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BRRL Spare Story - Behind the Scenes

Greetings! It took me a bit longer than I had originally planned, but I’ve finally managed to put together my Behind The Scenes for the spare story I did about Desdemona. Those with slower connections beware – I have 120+ pictures included in this.



Story Origins

I guess the place to start is at the beginning, right?

When I read the last chapter of generation 9’s story, the character I felt the worst for was Desdemona. Sure, what Lily went through was horrific, but because of how events played out we already knew that Lily was okay. Her story had been told. But Desi’s hadn’t. Of the three “witnesses,” she was the one who had me intrigued. After all, she’d been the one to basically insist that everyone go to Hans Trap Door Co. I began to wonder how Desi would feel and act after leaving Sim City, and an idea for a story began to form.

I got stuck on the idea that Desi would blame herself, not trust her judgment of other people, and isolate herself. Eventually, someone would help her realize that it really wasn’t her fault, and then she’d get her happily ever after. But who would that someone be? I was rereading one of the earlier gen 9 chapters when something caught my eye: one of Desi’s rants against the vampire council. Bingo. Desi didn’t trust supernaturals (I figured if vampires were bad in her book, so were most other creatures), and the someone who would realize it wasn’t her fault would be a supernatural.

Of course, the way the game works limited the type of supernatural he could be. Most of them (aliens, zombies, vampires, etc) cannot be mistaken for normal Sims. Other types, such as PlantSims, hadn’t been tackled in RR canon yet, and someone was covering the ‘hood that they came with. But there was one type of supernatural that would suit my purposes: werewolves.

Of course, I didn’t want to jump in and tackle such a big piece of RR canon without making sure that someone else wasn’t going to. So I checked with the mods and the players who still had a turn to go. When it came back that werewolves were fair game, I jumped on it. And thus, Desi’s story was born.

Werewolf Mythology
Like Rose did with vampires, I needed to figure out exactly what lycanthropy looked liked in the world of the RR. I knew that I didn’t want it to look exactly like EAxis had made it into, so I decided to draw on more traditional myths as well. My main source of inspiration?


Ah, Professor Lupin. I must admit that the way lycanthropy worked in the Harry Potter ‘verse was always pretty close to what I imagined it to be, and therefore it became the basis for my take on what being a werewolf meant. Taking from both HP and EAxis, I decided that werewolves would:

-Not transform every single night like they do in EAxis canon. Instead, they would transform in accordance with the lunar cycle. To compromise EAxis canon and more traditional lycanthropy canon, the transformation would take place on the days before, of, and after the full moon.

-The EAxis werewolf personality change to 0/10/10/10/0 did not occur, but Sims would act as if they had that personality when in wolf form.

-As a werewolf, the sense of what’s right and what’s wrong is muddled, but with enough determination a werewolf can show some self control.

-The transformation causes a sudden burst of energy and increased appetite.

-After moonrise on nights where the transformation does not occur, those afflicted with lycanthropy still become more irritable than usual.

-The days leading up to a transformation and the one after it are marked by pallor and ill health.

-Werewolves, whether in human or wolf form, are stronger than the average Sim.

-Lycanthropy cannot be genetically passed on to children.

-There is no known cure.



The no known cure was twofold. First, as it was for vampirism, if you can cure it with a potion the affliction loses some of its power. Second, as others may want to pick up lycanthropy as something for a future story, I wanted to leave the door open in case discovering a cure was vital to a plot.

Familiar Faces
I started out with empty neighborhood templates, mostly because I didn’t want the stock townies/downtownies running around, as they’ve been seen in the background of other RR stories. Yeah, I could have done death by makeover, but that seemed like as much work to me as creating new ones, and if I created them I could at least have some control over their appearances.

So aside from the random spawn that I made (with help from some random generators), there was the matter of the minor characters. I could have just randomly made them, of course, but why would I do that when I had eight generations worth of Legacy sims to use and abuse? In some cases, I changed up genetics to give me more variety, but the face templates stayed the same. Recognize anyone? Be warned, I grew up some of the generation 8 kids (Steven’s cohort) so there are minor spoilers about what kidlets will look like in adult form.


