15 November 2013

Happy's Misgiving

Doesn't this just sum up the past year in The Sims 3 perfectly? 

It seems like whenever the Sims team announced new content (be it expansion, stuff or store content), you felt so happy to see something new and exciting ... but slightly suspicious that it won't work quite the way they say! 

So, let's give thanks for the Sims team and their continued enthusiasm ... and for all the modders out there that make the game playable!

17 September 2013


Yeah, I know they're pancakes ... so please stop looking at me like that. 

Well, it's confirmed ... no Create-A-Style for Sims 4.  My level of interest just dropped from "think I'll wait and see what it's really like when it's been out for a couple of months" to "meh, no thanks, maybe I'll give it a try when it's in a Humble Bundle or something".  Colour me disappointed ... at least I know how pancake guy feels.

23 August 2013

Sass Awrful! *

The Sims 4 reveal started with an "arrival" trailer so lame that most of real people in it were having trouble faking enthusiasm.  Not least because the fake people are having trouble doing anything real at all.  It was followed by a "gameplay" trailer that just wasn't convincing ... especially if they were trying to convince me to pre-order the game. 

Overall Sims 4 is looking too much like a shiny plastic online social game (which I'd guess it was going to be until SimCity 2013 happened) and not enough like an interesting way to mess around and spend some time.  I still haven't decided if the Sims are more realistic or not since they kinda look more real but seem less realistic.  I wasn't convinced I really wanted to play around with them at all.  Though maybe it's just that I found all of the Sims in the trailers annoying.  Really annoying.  Put-them-in-the-pool-and-take-away-the-ladder annoying.  

I know a lot of people are excited by the click and drag functionality shown in Create-A-Sim.  I suspect I'd be spending way too long trying to get that bit exactly right and then the next bit and the next ... only to have the first bit shoot off in an unexpected direction.  Hopefully there will be some pre-made feature options to choose from to make the job easier for beginners (and those that just don't care how imperfect their Sims look).  

Anyway, the build mode functionality they showed looked interesting.  Automating some of that basic stuff would be great for beginners.  And the ability to pick building sections up and move them around would be extremely useful.  I mean, who hasn't nearly finished building and wished they'd started two squares over? 

Unfortunately it sounds like Create-A-Style won't be available, at least in the base game.  I'm not convinced that I'd want to go back being stuck with the finishes and patterns provided in the game the way it was in Sims 2.  It's an odd decision since the functionality was a very popular addition to Sims 3.  

Mostly I'm not convinced that I need to know (or care) what my Sims are feeling.  Nice if this emotion engine is like the memory system in Sims 2 so they can react to stuff in the future but not so if they just flounce and pout like over-emotional teenagers every time they don't like the decor.  Though it would make a change for there to be a point in giving them a favourite colour, I guess.  Not a good enough reason to pre-order though.  

* Simlish for "that's awful" (because I couldn't find the simlish for "that's unconvincing")

18 August 2013

And you're back in the room ...

Can't believe it's so long since I've posted but ... um ... I was waiting for the most popular post here to be "Sims 4" rather than anything about Supernatural.  There. That almost sounds plausible.  Anyway, there's been nothing official on Sims 4 yet either ... since when they might tell us something and who the developers are don't count *rolls eyes and sighs*.   

I haven't been playing much of Sims 3 lately as I got sucked into the new expansion for Civilization V and once again time just disappears ... *pauses for one more turn*  

I did get the TS3 University Life expansion and was pleasantly surprised to find the gameplay enjoyable.  Sad to say, travelling still sucks and is the main reason I won't be getting TS3 Island Paradise and TS3 Into The Future in any hurry (if at all).  

I've splurged on a few store worlds (Dragon Valley, Monte Vista and Sunlit Tides), more for the content than the worlds themselves.  And I have been completing a few sets over on the Sims 3 store.  Congrats store team, it's actually a useful function ... once you got it working, of course.  

Can't believe how useful those random items I picked up from the daily deal or sale pages were in getting sets and compilations free or at very low cost.  It helps that they've actually fixed the launcher so it doesn't spit out my store content when I try to add anything.  I'm well and truly over with reinstalling everything every time I buy something new.  

Mostly I've been doing a bit of test playing to try out the new worlds as well as a few things I hadn't got to with the various expansions.  And quite a bit of making over lots with the new content.  All very much works-in-progress at the moment.  

07 May 2013

The Sims 4


It's not that much of a surprise since we knew it was in development ... and E3 is not far away ... so some kind of announcement made sense.  Risky timing if they were going with the online multiplayer mode but safe enough to keep it the same kind of game.  Not a lot of details at this stage though so it could go anywhere.  

