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 Story ideas and prompts?!?

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Funny Clever Sims



Age : 47

PostSubject: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:45 am

I am not sure if this would be the place to post this, and if not please let me know if I have posted in the wrong place as I do apologize.

I see so many great stories and videos that are told with Sims 2, and love to learn how others play thier games and often think how do y'all draw your inspiration and what prompts and resources if any do you use to come up with, and help stimulate your creativity for your gameplay ?
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mac

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Age : 76

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:18 pm

Lovey, I'm not sure that this is the place to post, either. But I'll answer and Sugah can move the thread somewhere else if there's a better place.

That said, there are really no hard and fast rules on how to play or what stories to create. Toni in "Christoph Harbour" set up a story line that would have made the old soap "All My Children" seem tame. (When she was young(er), Toni kept a notebook on the life stories of her paper dolls - long before any of the Sims were even a glint in Will Wright's eye)

Ari had a Medieval 'hood, and people have 'hoods where people grow and fish for all their food. Ulli goes a bit for the supernatural. I play a pretty straightforward 'hood, not much supernatural at all - mainly adults, and I keep plying them with "green stuff" to keep them from aging to elder. Mind you, I have a h-u-g-e 'hood (over 500 simmies). I used to play a lot of celebrities, and seeing how their offspring turned out - sometimes with rather "unusual" results. See Agatha and Germain here. Often making a sim look like a real-life person introduces quirks that don't work out well in offspring. OTOH, I couldn't be prouder of Ruth - one of the prettiest sims I've ever encountered.

Mainly, I play my 'hood with no real overriding plan, staying alert for interesting pictures - often weaving a story around them. I had a lot of fun with the teenagers Fred and Toni - and now they're through univ and have a child of their own!  (There's also a sequence in the same frame with the simmie based on my RL wife - who posts on this site as 'maikkij', demonstrating crepes suzette.)

Sims 2 is really "Paper Dolls for Grownups". The limitation is only your own imagination. Just stay alert for "mini-stories" here and there and most importantly - have fun!

For example, this pic just happened while I was playing. What makes it funny is that the poor guy was trying to propose. (I'm sure something like it has actually happened in RL  )


Advice on pictures - a lot of us use Photobucket. Stop your game, set up background walls, rotate the view, and play around until you get a really good pic. Both in the Sims and in RL photography, it never hurts to get in close.

But mainly, the game is yours to do with what you want! Have fun! If you feel "challenged" making your own simmies, there are plenty of DDG (=Drop Dead Gorgeous) simmies on this site. For clothing, look here and here -  just for starters.


Last edited by mac on Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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okiedokieihooked



Age : 48

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:43 am

Hi Mac! okie here - also fee if you like;


sheesh 500 sims! awesome now I dont feel so bad. well currently I have none im starting over and gathering some goodies but my plans get so elaborate i just recently said to myself " you're going to start with 100 sims! well its kind of Sugah's fault, all you guys are so creative and make such great stuff that one almost has to collect it all! anyhoooooo... how do you do it? do some get neglected?
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mac

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Age : 76

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:44 am

okiedokieihooked wrote:
how do you do it?

Since you ask, I use a spreadsheet to keep track, details here I print it out in landscape format, around 12 families/page, although I'm constantly adding new - mainly from Sugah's!  wow!   (Best simmie creators there are!  )

I play each family for a season (5 days) and get through a page every 1-2 weeks. The whole 'hood probably takes around 6 mo. When a couple both reach career 10 and don't have any current children, I move them to a "retirement" subhood - 8 to a house, with a computer for email and a 'phone. They are still friends with the active simmies, walk by, and can be contacted by 'phone or email. Since I no longer play them, they don't age.

Does this sound like the method of an obsessive addict???  
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Funny Clever Sims



Age : 47

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:33 pm

Thank you for answerng my post Mac, and that is a great idea of putting them in a retirement subhood.  I have spent the past 2 days wandering around all of your individual threads on what you have going on, and you guys are so creative and I am having a great time exploring all of your fun posts.   I also ventured threw alot of the downloads and there is alot of great amazing things there, and my downloads folder will sure to be busting later.   I am planning on makeing a thread of my own soon when I get something together to post about.  I have been working on a custom neighborhood I build from Simcity 4, and I have it somewhat decorated, but no lots, and unfortunately I think it is too big for me to ever think of filling with lots. I want to try my hand at another one, something coastal and a bit smaller, one that I could possibly realistically fill with lots, and not be overwhelmed.

