It begins.

Let me start with a simple overview of what to expect happening within this blog.

I expect everybody knows how the Sims franchise works.  Especially if one has the ability to use the Internet and locate this blog.  Any further questions on the basics I’m sure Wikipedia can answer.

On Facebook, there is a group called “I Watched the Entire Overblood Super Replay”, which I joined.  I joined it, because I did, in fact, watch the entire Overblood super replay.  What that is, is a couple of guys recorded themselves bumbling about and solving puzzles in a pretty terrible PS1 game.  The group is also a media extension of the Game Informer magazine, which is one of the few printed magazines left in the world that discusses video games.  My 8 year old son likes the magazine much in the same way a U.S. Marine likes Penthouse for its news articles.  In this ‘Overblood’ Facebook group, I randomly picked six people posting there, without their consent or prior knowledge and made Sims of them.  Then I put them in a little Sim house inside a little Sim world, and this blog will be the photo-journal of their gradual decline into poor hygiene, depression as dictated by a poorly coded AI, and a fateful ignominious demise.

About my particular game: My Sims 3 install is minimally modded and mostly a vanilla experience.  With the exception of one recent ‘Stuff’ pack- which I might pick up off Steam if it goes on flash-sale, I own all the expansions. This is courtesy of the ridiculous markdowns during Steam holiday sales.  For mods, I am only running an nraas suite that takes care of preventing crashes due to bad pedestrian pathing, or the game’s obnoxious desire to let a million automobiles pile up in the background and freeze / crash the game.  Other than the regularly expected lock-ups and blue-screen reboot crashes that are considered canon for a Sims 3 game play experience, the mods I have running do not otherwise modify the base game’s experience, nor do I have any ‘cheats’ going on.

How I will ‘play’, is mostly hands-off, and allowing the Sims improve or ruin the conditions of their jobs and personal lives without much interference.  Much like the bored, sadistic god of the Old Testament, I won’t be much help to these people.  Also much like the bored, sadistic god of the Old Testament, I will occasionally do a thing here and there in order to ensure that things don’t stagnate, but I won’t tell when I do unless it would improve the narrative to do so.  I ask the readership to not bother trying to figure out when I am, or am not directly meddling with the lives of the Sims, because that would definitely have a bad impact on the enjoyability of the narrative.

Here are our stars:

Michael Hatch
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Sara King
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Matthew Arnold
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Terrence Vitali
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Morgan Land
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Ryan Beeler
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Expect this page to change as the project develops! Maybe I won’t do anything with it after today because I’m intrinsically lazy.

Please fasten seat belts, return trays to upright positions, extinguish personal electronics. Flight attendants, please prepare for departure.

Day 1.5 – The Continuenening

The Sim-clock says 3pm, we’ve still got 9 hours left of Day 1.


Remember when this guy bought an ice cream cone from the dingdong cart in front of his house and then took a cab half way across the town to eat it at a public picnic bench by a roach coach? Good times.


The living room is maintaining a status quo of watching television, instigating conversation with or near Sara, and ignoring Mike as he ignores right back.


Matt has finished his cone and is on the move.




I don’t know if this is art imitating life or vice versa. It’s what I would do, though, I am sure of that. Incidentally, this game, which appears to be a crummy knock-off of Tempest, cost him 5 bucks a play. Inflation is a bitch.

Video games improve a Sim’s Vector Stencil of 80′s Thomas Dolby stat.


Turn our backs for just a moment and Mike tries getting along with people. Goodness.


And thus by observing, do we change the results. Mike is Schroedinger’s Asshole.


They’re all a bunch of jerks when being watched, actually. Just a bunch of teevee watching and bullshitting in the kitchen for quite a while, while Matt kept shoving fivers into the arcade machine.

Here’s a shot of Morgan’s face. Just because.


A psychological component of ‘evil’ in this game, is complete sociopathia.

Sara responds employing etiquitte protocols handed down in our species for generations. This improves her Vector Stencil of 80′s Billy Idol stat.

Sara is quite surprised. I am, too- I didn’t expect violence to go down so quickly, especially without my involvement.


N… no. No thank you.


Oh, no. Pillow fighting. If anything from The Sims 2 could give a veteran Sims player PTSD flashbacks, it’s an undirected household doing little else but pillowfighting and sleeping.

