Thursday, September 26, 2013

In the Midnight Hour....


Midnight Hollow:
Horror movie meets Stephen King New England in a grungy Steampunk way 



 Now THIS is what a graveyard is supposed to look like!





Welcome to the dark and gloomy world of Midnight Hollow.  And when I say dark, I mean it.  All of these pictures were taken in what passes for full "daylight" in this town.  There is a strongly atmospheric look to this world that many will find perfect for storytelling, though I suspect some picture taking could be difficult with the dim lighting conditions.  I almost feel like I am missing details in all of the shadows...which is a shame because there are some pretty interesting things to see.  

EDIT:  Fair is fair.  After taking some pix in Sunset Valley, I started a new game in Midnight Hollow and this time it was not as oppressively dark as my initial visit.  I am so glad!  I was able to look around and appreciate the details...and there are so many thoughtful details.  To give you an idea of the lighting difference, I took a couple shots in what must be "sunny" weather:




The rabbitholes are full of charm ( ok...spooky haunted charm) and offer tons of detail.  I strongly feel like this is the world they should have used for the Supernatural EP.  It is everything your witches, vampires, werewolves and ghosts deserve.


Here is the new business center rabbithole, which looks like a smaller version of Diagon Alley with clusters of little "shops" in the town square.

The education rabbithole is an old fashioned "little red schoolhouse" appropriately called "The School of Hard Knocks"


The science rabbithole is a quirky, Steampunk observatory contraption.  Love this!


The graveyard is thickly....populated.


The hospital rabbithole looks like a creepy old sanitarium.


And here is the town hall.  I have not included all of the new rabbitholes...just enough to give you an idea of what to expect.  There are also several fishing holes, parks, and two derelict Victorian style beaches. Think horror movie meets Stephen King New England in a grungy Steampunk way and you pretty much have it.



Some of the houses and shops show promising architecture..... 



And others...well....

There are plenty of great builds on the exchange that you should be able to weed out the less than stellar homes and replace them with ease.  I noticed many empty lots too.  They included 2 64x64....one of which you will probably need as a festival lot, as I do not see one included in the town.  There are at least 19 empty lots of various sizes from the largest to the smallest, so you should have no problem tweaking the town to fit your story.



WHAT ABOUT THE STUFF?

The store lists all of the individual items very clearly, so I dont see the point of taking pix of all of the items...but I can fill in some gaps in what the store doesnt tell you.  For instance, the shots of the hair in the store never give you a very good idea of what they look like...so here are pix of the new hairs:










If you look at the list of items on the store page, you will see tons of plants and trees.
All of the plants and trees included are basically darkened, desaturated versions of plants we already have.  Which is not to say you dont need them.  In a world like this, bright cheerful greens would look wildly out of place.  To show you what I mean, here are a few of the plants with their normally colored counterparts in Sunset Valley. As you can see, they are strongly desaturated to the point of almost being grayscale.

Here is a clever new addition to out curtain catalog that I hope is a shadow of things to come....modular curtain/valance combos that allow you to fit the curtain to multiple widths.  The valance is a single item that you can place in multiples and each curtain side is a separate item.  I am seriously excited about this and I really hope that EA is going to use something similar in the Sims 4, as it greatly would reduce the frustration of windows and curtain sizes not matching up....something we have all experienced.


Builders will adore the new build items included in the roof decor category.  There are some cornice trims pieces with tons of detail and a sharp little spire to add that extra touch to your turrets

And how could we forget the gable decor?  I wont lie....I was looking forward to these more than just about anything else in this world.  I was pleased to see there is a wide variety of sizes in the different styles.  There are two in a three square wide size that should be especially handy.  A four square size and several 6 square widths.  Personally, if it were up to me, I would include more smaller width ones, but I will take what I can get.







Finally....feast your eyes on this beauty....a new fencing with...yes....SPANDRELS.  Love me some spandrels.  The detail on this fence is just lovely and I would like to buy the artist a drink for a job well done.


What about the Open for Business function?



