STM 2.06(B) – The Patriarch 2 — 100%

[EDIT: Nov 9 2015] How many simmers guessed the “4th Racing Man” correctly?

Roadblocks have been overcome, so the results of my latest balancing act is finally ready. This is the middle part of my original long script of STM 2.06, and the overall longest episode so far. It also uses a significant amount of Sims 3 footage.

[StrangeTown Monty 2.06(B) – The Patriarch Part 2]

This episode focuses on the following Patriarchs:
– Feuding Fathers of Monte Vista & Roaring Heights
– Racing Men
– Antonio Monty

In the NEXT part, STM 2.06(C), we go back to Strangetown to see the conclusion of the sticky situation in Specter’s House…

Writing stories / making machinima is a balancing act between (what the fans want), and (what the author wants).

If there isn’t enough of (the part the author wants), there’s a risk of the author losing interest in the entire project, so neither part (not even “the part fans want”) gets produced.

In the case of premade Sims, all simmers start off with an identical sandbox. The CAS and non-canonical aspects are what makes one simmer’s show/story different from another simmer’s.

So note that [if I never did put the Racing Men in STM], the entire show might have been cancelled in early-2014. Aren’t you glad I’ve chosen an approach where I can maintain my interest in continuing the series?

As always, the show’s NOT over unless I explicitly say it is.


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)? 😉

Character Doubles in STM

[Update: Oct 24 2014] STM 205(B) is almost 70% done. But I have several busy weeks ahead, so the completion is still likely to be late-Nov or Dec 2014.

Since it’s a direct continuation of STM 205(A), it’s quite clear that the episode will focus mainly on the investigation. Ms Monty will also be returning, after her silence during this story arc. Time in the STM Universe may pass differently from time in the Watcher World.

[Oct 12 2014] Default Kent Capp is more likely to be interpreted as a double for Nervous Subject, since they both have similar positions in their default family portraits, as the single man living with a married couple (who look like doubles of each other too).

But in STM, Kent’s resemblance to Vidcund is more pronounced, both in terms of physical appearance and in social status.

To top it off, their direct supervisors are also their doubles, as they have first names that rhyme with theirs (Duncan Xu & Trent Ivanov), possible because I am more used to refer to these cars (oops, I mean “guys”) by their last names alone. This extra doubling is another reason (besides the idea that they are both naturalized into their adopted culture) why I chose not to make the Two Men go by standard Chinese or Russian first names.

Similarly, the default Bianca Monty is more likely to be compared with Cassandra Goth, as Family sims who may have some tendencies towards Knowledge too.

But in STM, Bianca’s double is Erin Beaker, another intelligent and strong woman with a reasonably close relationship with her brother. In STM episodes which do not focus directly on Bianca, the spotlight is on Erin instead.

Which single father is holding up more successfully? General Buzz Grunt or Antonio Monty? Are they another pair of doubles?

STM 2.05(B) is slightly more than 50% complete. A late November 2014 release is possible, but December is more likely. Remember that a working (young) adult has 1001 more responsibilities and less personal time than those who only need to worry about school or college.

In an earlier post, I have mentioned that I also changed the computer I use for Sims, and restarted the STM neighborhoodboth of which take up the time I would have used for video production. I  have persisted in this project despite all the odds against me getting anything done, in a year that I have known in advance to be busy.

Some parts of 2.05(B) are very experimental. The dialogue was notoriously difficult to finalize, as I rewrote the script at least twice…

Hiatus Over – CAS Calculated Risks

The football hiatus is over, and I’m back to my usual video-making habits. But don’t expect STM 2.05(B) so quickly, as it’s still a busy year for me.

My Sims stories may contain many premade characters, but my storylines tend to veer off the usual expectations of default neighborhoods. In STM, I wrote 1.021.09 to be closer to most fans’ expectations of Strangetown, but my story took on a more “customized” CAS turn from 1.10 onwards.

So STM became more like “Strangetown Fringe than “Strangetown Strangetown”. There is a fine balance between writing for the fans, and writing a tale that the writer himself enjoys — considering that this is his hobby.

It’s also clear that my primary aspiration is Knowledge, not Popularity. That’s why I dare to take calculated risks by experimenting with my story plots and storytelling methods. A guy who calls himself “Prometheus” can’t possibly be the people-pleasing sort who prioritizes mainstream approval.

I’ve stated before, in the context of Pleasantview, that if exactly the same (default) characters and storyline directions are done by many fans, the resulting plot lines will be overtly similar. The same thing can be said of Strangetown, Veronaville, or just about any other town, IF done by enough fans. (But of course, I still prefer Strangetown / Veronaville stories to those about Pleasantview.)

That’s why some CAS elements are necessary in these tales to give a unique touch from the author. Some people think my way of looking at the world is bizarre. At the very least, my stories open your eyes to a realm of possibilities — and I’m happy with that.

STM = Strangetown + Veronaville + Fringe Green + Hyde Blue

STM 203 – 80% (Hyde, Specter & Son – Midnight Hollow)

I am happy to announce that STM 2.03 is 80% filmed & edited, with an imminent October release, assuming there are no last minute major problems.

The Bella scene is probably one of my least favorite to film and edit, alongside the nightmare of the Grunt house in STM 1.06. You probably know Pleasantview is never my cup of tea. But the rest of the multi-plot STM 2.03 is fun to put together.

It appears that EA created their first default sim named “Hyde” In Midnight Hollow. However, Lucien Hyde looks nothing like me – his appearance is that of a Marilyn Manson spoof, and his personality that of a perpetually sad tortured artist. It’s also significant that this Hyde is put into the same town as Specter & Son.

I was smiling at how the EA promotional interview referred to him as “Hyde”, especially since I do that “last name reference” quite a bit in STM. Not just for my own character, but for just about any adult male with a unique surname. The only females who get this “last name treatment” are Monty & Specter – the strong & individualistic women.

Sims “Canon” vs “Fanon”

StrangeTown Monty is my own version of what happened to the default (canon) characters in Veronaville and Strangetown, so the story is properly classified as “fanon”.

We should also NOT confuse “what happened to a character in someone’s sim story” (fanon) with “the game creators’ official version of the character” (canon).

Perhaps this will be clearer if I explain using the Goth Family. These are examples of “fanon” that proves to be completely different, or even at odds with, canon info.

Sims1 CANON: – Mortimer & Bella Goth are [Read Full Post…]

April Fools Simlish

I wanted to publish a STM April Fools Video, but had no time 😦 The idea is still intact, so it will likely appear sometime in future.

The official STM #8 is 40% complete. I can only work on it when I have the time.

Directors United went Simlish for April Fools. The leaderboard & all their announcements were “translated” into a Simlish font. Such Simlish fonts are amusing because they bear some resemblance to the original English alphabet, so they are still recognizable & readable to some extent.

We can’t really “learn” Simlish, because only *some* of the words have established English translations. (Eg. “Nooboo”: Baby; “Woohoo”: Sexual Intercourse)

If EVERY word in Simlish is translatable into English, the phrases sims say will be locked down in fixed meanings, becoming repetitive & boring. An ambiguous gibberish language like Simlish allows fluidity of interpretation, which helps to keep the game fresh.

The Simlish in StrangeTown Monty works on the level of *voice expression* instead of *specific words*.

My Blog “Sticky Note” (as well as some of the banners/images) has also changed, so that my stance on major matters can be seen on the front page.