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Rebuilding Appaloosa Plains - UPDATED 11/27

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MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
edited November 27 in Stories and Legacies
Hello fellow Simmers :smile:
I'm taking on the Build A City Challenge, using Appaloosa Plains and no mods.

As the town grows, you'll see different Sims' stories emerge. From the town's first community lot to each household and unlocked rabbit hole, watch the drama unfold as I rebuild Appaloosa Plains.

I'll be posting previews of each chapter in this thread, with links to the full versions on my website. You can also follow along on Blogger and Archive of Our Own.

Chapter List:
Prologue

Part One
Part One begins with a community garden founded by Bridget Tevellyn -- a young Sim hoping to build a family away from the bustle of the city and the catty small towns she grew up in -- and shares the stories that arise as each new home and community lot are built.
Chapter 1: Community Garden
Chapter 2: Bridget's Cabin
Chapter 3: The Tevellyn House
Chapter 4: Cinnamon Crest Falls
Chapter 5: The Boarding House / Community Garden
Chapter 6: The Tevellyn House
Chapter 7: Cinnamon Crest Falls / Rukiya's Lot
Chapter 8: The Tevellyn House
Chapter 9: Cinnamon Crest Falls
Chapter 10: Rukiya's House
Chapter 11: The Tevellyn House / Emery's Lot
Chapter 12: Sims in Arms Training Outpost
Chapter 13: The Tevellyn House - coming Nov. 29
Chapter 14: Emery's Studio - coming Dec. 3

Part Two
The town will continue to grow alongside Bridget's grandchildren in Part Two, as new faces move in and more venues pop up.
Post edited by Morningstar on
From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
signature-banner-5.webp
Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
Build A City Challenge Rules

Comments

  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    edited October 10
    Prologue

    The place was a ghost town. Despite its breath-taking locale, Appaloosa Plains had become a shadow of what it once was. The residents of the "sleepy ranching town" had drifted off, leaving behind shells of homes, crumbling remnants of Victorian architecture and empty streets.

    The city tried to save its existence by offering a funding assistance program for repairs, but the program collapsed when it was discovered that nearly all the buildings were contaminated with asbestos, had unsafe lead piping, needed all-new roofs or their foundations completely redone. Historical building legislation delayed construction work to such an extent that people opted to sell their homes to the government at a loss so they could move away from the red tape and renovation nightmare that their neighborhood trapped in.
    d5bd2c_dfeec476bb1d40068df451e4e4146a52~mv2.webp
    Now almost no residents were left and there was no city government to speak of. Appaloosa Plains was nothing more than a mess that needed to be cleaned up. Luckily, cleaning up messes was something Jada Walker did best.

    She drove slowly along the empty, crumbling streets until she saw the drab Victorian manor she was looking for. Workers had already set up safety barriers and brought in the dumpsters. She looked up at the building: rotting wood, patchy shingles, peeling paint. By some miracle it seemed the majority of the windows were intact even though they hadn't been boarded up. Still, was this really the place the Governor saw potential in?
    d5bd2c_8f465085de39404c8f3232d322444a06~mv2.webp

    Click to continue reading
    Post edited by Morningstar on
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    edited October 18
    Chapter 1: Community Garden

    d5bd2c_eb8f61c6fa1b4d94a7512473d26d488f~mv2.webp

    (This is the first chapter of the relaunched version. Posted Oct 18, 2018.)
    Post edited by Morningstar on
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    edited October 22
    Chapter 2: Bridget's Cabin

    d5bd2c_39b71c32f2fa432d89f270354ca43a80~mv2.webp

    (This is the second chapter of the relaunched version. Posted Oct 22, 2018.)
    Post edited by Morningstar on
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    edited October 25
    Chapter 3 - The Tevellyn House

    d5bd2c_bb792791579741a4a3ff7648779866ce~mv2.webp
    (This is the second chapter of the relaunched version. Posted Oct 25, 2018.)
    Post edited by Morningstar on
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • supernatural103supernatural103 Posts: 380 Member
    Just bookmarked this to my phone so I can start reading tomorrow after work. Can't wait to start!
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    Thank you :love: let me know what you think!
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • supernatural103supernatural103 Posts: 380 Member
    Just finished the prologue, so far so good! I loved seeing everything from TS3, such a throwback for me! Appaloosa Plains was my fav town, so it'll be cool to see how you rebuild it.
    I loved all the detail you put into the chapter. The walkthrough and the dialogue between the characters felt like something that could actually happen.
    I'm off to read chapter 1!
  • supernatural103supernatural103 Posts: 380 Member
    Chapter 1 done! I really enjoyed it.
    Bridget seems to be such a successful, independent woman. Much more confident in herself then I could ever be. :lol:
    Her cabin looks great (at least from the outside, haven't seen the inside yet!), and the community garden seems to be coming along well.
    Off to read chapter 2!
  • supernatural103supernatural103 Posts: 380 Member
    Love Altman, he's such a sweet guy.
    Chapter 2 was just so sweet and cheesy (in the best way possible lol).
    The little cabin is so cute.
    Can't wait for chapter 3!
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    Thank you so much for all the kinds words, @supernatural103 ! This is my first SimLit story, so I originally got to chapter 21 in a different format before I figured out exactly how I wanted to tell their stories. I'm glad the new chapter wasn't so cheesy that it was vomit-inducing, hahaha. In-game they just hit it off so well - how nice of them to let me start the story & town with a light-hearted love story ;)
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • 15aewar15aewar Posts: 698 Member
    edited October 25
    I'm loving it so far! I have a few questions/comments, though:
    Wow! The family has really grown in such a short time! How many children are Bridget and Altman planning on?
    Never mind. You said so in your post. :smile:
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    15aewar wrote: »
    I'm loving it so far! I have a few questions/comments, though:
    Wow! The family has really grown in such a short time! How many children are Bridget and Altman planning on?
    Never mind. You said so in your post. :smile:

