Sims 4 research updates and other things

The-Sims-4-release-dateI just got back from London where I presented some of the very preliminary findings from the Sims 4 pre-release work several of you took part in.  You can access the slides here. The post-release survey is still open until the end of October – I would love to hear from everyone, whether you have the game or not, on your responses to it since it’s come out – either through playing it or through seeing what others have done with it.

As for my own sims, I have been away so many weekends lately – and no real let up until November – so I’ve barely played them. I miss those Dayes and Knights though (although the Knights crash out on me every single time at the moment) and am looking forward to playing them.

By the way, I don’t have TS4 myself yet – I will maybe get it eventually but there is so much TS3 I have left to explore that I’m in no rush.

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A note on links…

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Just a note about my links – I’m going to be editing my link list over the next few days. I want to narrow things down to three main categories by the end of the tidying-up:

Active stories/sites – these are the stories/sites I want to keep up with. If content hasn’t been updated for several months, I’ll remove links but if you update again, let me know and I’ll relink. I’m going to be adding a few new links here as and when I get time to read things – you are welcome to let me have your link so I can see what you’re up to but I may not add it straight away.

Completed stories – These are stories I followed all the way through and really loved and think you might like too. I’m not going to check if these sites are still live but if you follow a link that’s dead, let me know.

Resources I’ve used – an incomplete record of sites I’ve grabbed CC and mods from, mainly for my own reference. Again, not really keeping these up to date, so may be some dead links, and let me know if so.

I will not be adding Tumblr blogs here as a general rule of thumb, but I have my own infrequently updated Tumblr, http://radsims.tumblr.com and will happily follow Simblrs from there.

Bit of housekeeping… bear with

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Happy new year! I thought the blog was long overdue a spring clean, hence the new template. Will be having a bit of a tidy up in the next few days and re-assessing how I use links because it’s such a slog to keep them up to date (and yet I find them personally useful to keep track of some of my favourites).

Dayes update should hopefully be with you this week and Knights… when I can play them long enough without crashing for it to happen. Cosmic gen are currently children in game.

New Taken and research gubbins

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Well, that has been one heck of a start to my year. (I’m an academic, my year starts in September) Working 9-7 almost every day (with no breaks – quick, get the violins out), then into play rehearsals (play was last week; went well), a week in the US at a conference… Simmies, what simmies? Mind you, we’re meant to be working to rule at the moment (not going beyond our contract), which is going to prove one very interesting challenge for me, but might mean I get some free time back.

Nonetheless, the Knights are making slow progress, one crash at a time, whilst the long-awaited Dayes update should be up this weekend, along with chapter 60 of Taken. In the meantime, chapter 59. Address is up for your pleasure. The aim is still to finish it at Christmas, so I’m going to need to average a couple of posts a week, really. Or, knowing me, none for ages, then four at once, like buses.

Still – what I’ve been doing while I’ve not been playing Sims may be of interest to you as I’m starting to sort out the research side of things. I presented a paper at the Internet Research conference in Denver in October. You can read a shortened version of it here (click on the doc icon to read the document) and grab the slides here. Sadly you don’t get the best bit due to SlideShare’s compressions – all the bullet points were shaped like plumbobs in the original!

I’ll be sharing a different side to my research at another conference later this month, and in 2014 when a few other things are out of the way, I’m going to figure out the best formats for writing everything up. Thanks to everyone who’s been helping with it, you’ve all given me some great material to work with!

Oh, and my final Doctor Who 50th celebration banner sees Fitzy Populous as Eleven, Daisy Kyoti as Amy and Karate Daye as Rory. Only a fortnight to go til all the special programmes and geeking out at the convention – very exciting.

Ten steps forward, three steps back

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Well, I’ve had a very lazy week off work because I was supposed to be moving this week and then that didn’t happen. But real life=blah and I posted about all that last time. Anyway, a week of freedom has meant I’ve got to play the Sims. Or sort of play. After a lot of faffing, I thought I’d finally saved the Knights. (Hence a stripy pic with no spoilers of faces) But then their save has gone all frozen again. My game is on a ridiculous go-slow right now. It probably needs a huge overhaul, but I at least want to get Taken out of the way before I delete CC or anything just in case I chuck something I really need.

