Friday, August 30, 2013

My Build/Buy post is just about done and ready for upload on September 11th!

Just a heads up :D

Also, my friend Ruthy has made a blog post about a possible compromise for Create a Style, let's get the message out there!
She talks about a personal palette, a limited amount of personal colors, in order to personalize your builds.

I agree to this completely and would be better then no CASt at all!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Into the Future, the last Sims 3 Expansion Pack.

With all this talk and speculation about Sims 4, it's easy to forget that the Sims 3 still has one Expansion and Stuff pack to go.

Now here we did have a lot of hands-on time with the game. Then I did something I do with every new expansion. I lay out all the Build and Buy stuff on one enormous lot to see what new toys I have to build with!!
The funny thing is, all the builders did exactly the same! Some people wanted to check out the first Create a Sim items, or the gameplay. Not builders, we want the goods!

I made a ton of screenshots of all the new things, but I didn't get them. It seems all the things need to be arranged in a room setting. Mine were a big lot full of stuff. I can see how that makes little sense to people without a bit of decor. Moving on with what I do have!

I love building, any style. I have discovered many styles by building in the Sims, but my favorites will have to be anything fantasy and Sci-fi.

Here are a couple of examples of my work that will get an update with all the Future things! There are usually more pictures in the download links. I will have a section up with builds, but that's still under construction. (I am such a noob to blogging. The controls alone took me a while to process.)

Astro Villa.

I used a lot of plants with MoveObjects to make indoor hanging gardens, well my prayers are answered, because now there are several plants, like the bamboo and Boston fern!
In my background story, the soil didn't yield much plants, that's why my future people had to have their cultures up in the sky with them :D
Now some Into the Future screenies.

Indoor Garden fun!

Tube elevator and check that window!

I wish I had these while building Astro Villa. I love the look. So there are cattail-like bushes, ferns, banana leaves, rocks and water lilies!

I just love the new windows, especially the circular one. This will not only fit well in a futuristic build, but I think it will also look great in a modern Zen, Japanese house.

Now I also love making spaceships. Especially spaceships from games or series that I love.

The Normandy.

From Mass Effect.


From the series Firefly.

So my favorite expansions for futuristic builds are Late Night and Showtime (The props are truly excellent!) and the High-end loft stuff pack.

Now these new items, I don't know where to begin. Sonic showers, tube elevators, holographic plants and holo-displays. Just think of the possibilities. Make "realistic" Command centers and Combat Information Centers.

Put me in a spaceship!

Holographic Easel

Future Living.

Initially made for Lunar Lakes, but it will look great in Oasis landing, the new world. Now this looks great. Depending on how you play, you can unlock a dystopian, normal or utopian future.
Now this I love. I love books like Brave New World and movies like Demolition Man.

Oasis landing! Looking good!

Your actions will have consequences!

More Oasis Landing pics!

There is a new high-tech skill. Having a low skill could be risky when using the new things!

For more in-depth actual gameplay, I would like to refer to this video, they said it very well!

I look forward to it! It's like they made this expansion with me in mind! Can't wait to start updating some older builds and making some new ones!

Weather Control station Alpha (More like a secret Alien base) .

Also actually controls weather!

Futuristic Modern.

I made this house for the femShep Imoger made for me.

Celebrity Villa.

I hope these are a bit inspirational. Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sims Camp, about the Sims 4.

First of all, I got home safely and relatively comfortable, yes I'm looking at you people that block the train isles, making it almost impossible to navigate to your own seat.
Thanks a lot for that.

As you may or may not know, most of the Sims 4 things the Simscampers saw are still under embargo. I also know some images have leaked that were taken during the community lounge on Gamescom.
Apparently they didn't have to sign an NDA. Oh well, I'm going to adhere to mine and share my thoughts about build/buy starting on the 11th of September and my findings about the Animation  Masterclass starting the 18th of September, like I agreed upon.
And I have a lot to share about it.

Oh, and I like writing. I admire all the people that make video reviews, but that's just not for me, I like to read mine, hence the writing!

