Sunday, September 26, 2010

Home Is Where You Dig It

It's Nathan's first whole day in Riverview. He wakes early and takes a bath, but I guess that's inappropriate since Roxie yells at him again. Then she stands there and claps her hands excitedly, watching him bathe.

Maybe Roxie's lonelier than I imagined.

Nathan then goes downtown to buy himself a guitar. He's just not himself without a way to play music. After that, he visits the art museum and meets a nice young woman named Ruby, but it's difficult to have a conversation when there is a total creep in a skull-and-crossbones T-shirt standing about two inches away from your face.

I think I went to high school with this guy.

Nathan actually spent all afternoon at the museum, getting lost in the art. As the sun set, he realized he should probably pick up some things he might need to start a new life here. To the consignment shop! He didn't find anything useful, but he did get a wind-up squid figure, a cheap bottle of wine ("nectar"), and a book on martial arts from Ben Affleck.

It was getting late, so Nathan went back to the empty field he'd first been transported to. He figured he should stick around the area in case there was some sort of time-space anomaly there which would allow him to get back to his home dimension. It's boring standing in the middle of an empty field, though. He tried to play with his new mechanical squid, but it didn't actually do anything, it just sat there. All he could do was view it, which he did, disapprovingly, for about a minute.

So he studied martial arts until the wee hours of the morning.

The title of the book is "Wax On Philosophical."

He was about ready to drop from exhaustion, but he didn't have a bed, and he didn't particularly want to go back to Roxie's. She seems like the clingy type, and he didn't want to encourage her. He'd seen a junkyard down the road, so he went to see if he could find at least a smelly old mattress to throw in his field.

After digging through piles of trash -- gigantic, sparkling piles of trash -- for hours, he found "28 units of scrap," whatever that means. I'm sure it'll come in handy later.

The sun was starting to rise, and Nathan still had nowhere to sleep, so I just bought him a cheap bed. I'm not totally heartless. We'll just say he found it at the junkyard and dragged it all the way to the field, making a horrible grinding noise against the pavement all the way.

Our hero -- or rather, our villain -- slept the whole morning and some of the afternoon away. He dreamed about food, probably because he was extraordinarily hungry. He woke up sunburned and bug-bitten and decided that this whole sleeping in a field thing wasn't working out. He didn't have the money to buy a house though, so he started digging a hole in the field to make a cave.

He concealed the entrance behind a big gross-looking tree and surrounded it with hedges. Inside, he decorated it with some.. er... found objects.

There's his bed, and a stolen park bench, along with some things stolen from people's yards -- lawn furniture, tiki torches, a boombox, and a grill. Nathan's obviously not concerned about charcoal fumes. The toilet is from the junkyard, and even though it's just placed over a hole in the ground, it's nice not having to squat, isn't it?

I thought Nathan would be able to make food using the grill, but he couldn't without a fridge. So I bought him a fridge, but then he needed a counter to prepare the hot dogs on. He just couldn't win! Finally I decided to just upgrade his cave a little. It's not as quaint, but it's more practical. Now he has a full-fledged bathroom with a shower, and a sink and counter for his kitchen, and a separate area for his bed. He also splurged and actually bought a bed, because sleeping on that creaky old garbage bed was not energizing in the least. Nathan's pretty proud of himself for fashioning this little getaway, but it won't work for very long. Before he can obtain a legitimate abode, though, he'll need a job. And playing guitar on the street for loose change isn't going to cut it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why Teleportation Devices Are a Bad Idea, Besides What We Learned From "The Fly"

Okay, here's the deal. I made a couple of new sims in an attempt to create the new star of Simcentric, but none of them could hold my interest. They just weren't appealing enough.

I also had a few ideas to save the Newbys, but none of them worked. I decided to remake the three boys just by recreating their appearances in Create-A-Sim and by selecting the exact same traits. Since Eddie was an adult, I could have had him take care of his younger brothers (since teenagers can't live alone) and made up some story about how Addie and Toby mysteriously disappeared during their trip to France (trapped in a tomb, perhaps?). After I spent about two hours painstakingly recreating Eddie's face, style, and personality, using screenshots for reference, I decided to save Eddie to the bin to make it easier to edit him in the future if necessary. Well, the game got stuck on the save screen. I let it sit for fifteen minutes, but it went nowhere. I swear, EA knows they made an addictive game and people will play it no matter how many problems it has. You are a cruel mistress, EA.

The story:

Nathan grew into a young adult and gained the Evil trait. Blame it on living in the shadow of his handsome, athletic genius older brother. He began experimenting with machines and eventually created a teleporter. When testing it on himself for the first time, something went horribly wrong. He was teleported to an unknown location and, perhaps, another dimension (cue spooky Twilight Zone music) where none of his family or old acquaintances existed.

Nathan was knocked unconscious by the accident. He awoke in a grassy field in the middle of nowhere, looking unsettlingly like Adolf Hitler.

He immediately began talking to himself. He yelled and screamed at himself for being such an idiot.

