How to Win at Sims 4

I’ve started on so many different ideas for a Sims 4 story, but I’ve been avoiding bringing myself more projects, especially ones a time consuming as this. But while setting up screenshots for the Accidental Vampire takes some of the magic out of actually playing the game, and I’m trying not to get too far ahead in this so I actually remember what I want to write about it, I need something that I can play sort of casually while also having a goal in mind. I became mildly obsessed with the achievements in Sims 4 after I noticed them, and I put together a full list of known achievements with the intention of getting every single one. While one of the achievements is playing ten households through ten generations, I decided to start with one and work my way up. Less pressure that way.

So through the next… however long it takes to do this (there’s an achievement for 100 generations, which makes me very nervous), we’ll be joining the Rainards in their new life in Willow Creek. Get ready for family, love, drama, and more, all readable at the blog here.

 

Midtown: The Artsy Crowd

Selena woke up feeling good. It used to be a rare thing, especially in the few months of her life before she moved here (and, if she were totally honest, the few months since she moved).

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The pulled back curtains revealed the sun outside, and she could already see Yasmin at the fishing pond that wasn’t five feet from where they lived, and Addison walking towards her office. The walls of the apartments weren’t exactly soundproof, and the violin from next door had already started up, along with the sounds of people stepping on the porch outside. A different person might’ve complained, but Selena was enjoying it. The apartments felt lived in. They felt full. A lot of people constantly moving around. Better than silence, or the emptiness of a lonely house.

Shower, dress, snack, she told herself and moved to do all of those things. She was supposed to be meeting with a group at the Newcrest Arts Center. The short while she’d lived here, that’s what she’d missed the most. Chalk festivals and art crawls and days spent painting murals on public buildings. She’d been painting, sure, near constantly in hopes it would offer some release, but working with a group was always better. Feeling refreshed, she walked down the long staircase, and walked the few blocks to the art center.

The center was new and the group small, but she recognized a few of the people. Mariko Sakamoto greeted her as she examined the wall mural they were working on.

“You’re Selena, right?” Mariko gestured to teh guy next to her. “This is Arnav Parikh. Hope you came ready to work.”

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“What is it supposed to be?” she asked.

“They wanted something cultural.” Mariko nodded towards the arts center. “They’re doing this ‘art of the people’ thing right now, trying to get more people to visit the center. Arnav’s got the outline up, if you want to start painting with us.’

Selena smiled. “It’s that easy?”

Mariko nodded. “We don’t really have a lot of interest right now. The more artists we get involved, the more we grow.”

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Selena grabbed a paintbrush and joined the pair of them. Mariko talked while they worked, telling her about the arts initiative she was trying to get off the ground, and Arnav told her about his bowling league. Selena listened as they both chatted about Newcrest and the things that were opening up around it.

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Eventually the mural was nearing completion, and it’d taken hours. Selena felt satisfied, looking at the work they’d done. It felt like a long time since she’d worked this hard. What she needed was purpose, that’s what her sister had said. Focus on art. Get things done.

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“I think it came out great,” Selena said as they put the last touches on it.

“For sure,” Mariko said. “Have you checked out the center yet?”

“I walked through it.”

“You should relax in the cafe. Your work today was great. Want to join us next week?”

Her face lit up. “Absolutely.”

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Selena grabbed something from the bar and sat down. The smell of paint filled her nostrils, and beneath her nails were a hundred colors. She picked at them, satisfied with a long day well done. The arts center was so large and clean, but it didn’t look as though the town had taken to it yet. She considered going upstairs to mess with the photography studio. It was a venue she hadn’t messed around with yet. She was surprised when someone sat across from her.

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“I saw you out there,” he said. “I’m Kengo.”

“Selena.” She chewed on her pita. “Are you an artist too?”

“Not quite.” He shrugged. “I’ve been trying to learn.”

“It seems like the crowd here is good.”

“Mariko tries,” he said. “She’s been trying to get a bunch of people together to organize here.”

“It’s good. What’s an art center without anyone backing it?” She cleaned off the last of the plate and stood. “Maybe I’ll see you around.”

He waved at her. “Yeah, see you.”

Selena walked the blocks back to the apartment, head high and humming a song. She thought about calling her sister, but as she came to her street, she saw the coffee shop across the way. A latte would go over nicely.

