24 December 2011

Merry Xmas!

Merry Christmas to all ... hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends.
Make sure you enjoy a well-earned rest and don't eat too much!

22 December 2011

I Used To Be A Simmer Like You ... Then I Took An Arrow To The Knee

It seems like most of the Simming community has given up on their increasingly uncooperative games, the snoozefest that is the official forums, and the perils of patching (or not) ... and disappeared off to play Skyrim (or The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to give it it's correct title).  

And why not?  It's beautifully crafted and amazing to play.  Or to just stroll around looking at the breathtaking scenery.  I'm playing the console version so unfortunately it's not easy to get action screenshots.  

This is my current character Eigon, a Nord, in her battle armour and weapons that she created herself in the blacksmith's shop ... except for the helmet that was acquired from a slow moving bandit.  

I've had the game for nearly 3 weeks now but haven't put in as much time on it as I'd like since I need to battle my son for the controller.  I've stuck to the main story mostly and so far have reached Level 11, defeated 3 dragons, learnt a few spells and some shouts, and acquired a follower, the faithful Lydia. 

I haven't managed to buy a house or a horse ... or get married.  I've only just met my first vampire but no werewolves yet.  Things to do, places to go ... so little time when you're Dragonborn.  So, I guess I should get back to it. 

21 December 2011

Ugly Xmas Sweater Contest

Over at Simpletons, we are breaking out the knitting needles and oddments of wool to create Christmas-themed sweaters for the Simpletons Inaugural Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest.  

We're hoping for something our Sims will be proud to wear to the 2011 Simpletons turkey curry buffet on New Year's Eve. Mini gherkins, anyone?

07 December 2011


Remember how after Late Night was released and anyone whose game wasn't overwhelmed with cars, vampires, celebrities or paparazzi was asking ... "how come the bands don't have lead singers?" ... "where are the pool tables for the dive bars?" ... "why don't the clubs have DJs or karaoke?" ... "what's with the creepy magicians and why can't my Sim be one?" ... "where's Katy Perry singing in simlish?" 

Well, now we know ...  EA were holding them back for the first ever expansion of an expansion pack ... the TS3 Late Night 2.0 Showtime EP.  Actually, it looks they're still trying to teach Katy Perry simlish, judging by the trailer, but otherwise it's all there. 

And wasn't that a good choice of theme song since the forums, official and otherwise, went off like a firework  ... though not in a good way.  So far opinion on the official forums about the introduction of "social features" is running about 25% for and 75% against.

Personally I'm not in favour.  When I'm playing Sims 3 I want to focus on the game so I'm rarely online or doing other things at the same time.  If I want to chat about Sims or share my creations then there are plenty of forums to visit.  I have no interest in linking my Sims world to Facebook.  There's a pretty good chance those nifty "social features" will be included in the game release patch so they'll be hard to avoid, even if you don't buy the EP.  And it looks like you will miss out on functionality and exclusive content if you don't play the game their way.

EA has been pushing Facebook for some time and it's clear they see plenty of benefit to themselves (presumably monetary) in expanding that connection.  Never mind the unwanted marketing intrusions into our game and the potential for it all to go very sour game performance wise, Facebook can't even keep Mark Zuckerberg's holiday snaps private so what chance do the rest of us have to maintain a little privacy?

I think I'll be giving this one a miss. 

06 December 2011

Let's Hear It For Claire!

The second most often used search keyword to find my blog ... right there between "gothic library" and "tickle medieval" (go figure) ... is "Claire Ursine".  So for all you fans out there ... Claire says hi! 

You can read more about Claire's adventures in my game way back here.

Sims 3 Ate My Homework

Last month I lost access to my studio over on the official TS3 forums for about a week.  Eventually it came back when they messed with our Simpages to add the treasure hunt category.  But since then I haven't been able to upload any lots to the exchange.  I prepared some crash test dummies test households and lots but they wouldn't upload either ... until today. Yay, finally working ... but no.  The test uploads work.  The actual lots I want to upload (as requested by someone else) just won't go. Sorry. 

