"The community is an endless supply of inspiration and enjoyment"
In this community spotlight, we introduce you to peacemaker_ic. A creative SimFan from Australia who likes to create cool creations for The Sims franchise.
I am not sure how I discovered the game to be honest. I think I saw the advertisement for The Sims 3 in 2008 at a point when I was getting bored of the games I had usually played. I picked up with The Sims 3 packs very cheap and when the new game came out, decided I liked the previous game enough to give it a shot. Now here I am, seven years later and still playing.
I used to just be a builder. That is something I have enjoyed, and still very much enjoy about the game: having the freedom to create the houses of my dreams. I rarely played in live mode since I don’t enjoy the ‘standard’ gameplay most people associate with the series. Legacies just don’t interest me as I find the monotonous and repetitive.
Recently I have found a type of gameplay I enjoy. I came up with a rather loose basis for a challenge I call “The Fixer-Upper” where I take a home designed to look rundown, then using a family, get them to earn the money to make it over without any cheating of the money. I have done about 3 of these now and currently doing a fourth.
The other thing I do a lot is create content for the game. It satisfies my creative nature and it always gives me great satisfaction seeing and idea become reality, even if its only pixels. I started doing that in about 2010-2011 and been doing it ever since. So you could say I actually enjoy every part of the game in some way these days, which is great as I am enjoying it to the greatest extent that a person can.
My favourite part of building would be landscaping and building the shell. I am a gardener by nature in real life so I am always drawn to plants and landscaping. I like creating lush landscapes around my homes and in public areas that really add to the feel of the neighbourhood. I don’t like sparse landscaping at all and should have enough to look like actual gardens I admire.
For the actual building of a house, I love doing exteriors. I can try new looks, styles and sizes in an effort to give an area a unique feel and look. The exterior of a building gives it personality. You can make it look haunted or dilapidated, Tuscan or French Country, Tudor, Modern or anything within the limits of content available and your imagination. I am more conservative with what I create, but what you can do with the exterior of a building is almost limitless as every builder has different expectations and like varying things from one another.
The lack of desirable content. It is no secret that the content created is often skewed towards female sims and a lot of more ‘realistic’ type build/buy content is the mainstay of the community. Not that it is a bad thing, but I generally like custom content that is more maxis match. I generally play with more male sims then female, making it even harder to find content because of the limited supply.
It first started with male clothing which was hard to find in The Sims 3, then to build/buy objects because I had gained the abilities to make the content I desired that no one else was making. I have just gotten in the habit of making what I need rather than just relying on someone possibly making it.
The Sims community is an endless supply of inspiration and enjoyment. I follow many simblrs from people that write stories, post gameplay, build homes, create cc, and I enjoy it all. It is a major source of inspiration both general and specific for what I do from clothing ideas, houses I want to build, to ideas for custom content. I also enjoy interacting with other simmers despite my mild introverted nature.
That is hard to answer as there is so much I like about the The Sims franchise, but it could probably be narrowed down to the sandbox nature of the games. Some are more restrictive than others in different ways, but overall what can be done in Sims games is unparalleled to any other game out there. The freedom to create and play the way you want, the many things you can do from machinima, legacies, custom content creations, building etc. is just very appealing to my creative side. I don’t think there is any other sole game that could provide that many options to express one’s creative self as this franchise has for me.
I would have to limit this to The Sims 4 since that is what I solely play. For the most part I am happy with the way the game is. I am not your typical player so what most ‘expect’ is very different from what I do. But there are some aspects that could be developed more and are a bit of a letdown. It is mainly centred around build/buy mode of the game. I feel that there are many opportunities that have been missed so far over the two years the game has been about. The most recent being the lack of ability to build apartments. That was a major blow and almost stopped me from buying and pack I do enjoy.
Other issues I have is often the lack of styles Maxis provides for objects. Without CASt in The Ssims 4, it could have been made up with more options but often that’s not the case.
I also feel a lot of build mode features which, for me at least, are one reason I love building in The Sims 4, are often neglected. We rarely get additional frieze designs apart from what just came with the vampire pack. Spandrels, stairs, doors, roofing styles, trim, walls and flooring often feel like an afterthought. EA apparently has stated that builders are going to get a bit more attention in the future after the toddler update was released, so hopefully some of my concerns get addressed along with surprises.