When he was done berating himself, he started walking along the nearby road until he came to a street with houses on it. Outside one of the houses, two young women were talking. He introduced himself and asked where he was. The girls explained that he was in the town of Riverview. Then he tried explaining what had happened to him.

"And that's how I ended up in Riverview! Say, do you know where I could purchase a flux capacitor or a warp core?"

The reaction to his crazy story was not entirely positive.

Brought to you in stunning Nathan-Vision!

So he wandered off. That girl had an insanely high and squeaky voice, anyway. Even if she could have transported him back to Sunset Valley, I don't think he could have withstood listening to her explain how.

Nathan was terribly hungry -- transdimensional travel stirs up a wicked appetite. So he walked into the nearest house to raid their fridge. When I clicked on the fridge, I had the option to have Nathan "Have Quick Meal Fiendishly." Already, having an evil sim is hilarious.

I was pretty excited to see how a sim would eat some ice cream in a fiendish fashion, but he just ate it normally.

I was expecting at least evil eyebrows, or something.

The mother of the house came into the kitchen and frowned at Nathan, warning that he was behaving inappropriately and if he continued to do so she would have to ask him to leave. Wow, people in Riverview are so welcoming. If a total stranger resembling Hitler waltzed into my house and started eating my ice cream, I would call the cops.

Then, of his own volition, Nathan decided to "Read Something Maniacal." He took a book from the shelf, and just then, Squeak-Voiced Girl came into the room while in the living room someone else gave a groan and collapsed with a thud.

Nathan and Squeaky grew very concerned about this and started looking around wildly. I think they thought she was dead or something.

I guess she was just tired, because a few minutes later she got up and walked away. Maybe she's narcoleptic?

Nathan started exploring the house and ran into the narcoleptic woman. They started talking and Nathan discovered she works in the music industry. If you recall, Nathan is a Virtuoso, meaning he loves music and is very good at it. The two actually started to hit it off. Unlike Squeaky, who may or may not be related to her, Narcoleptic Woman has a deep voice that makes her sound like a drag queen.

Meanwhile, Nathan develops the urge to Steal Candy From a Baby in the Wishes panel.

He continues to flirt with the narcoleptic lady, whose real name is Roxie. She's clearly smitten with him. They kiss, then Nathan asks if he can spend the night. She readily agrees, saying, "Make yourself at home!" Nathan grins. That solves the problem of where he can sleep tonight.

 GET OUT OF HERE, SQUEAKY! We're trying to have a moment.

In the living room, Nathan spots a guitar. He picks it up to play, but to his dismay, he finds he can't even play a simple tune. Apparently transdimensional travel can induce specific amnesia. He has forgotten how to play the guitar. Roxie and Squeaky gather in the living room to listen to him play, anyway.

Shortly, two guests arrive. Their names are Yuri and Nadine Ivanov. Nathan puts down the guitar after a while and turns around to see Ivan and Roxie flirting with each other. Despite the fact that he's only using her for a place to stay, Nathan is overcome with jealousy. Nadine is clearly upset as well.

Nathan does not take well to jealousy. He confronts Yuri. Well, first actually he used the toilet. Then he came back and insulted Yuri and Yuri's home.

He also slapped Yuri.

This made Yuri very angry, and for a moment Nathan looked like he might regret his actions.

Not in the face!

But then Nathan suddenly pounced on Yuri and they got into a fight...

... a fight which Nathan actually won.

That'll teach Yuri Ivanov to mess with Nathan Newby's bread and butter!

Now Nathan is exhausted from the fight. He eats a big bowl of mac and cheese and goes to bed. Er, correction -- he goes to "Evil Slumber."

It's been a busy day for Nathan, so I'll let him have his rest for now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bleak News for Addie and Family

I have some very bad news. The Sims 3 is rife with glitches and bugs, and I have lost more than one family to this. When I tried to play tonight, my UI had disappeared and so had Addie. To be specific, Addie had turned into a little glowing white spiky ghostlike ball, which then disappeared after about ten seconds. I can still navigate with the mouse, and keyboard shortcuts still work... so while in theory I could still play this game, the utter lack of UI makes it practically impossible. My other saved game works fine, but Addie, Toby, Eddie, Nathan, and Shaun are lost, perhaps forever.

I've done some googling on the subject and the issue seems to lie with the World Adventures expansion pack. After returning home from a vacation, sometimes sims disappear or the UI disappears. It doesn't affect everyone, so apparently I'm one of the unlucky few -- though we're not that few, because it seems pretty common. Unfortunately, the general consensus of various sims 3 gurus and forums and help pages is that the problem is not fixable. I tried restoring the backup file of the neighborhood, but that didn't work. I will try a complete uninstall and reinstall of the game, but frankly, I'm not hopeful.

If I can't restore the family, I will start over from scratch with a new sim. I hope I don't have to do that, but in case I do, I hope you, dear reader, will give the new guy (I've already decided it will be male) a chance.