Keika (keika20) wrote,

The White Legacy's First Legaversary!

On this day in 2013, I started a legacy. One year and seven generations later, it's still going strong, and now demands a legaversary celebration!

And what better way to celebrate than to expose my dirty little secrets from behind the scenes? I posted about a month ago about this coming post, and asked for questions for an FAQ. I got two, and will now answer them in depth. I've also got some White Legacy trivia to share. So let's get to it!

What inspired you to use the nature-related naming themes for this legacy?
It kind of just happened. When I named my founder "Snow White," I began with her last name and was trying to think of ideas for her first name. I put a lot of importance on naming, and tend to take this decision very seriously, but nothing really seemed to fit. I was idly thinking about the movie The Tenth Kingdom and how one of the main characters is a descendant of Snow White, and typed in "Snow" as a joke. I laughed a little, not really taking it seriously, but when I couldn't think of anything else, decided I liked it well enough and hit "accept."

I decided to continue using naming themes shortly after beginning play with Snow, but by the time Baltic's "name the baby" screen had come up, I still had no idea what theme I was going to use or what name to give him. I sort of franticly minimized the game and starting surfing around the internet, and I eventually came up with the idea of bodies of water. Baltic was named Baltic. When Toro's kids were born, I ended up naming them somewhat randomly after the scientific names of animals, then it was precious gemstones and minerals. I just picked themes that I liked that had some good choices for names. By the time generation five came along, I realized that these themes all revolved around nature, and that naming them after, say, cars, would look sort of out of place. Nature themes were officially canonized at that point.

So I guess you could say my legacy itself inspired me to use nature themes. It was sort of accidental.

Do you plan the plot and adapt your sims to it, or is it inspired by stuff in game?
A little bit of both, actually.

This legacy was not meant to have plot when I began writing it. Based on previous attempts at writing (unpublished) legacies, I knew that heavy amounts of plot meant that I lost interest a single chapter into the story. In fact, I didn't realize Baltic was going anywhere until I was halfway through writing his exit scene. It went something like this:

SimMe: "Doo dee doo, I do so love playing this brand new legacy of mine! Snow and Patrick are so much fun, and their son Baltic is so cute!"

Bal: "Night, Papa."

Patrick: "Have pleasant dreams, dear one. I love you."

Bal: "Love you too, Papa. Night, Mommy."

Snow: "Goodnight, sweetie."

SimMe: "Wait a minute. This is an exit scene, isn’t it!? Baltic is leaving!? WHAT!?"

SimMe: "I just realized! There’s even been buildup to this! Snow has been talking about worrying over the safety of her family against plot devices, and she wished for Baltic's safety and happiness, too!"

SimMe: "But... I like Baltic. I don’t want him to go anywhere. And I don’t want to introduce plot into this legacy. It’s not supposed to be that involved."

SimMe: "What do I do, what do I do..."

SimMe: "I’m gonna go take a shower. It’s easier to think in there."

After making the decision that Baltic was leaving us, I needed to decide how. Was he getting killed? Was he getting kidnapped? Who would do either one? I landed on kidnapping, because I liked Baltic a lot and killing a child is awfully sad. I then needed to decide who and why. I liked the idea of a member of the family doing the deed and came up with time travel to make that work, which meant I would need someone capable of it. A witch seemed likely. Merry was conceptualized. But she probably would need an accomplice, because two villains play off each other better than one. Arc's role was born. They would need to know that they needed to go back in time to prevent future events. That meant someone who could predict those future events, which meant I needed a Seraphine, whose role as a "child oracle" was inspired by the Devereaux Legacy. See, there's this one scene where generation five heir Eden is shooting a movie, and she plays a "child oracle," which paired with the imagery peasant007 used, I thought was the neatest idea. It stuck with me, eventually getting passed on to Seraphine.

So, the same night Baltic went missing (my second day of play, I believe), I sat up for a few hours typing out plot for characters who wouldn't be born for another generation and a half, and who wouldn't be acting out the plot for two or three more generations. I didn't even have names for them--I gave them keywords in my outline, like {MV} for "main villain" and that sort of thing, to be replaced with their names when they were born.

Since that night, I have kept the same outlining document and added to it. I've known what the climax to my legacy will be since about generation four, and outlined well in advance the vampire nest scenes, the plantsims, the aliens... oh, the aliens. I was sitting on my sister's floor, saying "help me guys, I don't have any unique ideas for aliens" and one of them mentioned partying. That devolved into a whole giggling discussion about party animal aliens, which I later supplemented with plot and other details. This occurred somewhere during generation three, I think, and both sisters were very excited for the alien generation and mentioned that fact on more than one occasion. I needed to get the vampires in first, though, since I wanted Sun hanging around for a long time.