The announcement was a little too heavy on the "we love our loyal fans".  I can't help wondering why, if they love us so much, they didn't bother to fix up Sims 3 when they had the chance, or even take care when releasing new content so that it didn't cause problems.  

Nice to see them confirm the "single player offline experience" (not online multiplayer as rumoured) and "no persistent internet connection required" right up front.  Should be interesting to see what that actually means when the game launches.  I suspect there will still be more online features than Sims 3.  And plenty of opportunities for microtransactions, ingame advertising, sponsored content and "buy stuff for DLC".  

I saw over at BeyondSims that there was a "possibility" of EA developing Steam workshop style system for users to make and share content for Sim City (and therefore supporting modding of the game).  Sounds like something they could adopt for Sims 4 as well.  Unfortunately I'm not sure they'll put enough effort into it to make it successful (unless they can find a way to make money from it).  Anything would be an improvement on the Sims 3 Exchange though.  

Sims 3 is such a high maintenance game and only works well for me thanks to Twallan's mods.  Without him around for Sims 4, I'm loath to invest in another EA series and have to take a punt on them actually doing it right this time.  I'll leave it until a few months after release and see how it goes.  

28 April 2013

Mostly Complete

I guess this post contains spoilers of sorts if you haven't done the quests yet.  If you don't want to know  anything at all about what happens in the Skyrim DLC then you should probably stop reading right now. 

Lord Harkon is dead and Skyrim is saved from eternal darkness.  So, aside from a couple of side quests, Dawnguard is over and done with. I've had the DLC disabled in my game ever since I started a new character that, on returning to Whiterun after killing the first dragon at the Western Watchtower, walked in on a vampire raid inside the gates that had already killed Adrianne Avenicci and the annoying Nazeem.  Then she went to Riverwood and arrived in the middle of another raid.  And then to Whiterun stables to use the cart to go elsewhere and there were more vampires.  She was only about Level 10 and not much use at all against them.  Thankfully, now I can head back to the towns without a rash of vampire attacks taking out my townsfolk. 

Also, it happened a while ago but Miraak is dead too and the Dovakiin learnt to fly dragons.  So, aside from a couple of side quests, Dragonborn is over and done with.  I will miss the bizarre world of Apocrypha, the endless library of forbidden knowledge.  Always made me feel like Alice in the original Wonderland (definitely not the Disney version).  Guess I can use this stack of Black Books to go back if I choose.

And I've built all three houses available through Hearthfire, and made Thane in the three holds, as well as adopted two children.  So, that's that all the Skyrim DLC mostly complete I guess.  Time to get back to the main quest. 

16 April 2013

(Will) Wright Reading Room

And so to Sims ... and back to Riverview to try out some of my new store content with some farming families.  I started a game there after Pets came out since Riverview seems to suit the animal theme so well (and Appaloosa Plains took so long to load that I gave up).  I made a start on revamping the town centre back then but ran out of steam with the library and art gallery as they needed a major rebuild.  Nothing from my lot library would fit so it was start from scratch when I went back.

Anyway, here's my update of the (Will) Wright Reading Room, that I've been working on the last couple of days.  It borrows heavily from the library I created in January for Moonlight Falls (but on a smaller scale).

Roof terrace with quiet spots for reading and writing.  

And on the inside, it's pretty much the typical library space.  

Download (Will) Wright Reading Room

(oh, yes, it appears I can now upload to the Exchange)

15 April 2013

100% Complete

Thanks Lara.  It was awesome ... but now it's over.  There's no more adventure to be had.  No more treasure to be found.  No more tombs to raid. 

10 April 2013

Fools Again

It must be April because the fools have come out of the woodwork again.  EA's COO posted a bizarrely defensive and unapologetic We Can Do Better statement in anticipation of 'winning' Consumerist's Worst Company in America award for the second year running.  

Granted EA are not actually the worst company in general terms (because there are plenty that are far worse for society as a whole) but this poll is all about how consumers see the world.  I can only agree with Consumerist when they say ... 

"Following last year’s surprise Worst Company In America victory by Electronic Arts, there was hope that the video game giant would get the message: Stop treating your customers like human piggy banks, and don’t put out so many incomplete and/or broken games with the intent of getting your customers to pay extra for what they should have received in the first place. And yet, here we are again, with EA becoming the first company to ever win a second Golden Poo from Consumerist readers."

Yes, EA, you can do better ... much, much better (since it appears you can do no worse).  Get the message this time because this one comes from your customers (yet again) ... and you want them to continue to give you all that money you love so much, don't you?  Criticising a poll for being rigged because you don't like the result is a bit lame, by the way.  Most importantly, make sure 'doing better' doesn't mean scoring a hat trick.

06 April 2013

Strangely Lucky

Finally started a game in Lucky Palms to try it out since I've had it sitting there for a while.  I was looking for somewhere to test my game before going back to a saved game and doing more building.

