Ely Corners

Hey all, I hope you had a fantastic holiday season and are enjoying the new year so far. I thought I’d share a little bit of what I’ve been working on Sims-wise lately. First off, an unfortunate happenstance: I won’t be posting anymore of Morna in Los Aniegos, because I started receiving an Error 12 whenever I tried to save her game. It’s likely that my computer doesn’t have enough memory to handle such a large world. It’s too bad, because what I saw of Los Aniegos was quite promising, and for that big city feel, I preferred it to Bridgeport. I guess I’ll have to save my Simoleons and splurge on some RAM!

So, saying adieu to Morna for awhile, I started up a project in an empty version of Riverview. I’ve never had any save problems in that world (knock on wood!), and I’ve always liked the countryside/farming community feel of it. Plus it’s an EA world so I feel better about mucking around with it and making it my own (I’d have a hard time refashioning a gorgeous custom world like Redcliffs for my own use — it just wouldn’t seem right to mess it up). With the in-game World Editor we can now delete and add lots, so I’ve been using that quite a bit, but I save often because sometimes deleting or adding a lot can really hose up the roads, at least graphically.

I’m going to build up my version of Riverview very slowly in small, manageable bits, starting with that little area across the river where the Brokes had their trailer park. Since the primary road there is Ely Road, I’m calling it Ely Corners for now. It’s my “founding” neighborhood, and where my first families will live. I’m basing all of the houses in Ely Corners on houseplans from my 1926 Sears Roebuck book (probably my favorite houseplan book ever, which won’t surprise those who remember some of my Sims 2 houses!).

Ely Corners
The Walton

I’m not sure who will be living in the Walton just yet, but I started decorating it as if it hadn’t been touched since the 1920s (except for maybe a fresh coat of paint in the dining room). I’m also going for more realism in my exteriors, so I deliberately chose slightly shabby textures, neutral tones, and sparse landscaping. Here’s another view of the same house:

Ely Corners

I was having a grand old time decorating, but it was taking too long, and I thought I should wait until I knew who the inhabitants were, so I didn’t get to the kitchen or bedrooms. Here’s the dining room, however:

Ely Corners

A view of the living room:

Ely Corners

And one of the bathrooms:

Ely Corners

Now we have one of the first families I created for Ely Corners — the Deshannons. The father of the family, Doug, is a writer and farmer/gardener — he will probably be growing a lot of the vegetables and fruits used by the other families in town. I’m experimenting with the Shop from Inventory mod by Ani (who also has a fascinating blog) because I want to try for an integrated economy of sorts. I probably won’t have any rabbitholes, either, if I can swing it. We hates the rabbitholes!

I’m trying to decide which faces/eyes I want to use, so I’ve posted two pics of each member of the family. The first pic uses Tamo’s eyes and faces, which are more Maxis-match, and the second pic uses Aikea Guinea’s eyes and faces, which are the ones I’ve been using since they were released. I like both and am having a hard time choosing.

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Doug with Tamo eyes/face

Ely Corners
Doug with Aikea Guinea eyes/face

Doug’s wife passed away several years ago, sadly, so he has been a single dad ever since. Here is his teenage daughter, Joann, who has no fashion sense and therefore allowed herself to be “styled” by her little sister, Gail:

Ely Corners
Joann with Tamo eyes/face

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Joann with Aikea Guinea eyes/face

Here is Joann’s twin brother, Kirby. He was the Gnubb champion at his old school, and when he’s not playing some kind of sport, he’s drooling over girls or cars. In other words, kind of your typical teenage boy:

Ely Corners
Kirby with Tamo eyes/face

Ely Corners
Kirby with Aikea Guinea eyes/face

(I didn’t get a good expression for Kirby’s second pic, so he has the Sims 3 zombie/robot stare going on)

And last but not least, we have Gail, my budding fashionista. Sims 3 kids look terrible, in my opinion — their sliders have no range, and it’s hard to make them look unique and non-freaky. I tried really hard with Gail, and since I’m playing on Epic lifespan I don’t have to worry about what she’ll look like when she grows up (and if I do decide to grow her up, I can edit her in CAS). I like how she turned out, but her mouth is still kind of weird. She has the same skin in both pics since I’m using Lady Frontbum’s Jack and Jill skins for my kids:

Ely Corners
Gail with Tamo eyes

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Gail with Aikea Guinea eyes

The Deshannons have been photographed in the Walton, but they’ll probably end up living in the house pictured below, which has a large sideyard for Doug’s garden.

Ely Corners
The Homewood

Some of the community lots I’m planning for Ely Corners are a neighborhood bar, a general store (where Doug can sell his produce), and a museum of curiosities. I’m not sure how I’m going to do school — I need to experiment with that once I move a few more families in, but I have some ideas.

