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Sims4 testing

Okay, I have finally gotten around to purchasing the Sims4… if for no other reason than curiosity. I decided to at least give it a chance and test it for those of you who, along with me might still be in the debate or indecision mode on it. I know that many of us have looked at previews and current in game pictures, not been overly impressed by any of them and chose not to sink any money into this game. So, for all of you out there still trying to decided… I have chosen to waste my money on it for you and attempt to give an honest review of the full game experience. Previously, I did do some previews of the demo but will now give my opinions on the rest of it.

Brenda Blonde has kindly volunteered… well, okay, she really didn’t have much say in the matter? Anyway, she will be working as our test subject for this project. It might benefit us to see how she appears in sims3 first? Now, please remember that sims3 is much more developed as far as custom content such as skin tones, hair, clothing and makeup options. Brenda makes use of all of those options in Sims3!

Brenda Blonde ins Sims3 Eleanor and Brenda Screenshot-10

 

The transition to sims4 was difficult to put it mildly! I have already mentioned before the difficulties in getting used to the new sim sculpting tools. You can read more about that in these older posts.

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/from-the-creator-sims4-cas-demo/

This was the initial work on Brenda’s character for sims4 in the demo

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/sims4-cas-demo-creations/

Here is Brenda now as she appears in live mode of Sims4. I will be doing more work on her as we go along in this experiment! Of course this is how she looks on a normal day without dressing up for anything and in the stressful process of moving into a new place. I am quite sure that there is a lot more custom content coming available each and every day and we will be searching through some of it now that we have the actual game. I do have to say that it does still have a cartoony feel and look to it in game? Maybe that’s not such a bad thing though? We’ll have to see how it all plays out!

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I did not get very far in the experiment tonight… We got as far as moving Brenda into a neighborhood in Willow Creek, buying her a house that she could afford with no money cheats. I wanted to get a feel for the build and decorating process so I decided to purchase an unfurnished pre-built house. We will walk through the building and decorating process by renovating this home that we’ve purchased. Don’t ask me what the address is because I didn’t even look at that! I will check that out later.

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Before even going into the build/buy mode, my frustrations came quickly with not being able to locate tools and options easily. They seem to be scattered around the screen and it was annoying to say the least. The first big headache and frustration for me was the camera tools and options. It took me a while to even figure out how to take a quick in game picture! Once I figured out how to do it, I calmed down enough to continue on… I do like the option that you now have of labeling your picture as a memory or not. If you choose not to save as a memory, the photo will show up in screenshots category and you can view them while in game. This for me as a story teller/picture taker is a huge benefit! It saves me a lot of time not having to go back and forth between game and desktop to see my pictures now.   I am finding the camera controls and angles really hard to work with right now but maybe that will improve as I get used to it… or possibly find mods for it as they come out?

Once I got the camera mode and pictures figured out, it was time to go into build/buy mode to start working with that portion… Let me just say that I did not get very far!  It is a huge change from the way things worked in sims3 building and I was still struggling with finding the right tools and options in that mode as well. I could not even find the undo tool at first? It is located on the top of screen, along with some other options and not on the lower portion with the various building selections. I do like the lighting  option where you can now easily change the lighting in build mode from morning to afternoon to night.

 

This is an initial photo of the interior with walls down so you can see the layout of the rooms. I have not yet figured out if there is an option to turn off those awful gridlines? That will be one of my priority searches, along with hopefully, a mod or something to get rid of those dang plumbobs hovering over my characters’ heads!

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This is what the exterior of our little house looks like now with some very basic changes in wall coverings, window and door replacements, changing out the fencing. A huge plus for the game- the adjustable window heights! Thank Heavens for that! There is also a wider variety of window and door options than I expected for just a base game? I was easily able to find older style windows and doors to create more historic time period builds, so that in itself is a life saver for me!  Another huge positive was the columns snapping to place on the fencing. And, one other great feature… I was able to change the fencing that was already in place by simply clicking on it and then choosing a different fence option.  I did not have to remove the fence and then redo it with another one.

