1. Little Carping Introduction
#1
So I thought I might post something about my main neighbourhood, Little Carping.  I'm not sure my stories and ideas would be that attractive to others since playing the game my way is a pretty personal thing for me.  I have my particular obsessions and interests and simply won't consider any other way of doing things.  I'm aware I don't do things like other people but then again, what's attractive about the game is the enormous possibilities.  That's why it's still going strong 15 years after its release.  The bottom line is I just like fiddling about with stuff: stories and ideas (not to mention the CC I make).  Also, perhaps I should warn you all before we start that my sims are not always pleasant individuals.  That sometimes seems to be an issue.  I like drama.  Lots of it.
 
On the other hand, the idea of making a thread about Little Carping is attractive to me. This is because I have a love of documenting and recording stuff and the notion of using this forum to do that with Little Carping – a project of 15 years now – is enticing.  I guess we’ll see how this works as we progress but the next posts will give an outline of Little Carping’s concept and history, its geography and built environment (I got that phrase from one of my students) and then the families who live there.  These posts are going to be long - and I don't blame anyone for not wanting to read through them all.  Remember, I'm mostly indulging myself here.  I'll post pictures though.
 
15 years?  Yeah that’s right.  I started Little Carping the month the game was released in 2004 and I’ve been playing it ever since.  Though actually, that sounds more impressive than it is.  I haven’t played with the sims in Little Carping on a regular basis for quite some time now.  I do go back every now and again and progress a story here and there but regular play has not happened for several years.  Progress, therefore, is VERY SLOW.  BTW, although I’ve been playing Little Carping since 2004 (when it was called, unoriginally, Great Bay), I rebuilt the neighbourhood in 2007 and so the files for Little Carping are only 12 years old (only - LOL!).  I rebuilt it when we first started to learn about corruption of neighbourhoods and how you could build them with empty templates.  The current version of Little Carping, therefore, started with no townies or NPCs though it has acquired them since – I made them all myself!  The main characters though were rebuilt in 2007 from scratch – it’s when I learnt a lot about how to clone sims, create empty neighbourhoods and edit memories (and other stuff) in SimPE.  
 
So I say I still 'play’ the game and, if I’m not playing with my sims, what am I doing?  Well, my main interests are two-fold.  In the first instance, I like making things and fiddling with game settings.  I have uploaded some CC for others to download and use, here on this site (and elsewhere), but the amount of stuff I’ve made for the game (for my own use) is much, much more than that.  There's piles of it.  I particularly like fiddling with hacks and mods, usually just adjusting BCons or BHavs and I’m known to hacks/mod stuff myself from scratch.  Though for most things I want, someone else has had a go at it long ago so I will use that (with edits).  Having said that, I think I have edited, in some way or another, practically every CC file in my game – well maybe not everything but a lot of stuff.  I change catalogue settings as a matter of routine and will do things like replace base textures in objects if I don’t particularly like the original, slave stuff and so on.  I also fiddle about with meshes and textures though I will say here what I’ve said elsewhere, that I’m not a natural skinner or texture maker.  I can do crude stuff but nothing like the subtle stuff some people do (which I admire immensely).  Secondly, a favourite thing for me is trying to create a sense of place for Little Carping.  This is a long term project and there have been several phases already.  Basically what I mean is remodelling the neighbourhood.  I’ve been fiddling with the current version for a couple of years but I think I have decided to have another complete overhaul, especially in the light of some of the newer neighbourhood objects and graphical improvements we’ve seen lately – but more on that later.  
 
You might say that neither of those two things is playing with the game but I would disagree with that.  I’m playing with the game as an object in its own right here rather than playing sims.  Maybe you don’t agree but I keep myself occupied doing this.  People do play in different ways – some people play sims and families, some people like to build, some people like to create neighbourhoods, some people like to make meshes and textures – I like to do all of those things but I like to play with the game as well.  If that makes sense.  TS2 is a wonderful thing really.  Will Wright said he created it as a toy rather than a game and he did – but it’s perhaps more of a toy than even he thought it was.
 
The picture is of Little Carping as it is now.  Little Carping has a shopping district, Carping Magna, and Sirencester, the downtown.  There are also two universities attached to Little Carping (Redbrick and Metropolitan) and three vacation destinations (Noboku, Yellerstone and St Neots).  I have no idea how many lots there are but the vast majority are custom built, either by me or are something I downloaded.  There are 489 sims in Little Carping, 173 of which are playable in 40 families (at present – that does change fairly regularly) with 27 cats and dogs (200 playable sims and 286 NPCs (I know that doesn't add up).  At the time of starting this series of posts, it is 6am on Saturday the third day in Summer – how do I know?  I play in strict rotation and everybody is at the same point in the year, plus I religiously save at 6am in the morning.  It’s always 6am in Little Carping.

NB I've posted a version of some of these first few posts before and there's some copy-pasta going on. Just so you know.


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#2
That looks fascinating! Do you have a hood tour for all the little nooks and crannies? Also did you build all your own houses, or download them, or a combination - It's looking pretty good but I'd love to see more!
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