Meet Al (The Sims 3)

I have an informal Sims 3 legacy challenge family that I delight in poking at every once in a while when the mood strikes me. More accurately, I guess it's not so much of a legacy challenge as it is me attempting to reach the 10th generation with a single family without getting perma-bored of that particular save (being able to move to a new town in the core game is awesome by the way). The way it usually goes with these challenges is that one heir is chosen once all of the blood related children reach adulthood. All non-heir siblings (as well as the parents sometimes) are kicked out of the house soon after

One of the problems that I have with traditional legacy style play is that after the first or so generation, it's not so much of a challenge as it is min-maxing skills through extreme levels of micro management; Which is fine if that is your cup of tea, but for me, being able to control every aspect of every sim's life not only becomes tedious but it also trivializes the challenge, given how easy it is max out skills and acquire massive wads of cash if you have control of your sims from early in their lifespan.

So for this generation I thought that it would be interesting to restrict player control to one sim. Having all other family members as NPCs adds an element of random. Unfortunately, the game as it is doesn't easily allow for this style of play. My original plan was to let my sim live out his life in bliss with his perma-girlfriend roommate and their billion children; But I hadn’t realized that when you impregnate a roommate, the baby is automatically added to your household as a playable sim upon birth. Bummer. In order to get around this issue, I had to go into the town editor, split the family by moving the wife and kids into a different lot, go back into the game, and then use the NRAAS MasterController interaction on my sim to add his wife and kids as roommates (click on household member -> Nraas -> MasterController -> Household -> Add Roommate). If you do this, make sure to do it on a fresh save just in case.

So this is Al Stewart, he is the illegitimate bastard son of Scott Stewart (5th generation legacy heir) and Vampire Wade Anthony, Scott’s favorite college professor. I used one of the NRAAS mods to breed in man babies into Scott, which kind of sort of almost broke the game. He wouldn’t STOP giving birth to man babies and perma froze on several occasions (I forgot how I fixed that problem). He is a bit... special to say the least. Story/pictures can be found here.

Hangar Gamplay From ITS (6/29/13)

  • Posted on: September 1, 2013
  • By: Keiya
  • Category:

The video project file for the June ITS game literally sat on my desktop, finished but unencoded for over two months. Whoops. Anyway, this is footage from the new area that was opened up during the June ITS event. Unfortunately, my GoPro was pointed towards the floor for most of the day.

Airsoft Helmet Project: Part 2

Follow up to the helmet post. I like almost everything about my GoPro except for the fact that the clear plastic housing reflects in the direct sunlight when we are running field games. I finally got tired of it giving away my position and having people pretty much aim at it all day, so I ended up spray painting the housing. It’s not the cleanest spray job to say the least; I didn’t tape up the LCD viewport very well, allowed some paint to leak through, and attempted to clean it up with acetone which made it way worse. So consequently, it’s hard to see the battery meter and camera mode unless in direct light, but no big deal. I still don’t like the color all that much but no one has any ultra-flat spray paint in stock with coyote brown. Also added some bungee cording and what not.

Another issue: The ESS turbofans are kind of large and bump up against the front of the helmet. I am looking into buying lower profile full-seal eyepro that will mount on the arc-rails. So far, the Smith Optics Boogie Regulators seem like the best option but I’ve heard they fog pretty badly unless you are constantly moving around.

FFXIV: ARR (Beta Phase 3) Impressions

I am impressed, Square Enix really did overhaul the shitbag that was Final Fantasy XIV 1.0. What can I say, it's actually decent; At least on par with any other run if the mill new MMO on the market if not better. I am pretty torn on this game though. I really do want to buy A Realm Reborn, but I am unsure if I have enough time or interest to regularly play an MMO nowadays, even casually. I was going to preorder ARR but after hearing pretty awful things about the launch servers and experiencing many many bad launches myself, I think I'll hold off then reassess how much I need ARR in a week or so.

  • Questing: The quests are a mixed bag at least early on (unsure if that remains true through high level zones). Plot line quests seem decent enough but everything else feels like leveling filler. It's your standard fare quest hub grinding x and gathering y. 
  • Character models: Probably the best character creation system that I've seen. It has a lot of options without overwhelming players with sliders. You can also save and import character blueprints which is a nice and seldom seen touch.
  • Performance: It looks great and runs smoothly on my machine. Leagues better than the FFXIV 1.0 beta. No comparison. Very few technical issues. I don't think I experienced any noticeable frame drops or lag even in busy cities or FATEs
  • Interface: ARR actually has a functional and clean mouse & keyboard optimized user interface. It is intuitive to use with Bo interface lag; You can even move and scale bars and other UI elements.

I can't say if the game will be handled any better or if they are going to stay true to the supposed 3 month content release cycle, but we will see.

My Sims 4 Wishlist

A preview video and a few new features have been announced this week (news here). The Sims 4 Create-a-Sim looks really slick and way less cumbersome than having a hundred sliders. In a perfect world, I would love a game that's a blend between The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 as both games had various elements not present in the other. Here's my wish list for The Sims 4:

  • Hair customization: I can see why height is a huge point of contention for technical reasons relating to sim animations but, why can’t we have more hair customization? I would love for example, CAS sliders for hair length, bangs, curliness, etc (all factoring into genetics as well). Having a small handful of hairstyles makes everyone in the town look the same after a while.
  • Actual businesses: Less rabbit holes, specifically, the ability to run businesses ala The Sims 2: Open For Business. I am really surprised that this feature hasn't yet been added into TS3 via an expansion pack...
  • More distinct personalities: The Sims 2's trait system helped a little bit in terms of actually adding personality but sims as a whole still behave pretty similarly. I would love to have dynamic traits and habits that develop over time as well as the ability to set relationship related goals (perhaps a CAS option) instead of relegating that to traits. Have these goals factor into the AI behavior. The AI should actively seek to fulfill goals
  • Better town customization tools/more flexible neighborhoods: After 5 or so expansion packs, older neighborhoods start getting a little crowded after adding in all of the new lot types. I like playing only one or two neighborhoods; It's fun expanding them, adding families, and watching the town grow. It would be nice to have the ability to build and modify neighborhoods extensively within the game client instead of having to load a separate tool. It would also be nice to be as to expand existing neighborhoods with new regions (like adding a downtown area TS2 style without the loading screens).
  • Better family trees: At minimum it would be nice to enlarge the window to viewable families. Ideally, I would like to be able to export Gedcom files as well as click on portraits to view information, memories, and sim statistics.
  • Apartments a la TS2: Apartments that aren't just glorified rabbit holes. The apartment buildings obviously, should have the ability to hold multiple households. Individual apartments should be able to hold multiple households via a roommate system.
  • Per household/per sim story profession options: It sounds kind of sad, but I want the ability to shove a dozen sims in an apartment complex and not have them move around or do anything. I also want the option to keep certain lots "in the family."
  • Sim hot-switching: I want to be able to click on a household and start playing it without having to load the town editor etc etc. The one playable household per neighborhood design doesn't work all that well for my style of play.
  • Better pathing...
  • Seamless aging 

I know this one will never happen but: More features added into the base game. We almost literally have the same expansion packs being released for each game...