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I ran out of time and patience to accomplish any more, but my initial observation is that I do see some potential as far as building. I was not so disappointed or frustrated as to throw up my hands and demand my money back immediately so I will continue on with the experiment for now. If it works out well enough, I will allow my other characters to move into the neighborhood and we’ll see how it goes from there?

 

A heartfelt Thank You!

I want to take some time to express my appreciation for all of you who have visited here and made this endeavor of mine such a success! In checking the stats for my blog tonight, I was amazed by the sudden realization that my random thoughts and words have now reached 20,ooo views. I know that some of you more successful bloggers out there- those of you who know what you’re doing… this milestone might not seem like all that much. For me, though, this is a huge accomplishment!

First of all, before I go any further, I want to thank Diana Gabaldon for her creation of the Outlander series which has swept me away through the Stones into a whole new life and journey. Long before I discovered her work, I was writing and creating my own little fantasy time travel world here. What Diana’s books, her devotion and allegiance to her fans, and her support of all writers have done for me is this: With her works and her many devoted fans, she has given me the self confidence to share my writing attempts and my creations. Through her support and guidance to aspiring writers, I have learned so much. Most of all, I have learned that it’s okay to write in the style that I do… chunks of seemingly unrelated scenes that eventually come together as long as I don’t forget an important character and leave them stranded somewhere in time? She has put herself out there, made herself and her knowledge available in so many places for us to learn from her even if we can not meet her in person. Because of this sharing of her experiences, I find myself more comfortable sharing my bits and pieces of thoughts and words with others even if they are never quite finished!

 

I began taking this blogging experience seriously about a year and a half ago.  For me it was a simple little experiment to see if I could do it, and stick with it? I have some major issues with ADD and procrastination which generally result in my not sticking with projects that I start. So, this blog was sort of a test for me… I wanted to push myself, to set some goals and have a way of holding myself accountable for continuing to work on them.  I thought that if I created a page or space where I could put my work, then maybe I would be more successful at continuing my projects.

When I originally started the blog, it was for the purpose of sharing my Sims3 creations and stories all in one place, rather than having them scattered all about in various Sims3 community sites. Honestly, trying to keep up with such a number of communities was consuming more and more of the limited time I had to devote to creating. It became much easier to just have it all in one place.

Many of you who have only recently started following and viewing this site probably wonder at the titles and are most likely not even aware of the original basis for the names. I know many of you assume that this is just an Outlander based blog… well, yes that is what it has become since I fell through the Stones with Diana Gabaldon and the Outlander series early this summer. But, it did begin with an entirely different story based on my own theories of time travel. So, while I do thank each and every one of my fellow Outlander time travelers for making this site the success that it is, I also feel that I need to thank the earliest followers of my work. The Sims3 communities and members that have stuck by me since the ragged and rambling beginnings. Those simmers who appreciated and valued my creativeness, who inspired and encouraged me to continue with it, who still come here in search of Sims related content and information, only to find an endless sea now of Outlander! To all of you simming friends, I give you my endless gratitude and the promise that I have not completely given up on the simming or the stories! I am hoping to return to some it in the next few weeks. I do miss my own story telling and the creative process that the Sims provides.  In my most recent ventures back into the simming, some of the characters from my long running soap opera type story even made their own connection to those more famous members of the Outlander Series…

For those unfamiliar with my sims related projects and stories, you can find more information in some of the separate pages devoted to them, or if you have an enormous amount of time and need something to fill up your days waiting for more Outlander… You could always go back to my archives and start the story from it’s earliest beginnings with Lady Eleanor DeGuille and Royals Castle?  Wow, that brought back memories for me! Poor Eleanor is still trapped between the walls of one Haunts Castle waiting for someone, anyone, to come rescue her!  Our story was moving along at a fairly good pace until we were side tracked by a few other  things… Dunvegan Castle, the Viking history of one Eric North, and Outlander!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/lady-eleanors-journal-entries/

Lady Eleanor DeGuille through time and history, from a lonely child pawn of Royals to an uncertain romance, timeless friendship to a Mother's spirit within her guiding her journey and her destiny.