Some more Morgan face. No reason needed.


Mike has been desperately shoo’ing Sarah, who appears to be dicking around on her mobile phone. They are totally going to be the best friends.


Dusk settles in, and Mike is the first to take a whack at cooking. Nothing gets a person in the mood for some serious, professional-quality cooking like a thousand-yard stare at the prep surface.
Incidentally, it’s 7pm, and Matt is still at the arcade, as indicated by periodic debits of 5 dollars from the family funds.


I adore how, in the Sim world, cheap-assed box mac and cheese is prepared by taking a knife to a wheel of cheddar and then the elbow pasta just comes flying out.

Just what is that bowl of green and yellow shit supposed to be, anyway?


This is Ryan, demanding that he get some divine assistance finding a path to the toilet he’s right in front of.
Sorry buddy. If the wolves get you, they can have you.


Not only did Mike succeed at cooking, she also apparently made a family batch. DOES SHE HAVE EMPATHY OR NOT?


Somebody went outside?

Sara, apparently. What’s she up to?

Looks like a stray cat doing what stray cats do… hanging out in the open, in a rain puddle, during a rain storm.

She is so totally going to kick it.

What the hell sense is this supposed to make? Is the cat *really* thinking about a classical music conductor? Is this a tortured reference to Tom & Jerry and the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody no.2′ episode?

Sara is not going to kick the cat, and is instead, going to give it a treat.

If you could hear the godawful cat noises this thing was making, you’d wish she kicked it.

They are making friends. Everybody makes friends in the rain today.


Dinner is always magical, with Ryan around!


Everyone else is eating, Sara is out brushing a shallow, materialistic cat in the rain.


Sara finally decides its time to hit the chow line, and now Morgan is running outside.


I’m not sure what the cat’s up to.

The cat is leaving.





Morgan ran outside to stomp around in a puddle, for fun. I am suddenly feeling like I may have poor priorities in life.


As far as autonomy goes, we’re off to a pretty solid start. Ryan cleaned up all the empty bowls others left, and Morgan came in from puddle-bombing to put away the leftovers. Part of the fun of letting Sims ruin their own lives is watching how absolutely foul they can dirty up a residence- it looks like we’ll be denied that.


Matt status: rather than piss himself at the arcade cabinet, he finds a public restroom.


While it is notable that Sara is also cleaning up after herself, the most concerning detail is that Terrence is annoyed that Sara is blocking his path… because he wants to look out that window. When not watching television or trying to talk to Sara, Terrence spends most of his time going window to window, just gazing out. We should probably get him a telescope.


Okay what the hell’s going on here?!

Ryan is coughing a lot, and Morgan looks irritated…

“No more of that purple fart cloud shit or so help me!”

Now, Ryan is apparently cold. I was totally going to guess that was happening next.

They have a good chuckle! Because it totally seemed like they were buddying around!

Ok forget it. I have no idea what the hell happened or why anything about anyone whatever.


Everyone’s queueing up for bedtime. Even Matt is getting a cab to head home.
There is a slight logistic problem, if you will.

This is the master bedroom. One double bed.

This is the second and only other bedroom, with a single twin.
There are going to be problems.


Ryan beats Morgan to the single twin.

Dude’s packin’.


The other three are stopped for a moment, because I think every one of them was gunning for that bed before Ryan snaked it.
Heh. Snake. Because… forget it.


Ryan gives no fucks as the remainder of the household wheels about him in indecision and despair.


Morgan is the first to pull his head out of his ass, and head to the doublebed and sweet barefoot Jesus in a valley of broken glass the boy is ripped!

Mike and Terrence also redirect to the master bedroom…

Mike doesn’t want to get in bed with him.

I don’t know which I’m laughing about more… that Terrence gives no fuck and is happy to leap into bed with Morgan… or that he loses his hair in his pajamas.
I love really bad outfit randomization.


Matt’s back, and for both lacking a place to sleep, they do the next most rational thing, and have a conversation in a room where someone’s trying to get rest.


Mike crashes out on the couch.

Midnight finally hits. Our two bedless Sims will have to keep themselves preoccupied until something they can sleep in, frees up.

Sara takes a bath.

And Matt resorts to watching videos on his phone on the front porch, probably for lack of anywhere inside the house to do so out of deferrence to sleeping Sims. What a good guy.


