Talk Shoe Q & A

Any questions:

RACHEL: Laughs. Yeah.

Pinstar: Laughs.

Rachel: Yeah. My head hurts, by the way. Just from listening. It is definitely well thought out and well planned out. Oh, my gosh. I cannot even imagine. Everybody calls me crazy for loving Toddlermania and playing it. I think you all are nuts for playing this. It scares me.

Pinstar: Laughs.

Rachel: Alright, it looks like Maxi has a question here, so we're gonna bring her on.

Pinstar: Alright.

Rachel: Hello! Thanks for joining us!

Maxi: Thank you. I have a question about the Adventure career track and career reward object. There's actually four questions relating to career reward objects.

Pinstar: Okay.

Maxi: Can any Adventure restricted career reward object be placed, including the Journalism reward?

Pinstar: Yes. You can place the object. You just can't use it.

Maxi: And does the Artist restriction restrict the use of the Rock Hammer assuming that the Rock God is deceased, but Adventure is unlocked?

Pinstar: Say that one more time?

Maxi: Okay. I have a Rock God, and I have a Rock Hammer in my house. I also had a Space Pirate unlock Adventure. Can we now skill and gain Creativity with the Rock Hammer?

Pinstar: Yes.

Maxi: Can we assume that until a Seasons career restriction is lifted that only a sim in that career track can skill with that object?

Pinstar: Correct.

Maxi: Can the Adventurer place his career reward object before reaching the top of his career?

Pinstar: Yes, but you can't use it. Well, I guess the - I'm trying to remember what the object was. Is that the one that's sort of like a snapdragon?

Maxi: That's the Unga Nunga stone.

Pinstar: Yeah, that's the uh - but you can place it once you earn it.

Maxi: OK. I have another question that relates to the Music restriction. Are cars amongst the things that cannot be placed outdoors while Music is restricted?

Pinstar: Cars may be placed outdoors. Yes. That is a noted exception. It'd be kind of difficult to, uh... I'd say it'd be able to survive the rigors of the outdoors. So, yes. My ruling is yes. Cars may be placed outdoors.

Maxi: Thank you. And, um, I guess I have just a couple more.

Pinstar: OK.

Maxi: It sounds like you consider having player sims call your apocalypse family - - it sounds like your opinion is that it is an unacceptable workaround for the Gamer restriction. Is that correct?

Pinstar: That is correct. Yeah. The idea of hopping onto another house that doesn't have the same restrictions and circumventing an in place restriction, that's not as good. Same with, uh, if you hop onto another player sim and throw a party and invite your apocalypse sims before the Show Business career is lifted. I would say, 'no' to building friends with your apocalypse family out of, uh - with another player sim.

Maxi: Thank you. Currently, um, giftgiving is unrestricted although you did rule that alien technology is not an acceptable gift for a founder to give to his intended spouse. Would that extend to other gifts as well in college?

Pinstar: Ah, yeah. Generally, it's not, uh... Because when you graduate college, you get $20,000 anyway. If you just basically empty your coffers right before graduating and give everything to your intended spouse only to receive the items back, that's 'an unacceptable workaround' as you put it.

Maxi: Well, the good news is I get to start a new challenge. And then, um, I think I have one more. It's about giftgiving. One of the people on kaleiope asked, 'is it OK for other player sims to gift the apocalypse family with pets?' and I'm guessing 'no'?

Pinstar: No.

Maxi: Is it OK for the apocalypse family to give gifts to non-household members?

Pinstar: Yeah. Once you've moved them back into the apocalypse house and are playing the main apocalypse family outside the founder in college mode, you may give gifts to non-household members.

Maxi: Old refrigerators, old toilets?

Pinstar: Yeah. As long as they can lift - - as long as they are strong enough to bring them into inventory. You couldn't give up old beds unless they were strong enough to lift them. But yes, you may do that.

Maxi: Thank you. I feel completely satisfied and I'm ready to be muted.

Rachel: Laughs. Okay. Thanks for all the questions. Okay. Um, I got a couple in email and so I apologize if you did answer them already.

Pinstar: That's okay.