Garrett Pitts, Generation 5 Cousin


Sophia Thompson Ryan, Generation 3 Cousin


Philomena “Phily” Bradford Thayer, Generation 4 Spare


Annette “Nettie” Bradford, Generation 8 Spare


Susan Bradford, Generation 8 Cousin


Dorothy “Dotty” Bradford Haywood, Generation 7 Spare


Douglas Thorne, Generation 8 Cousin


Ester Bear Menon, Generation 5 Cousin


Lorraine Phoenix Alcott, Generation 4 Cousin


Elias Bradford, Generation 2 Heir


Genderswapped Josephine Turner, Generation 5 Cousin


Genderswapped Gilbert Seiff, Generation 7, Cousin


Audrey Pasang Lajoie, Generation 7 Cousin


Eliza Bradford Alcott McCarthy, Generation 3 Spare


Alexander “Alex” Bradford, Generation 4 Spare


Henrietta “Henri” Bradford Hutchins, Generation 4 Spare


Matthew Bradford, Generation 4 Heir

Why Matthew (especially when he’s such a douche)? Well, it was his genetics if you must know. Despite the fact that he’s an evil bastard, he’s a handsome evil bastard, probably one of the handsomest Sims I’ve bred in-game. Call me petty, but I after all I planned to put Desi thought (and all she’d already gone through in Rose’s turn), I wanted her to have a good looking guy to sweep her off her feet. Because I could, I switched up his genetics a bit, giving him red hair and grey eyes (though I did give him his brown hair and green eyes as recessives for greater variety). I also adjusted his personality so he would be compatible with Desi (he’s an Aries to her Taurus), and made him Knowledge (so he’d like being a werewolf)/Family (so he’d want BABIES). It was a good balance to Desi’s Popularity/Knowledge, the secondary aspiration she rolled in my game.

Desi’s Journey
I knew that I wanted it to take longer than normal for Desi to find where she would eventually settle down. Mostly, it was because she was going to struggle to figure out exactly where she fit. So she ended up trying college, a big city, and a small town before eventually settling down into Fairport.

As a Popularity Sim, Desi didn’t have a huge want to go to college, but it made sense to me that she would want to go. First, it was a legitimate excuse to “escape” her siblings. Second, college is all about finding yourself, and that was one thing Desi really needed to do.


Desi was quite attached to the phone.



She had no trouble making friends. Pop Sims are like that.


This random dormie whose name I never bothered to note was Desi’s first kiss in my game, even though I know she had her “real” first kiss in Downtown.

When college didn’t work out, Desdemona headed for something more familiar – the big city of Kingston.

Yeah, that didn’t work out so well.


Desi did make a few friends in Kingston. Like this guy who worked in the same restaurant where I had her waitressing. He’s the reason I started friend-zoning pretty much every male in the game – Desi kept trying to use the sofa in the office at the restaurant for her ACR needs.


Of course, the big city attracted the vampires, witches, and zombies that terrified Desdemona, so she ran away again.

From the big city, Desi headed to the complete opposite in the form of the small town of Riverbrook. Even though Desi liked it, I never pictured her staying there. Desi’s not a small town kind of girl, but she had to find that out for herself.


Desi on the phone with Grey. One of the things I had fun with in the first part was Desi’s ever-changing look. Her college look was similar to the look Rose gave her as a teen, and then her hair changed when she moved to Kingston to show that she’s aged a bit. Her Riverbrook look was more casual, with a ponytail, sweater and jeans. It’s still edgy, but I figured Desi would adjust her look accordingly to not stick out quite as much in a small town, but she would abandon herself completely.

Of course, Riverbrook didn’t work out either. So Desi began to wander.


