This Sims 2 blog follows the lives of the Nuidya tribespeople of the northern mountains, as they try to survive, thrive and figure out what exactly it means to be a lizardsim. Along the way, there'll be drama, romance, utter silliness and lots of cats. Just watch out for those storm demons - they're sneaky. :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Introducing the Solupian Calendar

Yes, the post on Li's visit is coming already. I've just been busy puzzling this one out for the last couple of days.

Those of you who remember my last post will know that I've been having problems explaining time differences since I started the blog. Thanks to the comments of Apple Valley and Em, the complaining companion I like to call my mother and several gallons of tea, there is now a solution so I can get back to playing, blogging and finishing that post.

Introducing the Solupian calendar, the new way of dealing with time, seasons and aging in this blog.

How does it work? Well, basically I have decided to adapt the systems used by other Simmers (see "thanks" section above) to suit my playstyle. One rotation in Kulo Seeri is still a day long, but the houses won't all be on the same day and season any more. I'm doing what Em does, setting the first few houses to spring, the next few to summer and so on, and incorporating months like AV does. Only I've gone the whole hog and come up with an entire calendar. With days and weeks and everything. Wow, right?

In more detail: Each season is now three days long, making the seasonal year 12 days long. My calendar has 12 months, three for each season, and each month is 28 days long (because I'm also using a seven-day week and I don't want to have to do complicated calculations every time I finish a rotation!).  Each household represents one day of whatever year it is. The seasonal "date" - whether it's the first day of autumn, third day of spring etc. - determines the month, and the day of the week is simply the Nuidya equivalent of whatever day the game says it is. From there, I look at my actual Nuidya calendar, and pick one of the four dates that match the month and day. That household is then set to that date, and I play in order of the dates. If a Sim moves out to another lot, the new lot is set to at least three weeks after the move-out, depending on what dates are free.

What are the months and days? The three "days" of Spring correspond to the Nuidya months of Snowmelt, Newbud and Greentree. Bluesky, Longday and Warmsun are the summer months, followed by Redleaf, Coldwind and Cropstore in autumn and finally Frostlake, Darknight and Burnflame are the winter months.
A week is actually called a "quarter" by the Nuidya, and the seven days of the Nuidya quarter are: Startquarter (the equivalent of Monday, as that's what day it always is when a Sim moves to a new lot), followed by Seaday, Skyday, Midquarter, Fireday, Stoneday and Quarterend.
I am hopeless with names but doing it all that way just seemed to fit the tribal lifestyle of the Nuidya without being too goofy-sounding.

The Solupian Calendar in action: Let's say Vari zan-Example (Vari being a word in Maltiazi, my "universal naming language" meaning "year") has just moved out of her parents' house. When she moved out, it was a Thursday on the third and final day of Summer, which translates to a Midquarter day in the month of Warmsun. Because dates always fall on the same day of the week, Midquarter is always either the 4th, 11th, 18th or 25th of the month; for the purpose of this example, it was the 18th.
So, since my rule is that new households start at least three weeks after the one they left, Vari's new house will be played as the 11th of Redleaf at the earliest. Since she moves in on Monday/Startquarter and I have decided to play the new house as soon as possible, that means it is either the 15th or 22nd of Redleaf when I play the lot. Looking at my calendar, I have another household scheduled for the 22nd, so I write Vari down for the 15th and play her before the other household to keep things in the right order.
This also means that families will move about in the calendar each year, so that Vari's parents will be in Redleaf themselves next rotation, and it will be any of the four Firedays in the month.

Anything else? I intend to add in holiday dates, birthdays, that sort of thing later. For now, I'm keeping it simple so I can set it up and play again. The only drawback is I've lost my original coming of age idea, as I can't see a way of making it work when one rotation goes through all the seasons. But I am working on a replacement.

OK, why "Solupian"? Because, for the purposes of the blog, the calendar was devised by Apprentice Shaman Soleil zan-Ace and her cousin Wolfie, who is not a shaman or stargazer of any sort, but he is good with numbers. :)

Cookie for you if you read through all that waffling, and double choc chip cookie if you understood it, because I'm not sure I do myself. XD

- VT

Monday, September 26, 2011

We Interrupt This Blog...

