Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Speaking of Wild Dog

Inspired by René Ramirez's stand out work in my Sims game as the one Sim I can always rely on, I went back and read all of the stories with the original comic book version of Wild Dog that inspired the CW character. More on that later.   

In fairness, no one else has read them, either, René.

But meanwhile, know that I was very disappointed when I set up my games to discover that no one had made a version of René Ramirez I could just steal from the Gallery (because I'm not very good at making doppelgänger Sims myself).

Almost nobody.

So I made one myself and have made it him available to the world WITH his own line of WildDogWear(tm).

"Really, hoss?"
Yes, really. You earned it.

Me, too.

 Not just the classic Wild Dog outfit, but outfits for every occasion.

"I'm gonna need some time ta process this."

You deserve so much more.

Now anyone can have René in their game, because doesn't need more Wild Dog in their life? 

No caption will suffice.

Stand aside, 70 versions of Oliver Queen and 30 of Felicity Smoak, because...

You already do, René; you already do.

there's only one René Ramirez.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Sims 4: Barry Allen, Destroyer of Worlds

Who cloned Paco Ramon and Black Canary's husband just to prove he could and because it was raining outside, leaving me to clean up the mess?

Even I think two Vibes is one too many.

Who cloned one of Black Canary's SONS without asking her, suddenly giving her 50% more children to take care of, which probably doomed her marriage?

Who went through all of college in a 32-square apartment alone except for his dog, Circuit, and graduated with honors while still sleeping with a different girl every night and maxing out several skills?

Just ask him; I'm sure he took notes.

Who convinced Eobard Thawne, the suspiciously familiar-looking scientist next door to become his jogging partner and to buy his old college apartment building in the middle of nowhere?  

Which worked out so well for him.

Who broke the dimensional barriers and found a way to travel to other planets without leaving his basement but never told anybody, except Hal Jordan, who wound up getting pregnant as a result?

For whom did I spend countless hours building a bespoke downtown penthouse apartment complete with a personal laboratory, but who then moved out when he realized his dog couldn't operate the elevator?

Who wound up with AN EXTRA BABY that he never noticed was identical to the one he already had, when Eobard Thawne, the suspiciously familiar-looking scientist next door, managed to COPY IT and leave it on his doorstep?

Poor, poor Eobard...

He thought he was going to RUIN Barry's life...

by dumping that baby on the corner of Barry's lot...

and Barry never batted an eye.

Who charged Jay Garrick rent to live in his attic and made him do all the cooking, even though he himself had Level 10 Cooking Skill and didn't need to sleep?

Who bought the largest lot in town, built a giant house there with its own laboratory, worked mostly from home while his wife had to go to her job as a Detective, yet had nannies raise the twins, maids clean the house, a renter do the cooking, and even hired a dogwalker for his couch-potato Italian greyhound?  

Wouldn't want to intrude upon his busy Smustle schedule.

Whose shenanigans so skewed my original DCU game that I had to 'reboot', create a new game, and download an entirely different version of him, in the hope that a new one would be safer?

Spoiler alert:
He's not.  
You can already tell from the Gallery photos what each of these men intends to do to you at the very first opportunity and that they plan to make that opportunity arise as soon as possible.

Who's first meeting with Iris started like this (on Sim-Valentine's, no less):

I gave her the Mean Trait, the Self-Absorbed Trait, and the Evil Trait.
Just for her protection, mind you.  I didn't think he'd make it out of that room alive.

and ended like this:

Behold: the power of the Speed Force.

Whose New & Improved Version has already fathered four children with Iris and two with Felicity and the ONLY reason it's not seven, is because Clark got Lois pregnant FIRST?

This is what it sounds like when doves cry, Barry.

Who does not live with any of those children or support them financially?

The most I've ever been able to shame Barry into giving them was...

Flash facts.

Who, in apparent defiance of the base code of the game, hooked up with Agnes Crumplebottom, the old lady legacy NPC whose sole function in the game for the last 20 years has been to STOP people from hooking up? On the bathroom floor of a restaurant?!

