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LadyMinion's Blog

I'm still here..

I must apologise *again* for my recent abscence. I can't believe the bad luck that has happened to me, but I have been without an internet connection for over a week. This time it was not my modem, but an issue related to the cable company's equipment in the street.

The reason this took so long to resolve was because initially they assumed it was just me and didn't send an engineer out for several days. Then they came and discovered that was not the case, so toddled off to look at the box outside. This was getting late in the day, and they realised it would take further investigation, so the decision was made to return the following day. *sigh*

On top of that, when I did get my connection back, it was very slow because they were upgrading the network. So now I'm finally back to normal and have a 20Mbit line as well. Which is nice, but I sometimes prefer that it had stayed at 10Mbit with no downtime.

So anyway, that's what has been happening to me. I'll be submitting some new stuff soon, so keep your eyes peeled. :D

No internet...

I just want to apologise for disappearing down a black hole the last few days. My cable modem packed up over the weekend and the cable company made a right balls-up of getting it sorted. It's all been rather frustrating I tell ya!

Anyway, I'm back now *touches wood* and will be responding to all the comments and messages left in my absence over the course of the evening. I also want to say a big thank you to everyone for making Brightview Urban Villa such a success - I was quite gobsmacked to see it had achieved over 300 downloads on the first day of release!

I see quite a few of you are already enjoying my Graduate Starter which was released today. I'd like to say a big thank you to Tigerblue and Strawbz for choosing it as the winning entry in the Graduate Starter Competition over on the forums. If you liked my submission, please do have a look at the other fantastic entries. :)

Latest submissions...

Just a quick update to alert you to upcoming publications. :D

Today sees the release of my Palm Cockatoo. I just want to say that the screenshot doesn't do this bird justice, being such a dark colour made it awkward to present well. If you're not sure going by the picture, please do give it a look in-game. I have opted for a mid-size texture on this one - I did create a higher quality one but the difference in filesize was nearly 3Mb and it didn't look that much better.

I am working as we speak on a new parrot project - but this one is under wraps for now. I can however tell you that, like the Phoenix, this is quite different from the norm. ;)

I have also submitted a new house. This was actually requested by TSR member soulstripper who really liked Brightview Micro Dorm but wanted a residential dwelling for her family of two adults, a teen, a child and a toddler. I'm actually very pleased with how it has turned out, especially as it's so small yet can accomodate so many. You can check it out for yourselves come Saturday. :)

Parrot Recolour Quality Poll..

Thanks to the enormous popularity of the Phoenix which was released recently, I am interested in knowing how happy people are to download such large files. The Phoenix came in at over 2Mb compressed and over 5Mb when extracted to the game Downloads folder.

Therefore, I have made a new poll for you to answer. :D

I enjoy making such detailed textures, but I do want to ensure that the majority of downloaders are happy with the hefty filesize. I'm also concerned that it might have a negative impact on in-game performance - if you've played with the Phoenix and noticed any slowdown as a result, please do let me know.

There is one other option (which I haven't mentioned in the poll) and that's for me to do one high quality and one low-quality version of each bird. I'd love to hear individual feedback on this too, so please leave a comment if this is of interest to you. :)

BTW, I was hoping to finish and submit the Palm Cockatoo today but I have still not been 100% on the ball and so this will probably be tomorrow now. Sorry for the delay, but I do want to make sure this meets all my usual standards and it's a tad difficult to do that with a foggy brain. :D

Happy Easter & Apologies for being MIA...

I know it's getting a little late, but I just want to wish everybody a lovely Easter holiday. I hope you haven't gorged yourselves on too much chocolate. ;)

I also want to apologise for not being around these last few days. I'm not sure what I've had, but I ain't been feeling too grand at all. I've dubbed this new-found illness "Creator's Syndrome" as it seems like many TSR creators have succumbed to ill-health lately. Spooky eh? :D

Anyway, I'd best be off making things for you lovely people. The Palm Cockatoo is nearly finished, so watch this space. :)

Another dorm & parrot poll update...

