TS4 Blog: Sanguine in the City

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I finally decided to grab the bull by the horns (or should that be bite the bull by the neck?) and give the old bat-brains a whirl. I guess TS2 Nightlife and TS3 Late Night have pre-programmed my brain to think that a city is a good place for vampires to hang out. I mean, it makes sense right? You get to hang out late at night in clubs and bars and there are so many people it’s practically an all you can eat!

So I created Amadeus Rose. He’s a newly created vampire so he’s still learning the ropes. As a human he was a bit of a geek to be honest: kind of skinny and more interested in shutting himself into his bedroom and listening to old rock music (you know… if there was a rock music radio station in TS4). I guess he felt like he never really fit in at school because he’d arrived in San Myshuno as a kid, a refugee from Transimvania, and he’d never fully lost the accent.

He’d lived with his aunt in her tiny (but well maintained) apartment throughout his teenage years. She often looked at him with a wistful expression, sighing and hoping he was a ‘late bloomer’ (whatever that means). She had been a nurse, and often worked the night shift for extra money, and slept nearly all day. She’d never had much time to spend with him and he’d learned to take care of himself: he knew his way around that kitchen better than she did!

Then one day she didn’t come home from work. They told him it was a violent patient who had attacked her. A mentally unstable guy with some kind of paranoid hallucinations. He got away. And they couldn’t find his aunt’s body. She’d last been seen stumbling from the hospital in the direction of the suspension bridge…

Amadeus became even more withdrawn and afraid of the outside world. He spent all his time in the apartment and absorbed himself in music. The small inheritance his aunt had left him had been just enough to buy a few instruments and keep on top of the rent. He told the social workers he was fine. He was technically an adult now so they left him alone.

He played more music.

He lost interest in food.

The money started to run out…

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It was at this point that his life changed.

First came the hunger again. But this was a different kind of hunger. A burning, aching hunger that seemed to come from his heart instead of his stomach. A hunger that normal food couldn’t satisfy.

Then he became stronger. At first he thought it was because he was becoming a man. His shoulders seemed wider, his muscles more pronounced.

Finally he got sick. If he went out in the day he felt like his skin was on fire! He looked in the mirror and his face was gaunt, his eyes dark and sunken. He was starving but he couldn’t keep anything down.

In a panic he searched through his aunt’s things for her notebook: it would surely have a number for her doctor in her list of contacts. His fingers brushed the pressed leather spine, but when he pulled the book free from the suitcase it was not her notebook but her journal.

Was it wrong to read it? He felt like it was but he couldn’t help but turn the thick yellowing pages. This was no ordinary diary. The first line addressed him directly:

Dearest Amadeus, if you are reading this then I am gone. There are many things I must tell you…

And then he discovered what he was.

The fangs were tricky. They would extend at any moment and he had little control over them. The mere thought of anything remotely exciting would have them shooting into his bottom lip or his tongue and he tasted his own blood more than anything else in those early days.

There are others like us. There are those that can help. But you MUST learn the basics first. You cannot meet them if you are unprepared.

Disguising what he had become was easy. Sure, he looked a little pale, but if he disguised his eyes with a pair of dark glasses he blended in with any other resident of the city who was suffering from one too many late nights.

The hardest part was the hunger. At first he was tortured by the thought of hurting anyone and bore the pain in his chest for a long time. But the journal warned him of the danger of leaving it too long:

You are young and can fight the hunger for a while. But it will get stronger and harder to bear. Eventually it will take over and you will lose control. You CANNOT let that happen.

Better to take a sip here, and a sip there. Gently so that people don’t even notice. No more harm than a love bite. Little and often. That was the way. Still Amadeus felt guilty. But he buried his emotions into his music, playing them over and over to free himself.

Over time he learned to control the symptoms. He could make himself look human again, lean, a little bit weedy, like he wouldn’t hurt a fly. But he needed to attract his food and he found that shifting into his stronger, darker form made him more confident. It was easier to seduce people that way. He had a string of girlfriends, they didn’t seem to mind their rock star boyfriend dating other women, and it was practical to have a number of food sources so as not to take too much from any one girl.

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Many men would have loved to trade places with him, but Amadeus wasn’t happy. This wasn’t the way he wanted to live his life, an unwilling slave of the hunger. He dreamed of a normal human life, finding his soulmate, and maybe even having kids (as if he could even dream of having kids and risk passing on his curse!). The constant feeling of gnawing guilty was almost as painful as the hunger and he would go for days without feeding, swapping one pain for another, until it became too dangerous and he would call one of the girls to try to quench his unquenchable thirst.