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She glanced at the display and ordered a few things, deciding to sit outside. From across the street, she could see people coming in and out. The sun set around her, and she chewed thoughtfully on as cone.

“Mind if I sit here?” a deep voice asked.

She looked up at the man that stood across from her. Broad shouldered, full head of hair, the blue track suit suggested he’d been working out recently. Warm eyes looked at her. She leaned forward, chin in her hands.

“Please,” she said.

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“Enjoying a nightly run?” she asked.

“I try to go every night. Helps me stay in shape.” He smiled. “Salvador Jarrett.”

“Selena Malloy. Do you always come this way?”

“I like the espressos.” He nodded to her plate. “Dessert’s good too.”

She smiled at him. Her short time here in Newcrest had been filled with cuties, and she was determined to get back on the dating horse. That’s what she really needed. It’d been a long time since she’d had someone sharing her bed.

“I live right over there.” She pointed to the townhouses.

“Let me guess,” he said, pointing to her hands. “Artist?”

She waved her colorful fingers. “Guilty. What do you do?”

“I’m an athlete.” He picked at the jumpsuit. “If it wasn’t obvious.”

“A real gym nut, I can tell.”

“Have you been to the gym around here?” He gestured in the general direction of it. “It’s amazing. It’s like a full spa thing.”

“You’ll have to show me around sometime,” she said.

He smiled. “I will.”

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Eventually the night caught up to her, and Selena had to head back. She walked down the street to the familiar houses, satisfied for the first time in a long time.

Midtown: Somewhere Cooler Than This

Darrius stood in front of the nightclub, already regretting his choice to come here.

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It’d go exactly one way, the same way it always went. He’d get a drink.

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He’d watch the dance floor.

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He’d find a girl, probably. Someone pretty enough to be interesting.

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There’d be flirtation. He’d invite her somewhere more private.

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She’d be a little nervous, though she wouldn’t know why. She’d lean in for a kiss, and instead…

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The same old same old.

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He sighed as he looked at the slumped over body. There was a point in his life he would’ve come to a place like this and maybe danced a while, enjoyed a few more drinks, and even talk to people before certain urges took over. Every attempt to suppress those urges only made them lash out harder. Instead of a gentle nip it was an energy drain. Instead of a comfortable couch in a romantic setting, he let the body drop and moved on with his night. There was a point in his life where he might’ve cared.

Not anymore though. Not in a long time.

Darrius walked through the club, ignoring the crowded bodies that brushed up against him, barely feeling the heavy beat that pushed through the walls. Outside he started towards home and then stopped. Behind the club was a small trail, no better than a dirt path and a few wildflowers. A full moon filled up the sky, and he considered it a moment before starting down.

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Newcrest had advertised itself as a place for new beginnings, which was perhaps the only real reason he’d ended up here. Bad advertising at the right time. Sometimes he waned to laugh at how pathetic it was. Still, the city was brand new, half filled with people who had been equally been pulled in by the idea of starting something fresh, being on the ground floor, taking up space somewhere they might actually belong.

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He came to the crest of the hill and stood there a moment, eyes up at the sky. The soft lights of the houses around him made a glow on the tall grass. If he were something else, he would’ve breathed in the night air, possibly enjoyed the scent of the purple flowers growing from the ground, or the water from small ponds that dotted the landscape. Instead he felt the moon’s light on his face and the breeze that left no sensation on his skin. Drawing his shoulders back, he did something he hadn’t in a long time.

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Dark energy coursed into his chest, and it relieved him. There was no instruction booklet for being this way. No one bit him and offered a user guide as he lay on the dirty floor of that ancient house. He’d figured it out through trial and error. Tested the limits people were willing to take with a vampire in the room. Plasma in small bits and large. Reading and learning from those older than him. He’d always imagined if he could understand his affliction, it would be no more. There were benefits, of course. Eternal life and youth, no longer worrying about food or sleep. He’d mastered the violin in his time, as well as tried out the piano and the guitar on occasion. For all the time he spent in crowded clubs with people who were as interested in conversation as he, he’d developed a taste for the fast paced thump of bass the new generation had cooked up. One day he might try his hand at that.

