Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The Memory Lane Challenge

I was nominated by the fabulous Lillielove to participate in the Memory Lane challenge! Many thanks to you - I'm looking forward to recalling a few of my favourite Miskin moments!

Here are the rules:
  1. Congratulations! You’ve been nominated for a totally legit award. Get a gold star and stick it on your forehead like a boss.
  2. Share FIVE of your favourite moments from your legacy/challenge/story so far.
  3. Nominate 3-5 blogs to do the same. 
 So, first things first...

I could have put one on my forehead, but sharing is caring, so gold stars for everyone!

Now, in no particular order, here are my five favourite Miskin moments thus far!

(This should be obvious, but SPOILER ALERT for those who haven't read the legacy!)


5: Montague's Deal with Death

I feel this was a defining moment for the legacy, as this marks when the Miskins went from being a typical family to having more unusual, unique characteristics in each generation. The consequences of Montague's arrangement led to Mordecai being more free-spirited and rebellious, which itself was a catalyst for Milo and Miranda's birth, and so on. 

It also led to a darker, harsher side of the usually comedic Montague being displayed as he desperately tried to reclaim control of his family's destiny. I thought that was a interesting juxtaposition.

This was also one of the only times I've ever successfully negotiated with Grim in my game, so that's pretty cool! Plus, Myron got his meet his second grandson!


4: The Birth of Milo and Miranda

Carrying on from the above point... I love alien babies. I've constantly tried to get some little green bubbas in my Sim families ever since the days of The Sims 2. I feel they have great storytelling potential (as shown here and in my first Sims work, Michael Lee Harker - Intergalactic Sim of Mystery), and are generally cool additions to the game. 

Thus, when I set out to write a legacy, a Tolerant Species Law was a must, in the hope I'd one day have an alien heir. This came to pass with Milo Miskin, and I was thrilled it happened so early on in my legacy.

The birth of Milo and his twin sister Miranda also brought about the resolution of the Montague/Mordecai conflict plotline, as our comedian patriarch realised what matters most in a family is love, not honour. (I always was a sucker for a happy ending.)


3: Marcel's Multiple Offspring


Now, a major goal in any legacy is to sire heirs, right?  It's a given. Children are needed to form the next generation. Given that there was a strong family/marriage dynamic all through the legacy, and none of the heirs had fathered more than three children, I decided to shake things up by making Marcel - himself a single child essentially born out of a compromise - somewhat more... "productive".

I was highly tempted to carry out something of an alphabet baby challenge with Marcel, and have him sire a total of 26 children over his lifetime. However, gameplay-wise, it was hard enough wooing the women needed to father the seven he ended up with (his eighth, Minerva, was the result of an alien pregnancy), and I wanted him to be able to bond with his little ones whilst working towards his goals in the Artist career. (He needs money to support his family, after all!)

This approach has also paid off from a storytelling perspective. Having twin boys from his first union has created a dilemna for Generation Seven right off the bat, as there is now something of a succession crisis. Both Mitch and Marius have an equal claim to the legacy... but only one of them can become the next heir. Who will it be? And what of their father's romance with the mysterious Maven? Watch this space, folks!


2: My Colourful Lady - Zara van Halen Miskin

Another Miskin spouse that holds a special place in my heart is Zara. Originally intended purely as a minor side character, and to be Miranda's supportive best friend, I grew to love her kindness, optimism and colourfulness (reflected in her Traits), and decided that she was destined to become Milo's bride. The birth of her and Milo's triplets - the only multiple birth beyond twins thus far - was a magical moment in the story, and her enduring love for her husband and children seems to have made her an audience favourite. Courageous and confident to the end, she concluded her long life by putting the firecracker Roxy in her place!

However, people's overwhelmingly positive response to Zara makes me happy for another reason. Myron Miskin may have come from a world of nobility and tradition, but I wanted the story of his descendants to represent the diverse society in which we live. As a believer in equal rights, I considered it vital to feature characters from a diverse range of backgrounds, and to also represent different types of relationship and sexuality. Matthias and Aaron's love was the first same-sex relationship to appear in the legacy - with Louisa and Cheyenne following later. As for Zara, she was transgender - thanks to EA's brilliantly progressive gender options in-game.

Milo and Zara's relationship was more in the spotlight than the others mentioned, purely due to Milo being an heir to the legacy. Due to Milo's alien heritage and his own unusual birth, I decided that he and his colourful bride would be able to conceive children naturally, thus meeting the traditional bloodline requirement. But, even if they had not, I wanted the story of their family and children (biological or otherwise) to be of equal importance and standing to those of Milo's forebears, and to feel just as special and romantic. After all, relationships of that nature are just as special and romantic as those of other couples.

I was also keen to portray Zara as a passionate, accepting person who was very proud of who she was - as those in the LGBT+ community should feel able to express themselves freely and accept themselves, and be accepted by others, for who they are. I had high hopes that she would be likeable, joyful, and respected.

I would continue to welcome feedback from the LGBT+ community in regards to these portrayals, and I hope these characters come across as respectful and encouraging rather than being negative images.


1: Mac and Roxy

Just... Mac and Roxy, full stop.

I had various goals for the fifth generation. I wanted to craft a friendship/love story that lasted from childhood to death (theirs does), I hoped to add some dramatic and tense moments (the basement event), and I intended to show a rockier, more complex relationship then the hasty courtships and marriages of previous Miskin heirs. 

Hopefully, I achieved those goals with those two, and on the whole, I'm very pleased with how this generation turned out. I'm quite proud of the basement and hospital scenes in particular.

Mac is probably my personal favourite out of the Miskin Heirs. Due to his good nature and longing to help others (again highlighted in his Traits), he essentially became the legacy's quintessential "good guy", and I grew to adore him during gameplay. Making him suffer for Roxy's love, and the whole basement affair, felt like kicking a puppy. I soon concluded that randomness be damned - I would guarantee him his fairytale ending one day. He deserved nothing less.

Roxy, I know, is less liked than some of the other Miskin spouses - such as Lily and Zara. This is completely understandable, and likewise, was sort of intended. I wanted her to be flawed, to have issues and make mistakes - not to be the natural wife and mother that some of her predecessors were. I felt this would ultimately make her a bit more realistic, and thus, more interesting as a character. In hindsight, I might have made her a bit too unsympathetic in places, but hopefully, this made Mac and his struggles more endearing.

There was never any question in my mind that these two belonged together... it just took them a while to figure it out!

I hope you enjoyed this trip down Memory Lane, folks! My nominations are my fellow Boolpropians cynicalbadger, orangeplumbob and Pony - for any legacy of theirs that they wish!