2. Original Concept
#1
So this is a copy-paste of a post I wrote elsewhere a good while ago telling about how Little Carping came into being.  I decided not to update the text (some of the information is a little out of date now) but it gives a good overview of how Little Carping started and what I was thinking and introduces the initial founding characters of the neighbourhood: the Goths, the Vaughans and Phoebe Sororah.
 
I got TS2 the moment it was available here in the UK (probably a couple of days after it came out in the US). I had been playing TS1 since it was released.  TS1 was my most played and enjoyed game ever (though SimCity 2000 gave it a run for its money). Anyway, I installed TS2 and had a look around. Pleasantview didn't attract me (I think I had a look at the Goth house) but Strangetown looked more quirky and interesting. I played the Curious brothers first for a short while and that was pretty fun. It was obvious the game had taken a huge leap forward and I think, even then, I realised I wouldn't go back to TS1. I never did.
 
EXCEPT - I realised though that I wasn't ready to give up my TS1 characters. I played Neighbourhood 1 almost exclusively in TS1 and had filled EVERY SINGLE LOT with sim families. I had left the Maxis families in there and, in my head, had built an entire sim community. So in the first week of having TS2, I decided I would try to recreate the neighbourhood I had developed in TS1 BUT that I was going to grow it not just make it. It's interesting to me that even then, I was able to recognise the potential in the game to develop a neighbourhood over time and give it a real history.
 
So I thought about it and planned. The oldest residents in TS1 had been the Goths (senior) and a couple of sisters - Sororah - I had created to run a kennels (when Unleashed was released), followed a little later by Ginia Katt and Mama Hick. I'd also created an older couple called Porter who were the janitors/caretakers for a hall of residence I built for some student sims. Remember TS1 didn't having aging so although the Sororah sisters were later additions to the neighbourhood (coming in with Unleashed) as they were created as elders, they - well - stayed that way and were some of the oldest residents of the neighbourhood.  I developed a schedule to introduce them to Little Carping.  It helped that the senior Goths were my favourite characters from TS1.  A bit unusual, I think, but then I just loved subverting their respectability.  The other thing to say is about where I use EAxis sims.  It should be remembered that this is my version of those sims - not the canon version.  I don't follow the EAxis stories and there's significant deviation later on.  Though some things are the same - Mortimer does marry Bella (eventually).  Cecilia doesn't really like her though.  But that's getting ahead ...
 
I wanted history (and possibly hysteria). I decided to bring in the Goths first along with Sororah. BUT I wanted the family background for Gunther and Cornelia so I pushed the timeline of the neighbourhood back and made a family for each of them and a parent family for the Sororah sisters too.
 
First I made Randolph and Cecelia Goth. Randolph was a businessman (fortune) and, in my head, was to develop into a very successful financier (which he did). Cecelia was clever (knowledge) but, the origin of Little Carping being set some time ago, she was stuck at home with the kids while they were small.  That was Gunther to start with (made as a toddler in CAS), then the first born-in-game child arrived (after Pascal's in Strangetown), Gunther's sister Marianne.  You can see Gunther is blond in the picture (as is Cornelia, also born to dark-haired parents).  This, of course, doesn't gel with the in-game genetics (at all - silly maxon).  You have to bear in mind that they were created in CAS in 2004 and we -I- had no idea about how the genetics in-game actually worked (semi-realistically as it happens and is something I like but whatever).  Although both children have genetics generated from their parents (in CAS), I changed the hair colour.  I had to retro-fit that by pretending both parents carried a recessive blond gene.  

   
The first Goth family

Randolph went on to be very successful and Cecelia, once the kids had grown up a bit, went back to work and into politics and eventually became mayor (the actual story of that is quite complicated). The storyline developed of Gunther growing up in this high-achieving, competitive climate but always feeling he didn't quite measure up: he had a clever mother and a thrusting successful businessman father. It made his character more interesting to me than the original version in TS1. He's always been morose and bitter (though with some surprising talents - he learnt to meditate and levitate and to move around lots like a ninja - a talent he needed). Gunther in TS1 had been Dean of a college but in TS2 I decided to send him into business following his father in an attempt to impress him (Gunther is also fortune) but Gunther was not as successful and never got the helicopter to go to work. His situation was not helped in the slightest by his wife.

       
Cecelia and Randolph - as they were at first.  There's a recessive blond gene in there - yes, there is.

