Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

The War Years Saga – Behind the Scenes

Now that I’ve had a bit of a chance to decompress from the epic war chapters, I figured it was a good time to post some behind the scenes/picspam stuff, to give you all a chance to understand a little better some of what I was thinking and why things turned out the way they did.

Why Five Chapters on Basically the Same Thing? And How Was it Cast?
I’ll start with the easy things. I wanted to do multiple chapters on the World War II years because there was a lot of history that I wanted to include, and unless I made the chapter about 400 slides long, there was no way I’d be able to fit it all in. Plus, since the story pretty much focuses on the Bradfords, Alice, Nick, Danny and Dotty would all get face time, but it would be harder to fit in some of the periphery characters, and their roles were going to be just as important.

So I knew there were certain things that I knew I wanted to cover: the Marines in the Pacific, Rosie the Riveters and women working in general, being a war wife with a young baby, nurses, medics, D Day, occupied Japan. Then there was the matter of deciding who would fill what roles. Some were easier than others.

Obviously, Shirley would be my Rosie. With her being a tomboy she was the obvious choice. Nick would be my medical guy, Alice my war wife with the baby. The others didn’t jump out at me right away, especially since some of the parts needed characters that I knew would survive the war, and some who wouldn’t.

That’s where the randomizer came in. I took all of my playable Sims and made a list of their names, with “Dotty’s Husband” (as an example) in the place of the female names. I put that in random.org’s list randomizer. After crunching some numbers based on actual war casualty statistics, I determined that two Sims would die, and four would be wounded. The first two names on the list would my deaths, and the next four would be my wounded. Once I knew who lived and died, I could do the rest of the casting from there.

I know I mentioned it in the notes in Nick & Alice’s chapter, but the list went 1) Gilbert, 2) Dotty’s husband, 3) Nick, 4) Howard, 5) Nancy Phoenix’s husband, and 6) Edith Hutchin’s husband. Knowing that Gilbert would be one of my deaths, he would enlist in the Marines as they had pretty horrific casualties in the Pacific. Dotty’s husband would die on D Day, and allow me to show the dreaded telegrams. Since Dotty would be widowed and need a source of income, she’d be my nurse. Danny would join the Navy and end up in occupied Japan and meet and marry a Geisha girl. Rosalie would be Rosalie, and snub as usual about Bruce being safe, though losing her little brother would have its affects on her.

Costumes are an important part of any period production. Mostly, I make use of what’s out there. But in this case, there were things that I needed that I wasn’t able to find. Or I was able to find, but wasn’t able to download (damn you, EAxis, for closing the exchange and making it impossible to download stuff from it in the weeks leading up to the closing).

Mostly, what I needed were military uniforms. All About Style gave me a dress uniform for my Army guys, but I had Navy and Marine guys to outfit as well, plus I figured a class B uniform for the Army guys would be a good idea as well. Through scouring MTS and a lot of googling, I was able to find dress uniforms for the Navy and the Marines, but no class B types for anyone. Well, I did find some uniforms made for a set of Sims based on M*A*S*H characters, but those would end up being my “combat” uniforms, and Nick and other doctor’s hospital outfits. I needed “everyday” uniforms. So I went to Google image and started looking. Eventually, after a lot of swearing and frustration on my part, I came up with these.

I used existing Maxis meshes and recolored them with CuriousB’s actions. Were they perfect? No. But would they serve their purpose? Absolutely. I called them done.

I then recolored a teen-to-adult version of the Maxis military uniform for Gilbert’s Marine combat outfit (you’ll see him later in the picspam). There was one more thing I needed, and that was a dress uniform for the enlisted Navy men, as it differed quite a bit from the ones that officers would wear. That was the one saw on the Exchange, but I could. not. download. it. Damn you again, EA!

So, I pieced this together:

And I *still* think it looks like crap. But I had nothing else, and I could kind of film around it…so it stayed.

I also did this:

What’s a sailor without a sailor hat? The mesh was originally for women only, so I fixed that, and then made it slightly bigger and made it sit straight on the head. Of course, it’s an old mesh, and I forgot to make sure it didn’t flash blue…and I stopped caring. I only needed it for a few scenes, and the batbox was able to fix it quick enough.

Since that’s most of the overriding stuff that influenced the whole plot arc, let’s move into the specific chapters.

