Random Thoughts on City Living

Ok, let’s get this one over with… Apartments. I was so disappointed to hear we can’t build our own apartments with City Living. I’ve been building pretend apartments since the base game and was really looking forward to making them run more smoothly. The pretend ‘apartments’ I have now are sort-of functional, I like that door locking was patched in, because that’s really helpful for keeping the right Sims in the right spaces. But there are issues surrounding money management, where other sims in other apartments will be earning money from their careers or spending money on food, and it’s not very realistic to have 4 households who are supposed to be living in separate apartments having a shared bank account! So, there are things I hope to see in the future, like having individual funds for sims as well as the ‘household funds’ and to be able to move money between them as we do with retail and business funds. I’m hoping that we will get more tools to help us build our own apartments and dorms in a University expansion.

Some of us are thinking ‘We can’t build our own apartments!’ and while we can’t build City Living apartment lots, we can build functional apartments already, we’ve been doing it since the base game, we just need a few more tools to help make them more functional.

I also see people saying ‘this pack has nothing for builders, it concentrates on gameplay’. I’d like to question this idea a little. Firstly, if builders aren’t interested in gameplay, then why are they bothered about the functionality of apartments? To someone only interested in building, we have been able to build ‘apartments’ since the base game. And there is a TON of new content for builders to stick their teeth into in this pack, there are some gorgeous new windows and doors, and interesting architectural pieces that can be seen in the trailers. Also, it appears there is advanced window placement options, with windows placed on foundations, and stackable windows. So, while I sympathise with the concerns, if we look at it critically, there is actually a lot of stuff for builders in this pack.

Apartments also give players a new challenge. I can’t wait to see what the community does with these small spaces! Our interior design skills will really be challenged if we choose to decorate a tiny apartment on a budget!

Gameplay wise, these apartments look very interesting and fun to play! I personally loved TS2 Apartment Life and I loved the experience of having interesting neighbours. I really get the same feel from this expansion, and I love the concept of starting out in a very questionable flat with faulting plumbing, insect infestations, and a creepy landlord! Then working your way up to a cool artists loft, and maybe eventually to a swanky penthouse! I love that I now have new ways for my Sims to live, that I can tell their stories in new ways. Is this sim a ruthless businessman with a modern luxury high rise? Or are they a bohemian rebel artist, spray-painting motifs onto their bare brick walls? And my Sims can now rent instead of owning a property, which makes things much more realistic! I love the idea of traits for lots, and that each apartment will have different perks or faults. I think that will be really interesting!

Do I still feel a tinge of disappointment. Yes. But if I put that one annoyance aside this really does look like an amazing pack with a ton of content! Some of the highly requested objects are making a return: basketball; the gaming console; karaoke; a keyboard; and graffiti! The world looks great! I like that the different districts have their own unique theme, it reminds me of Urbz. I love the idea of festivals like Geekcon! And I’m thrilled that we’re getting more variety of cultural influences because that reflects the diversity of cities in real life. It also allows more players to reflect their own cultures in the game. It’s inclusive, and that’s great!

There will still be more content that we haven’t heard about yet. I’m interested in hearing more about the three new careers (politics; social media; and critic) and learning more about how these will function. I’m so pleased that the podium will be making a return, and that Sims can hold protests again!

We need to ask ourselves if this pack has enough good stuff to outweigh our disappointment over apartment restrictions. For me, this is slightly pouty but enthusiastic YES!!!

The Thompson Family – Words, Words, Words!

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William was certainly not going to work for the local publishing house. He’d had enough of being told what to write and he wanted to pursue his own interests. He wanted to write the stories that he felt were important. No more fluff articles on the latest faux celebrity feud. He wanted to cover the stories that affected real people.

He had been looking for a premises for a while, somewhere where he could set up his own newspaper or magazine. Even before they moved to the new house, he had been looking at offices around Newcrest but hadn’t been able to find anywhere suitable. He didn’t have a lot of money to spare: it was nice not having to pay rent anymore after inheriting his aunt’s old property, but they still had to pay bills and school fees, and Willow’s job as a patrol officer didn’t bring in much money. He had to make sure that the income he made from his newspaper covered at least the basic costs. Or he would fail and be consigned to a life of writing drudgery at the corporate publishing house.