Lady Eleanor DeGuille through time and history, from a lonely child pawn of Royals to an uncertain romance, timeless friendship to a Mother’s spirit within her guiding her journey and her destiny.

 

As I mentioned, one of the other projects that side tracked us in the story was Eric North’s decision to go home to Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye. He is one of those characters that ends up having a mind of his own and insisted on telling his story! Eric’s appearance in the story began in the present day when he met Judith Self. He began with some minor small appearances in the storyline but for some reason, his character took on a larger than planned role. He emerged as a central character for much of the early medieval portion of the story where he appeared with Arthur and Guinivere in their ill fated story… He was a friend and fellow knight of Arthur’s and Adrian DeWare’s, and somehow his story took on a life of it’s own!

Eric’s appearance in the Arthur and Guinivere portion of the story

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/eleanors-journal-61-beyond-the-tower-and-back-again/

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Eric and Brenny into the woods Eric North poster

Eric begins his story of his ancient Viking history and it’s connection to Dunvegan Castle

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/eleanors-journal-the-depths-of-erics-past-from-norseland-to-vampyres-and-romans/

Eric and friends10 Eric holds Reina

You can read about the Dunvegan Castle project starting here:

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/from-the-creator-history-of-dunvegan-castle/

dunvegan castle

My interpretation of Dunvegan Castle

overview of front with windows, towers and turrets Screenshot-11 Screenshot-9

 

I did mention that during the work on Dunvegan Castle and our characters’ involvement in that place, there was recently a reference and connection made to Outlander. Right now as the story stands, Eric and Brenny are remembering their time spent at Dunvegan during the 1700s when much work was done on improving the conditions of the Castle. When last we saw them, they were having a serious discussion about an odd invitation they had received from the Clan MacKenzie?

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/dunvegan-castle-recieves-an-odd-correspondance-and-invitation/

Eric and Svein in the stable Rory's parsel of correspondance Wedding Invitation The women have their own discussion

 

Now, I hope this clears up some of the confusion or wondering about the origins and beginnings of this blog. I hope that you take some time to explore the other portions of it that I have devoted so much time and love to over the last year. I will soon get back to my own stories and characters because they are the reason I am here in the first place! They have a place in my heart forever and I am deeply devoted and attached to all of them. Even though my story winds and bends through space and time… much like my mind most of the time, I do still want to continue the journey for them and not leave trapped in the mists of time! I write in fits and starts, chunks of seemingly unrelated pieces but, as Diana Gabaldon has mentioned about the individual writing process, that is entirely Okay as long as I remember where I left each of them and don’t leave one of them trapped for years? If it’s alright for little Jemmy to be stuck in a cave for years, for Jamie Fraser to be waiting on a window sill for many months… then I guess Eleanor DeGuille should not be complaining about being trapped in the walls of Haunts Castle for a few more months!

leaving Jamie ing the window Jack wins the hand with a rope in the drawer Dragon Fly in Amber 11_dragonfly_in_amber_00001

 

Don’t worry Eleanor and Judith, Eric will eventually come to your rescue!

Judith and Eleanor in the hall

 

 

 

 

Sims 4 self debate now finished!

As most of you who visit here regularly probably already know, I have had many on going self debates and doubts on the arrival sims4. I will admit that it’s arrival has put me in a bit of a funk as far as creating both in the building and the story telling process. Before the game came out, I did provide a number of  links and some of my creative experiments and experiences with the Sims 4 CAS Demo. I have not purchased the game and will probably not being getting it any time in the near future due to the high price tag on it, which I just can not afford right now. I am still of the opinion that it is a big risk for that amount of money if  it will not meet my needs and desires as far as the story telling and building go in relation to this project.

