Sims4 testing

Okay, I have finally gotten around to purchasing the Sims4… if for no other reason than curiosity. I decided to at least give it a chance and test it for those of you who, along with me might still be in the debate or indecision mode on it. I know that many of us have looked at previews and current in game pictures, not been overly impressed by any of them and chose not to sink any money into this game. So, for all of you out there still trying to decided… I have chosen to waste my money on it for you and attempt to give an honest review of the full game experience. Previously, I did do some previews of the demo but will now give my opinions on the rest of it.

Brenda Blonde has kindly volunteered… well, okay, she really didn’t have much say in the matter? Anyway, she will be working as our test subject for this project. It might benefit us to see how she appears in sims3 first? Now, please remember that sims3 is much more developed as far as custom content such as skin tones, hair, clothing and makeup options. Brenda makes use of all of those options in Sims3!

Brenda Blonde ins Sims3 Eleanor and Brenda Screenshot-10


The transition to sims4 was difficult to put it mildly! I have already mentioned before the difficulties in getting used to the new sim sculpting tools. You can read more about that in these older posts.

This was the initial work on Brenda’s character for sims4 in the demo

Here is Brenda now as she appears in live mode of Sims4. I will be doing more work on her as we go along in this experiment! Of course this is how she looks on a normal day without dressing up for anything and in the stressful process of moving into a new place. I am quite sure that there is a lot more custom content coming available each and every day and we will be searching through some of it now that we have the actual game. I do have to say that it does still have a cartoony feel and look to it in game? Maybe that’s not such a bad thing though? We’ll have to see how it all plays out!

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I did not get very far in the experiment tonight… We got as far as moving Brenda into a neighborhood in Willow Creek, buying her a house that she could afford with no money cheats. I wanted to get a feel for the build and decorating process so I decided to purchase an unfurnished pre-built house. We will walk through the building and decorating process by renovating this home that we’ve purchased. Don’t ask me what the address is because I didn’t even look at that! I will check that out later.

11-17-14_2-45 AM

Before even going into the build/buy mode, my frustrations came quickly with not being able to locate tools and options easily. They seem to be scattered around the screen and it was annoying to say the least. The first big headache and frustration for me was the camera tools and options. It took me a while to even figure out how to take a quick in game picture! Once I figured out how to do it, I calmed down enough to continue on… I do like the option that you now have of labeling your picture as a memory or not. If you choose not to save as a memory, the photo will show up in screenshots category and you can view them while in game. This for me as a story teller/picture taker is a huge benefit! It saves me a lot of time not having to go back and forth between game and desktop to see my pictures now.   I am finding the camera controls and angles really hard to work with right now but maybe that will improve as I get used to it… or possibly find mods for it as they come out?

Once I got the camera mode and pictures figured out, it was time to go into build/buy mode to start working with that portion… Let me just say that I did not get very far!  It is a huge change from the way things worked in sims3 building and I was still struggling with finding the right tools and options in that mode as well. I could not even find the undo tool at first? It is located on the top of screen, along with some other options and not on the lower portion with the various building selections. I do like the lighting  option where you can now easily change the lighting in build mode from morning to afternoon to night.


This is an initial photo of the interior with walls down so you can see the layout of the rooms. I have not yet figured out if there is an option to turn off those awful gridlines? That will be one of my priority searches, along with hopefully, a mod or something to get rid of those dang plumbobs hovering over my characters’ heads!

11-17-14_2-55 AM

This is what the exterior of our little house looks like now with some very basic changes in wall coverings, window and door replacements, changing out the fencing. A huge plus for the game- the adjustable window heights! Thank Heavens for that! There is also a wider variety of window and door options than I expected for just a base game? I was easily able to find older style windows and doors to create more historic time period builds, so that in itself is a life saver for me!  Another huge positive was the columns snapping to place on the fencing. And, one other great feature… I was able to change the fencing that was already in place by simply clicking on it and then choosing a different fence option.  I did not have to remove the fence and then redo it with another one.