For obvious reasons, Gilbert joining the Marines and subsequently dying is really the main connection that Rosalie has with the war. I always saw her as someone who would simply see the war as, for lack of a better word, a huge inconvenience. It ruined her plans in regards to Bruce (though they did end up getting married if a year sooner than expected), it kept her from becoming a mother within a year of her marriage (Family Sims want babies), and of course her brother died. But Gilbert dying wasn’t the huge tragedy for Rosalie that it was for her parents.

In case you didn’t pick up on it, Rosalie Did Not Approve of Gilbert being gay. Granted, this is the 1940s and most people wouldn’t have approved, but somehow I think that even if the situation had taken place in the present day, Rosalie still would not have approved. Rosalie is the type of person who is afraid of what she doesn’t understand. And Gil liking men is something she really can’t understand. That’s why she was always trying to fix him up with a girl, hoping he’d get over his “nonsense.” So Gilbert dying was, in Rosalie’s head, a good thing in some ways. He would never “humiliate” (her words, not mine) the family by getting caught sneaking around with Clarence. Rosalie is overly concerned with outward appearances, something that will continue to be an issue for her.

Rosalie on her wedding day. Her dress is one that I actually made by mashing a few different existing textures together. I’m very proud of it, but as the creators of the original textures don’t allow their textures to be used by others, I won’t be releasing it, sadly. But it’s such a good look for Rosalie.

Shirley wouldn’t sit down for the wedding ceremony. I still maintain that it’s because Rosalie made her wear a frilly pink dress.

The extras I used in this chapter, Alexandra Smith nee Legacy and Rhodri Tudor, were a lot of fun. Though Rhodri got the better end of the deal, as he got to hang out on a beach lot on Twikkii Island for filming, and not with Rosalie.

Bruce stayed in the house the whole time, and I summoned him to lots when I needed him for filming. Since I knew Gilbert was going to die, I moved him in to the family home so he and Rosalie would “inherit” it when Taddy and Calla die.

Taddy aged up during the rotation/filming. He’s quite the fine looking elder (though Jan’s nose on men is just UGH no matter what the age).

And the first thing he does when he’s been made over is make out with Calla. Of course. These two love that I put ACR in.

Calla aged up too. I thought about having her continue to dye her hair blond (she’s a natural redhead after all), but I kind of like my elders to go grey at that point.

Filming Gilbert’s “funeral” was a huge PITA. Mostly because my dice seem to like Romance, and I had all kinds of Sims doing all kinds of inappropriate heart-farts. Like Rosalie, here, enamored of her first cousin once removed James (I think I read the family chart right to figure out their relationship).

I used “funeral” in quotations because Gil was still alive at that point. I waited until I was done filming to do it, just in case I needed him for something.

Of course, I *should* have graduated him and grown him up to an adult before I did so, since I couldn’t have anyone in the main ‘hood resurrect him (and it turns out I needed to for his portrait for the download page), since he was still a YA. *facepalm*

Rosalie was a HORRIBLE pregnant Sim. Of course, that was because she decided to give me twins on the first go. Of course. Get that heir and the spare out of the way in one shot.

I’m pretty sure this is Franklin, the 2nd of Rosalie and Bruce’s sons (they both have the same genetics except Franklin is a custom S3), and he’s gloating at me as if to say “I know you only wanted a singleton, but HERE I AM!”

Let’s move on to a bit more about Clarence.

Poor fellow. Well, kind of. He made his bed, and now he needs to lie in it.

In the interest of full disclosure, Gil was not supposed to fall for anyone, since he was barely a teen when I ran the randomizer. But me messing around with ACR settings hand him end up randomizing as gay, and when he brought Clarence home from school one day…well, yeah. It ended up being a good plot point, but I wish I hadn’t had to do that to Clarence. He’s a decent guy, most of the time.

He randomized as bi, and Loretta here was the woman I picked out for him. I got the impression that, because of his parents (who you saw a bit more of in Shirley and Danny’s chapters) he would really want to toe the line. So he ended up getting married. To a woman

It was a quick, simple ceremony. I don’t think Clarence wanted a lot of fanfare.

Of course, he hit the wine rack right after the ceremony, so I don’t know.

This was not an easy scene to write. So I ended up letting the final picture speak for itself. I’m not quite done with Clarence yet, so you’ll see more of him. McCarthyism is coming up, after all.