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One day he saw HER. Just a glimpse, a flash of red in the corner of his eye. He paused, the violin string suspended in mid-note, and moved closer to the thin sliver of light between the curtain and the wall. There she was again. Her hair blazing in the mid-day sun. He followed her, his black eye almost blinded by the glare, as she walked through the street below him and vanished from his gaze.

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It felt like an eternity for the sun to set that evening. For the first time in his life Amadeus was eager to get down to street level. So eager that he descended too early and his skin crackled in the last few remnants of sunset. He looked around for the girl, but she could not be found. Who was she? And where could she be?

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TS4 Download: More Flea Market Objects

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I love LOVE LOOOOOOOOOVEEEEEEEE the flea market sales objects that came with City Living! I like how they provide a way to start off your retail business without having to own a full venue like in Get to Work, which I feel is something to work up to. And I like that I can sell things on a home lot too. I like making multi purpose lots, so the fact that I can use sales tables practically anywhere makes them a really useful object to me!

I wanted to add the code to more objects, so I could create a bit more of a professional look to my home businesses. I particularly wanted one of the cake fridges and the bakery shelves. I edited their meshes to remove the decorative objects that take up room on the shelves, touched-up the textures, and added loads more slots! Then I gave them tuning to give them the functions of the sales table, and I made them drag-able in Live mode.

I also added an extra table on request for people who want to create a historical or rustic market. I cloned a table from Get Together and gave it the flea market table code but I haven’t given it extra slots. I did remove the slots for chairs and plates though, so it can’t be used as a dining table.

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Since these objects are cloned from the official game they rely on resources in the appropriate expansion packs:

* Bakery Stand and Refrigerated Display – Get to Work and City Living are required!

* Rustic Table – Get Together and City Living are required!

The zip contains the separate files for each object, so you can just install whichever wants you want. The refrigerated display has custom tuning which is contained in that file.

Download here!

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Extra info:

* These objects were made and edited using Sims4Studio and G.I.M.P.

* Edited versions of these objects have already been made by other simmers, I also have SrslySims’ version in my game which act like the normal fridge and shelves but are also decluttered, recoloured, and have more slots. You can use both versions in game and they don’t conflict. Great if you want both functions!

* The small herbs in the image and the string lights are by Omorfi Mera and there are loads of other great objects to check out at her blog!

* The stepladder shelf is by Around the Sims and there are more fab items there for gardening loving Sims!

* There are also some separated objects that are by OrangeMittens.

TS4 Downloads: Archaeology Mod

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One of my Sims was an Indiana Jones type archaeologist and university professor in TS3. Although we can dig up fossils and things in TS4, I felt like I needed a bit of extra content to support my gameplay and so I made this small archaeology mod.

In the buy catalogue you will find a couple of new items under the knowledge tag. The main one is a rock similar to the existing fossil rock in the game. One difference is that this rock can be bought and carried in your inventory. This allows you to set up an archaeological dig site wherever you like.

When you click on this rock you will get the option to ‘uncover relics’. You will then get one of several new relic objects in your inventory. There is also a chance that this interaction will drop a rubble pile that you can sift through to uncover more relics.

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I converted several relic meshes from TS3 World Adventures and several swatches, so there is a decent variety of relics that can drop from this first version of the mod.

The relics can be placed in the world and your sim can ‘analyze’ them which will drop ‘academic notes’ into their inventory.

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Finally, the relics can either be sold to the art gallery for a tidy little profit. Or you can donate them to a museum. The academic notes can also be sold for a bit of side income.

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I also have my archaeologist use the writing skill to publish his findings, and will use the podium for lectures, but the mod doesn’t currently add any extra options to these.

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The mod uses code and features from the detective career from the Get to Work expansion pack, so this is required.

Please install ALL the files that are contained in the zipped folder as they are all required for the mod to function correctly. However, you can keep them inside the sub-folder to keep them organised together.

Download Here!

News: Vampires Look Fangtastic!

The Sims team just released a blog and video on the upcoming Vampire game pack and… woah! These creatures of the night would make short work of the old sparkly types. I think those who were disappointed in the TS3 vampires will be pleased that the TS4 version are much more traditional and, yes, they DO sleep in coffins!

News: TODDLERS!!!

That’s right! Toddlers are actually here and you can get them in your The Sims 4 game RIGHT NOW!!!

FOR FREE!!!