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I ran out of time and patience to accomplish any more, but my initial observation is that I do see some potential as far as building. I was not so disappointed or frustrated as to throw up my hands and demand my money back immediately so I will continue on with the experiment for now. If it works out well enough, I will allow my other characters to move into the neighborhood and we’ll see how it goes from there?


Sims 4 self debate now finished!

As most of you who visit here regularly probably already know, I have had many on going self debates and doubts on the arrival sims4. I will admit that it’s arrival has put me in a bit of a funk as far as creating both in the building and the story telling process. Before the game came out, I did provide a number of  links and some of my creative experiments and experiences with the Sims 4 CAS Demo. I have not purchased the game and will probably not being getting it any time in the near future due to the high price tag on it, which I just can not afford right now. I am still of the opinion that it is a big risk for that amount of money if  it will not meet my needs and desires as far as the story telling and building go in relation to this project.


I have spent a great deal of time debating all of this coming  to a conclusion and decision.   I have invested so much time, energy and thought on this entire project with the aid of Sims 3, I just can not bring myself to abandon it all, scrap it and start all over with the limits of the Base game Sims 4. Possibly at some point in the future, I may end up trying out the Sims 4 and give it a go in transitioning the story to that format, but it will not be any time soon! I do want to add my recent observations of the Sims 4 experience as others are working their way through it. It appears that their sharing system is actually more complicated and limited than previously suggested? There is no forum exchange system, you must use the game gallery and be connected to Origin in order to search through it.  You have to follow people and creations according to the creator’s origin ID, which ties the whole game entirely to the Origin system. Yes, you can play the game offline, but in order to do anything as far as sharing either in friends status, liking a creation, downloading, what ever, you must be connected directly through the server system. As I have mentioned, I do not have game so can not give a first hand observation of this… it just seems to me a somewhat complicated process to navigate.  Also, at this time it seems there is no way really to easily and quickly share your creation with social media such as fb.


So, with those few observations having been made, I just want to say that I am working my way through my funk and my creator’s block on this whole debate! I am renewing and recharging my creative spirit and will be continuing with Sims 3 as my artistic medium for the time being.  In looking at everything I have accomplished with this project over the past year, I am proud of myself for not giving up on it through the most frustrating and difficult times. For those of you who follow this Blog, the story, the builds, the history, and all of the other various topics I put here, I just want to say Thank You! I appreciate your following, your likes, your comments and suggestions. It means so much to me to know that there people interested in my work and my creations!


This has come to be so much more than just a Sims blog.  As I have worked my way through the sims experience and the story, I have also worked my way through some life challenges and changes. I have broaden my own horizons and my life, and I hope that in reading this, I have broadened yours as well!


Yes, Finally it’s once again Outlanderday! The day so many of us look forward to all week! Here’s the preview of tonight’s episode!


I am still trying to decide on what we will feast on tonight… running a bit behind today! But, taking a cue from the ever resourceful Mrs. Fitz, and our own Dunvegan Castle’s Minn,  shall have a longer look into the pantry supplies in a bit and determine what we can serve other than parritch or more bannocks… Though, I may just have a wee bit of the parritch this morning?! I do not think, however that either of my Cooks would approve of my serving Parritch for a dinner feast!

Glenna Fitsgibbons2 Screenshot-14


Hopefully, I will find something more appropriate in time for dinner and Outlander viewing?


Now for a bit of amusement,  on my part at least?! I was playing a bit more with that somewhat addicting Sims4 CAS demo… it is rather addicting in that it’s so easy to pop in and out of when ever I have a few spare moments, not like my Sims 3, which is a much longer process of loading up the game and then going into the character creation.  Anyway, I did previously create versions of Claire and Jamie, and thought I would try adding a few members to their clan?

The household now consists of an assortment of Fraser family members. I did include Mrs. Fitz because I don’t want them all to starve or have to survive any length of time on Claire’s cooking?!

fraser household

So, here you have it… Jamie, Claire, Brianna, William, Mrs. Fitz, and her grand daughter Laoghaire Mackenzie!


