Replies: 14 (Who?), Viewed: 724 times.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#1 Old 15th Jul 2018 at 9:57 PM
Default Storytelling!
So I recently came back to Sims 2 after mainly playing Sims 4 and I was just thinking about something. I follow this legacy Simmer who uses a lot of these story telling tools, custom hairs and skins and it made me wonder if perhaps I should get some of that? Though I have no way of knowing what kind of CC he does use and judging from some random backstage photo isn't saying much. I was wondering if there's any recommended resources I could get? I'm also aware that some stuff could be hard to download nowadays. SO I was thinking that perhaps I could get some basic advice on making my own stories with tools and other CC? I do have a bunch of CC bu most of it is just different kind of fixes and hacks and clothes for custom bodies.
Mad Poster
#2 Old 15th Jul 2018 at 10:17 PM Last edited by simmer22 : 15th Jul 2018 at 10:30 PM.
(Is this a WCIF topic, maybe?)

I think you need to know what type of stories you want to do. Legacies, play-by-play stories, posed stories, stories with lots of CC or Maxis stories, fantasy, sci-fi, or something else. They'll have different requirements for CC.

I do have some suggestions for basic storytelling tools that works for most themes and types of storyteling, though:

If you have AL, get the Freezer clock, because it's extremely useful when you pose several sims for a shot: (I've extended mine to add toddlers, infants and pets).

The 4th wall mod is also great, because it allows you to pose sims' heads better: (pose sim, pause game, click on sim and choose "look at", use the TAB camera to position the sims' head to where you want them to look, press "play" and pause when the sim is looking in the right direction. Use the freezer clock to freeze the sim, and then you can pose another sim. Also nice if you want several sims to look at the camera at the same time. It works with most static poses as long as the pose isn't turned too much. It also works with some animations but it's more fiddly to get right.

Something like the Insimenator mod, or the SimBlender is also useful, for modifying motives and various other things. I prefer the Insim mod because it comes with the Wardrobe Wrangler, which can change your sims' outfit categories instantly even if they're in the middle of a pose (you have to set the clothes first).

OMSPs are a must for most storytellling. Plenty to choose from, but I prefer Silentlucidity's shiftable and angled ones from MTS (search for OMSP).

Depending on the story, you may want to find some poseboxes. There are plenty to choose from, and you don't need all of them, though JD's boxes are a "must" if you want to use some of the hard-to-get ingame animations:
Other than that, look here at MTS, Decorgal's boxes are nice, and there are plenty others.

I recommend getting a screenshot program - it gives you better quality pictures and you don't have to go in and out of the game to save the screenshots. I prefer Gadwin, but there's also Fraps and others.

I also have a "no ZZZ" mod, a mod that removes the red pause lines, and various other mods that makes storytelling easier. I also have a Userstartup file that eases up the use of cheats with aliases:

Sone of the cheats and aliases you may want to use:

Forum Resident
#3 Old 15th Jul 2018 at 10:47 PM
oh hey wait a sec.
Many ts2 simblrs have resource lists and one just made a help list, so it's not really a WCIF question I guess??
IDK of this helps at all but it's great for new and olds as far as I understand c':

I build small houses *^*
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#4 Old 16th Jul 2018 at 11:45 AM Last edited by Craft90 : 16th Jul 2018 at 12:45 PM.
I wasn't intending it to be a WCIF but in hindsight maybe it would have fit better in there. I was mainly looking for advice and suggestions on how to story tell. I do appreciate the help tho.

Edit. So I went ahead and downloaded some stuff. I'm kinda confused about the OMSP. There are so many of them and I don't know which one I need or if some makes other redundant.
Mad Poster
#5 Old 16th Jul 2018 at 12:07 PM Last edited by simmer22 : 16th Jul 2018 at 6:22 PM.
Is there anything in particular you'd like to know? Otherwise there's mainly going to be links and information dumps to be found.
Mad Poster
#6 Old 16th Jul 2018 at 1:52 PM
There are nine and sixty ways of telling sim stories and every single one of them is right.