Get Taken out of the way? Did I just say that? Well, I wrote up to chapter 61 today (chapter 52 is the most recent one that was published) and three extras. Including where you find out about S**** and S**** and the S****** S********. No idea why a lot of my more mysterious elements begin with S, sorry.

Only nine more chapters and maybe six or seven extras to write, folks.

Oh, and then almost twenty chapters and a bunch of extras to stage. That’s going to be the hellish bit. I was costuming certain characters for their final entries today and I have to do that for several more, plus build a few more sets and then stage all of those chapters and extras (fortunately only one scene needs me to source new CC) – even though I’m planning to shoot multiple chapters at once, that may take quite some time – but looks like I’ll make good on my aim of finishing the story in 2013 – and then I can delete a whole bunch of saves and maybe some CC and stuff, which will be good. I’m also going to have a ‘questions’ page on the Taken blog once it ends to tie up any loose ends you think I missed or to answer questions about the characters, the story, how I wrote it or whatever. So get thinking now.

And it’s a bank holiday tomorrow – might be time to go through my links and delete old ones and read up on stories whilst my game lags away beside me as I try to set up some of those chapters for you.

New Taken…

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Blech. So I finally get a couple of weeks off work and think I can catch up on Sims a bit. But no, I am having problems with the nerves in my shoulder and hands and although I’m having physio etc it might be some months before I’m not in pain – which means it’s been a good thing I had leave off work as I can’t type/use computers too much right now.

Anyway, Island Paradise install and a bit of a CC clear out has got the Dayes working again so I hope to update them soon, but the Knights seem busted beyond repair so I don’t know what I will do there. I really want to see how the Stripe gen turn out too 😦

Kingsfield is on indefinite hiatus – possibly until Sims 4 at this rate – but Taken has been updated, so that’s
something right? 52. Investigation

Oh and the banner this month is Karis Kyoti as Grace and Dark Knight as a very loose approximation of the Eighth Doctor. If you missed last month’s, here it is again. Fuji Daye as Ace and Jango Lazarus as Seven:

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So I actually finished those Dayes and Taken updates!

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Colour yourselves shocked, but those updates I’ve been sitting on for ages are up. The Dayes hit University in University Speaking, whilst in Taken, events crank up in 50. Uprising.

In the banner this month, we see Pepperoni Daye as the Fifth Doctor, Mr Muscle Daye as Adric, Rae Kyoti as Tegan and Mozzy Daye as Nyssa. That means for the June banner I have to find something approximating THAT COAT. No idea how that will happen.

I see the release of Sims 4 has been met more with indifference than excitement – I feel ya. Sims 3 still feels a lot for most computers to handle, so Sims 4 might just blow them all up (look at all the graphics card blowouts etc people got from TS3 and the tons of mods that have been needed to stop it crashing, limit the FPS, limit the memory blowouts etc – never mind all those we have needed for gameplay!). On the other hand, it might be nice to play something more stripped back after the bloat of CC and EPs that my own game is groaning under the weight of.

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Rest assured, Taken and Knights will finish within Sims 3 and the Dayes are committed to still experimenting with all the game has to offer – in all the EPs and SPs (but probably not all the store worlds as really not sure I can be bothered forking out for any more than the ones I already have and never play). Not sure where it leaves Kingsfield although I don’t want to write it off just yet – I may think about restarting it in TS4 and playing that as my main game with a side game of a Dayes offshoot that does everything TS4 has to offer once their TS3 counterparts are exhausted – which probably won’t be until TS5 the rate I’m going and the amount we have left to try. We’ll see how all these things go, I guess. I loved TS1 and 3 but not TS2 so I can see me being an every other game kind of simmer but I will probably get the TS4 base game and give it a shot unless it looks completely broken or requires online play (o hai the latest Sim City which I do not have even though I would have liked to have it if it were an offline game).

Also: I know the links are still out of date. I had an office clear-out / tidy-up the other week, am going to have to do the same at home with moving house coming up, so maybe the bug will spread to the blog…

Boring real-life whining after the cut, should you be interested.