Rachel: These are from Laurie.
-The first one you did answer about leftovers.
-Are objects allowed to be placed in covered areas without walls such as barbeques on a covered deck or balcony, cars or career rewards placed on ground level beneath a house on stilts such as the Witch Hut?

Pinstar: Yes, yes. Anything that has something over it counts as being covered for the purposes of the weather restriction. This includes - - technically something like the Bomb Shelter doesn't technically have a "roof" to it, quote unquote, but everything that's inside the bomb shelter is obviously considered not subject to the elements. So, that would extend to awnings, things with the house itself over it and whatnot.

Rachel: OK. Her other question is:
-Unrelated to Seasons, should offspring have to roll for or be able to choose their aspirations?

Pinstar: Um, for the time being - - I forget if I actually wrote that into the original challenge or not. I'm thinking I didn't, but give me one second to double check please.

Rachel: OK. Dee dee dee dee. Do do do do dee doop. Deep eep dee op eep eep. (singing)

Pinstar: Um, I don't believe I made that rule, so it's good to say that you may make any teenage sim any aspiration. And on that note, if you happen to have unlocked the whatever you call that, the personality reprogrammer either via the Science or Adventure career or if you've got Alien Technology, you could use that to change turn-ons, turn-offs and aspirations without any sort of penalty.

Rachel: Okie dokey. That made some people pretty happy in the chat. There are a bunch of 'yays'. "Yes!" Stuff like that. Laughs.

Pinstar: But you do need to unlock that object.

Rachel: Willow said, "Ha! Even Pinstar has to double check the rules!"

Pinstar: I make no claims to have this entire beast of a challenge memorized. When I actually was playtesting in the initial stages, I got my founder all through college, I got him all moved in. I used the Bomb Shelter as my first test thing. I finally got him to the top of a career, invited over his engaged spouse and threw a wedding party! Halfway through the party I'm like, "Crap! I'm not allowed to do this!" Laughs.

Rachel: Laughs.

Pinstar: Laughing. I do admit it's a lot to keep track of. But, yeah. Any other questions?

Rachel: Yeah.

Pinstar: Also on a note of accidental rule breaking; if you do accidentally break a rule, a big one for me even going past the playtesting stages is forgetting to pay the protection on a weekly basis, just fix your mistake - make up for it, and continue. As long as it was just an honest mistake, you don't need to consider failing the challenge because you forgot to pay the mob on Sunday or Monday.

Rachel: That is good news. Caitlin asks:
-What if the sim who goes to college can't afford to build a house with four walls and a foundation?

Pinstar: Uh, don't go to the college? Laughs. If you happen to have the Business restriction lifted you could send them off to community lots to work as barristas and bartenders to scrounge up enough cash to get something over their heads. But otherwise, I'd make sure that they have plenty of scholarships. Or at least enough to get a roof over their heads before you send them off to college.

Rachel: OK. I'm trying to look in the chat. Darby said,
-Adventure permanently unlocks one Alien Tech item? Not just a one time use of one?

Pinstar: Correct. You get to choose one category of Aspiration rewards like Thinking Caps. If you choose Thinking Caps,then you may use as many Thinking Caps as your sim's aspiration points allow. Not just being able to buy one item. That's be kinda - - like even my mind can't handle it. Laughs. And the same goes for the Science alien tech item. You unlock an entire class of items.

Rachel: Melissa wrote me an email. I'll read the entire paragraph.
-The rules state, "Once a great scientist emerges from the family, they can restore the knowledge of known technology so they may be produced in the area again. As well as repairing the power grid enough to use these gizmos and gadgets in the house, they also have a breakthrough technology inventing something that mirrors technology gained from the aliens. You may choose one type of aspiration reward object. Any sim may now buy and use that one type of aspiration reward, even if you haven’t lifted the Alien Technology restriction."

And then she said, "I assumed that meant everyone-" Oh! I think that's what someone just asked!

Pinstar: Yeah!

Rachel: "I assumed that meant that everyone can use the Energizer if that is the one aspiration reward."

Pinstar: Exactly.

