Archive for July 23, 2018

Boroughsburg: Potato Ballad Sims Takes Williamsburg Instead Of Manhatten (And A Few Other Bites Out Of The Big Apple)

Posted in Uncategorized on July 23, 2018 by themaresnest

After an apparent two years, Potato Ballad Sims over on Dumblr has decided to release their take on a New York style Sims 3 world

You may remember them for completing the slightly intimidating Point Ouerbacker (Reyes County) which Ouerbacker (of the underrated Castaway Challenge berth Ensamma Ljusets Ö Island) gave up on trying to finish having almost disappeared in the maws of its own complexities – but there’s no danger of spread dread with one based around New York.

Before we go any further, can we get this bit out of the way please?

‘Food fund?’ ‘…medical and educational expenses… large amount of time I put into these worlds in a busy schedule.‘?

 

No, because we’re not your mum.

We’re not dishing out our hard earned money so you can spend more time having fun playing Sims 3 – the bottom line of what you are doing. You are not entitled to pocket money for doing your hobbies.

 

You want it? Go earn it like the rest of us (or are trying to).

We’re sick of Dumblr kidults who think making mods or cc – or worse, just because they exist – somehow entitles them to beg money off internet friends and random strangers online. Backing someone like LoubyLou1985 whose life really had been turned upside down by events and well deserved the Simming community (and others) coming to her aid is one thing, sending money to someone that’s got enough time for CAW but not a part time job or running an Etsy shop for extra money isn’t.

If you don’t have any self respect, at least have some for your readers in not putting them into an uncomfortable position where some may feel guilt tripped into paying money for your coffee treat. That’s not fair.

 

Okay, rant over – and yes, although we meant every word of it, we still feel guilty (dammit!) too – back to Boroughsburg!

Boroughsburg is a pastiche of New York City outside the glitz and glam areas, but not possessing either the inverted faux glam of the ghettos.

Instead it represents the more atypical areas: booming, decaying, and in time regenerating once the land is cheap to buy and the buildings cheaper still to knock down. The places people go to exist. The urban North America far removed from the cloying quirkiness of Friends or the earlier soft focus of Cheers, the world balladeer Billy Joel wrote so heartbreakingly about in ‘Piano Man’ (who escaped New York only to find the same life awaited in Los Angeles), the melancholy irony of the loneliest city in the world – even post-September Eleven, for all Sinatra sang about wanting to be a part of it, New York feels to many a city of eight million who may as well be a million miles apart.

Those areas that aren’t so much the American Dream as the American Meh!

‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door

Where they’ll work for me 12 hours, at one buck an hour – and if they stick it ten years, maybe more.’

 

It could of course be any other American city, but that towering bridge’s baleful domination of the Boroughsburg skyline is quintissential New York (credit where it’s due to MarcusSims91‘s helping Potato Ballad with this).

You see that skyline? You see the Empire State there, hazing out of the backglow in the distance just under the bridge? Jumps right at you, yet subtly – a shot you will have saw in a million films and TV shows, a show which instantly makes you think of the Big Apple. It does the trick in for a second fooling you into thinking what you are seeing is for real, that this isn’t just another Simming world.

Before we get in closer, let’s have a look further out at what Potato Ballad Sims has put together, but first keep in mind that first map of the actual playing area.

Go on, click on it and see for yourself. That’s how far back they have sculpted away from the playing area in order to ensure you will have a view that doesn’t look like the cardboard cut outs of Sims 4, but looks and feels exactly like you are in the city they are trying to emulate – for the first time we can think of in the history of the Sims series. It is genius – sheer genius.

Unfortunately, much of the playing area is taken up with sham buildings for show (which is ideal if you intend using Boroughsburg as a ‘set’ for Simming stories or machinima) in much the same manner as the Grand Theft Auto series.

This does make for a fast load time without the game being constrained with loads of lots which you will never use, and would not be so much of a problem were it not for the small matter of when you first start the game and you are trying to find suitable accommodation for your Simmies.

You are left with only five lots to start from, three of which are like a game of Hunt The Simguru on the EA forum when shit happens Thimble. Numbers 7 and 36 Feindbild Avenue (the two circles to the west) can be easily missed due to the train bridge overhead and due to the plethora of empty shell buildings being parked next to or adjoining them.

The massive plus is that both are dirt cheap to buy – you won’t even break §1000 – giving your Simmies plenty of initial spending money left, a massive incentive for anyone wanting to give them a comfortable enough start without hitting the Motherlode.