What I ideally want is a neighborhood I really enjoy playing, and one I can take time to build exactly how I want and take as much time with no pressure on playing right away.   I have explored premades, kinda got bored, explored neighborhoods others made, and again got a bit bored, and found some of the houses frustrating to put what I wanted in, and then lost interest.  I really want to find something that I stick with But I love love love this site and all you kind folks are just marvelous !!!!
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okiedokieihooked



Age : 48

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:05 pm

I totally agree lovey,

That IS a great idea putting them in a separate subhood - and Im going to follow your lead Mac! I separate them too under similar conditions bt never thought of the sub hood thing - Im actually just learning about that.I will also ck your link to the spread - you're my hero!

Oh and Lovey, sorry I digressed but you have to agree managing over 500 sims is very impressive! - for story ideas,  you should also try reading some of the challenges and try twisting 'em up a bit to make new excitement! There are lists at MTS and TSR. Also for pictures there are some really cool pose boxes out there too. Until now I've only downloaded and played - I always have stories and get attached and use challenge plots but I'm looking to try something new myself. Cant wait to see what you come up with!
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Sugah
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Age : 58

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:46 pm

Lovey wrote:
I am not sure if this would be the place to post this...

This is as good a place as any, Lovey, and probably your best bet.

Big shout out to Sir Mac and Fee for responding to this query!  

I believe this rather sums it up (per Mac):

Sims 2 is really "Paper Dolls for Grownups". The limitation is only your own imagination. Just stay alert for "mini-stories" here and there and most importantly - have fun!

Lovey wrote:
What I ideally want is a neighborhood I really enjoy playing, and one I can take time to build exactly how I want and take as much time with no pressure on playing right away ... I really want to find something that I stick with ...

I know how you feel. It has happened to the best of us.
That's the trick, isn't it ? ...
To create a Sim world filled with virtual people/families you rather fall in love with ... Whose lives you begin to really care about ...
So that you are intrigued and invested enough to continue visiting them and giving them a full, virtual life.

I am not terribly creative with my game play and remain in awe at how some folks approach their Sims 2 games.

Lovey wrote:
I am planning on making a thread of my own soon when I get something together to post about.

Excellent! Before you do, take a look HERE first.
And if you have any questions about posting or sharing images, feel free to ask in this thread you've started.  

 

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We're doing a fun experiment in SP genetics. 

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Funny Clever Sims



Age : 47

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:50 pm

Yes I agree okie 500 sims is amazing, and using a spreadsheet and all as well, that is a huge task in itself. Yes, I am exploring challenge ideas, and I have never really used pose boxes, but I really want to try them out. I have some ideas. but I am just trying to figure out what size of a neighborhood to work with, I know I will bail on a big one with frustration of trying to fill the lots, and a small one I feel to confined, so I am trying to figure out what I can do to make a medium sized one. I have tons of ideas, but I have trouble putting them together and creating something with them.
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mac

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Age : 76

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:37 pm

Lovey: Start with a neighborhood with a lot of building potential. Put in a modest number of houses. Quite a few starters, then some houses to move up into. Don't be afraid to put in several copies of your favorite house. Start with 10-20 families. As you find houses you like, add them, or as you need more places for families. Likewise, as you find - or create - simmies you like, put them into the 'hood. Think of the whole thing as a building process. My huge 'hood started small, then got out of hand! affraid

For houses, I am very fond of 7 Dove Rd as a starter, and the Queens Brook Blvd N Series as a good family home. The 500, 600 Fairview houses are also good starters.

Beware of what I call "Edifice complexes" - huge houses on huge lots with a flat screen telly in every room. They're there more to show off the builder and your poor simmies would need roller skates to navigate them. Remember, the most critical resource in simmies' lives is time. A smaller house saves time! Do take note, however, that if your simmie has a career involving a helicopter, the lot has to be at least two wide - there's a thread on this site about that.

Mainly though, enjoy!
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Cher64

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Age : 52

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:43 am

Grrr. I've been trying to write a post but there's a popup survey thing that's annoying the life out of me. It's right in the middle of what I'm trying to write, and it moves when I scroll. My popup blocker isn't working very well today. I apologize in advance for any typos, but I can't see half of what I'm writing.

I used to just pick a hood and plop 6-8 Sims in it, some already married and some not. Then I'd play with no plan whatsoever and get bored with it, especially once I hit the generation where all the offspring were related to each other. Rolling Eyes Then I'd try a little building (not my strong suit), then a little redecorating (which I love) of downloaded lots, then I'd go on a downloading binge, then play a while.

I discovered custom hoods with lots, and thought I'd try playing some of those. My favorite of those is PirriPirri, a coastal hood. I played the longest game I've ever played in that hood. However, I did take a break now and then to try something different in another hood. I made a couple and had them survive only by farming, to see if it could be done. It could, but it was hard! I then made Sims and had them make their livings by using the various crafting stations.