Jamie and Claire are already on my Sims 4 Creations page!



Close ups of Mrs. Fitz

Glenna Fitzgibbons2 Glenna Fitzgibbons3

Brianna Fraser, Claire and Jamie’s daughter. She previously went by Brianna Randall before she went through the stones herself and found her Father.  For her creation, I used the play with genetics tool in the demo and this is what they provided when I used Jamie Fraser as the donor!

Brianna Fraser2 Brianna Fraser


William Ransom, Jamie’s son by Geneva Dunsany. His full name is William Clarence Henry George Ransom and he is Legally, the son and heir of the Earl of Ellesmere, his mother’s husband at the time of his birth. He makes his first appearance in the Outlander book, Voyager.

William Ransom


Ahhhh and last, but certainly not least, I have included the teen tart, Laoghaire Mackenzie! She is Mrs. Fitz’ grand daughter and causes more than a few problems throughout life for Claire and Jamie. The beating he took for her in last week’s episode was only just the beginning of the troubles this girl brings!

Leghaire Fitzgibbons Laoghaire Mackenzie Laoghaire Mackenzie2


Well, that was fun! I may add more of them later on!


Now, everyone enjoy your Outlanderday… and if you haven’t read the books but are just learning about this epic Clan through the series, go spend some time looking up these additional characters as they will be important in the future of the Series! I am off to get a few other things accomplished before the evening of Outlander!


Previous Outlanderday post:





Sims 4: Creating a character 4



It took me a lot longer than I expected to get any half way rendition of a male character! I am still extremely frustrated with this different way of sim creation and really not sure if I will get used to it. I gave up more than a few times as I was finding it almost impossible to get a character that did not look to cartoonish? Also, with the limits of the sculpting tools and the hairstyles, I found it very difficult to really get any realistic representation! I did, however feel a bit guilty about leaving my other creation, Claire Randall to brave the sims 4 gallery on her own, so I tried my best to create some representation of Jamie to accompany her on her trip!

OUT-102_20131106_EM-1710.jpg sam-heughan-caitriona-balfe-outlander-starz


They’re both a bit annoyed and irritated with their sims 4 representation right now, and they are probably not verra happy with the way their most recent experience with the stones has went?  Due to a slight mistake at the stones, they have both arrived in the present day… or some when closer to present than past?  They managed to arrive safely and are now making an appearance together as well as separately in the Sims 4 gallery!

Jamie and Claire Fraser

Here are some photos of Jamie Fraser, who wants to have a successful family lineage. He’s athletic, self assured and loves the outdoors! Hopefully he will adjust as well to the future as well as Claire did to the past! These photos are of him with the longer but straighter hair.

jamie fraser2 Jamie Fraser1


Here are original demo photos of  him with the extremely bright coloring which I am not really fond of!

jamie16 jamie15


This photo is with the shorter, curlier hairstyle.

Jamie fraser4


These photos are of his various clothing options.


Jamie everyday jamie formal Jamie party style jamie sleep wear jamie athletic


I did use a custom content beard replacement on him. You can find it here:



So, now that the not so happy couple is complete, I can only wish them luck on their new lives in the sims 4 world!




Sims4: Creating a character 3

Previous Character creation post:


Ok, I have finished my sims version on Catriona Balfe as Claire Randall. As I stated earlier in this process, I was not going for an exact replica of Catriona Balfe but more of a representation of her portraying Claire Randall.  She ended up being more of a starting reference point for me to put a face and shape to Claire.   If you are interested, you can find her in the sims 4 gallery. My creator name there is judywork1957.

A very important part of this process is looking at the face and expressions in a variety of angles and emotions. My one irritation with the CAS is the cartoonish cheesy smile that the sims keep showing me! It was extremely difficult to judge mouths and expressions with that annoying smile, not to mention the difficulty in getting a good photo!


