Machinima on Other Sims 2/3 Towns (besides Pleasantview)

[UPDATE – Nov 13, 2013] People who have succeeded (or have a good chance of completing the process) are featured on the [SimsDynamic YT Channel]. I reserve the right to decide who gets featured.

It appears that the “first three” neighborhoods of the Sims 2 Base Game (Pleasantview, Strangetown & Veronaville) possess a certain charm that has yet to be replicated by any other Sims 2/3 neighborhood.

As a result, we don’t see many machinima series with good stories featuring any of these other neighborhoods. Nothing predominantly about Belladonna Cove, Desiderata Valley, Riverblossom Hills, Bridgeport, Twinbrook, Riverview, Moonlight Falls etc. I’ve seen some aborted attempts at Sunset Valley though.

But there are PLENTY of Pleasantview series on YouTube. It IS the easiest neighborhood to write a story on, since it’s a normal suburb with typical soap-opera scandals. It is easier to attain fame via the standard formula for success in mainstream genres, but it’s also harder to be original & interesting. In any case, how different can PV stories be if they are largely restricted to the same default characters?

A small number of directors have also tried Strangetown & Veronaville, and I would like to see more. I don’t mean “high school drama” but the unique issues of the neighborhood that concern mainly the adults — eg. Veronaville feud.
(I understand many machinima directors are teenagers, so a teen-focused story tends to be the first thing they can identify with. But these have been done too often, and the storylines are largely similar, only with names changed.)

But I’m also wondering who’s up for a challenge:
[1] to write an original & compelling story based on the less-used default neighborhoods
(anything BUT Pleasantview),
[2] turn it into well-done machinima, and
[3] see it through to completion.

Did I worry that nobody will watch [my show] because it’s NOT about Pleasantview? If you have a compelling story and solid production quality, your viewers WILL come.

I made Strangetown interesting, & turned Bianca Monty from a Veronaville extra into a full-fledged Science Fiction heroine. Why don’t YOU be the one to breathe life into one of these unsung Sims towns?

[EDIT – July 4, 2013] – If youโ€™re writing a story about a default neighborhood, the MAJORITY of the characters should be the pre-made ones. Otherwise, your audience gets the wrong expectations of your show.

– For this challenge, you CAN have a small number of original CAS characters (major or minor), for the purposes of plot variation. But the main storyline MUST be for the default pre-made characters.

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Sims 2/3/4 Machinima Director, Author & Critic.

23 thoughts on “Machinima on Other Sims 2/3 Towns (besides Pleasantview)”

  1. Greetings, it’s been a while.

    Well, I am definately up for the challenge (I’m a perfectionist though, and it would take me a couple years to get started). I’ve been contemplating the possibility of starting a Sims 2 Machinima series based on Fringe, inspired by you. It would have ‘here’ and ‘over there’ and Fringe Division agents that work on cases, and it would take place in all of the default Sims 2 neighbourhoods, but I’m not sure which one would be the main ‘hood. It is an extremely rough idea.


    1. I have some rather interesting stories in my mind, but I just can’t make videos about it, I am bad at that. I could try to make it in screenshots…

    2. Good to hear from you again, Kathleen. Every project starts with an “extremely rough idea”, though yours is an excellent one, as we need more Fringey shows after the conclusion of Season 5 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’m trying to imagine you portraying in Sims footage, for instance, the type of Fringe events in 1.01 Pilot & 1.14 Ability ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      “Over here & over there” makes even more sense in the Sims Multiverse than in the “real world”, since different Watchers literally have identical nhood templates to start with, and possible futures start diverging from there. I’m thinking that Desiderata, Belladonna or Riverblossom would be a refreshing change for main nhood.

      I’d be really pleased if you choose to go through with this idea. If you’d like to discuss the possibilities, you could contact me privately via Youtube PM or SimsDynamic.

  2. I kinda feel bad now for not playing in Strangetown and Veronaville that much, I need to start playing in these two right away (After my computer is fixed from it’s weird ‘overheating while playing a game’ problem).

    1. Hope your computer gets fixed soon. There’s lots of storytelling potential in Strangetown & Veronaville, which is sadly missed by MANY Sims fans who only think about Pleasantview. Quite a lot of Sims screenshot story bloggers include Strangetown & Veronaville in their stories, but the machinima directors do not appear to follow this trend :/

      The screenshot story is a less time-consuming storytelling medium than machinima. I’m wondering what you might come out with ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. It’s funny that you mention this. Strangetown was actually my favorite neighborhood in the Sims 2, and I’ve been penning down a few ideas for a Strangetown-based machinima for a while, but I feel like I need to improve the script drastically before I start filiming. I liked Strangetown because it struck me as a supernatural/science-fiction-type neighborhood, and I want to assimilate that into the machinima somehow, but right now, it’s mostly centered on Sims’ relationships ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Also (and please answer this if you have the time), how do you feel about adding sub-neighborhoods, like Downtown and shopping centers, to Strangetown? Personally, I dislike the fact that no other neighborhood had a desert terrain – I feel like it made it harder to attach a sub-neighborhood to Strangetown ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  4. To Anonymous: It’s always a good idea to include the town’s central flavor/vibe when writing a story on it. The Sims game itself places a strong focus on romance & family, so many Sims stories tend to have those at the forefront. But in STM, these take the backseat to the science & psychological aspects.