Rachel: OK. "Am I correct in assuming that this also unlocks all things they weren't allowed to do under the Science career, like purchase lights, be allowed to use the robot bench, trash compacter, electric guitar - "

Pinstar: Exactly. Any restrictions in a given category, once you lift that particular category, all the restrictions just disappear. So, once you unlock Science, you can have Servos, you can buy TVs, play video games and buy lights and things like that. The only thing to always keep in mind is some items may be restricted in more than one case. Like, uh, the robot workbench is restricted both by Science because of the robotics, and by Business because it's a workbench.

Rachel: OK. Go ahead.

Pinstar: You need to lift both restrictions in order to use the robot workbench.

Rachel: OK. I think that answers- does that answer your question, Melissa?

Alright, um, Faithful Ace asks, "when you play, which restriction do you lift first?"

Pinstar: "Um, I played once at the playtesting and once for a real run. In playtesting, the first restriction I lifted was actually Artist, which is a very nontraditional choice. I found it actually quite useful because you'll notice very quickly that the two motive bars that are most difficult to fill with all the restriction is place are Fun and Hygiene. Fun has the most impact on mood of any of them, so I decided to go for Artist first. Then, Artists make a good sum of money, so I can actually keep the household in decently priced items and still afford to pay the mob. And then, secondly, I unlocked the Medical career. I really can't stand all the green clouds.

Rachel: laughs.

Pinstar: The second time I played through it, I did do the very popular Natural Science first. And found out for myself how broken the snapdragons were, which led me to adding the Business restrictions to them. Um, and followed up also by Medical.

If you want my tip, I'd say Artist is a good starter, but there's a lot of opening strategies out there. But Medical's definitely high on my list as well. Usually a good - I find Medical is a really good spouse unlocker, because that way you have showers and tubs by the time your offspring turn into children.

Rachel: OK. laughs I'm still trying to keep up.

Pinstar: laughs

Rachel: Yeah, definitely everyone in the chat: it's helpful everybody when you have a question, write "Pinstar" in front of it, and then I'll make sure that I actually see it. Cause I'm trying to keep track but it is really really hard. Let's see.. "Sebrosa?" (I'm terrible with names, if you ever listen to my show you'll know that) has a question. "Can sims take objects to college in their inventory?"

Pinstar: If they can carry them, yes. So, if you haven't unlocked the Athletic one, you can only carry up to 3, if you have unlocked it, then you can carry as many as you want. The only thing that I really don't really allow - this is both for the founder and for anyone afterwards - if they join up with the secret society, you can't raid the secret society house and bring back any of the objects that were originally there back in inventory with them, back to the apocalypse family house.

Rachel: Makes sense.

Pinstar: I mean, you can certainly visit the house and use the secret society items, but can't take them with ya.

Rachel: Okay. "Wilfox"? Says "Would it be acceptable to use the weather reward object to permanently make it winter instead of setting the seasons to 4 winters?"

Pinstar: Generally ah... I'd just say use the neighborhood one to make it all winter. If you have your AC in the same neighborhood that you play non-AC and you don't want it all winter, then just change the neighborhood weather thing back from all winter to W/S/S/F and then just change it back to all winter when you go back to playing Apocalypse. But, just because the weather machine has other effects that you're really not supposed to use, even if you unlock the alien technology, you still need to unlock weather before you can make use of it. It has some very powerful effects!

Rachel: Okay. And then Maxi asks, "is sethighestlevel cheat disallowed?"

Pinstar: Say that one more time?

Rachel: "Is sethighestlevel," that must be a cheat, she wants to know, is it not allowed?

Pinstar: Set highest level... I'm not familiar with that cheat.

Rachel: I don't know it either.

Pinstar: help me with that one -

Rachel: - she's requested -

. . .

Rachel: So helpful that you're on the phone, so you can clarify!

Maxi: Well, it says "all legacy families must roll for aspirations. No cheats are allowed except for all building cheats - and one of the building cheats is sethighestlevelallowed so that you can have higher than 4 levels.

Pinstar: OOOH, yes! Yes, you may use sethighestlevel cheat. Because that 8x8 space becomes very cramped very quickly, and you should be able to build a 'tower of Babel' if need be.

Maxi: Thank you.

Pinstar: So yes, my ruling is you may use the sethighestlevel cheat.

