Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Britt - Another Fresh Start

The last time we visited the Britt family Damien Britt had just moved his family to Twinbrook away from the family home in Sunset Valley. Adrianna worked at climbing the thief ranks in the Criminal career and took daily mud baths to hold off the Grim Reaper so she'd have enough time to get to the top. Eugenia gained a little brother when Damien decided he wanted another child and adopted Edvin. We also dealt with various small glitches that seemed to indicate the game file was less than healthy. After a bit of deliberation I decided to be proactive about it, copied them to the library, and moved them into a fresh version of Twinbrook. They've lost all of their previous relationships, including the family ties they still had before to the Medinas, but hopefully this will fix the issues I was having with them last time. For story purposes they still have their family in Sunset Valley, they just never see or talk to them anymore.

The only changes of note that I made to their house was that I got them the gardening station that came with the Stones Throw Greenhouse so they could care for their small garden easier, and I went ahead and built a small building out back for the sauna. Moving to a new file reset them to Sunday of course, so none of them had to work or go to school. They spent the day doing whatever they wished - I had Adrianna working in the garden, and later on set Damien to writing, but I let the kids do whatever they wanted for the most part. Edvin wanted to learn fishing and take a class in it, so I sent him down to the grocery store to do that. In checking ages, I realized it was Eugenia's birthday, so early in the evening I got her a cake and she aged up to Young Adult. She got the Eccentric trait.

After her makeover she got on the computer and arranged to join the Criminal career to start working toward her LTW. By then it was getting rather late, so the whole family headed for bed. Eugenia had her first day of work the next day and due to an opportunity to stay late that boosted her performance she got a promotion as well. Hopefully her whole career will go this easily.

It was also Edvin's birthday that day. He went over to a friend's house after school for a little bit, but then came home in time for the family to have a small party for him. Adrianna had to leave for work, but Eugenia and Damien were there to cheer for him. He aged up to Teen and gained the Photographer's Eye trait.

Eugenia kept up her streak and got another promotion the following day. Too bad Adrianna can't advance like that. I'm sure it won't last for Eugenia either. I sent her to take a Charisma class after work, which was one of her wishes, and then to the gym to work out. Meanwhile, Edvin had his first day of High School, came home and did his homework right away, but then hit the juice bar. Might have to worry about him when Late Night comes in...

The next day Edvin got an opportunity at school that asked him to get a part time job after school. I hadn't really planned for him to do that, but since he seems to be at loose ends then I sent him to the grocery store to get a part time job there. It'll keep him occupied at least.

Friday night Adrianna and Eugenia both earned promotions at work. Adrianna was now up to level 8 and Eugenia was at level 4. Saturday passed fairly uneventfully with Eugenia trying to meet a guy she was supposed to befriend for work. She missed him that day, but managed to find him at home the following day. She talked with him until they'd become friends and got the dirt on him that her boss wanted. It gave her enough of a boost that she got another promotion that night.

Adrianna did well that night as well. As she got to know the people she was working with, they trusted her more, and her perfomance started to go up faster. An opportunity to stay late and prove herself gave her the added push she needed to get the promotion to level 9. Only one more promotion left until she's reached the top and will be ready to face the Grim Reaper when he comes.

I had Edvin spend the night skilling, mostly to keep him away from the juice bar and the stereo. His Party Animal trait gets very annoying sometimes. While I had him doing that, he spun up the wish to become an International Super Spy (Level 10 Law Enforcement, Special Agent branch) as his LTW. I locked it in since it's one that hasn't been done/taken yet. I'm amused at the irony of a kid whose mother and older sister are both criminals wanting to be top in the Law Enforcement career.

The next few days passed fairly uneventfully. Eugenia got another promotion on Wednesday morning which put her at level 6 already. I also discovered a whole bunch of money tree seeds in Damien's inventory and had him plant them. They're already well off, but they'll certainly never have to worry about money now, at least as long as they stay on this lot.

On Wednesday afternoon I finally let Damien call to retire from his job. He's been at the top of his career for awhile now and if I hadn't had to switch them out into a new file I likely would have let him retire sooner. As it is though, I had him keep working for awhile mainly so he could make some friends easily by meeting and befriending his co-workers. Now that he's done that, it was time to let him enjoy his remaining days.