I figured she would contemplate Cheesing herself, but Desi’s a Popularity Sim. Her isolation was key to her character development, so it just ended up being a strange fantasy sequence.

Finally, Desi settled in to Fairport. This was always where she was going to stay…

…even if there were a few bumps in the road.

Shadow

In order for Desi to start the healing process, she needed a bridge of sorts to help her ease back into friendships. That’s where her little black cat came into play.


Shadow dealing with the aftereffects of the catnip mouse. I gave Desi a cat for several reasons, both story related and practical. First, the Pets game guide tells us that werewolves train dogs well, but not cats. My interpretation of this was cats don’t like werewolves, which allowed me to use Shadow’s dislike of Jimmy as a plot device. Second, Desi didn’t really strike me as a dog person. I’m not 100% sure she’s a pet person at all, but I figured a cat would be a better option for her. On the practical side of things, you don’t need to remember to give cats baths, so there was never a green stink cloud to worry about filming around.



Shadow’s quite the playful thing, and he never seemed to be where I needed him to be for filming. Filming with pets is a huge pain, just in case you didn’t know.



Still, when he’s that cute how do you say no to such a face?


He had very little tolerance for Desi and Jimmy’s ACR antics, though.


And in case you were wondering, Shadow was a total badass. Here he is winning a fight against the Leader of the Pack, since the LotP insisted on hanging around after I upped his relationship with Jimmy for biting purposes.

Happily Ever After
I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for happy endings. So Desi was always going to get hers.





She and Jimmy are so cute together. It was horrible having to make them fight to get the shots I needed, thought they always had fun making up after the fact.


Desi’s a cake-shover, not that I had any doubt.


Smustle-faces. I have to say that I really miss some of these game features that I don’t get to take much advantage of because of the historical nature of my legacy.


Since there’s that glitch where Sims that get married on community lots keep their engagement rings, I opted to have the real wedding take place on their home lot. Desi needed to have a non-traditional wedding dress, which is why I gave her this one with the red bodice. It’s more of the ongoing process of her evolving look, keeping her edginess while reflecting the fact that she’s a “real” adult now.


Desi loved the karaoke machine…she made a beeline for it every time I took her to a community lot with one on it.

Family Life




Desi was a mostly decent pregnant Sim. Not a lot of puking, despite what I showed story wise.




Their first born, Esperanza, was a total cutie. I was pretty pleased when their first born was a girl, since I really wanted to use the name Esperanza.


Desi got pregnant almost immediately after having Esperanza. I would have liked to have more space between the kids, but for purposes of showing them grow up it worked out okay.


Such a cutie


One big happy family.


Jimmy always had fears of changing diapers, so Desi got stuck with diaper duty most of the time.


Jimmy teaching Laima to talk, while Shadow tries to ask for attention. Very typical.


Since Desi wanted to be mayor, I had her work her way up the career ladder while Jimmy was a stay-at-home dad. Still, Esperanza always dropped whatever she was doing to greet mom when she came home.


Jimmy and Desi ended up with two kids. Jimmy, with his family secondary, would probably have liked more, but I didn’t think Desi would. Two little girls was perfect for them.


One of those little girls was very messy. I have no idea where her sloppiness comes from, unless it’s grandpa’s genes coming through.


Another cute family picture, this one for Laima’s birthday.



Since these two were only a few days apart in age, they became the best of friends.


More proud papa moments.



Of course, Desi is a great mom too.



These two were just too cute sometimes.



I decided to send the family to Three Lakes for a vacation. The girls loved the log rolling



For some of the montage pictures, I had the grand idea of showing the girls at private music lessons, but they didn’t make the cut.


Laima loved her mom’s computer.


Just another typical day in the Doran-Conall household.


Esperanza grew up into such a non-her outfit.



She was a sporty one, and she loved her yoga. The soccer game was another one for the montage that didn’t make it past the cutting room floor.



Both girls had their parents watching their first kisses. Esperanza fell for a teen clerk, and Laima had the hots for a teen downtownie.