 

I have spent a great deal of time debating all of this coming  to a conclusion and decision.   I have invested so much time, energy and thought on this entire project with the aid of Sims 3, I just can not bring myself to abandon it all, scrap it and start all over with the limits of the Base game Sims 4. Possibly at some point in the future, I may end up trying out the Sims 4 and give it a go in transitioning the story to that format, but it will not be any time soon! I do want to add my recent observations of the Sims 4 experience as others are working their way through it. It appears that their sharing system is actually more complicated and limited than previously suggested? There is no forum exchange system, you must use the game gallery and be connected to Origin in order to search through it.  You have to follow people and creations according to the creator’s origin ID, which ties the whole game entirely to the Origin system. Yes, you can play the game offline, but in order to do anything as far as sharing either in friends status, liking a creation, downloading, what ever, you must be connected directly through the server system. As I have mentioned, I do not have game so can not give a first hand observation of this… it just seems to me a somewhat complicated process to navigate.  Also, at this time it seems there is no way really to easily and quickly share your creation with social media such as fb.

 

So, with those few observations having been made, I just want to say that I am working my way through my funk and my creator’s block on this whole debate! I am renewing and recharging my creative spirit and will be continuing with Sims 3 as my artistic medium for the time being.  In looking at everything I have accomplished with this project over the past year, I am proud of myself for not giving up on it through the most frustrating and difficult times. For those of you who follow this Blog, the story, the builds, the history, and all of the other various topics I put here, I just want to say Thank You! I appreciate your following, your likes, your comments and suggestions. It means so much to me to know that there people interested in my work and my creations!

 

This has come to be so much more than just a Sims blog.  As I have worked my way through the sims experience and the story, I have also worked my way through some life challenges and changes. I have broaden my own horizons and my life, and I hope that in reading this, I have broadened yours as well!

Outlanderday!

Yes, Finally it’s once again Outlanderday! The day so many of us look forward to all week! Here’s the preview of tonight’s episode!

 

I am still trying to decide on what we will feast on tonight… running a bit behind today! But, taking a cue from the ever resourceful Mrs. Fitz, and our own Dunvegan Castle’s Minn,  shall have a longer look into the pantry supplies in a bit and determine what we can serve other than parritch or more bannocks… Though, I may just have a wee bit of the parritch this morning?! I do not think, however that either of my Cooks would approve of my serving Parritch for a dinner feast!

Glenna Fitsgibbons2 Screenshot-14

 

Hopefully, I will find something more appropriate in time for dinner and Outlander viewing?

 

Now for a bit of amusement,  on my part at least?! I was playing a bit more with that somewhat addicting Sims4 CAS demo… it is rather addicting in that it’s so easy to pop in and out of when ever I have a few spare moments, not like my Sims 3, which is a much longer process of loading up the game and then going into the character creation.  Anyway, I did previously create versions of Claire and Jamie, and thought I would try adding a few members to their clan?

The household now consists of an assortment of Fraser family members. I did include Mrs. Fitz because I don’t want them all to starve or have to survive any length of time on Claire’s cooking?!

fraser household

So, here you have it… Jamie, Claire, Brianna, William, Mrs. Fitz, and her grand daughter Laoghaire Mackenzie!

 

Jamie and Claire are already on my Sims 4 Creations page!

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Close ups of Mrs. Fitz

Glenna Fitzgibbons2 Glenna Fitzgibbons3

Brianna Fraser, Claire and Jamie’s daughter. She previously went by Brianna Randall before she went through the stones herself and found her Father.  For her creation, I used the play with genetics tool in the demo and this is what they provided when I used Jamie Fraser as the donor!

Brianna Fraser2 Brianna Fraser

 

William Ransom, Jamie’s son by Geneva Dunsany. His full name is William Clarence Henry George Ransom and he is Legally, the son and heir of the Earl of Ellesmere, his mother’s husband at the time of his birth. He makes his first appearance in the Outlander book, Voyager.

