Sunday, June 25, 2017

Long, long hiatus and more forum drama

I sincerely apologize for the long absence. There are times where I feel that my creative battery is completely drained, and I just stop uploading for a while. Now is one of those times.

I shelved my current projects about a month ago, and since then I've been doing a long, super-modded Skyrim playthrough. There have been a lot of great Skyrim mods added to the Nexus in the last 2.5 years since I did my last playthrough, and I'm thoroughly enjoying them. I'm probably not done with Sims 2 for good, but I really need a break from it. I may also look into modding for other games in the future, such as Sims 4.

I will preface the next part by saying that I have huge respect for the cave gatherers over at SimsCave. It's a great site and the best source available for Sims 2, 3, and 4 updates. The cave scouts are hard-working and dedicated, and one of them (Julie) is a wicked awesome creator in her own right. That said, as my blogs don't have a lot of subscribers (hint, hint), like many creators I'm dependent to some degree on SimsCave for visits and pageviews. Which doesn't always go as anticipated. It's kind of disheartening to work for a month or more on a project, and have people notice it weeks later (or not at all in some cases) because SimsCave skipped it or was late with the update. This is also why I'm not feeling motivated to create lately.

That said, I dislike being pulled into the shit maelstrom that is Sims 2 forum drama, but it seems as if it can't be helped. I thought I was forever done with it after the Bodice-Ripper posebox shit-show at PBK, but once again it has reared its ugly head. 

Long-time friends and fans know that try to maintain a solid reputation. Granted, I've made a few dick moves in the past, but for the most part I tend to live and let live. I do my best to follow up on the comments in my blog posts, and I do tons of research before uploading to make sure that creator TOU are not violated, proper permissions are obtained, and that creators are properly linked and credited. Why? Because I sincerely hope that other creators will extend me the same courtesy when my content is used.

So it came much to my surprise when SimsCave posted a link to a Tumblr post (which will remain nameless; I have no intention of giving this unscrupulous person more pageviews) that featured a BDSM-type lot. Curious, I checked it out. The pictures of the lot included some of the objects from the BDSM playset, and the post claims that there BDSM accessories and a posebox (which have nothing to do with the lot, obviously) in the file, but curiously, there's no link to the originally post or credit for the creator. Now a bit more concerned, I downloaded the 94 meg file. So a little over half the file is the Sims2Pack containing the lot and the unedited Fraps images. The rest contains my object, accessory, and posebox files for the BDSM playset.

I sent the Tumblrina the following personal message:

I really don't appreciate having my shit stolen wholesale. If you're going to use another creator's work in your projects, at least have the courtesy to publish the proper credit and links back to the original post. Not sure exactly why my entire object set, accessories and poses were included in the folder since they're not included in the lot file and you didn't create them.
To which I received this response:

Hi. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. I never did claim your set as my own so I’m sorry if you thought I did? I think I made it pretty clear in my speed build video that your objects did not belong to me and I’m sorry if you think I was trying to claim them as my own. I was not. I just added them to the folder so people didn’t have to go out of their way to find them online. If you want me to put a link of your creations in my video/description just let me know and I will if that makes you feel better.
Aside from the fact that he's a horrible person for punctuating declaratives with question marks, his response is complete bullshit. There is no speed build video, or at least the speed build video is not linked to or embedded properly in the post. There are no links to the original source (Blue Heaven Sims Adult); if there were I would be able to see the visits from the page where the alleged video is in Traffic Sources. I never implied that I said the "creator" claimed my work as his own; I said (accurately) that he stole my shit. This is just lack of basic reading comprehension. So essentially because he couldn't be arsed with accurately crediting and linking to my work, he stole it and redistributed it in his download.

No proper credit given.
No link to the original material included.
No permission requested.
No reading comprehension before providing response.
No resolution provided for the original issue.
No fucks given.

So at this point, all I can do is write a nasty letter to MediaFire and wait for them to take down the file, because the concept of no redistribution without permission eludes this kid. Hopefully it won't take too long.

I'm sorry for those who were expecting more uploads. I'm likely to continue with my work, both at the family-friendly and adult blogs, but not in the near future.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Armory- Protect ya Neck, Pt. 2

I'm extremely sorry for my recent lack of productivity. The temperature has shot up here in the last few weeks, and I get wicked bad insomnia when it's hot. Lack of sleep coupled with trying to produce shit simultaneously for the family-friendly blog, the adult blog, and the Kingdom of Colton story blog have spread my creative energies thin. Anyway, I finally finished this part of the project for the enjoyment of your pixelated action figures. It's a set of 17 helmet conversions from Skyrim, both as accessories and as deco clutter.


