Setting the Scene – The Park

Posted: February 16, 2012 in Setting the Scene
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The thing about the park, or Wyatt Reserve as it’s so named, is that it was built on the edge of a cliff.  I can’t remember why exactly I chose it to back onto the side of a mountain, possibly because I wanted a lot already slightly built up that I could work from because I knew this lot was going to have a hill, and perhaps because the suburb is called Hillview.  Whatever it was, the lot was certainly built up, and I spent forever trying to get the right look to the ground levelling and putting in the right heights.

Once I had my park looking how I wanted it ready for when Damien arrived on the scene, I then altered it to fit in the extras, and change around the scenery to look like it was in a different section of the park.  People are seen playing and talking, and people are seen leaving.  This was to indicate it was late in the day (getting on 5.30pm) and people were leaving for home.  This was filmed and undone, so I was back to my clean slate for Damien’s arrival with his beloved friend and companion, Pepper.  He is seen wearing the same clothes he wore in Chapter 1, also indicating it is the same afternoon, after he’s finished up at school with his teaching.  There were 2 extras – a mother and daughter – that didn’t make it to filming as pictured below.

All the sims were given a cosy little area in which they could do whatever they liked (had I given them the chance to do so.  Gotta love turning off their freewill).

This was hidden underground, which comes to my proud creation of: a fake road.

In the story, Damien wanders off the usual path and down a hill, following the sounds of a young child screaming and angered voices.  He hides in the cover of the trees, looking out onto the situation as it unfolds.  The boy is being held against the inside wall of a large (unused?) drain pipe, which creates a tunnel under the road.  I tried and failed to find a rounded door, wall or archway compatible with my game, and so contented with a rather broken, corroded looking one.  It is a tell-tale point that is part of the park isn’t one usually ventured upon by the public.  It is dirty, it has grafitti on the inside and some leftover pipes.

The drain itself is pretty dry, it’s bottom covered in pebbles and just a thin trickle of dirty water which blends into nothing.

But I was most worried about the road.  The cars needed to be seen arriving on top of the fake road, so the police could jump down off the little edge and race down the hill to confront Damien.  Sims can’t drive on fake roads.  And they certainly can’t leap off the ledge of a wall.  So I used an obstacle course animation and I put in some decorative cars.  And started on a second lot – making sure it also backed onto the side of a mountain – so I could film cars entering and leaving the lot, and make it look like they were using the fake road atop the drain.  Pretty tricky stuff!  This is why you see the cars arriving with lights and flashing sirens (after quite a number of prank calls to the cops) and upon confrontation, all lights go off.  This is because the prop cars didn’t have working sirens (okay.  So my sims like to save power.  They aren’t in the cars anymore, of course they’ll want to turn off all the lights).  They are then seen leaving with lights, but no sirens (they’ve caught the culprit, there’s no rush anymore ;)) and this is thanks to the driveable cop car from VampCat.  And the biggest thanks to Maxis and Numenor’s game add-on: Drivable Cars without Nightlife.

I also fell in love with these trees which suited my needs perfectly – large trees, close proximity – hide n seek in the forest!

 Although I assure you, usually the park is a pleasant place to be.  Damien and Pepper spend many afternoons there, just enjoying each others company.



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