Tuesday, February 26, 2013

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Downton Abbey Meets The Sims 3 Recap: The Season So Far

Mary arrives 2
Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Although the third season of Downton Abbey (or at least its American airing) has ended, Sim Downton Abbey is only beginning. It took me a full weekend of excruciating troubleshooting and bug-squashing, but by the mercy of the universe Sim Downton is now running as smooth as silk. Soon Mary will be out rubbing elbows with the social elite, Sybil will be getting her passport stamped across the sim globe, and Cora and Robert will be gearing up to throw a society party the likes of which the Abbey has never seen before... And potentially trying for a brand new baby shortly thereafter.

Until then, it's the perfect time for a recap! Here's where the characters of sim Downton stand as of right now:

Downton Abbey Crawleys Sims 3

Robert Cora werewolf kissRobert and Cora Crawley (upper middle and far right) are the heads of Sim Downton. They're both family-oriented sims, so they do their best to ensure that everyone living in the estate gets along... But in a house that big with that many people inside of it, that's a pretty impossible task. If it's not their daughters ruffling feathers it's family matriarch Violet cutting to the quick of an issue and wounding someone's pride in the process. Aside from the stress of managing the house, Robert and Cora still manage to take time for dates and romantic gestures--even if the local werewolves are prone to getting in their way.

Sybil and Edith (top left), the youngest and middle children of the Crawley family respectively, have spent most of their time in the background (so far.) Sybil's kindness often leaves her awkwardly standing by while her sisters bicker and snip at each other, but even Edith's rivalry with eldest sister Mary (bottom) has been overshadowed by Mary's own ongoing feud with the house's butler, Thomas.

Thomas and Mary Sims

Downton Thomas Pees in the HallAnd it's not just Mary. Thomas gets in trouble with just about everyone except Anna, the cook/maid he shares the lower part of the house with. Then again, it's hard not to get along with Anna; she keeps her shoulder to the wheel, makes a mean waffle breakfast every day, and hasn't told a soul about that time Thomas peed himself in the main hall.

Crawley House

Meanwhile at the Crawley House, cousin Matthew (the heir to Downton) and his mother Isobel have moved in alongside their cook Mrs Bird and butler Molesley. Mrs Bird manages to keep busy with the cooking and cleaning, while more often than not Molesley's left sitting nearby waiting for the work to fall into his lap. Molesley does his best, but there's not that much for him to do in the first place. He deals with his idleness by reading saucy books in the servant's dining room... Or getting scolded by Isobel for one thing or another. Isobel usually means well, but she seems to be just as restless in the new house as Molesley is.

Matthew and Molesley

Mrs Bird's hard work hasn't gone unnoticed, and Matthew has taken a bit of a shining to her. Thankfully he's even more interested in cousin Mary (a much more suitable match), in spite of their frequent hot-and-cold conversations. It's still early, but things are looking hopeful for the young couple... So long as Mary keeps her diva tendencies in check, and Matthew keeps his penchants for teleportation, karaoke, and pillowfighting to a minimum.

Matthew Mary hug 3

Keep your eyes peeled for a fresh Sim Downton update next week. 'Til then, you can catch up with previous posts in the series below:

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Mixed reality iris 2013Iris Ophelia (@bleatingheart, Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.

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DeltaDharmadawn Aubret

I am wondering if the soon to be released Univ Life Sims pack, which has an apt/dorms build feature, will carry over into other worlds and allow to to reset lots to apt or dorms. That would allow you to assign and lock individual rooms. Could be useful. I also wondered if hiring a butler and then using CAS would help Molesley perform his duties. Well in any case it is an ambitious and fun project, one I could never pull off but so fun too follow your series.

Iris Ophelia

@DeltaDharmadawn It's possible, but I would need to be able to assign rooms to more than one person so that Anna could get the laundry etc. The current system allows you to lock doors to all but one person or to all but household members. If university adds door locking to 2-3 people that would be ideal, though that seems like a feature they would deploy in a patch alongside an EP rather than the EP alone.

Also I considered flagging Thomas and Molesley as proper butlers, however the butler system is very buggy. There's lots of issues with having to assign and reassign beds for butlers every week, and my ultimate fear is that something would go wrong and I'd lose them and have to start the characters fresh, which is not a chance I'm willing to take :\

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