William Ransom

 

Ahhhh and last, but certainly not least, I have included the teen tart, Laoghaire Mackenzie! She is Mrs. Fitz’ grand daughter and causes more than a few problems throughout life for Claire and Jamie. The beating he took for her in last week’s episode was only just the beginning of the troubles this girl brings!

Leghaire Fitzgibbons Laoghaire Mackenzie Laoghaire Mackenzie2

 

Well, that was fun! I may add more of them later on!

 

Now, everyone enjoy your Outlanderday… and if you haven’t read the books but are just learning about this epic Clan through the series, go spend some time looking up these additional characters as they will be important in the future of the Series! I am off to get a few other things accomplished before the evening of Outlander!

 

Previous Outlanderday post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/outlanderday-dinner/

 

 

 

 

Sims 4: Creating a character 4

 

 

It took me a lot longer than I expected to get any half way rendition of a male character! I am still extremely frustrated with this different way of sim creation and really not sure if I will get used to it. I gave up more than a few times as I was finding it almost impossible to get a character that did not look to cartoonish? Also, with the limits of the sculpting tools and the hairstyles, I found it very difficult to really get any realistic representation! I did, however feel a bit guilty about leaving my other creation, Claire Randall to brave the sims 4 gallery on her own, so I tried my best to create some representation of Jamie to accompany her on her trip!

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They’re both a bit annoyed and irritated with their sims 4 representation right now, and they are probably not verra happy with the way their most recent experience with the stones has went?  Due to a slight mistake at the stones, they have both arrived in the present day… or some when closer to present than past?  They managed to arrive safely and are now making an appearance together as well as separately in the Sims 4 gallery!

Jamie and Claire Fraser

Here are some photos of Jamie Fraser, who wants to have a successful family lineage. He’s athletic, self assured and loves the outdoors! Hopefully he will adjust as well to the future as well as Claire did to the past! These photos are of him with the longer but straighter hair.

jamie fraser2 Jamie Fraser1

 

Here are original demo photos of  him with the extremely bright coloring which I am not really fond of!

jamie16 jamie15

 

This photo is with the shorter, curlier hairstyle.

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These photos are of his various clothing options.

 

Jamie everyday jamie formal Jamie party style jamie sleep wear jamie athletic

 

I did use a custom content beard replacement on him. You can find it here: http://lumialoversims.tumblr.com/post/95202436499/stubbly-shadow-270-followers-appreciation-gift#notes

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So, now that the not so happy couple is complete, I can only wish them luck on their new lives in the sims 4 world!

 

 

 

Sims4: Creating a character 3

Previous Character creation post:  https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/sims-4-creating-a-character-2/

 

Ok, I have finished my sims version on Catriona Balfe as Claire Randall. As I stated earlier in this process, I was not going for an exact replica of Catriona Balfe but more of a representation of her portraying Claire Randall.  She ended up being more of a starting reference point for me to put a face and shape to Claire.   If you are interested, you can find her in the sims 4 gallery. My creator name there is judywork1957.

A very important part of this process is looking at the face and expressions in a variety of angles and emotions. My one irritation with the CAS is the cartoonish cheesy smile that the sims keep showing me! It was extremely difficult to judge mouths and expressions with that annoying smile, not to mention the difficulty in getting a good photo!

 

Before we look at the final shots of my representation, these are photos of Catriona/Claire that I used in the creation. I also tried to keep some images of her as the books describe her in my head throughout the process.  My one lament was that I was not able to come up with a really good representation of her very curly, mostly untamable hair! I did my best in coming up with a somewhat unruly and messy hairstyle for her. If you look at the photos, you will see that in the front on ones, she has a rather wide, square jawline and puffier cheeks. From the side views though, you get a much narrower, finer sculpted appearance.

