STM 2.06(A) – 100%

Finally, my first major Sims project of 2015 is ready for public viewing.

Conversations take place at Specter’s Yard, but who is listening? How will Bianca Monty respond after being put on the spot by Vidcund Curious?

[STM 2.06(A) – The Patriarch – Part 1]

Part A’s New Poll is about Nick Grimm. You can still guess which of the “Other 5 Racing Guys” is most likely to appear, and see how many simmers predicted Grunt’s outcome correctly.

You can see some Episode [Blooper Images] here.

There is also a new page for [Sims 4 Polls].

Hopefully Part B & C don’t take as long, as I’m more invested in the characters involved. STM 2.06(B), in particular, may seem somewhat different from the usual STM fare, but is nonetheless necessary to push the plot forward.

Thank you to everyone who checked my main blog updates, did not doubt me & stayed subscribed. Also to those who voted on the Polls, and took time to share their thoughts about the show :)

Remember, if Hyde doesn’t SAY it’s over, the show WILL go on.

STM 2.06(A) – 85% – The Underdog?

85% is as fast as production can go for an episode of this sort. There’s still a possibility of a late-May 2015 release.

You also still have time to [vote on the Specter Yard Case Verdict].

Where are the other Machinima Directors? They are probably off playing the Sims 4, or moved on to other pursuits. After all, there are many other hobbies much easier than machinima, so who can blame them for switching to something more relaxing?

Why the Fringe is Hyde still pressing on with video production with a Sims 2 game that’s more than a decade old, while he could do something much easier with his limited leisure?

Or is this not surprising, given his tendency NOT to give up on old games, especially those that gave him particularly good memories?

Perhaps there has indeed been a overall decline in interest in Machinima, both on the parts of the directors and viewers in general.

Hyde knows that STM‘s popularity comes largely from the lead-in video, “18 Ways to Kill Sims”, a privilege that many other directors do not have.

Viewers also come via his bizarre Sims blog (which you are reading now), and the many STM fanon pages on the Sims Wikia. (NOTE: Contributors to the Sims Wikia should be 13+. If you are underage, DO NOT sign up for an account or attempt to create / edit anything there.)

While featuring Underdog premade characters from Underdog Neighborhoods, and storylines that makes you question many things you ever believed about the Sims world, STM is at the right place at the right time.

STM 2.06(A) – 60% – The Ones Who Saved STM

[EDIT: May 13 2015] Approximately 80%.

[EDIT: May 4 2015] STM 2.06(A) is about 75% done. There are likely to be three parts altogether, with 2.06(B) & 2.06(C) being my next Sims projects. Splitting my original long scripts may be my best strategy to shorten the interval between episode releases.

Episodes with a strong focus on the Grunt son(s) and/or Bella Goth have taken me the longest to complete, as I have very little emotional investment in these characters. For STM 2.06(A), it is the former.

[Original Post: April 23 2015] I am pleased to announce 60% completion for STM 2.06(A). It should be shorter than part B, assuming that I release the episode in two parts, instead of three parts. I hope to have it ready in May 2015. [Preview Screenshot #2]

2014 was a difficult year for me. But in terms of STM, it was the year of the Specter Yard Investigation, with a temporary focus on two of the Racing Men. It is fortunate for the show that my difficult schedule coincided with the episode featuring my custom CAS characters, or I would have found it very difficult to remain motivated to press on with production.

In other words, Xu and Ivanov saved STM from what could have been my breaking point to stop completely in 2014.

I feel this more, as STM 2.06(A) has mainly premade characters on screen. It is advantageous to write a story featuring premade characters, as more fans would be familiar with the characters, and may even try something similar in their own game.

On the flip side, it is common for sims storytellers to find less inspiration, or personal liking, for premade characters than those of their own creation.

CAS characters are more likely to be “personal” to the author, as players create their own sims for a variety of reasons. We do not often feel the same way about someone else’s CAS sims, as we do to our own. In a story featuring mainly premade characters, CAS characters throw in a slight plot variation to the otherwise identical sandbox that we share with other simmers.

I knew the Racing Men (1997, GTR98) before any of you simmers even heard of the Goth family (2000, Sims 1). Like Regan & Kent Capp, I was old enough to play Grand Tour Racing 98 at the time of its release, before some of you were even born.

That is the rationale behind the “Capp Siblings 1997 Video Games” scene in STM 2.05(B), which may be a parallel to the Grunt Brothers playing Need For Speed Carbon (2012, STM 1.08) and Sims Medieval (2011, STM 1.06).

STM April Fools Update: Prank Gone Wrong

Curious Brothers: Pascal, Lazlo, Vidcund

[EDIT: April 8, 2015] [Two new STM Polls] are now available (one for major characters & one for minor characters) for the period before STM 2.06(A) appears – see the sidebar / menu tab of this blog, or click the link above to “STM Polls”. I didn’t have time yet to increase the episode completion beyond 30%.

