Out-takes, Gameplay and Storytelling notes, and other miscellaneous ramblings from behind the scenes at Richmond Sims.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Redesigning Richmond and Rethinking my Posting Schedule

So, my blog is moving at a snail-pace, and I'm getting frustrated with it.  This sim-year feels like its taken forever, and as much as I enjoy exploring the lives and feelings of my sims in a bit more detail, I miss the way things used to move considerably faster.  I thought that when I finished studying, things would speed up... only they haven't

I've worked out that its because of my 'big' storylines, the posts that have a lot of storytelling (as opposed to gameplay) to write, and a lot of pictures that need to be posed and set up in detail.  Most of my posts are like this recently, although I didn't realise it until I wrote the Green family mostly-gameplay post, and it was so refreshing... and easy!

I've decided, therefore, that in future I won't have more than one storytelling-type post in a sim-month... eventually I'd like to have only one every two sim-months, but we'll see.  There'll be times when I deviate from that schedule - for example, if events need to occur close together and there's no reasonable way around it - but I'll stick to that overall.  If something happens in a gameplay session that looks set to kick off another big storyline (as happened recently with the Beare family), and I've already got storytelling posts scheduled, they'll have to 'wait in queue' and - unless it's tied in with a current storyline - the event won't occur until there's a free month to delve into it.

So, I rewrote my posting schedule, the Beare family thing (originally my next post) won't happen for several sim-months, and nor will my first teen pregnancy (although she's already pregnant in-game, for story purposes it hasn't happened yet).  Even with them taken out, because the other stories are tied up in each other, there's still a couple of storytelling posts per sim-month until about March next sim-year... but that's better than it was.  I've got 2/3 of a post finished for the Beare family, that I won't be using now, but most of it will be 'recycled' in other posts, so its not too much of a problem.  Those stories will come around sooner anyway, with my new posting schedule.

There'll be a bit of a delay before the next post because of scrapping the Beare family and doing something else, and from then on, I'm looking forward to playing faster and posting more frequently!

The other thing I've been doing, is redesigning Richmond.  It started out as Pleasantview, and it just grew randomly from there.  I was writing recently about my Bluewater Village, and thinking about how it's so planned and put together, whereas my base hood was a mix of housing styles and costs, shops in random places, nothing that really made sense.  I had the opportunity to change that when I remade the hood, but I was so upset at losing the first version, that I wanted everything the same.  Now I'm ready to change that.

I had an expanded Pleasantview terrain for ages (can't remember where I got it but I'm trying to find it).  I used the hood replacer to move Richmond onto it.

Part of the challenge now is to create a hood that I'm happy with, without changing anything that's 'canon' in my blog.  For example, the new terrain has beaches on both sides, but I've said that you have to go to Bluewater to go to the beach.  So, no beach lots in Richmond.  The water on one side is a lake, and the other, where the big bridge is, is a river (the same river that runs through Downtown/Redwood City).

All the wealthy households live near the lake:

... actually, I've only got two households rich enough to live here - Jamie Jakobsens and Jamie and Elle Green - but that could change in future.

At the other end of the lake is well-off-but-not-millionaires :)  Kyla and Remus are here, as is the building where the Phoenix and Rubens families live.

Across the road from these houses is a huge park and botanical gardens - I had a lot of space to fill in the new hood, so I put Woodlands Park next to two similar sized park lots that I like, and added some hood deco walkways and the like.  

The little cul-de-sac in the centre is a retirement village, and the home that Serdar and Brandi live in is next door.  Next to that is the church, and the cemetery.

On the other side of the park is a really full housing area.  I put in three cul-de-sac type apartment lots, and a lot of duplexes - most of my young families like the Dreamers and Helen and Leo rent here, although there are also some starter homes to buy.  

This area borders on another richer neighbourhood, this time of established houses that have been there a while - Cory's family live in this area, as do the Centowski and Pitts families.

This is one block I had to get right because of the way I had imagined it.  Bottom centre is Ashley Pitts' house, with the Centowski family home on the other side of the block and the little lake in between.  I imagined child James and Ashley playing around that lake, with Kyle tagging along.  Originally the houses were all on one block with the back of the Pitts house facing the lake, but this works too.

 Here's the train station, shopping street on one side, and the pool and rec games park on the other.  I'm still working on this part of the hood but the walking tracks are coming along nicely.  Lots of outdoors stuff to do in Richmond! :)

I've got all these hood deco items I've never used, in the past I just filled the gaps with trees.  But I love this football field!

This is a work in progress, and I'll post more pictures as it develops.


  1. Your new play schedule seems reasonable enough. If you think it's going to allow you to progress a little faster, then more's the better. The pose-heavy updates are definitely more time consuming to put together.

    The new Richmond is looking awesome too. I'm so jealous of your train tracks. I never seem to be able to place them right (maybe I'm missing a piece - there's a thought!) but they really do add to the look of the town. Do they show up in lot view too?

  2. Thanks! Re the railway tracks: there are two sets on MTS, one by Criquette and one by DasMatze2. Although a lot of the deco I use is by Criquette, I found the DasMatze2 train tracks work better, and they line up well with the tracks on my railway station lot. They are visible in lot view, although the joins between pieces show up quite clearly - I can minimize this in pictures by adjusting the camera angle, though, so its no big problem.

  3. I would love to have the expanded Pleasantview. I actually tried to do this myself, but it turned out badly. Richmond looks beautiful! I have really enjoyed your blog.

  4. I have only just looked at this post of yours - and I am so envious of how beautifully you have set up Richmond!!! When I created New Maximiliania, I didn't really plan all that well... and it shows, I'm afraid.
    Now I wonder whether I should give New Max a make-over, but I don't want to lose anything my Sims have achieved over the past 4 years.

    1. Thanks! It's taken two or three 'makeovers' to get the hood to the way it is now. It wasn't very well-planned in its earlier incarnations, either. You can rearrange things without losing much, just by shifting around the building locations and hood decor. Make a backup of your hood before you try, then you can always get it back the way it was if it doesn't work.