Again, not much happened for the next few days.  Adrianna was off on Wednesday and Thursday nights so I was largely just keeping her busy. On Friday I had her Work Hard in hopes that she'd be able to max out, but she ended up getting arrested and pulled out of work early, so it didn't happen. She gets arrested a lot, whereas I don't think Eugenia's been arrested even once yet.

Eugenia did get a promotion that night, as well as an opportunity for work that wants her to travel to China to learn Martial Arts and then get to level 5 in the skill. I locked it in, but will probably wait a bit to do it. Her promotion took her to level 7 and gave her the chance to choose which branch of the career she wanted to follow. She chose the Evil branch since that's her LTW.

Saturday night went better for Adrianna and she finally got her promotion to level 10. She of course immediately rolled the wish to retire, which I will most likely let her do. She's 88 days old currently (I've been holding her at 86-88 days old for awhile now with the mud baths) and even though she was originally much older than Damien he's caught up with her. Both will be allowed to age normally now and we'll see how much longer they live. Both have been relatively athletic, so they might well hang in for awhile yet. She got a little statue as a reward for making it to Master Thief and when I went into the family inventory to pull it out I found this little guy in there. No idea where he came from - she must have picked it up on one of her jobs. I did get messages from time to time that she'd managed to snag something extra for herself.

As soon as she got home I had her make the call to retire. Damien and Edvin came to cheer for her. Interestingly, her retirement pension is more per day than Damien's is even though he was making a better salary at the end than she was.

On Sunday Adrianna rolled up a wish to see Eugenia get married. I'd been thinking that it was probably about time to get Eugenia hooked up with someone if I was going to, so I had her call her Best Friend Betty Wills up and invite her over so I could see if there was any possibility there. Betty came over, and it turned out that she was single. Supposedly she was also straight, but she was interested when Eugenia started cautiously flirting with her. Things progressed quickly then (it helped a lot that they were already best friends from work and I didn't have to build a relationship) and soon not only had they had their first kiss, but Eugenia proposed and Betty accepted.

Monday was Edvin's birthday and I decided to throw him a party. I'd hoped to make it a combination birthday party and wedding, but even though Betty showed up at the start of the party, she just dropped off some food she'd brought and left almost immediately. I think she was really supposed to be at work then. Undeterred, once all the guests had arrived and had a chance to mingle a bit, I sent Edvin to the cake. He blew out the candles and aged up to Young Adult. He gained the Heavy Sleeper trait.

The following day I had Eugenia invite Betty over early, hoping to be able to squeeze in a wedding maybe. I held off on doing a quick private wedding though because I'd really like to do it "right" and throw them a wedding party and get them married more formally like that. So, since I expect conflicting work schedules will make that difficult at best for most of a sim week right now, I tried to at least get Betty moved in. It was a no go though because by the time they'd talked enough to be up to Sociable to get the Move In option Betty had to leave for work. Hopefully it'll come up faster next time.

Tuesday was also Edvin's first day of work, and like Eugenia he hit the ground running and got a promotion on his first day. He's going to have to work on skills though so his rise should be a bit slower than Eugenia's has been since she already had Athletic mastered by the time she entered the Criminal field.

Eugenia was arrested for the first time on Tuesday night. Seems it always happens when it's most inconvenient. She was due for a promotion that night which she didn't get because of it, and it will most likely mess with being able to get Betty over in the morning to try to get her to move in. Ah well, not much to be done about it.

Eugenia did make it home in time to grab a bite to eat and then invite Betty over. Oddly enough, I never saw Betty arrive at the front door, but after a little bit noticed that Eugenia was in a group with someone. I found Betty out back standing in the garden. Eugenia was able to interact with her and ask her to move in. She readily agreed and it turned out it was her day off. A wedding party might be called for later in the afternoon. Betty is an adult and only 4 days from becoming an Elder. I might try to figure out something to do about that. She is Flirty, No Sense of Humor, Hot-Headed, Easily Impressed, and a Born Saleswoman. Her favorites are Latin music, Hot Dogs, and Yellow. Her LTW is Descendant of da Vinci. She is currently at level 2 in the Criminal career though I'll probably have her quit that to focus on the crafting she wants to do.

