Laridian (laridian) wrote,

[Sims] Storyteller Spotlight

Hey, it's time for the interview! Below are the usual questions for any interview, plus extra-special questions asked by YOU, the reading public. And there's a bunch of brand-new pictures as well as some old ones most of you probably never saw!

Pix are worksafe if you're lucky enough to be browsing this at work. Enjoy!

Tell us about yourself. (What you do for a living, your interests, where you live, your non-sim hobbies, etc.)
Hi, I'm Laridian. Currently I work in IT for a Medicare-based health insurance company. It's really a great job, I just wish I didn't have the commute! Because of the commute, I'm AFK for up to 11-12 hours a day, and my Internet-incapable travel laptop has no hope of playing Sims at all. ;) Prior to that I was a stay-at-home parent for five years, and I wish I could go back to that. Right now we live in Texas, US.

I'm into storytelling and creating, worldbuilding, science fiction (particularly alternate history), and most of the sciences in general. I used to play more computer and video games, but now I mostly play City of Heroes/Villains and Sims 2, and the occasional oldie game that runs OK on the laptop.

Do you have other creative pursuits that affect how you tell your sim stories? (Such as photography, creative writing, etc.)
I write stories on a daily basis. I've been published twice (one fiction, one nonfiction). But I don't watch much TV at all, and I go to movies maybe once a year. I don't read much fiction, either.
I used to draw, but I lost all my talent to inactivity.
I also do needlework, primarily cross-stitch but also some needlepoint. This too has dropped off because of my work/commute, which is a shame, as I liked it. It teaches you patience and to finish what you start.

Why did you start creating and posting sim stories?
It was an avenue for me to continue storytelling besides purely in text. Sims stories allow the storyteller to ignore a lot of the descriptive material, like day vs. night, the setting, what the characters look like, and so on. In this way, the storyteller can concentrate on the story and characters. Plus, it's a fun way to create a form of graphic novel.

Do you use Maxis pre-made sims, original sims, sims based on other sources (TV, movies, books, other games), or some combination of these? Why?
I normally use original sims wherever possible. There are a few exceptions; the Grunts (Strangetown) were added to CoH Sims Season One with a changed backstory, for example. But I find it easier to write for sims that don't have a personality or story established by someone else. Even the Grunts' stories and personalities were dramatically changed for CoH Sims.

How long does it take you to create a new CAS sim for a story? (If you create original sims, that is.)
Most of the sims I currently use were either created long ago or were born in-game; I'm also using some sims created expressly for me by friends. When I do need to create a new sim, I don't spend much time on it. ;) Sometimes it's a case of hitting Randomize and liking the result, and maybe tweaking it. Sometimes I know more specifically what I'm looking for. But I don't spend much time on sim creation these days.

Do you have one sim that frustrates you more than any of the others?
Not specifically, though I do fear what would happen if I had ACR. I have two sims who keep wanting to get together despite the story, but that's about it.

Do your sims have their own theme songs?
Their characters have theme songs, since the sims themselves are often crossing over from the City of Heroes/Villains universe or other of my writing universes. I've done several fanmix soundtracks for both CoH/V and my sims stories (CoH Sims has several, the Tellerman Legacy has one).

The Red-Headed League: Here We Go Again!

Do you like using aliens, vampires, zombies or any other non "normal" sims?
Not unless there's a good reason for them in the story. I should note that I mean Maxis aliens here. I've got "aliens" that are sims with custom skintones, eyes and hair, but the game recognizes them as humans, of course!

Do you usually create backstories for your sims?
Characters that cross over from other universes usually bring their baggage backstories with them. New characters often get a basic starter backstory. Sometimes I'll add a backstory to a townie.
For instance, when I was creating Three Wolf Peak neighborhood for CoH Sims Season Two, I was creating a potential girlfriend for Ryan Teflin, courtesy of a donated sim from a friend. Going into CAS to pull up the donated sim, the first, random sim in CAS caught my eye and I liked how he looked. I decided right there that he would be the donated sim's brother. From there, I came up with a reason why both of them were in Three Wolf Peak, jobs for both of them (he's a massage therapist, she's a cop), and the reasons how and why both of them ended up in rural Montana.
Other times, I'll create new sims (particularly townies) and not feel anything from them, so they have no backstory.