Continue reading

Apologies…

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I’ve had the shots for both Dayes and Taken uploaded since the start of this month and am part-way through writing the Dayes entry… but real life, yet again, is getting in the way.

Work is busy – but that’s just normal now – however, the main things are my Creative Writing MA, which has been quite time consuming this semester with a big reading list and an essay deadline in early May, and the fact that I’m in the process of house hunting. I’ve spent several hours every weekend for the past however many weeks looking at houses and that’s the time I’d usually have available to sim. It’s been very tiring and time consuming.

(I also bought a tablet so have got into lots of little games on that – no loading time! Joy! Being able to play a ‘level’ or get through tasks in just a few minutes here and there with no long save times! A revelation!)

Anyway, things are sort of slowly on their way with all my blogs, it just has to be a bit… as and when… and I can’t foresee that changing.

In the meantime, I’ve put a photo of one of the latest Knight kiddies on this entry to whet your appetite (but as they’re only toddlers in game, it’ll be a while yet). By the way – the banner this month is Tizer Knight as Leela and Alfie Win Kyoti as the Fourth Doctor, which reminds me I must get cracking with a May shoot!

A bit of housekeeping

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Inspired by my new genie sim (oh yes, we have a genie 🙂 ) I’ve done a bit of cleaning around here. I’ve deleted old broken links – of which there were far too many – and removed links to any stories that haven’t been updated since the summer (unless I know the author is returning). If I’ve been a bit hasty and removed something you’re coming back to, let me know and I’ll reinstate it. After all, I’m not one to talk given how long ago I updated Kingsfield and Taken and how infrequently the Knights and Dayes get new posts.

I’m not sure I want to add too many new links as it gets hard to keep up, although there are a handful I’ll be adding soon. However, I don’t want to be missing out on my readers’ stuff, so if I haven’t got a link to your blog and it’s one that’s been going at least three months (to prove it has some chance of longevity) then tell me in the comments and I’ll rectify that.

I’ve also updated the downloads – all the adult Dayes are there now, except Drusilla and Bunnicula for some reason, which I’ll rectify ASAP, and all the adult Knights too.

I’ve been absolutely LOVING playing the Dayes lately and experimenting some more with Seasons and Supernatural so I have loads of pictures ready for new updates. I’m going to try and get some shots for Taken before I go back to work on Monday as I’m going into a temporary new role until the summer and I don’t know how busy the next few months are going to be…

Long time and all that

I know it’s been a while. My job has been incredibly full-on of late – and continues to be so – and in addition to that, not only was I directing a play, but I had to stand in for one of the actors at the last minute. I’ve also been at a conference one weekend and trying to find time to see friends and family and keep up with the creative writing course I’m doing. I’m very tired, as you can probably tell! My computer’s also being a bit iffy with the game as often is the case… and I will get Seasons eventually but I don’t have it yet.

Anyway, I’m missing all your blogs and my own sims, although I have been keeping my hand in with Boolprop’s Next Top Model, and I’ve managed to get a new Dayes of Our Lives chapter up: Supernatural High. The Knights will be next, then Taken. Kingsfield will be back in time for Christmas I think.

New Dayes

Sorry this took a while – I’ve had the shots for ages (and have the shots for most of the next chapter too) but the effort of doing a full blog post has been a bit daunting especially as I’ve had lots of other things on. Anyway – a chapter in which I go somewhat mental: A kind of madness. In a sort of opposite turn of events, I have written the next five (FIVE) chapters of Taken but don’t have any images for them yet. Sorry. I’ll get round to it soon. I’m in a bad mood with Kingsfield because my game crashed moments before a save prompt after a bunch of building ><. The Knights are also having a lot of issues, although I've managed to at least birth their next generation. So everything is on the way… at some point.

I'm just starting the second phase of my sims research, by the way, so some of you will be hearing from me about that fairly soon.

Help me with some research!