The children left for school. William was itching to get out and continue his hunt for an office, perhaps he would have to extend his search to the neighbouring areas, he could try looking in Willow Creek. There was a severe lack of building space in the suburbs and he decided the first thing he wanted to cover as a freelance journalist was the housing crisis! But that morning he had to wait until the gardener arrived, he hadn’t met them yet.

Willow was clearing away the breakfast things, ‘We need to get the rest of these things put away soon. I didn’t realise how much stuff we had in that tiny little apartment! I might just dump it all in the basement for now.’

‘We might have to rent them out soon,’ William protested, ‘I haven’t found an office yet and I’m worried we might have to spend more than we first anticipated. We could use the extra money.’

‘Oh, I forgot to tell you,’ Willow gasped suddenly, ‘That nice artist lady… what was her name…?’

‘Amalie Swan,’ William supplied.

‘That’s it! That nice artist lady, Amalie, mentioned that her nephew has been writing at a little book store down near the canal…’

‘Simspeare and Co?’ William interjected again, ‘Yes, I’ve been meaning to visit.’

Willow continued talking as she fluttered around the kitchen wiping the sides down, ‘…well she mentioned that they have an attic space that isn’t being used for anything at the moment and I thought you could take a look.’

‘Brilliant,’ William cried cheerfully, ‘I’ll go and look at it today.’

Willow got changed for work and fortunately the gardener arrived soon after, so William didn’t have to wait for long.

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William walked to Simspeare and Co, it was an easy walking distance from the house, which he took as a good sign. It was a lovely little bookshop, every surface crammed with a huge variety of books, most of them collectables. There was a small section for magazines and comics too, so he knew he would be able to sell his publication there. The clerk told him they had a small but enthusiastic local customer base, but that they also supplied items across the county via the internet. They happily allowed him to access the attic space, and although the room was tiny, William instantly knew he had found the right place! The best part was that they were going to let him use the space for free! On the condition that he supplied them with his newspaper for no charge. Which suited him very well indeed!

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A few days later, William had sourced the furniture for his office from an old library that was under refurbishment. The typewriters had been lurking in various places around the bookstore. And he had secured a vintage printing machine from an antique store. It took some work and a lot of oil to get it working again, and it had a tendency to leave big blobs of ink on the pages, but it kind of gave the paper a hipster vintage look. William was pleased with the results.

He also employed a few writers. The first was a gloomy, and slightly hopeless, assistant that he found lurking around the European History section. Gunther Munch was a bit clumsy and had a tendency to drift away into his own thoughts, but he was passionate and knowledgeable about current affairs and William thought he had potential. The second was a cheerful and organised lady who worked in the bookstore cafe. Her name was Harriette Baker and over one of her husband’s homemade cakes she had confessed her dreams of becoming a famous romance writer. When William had asked if she wanted to help him on the paper she had jumped at the chance! They settled in to their new home quickly and the only thing left to do was figure out what they wanted to write about first!

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The Thompson Family – Write From the Start

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William Thompson was tired. Tired of renting a small, over-priced apartment in the city. Tired of working for a glossy magazine that pretended to care, when all that really mattered was profits. So when his favourite aunt sadly passed away, leaving him her big old house in her will, he eagerly moved his family from the fast-paced city centre to the bohemian outskirts of Newcrest.

His aunt Eleanor had converted the basement into two small apartments, which she had rented out to lodgers to supplement her income. William toyed with the idea of doing the same, he knew there was a housing crisis and it seemed like the right thing to do. The extra money had allowed his aunt to maintain the house, and he found it in perfect condition. Almost too perfect. Museum-like. Towards the end of her life, Eleanor had become so frail that she felt that she needed the support of a care home. She had moved out, and so had her lodgers, and the house was left in the care of the gardener and daily housekeeping service. So it had the slightly too tidy atmosphere of a show home.

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Moving in day was cluttered but fun. William’s wife, Willow, was as keen to move out of the cramped apartment and into the spacious house as he was. And the children, enjoyed exploring the nooks and crannies of the old house.

Some curious neighbours arrived to welcome them to the area. One lady also worked for a publishing company, but she reminded William too much of his old colleagues. He courteously introduced her to his wife and slipped away to chat with an charming artist called Amalie, who talked vividly of old French novels, and had flecks of paint on the inside of her wrist. William encouraged her to investigate his aunt’s bookcase and Amalie eagerly borrowed a well-thumbed novel by Hugo. She had been forced to abandon her books, she told him sadly. William didn’t ask why.

