I lost an entire week of gameplay for the Wonderlands.
I guess I was kind of asking for it. The game has been running way too smooth for too long.
I’d been casting about for a cheap fixer-upper lot for the Wonderlands to move to — something with enough space, but not a luxury home. Also, I liked the idea of them moving into a real dump or a double-wide trailer or somesuch.
(Full disclosure: I actually feel really bad for the horrible stereotype mobile/prefab homes get. Lots of them are very nice, and many friends have lived in them who were not total losers. But I am weak — the stereotype is just too much fun to give up. If you give up ALL your unreasonable categorical judgements, you run out of subtext to express what total losers your fictional characters are. It also helps that none of these friends are currently living in a trailer, so I’m not insulting by subtext anyone I know. ANYWAY.)
But it’s been hard to find something suitably shabby and trashed for this vision. House creators like smooth, polished luxury, even in their starter homes.
Then a builder on ModtheSims started posting delightfully disastrous fixer-upper houses, and his newest release was this 2 Bed 1 Bath sheriff sale. I fell in love. It was, quite simply, perfect. Two bedrooms and a loft of the most scuzzy living possible. This lot was created with love — every surface from the walls to the appliances to the furniture was rusted, stained, or dingy. The overgrown brambles were epic. Plus, considering Allison’s do-it-yourself background and high handiness skill, I could run a little thread about her fixing up the place to make it livable, then actually nice.
So, when I got back to the Wonderlands after playing the Samples for so long, I moved them to this lot pretty quickly. And it was exactly as delightful as I expected. I had a ton of fun remodeling it bit by bit, yet leaving lots of scuzz around to serve as a backdrop for screenshots.
About two sim days in, however, it became clear that there was something seriously wrong with this lot. Sims were convinced that, in addition to the staircase, there was an additional route from the first to the second floor that involved sinking through the upstairs bathroom floor into the living room. I wish I could have captured this in screenshots somehow because it was disturbingly hilarious. I looked and looked, and I couldn’t find anything wrong or any evidence that the builder had used a funky cheat anywhere near the spot. The only thing even noteworthy was that he had a woodburning fireplace in that area with a chimney running up through the middle of the upstairs bedroom. It wasn’t even placed using moveobjects. It seemed to be a totally innocent EA fireplace placed in exactly the way EA intended.
I had put so much effort into the house at this point, and the story was moving along, so I decided I’d just live with it and screensnap it if I could for entertainment value. Then members of the household started disappearing into some unroutable, invisible hole. Resetsim didn’t bring them back. They stayed on the portrait panel, and I could hear them complaining faintly about their routefails, but I couldn’t find them or rescue them in any way. Even saving and reloading didn’t help. I backed up and played from previous saves several times, only to have the same thing happen.
When the house ate Allison, I finally gave up.
The whole week of moving in and playing along seemed pretty much unsalvageable, so I went back to my save right before they moved to the new house. The sad thing is that I only played 2 sim-days during that time. Most of the week was taken up with remodeling, troubleshooting, and playing the same sequences over and over.
And this, dear friends, is why Allison’s generation is probably going to finish up in that townhouse.
I stayed up until 1am out of self-destructive frustration and played about halfway through the lost time, so I probably have enough stuff for a couple of updates fairly soon.