This is an emergency broadcast from VT. Regular Simmy updates will be resumed as soon as I resolve my aging issue.


VT here, with three announcements to make. The first is this: my post about Li Yoo's visit to Kulo Seeri will be up (hopefully) tomorrow. It's just taken me a while to play through the visit, sort out a reasonable amount of pictures and explain what's happened. I'm having to write it in short bursts due to lack of blogging time and general short attention spa... ooh, shiny!


Second announcement: while I try to write (mostly) serious stuff about my Simmies, I've found that it does tend to degenerate into random silliness about halfway through. I would like to blame my silly daft Sims, but this is my fault as much as theirs. (please see "shiny" jokelet above for an example of what I mean) BUT I happen to have invested four and a half years of my time in this hood, and I don't want to end up with a blog riddled with the goofy gags I tend to default towards.
What I did want to do when I started writing this was to focus on the more dramatic side of things (with certain light relief moments of course) and to showcase as many of the unique cultural aspects of Nuidya tribal life as possible. I'm sort of thinking along the lines of The Tribe, an old favourite show of mine.
So from now on, once I get my Li post up and resolve the issue in Announcement #3, I am going to try to do just that. Moving along...


Third announcement: It is starting to annoy me that all the events of each rotation take place on the same day. It's even more annoying when there are birthdays involved early on, so I could show Sim A becoming a teen at 6pm and then, when I'm posting Sim B's update, Sim A is walking around as a teen at 12 noon and it's the same day. Not to mention the season thing, where Sims age five years before the season is out...
Since the Nuidya have no access to a time machine, I have an issue I need to resolve, and I need the help of my readers... all one of them. :) I've considered using a month system like Apple Valley's, or something similar, but I just can't think of a good way of handling it. I need suggestions! I need advice! Pretty please?


This was an emergency broadcast from VT. Feel free to either comment or completely ignore it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

28: The Trouble with Retirement

28 A.G.S. Monday, Spring 1
Elders' Lodge, Kulo Seeri: Binidu zan-Arzep (55) & Waylon zan-Arzep (50); Cassie zan-Avira (55) & Jorthu zan-Avira (55); Viru zan-Avei (55) & Lily zan-Avei (50); Casey zan-Ellen (52) & Manewa zan-Ellen (55)
please note: all ages are estimates.The old hood records were lost in the Great Storm, so no one born before that is quite sure how old they are.


The latest group of teens leaving for Kulo Kor left four older couples with no children still at home. Rather than staying in four separate 'empty nests', they had decided to move in together, setting up an Elders' Lodge. While everyone there was, of course, concerned about their children being on their own for the first time, it wasn't long before some found their thoughts turning to other things...




"You've got some nerve talking to me about love and loyalty, Manewa - you, of all Sims, who said you'd always put your family first, then ran off with the first outsider to show up!"


Binidu was trying hard to keep herself under control. She and Manewa had always been good friends, but it was so hard to forget that Manewa had left her first husband and children when Casey, a distant cousin of the Nuidya, had arrived several years earlier - especially when Binidu herself had been raised by her cousin Viru's mother, always knowing that her own parents hadn't wanted more children. Even now, nearing elderhood, that knowledge hurt more than anything.


Manewa didn't bother trying to defend herself this time; the two women had had this argument often enough.


"All I'm saying, Binidu, is... you might want to keep a closer eye on Waylon. I think he's getting a little too friendly with Cassie over there."




Sure enough, Binidu's husband - who had always been a devoted family man himself - was flirting with Cassie zan-Avira, when both of their spouses were in the same room - and neither Binidu nor Cassie's husband Jorthu had missed it.






Binidu's reaction was pure impulse; she flung herself at her cousin, knocking her to the floor. The other residents of the lodge quickly dropped everything and gathered to watch the two of them brawling in the middle of the living room. The initial worry soon gave way to an almost primal frenzy of whoops and cheers that wouldn't have seemed out of place at an ancient gladiatorial contest (although Waylon did seem to be taking the wrong side on both counts).