There are things I desperately want: hipped roofing with eaves without having to rely on a glitch, and stairs other than straight. These two things can drastically hamper my creative process when it comes to building houses. I can get a hipped roof with an overhang by placing “Agave Abode” found in Oasis Springs on the lot I want, then delete everything but the roof segment I want (which I have no saved to a separate lot so I don’t have to delete everything). Using the clone tool, I can duplicate it but I would still prefer an official version with adjustable eave length.
I really want the ability to have L- and U-shaped stairs in The Sims 4. A lot of the time I must design a home around the size of the staircase which often limits the way a house can be laid out. By having the ability to use the different stair shapes, I can freely design a space as these alternate layouts are more compact or allow for great flexibility.
There are plenty of other things, but those are at the top of my list. I am not concerned about Pets or Seasons like a lot of people as I think it’s more a case of when, rather than if they arrive. I am more concerned about addressing the lack of some content than the current absence of stuff that is almost certain to be added in the next three years.
Practice, practice, practice! I generally use actual floorplans to help with proportions of homes as that is the one thing that is the hardest aspect to master. Most modern house plans are a bit inadequate as the rooms are oddly laid out and have a lot more rooms then what a Sim needs. Do Sims really need 3 lounge areas? Definitely not!
A lot of the times the Sims lot sizes are usually inappropriate for such homes. Sears house plans are great for those starting out as they are generally on the small to medium size. The layout transfers easily to the game as well and can easily be found on any search engine.
Also, looking at other builder’s work is a great way to pick up tips and tricks you can try out yourself. Some simmers have even done building tutorials, both written and video formats, that may be helpful. Becoming a skilled builder doesn’t happen overnight, but it is a satisfying part of the game to master.
I advise someone that is wanting to create custom content to do four things: choose the program you are most comfortable with then get to know its functions, get a basic understanding of blender for porting into the game, start small, and make sure you are creating for the right reasons.
I think it is incredibly important to understand the program you are using, and can competently use the most important features. You aren’t going to create a perfect mesh for importing on the first go. Create some meshes to get comfortable with the process before you export a mesh you want in the game. A lot of what you need to learn about meshing is not contained within the simming community either. So, your best bet is to look outside for general tutorials as they will help with most of what you need to do.
Blender can be used with both The Sims 4 tools to port content into the game so you need a basic understanding of how that works too. If you choose to use blender to make meshes, then you are set. If not, you need to learn another program, at least the basics, so you don’t get lost when following tutorials on how to import you newly-created item. I generally use blender to unwrap my objects and I find it’s is very capable of doing that, as well as using it to import into Sims 4 Studio.
Starting small is a good way to get a bearing on the creation process. This method doesn’t work for everyone though, but for most it does. Jumping into the deep end can make you feel overwhelmed because of all the steps. By starting small you can tackle the project easily, then gradually work your way up and trying new things.
As for the last point, although I am not a veteran of the community, I have seen a lot of people come and go, whether they are creators or people that are just community members. Often, people feel obligated to continue posting/creating and that is often the path to hating a hobby they once loved.
Many people also choose to become creators for popularity and those people often burn out quickly because their motivation isn’t sustainable. Don’t feel pressured to do stuff you don’t want and just make sure you are doing things for yourself and not others, otherwise that’s a sure-fire way of losing your enthusiasm for something you once enjoyed.
I can’t say there is anything I specifically wish for. As I have said, I am not your typical player and I just go with the flow. Despite a lot of vocal people in the community saying otherwise, I am quite happy with the direction of The Sims 4 besides a few issues.
I am happy enough to see where EA takes the franchise. I rather The Sims 4 not end up looking like the last two games that got repackaged just to please the vocal minority. If I wanted what the older games had, I would go play those instead.
I would like to see exploration of new ideas or twists on old ones. I would like to see focus spread a bit more evenly between the different types of players as well rather than focusing more on the gameplay side.
Content is just as important to back up the mechanics that get added with each Game and Expansion pack too. It does look like content addition is improving, but it could be better.
Hallo zusammen! Ich heiße Bene und bin von Anfang an ein Mitglied der verrückten Sims-Community. Seit 2004 unter dem Nick Chaosking unterwegs und seit 2012 auch als Moderator im offiziellen Die Sims Forum anzutreffen. Am liebsten baue ich mit meiner Familie einen großen Stammbaum und bin vernarrt in die verschiedenen Kreaturen.
SimFans.de @ gamescom 2017
24. - 26. August 2017
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