    Well, we know the number she wants! We'll see, haha... But so far she seems to get her way :wink:
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    A note for those who have already read Ch. 4 - I had to make some minor adjustments to make the kids' ages and birthdays make sense.
    I mentioned Matthew being 9 when Bridget was pregnant with her 5th child, but I've updated it to 10 years old.
    Emery's 13th birthday originally arrived on a "beautiful autumn day" but this doesn't make sense given the timing of Bridget's pregnancy in Chapter 3 nor the age differences in the kids, which will become more obvious in Ch. 6. Her birthday is in the Spring, and the description of the leaves changing color was updated accordingly to read:
    "The winter cold had thawed and seemed like a distant memory now that the warm summer air was starting to move in."
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • 15aewar15aewar Posts: 698 Member
    I loved this most recent chapter! It's great to meet another character.
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    I'm so happy with how it turned out! Rukiya's become very close to my heart, so I'm glad I could give her a proper introduction :smile:
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    edited November 5
    Post edited by Morningstar on
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • GoulsquashGoulsquash Posts: 642 Member
    I really enjoy your story! Altman is my sims mailman too, hes constantly donating to her blog lol! Looking forward to seeing how the town turns out!
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    Thanks so much for reading and your comment, @Goulsquash !
    I sometimes had my Sims talk to Altman, but never paid him much attention until I really needed to get a move on with Bridget's love life if she was going to have 5 kids and fulfill her LTW :smile: Now he's got a special place in my heart - and not just because he has some great traits for a townie :tongue:
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    edited November 8
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 22,328 Member
    Hi, hi! First things first...
    Weird cat sign!

    And now, onto the important stuff...

    Gosh! I love this story so much! It's hard for me to explain... it's really calming to me. I think it's the way you craft your sentences. Also, your writing is kind of interior, like we see inside the people, and I love that!

    I had a little bit of a stressful morning with a dentist appointment, so before I buckled down to do some work, I wanted to de-stress, and reading chapters 6 and 7 were perfect for this!

    Also... now the gossip!
    What about Emery's crush? I really like it. You've done such a great job of portraying her tumultuous emotions! I'm really looking forward to seeing how this develops... or doesn't. Rukiya is awesome, right? I really love her!

    And... I don't know. At first I really liked Dorothy, but I'm wondering now if she's the best friend for Matthew. I felt she was a little dismissive of his revelation about the unicorn--it seems like she wants him to be "normal" and not too imaginative or too on-fire about anything. Maybe that's OK, since she can offer some balance, but I want him to have a friend who believes in him and gets excited with him about big and little things.

    Of course I wonder about Dorothy's secret! How fun it will be to see this eventually revealed!

    How far in advance do you play? How far in advance have you plotted out what happens?

    How much comes from the game, how much (in-game) from your direction, how much from the Sims or random game-stuff, and how much from your staging things?

    Thanks again for writing what's become one of my favorite stories! :)
    Cathy Tea's SimLit Anthology

    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    CathyTea wrote: »
    Hi, hi! First things first...
    Weird cat sign!

    And now, onto the important stuff...

    Gosh! I love this story so much! It's hard for me to explain... it's really calming to me. I think it's the way you craft your sentences. Also, your writing is kind of interior, like we see inside the people, and I love that!

    I had a little bit of a stressful morning with a dentist appointment, so before I buckled down to do some work, I wanted to de-stress, and reading chapters 6 and 7 were perfect for this!

    Also... now the gossip!
    What about Emery's crush? I really like it. You've done such a great job of portraying her tumultuous emotions! I'm really looking forward to seeing how this develops... or doesn't. Rukiya is awesome, right? I really love her!

    And... I don't know. At first I really liked Dorothy, but I'm wondering now if she's the best friend for Matthew. I felt she was a little dismissive of his revelation about the unicorn--it seems like she wants him to be "normal" and not too imaginative or too on-fire about anything. Maybe that's OK, since she can offer some balance, but I want him to have a friend who believes in him and gets excited with him about big and little things.

    Of course I wonder about Dorothy's secret! How fun it will be to see this eventually revealed!

    How far in advance do you play? How far in advance have you plotted out what happens?

    How much comes from the game, how much (in-game) from your direction, how much from the Sims or random game-stuff, and how much from your staging things?