If it were possible, would you carry out "romantic interactions" with any of your sims?
Eh, no... I'm married, and if they were real, that means I'd somehow know an awful lot about them that I shouldn't.

Have you ever cried when a sim died? How emotionally attached are you to your sims?
I get attached to them and feel bad when they go, particularly my favorites. But I don't normally try to prolong their lives forever, and I don't cry when they die. I really liked crabby Josen Tellerman (gen 9 of the Tellerman Legacy), and part of me feels I should've made him heir instead of his sister Kefira. I also have a soft spot for Philip Dumont of CoH Sims Season Two, the shy, non-confident empath – enough that I'm going to keep him around and give him a makeover when he hits adulthood. (His family line suffers unfortunate genetics as adults.)

Do you have a favorite character/family?
The Tellermans – they were so much fun to write. I think about them a lot and still write text-only fics about them. I'd like to continue their story someday.
Storm and Amber Wilder in CoH Sims Season Two – they're so nice! I'd like to live next to them.
Eric Serling of CoH Sims Season Two – steady as a rock, weathered, I don't think anything fazes him any more.

Are there any stories in particular (sim or non-sim) that have inspired your storytelling?
The Tellermans were heavily influenced by the story arcs of Star Control: Famous Battles of the Ur-Quan Conflict, Volume IV from Generation 4 onward, and the City of Heroes universe – the Tellermans' story takes place in the same universe as CoH Sims. CoH Sims is influenced by the world, more than a specific storyline, that spawned most of the characters, that of City of Heroes/Villains, an MMORPG set in fictional Paragon City and filled with superheroes and supervillains. I also try to keep the superpowers in CoH Sims true to the CoH/V universe.
Image of the Arilou (Ariloulaleelay) from Star Control

How do you decide on names for your sims?
The original CoH Sims cast got their names from their City of Heroes predecessors. I allow naming of born-in-game sims by friends as thanks or rewards for favors – e.g., "whoever can get me these hairs in green gets to name the next Sim kid". Some born-in-game sims get names based on their family backstory; most of the Jeffries and Serling kids are named after their offscreen relatives from Season One.
The Tellermans got their names based sometimes on themes (Keith/Kyle/Kessa, Gen 6) or for a more futuristic sound (Josen/Wrai/Kefira, Gen 9)
Other names are chosen on whim – Apollo Tellerman's name is one of those.

Do you use hacks in your game? If so, which ones? How do they affect your stories?
Mostly quality of life hacks (less farting/belching, macrotastics), but also the emote and pose hacks and quite a few from MATY and TwoJeffs. Trying to live without them can be painful after you've gotten used to them.

Do you have a favorite EP/SP? Which expansion adds the most to storytelling for you?
I really like Seasons a lot. If I ever need to reinstall and can pick and choose which ones, I'd keep Uni, NL, Seasons and Bon Voyage, and probably Free Time. Pets and OFB I would pass on. The Stuff Packs are cool, but because I have way too much CC, I would've liked having those earlier in my simming experience – I wouldn't have needed so much CC!

Do you make your own custom content?
No, I don't have the time – or, to be honest, the inclination to learn. If I need something very specific (hair or clothing recolors) I have a few friends that I grovel to. ;)

Do you have a favorite sim outfit or hairstyle?
Not hairstyle so much as green hair, because it's an integral part of CoH Sims and the character of Ray Jeffries. So I'm always on the lookout for new dark green hairstyles.
Green hair everywhere!

What are some things that you wish were included in Sims 2, but aren't? (For example - social interactions, the way sims interact with objects, etc.)
At this point in the Sims 2 library of EPs and hacks, there's an awful lot of stuff you can do! But what I miss are some of the little food details. I make my own pizza, so why must sims always order it for delivery? They have cookies and chips, but no popcorn or ice cream? Especially when ice cream is a conversational topic icon!
Though I'm sure many players would disagree with me, I'd like to have greater global events in the game: bad weather, distant war, major changes in society. These things shape our own behavior and culture in the real world. In Sims, the price of gas never changes and they never worry about tornadoes or earthquakes. Sure, I can write those into my story, but I'd rather have them as random events for the sims to deal with. It could be toggled on or off to suit the player's tastes, though you'd have to restart your game for it to take effect, like disabling the CC warning after a new EP is installed.

