Reflection One: Origins

Welcome to my first reflection post! Though I’d originally said I was planning on doing seven of these — one for each week up to the anniversary of starting D2D — I think it will likely end up being longer than that… So I may end up posting two reflections on some weeks, or post after the one year anniversary date. So apologies in advance for not sticking to the promised schedule!

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Reflection One: Origins

I’ve been playing The Sims games since the very first game was released, back when I was 11 years old. I loved it from the very first time I played, and have loved it ever since!

As a very geeky child who was raised on tabletop RPGs (Dungeons and Dragons was my first. Thanks to my older brother haha), I’ve always been kind of “role-playing” with my Sims. I was always telling some sort of story. But it was never for anyone else, just for me. And I didn’t mind. I was having fun with it!

When The Sims 3 Generations EP came out and introduced Imaginary Friends, one of my favorite “stories” to play-out with my Sims was having a child sim fall in love with their imaginary friend, work hard to bring them to life, and then live happily ever after with them.

I think this was partially inspired by me reading the (very cheesy) book Sundays at Tiffany’s. That story is about a little girl whose imaginary friend “leaves” her when she is too old for him, but she sees him again when she’s an adult, and they end up falling in love. In the end, he becomes human and they are together.

Something about that plotline stuck with me, and once we were able to do the same in TS3, I jumped on the opportunity to re-create similar stories for myself.

I had a lot of fun digging through my TS3 screenshots folder to find some examples of this! Forgive how awful the pictures are. I was just taking these pictures for fun/for me, at the time.

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The above little girl brought her imaginary friend to life very quickly! Haha. I don’t have any shots of her when she was older, unfortunately. But I assure you she married her imaginary friend! I always had that sort of an ending… I am a romantic at heart!

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This girl above is one of the only actual pictures I have of the sim being romantic with their imaginary friend once they were brought to life. I’m sorry I don’t have more examples… I didn’t take that many screenshots until I started writing SimLit!

The below screenshots, though horribly quality (oh goodness, why are the walls down?!) are two of my favorites, because they were a big inspiration for Dust to Dust.

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I always loved the feature of being able to click away to another sim in the household, and having the imaginary friend disappear. So clever! I took a screenshot of this for my own personal enjoyment. But as you can see, this was a huge inspiration for similar moments in D2D:

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(Oh wow, giant Easter Egg! Look at the top of the bookshelf in the above picture… Angelfish 😉 The above scene was screenshotted after I’d played through the entire story before, so the Angelfish had been caught long ago. But more on that in a future reflection hehehe)

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When The Sims 4 was released, I continued my tradition of telling stories with my sims. As I’ve said, Imaginary Friends had always been my favorite in TS3, and I’d dabbled with ghosts a bit as well:

Screenshot-5

(Oh man, that “story” was tragic. This little girl’s father died when she was a toddler. His ghost haunted their house throughout her life, but she was the only one who could see him or interact with him… or at least, the only one I’d let interact with him haha).

Anyway, I’d done a bunch of little “stories” in TS4, and last summer, I decided I wanted to try to bring back my old favorite storyline of having a child fall in love with their imaginary friend and bring them to life. Knowing there were no imaginary friends in TS4, I instead decided to alter the story so that the child’s “imaginary friend” was actually a ghost. And thus the idea for D2D was born!

So I guess the whole point of this first reflection post is that Dust to Dust probably wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for a cheesy James Patterson novel and Imaginary Friends in TS3!

The next reflection post will focus on the actual beginning of Dust to Dust, and offer more behind-the-scenes info on how the story developed the way it did 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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10 Responses to Reflection One: Origins

  1. Senna says:

    Oh, wow! Quite an interesting story behind the inspiration for D2D! 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  2. totalRainbow says:

    That really is such a great inspiration. A love story with the imaginary friend would be really good too, I think! But I think it’s amazing that you kept that theme for so long and finally got to write a great story out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Trip says:

    Check out that unrendered TS3 terrain texture (don’t worry, I used to play the game on an old laptop too).

    I’ve always been really, kind of morbidly obsessed with making my sims early widows/widowers (I didn’t discriminate! :P) and often keeping them connected with their ghosts and sometimes even bringing them back. I kind of cut out the ghost part and just play sims who attract death, but it’s an appealing part of the game, knowing that no one really dies. And the backstories and fates of the dead are just too fun to think of and put into writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahaha yeah, those screenshots were from my old Toshiba laptop XD

      And there’s definitely something interesting about death, morbid though it may be haha so I understand!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. rainygamez says:

    I had one of the sims in my Sims 3 legacy marry his imaginary friend. Unfortunately that was before I started screenshotting. This insight into the story was so cool. I can’t wait for the next post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. NoaLyn says:

    I completely forgive you for not sticking to the schedule 😀 I was worried first you’d say it will be less than seven posts, but more is even better! I love to see how you came up with this story, I actually never thought about playing stories with my sims, just for myself, my focus was always on getting as much skills up in as little time possible XD You really inspired me to try this, maybe even with TS3 since I kinda miss this game 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Aw thank you NoaLyn! It’s a pretty fun way to play 🙂 Trying to add a bit of drama into gameplay (while still skilling and all that as well, of course! Thank you for reading!)

      Liked by 1 person

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