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.


Sims 4 post-release survey now live!

babyglitchI have now closed the Sims 4 pre-release survey with around 800 completions and will be working my way through the data.

Now The Sims 4 is out (in most of the world anyway…) the post-release survey is live. I’d love as many people as possible to complete it – whether or not you have TS4, and whether or not you completed the earlier survey.

There will be two types of questions – a set for those who have played TS4 and a set for those who haven’t. The survey will be live until the end of October. If you are planning on getting it before then, please can you wait until you have played before completing it? But if you have already played or you know you won’t be getting it before the end of October, go right ahead!

As before, it’s entirely anonymous (and this survey is a bit shorter too). Results from the pre-release survey are likely to be available late September and I’ll keep people posted about the results of this one.

Many thanks


New Taken and research gubbins


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.

I need more help!

You might remember that last year I did a big survey of Sims fans. I’m currently writing a couple of articles based on this and I am wanting to do some follow-up research with simmers who use Tumblr or Instagram for simming activities – if that’s you and you would be willing to answer some questions, please can you email me on or post in the comments below?

Please can people spread the word to your simming friends? Thanks


New Taken…


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:


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.

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:

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.

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…

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.

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.

New Dayes and busy days

So the Dayes, Knights and I are having fun with Generations and there’s a new Dayes of Our Lives update: My Generation(s). Taken’s been a bit on the back burner because in the free time I do have to play, I’ve been playing with the EP and been doing a new Boolprop’s Next Top Model. (Jupiter Jones. I’ll upload him after the competition, but he’s the fella whose picture’s in this update).

The Populouses are pretty unplayable right now. They’ve crashed within minutes the last four times I’ve played them. Maybe their complicated family set-up is too much for the game (though it hasn’t affected the incestuous Knight clan). I don’t know what I’ll do there but I’ll be working on fixing it.

Other than that, my PhD deadline approaches faster than I’d like so don’t expect much simming/blogging/reading through June and July as I finish my first and second drafts. It might increase in August when I’ll mostly be editing to prepare for final submission – we’ll see.

New Taken

Chapter 31: A Request is up, and you’ll find some of your questions answered…. and probably a whole bunch of new questions raised!  There’s also a tiny little extra to go with it.  New Knights and a Sim Site of the Month tomorrow, hopefully.

Can’t make promises on the others as being sick all week has put me very behind with my PhD (and I’m still not well), so I’ll just have to take things as they come, but I’ll hope to get a new Dayes update within the next week or two if I can.

The latest on my PhD

For those that are interested!

I must have (no exaggeration) a million or so words of my own notes, probably more (definitely more when you add in things like policy documents and other people’s research materials) and I have to get it all down to 80,000 (plus a bit of leeway).  I’ve got two and a half chapters done, two and a half to go, plus the intro, conclusion, bibliography and appendix – and THEN the formatting and editing will begin.  The bulk of that million or so words is for the current chapter, which needs to be about 20,000 words (am about half-way there).  It’s a tricksy job – not to mention I was hoping to have this AND another chapter finished by this week.  So yeah.  I’m working six-seven day weeks and most hours of the day right now – including several hours’ teaching a week until mid-June and a huge pile of marking coming my way next week.

I am dipping in and out of simming blogs and managed to play my game for an hour last night.  It’s kind of like that at the moment – but I haven’t gone away and I’m not giving up on anything, either in terms of reading your blogs or writing my own.  I have a whole new simming thing planned for when OP finishes that I’m very excited about – beginning that is going to be my present to myself when I have finished my second full draft – but before I get there I have to have my first full draft done!  Wish me luck…

New OP and my latest news…

Finally managed to update something 🙂

Baby X is here in Operation: Population 57. Accepting a Decision.  Baby X!  Only two more to go!

My computer’s gone in for repair which could take up to a month 😦 I think my graphics card is having a fit.  That’ll teach me for somehow uninstalling or disabling the fps limiter I was using a while ago.  I miss the Dayes soooo much and can’t wait to get them experimenting with Generations when it comes out.  This is all hoping my backed up files transfer back OK when my computer returns, of course!

My PhD work is still commanding my life and will do until Autumn when I finish, but I will keep simming and updating, just less often.

I’m still reading as well, but not as fast and I’ll be commenting less, I’m afraid.  I’m also going to limit my recommended sites to one a month, rather than one a week, and I’ll have a think about whose site I’ll promote next, but that will be within the next few days.

Am still around on Boolprop, VSS and GoS but lurking a bit more than usual for the time being.  Bear with me,  I think I’ll be around a bit more during the summer when teaching and marking ends – I’ll need something to stave off the boredom of redrafting and editing my thesis!

Orange Knights

After lots of glitching (the Dayes are also being pains for that), I finally got Orange gen of Rainbow Knights through to adulthood.  Meet them in Orange Crush.  Those who follow the real me on Twitter or FB will know that real life’s been tricky this week (I’m fine, some of those around me are not) and might continue to be so for a little while, coupled with work, study, and several birthdays for the next few weekends.  I’ll still be updating and playing but I won’t make promises about when.  I’d love to update Taken midweek (as next weekend’s my birthday so there’ll be no simming/writing then) but don’t be mad at me if it doesn’t happen.

Trying out Formspring

Feel free to ask questions to me on Formspring.  I have no idea if I’ll like using it but we’ll see.

I’ve taken the shots for Taken (badumtish) but my latest thesis chapter is kicking my arse right now!  I promised my supervisors they’d have it Sunday so once that’s done, Taken’s my next priority, so it should be updated Sunday evening or Monday daytime, when I’m having a day off work and might also have time to play with my other families a bit 😀

I’m overdue doing another site of the week as well, so expect that Sundayish.

Still stranded….

…apparently back home they’ve got 30cm of snow or more in some parts so no-one’s going anywhere and I’m not able to get back into the country any time soon. Man, I miss my sims. And the telly (Apprentice night!).

The photo is pilfered from my friend’s Facebook – this is what back home looks like right now, and the snow keeps falling. Yikes!

So, this was unexpected…

Well, right now I was expecting to have been back in the UK for 19 hours, to have bought some food, been to work and maybe even loaded up my Sims 3 game for the first time in what feels like forever.

But due to snow, I’m still in Germany because all flights were grounded.  Normal service will be resumed… whenever.