Before we look at the final shots of my representation, these are photos of Catriona/Claire that I used in the creation. I also tried to keep some images of her as the books describe her in my head throughout the process.  My one lament was that I was not able to come up with a really good representation of her very curly, mostly untamable hair! I did my best in coming up with a somewhat unruly and messy hairstyle for her. If you look at the photos, you will see that in the front on ones, she has a rather wide, square jawline and puffier cheeks. From the side views though, you get a much narrower, finer sculpted appearance.

Claire Randall3 Claire Randall2 OUT-102_20131106_EM-1710.jpg Caitriona-Balfe Claire Randall



In order not to get that horrid cheesy type smile, I had to tone down her mouth a great deal. I’ve also did a bit of photo editing with the photos because the brightness of the CAS photos is rather too bright and glaring and detracts from the actual sim images!

old photo of Claire with hair well tamed!

This is done to portray what an old photo of Claire might have looked like… with well tamed hair for the photo!

claire with hat

Another older type photo representation of her in a hat. The hat is typical of what she might have worn in the 1940’s while on Holiday in Scotland.

claire43 Claire comparison5 claire comparison4 claire comparison3


One last detail I adjusted was her body. Here is the completed body sculpting. I kept her thin and made some final adjustments to her well proportioned backside!

claire48 claire49 claire50


The costuming was perhaps the most difficult and frustrating part of the whole process as we have extremely limited clothing options in the CAS Demo!  These are some options I came up with for her.



An everyday casual look that might get her by in either the 40’s or the 60’s depending on which time she was at between time traveling through the stones.


A nice simple sun dress… or slip, or shift? It is rather short for the 40’s but then maybe she lost the rest of the dress in her ordeal!


A rather fun, flirty little formal attire… a bit short and scandalous but then again, Claire does have a reputation for being a bit scandalous at times!


A very basic athletic outfit… we don’t have a lot to choose from!


Sleep wear… she’ll just sleep in her undies for now!

As far as personality and traits, I gave her the knowledge aspiration with nerd brain desire to be book smart and handy.  For her traits, I chose perfectionist, neat and hot tempered. She does have bit of a short fuse when it comes to some things so I felt justified in giving her the hot temper!

Ahhhh and now that I’ve created her, I suppose it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t attempt to have a go at Jamie as my next project…



Sims 4: Creating a character 2

Previous character creation post:


The one nice thing about this Demo is that I can go into it quickly! I hope they keep some form of this creation system when the game comes out, like they had with sims 2 body shop. There are times when I don’t have a lot of extra time and this is nice, not having to load entire game just to do some work on a character!

This morning, I was able to work on some body sculpting and give Claire a bit more padding on that backside! I also adjusted her weight a little and pushed up her chest a bit. I did not want to go overboard and create anything extreme or cartoonish with this adjustment. I just wanted it to have more definition, be a bit rounder and curvier.  Now, there is a slight issue with the actress portraying Claire… She is very tall and very thin! I think that in future episodes of the series, she might have to put on some weight or wear some padding to create that pronounced backside! That is just my personal opinion and observation in comparing Catriona Balfe to the character Claire? Other than that minor issue, she does an amazing portrayal of Claire!

Claire body sculpting


I also spent a bit more time with the facial sculpting and hair styles. It is a difficult and fine balancing act with the hairstyles as they tend to change the entire face shape when you change a hairstyle. This was always an issue with sims 3 as well so I am used that problem. What I would suggest is to choose a few hairstyles that you think the character might wear at various times, try them out and then make small adjustments between the styles.

These are three different styles that I tried out with Claire.

claire9 claire23 claire25


It’s important to keep the character in mind when choosing hairstyles and makeup. Claire is not a dressy, frilly type person. She doesn’t bother much with hair, makeup or jewelry in any time period that she is living in. Knowing that, I kept her hairstyle, makeup and jewelry as basic and simple as possible. In fact, I toned down the makeup to the barest minimum and only used the eye makeup for eye definition and detail.

The wardrobe and costuming are extremely limited in this demo so I chose something that she might get by wearing in the 40’s or the 60’s when she went back through the stones the second time to find Jamie… She was older then so I adjusted her hair color a little to represent that!


