Taken: the finale

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So, a story that was meant to take a year to tell is over after three-and-a-half years. Thank you so much to everyone who has read and commented and offered support in various forms. You can now read the final chapter: 70. Ending

I’ve also written five epilogues:
Standing
Freedom
Living
Horizons
Merry Christmas

And now I’m going to enjoy Christmas and enjoy actually playing the sims again for a change. Looking forward to meeting the Dayes and Knights again!

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Two more Taken chapters

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Two more Taken updates for you today. One thread of the story closes here, whilst another kind of closes (you’ll see what I mean in time). Started shooting 68, 69 and 70 tonight although they’re quite chunky chapters with a lot of characters to get through. Have already shot two of the planned epilogues as well. My intention is to release all of the epilogues at the same time as chapter 70 but we’ll see how I get on.

So the new chapters, then. 66. Light at the End and 67. Flight.

And yet more Taken!

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To keep me on track for a Christmas finish, and because the final four chapters are all going to be quite long (with at least five more extras to come), two more short Taken chapters, AND another extra are now ready! Chapter 66 will be coming very soon, too, as that’s almost good to go.

64. The Story and the Statement

64A. Secret

65. Returning

(Dayes and Knights soon-ish but Taken is the priority at the moment because I want to finish it this year!)

Triple update madness

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Rejoice! After all the glitching and crashing in the world, I’ve finally managed to play through the stripe generation of the Knights (so much for ultra-speedy) in 4. Knight Lines (don’t do it). As if that wasn’t enough, Taken 60. Almost there is also up. Not only that, but the Dayes are back in Things you do when you’re losing the will. Have at them!

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.

New Taken!

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I’ve got another new Taken chapter up! 58. Delving Deeper. I had hoped to update the Knights but although they work a bit better than before they still crash to desktop regularly… grrr….

In banner news, Wesley Kyoti and Piranha Daye who were last month’s 9th Doctor and Rose are replaced by Liandra Kyoti as Martha and Treebeard Knight as the 10th Doc. Only one Doc to go!

Look at the shiny!

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So, I got a new computer. And it’s way faster and the graphics are better. The final Dayes update from the old computer, Starlight Distress, is up now. And over the weekend, I snuck out a new Taken chapter, 57. University (very topical given the academic year has just restarted). Annoyingly I can’t find the save I need for the next chapter so that will mean some “fun” restaging before I can update. Blech. The best news though is that the new computer has made the Knights work!! Well, they still crash to desktop, but I’m getting an hour or so’s play at a time from them which is the most I’ve managed in months. They’re even part-way through becoming teenagers! So I might be able to update them soon, which makes me very happy (assuming I can retrieve all the screenshots of them as babies/toddlers from my old computer anyway).

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Have a slight spoiler as a present!

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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In which I hate my game (but update Taken)

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Well, by now I should have more updates. But that would be without taking into account my broken game. I’ve tried about eight times to play the Knights but they just crash. The Dayes are sort of working but glitching like mad and the game isn’t responding very well to me giving them actions. I managed to shoot two Taken chapters and my current banner header (Lab Coat Knight as the Sixth Doctor and Julie Populous as Peri) but the game crashed to desktop with both of those too. It’s been a while since I did a full-on check of CC and mods and I probably need to strip out some CC and check everything is A-OK but seeing as there’s a new EP on the way, there is really no point in doing any of that until it arrives. I hate how time-consuming the game is – like many of you I spend far more time fixing the game (and loading and saving) than playing, which isn’t exactly much fun, especially when my playing time is limited. So I expect to buy the EP late June or so and I have time off early July when I’ll be mostly packing – which may mean I will actually find updating my game somewhat refreshing as a change from that. So don’t expect Dayes or Knights until ll that’s sorted, I’m afraid. I suspect I will have to reduce the household size with the Knights at least as they have a LOT of kids and pets this gen.

In the meantime, there’s a new Taken chapter up: 51. Lockdown and I have shots ready for the following chapter, so I hope that can keep you going for now.

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.

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New Taken

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Hopefully the first of two short Taken chapters this week, 49. Forgetting and Remembering. Shots are done for Chapter 50 so should be with you soon.

Waiting for mods to get updated so I can install University and 70s/80s/90s and then play Kingsfield / Dayes / Knights. Hooray for Easter coming up soon and a few days off work for bank holidays…

New Taken!

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I haven’t managed to play the game much but I have managed to take some shots for a new Taken chapter, so have a read of 48. Eighteen. I hope to update the Dayes within the next week. You have a new heir now, after all…

Oh, and for those wondering about the latest banner… Lestat Daye as the Second Doctor, Scott Populous as Jamie (he was wearing a kilt but it didn’t fit in shot) and Fia Magnus as Victoria. Jon Pertwee (the Third Doctor) is next up month and he’s going to be a challenge… and I’m hoping that by June someone’s made all 11 doctors because what on earth I’ll do for Colin Baker’s coat, I don’t know…

Sneaky new Taken chapter

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The eagle-eyed of you will have spotted that I updated Taken a couple of days ago with chapter 46. Taking. I’m going to use fewer pictures from now on in the hope I’ll finish it in 2013. I’ve also uploaded shots for a Kingsfield update and I have a gagillion (appx) Dayes shots ready for the next chapter or two… just got to grab time to make it happen. Work remains as crazy as ever – January is particularly bad with me having to work a lot of overtime to meet deadlines (don’t be fooled, this is not paid overtime, more the type where you hope to take it back in lieu in the future but often can’t) but you know me, I might think it will be easier come Feb, but I’m sure I’ll find another way of doing too much…

New Taken… at last

I’m kind of ashamed about how long this took, but as I don’t get much time to sim, when I do, I’d rather play the game than stage shots. Which is also why the Dayes are a good two-three chapters ahead in play than they are in the blog… so I’ll hopefully update them this weekend too.

Anyway, new Taken Chapter is up: 44. A Day in the Life and I have the shots for the next one so am planning to publish that next weekend. I do want to get ahead of myself with it a bit if I can, but I’m directing another play so until that’s over (end of October) I can’t make promises, especially as the students are back this week and work’s in a crazy phase for a couple of weeks.

Kingsfield is accidentally on hiatus, I guess. I just haven’t had much time/motivation to play the hood lately as the Dayes have been getting all supernatural. It’ll definitely be back, but expecting an update before November would be too much, I think. As for the Knights, their next gen are toddlers in game, so we’re getting there – the Dayes are just being more fun right now.

I know I haven’t been reading or commenting much either… for the same reasons I’ve not been updating much. By November I hope to be back on a more even keel for a little while – at least until the next play gets started…

More updates!

A new Taken chapter is up: 43. Confontation. I’ve finally updated Kingsfield, with two chapters: Impossible Princess and Works of Art and a new Behind the Scenes: The Millers and the artists.

The new cover pic on my blog is in honour of 25 years of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It probably should have been something Diamond Jubilee themed but, eh. I am still considering a K25 (25 years of Kylie in pop) one though…

And there’s something new on the way. The pictures under the cut might give you some hints…

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