Aside from Nick and Alice of course, I think these two might be my favorite couple of generation 7. I decided that they weren’t going to get married before Walter left because 1) Shirley still had to finish college, and she wasn’t about to drop out a la Rosalie, and 2) not everyone got married before the man rushed off to fight. It made for good plottyness too.

Oh, the things I have to do to get the shots I need. Making out in a car just fogs up the windows, so I had to have them make out on a couch and them use OMSPs to achieve the desired pic. Of course, that meant poor Walt had his legs sticking through the car door.

For those that care, Rosalie did actually finish school. Here she is with Shirley as Shirley zaps the Cow Mascot.

As you can tell, Shirley *really* liked the zappy gun.

Then again, she comes rightfully by it. Not a lot of nice points between her and Howie.

Poor Walter really did lose the “bar brawl” that sent him to Nick for broken ribs.

Viola and Sterling are another couple that like me having ACR. Of course, they do it outside, with Vi’s head impaled in the bench arm, in the SPRING and then have the nerve to complain they’re cold.

Elderfication of Cordelia, Harris, and Viola, respectively. For some reason, I didn’t take a picture of Sterling. *shrugs* You know what he looks like, right?

For the staged proposal, I had to do all kinds of summoning and making selectable since the train station is a community lot, so it wasn’t the “real” proposal.

This is. After Shirley moved into the Gavigan’s house. She looks just as happy as she did in the staged picture.

And speaking of proposals…

Howie and his intended Jessica, a downtownie my game spawned after my first rebuild.

Poor Howie grew up into a horrendous outfit.

Much better after he (and Jessica) got their makeovers. I can’t wait to see their babies (haven’t played their house since the rebuild yet)

This was probably the most anticpated wedding I’ve had…and it took me forever to find a dress for Shirley. Mostly because she’s not a dress kind of girl. If she lived nowadays, she’s probably get married barefoot on a beach somewhere.

Ah, the happy couple.

Alice & Nick
The first bunch of pictures here are actually from the previous rotation; for storytelling purposes I kind of cut things off a bit earlier than I would have ordinarily.

So Nick lit a fire trying to be “romantic,” but it set the rug on fire. Luckily, Alice saved the day.

Oh, she’s making grilled cheese instead of conjuring? I wonder why?

Bam! 200 grilled cheese sandwiches, EATEN. Alice is permaplat.

You’ve already seen a ton of wedding spam, so that’s been done. But how about these.

Nick & Alice’s wedding pictures, for Alice to gaze at while Nick’s “away” at war.

Here’s Dotty heading off to college.

Alice’s first pop with Steven.

I almost used this in the chapter. Poor Alice looks so sad, sitting by herself listening to the radio. It would have fit nicely with this drabble.

Why so happy? Cindy?

Ah, nooboo. And see Nick standing there in the background? Yeah. Forgot to lock him in a room so I could film the birth for use in the chapter.

I have to admit, I was disappointed and relieved that Steven was a boy. I always seem to get boys as firstborns, even now that the patriarchy isn’t as strict as it was a few generations ago. But an heir on the first go is always a good thing. And he has red hair, so how can I hate him?

That’s it of the “old” pictures; now onto the ones from the rotation of their war chapter.

This was one of the pictures that I almost used for Nick’s first letter home, but I liked the expression of frustration on his face in the other one better.

I loved having Cindy perform to help the war effort. I miss showing her singing like I did in the old speakeasy days.

Nick took quite a liking to Robert Legacy (courtesy of Di), and my head canon is now that they correspond regularly on medical stuff, each trying to educate the other on their way of doing things.

John Austen (courtesy of Cait), however, was a bit more difficult to film with. He constantly felt the need to remind me how many nice points he has with his creepy smiles and swoonyness. I never really showed his face much for that reason, plus he and Nick have the same hair.

The joys of staging. Alice is “pregnant” with Steven here, as she helps him with his toddler birthday, as Nick watches.

I’m still kind of undecided about what Steven will be like. He’s scarily similar to Nick personality wise, but I don’t know if I want to write another naïve character again. I guess I’ll have to get to know him a bit better as I play.

James and Cindy became elders, and didn’t fair very well in the outfits departments.

Normally, I change outfits when Sims become elders, but I couldn’t find anything else that suited either one, so I kept them. They just aren’t James and Cindy without those outfits. And of course James needs his hat.

Now that he’s old, James likes to look at portraits.

And speaking of portraits, Nick’s did get done. Of course he was going to have it done before he “went off to war.”