    You could always add a blank desert terrain to be Strangetown’s “downtown” / “shopping district”, and add community lots of your choice. No need to use the default Downtown or Bluewater Village.

    Let me know if you progress on your ideas for Strangetown machinima.

  5. Like the ideas lol I am still kinda new to the machinima world I wished I thought of something like this, but I decided to do a VoiceOver series. I got so tired of the teen pregnancy stories. So I decided if I wanted something new I had to do it myself. Love your blog it was super helpful. I don’t know if you check it still but thank you, so much for the advice.

      1. Yes it is on YouTube. It’s called king Edward. My YouTube name is larnalove2011. ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you for the reply. I still gotta work on my editing and camera angles but I’m learning. I would provide the link but my iPhone wants to be a butt today. Again thanks for the information. Love the blog. I read your tips when I get stuck. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. “King Edward” is indeed different from the standard fare ๐Ÿ˜Ž For now, your protagonist comes across as a brat who literally believes he rules the world (or at least England). I was looking for redemptive qualities, but nothing thus far. I’d like to see how you develop his character and this story… I subbed.

          Wonder if you’ve watched my STM. I’m glad my blog was of some help. ๐Ÿ™‚

        2. When I saw my email box my mouth hit the floor! It is such a honor that you subbed to me I’m still kinda new and I did want to do something different. I got tired of the teen pregnancy and high school stories. I figured if I wanted something different I had to do it myself lol. Any feed back or advice you offer will be appreciated. It really means a lot that you took the time to comment. Thank you so much.

        3. I meant “redemptive qualities” in Edward’s character. Your production quality is fine: pacing, dialogue, angles are all ok (though Edward’s uncle’s voice is a bit muffled).

  6. I’ve been considering rendering a Bluewater Village story I’ve been brainstorming as a machinima, although I’ve never done one before and would need to practice the technical aspects with sillier videos first.

    Plus, I’m not entirely sure if the plot I had in mind qualifies as unique from a soap opera story, as the primary conflicts are about relationships and/or sexuality; I’m trying to work in more conflict concerning a failing business and the subsequent financial troubles, but the main issues still revolve around one character being abused in his adolescence and how it not only damaged his life as an adult (including his romances), but his friendship with his sister.

    But I’m feeling inspired right now, especially on anything concerning finances, and I’ll keep reworking the story to see what happens. I don’t want to change the central plot, because it’s a story I -want- to tell, and I just won’t offer it up if it isn’t acceptable in the challenge. I’ve spun off entirely new ideas from existing ones before, however, and maybe I can do it again. (Heck, this Bluewater story had some roots in a previous story that is, yes, yet another Pleasant dramafest. Thankfully I’ve already severed all ties between the stories because they just did not work together as related tales.)

    As much as I love Pleasantview, I also really enjoy Riverblossom, Bluewater, and Belladonna, so I’ve love to see more stories about them, machinima or otherwise. And while I haven’t played with many TS3 towns, I’m pretty curious about how certain characters from Aurora Skies would be handled. I hope that this will get a lot more writers to consider making work for different towns. And thanks for putting up this blog, because it’s helping me keep my planning organized and not an impulsive disaster.

    1. You’re welcome. Glad that this blog is of help.

      It’s ok for a Bluewater story to contain some soap-opera elements, as long as they don’t dominate the plot – it’s acceptable for this challenge.

      I excluded Pleasantview from the challenge mainly because I see too many youtubers relying on the popularity of this particular nhood and its characters, such that it becomes a crutch to stop them from experimenting with any other town. Some of them give me the impression that they just want to be popular, instead of focusing on their storytelling skills and production quality.

      So feel free to tell the story you wish to tell, since you’re clearly not relying on PV as a crutch. I’m guessing you’re referring to the Larson siblings, and I’m interested to see your version of their tale. Let me know the link when you’re done ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’ve yet to see any compelling series of any Sims3 town, since they don’t appear to possess the same charm as the first three Sims2 base nhoods. “Aurora Skies – Beaker Begins?” As much as how Veronaville “used to be called” Monte Vista.

      1. Thank you for the kind words! Yes, the main characters are the Larsons, but I’m still figuring out who the other major characters are; I’m thinking of seeing if the Tinkers can fit in and add their own story to the plot, and I’m moving one currently major character down to supporting cast if I can’t make her stand as her own person and not as a prop for the twins to use. At this rate it will be a long, -long- time before I can present something.