So in a nutshell, most of my heavier plots are conceptualized and outlined two or three or more generations in advance. That does mean I have to mold some of my characters to fit the roles I need them to play (example: Merry), but for the most part I let them be who they are. My sims tend to do a pretty good job of beating me over the head with personalities.

Some of my plots, however, are inspired by what happens in-game. Most famously, the theft of Dez's grave. One day, before I got mods that saved my ghosts, I looked at the graveyard and noticed the grave was missing. I freaked out. I mean, out of all the graves that could disappear, it had to be Dez!? But then an idea struck--what if Arc and Merry stole it and planned to use it for nefarious deeds? I shot the scene where Arc distracts the family so Merry could steal it, and then I discovered the grave had somehow moved itself in front of the telescope. There was much relief, but I decided to leave the scene in and see where the plot went. It ended up killing Lyra. Oops.

Now, I also have a few trivia fun facts to pass along. I came up with nine little-known facts about my legacy that you might find interesting, so here we go! The top nine White Legacy trivia, in no particular order!

1. The Dez in the graveyard is not the original Dez.
Yeah, I just got done talking about the plot that surfaced from Dez's disappearing gravestone, and how it had a habit of randomly teleporting around the lot. One day, however, again before I got mods to keep my sims intact when their tombstones get deleted, I noticed that Dez's warlock paraphernalia had gone from the good witch model to the neutral one. I checked the graveyard and, sure enough, no Dez. I looked everywhere for him, but no. He was gone. I had lost him permanently.

Since I had a copy of him, though, I just introduced a clone to the lot (and stuffed $20,000 worth of loot in his inventory to make up for the move-in bonus) and killed him. But man, that clone got up to hijinks in the few seconds was still alive! He made himself a nuisance, picking on family members, breaking toilets... not altogether fun. It was like Dez's evil twin.

2. Gabriel Powers was originally going to be Sun.
Remember this guy?

Now take a look at him in his pajamas.

When I got started on filming the generation four vampires plot, I had some very specific ideas on who I wanted Sun to be, what he would look like, how he would behave, etc. My first thought was of course to create him in CAS. When he first came out of CAS, he was dressed exactly as Sun was, with the long hair, tie-dye shirt, glasses, and beard. He sat in the nest, waiting for me to use him, and as he did, I got to thinking. My rule is to marry NPC's into the legacy. I started to feel so guilty for breaking it for Gabriel. I also worried that by creating him tailor-made in CAS, I was artificially influencing the genetics of my legacy family. My sister thought that was a weak argument, but it concerned me.

After a while, I decided I would go for one of the Grand Vampires, since they do count as NPC's (at least in my book, which is fairly lenient *cough* Peter Sims from the garden club *cough*). I found Sun, was appropriately disgusted by his very not-vampire name (Jimmy Taylor, bleh), and used Zircon's clothes and hair salon to dress him up while he was still a townie. Gabriel had his hair cut and was dressed as an appropriately scary vampire and added officially to the loathe. And so we have Count Jimmy Taylor as Jade's hippie vampire husband, and not Gabriel Powers. Although Gabriel still gets to keep the tie-dye PJs.

3. Hyde's first abduction was as a teenager.
Hyde's alien aductions were pretty much smoke and mirrors. I never exactly cheated for them, though.

As I said already, Hyde's first abduction was as a teen. I had been having him stargaze every night because I knew I wanted generation six to be entirely made up of aliens, and because I also knew that my chances of getting a Pleasure Sim abducted with just "stargaze" were slim to nothing. I finally got him abducted before he went to college.

When he got home, he spent the first week or so trying to get an abduction the normal, telescope way. When that didn't work, I brought out the dance sphere. He was abducted and pregnant in hours. I then used testing cheats and reloading without saving to get the pictures of his telescope abduction--after the twins were already born. In fact, toddler Sol was sleeping in the doghouse during the sequence, and I had to be very careful with the angles of my camera shots not to show him in there!

Using the dance sphere, however, had an unfortunate side effect: Hyde got skinny. I had to quickly get him fattened up again, but he was still small for this picture:

I was so worried somebody would notice! But I guess "fat" in Sims 2 isn't really enough of a difference to tell!

Vis's abduction was pretty much natural. I had Hyde Watching For UFOs every night, and he finally got abducted. I was very disappointed to find out that the Watch For UFOs action doesn't get your sim pregnant (or if it does, the chances are much, much lower). Assuming it was a glitch, I cheated Hyde his alien pregnancy. After all, it was an abduction, right? And by the time I found out it was the Watch For UFOs action and not a glitch, Vis was already born. Oops?