This is what we now have! I am still not quite satisfied with the eyes but will work on them again later tonight!

claire27 claire29 claire comparison2


Sims4: Creating a character

Many of us are experimenting and getting used to the different facial and body sculpting features of Sims 4. I will readily admit that I am struggling a bit with these new tools! It takes much practice to edit the finer details that give a character that unique and individual look makes them who they are.  While it is easy to create a random sim, sometimes the best experience and skill comes from working with a model and trying to recreate that look. It is more difficult and challenging, but often it does give you some sort of base to start from? Think of it like sketching or painting using a model or picture as a reference as opposed to drawing it free hand. How many of us have that special talent to create an image free hand, just from an image or vision in our head? Not very many of us are that skilled!

As most of you are probably quite aware of from browsing this Blog, my other obsession lately besides my story and simming in general, is Outlander. So, with that in mind I have set a goal for myself to practice my sim creation by using a model from the Starz series. I will attempt to create a sims 4 version of  Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall. Of course, it will not be an exact replica… I am definitely not that much of an artist or expert sim creator!  Hopefully though, I can come close in the representation and the finished character will be recognizable as Claire.  That is the first and foremost detail to keep in mind when recreating a celebrity character. You want them to be more recognizable as the character they are portraying than necessarily the celebrity at face value.


The first thing you absolutely must have before you start is a decent head shot/profile picture of the character you are trying to create. Try to find a fairly good sized, clear photo to work from.

This is the photo of Claire/Catriona that I chose to use as a reference.

Claire Randall


Keep a copy of this photo close at hand in an easily accessible file. You will be referring back to it often throughout the process. What I did was set up a separate file to save all of the progress photos and this one in.  As you work with the character creation, it is a good idea to check your progress often by taking headshots of your work in progress in various stages, then take some time to set the photos together with your reference picture. Here is an example:

Of course, we can not get the exact hairstyle right now. What we are more concerned about at this point anyway is getting the facial features as close as possible. By looking at these two photos next to each other, it is easy to see where some changes need to made if possible. I can see that I need to work on adjusting the eyebrows, which I think is possible with the sculpting tools. I can also probably make some minor adjustments to the eye shape, but I don’t think I need to do too much there? Her nose needs a bit of touching up and fine tuning as well. The one thing I don’t think will be possible right now is the creases around her mouth… the demo gives us some face detail creases but they were far too deep and pronounced to use effectively here! Overall, I do think I am somewhat close and it will just take a bit more tweeking with the facial sculpting tools.

Claire Randall comparison

One other detail important and defining to the character of Claire is,  anyone who has read the books will be familiar with this detail, her backside! It is often described in great detail by her other half, Jamie Fraser, and can not be overlooked when attempting create her character! This picture does not give the best detail of it, but it does show some promise?

Claire Randall2


This is as far as I’ve got on progress with her. I do hope this work in progress helps others out as they work their way through sim creation in sims 4! I will continue to post progress photos and share the trials with you!

Related posts about Sims 4 CAS demo





Sims4 mods and Custom Content

Ahhhh Yes, I know I mentioned previously that I was finished with Sims4 discussions, thoughts and concerns for now… I want to clarify here that this following post does not really pertain to any doubts or concerns about the game! This post is my testing and experimenting with the Custom Content that is already available for use in the Sims4 CAS Demo. Because the game creators are promoting this area as one of the highlights and benefits of the new game, I was interested in seeing how it works now and how it will work when the game is released.  I decided to test this out since I am sure that there are many others interested in this as well.


You can find a variety of the available content on the newly set up My Sims 4 Blog.  Most of you are probably already very familiar with  My Sims 3 Blog and this new site is an extension of that.