And she's STILL first on his speed dial.
You go, girl.

Who, although he's only a Level 3 Forensic Scientist, wound up sharing a three-bedroom §100,000 house that he didn't have to pay a penny for with Wally West, a high school student?


Who, while I was distracted by Clark and Lex dancing together, had a threesome with Vibe and Wonder Woman in the bathroom at the Bowling Alley?

Honestly I'm not sure that wasn't her idea, because Diana has needs and she's not exactly shy.
Just ask Lex.

Who built a disco on his back porch so that he and Wally wouldn't have to take their "dates" out in public and risk causing a scene?

Even Hal is amazed. 
"Really? She left all those marks AND paid for dinner...?!"

Who convinced Caitlin Snow to streak through downtown Britechester?

"This is Barry Allen with the Britechester weather.
Tonight, we can look forward to a full moon with Snow."

Who has had threesomes with Hal, and with Diggle, and with Wally, and with René?

Fine; no one can be blamed for having a threesome with René. I'd have a threesome with René even if the third were Agnes Crumplebottom. Especially knowing she's at the top of Barry's speed dial.

Barry Allen, that's who. Scourge of the Multiverse. Destroyer of Sim-worlds.

I've stopped asking "Why does Eobard Thawne hate Barry Allen so much?"

Jay Garrick and Nolan Allen (the baby Eobard created and gave up) throwing snowballs at Eobard, while Barry ignores him and talks to some trees he planted when he was in college.

I've started asking, "Why doesn't everyone else?!"

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Sims 4: Ray Palmer: Go Big and Go Home

 At first Ray's life was simple. So simple he was my most boring Sim.

Then I found a way to change that. 

At first, he and Ryan Choi lived together in "Ivy Town" (my relabelled version of Britechester, the Sims' college town) in a Tiny House.  For years, the Sims was geared toward big expansive suburban-style houses; literally, the large a room was, the more a Sim would like it.  But their Tiny Living pack added this new house type which gave you BIG bonuses for building SMALL houses, and naturally this seemed like a good fit for The Atoms. It certainly upped their skills fast, but other than that... it was boring and they were tools.  Because ... well, Ray and Ryan ARE tools.  So when it came time for the Sim-reboot I had a few ideas about how to enliven their new lives.

This is one of the most versatile structures I've ever had in-game. Used it in many games, for many things, and it was a good solution for Ray. There's a reason real-world buildings are shaped simply and not weirdly.

First of all, no more Tiny House. Same small lot, but now it has as many levels as a house is allowed.  The aboveground structure is split into two adjacent buildings and Ray only occupies one. So instead of having other householders I need to control, the two extra bedrooms hold renters--Sims I do not have to control (and can't). It keeps things lively but reduces the burden on me as a player.  One of them is Physics student Ryan Choi; the other is Caitlin Snow, who's in med school, and is SUCH a delightful and perfectly good girl. Except when Barry's around.

Oh, look; Caitlin's streaking through downtown Britechester.
I wonder who dared her to do that...

As you can see, Ray is into minimalism.

As you may notice from the picture, the Adjacent House is now occupied by ... The Hawks.  Yes, Carter and Shayera Hall, fun-loving, hard-living, hard-loving Hawkman and Hawkwoman! Breakers of beds, precious artifacts, and criminal craniums.  Having Carter and Ray share the same lot works like a dream; each will do his own thing if the other requires attention, each provides interesting opportunities for gameplay, and they can do joint activities. And, of course, EVERYTHING is better with Shayera around.

Especially adoption statistics. Don't worry; I made her send them all back.

I let her keep this one because the shirt was perfect and his name was cool (Aarav).

Barry and Hal may have been DC's original Odd Couple heroes and Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, its most famous, but Ray and Carter were the best combination of believable and likable.  That's how they work in the game, too. Ray is a neat freak scientist (if you spend as much time being the size of a dustball as Ray does, you'd be a neat freak, too) into streamlined modern decor and Carter is an earthy archaeologist in love with the past, but both are serious yet adventurous academics. They actually make sense as friends.

