So, why have there been no posts for a while here with the Samples?
Because talking to SimDjinn about future game ideas made me go out and actually try them out.
So, my idea for what I might do someday when the Samples are done was create a fantasy-ish neighborhood populated entirely by metallic-skinned elves using the metallic skintone series I used for Charles (http://modthesims.info/download.php?t=440794) and the pointed ears CAS sliders (http://modthesims.info/download.php?t=374167).
It turns out that the base idea works great and looks fabulous. I’m having some trouble with populating the town, though. I thought I’d read in Twallan’s documentation that sims that are immigrated into a town should be created using genetics from the sims in the sim bin. I created a couple of elf families and then ran an empty town, and I’m still getting ordinary flesh-toned immigrants. I’m sure this can be done though, and if I continue to be confused, I can just ask Twallan because he’s amazing and patient.
The challenging part turns out to be creating a neighborhood with a fantasy feel to it. Creating custom neighborhoods in Create-A-World is huge, daunting task that I can’t even contemplate. (Readhead, you are awesome.) Most custom neighborhood projects go on for a few months and then get dropped. Of those comparatively few custom neighborhoods that are actually built to a playable state and posted for download, essentially none of them are fantasy themed. I found one on EA’s site that some people were using and seemed to like, but it crashed on load. In retrospect, this is probably because I don’t have the Pets expansion yet.
Then I happened upon this gem: The Hogwarts Wizarding World (http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/191471.page). It’s a lovingly-reproduced Harry Potter neighborhood using movie shots to create a fabulous Hogwarts castle and Hogsmeade town. It’s fantasy-themed. It’s complete. It’s beautiful. However, it had a few issues:
1. It’s two years old, and the designer seems to have dropped off the forum in the way of these things.
In some ways, that’s good because Pets didn’t exist back then, and his world only requires World Adventures. However, it turns out that creating fully-custom rabbitholes (City Hall, Police Station, etc.) for the base game cannot be done without a mod — the apparently-famous Jynx Rabbithole Replacements mod (http://customsims3.com/forums/thread-53.html, registration required). And in two years, this mod has been updated several times, and the forum it was originally posted to shut down. The current version is not backward-compatible. If you load the Harry Potter world with the current mod version, you get a world with no rabbitholes at all. You can add them, provided you can figure out where they were supposed to be.
I spent about a day and a half wandering around the web, looking for old versions of this mod that the world would recognize. Eventually found these slightly-modified versions on ModTheSims (http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=411270) that are old enough. Of course, those old rabbitholes won’t actually WORK, but they did produce icons on the world map that I could replace with ones that would. And then after I’d tracked them down, I found a post in the original thread linking to them *headdesk*. (Though, in my defense, that link didn’t have a lot of context, and there are a ton of bad links on this thread as people tried to figure out how to get the world working.)
And because I am a nice guy, I posted the save file with the updated rabbitholes to the old thread. I wonder if anyone will use them.
2. Um, what am I going to do with a population of metallic-skinned elves in a Harry Potter world?
At first, I thought I’d smother the whole Harry Potter-ness of the place and just build it into a generic fantasy world, turning Hogwarts into a castle for a king and queen, etc. But as I played with it, I just couldn’t do it. The world is just so lovingly done. If I take the Harry Potter out, it loses so much of its spirit. So I’ve been updating it in the spirit of the original, leaning heavily on Wikipedia to supply me with people and place names.
Yeah, I read all the books and saw movies 1-6, and I swear I’ll see the final two eventually. I liked the books and some of the movies. But I wouldn’t classify myself as a passionate Harry Potter fan, and I can’t seem to muster much interest in trying to recreate them in The Sims. I want to play with elves. Metallic elves.
So, maybe this is a post-apocalyptic Hogwarts where the House Elves staged a revolt and drove out the humans? Ha. I crack myself up.
This has been a delightful side project. But I can’t say that any plans for it have materialized yet. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to take the Samples all the way to 10 generations, and I’m certainly not going to start another 10-generation challenge. I thought I might try my hands at a Wishacy, but I admit that I like to send my sims to bed at a reasonable hour so that they’re well-rested for the next day, and that not really the way Buckeygirl’s rules work. I’m somewhat considering doing a semblance of a Rainbowcy, but I don’t want to construct each generation’s mate in CAS; I want them to find love on their own. And I wouldn’t want to do more than five generations anyway.
Hmmm… maybe a Random Legacy, which is what Redhead is doing. That seems like it might be something different from what I’m doing with the Samples while not requiring me to bend my play style too badly. Hmmm.
At any rate, I’m almost done modifying the world, and I’m thrilled with it. It’s updated for Ambitions and Late Night, with theme-appropriate Medieval and Tolkien-themed lots added to support about twice the population of the original. My crowning achievement IMHO was figuring out how to rename the rabbitholes so that the Hogwarts school is called Hogwarts rather than “School House Rabbithole” or “Community School for the Gifted.” I think I’m going to add Apparition Stations (Subways).
If anyone is interested in my modified version, I’ll happily post it for download.
And meanwhile, Charles is still not married, and this is an issue.