10 November 2011

Stuff That

I decided a while ago that I'd only buy new TS3 releases when they reduce in price (preferably to at least half-price).  Not a boycott, more of a go slow.  If EA can't be arsed fixing their game or even providing any kind of proper customer support, why should I bother rushing out to give them money?  

Clearly wise to my stalling tactics, EA have now released a stuff pack that's worth even less than half price.  A bed!  A chair!  A bath!  Lots of undies!  Meh ... they're not even trying any more.  Even the smiley-face jocks are too little, too late.

Master Suite Stuff may be the first release I don't buy at all (not that I have TLS or Pets yet but I intend to eventually).  Catloverplayer is welcome to my copy. 

20 October 2011

Mmmmm ... tasty!

Thanks to the latest TS3 patch for the Pets expansion, Sims can now eat pet food at the bistro.  I'm pretty sure they're not meant to do that (judging by the really bad animation when they do it) ... but who could resist the chance to try it out on everyone's favourite townie.  Nice fish food, Liam? 

Eeples Eend Beeneenees

As promised in my last fruit update, I haven't bought any Australian apples (or pears) for a while. My very small personal campaign (with no real sacrifice on my part) seems to be having the right effect with the South Australian Government backing away from imposing quarantine zones. 

"Industry were concerned that it may send a negative message to South Australian consumers and we may actually see a drop in the sale of apples and pears right across the board, irrespective of their source."

NZ apples haven't made their way to South Australia yet ... not quite the flood the local industry were worried about ... but I can't wait!

And for my regular readers waiting on the latest banana news ... sales are so slow that, I think for the first time ever, bananas are being specially advertised on TV so that we know they are back in the shops ... at $7.50 a kilo. 

16 October 2011

Lofty New Heights

Time to revamp the loft homes around the pool complex in Sunset Valley.  I guess I should've taken a before shot but the urge to replace them always overtakes me before I remember.  

Since I've got a bit of a weatherboard and stone theme going on about town, I thought I'd continue it with these revamps. I've renamed the houses Neo Heights (left), Metro Heights (centre) and Cosmo Heights (right).

And the revamped Azure Heights Pool with hot tubs and bar area.  I like how these lots actually fit together properly ... which is unusual for an EA town (usually there's an annoying gap) ... so the paving flows from one lot to another like it's a proper complex.

On the inside, the living areas are all neutral but with colour splashes in the bedrooms.  This is Neo Heights (with a handy fire pole so you don't need to wait for the lift) ...

... and Metro Heights ...

... and lastly Cosmo Heights. 

Download Neo Heights

Download Metro Heights

Download Cosmo Heights

Download Azure Heights Pool
(revised January 2014 - see the updated version here)

15 October 2011


Meanwhile back in Sunset Valley, I've added an apartment building to the centre of town.  It has a small one bedroom apartment decorated with pieces from the quirky Through the Spy Glass sets for that Alice in Wonderland touch. 


Download Wonderland Apartment 

09 October 2011

Plumbob Pictures

I've added the movie backlot to both Sunset Valley (replacing the stadium which is now somewhere else) and Hidden Springs (replacing the military base) so there's a bit more variety in the careers available.  I'm not that keen on celebrities ... actually, it's the paparazzi I really don't like ... but I usually end up with everyone in town being a celebrity so they kind of cancel each other out.  Anyway, over at Plumbob Pictures I've updated the sets using the items from World Adventures. 

Download New Plumbob Pictures Backlot

23 September 2011

Create-A-Pet Demo Derby

Unfortunately, it looks like that stands for "demolition" ... not "demonstration" ... for a lot of users.  So you won't find any links to it from here ... but there are plenty over at the TS3 site if you feel compelled to try it out. Proceed with caution though ... and keep an eye on developments over at Crinrict's Sims 3 Help Blog

But today's simming news isn't all bad ... I know you'll be excited as I am that EA have finally caved in to the overwhelming pressure over on the official forum to provide a ridiculously overpriced musical toilet. Who says they don't listen to what we want? 

