Decisions, decisions

I apologize for the quietness lately. I’ve been working on Gnomesby, but very slowly and tentatively, because I’m not sure what I want to do with it. I still have a bazillion ideas — the problem is narrowing them down into something manageable. I want Gnomesby to be interesting and original, but I also want it to make sense. That means I can’t mix Victorian dresses with ’57 Chevies and gothic hairdos. The result might be mildly intriguing, sure, but it would be a little on the ridiculous side, too. This miniature world I’m creating has to have some kind of internal logic, or it’ll turn into one huge mess.

So I’m in still in the process of deciding what the look and feel of my town is going to be. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from downloading stuff like a mad fiend. One thing I wanted to try was using custom skintones. I’ve been hesitant to use them in the past for a couple of reasons: 1) I couldn’t find any I liked — they were all either too shiny, too realistic, or too odd-looking (some of the darker skintones have weird orangey undertones that don’t look natural to me), 2) infants and children with custom skintones can look pretty bizarre sometimes. I never wanted a bunch of freaky-looking kids running around.

But I wanted a different “look” for Gnomesby residents from the start. The Maxis default skintones are old hat, you know? (They’re sooo 2004 ;)). They’re also not very detailed, and they lack variety, with only 4 colors from which to choose. So I did some searching and testing. I eventually settled on skintones by Rensim (the Circonflex series). I’m not completely sold on them, as they are a bit on the shiny side, but overall, they have a good variety of shades and just the right amount of detail. Tonight I created Gnomesby’s first citizens using Rensim’s skins and took a few pics to see how they’d turn out.

I used the in-game camera because Snag-It wants me to purchase it again (and I can’t find the key they sent me when I bought it before). I might end up just buying it again. :-p (I know, it’s silly, but I miss my nice, clear images.) At any rate, here are Adrian Cliffe, his sister Zara, and their cat, Lucky.


Adrian is going to be one of the professors at Gnomesby’s college. He’s loosely based on a character I created for a non-Sims story I wrote (who was loosely based on Jack Davenport. I love him!).


Adrian is wearing Rensim’s anti-shine blusher but still has a rather glossy sheen to him. I’ll have to see if anything else will tone that down.

Here is Adrian’s younger sister, Zara. She’s sort of a free spirit and is currently unemployed (i.e. mooching off of her brother). She’ll make a good barista in the local coffeehouse or something. ;)


So what do you think? Too weird-looking? It’s going to take awhile for me to get used to the custom skintones, but it’s a nice change of pace, too.

I think I’ve downloaded enough stuff for the time being, so now it’s time to start building and populating. That is, if I can figure out how I want Gnomesby to look…

Oh! And if any of you are wondering what happened to SimScribes, it has been shut down until I figure out what to do about the horrible spammers who have been cluttering up the forum. I’m going to try upgrading to phpBB 3 and see if that does any good.

17 thoughts on “Decisions, decisions

  1. Great, the first inhabitants in Gnomesby ! I think those skins are quite good but you’ve better check it on all ages because they might be freaky looking on elders or children. And I am quite disappointed, you did not introduced the cat ;) except if it was a wandering cat. Good job !

  2. Great Job!
    I Cant wait for more on Gnombesby.
    I Think those skins are pretty good. Not too shiny or anything.

    Cant wait for more

    Yasmin x

  3. gab75 – Haha, you’re right — Lucky didn’t get a close-up shot. Sorry to disappoint you! ;-) I will defniitely have to try the skintone on some babies and children. Very good idea.

    Yasmin – Thanks for your feedback! You’re always very encouraging. :-)

  4. Jen! Oh, how I missed you and SimScribes! I love the look of Zara, tbh she isn’t weird, she is just so striking. If you continue that theme, (unique, I believe!), you’ll be onto a winner with Gnomesby. Maybe that cute little name will have some influence of how you finally build up Gnomseby?

    Also, do you know where Jade’s site has gone? Are you getting the “no access” message too? :(

    Ah! xxx

  5. I LOVE Ren’s skintones, but her first wave of circonflex were way too shiny. I still use the Freshie ones for my needs… her second series of ciconflex seems like it’ll be significantly less shiny–can’t wait!

  6. Annette – Hi there! Yeah, I don’t think a wee bit of shine is so bad. I just have to get used to it. ;-)

    Gemma – I am able to access Jade’s site just fine, but I noticed she posted an update this morning, so maybe you were just trying to access it while it was in the process of being updated, and that’s why you got the message? Anyway, it looks like everything is ok! Phew. You had me worried for a second. ;-)

    Chloe – Thanks, Chloe. I hope they do!

    Mao – Hey, girl! I didn’t even realize there was a first wave of circonflex. I think I’m using the second wave. But maybe not. Heh. Nice to see ya!

  7. Hey Jen, instead of paying for snag-it again, you could try Gadwin Print Screen. It’s free.

    I like the look of Gnomesby’s sims so far. I don’t think the skins look bad at all.

  8. I think they look really cool Jen! The blush you’re using really helps, I think. Zara is really pretty. I hope you continue, I can’t wait to see what amazing things you do next! :D

  9. I was wondering if that was what happened to SimScribes. I’d visited one morning and found all the boards spammed with junk, and saw it was inaccessible later on in the day. Hope the upgrade to phpBB3 helps!

    Those skins don’t actually look too bad, and I am not one who likes custom skins. I was sort of interested in them a while ago, and I do search for new ones from time to time.. but in the end, I can’t stand all the realistic/photo realistic/super shiny/weird off-color skins that seem to dominate. So, I just stick with Maxis ones. I figure that Sims 3 will be along before too long now anyway.. that will be enough change for me, I hope. Lol!

    Anyway! Adrian, Zara and Lucky all look great. And it sounds like Gnomesby is coming together nicely. :)

  10. Hey there Jen. I know what you mean about having a hard time find custom skintones that you like. I’ve searched high and low and still don’t have any that I absolutely love. I’ve found some that are nice looking, but not that I adore. So I feel your pain on that topic! That being said, I think the Rensim ones are pretty good. They’re not as shiny as most custom tones out there, and they’re not as realistic looking as others as well. I think they look great on your simmies! I can’t wait to see some of your buildings in the town! I’ve been checking your site constantly waiting for an update! Glad Gnomesby is still trucking along!

  11. I was going to tell you about Gadwin Print Screen, since it rocks and is free, but that’s already been done, so yeah.
    I personally adore the Rensim skintones, and compared to Enayla’s for example (or maxis with Louis blush), they aren’t shiny at all.
    Wish I could use them, but I’ve told myself that I can’t have cc and if I start on skintones, soon it’ll be eyes, hair etc, lol.
    Gnomesby is looking fabulous btw, I’m loving how it’s coming together. ^^

  12. Lisa – Thanks for the suggestion on an alternative to Snag-It. Although I ended up visiting the Snag-It web site and found a way to obtain my key again. So all is good!

    Josh – Thanks! I’m glad you think so!

    Audrey – Heyyy! :-) Good to see you!

    Mandie – It is really tough to find good skintones, isn’t it? It’s good to see you as always!

    Ilse – I know what you mean about CC. Once you start downloading, it’s hard to stop! But it’s one of the things I really enjoy about this game. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Hi Brit! I’m very sorry about SimScribes. It was taken over by spammers so I closed it, and I haven’t opened it up again. I plan to convert it to phpbb 3.0, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. :-P Thanks for the reminder!

  14. Oh, yay. :D I had been wondering about SimScribes, too. I started to miss it when the Sims 3 stuff first surfaced!