They have been patched in with LOADS of content! Just update your game and there they are! You can adopt them, age up babies, or add a new toddler to the household using CAS! You can even assign caregivers! Toddlers can also be given a special trait: Angelic, Fussy, Silly, Charmer, Independent, Wild, Clingy, or Inquisitive! And they can learn new skills using items such as the potty, bath, blocks… or just by having them dance!

They look amazing and I’m off to go and play with them!

TS4 Download: Vintage Glamour Desk as Vanity

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I really love the style of Vintage Glamour and the vanities are so lovely! But I found myself desiring a celebrity backstage style version of the vanity, you know, the kind with the lamps around the mirror? At first I tried converting the vanity from TS3 Showtime (I think it was a dresser?) but I wasn’t happy with the recolours and couldn’t figure out how to get the lights to actually light up! I’m not planning on completing that project. However, if you are interested in that tackling that yourself you can grab it here.

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In the end I felt it better to clone the Vintage Glamour desk and make it act like a vanity. You can use it with any mirror then and get the same effect. The one I’m using in this screenshot is by Around the Sims and you can grab it here. The desk has all the vanity interactions like applying make-up, and the mirror interactions are on there too (I love that the SP team thought of that!). Your Sims can also use it like a normal desk and do their homework on it, perfect for a teenager’s bedroom!

The desk is a clone, so it will not overwrite the original one. It comes with all the swatches too. The desk shares some resources with the original desk, so you will need the Vintage Glamour Stuff Pack to make it show up in your game. The stuff pack is essential for all the vanity interactions and animations as well.

Download Here!

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TS4 Download: Sectional Sofas (Decades)

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Here are some sectional sofa conversions from The Sims 3: 70’s, 80’s and 90’s Stuff Pack. I used these a lot in TS3 and found myself missing them recently, especially after the release of Vintage Glamour because I used them for those kind of builds. There are seven sections in total and you can piece them together in lots of different ways to create different shapes (a bit like counters). They are categorised as living chairs and are grouped together in the catalogue. Sims can use them like normal living chairs. There is a tiny bit of clipping as the Sim sits down, but I decided not to resize the mesh to correct this as it would have meant the pieces wouldn’t fit together as easily. The inner curved piece does act as a chair but unfortunately has bad clipping, but once you place a section either side the Sims don’t use it anyway, so it’s not a big issue. I find it best to place the sections using the ‘bb.moveobjects on’ cheat.

I created custom swatches in a variety of colours, and also attempted a custom spec map to give the metallic part a shiny surface.

*insert Moana ‘shiny’ gif here* (Come on internet, catch up!)

I tried to make them fairly Maxis-match but if you think you can improve them you’re more than welcome to give it a go! Please let me know if you do. As usual, I used Sims4Studio for recolours and putting everything together. I also used S3pe, S3oc and Blender for the meshes.

Download Here!

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TS4 Download: Auto NPCs (Barista and Stall Vendor)

Updated 4th Dec 2016!!! Added Barista, Vendor and Bartender options for Gyms and Spas. Remember to only choose one package for each lot type.

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It frustrates me that some objects in TS4 only auto-call NPCs on certain lots. I was so disappointed that City Living food stands would stand empty on park lots. 😦

Previously I was able to create mods to make it free to hire vendors, and bartenders and baristas. However, I still wished that the NPCs would auto-attend the lot because it breaks the immersion to have to keep calling them in manually. After MUCH playing around with the files, and many failed attempts, I was finally able to call some NPCs in to certain lots.

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For the vendors, you can place multiple stalls on one lot but only one vendor will be auto hired. They seem to choose which stall to open at random. If you delete a stall, they will go and open another. The vendors will auto tend any type of stall though: food; tea; swag; produce.

The baristas and vendors are called to the lot in overlapping shifts, so you should see a new NPC arriving to replace the one that is leaving. The barista/vendor will be called even if you do not have a barista bar or stall on the lot.

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The Files:

I’ve included all the files in one folder but you must only install ONE of each lot type. So you must only have one ‘Park’ venue for example. Therefore, you need to choose whether a barista or a vendor suits each individual lot type better. So far you can auto call an NPC to Park, Museum and Library venues.

You could have:

* A food vendor at the park.
and
* A cafe in the library.
and
* A gift stall at the museum.

If you want to automatically call a vendor you also need the vendor BASE file. This is because the baristas were already set up to work ON lots, but the vendors did not have a corresponding file. I created my own tuning for this.

This mod will override the ‘lot zoning’ for library/park/museum venues and will conflict with any other mod that also overrides these tuning files (this is why you must only choose one file per lot type). The vendor base is custom tuning and should not conflict with anything else.