A calm floated through him and, with that calm, regret. A better person wouldn’t have left that girl in the club. A better person wouldn’t have taken her at all, not more than he needed. A better person wouldn’t have gone out at all. But what were his other options? Pacing the short hall of his tiny apartment? Playing that damned instrument until the sun rose and he was trapped again. Night was his time. He deserved to enjoy it. But a better person might’ve figured out a way around this by now. His books certainly gave him options. He didn’t have to feed from the living, if he was willing to get his hands dirty.

That had always been Darrius’ problem. In the moment, he thought of himself. It was the reason he was here today.

The energy dissipated, and the calm with it. Slowly he trudged his way back to the house he occupied. He wondered if he’d ever find a place he called home.

It was nearly four in the morning when he walked up to the apartments, and he was surprised to see someone still up, sitting on their porch, a cigarette leaving its last trail of smoke from the ash tray. He was more surprised when that figure approached him.

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“Hey!” the man called from his porch. “You live here, right?”

Darrius’ shoulders sagged as he stopped. He turned slowly to face his neighbor. “I’m afraid I do.”

“I missed the party earlier.” He waved a folded up note. “Was it good?”

Darrius crinkled his nose. The excited blond had come knocking on his door, and he’d ignored it. When he’d heard them all out there, he’d made his escape. “I’m afraid I wasn’t able to attend.”

The man smiled warmly. “Bummer. We both missed out. I’m Judah, by the way. Judah Carson.”

He grit his teeth together but replied in kind. “Darrius Crowe.”

“You weren’t working too, were you?” He stepped off the porch to his side. “Bartending means I work all kinds of hours.”

“No. I had other things to do.”

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“Probably exhausted too, huh.” Judah only shook his head. “Seems a shame. I don’t live many places with friendly neighbors. But, hey, if you ever need a drink, I keep my place stocked. I always like trying out new recipes on people.”

Darrius considered him. “Maybe next time.”

“Sure. Night, dude.”

He paused momentarily, and then responded with, “Night. Dude.”

Darrius trudged back up to his apartment before the sun could threaten his doorway. Another night gone.

Midtown: Meet and Greet Part Two

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The backyard was empty as Selena walked through the gate. Pop music filtered through the small speakers on the ground, and Marguerite was laying down patties on the grill. The backyard was sparse, a few plots set aside for potential gardeners, the empty bird feeder untouched, and the grill slightly rusted. Marguerite had done her best to put together a party atmosphere.

“Not bad,” Selena said as she examined the grill. “A little music, a little food.”

“That’s all a party is.” Marguerite grinned. “I got you veggie burgers by the way.”

“Aw, so sweet.” She leaned on the table. “I didn’t see anyone else.”

She shook her head. “It’s only just now six. Give them a minute.”

“You’re so optimistic.”

“I have been to and thrown so many parties.” She tapped the spatula against the grill as the veggie burgers cooked. “Only nerds show up on time.”

“Oh, wow.” Selena mockingly put her hand to her heart. “Way to insult your new best friend.”

Her lips quirked up. “How did you know I was in the market for a new best friend?”

“Please.” Selena waved a hand. “People only talk to their neighbors when they need something. How long have you been living here?”

“Three months,” she murmured.

“Brand new in town I bet. Don’t worry.” She gave Marguerite a little nudge. “I went crazy when I first moved here, but I got lucky with that arts center they built. Even when I don’t chat up people, I like to sit and just look at stuff while I’m there.”

“That’s so cool that you have like a thing,” Marguerite said. “I’ve been to that coffee shop across the street and that bar on a Friday night. The bar was horrible.”

“The Deck? It doesn’t look like your scene.” Selena gestured in the general direction of the downtown shops. “I heard they build an actual nightclub for those of us who want to dance. We should go out one night.”

“Please.” She sighed as she flipped the burgers. “I need it.”

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“Alright,” a voice called. “I’m here.”

Marguerite’s face lit up as she saw Addison come around the side of the building. She’d lost none of her cool girl demeanor, and she glanced at Selena like she wasn’t sure what she was looking at, but Marguerite had suspected her of being the holdout. Now she was here.

“It’s tofu burgers burgers tonight,” Marguerite warned, waving her spatula at the pair of them. “Selena here is vegetarian.”

“Really?” Addison glanced her up and down. “You look pretty granola.”

Selena only smiled. “Not quite. But my sister went full vegan a few years ago, and I guess I did it in solidarity with her. Now I’m just used to it.”

