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moonlitmaiden's Blog

She's baaaaaack!!!

Whoopee! The dead PC turned out to be a dead monitor, so I'm now the proud owner of a new 22" widescreen that's so gorgeous I've lost all feeling in my posterior from sitting in front of it for so long. A whole month without a PC! Without downloads! Without Simming! I was headed for the rubber room, let me tell you.

I got back in the swing of things just in time to endure the new V7 site in all its glitchy glory. It is improving, slowly, and admin is doing a good job of addressing people's complaints and trying to accommodate everyone's preferences. It will be interesting to see how the final version shakes out.

In the meantime, The Sims looks freakin' awesome on my new monitor and though there's some odd stretching in the control panels, the game itself looks perfect and incredibly sharp and clear. My old 17" Dell only had the AVG hookup; this new monitor also has DVI, and man, what a difference! Analog can't compete with digital.

Bye bye... For now

Major computer woes -- a bad motherboard, I think. For the time being and the foreseeable future, I'm reduced to using my old iMac. And as all my Sims software is for the PC, and wouldn't run on this 400MHz machine anyway (God, to think this was once upon a time the state of the art!), it's going to be some time before I can even play The Sims again, let alone create more custom content for you all.

Maybe Santa will come through with a bright shiny new PC, who knows? In the meantime, Happy Holidays to you all and I'll see you -- sometime -- in 2009.

:) Gina

Poll results: You'd rather die than wallpaper a room!

With 160 responses, I think it's time to close this poll and tally the very interesting results.

I thought it was particularly fascinating that a significant majority of you would forego eternal youth and an infinitely renewable lifespan in order to be able to redecorate with your mouse. Looks like the Oil of Olay people need to rethink their marketing strategy.

This was a fun poll and I really enjoyed seeing all your responses. Thanks very much for participating!

Question: How do you relate to your Sims?

Question: My Sims are:
31.88% (51) My alter egos - I live through my Sims!
54.38% (87) My little puppets - I rule my Sims!
13.13% (21) Just a bunch of animated pixels, that's all!

Question: I dress my Sims:
11.25% (18) Just the way I dress.
39.38% (63) The way I wish I could dress.
48.75% (78) Appropriately for their ages, incomes and eras -- what I wear has nothing to do with it.

Question: My Sims live:
3.75% (6) In the same type of housing I live in.
40.63% (65) In housing I wish I could live in.
53.13% (85) In everything from slums to mansions, just like real life.

Question: I like my Sims to be:
63.13% (101) The same age I am.
17.5% (28) Younger than I am.
11.88% (19) Older than I am.

Question: If I could have one Sims feature in real life, it would be:
21.88% (35) Getting a new job without having to submit a resume or go on an interview.
18.13% (29) Having a baby in just a couple of days -- and then being instantly slender again.
21.88% (35) Being able to reverse the aging process with the Elixir of Life.
38.13% (61) Being able to remodel and redecorate with just a few mouse clicks.

Men are from Mars... Women are from Venus... Computers are from the deepest bowels of Hell!

Early Sunday evening... After spending all day yesterday burning files to safety on a bunch of DVD-R discs and transferring others to my tiny little 40 gig hard drive, I was ready to defrag and CHKDSK my precious external drive. It has just finished. All night long and half the morning to defrag, and from about 11:00 AM until about 5:30 (yes!) to complete CHKDSK. Whole lot of bad sectors. Something was really futzed up and I think it all started with a nasty power outage that must have zapped the drive in mid-read or something. And yes, kids, I do have my electronics plugged into a surge protector (not just a suppressor, mind, a protector). But although the hardware came through okay, apparently some of the files got corrupted. Just enough to really mess up my life over the past week.

Plus, my expensive office chair from Staples has flipped its hydraulic lid. It won't stay elevated! I sit down and gradually sink to the lowest setting, as if I were in a bog of quicksand.

Now that things have been cleaned up I can reinstall my Sims and get back to business. But not tonight. I have had all I can take of computers this weekend, and this stupid chair that won't stay at the proper height!

Time to fetch a mug of coffee with a shot of Irish and start rereading Harry Potter.

Something ate my Sims! Part 2

Well, nothing I've tried (and I've tried everything) has brought my ailing game back to life, so it's time to bite the bullet and start over again with a clean slate. This weekend's project is to find my game discs and reinstall the game from the ground up.

Luckily, I was smart for once and backed up my old game files before I recently installed Freetime and Apartment Life, and all the SPs. So all I've really lost is a lot of time and a few fistfulls of hair. Plus I think my language scared the cats at a few particularly aggravating moments.

The lot I was working on for publication when my game went haywire is still okay, I think. If not, the cats had better put their little earplugs in!

Something ate my Sims!

Well I don't know what happened, but my game self-destructed a few days ago and I still can't figure out what's wrong. It just, all of a sudden, started telling me it's not installed! So now I'm trying to find the box where I stored my older game discs (the base game, NL, UNI, OFB, Pets and Seasons) so I can reinstall the whole thing. I think the box was brown... :(

Separates Poll

Time to close another poll. Here's what 214 of you thought about elder-enabled separates:

Question: I've recently started converting adult separates to work for elders. What are your thoughts?
85.78% (187) I like them! It's great to have more versatility.
12.39% (27) They're too much trouble, because you can't use them with regular elder separates.

