I finally decided to stop beating a dead horse. An issue with Lacee (Osprey’s imaginary friend) caused a glitch that I could not find a work-around or fix for. And let’s face it – I was dreading going back sorting through memories and catching up with the story .. that I started late in the first place. That, and I learned a lot through playing Falconvale and trying out the challenge, and I think I have a better handle on how not to let the game’s innate settings get the best of my story (example: the dang ice cream truck and nonstop paparazzi!!)
After being so frustrated by my seeming inability to fix the problem (I’ll try to detail what went wrong in a postscript in a second here..) – I actually pretty much stopped playing Sims for all this time (hence the lack of updates). (Although I did spend some time working on/writing/setting up what I’ll dub my “mystery project”- a challenge I’m writing from a vague idea up- but more on that another time.) However, the impending release of Supernatural brought back the addiction, and despite rather looming and time-consuming real-life changes (err.. again, postscript!) – I unearthed my Sims game and spent another three or four days futilely arguing with my Falconvale save file. (Fruedian slip – I just had to correct my mis-spelling of “file” as “fail”… hm..) Besides the fact that I ended up thoroughly annoyed at the game in general .. I didn’t really give up – I just decided discretion really may be the better part of valor, and I ordered the hearse for the game/challenge/story. I will eventually build another Falconvale town.. but it won’t be on that custom world (Sunset Valley 2 also got the brunt of my frustration and got uninstalled) .. and it won’t be with those sims/story.
Now, on to the good news. I have (after a day of wracking my brain and searching custom worlds) come up with a brand new story, a new idea.. and a new challenge beginning. This time I resolve to write the story along with the game, so I won’t get ahead of myself like I did with Falconvale.. and also.. this time, the story really is going to take the reins and dictate how the challenge is played. But more on that later. Now to finish this post, and get going on the new story. .. also.. going to have to archive poor ol’ Falconvale on the blog.. (more procrastination ensues..)
Postscript 1 – or – “What Killed Falconvale”
As I mentioned, it was the imaginary friend’s fault. (When in doubt, always blame an inanimate object, they can’t argue.. or can they…) At some point during play, Osprey’s imaginary friend was following him around (as usual). She was in “child” age-state, and not “real” yet, he was a teen. I finally managed to get the relationship high enough to use Osprey’s saved “morph” potion to make her real, and, impatient as usual, I ignored the fact that it was late in Osprey’s awake-time/day, and I barrelled ahead with making her real. Once I triggered the “make me real” scenario, my game (as it did on all other imaginary friend transitions) decided to take an extended hiatus (load) moment – but of course, time keeps going, and his needs kept going lower while the imaginary friend continued to glow…. eventually, he went into needs “failure”, and got lower and lower, until I worried enough to cancel him out of the interaction and send him to replenish needs. The game kept going, I lost track of the fact that the whole interaction had been cancelled, I suppose I figured I could simply restart it. The next day, the doll in question tried to age transition to catch up to Osprey, and again got stuck – again, I got bored/impatient and cancelled it. Stuck her back in the inventory when he went to bed, and went to check on some other households. When I came back, I tried setting her on floor, and the doll appeared frozen, and wouldn’t come to “life” no matter what I did, no actions available. I tried everything I could think of and then some, finally, even attempting to simply delete the doll, or stick her back in inventory and forget her. However, all was clearly not forgotten, and the next time I switched households to check on someone or other, the game simply refused to load the Falcon household any longer. Upon actually downloading “errortrap” and some other mods, it was clearly showing the doll/imaginary friend persona was blocking the load of the household. After the above detailed frustration, I finally deleted the save file and the custom world and went on my merry (.. or, not so merry) way. Later, I discovered that the game automatically backs up the game whenever you use a different save game name, so I was fairly sure I have old files before the error happened, however, it’s probably a good week or more of game play back in the story, and I’m far to annoyed by the whole issue in general to attempt to rescue it any longer… so.. goodbye, Falconvale and the Falcons. 🙂
Postscript 2 – real-life changes..
As a final addendum to this post, I will explain what I meant by real life changes for anyone curious or interested. If you’re not, simply move on to whatever you planned to read next.. 😉 As I think I mentioned in the “about me” posts, I have homeschooled my daughter since preschool. Long story short, as she’s getting older and closer to high school, the less confident I feel in my ability to manage her educational needs AND be the mom she needs. We’ve found another schooling option that will allow her to get the education she needs, as well as parental support. She will actually get to do school online, and I get “demoted” (or promoted) to “educational coach” instead of “teacher” – someone else makes the lesson plans, I just help make sure the lessons get completed and classes get attended, etc. She’s very excited.. and with “all” my “free” time, I decided it was time to make a transition in my life. So.. after two failed attempts at college in the past, and 12 years since I’ve seen the inside of a classroom, I took a leap of faith in myself and enrolled in the major/program I’ve always wanted to pursue anyway. The college is online, so I will be able to be around for my daughter and family… the only issue was getting in. I had to test in at a Pre-Calculus + math level to even be ACCEPTED to the program.. not to mention other placement tests (that weren’t an issue). Somehow, I managed to brush up on my math skills enough to be accepted.. and I even managed to secure the financial assistance! So, as of the beginning of September, I begin full-time classes with Devry University in a Bachelor program for “Game and Simulation Programming”. (Which is actually a part of their engineering college, and, from what the advisor says, one of their more difficult programs.) I certainly won’t be dropping out because I’m bored this time…. (interestingly enough, one of my first two classes is Advanced Composition (I had a good number of English credits transfer, so the lower classes are already crossed of my list).. which should keep me busy and working on creating/writing more – so hopefully that will improve story quality on simmy challenges.. hehe!)