So what do you guys think — do the Deshannons look better with the Tamo eyes/face, or the Aikea Guinea eyes/face? Or would some mixture of the two be best?

37 thoughts on “Ely Corners

  1. I like the Aikea Guinea eyes. Some of the Tamo faces are kind of ruddy. Love what you’ve done with the homes and the Deshannons are lucky to live there! The family is good looking from Pappa bear down to Baby bear.

  2. I like the Tamo faces and eyes better. They look different, while still retaining that “Sim-like” quality that you kind of lose with the Aikea Guinea stuff. Plus the AG eyes make them look a little dopey (regardless of expression) in my opinion.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how this neighborhood develops further!

    • LOL on the dopey…I see what you mean. For some reason even though I’m working for realism in my settings I really like my Sims to look like Sims. Thanks for your feedback!

  3. Even though I’m a BIG fan of Aikea Guinea, I actually like your family (every one of them) with the Tamo Face/Eyes. I find that the Akea Guinea face looks too …. sharp … not to mention pale (unless you were going for pale). And I’ve always been a fan of larger irises. :O)

    Loving your houses (as always).

    • Hey Ange! Yeah, I think I might have made the family a bit too pale…I was going for a sort of eternal autumn at first so I made them pale and dressed in warm clothing, but with winter going full force here in Minn., I’m thinking maybe eternal spring/summer would be preferable. ;)

  4. I’m with the Tamo Face/Eyes as well.

    Building a hood up can be painful, but so rewarding in the end. I’ve just redone Barnacle Bay. Not a complete rebuild, more a moving around/redecorating decent lots/build a few here and there. It took forever, but I’m happy to have a more unique hood to play in. Eaxis just don’t get it right, for me anyway.

    But of course, I am nowhere near as good a builder as you…….it makes me jealous :)

    • Hiya Taryn! What you did with Barnacle Bay sounds cool. I agree that it’s nice to play in a world that is more customized to your liking. Do you plan on posting any stories set there? I’d love to see it!

      • Indeed I am. It’s all set up and waiting for activation. I’m just struggling to find the time to write the first episode. My January is getting away from me, lol. There’s always the weekends though, so I’m hoping to mash it out then.

  5. I really like the Tamo ones. In fact I didn’t even realise Tamo had some skins *runs off to test them out*. I use the apple ones by M.Calero @ GOS at the moment which are beautiful. However, I am thinking of making my game more Maxis Match so you have inspired a change.

    I really love your remodels and Riverview will look beautiful once it is done. I hope that you continue to post your progress as I would love to read about it. Coincidently (sp) I am also making over Riverview, it really is the perfect hood. I am building a mid-century part at the moment near where the school and dogwood park is.

    Looking forward to seeing more :D

    • Oooh, did you say midcentury? That’s my other favorite era for houses! I’m hoping to do a midcentury section in my Riverview as well. Though it’ll be awhile since I’m building everything from the ground up and mixing in some playing so I don’t get too bored. ;) I’d love to see how your Riverview is shaping up!

  6. I like Tamo a lot! I use those on my sims. Currently I’m working with Redcliff for a little project and guess what? I’m gonna use your houses for it! they are so perfect! My project will be a mix with the prosperity challenge and the wishful living challenge. <3

    • Whoa, mix of prosperity and wishful living — that sounds like fun! Redcliffs is a beautiful world, isn’t it? Glad you can get some use out of my houses! I can’t wait to hear more about your project. :)

        • I totally understand — it’s very rewarding to finish a project! I’ll be following your blog to see how it goes for you. :)

  7. I have to go with Tamo eyes and face too. I’m not normally fond of anything Maxis but these are different enough so they look real without looking like puddings. AG’s skin is too pale for a father who spends his days outside and a boy who play sports. I can’t tell the difference between the eyes except for the father’s and he looks better (to me) with darker eyes.

    Jenba – your houses (and sims) are wonderful. I really like life-like sets, wear and tear and all that so I’m really enjoying this. I’ll be checking back on your progress. :)

    • Hi Velvet! I did make the family a bit too pale to begin with — Doug was just going to be a writer at first, and the climate was going to be a bit chilly, so I figured everyone would be in warm clothes and all that. But now that I’ve decided he’s going to be my farmer, I’ll have to sunburn him a bit. :) The same goes for the son. Thanks for your feedback; it helps a lot! :)

  8. I think I vote Tamo on most of them – something about being warmer and more realistic. I absolutely remember your Sears homes. So excited to see what develops!