I don't think Lucky Palms does the desert theme as well as Al Simhara, even allowing for the different country and the lack of interesting bits like pyramids, tombs and sphinxes.  Whilst it's big and the layout is good with plenty of space for a variety of lots from the expansions, the desert landscape looks like an after-thought.  As usual with EA worlds, the standard lots are fairly average with their lack of attention to detail or design.  But there are a couple of areas that are surprisingly good like the docks area and the park next to the wishing well.

Overall, it made me nostalgic for Strangetown from TS2, which was much smaller but at least had some interesting spots to explore ... and some far more interesting pre-mades.  I hate how the pre-mades in TS3 worlds that are recreations of favourites from TS2 share very little but a name with the originals. Anyway, I don't think I'll be hanging out in Lucky Palms for very long.

Here's my work-in-progress down at the docks ... 

Update: You can't be that surprised, Mares.  I did say that I wasn't keen on the desert landscape back when I got it.  Maybe living not that far from a real, but very different, desert landscape has affected my expectations!  Anyway, thank you for the congrats on 10,000.  


Pageviews, that is.  At least according to Blogger.

So what else does Blogger have to say?  Most visitors are from the US, UK or Australia and come here via Vidkid20's Sim Lair using Firefox or Chrome.  Incidentally, there are still plenty of people searching for tickling in Skyrim and Sims 3 Medieval ... and now Sim City.  A few looking for my builds (thank you).  Should get back to those, I guess.  

28 March 2013

Poor Lara!

Never has a girl been so battered and bruised in the name of archaeology.  And no wonder she turned out the way she did. 

Thoroughly enjoying Tomb Raider, though saving it to play when I'm best able to cope with Lara's many trials and tribulations.  There are so many painful moments in the game and I've felt every single one like it's happened to me.  Lara's deaths are brutal and gruesome ... and each one worse than the last.  I'm only about halfway through the game ... mostly because I'm an explorer and have to find every bit of treasure, scrap for upgrades and equipment parts. 

Finding quality gaming time has been a challenge in the Tickle household lately with family illness and work commitments causing a bit of stress ... and a serious lack of sleep ... in the last few weeks.  

Thankfully the worst of it has passed and I can look forward to the next four days holiday for eating chocolate bunnies and hot cross buns ... and I have some holidays coming up next month.  I'm aiming to finish Tomb Raider, play through the Dawnguard quests in Skyrim (keep forgetting to load that one now that my character is a higher level) as well as fit in some lengthy sessions of Sims 3 now that things have settled down after the University Life patch (love how even if you don't get the expansion, you get the worst of the bugs).  

And if I get through all that then there are a few other games on the started but not yet completed pile too ... Dishonoured, LA Noire, Batman: Arkham City to name a few ... and a whole stack of stuff I haven't even played yet.  

27 March 2013

One Person's Paradise ...

Oh, yeah.  I forgot ... a while ago EA announced the new expansion pack due out in June ... Island Paradise.  It was in the live broadcast apparently (sorry, missed the whole thing due to not having nearly an hour and a half free to cringe at the awkwardness of it all).  Do EA make those things deliberately as long and awkward as possible to ensure simmers will find their twitter feed interesting?  

Anyway, so far Island Paradise sounds like my holiday nightmare.  Resorts?  No thanks, unless you mean absolutely last resort, of course.  Epic buffets?  Hmmm, all-you-can-eat is not my kinda thing.  Fire walking pits and many other amenities?  That sounds like a cheesy "personal development" hell-hole.  Scuba diving?  No water activities thanks (shudder).  Jet skiing?  Um, no again (see previous answer).  Houseboats on the open seas?  Sounds like a recipe for sea sickness ... those things are only built for calm water.  Sailing off into the sunset?  No, I don't think ... actually, would that get me outta here?  As holidays go, I'd rather spend a week in a tiny caravan with Father Noel Furlong and an Irish-dancing youth group.  

But, as usual, Island Paradise has some build and buy stuff that would be useful elsewhere so I guess I'll get it eventually ... like in about 6 months when it's less than half price and mods have dealt with the glitches ... and I've worn out the other expansions.  Maybe. 

24 March 2013

Hold the Reticulated Splines, Thanks!

Remember that EA poll I mentioned last month?   Well, I never thought "reticulating your splines" meant "pulling your hair out in frustration at EA's crappy games".   But there you go. 

It looks like offline play wasn't in Maxis's "vision" for Sim City, which was unfortunate given the widespread connection issues on release.   If it did have an offline single player mode then I'd definitely buy it because it looks like a great game, even with the somewhat wacky AI and other issues.  However, it's not in my "vision" to support EA's DRM delusions masquerading as multi-player features I don't want. 