Well first things first....I think we need to stop thinking of it as Open for Business...because it is not and EA has never said it was.  OFB is more of a shorthand phrase we have been using in the community.  Yes...you can be a shopkeeper...but dont expect to be able to do everything you could do in OFB.  Here is the menu of options available to you:



When you hire an employee, you get a grab bag of townie goodness and there is no way to set a uniform, so you might have your register tended by someone in a slip and a What's Happening hat.


My suggestion for this is to have your sim briefly purchase the makeover station...offer the employee a quick makeover and then sell the station back.  Bob's your uncle.

In playing around with the selling function, I ran into a few frustrations that are also easily solved once you know what to do.  To avoid wanting to tear your hair out, you might want to know that

  • If you have a shop in your residence ( which yes...you can do..yay!) in order to get "customers" you will have to invite people to your house.  They will then shop and purchase things.  Basically, you have to throw the sim version of a Tupperware party.
  • If you want to make a community lot shop, your sim does not have to own the lot in order for you to set the hours, hire an employee to run it, and for you to keep track of those sales.  But none of the money is going in your pocket unless you own the shop. 
  • If you want to set and create your own community lot shop, it is not enough to set the lot type to "visitors allowed" because there will be none.  Not a single sim showed up in 3 days.  Once I set they type to consignment store, they started showing up.  So pick a lot type other than visitors allowed if want to see any foot traffic.  
  • In order to sell things, they have to be items from the build/buy catalog that have an assigned price.  Collectibles and reward items will not work.  I did have harvestables in planters ( which have a price) for sale in my store...but since I never saw products disappear ( there is no restocking function) I have no idea if they sold or not.  




So....what is the bottom line?


  • I didnt purchase the gold version myself, because I was not sure if I would use the extra things enough to justify the price...but I feel like the standard version is a good deal.  Lots of items, a very fascinating town with a strong flavor, and interesting residents.
  • Great build buy items...these things are stellar: extremely detailed and full of personality.
  • Tons of new plant decor with a darker, less saturated color palette
  • Funky new hairs that look really nice in game
  • Cool Steampunk style outfits 
  • The ability to run your own shop.  Do not expect full OFB functionality.
  • A dark, spooky setting that is creepy and fun...but dark.  Really dark.  Depending on your monitor, you might have a hard time seeing things.
I had a blast and I am enjoying my time in Midnight Hollow.  I found tons of things I know for a fact I will use over and over...the hairs, the build buy items in particular.  The town itself is full of quirky, cool sims I cant wait to get to know better and when Halloween rolls around this is the place to BE. 




10 comments:

  1. Lovely overview! Thank you for your hard work and sharing with us!

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  2. Thankyou for the overview i love it too

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  3. Very helpful overview. Sharing link at http://ts3cc.forumotion.ca/

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  4. Thanks for the overview but it doesn't seem to be for me, too dark and probably would be too dark on my monitor. Hopefully they will have an OFB in the Sims 4 eventually.

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  5. Hi Ruth Its 45 I find it to dark I have a brand new computer system and monitor with a Nivdia 700 series video card but I think if I have any complaint its how dark it is. Yours appears quite light. How did you manage that. Thanks.

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  6. Thanks for the review, Ruth! I love this new world! It has to be one of my favorites to date! Time to go play!

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  7. Compliments for your review, you write about all aspects as it is. I love playing the world, the light makes pale sims even more eerie. The details are amazing, but unfortunately I canot see most in the dark, just like you said. At first I was dissappointed about the selling options, no OFB indeed. But playing more, I get to realise it's not about selling, it's about buying. Today I bought a motive mobile for only 1500 in my buydebug shop! And I noticed that when you buy a recolored object, it comes like that in inventory. Í'm so exited about the idea of creating a furniture store for starters, where they can buy themed stuff for half the price. And shops with organized clutter, so I don't have to search in buy mode for that specific item, just look for it in the shop. I'm a huge fan of your buildings and use several in my game. I'm looking forward to the shops you may build in the future.

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About Me

I build lots for people to use in the Sims. I have created hundreds of lots that have been downloaded by people all over the world. My work has been featured on the official Sims 3 site, several Sims 3 fan sites and in Game Informer magazine.
I am a mom...a gamer...a book worm...a worrywart...a fan of architecture, interior design, and all things Grumpy Cat.