    • EEEEOOOOOO! So happy to see you…hope all is well with you and that you’re enjoying yourself with whatever you’re doing these days. :)

    • Heya Lorna! I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you promptly…it has been a crazy week. I sent you my e-mail addy via your site. :)

  9. They all beat me to it – Tamo’s definitely. They all seem to have slightly more character about their features with a little more depth of colour. IMO. I don’t use any custom skins, hair or clothing in my game, but you’ve certainly tempted me. I can remember the massive file sizes for skins et al, in Sims 2 – is it still the same?

    As for the new look Riverview – it’s wonderful. I totally relate to not wanting to decorate a home unless I know who the occupants are. It’s fun, but impersoanl – especially if you intend to *play* a neighbourhood/family/home.

    Can’t wait to see how this progresses, Jen. It’s always a treat to see how different an EA neighbourhood can be when it’s personalised :)

    • Heya Lily! Yeah, the Tamo skin is about 10 megabytes in size, so kind of large, but since you only need one for both males & females from teen to elder, it’s not too bad. That’s only for faces, though — Tamo doesn’t have a body skin, so I use HystericalParoxysm’s, which are nice because they give the guys a little body hair but don’t have any muscle definition, so they work well with the Late Night muscle slider. I do have some clothing and hairs that are pretty big files — 5-12 MB generally, so yeah, this stuff can take up a lot of space, unfortunately. I just have to make sure I prune my mods folder every so often!

  10. I’m with the Tamo ones, as well. I think they’re cool. I’m also with Lily – are the files sizes big? Because they look great and I might be tempted to give custom skins and eyes a try if they’re not horrid to use!

    Neat idea with Riverview! I downloaded a smaller custom town and was thinking of doing the same thing there – because it’s not populated at all. And because a smaller place would be easier to populate than a bigger one! LOL I’m looking forward to seeing more of this project. :)

    • Hiya WebbyMom! See my response to Lily above re: file sizes. I don’t think it’d be too bad to just have skins and eyes (they eyes especially are very small files, only 14 KB), but if you have a lot of CC, it can really add up (as you know well!). I’d love to see what you do with the custom town you’ve downloaded!

    • Hi Lorna, I’ve registered at your new site…I’ll have to poke around and see what’s over there! Looks nice so far. :)

  11. Sorry to hear about the Error 12 issues with Morna. *comfort*

    I love how the Walton house looks! Especially with the slightly weathered paint on the exterior. :)

    I think I actually like Aikea Guinea’s eyes better, but I do like Tamo’s faces better.

    The Homewood looks like a nice big family house. Can’t wait to see inside it!

  12. Hey Jen, in regards to the error 12… have you already tried the solution where you edit the file header in the sims 3 exe? I had this problem ALL THE TIME, despite my computer exceeding the specs in all ways. Not sure what processor you’re running, but mine is 64bit and it’s an issue with sims 3 not recognizing it or some such nonsense. I tried to find the original post about it, but I couldn’t. I did find this, though. It’s by a less tech savvy fan, but it’s still the same result. It fixed the issue for me and I have had no issues since… including my legacy hood, which is bloody huge.

    If you’ve already done this and it hasn’t worked, I apologize! Just thought I’d throw it out there just in case.

    • Oh, that’s very interesting…I think my processor is 32-bit. It sounds like you just have to make sure to change it back before or after patching…I might have to try it! Thanks, Mao!

      • I’ve been doing it for almost a year now and patching with no issue. Twallan posted the same result later on in the thread… so you don’t have to worry about switching it back. You only have to do it again when you installed a new expansion or pack. :)

        I hope it works for you. I had this happen to me from day one of playing and it was SUPER frustrating…

        • That is good to know, Mao! I will definitely have to try it out, then. I would love to play Los Aniegos again. And you’re right, it is supremely frustrating!

  13. I was so thrilled when I saw these homes Jen, I was seriously obsessed with your sears inspired sims 2 homes, I think I had every one I could in my neighborhood, multiple times! Have I mentioned before how I love the way you create homes and families together and use the personalities of you sims in the decorating? I wish I had that kind of imagination – my sims tend to all turn out as generic clones. You’ve never thought of sharing some sims with their backstories? I was using tamo’s skins earlier but recently switched to ephemera’s for a change (I think your next post says you went with tamo – anyway my vote would be for that :D) Sad to hear about your other hood too :(

    • Beatdoc! Awesome to hear from you. And for the record, you have a fantastic imagination, lady! I always love your Sims and houses, and often look to you for inspiration. I’ve never thought of sharing my Sims, but now that you ask, maybe I will, just for fun. Let me know how you like ephemera’s skins!