirring.

‘Indeed,’ Astor continued, basking in the moment her husband had taken her side for once against his mother. ‘Two things Claudia does have going for her are her charming conversation and her beauty. Now, if we can just find her a good husband who can keep her in check, then she will be quite comfortable.’

‘Well, it worked for you dear,’ Felicity interjected with a triumphant smile.

Just then, Claudia stomped down the stairs, aware that most family meetings were orchestrated around her behaviour. The mood in the room was already bitter, so she knew her mother and grandmother already had their claws out!

‘Claudia,’ her mother said sharply, ‘I have arranged for you to have a meal at an exclusive restaurant in San Myshuno! The rich and famous have been clamouring for a place on the waiting list, but your wonderful father has used his contacts to skip the queue!’

‘Just me?’ Claudia asked in confusion.

‘Yes, well you see, it is a new establishment, and the owner wants to promote a certain image. He wanted a young couple of the right sort to have a date there, to promote it as a suitable place that can be hired out for proms and sweet sixteen parties, and that sort of thing.’

Claudia sank into the chair, she had a sinking feeling about this, ‘A couple, mother?’

‘Well, I know you don’t have a boyfriend yet..’

‘You don’t do you?’ Antony interrupted sharply and Claudia shook her head in mortification.

Astor continued, ‘…so I took the liberty of finding a suitable date for you! A lovely young man, Malcolm Landgraab! He’s from a very good family, his mother is the famous businesswoman, and his father is a celebrated doctor!’

From behind her hand, Claudia mumbled, ‘When?’

‘This evening. So you’ll have the chance to wear that sparkly vintage dress your grandmother bought you!’

‘This evening!? But I have to go to the art gallery with Felix! It’s for an essay and you are always telling me I need to work harder at school. How am I meant to improve my grades if you don’t let me do my assignments!?’

Antony made a noise a bit like a flatulent elephant, ‘Prrrph! It’s only art, Claude, just write about colours and light and drop a few mentions of Picasso and you’ll get an A!’

‘There’s more to it than that, Dad,’ Anastasia interjected on behalf of her sister.

Knowing that there was no use arguing about it, Claudia agreed and disappeared upstairs to get ready. She had learned that there was little point resisting her family’s demands, instead she had found a way of drawing her own amusement out of these things by subtly undermining all their efforts. If they wouldn’t let her make her own plans, then she would at least enjoy disrupting theirs!

Her sister, however, was uncharacteristically annoyed.

‘Mother!’ she hissed as soon as Claudia was out of earshot, ‘You’ve gone too far! It’s one thing planning out our careers and our social lives, but you cannot tell Claudia who she can and cannot have a relationship with!’

‘Oh, calm down,’ Astor smiled reassuringly, ‘I’m not asking her to marry the boy. You know Claudia is not the best at judging a person’s character. I’m simply putting suitable choices in front of her, and she can decide for herself which one she likes!’

Felix arrived as Claudia was getting ready, and Felicity manoeuvred to intercept him before any of the others could send him packing!

‘Hello dear,’ she said with a twinkle in her eye, ‘I’m afraid your friend had landed herself in trouble again.’

‘I promise I had nothing to do with it,’ Felix laughed, ‘and if I did then it was all Claudia’s fault!’

‘Oh, I can believe that!’ Felicity smiled affectionately. ‘Look, I’m afraid you will have to postpone your trip to the gallery. My daughter-in-law has had one of her ridiculous ideas again and Claudia is the unwilling victim.’

‘Uh oh, should I attempt a daring rescue?’ Felix suggested helpfully.

Felicity gave him a mischievous wink in reply.

Claudia appeared then, looking stunning in her vintage dress. She told Felix the whole story (with a few dramatic embellishments).

Felix played along, gasping and feigning utter shock like he was in the audience of a salacious chat show. He was amused to hear about Felicity’s catty remarks towards her daughter-in-law.

‘And the worst thing is…’ Claudia continued, ‘…he’s bound to be an awful bore! I can’t imagine what we’ll have to talk about.’

Did you say Malcolm Landgraab?’ Felix grinned, ‘You could ask him about his girlfriend!’

‘What!?’ Claudia laughed.

‘Yeah,’ Felix continued, ‘He’s dating a friend of my sister.’

‘My mother should have done her research better!’ Claudia joked, ‘How am I meant to seduce him now!?’

Felix winced at the thought, ‘Do you need me to come and rescue you?’

‘I think I’ll be ok. But I’ll text you if he starts to talk about chess club and things get scary!’

So this was how Claudia found herself at The Black Rock restaurant in San Myshuno with Malcolm Landgraab. She wasn’t too keen on making small talk so she jumped onto the karaoke while they waited for their table. She had to be better than Geoffrey right? (Why had Malcolm brought his dad with him anyway?)

As Claudia was being shown to her table by the hostess she suddenly found herself surrounded by a group of business people. They seemed keen to talk about politics to her, asking questions about her father’s charity that she had no clue how to answer! Geoffrey skillfully extracted her from the crowd and she hurried over to her table thankfully, thinking maybe it wasn’t a bad idea to have him there as a chaperone after all!

Claudia gazed down at the clusters of light that called to her from the streets of San Myshuno. She wished she was down there right then, exploring the Arts Quarter with Felix.

Malcolm wandered over, he seemed distracted and kept anxiously tapping away at his phone.

‘Is that your girlfriend, Kyra?’ Claudia asked, watching his reaction in amusement.

He jerked his head up and looked a bit sheepish, ‘Umm, yeah. Sorry. Uh…’

He sat down putting his phone away with a guilty expression and Claudia felt a little bad for him.

‘It’s ok,’ she smirked, ‘I was forced here against my will too.’

His tense shoulders seemed to relax a little then. ‘It’s my mother,’ he confessed, ‘She doesn’t like my girlfriend, she thinks she’s not… good enough for me.’

‘You mean rich enough?’ Claudia corrected.

‘I guess,’ Malcolm looked sheepish again. ‘Kyra’s really sweet. And funny. She makes me happy but my mother doesn’t understand that. Father does, but he can’t stand up to her.’

After that, the ‘date’ went a little easier. Claudia and Malcolm had found their common ground and spent the evening complaining about their parents and swapping embarrassing stories. Claudia was never going to marry a man like Malcolm! But it was good to know she could find people she could relate to in the circles she would be forced to move in as she got older.