How long does it usually take you to prepare a story update?
Right now, I'm trying to post some kind of story every Monday. This doesn't always happen, what with life getting in the way, but that's what I aim for. I may try to play several times during the week, after work, or on weekends, but I like to get the story posted as a private entry by the Friday or Saturday before, then edit over the weekend and post on Monday. Much of this has to do with whether the update is primarily caption (Durrance, Holopaw) or has a larger plot (CoH Sims, Tellerman). Caption stories are faster, as many of you know. ;)

Show and tell: Please show us your workspace (a photograph, if possible, or just describe it), and tell us about the conditions you prefer to work in. Do you have any bizarre habits or rituals?
No superstitions, habits or rituals. Mostly I need uninterrupted time with minimal distractions. If the surrounding noise is too loud, it's hard for me to do anything, and since I'm sensitive to noise, sometimes that isn't much!
Ironically, I normally play my games with sound off, but not to avoid noise. I got used to leaving the sounds off on all games so as not to disturb other members of the household (we used to live in a smaller house), and now it's what I'm used to. It's actually strange to turn the sound up and hear my sims talking.
Laridian's Desk

Do you usually have your sims act to a pre-written script, just follow what they do, or some of both? what comes first - the text or the image? Is one of the elements more important than the other to you, or are they about equal?
Some of both. I usually have a story idea in mind: "Jeremy and Philip go to Seattle, Philip's powers overload, Jeremy infodumps about powers and sending Philip to Special School." Then I take the pix and write the actual text after the pictures are all done, edited and uploaded.
Other times, I'm playing it by ear: "Alan and Erica's house needs to be played for about a week to get them caught up with the rest of the lots, so I'll play them and fulfill needs and see what happens before the Event at the end of the week." Then I take the pix as it goes and make up a story afterward. In all cases, I have ideas about dialog and how the story goes, but I don't write anything until all the pictures are done. I tried that once, and it didn't work. ;)

Can you give us any hints about what is coming up in your stories? (Oh, come on...)
In CoH Sims, we'll see some long-unseen characters at the end of Season Two. Ramon will get help from an unexpected source. Yeah, that's it for hints, peeps. You'll just have to see the rest when it happens! I want to at least finish CoH Sims Season Two before Sims 3 comes out.

How often do you check your flist to see if your favorite authors have updated?
Because of work, I usually check the Flist in the morning before I leave, and after I get home. Once I get home, I refresh it a lot. But my favorite authors usually give a heads-up about when stories will be posted, so I know when to expect them.

How long have you been playing The Sims? Have you been playing since Sims 1?
I played Sims 1 until I ran out of stuff to do, then went cold turkey from it. (Once you got someone to the top of a career, married, and finally lucked into having a kid, there really wasn't much else. Plus the later EPs didn't run on my machine of the time.) I played Sims Online for the 2 months of free trial time, then canceled it the day before the free trial expired. I didn't get Sims 2 right after it came out; I don't remember exactly what drove me to want it, but a friend on my Flist didn't want to play anymore and sent me her copy. From there, no looking back.

Do you only play the game with stories in mind, or do you also play just for fun? Do you record everything with photos anyway?
It's nice to play for fun, but then I realize that I want to take pictures anyway when something amusing happens. Some of these are just for friends, and others become public posts. But I almost always end up making a story out of them. I imagine Holopaw, which presently is a caption story, may well become more of an actual story as time goes on. CoH Sims started out captions, after all, and look where it is now. ;)

Do you have a self sim? (We'd love to see him/her, if you want to share a pic.)
I actually have two. Ray Jeffries is my first self-sim and the oldest. This is because he's an extension of Ray "Heat Lightning" Jeffries from City of Heroes, who's always reflected some of me. Ray's currently undergoing an emo period in CoH Sims, which isn't like me, but then he's not a perfect self-sim. ^_^
The other, newer one is Lari Marchinkovas, star of the Bachelorette Challenge and now resident of Holopaw. Lari is a genderswapped Ray with my coloring. It seemed appropriate. :D We'll see how she turns out.
Generally, I stick with Ray as my self-sim.