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The first night in the old-new house was troubled. Gemma was woken by strange noises and rushed to her brother’s room screaming about a monster under the bed! Not content with waking Karl, she ran to her parent’s room to tell them about the strange creature too!

‘It’s alright,’ Karl called from the hallway, ‘I’ll handle this one.’

William and Willow snuggled thankfully down into their feather pillows. It was just the excitement of the move, and sleeping in a strange new room, they assured each other in the dark.

But Karl knew that telling Gemma it was all in her imagination wasn’t going to work. Big brothers were much more capable of dealing with bed monsters than grown-ups were. Armed with a bottle of water used for spraying house plants, he tiptoed into Gemma’s room.

‘Is it still here?’ he whispered to his younger sister, who was now giggling at her brother’s antics.

She nodded, her wide eyes darting to the space beneath the bed.

Karl nodded thoughtfully for a moment. Then he whispered, ‘Does it have a name?’

‘I don’t know,’ Gemma whispered back, ‘I haven’t asked it yet.’

‘Then we should give it one,’ Karl said decisively, ‘what does it look like?’

‘It’s sort of smokey…’ Gemma replied thoughtfully, ‘… and it has tentacles.’

‘Then I shall call it Dave.’

Gemma giggled, ‘Dave?! Dave is a silly name for a monster!’

‘Exactly!’ Karl said triumphantly, ‘And how can a monster with a silly name like Dave possibly be scary? Now hop back into bed.’

After a moment’s hesitation and a concerned glance, Gemma vaulted into her bed before Dave could tickle her ankles with his tentacles.

‘Now listen up, Dave!’ Karl puffed himself up and raised his voice to the shadows, ‘I have a bottle of monster repellent here and I’m not afraid to use it! I know you are a night-time animal, and you just want someone to play with. But my sister is a day-time monster, and she has school tomorrow so please stop waking her up.’

And he sprayed the floorboards for good measure. ‘I think he’s gone,’ he whispered to his little sister.

‘He’s gone,’ Gemma confirmed, yawning into her pillow. She was already fast asleep again before Karl had slipped out of the room.

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Stevenson Manor is on the Gallery if you would like it.

I think I forgot to upload the family because I’m so super-smart and good at remembering things, but I’ll try and do that soon. 😄

News: A Trailer for a Trailer

It’s happening people!!! There was a trailer posted by the official The Sims twitter account today… to announce that there will be a trailer for the The Sims 4: City Living… TOMORROW!!!

So, we have the official title now, which is kind of cute-sounding. And in the teaser trailer we can see a girl who might be a tourist gazing in awe at something high above her (Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a super high rise luxury apartment with a rooftop pool! Maybe?) There is a girl walking past with a 60’s inspired outfit, perhaps a fellow Audrey Hepburn fangirl? Then there is a hipster guy walking in the other direction, and two Sims sat chatting on a bench, one of whom might be wearing a turban?

There has been a lot of speculation already about what may or may not be in this expansion. The conversation has been fulled by a series of ‘leaks’, some of which were less believable than others. I don’t want to believe too much in the leaks because I don’t want to build my hopes up for anything that hasn’t been officially confirmed, but if that really is a turban, then there may really be a cultural aspect to this expansion. I truly hope there is! Because one thing I LOVE about my nearest city is that it is such a diverse and interesting place, and there is a great mix of people and cultures and that makes the city more vibrant and exciting! I like my game to reflect the world I see around me, and I want to represent all kinds of stories and backgrounds in my game.

I took a wild guess that there might be five possible ‘zones’ or ‘areas’ of the city, based on the colour coding used on a street map. But it might also just be a standard sign. I would love something like Urbz though, where you have different areas with a very different feel. Where you meet different types of people depending on the area you are in. If you never played Urbz and want to know what I’m waffling on about, you might want to check out this fab Let’s Play by The Arcade:

However, I suspect that they’ll move away from the traditional city expansions based on nightlife as simmers have been quite vocal about having a lot of that content already, and they may have gone with a different feel. So don’t panic too soon if you’re on the NO MORE PARTY CONTENT team. ❤

Anyhoooooooo… we'll just have to wait till tomorrow to know for sure but I'm hoping for some Friends and New Girl style cute hipster apartments! Also… I hope for basketball.