Then weirdness happened. No matter whose portrait I clicked on, it would only show me Betty's stuff on the right though it would put the highlight around the other portrait like I had it selected. The camera would center on that person when I clicked, but the info wouldn't change and soon it was like I had everyone in the household selected. I tried resetting the lot and that didn't fix it. Saving, exiting to the main menu, then reloading the household did.

One of the first things I did after getting it working right again was have Betty call to quit work. I'm thinking I'll have her go into the Inventor career instead to be more in line with her LTW.  The next order of business was to arrange a wedding party. I had Eugenia make the call and schedule it for later in the afternoon with Edvin would be home from work, but early enough that she'd have plenty of time for the party before she had to work. Everything went off without a hitch and before they knew it they were saying their vows under a wedding arch while others looked on.

Sadly, that evening proved to be Adrianna's last. Grim came for her late in the evening after Eugenia had left for work. She was 91 days old (I think). I'd hoped she'd have a bit longer, but apparently it wasn't to be. At least she got to see her daughter married as she'd wished for. She contributed 5 points to the challenge as well as enabling the hidden trait that Eugenia has (Leaves No Messes - child of a maid)

This seems like a good place to end this round even though I'm kind of having fun with this family right now. Eugenia came home with a promotion that evening which puts her at level 8 of the Criminal career. When she maxes out and finishes her LTW I'll probably switch her to some other career because the Criminal career seems plagued with a few annoying glitches (like frequently saying they're missing work on a night they're supposed to be off, losing performance if they don't go in but not gaining any for being there on those nights then having to manually cancel them out and send them home when their shift is done because it doesn't automatically do so). Not sure yet what I'll pick for her, but I'm thinking about having her do fishing so she can get some deathfish so perhaps someone can learn to make Ambrosia. In the meantime, I'll just keep Betty's age down with the mud baths. Here's a look at how my score stands currently:

Next up will be the Medina house I think. Until then, Cheers!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Baker - Working Hard and Getting Older

In our last visit with the Baker family, Heathcliff passed on, Topher aged up to Young Adult and married Carly Landgraab, he and Becky moved in with Carly and her brother Malcolm and step-mother Bebe, and Becky and Bebe completed their LTWs. The family left the Landgraab mansion behind for a somewhat more modest house on the coast on the other side of town, and Carly became pregnant with her and Topher's first child. I decided not to kick Malcolm and Bebe out so I could get some points out of them first, but am pushing to finish Malcolm's LTW as quickly as possible so I can let him marry his fiancee Madison so he can go live with her and their son Bobby.

Going forward, I intend to continue pushing Malcolm with his career to finish the LTW, and also to work a lot with Topher to finish his LTW. Once their LTWs are completed I'm going to consider Ambitions content completed enough to install Late Night. Hopefully things will go smoothly, because I'm anxious to get moving with the expansions.

It was early on Saturday morning when I started the game up and after taking care of morning tasks for the household, the day passed without much of note happening. Topher worked on his sculpting and Malcolm did stylist work around town. He had several private appointments with people in their homes, so he didn't even have to go into the salon. He was off the following day so he set to work with the drafting table to keep gaining job experience that way.

Shortly after midnight on Monday morning, Carly went into labor. Like most sim husbands, Topher freaked out about it for a bit, then decided to go do something else. Becky came in after finishing her mud bath and did a freak out, then wandered off. Even Heathcliff, who was out of his grave that night, came in to freak out about Carly being in labor.

In due course she gave birth to a baby boy that she named Felix. He got the traits Perceptive and Slob, and his favorites are Indie music, Fish and Chips, and Green. Unless they roll persistent wishes for more children, he'll likely be their only child. At the very least, he'll be the only one until this house empties out more.

Later that evening, Topher mastered the Sculpting skill while working on an ice sculpture. This meant he'd completed 1/3 of his LTW. He still needs to master Inventing and Painting to finish it.

On Tuesday Malcolm spent the day doing makeovers for people at their houses. After his third appointment he got a call asking him to come to City Hall to collect a service award for having styled 10 sims. He hurried downtown to pick it up. Afterwards he went to the salon and earned another promotion after doing a few makeovers there. That took him up to level 7 of the career and a good bit closer to achieving his dream.