As the day wore on, it seemed more and more likely that the residents of the Elders' Lodge were starting to lose their minds. Casey zan-Ellen attempted to comfort Cassie after she lost the 'match' with Binidu by congratulating her for accepting Waylon's attentions in front of Jorthu.


Waylon himself, meanwhile, was outside in the vegetable garden, splashing in the rain puddles. Exactly what this was supposed to achieve, no one was quite sure.





Fortunately, Cassie did seem to want to make things right before the day was out.


"Waylon, I just wanted to congratulate you on falling in love with Binidu. You've had a good 23 years together. Don't blow it."


Just where was all this going to end up?


*****


VT says: Chaos! Utter chaos! The annoying thing is Waylon has a Family aspiration, and he and Cassie have no chemistry whatsoever! I would also like to note that there was very little VT intervention here - all pictured events happened on their own. I was just going "HUH?!" Oh well, at least it'll shake up the hood a bit. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

28: First Day Away, Part 2

28 A.G.S. Monday, Spring 1
Girls' Camp, Kulo Kor: S'Ahmisa zan-Ace (15), Larkspur zan-Avei (15), Uchenna zan-Avira (13), Elle zan-Ace (12), Clarisse zan-Avei (12)


"I'd love to know who came up with this brainwave," Clarisse grumbled. "Why can't we just have a party or something when we come of age? I could handle a party. A whole season in the wilderness, on the other hand..."


"...is supposed to build character and create strong bonds between the young adults of the tribe." Uchenna zan-Avira completed the sentence, though not in the way Clarisse had intended.


"Anyway," she went on, "if you don't want to stay and become an adult with the rest of us, Your Highness, then you can just pack up right now and go back to SimNation."



"Shut up!" Clarisse shouted, sticking her fingers in her ears. True, she wasn't technically Nuidya, having come to the tribe from foster care in SimCity. Maybe she wasn't quite cut out for the Nuidya life. Why did she have to live with the constant reminders?

*****

At the other end of the campsite, the two oldest girls sat on the grass, talking about the next four days, what they would do when they returned - and, strangely enough, about SimNation and the rest of the world outside Kulo Seeri.

It was a subject that S'Ahmisa zan-Ace had been thinking about a lot recently. She had always known that she was named after a resident of Apple Valley, who had been a friend of her father and visited one of the old villages when she was a baby. What she didn't know was what things were like out there, and now, approaching adulthood, she wanted to find out.

"Maybe I could travel to another hood one day," she said to her best friend Larkspur. "I think it would be different travelling because you want to go somewhere new, not just because you have to."



Larkspur rolled her eyes. No Nuidya could survive in the city, everyone knew that. It was crazy to even think about it. Still, she wasn't going to crush her friend's ambitions.

"I guess so. I mean, Sims have come here from SimNation before, so... maybe it would be OK for one of us to go there." she replied after a moment's hesitation. And maybe the moons will land in the village centre and tap dance for us, too, she thought. A Nuidya in SimNation is like a fish in the desert.

*****

Kulo Kor is not a desert, and there is no shortage of fish in its waters. Both boys and girls had been given fishing equipment before leaving Kulo Seeri, and with the day moving along, Elle zan-Ace was taking the opportunity to learn to use it before what little food they had brought ran out.


"Need any help over there?" Uchenna picked up one of the spare poles and joined Elle at the side of the pond. "We could use some more supplies, and I could use some intelligent company. That Clarisse - I'm so glad our family didn't get stuck with her!"

Elle just managed to suppress a snort. Like Clarisse, Elle was one of the six children the tribe had taken in seven years ago. The two had known each other from preschool before being adopted, and Elle would be the first to admit that her friend's demanding ways drove everybody crazy. But...

"There's a good heart beneath the diva exterior, you know. It's just hard to notice it when she's flouncing about in that ridiculous dress, looking for a show to steal."


Uchenna quickly learned not to try recasting while laughing at sarcastic remarks.