So let's talk about things I CAN talk about. We had some time with Create a Sim and can I say just wow. In Sims 3, I wasn't very good with the sliders, all my sims ended up the same way.

Now you just jump in and grab a place on the Sim and start modelling. To me it feels like you are manipulating clay. It takes a bit of getting used to, but what really took me is the extensiveness of it all. You can literally grab on to almost anything and push and pull at it.

First CAS view, a great moment!

There are literally a ton of screens out there that other people at the Simscamp took. So I thought I'd just refer to them, with my own comments.

Facial features.

You can manipulate almost everything like this, but it's the detailed mode that really comes through.  

1) Eyes.
Eyes are fully manipulable, down to the size of the iris.
Make drooping eyes, big, small, Asian. It goes really far, so you can make some pretty extreme shapes. I refer to the images that were made by The Sim Supply and from the Sims True life, made by my Polish friend Damian.       

You can also manipulate their eyebrows, at least their curvature, not (yet?!) their thickness, but there are several presets.

2) Nose.
Again, very detailed here, you can manipulate the nostrils, height and once you turn the Sim to profile camera view, you can change the curvature, nose-tip and general length of the nose.

3) Lips.
Change the general shape and thickness of the entire mouth. In detailed mode you can tackle each lip separately and that's where it gets really interesting. Go for any look you like.

4) Miscellaneous.
Chin, cheekbones and ears are highly manipulable aswell. Again, you get more options when you turn the camera, for instance if your Sim needs a more protruding chin.
You can also make the ears look realistic or ridiculous, your choice!


Hair was still very limited. It still looks a little bulky at times, but it is FAR from done. Really interesting was that you can now change the hair underneath a hat.


This completely blew my mind. The only things you cannot change is height and I tried manipulating the hands, but I couldn't.

Height will be an issue for many people, but that is seriously an animation nightmare. I heard many people say, come on EA, just put some work into it.
The implications would however be enormous and the computer performance would definitely suffer.
I can talk about this more starting September 18th, as this was addressed by Marion Gothier, the lead animator on the Sims 4.

Other than that you can change shoulders, upper and lower arms, boobies, male chest, stomach, hips, upper legs, calves and even the size of the feet!!

There are two sliders that determine muscle definition and general figure. So you can make buff bodybuilder types or really skinny Sims, or the kind that loves their donuts.

Here's a site that lists all the screenies that were taken by fellow Sims Campers.
Sims Globe

There are many voices that are speaking out against the Cartoony-ness. I don't mind this. I've always loved the Sims for it's quirkiness and humor. If I want a real life experience, I'll turn off the computer. Again, that's only my opinion.

Then let's talk about emotional gameplay. Now this I like. I've spent actually playing Sims 2 more then I have Sims 3, where I have been building quite a lot. Mainly because the Sims were quirkier and there were nice animations and interludes to them. Like this one.

I'm not saying there will be moments like this, but the Emotion demo certainly reminded me more of Sims 2 than anything.

How your Sims interact depends on their mood, sometimes with hilarious results! Some emotions have even deeper layers and intensities, like anger, happiness and sadness. Emotions like being bored are what they are. One can hardly get more bored. ;)

This video explains it very well.

I have pre-ordered, because I'm confident about it. It's been a very educational week at SimsCamp.
I went in with low expectations, in order not to be 'hurt' and I've anticipated the Build presentation with a heavy heart. I'm not worried anymore.

I haven't seen any mention or sign of Create a Style, which I love, but it's not a deal breaker for me.

More soon about Into the Future and Movie stuff. The end of an Era, but in my opinion, a beautiful one!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Packed and waiting for another hour to go back home.

So, it's over, but boy did we go out with a blast. The developers joined us again for dinner last night and despite everyone being tired, the room was abuzz with laughter and energy. It's so unreal to talk to these people. I've been playing this game for over 10 years and to be able to talk to people that are right at the source, making the game! Mind blowing :D

It's almost unbelievable how friendships can be forged over the course of two days. I met so many wonderful Simmers, and clicked just that extra little bit more with my fellow builders, DNA members and alumni and gained a new sister with Asia, the editor of SF magazine.