I found Sugah's Place at the same time Microsoft announced it would no longer support XP. I found a lot of help here about building a Windows 7 computer, and a lot of information about Sims 2 that I'd never seen before. I got very ambitious about setting up my new hood. Since playing themed hoods doesn't entertain me long-term, I chose a large one where I could set up several themes. I don't have any idea how to set up a map, so I'm quite impressed by those of you who can build your own!

It took such a long time to set up that big hood that I took breaks to just play (in another hood, of course). If you're interested, you can see the progress and the initial round of play in my game thread.

From reading other people's game threads, I got ideas about what I wanted to try. For example, Sugah had a Sim who loved to travel, so she lived in a little trailer. I think she worked just enough to finance her travels. I tend to micromanage my Sims and their relationships, but I read how Em put a bunch of Sims in an apartment building and let them find their own partners, so I've done some of that.

I've also entertained myself by forcing my Sims to learn to live in a certain home as it was designed, rather than immediately expand or move into a larger home.

I've never run a home business, or even operated a separate business for any length of time. I've never had a vampire or werewolf, though I did have a witch once. I plan to eventually do all those things with my Sims.

I tend to play too fast, and try to make myself slow down and enjoy the lives of my Sims -- inviting family and neighbors over, visiting community lots, taking vacations, that kind of thing.

The Offspring Project has derailed me from my big hood, but in a most fun way. I also did a modified version of an Asylum Challenge at MTS.

I've even taken inspiration from family. I had a Sim I modeled off one of my nieces, so she kept having children with different men and never marrying any of them. affraid laughin

So even after all these years, I have found a number of inspirations and ideas for playing and I'm sure you will, as well.
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SimEm

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Age : 37

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:33 pm

I know I'm late responding to this thread, but I thought it was a really interesting topic and didn't have time earlier to respond.

Well, there are basically two ways of doing sim stories.  Either you can write (or loosely plot) a story and use your sims to illustrate it or you can play the game, see what happens and let a story develop.  You can also do a combination of the two.  To me it sounds like you're looking for ideas for the second method and how to create an interesting hood that's fun to play.

I'm with you on not taking an interest in the premade hoods.  I always check them out at first, but when I find there's nothing particularly special about them I always end up deleting them and then starting my own.

I would recommend looking at different challenges to get started.  Here's a list I found on MTS, just by doing a google search for "Sims 2 Challenges."  Challenges are a good way to find inspiration for spicing up your game play and since it's just for fun you don't have to stress about following the rules, just pick and choose the parts that interest you.  If you're starting a new neighborhood from scratch, something like a Legacy, Prosperity, or Build a City challenge might be a good place to start.

I used to follow a few blogs that called themselves FSBS (For Sims By Sims), basically they would chronicle the happenings in their neighborhoods from the sims' point of view.  Some would set up rules for their hoods, like with local governments, their own calendars, aging and rotation schemes to make their households more cohesive and community like.  It's an interesting way to play.  You might search for sims 2 blogs or sims 2 FSBS and see if anything turns up that you can draw inspiration from.  Some of those blogs use ROS (random occurrence scenarios) to add more variety to their game play.  They roll for certain random events to happen each round and work those in to their game play and story telling.  

Those are really the two best starting points I can think of.  Other than that, some of my hoods just started with a couple of families and then I expanded as I needed too.  I wouldn't worry about building the entire neighborhood at first (personally, that would make me more likely to lose interest), but add houses and other buildings as you need them or want them.  I have a couple of neighborhoods with large maps that are fairly empty, but I just zoom in on or focus on one area to start with then expand as necessary.   Also sims have a way of endearing themselves to us, so once you start playing a household, especially one you start from scratch, it's hard not to get involved.

Quote :
Toni in "Christoph Harbour" set up a story line that would have made the old soap "All My Children" seem tame . . . Ari had a Medieval 'hood, and people have 'hoods where people grow and fish for all their food. Ulli goes a bit for the supernatural. I play a pretty straightforward 'hood, not much supernatural at all

And I have several neighborhoods so that I can do all of the above.  laughin

Quote :
Mainly, I play my 'hood with no real overriding plan, staying alert for interesting pictures

That's good advice.  I try to keep my finger on the Pause button so I can snap pictures of interesting, funny, unexpected things that happen.

Good luck with your gameplay!  I look forward to seeing what you have to share in your future gameplay thread!
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Funny Clever Sims



Age : 47

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:53 pm

Thank you SimEm for your detailed response. I did check out the challenge list and I have interest in a few, really considering the teen runaway challenge, because it seems like a decent easy way to start with a backstory. I really think that is my issue with story telling per say is that I always want a backstory to start with and there is always going to be a first adult sim. I think I am my own worst enemy with trying to have things "perfect" well perfect in my eyes, hence which is why I never accomplish too much , before giving up. I really need to learn to just relax go with the flow and just have fun with it.

