First, I wanted to show the non-players in the audience what the game actually looks like from the player’s perspective. (Click for big.)
This is an actual screenshot (i.e. print screen) as opposed to a picture from the in-game camera (i.e. click camera icon). The in-game camera snaps a shot without the player’s dashboard, and stores the pics in the Neighborhoods folder. That’s where I get the pictures that I usually post.
A tremendous amount of information and options are being presented, but it’s pretty easy to figure out what’s what just by looking. Everything has a tooltip – either a wee little one, or a big pop-out window. Several of the things, if you click them, toggle over to alternate menus. It’s one of the best examples of user design that I’ve ever seen.
When I took this screenshot, Makoto was in the middle of studying Lifelong Happiness. As you can see, his Wants at this moment are “Learn Lifelong Happiness,” “Catch fireflies,” “Be friends with Count Sibic,” (more on that later) and “Max out the painting skill.”
This is a perfect example of why I find Makoto so charming. This is a typical set of Wants for him. And how can you not like someone who just wants to study Lifelong Happiness, catch fireflies, and paint?
He’s gotten pretty good at painting, too. I recently had him paint a portrait of their house, and of Ernesto.
Ernesto continues to infuriate me, but less frequently now that their kids are grown. For one thing, Ernesto has a job, so he’s out of the house and off my radar more often. (Although that didn’t keep him from teasing one of Frank’s school friends until he cried.)
For another thing, now that there aren’t babies around, I’ll no longer pan across the house and encounter a scene like this:
However, I’ve decided not to kill him off. Makoto will be crushed when Ernesto dies, and I simply can’t handle the guilt.
I’m not the only one who finds Makoto charming. I’ve never had a Sim that was so alluring to other Sims. For example, this fellow fell in love with Makoto after chatting for about five Sim minutes. Crazy!
At one point, I sent Makoto to a community lot to buy a new pair of pajamas. As he stood at the cash register, two other Sims crossed the lot just to introduce themselves. The first, some trampy chick, wasn’t exactly Makoto’s type. But Count Sibic was a different story.
“Nice to meet you, I… hey! HEY!”
I had always wondered if, when you were on a community lot at night, you were in danger of being randomly turned into a vampire. It turns out that the answer is: YES. At least Makoto is. The Count literally walked up to Makoto and pounced, without so much as an introduction.
I was horrified. I think I may actually have said “GET OFF HIM!” out loud as I frantically clicked to cancel the “get bitten” action from Makoto’s queue. It was no use – the Count had moved too fast, and now Makoto was a vampire. (And the trampy chick just stood there!)
Fortunately the Gypsy wandered onto the lot before the sun came up. I had Makoto buy a dose of Vampirocillin-D from her, and he changed back into a human just in time. Shaken, I sent Makoto home and exited the game.
The next day, I took that screenshot at the beginning of this post. That’s right – even after the Count attacked him out of nowhere, Makoto still wanted to be friends.
Makoto, sweetie, we need to have a little talk.
Anyway, the kids apparently forgave Ernesto for his appalling behavior when they were babies. This is the most tightly-knit generation I’ve played so far. Whenever I didn’t assign them a specific task, they would find each other and do stuff as a fambly. They all became best friends with each other without any prompting from me, which is a first.
I often turn up my nose at games like “God of War” and “World of Warcraft” and “Call of Duty: World At War” and “Gears of War” and “War War Killing Stuff War.” And the feeling is mutual. I don’t understand why they want to kill stuff. And they don’t understand why I would spend hours – real life hours – managing the hunger levels of four Sims such that they all get hungry at the same time, so that they can all sit down to family dinner.
Because my Sims like family dinner, that’s why! Sillies!
Speaking of “family dinner,” Ernesto finally earned himself a Cow Plant. The Cow Plant looks amusing and cute, but here’s how it works: it lures in Sims by holding out a piece of fake birthday cake. No one can resist cake!
When a Sim reaches for the cake, the Cow Plant gobbles them up.
A few minutes later, the Cow Plant is ready to be milked.
When you milk the Cow Plant and drink the resulting “juice,” it adds five days (a Sim day loosely corresponds to a people year) to your lifetime.
The Cow Plant lives inside a fenced enclosure (beside the Love Tub in the back yard, ironically enough). I’ve been bringing it out once a week or so, to eat a random visiting Sim. Then I send Makoto out to milk it.
I figure if I stick with it, Makoto could essentially be immortal. Barring accidental death (and I’m very careful with him) this means I’ll never have to watch him die.
Don’t judge me.
Um… oh, right – anyway, Frank and Fiona went to college.
College students love the guitar I bought for them!