I wanted to show that the girls had a “normal” childhood, hence the graduation pictures. Of course, since I didn’t have extras to fill the seats, I used another angle of this picture.


These two…they really were a blast to play.



The Doran-Conalls take Don’t Wake the Llama very seriously. Especially Desi.

Since the girls were going to have to leave soon, I decided another family vacation was in order. This time, it was to Twikkii Island, and Desi and Jimmy decided that the girls could invite their significant others along as well. A good time was had by all.









Well, mostly. Esperanza and Laima’s girlfriend didn’t always get along, but no one let that (or sunburns) spoil the vacation.



At the end, the girls ended up leaving with their significant others. Not sure if that’s fully RR canon, but for them it made sense.

What’s in a Name?
Names are important for any story, but the names in the RR legacy often have special significance. I wanted to honor that in my spare story.


Jimmy’s first kiss, with Desi. His name, Jimmy, is an English form of Iago, which of course is a reference to Othello, where Desi’s name comes from. Of course, Iago is the bad guy in that story, but it was a nice twist to have him turn out to be the hero. His last name, Conall, is Gaelic for strong wolf. I wanted some reference to his lycanthropy, but didn’t want to be quite as blatant as some other who werewolf characters (*cough*RemusLupin*cough*).


Esperanza’s name means to hope in Spanish. The fact that her birth occurred at all would give Desi reason to have hope for a better future, hence her name.


Laima is named after the Latvian and Lithuanian goddess of fate, luck, pregnancy, and childbirth. Luck is the takeaway from her name, as Desi finally felt like luck was on her side.

Outtakes
There are always funnies with legacies, so we’ll wrap up this BTS with some of the quirkier pictures that I took.


We all know from Rose that Roxanna liked to stare at the camera.


Well, apparently her daughter inherited that trait.


And for the record, my version of Roxanna was none too smart about survival as a vampire.


This is what happens when you forget to cheat relationship scores up for filming purposes.



Apparently, Desi inherited the Doran ability to cook.





These two…very stalker-y. And they didn’t even have 3 bolts!!! Clothing booths of Fairport, beware!


This of course meant that Jimmy contantly needed to tell me that his girlfriend/fiancée/wife was hot.


“My wife-to-be is hot!”


“My wife is hot when she’s eating!”


“My wife is hot when I’m taking out the trash!”


“My wife is hot when I’m a werewolf!”


“My wife is hot when she just gave birth!”


“My wife is just HOT!”
(Yes, Jimmy, I GET IT.)


Of course, this meant lots of ACR shenanigans.


Unlike story canon, Jimmy had no problem ‘hooing with Desi in werewolf form.


This is one of my favorite pictures. I swear Shadow is saying, “They’re doing it again, and my food dish is empty” as he rolls his eyes.


I did decide to have Jimmy’s lycanthropy get cured. For filming purposes, it just made things easier.


I send poor Jimmy to get the mail, and this is what happens to him.


So that’s all there is. I had a really great time sharing Desi’s story with all of you. If there’s something you wanted to know that I didn’t address, please feel free to ask!

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
rosefyre
Jun. 8th, 2014 06:01 am (UTC)
Yeah, EAxis supernaturals are fun for playing, but they kind of suck for certain types of storytelling. I mean, it doesn't take hacks to cure vampires/werewolves/plantsims/witches, just potions, zombies can be cured with hacks, aliens are just a different skintone and eyes, ghosts can be brought back to life without too much trouble...really, the only totally separate ones are Bigfoot and servos, and Bigfoot mostly acts like a human anyway. And I guess the genie, but...genie. Making them incurable, at the very least, is pretty much necessary for any serious story.

Heh, nice to see all the familiar faces. Sims really aren't recognizable without their signature hair/eyes/clothing, unless they have a really strange face (Rainelle Neengia, Archie Vetinari). And I can see Desdemona as secondary Knowledge, though I didn't give anyone but Lily secondaries in my game.