21 September 2011

Hidden Springs

I finally started a new game in Hidden Springs on the weekend.  Some of the scenery is really beautiful and there are some really nice spots hidden amongst that greenery.  It actually looks like they've put a lot of effort into providing a nice setting for the town and giving it some character. 

Unfortunately, to balance out all that greenery, the centre of town is one big paving showroom with ample parking for your sims' abandoned cars.  Sure, there are a few trees ... see that dead one there?  That pink thing is some kind of fake cafe with ample toilet facilities.  The outdoor eating area at the bistro nearby is only slightly more inviting.  

For some reason, the houses in the "classy" bit of town look like an abandoned set from Edward Scissorhands (more about those another time).  Anyway, the first thing I did was bulldoze that enormous grey (and pink) eyesore and replace it with a modified version of my big park from Sunset Valley, which will do for now. 

Then I spent most of the day fixing up the town hall landscaping ...

And a little bit of time revamping the bistro as a proper small park ...

20 September 2011

Half Price Retail Therapy

The Australian Origin store was running a "limited time only" (not sure if 4 weeks counts but there you have it) sale on digital downloads ... with all TS3 expansions and stuff packs half price ... including the pre-order of the limited edition of Pets.  Tempting, but my internet plan isn't really set up for downloading too many games ... and I prefer the disc versions anyway.  Fortunately, they also had simpoints on sale for half price ... so I got enough to download Hidden Springs. 

Anyway, luckily for me, this month the disc version of Generations was also on sale for half price in store.  I figured I have all the bugs and crappy memories and romantic reputations for free anyway with the patch ... so I might as well have some of the good things as well.  Most of the new stuff looks fun ... and fortunately the families I've played so far don't have any of those creepy imaginary friends! 

11 September 2011

Darling View

One of the first houses I rebuilt in Sunset Valley was Agnes Crumplebottom's modern monstrosity, August Moon.  It's not the worst in town ... I think that honour goes to the Bunch residence ... but it's fairly awkwardly put together in typical EA slapdash fashion.  For those that don't know August Moon, it looked like this ... 

But in my revamped Sunset Valley, it looks like this ...

I've renamed the house Darling View because in my game, Erik Darling is resurrected and Agnes is happily decorating her nest. On the inside, it's now a little more conservative ... just like Agnes herself ...

You can download Darling View from my studio

Erik & Agnes Darling (household)

03 September 2011

An Eternal Kingdom

I've finally finished the New Beginnings ambition and created a new kingdom, Llanigon, in the An Eternal Kingdom free-play ambition.  This ambition lets you play, well, free-play, without an overall ambition which is great for trying things out.  Anyway, this is my Monarch, Lady Eigon, and her newly redecorated throne room... 

She's another good monarch (haven't got the hang of evil ones yet).  But don't cross her because she can still throw you in the pit ... this is someone who pretended to be her cousin meeting the pit beast ... 

I've added the Pirates & Nobles adventure pack and the decorating objects and new outfits look really good.  So far I've had a few scallywags wandering about town and boats being attacked but no pirate invasion as yet.  I have to admit that I'm really looking forward to trying out a few pirate quests.  Aaargggh me hearties! 

27 August 2011

All the News in Fruit

New Zealand apples have finally been cleared to be imported into Australia after a 90 year ban.  Australia has been using quarantine excuses regulations to protect its apple industry from imports (there is no fire blight and other diseases here as there is in many other countries).  The lack of competition means that apples here are relatively expensive and limited to only a few varieties.  NZ successfully took its case to the World Trade Organisation (and Australia lost its appeal) and the two governments have finally reached agreement on the regulations to protect the Australian industry from diseases.   Which you think would be the end of it ... but no.  

Mainly in the southern states (like here) the state governments, major supermarkets and growers have said they will continue the ban on NZ apples, which would leave Australia open to retaliatory action by NZ (who can stop taking Australian imports or raise tariffs by 100%).  So, for being such whiny babies and poor losers ... no more Australian apples for me*.   