*****

Meanwhile, the subject of the conversation was lounging on her bed inside the larger of the two cabins. Her daydreams were starting to give way to thoughts of her parents, who would have moved into the Elders' Lodge now that both their daughters were away.


Dad should be telling me to get up and help with the chores right now.
Mum should be doing that irritating mock bow when I walk in. I kinda miss that.
Never thought I'd miss them this much. Are they missing me, or are they just relieved that I'm out of the house?
I wonder if there are bears on this island? They wouldn't let us go if there were... would they?

Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of four other teenage girls outside the cabin door, yelling something about cooking fish.

Ick. I hope they're saying they've done it so I don't have to.
*****
VT says: I started this post yesterday, but didn't have time to finish it. Coming on today to find I've got my first follower gave me the motivation to finish it. I don't know who you are, but thank you. Major confidence boost there.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

28: First Day Away, Part 1

28 A.G.S. Monday, Spring 1
Boys' Camp, Kulo Kor: Hestrie zan-Avira (13), Shiloh zan-Arzep (13), Amin zan-Arzep (12), Andrew zan-Avira (12), Eric zan-Ellen (12)




"Armando should have been here,"  Andrew said, walking over to stand beside his brother. "No way it's going to be the same around here without him."








Hestrie just stared at the two cabins that had been prepared for their group. The three other boys who had come with them stood close to the nearest cabin; Hestrie could hear one of them muttering something about "built yesterday and already look like they're falling down".




"He should definitely be here," he agreed. Armando zan-Avira, their adopted cousin, had fallen ill during the tribe's long journey to their new home of Kulo Seeri; in the middle of a remote area with very limited supplies, there was very little that could be done, and he was dead before the Nuidya had reached their destination. If he had survived, he would have been the eleventh of the new teens coming of age at the season's end.



"Knock it off with the doom and gloom already!" Amin zan-Arzep grabbed Hestrie in a headlock and explained that "We're practically in paradise here - no adults to tell us what to do, and the girls can't tell us off for goofing around either, 'cause they're in a separate camp... and when we come back, we'll be men and we can join the guard or the council or something. But right now, we're out on our own for the first time, and Armando would have wanted us to have fun! Four days until we have to start being responsible, let's make the most of them!"

After a similar discussion with Eric zan-Ellen, Andrew decided to head for the small pond in the centre of the campsite. The boys were going to need food for the next four days, and if anyone was going to get credit for the first catch, he decided, it was going to be him.


It wasn't long before he got what he was looking for, prompting Amin and Shiloh to grab a couple of spare rods and hopefully outdo him with a bigger fish or two.




However, things didn't work out exactly as they had planned.


Meanwhile, Eric challenged Hestrie to a few rounds of rock-paper-scissors, in the hope that it would take his mind off the loss of his cousin and get him into the "vacation" spirit.




"Rock smashes scissors! Whooo! I am Emperor Rock and I crush your puny scissors with my bare hands!"


"Sena spear it, Hestrie, you're so irritating when you get it right... what is the matter with you?"




As the day went on, the mood gradually changed. The fact that there should have been six boys in the camp, although not quite forgotten, became less depressing, and silliness started to take over. In four days, they would return to the village, leaving their childhood behind on Kulo Kor. For now, they would make the most of it.




From Shiloh's declaration that "A giant robot with laser eyes couldn't get a ball past me! Nyah!" to Eric and Amin's discussion of genies and lamps in the outhouse, it was beginning to seem that the boys were more like children now than they had ever been.




Towards the end of the day, with everyone starting to get hungry, Shiloh attempted to cook one of Andrew's fish. For a first attempt at cooking, everyone agreed, it wasn't half bad.



Long after night fell, they were still wide awake, and starting to discuss the possibility that maybe having girls in the camp wouldn't have been so bad.



*****
VT says: I am so glad I went with a group camping trip as the Nuidya coming of age rite. These boys are hilarious to play - especially when I'm mostly letting them run around on free will.
Part 2, the first day in the girls' camp, will be up next.