Maxi: And I'm sorry, I missed - the rolling for aspirations is that optional, or is that something that should be done.

Pinstar: That is optional. You may choose the aspiration when they grow up. If Maxis comes out with another expansion, a pack that adds more careers, that may become part of another career's restriction but for the time being, choose whatever aspiration you want when your sim grows up, because the challenge is hard enough with all the other restrictions.

Maxi: Thank you very much.

Pinstar: No problem.

Rachel: All right, let's see. Melissa wants to know, under business it says they cannot use any craft benches until bus. is lifted, yet they can craft one item per day.

Pinstar: That actually was a little bit of an artifact, because originally when I was tweaking the rules, I tweaked it down to one item per day, but then I still saw how disgustingly broken snapdragons were, so I amended it to "cannot craft anything until business is lifted." I guess I forgot to take out the "one item per day," so, if you have yours printed out, strike out the "one item per day" and replace it with the "can't craft anything until business is lifted." Once you have business lifted, you can craft as many items as you can. But bear in mind, because of the life of crime, you can only keep one from each bench on the lot at any given time until that's lifted as well.

Rachel: Ok. And then Deb wants to know, what restricts the use of the poker table and pool table?

Pinstar: Actually I don't think they're restricted. No, nothing - because they don't build creativity - yeah, they are actually not restricted, you can actually use them. Bear in mind obviously, since they're multi squared items, once you place them down you can't move them anywhere...

Rachel: LOL

Pinstar: ...until athletic is lifted. And with something as big as both the poker table and the pool table, especially with your 8x8 thing, those can be a bit of a behemoth to squeeze into your housing setup. But if you can do it, more power - and if you can afford it, and if you can afford to pay the protection on that big ticket item, then more power to ya.

Rachel: lol, alright, next question, 2 flower wants to know "can I build stealth stairs?" She says "one tile stairs to save space."

Pinstar: "Stealth stairs?" I'm not familiar with the concept.

Rachel: I have a house that I downloaded, basically it - it only uses up one square and you can't actually see the steps.

Pinstar: Oh. Yeah, I don't see why not. I meann, It's not like you're getting any more squares out of the deal. As long as you still use a full staircase to go between full floors. If you happen to have a slightly raised area, then you can go ahead and use the stealth stairs.

Rachel: Okay. Next question. Lorin says, "are the existing Seasons rules considered official?"

Pinstar: Oh, the ones that are still listed "in playtesting?" Yes. Consider them official at this point; I haven't seen too much to the contrary. Obviously, if something comes along or something completely throws them out of whack, like the snapdragons did my natural science rules, I may have to amend them but I try not to if possible, cause I know I caught a lot of flak for putting in the restrictions for the snapdragons. So, yes, consider them official. If you have Seasons and you're playing Apocalypse, go ahead and throw them into your challenge. I apologize for the lack of updates, both myself and my web maven, who I believe is on the chat now, as ImaginingMystic.
We've been pretty busy with aaaah "work and school" here, aaah, so we haven't had much time to update the site. But later this Summer we should come up with some good overhauls, and we'll make sure and clean up any of the sort of remaining artifacts in the rules, and move those Seasons rules over into the official rules section.

Rachel: 2 Flower wants to know "Can your sims steal food from a restaurant before culinary is unlocked?"

Pinstar: No. They can't even approach the podium and ask to be seated without culinary being unlocked. They can't even get the opportunity to steal.

Rachel: Ok. Deb wants to know "Would a fireplace have to be taxed by crime since it's a build item?"

Pinstar: Technically, no, because build items are technically exempt, so items like the pool, or elevators or fireplaces aren't technically taxed by life of crime. So that's one sort of luxury item that you can squeeze into the house, just be careful about what you place near it because you can't call for the fire department or law enforcement.

Rachel: Mm hm. Darby - I think this is sort of a joke - but "would you consider changing Tuesday phone hours to noon to midnight?"

Pinstar: Nope!

Rachel: LOL, cause it's easier I take it.

Pinstar: Oh yeah. No, it's, you're only meant to get a couple of waking hours out of that phone time.

Rachel: Maxi wants to know "have you playtested the gamer restriction?"