Shayera's so much fun! She has the bird-watcher trait.

She talks to birds; she LOVES birds.

Except, that is, when she HATES them.
Never change, Shayera.

Just like Ray, the Halls have common space on the ground floor, their bedroom (and no breakables) on the second floor) and two rooms on the third floor, one for their boy and one for a renter. But it's the levels UNDERNEATH the house that give it the special "Atom" touch...

There are four full floors under ground, none of which have access by stairs, ladder, elevator, or hole. They are completely inaccessible, in fact.  Unless you're The Atom.  

You see, there's an obscure power in the game: teleportation, which Sims can do it if they have really high levels of Meditation Skill.  So I used a cheat to give Ray the power and now he can *pop* fade away and reappear on another level of the house that no one else can access.   Which I pretend is him SHRINKING to one of the sub-sized worlds he's always disappearing to.  

Looks close enough for me.

So he's got a basement like this:

Sub-atomic mood lighting, don'cha know.

where his gym equipment is and his electron-microscope. And THREE levels below that one that are currently empty.  I don't know what to put there yet, but I'm thinking I can finally use Ray as a Sim who is Collector, because he has plenty of room to store crap where no one else can see it. OR, perhaps better, he AND Carter become Collectors and Ray stores Carter's crap subatomically, because that is very much something they would do.

All that is PUH-LENTY to keep them busy and interesting! To say nothing of the TWINS Ray is having with an arranged mother (Felicity Smoak, of course), because, as we know, settling down with a wife didn't work out well for Ray.

Oh! Which reminds me, there is one other element I added to spice up Ray's home life. I forgot to mention who's renting the Hall's spare bedroom.





What could possibly go wrong...?

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Sims 4: Hal...Keggers & Preggers

 You remember Sim-Hal Jordan.

Because he remembers you, good-lookin'.
But not your name.

His pre-reboot Sim started auspiciously enough. I gave him a military job, a converted airplane field for a home, and, to spare him (and me) the complexity of stewardess-chasing, started him off married to...

Kyro, his Venutian helper.

Do you really need to ask why?

This Unambiguously Gay Duo--Hal, the stolid, reliable, but clumsy military man, and Kyro, the devoted  homemaker and craftsman--would kill it as domestic partners, I thought.  And maybe they would have... had it not been for Barry Allen.

Being Hal's best friend, Barry was over all the time (Hal had given him a key, which, like many of Hal's ideas, was a bad one).  Barry, you see, doesn't need to SLEEP.  There's a perk system in the Sims whereby if the Sims accomplish enough of their goals, they get to choose new traits and "level up".  Most of the perks are low-level things like "being more welcome in people's homes" or "enjoying working out". But some extremely costly ones have extreme benefits like: Never Weary.  I'll skip the details, but Barry, being a tool, perfectly gamed the system during college, stacking up huge racks of skill and accomplishments points for himself.  That way, he basically started adult life with a bunch of "superpowers".  Like never needing to sleep.

Dance, Barry, dance.

Which meant Barry would show up--with a retinue of super-friends in tow--at Hal's house at any and all hours, ready to party. And, Hal, having no willpower, would always join in.  Meaning the house was often messy and the household underslept, underwashed, and underfed.  Barry's house, meanwhile, remained as neat as a pin.

In fairness: Hal's house cries out to be partied in.

Then I realized that Barry was egging Hal on into doing stupid stunts at work and in public, like filling people's lockers with shaving cream. 

"...and then the LLAMA would already be IN the taxi!" 
"Yeah, Hal; that sounds like it would be great."

Then Hal would get in trouble, while Barry was winning science awards.  Similarly, every time would ask Barry, do you think Kyro and I should have kids, Barry (probably pondering his most recent debate with Ray on what point in the period table the innermost electron cloud reaches the speed of light) would blithely agree.

"Should we try RIGHT NOW in front of you?" 
"Yeah, Hal; that sounds like it would be great." 

