orikes: (miranda)
[personal profile] orikes

Prologue - 1.0 - 2.1 - 2.2 - 2.3 - 2.4 - 3.1 - 3.2 - 3.3 - 3.4 - 3.5 - 3.6 - 3.7 - 3.8 - RECAP
4.1 - 4.2 - 4.3 - 4.4 - 4.5 - 4.6a - 4.6b - 4.7 - 4.8a - 4.8b - 4.9 - 4.10

It's done! Finally. Jeebus, this one was like pulling teeth.

The majority of the pictures for this one were gathered at the same time I sorted pictures for 4.10. I was actually intending the events in this one and the previous one to cover one update, but I quickly realized I had too much for just one update. For a while I was thinking doing a double update, but I'm really poor at those.

So, 4.10 got done first and came rather easily to me. I took about a week or so off, then started working on 4.11. I soon realized that I didn't like the flow, so I rearranged some of the scenes. After rearranging some of the scenes, I decided I needed a little bit more of the Waltons in there, so I quickly shot the scene with Aeric and Heather playing chess. On top of this, I still hadn't decided how to handle the simself part of the story. I knew I needed to reveal that the lil'simselves weren't growing up like they should, introduce the newly added simselves, and reveal the dual pregnancy of my simself.

I tried working on what I did have when I could, but it was really slow going. I had the scenes with Micah and his family written about a month ago. Ian's scene with Hugh was written last night about a half an hour before I uploaded.

Part of the problem I ran into was that this update didn't feel as exciting to me as the previous one. It felt like 4.10 had gotten all the cool scenes while this one got all the filler. That's not quite true, but I never got my brain into gear. This one never flowed. I'm okay with how it turned out, but it really was like pulling teeth.

That said, I'm still really glad to have it out there. Ash and Ava are finally in the story, Ian's plot line has moved along, Star's a teen, and things are moving forward.

Let's talk about Mercedes.

I've always intended her to be a bit of a spoiled princess and she plays the part well, but as I wrote this, I found her becoming a bit darker than I think I'd originally intended. On one hand, it works well with some things I have planned for the future, but on the other, it makes me nervous. Even as obnoxious as Ophelia was, I think Mercedes is going to be more what people expected Ophelia to be.

Don't get me wrong. I like Mercedes. She's really fun to play and most of the kids in the hood are friends with her, but the story is guiding me to take her in a specific direction. Part of it are the faces she makes, like above. I think it has to do with her personality. 3/10/10/1/3. Not as mean as they come, but that lack of playful points really does something to a sim.

It helped me figure out how to work in more of Louise and Star's relationship. One thing I wanted to get into from the beginning was how close those two are. It's actually very important for some of the things to come.

Not to mention, they really are best friends without much help from me. Louise makes friends easily to begin with. It's the combo of her outgoing and playful points, I think.

Regardless, I want to cement the idea of them being partners.

Let's talk about Nathaniel and my simself. I think by now, everyone will have correctly guessed that the Monroe girls I showed in the Gen Five cast list are indeed the children of Nathaniel and my Simself. The Monroe last name comes from the county I live in. I decided I didn't want to use my real last name. On top of that, Henrietta and Irondequoit are both the names of local towns (if one had been a boy, he would have been named Brighton or Webster).

The interesting thing about this plot point is that some of it has been planned for a very long time, but other parts were completely off the cuff.

Nate was actually already pregnant when the hood melted down. I hadn't shot the scene where he drank the treatment, but I knew it was coming back in October. The thing is, my simself wasn't anywhere close to the plot.

The 'father' was going to be Kaylynn Langerak. While she and Nate didn't have the best boltage, he kept rolling face wants for her. Never an engagement or marriage want, but he definitely wanted to spend more time with her. I debated for a long time, but finally decided to go forward with it. I've always wanted to see how her genetics would work with another sim's.

But then the hood melted down and I needed to do a rebuild before Nate had even gotten his first bump. That's when things got weird.

Rather than making my simself a townie like I had in the previous hood, I decided to move her into her own house. It'd be easier to use her for certain scenes and it helped slightly fulfilled my real life desire to have my own place. Nathaniel showed up as part of the Welcome Wagon, and their first interaction was a flirt. No chat, no joke, nothing. Just a 'Hit On'.

Thank you, ACR.

From that moment on, they started stalking one another. Honestly, my simself was the one he has had the best boltage with out of all the dates he had to get his LTW.

I really waffled about what to do. On one hand, it was really weird to think about breeding my simself with one of my sims, especially since I've been really careful about mixing simselves with the legacy sims. On the other, it was obviously what he wanted. Kaylynn didn't even show up as the maid for the Thayer house when I hired them a made. They got Remington instead, I think.

So, I gave in to my sims demands.

Of course, they weren't through with me just yet.

Playing her house, I invited Nate over. While they were making a beeline for the hot tub, I pulled out insim and got ready to impregnate Nate. I chuckled to myself as I realized they were actually woohooing in the hot tub. I hit the button and got an oddly long lullaby. It went about twice as long as it normally does.