Pinstar: I have a little bit, I haven't quite as in-depth. If there's anything that's left to be tweaked to the Seasons restrictions, it would be the gamer restriction. It is a little borderline on the two-part, but once I give it a little more thorough testing I'll be able to make a final ruling on that, and if I find it too hard, I may very well make that phone restriction to the other side of noon, make it all afternoon instead of all morning. But for the time being, leave it be, and, like I say, once I have a bit more time I'll be able to play test it a bit more in depth. That's why I haven't moved it over to the "in playtesting" vs the official quite quite yet.

Rachel: Good idea. All right, Willow says "Can you put in a pool once medical is unlocked, but without music unlocked?" In other words, "does a pool need to be covered?"

Pinstar: I'd say no, because it's technically not an object, it's more of a terrain feature. And just as placing a tree for example once you've unlocked natural science because you don't need to cover a tree, so you don't neccessarily need to cover a pool.

Rachel: That's good. Melissa says "do you have to lift the 8x8 before a pool too?"

Pinstar: Well technically if you got real creative you could build one of those basement pools, make like a 5x8 pool in the basement with a ladder going down there, if you really really really wanted a pool, but I tend to use my basement as a mausoleum.

Rachel: Ok. FaithfulAce says "In playtesting what kind of stuff do you tweak?"

Pinstar: Usually, if I find there's an object that sort of skirts around the rules or if I find that restriction is just blatantly too hard, and does literally make it impossible to function, I'll either tighten or loosen the restriction as I see needed - a prime example being the snapdragons with the natural science, and also tuning up the life of crime, to make that a little more relevant. I found that once you have a couple of sims at work, and especially if one of those sims has a college level job, you're just rolling in money, and even with the life of crime's protection payments, it becomes a non issue, so LoC needed to have little more "oomph" to it originally.

Rachel: Okey dokey, Maxi wants to know "should hot tubs be properly restricted by medical?"

Pinstar: Yes. Actually yes - they are a water item, so yes, they are restricted by medical.

R: Okay

P: And they should be covered, by weather as well, because they are an "item."

R: Okay, sounds good. Wilfox says "can the weather machine be one of the science/adventure rewards you choose?"

P: Yes it can, but bear in mind you cannot use it until you also unlock the music restriction. So, if you choose science or adventure, and use that as one of the items, one of the ones to be unlocked, and then lift music to actually be able to use it, then yes. You can use the weather machine however you want.

R: Okie dokey. Here an email came in from Deb, let's see... but she already ...are we actually out of questions!? You guys don't have anything else?

P: Well bring 'em on!

R: Tell me if I missed anything. Oh! Slick is down here, he's not on the computer, he's just on the phone, so I am going to unmute him real quick to see if he has any questions. Hello!

Slick: Hello.

R: Glad you were able to make it!

Slick: Thank you.

P: What you got for me?

*talking at once*

R: LOLSorry, did you have any questions?

Slick: Ah, no. Actually I just called in to listen to the show.

R: Okay, yeah I just - since you didn't have the opportunity to request to talk or anything, chat, I just wanted to make sure that I had a chance to ask ya, so -

Slick: Well actually I thought I did have a question, but he did explain it to my satisfaction in the rules, so I'm okay.

R: Okay!

Slick: Thanks.

R: I'll mute you again. I'll make sure to come back to you before the end of the show -

Slick: Aah, don't bother. Don't bother.

R: Alright. Bye! And - it looks like Brent has requested to talk, so let's see what he has to say. Hi Brent!

Brent: Ok, all I wanted to say was "Slick Slick Slick Slick Slick" just....

R: LOL Ok.

Breant: So yeah you can mute me now.

R: LOL ok.

P: LOL

R: Uh, for anyone who hasn't listened to last time's show, Slick was sitting there saying "Brent Brent Brent Brent Brent" all the time... ...All right. Wilfox says "can the weather machine be -" oh. Wait. I already read that one. Allright, here's your next one. "Do you think you will have to modify the challenge after BV?"