As you probably know, in my other life I’m a university lecturer. One of my research interests is how online communities use different web platforms and I’m conducting a project with Sims fans where I try and map how simmers are using the web. I’m trying to get as many simmers as I can from all over the online Sims world to complete it in order to get as full a picture as possible of the types of web activity Sims fans engage in. I’d love you to fill in the anonymous survey if you have a few free minutes.

There’ll also be a follow-up study – the survey has some more details of what this involves.

The link is here: https://potassium.hallam.shu.ac.uk/limesurvey/index.php?sid=48496&lang=en

More info on the project is here.

If you can recirculate the link via your own blogs/sites/etc I’d really appreciate it.

Many thanks… if I say I’ll put up my new project tonight when WordPress stops cutting out on me as a reward, is that an incentive?

So this is what my thesis looks like…

88,000 words (approx), not including footnotes… or the 10 appendices… 545 pages – and that’s the vastly edited version… One year of preparation 2006-07… Four years of research and writing 2007-2011… submission in September 2011… viva late November 2011… corrections early March 2012… six weeks’ waiting for examiners to confirm the corrections… and finally I got the bound copies from the bookbinder today, ready to hand the thing over for good on Monday. It’s been a long process!

An update on the, er, lack of updates

First things first, I have pictures uploaded for two more Kingsfield chapters and one more Dayes one – I just have to find the time (and motivation) to write them up.

As you may be aware, I took on a lot more responsibility at work in September, and as well as finishing my PhD I started a new part-time course alongside my job – and my job itself is very demanding.  Add to this two play rehearsals a week and a whole bunch of family and friends-related commitments as well as being away most weekends and you can see why things have slowed down a lot round these parts.

Good news, though – I have annual leave coming up over Easter so I’ll have a bit of time to play some more and get all the blogs updated.  The play is in late April and work will slow down a little by June so the updates will be a little more frequent.  Plus, I have managed to find a very cunning way to combine work and simming, which I’ll hopefully be able to tell you about in the next few weeks.

Bear with me – I’m committed to all three stories, and to reading your blogs when I can – but it’s never going to be at the pace it once was.  That’s kind of sad as I miss being as active in the community as I once was, but it’s also good  because it shows that things are going really well with work (and life) at the moment and that’s a nice place to be in.

Happy New Year!

Hope you all enjoyed the festive season! You may have noticed some unfamiliar faces in my banner header (although you will actually have seen a couple of them before if you’re really eagle-eyed). All will be revealed this weekend, I hope.

Oh yes, a new project is on its way now that Operation: Population and Rainbow Knights are over (or kind of over in the case of RK… heh heh heh)

But whilst I am very excited about the new project, I haven’t neglected my other projects. Looking forward to some heavy Dayes-playing this weekend and I’ve got a few more chapters of Taken up my sleeve – one of which you can read now:37. Contemplation. Expect another chapter this weekend and one more next week…

Expect another site recommendation imminently too (apologies for the lack of one in December).

Uh-oh, the Dayes have pets…

I was the worst TS1 Pets player ever. I feel I should warn you, ahead of the impending carnage that the Dayes having pets will become. Meet the first victims: This will not end well.

In other news, I passed my PhD! (Well, subject to minor modifications/ amendments, which is normal). You may now call me Dr Rad. My PhD supervisor even emailed all my colleagues with the message headline Dr RAD because she’s sweet like that.

Time to fire up my game and get some shots for Taken, and then try and get to the end of the Populouses’ story…

CC and Pets etc – what do I need to know?

I’ve kind of stayed away from the whole CC mess to do with the Pets install until I was ready to get the game, but my computer’s been away, come back and has had everything wiped from it, so I need to do a clean reinstall, and Pets is now on the way so I can install that too.  So what’s the latest on CC/mods?

I know there are multiple tools for ‘fixing’ CC – which tools are the best, which should I avoid?  Do they do both .package, and .dbc?  Is there any CC that’s totally stopped working post-Pets, even with the tools?