Yes, I have made and submitted another dorm. I know, they all come at once, just like buses. Blame my loopy head for giving me these disorganised "bursts" of creativity. :D

I won't post a screenshot this time, I'll keep you on your toes. ;) However, I will say it's a very compact, stylish dorm for up to 8 students. It has been built on a tiny 2x2 lot and is geared towards those of you with lower-spec computers. Don't think that this means there's nothing to do though - the dorm is packed with all sorts of skill-building and socialising goodies. :D

The parrot poll has now been closed, with the Palm Cockatoo the clear winner having 44% of the vote. I shall get started on creating him over the next few days - thank you to all who voted. :)

Phoenix parrot recolour...

For the last week or so, I've been working on a particularly intensive project that I've finally completed and submitted this evening. I'd like to introduce to you the beautiful Phoenix:

Over 20 solid hours of blood, sweat and tears have gone into this wonderful bird. I created an extremely high-resolution texture, thus the file itself is rather large coming in at over 5Mb uncompressed. I believe you will find the download to be well worth it though as I have paid immense attention to detail. Every feather was hand-crafted, the skin is ultra-realistic and the colours have been seamlessly blended. Maxis' use of the texture has given me some limitations, but I've worked around them to the best of my ability.

In total, I created 517 layers in Photoshop to make this as perfect as possible. The final PSD file comes in at nearly 50Mb.

I had great fun making this (and some frustration too lol) and I do hope you will enjoy playing it. Publication will hopefully be sometime over the next few days. :)

UPDATE / Publication date will be Saturday 31st March. :D

New dorms submitted...

As promised, the dorm I was working on has been completed, play-tested and submitted. You can hopefully download it in a few days.

I had to make a u-turn on one of the features (plantable plots on the upper floor greenhouse) as although the sims were able to use them, there was a graphical glitch. The plots, when planted, suddenly jumped into mid-air! So that greenhouse is now filled with orchard trees (which work fine) and a second greenhouse was added outside for plots.

The style also changed quite drastically from the picture I originally posted. Here's a sneak preview:

As you can see, the base structure is still there, but it's a lot more complex and the aesthetics have changed. I thought it looked too like my Greenhouse Cottage before.

The lot also features a fishable pond. Now your student sims won't have to eat mac and cheese or pancakes all day every day. :D

Bear in mind that if you want your sims to pursue their gardening hobby while attending college, it isn't gonna be easy. But it could certainly be an interesting challenge.

This one did take me a bit more time than usual, I think my brain is still a bit fuzzy, heheh. But I do hope you find it reaches my usual standard and enjoy playing it. Please do leave feedback if you download it. ;)

Parrot recolour poll..

Late last night, I started a poll asking which parrot recolour I should do next. For those that are wondering, the parrot comes with the Pets EP and I have made a few recolours of it already.

Anway, the poll has already had a few votes, which is fantastic, but I thought I'd pop an entry in here too with a few pics of the birds on offer:

Due to the limitations of the Maxis mesh and the fact that I am no mesher myself, please note that if the Palm Cockatoo wins, it will not have the magnificent beak. I do aim to give it the trademark crest and colouring though.

You'll also probably notice I haven't given the option for which species of Eclectus or Caique in the poll - if you have a favourite, please let me know either by commenting here, sending me a PM, or posting in my guestbook. :)

I'll leave the poll up for a week or so. But if your favourite doesn't win, worry not for I shall probably make it at some point anyway. :D

Finally, please keep any suggestions for parrots coming. I'm always interested to find out what's popular. :)

Thank you TSR!

I have just logged in to find a wonderful surprise waiting for me today - thank you so much Thomas and Co for choosing me as a Select Artist! This is something I have been aspiring to ever since the title was first introduced.

I would also like to thank the TSR members who have given me such pride by downloading my work. I hope you will continue to enjoy my creations. :)

Latest Headlines

I'm still here.. No internet... Latest submissions... Parrot Recolour Quality Poll.. Happy Easter & Apologies for... Another dorm & parrot poll... Phoenix parrot recolour... New dorms submitted... Parrot recolour poll.. Thank you TSR!
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