P: I don't know enough about BV to be able to give you a real solid answer on that one. Once they come out with it, I'll take a spin through BV, I'll probably put through a few rules and tweaks, as obviously BV is going to all a few other things, yanno, and, it doesn't sound like they're adding any new careers with BV, so most likely any new gameplay mechanics or content mechanics will probably just be placed into existing restrictions, depending on their nature. I'm assuming that, like, the can't-go-away-on-vacation with the military, 'cause you can't travel - or something like that. I can't really give any details until I know more about BV.

R: Yeah.

P: But I'll definitely - I'll definitely be factoring BV into the apocalypse rules to keep it updated.

R: It's always hard, as a challenge writer to try to keep up, because everybody wants the new rules right away so they can keep going, but you're like - I gotta play the EP too!

P: Oh, and on that note, on a separate challenge, I will have the Seasons rules officially up on the site soon, for seasons, because I know a lot of people have been clamoring for that - and I have them written, it's just been a matter of getting them officially up on the site.

R: ____ real life stuff. Man, if we could just all just quit our jobs.

P: Yeah, I know.

R: Let's see. Darby says - it's not a question - just wanted to tell you you're a logistical genius, and thank you for creating this challenge. It's a riot.

P: Ah, no problem. No problem. I had no idea it would turn into the beast that is has now, but I'm happy I did it.

R: Melissa says, "how many have you tried vs. completed this challenge?"

P: I'm not sure - how many times have you tried - vs - aaah, how many times have I tried the challenge vs. how many times have I actually completed it?

R: Yeah.

P: I've - technically tried it twice, completed it once. The first time was - I was just for playtesting purposes so it was just sort of a throwaway family - but I have completed it once. Oh - I see Maxi has made a comment about the legacy t-shirts. I actually do have a small - I do have a small supply of those left, and if anyone wanted to purchase one, just shoot me an email. That was sort of a failed idea on that, but I still have some for sentimental value. And as far as apocalypse items? Well, the t-shirts kind of stung me, but if I can find a decent supplier, maybe go through cafe press or something like that, I might make apocalypse items. I also need to see if I can get in touch with my old buddy Sean who did the logo for the original apocalypse - or, maybe just find some other artist friend of mine, cause I'm not much of a drawer.

R: All right, Brent wants to speak again. So, we'll hear what he has to say -

Brent: Oh, I do? I didn't mean to press that button.

R/P: LOL!

Brent: I thawt I cancelled it. I pressed the cancel button -

. . .

maybe I pressed it and didn't know it. I was just gonna call and say, the whole thing that had "versus" in it? And explain it, but - yeah.

R: Oh! Okay.

P: The flavor text to the music restriction?

Brent: I... don't... know. 'S a... over... back... in the chat someone said "how many times have you tried vs. completed the challenge" - and I'se just gonna explain that.

P: Oh oh oh. My bad.

Brent: So...

P: My mistake, my mistake.

R: All right.

Brent: Well...

R: Bye again, Brent!

Brent: Okay. Hehe, okay, bye.

R: Wilfox says "Why isn't the Greek challenge you made on the site?"

P: Yeah, that's a good question. I actually never really liked the Greek challenge, just my own personal opinion. But if you'd like to, and if I can dig it up from my computer archives, I'll definitely put it up on there.

R: Yeah, I think we might have it in the TS2 challenges group actually. No we don't, I was kidding. Oh wait, there it is. We do have it, if you need it.

P: Yeah, it's just - I'll - see if I can find the original from my own archives, if not I'll just pull it up from there and put it up on the site.

. . .

R: Hehe, All right, goodness goodness! Well, your fiancee says "it's because I forgot to put it on there." *laughs* That's funny!

P: Yes, she - she is my "web maven" she - she - her her "html mojo's" a LITTLE bit, uhh - better than mine. So - ahh - she does, she's.... she's... actually in charge of most of the site updates. Although admittedly, neither of us are professional web designers by any measure.

R: Yeah, it's hard to find someone that you both love, and is a webmaster.

P: And, we can't really afford to commission a web master to make us a site, and - we don't have that much money!

