The Winter of Our Discontent

Hey, all! I’m still alive and Simming — I’m just in a tangle of frustration at the moment. For one, I haven’t had as much time to play over the last few weeks, so development on Ely Corners has ground to a proverbial halt. Not to mention it crashed on me the last few times I played, which I suspect was caused by graphics issues/too much CC/probable lag from running Twallan’s Story Progression and other mods. But I don’t want to have to cull a bunch of the custom content that I use in Ely Corners or get rid of Twallan’s mods, so I’m pondering upgrading my system or getting a new one. Of course, either one of those will require a hefty bag of Simoleons. Where’s a money tree when you need one?

Another source of frustration has been my usual Sims-related-ADD. My interest in the Ely Corners project waxes and wanes, ebbs and flows, blossoms and wilts. Some days I’m excited about it, some days I’d rather scrap it and do something else. This always happens to me with projects, especially Sims projects. I can’t tell you how many towns/stories I’ve started, only to ditch them when I lost interest or ran into problems. The only thing I’ve ever actually finished was my Shanley Legacy back in TS2, and that was 6 (six!!) years ago. Geez louise.

Part of the ebbing of my interest in Ely Corners comes from just sheer frustration with the game itself. You can only try to shove a square peg into a round hole so many times before you start to question why you’re even bothering with it. Even with all of the wonderful mods and ideas from creative players out there, I still can’t make the game do what I want it to do. I could “fake” a lot of it, but I don’t want to play a “fake” game. I don’t want my Sims to be actors walking around elaborate sets that mean nothing to them. I hate rabbitholes but at least Sims can interact with them in a way that makes sense, unlike my Ely Corners town hall where people dance in the sheriff’s office and pee in the jail cell.

I know some of those things can be ironed out. I get great ideas all the time from reading Ani’s blog, and Twallan works tirelessly to add more functionality and flexibility to his mods. We’re getting there. But I miss writing stories. I miss being surprised by gameplay. I’m tired of having to tweak a hundred things every time I go into the game.

I don’t mean to be such a whiner, but you can see why I’m at odds with my hobby of choice lately. I’m not giving up, though. Well, not entirely. I’m taking a little break from Ely Corners to experiment with something much smaller. I’ve pared down my CC and am just going to play one house in Barnacle Bay. It’s that time of year when I’m yearning for sunshine and flowers and greenery, so BB satisfies that yearning somewhat. And the household includes Fran, whom I’ve missed. I’m eager to see what she gets up to in this new environment.

Anyway, sorry for the whining and lack of pics, but I just needed to vent a little. Hope you’re all having fun with whatever you’re doing. :)

28 thoughts on “The Winter of Our Discontent

  1. Whine away, it’s good to do so from time to time. A huge project like the one you are under-taking is, well, huge and no wonder if you feel overwhelmed by it sometimes. Hopefully you will post about your simming when you play Barnacle Bay.

  2. Oh Jen, I’m sorry you are finding it so frustrating. I have been there myself lately so I can sympathise. I would also just like to comment that the bit about peeing in the jail cell made me spit water out my nose! I will look forward to hearing more about Ely Corners should you choose to go back to it because I am addicted to the way you write. Perhaps in the meantime you could enable my addiction with some screenies from Barnacle Bay?

    Thinking of you and sending a money tree seed your way.

    • A money tree seed, hooray! Now I just need to figure out how to plant it in the snow… :D Thank you for your encouraging words!

  3. Oh, I miss Fran too! I’d love to see what the new version of her gets up to! :)

    And I absolutely sympathize with the creative ADD. I look forward to seeing whatever you come up with though!

  4. Jen I know just how you feel, I don’t think I’ve finished an involved sims project or challenge that I’ve started – ever! I also get your frustration about not being able to tweak your game exactly as you want. The good news is there will always be something interesting to do, even if it’s just as a break, so have fun with Fran! I can’t wait to see what she gets up to. Lol if it makes you feel any better I’m writing this sitting in my uni library and haven’t opened the game for a solid 2 weeks and counting. On the plus side I went to an airshow :S

    • You make an excellent point, that there will always be something interesting to do. Even though I get frustrated with certain projects, I am still enjoying the game overall. Oh man, two weeks without cracking open TS3? I’d go nuts! ;) Airshow sounds pretty darned cool, though!

  5. Thanks for passing by at my blog and linking me! :)

    I know what you mean about game-frustration! For one thing I have it on low free-will to avoid some of the Sims silliness, but of course you can’t control what your townies are doing… then I have my perfect town in mind and I’m building it in CAW but it’s a sloooow and frustating proccess, even if it’s on a small template and it’s flat (I’m building kind of the downtown part of a city, the only gren parts will be the park and maybe a posh residential area), and actually until it’s done I’m just fiddling around with the game, mostly building and decorating and kind of testing different playing options and carreers, because I don’t want to start “real” families until I finish this “Pilgrim City”.

    Oh, and then there’s real life, of course!

    • Pilgrim City sounds cool — I wish you the best of luck with it! I hear you on CAW being slow and frustrating…I myself don’t have the patience for it, though it can be rewarding at times, too. Good point about the low free will — I’ve always had mine either off or on high — never tried that middle option!