“Strong convictions there.” Addison smirked. “Half the people I work with are vegan or vegetarian. The joys of working at a non-profit.”

“You didn’t say any of that,” Marguerite said.

“Well, I was having minimal conversation with you.” Addison looked over the grill. “Those actually smell pretty good.”

“Yeah it does!” another shout came from the fence, and Emery was making through the gate. Orion trailed behind him, and Yasmin was walking down the stairs to join them.

Quick introductions were made, and Marguerite declared the burgers finished. Despite the warning of tofu, no one seemed bothered as they grabbed a plate and took up residence on one of the picnic tables. The usual warm feeling of a get together well done was making its way across Marguerite’s chest.

“I’m so glad everyone came,” she said.

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“Not everyone,” Addison pointed out.

“That spooky dude’s missing,” Orion said.

“You live next door to him too,” Selena pressed. “Figured out any of his dark secrets?”

“That he plays violin at three in the morning.” He rolled his eyes. “Usually I’m up anyway, but, like, dude.”

“All I know is that he’s a regulation hottie,” she said.

Yasmin’s nose crinkled at that. “I don’t know what that means. And aren’t you the one who wakes me up screaming ‘die orc scum’ after midnight?”

Orion laughed nervously. “Oh, yeah. I have some friends in different timezones. Not great for raiding at waking hours.”

She stared at him. Marguerite tried to steer the conversation somewhere else.

“What about the other guy?” she asked. “He lives next to you, Addison.”

“I’ve seen him,” she said with a shrug. “He leaves for work when I get in. I think he’s a bartender.”

“I guess that explains why he wasn’t answering.”

Addison gave a sneer to Emery, who’d managed to spray bits as he chewed on his burger. “I guess.”

“Is he cute?” Selena asked.

She tilted her head in thought. “Probably? I’m not a good judge. Yasmin, you’re the one I see fishing all the dang time.”

“Oh, yeah.” Emery looked at her. “You were carrying a bunch of frogs the other day.”

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“I like collecting things,” she said, a little more enthusiastically. “It’s why I’m so glad to find this apartment. The fishing pond is right there, and there’s an interesting number of specimens around.”

Selena mouthed the word ‘specimen’ as she stood up, tossing her plate in the trash. Marguerite passed her a glance.

“I can’t say I’ve ever gone fishing,” she said.

“I’ve played that bass fishing game,” Orion added helpfully.

“Probably not the same,” Addison murmured.

“Oh, snap,” Selena said suddenly as the song switched on the stereo. “This is my jam!”

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It’s possible what Selena was doing was called dancing, though no one was quite sure. Addison’s hand went to her mouth, and Marguerite jumped up as well, unwilling to let her new best friend make a fool of herself alone. The song was good anyway, and she was rewarded when Emery also stood up to join them.

“Oh come on,” Selena said to those that stayed behind. “It’s a party, isn’t it?”

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An annoyed look passed over Yasmin’s face, and she stood. “This has been very lovely. I’m happy to have met you all.”

Marguerite turned around. “You don’t have to leave yet.”

“I know,” she said bluntly. “But I think I’d like to go back in now.”

She stalked off, the others watching her go.

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“Wow,” Addison said. “I aspire to be that honest.”

“I don’t think she’s a people person,” Marguerite said.

“No, I gathered.” Orion stood. “Though I don’t know if I’m much of a dancer myself.”

“It’s not like it’s hard,” Selena said.

Addison glanced at her. “Maybe harder than you’re giving it credit for.”

Selena rolled her eyes and then stopped, waving Marguerite over. “Look who decided to come out.”

They all pretended not to look as a figure in red and black walked past the fence. He was hard to see through the lattice work, but Marguerite made out the sharp cut of his jaw, the shaved sides of his hair, and his eyes glanced where they stood. They were striking in color, and bright despite the dim light.

“Oh,” she said as he passed. “Regulation hottie.”

“What’d I say?” Selena grinned. “Wonder where he’s off to?”

“Maybe he’s also a bartender,” Marguerite said.

“Bad boy over there?” Addison shook her head. “Off to get laid, by the look of it. That boy has an image.”

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Marguerite pouted. “He could’ve stopped in and said hi.”