(And yes… at one point I said ‘whom’. And no, I’m not sure if I used it correctly, but it felt natural and I embraced it.)

Custom Content Skirts by Oh My Sims

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I wanted to make a quick post about some really useful Maxis Match custom content I recently added to my game. I’ve felt like there is a lack of variety of skirts in the game so far, skirts tend to be either too short or too office-looking, which is fine but they don’t suit all Sims in all situations. However, there are some nice skirts attached to full outfits in the game, I tend to find myself using these very often but this means my Sims often end up wearing the same clothing just in different colours.

The fabulous Marion at Oh My Sims recently separated FOUR of these full outfits into separate tops and bottoms. Not only this, but she also made variations to the clothing: offering different skirt lengths, colours, patterns, and designs.

* GP03 Flower Dress
* EP02 Cropped High Waisted
* Base Game Classic Drape Dress
* EP02 Boat Skirt

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Separating these outfits allows for much greater freedom and choice when it comes to creating new outfits. The pieces are much more flexible and add so many more options! There is admittedly a little bit of clipping, and not every combination will work. However, as someone who has been struggling to find suitable skirt options, these pieces are very welcome in my game!

The tops too can be re-thought to make new outfits, I really like the cropped lace-panel vest from EP02 and it looks great with skinny jeans! As does the 3/4 length sleeve top in the longer variation.

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It’s great to have all these separates for the game, so THANK YOU MARION!!! ❤❤❤

And I hope you all find them as useful as I do!

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The Banditos Family: Week 1 Round Up!

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This is just a mini-blog of other things that happened to the Banditos family that didn’t quite fit into a full blog post.

Firstly, Nancy invited Carlos and Sophia to a party at the Art Gallery in Willow Creek. Hmmm… could they be planning something? The couple did some romantic canoodling afterwards and I got some pretty screenshots.

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Marcos took his little sister Isabella to the park where she made a friend, Lena Clausen! And Maroc made friends with another of my Sims, Craig Mitchel (who I haven’t blogged about yet).

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Marcos went to the gym with Craig, and I think I started a gym club for them! These two are going to be friends because they’re both into exercise and are both a little vain. 😄

Then they went to the cafe in Windenburg which I converted into a restaurant.

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There was a cute moment where Marcos caught his sister crying under the covers and talked it out with her. ❤

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Antonio played cards with Estelle, these two are getting along quite well now.

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And I was trying to mod the photo studio so that Sims can play from the model’s perspective. I want to be able to send Sophia on modelling jobs while the household is active (even if I have to pay her with the money cheat). I got it halfway working then managed to break it. *sigh* But it’s on the to-do list unless Maxis get to it first!

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TS4 Download: Portable Professional Photography Studio

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While playing with the handheld cameras and the photography skill in my game this week, I randomly had the idea of making a portable version of the photo studio camera. So… I made one! I also separated out the backdrop and a lamp. All three objects are portable, can be put in an inventory, and can be dragged in live mode on lots. All three objects have their own new custom tuning.

The Camera:

The camera has the usual functionality of the photo studio minus the interactions for the backdrop. You can tend the camera, and take photos of specific individuals or groups of Sims. It has all the usual filters and settings.

The main differences are that it doesn’t have a backdrop, so you can create your own setting for the photos or take it outside and find somewhere pretty. It can now be added to your Sim’s inventory, so you can take it out to community lots or even place it off-lot in the open world (you can’t drag it into position while off-lot though and need to rely on the random placement of the ‘Place in World’ interaction, like on yoga mats). The difference between this and the handheld camera is that you have the ‘Tend’ and ‘Group’ photo interactions, and you can also earn money from taking photos of Sims.

You need to leave a bit of room for Sims to route in front of the camera when taking a photo as the positions are still in the same place, despite the footprint being smaller.

I tried to add a generic ‘take photo’ interaction for still life instead of portraits, but was unable to get it to work properly. I may update if I figure it out. If you want to take still life photos, just take a handheld camera out with you too!