    Thanks again for writing what's become one of my favorite stories! :)

    tenor.gif
    Thank you so much!!! :love:

    And now onto a more comprehensive response :wink: ...

    I'm so glad that you've found the story comforting :blush: Hopefully even as more drama comes in, reading it can still help you de-stress :smile:

    Re: your spoiler-covered comments:
    I had to use an alternate save file to "go back" and take the screenshots of Rukiya & Shaun at her empty lot, and despite that in my challenge save I've played several Sim weeks with her living there, I had never noticed the cat sign. It ended up being a great prop for some fun dialogue. It's super weird :joy:

    I try not to decide my Sims' sexualities in advance; I just don't really think about it until potential partners start coming into their lives. Emery's crush felt so natural based on my gameplay, that I decided to see where it went. Since I don't play with mods, obviously their relationship would be limited (at least at first) since Emery is a teen and Rukiya is a Y.A. when they meet. Rukiya is super awesome -- maybe Emery's crush only felt natural because I might have one if she were a person I met in real life :joy: You'll have to wait and see how their storyline(s) play out!

    Loved reading your thoughts on Dorothy. The next chapter will reveal more about Matthew & Dorothy's relationship, so I won't say anything about it right now :wink:

    And finally the answers to your questions :smile:

    How far in advance do you play? How far in advance have you plotted out what happens?
    I've played my challenge save through to the end of Part One in the story; the vast majority, if not all, of Bridget's grandchildren are in the town. So before I relaunched the story in this format, I already knew who each of her children would end up with, where they'd live, and if they'd have kids/how many.
    The story's plot is a bit flexible in terms of the other details and when exactly certain things happen. For this version I've gone back to stage things and get more screenshots. This overlaps with your next question :smile:

    How much comes from the game, how much (in-game) from your direction, how much from the Sims or random game-stuff, and how much from your staging things?
    The story is primarily gameplay-driven. I play on low free will, so the Sims are mostly controlled by me, but I tend to play according to their traits and wishes. My gut feeling tends to affect it, too - whether a Sim "feels" like they're a good match for another affects how I view and write their story. I don't have a set path for Sims' lives beyond a few in-game weeks, and they're always subject to change.

    I'm adding staged scenes to add depth - for the characters, the town, and to provide more tangible set-up for what happens down the line. These are mostly for the enjoyment of the reader and to bring to life the plot that was going on in my head while I was playing.
    For example, my play-through screenshots sometimes don't capture the personalities or relationships of characters that I had in my head. This is especially true for Sim children, since the 'normal lifespan' number of days seems like it has too many for toddlers and too few for children (I'm considering tweaking this for my play-through for Part Two). Several scenes coming up with Dorothy in them were staged for these reasons.
    I also didn't have the Seasons expansion active during my initial play-through, so some screenshots I've simply been taking to feature the seasons changing. The teaser image for Chapter 3 is one of my favourites in that respect :smile:

    Almost all the chapters that are set at the boarding house will have to be staged, as well, since it serves as the "NPC lot" for my Build A City Challenge. The rules don't allow you to play/visit the NPC lot. Although I created the NPC Sims (Rukiya and 7 others we'll meet later) and have some ideas for backstories for them, their traits and Lifetime Wishes had to be randomized, so I won't know "who they are" until they're in my gameplay. In Rukiya's case, she and Bridget bonded over their mutual Green Thumb traits. Since I was also lucky enough that Rukiya has the Friendly trait, they were best friends in no time and she lived with the Tevellyns for about one in-game week, hence her working for them in the story. Technically, it was the Tevellyns' funds that were spent on buying Rukiya's house. In order to introduce her to the story and give her some of the background I imagined, I staged Chapter 5 to that end.

    Finally, shots featuring empty lots, builds and renovations will be staged throughout Part One. In my game, I simply built homes and venues as I normally would, but for the story, I wanted to add depth by featuring the 'build' aspect of the challenge more. The Prologue and Chapter 1 (building the community garden) were entirely staged. Certain shots, such as the first screenshot in Chapter 3 where Bridget is waking up in an insulated-but-not-drywalled room, were staged for storytelling purposes and to add a sense of authenticity to the idea that they were building the new house themselves in steps, rather than rooms magically appearing while time was paused :wink:

    Thanks so much again for reading, as well as for your valuable feedback and reflective questions! I really appreciate it! :heart:
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • MorningstarMorningstar Posts: 235 Member
    Releasing this chapter a bit early!

    Chapter 8: The Tevellyn House

    d5bd2c_8a0510117c9e4234b63045cd98ed24a4~mv2.webp
    From the town's first community lot to each household and rabbit hole, watch the stories unfold...
    Prologue & Chapters 1-12 out now - updates every week!
    signature-banner-5.webp
    Origin ID: Mourning-Stars | Simming since 2000
    Build A City Challenge Rules
  • Lilypink79Lilypink79 Posts: 64 Member
    I'm really enjoying reading your story. I can't wait to find out more about Dorothy...

    Your last chapter made me feel sad, yet so happy for Bridget and Altman. It was so heartwarming to read about the love they share for each other.
    I've got 99 problems and TS3 glitches are 98 of them
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