One thing I loved about the senior Goths in TS1 was that Maxis had given us this apparently conventional and respectable, high-status couple and I spent hours and hours disrupting that - mainly via Cornelia. She had affairs right, left and centre. She picked fights and made enemies. She drank and partied. If they'd had shop-lifting in TS1, she would have done that. Cornelia was hopeless at concealing affairs, mainly because she had me to deal with and I set it up so that she'd get caught every other day when Gunther came home at 3pm. Gunther was forever coming home to find her in bed with some man or other. He'd stand in the bedroom and stamp and shout and pull his hair out and then they'd have a stand up slap fight. Ah, fun times... So, Cornelia needed to get that from somewhere and so the Vaughans were made. Cornelia's mother was Amelia: a loving, patient woman (family) who had married a dashing and charming advertising executive who worked for Randolph Goth: Mercer. Mercer was a sleazeball (romance). They came, along with Amelia's mother Isabella Briggs and a toddler Cornelia, to live in Little Carping.

       
Amelia and Mercer - my favourite sim ever

I've written elsewhere about how Mercer took me by surprise and behaved incredibly badly (though the unanticipated behaviour of romance sims played into the plotline in a most satisfactory way).  He romanced just about every adult female in Little Carping, except Cecilia Goth who always saw through him and disapproved (but then she ended up with a lot to disapprove of).  Poor Amelia was permanently depressed throughout (until she met Kennedy Cox – more on him in a bit). 
 
Cornelia, poor girl, is like her father (she's also romance). She got pregnant by Gunther as a teenager (the only time I have used InTeen for its intended purpose and also, yay, the first Inteen was out around the time University was released) and had to marry him before Mortimer arrived. It was a very quiet affair at the Goth house though she got the memory of marrying into money. Afterwards, she felt trapped in her marriage (she eventually had four kids though one of them wasn't by Gunther – something that hadn’t cramped Mercer’s style (he had seven by the time he died)) and was jealous when her two younger brothers, Henry and Horace (twins) went off to university. So she started misbehaving and poor Gunther was back to stamping, shouting and pulling his hair out. Fun times...

   
The Vaughans - the name Vaughan always makes me think of advertising execs and sleaziness.  Poor Amelia got saddled with that I'm afraid.  Well she married him.  Her lookout I say.
 
The other 'family' was Phoebe Sororah - also a romance sim. I'd envisioned her as a silly romantic woman waylaid by Mercer into an extramarital affair. Well Phoebe's romance sim inclinations soon put paid to that but she did have an affair with Mercer (you get a more straightforward answer if you ask who *didn't* Mercer have an affair with) and also had an affair with Randolph. So the Sororah sisters who had originated in my TS1 hood (Cecily and Clarissa) turned out to be half-sisters rather than full sisters. Phoebe had a string of amorous adventures too (between her and Mercer, Little Carping was a seething hotbed of lust) and eventually had five children by three different men. She died a while back after having moved in her latest (and newly adult) lover (a townie: Amin Sims) who now is about to die but lives in her house keeping it open for when her youngest child (Chloe – his daughter) returns from university.

   
Phoebe
   
 
That's how it started. Mama, Ginia and the Porters came along shortly after - Ginia just in time to have a romance with Mercer and bear his seventh child (Stephen, still at school but only just) - and Little Carping has grown and grown from there. It's still a hotbed of lust though there's plenty of envy, jealousy, ambition, greed and all the rest of it too. I found recently that Fergus Crims wishes to see the ghost of Maddy Jayalapan (an EAxis generated apartment neighbour) because they had a fight - well series of fights - their relationship is -100/-100. He just bought a gun and will be laying a nice new concrete patio in his back garden shortly. The Curious brothers and Nervous will come to join us eventually because I do have a soft spot for the Curious brothers.
 
I went through Little Carping’s screenshots folder and realised that when I started in 2004, of course, the quality of snapshots was horrid.  So I’ve taken some new pictures – remaking Randolph, Cecilia, Mercer, Amelia and Phoebe from clones of the originals in Little Carping.  The pictures show them with my newer defaults (of course) and I tried to get the spirit of their original homes though it’s inevitable I’ve forgotten details or used the wrong stuff.  The original lots only used EAxis content of course, it was a while before we got recolours for objects (CC skins were available before the game was released – I even have some still.  Well one or two).  They all had custom skintones which they’re still wearing and Phoebe has custom eyes.
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#2
Love the backstory. More please?
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