Tuesday was also Carly's birthday. Since this wasn't really a big one for her, I opted to forgo a party in favor of focusing on Malcolm for the day pushing his career. Therefore, she simply aged up on her own to Adult that evening while she and Topher were stealing a few romantic moments in the foyer.

Malcolm continued to be my focus for the next few sim days and I worked to get him to the top of the Stylist career as quickly as possible. He hit level 8 a few days after Carly's birthday after giving Graham Gallant a few makeovers at his home.

That evening it was Felix's birthday. He didn't get a party since I was preoccupied with Malcolm, but instead aged up on the floor of his nursery with a little bit of help from his mother (who simply took him out of his crib, laid him on the floor, then walked off to do something else).

The family started with toddler training almost right away and by the time Bebe put him down to sleep he'd been potty trained. They let him work with the playpen and walker the next day to learn how to walk and talk. After that, Topher took him down to the library and read all of the toddler books with him even though it was very late.

I was amused to see that the Library's copies of the toddler books were still laying around on the tables from when Heathcliff had brought Topher down here to read them.

Malcolm of course continued the push to get to the top of his career so he could marry Madison before she died. Topher began working on his painting skill for his LTW when he wasn't busy with his son.

By the the time he left work the following Saturday Malcolm had worked his way up to level 9 of the Stylist profession. Just one more promotion and he'd have finished his LTW and would be able to marry Madison. He had the next few days off but spent them working on his drafting board to keep making progress toward his goal.

Sunday was Malcolm's birthday. He was so busy at his drafting table all day, and the rest of the family was busy with their own tasks, that there wasn't a cake and he simply aged up to Elder on his own that evening. He'd never bothered to change out of his pajamas all day, so aged up into pajamas.

Topher had an opportunity to create an ice sculpture of Whitney Kauffman, but he had never met the man. Malcolm was acquainted with him, however, and he called him up and invited him over so that Topher could get his opportunity done. He then spent some time chatting with his sister and stepmother before returning to his drafting board.

Tuesday was Topher's birthday, and in keeping with the new trend for this household there wasn't a cake. He celebrated his birthday out in the garden with Carly, Malcolm, and Felix and aged up to Adult.

Thursday was Felix's birthday, and even though I spent the day with Malcolm as usual working on his career, I did manage to get Felix a cake so they were able to hold a small party for him with just the household members. He aged up to Child and acquired the Never Nude trait. Unfortunately it seems I missed getting a pic of the event once he'd become a child.

Friday was a busy day at the salon. There were a lot of customers, and late in the afternoon there were two simultaneous deaths. The Grim Reaper came for Eileen Marabel and for Graham Gallant. Personally I was kind of sad to see Eileen go, for she's a sim that I created and played for awhile a few years ago. I started the Bakers in the old save file I had for her and have found it interesting to see how her family progressed. She left behind two grown sons and a few grandchildren (I'm not sure how many exactly).

Malcolm could tell that he was getting close to being at the top of his career, so when he went home Friday night he had Bebe give him some massages that gave him enough energy to stay up all night working at his drafting table. By the time Saturday morning rolled around he had gained a good bit more experience, but not quite enough. His first appointment of the day proved to be all he needed however as finding little Katrina Dunbar a new pair of shoes gave him the last bit of experience he needed to push him to the top. With his LTW finally fulfilled he immediately spun up a wish to retire.

Malcolm honored the rest of the appointments he had that morning, one of which was to set up his son Bobby with a new hairstyle and wardrobe. After he finished the last appointment he called Madison to give her the good news, then headed to the salon. When he got home that night he called Madison again to invite her over, but she was at work. She didn't feel like coming over when she got off later that night, so he decided to go to her. He'd waited long enough to make her his wife and was determined to do so without any further delay now that he'd achieved his goal. They were married in a private ceremony in her living room, she in her nightgown.

She moved into the Baker household with Malcolm - originally I'd intended to move him out when he reached his goal and married her, but she's already 100 days old so she won't be around very long. She won't count toward the challenge at all.

