orikes: (Miranda)
2009-06-07 03:34 am

Watching Television - Surprise - Grilled Cheese

This is obviously REALLY late and the only reason it's sneaking into the round up is because I'm the one that puts the round up together. The benefits of being me, I guess? :}

Anyway, this is my response to the Sim_Scenes prompt from this past week. I got the idea right away, but was only able to find the time to put it together today. This time, I'm using some Maxis sims.

Click here for Surprise, Cheese, and TV! )
orikes: (Star)
2009-05-31 04:11 pm
Entry tags:

Chandler Platz GO HOME!

Hey look! Sunday picspam is back and it's actually Sunday!

I had hoped to have my update done by the end of May, but it's not quite there yet. It's close, but I've still got about 2/3 of it to write. Being that I'm easily distracted by shiny objects, I ended up doing a little bit of playing this weekend. While I wish I had finished the update, I'm not feeling too guilty about playing. It had been a long time since I'd cracked open the hood and just played.

Luckily, there were two houses that hadn't been played through winter yet, so I had something I could do without getting too much further ahead of myself.

Chandler Platz will you please GO HOME!? )
orikes: (Bleh)
2009-05-29 04:51 pm

Haunting - Acceptance - Money

Here's my response to the Sim_Scenes challenge prompt this week - Haunting * Acceptance * Money.

This one involves newly created sims just for this prompt. I thought about doing it with Maxis sims, but decided to stick with originals for now. This time I got hit pretty hard with the 10 picture limit. I got it trimmed down to 10 without losing too much, but there were definitely some little bits I miss.

Haunting ... Acceptance... Money... )
orikes: (Star)
2009-05-25 05:15 pm

Weekend Rundown

There's not too much to say, but I had a blast this weekend.

I got started a bit later than I would have liked. This is partially because I still have trouble judging time when I don't get up until noon. It's amazing how much of the day you lose when you wake up when most people are having lunch. Still, I got on the road around 6ish. This meant I didn't get down to Binghamton until after 8:30ish. Ah well, no one had started anything until I got there anyway.

Most nights there were enough people to split into two groups, while most of the afternoons were a little smaller so we had one game going on. Mostly we played Marvel Saga which is a low key super hero game using a deck of specialized cards rather than dice. A bunch of us had continuing characters we brought into that, so it was quite a bit of fun.

The other game system I played was the new(ish) Star Wars system that Wizards put out last year, I think. That was also great fun and I'm thinking I'm going to pick up the books. It seems like a system that I could actually get a handle on running.

All in all, it was a weekend of good people, good games, and better food than you usually eat at a convention. I'll be running into quite a few of these folks at Origins at the end of next month, so I'm looking forward to that.

Yay for geekdom. :)
orikes: (Bleh)
2009-05-22 04:03 am

Geeks and Games

Just as an FYI for those interested, I'll be out of town this weekend, starting tomorrow. I'm headed down to Binghamton for a weekend with some gaming and con friends. It's being referred to as 'KevinCon', in reference to the guy hosting it. It should be a good time. I'm expecting to get quite a bit of good gaming in.

I think they're also expecting me to run something, which is always nerve wracking for me. I do an okay job with running a roleplaying game, but I always get stage fright. On top of that, I have the tendency of trying to making everyone happy, so I spin a good yarn, but I'm not quite adversarial enough running the bad guys. Ah well. It should still be a good time.

At this point, I'm not sure if I'm coming back late Sunday night or Monday afternoon. I have to work Monday night, so I'd rather sleep in my own bed Sunday night/Monday morning, but if I'm too tired to come back on Sunday or having too good a time... We shall see.

Everyone in the US have a great Memorial Day, everyone else have a good weekend. :)
orikes: (Moon)
2009-05-21 04:13 am

This is a Test. Only a Test

I'm flailing at this whole Dreamwidth thing, and as a result, I wanted to see if the cross posting thing works. From what I understand, there's also a way to import all my LJ posts to DW, but I didn't see that in a quick view of the account settings. What I did find was the thingy that enables cross posting.

Dreamwidth seems to be catching on. I don't know if it'll overtake LJ by any means, or really that it offers all that much that's different from LJ at the moment. Regardless, I'm clinging to the bandwagon and seeing what's what.
orikes: (Default)
2009-05-19 07:27 am

Thanks Marina!

Yay for bandwagons!

Not quite sure what I'll be using this for, but for now I'll be poking at this lightly to see what's what.
orikes: (streaker)
2009-05-17 03:46 am

Deception Pass

Okay, so I'm a little late to the party here. The initial episodes to the story were published back in 2005 before I even started playing Sims2. Regardless, I'm reading it now and if you haven't, you should be too.