You can find instructions on how to download the content here:


If you look in your documents files for Sims4 demo, you will find that a mods folder has already been set up for you! Follow the above instructions exactly and copy the package files to your mods folder, which should be located in documents/Electronic Arts/Sims 4 Demo/Mods. The resource cfg is already installed there for you so it is just a matter of adding your package contents to the file.  If you have copied them correctly, your mods file will contain the packages like this.

mods folder for sims4 demo


The installation process was quite easy. My only concerns right now are the fact that once you go in game, there is no way to easily or quickly find your custom content! Most of the content so far is default replacements and re-colors or re-textures of game provided material. None of the custom content gets labeled or tagged in any way as cc so you will have to hunt around for it within the various selections available. At first I thought that none of it was showing up in my game! After some added research though, I did figure out how to search for it in each category that it was created from.

This custom dress recolor is by Rusty Nail: What you do need to do when downloading, is pay close attention to the original item and color it is created from. This will make it much easier for you to find it in your game!  Rusty was kind enough to show in game shots detailing exactly which outfit and color have been replaced. Many thanks to him for that!

Rustynail default replacement dress

This dress recolor is also available on his site!

Rustynail default replacement dress 2


Some of the downloads do not provide that in game reference so you just have to search for it in game. This sweater recolor is available at Kano Ya Sims:  You will have to search through the colors until you find the recolors.

Default sweater replacement2 Default sweater replacement

One other set that I was impressed with is available at misfortune sims:  You can download either separate pieces, or the entire set.

Pink outfit two Pink outfit default replacement


Now, on to the last, but just as important and impressive category of the custom content. That would be the make up, eye and hair replacements and retextures. As I mentioned, these are mostly all default replacements at this stage so once you install them in game, they will replace what ever the original was. For this reason it was a bit difficult for me to accurately see the differences or get good comparison pictures! I am just going to present the test sim with the custom makeup, eyes and hair retextures for you to view here.

Hair: I downloaded a number of hair recolors and retextures from Everborn’s The Sims 4 Workshop:

hair options without mods

custom lip color by Kano Ya Sims:

default makeup replacements


Eyes: The eye color replacements are from Gelcha:

default eye color replacements


My one major concern at the moment is on the sharing process for these package items? I am not sure right now if the packages transfer with the sim when you upload it or download one from the gallery? I am still trying to research this issue. If anyone has an answer for this, please do leave me a comment! I would really appreciate knowing this important detail for future use and I am sure that many others would like to know for sure as well!  My concern is because it was such a major issue with Sims 3 and so many people did want any type of custom content in their game. The Sims 4 creators are stating that this new game will be much more friendly and usable for custom content but there will always be those who prefer not to have it in their game. Hopefully there is some way, or will be some way of easily flagging or labeling the content in the future so you know if it’s shown up in your game, or so you can easily find it once it is there?! At this point, I can not see it immediately in game and would have to go to my mods file to track it?


Previous Sims 4 post:




Sims4 CAS Demo Creations

I did a bit more experimenting with the Sims4 Demo and came up with a sims4 version of Brenda Blonde.


First of all, here are some fairly good representations of her in Sims3. Please keep in mind that she has gone through a number of transformations throughout the game and the ongoing story! She has went from mortal to vampire to fairie and back again any number of times!

Brenda Blonde ins Sims3Eleanor and Brenda


Now, here she is in Sims4 !


Brenda Blonde6 brenda blonde3 Brenda Blond5



I did try to experiment with some of the cc content that has come available, but most of it will not show up in my demo even after trying a number of times?!

Brenda Blonde4 Brenda Blonde2

Here she is with a bit of photo editing touch ups to her final photo.

Brenda Blonde Cover photo


As I mentioned there is now custom content available for use in the demo. If you are interested in attempting it, you can find here:


Here is a link as well on how to install the content? Hopefully, it will work better for you than it did for me!

Ok… One last sims4 post!

In the previous post of Sims4 last thoughts, I mentioned the bizarre and backwards treatment of the baby situation? I finally found these two clips that will demonstrate this!



I do believe that these two videos more than adequately demonstrate the Sims4 need to do something about this situation?! Nothing more needs to said on this issue! Ohhhh Ummmm I am sorry, but I find this so absurd that I can’t quite stop laughing at it… So much for realism on this aspect!

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