I think you can see where this is going...

So, the exact moment I used my godlike powers to get Nate pregnant, he knocked my simself up.

I can't remember if it was Marina or Jenn, but someone got an earful on AIM that night. I couldn't stop laughing.

Let's move on to the other simselves. I know some people have been asking me to get back to the lil' simselves and what's going on with them.

It's been hard working them back into the storyline. For the most part, I try and keep their roll limited to a supporting plot line and comedy relief. After all, simselves can be hysterical at times, but it's very easy to alienate readers by spending too much time focusing on your 'friends'. Since the events in 4.7, 4.8 (both parts) and 4.9 were pretty heavy, there really wasn't room to include the simselves. As I said above, I'd intended 4.10 and 4.11 to be the same part, but the update grew into two rather quickly.

The fact that they're stuck as children right now is partially due to the rebuild. I had fully intended to play them and grow them up with the fifth generation kids, but with everything I had to do for the rebuild, they got shuffled off to the side. In fact, they were the last sims to be added back into the neighborhood.

Eventually I started thinking about how behind they were and realized I could use it. It worked out as a twist to the plot and will let me work them in a little slower than I would have if they were growing up with the kids this generation.

It also gave me an excuse to bring in some new simselves.

"Are you sure I have to share a house with them? Can't you give me my own place? I could share it with a certain Vetinari in a hat."

Sorry Di. No Indy in this 'verse at the moment.

Jamie, I have the feeling that you get this a lot in your own hood too, right?

Just because, have some cute Oz-Toddler picspam. *melt*

And howabout a little Jo for even more cuteness?

I wish I could have spent a little more time with her in the update, but there was so much I was trying to fit in. As it was, I barely got it down to 127 slides. Jo's definitely going to get some focus down the road, though, and she's continuing the tradition of strong willed youngest girl (Victoria, Persephone, Miranda, and now Josephine).

The scene with Jo's temper tantrum was all in-game. The only thing I did was some fancy photoshop work to get rid of a couple of unwanted thought bubbles. One moment she was giggling and happy, the next she was screaming at Elijah because she was in energy distress.

Fake-Romance Sim Elijah was sad. :)

I am HORRIBLE about getting infant shots. When I started working on this, I realized I had no good pictures of Miranda and Dean holding both Ash and Ava. Unfortunately, infant pictures are one of the hardest things to fake in a dummy hood. You can't age a toddler down to an infant (as far as I know) and getting a new baby to use requires saving right before the birth and exiting again and again until you get the right genetic combo.

I would have liked a better picture of the Whedonberry twins as babies, but I decided to go with what I had.

(This is why you also never seen Moon in the witch scene from 4.10. By the time I shot that scene, she was already a toddler, so I had to fake it with Katelyn looking in the crib.)

Ah, the witches. You can thank Stacie for this particular plot line.

See, I knew Dean and Miranda would have fertility trouble which is why there's that scene in 4.9 where she asks for a baby and they realize it's just not happening. Stacie asked me how I was going to resolve it (since I'd already shared pictures of Ash and Ava in LJ at that point) and I realized I had no frigging clue. I didn't have a plan. We talked a little bit about how she's going to handle it in her hood and inspiration struck. Like lightning. I stood there gape mouthed for a long moment before I began to cackle.

The only question I had was whether Dean was going to realize what he had agreed to and purposefully foil Starla with twins or if it was going to be an accident. In the end, I decided to go with Dumb Luck. It seemed more Dean that way.

Finally, Ian and Mary.

I've had Ian living with Mary since JULY of last year. I can't believe how long it has taken to get to the point where I can start sharing some of his story and where I'm going with him. Part of that is because he was, y'know, dead. But still, I've been really wanting to explore more of what's going on with him and the vampires. Especially Mary.

Mary and Robi are my favorites of the Grand Vampires. I don't think I've seen her really get a focus in anyone else's story before, so I'm glad to work her in. She's also been great to drop the information I need out there about the vampires.

This picture was a BITCH to get. You'd think it would be easy since it's just the military career reward, but the base point is actually about ten squares away from where the sim actually is. I'd try and move him into position and he'd snap to the ground. In the end, I had to build a wall and rest him on the wall. I also couldn't get him on an OMSP for this.

All that for ONE picture. RAR.

I actually shot the scene with Ian in Lisa and Hugh's house twice. I initially shot it in the original hood at their first house. The pictures were usable, but after the rebuild, I realized I wanted to move them to a better house. So, that meant reshooting the scene.

I'm glad I did. I like the pictures I got MUCH better.

The important thing was to have Ian and Hugh interacting. There was no way Ian would have been able to go much longer without seeing his son.

I actually wanted to have Ian teaching Hugh to walk, but for some reason I was having trouble getting that to happen. In the end, I settled for Ian teaching him to talk and playing Peek-a-Boo.

Finally, I leave you with another picture of melty cuteness. Ian's an awesome dad, even if he can't live with his son. :)
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June 2009


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