I'm still sorting through the avalanche of images that I made and saved and I'll probably make a good post somewhere in the weekend, while the events are still fresh in my memory.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sensory overload, but loving every minute!

So the last two days have been full and I mean full. There is so much information given, so many things to see, people to meet, it's just crazy!

I just came back from a river dinner cruise and it was crazy fun! All Simmers were happy and enjoying themselves.

When we were walking back, this young man with dreadlocks and baggy clothes approaches us and said he found two bracelets and he would like us to have them, no charge, cause he didn't know what to do with them.

I found that extremely touching. Asia and I both took one. Just to show, when stuff gets you down, there are nice people in the world. You were the proverbial cherry on the already perfect evening cake sir. Thank you!

So I took a load of screenies while playing the Sims into the future. Which we don't have yet!

It's getting very late and I'm too tired to write all the stuff down for now, but I wrote everything down in a notebook, and we should have some screens by tomorrow! Once I sit down properly I'll have a big and extensive update. For now, some ambiance images :D

Monday, August 19, 2013

I have arrived and how ;)

So the train travel went very well. No delays! That on it's own is pretty awesome. I was greeted by a Sims 4 plaque and two nice fellows.
We waited a bit for the Dutch delegation (I'm Belgian) and then were off to the hotel. The adventure begins!

Quite literally it so seems! First I went up to my room, which is about as big as my living room at home. It's spacious, clean and there are Sim stickers on the mirrors! Oh my God!
We also got a welcome package which is pretty cool! There are T-shirts, stickers, buttons and a Plumbob USB device. That is so cool. It's all a bit unreal.

Then we headed down for some food and then chaos beckoned. So the EA lady was very friendly and helpful. She directed us towards some restaurtant thingy.
So there is some food in buffet form. I take some tomatoes, half a bratwurst (when in Germany) and five or so potato wedges.
This harrassed looking waiter comes and tells us we need to pay 22 euros. I nearly chocked on one of the wedges and asked him calmly, yet assertively if he was serious. My fellow simmer only had some salad.
He was a good fellow and I did feel bad for him, cause his boss seemed pretty stern and miffed. I'll be sure to tip him well, if the occasion arises. I did apologize for making his job a little harder, but 22 euros was just absurd. ;)

Safe to say, I have made my mark ;)

My trip was fairly short, comparing to some Simmers that come from the other side of the world, but I'm still tired. Time to turn in, watch a movie and sleep. I've heard good things about Oblivion with Tom Cruise, so I'm gonna try that one.

Tomorrow is a tour through Cologne and the EA press conference. Wednesday we get hands-on time.
I'm happy, but a little nervousy to meet everyone!

Goodnight :D

Thursday, August 15, 2013

So I'm going to Cologne!

So somewhere mid June, I get an email, YOUR PERSONAL INVITATION. I was about file it under spam. You wouldn't believe the houses and jackpots I won, if I have to believe websites and emails.
Still, I kept reading and re-reading it, until it's content started to make sense.

I was invited to Gamescom, in Germany to attend Sims camp. It was all very hush hush at the moment and I couldn't tell anyone. Imagine the horror!

Then the fifth of August came, the day we could divulge everything! That and FedEx brought something, it was like Christmas morning, but in the middle of summer!

At that time, I found out a lot of international friends were coming. Including some Simmers I knew from the site like Ruth Less, Sim Eve, Dani and Bill! I didn't know people from the US would be attending. Now these are people I first admired from afar and then got to know. One can say about gaming what they may, but not that it's anti-social.

I never thought I'd meet them in real life and here we are. Thank the Lord for small miracles yes?

So just a weekend of work to go and then it's time to hop on a train for one heck of a ride! We get to see the Sims 4, months before release. What a privilege! I'll keep this blog updated with any information I can divulge.

My Avatar is ready in any case. Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes!! :D

My Avatar is ready!