The next morning Malcolm got a call telling him that there was a ceremony being held in his honor at City Hall and they wanted him to come down to accept an award for his contributions to the town. He hurried down there and was astounded to find a large crowd gathered at the steps. He accepted his award from the Mayor, then took the opportunity to announce his retirement (and made the call to retire).

With Malcolm taken care of, it was now time to turn my attention fully to Topher. He's already mastered Sculpting, and is up to level 8 of Painting, so he's made good progress toward his LTW. I did my best to keep him working on things that would add to his progress while I was working with Malcolm. I left the Inventing skill until last since that needs a bit more supervision given the chance of the sim blowing themselves up at the bench.

I'd left Malcolm downtown to chat with people as he wished while I went to work with some of the others and after a bit I got a message that he'd witnessed a death. I hopped over to him in time to see that Holly Garvin had died while he was speaking with her. Most likely  he'll be losing a lot of his friends soon (he already has been to some extent).

I took Carly down to the Stones Throw Greenhouse to buy some of the foreign fruits to plant (I added the produce cart from the Al Fresco Marketplace to the Greenhouse lot in this town) and to collect seeds. While I was busy with that I was suddenly jerked back to the house by Grim coming for Madison. Sad for Malcolm, but not unexpected given her age. He was still downtown, and though I immediately told him to come home, he didn't make it back to the lot and upstairs quite in time to see her go.

Monday was Becky's birthday. I had been keeping her as an Adult with the mud baths, but decided I needed to just let her age up since it wasn't likely I was going to do anything much with her at this point. She aged up to Elder on her own in their home gym which had become her favorite place to hang out.

The next day, I had Becky go and perform one last concert at the stadium before having her call to retire. It's not like she'd really been working for a long time anyway, but this way she'll get some kind of steady pension at least.

I also paused about here to do a few renovations on the house, in particular to eliminate the rear garage. This was mainly so I'd have room to use the growing station that came with the greenhouse since it keeps the plants watered at least besides having other nifty functions that help out a lot. The spot at the side of the house where I'd had the garden was too narrow to fit even the sprinkler in to keep them watered so they were having to hand water everything all the time which makes it take way longer than it needs to.

Early the following morning there was a bit of surprise when Carly found out she was pregnant again. I put Twallan's Woohooer mod back in for the risky woohoo and apparently they got "lucky" the first try with it, even with just a 10% chance.

Also that morning Topher mastered the painting skill which means he's 2/3 done with his LTW. He only needs to master Inventing now, and then I'll have him start sculpting again to get to the top of the Sculptor career. Currently he's at level 6 of that, but hasn't been working on it for a bit now.

Now that Malcolm is around the house all the time, and is widowed, he and Becky seem to be forming something of a romance between them. I'd noticed romantic leanings between them in the past, but always discouraged it since I was hoping to let him marry the finacée he already had. Now though, I'm not sure it matters so I figure why not let them enjoy one another if that's what they want. I may not actively pursue a relationship between them, but if it happens I won't stop it.

That night it was the end of the road for Bebe. She hung in a lot longer than I'd thought she would, making it to be 97 or 98 days old I think (I hadn't checked her age for a few sim days so I'm not sure how old she was exactly). Grim came for her as she was chatting with Malcolm out on the side porch. Can't say I was all that sorry to see her go, but...they'd all just stopped crying over Madison and now I was in for another two days of constant wailing. It gets old. She contributed 2 points to the challenge in the time I had her.

The next day was Felix's birthday. As usual I was bad about remembering to get a cake for him, so he aged up on his own in the entryway with his mother and a friend he'd brought home from school to cheer him on. He aged up to Teen and gained the Snob trait.

Early Friday morning Carly went into labor. As before, I had her stay home to have the child and after a bit she gave birth to a baby girl she named Radana. She got the Perceptive and Eccentric traits, and her favorites are Egyptian music, Hot Dogs, and Lilac.

This seems like a good place to end this part. I'd hoped to finish Topher's LTW as well, but that's going to take a bit longer. At least he has most of it done already and he's up to level 5 in Inventing already I think. So at this point I think I'm going to take the time to do another round through my various families and see what other points I can accrue before I finish up with Topher and get started on Late Night. Here's what my score looks like currently:

See you soon with the Britt family hopefully :)