“No, Addison’s right.” Selena looked through the fencing. “That boy’s got an image to maintain. Hanging out with your neighbors sort of takes away the mystique a little.”

“Where do you think he’s off to?” Orion asked.

“Somewhere too cool for us.” Addison placed a hand on Marguerite’s shoulder. “Party’s winding down. Do you want help with the trash?”

“Yeah.” Marguerite swallowed down her disappointment. It’d been a good night either way. “Thanks.”

Next time, she thought. She’d stop him and force a friendly conversation out of him. That’s what neighbors were for.

Midtown: Meet and Greet Part One

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Addison moved the chess piece across the board and examined the arrangement she’d made. She’d been reading up game strategy, but practicing it by herself was a little boring. Her dad’s take no prisoners approach had honed her skills, but made playing with others–including herself–a little unsatisfying. Her fingers reached for the queen, and her thought was interrupted with a rapping at her door.

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Her eyes drew up to the window. The perky blond neighbor who always waved from her porch now stood directly on Addison’s. She’d avoided her every time she walked outside. Too friendly neighbors were a red flag. But, with a sigh, she stood and pulled back the blue painted door, poking her head out.

“Hi!” blondie said, waving as she did. “I’m Marguerite! I live next door.”

“I’ve seen you.” Addison stared at her, waiting for the next part of her introduction, and when it came unprompted, she said, “Did you need something?”

“We’ve never actually talked, have we? I don’t know your name!”

She sighed. “Addison Shipman, nice to meet you.”

“Addison,” blondie repeated with a smile. “It’s been a couple months since I moved in, and I barely know anyone.”

“Yeah, it’s nice,” she said. “I like the quiet.”

“See, I can’t stand it. I’m too used to having all my friends over. You moved in like a month ago, right?” Marguerite shook her head. “See, a better person would’ve brought you something to welcome you.”

“Like a fruitcake or something?” Addison stepped onto the porch with her, shutting the door behind her. “Pass. I’m kind of in the middle of something anyway…”

“Oh, right!” Marguerite gave a ditzy little headshake. “I wanted to invite you to a party tonight!”

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Addison frowned. “A party?”

“Just in the backyard. I never see anyone use it!”

Her eyes glanced to the back of the building. There was a pretty nice yard back there, with tables and a grill and a few flower plots that no one had bothered planting in. Addison walked past it on her way to work, but she hadn’t gone back there since the landlady had taken her on the tour.

“You’re going to do like a barbeque?” she asked.

Marguerite nodded. “I’m not, like, a master, but I thought I could put on some burgers and get everyone in the building together. Do like a meet and greet.”

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Addison’s frown deepened. “Why?”

“Don’t you want to get to know your neighbors?”

“Not if I can help it,” she said with a snort.

Marguerite looked momentarily crestfallen, and Addison’s shoulders sagged. Blondie here probably didn’t get told no often, and Addison had no doubt in her sorority or among her girlfriends, she was queen of the get-together. Addison had moved for the peace and quiet, a virtue many of her neighbors shared. The month she’d lived here had been a better time than nearly any other place she’d lived. Newcrest was labeled as “developing” and “up and coming”. She hoped it would take its time.

“Um,” Addison said, feeling her conscience get the better of her, “what time were you thinking?”

And like a sunrise, Marguerite’s face lit back up. “I was going to start grilling around six. I just have this dingy stereo, though I think one of the guys plays guitar.”

“Yeah, I hear him all the time.” She rolled her eyes. “If I’m not still busy, I’ll come around, okay?”

“That’s amazing!” Marguerite rocked forward on her heels, grinning. “I’ll let you get back to whatever. Bye, Addie.”

“Addison,” she snapped and reached for the door. It closed shut behind her, and she rubbed her forehead. Wasn’t her inability to say no to cute girls what landed her here in the first place? Now wasn’t the time to fall back into bad habits. Whatever. If nothing else, she’d get a neighbor out of it who might be willing to water her plants if she went out of town.

 


 

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Marguerite hopped up the stairs to her next neighbor. The apartment on the other side of her had wielded no results when she’d tried the door, and for a moment she’d been scared none of her neighbors were willing to be neighborly. Eight people lived here. It shouldn’t be that hard to get eight people in a room together.