And now, questions from readers!

iceraptoress asks: "What's the in-joke about 'bad salmon'?" (most recently seen in Holopaw)
A long time ago in internet time, shewolfe was one of the participants in the GUCCI Uglacy challenge in unbeautifulsims. She put in one entry, and in it was a joke about Ben Long poisoning people with fish dishes. Go ahead and read it, it's not long. ;) That really struck me, and you can find the joke here and there in other stories, like in Let's Return to Holopaw, or in the Durrance Legacy. Anytime I mention Ben Long and salmon, it's referencing that joke.

music_simbol asks: "For your CoH Sims, I believe CoH came first, right? How into making each hero/villian did you get? Did you make them just how they look in game, or how they look in your mind?"
CoH/V has much greater variety in body types and shapes, which Sims can't compete with. CoH/V allows for hooves, paws, wings and tails, sizes from 4' to 8' tall, bodybuilder muscles or anorexic toothpick people. Sim bodies are all the same size ("fat" notwithstanding) and lean toward the toothpick end of the spectrum. On the other hand, CoH/V has a lot more strange haircuts, faces and "skintones" than Sims default comes with, but Sims allows more customization of faces and of course CC. (CoH/V has no user-created content sites, though a couple of modders have made costume or clothing pieces that were then accepted by the developers for input into the game.) When I first started creating CoH Sims, many of the hairs, skins and body types I needed just didn't exist. The result was that some characters simply weren't creatable.

Others needed extensive tweaking – Ray's original spiky hair in CoX couldn't be recreated in Sims until last year, and even that isn't a perfect match. Plus, Ray is supposed to be around 6'8", towering over most of his teammates, whereas in Sims he's about the same height. For the most part, I had to explain differences ("Ray got genetic therapy for his hair at last") or ignore them (the height differences).
Here's Ray in City of Heroes, hovering somewhere in Steel Canyon (a district of Paragon City).

Still others needed little or no tweaking. Eric, Vicky, and Teff all are basically just humans in appearance, so it was very easy to recreate them in Sims. Vicky looks a little different than in CoX; I added the face makeup and gave her a default Maxis outfit because that's mostly what I had at the time. But I couldn't find appropriate headgear to match her Winged Vixen look, even by the time of Season One's Endgame, so presumably her headgear got lost over the years.
Here's Eric "Boneshatter" Serling and Vicky "Winged Vixen" Wilson as Sims. Eric's outfit finally came together this year as a result of some recolors by a friend. Vicky is shown as I originally created in her as a sim.

Now, here's Vicky as she appeared in CoX at the time - you can see how I couldn't reproduce this look in Sims 2. To her right is Eric in his original Sims appearance.

Here's a closeup of Vicky's headgear, which I only got in the past two months of real time, long after I needed it; and Eric and his CoH look at the time I created him in Sims. There just aren't any bulky leather gloves or giant robotic arm attachments in Sims.

On the other hand, CoH/V doesn't have as much variety in facial features, though you can now adjust them. The original, first CoH/V faces available were very limited with no adjustment possible.

Many of the original CoH Sims characters have default Maxis face templates, because I just wanted to create the CoH characters in Sims without a lot of fuss. Later characters vary: Khalid was born in-game; Darkfire is just Ray with different hair and clothes; Harrly and Snow Fury were created by shewolfe (who plays them in CoH/V) and given to me.

franwi asks: "The Tellerman Legacy was awesome. How did you come up with some of the futuristic slang and distinctive jargon that really gave the future generations such colorful dialogue?"

Thank you for the compliment! :D It helps to be a linguaphile and logophile. You can't go wrong with taking old slang and jargon and making it new again. It's also worthwhile to extrapolate what changes in the world will do to the language, and of course to garner loanwords and ideas from a wide range of sources.
Here's a selection of terms from the Tellerman Legacy – please ask if you have a specific one in mind and it's not in this list.
Gen 4: Ultradyne
Ultradyne and the later "-dyne" drugs (emodyne, etc.) were all inspired by Dyne, or Superadine, an illegal drug in City of Heroes/Villains.

Gen 5: principessa, scientessa, zorch, cinema
Principessa/Scientessa: I wanted something to reflect the changing language, and so genders begin to be used, adding "-essa" to designate a female professional. Presumably this means they also had terms like doctressa, mechanicessa, etc. This seems to have died out within a generation or two.
Zorch: originally coined in the 1950s, coined by comedian Red Blanchard, and had variable meanings, including the one used by Astrophel Tellerman.
Cinema: a term meaning "movie" and here being used instead of "movie".

Gen 6: national ID cards, mash-rap, blitzcross (sports), flubble, maquis, Sina-Brasil, belyaev and belyaeva, jacquelles, zinj, nuoemo
National ID cards: really, it's just a matter of time in the real world.
Mash-rap: combining rap and "mashup"
Blitzcross: combining "blitz" (German, "lightning") and lacrosse
Flubble: I made this up to sound faddish. ;)
Maquis: shortened plural from maquiladora
Sina-Brasil: meaning "Chinese Brazil"; presumably South America has changed quite a bit over the generations.
Belyaev/belyaeva: I came up with this in my Star Control fiction, taken from the real-life Dmitri Belyaev, who bred silver foxes for tameness over a few decades in the Soviet Union as an experiment. For my fiction, I named tamed foxes after him.
A later generation of domesticated foxes ("belyaeva" in my stories)

Jacquelles: I came up with this as a counterpart to the belyaeva; the jacquelles are domesticated jackals. Made-up French-sounding word for "jackal" (probably created by whoever was marketing the things).
Zinj: generic "jeez" epithet I came up with (probably was thinking about zinjanthropus at the time)
Nuoemo: I needed to create a type of music, and this, meaning "new emo", worked.

Gen 7: Warsaw Sound/Polish Invasion, chica, emodyne, groundlings
Warsaw Sound/Polish Invasion: throwback to the real-world Liverpool Sound/British Invasion of the 1960s
Chica: from Spanish, "female friend"
Emodyne: see above
Groundlings: generic SF term for non-fliers/non-spacers/anyone who lives on the ground

Gen 8: puling, cutbirths, flatfilm/flatpix, bartitsu, femme/homme, sparking (electrocaine), Celi Dei, broadwave, Anglic
Puling: dates from 1520! It originally meant "whining". Here it retains most of that meaning, plus it's a generic derogatory term.
Cutbirth: I saw this as someone's very unfortunate surname (I hoped it was a typo) and thought it sounded suitably ugly. In Gen 8's time it means something like "abortion" and is very derogatory, like saying they should've been aborted in the womb.
Flatfilm/Flatpix: by Gen 8, most "movies" and images are 3D by default, so 20th- and 21st-century movies and pictures are "flat" by comparison.
Bartitsu: a real-world fighting style created by Edward William Barton-Wright in the late 19th century, that encompasses parts of many other fighting styles.
Femme/Homme: I came up with these to replace "Girl(Girlfriend)/Dude". The terms are French origin.
Sparking: I came up with this term to describe taking electrocaine (analogous to "shooting up")
Celi Dei: made-up martial art using Irish/Welsh flavor (from GURPS Alternate Earths II)
Broadwave: power (as in, the power needed to run appliances, lights, etc.) and entertainment is now broadcast all over the planet instead of through wires – you just need a receiver, no matter where you are. Ever notice there are no power lines or satellite dishes in Sims?
Anglic: futuristic-sounding substitute for "English"

Gen 9: arren, krankt, tufana
Arren: I came up with this to replace femme/homme. ;) I got "arren" from German "herren" meaning "people". In Gen 9, "arren" is singular (unlike in its German inspiration) and "arenna" is plural.
Krankt: I made this up, based off German "krank", sick. In Gen 9 it means crabby or irritable. It appears that while Gen 8's slang was French-influenced, Gen 9's slang is German-influenced.
Tufana: Made this one up too, but not off any real-world language. It's slightly derogatory but not much, like calling someone dorky.
TEDI implants: I had to create this because people were wandering around the graveyard with the stuffed bear. I'd placed the bear to be a memorial at a child's grave, but townies kept playing around with it. I saw them using the "money" talk bubble and immediately came up with pushers selling some kind of drug called "TEDI", and this was how they peddled it, and they were called "bearheads" as a result.