The events described in the original post may or may not be obviously related to the subject matter of the new STM Polls, but all possibilities must be considered — how many times has this show surprised you…? ;)

[Original Post: April 2, 2015] The first week of April contains the highest rate of employee dismissals from Hyde Dynamic – mainly sims who think they are being so “smart” by executing a “watertight” April Fools Joke, but having it backfire on them when the target is not too amused.

Hyde has nothing against the Goofball trait or Joke Star Aspiration (Sims 4), or even a high Playful score. Despite giving off a serious vibe, he does NOT have the “No Sense of Humor” trait, or it won’t be possible for him to write STM.

In fact, Hyde enjoys well-constructed wit for (365 or 366 minus one) days in a year. Some sims/people with the Knowledge aspiration have a deep aversion to being made to feel like an idiot, causing a “double minus” to appear on top of their heads.

The “best” April Fool jokes are the ones that sound too much like the “real” thing, especially if it pretends to be an “official announcement” from a source that is “credible” for (365 or 366 minus one) days in a year. A joke’s “success” is gauged according to the number of people it fooled.

If the joke is initiated by a person, his/her history also plays a part in the interpretation of the “joke” at hand. A person who often speaks in a serious tone on serious subjects can ironically be the most devastatingly effective, because people are used to taking them seriously. On the other hand, when the person is known to be a drama king/queen, it is annoying not knowing whether they are serious or not this time.

In April 2015, Lazlo Curious was fired from Hyde Dynamic for “crossing the line at the wrong time” [compare this with STM 2.05(B), time 4:18].

Lazlo filed a convincing report that all the Top Beards believed, only for it to be exposed as complete boolprop later in the day, a waste of a full day’s productivity and profits. After multiple utterances of “What the Fringe”, Lazlo was told that he was Out, and may not respawn in the Nursery (Hyde Dynamic Horticultural Dept) on subsequent workdays.

Lazlo really should have listened to Pascal, his more sensible brother, who didn’t have a good feeling about that report. Pascal still retains his job at the Nursery. Vidcund was not involved, for he wisely stayed at the Secret Project Lab all day.

This incident is to be treated as an actual event in STM, between 2.05(B) and 2.06(A). Do you recall seeing a glimpse of Vidcund Curious “on leave” in 2.04 (time 3:40)? ;)

STM 2.06(A): 30% – Machinima is a Tough Enterprise

The officially-split episode is about 30% in the works. Here is a [preview screenshot], which doesn’t count as a spoiler, since it is a long-anticipated scene that has been waiting to happen for several episodes.

If you noticed, in one of the STM 2.05(B) Bloopers, the bald man appeared on the scene too, albeit one episode too early ;)

The other Simlish machinima directors, who had been active in 2013-2014, have yet to produce any major episodes in the first three months of 2015. It is unclear whether they have stopped, or are just busy — but planning to resume their machinima projects at a slower rate than mine. Never mind if there aren’t any Simlish voiceovers in their series, the subtitles will do just great.

Machinima is a rather difficult hobby that demands a rare combination of:
(1) writing a focused storyline and script,
(2) competently producing the visuals according to plan,
(3) determination/discipline to see everything through to the finish.

It takes 1000% more effort than a screenshot story.
STM is tough because all phases of the project are done by one busy man.

In the absence of activity from other Simlish machinima directors, I have taken to reading other simmers’ screenshot stories. Maybe I should start recommending some via SimsDynamic. Or you could let me know of some that you enjoyed.

STM 206 Episode Split & New Skin

It’s been a while. During this time, I had been contributing weekly at the Sims Wikia, mainly to the Sims 4 articles. The new game is truly addictive, but I have not forgotten my long-term machinima project — the show is NOT over.

As with the previous episode, I am likely to split STM 2.06 into two parts, so the video would be available sooner than later. I must say that I was rather ambitious when I wrote the first draft of these scripts a year or two ago, as I didn’t foresee how busy I would be with my many other projects.

I have also reskinned both my main blog & STM site, as I had used the previous WordPress Theme for almost four years. It was a heavyweight theme that showcased the vast amount of site content, and became rather image-heavy as time passed. I liked that theme very much, as my site looked exactly as I wanted it to be.

Meanwhile, WordPress had released new themes that are optimized for both PC and mobile, so I thought I’d give it a try. I know that an increasing number of visitors access websites via mobile, and it’ll be good for my site to look similar on both mobile and PC, and for it to be less image-heavy for mobile users.

With the skin change, there are some layout issues that I did not foresee, and will tweak them in the coming days. If you still see discrepancies in the layout (except for the Menu, which I have referred to WordPress tech supportIssue solved via partial workaround that I thought of myself), please [contact me] to let me know.

Sims 4 Emotional Paintings

(Top,L-R) Sad, Focused, Flirty; (Bottom,L-R) Angry, Confident, Playful

6 out of the 16 Sims 4 base game emotions can be influenced by Emotional Paintings: Sad, Angry, Confident, Playful, Flirty and Focused.

While creating these paintings, the first five types increase the Painting skill, while the Focused “Mathematical Diagram” builds [Continue Reading: Updated with Info on Energized Decor on Feb 23 2015]