Come to think of it (and I've said it here before), it's not in my "vision" to pay EA anything more than half price for its games.  Especially when buying them on release tends to lead to frustration at their shortcuts and poor implementation, and, at worst, not being able to play at all.  Which means no University Life for me just yet, not that I'm particularly hanging out for it. 

I haven't had Supernatural and Seasons for very long and definitely haven't played my way through all they contain.  Sims 3 is not high on my playlist at the moment anyway.   My weekend simming consisted of downloading the 1.50 patch and all of Twallan's mods that have been updated.  And I grabbed a couple of things from the store that were on special.  Which meant, of course, that I had to reinstall my store content as it magically uninstalls itself every time I try to add more. 

So glad I opted for Tomb Raider instead.

20 February 2013

Raiding the Poll

Don't you hate polls that leave out the "none of the above" option?  Check out the latest community poll over at the officials.  

Where will you be reticulating your splines in March?
*  In The Sims 3 University Life!
*  In SimCity!
*  My splines will be reticulating in both.

Actually, my answer would be on some forgotten island, unravelling its dark history (and possibly raiding a few tombs) with Lara Croft.  And Skyrim of course.  

17 February 2013


So the Dragonborn came and learnt a few new skills including ... (spoiler ahead)

31 January 2013

Duplo Island

Just when you thought it was safe to go near the official TS3 site again, there's yet another new world coming out.  And there's at least a dozen threads over there about it so you shouldn't have any trouble finding some info.  

Here's the somewhat doctored panoramic view of Aurora Skies ... but I wouldn't bother to enlarge it since it doesn't get any better than this.  It looks pretty unfinished for something that goes on sale in 3 weeks.  Well, I guess they do have a bit of time ... it's not like they have to test it or anything. 

29 January 2013

Ever Had One of Those Days ...

... where several things attack you at once?  It's no problem for the Dovahkiin.

(that's a dragon, spriggan, frost troll and snow bear taken care of)

25 January 2013

Supernatural Seasons

And the good news is that the post-Xmas sales brought me both Supernatural and Seasons for the normal price of one expansion, with enough left over for a cup of coffee.  I finally installed Supernatural a couple of weeks ago and started a new game in Moonlight Falls.

And have been making over a few lots and households ever since.  I haven't played at all but decided I might as well install Seasons straight away so I didn't have to redo the lots (again).  Here's a selection of changes I've made in Moonlight Falls so far.  

23 January 2013

Worlds Apart

And now (finally) a TS3-related post.  I started a post on the new store content but there were just too many things to comment on.  So I decided to break it down a bit, starting with the new worlds offered.

First off there was Sweaty Lucky Palms.  Wasn't going to get this one as it didn't interest me.  Actually I think it's interesting that so many things get tip-toed around in TS3 and deemed "not suitable for teens" but gambling isn't a problem.  But mostly it's that I don't like the desert theme, though some of the building styles aren't bad.  And then I picked it up in the Cyber Monday sale for 65% off (with the simpoints I got for half price) since that made it not much more than the cost of the Wishing Well (which was the only bit I really wanted, at least a little bit).  Haven't played it though. 

Next off came Sunburnt Sunlit Tides.  Still not convinced by this one as the lots seem to be too restrictive in size and number to use it as a home world and utilise at least a range of expansions.  Maybe one day if I feel the need for a holiday destination or story location (and it's on sale).  That's if I finally feel brave enough to send my Sims off travelling, perhaps never to return (or to return as clones). 

My favourite bit though is the POW camp.  Nice touch!

Lastly, there was Monte Cristo Vista ... a Tuscan-influenced town, with more than a few Ancient Roman decorations.  'Cause Italy's a small country, right?  Though I guess it's not much different from being able to the Eiffel Tower from the South of France (รก la Champs Les Sims).

My main objection to this world though is the awkward live chat that was used to market it.  Seriously, Mario and Luigi are the only Italians you could think of?  I bet Nintendo were happy with the free plug ... and that I went right out and got New Super Mario Bros 2 instead.  Monte Vista looks interesting, though again lot numbers and sizes are restrictive, but I'm waiting for this one to be heavily reduced in the shops.  

21 January 2013

Believe, believe, the Dragonborn comes ...

... to PC and PS3 in February! (and Hearthfire and Dawnguard for PS3 too)

I've been playing Skyrim on PC (as you can probably tell from previous posts on Dawnguard and Heathfire) but we also have a sadly neglected PS3 version.  Looking forward to the DLC for both versions.  *does happy dance*  

Details of releases can be found here:  http://www.bethblog.com/2013/01/18/the-dragonborn-comes-in-february-and-hearthfire-dawnguard-too/