Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Origin of MonkeeSims

Hey there. I realized the other day that we're coming up on the 50th post here since I began this site. I know that's not a huge number compared to some blogs that have been around much longer, but's something (I guessed I'd give up posting here after two or three days like I did with my last blog).

Anyway, in honor of the glorious landmark we are approaching, I thought I'd go way back to the beginning of the MonkeeSims neighborhood and take a look at how things really got started. Not just to the beginning of the Miller family, where this blog began, but back even before that.

As I mentioned before, the Miller house originally belonged to the McGregor family, Mark and Nikole, and their five (technically six) kids.

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Pictured in order, they are: Mark, Nikole, Chloe, Seth, Amber, Katie, and Mark Jr. The family didn't start out as two adults and five kids, though. No, it started with just Mark McGregor, a bachelor, who was my first sim in the MonkeeSim neighborhood.

Unlike most of my more modern sims, Mark actually had a job in the political career track, and he was working hard to try to get to the top of his profession. Things were going okay for a while, but very few people ever came by his house, and even fewer of the ones he actually did meet ever agreed to come over when he called them. Over time, his social meter took a big plunge, and he was always too depressed to perform well enough at work for a promotion.

Well, this was before I had any of the expansions, so it wasn't like there were any townies for Mark to meet...just the Newbie and Goth families. To remedy this situation, my wife added the Friendly family to the neighborhood, which consisted of eight single women living in a house together. Over time, Mark met a couple of them, proposed a few times and got shot down, and eventually got Nikole Friendly to agree to marry him. The ceremony was captured in a small, grainy picture taken by the auto snapshot, since I never thought to take pictures back then myself.

Image hosting by PhotobucketThe McGregor seen by the Hubble Space Telescope...

Well, getting married and having someone around all the time definitely cheered Mark up, though the couple lead a pretty boring life, even by pre-expansion sim standards. It wasn't long before the first of many children, Chloe, was born, and Nikole began the first of many grueling baby-watching sessions.

Image hosting by PhotobucketNikole had better hope that little Chloe doesn't get a case of air sickness while hovering over her head...

Mark started climbing up the career ladder again, and started having a limo pick him up instead of that old beater car, and he started wearing cool campaign ribbons on his suit. However, he hit a brick wall again when he suddenly needed like a zillion friends to achieve his next promotion. Even with improved work hours, it became apparent that he had neither the time or energy to waste making pals with a bunch of folks just to get ahead in his career.

Image hosting by PhotobucketMark: "'d think she'd at least draw my bubble bath for me!"

Well, Chloe grew up, and Seth was born shortly after, with very small gaps in between the birth of each new child. Usually, Nikole was on the brink of complete and total collapse by the time each baby grew up, since Mark usually came home and went right to bed without helping with the kids. When there were no babies around, she did manage to find time to sit around and do nothing while Mark was at work and the kids were at school.

Image hosting by PhotobucketNikole sits around...and does nothing...

Eventually, I got the brilliant idea that maybe it was time to create more neighbors (besides the Friendly family and Matt and Branson), and so, the Wilson family was created. Their house was an ideal place to socialize, since there were so many jobless adults there, and quite a bit of fun stuff to do, even before the second story was built. Nikole took advantage of this, and started visiting frequently while her family was away, working hard to make family friends to help push Mark up the career ladder.

Image hosting by PhotobucketNikole chats with Kevin and another neighbor. Déjà vu?

For a long time, Nikole was either over at the Wilson house, or had one of the Wilsons over at her own place to try to make friends of them. The plan to get Mark promoted worked, and he repaid Nikole for her "efforts" by actually helping to take care of some of the later babies a bit more. I guess you can call having to socialize all day long making an "effort", though I'd take that over going off to work all day at Mark's boring job.

Image hosting by PhotobucketOnce the baby is fed, maybe Mark can figure out why none of the lights in the house seem to be working...

As much fun as I'd been having shoving Mark up the career ladder, the game was starting to become more work than it was fun, trying to keep two adults and five kids happy, clean, and responsible all the time. It was hard to find stuff for all of them to do at the same time, since there were limited fun objects, and several people usually looking for a good time all at once. My solution to the fun shortage was a Gameboy, which was a quick and easy fun fix for the kids and adults alike. Of course, there was only one in the house, so it was still only useful to a limited number of people.

Image hosting by PhotobucketChloe: "At last...the Gameboy is mine...all mine!"

Things eventually got to the point where I was wondering how on earth I'd gone from controlling a single sim to a huge family that required constant attention. Like I said before, I was managing to keep them all content and happy with one another, but I was having no fun myself. I think things pretty much start to hit rock bottom when you have to have your adult sim cook two meals just to feed one family. Talk about a monumental pain.

Image hosting by PhotobucketMark: "Hmmm...are you sure we have enough kids?"

Well, it was clear that I was out of control, refusing to ever say no to the "should we have a baby?" box, but there was no going back. When Nikole suggested having a sixth child, of course, I said "yes", and that was the breaking point. Two adults, five kids, and one was all too much. By this point, I'd decided I was having a lot more fun during the times when I was playing as the Wilson family trying to make friends for Nikole, and I started having thoughts about giving up on the McGregors altogether.

Image hosting by PhotobucketNikole: "Babies, babies, babies...I need a new hobby!"

After baby Christian was born, and the process of making sure he was cared for had begun, I decided I'd had enough. I basically abandoned the McGregor family and ran off to spend all my time with the Wilsons instead. Eventually, the house was vacated, though all the furniture and stuff still remained. The Millers were the next to move in, and the cradle that had been baby Christian (who never actually became a child) was still in the house! That was the baby who wound up getting taken away because the family was too lame to care for it. Anyway, you know the rest of the story (or if you don't, go back and read the very first few posts, if you dare).

Whew! What a boring post! In retrospect, I suppose part of the charm of the Sims is being able to lead normal simulated lives sometimes, but if it winds up being even more boring than real life, where's the fun in that? Now you know why my current families are the way they are. Anyway, thanks for enduring this post, and I promise more interesting stuff is on it's way. Stay tuned!


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