Now to figure out where on earth all my SPs and EPs are to do the reinstalls…

New Taken… and good news

Another new Taken chapter: 35. New York. Next up, the latest Snap of Life entry and then back to playing the Dayes, Populouses and Knights. Updates are not that far off, honest 🙂

In other news, I submitted my PhD thesis last week. I won’t be officially Doctor Rad for a little while, as I have to have a viva (oral exam) and then do whatever corrections they suggest, but the bulk of the work is done. I’ve taken on a new role at work and a lot more responsibility, so I’m never going to have as much free time as I did a couple of years ago, but the updates should still be more frequent than they have been of late. I’m slowly catching up on my reading as well, though I’ll probably always be behind!

New Dayes!

Well, it’s been two months, but we finally have a new Dayes of Our Lives chapter: Guess who’s back, back again?

I get my thesis back from the proof-reader tomorrow, then I have the edits to do on that and it’ll be handed in some time this week, which means I don’t have to think about it until my viva (oral exam) in November. Although I’ve taken on a new, more intense role at work, I should still have more simming time from now on, so everything will be updated more often than it has been of late. I’ve started playing through the next Knights and Populouses chapters and plan to get another Taken chapter shot soon as well. I’ll also be able to start catching up on months’ worth of reading now. So hooray for that.

Latest news

For those that want to know about my real-life shenanigans…

Have been away most of the last week or two, so that was hectic. Working on my final PhD draft which I hope to finish next week and get to my proof-reader, then have to finish the book chapter by the end of next week, plan the first few sessions of teaching, do whatever edits my proof-reader finds and start the new year’s teaching…

But if all that goes to plan, I’ll be able to sim again in early October and should be able to play a bit more regularly from then on. I can’t wait – I am missing my sims so much, and all of yours, really excited to see where all your stories have been going these past few months as well as taking my sims on some new adventures.

Where I’m at right now

I’m working like mad to redraft my thesis – second draft all this week, and then probably a third draft to follow (and hopefully not fourth but you never know :/).

I’m supposed to hand it in at the end of September but I also have a conference paper to present in a fortnight, edits to a book chapter due mid-Sep, teaching prep and admin for the new semester starting mid-Sep, and I’m going away for a festival (whoop, a non-work thing! over the Bank Holiday). Therefore, I don’t think I will be simming much beyond staging shots for the competitions I’m taking part in until October at the earliest.

Am missing the Dayes/Knights/Populouses and Taken characters a lot, and really want to play/write them but I have to keep prioritising work right now. I want you to know I haven’t given up on simming, writing or reading your blogs – but even when I finally become Doctor Rad, I suspect the updates won’t be as frequent as they were last year and I might not be able to read your stuff very often, nor leave much in the way of comments.

Love you guys though, do keep in touch via Facebook/Twitter/blog comments/HHS/Boolprop as I will continue checking in to all those places.

CC-free simself available

I’ve heard reports that some people are having issues with my simself, so I’ve uploaded a new version. Links to the CC on my ‘proper’ simself are on the downloads page, and the original is still there, along with a new version in both .sim and .sims3pack formats. I suspect the old me might have had a non-default skin although I hadn’t realised she did, but this new one should be clean of all CC – she just has some Generations items. I also took the liberty to change out loner and neurotic in her traits for dramatic and workaholic, which seem a bit better.

There’s a link to the store hair I normally use on the downloads page, but if you want a free hair, my simself is currently working this Anubis retexture of Savio in my game (pictured).

Look at the shiny

I am in no way trying to distract myself from real life responsibilities at all, no siree bob.

But in unrelated news, I set up a Facebook page.

Oh and there’s a new Taken chapter up: 32. Sisters.

Rainbow Knights’ indigo gen should be with you this week, which might explain who the little lady to your left is, other than my entrant in the ‘Slice of Life’ context over at Boolprop.

Yeah, still really busy…

Thought I’d just pop up a little note so you don’t think I’ve dropped off the planet.  Am still super-busy – am away most weekends at the moment with a combination of work and seeing people, and my PhD is still sapping my time in the week, so there’s not a lot of time for simming – a pain, as I really want to play more with Generations and tell some more of the Taken story 😦

Anyway, nothing is ending, nothing is forgotten, everything will be updated at some point, I just can’t guarantee when right now.  Hopefully by August, or maybe even the second half of July I’ll be around more both to post and to read.