The game is a flexible medium. Think about the story you want to tell, and about your playstyle. If you have a specific plot in mind, are a natural micromanager, and are more interested in getting that story told than in playing the game, you'll want to plan things, learn to make pose boxes, design sets, etc. If you have a loose playstyle and have only a general notion that you want (for instance) to explore Malcolm Landgraab's character and how the Landgraab family has influenced the economy and society of Bluewater Village, you just need to play your game, take lots of pictures, create opportunities for the characters to create their own drama and storylines, and then (the hard part) arrange the pictures and apply words to them in the way that makes the most interesting order out of chaos. You don't even have to take particularly nice pictures in that case - I certainly don't.

Be aware that both these approaches, and everything in between, is work. Fun work, yes, but still work. That's why most sim stories never get finished. People hit the saggy middle, where the process feels more like work than fun, and decide it's not worth it. A lot of people give themselves too much to do all at once, feeling they have to set everything up and learn how to use every tool before they even start, and burn out before the saggy middle arrives. So whatever you do, pace yourself and keep your demands upon yourself reasonable.

And always leave yourself open to getting Better Ideas, and unless you're a free-will-off player exclusively, be prepared for the sims to surprise you.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#7 Old 16th Jul 2018 at 3:33 PM
Previously I've played the game as-it-comes. Keep needs high and wants satisfied. It's a little bit of a chore and often times I feel like I don't get to experience what the rest of the game can provide because of that constant circle. I've tried to branch out and try some other stuff and have them experience more but with the Ultimate Collection there's a lot. Not to mention all the CC out there. I have barely scraped the surface of that, mostly downloading fixes, flair and custom body meshes and all their associated stuff. Since following this legacy Simmer I'm curios on making something else. He also play things as it is (even more so than I as he try to fulfill anything they want) but he does also build plots upon the Sims. Like causing an apocalypse or putting Sims in jail. he does use poses and other storytelling stuff which have me curious on trying to make something with more content. Not just playing the daily lives of Sims y'know? I don't exactly know where to start though. Like today I downloaded a bunch of OMSP and CC I found pretty, but without any direction. I also was on a vacation recently which inspired me to try my hand on building a vacation place, something I've never done before.

I've also been considering challenges on here. I haven't really done much like that. Mainly just playing one Sim and that's it. Not thinking about legacy or any other challenges. I just wanna branch out.
Mad Poster
#8 Old 16th Jul 2018 at 5:16 PM
Sounds like you need something exterior to yourself to get you going in a profitable direction.

Challenges can be good for that. Since you've been a one-sim player try something that makes you play in rotations, a Build-a-City Challenge or Prosperity. Or something like Nickel and Dimed or Warwickshire Challenge, which restricts you from playing just to optimize your sim's life, building in limitations on where and how they live, and giving the player a goal beyond Making Sim Rich and Happy.

Or download someone else's hood - we're in a golden age of shared fan-made neighborhoods these days, with something for every temperament. Maxon's Polgannon, for instance, has a mystery to solve, which might be just what you need to get off to a good start, and by the time you solve it and decide how you'll handle the culprit, you'll probably find that at least one or two characters have started their own continuing story. My own Widespot is nearly impossible to play without playing the whole neighborhood because of the way I set it up. Europa is gorgeous even without CC and full of engaging characters and story potential, to boot.

The thing to remember is the elements of story: Character, and Conflict. Or, a person with a problem. Some people start with Character, setting up someone with characteristics, flaws, and virtues, who Wants something, and then placing obstacles in her way tailored to confront her flaws and strain her virtues. Some people start with the Conflict, setting up some sort of problem (seven castaways on a desert island; a community being invaded by aliens or zombies; refugees trying to blend in with an alien population; a single parent raising six kids with no careers available) and then designing the people who will be dealing with the problem. You can even start with a setting, since settings often come equipped with both character types and problems. It doesn't matter where you start, but since you're inexperienced it's best to start simple. Believe me, the sims will complicate things as you go, if you don't block them, which would be spoiling things for yourself.

