Sunday, July 5, 2009

Stacks - Starting Out

As I noted in the main post about the Maxis playables at University, Jane Stacks graduated 4 semesters before all the rest. And as such, she got to be my guinea pig for trying out apartments for the first time, as well as for testing an apartment complex that I built based on some plans I found online. I had one false start with her because of some things I'd messed up on in building the complex which made the whole thing glitchy, but eventually I got everything working right, or at least as best I could tell they're working right now. The mistake was that I didn't know you can't use the little divider strip fencing that came with the Pets EP, and I had used it in between the main part of the apartment and the kitchen. This had the effect that the game considered the kitchens and the small back yard each unit has to be part of the communal area, and not part of the unit. It also made the whole thing glitchy....things were visible in the neighboring apartments that should have been, and it caused errors with the NPC neighbors whereby they were getting stuck in their apartments.

If you look closely, you can kind of see the ghostly forms of the trapped neighbors who've ended up peeing themselves because they couldn't move for some reason. (Incidentally, this was the first time since I put MATY's yellowpee hack in that it's actually shown up as yellow for me. I'd taken one or two things out just previous to playing this part, so I guess one of the things I'd removed was conflicting with it somehow.) I ignored them as long as I could, but eventually it kept popping up the little event window repeatedly and wouldn't let me get rid of it (it'd pop up again instantly as soon as I closed it) and I had to do something about it. Even though I'd gone in via the apartment cheats and removed the fencing bits that shouldn't have been used which did fix the problem of the kitchen and backyard being unusable the way they should have been, it still didn't fix everything, and I eventually had to move her out temporarily so I could reset the entire complex by rezoning it to residential and then back to apartmentbase. That finally fixed everything, though it also raised the rents with the new areas being counted, so I had to fudge her funds a bit since moving in and out had cost her some money. For the purposes of this entry, however, I'll be acting as though the temporary move didn't happen. I might have ended up playing her for 5 total days instead of just 4 with the move - I got a bit confused on how much time had really passed for her - but I figure one day more or less isn't going to make any difference.

As a refresher before I switch into storyteller mode, here are Jane's stats (as well as a sneak-peek at her new outfit):

Jane had recently "broken up" with Martin Ruben shortly before she graduated when he met someone else. Though since they hadn't ever gotten engaged or anything to make their relationship "official" there wasn't any actual break up, and they are still in love with each other. And so, as she moved into her first apartment, she was facing the unpleasant prospect (for a Family sim such as her anyway) of having to remain single until such time as she could find someone else she was compatible with.

She wasn't really too worried about that just yet, however. Instead she was mostly anxious to get started on her lifetime want of raising 20 puppies or kittens. And so one of the first things she did, even before going shopping for new clothes, was to call the pet adoption agency and adopt a kitten named Alegra.

As soon as she'd gotten Alegra settled in her new home, however, she went in search of some better clothes to wear than the leftover costume from the theatre department that they'd given her to wear when she graduated. A quick trip to Cold Issue Clothing in Downtown and soon she was a woman of the 21st century again.

While she was downtown, she decided to check out some of the nightlife spots, and headed over to Rodney's Hideout. As it happened, their regular pianist had called in sick that night and they were desperate for a replacement. Hearing this, Jane offered her services. True, she'd gotten her maxed Creativity by painting, not playing piano, but it couldn't be that hard could it?

Apparently it wasn't, and she quickly became a hit with the Hideout's patrons that evening and earned several hundred simoleons in tips. One man in particular was quite taken with her performance, and after finishing his dinner, he continued to sit at his table and listen to her, frequently clapping and cheering in between songs.

When she finally decided she needed a break, Jane got up and went over to the man whom she'd heard behind her, wanting to thank him for his interest in her performance. His name was Randy McClelland, and as soon as she introduced herself she knew that he was the man she was meant to be with.

He was so taken with her in return that he offered to get her a discount on any furnishings she might need to buy for her new place.

Unfortunately by then it was getting late, and Jane was getting tired, so after having a few drinks with him at the bar, she said her goodbyes and headed home. She'd made sure to get his number, however, and the next afternoon she called him up and asked him to come over to her place for a date. He accepted, and after he arrived, they first spent time getting to know one another better.

By sunset, however, things had progressed to more than just chatting between them.

And even though once they'd started kissing they could hardly stop, the date officially ended not as a dream date, but it was close.

It was getting late, but even though the date had ended, Randy still didn't want to leave...and Jane didn't want him to she invited him inside. Once inside, they didn't waste much time taking things to the next level between them. They were all over each other as soon as they got inside the door, and entirely heedless of the show they were putting on for the neighbors through the window.

Their passion cemented their friendship, and on impulse Jane asked Randy to move in with her, and he accepted.

With the money that Randy brought with him, Jane was able to adopt another kitten, a male that she named Barney. She hoped that one day he and Alegra could have kittens together so she wouldn't have to always adopt new ones.

Since she and Randy were financially secure for the time being, Jane decided she wouldn't get a job, but would stay home and raise her kittens, and, hopefully, eventually their children as well. She had many hours to fill while Randy was at work, however, so she decided she'd try her hand at writing novels.

Even though she had yet to publish anything, apparently someone somewhere was taking notice and thought she was doing a good job so far, for a blonde lady in an evening gown came by one night to invite her to a secret lot for Literature and Film lovers.

Things between Jane and Randy continued to progress at a rapid pace, and within a few nights of his moving in, he asked Jane to marry him.

She said "yes" of course, and they proceeded to celebrate their engagement the way many newly engaged couples do. Oddly enough, Jane thought she heard a lullaby playing somewhere nearby just as they were finishing.

And so ends our brief stay in the home of Jane Stacks and Randy McClelland.


A few final comments with storyteller mode off; First, I thought it was very sweet the way Randy kept cheering Jane while she was playing. I didn't even have her looking for anyone at that point...I just had her go play piano for a bit to make a bit of extra money. And then, while she's playing, I see Randy cheering away and having constant thought bubbles about Jane, and it piqued my interest. So I had her go say hello to him afterwards, and the rest, as they say, is history between them. And second, yes, Jane is pregnant now after that last woohoo with Randy. She isn't yet showing, however, since that happened only a few hours before the time was up for this lot. They also haven't gotten married as yet, and I'm currently debating whether I'll have them marry before the baby is born or not. I'd like to continue all of the Maxis surnames from the University bunch if possible, but I also kind of like Randy's surname, and Jane strikes me as the traditional sort that would take her husband's name instead of having him take hers. She's obviously not traditional enough to wait for marriage, however....she proved that early on with her bedroom antics with Martin while still at college. So...whenever I get back to this family, I may just have them wait to marry until after the baby is born so it will get the Stacks name, and then have her take Randy's name so any subsequent children will be McClellands.

Up next: The brief tale of Brittany Upsnott's first two days as an adult.