What am I referring to? Aikea_Guinea and Rosewalker's story Deception Pass.

I'd heard of it, but never really followed up to find out what it was about. I knew that the models Aikea Guinea uses for Club Crimsyn were named. I heard people refer to them by name, so I guessed they probably came from the story, but my curiosity still wasn't piqued. Then the other night, Marina hit me over the head with a baseball bat and told me to freaking read it. Because it's good.

Much of the last twenty-four hours has been spent reading and reading and reading and getting quickly more and more caught up in the whole damn thing. It's good. It's VERY good. I give it very high recommendations. Because it's good. Should I say it again? It's exceptionally good.

The story revolves mainly about two sets of friends (Mary and Emily, then Tristan and James) and how their lives get intertwined in the town of Deception Pass. It's got a supernatural bent that is Buffy-esque. There's angst, there's humor, and there's some wonderfully crafted characters. There are some eminently quotable lines, but I decided not to repeat them here because they're a little spoilerific. Instead, I just quoted them back at Marina and squeeed. and she taunted me with hints of Episode Two. See, all the reading I've done, I've only gotten to the end of Season One. (I said it's Buffy-esque. It's even set up like a television show.)

They recently switched from Livejournal to Dreamwidth, so I'm going to explain a little bit on how best to follow it. I linked the main site above, but not all the links are showing up properly like they should. Probably a bug from the move. It was still worth it to deal with to follow the story. Anyway, the best way to follow the story is to use the archive system. That will get you the entire story from the get go and you won't miss any parts.


At the top of each entry is a 'next' button. Feel free to use it, but pay attention to which part you should be going to. I would say the next button only works about 65% of the time. I basically kept the archive open to the section I was on and just checked back to make sure I was in the right part of the episode I was on. The early episodes are only a couple of parts, but the later ones are up to 20-30 parts. It gets meaty and complex. Very yummy.

The beginning is a little rough with the pictures and pacing, but that's to be expected with any ongoing story. We're all learning as we go, and considering when this was started there were no animation hacks or freezer clocks or pose boxes, what was achieved was pretty impressive. Recently, they did a 'remastered' version of the prologue and the earlier parts of the story. I don't recommend reading that first because it's kind of confusing to try and figure out where you should pick back up on the story with the original episodes. Still, if you want, it's located here

That's enough babbling about that. In regards to my own update, any plans I had on writing this weekend went out the window. I've got about 10% of it written, so it's coming along. Hopefully by the time I'm actually done the Exchange will be working again.

Yeah, I'm not holding my breath. :)
orikes: (miranda)
2009-05-15 05:26 pm

Sim_Scene Challenge

Here's my response to this week's challenge over at [livejournal.com profile] sim_scene, Crime - Disappointment - Photograph. There have been some AMAZING responses so far and I'm really looking forward doing a compilation post on Sunday. Before that, though, I recommend checking them out.

For mine, I used characters from The Pseudo Legacy, but this isn't really canon. This is more based on the LTWs they got after the rebuild, which I haven't made a big deal out of but really amuse me. Still, when those words came up as the prompt, this is the idea that grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. You KNOW these two would do this.

So, without further distraction...

My response... )
orikes: (wing)
2009-05-12 02:52 pm

Sharing the Awesome

Check out the whole site: Playing for Change. It's got even more videos like this one. I particularly liked 'One Love'.
orikes: (miranda)
2009-05-11 04:55 pm

Minor Picspam and an Update on the Update

First off, for those who missed the last post, I highly suggest checking out [livejournal.com profile] sim_scenes. We just uploaded our first weekly challenge today and Jenn posted an awesome run through on different falling interactions the game provides. I've been too busy to contribute like I want to, but I'm really excited about this community. (And for those that aren't already aware of it, you should check out [livejournal.com profile] sim_spiration which might as well be the companion site for writing instead of picture taking. Both are quite awesome.)

I don't really have too much to share at this point, but I have been working on the next update. As a result, most of the pictures I've been taking are not sharable. Still, I've got a couple for you. Like my favorite picture of Moon so far:

There's more, and a sneak peek inside. )
orikes: (streaker)
2009-05-08 02:44 am

New Community - Sim_Scenes

[livejournal.com profile] ndainye contacted me tonight with a very awesome idea. There are plenty of sites out there to help promote sim storytelling on the writing side of things, but there's not as much out there to help specifically with the visual side of things.

