Return of the Sims 2 Sims!
Simdale Valley’s timeline will soon be resuming in Sims 4. I am working to make this happen with as little disruption as possible, considering the translation from the Sims 2 game engine. Here’s the new page for Sims 4 Simdale Valley.
The three main obstacles to resuming Simdale Valley, a rotational neighborhood, have been: 1) the lack of a suitable neighborhood , 2) the lack of the toddler lifestage, and 3) the culling/progression from households not currently being played (babies are born and age to child in non-current households, and sims die in non-current households, without notice, and are culled).
Suitable neighborhood: Willow Creek, Oasis Springs, and even Newcrest, just didn’t resembles the basic topography, latitude, and features of the Simdale Valley of my imagination and its Sims 2 incarnation. However, from the pictures and descriptions of Windenburg, the new neighborhood coming in November, it seems like a good fit for Simdale Valley’s mountainous and quaint feel. Although I have not seen pictures yet, it has been publicized that it also includes an ultra- modern city section, which could work well for parts of Port Prominence. I am currently “staging” sims and families in Willow Creek, building their homes, getting them to as close to the relationships, life stages, skills, and experiences of their sims 2 selves, as I can. When Get Together is released in November, I plan to move them to the new neighborhood, if it is suitable. If not, I’ll decide then whether to keep them in Willow Creek and Magnolia Promenade instead.
Lack of toddler life-stage: At this point, I will just have to incorporate ages 2-3 into the child stage. The transitions from baby to child, and child to teen, are currently very abrupt and I still hope for toddler and pre-teen stages to be added to the game. The upside of Sims 4 is that the child life stage is, even without additions to the base game, more robust, in my opinion than the child lifestage in Sims 2.
Culling/Progression of Currently Unplayed Households: Dark Gaia’s no culling mod is working out well in the Tesla’s save, and in testing, and I am planning to play with all aging off to prevent any unwanted progressions in currently inactive households. It seems I will also have to play all the way through each pregnancy and infancy, before changing households, unless I use the auto-pause pregnancy mod. My preference is to use the absolute minimum of mods. This will result in temporary out-of-sync ages for babies who are supposedly born at the same time, but I’ll catch it up during the child stage. Sims will be aged up manually (birthday cake?) when it is time to move to the next lifestage. Playing this way, the death of elders will lose it’s randomness (and with aging off, even active elders won’t die), but if so, I plan to roll for elder deaths, the way Maisie does, to compensate for that. My hope is to eventually figure out a way to turn aging on in active households and manage rotation so that aging can happen naturally, but not cause jumps in age in currently non-active households.
As I have begun to set up each family, it is clear it is going to take a while for these brand-new sims to have the experience and skills of the sims they represent. From now until November, I am playing them rotationally with all aging off, to get them up-to-speed. I decided against using cheats for skills and relationships, because I am convinced that the process of gaining the skills and relationships impacts their functioning as a integrated sim, and they don’t gain as much individuality or cohesiveness as a family when they are just given the skill or relationship level.
In actuality, these are definitely, new and different sims than their Sims 2 counterparts, and will have big and small differences, although I am working to choose traits and aspirations that work together to have as similar an effect as possible to their sims 2 selves. After doing my best to pick a combination that represents them well, if they are different, then they are just going to be a little different, rather than using full edit mode in CAS to change them.
I’m starting extended families like the Joneses, and the McElveen/Endeavor family off in one household, to help build those family relationships.
For example, last week I played the McElveen/Endeavor extended family household, and was quite pleased with Declan and Laney’s new selves, although they aren’t exactly the same. In Sims 2, they were both Fortune/Family and Family/Fortune aspirations, which I always interpreted to mean they were ambitious and driven to make not only themselves, but their children, successful by somewhat traditional standards. They had high chemistry in the Sims 2 system, so although Declan worked long hours and Laney was on the school board, on hiatus from her high power business career, and caring for a very demanding toddler, Charlotte, they still found time for each other.
Here are their Sims 4 selves. Declan wants to be fabulously wealthy, has great business savvy, is ambitious, romantic, and self-assured. Laney wants a successful lineage, easily maintains family relationships, and is an active snob who is a bit squeamish. (She was very active, serious and low on nice points, in Sims 2).
This was Laney and Declan, sneaking off during his sister’s wedding (Simone and George). I found this quite endearing since they are both so “proper” most of the time. Their basic demeanor and autonomous actions so far have been a good translation, I think, from their Sims 2 selves.
Laney’s sister, Naomi Redbird, is pretty different than Laney. Both sisters are very independent, but Naomi is opposite from Laney in that she is a non-committal sim, who is very outgoing and alluring, whereas Laney is a bit more stand-offish. In the Sims 2, Naomi had the massively attractive bonus to her Romance aspiration; in Sims 4 she has the alluring trait from her Serial Romantic aspiration. One difference is that the sisters are getting along a little more smoothly in Sims 4 than they did in Sims 2, although they were also close in Sims 2. I attribute this to Laney’s domestic trait (easily maintaining family relationships) as well as not having the mean trait in Sims 4, although she only had 3 nice points in Sims 2. However, that wasn’t, to me, an essential part of who she is, compared to the other traits.
In Sims 2, Naomi ran a salon, Birds of a Feather. In Sims 4, she’s going to have a yoga/massage business.
Here’s Naomi’s Sims 2 profile picture:
Expected Timeline for Simdale Valley:
September – October 2015: Profiles for each sim and family will be posted
November – December 2015: Lot tours and maps
January 2016: Simdale Valley timeline will pick up again, as much as possible, where it left off