the walking writer

With the unexpected release of the Sims 2: Ultimate Collection, custom content for the game has suddenly reached a new level of demand, despite the game being 10 years old at this point. I played the Sims 2 obsessively back when the game first came out. I also loved to collect custom content. Most of the stuff I downloaded was nice, but it didn’t really fit the look of the game. After the Ultimate Collection came out, I discovered the world of “Maxis match” content.

Maxis match is a type of custom content in the Sims 2 that is meant to seamlessly blend into the Sims 2 world. Some custom content creators, especially those who create clothing, prefer to make outfits that look realistic. These clothes tend to be shiny or have volume and texture. Although these clothes look quite lovely and are well-made, some players prefer to stick to custom content that looks like it came with the game. The illustrations below should help explain what I mean:

Example of non-Maxis match clothing and hair:

Example of non-Maxis match hair and clothing

(Clothing featured in this screenshot is from All About Style and hair is from XMSims.)

Example of Maxis match clothing and hair:

Example of Maxis match hair and clothing

(Clothing featured in this screenshot is from Mod the Sims and hair is by Eatfishcustard.)

Finding Maxis match content is a little challenging, but I hope to put together a post of resources soon. In the meantime, did you know that you can easily replace the default hair/skin tones/faces/clothes/etc with Maxis match sets? This website offers a huge collection of content to replace ugly default clothes and more. Some sections are separated by realistic and Maxis match options to make your search easier. The clothes, as far as I can tell, are pretty much all of the Maxis match flavor.

Based on the reviews I’ve read of the Sims 4, I think it sounds like a decent addition to the Sims family. I’m quite fond of the graphics style, and I think the graphics are a big improvement over Sims 3. The emotions and multitasking feature sound like good additions that add more depth to the game. I’ve also enjoyed spending a bit of time playing with the Create a Sim demo for the Sims 4. With that said, however, I’m delaying my purchase for now for the following reasons:

Loss of the Open World

I understand why the open world went away after the Sims 3: it was slow to load for many people (myself included). However, lag aside, I love the feel of an open world. It’s amazing to have your Sim just go anywhere you want without a loading screen. The open world was also great for people who love to randomly walk around their towns collecting rocks and bugs.

No Story Progression

The Sims 3 introduced a cool new feature: story progression. Essentially, this feature helped keep your town alive even if you were just focusing on one family. Your family’s neighbors would age, get married, have kids, get a new job, etc. In the Sims 4, your neighbors age but they don’t have kids. Instead, the Sims the game creates will simply age up and die. Although the game will add new random families to your town, you won’t have any multi-generational families living alongside your family.

The Cost

$60 is a little steep for a base Sims game that is a little light on content. I think I’ll wait until a price drop or sale around the holidays before I pick it up. I’m also waiting to see what the first expansion pack will be.

No Toddlers

Toddlers aren’t that big of a deal to me, but I still think it’s silly that the game doesn’t have them. I’m curious to see if they will eventually add toddlers back into the game and if it will be via a free patch or an expansion pack.

Plenty Left to Do in the Sims 3

My final reason for my delayed purchase of Sims 4 is that I still have plenty to do in the Sims 3. Not long after I purchased the Sims 3, I took a break when I started playing World of Warcraft. Warcraft’s loading screen was so much shorter than the Sims 3, so I ended up taking quite a long break from the game. Now that I’ve quit WoW (for reasons worthy of a post eventually), I’ve started playing other games. I still have yet to experience many of the things in the various Sims 3 expansions.

As I mentioned in the first post I wrote on this blog, the first blog post is usually the hardest to write. The first post you write after taking an unexpected absence is also pretty tough. In my case, however, this little blog is just a experiment and something to provide a few minutes of entertainment here and there. Thus, I don’t feel too bad about taking a break.

I admit that I sometimes suffer from writer’s block. If you do as well, you’ve probably read numerous lists of things that may or may not help you break through the block. I have my own list of things that actually does help:

  • Do something else. If forcing yourself to write is just making you frustrated, it’s time to do something else. Take a walk, watch a television show or play a video game.
  • Read. I find that reading the words of other writers is a great way to feel inspired. No, don’t steal, but allow yourself to absorb the words and feel the inspiration behind them.
  • Write something unrelated. If you’re working on an article for a client about pest control and struggling to hit the requested word count, write something else. Switching gears to an entirely different topic helps me unblock my brain.