Most of us have detoured from straight game-play storytelling into trying to capture the scenes we come up with rather than just what our sims give us. Staging scenes can be incredibly frustrating, difficult, and also very rewarding. What hacks to use? How do you get your sims to behave? How do you get the scene to look just right? What's the best way to make it all look natural? How do you get the perfect picture to evoke the scene you're seeing in your head. Maybe you've got the words written down already and now you just want to get that translated into a visual.

Sim Storytelling is as much about the visuals as it is about the words, and now we've got a community where we can talk about just how to get those pretty pictures to make the story even better.

Go here: [livejournal.com profile] sim_scenes
orikes: (streaker)
2009-04-28 04:13 pm

Misunderstandings, Picspam, and Babble

Last night I was about to become very righteously indignant.

I was cruising my regular stops on the cc trail and saw a new house on Simcastic Designs that made me stop. It looked JUST like a house I had built. From what I could tell from the pictures, it was exactly my house, just remodeled with different paints and a gutted interior. I was ready to be pissed.

Theirs <--> Mine

Before making a fool of myself, though, I downloaded it to make sure. Once I got it in game, I realized that they were not the same lot. First off, theirs was built on a 3x3 lot while mine was on a 4x4 lot. This doesn't necessarily mean anything since the lot adjuster makes it easy to change a lot's size, but there were more differences than just that. Their foundation is obviously set up differently than mine.

Ultimately, their creator probably just found the exact same house plan I did. So much for my righteous indignation. Oh well. Theirs has really pretty landscaping, and I do like a couple of things they did, but I think mine is laid out better inside.

Anyway, in other simming news, I've been working on plotting out what I need for the next Pseudo update. I've got probably about 25% of the pictures I need, but before I start shooting or reshooting anything, I want to make sure I know where I'm going with it all. I know where I want to get for fifth gen college, but I've been floundering figuring out what I need before I get there.

In the mean time, here's some Behind the Scenes/Picspam on Isla Lostundo.

Because I can't post anything without sharing additional picspam! )
orikes: (Default)
2009-04-26 05:17 am

Tales of Isla Lostudno - Chapter One

“Sweep first before your own door, before you sweep the doorsteps of your neighbors.”
~Swedish Proverb

107 Images and many more words. Some swearing, some adult themes. )
orikes: (SexyShoe)
2009-04-17 02:58 pm

Off Again!

In a couple of hours, I am off again to another small con. This one's in Buffalo. I've never been to this one, but I've heard good things about it. So, I'll be gone the rest of today and all day tomorrow. I took Sunday off for the con, but we decided not to stay for it, so I should be around on Sunday. I kind of needed the day off.

Anyway, don't burn down anything without me.
orikes: (fairy)
2009-04-14 04:34 pm

Bad Intentions

So, the Maxis Store, which is already a sore point with many in the Sim community, recently included two 'exclusive' items among its latest releases. One is the baby floor mat seen above, and the other is the Baby Bouncer, seen below. For those paying attention, both of these items were initially sneak previewed with Apartment Life sneak peeks, but disappeared from play testing almost immediately.

When that happened, there was quite a bit of grumbling about how mean EA/Maxis was to tease us with something like that. How evil of them! As I usually do with those type of arguments, I rolled my eyes and pointed out that it was more likely that the developers decided the items weren't ready or they were having some sort of problem with the items. I highly doubted that anyone employed by EA/Maxis was cackling evilly in their lair, rubbing their hands together because they were screwing the players over yet again.

At the time, someone on one of the boards I follow threw out the conspiracy theory that they were pulling them so they could sell them in the store and make even more money off of them! Because that would be truly evil.

Well, now they've appeared in the store, and I still don't think EA/Maxis is evil. Incompetent maybe. Short sighted, probably. Hardly evil.

As with all store items, I snagged them from MATY. (Just because I don't think EA/Maxis is evil doesn't mean I'm going to give them more of my money for items they should be handling differently. I've paid for every stuff pack and every expansion pack. The store goes beyond my limits.) After seeing them in my game, I can see why they were pulled from AL. They're not done. They're cute, but they feel unfinished. The meshes look kind of blocky and the textures are half assed. They have some unique animations which are very cute (and why these items still require FT,AL or MGS), but they're limited.

My hunch is that the developers pulled these to work on other aspects of AL that were more integral to the EP. Because of the sneak peeks, though, people kept demanding them, so someone pulled them out and dusted them off for the store without really polishing them up like the original developers probably wanted.

Short sighted? Yeah. Evil? Not really.

I get really tired of all the grousing about how evil EA/Maxis is. There's definitely things they could and should be doing to better improve their relations with their customer base (getting rid of SecuRom, porting things to Mac faster, doing more thorough bug testing), but I just can't assume there is malicious intent behind stupid moves like this one. The mob starts carrying their torches and pitchforks and I just start rolling my eyes. If the company was as bad as some people make it out to be, the game wouldn't be worth anything and I'd have left it behind a long time ago.