The university promo bucket still sits out there, unappreciated, unutilized, and pointless anyhow because the household can’t afford to put anyone through higher education. Much like the house I grew up in.

Day 1 – A Game About Gamers on the Internet on the Internet (so fricken meta)


Here we are, street-level with our freshly newborn family, thoroughly reminding us they are creepy little robots in a creepy little suburb about to lead weird, broken little lives.

But, let’s back the perspective out a bit, and get a view of the world in which their awkward, troubled lives will be played out.





It’s a pretty reasonably well laid out little town. I’m a bit leery with how many cul-de-sacs I can see here, as that is usually where background-operation Sims and their cars can get stuck like so much lint in a trap, and assassinate performance. This particular world has a lot of popular support however, so the implication there is that the modder did due diligence at ensuring good pathing. We’ve got nraas ErrorTrap running as a mod as well, so hopefully our bases are covered best as possible against lousy base code.

Here’s our urban complex. While it doesn’t look like a sprawling, exciting metropolis, it does look like a modest upstart city with enough crap to keep the average self-centered attention-deficient American preoccupied.

A little slice of the Ozarks / bayou. I hope a cannibalistic witch, or Jean Claude Van Damme’s badass ol’ uncle from Hard Target lives in there.

A lighthouse atop a small bluff, and what appears to be some rich asshole’s upscale contemporary property.

Across the bridge from the lighthouse and what must be the alpha-rich asshole house, more rich asshole housing. This must be the beta-rich asshole community. I think I see some little rich assholes on their front lawn…

They are fricken realdolls.
Ok, back to the tour.

Some quaint, rural shit right here. If I didn’t have the music disabled I would bet some Sim-Toby Keith would be trying to muscle its artificial, racist, hyper-nationalist warbling onto my speakers.

Right next to the countryside, just like real life, some upscale San Diego beaches.

And just over from the beach, is what I’m sure is some crass amalgam of a Disney fantasy park, and lots dedicated to showcasing the shitty vampire / supernatural fanservice EA packed in to pander to the Twilight / Hampire Diaries / unhealthily obsessed with Jensen Ackles demographic.

And in the middle of it all, the burbs, with a smattering of small-town flair.

One thing before we let the clock start, the game is insistent I have a look at the ‘weather stone’, which is some kind of ‘Supernatural’ feature.

That’s it. Right there. That weak-ass petrified treestump looking thing. Thanks game, don’t know how I would’ve started without this reference point.


Alright nerds. Showtime!


Ryan learns to fly before anyone even learns to walk.


Terrence breaks the ice with Sara, presumably to discuss books and build a pretense of depth.

Morgan’s face will never, ever betray an emotion we will understand, I think.

Dude is bringing it down to the old school. You know his intellectual prowess obligates respect.

Then…

While contemplating irradiation, Michael starts sneaking up on Ryan with a sinister look on her face. Ryan however appears completely aware of this.

Yup. Pay no attention. Just stalking about with an evil glint in the eye, nothing to notice here.

“Must’ve been nothing, clearly no one is watching, I’ll just casually dig out my nose.”


She springs, shrieks, and my god that face!

Ryan is startled. How, I don’t know. That was the sloppiest stalking job I’ve seen since watching a four year old play an Assassin’s Creed demo in a department store.

…and their friendship is off to a great start.

For contrast,

Apparently, Sara does find conversation about books and obsolete writing tools interesting, and improves relations with Terrence.


Matthew and Morgan meanwhile, haven’t moved from the spots they materialized on.


To spite me, Morgan runs over to Sara and says ‘Borchyporch!’ and it improves their friendship.


What the hell. Welcome to the first ever episode of ‘Everybody Loves Sara’.


Well, except for Michael, who just shit-talked about someone angrily, but nobody apparently noticed.


Maybe it’s ‘Nobody Likes Michael’?


Here comes the college llama guy, the in-game mechanism to teach the player about ‘College Life’ features since nobody can be bothered to read a god damn manual any more.


What the hell?





Alright… so… what were the boys running for?

Television.


The llama poops a bucket of paraphanalia, Sara and Morgan continue bullshitting in the rain because that’s what you do, and it’s probably best if we remain unaware of what is on Michael’s mind.