CC and OMSPs are tools; they're not the game. Download sprees without a goal in mind are like trips to the craft store - you see all kinds of shiny stuff that makes your fingers itch, but if you don't have a project you want to work on, you'll buy a bunch of miscellaneous cool stuff that then gathers dust.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Lab Assistant
#9 Old 16th Jul 2018 at 5:32 PM
Does anyone here makes comics using The Sims screenshots? What software do you use? I am using, that is good enough but the way speech bubbles are made is unsatisfying. Do you have resources to better speech bubbles or use a different software altogether?

Slowly moving steps into basic TS2 modding.
I will occasionally post my stuff at, hopefully it's good.
#10 Old 16th Jul 2018 at 5:43 PM
Hmm... well I don't publish my sim stories (but that might change in the future. I'm thinking about it.)

Mostly, I tell my stories to myself, so please do take my suggestions with that in mind.

That said, I do a couple of things in my gameplay that really help with that:
First, I let my sims show off. They all have quite well developed personalities (*cough* especially if you're coming from TS4 *cough*) so I let them tell me who they are. I look at their personality, their one true hobby, their lifetime want, and their day-to-day wants and I build a little picture in my mind of who each sim is. If I feel like I need to write something down - for example, that this sim is a vegetarian who loves jogging - then I'll put it in their Bio so it's handy in game.

The next thing I do is look at the relationships they have. For example, Pascal always has a want to talk to Nevous Subject in Strangetown. He also currently has a want to woohoo in bed. Having those two wants at the same time -to me- suggests that Pascal's <ahem> curious about Nervous in a romantic fashion. I'm thinking they should probably hang out soon. That said, if my ACR's randomize me setting for gender preference declares that Pascal is more into Crystal Vu, then maybe he's just wanting to give his friend some relationship advice. The same two wants could be read a whole bunch of ways depending on which personality you choose to give your sims. For me, Pascal's a deeply serious, but well meaning intellectual with a decidedly pansexual orientation, but hey. He could be anything - a lot of people read him differently.

Once I know who my sims are, the next thing to do is figure out what they're doing. Is Pascal trying to get his own place? Does he want to stay at home with his brothers and a certain adorable green baby forever? Are their sisters moving back in after failing to get along with the other girls? How will all of that affect him and his choices? I try things out - for example, I am planning to move the Curious sisters back in with their brothers. I have a head cannon for the aliens in Strangetown that explains why the girls would be more comfortable at home. I'm also slowly rennovating the boys' place to accommodate considerably more sims.

I do use cc, but only the stuff that makes my life easier or my game more fun to play. Play is my first and foremost objective, so I choose what I want to use based on that. (Right now I'm interested in making my own default alien skin tone... I may be gone awhile.)

Just remember that there's tons of ways to tell every story, but if you let your sims guide you, you can save the parts you like and quit to neighbourhood on anything you aren't keen on!
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#11 Old 16th Jul 2018 at 5:59 PM
I'm not exactly "coming from Sims 4". I started with Sims 2 all those years back. Around the release of Apartment Life. Maybe earlier. What i do love about Sims 2 is the freedom and how complicated the Sims can be. However I did kinda go on to the next installments but now, after reading that legacy story, I got interested again. There's so much more you can do with Sims 2. besides the graphics I guess. (Though those Simblr links showed some things you can do to improve that.) I can't say I have a handle on my Sims tho. Might need to work on that. I got inspired by some of the CC I downloaded but alas i don't know where to put it in use.
Mad Poster
#12 Old 16th Jul 2018 at 6:39 PM Last edited by simmer22 : 16th Jul 2018 at 6:57 PM.
If you really want to write a story, but don't have anything to go on - maybe go look for some inspiration? There's plenty of TS2 story writers, and a lot of interesting stories to read to spark the imagination. You can also get inspiration elsewhere, say from a story in the media, a partiular historical era, a legacy or challenge, or anywhere else, really. You don't have to start with a plot. Make an interesting family or set of sims (maybe read some challenge rules for that spark of imagination), and play with free will on. You can play for yourself first to get a feel for how it's like to play, and maybe do some simple pictures.