        Like I said, my guilty pleasure is reading and occasionally writing about Pleasantview, but I wouldn’t mind seeing other neighborhoods, especially the EP ones, get more love. I’m willing to learn how to do machinima in order to help this goal out.

  7. I am going to take this challenge with Strangetown. I will PM you when my series hits premiere.

  8. I want to create a Sims 2 series but I’m waiting for the Sims 4 to come out to decide which one I’ll use. I already got an idea but there’s already problems. I have to admit, I’m kinda bored of the whole Pleasant View stories and teen pregnancies stories (I actually never liked those stories tbh).
    Because of you, I’m now obsessed with Strange Town (I like Pleasant View because it is the closest to what my city looks like to all of them. But I never really play the premade characters like I do with Strange Town, I just create my own.)
    Two problems,1. I already altered my Strange Town so that means I’ll have to do second best, Either I do Veronville or use untouched characters to explain the changes then use the changed characters later. 2. My body shop is missing/ not working. So any suggestions?
    I’m working on my plot now and I’ll tell you what it is later.

    1. Hi Cedar Sims, I’m glad you enjoy my show.

      There aren’t enough tools in the early stages of any Sims game to make a decent movie. In my opinion, you are better off using Sims 2 directly, than attempting to re-create Sims 2 characters in Sims 4.

      You can easily clone a fresh, unaltered Strangetown from your Program Files. I have a tutorial for this on my site.

      You are more likely to write a compelling story on a neighborhood you enjoy. So it may be better for you to stick with Strangetown. But you can also do Veronaville if you like it enough.

      As for Body Shop, it *may* have something to do with your Windows version, RAM, or graphics card. I’m no expert on this, so you may want to google for help.

      Meanwhile, keep me posted on your progress. I’m keen to see what you come out with.

  9. I wonder whether this Challenge thing is still active / you’re still updating this site

    I think most of us who are drawn here must really like Strangetown (your most popular series’ main ‘hood). Back then when I had only the DoubleDeluxe, I only play on Strangetown, thus completely ignoring the other neighbourhoods, haha! I like occultism, so my main interest was Olive’s ‘garden’. In my story, after his mother died, I made Nervous the next ‘serial murder’ who tried to drag poor Ophelia into his world.

    Another possible neighbourhood would be Belladonna Cove (I play on this ‘hood a lot and I also think it’s best to pick one ‘hood we’re comfortable with). I’ve got some plots planned already, but:
    1. I have problems in connecting one storyline with another (I’ve got stories about household A & B, and C & D, but I’m on my writer’s block to connect them together)
    2. Other than the obvious Fantasy theme (and probably a pinch of psychological drama) the rest would be soap-opera-ish, which would be boring.

    So there are two possibilities for the story idea and I think I’ll be able to handle the technical stuff. The only problem now is that I’m a bad film director..
    Maybe I’ll have to practice by making video clips first.

    Anyway, sorry for making you read this long post ^^; I adore your STM series and your tips are really helpful. Pardon my English, too.

    1. This challenge is still on, as I’m still looking out for Sims Directors willing to try out the non-Pleasantview nhoods, and create playlists for these new series on the SimsDynamic YouTube Channel. If I like the series very much, I may even write about the series in my new posts. I am very pleased to hear from simmers who prefer Strangetown / Veronaville.

      Without focus, any series can devolve into a soap opera. Your idea about Nervous continuing his mother’s “legacy” is quite interesting, and could serve as a strong focal point to tie together the storylines of Household A,B,C & D. Besides “fantasy”, this storyline contains a conspiracy and a potential mystery / detective story. STM has two linked minor plots that meet at Specter’s Yard, which in turn support the main plot of the Veronaville Natives in Strangetown.

      You should indeed practice with simpler videos first. My earliest YT videos are still available to show others how I started off. You could tell me your YT channel URL when you’ve produced some practice videos. There’s nothing wrong with your English. I’m glad you enjoy STM, though I wish I had more time and energy to create the machinima videos more quickly.

  10. I WILL do it. I already KNOW who will be the main characters. (Twinbrook Baylesses, Goode-Browns, and Castors. Sunset Valley Langeraks. Lunar Lakes Goode-Langeraks and Bayless-Willheims.)

    1. Are you “Kaiko Mikkusu” from Sims Wikia?
      You’re probably the same person who wrote the YT comment on STM 2.05(B) today.

      I’d like to see what you come up with on the Sims 3 Moonlight Falls, Riverview, Lunar Lakes, and Twinbrook. Make sure your story has a focus, and proper scripts for several episodes.

      Use a free video editing program first, so you only buy a better version after you are sure that machinima is for you. Let me know when you release the episode.

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