Addison had been right about one thing. As she walked up the steps, she could hear the guitar music that leaked out through the thin walls of the apartment block. Marguerite had heard it on occasion, her apartment being next door, and the fast paced strumming wasn’t really her style. But a musician intrigued her. She hoped, as she knocked on the door, that it was loud enough over the music. A few moments later she was rewarded with the guitar strings stopping, and a voice calling from within, “Come in!”

The door was unlocked, and immediately as she stepped inside, she was hit with the overwhelming man smell that was everywhere. Body spray to replace showers, old pizza, and the slight sharp tinge of alcohol left out overnight. It was an otherwise clean apartment, but this guy had taken it over.

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“Hey!” her neighbor said as he dumped some dishes into the sink. “You’re the hottie next door.”

She chewed on the bottom of her lip. “Marguerite Summer.”

“Emery.” He held out a hand. “Knox. I’ve seen you around.”

“I’d gleaned.” She forced a smile. “Was that you playing?”

“Yep!” He gestured to the guitar sitting in the center of the small living room. “I was practicing. It wasn’t annoying you, was it?”

“No, it sounded good.” She cringed a little and prayed he didn’t notice. “I was just introducing myself to everyone. Do you think it’s weird that we’ve all lived here a while and don’t know each others names.”

He shrugged. “It doesn’t bother me, but, hey, you’re free to hang around whenever. My door’s usually open.”

“Is that, like, safe?”

“Hasn’t been an issue yet. What’re you looking to do today?”

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Marguerite shifted away from him. “I was inviting everyone out to the backyard tonight. There’s gonna be burgers and music and stuff. I want to get to know everyone.”

“That’s rad,” he said. “Anyone actually going to go?”

“I haven’t asked everyone yet,” she said, “but the girl next to me said she’d come by. You could maybe play your guitar, or whatever.”

He laughed at that. “I don’t know if this is really the crowd for it. How about I make a fool of myself after the initial introductions.”

She breathed out. “I’ll just play some music then. So you’re in? I’ll probably set up at six.”

“Yeah, I’ve got nothing else to do.”

“Well, great.” She stepped back. “I’ve still got people to invite. I’ll see you tonight.”

He waved her off, and Marguerite walked up the stairs to the second floor.

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So far so good, she thought as she looked down the row of apartments. Addison she saw occasionally hanging out on her front porch, and Emery’s music had become somewhat constant since she moved in, but the upstairs folks were a mystery. They were legs rushing past on their way to work, or the occasional smell of herbs and spices as dinner was being made.  She glanced at the first door, whose windows were decorated with little plants. A friendly house, by the looks of it.

She knocked on the door, and a minute passed before a face poked out of the door. The soft faced woman with her hair done up gave a nervous look before stepping out onto the walkway. Marguerite decided for a more straightforward approach.

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“Hiya, neighbor,” she said. “I’m Marguerite Summer. I live downstairs.”

“Yasmin Cantu.” Nervous was the only word to describe Yasmin. She squeezed her fingers together and shifted on her heels. A smile tried to make its way on her face, but it didn’t quite reach. “Did you need something?

“I’m putting together a little backyard barbeque,” she said. “If you come around back at six, I’ll make some burgers and stuff.”

“Oh.” Her eyebrows came together in a quizzical look. “Is that a common thing around here?”

“I want it to be. I’m trying to get the neighbors together.”

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“I’m not used to being around so many people,” Yasmin said.

“It’ll just be whoever’s living here. Minus whoever doesn’t show up.”

“I guess that could be okay.”

Marguerite’s lips pursed as she looked at her. Her friends back home would call Yasmin Cantu a romance novel and glass of wine sort. Marguerite was trying to gauge how many drinks it would take to get her wild.

“I promise,” she said. “Low key and easily escapable.”

“I’m usually outside anyway.” Yasmin reached for her door. “I’ll see you later then.”

“Yeah, sure!” Marguerite called, but the door was already closed in her face.

Well, that interaction wasn’t all bad. And just three more houses to go. The next door opened easily, and she was greeted by an absolute bro in a knit cap and hoodie. He introduced himself as Orion Torres as he snacked on his grilled cheese.

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“A barbeque sounds like a cool idea,” he said. “I’m always down for free food.”

“I was hoping that’d be the big draw.” Marguerite saw his computer from the corner of her eyes and the series of scripts he’d left open. “Is that your work?”