4. Baltic did not actually grow up with Seraphine.
The kid who played Baltic during the interlude was actually a clone of him named Baltic Black.

I had to maneuver quite a bit to get Baltic to be "kidnapped" via "time travel." What I did was I kept Baltic in the house until he was a teenager (taking advantage of his presence there to film dream sequences and stuff with his parents), and then immediately moved him out to college. He sat in a dorm there for the next three generations, occasionally coming home with kids on the school bus because I never bothered to open his lot and age him to young adult.

Meanwhile, Par was killed and Merry had Seraphine. When she was a child, I introduced Baltic Black to the household. I fully played Seraphine and Baltic's childhood, taking pictures and writing the interlude in chunks as Jade and her sisters grew up.

When Baltic Black became an adult, I moved the real Baltic White into Arc and Merry's mansion o' evil. The clone was given an extreme makeover to obscure his features and dropped into the graveyard, and Baltic's relationships with the household were boolpropped to where they should be.

That's Baltic Black right there.

5. I keep overly meticulous notes on all of my sims.
And I mean that. I have a whole powerpoint dedicated to every single stat of every single member of the White family. Here's a screenshot from that powerpoint:

In that powerpoint, I also have a list of the important dates, like when the legacy started and when Generation Five was born, an interactive family tree with portraits and hyperlinks, and other slightly spoiler-y things that I can't mention here.

Maybe this one is a little less of a trivia, but I thought you might be entertained by it.

6. It was really easy to make Peter a plantsim.
I was honestly surprised. What I did was I built the farm he went to work on as a community lot in a far corner of Peachtree Valley, and then I had him buy it. When the time came for him to be a plantsim, I sent him down there and had him work the farm sans ladybug houses. The lot had a fully-functioning house on it, though he had to sleep in a tent instead of a bed per community lot mechanics. I went to this effort because I had long since installed a greenhouse on the main lot, and it made no sense for him to garden outside just so I could make him a plantsim.

I was expecting to spend at least a week, if not two or more, with him living on the lot and tending trees. It took three days. I had been worried that it might not be possible to make a plantsim on a community lot, so the ease with which it happened was not only surprising, but also greatly relieving.

The family has since sold the lot back to the city, but it's still sitting there in case I ever need it again.

7. Peter died.
I don't have a picture of it, sadly enough, but at one point, Peter was starving to death and just sitting down to eat when he was scared by a ghost. He died, and Ella stepped up to the plate and saved him from death. Here's Ella's memory of doing it as proof:

Usually, this kind of thing would make it into the chapter in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, Peter was canonically working the farm in Pleasantview at the time, and I couldn't show him at legacy estate without breaking all sorts of continuity. It was almost an outtake anyway, but no. I didn't get a picture. I should have.

8. The plantsim tribe is entirely descended from Rose and Daisy Greenman.
Remember Azolla the tribe elder? That's actually Rose. The Greenmans are a convenient plantsim/sim family living by default in Riverblossom Hills. I renamed them both, aged up Rose, and spawned a bunch of plantsims from them, and they're serving as the roaming band of plantsims. I even gave them the name of "the Greenman Tribe" as a nod to their origins. Here's Azolla/Rose and Alliara/Daisy right here:

It was either this or have Peter spawn a plantbaby to found the tribe, and that would have been weird. Poor John Greenman is now living all alone in his house, without his wife and stepdaughter.

9. My second generation might have dual citizenship.
Well, not really, but I think it's funny to joke about it. I was on a study abroad in Japan when I began this legacy. I had been reading the Squeaky Clean Legacy (professorbutters) and the Vetinari Dualegacy (drsupremenerd), and was inspired to start a new one. My first reaction to this urge was, "No, Keika! You just dropped a legacy! And when you did, that legacy burned you out so badly that you haven't touched the game in weeks! Don't start another legacy, not so soon! You might never play the game again!!" But I did anyway. Snow White stepped out of CAS while I was in my dorm room in Japan.

Further, all of Snow's kids were born while I was in Japan. By the time Toro went to college and got married I was back in the United States, so none of generation three were born there. But I wonder--does the fact that I am American and Baltic, Toro, and Arie came to be in Japan grant them dual citizenship between the two countries? What legal ramifications are there for sims?

So that's the FAQ and the top nine trivia. It was long, but I hope it was interesting nonetheless. Have fun, and happy simming!
Tags: birthday, legaversary, trivia, white legacy
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