All of the textures except for the imperial helmets were extracted from Book of Silence by aMidianBorn and caBal. This is my absolute favorite armor retexture ever.

The light imperial helmet texture is from aMidianBorn Imperial Light and Studded, also by aMidianBorn and Cabal.

The medium and heavy Imperial helmet textures are part of XRC HD Imperial Armory by XRC.

The full Imperial helmet texture is from HQ Imperial Helmet by Paddyy.

The meshes used on the Nord plate helmet, ebony helmet, Imperial full helmet, Stormcloak guard helmet, and open-faced Stormcloak guard helmet are from Improved closedfaced helmets by navida1.

Heavy picspam behind the cut!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Friday, February 17, 2017

Merrie Minstrels II: Merīminsutoreru

Happy weekend, all. When I made Merrie Minstrels, I thought at the time it would just be a one-off and I wouldn’t re-explore it. But as time passed, I came across plenty of cool instruments begging to be converted.


To preface the content I’m about to present, I don’t consider myself an authority on Asian cultures or languages, nor on music, not by a damn sight. If I’ve made any errors in the post below, please feel free to correct me. I’ve always been fascinated by the sublime quality of this type of music, and while not a musician myself, I have huge respect for the discipline and artistry behind it. I’m just a fan, doing my best to adapt some objects and accessories into the game for storytelling and picture taking.

This set comes in three parts: Objects, accessories, and poses (plus a collection file). The objects include small deco versions of the accessories (tengai and bamboo flutes, erhu, pipa, and shamisen), as well as large deco objects that are less portable (gongs, zithers, and taiko drums). Note: the ruan object was originally created by Sandy at ATS. The deco object can be downloaded separately (Details in the credits section). The gong objects have two colors for each subset, plus two additional colors with the gong striker edited out. The zither objects each have three versions: on a stand/table, on lap (floating), and leaning against a wall. All of the taiko objects are slaved to the giant Ō-daiko, and pull the same recolors.

With the exception of the gong striker and tengai, all of the accessories have “playing” and “carrying versions”. The gong striker and bachi are only available in one color; everything else has either three or four recolors. The “playing” accessories are intended to be used with their accompanying poses, and the “carrying” accessories are meant for traveling. All accessories are for YA-E only, for both genders. Please note that the back/hip accessories were made with the "everysim" in mind; they're made to work with a Maxis-sized AM with poufy minstrel-type clothes. They work well for SBB or BB types in tight-fitting clothes. Using tight-fitting Maxis-sized AM or AF clothes, you may see a sliver of daylight between the instrument and the sim's back. Conversely, if you use Bear BB or Netra's Biggirl or really bulky clothes, expect some clipping. The accessories are grouped into subfolders, for easy removal of any you don’t want to add.

Each of these accessories was painstakingly hand-edited. Hand, hip, and back accessories are binned separately. The accessories can be used with all outfits except nude and swimwear. Each accessory has a custom thumbnail for easy identification and a clear description in the tooltip.

The poses are grouped by type: upper body overlays, lower body overlays, full body overlays, and poses specifically for the taiko. The upper body overlays can be used alone or combined with lower body overlays. They essentially “lock” all the joints from the waist to the shoulder in place, leaving the lower torso and head and neck free. They can also be used with regular Maxis walking animations. The lower body overlays allow the Sims to stand, lean, kneel, dance, and ride on horseback while using the instrument poses. The full body overlays are for use with the gong and zither objects. The taiko poses are for use with the taiko drum objects.


The bamboo flutes aren’t really based on one particular style of instrument. They’re shaped mostly like a shinobue, but they’re end-blown and have a notch cut more similar to a shakuhachi.

The tengai was a straw, basket-like bascinet, used by the komusō (mendicant monks) ostensibly to remove their egos, but was commonly used to disguise their faces when they acted as spies for the shogun.

The erhu is a traditional Chinese two-stringed instrument, played with a bow. The bow is gripped reverse, the opposite of a traditional violin. The resonator box is usually hexagonal, and is covered in python skin (this gives the Erhu a very unique sound). The erhu is usually played from a sitting position.

The pipa is a traditional Chinese four-stringed lute-type instrument. The resonance box is teardrop-shaped.

The ruan is another Chinese four-stringed lute-type instrument. It has a large, round resonance box.

The shamisen is a Japanese three-stringed guitar-like instrument, played with a plectrum called a bachi.

The guquin is a plucked, seven-string fretless Chinese zither with a fixed bridge.

The guzheng is a plucked, 16(or more)-stringed Chinese zither with moveable bridges.

The koto is a plucked, 13-stringed Japanese zither with moveable bridges.