He nodded at it. “Yup. I started at this tech company. Mostly writing scripts and stuff. Do you do any of that?”

“I wouldn’t know where to start.”

“It’s more fun modding games and stuff. Do you ever play Incredible Sports?”

Her lips turned down. “Um, no. I’m not a big gamer or whatever.”

“That and R.E.F.U.G.E. is like my jam. I’ve been trying to set up a livestream channel and there’s this awesome new game coming out–”

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Marguerite tried to suppress it, but a yawn escaped her lips. She had the decency to look embarrassed about it. He laughed.

“It’s not everyone’s jam,” he said. “If you ever need any tech help, though, you know where to hit me up. I try to charge reasonable rates.”

She smiled. “Thanks, Orion. I’ll see you tonight?”

“Absolutely.”

She walked down to the next apartment. Violin music wafted out, and she tried not to be too eager peeking through the windows to this apartment. The only thing she knew about the guy who lived here was a Grade A hottie, but as she knocked against the door, there was no response.

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At least the first apartment she’d tried had been silent. She wondered if he couldn’t hear her, or if he was deliberately ignoring her.

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She was pretty sure she wouldn’t like the answer.

The last apartment was quiet, but when she knocked, a voiced called her in. She pushed open the door

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The apartment smelled like fresh flowers and paint, and the girl painting on an easel put a few more strokes to paper before turning to greet her. Marguerite did the usual introduction.

“Selena Malloy,” the painter said. “It’s nice to see a friendly face around here.”

Marguerite let out a breath. “Don’t I know it. I’ve been trying to talk to everybody, and I might as well have the plague.”

“A party sounds nice. You know I’ve lived here six months and I still don’t know anyone’s name.”

“That’s so my problem!” Relief flooded through her. Finally a like minded person.

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“You said you were going to grill right?” Selena asked. ” Do you do tofu?”

“I never have before.”

“I’m vegetarian. It’s not a big deal.”

“Oh, no, I’m glad you told me!” Marguerite said. “I can put together some veggie burgers. Parties should have something for everyone.”

Selena smirked. “How ethical of you.”

“I try.”

“Maybe it’ll make our neighbors a little nicer,” she said. “I chatted up that gamer boy, and it’s the only thing he would talk about.”

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“It’s important to have diverse interests,” Marguerite said. “But yeah he went off on me. It’s a little over my head.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it. People probably zone out when I talk art.”

“No, art’s so cool. Do you paint often?”

She nodded. “I’m trying to get back into it. I took a break for a while.”

“I’ve never talked to a real artist before,” Marguerite said. “I had a couple of friends who made jewelry, but it was garbage.”

Selena laughed. “I’m sure it wasn’t.”

“Oh, it was.”

“Half the time I feel like I paint garbage. But, hey, if you ever want something for your wall…”

“Please!” Marguerite smiled. “Anything beautiful.”

“You’re thing’s at six right?” Selena picked up her paintbrush. “Let me finish up here and I’ll come down.”

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“Awesome!” Marguerite tried to contain her excitement. “I’ll see you downstairs.”

She skipped down the stairs elated. Finally someone she could talk to around here. And hopefully tonight would go well. Now all she had to do was set it up.

Interlude: Midtown

Originally I was going to put a short something up during the break here on Dabney Diaries, but I couldn’t quite stick to an idea. I’ve been playing with a couple different stories. I like playing Sims, and I’ve really enjoyed posting my playing Sims, but to be honest the more heavily plot based stories like The Accidental Vampire are a little time consuming and draining, unlike Dabney Diaries, which is far more shoot and report. (Also, the diary format means I can be super shorts sometimes. Womp womp.) While messing around with a few other challenges and just starting games for funsies, I came across the Roomies challenge. It’s fairly simple. Take eight sims, put them in a house together, control a single one of them, and keep them happy. I decided against the actual challenge, because I’m way too much of a control freak to give up control of seven other playable sims, but I liked the idea of taking eight sims and making them move in together. I have several other saves where I put six or so in a house, but I decided it’d be an easy play I could pick up and drop when I needed a break.