It also makes Boroughsburg a very attractive choice for anyone wanting to do a rags to riches challenge – some of the shell buildings have small fenced wooded areas attached to them (enough for a tent or sleeping bag) which could easily be utilised by a homeless Simmie until they’ve earned enough by cunning and guile to buy one of the two apartments mentioned.

The top floor studio flat (that’s apartment to you bloody barbarians in North America) of Number Thirty Six is wonderfully squashed in next to the railway, but with the space you are getting for the price tag there’s little to complain about.

Apart from the trains rumbling by.

So often that you won’t even notice it.

 

Even here, that bridge still towers over all.

On and on the traffic flows, day into night into day, the bridge that never sleeps in the city that never sleeps.

Like the detailed panorama wherever you go within the playing area, like the rumbling train along the bridge and in the underground rail station, like the tramcars trundling along, it all adds to a superlative immersion without overkill.

Hey, the trams! We did mention the trams, didn’t we?

We have now.

You wait forever for one, only to get three at once. One of us hasn’t squeed this loudly since first encountering the headless horseman in Skyrim.

But to return to the problem of finding a place to stay, having to wade through dozens of residential lots which are really shells is a major pain in the arse, made worse by the fact some of the shell lots cost more than the ones you can actually live in so the unwary can miss out on a first time bargain buy which would have suited their needs.

The same goes for the community lots – not all the base game ones are in place, and you will see something similar to the above a lot (excuse the pun). They in particular are a pain in the backside to sort.

To give you an illustration how much of the initial game is usable, one of us decided to do a little bit of urban ‘regeneration’  – that Great British euphemism for mass demolition.

Excusing the accidental demolition of 7 Feindbild Avenue, what you see there is what you have effectively to play with in game (there’s also a criminal hideout off screen over the bridge to the right in the Redpoint area (next to the only 64 x 64 lot in the whole map – another point of contention).

This is great if you like rebuilding worlds – indeed another challenge is to make yourself unofficial Mayor of Boroughsburg and regenerate the place over time, knocking down the shells and building required residential lots and new facilities are required.

But for players who can’t be bothered a fair amount of warning is needed that they should be expecting to put in a lot more work into this map than would be the case for other premade urban worlds – although we would say the returns appear more than worth it.

Another annoyance are the backwards billboards – which extends also to some of the old fashioned wall paintings (back from the pre-billboard era). We get the reason why – in lieu of Simish, but rather it would have been better sticking to the pre-existing billboards doing the rounds than this or calling on extra help to get the correct adverts and decals created. It’s not as if there’s not a billion Simlish fonts out there for free download.

It’s a little annoying considering the attention to detail done elsewhere, such as the delightful Simerican flag (which can also been seen on the trains) fluttering next to the City and State flags respectively over at the Boroughsburg Square park (where the underground train station lies beneath).

Be warned that the Simerican flag will be affected by Lisen’s flagpole override at Mod The Sims (not the other two), so remember to remove any custom ones you may have before loading if you want this one to stay in place – as we discovered the hard way when our own home made in-game flags appeared so that it looked as if Boroughsburg had been taken over by the forces of Nilxis’s Sa Pineda!

New York, New York – so good they flagged it twice!

Come on now, you rebel colonist scum, stand for your national anthem!

♫ Oh so can you Sim, till the dawn’s early light – when so proudly it failed after EA’s last updating ♪

♪ Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just. And this be our motto: “In Nraas only we trust!” ♫ 

 

On the topic of what to put in game, contrary to any claims elsewhere, you do need to put in not only the game and the merged cc packages, but also the decrapped copies of the Store content – even if you already have the originals in your game.

Otherwise you’ll end up with Medusa statues where the ticket machines in the wonderful underground railway station should be for starters and saloon doors where the ticket barriers are supposed to be – and remember the overrides go in the Overrides folder as instructed!

To recap, Boroughsburg is a triumph, certain to become a firm favourite for many Simmers and the standard by which all urban Sims 3 worlds will now be judged, a perfect start point to create your ideal Simming city neighbourhood, the stage for your urban Simming stories, the set for your urban Simming movies, the possibilities here are endless.

However, see it from the outset as a continuous work in progress, not a finished article – this we cannot stress enough. Your involvement with this one is going to go beyond merely your adopted Simming household.

How ironic that one who, once upon a time, declared the Sims 3 era to be at an end thereafter cut their CAW teeth on rescuing several promising abandoned projects by others and now may well have unleashed the ‘hood that will tempt many a Sims 4 player back.