While there are many, many different types of traditional Japanese drums, or taiko, perhaps the most identifiable are the nagadō-daiko (an elongated, barrel-shaped drum with a drumhead nailed on each end). There are categorized into three sizes: ō-daiko (big drum), chū-daiko (medium drum), and ko-daiko (child drum, or small drum). Larger drums are usually make from the trunk of a single tree.

HalkHogan for the texture for the tengai. The tengai itself is a basket mesh extracted from Skyrim.
The erhu mesh and flute meshes were freehanded by me.
3d CadNav for the pipa, guquin, guzheng, and koto meshes and textures.
3dChaya for the shamisen and bachi mesh
The taiko were made by cutting and pasting meshes made by 3dChaya and Archive 3D
The stand for the giant ō-daiko and big ō-daiko is by TRH at 3D Warehouse.
The stand used on the upright chǖ-daiko and ko-daiko is by nixie at MTS

Cake Store had the original idea for the erhu and flute meshes and poses. They’re okay, but I thought I did them better.
The ruan is a deco object created by Sandy at ATS

Additional credits (Clothing and stuff)
The traditional clothing was created by Sims 2 Time Travel at PBK and by Cake Store
The ChinaTown lot was created by Black Orchid at MTS
The “House of Lanterns” lot was created by xxwyckedxangelxx at MTS
The theater lot was created by Alexander Chubaty at MTS

Flutes and Tengai
Catalog: Deco/ sculpture. §123 (Long flute), §102 (Short flute), §155 (Tengai)
Polys: 1819 (Long flute), 1380 (Short flute), 428 (Tengai)
Recolorable subsets: Base
The flutes are medium-poly objects

Small Instruments
Catalog: Deco/ sculpture. §237 (Erhu), §346 (Pipa), §296 (Shamisen)
Polys: 2836 (Erhu), 16588 (Pipa), 1046 (Shamisen)
Recolorable subsets: Base
The shamisen is a medium-poly object
The pipa is a high-poly object

Catalog: Deco/ sculpture. §1795 (Heavy gong), §1815 (Ornate gong)
Polys: 14824 (Heavy gong), 39524 (Ornate gong)
Recolorable subsets: Base, disc
The gongs are high-poly objects

Catalog: Deco/ sculpture. §1326 (Guquin), §1317 (Guzheng), §1429 (Koto)
Polys: 25875 (Guquin in table), 24851 (Guquin off table), 15123 (Guzheng on table) 13683 (Guzheng off table) 34664 (Koto on stand), 30600 (Koto off stand)
Recolorable subsets: Base, table/stand
The zithers are high-poly objects

Catalog: Deco/ sculpture. §2801 (Giant ō-daiko), §2601 (Great tilted ō-daiko), §1801 (Big ō-daiko), §1201 (Chū-daiko), §601 (Ko-daiko)
Polys: 21307 (Giant ō-daiko), 15823 (Great tilted ō-daiko), 21307 (Big ō-daiko) 16679 (Tilted chū-daiko) 11985 (Tilted chū-daiko and ko-daiko) 30600 (Koto off stand)
Recolorable subsets: Base, drumhead
The taiko are high-poly objects


These are the custom accessory thumbnails, as they appear in CAS:

These are the "carrying" accessories, as they appear in game.

For this set, I created a brand new posebox.

Upper body overlays

These poses "lock" the joints from the top of the spine to the waist. They can be used in combination with lower body overlays, Maxis walking (or running, skipping, etc.) animations, and so on.

Lower body overlays

These poses "lock" the lower torso in place. They can be combined with the upper body overlays.

Full body overlays

A set of overlays custom made for the gong and zither objects.

Taiko poses

A special set of poses made especially to use with the taiko objescts.

Q: So where are the teen accessories, J?

A: I couldn’t be arsed with making them. Seriously, this project was hella time consuming as is.

Q: Why didn't you make separate carrying accessories for (insert your favorite body size here)?

A: It would have taken way too long. I tried to make a set that was practical for most sims.

Q: Why did you make them as Body Shop accessories? Why didn't you make them as Decorgal-style props that can be spawned in the sim's hand?

A: As a good friend once said, I'm no Decorgal. I *could* have done it that way, but the project would have taken me four months instead of four weeks.

Q: Do you have any future plans for the Merrie Minstrels project?

A: I have a whole folder of extracted instrument meshes and textures, and I may expand the project eventually. I don't plan to release anything immediately.

Q: Do you plan on adding (name of artist/musical instrument) to this collection?

A: The short answer is no. I don't take requests per se, but if you have a favorite deco instrument out there, I'll have a look at it and consider it for future projects.

The file is massive; even Compressorized and .rar'd, it's almost 31 mb. The instruments are organized into folders, so you can keep only the ones you want or the entire set.