Then Hal and Kyro would have another baby. Kyro, being an alien, had been set to allow pregnancy, and every time I departed one of Barry & Hal's parties to attend to other households I would come back to find another baby.  

Here they are with their three resultant children, who, even though they are genetically human like Hal, are blue, because that's a dominant gene from Kyro.

Hal's older son has found adolescence quite, um, liberating. Which worries Kyro, but Hal's like "You do you, kid!", which the kid does, as well as anyone else he can find, which is a dominant gene from Hal.

But, wait, you say. There's a fourth child, the little one in the bomber jacket talking to Hal. That's right. Because the fourth one isn't Kyro's; it's just Hal's

But it's still Barry's fault.  Barry (who never sleeps) was bored one night and invented a trans-dimensional portal to the alien planet of Sixam. So, rather than go by himself he asked J'onn and Hal along because one's an alien and the other a xenophile.  Barry calmly collected samples while Hal ran around making a spectacle of himself, like always.  

Later, back on Sim-earth, Barry convinced Hal to have a costume party for Halloween. Barry came dressed as the Flash (exactly the kind of thing he does) and Hal came dressed as a "Space Ranger".

Barry, costumed as the Flash, because he's That Guy.

"Do you think I'd look good in a Space Ranger costume?"
"Yeah, Hal; that sounds like it would be great." 

I think that last part was the final straw: an alien spaceship came to abduct costumed Hal in the middle of the party. You see, the more a Sim interacts with aliens and outer space, the more likely they are to get abducted.  I'd been playing the Sims for 20 years and never had an alien abduction. Leave it to Hal, whose origin is literally 'gets abducted by aliens to become a space ranger.'  

They returned him later; severely dazed, but... it's Hal, so no biggie.  Unless you're pregnant, as Hal was. You see, aliens sometimes impregnate human males they abduct; the chances are low, but this is Hal we're talking about. So THIS time when I came back a week or so after the party and found a crib, it was HAL who had had the baby. Fortunately, the game knows how unfair this is, and lets you send the baby off to its alien world to be raised, never to be heard from again.

But... this is Hal we're talking about.  Sending this unplanned baby from an unknown parent to its homeworld was the sensible thing to do, especially when you already have three children you're barely keeping up with. But Hal's a xenophile and never does the sensible thing, so of course I let him keep the baby. That's him--Liam--in the black suit.

"Father,  I am not certain I understand this invisible box game."
"It's just for a photo op, kiddo; gimme a sec, I think your brother's gonna throw up again...
 Hey, there, sport! Little too much tequila last night...?"

I have mostly abandoned this pre-reboot universe; reboot Hal still lives with Kyro but they are just pals. Hal is single and parties with stewardesses (and Barry) at the disco I built for him at the back of the Coast City airport.

I'm sure that one would fit right in.

But I just love that kid Liam, so I occasionally go back during holidays to see how he's faring among the savages. And Hal is a great father (Level 10 Parenting).

"Father, my calculations indicate we've reached the optimum gift revelation period."
"Thanks, kiddo; we're gonna wait for Kyro, though."
"The foodgiver?" 
"Yeah, let's not call him that out loud, okay, kiddo?"

"Dad, please tell that little freak to get over here so we can open our presents?!"
"Elation! The foodgiver is here! I am ready for sustenance!"
"I swear, Hal, if he calls me that ONE MORE TIME--"
"Don't worry, Barry; I got this."
"Yeah, Hal; that sounds like it would be great."

"Father, everyone's minds agree that your gift to the foodgiver was embarrassingly substandard."
"Thanks, kiddo. Did you mean to telepath that? Cuz you said it out loud."
"OH! Mortification!"
"Don't sweat it, kiddo. Your turn!"

"I am helping to clean up the emulsified trash in this bag,
Father, as I deserve the Responsible Trait!'

"Liam, where's your brother?"
"... Father asked me to get rid of the trash."
"Hey, Bar, glad you could join us; lemme call you next week, okay?"

"Yeah, Hal; that sounds like it would be great."