I have also when spending some time watching some Let's Plays and collecting some pictures that inspire me to recreate. I recently did some craziness with Simcity 4 importing some real actual maps and converting them to small cities, and my plan in to throw in some roads and go from there, and spend less time trying to create my "perfect terrain" and in doing this I think it is going to add some real nice extra terrain elements that I would never have done myself, and also it would it is a good way for me to find a nice smaller terrain if that is how I want to begin instead of the large clunky ones I create and then get discouraged, I would like eventually to try something with a video as well, not sure I would want to be doing alot of speaking, but maybe some kind of storytelling with script of maybe some voice acting. I discovered a way to change my own voice to sound differently so I could possibly have differenct character voices/ I daddle around with video editing software as well occassionally.

I have so many ideas, but they mostly never come to fruition. I have also considered trying something like neighborhood starting with a teen ruanway type home and playing it out.. Thank you for all the thoughts and ideas though they are great, and I hope soon to have some new things to share.
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mac

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Age : 76

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:54 pm

Excellent advice, Em!

One of the bits of genius in the Sims (mainly TS1 and TS2) but also all of the SimCities, is that there is no concept of "winning". When Will Wright took his original SimCity to developers, they all asked "How do you win?" - "You don't" - "Goodbye". verklempt  So Will Wright started his own game company and the rest is history. It's interesting and some of us think it's significant that Will Wright was involved with TS1 and TS2, but not with TS3 or TS4

How do you win? If you the player, or as I call it "Neighborhood Administrator", are having an enjoyable time, then you're winning! Can't ask for much more than that.
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SimEm

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Age : 37

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:12 am

I can understand why you'd want a bit of backstory. It does seem odd to start with a sim out of nowhere with no past. It sounds like a challenge involving teen runaways might be a good place to start with that. It is easy to get caught up in getting things perfect to the point that you forget to let loose and just have fun with it.

I don't know if you'll find this helpful or not, but I've always liked to start with just a couple of sims and let them interact with and meet townies to get started. Then add more of my own sims as I need to or feel inspired to. That way you only need a backstory for the few sims that you start out with and you can let thing develop as you play. Even when I played TS1, I would invite a large group of sims to a lot or go to a community lot and just sit back and watch them interact. Sometimes it's fun to play attention to their interactions or the images and their thought bubbles and try to interpret them as a conversation. Sometimes I story or a character can develop from the types of things they talk about with each other.

That's so neat that you're able to make your own terrains. I've always been curious about doing that, but unfortunately I don't have SimCity 4. I got too excited when I found SimCity 3 among some of my brother's old games and things before I realized that wasn't the right version. Making videos sounds like a fun thing to do. It's cool that you could do your own voices. I think I would be too insecure to listen to my own voice on tape. laughin I've tried music videos with the sims briefly, but my older computers were not powerful enough for video capture.

Sounds like you have a case of too many ideas, too little time. I know how that can be. Good luck!

Quote :
How do you win? If you the player, or as I call it "Neighborhood Administrator", are having an enjoyable time, then you're winning! Can't ask for much more than that.

Amen to that! (er . . . brother laughin )
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Funny Clever Sims



Age : 47

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:06 pm

[quote="SimEm"]
I don't know if you'll find this helpful or not, but I've always liked to start with just a couple of sims and let them interact with and meet townies to get started.  Then add more of my own sims as I need to or feel inspired to.  That way you only need a backstory for the few sims that you start out with and you can let thing develop as you play.  

Yes this is the approach I am going to take. I think. ane let it go from there.

[quote="SimEm"]That's so neat that you're able to make your own terrains.  I've always been curious about doing that, but unfortunately I don't have SimCity 4.  I got too excited when I found SimCity 3 among some of my brother's old games and things before I realized that wasn't the right version.

Well, phooey it was not the right version, but I would be happy to try my hand at making a terrain for anyone here at Sugah's place if you have a specific type of thing you are looking for, and could give some type of a diagram of what you want. No promises of perfection, but I would certainly give it a try..

[quote="SimEm"]Making videos sounds like a fun thing to do.  It's cool that you could do your own voices.  I think I would be too insecure to listen to my own voice on tape.  laughin  

laughin Well, I did not say I was happy or secure about how I sound, but I did think it was funny how I could distory my own voice beyond recognition.

[quote="SimEm"]Sounds like you have a case of too many ideas, too little time.  I know how that can be.  Good luck!

Yes, most definately full of ideas that never flourish , but maybe one day :)

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mac

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Age : 76

PostSubject: Re: Story ideas and prompts?!?   Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:32 pm

Just to show what can happen unexpectedly, without any interference by the Neighborhood Administrator:

Dad's at work, mom's home with the toddler, and the maid is working in the home. Dad guesses wrong on a chance card and reduces the family funds to zero.

The maid is angry on not being paid, so she takes ---- the potty (and it was full)
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