Glitches like this always make me laugh.

Quinn ended up being Nick’s first patient to die mostly because even though I said the cameos were subject to war, I didn’t know how other people would feel about me killing their Sims. Since Quinn was already dead…I figured it would be okay to kill him again. And I did check with Ang, and she was okay with it. Somehow the idea of Zane being the chaplain who told Nick that he couldn’t do anything for Quinn fit, so that’s how the rest of it played out.

If Nick had died, it would have been in the Simdennes scene, as part of the Battle of the Bulge. As I said before, I had mixed feelings about him not dying. In the end, I’m glad he survived.

Because if Nick hadn’t come home, there would be none of this. And there should be LOTS of this.

Or this. Seriously. James and Nick gossip like old women. About everyone and everything. It’s actually kind of funny.

Steven is now a child, meaning he’s significantly older than most of the other members of his generation. I’m not sure if I’ll compensate for this by making him wait for kids, or not. His kid will be the last generation I really have to play through, after all.

If you weren’t in the 1940’s/50’s, you would totally get to keep that outfit, Steven.

Much better. He really is his father’s son. But I fixed his mouth so it’s not dominant any more, and I will make whoever he marries mouth dominant, so it’s goodbye to Jan’s influence on genetics after this generation!

Aw, how sweet.

Alice’s many playful points are a stark contrast to Nick’s 0.

Baby time!

I love everyone’s reactions. Steven and Cindy are excited but calm, Nick’s panicking, and James is all “darn it, I’m not done with my breakfast yet.”

For those that didn’t already know, Nick and Alice’s second born is a daughter.

Margaret Bradford, henceforth known as Peggy, has dark blue eyes, red hair, and her mom’s S2.

And because babies are boring, birthday time.

Aw, an adorable tot. But yeah, female Nick clone. Damn you and your genetics, Jan.

The funny thing about Dotty and her chapter is that even though it was forth in line, I wrote it first. Once I knew that Dotty’s husband was going to die, I wanted to get the details of her story’s timeline down as it would heavily affect the others, especially Alice & Nick and Danny.

Edward was the result of a Good Genes challenge on GoS; he was too pretty not to use. I’d already made the decision that he would be Dotty’s husband before I knew he was going to die, and even though I wouldn’t get to “use” his genetics, I decided to stay the course. I can always make that template into a townie down the road if I want.

I also wanted to do her chapter after Nick & Alice’s because of the telegram . Yes, it sounded like A League of Their Own because I got my idea from that scene in the locker room.

Before we go too far into Dotty’s pics and meta, I want to talk a little bit about Edith, Dotty’s BFF.

She’d been “going” with a tourist teen that my game spawned forever, so it was only natural that they would get married “before” Edith went to college and he shipped out. Edith is the type who wouldn’t want to sit around and do nothing, and would definitely not let a world war stand in the way of her going to college. So she did that while her husband was off at war. In game, of course, they got married after they both graduated since young adults can’t get married without hacks.

Happy wedding guests, even though Dotty has that look about her that suggests she’s not truly happy.

The happy couple. I can’t wait to see what their kiddies look like.

On to Dotty.

Dotty, having only 1 nice point, got a bit aggressive with this dormie. I don’t know why, but I know they hate each other. If not for a hack to prevent it, poor Dotty’s trash can would be kicked over on a regular basis.

This picture of Edward freaks me out. The stupid “bask in the sun” thing from M&G combined with some pose I had him in did not have a good affect.

Since I married them on a community lot and I didn’t want the glitch where the engagement ring sticks, I ended up exiting without saving.

Then I did the real proposal and wedding. That’s a hacked wedding arch, so I could marry them while they were still young adults. Could I have waited until the graduated to film? Sure. But then I would only have had 2 Sim days to do it, what with keeping all the lots in sync in regards to ages. So they stayed young adults. As a bonus…

They were married so they could woohoo with no risk of nooboos. I thought about having Dotty get pregnant, but decided against it. It just didn’t fit with what I’ve got planned for her in the future. Plus, I did that angle with Alice, and it didn’t need to be repeated. As another tidbit, I made a room in their dorm over to be the honeymoon suite, since I couldn’t be bothered to send them on an actual vacation.

For those that were wondering, Dotty did get a custom engagement ring. Edward has excellent taste.