In other fruit news, bananas are now $8 a kilo... um $12... no $9... $7 (still haven't bought any though). 

* Not that I eat a lot of apples because they are pretty ordinary here.  For a country that has ready access to a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables, it's amazing how much has been in cold storage for a very long time when you buy it ... even when it's in season.  

08 August 2011

Ah Um Spuckin Inglush Full

So I thought I'd try out the urlai blog analysing thingy that everyone has been playing with lately.  And what do you know, it seems to have been confused by my accent ... 

Mind you, that result certainly contains English words ... but I can understand why the widget thought my sentence structure and grammar might be foreign. 

27 July 2011

Going All Medieval

I've been playing a bit of Sims Medieval lately. Actually, quite a lot of it really.  I know I wasn't going to buy another EA game but I'd heard some good reports and I wasn't playing Sims 3 much other than doing a bit of building.  Sims Medieval doesn't seem to have  as many issues as Sims 3 because it's not as complex.  And anyway, it was on special.  Yes, the forum is a bit sad ... but there are plenty of places to find support for it elsewhere if you look around a bit.  

Sims Medieval is more like a Sims-themed RPG than the Sims 3 so I can understand why those that enjoy the freedom of the original find it a bit restrictive.  You can't change the buildings other than the decorations and new buildings are added in set locations.  You can only play set heroes, although you can customise them in CAS.  They need to build focus by adding positive moodlets and minimising negative ones, as well as completing their daily responsibilities, to be effective in their quests. 

Heroes are the Monarch, Knight, Spy, Physician, Blacksmith, Bard, Merchant, Wizard, as well as Jacoban and Peteran Priests. They have to complete quests to advance the game which means you can add more locations and their associated professions.  There are a few other locations as well that allow you to send ships out to trade or hunt whales, to play kingball, and to worship the Watcher (er, that would be you). 

You start with a monarch and this is mine, Lady Serena the Great, listening to a petition to establish a sweet shop or something (and fund it to improve her popularity).  I managed to catch her between yawns (sitting on the throne is usually pretty dull but it does help the monarch advance).  

Bad or unlucky Sims can be thrown in the Pit of Judgement and usually get eaten by the beast ... though some survive to take their chances with the benevolence of their monarch some other day.  Heroes can also be thrown in the pit for getting too far behind in their quest as I've discovered (but luckily for my merchant Marius you can quit without saving).  

This is my blacksmith Will making some armour for a palace guard.  He gets a Hammer Tyme (ye shall not touch this!) moodlet when he works metal, which makes me laugh every time, er, tyme. 

And this is Will's wedding to his apprentice Rosamund.  It seems to work out better if you don't marry your heroes to each other.  Rosamund had to spend a lot of time hanging out at the smithy anyway so it was a convenient match ... and Will gains plenty of focus from having his spouse around so much.

One of the quests was to marry off a hero so here is my Knight Lucas marrying Celestria, a local maiden, in the banquet hall.  When they don't marry in a church, this strange angel person turns up to marry them. I'm not sure what happens in a church wedding yet as all of my heroes are agnostic (and I haven't unlocked the churches).

Lastly, this is my physician Morgana treating a patient with a pile of leeches before she pours medicine down his throat.  She also gets to make potions and salves from the plants she collects.  And she finds a cure for the plague in one of her quests ...

... which is lucky because there's a bit of it about (the afflicted have a black cloud about their heads and those that catch it from them have a swirly cloud in their thought bubbles).  Nasty peasants! 

Anyway, I'm enjoying Sims Medieval a lot and I haven't had any major issues so far (praise the Watcher).  I haven't played all professions yet but the ones I've played have been fun.  There's a lot of variety in the quests and plenty of options in how you can progress so I'm looking forward to where things go from here. 

In non-Sims-related news, bananas are currently $17 a kilo here (for those that are checking up on the price), which is about six times as much as we used to pay, and it's starting to have an impact on inflation.  And we've discovered that sweet potatoes aren't grown in South Australia and most of our cabbages come from interstate too. Weird.