I did give myself some restrictions. Each of the eight sims had to have a unique trait (no sharing), a unique job, and a unique aspiration. Originally I didn’t want any of them to share a category of aspiration, partially to limit myself (I like playing chefs, writers, and romantics), but three of them ended up sharing for various reasons (one day I’ll care about the athletic aspiration). I don’t really have plans for them storywise, but I decided to give them each one “secret”, and a goal that may or may not have to do with their aspiration. And thus our eight roomies.

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Marguerite Summer

Traits: Squeamish, Jealous, Cheerful, Gregarious

Aspiration: Party Animal

Career: Critic

Marguerite is a party animal and is constantly trying to make best friends with every person she meets. She is the only reason the eight tenants even talk to each other, thanks to her constant inviting them to her parties. She’s something of an attention grabber, and her personality comes off as grating to some of the tenants.

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Judah Carson

Traits: Creative, Neat, Perfectionist, Essence of Flavor

Aspiration: Master Mixologists

Career: Culinary

Judah is the quiet, unassuming neighbor, whose job as a bartender means he’s often sleeping during the day and unavailable at night. He’s rumored to be something of a cutie, not that any of the other tenants could tell you for sure. The truth is Judah would love to be drama free right now, and he’s trying his hardest to keep out of other people’s business.

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Addison Shipman

Traits: Outgoing, Snob, Gloomy, Quick Learner

Aspiration: Renaissance Sim

Career: Politics

Addison is the first to admit that she’s searching for meaning to her life. After a nasty breakup, she’s trying to start fresh in Newcrest, and she joined up with a non-profit in hopes she could find some direction. She’s nervous around her new neighbors, but she’s willing to make friends.

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Orion Torres

Traits: Bro, Ambitious, Goofball, Quick Learner

Aspiration: Computer Whiz

Career: Tech Guru

Orion is the first to admit he hasn’t made the best decisions in his life, but his true passion is video games and running scripts. He’s starting on the bottom rung of a tech company, and he knows he’s going to make it big. One of the friendlier tenants of the Midtown Townhouses, he tries his best to make friends.

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Selena Malloy

Traits: Family Oriented, Art Lover, Vegetarian, Alluring

Aspiration: Soulmate

Career: Painter

Selena falls in love with just about every man she meets, which makes her dream of being happily married with at least two kids a little more difficult. With her move to Newcrest, she’s hoping for a new start and a fresh streak of good relationships, but old habits die hard, and it doesn’t help that there are some very cute tenants here.

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Emery Knox

Traits: Hot-Headed, Non-Committal, Glutton, Muser

Aspiration: Musical Genius

Career: Entertainment

Emery had to get his own place after sort of ruining every relationship he had back home, but he got lucky with the Midtown Townhouses. He’s trying to get by with just his guitar and his handsome face. It’s worked for him in the past. Definitely a troublemaker, possibly an actual musician, he plans to surprise.

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Yasmin Cantu

Traits: Loner, Bookworm, Kleptomaniac, Collector

Aspiration: The Curator

Career: Currently Unemployed

According to Yasmin, she has no family, no past, and no reason to talk to people, so don’t even try. She keeps to herself and avoids to the best of her ability. She loves fishing before dawn, digging up rocks, and collecting frogs. She has big dreams about her collection and would like to see the garden in the back put to use. She wants to experience everything this life has to offer.

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Darrius Crowe

Traits: Self-Assured, Music Lover, Materialistic, Quick Learner

Aspiration: Master Vampire

Career: Currently Unemployed

Darrius is the mysterious final tenant of the Midtown Townhouses. Rarely seen, especially during the day, there’s something a little strange about him the other tenants can’t quite put their fingers on. He would love to keep to himself, playing his violin and reading his books, but he does, on occasion, choose to interact with the others.

Eight tenants make up the residents of the Midtown Townhouses, a small apartment block in the trendier part of Newcrest. Every single one of them have reasons to keep to themselves, and every single one is desperately seeking a human connection. They’ll try to get along, keep their heads above water, reach out, and accomplish their dreams, all while sharing the tiny apartment block.

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With a bonus look at each of their respective apartments:

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The plan is to play this whenever I need a break from any of my other stories, so there’s no actual goals or storylines written out, though spending ten minutes writing down their traits, secrets, and goals, I have some ideas for the future. I’ll update every day this week with a sort of rotational play for each sim, and then it’ll be back to Dabney Diaries as normal. See you tomorrow!