Coded blue.

Saturday 23 July 2005

Screenshot Sims2

Pic of the day: College life at SimCity U. The cantina doubles as a study room.

Sims2: Making a novelist

I tried once before to make a novelist Sim in Sims2 University. This did not work out too well: Nerevar fell in love with a cow mascot at college, then later became a superhero and shacked up with a superheroine. OK, "shack" may not be the most exact description of their shared domicile. But anyway, the guy was well and truly distracted from his writing career. And I never found out whether Sims can make a living from writing.

In truth there were more than these in-character reasons. The game lacked any progress indicator for the writing, which would go on for days (Sim time at least) even if you have no other job. Then when you are finished, you cannot instantly sell it, the way you do with paintings. Instead you have to wait for a phone call from the publisher... A call that never came, and I still don't know why. Perhaps it was because Nerevar only had a cell phone. Evidently the publishers, being these backwards luddites, only called the land-line phone.

This time around, I have a couple better tools. In addition to the wrist- saving macro tools, I have downloaded a novel progress bar like the one you have doing term papers. (I believe I got this too from Variousimmers, I believe I only got the augmented computer elsewhere, and some skins.) Also a bug fix that lets you get paid even if the wrong person picks up the phone. Although I once again start with a single Sim, Marton Writingale. But the sad truth is that single Sims are kinda boring, and doubly so when they sit in front of the computer all day. Hey, why are you looking at me like that?


Marton is a rather shy and serious Sim, very nice and balanced in activity and neatness. To further minimize distraction, I have given him a whole new neighborhood for himself. But first he must finish university.

Being the first player character in a dorm is always a challenge, since the default furniture is quite cheap and there are no musical instruments yet. My Sims use their grants to upgrade first their bed (so they can do with much less sleep), then a musical instrument or more. Playing for tips raises fun at great speed and trains the creativity, but it can also raise some serious cash in a large dorm. And even when the townies play, there is a small trickle of money.

Creativity is also the skill used for novels. It is impossible to write a bestseller without first having maxed that skill. That is, before you even start on your novel. Since writing novels is not fun, you should use the instruments first. (In the real world, writing novels is fun if you participate in NaNoWriMo. Perhaps some Sims2 modder will add that option to the computer one day. ^_^)


I made Marton a Knowledge Aspiration Sim. He then chose Maximize 7 Skills as his life goal. As a university student he eventually gets the opportunity to change aspirations once. This makes Knowledge an appealing first choice: Knowledge Sims love to do assignments and write term papers, and wake up wanting to raise their skills if this is needed for that semester. They may easily want to do two assignments a day, one in the morning and one after class. Getting rewarded for doing what you need to do anyway... What could be better?

But for his adult life, Popularity may be better. Popularity and Fortune both get the Great Novel want, but Fortune Sims also desire jobs, promotions and buying expensive furniture, none of which go along well with writing novels. Popularity Sims can maintain their self- esteem by gaining a friend now and then or hosting a party. This should be possible without giving up writing. Well, in theory. Nerevar fell into the traps of work and love. But surely our new hero will do better!

Well, I changed Marton's aspiration to popularity when the matter came up (after the second year, I think). His lifetime want is now to become a celebrity chef. I think that kinda fits him. A sports career would have been so out of character. Now, the guy has mercifully shown no interest in romance at all, but with the long ponytail, the dreamy eyes, and the pretty blond boy who calls him every single day... well, he is not very macho.

Anyway, he spent his remaining time at the university studying and increasing his creativity skill. He maxed out just around the time of graduation. I locked his Sell a Great Novel want, and then sent him home out in the grown-up world.

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Objectifying women
Two years ago: Before auras
Three years ago: Killing innocents
Four years ago: Books in my head
Five years ago: Gross health update
Six years ago: Mocking nanotech

Visit the for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.

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