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The Backdrop:

I separated the backdrop (with two large lights still attached) so it could be used as a separate item. I gave it the footprint of a rug so Sims can route through it into position, this also avoids any problems when placing it with the camera so Sims can always get into position. It is live drag enabled and inventory-able, so when on a lot you can move it about into position behind a Sim.

This gives you the option of using the backdrop with the normal handheld cameras, so instead of using the poses that come with the Photo Studio, you can use a custom pose if you like. Or catch a Sim doing something interesting like playing a guitar or posing on a chair. Just get your Sims into position, pause, slide in the backdrop, and take your photo! It just gives you a bit more freedom than when using it only with the photo studio interactions.

The backdrop still has all the different designs and the option to choose between them. All camera actions have been disabled.

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Watch out for photobombing! 😄

The Lamp:

I separated one lamp from the rest of the mesh and disabled the backdrop and camera interactions. Then I made it live-drag enabled, and inventory enabled. You can drag it around into position on lots, and it can be placed and picked up off-lot using the interactions. I also gave it the functionality of normal lights, so you can choose the brightness and the colour of the light, and turn the lamp off and on.

This means that you can choose the lighting for your subject while in the studio or out on location. You can also drag the lamps around in live mode to get the lighting and shadows exactly right.

The footprint is a little off-centre but it’s still easy to move them into position. I also gave them the footprint of a rug so that you can position them wherever you like without them blocking routing or other equipment.

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Portable Professional Photography Studio Kit:

I’ve been playing around with this for quite a while in different scenarios, I find these objects much more flexible for if you are playing with a professional photographer, especially if your subject is Sims rather than scenery. Having the different pieces means that you have much more flexibility when it comes to what you want to shoot. For the full kit I recommend:

* One professional studio camera ($400)
* One backdrop ($200)
* Two lamps ($100 each)
* One handheld camera (not included, these are already in game)

I set the prices for the individual pieces to total the same price as the full photo studio ($800), and you can create the same studio set-up with the individual pieces if you want to. Handheld cameras are purchased separately, as usual, and you can choose the quality/price. These items do not override the original items and can be found separately in the creative activities tab in buy mode. The lamps are also tagged to appear in the lighting category under floor and misc.

Things to Note:

* The Sims 4: Get to Work expansion is REQUIRED for all the items to function. I did not include unnecessary tuning or resources so the expansion is essential for these items to work correctly.

* I only had one issue while playing: once when I tried to place the camera off-lot in Windenburg it mysteriously vanished. I tested it many many times after that in different worlds with different sims and the issue never happened again. If this happens, I recommend using the money cheat to add back the funds and pretend it is an insurance pay-out. I’m not sure why it happened, it seemed to be a random glitch.

* The live drag feature only works while on a lot. When off lot (in the world area) you need to use the ‘place in world’ and ‘add to inventory’ interactions on the object instead.

* Tools I used for this were Sims4Studio and Blender.

Download Here! [dropbox, no adfly]

Finally, I thought I’d already seen this mesh separated somewhere but looked everywhere I could think of and couldn’t find it again. While I was hunting, Jim Tracy kindly pointed out another set to me, which you may also like: http://kewai-dou.com/photo-studio-set-sims4-object/

If anyone knows of another creator who has separated this mesh, please let me know so I can add a link.

The Banditos Family: Pre-Stripped Poker!

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It was the weekend and the mood in the Banditos house was upbeat! Carlos was taking a day off from the new restaurant and had had a long lie-in. He went to find his wife who seemed to be going through some kind of obsessive yoga phase, not that he minded the flexibility!

(I had a GTA V flashback here so encouraged Carlos to move away quickly before he embarrassed himself by joining in!)

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Carlos was pleased to find his daughter practising the piano and his son playing chess, he’d raised a couple of smart kids there! Then he found his brother practising his dance moves, Carlos joined in happily.

‘Hey, Tony, what do you say we hit the town together later? Have a lad’s night like the old days?’

Antonio seemed a little reluctant, ‘Not tonight mate,’ he said, shaking his head, ‘I’m meeting… someone.’

Carlos chuckled, ‘You know what they say, Tony. Bros before…’

‘Not tonight,’ Antonio interrupted. ‘Anyway, the guys at the launderette are getting restless. They haven’t seen you for while and they feel like you’re ignoring them. Maybe you should go and spend some time with the old crowd, huh?’

