The Sims 4: Seasons

I love this new expansion pack! It’s adding so much to a game I’ve been enjoying for nearly three years.

I love the bees, and I love the umbrellas. (Although, why is an umbrella stand an appliance, instead of an item of storage?) I love that sims automatically open umbrellas (once you’ve chosen one from the umbrella stand “appliance”) whenever it starts raining. (I learned the hard way, after breaking two umbrellas, to return the umbrella to the stand before going out in a thunderstorm.) How is it that a sim is always carrying around an invisible umbrella, ready for the next raindrop, with both hands free? The Sims 4 is a weird game, that’s how.

Umbrellas

Dinner in the rain (The sim on the right was created by Deligracy.)

After I installed Seasons, I was asked to choose a starting season. Phillip and I chose Summer together. (I suppose if I played several short games, this might mean something, but I’m playing one, continuous game.) I’ve made it through an entire sim-year now (a total of 28 sim-days), and it’s now Summer again.

Heat wave in the city

Heat wave in the city

There’s a large vacant area in the corner of Newcrest that’s always bugged me. It’s an enormous lot with grass and walkways, next to a playground and picnic area, with nothing in it. You can’t build anything in it, and there’s nothing to do there – there’s not even plants to harvest, hidden things to explore, or rocks to dig. Now, with Seasons, skating rinks and seasonal food stalls show up to put spaces, like this one, to good use. I’m pleased with that.

Skate Rink

A skate rink in Newcrest

I love the holidays and the new calendar. It’s nice being able to see the upcoming work schedule of every sim in the household in one place. I’ve heard that you can now schedule parties for a future time and date (as opposed to the party starting the moment the invitations are sent out), and that makes sense, but I haven’t tried it out yet.

Winterfest

Winterfest

The thing that excites me the most about Seasons is the improved lighting effects. The Sims 4 has always been a beautiful game, with a nice balance between cartoonish and realistic.  As much as I love playing the game, I love looking at it. I love taking screenshots of this game. I love the little details like how sunlight through windows makes shapes on the floor, and how beams of light come through the trees. Now, with Seasons, colors have become muted – less garish. Light changes with the season and with the weather. Moonlight on snow looks, and feels, different from moonlight in the jungle. You can tell it’s a cloudy day without looking up at the sky.

Fall fishing

Fishing on an overcast Fall morning

Yes, I am loving this new expansion pack, and I’m still discovering all its features.

The Sims 4 Is A Weird Game, Part 3

The Sims 4 has some beautiful kitchen counters and cabinets. You can build a variety of kitchen layouts and styles. Sims can’t actually open the drawers, but that’s all right with me. It’s only a game, with the limitations that come with a computer game.

Traditional Kitchen

Ah, the country life!

Modern Kitchen

Ah, the city life!

But it’s probably a good thing that Sims can’t open drawers, because most of the kitchen islands have the drawers on the wrong side.

Backwards 1

Backwards 2

If a Sim needed to retrieve anything from an island drawer, they’d have to first ask the Sim sitting there to get up, and then they’d have to move the stool out of the way. And if they needed to retrieve anything from the top drawer, they’d have to pull the drawer all the way out to clear the island’s overhang.

The Tall Order, Modern Victorian, and S. Cargeaux kitchen island styles avoid the problem by not having drawers on either side.

The Aughts and the VAULT kitchen island styles are the only two with drawers on the correct side. Guests can sit on at the island, chatting away with the host Sim while they cook dinner, and not have to worry about being in the way.

The Aughts

VAULT

But it’s only a game.

Laundry Room Tour

I am loving the new “Laundry Day” pack for The Sims 4. I’m enjoying all the variety built into the simply act of a sim doing their laundry. I also like (I guess) that there’s a new way for a sim to die. This pack has added a whole new level of unreal-realism to this game.

I especially like the fact that this new pack will change the game only as much as you want it to. If you add a washing machine to a lot, the sims living there will have to do laundry. If a lot doesn’t have a washing machine, they won’t. I think the programmers did an excellent job with this one.

I’d love to be able to build a laundromat, but I understand that that isn’t possible.

When I bought the pack, on the day it became available, the first question I had was: Where do I put these machines? I’m currently playing several households, in houses I’ve built, in houses that came with the game, in remodeled game houses, and apartments. None of these homes had laundry rooms.

But the need for creativity is what I love about The Sims 4.

Spouses Felicia and Jonas live in a house I built on Potters Splay, in Willow Creek. They discovered they had just enough room on the back porch for a washer and dryer, without any remodeling. Their daughter Agnes, although still a child, shows great responsibility and does the laundry without being asked to.

Potters Splay

Also in Willow Creek, siblings Serenity and Irving live in an extensively remodeled house on Daisy Hovel. (A second story and a basement was added.) When their parents were still alive, the house was overcrowded, and Serenity moved a bed into the basement. She still sleeps there, but she now shares the space with a washer and dryer.

Daisy Hovel

Vampire spouses Daryl and Alexander persuaded Alexander’s family to move out of the old Goth Mansion, in Willow Creek, so they could move in. (Daryl is quite charming and the Goths will do anything for their son-in-law.) They kept the place pretty much as it was, although they did add a rooftop deck (for night use only) as well as two levels of massive, labyrinthine basements. It was a simple matter to find some unused space in the creepy sub-basement for a laundry area. There’s a karaoke machine around the corner, for passing the time while the washings being done.

Goth Mansion

Tanvi and her daughter Siya live in the pre-existing house on the Domus Familiaris lot in Brindleton Bay. They’ve done some work to the yard, but have kept the house as it was when they moved in. There was just enough room for a washing machine in the kitchen, so they dry their clothes on a line in the back yard.

Domus Familiaris1

Domus Familiaris2

The Hollows household lives in a house I built on the Dachshund’s Creek lot in Brindleton Bay. It’s quite a large house, with plenty of space to add a laundry room. The most logical option, however, seemed to be to remove the first-floor closet beneath the stair and convert that space. It was eventually discovered that the closet could remain in place. Once a door was added, there was space behind the closet to stack the washer and dryer.

Dachshunds Creek1

Dachshunds Creek2

Finding room for this new laundry equipment turned out to be not much work at all. Neither of my apartment-dwelling households have laundry equipment. I imagine they go to some San Myshuno laundromat only they know about.