To summary:

* If you choose a VENUE + vendor file, the BASE vendor file is required.
* If you only want the VENUE + barista files you do not need the BASE vendor file.
* You can only choose ONE file per lot type!
* You can mix and match files so you could have a cafe at the park, and a stall at the museum (as long as you don’t have two of the same lot type).

* You can also use this alongside my hire NPC’s for free mods (links above). So if you did want more than one stall on a lot, you can use the free vendor mod to hire additional sims.

I hope that isn’t too confusing! I tried to explain it as clearly as possible. XD Obviously Get Together is required for the barista, and City Living is required for the vendors. I made the mod with both packs installed.

I’ve also been looking into other role sims such as the musician buskers and the living statues, and while these sometimes work they have not been consistent. I decided they needed more work. The vendors and baristas, however, have been running like clockwork in my game and after several hours of repeated testing, I have found no issues.

Happy Simming!

Download Here! (Remember to only install ONE of each lot type!!!)

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The Thompson Family: Snap Happy

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Gemma was so excited! It was the weekend and she was going to visit a park she’d never been to before! It had a SPACESHIP!!! She ran to find her big brother.

‘Karl! Karl! Are you coming to the park with me!?’

‘Of course!’ cried Karl dramatically, ‘I wouldn’t miss the chance to go… TO SPAAAAAAAAACE!’

Gemma made and excited squeal noise and hopped up and down, ‘TO SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE!!!’

‘But first,’ Karl whispered conspiratorially, ‘I need to go and catch Dave and convince him to return to his home planet of Goobleflumblegorb.’

He actually just needed to go and have a shower, and he was going to meet Gemma at the park later. But Gemma grinned and nodded eagerly, and he went off to pretend to catch the monster under the bed.

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William had to go to the office that afternoon, but wanted to send some time with his daughter first. So he took Gemma to the park and agreed that Karl could come and take over alien impersonation activities when he was ready. Another boy was there with his little sister and William got chatting to him. He seemed nice and William thought he seemed like a good friend for Karl.

The two girls started playing naturally with each other. William felt pleased that there were other nice kids around for his children to play with. It was always difficult when children had to move house and start a new school.

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Karl arrived and his dad introduced him, ‘Hey Karl, this is Felix, he’s interested in photography too.’

‘You’re interested in photography?’ Felix asked him as he sat down.

Karl laughed nervously, a little embarrassed about his Dad’s pushy parenting. ‘Umm.. yeah. Well, I want to be an architect, so I sometimes photograph buildings and sculptures and things. It’s just a hobby.’

‘Hey, that’s really cool,’ enthused Felix, ‘I don’t have any kind of specialised subject, I just see things that I think are beautiful and want to capture them on film forever.’

‘You use film?’ Karl asked surprised.

Felix laughed self-consciously, ‘Well, not usually. I normally just use my digital. But I think old cameras are kind of cool, I have a couple that I found in antique shops and the flea market in San Myshuno, and I tinker around with them a bit. There’s something more… real about capturing an image on film than on a microchip, you know?’

‘Yeah, I get it,’ nodded Karl, ‘I like old buildings. It feels like people used to invest real money in old buildings in the past: sculptures, and carvings, and decoration. Now it feels like most modern buildings are done as cheaply as possible. Everything is laminated or veneered.’

Felix looked at him thoughtfully for a moment. ‘I have to admit I like the clean lines of modern buildings. The simplicity of them.’

‘I do too,’ insisted Karl, ‘my own style is quite clean and modern, but with the care and attention to detail of the past. Look…’

Karl thumbed through his photos on his phone and showed Felix some of his projects.

‘Hey, those are amazing!’ Felix enthused. ‘I’d love to live in one of those apartments! You know, there are some cool sculptures around Windenburg, maybe we could grab something to eat and I can show you around. Got your camera?’

‘I do!’ Karl called to his sister, ‘We’re going to go exploring!’

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They arrived at the restaurant but Felix had a phone-call and had to dash off, he apologised and said they should meet up again soon. Karl spent some time taking photos of the sculptures around the area, Felix was right, there was so much to photograph! There were boats too, Karl loved all things nautical and got some great pics of the sea at sunset. Gemma was happy exploring and throwing coins into the fountains.

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[I had waaaaaaaaay too much fun taking photos around Windenburg!]

It started to get late and Karl took Gemma for something to eat. These two are so sweet together! Karl joined Gemma in colouring in place mats and they designed fairy castles together while they waited for dinner. Afterwards, Karl couldn’t resist taking a few more shots of Windenburg at night before they headed home to bed.

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