Don’t cry for Edward, Dotty. He’s right there! Yet another joy of filming. Oh, and Alice is wearing her outerwear, because she’s pregnant with Peggy, and her outerwear doesn’t have a preg morph so she wouldn't look it.

Dotty, having only one nice point, often makes inappropriate faces while filming.

Of course Mary Devereaux with her 10 nice points also does the same. I can totally understand why Ang is always complaining about filming with Eden and her 10 nice points, because DAMN IT’S ANNOYING.

Of course Mary was perfect for my head nurse, as she’s a perfectionist busybody who won’t tolerate anything less than perfection. And she lectures so well.

Dotty with two more of her costars, Malcolm Stark and Liam Wheedon. Liam was great as a whiney patient who needed to be put in his place. And he helped Dotty a bit too, as she needed to see that life was still worth living.

I love it when my playables turn up on community lots when I’m trying to film. Go home, Nick.

The first thing Dotty did when I moved her into her new house? Tub pirate.

The second thing? ACR woohoo her husband. Yes, Edward got to graduate and go back to the main hood with her, mostly because the money he brought with him was to be Dotty’s “widow’s pension.” Plus, if I needed him I could resurrect him. I learned my lesson with Gil.

Of course, that meant I needed to kill him. Poor Dotty. I really didn’t want to. But I had to. I actually wrote a drabble that was from Dotty's POV, even though I didn’t label it as such (would have been way too spoilery). But knowing who it is now, I hope you can recognize some of what was in the chapter.

Sadly, as Danny was the last chapter, I don’t have a ton out outtake photos for him. I was at the point of OMG GET THIS DONE, and didn’t take a whole lot that didn’t end up in the chapter. But I do have a few things to share.

Sakura Hashimoto (I don’t think I ever revealed her last name in the chapter) was training to be a true geisha, but never had her debut before the war broke out, which is why she ended up as a geisha girl. There is a HUGE difference. Geisha are artists, geisha girls are hookers, basically. Did Danny understand that? Probably not. Did he care? No.

So why did he marry her? I talk a little about it in this drabble. But mostly, he wanted to do the right thing. In his day and age, you knock a girl up, you marry her. So they married. Despite it not being something would have happened six months after the war ended. Sometimes, you just gotta take liberties with the facts for artistic purposes.

Even though you can’t see them very well, I love this picture of their “wedding” in the temple. It’s just so pretty. Takemizu is such a lovely vacation spot.

There are times when photo editing is your friend. In order to get the shot of Danny & Sakura looking out over the deck of the ship back on to Takemizu, I actually combined two pictures together. Basically, I green screened it, and I loved the result. I don’t mind doing some staging, as I think it can be very effective, but I’m not about to do too as I like the playing aspect just as much.

So Danny and Sakura didn’t actually get married until I moved them into their house. Sometimes, filming is more important than actually getting the game to mesh with the story. At least they married before the baby came.

I mean it when I said I didn’t have many extra pictures. This is the sole picture of Sakura’s labor, and the only pictures of Susan are in the chatper.

Danny Bradford might not make a great sailor, but he’s a phenomenal tub pirate.

I have no idea why Dotty and Danny are so pissed here, but I love that they’re pissed off in sync. Twins to the core.

Still with me? Well, that’s it. I’ve been playing and taking milestone pictures in the new ‘hood, and HOLY BABY BOOM BATMAN. Every house I’ve played so far has at least one kid, and a few I’ve had to cut off at two. I’ll share some pictures soon. Until then, I hope you liked the meta and the pictures.


Jul. 23rd, 2013 03:38 pm (UTC)
Heh, I guess it does qualify as an update with that many pictures.

I think sometimes the story behind the story is even more interesting. I know that’s why I read BTS. Well, that and I hope I pick up some new tips on posing/filming.

Takemizu really is pretty to film it. I just greenscreend that one shot of them on the ship leaving; perhaps I should have been a little clearer there. I just couldn’t get the angle I wanted for that shot within the constraints of the game.

I don’t feel guilty at all about fixing genetics. And I can’t stand looking at that mouth for the last few generations. I’m not sure if I’ll have a female heir or not, but we’ll see. I have to get two more generations to get born. Cindy is quite the matriarch, and I think Alice will be too, once she gets to come into her own a bit more.

You weren’t as incoherent as you thought. I can’t wait to introduce you to all the nooboos, and develop Steven a bit more.

Latest Month

July 2017


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner