Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Sims 3: Create Berry Bitty City Challenge

After playing The Sims 3 for the last couple of months, I've been really been getting into the game and have discovered new things that I had never known before. I recently purchased additional expansion packs (Pets, World Adventures, and Generations [I haven't installed this one yet]), and they really keep things interesting whereas the original two expansion packs I bought didn't keep me entertained.
So here's the drill as to what's happened since April: Raspberry Torte was electrocuted to death and was taken away by the Grim Reaper, and thankfully I thought to not save the game and reopen it so she would be alive again, Huckleberry Pie and Cherry Jam are now a part of the cast, and I've managed to create Berry Bitty City within the game.
Initially, I made a second, larger house for Strawberry and her friends, but I ended up ruining it when I started messing around with the landscaping and made the floors sink in the house. I was beyond irritated with myself considering that house took me several hours to make over a span of a few days, but that opened a new window for me to try something else: to create Berry Bitty City. This was the only picture I had of the other house before I basically destroyed it by accident; I wasn't finished with it yet when I took the photo.
Berry Bitty City - Phase 1
To create Berry Bitty City was a bit of a hassle, but I was willing to accept the challenge. I used the largest lot that the game would allow, but I don't even want to think about how much trouble I had trying to build the girls' and Huck's houses. Since the lot was placed on a rather bumpy hill, I had to try to level the ground in order to get doors on the structures, let alone construct them. I had to resort to using the "level ground" tool, which placed the lot on a bad-looking chunky mountain, but I guess that's better than not being able to build anything period.
Berry Bitty City - Phase 2
 I was originally going to try to fit all eleven of the Berry Bitty Adventures characters onto one lot (Apple Dumplin' and Sweet and Sour Grapes included), but I don't know why I didn't think to check the amount of Sims that can fit in each household before I began. It turns out that you can only have eight of them per lot, so that was a bust for me. I was going to build a restaurant-style house for the twins and have Apple live with Strawberry, but the game just won't allow these plans to take root.

In addition, I've given each of the characters' houses its own distinct features that will make the other Sims visit one another's households. For example, if I gave all of them kitchens, none of them would have a reason to visit Strawberry's café. With this in mind, Strawberry is the only one who has a kitchen, just like Blueberry and Huck are the only ones with computers (for story-writing), Raspberry's the only one with a gem cutter, and so on. I can't think of what to give Orange, though. She owns a general store, of course, but what can I give her in the game that will make her house seem like one? A bunch of refrigerators? Nah. She obviously can't own a grocery store since I don't have the Ambitions expansion pack (even though I don't even know if Sims can own grocery stores in that game), so I'm pretty stumped with her house. I'll manage to think of something, but if you have any ideas in mind, feel free to leave a comment below.

Since Sweet and Sour can't live on the lot, I demolished their restaurant and put a stage area there instead. On the far right of the above picture was supposed to be their dwelling, but that's now where Strawberry and the Sweet Beats will have band practice (I didn't even know the Sims could form bands until I made mine play instruments - cool!).

It's taken me several weeks to build Berry Bitty City, and I'm still not finished with it (Orange's store, plus I need to finish decorating Blueberry's house), but I am happy with what I've done so far - in my opinion, the houses pretty much look like theirs, but in Sim form. Of course I couldn't create exact replicas, which means I can't make Strawberry's house strawberry-shaped, etc, but at least you should be able to tell whose is whose.

Strawberry Café - (I should have taken more pictures: it's snowing and the game isn't fully loaded, but at least it's showing most of it. Cherry's house is sitting in the background on the far left - I made it fairly small to represent her tour bus.
Sweet Beats Studio - Plum has the largest house out of the rest of the gang, but I'd say she has the largest house on the show in real life, too. The blue and green house to the right is Huckleberry's, though I didn't think to snap an individual picture of his, nor did I Raspberry's.

 Blueberry Books - Blueberry Muffin has become quite an accomplished author.

Well, you can see Lemon's and Raspberry's houses from this angle: Lemon's is the small yellow one, and Raspberry's is behind Strawberry's. I should definitely get more pictures of them before my next Sims post.
  Lemon getting gussied up.

Raspberry's studio - Like Orange, I didn't really know what distinct thing to give Raspberry, so I just gave her a gem-cutting machine. I guess that's somewhat related to her occupation, right?

Aside from building Berry Bitty City, I've been trying to build up my Sims' relationships so they can all be best friends with one another. This tends to take a while, though it wasn't hard at all for Blueberry and Huck to become best friends (yeah, Huck didn't turn out looking too good :/).
Cherry has been building up her musical skill and was the first one to become a five-star celebrity despite being there only a couple of days.
Blueberry had her first encounter with a unicorn.
And the eightsome has traveled to France and Egypt. I thoroughly enjoy visiting the caves.
Plus, they like to go on road trips and hang out at the beach.
I haven't played The Sims 3 in a couple of weeks, but that's probably a good thing - I don't need to get more addicted to it than I already am. I feel like I'm running out of things to do, though, so I might begin making short stories of the characters and post them to my blog - that is, if anyone is interested in reading them.
I would be very interested if anyone else is willing to take up this challenge. You never know, maybe someone will try to create Berry Bitty City in The Sims 4!
On a final note, I apologize for the picture layout being slightly crooked and for the text being the same way: Blogger always messes up everything that I post, and this issue is becoming a real burden for me as there's no way I can fix it. Maybe I should just avoid posting a bunch of pictures. Anyway, see you next time!


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Summer Update

With summer comes freedom, and with freedom comes other priorities. These past few weeks, I've been trying my best to work my butt off and film some new videos, but I'm finding it rather difficult because I want to spend my free time being lazy and watching youtube videos. Despite this, I'm forcing myself to get up and start working on (and finishing) some more projects to upload to my channel.

Yes, yes, I know: A Day in Berry Bitty City episode seven is long overdue, just like my various other over twenty minute stop motions. I'm still working in it, but I can say that I've made some significant progress: if I set my mind to finishing it, I might possibly do so in the next couple of days.

But then comes some minor issues, which I'm still trying to conquer but can't completely rid myself of. First off, I have been very frustrated with my animation skills lately. If you follow my posts on Instagram, you'll see that I stated that I was frustrated with my stop motion and that I didn't know what to do about it anymore. My animations are just too choppy for my taste, and after making stop motion for over half a decade, I want to progress to the next level and reach the professional stage. To my misfortune, it looks like it'll be a while before that can even happen.

Even though I felt set back, I decided to try again because I don't want to disappoint my fans. Thankfully I'm getting back on track, but then came the other detriments that go hand in hand with video production.

For the past couple of months I've noticed that the bottom of my camera has been cracking, and it wasn't until this morning when pieces of it started coming off. I guess the cause is from changing out the batteries so much (plus the body of my camera is made of pure plastic), so I'm starting to regret choosing a camera that constantly needs its batteries changed out. I have to change them out about two to three times a day when I'm using it because the thing never holds a charge long enough. Let's put it this way: if I shoot a couple of stop motion scenes and then hit the record button only once, the battery indicator informs me that my charge is half gone. In a simpler sense, that means my batteries are basically dead.

While I am quite agitated by these issues, like Strawberry, I'm trying to stay optimistic. I'm filling the cracks in my camera with glue, so hopefully that will do it justice. Aside from that, I happily get to go on vacation soon, so I am really looking forward to that. My family and I will be heading off to Tennessee, and of course Strawberry and a couple of her friends will be coming along for the ride. I've already planned their summer attire for the trip and posted them on my Instagram account:

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @MirandaShortcake!