Michael makes the first move on llama man! This apparently improves her Stencil-Cut Vector Graphic of 80′s David Bowie rating.


Sara and Morgan meanwhile are quite possibly discovering they don’t like each other much at all.


“Fuck it let’s go watch TV too!”

They manage as best they can with the sparse, default furnishing that came with the lot.


Since we have gotten an adequate view of the ‘livingroom’, here’s a shot of the kitchen.

Here is a shot of the remaining livingroom space. A bland, anemic, empty gap because they are all poor.


Michael and the llama are still going at it out front.

Yes, Michael. ‘Da-zingy woobles,’ indeed, well said.

Things carry on this way for about a few Sim-hours.

Llama had to leave, and Michael is back to menacing, cartoon villain finger-steepling.


Michael joins the television crowd and suddenly my video game becomes a harrowing, ironic allegory.


Suddenly, everybody wants to talk to Sara again.

They all (except Michael) queue up and mill about her, having brief conversations one at a time. I imagine I am describing this in David Attenborough’s voice, with Jane Goodall handling the camera.


This is a melancholy trend.


In an activity that finally breaks from the pattern of talking to Sara or watching TV, Terrence looks out a window.

And so does Ryan.

To further compound and illustrate how delightfully surreal the can be, my 8 year old son passed behind me, and says, ‘ice cream trucks in that game are stupid, who’s going to buy ice cream in the rain?’ Who, indeed?

This guy.
So the game must have been thinking, “oh, you think THAT’s weird? THAT? Well let me tell you something…”


He buys the ice cream, vaporizes, then rematerializes in the back of this cab.

Where the hell are they going?!

The cab is totally gone.


Matthew gets out of the cab here, half way across town. Looks like getting ice cream sends a Sim on some kind of adventure-fugue.


He takes a cab half way across town, in order to sit at a public picnic table for an unassociated roach coach. In the rain.

This. Is. The Sims!

Prologue

The world in which our story will take place, is “Legacy Island 2″. As you can see from the description, it’s a pretty good representation of all the base expansions. ‘Seasons’ isn’t represented, but I’m sure it’ll represent itself without the world needing any particular modifications.

It is worth mentioning mentioning at the start here, that the last time I earnestly played The Sims 3, the most up to date expansion I had was ‘Late Night.’ The game has expanded quite a bit, and I’m sure there are many surprises waiting for me. I heard that alien abduction and man-pregnation has returned; let’s hope for that! We could use a bit of realism.

We have seen the faces and ‘every day’ outfits that were generated for the selected ‘volunteers’… two based on actual pictures put up on facebook, two based on hitting the ‘randomize’ button for lack of pictures, one based on a gender-flipped electric guitar legend just because that’s a pretty fun concept honestly, and one based on seeing just how anime-girl a Sim could get. And Michael, I know what a futanari is; if the base game had any capacity for that, that’s what you’d have gotten.
The next and final step past making a face and randomizing outfits because who has time, is ‘Personality’. Now, I don’t know you people from a hole in the floor, so the traits will get randomized, and the ‘favorites’ will be whatever the game populated on its own. ‘Lifetime Ambitions’ won’t choose themselves however, I will have to decide those myself.

I will actually expend the effort to see what actual birthdays are via facebook profiles.

Michael Hatch
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- Angler – When I grow up I wanna be, one of the harvesters of the sea…
- Avante Garde – Pretentious vandal.
- Clumsy – This’ll be good.
- Evil – This’ll be better.
- Frugal – This’ll be about as exciting as a parental lecture on spendthrift, I’m sure.
Lifetime Wish: ‘Street Credible’ – Basically, turn into Banksy. The corpse of Andy Warhol shambles the streets of NYC looking for someone to strangle over this, I’m sure.

Key Lime Pie, classical music, and the color ‘Lime’. Amusing continuity for a random seed.

Sign: Libra

Sara King
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- Charismatic – Affable. Everyone knows what charismatic means so I used a word that most folks might not.
- Diva – Great. This is what happens when talk shows and reality programs become driving forces in our cultural make-up- we get ‘diva’ as a personality trait in a Mary-Sue life simulator.
- Friendly – Looks like Sara is filling out for house diplomat.
- Irresistible – This will probably be good.
- Virtuoso – Considering the Jimmy Page thing I thought the coincidence a little too creepy and odd, but it stays.
Lifetime Wish: One Sim Band – When in Rome, right?