R: Brent actually, this was a long time ago - since we're running out of AC questions, or so it seems. He asks "how did you first get into Sims 2, and any of the Maxis games"

P: Well, my original love of Maxis games came with the Super Nintendo version of SimCity. When I first got the Super Nintendo, when I was... I wanna say 8 or 9? I belive that was the first game I got with it. That's also the origin of my screen name Pinstar, because that was the name I randomly gave my first city that actually was successful on that game. So I sort of stuck with that as my psudonym on the internet, wherever I go. And then anything that came out from Maxis, I picked up. Sim Ant, Sim Copter, SC2000, the Sims original et al, and just - Sims 2 came out? I picked it up because it was Maxis. And that's pretty much how I got into it.

R: Cool. So now we have a tiny but of Pinstar trivia there: where the name came from.

P: Yup.

R: Lorin wants to know, "what made you think of the apocalypse challenge?"

P: Actually I have to give a little bit of credit to my fiancee for this one. She - WE were sitting down and talking about the legacy challenge, and I was bouncing around some ideas in my head for a new challenge, and she was thinking like, "oh, well maybe a challenge about getting people up to the end of the careers" and I thought, eh - it's kind of easy. A skilled player can get a sim up to the top of a career pretty easily, and you can't really make a challenge out of that. Or CAN you?

R: Hehe.

P: So then I started thinking of "well, how would I make it difficult for someone to reach the top of a career." Well.. and then the AC was born. So I have to give her a little credit on getting the train going on the AC construction, and then once the gears were set in motion I just went nuts with it.

R: Yeah, I can tell.

P: LOL. I'll give you challenge writers out there a little insight. The best time and the best place to write challenges is when you are bored at work.

R: LOL!

P: There is no more creativity-inspiring place than sitting in a cubicle when your supervisor is at a meeting, and typing away at challenge rules rather than doing work.

R: Hehe, and my public service announcement or disclaimer is: do not do that unless you wanna get fired.

P: Hahah! I'm not saying do that in place of your job, just - you know - little 15 minute break, pull up a file... minimize, go back to work.

R: I have been known to do that on my lunch break, so that's not -

P: Hehe

R: Darby said: "I think you should submit the AC idea to Maxis for production in a stand alone console game."

P: Ah, you know actually, I actually tried that with the legacy challenge. I asked them - When I first saw them coming out with those Stuff Packs, those little micro-expansion packs, I thought, hmm, that's the perfect bite-sized package to have something like a LC or an AC put into it. And I had a contact there when I was originallly invited to Sim Con, back when University was released, but I have not heard back from them. I might try to renew my efforts on that or try to get an online thing going to Maxis saying "make this into a game" cause I'd love to see my challenges made into sort of like an expansion pack, or a console, or a standalone, or a stuff pack - something like that.

R: Or like a Sims 3 sort of deal?

P: Yeah, exactly - something that - if it was programmed into the actual game, keeping track of all the rules wouldn't be quite so hard, because the game actually would just grey out the items you weren't allowed to use, and just not have the interactions you weren't allowed to do, appear on the choices of things to do, so it would actually make playing the challenge a little more streamlined, without having to remember all these rules.

R: No kidding. I'm thinking that's like half the battle, just trying to remember them.

P: Yeah, exactly, exactly. And they'd have things like - it would automatically take the LoC mob dues every week.

R: Yeah.

P: Maybe have like a mobster spawn and come and put the bills in your mailbox rather than the mail carrier.

R: LOL - that would definitely be, It would take a lot of the headache out of it. I probably wouldn't get a headache just hearing about all the rules.

P: Exactly, and the same thing with the LC, cause that thing has become a bit of a beast with every EP that comes out, and having something that would automatically keep track of your points, and your handicaps, and everything like that would allow you focus more on just playing the game.

R: Mm Hmm.

P: So yeah, something like that, I would love to do, if I could just get in touch with Maxis, slash EA and just get the ball rolling on that. But - I don't know their stance on dealing with - someone like me I guess.

R: Yeah.

P: The only real example I have in mind, and this is going completely across genres - is the guy who did the counter strike mod for half life two, but he went and built the mod, and then sumbitted it for official support. I'm not a modder by any means. I couldn't write the entire expansion myself and then submit it to Maxis to have that go under their label or something like that. So - if there are any Maxoids listening out there, I'm definitely interested in this.