Casus Bella: 35 – Notes for A Chapter That Didn’t Get Written


Enkeli Starwing settled in at one of the computers at Yuma Heights. On the eve of her first day on the Astronaut Career Track, she had come here to Practice Programming for four hours.


Her Moodlets were positive when she began, and her Needs meters all high. Her Needs seemed to decay slowly and her mood only got more elevated as her Programming skill improved. She would be fine for a while on her own.


The invisible floating camera watched as the game cycled through the Practice Programming animations a time or two, pausing now and then to position itself for screenshots.

Its mind wandered. It wondered what the actual residents of Yuma Heights were doing.


The camera enjoys observing Sims when they were fully autonomous, and so do I. I like seeing how they really act when I’m not controlling them, and I try to adjust how I play them to how they really act.

Down a short hall, Debbie Van High was employing some serious body English in a game of BlicBloc.

She doesn’t look like she’ll be going anywhere soon.


I hold down the ‘Q’ key and the camera drops through the floor. With a bit of maneuvering, it finds Allison Skinner practicing guitar in the kitchen while Thalia Osborne makes coffee.

I wait. I want to see if they autonomously interact and how that will play out.

They truly did not like each other when they first met; that was not my doing. That their relationship continued to decay early on? That … was kinda my fault.


Their animosity became story fodder. More than once over the past few months, I have directed each to initiate negative interactions with the other, to see where that story led.

From watching them, and some other input, I came to the conclusion that their animosity was rooted in resentments that Thalia harbored from her early childhood on this hard drive.


Those resentments manifest as thinly veiled Angry Moodlets and Mean Whims directed at her original Player, Eric Lewis, shortly after she arrived at the SIMposium with her future mother-in-law.

As Eric’s longtime associate and best friend, Allison knew Thalia’s anger was misdirected, and leapt to his defense.


That was all weeks ago, however. Thalia has worked out those issues by now, and her relationship with Allison has been improving steadily.

But usually one or both of them is a member of the active household when I see them together, so it’s nice to know they really get along well, even when I’m not micromanaging their interactions.

Thalia chatted away while Allison focused on her scales. Something was troubling Thalia, and I watched to see if she brings it up.

She maintained a cheerful demeanor through the interaction, however. Whatever is troubling her, she didn’t discuss it with Allison.


Nor did she stay in the interaction long after the coffee was done. She took her cup and wandered out of the kitchen as the other two resident SimsSelves walked in.

The Players represented by Jamie Rose and Jessica Brown have a friendship forged in their common interest in Sims fan fiction. They even do some sort of YouTube thing together. So, it is nice to see that their SimSelves here have also become Best Friends.


They both came here (almost a year ago in real time) to take part in local events for the SIMposium for Game-Aware Sims. Jamie agreed to stick around after the SIMposium to attend Allison Skinner’s wedding.

Jamie is Allison’s fairy godmother. The daughter of a fourth-generation Legacy spare, Allison came here as part of the multi-Sim trade that sent Thalia to Skinnerville.


It seemed to make sense that Jessica would want to stick around to help Jamie plan her fairy goddaughter’s wedding, and Jes2G agreed.

I imagine they’re discussing the wedding plans in this screenshot. Jamie is probably trying to talk Jessica into designing a second wedding chapel at the old Desert Leaders campus center and hosting the wedding there …


… and Jessica is probably explaining why all that isn’t necessary.


Something draws Allison into the interaction. Maybe it’s all the talk about her wedding?

Or maybe she’s explaining why she had to let Enkeli Starwing play through for the day, and why they need to throw a birthday party for Rose Fletcher when they get back from shopping for a wedding dress.


And maybe Jessica expresses some amused impatience with all the delays and subplots that keep cropping up. This is a wedding, after all, and she has a tight itinerary all planned out. She’s probably explaining that, if they plan to host this wedding before their week at the top of the rotation is over, they really need to stick to the itinerary.


It is not hard to imagine that Jamie would back Jessica up on this point …


… nor that the Chat would evolve into a Deep Conversation as Jamie tries to pass some fairy godmotherly advice on to young Allison.


Debbie wanders into the Chat.

I once asked her Fleshy for guidance on how Debbie might react to a particular awkward situation. She wrote back that Debbie would probably try to figure out what was going on, and then try to make some lame joke to break the tension.


Debbie actually seems to behave that way in-game. I’ll often see her in the background of a screenshot, observing the action in the foreground and chuckling to herself.

She seems to be doing it now. This is probably her telling the lame joke she came up with …


… and it seems to have had the desired effect.


Debbie keeps the banter light and comical while Jamie remains in the Chat …


… but turns serious the moment Jamie disappears around the corner.

I imagine she could have mustered the courage to complain about the fact that her turn in the neighborhood rotation was skipped.


Three times, if you count Enkeli’s current mini-turn.

But if that was the issue, why did she hesitate to raise it while Jamie was still within earshot?


Could it be that Debbie is raising a concern about Jamie? This is no Gossip interaction. If she is talking about Jamie behind her back, it is out of concern …

I wonder what might worry her about Jamie…

I only have two concerns about Jamie. She seems to scowl a lot, but I attribute that to the fact that she is a Loner who has been forced to live in large multi-Sim households, hosting and attending frequent parties while here.


My other concern is that Jamie, while friends with everyone else in the household, deeply dislikes Thalia. Has Debbie picked up on that?

Whatever it was, Debbie ends the Chat with a joke and heads to the coffee pot.

I direct the camera into the living room …


… and find Thalia trying to explain something to Jessica. Maybe I’m reading too much into the body language, but Thalia seems to be serious, yet somewhat detached. Could she be discussing whatever has been troubling her?

It would make sense. Jessica is Thalia’s best friend in this Saved Game. If she was going to confide in anyone, it would be her.

I probably should stop taking notes and start paying attention.




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