Question: Would you like to have recolors of the conversions I've done so far?
75.23% (164) You bet! The more the merrier.
21.1% (46) No, I think your elder-enabled clothes have given elders enough variety.

Question: Would you like recolors to include elders, adults and young adults?
56.42% (123) It depends on the style. What's appropriate for one age group doesn't always work for others.
42.66% (93) Sure! It doesn't take up any more room in my downloads folder, and I like having a choice.

Question: Do you like to download several different colors/prints of the same style?
63.76% (139) Yes, if I like the style I want lots of different options.
33.49% (73) No, I limit myself to one or two different colors/prints of any one style.

Question: What colors do you prefer for elder clothing?

12.84% (28) I think elders look better in conservative colors (black, brown, navy, burgundy, etc.).
18.35% (40) I like brighter colors and pastels for women but conservative colors for men.
68.35% (149) I like a mix for both sexes.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to add their votes to the poll. Lots of good information!


Freetime poll results: Love it or hate it?

With 216 responses, here's how you answered the question: Now that the final Sims 2 EP, Freetime, has been released, what are your thoughts?

Question: Have you got Freetime yet?
6.48% (14) Yes, and it's a waste of money.
25% (54) No, but I intend to get it.
9.72% (21) No, and I don't intend to get it.
57.41% (124) Yes, and it's great!

Question: If you got Freetime, or intend to, why? (Check all that apply.)
70.83% (153) I love having more activity options.
56.02% (121) I want all the new objects and clothing, and I want to be able to download the recolors artists will create for them.
28.24% (61) I want to be able to download and use lots that artists with Freetime create.
34.26% (74) I just want to have the complete collection of EPs.

Question: If you haven't got Freetime and don't intend to, why not? (Check all that apply.)
7.41% (16) It's too expensive.
4.63% (10) The features don't interest me.
11.57% (25) My computer already has trouble handling the EPs I've got.
6.02% (13) I'm sick of having to upgrade my favorite hacks to work with every new EP.

Question: What Sims 2 version of a Sims 1 EP would you have preferred for the final Sims 2 EP?
31.02% (67) Makin' Magic! Just think of the possibilities for new activities, clothing, and cool objects!
20.83% (45) Superstar! Everybody wants to be rich and famous.
46.3% (100) Neither. I like new concepts, not recycled versions of old ideas.

Many thanks to all who took the time to participate in the poll. Your responses have changed my mind about getting Freetime, eventually -- but not until it goes on sale!

Using Elder-Enabled Separates

By now, people who know me and my work know that I'm dedicated to enabling the adult clothing in the EA/Maxis catalog to work for elder Sims. So far, I've limited these conversions to whole outfits, but elders can use converted clothing based on adult meshes for separates as well. However, you must be sure that when you use an elder-enabled top, you only pair it with an elder-enabled skirt or pants. EA's insistence on making elders (particularly women) with paunchy midriffs means that clothing created for use with elder meshes will be wider at the waist than clothing created for adult meshes. Therefore, tops and bottoms based on elder meshes will leave gaps if used with adult mesh-based, elder-enabled separates, as illustrated below:

I hope this explanation makes it clear why you can only use elder-enabled separates with each other. I have several more sets of separates in the works, all of which will be interchangeable. Using these separates is a little more complicated than using whole meshes, but the versatility of mix-and-match separates is well worth it!

Whaddaya like?

It's time to close my latest poll, with 263 respondents (thank you!). Lots of valuable information for me and other custom content providers.

I was particularly surprised by how much the quality of the preview pictures influences your decision on whether to download or not. This factor even beat out subscriber/non-subscriber. Thinking about it, though, I realize that it makes sense that an artist who's creative and meticulous about their creations will also be that way about their preview shots.

Another surprise was how many "older" players there are. Fewer than 20 percent of those responding were under age 18. Goes to show you, this is far from being just another "kid's game."

Here are the final results:

Question: What is your age bracket?
19.01% (50) Under 18
28.52% (75) 18 to 25
25.86% (68) 25 to 35
13.69% (36) 35 to 45
9.51% (25) 45 or older

Question: What do you prefer to download (check all that apply)?
74.9% (197) Clothing
34.6% (91) Lots
37.26% (98) Build items (doors, windows, stairs, etc.)
27% (71) Floors, walls and terrains
67.68% (178) Furniture and furnishings
64.26% (169) Hair, makeup, etc.
17.87% (47) Complete or Celebrity Sims

Question: Do you prefer to download sets or individual items?
73.76% (194) Sets
23.57% (62) Individual items

Question: What would keep you from downloading (check all that apply)?
49.81% (131) Poor quality previews
60.84% (160) Too many meshes required, or have to go to other sites to download meshes
43.73% (115) Subscriber only items
7.98% (21) Not SA or FA - I think they're higher quality
72.62% (191) Personal taste - just don't like the style, color, etc.

Again, many thanks to those of you who took the time to respond to the poll. I hope it was fun for you!

Latest Headlines

She's baaaaaack!!! Bye bye... For now Poll results: You'd rather die... Men are from Mars... Women are... Something ate my Sims! Part 2 Something ate my Sims! Separates Poll Freetime poll results: Love it... Using Elder-Enabled Separates Whaddaya like?
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