Six weeks ago, I was commissioned to do an article about what I thought of the way Sim Day was going. This has so far become a series of three articles. Since my last article, Maxis have been very generous to us. As well as the predicted chats, they have given us the Ukelele Hula Girl lamp and the Vicania roses to give to the one you love. Also, they have given us new screenshots of "House Party" and a new Chatterbox. I am honestly quite impressed with the way recent Sim Days have gone. Have Maxis taken note of my previous articles? I would like to think so. If Maxis are reading this, hello and thankyou. Keep the good stuff coming... and throw in some of these as well.
In Part 2, I looked at the Official Utility Programs and I will take this point to thank Garrett for his reply to my comment in the last article about wishing that the Character Makeover could allow children to grow up. He pointed out that the program could not allow it. Oh well, you can't win them all.
In this third article, I will concentrate on...
There have been several Sim Day downloads that have added different features to the game. I especially like the Telephone Tweak that allows you just to talk to someone instead of having to invite him over. This is very useful for busy people. Also, who has any objection to the Clown Catchers who help get rid of The Sims' answer to Krusty. What I would like to see are further tweaks that will make our game playing even more pleasurable.
When "Living ..." came out, I expected to see some changes in the routine gameplay. Some of the below are some of what I would have liked to see.
Picture the scene. One of your Sim households have gone ahead and changed a plain wall in your living room into a bay window. However, you cannot seem to find the wall and floor textures that you used in the room when you built the house and you are not in the mood to change them. The real problem is that you have over 500 wall textures and 400 floor textures to go through. Sound familiar? I thought it might. That is why I think an Eye Dropper would be a useful addition.
For those of you unfamiliar with art programs, an Eye Dropper is a tool that allows you to click on an area of a picture and selects the colour below the cursor. Also, the Building Architect Tool (BAT) or BA+ allows you to create buildings for use in SimCity 3000. Although many people hate it, there are as many others who love it. It is simple and allows you to easily edit buildings you have created. However, you can find you have a similar problem when you want to touch up the wall. That is where the Eye Dropper tool comes in. If BAT (BA+) can have it, why can't the build tool in "The Sims"? Just click on a textured tile and it will find your covering in seconds. It would make the business of house editing a lot simpler.
Picture the same scene. After having found the right exterior brickwork and carpet for your living room, you have decided to buy a Country Class suite but it clashes with your wallpaper and carpet. You need a green one and that requires having to either clone and t-mog the existing one or search the other fansites to download a suite that were re-textured earlier. Sound familiar? Also, you might want a champagne bathroom suite but to download an entire bathroom suite takes a lot of time and fills a lot of disk space. And so it goes on. Eventually, your Downloads folder is stuffed with hundreds of megabytes of objects that could have been saved by this tweaking idea.
A Texture Selector would allow you to be able to choose what colour or texture you would like your furniture, windows and doors. If the program worked like this, it would save a lot of diskspace for the user. It might add on a couple of megabytes in disk space but for the savings it would make, it would all be worthwhile.
Computing for Adults
An earlier article of mine realistically considered all the possible uses for a computer as an educator for adults. Something similar to the telephone patch could do it or a new expensive educational computer would solve the problems.
Gable End and Flat Roofs
Alright, I had to mention it. We all know that Gable End Roofs were originally there - see the introductory video - and WW said during an online chat that it was removed because it was felt most interactions took place inside. If it was taken out, can it be put back without fundamentally restructuring the game? Also, if Flat Roofs could be made an option, this would keep that element happy.
Now I am in full flow on how I would like to see the program improved, I might be drifting towards the realms of the fantastic here where a specific Sim will sleep in a designated bed unless otherwise instructed? For example, Mary the housemaid would not slip into the four poster bed... unless her master asked her and Lady Clarisse would not sleep in the housemaid's Spartan special cot when she has a perfectly good four-poster bed upstairs.
Is your bathroom the centre of the social interactions in the house? Why not have locks on the doors to keep your guests and children out when you are on the toilet or are having a bath.
I do not feel I am alone in asking for the above. A lot of what I have mentioned are points agreed to on the discussion boards by many other players but apart from liking to see the neighbourhoods have different appearances (i.e. No.2 is not always on the hill, No.8 does not always overlook the lake), I don't think there is much else I would like to see changed... for now.
I did not think this when I started writing, but I hope to write a 4th part to this series. I will be looking at Object Ideas and anything else I haven't covered here. As always, your comments and ideas would be appreciated. After all, we all have our own stories to tell and how we'd like the game to give us a happier ending.
Written at 20:01 on Tuesday 27 February 2001 by