Anyway, that's my mini-rant. The items are cute for what they are, so download them if you want. Just don't expect something as polished as what would come with an EP.
orikes: (miranda)
2009-04-09 04:24 pm

Vintage Sims

Earlier this week, I discovered my old storytelling folder from my original neighborhood, Isla Lostundo. Scanning through the pictures, I got nostalgic for those old sims.

Ah, the good old days.

Back when Florence Delarosa would stop by and check things out like a good neighbor. )
orikes: (wing)
2009-04-06 09:29 pm

Pure Undiluted Awesomesauce

I have no idea what the titles actually mean, but this is freaking awesome. This made me grin from ear to ear like an idiot. A very happy idiot.

Sometimes life should be a musical.
orikes: (wing)
2009-03-30 10:10 pm

Non-Picspam Musings

No picspam this week. Between my freetime being eaten up by SimCon and working on the update, I didn't get a chance to go into the game to do anything week.

SimCon was a blast. Apparently there attendance wasn't all that much more this year than last year, but there was a lot more going on and there seemed to be more energy to things. The new con staff succeeded in bringing in a bunch of out of town folks to play and run games, which really livened things up. The variety killed a couple of old standby games like the D&D Tournament (I've played it in the past, but only because there was nothing else to do), but I think things will balance out eventually.

Friday I met a couple of out of town friends at a restaurant before the con. We had a little bit of time to get caught up, and then made our way to the college campus to register and make our 7:30pm game. I had no fears of missing the game since one of my dinner companions was the guy running it. The game was a continuation of a semi-on going game with room to bring in new people. It's based on a version of the Marvel universe, so all the characters were kids either from the Xavier Institute or the Massachusetts Academy (home of the Hellions, Emma Frost's students). It was quite a bit of fun.

Saturday I made it back to the con by noon. I hopped into a Dark Refuge game. Dark Refuge is a home produced system that is a bit weird but quite fun with the right GM. The guy who wrote it came to SimCon and he's a hell of a GM. Unfortunately, he doesn't turn anyone away from the gaming table, so it usually ends up being quite a crowd and I'm not fond of all the people that show up to play. The scenario he set up was completely derailed by one of the other players, so several us spent most of our time apprehending and executing that player's character for being a traitor. The GM is a great guy and I really enjoy chatting with him, but I'm not sure I'll play the next time a con comes around that he's at.

After that, a crew of nine of us headed out to Dinosuar Barbecue. Mmm. Barbecue. We had a long wait, but the food and conversation were good. Mmm. Ribs. Cornbread.

Once dinner was done, it was back to the con for the 7:30pm game. This was again run by one of my friends that came into town. The game was advertised as a cross between the Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Flies. He used the Modern d20 system, but that was really more a method to get the game across than anything integral to the game. The characters were all children between the ages of 12 and 14 being sent from England to Canada in 1940 on the ship SS City of Benares. If you know your WWII history, you might know where this scenario was heading.

It was a fantastically done scenario. We spent probably the first third of the session on the ship and dealing with it fleeing, being attacked, and sinking from Uboat fire. The characters all ended up in the same life raft, which eventually arrived at an island that shouldn't have been there. From there, they discovered goblins, dragons, and two warring Faerie Queens who wanted the children to decide the war for them. Each of the characters was set up with reasons why they might want to stay or they might want to get back. It was a fantastic game, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. In the end, the characters made the choice to help the side that would mean they had to return back to the real world, but would allow technology and science to continue. Choosing the other side would have allowed them to stay in the magical realm as children forever, but would have probably caused the real world to stagnate as well. For some of the characters, this was a difficult choice.

Finally, I went back on Sunday. There wasn't a game open to play, but there were enough of us looking for a game, that my friend ran a pick up game of the Marvel characters. This time the kids ended up in California hunting down a rogue mutant that was wreaking havoc on the Malibu beaches. Sand, sun, and big purple monsters! Once that was done, everyone went their separate ways to return home or, in my case, head in to work. I was exhausted by the time the night was over, but the weekend was worth it.

During this weekend, I also discovered the joy that are Starbucks flavored frapuccinos. I'm not sure if there was any coffee in these milkshake like thingies, but damn were they good. Very dangerous to have a Starbucks right there on campus.

I'm still hoping to get my update out by tomorrow, but no guarantees. Jamie distracted me with a documentary on the French Revolution. If I don't get it out tomorrow, you can blame it all on her. ;)