To me, since language naturally does change very much, I just assume the later generations' stories are being translated for our benefit. ;)

gotaluvsims2 asks: 1. Do you set up new sets/lots/neighborhoods for various stories? 2. Do you go do a lot of resurch for your stories? 3. The question about the Tellerman slang was already asked, so I'll ask how did you come up with the idea of the wardrobe changing with the ages? I loved that detail that you gave to your story. 4. Do you take personality quirks from real people, yourself included, and add them to your sims? 5. How have your playing, storytelling style changed from when you first started posting about the sims? Other than the obvious of it flowing better.

From the top!
1. It depends on the story. Bachelorette/Holopaw got a whole new 'hood, just like CoH Sims and the legacies. For individual scenes that have to take place outside the usual locations, it varies. For instance, for "Going Mental" in CoH Sims, I needed to set up a community lot where the 3WP townies wouldn't appear. I cloned off the Dumonts, put them in Riverblossom Hills, set up their residential lot as the hospital (one room only), and downloaded a special community lot to represent Seattle. Other times, it's easier to redecorate a lot or a room within a lot. I don't mind cloning off sims to shoot separate scenes, it's easier. ;)

2. Oh, my, yes. To relocate CoH Sims to southeastern Montana, I did a lot of internet research about that area. The route Terecito's family took from Rhode Island to Montana was done by Mapquest, and Roadside America provided the list of attractions they saw. Teff's upbringing in Maine was another research job, even though we haven't seen it in use much in the stories, but it's there. I've also gone through lots of City of Heroes/Villains information to keep the powers and storyline true to that game, and then there's Star Control for the Tellermans. (The SC timeline was altered to fit in the Tellerman Legacy, as originally the whole SC arc finished up around 2155 – but that is only 150 years from now, so see below about the passage of time.)
Map of Montana - Three Wolf Peak is somewhere in the red-circled area. The town was formerly known as "Broken Arm, Montana" before developers renamed it.

3. Thank you! On average, 10 generations in the Western world is about 350-400 years of real time. So if you had an ancestor that came over, as an adult, on the Mayflower in 1620, you'd be about the 10th generation down. As you can see, this is a pretty long time, so it's no wonder language and clothing and culture would change over the course of generations!
I changed the Tellerman legacy's "culture" for this very reason. It makes no sense that they would have the same clothing styles for that long. Even over the past hundred years, we know instantly that Style X is from the turn of the century, and style Y is from the hippie subculture of the 1960s.
The first few generations of the Tellermans are closest to our own time period and thus our own "look". By Generation 8, the styles are pretty different. It helped that I had sets of strange clothing available! Most specialized CC clothing is one-shot: you get one outfit and that's it. The teenage clothing of Gen 8 had 3-4 recolors, so the boys could all be part of the same fashion without wearing the exact same clothes. I would love to have more collections like that – it really helps create the feel of a different time and culture.
The Gen 9 teens had their own look as well, rebelling against their parents by covering up their bodies and not wearing makeup. How times change! If I ever return to the Tellermans, their lives will be greatly changed by what happened in the last installment, so once again they will have a different culture and style.

4. Lari Marchinkovas in Holopaw is uncomfortably close to home; I have to resist exorcising demons in that one. ;) I borrow a lot of names from former co-workers. "Alvarado" was one back in the 1990s. Jamie Jeffries' maiden name was Jamila Najjar, and she was based on a Lebanese-American coworker I once knew (the name is a combination of other names). Apart from that, I think the sims have mostly their own personalities. I don't give them quirks so much as bits and pieces of my own history.
I will say that many of the oddball things my sims say actually occur to me at the time. An example would be when in the Durrance Legacy, the sprinklers went off because Dinghy Durrance burned the food. She picked up the plate of burned salmon and her relative's urn was still on the floor from an earlier death. I really thought "Hm, could she scrape that into the urn? Nah, it's fish, it would start to stink." So I added that to the story.