‘This is why I appreciate you, Tony,’ Carlos exclaimed, slapping his brother on the back, ‘You tell it to me like it is. I know you’ll always be honest with me.’

‘Yeah,’ Antonio mumbled.

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Carlos arrived at the old place and breathed in the dry desert air happily, the smell of prickly pear in the breeze reminded him of his childhood playing in the dusty dunes.

He walked into the launderette first, greeted by the familiar whirring and banging of the machines. He greeted the girl behind the counter but she was bad-tempered as usual. Next time they took on a new girl he’d hire them himself and choose someone more agreeable. This was what happened when he let his brother run things!

‘I can’t talk,’ Estelle snapped, ‘we’re behind on our work because the shipment you promised us didn’t arrive on time.’

‘Then you should have called me…’ Carlos began, spreading his arms helplessly.

‘I did,’ Estelle cut him off mid-sentence, ‘I called but your phone was switched off. But no worry, you’re brother sorted it out.’

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Carlos didn’t like being spoken too like that by a mere employee. So he went next door to the gym to find Sullivan. It was busy when he walked in, the gym was a mess, and Sully looked busy. Carlos decided to use the machines while he waited. Wow, too much time tasting food and planning new cocktails at the restaurant had made him out of shape! He’d have to make time to hit the gym more often.

Eventually, Sully walked over with his usual frown fixed in place.

‘It’s been too busy since we lost the rest of the old crew,’ Sully complained, ‘There is too much work and the shipments are not reliable. We need to hire more staff.’

‘We’ve been over this before,’ Carlos huffed and turned off the treadmill, slouching over to catch his breath, ‘I invested too much money in the restaurant. We need to give it time before it starts running a profit. And it will start turning a profit soon. I just need to get it up and running properly.’

‘Well, while you’re throwing money at your new project, your family business is going down the drain.’

‘All right, look,’ Carlos said in exasperation, ‘I promise I’ll take a look at the books. I’ll see what I can do. I’m just going to grab a massage then I’ll join you in the back. Where’s Ulrike?’

‘Ulrike left weeks ago!’ Sully growled in frustration, ‘You’ll have to get one off Estelle.’

Oh, great! Carlos groaned reluctantly. Well, perhaps making her give him a massage would humble her a bit, show her who was boss!

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(This was where things got highly amusing! Sometimes glitches can be so much fun!)

Ouch! Estelle clearly wasn’t the massaging type! She was a little too rough and after much bruising and cracking Carlos finally peeled himself from the massage table. Well, Estelle had clearly taken out her aggression on him but he wasn’t the sort to let her think she’d won.

Instead of putting his clothes back on he stretched and allowed his towel to drop to the floor. Estelle gasped in shock and Carlos grinned in amusement. He strolled casually back to the office with a very awkward looking Estelle in tow, and sat down nonchalantly at the card table.

He’d invited his new girlfriend Imani over from the restaurant to join the meeting, and Katerina had also joined them. She did odd jobs for them from time to time. Carlos stretched his sore spine and wished one of these two ladies had arrived earlier to give him a more sympathetic massage. Imani noticed his nakedness and gasped! But Katerina was less easily shocked and continued to play cards with an amused smile on her lips. Estelle quickly got over her initial discomfort and went back to frowning.

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(I don’t know why Carlos decided to autonomously strut around naked but it was very funny!)

Meanwhile, back at home, Sophia was wondering where her husband was again.

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The Banditos Family: A Steamy Marriage

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Sophia was fuming.

Her husband was late home again and wasn’t answering his phone. She had prepared a meal and had been waiting since sunset for Carlos to join her. When her husband finally arrived home he found his wife was in a sour mood.

‘I’m so sorry, my darling!’ he exclaimed with an apologetic smile, ‘You know how busy I’ve been running between the two businesses! The launderette always has problems that need fixing, and the restaurant is still finding it’s feet and needs constant attention.’

Sophia looked down at her bowl and poked her food unhappily.

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‘Look,’ Carlos cajoled, ‘I left as soon as I could. In fact, a group of twelve walked through the door as I was leaving and I said to the staff “Look guys, you need to learn how to handle rushes like this.” and I came home to spend time with you.’

‘Really?’ Sophia smiled, warming to the lie.

