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.

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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.)