5. It's flowing better, yes, and I'm trying to be more careful about keeping walls up in serious stories, and actually decorating. I tend to forget about decorating until I'm taking pictures (or worse, after I'm done), and some of those blank walls in the earlier stories make me cringe! I'm also using more of the emote hacks, moveobjects, and so on. Next up is learning how to use the one-more-slot packages. I have to get a lot done before Sims 3 comes out, after all.

shewolfe:Do you ever get writers block? How do you get past it?
How do you balance work, family, and writing? How much of your sim stories write themselves and how much do you plan out?

I do get writer's block, but I try to have several projects to work on at once - that way if any one project gets stalled, I can switch to another. The danger of this, of course, that I might get distracted from what I'm supposed to be working on. ;)
As far as balance? It's very hard. I used to get sims stories out a lot faster, for instance. If anything else happens like a visit from relatives, well, that throws everything off.
I like to have an overall plot, but if something odd happens, I'll let it become part of the story. Other times I'll have more than one potential plot possibility. For example, Apollo's first fight against Splash in Tellerman Legacy Gen 8. I had two ways I could go with that, depending on whether Apollo won or lost. Other times, I'll completely rewrite things based on one event, or completely scrap a storyline for a new one if I'm unhappy with the original.

iceraptoress:Who would win a no-holds-barred fight between Heat Lightning (Ray Jeffries) and Boneshatter (Eric Serling)?
Boneshatter. He's got regeneration and Moment of Glory.

Moment of Glory

seidoo_ryuu: How long does it typically take you to prepare a story installation, from start to finish?
Finally, your characters are so dynamic and well-fleshed out. It's one of the things that I really enjoy about your stories. Where do you draw the inspiration for your characters? Do you draw any inspiration from real life?

I try to get an installment done in about a week. If I get a lot of good expressions, and it doesn't require a lot of scene changes, I can get it done faster. I like to get pictures done from Monday-Friday, then work on the installment on the weekend for Monday posting. It doesn't always work out that way, though! ^_^ And caption stories go much faster than scripted stories.
Thank you for the compliments! ^_^ I try to get the characters as well-developed as possible, then figure out how they'd act or react as real people. I've been writing since I was in single digits, so for me it's pretty easy to get into one of my character's heads. I also develop their childhoods, backstories, even religion (if they follow one) and how they vote (where appropriate). Most of this won't ever come up in the stories, but it's nice to know.
I might use bits from my own life, or from elsewhere, but not as much as you might think.

music_simbol (again):Where do you get all that cool CC you have from? Like all the green hairs, the rainbow eyes, the Tellerman wardrobe, stuff like that.
Also, when it comes to CC, do you go looking for something with an image in your mind, or do you just happen upon stuff and say to yourself "That would be great for (insert character here)"?

The oldest CC is from TSR - yep, I had a subscription in the early days. This is where the original Durrance hair and eyes and the rainbow eyes came from, as well as some of the clothing. Later on I hit up MTS2, and I've got some RoseSims in there and a bunch of stuff from sites all over. I don't keep track of which sites I get stuff from, unfortunately. Many of the green hairs were recolored by friends of mine.
I normally don't look specifically for certain characters - I have so much CC that nowadays I try to pick out something I already have, to save some space on my poor hard disk. But sometimes I do see something and think "Oh, that would work for so-and-so" - one character got outfits downloaded specifically for her. That was Skye Rayvn, the town slut in CoH Sims Season One. :D

Some of the distinctive outfits used in Tellerman Legacy generation 8 boys - and this wasn't all of them! But they were tops only, so I used Maxis "male capri" pants, and there are no tooltips on them to let me know the maker. Which is too bad, as I'd love to know if there were pants or shorts to go with them!

Well, that's it for this interview. Now it's time to get back to that story installment, right, Ray?
"You're not kidding! I want to stop being all emo! I thought as your self-sim I'd get more love than this! Gimme that camera!"
(Eric, in background: "Oh, come on! I'm way more stable and mature and wonderful and dreamy! Why can't I be the self-sim?!")
Tags: coh sims, durrance legacy, holopaw, sims, tellerman legacy
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