Claire Randall3 Claire Randall2 OUT-102_20131106_EM-1710.jpg Caitriona-Balfe Claire Randall

 

 

In order not to get that horrid cheesy type smile, I had to tone down her mouth a great deal. I’ve also did a bit of photo editing with the photos because the brightness of the CAS photos is rather too bright and glaring and detracts from the actual sim images!

old photo of Claire with hair well tamed!

This is done to portray what an old photo of Claire might have looked like… with well tamed hair for the photo!

claire with hat

Another older type photo representation of her in a hat. The hat is typical of what she might have worn in the 1940’s while on Holiday in Scotland.

claire43 Claire comparison5 claire comparison4 claire comparison3

 

One last detail I adjusted was her body. Here is the completed body sculpting. I kept her thin and made some final adjustments to her well proportioned backside!

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The costuming was perhaps the most difficult and frustrating part of the whole process as we have extremely limited clothing options in the CAS Demo!  These are some options I came up with for her.

 

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An everyday casual look that might get her by in either the 40’s or the 60’s depending on which time she was at between time traveling through the stones.

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A nice simple sun dress… or slip, or shift? It is rather short for the 40’s but then maybe she lost the rest of the dress in her ordeal!

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A rather fun, flirty little formal attire… a bit short and scandalous but then again, Claire does have a reputation for being a bit scandalous at times!

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A very basic athletic outfit… we don’t have a lot to choose from!

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Sleep wear… she’ll just sleep in her undies for now!

As far as personality and traits, I gave her the knowledge aspiration with nerd brain desire to be book smart and handy.  For her traits, I chose perfectionist, neat and hot tempered. She does have bit of a short fuse when it comes to some things so I felt justified in giving her the hot temper!

Ahhhh and now that I’ve created her, I suppose it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t attempt to have a go at Jamie as my next project…

 

 

Sims 4: Creating a character 2

Previous character creation post:  https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/sims4-creating-a-character/

 

The one nice thing about this Demo is that I can go into it quickly! I hope they keep some form of this creation system when the game comes out, like they had with sims 2 body shop. There are times when I don’t have a lot of extra time and this is nice, not having to load entire game just to do some work on a character!

This morning, I was able to work on some body sculpting and give Claire a bit more padding on that backside! I also adjusted her weight a little and pushed up her chest a bit. I did not want to go overboard and create anything extreme or cartoonish with this adjustment. I just wanted it to have more definition, be a bit rounder and curvier.  Now, there is a slight issue with the actress portraying Claire… She is very tall and very thin! I think that in future episodes of the series, she might have to put on some weight or wear some padding to create that pronounced backside! That is just my personal opinion and observation in comparing Catriona Balfe to the character Claire? Other than that minor issue, she does an amazing portrayal of Claire!

Claire body sculpting

 

I also spent a bit more time with the facial sculpting and hair styles. It is a difficult and fine balancing act with the hairstyles as they tend to change the entire face shape when you change a hairstyle. This was always an issue with sims 3 as well so I am used that problem. What I would suggest is to choose a few hairstyles that you think the character might wear at various times, try them out and then make small adjustments between the styles.

These are three different styles that I tried out with Claire.

claire9 claire23 claire25

 

It’s important to keep the character in mind when choosing hairstyles and makeup. Claire is not a dressy, frilly type person. She doesn’t bother much with hair, makeup or jewelry in any time period that she is living in. Knowing that, I kept her hairstyle, makeup and jewelry as basic and simple as possible. In fact, I toned down the makeup to the barest minimum and only used the eye makeup for eye definition and detail.

The wardrobe and costuming are extremely limited in this demo so I chose something that she might get by wearing in the 40’s or the 60’s when she went back through the stones the second time to find Jamie… She was older then so I adjusted her hair color a little to represent that!

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This is what we now have! I am still not quite satisfied with the eyes but will work on them again later tonight!

claire27 claire29 claire comparison2