  6. Oh, and I was going to say: imho if your game crashes it’s usually one piece of faulty CC, it could be a window that’s not updated for LN (like the Apartment Life windows at MTS) or a mod. Maybe try taking out what’s in the WorldCache folder, apart form the usual four cache files.

    And the number one thing to upgrade in your system is usually RAM, you need around 2GB to run the game kinda smoothly.

    • I haven’t had as much crashing since I pared down my CC folder, so maybe I did have something faulty in there, though I do check for corrupt files with Delphy’s Dashboard from time to time. You are right about RAM — I have 3 GB but I think 4 GB would make a huge difference. With most of my graphics settings on high and all of those Twallan mods I run, things can get pretty choppy.

  7. Ugh – the pressure of pleasing the masses makes it so dull, doesn’t it!!!?!! I honestly couldn’t give a pigs fart what you do with your game, as long as whatever you do you share it with us. If you never go back to Ely Corners, I’ll live – but if you stop sharing… I will hunt you down and pluck your eyebrows hairless.

    Hobbies are supposed to be fun – if it ain’t fun it needs changing. Sounds to me as though that’s exactly what you’re doing. JUST REMEMBER TO SHARE !!!

    As for paring down your custom content – I have found that since mine is now virtually non existent – my game never lags – I don’t spend endless hours looking for that next fantastic coffee cup because the one I have… just… won’t… do – and building/decorating is waaaaay more fun because I have to be more inventive and less “OMG my windows don’t match!!!”

    Like I’ve said elsewhere – keep doing what you do – it’s always interesting, no matter the content – you even whinge in an interesting way ;0) xx

    • LOL, your comments always crack me up, Lily. Thanks for the encouragement, and since I am fond of having eyebrows, I will most definitely continue to share!

  8. Aw, Jen, I know you know that I know exactly what you’re talking about. ROFL I am, thus far, still excited about Radford Island, but one could ask, “Where have Cora and Gary disappeared to???” LOL

    I second Lily with the change-tactics-if-you-need-to-but-keep-sharing thing. And I would join her on her hunt for your eyebrows should you NOT share again. ;)

    I do believe we must embrace our fickleness, my dear. LOL

    • Yes, where have Cora and Gary disappeared, too, hmmm? Heeheee. “Embrace our fickleness” — oh, I like that!

  9. I believe that everyone once in a while goes through this stage, It happens to people that want to do things right, not perfect but credible and right and is ok, is natural just as long you don’t give up! take a break! play and enjoy the game. We your fellow creators and readers will wait for you! we love you!

  10. Whining is good for the soul, plus better out than IN. I can relate to frustration of trying to get things to work as you wish, I tried the same Ely corners 6 families…Crash after crash plus Riverview was real large for me, so I moved them to Sunset Valley…crash, sims not doing what I wanted…all sorts of other problems, and even worse I felt I never really got friendly, comfortable with those families. By the time I was in a swing of playing one family, I had well drifted apart with other. So eventually I did give up, and decided to concentrate on just one person-one family and one day if her story is told I will move to someone else, someone who has oviously been maybe a side charachter or something.
    But meanwhile I admire your patience, your drive and desire to make Ely Corners to work, and i love coming here to see how you are getting on with building the community and the relationships in it. Don’t give up… :)

    • Thank you so much, speechless. It’s funny how frustrating this hobby of ours can be! I’m glad you found a way to play that works for you.

  11. You know what my main frustration is with the Sims 3? Lack of impact. I really really miss the memories feature from Sims 2. The moodlets are fun, but if a Sim loses their whole family it feels incredibly unrealistic that they’d be perfectly happy if they just have a great meal, an energizing shower and some good woohoo without ever even flinching. I loved the fact that in TS2 they could have flashbacks of bad memories and get sad even virtual years after the events in question, no matter what else was going on. Also I miss the TS2 genetics, TS3 genetics feels like a giant step backwards. And I miss aliens! :(

      • I agree, too. I really really miss memories. I took them for granted in TS2 and didn’t even look at them them all that much, but it seems like they would be so incredibly useful in TS3 with its seamless world and story progression. So many things happen to our Sims that we never see, and therefore, like Kay says, they lack impact. And yeah, TS3 genetics is total crap. That’s one of the main reasons I play on Epic lifespan now — seeing babies be born and grow up just isn’t exciting in TS3 like it was in TS2, so I don’t care if they stay kids forever. :-p

  12. Hey I understand your frustration with Sims. I am the same way. There are so many things I want them to do, but “staging” sometimes take forever and then it’s like whats the point? A pretty picture? Yeah that’s nice…but I need more, ya know? Anyways, I’m always back and forth through projects…some never make it pass an idea. I find myself having to look for something interesting. I guess that’s why I picked up my legacy.

    I hope you find that excitement again and that desire, until then have fun with Fran. I’ve yet to take a deeper look into Mariner Beach but it is a beautiful place.

  13. Thank you for your comment, Chicago! I hope you’re having fun with your legacy. Your Sims are so gorgeous! I love your decorating style, too.

  14. Hey shug, you don’t need to worry about this old bird buggin’ you. I’ve come to a complete halt (mostly) with JTC. I want to finish it but eh…if you ain’t in the mood, you’re just not in the mood. You have to take your break, get your mojo going and then return (or not). Like Lil’ said, just remember to share – hair – eyebrows. Get the pic? LOL