Cookies, electronica and the color gray. That’s probably 3/4ths of the Overblood Replay demographic, too.

Sign: Capricorn – Her birthday’s not public, so she gets Jimmy Page’s sign.

Matthew Arnold
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- Frugal – Great.
- Great Kisser – Noice.
- Green Thumb – A botanist!
- Loser – This will go great with the Great Kisser trait.
- Vehicle Enthusiast – Brilliant, because this reconciles perfectly with having a green thumb.
Lifetime Wish: The Perfect Garden – largely because ‘Chess Master,’ ‘Megacorp CEO,’ ‘Alchemist,’ and ‘Guy that Made a Lot of Nectar’ don’t fit the given traits nor do they sound particularly fun to achieve.

Aloo Masala Curry (wow, that’s pretty specific), ‘Geek Rock’ (another insufferable Weezer fan it seems), and green. GREEN. I can’t tell if I’m hitting random or my installation of Sims 3 is achieving self-awareness.

Sign: Taurus. No birthday visible in Matthew’s profile. Colorado has been making all sorts of ridiculous national news (see: Norwood in particular), so you get Taurus because it’s a lot of bullshit.

Terrence Vitali
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- Bookworm – Oh how exciting!
- Brave – Just what a bookworm needs to be!
- Brooding – Just what a brave person needs to be!
- Clumsy – Just what a… no. The continuity for that joke ends here.
- Unflirty – Hahaha. Great. Conclusion at the end of this list- he’s a Final Fantasy JRPG protagonist.
Lifetime Wish: Professional Author – What ‘brooding bookworm’ that can’t ever seem to get laid isn’t claiming they’re also working on their own book?

Philly cheesesteaks, French because only the French use an accordion (really, the mouseover tool tip says ‘French’), and orange.

Sign: Virgo, because no birthday on the profile yet again, and ‘brooding, unflirty bookworm’ says this one is probably dying a virgin.

Morgan Land
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- Easily Impressed – Terrence will at least get one follower on with his dark, mysterious intellectual facade.
- Loves the Heat – Okay then.
- Schmoozer – A suck-up.
- Vegetarian – And, insufferable.
- Workaholic – This bodes well for at least one person in the household keeping a job down.
Lifetime Wish: The Animal Rescuer – he wants to end up a crazy cat lady.

Tri-tip steak (haha, nice one, game), ‘songwriter’ music (I have no idea what the hell that means, I’m guessing Harry Chapin / Jim Croce / James Taylor which have an actual category called ‘folk’), and pink. This dude’s a glorious mess.

Sign: Gemini – oh thank goodness, a dude actually put their birthdate public.

Ryan Beeler
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- Dislikes Children – A fairy that doesn’t like children; must have worked at Disney.
- Genius – I’ve got nothing.
- Neurotic – A neurotic genius that doesn’t like children… we’re either witnessing the emergence of a Seinfeld walk-on character, or a cameo for a Kevin Smith movie.
- Party Animal – Seinfeld out, Kevin Smith in.
- Workaholic – Another potential breadwinner.
Lifetime Wish: World Reknowned Surgeon – two reasons for this choice. One, a couple of the other ones were already wishes for other Sims, and two, what was left over kind of sucked.

Macaroni and cheese, electronica, and the color violet.

Sign: Aquarius, because it’s another profile with the birthday hidden, and I’m out of inclination to be creative at this point, this is what the game defaulted at.


Here they all are! I have included the facebook profile images of the selected volunteers so that you know the point of reference I was afforded when creating these Sims.
Clockwise from bottom left: Ryan Beeler, Morgan Land, Michael Hatch, Jimmy P*cough*Sara King, Matthew Arnold and Terrence Vitali.


This is their move-in budget. One person all by themselves has a move-in budget of 26,000; a family of six gets the same amount of money. Bootstraps, people.


We are grabbing this nice, spacious and humble lot, and paying for the furnished option because I don’t want to deal with decoration. True, hardcore Simming right here.


There’s us! The little green dot in the middle of a microscale allegory for cookie-cutter suburbia.


Planetfall.




This is going to be great.