Carlos stretched out his hand and rubbed his wife’s wrist with his thumb. ‘Of course! Why would I want to spend time in a hot kitchen when I have a hot wife at home waiting for me?’

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Then Carlos suggested they take a soak in the hot-tub. He knew how to make his wife happy (at least temporarily).

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The next morning, Carlos left early to return to the restaurant. He was soon giving his customers his charismatic personal service again.

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Sophia was feeling happier so she agreed to meet her friend Nancy at the spa. First, Nancy insisted on dragging her into a small art gallery where there was some sort of commotion around a book. Sophia didn’t know why a book was on sale in an art gallery, or why people were so interested in it. But it was clearly a desirable object so she bought it and felt smug about herself. Then she waited impatiently for Nancy to conclude whatever business it was she was doing there.

(It was actually a really lovely moment for me! I love seeing my Sims’ lives criss-cross like this when I play rotationally. The book was Pierre’s first novel and when Sophia and Nancy arrived at the lot I found the crowd gathered around the book, including Harriette Baker who works at the bookstore and who I feel has been autonomously supporting Pierre. The facial reactions of the Sims were great! Sophia looked so disinterested in the book, but smug when she purchased it from under the other customer’s noses. But Harriette looked like she tricked Sophia into buying the book, by cooing over it, then looking pleased about the sale. It was one of those magical moments in The Sims 4 where the autonomy just seems to work out really well, it was as though there was a launch party to celebrate the new book!)

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Finally the two women crossed the road to the spa. In the changing room, Sophia casually mentioned to Nancy that she was waiting for her next round of cosmetic injections. Nancy’s husband, Geoffrey, was Sophia’s doctor but he was refusing to give her the treatment. Sophia was hoping Nancy could convince him otherwise.

‘I’m sure Geoffrey has a good reason,’ Nancy said somewhat defensively as the women went to join a yoga class.

Sophia enjoyed the yoga. As a model, she needed to keep her body supple and lean, but the yoga moves also helped her to relax and feel better about herself too.

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After the workout, the women relaxed on the patio with some ‘healthy’ fruit cocktails. Sophia wanted to try and convince Nancy to speak to Geoffrey again, hoping her friend would be more agreeable after the relaxing stretches and bubbly drink.

‘Of course, Geoffrey is a great doctor,’ Sophia tried to placate her friend with compliments, ‘and I trust his professional judgement completely. But between us women, you know how important it is for me to maintain my appearance. Not just for myself and my husband, but for my job as well.’

Nancy sipped her drink with a frown, she didn’t look convinced.

Sophia pushed a little more, her voice cracking with genuine emotion. ‘You know how tough it is out there. The first sign of aging, the first wrinkle, and I’ll be dropped and replaced by a child half my age. And what will I do then? Without my career, I’m nothing!’

Nancy continued to frown, but she had softened a little, and told her friend she would speak to her husband on her behalf. When Nancy left, Sophia continued to worry… what would she do when her career was over? She was already bored in-between jobs. and her husband was always busy with his businesses. She had left school early, confident that her looks would land her on her feet, and they had served her well for a while. But without her looks she was nothing. What if her husband lost interest in her? What would she do then?

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Just then, Sophia caught sight of a familiar figure in the spa foyer. It was her husband!

‘Carlos!’ She called rushing up to him and embracing him excitedly. ‘Have you come to surprise me? How did you know I was here?’

‘Umm… yes, my dear,’ Carlos said, adjusting his collar uncomfortably, ‘Wow, it’s hot in here, should we go somewhere to cool off?’

‘How about we get a bit hotter?’ Sophia purred suggestively.

‘Ummm… sure,’ Carlos’ eyes darted around the room, ‘Yeah, let’s do that.’

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Sophia led the way to the sauna with Carlos following somewhat reluctantly. Sophia was too excited by her husband’s sudden appearance to notice his elusive behaviour, and assumed he was just a little tired from work.

‘Can you make it more steamy?’ he asked his wife as they settled down in the hot sauna.

‘You know I can!’ Sophia grinned as she poured more water onto the hot coals and they were enveloped in a cloud of steam.

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Carlos left to get showered and dressed, looking even more exhausted than when he’d arrived. Sophia felt much more relaxed and pleased with herself. She was determined to fight to keep her man!

…….

And then they went home to stand around in their towels on the curb because #SimLogic.

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