Personally I prefer non-Sim based stories with a plot, where I use sims as the "actors" in pictures - but that's one way to do it. Some simmers like to base their stories on existing sim families (lots of stories have been based around Bella, for instance), some like to recreate existing stories with a twist (cartoons like Superman, or getting inspiration from Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, etc.)

As for CC, starting with a blank canvas is a sure way to clutter your Downloads folder with things you don't need and won't ever use. One tip is to play the game, maybe start a story with some basic CC, and then figure out as you go what you actually need. If you're making a modern story, you don't need 10 GB of Victorian clothes and futuristic furniture. OMSPs are nice if you take a lot of posed pictures, but if you don't plan to pose sims and instead find basic ingame poses to be enough, you may not need OMSPs at all (they're great for decorating, though). Some people prefer to play CC-free, or maxis-match with very little CC, and still manage to make good stories.

The most important is the story itself. If there isn't a plot or an idea or something interesting in the story, stuffing the pictures with tons of CC can't do much to save it.

(I just remembered a short story I did a long while back, trying out a cartoon style for the first time, and using very little CC, maybe just 10-15 maxis-match items, possibly also some poses or OMSPs but I can't remember - - it's not particularly good, and there's barely a plot/story to talk of, but it was fun trying a different style. It's just to show that it's fully possible to make a story without a lot of CC or other tools. I think this was done while I still used C-button pictures).
Top Secret Researcher
#13 Old 16th Jul 2018 at 9:41 PM Last edited by Sunrader : 16th Jul 2018 at 10:00 PM.
I don't document my stories, that's too much work, but I have quite elaborate ones, so here's just a few ideas I use to branch out myself. The three main things I do to spark stories is 1) I turn off aging unless I feel like aging someone, so they have all the time in the world to develop their personalities, 2) I treasure autonomy, so I set up things to run themselves and let the sims surprise me, and 3) I take those surprises and run them... like when Angela accidentally died... and then a long time later a child in the game wished to resurrect her. I had no idea that was even a thing, but there grew a huge elaborate story from explaining where Angela was when she was "dead." It's still ongoing and underlies the entire hood.... In short, watch for something interesting and run with it, making explanations in your head and following those ideas by developing the sims in that direction. I use almost entirely Maxis pre-mades and townies, only introducing a character if I need something specific. Any new hoods I make are clean and empty, but I have two that are still full of townies. I often see a townie as a passerby or on a community lot that I've never seen before who intrigues me and so I follow up and bring them into play. I only add CC or learn to mod something as the need arises for my own play. I've also drawn a bit of inspiration from a thread that was active here a while back about all the things people have never done in the game, many I've never done that are now on my radar. Above all, play with it! For me, it's like playing dolls as a kid, it's about world-building more than game playing. Have fun!
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#14 Old 17th Jul 2018 at 9:07 PM
So I made up this little plot in my head, downloaded some lots of here that would fit in, some helpful hacks and started a new neighborhood. I got an empty main hood, a business sub-hood with a motel and a car dealing place and a city with a Irish pub. Then I plan on adding some own made lots like a few houses and an apartment with an exclusive loft. However... I haven't gotten that much farther. I'm having trouble inspiring myself to continue on and make the Sims and lots. Or even get started. I guess that's something that I really need to work on.
Mad Poster
#15 Old 18th Jul 2018 at 3:18 AM
No law says you have to create everything yourself. You can clone premades, download sims and lots by other people, whatever's easiest.

If nothing else, searching for suitable lots and sims may solidify for you what you want, as you keep not finding it. The more I looked for an SC4 map on which to build Land Grant University, the clearer I could see what I wanted.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
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