Yes, Desi is not a small town girl. At all. Agreed with you that she's really not a dog person, and yeah, she's not really a pet person in general, but at the point she was at when she got Shadow, it made sense - she was scared to trust humans for anything deeper, but a cat was safe, and she was practically dying for company. And yes, filming with pets sucks. There's multiple reasons Roxanna never got one (plotwise it wasn't necessary and didn't make sense, since a) she was too busy with her kids to deal with a pet and b) a pet would always remind her of Seren and Ma'or and the cat they grew up with and c) she's not really a huge pet person either), but one of the practical ones was that filming with them is horrendous and I didn't need more complications. And hey, at least you could freeze the cat! Filming without the freezer clock makes pets that much worse.

Aww, cute kids! Are you going to bring them into your main hood?

Heh, I am amused that Roxanna is staring at you as well. Creepiest sim ever. One of my favorites, don't get me wrong, but creepy as all fuck. I couldn't tell you about her intelligence as a vampire, as she only got vamped when I needed her to and everything after that point was intentionally filmed anyway, so I didn't really PLAY her as a vamp.

I am amused at how often Jimmy thought Desdemona was hot.
silverbelle1220
Jun. 18th, 2014 12:49 am (UTC)
I honestly don’t have a lot of experience playing the supernaturals, as they’re not canon in my legacy. But for the purposes of storytelling, the fact that so many of them can be cured so easily kind of kills the implications of the afflictions. I’m glad that you made vampirism permanent in your canon, as it freed me up to the do the same with lycanthropy.

It’s amazing how some of the faces that I thought I knew so well were easily disguised with a few minor cosmetic changes. It is hard if their face isn’t super unique. Knowledge did suit Desi for her secondary, so I was pleased with what she rolled.

It was interesting to write Desi’s adventures, as I knew that there were certain environments (like the small town) where she wouldn’t fit. But of course, she needed to figure that out herself. As I said, I wasn’t completely sure Desi was a pet person at all, but a cat seemed like a better fit than a dog. I rarely play with pets, so I’d forgotten all the logistics of filming with them. Thank goodness for the freezer clock indeed! That thing was a lifesaver.

There are such cute kids. I may make them into townies, though the idea that technically Mathew is their father skives me out a bit. If I change up their genetics enough, maybe it won’t bother me so much.

I played Roxanna’s house for all of about one day, and she did a lot of staring at me. She is very creepy indeed. She did not make a very bright vampire in that time, I must say. Would not stay in her coffin during the day at all. Makes me glad that I don’t play supernaturals in some ways, as they can be annoying at times.

Yeah, Jimmy thought Desi was very hot, and he liked to share that with me frequently. It would have been amusing, if it hadn’t interfered with filming.
biglenny
Jun. 8th, 2014 11:45 am (UTC)
Doug as an evil warlock cracked me up, that is all. XD

Anyway, one thing I like that you've mentioned here is asking yourself questions about the events on Gen 9 regarding its impact on Desi, or that's what I think. It makes for interesting storytelling on her part and how she gets her own happy ending, which really works well for the story as a whole.

Ah, a name's etymology is always a significant part of a character and anything that revolves around him or he, doesn't it? Makes for interesting ways to show important aspects of one's life, and I love the girls' names for that reason.

You've said a lot of good points in this BTS and I'm impressed to hear about it all. Good job!
silverbelle1220
Jun. 18th, 2014 12:50 am (UTC)
Doug made an awesome evil warlock. I imagine he was plotting on how to hex his mom Rosalie.

The RR always builds on itself, but that fact seems particularly important when considering Desi’s story. It did help me develop her story a bit more, and it wouldn’t have felt right not to look at the impact of the events of generation 9 on Desi’s character development.

Names are very important, and it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to call their children. I actually had some boy’s names picked out, but I wasn’t as happy with them so I’m glad that there were two girls.

I’m glad you liked it! It’s fun to go back and think about my process in developing the story and sharing it with others.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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