|Behind the Theme|
The Pleasant SimsVille Theme (working Title "Silent Movie Theme") stemmed from an idea by Rainman to create the Charlie Chaplin Set. Charlie was created last year around September and has gone through several revisions during that time, due to knowledge discovery in the art of skinning. Feeling Charlie shouldn't be alone and should have a place to live that would be fitting to his setting, a theme was born.
Rainman created Charlie's co-star Edna Purviance and some little children and the house was bare-boned ready. But what about neighbors. Eric Campbell, another co-star and the villain from those old silent movies was an obvious choice, so Rainman added him to his list.
The base house was built around November of last year, and nearly became the house for the Victorian Christmas Theme (You even see it in screenshots for this theme in its early days.) since it was already sitting around and in the right style, but the house was cancelled due to time constraints with that theme and plugged back into the Silent Movie theme.
With all of this completed, we still only had a few objects worthy for the theme and one of our early artists, Jerry left us one very talented object creator short, as he went off to dig for dinosaur bones and artifacts. While he had already created some of the fabulous items for this theme in 3D, I was left with the transmogrification, which is the process of converting the items to the game. During this time, we are creating z-buffers by hand which was a really difficult process.
David was creating some really great items as well, some of which we gave early releases because David had spent so much time and effort working on them, I hated to hold out on them for so long. They were released when we received requests for similar items or at David's beckoning. But as for furnishing, I really wanted something a little more spectacular.
During this time in the skinning...the Three Stooges went into creation, the theme could no longer be silent movie theme and while still under that working title, we went through several different names that didn't really sound right or work. We realized that no matter what we did, color would have to be a necessary evil at some point. After all, when the mailman, maid, gardener and newspaper girl come, they are in color. We knew could overwrite the original skins, but we felt that wouldn't be acceptable to the public.
However, I loved the movie Pleasantville and it seemed an obvious solution to our problem. It really was somewhat of an inspiration for me. Ahn had some time freed up after her graduation from the University of San Diego. Congrats Ahn and yay! for us. Ahn agreed to do the Pleasantville cast and with the future release of SimsVille, a new game title coming from Maxis, a theme was born "Pleasant SimsVille." Together it embodied everything we needed from Colorto Black and White from older to newer generations of objects, creating a perfect setting for a variety of styles.
Stine arrived during this period with her lovely Rose Bedroom that she's been holding out on you all since she joined the team. I know it had to be killing her, as it's a great creation. Debra also contributed with her gray Victorian floors that she had been holding onto for a while. Finally rounding it off, PJ created the Golden Damask Loveseat and Chair, in addition to the lamps she had created also in Victorian Style. Dorien and I created what I consider some of our best paintings with some beautiful frames. (I am biased!)
All the time we put into this theme, and the end drawing near, the design for the website began and Ahn and I devised the Split screenshot method to cut page views down. The house was complete at last, but we only had one color and everything else was available in both color or black and white. And so, I copied the house, built a new family and dupicated it in color. This ran into a few problems because not everything we had in b/w was available color, so we had to back track a bit and replace a few black and white items, such as rugs, from the original house. Josie and I went back through the rugs, as I did the final touches on the house and voila!
We hope you enjoy this theme as much as we enjoyed making it.
|Skins By Heather|
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