Explanations All Around

What Just Happened?

This marks the end of season five and the mid-way point in a ten-generation (ten season) legacy. If you are just now tuning in or perhaps in need of a refresher, I feel that at this point some explanation is in order.

For those who have not read the page that describes this legacy, allow me to paraphrase its design:

In this legacy instead of starting with one founder and designating one heir in each subsequent generation, we start with a total of 16 founders who are paired into eight couples (see season one). Those eight households produce any number of children and from those households we find eight heirs – one from each household.

The eight members of gen-2 are coupled to form four households (see season two) and from those four households we found our four gen-3 heirs (see season three): Sawyer Clemens, Rochelle Stoney, Romero Goombah, and Julie Poindexter (see cast of characters).

In season 4, the two gen-4 heirs from the Sawyer/Rochelle Clemens and the Romero/Julie Goombah households had been born, but they had not yet come of age. While waiting for the next generation to grow up, I had a lot fun writing the four story arcs that made up season four: The Election, Mark & Morgan, the Death of Jamie Stoney and Huckleberry & Sheena.

Long before I put the finishing touches on season four, I was struggling with how to write season 5. According to the original plan, season five culminates in the heir of the union of the two gen-4 being joined by 15 other Sims plucked from the 5th generation. In addition, I needed to come up with some sort of gimmick to make this all happen.

As I wrote at the end of season four, the idea at that time was to introduce an outsider and possible move the entire cast or some of them to another town. At the time I was struggling with just how to do that and on top of that I was having problems with on-going performance lag.

I tried out a couple ideas and at least one that involved re-locating the town’s population to a new world, but nothing really worked for me until I came up with the idea of moving a new family into town and using one of those family members as the main focus for a while. This character was Mike Dutranoy – a character who I had created for a previous story. The idea was that Mike, an outsider, would provide continuity while the fifth generation was being born and raised.

When I started season five I was not too sure where things were going and you definitely get the sense of that in first three episodes. I was definitely starting to ramble.

Then a couple events occurred within the game that saved the story. This is why I like Sim storytelling because the Sims (and the game) act in random ways that help to motivate the story in fun and interesting ways.

The first event was in episode nine where Sheriff Sawyer arrests Mike for fooling around with his daughter. What actually happened was that during Raquel’s party a patrol car pulled up in front of the house because Mike had broken curfew. I thought this was really dumb considering that he was among adults and on private property, but I went with this and I turned it into a plot twist.

The second event that changed the course of things was after Mike had turned himself into a vampire. Mike went to the hospital to steal plasma and after he was coming outside, he came face-to-face with Jacqueline Clemens. She was a character from an earlier season who was originally meant to be one of the gen-3 heirs. Instead the crown went to her brother Sawyer. She was also turned into a vampire and then into a Plantsim. When I saw her make an appearance, a light bulb went on and the story took a new turn from there. I said this girl needs to have her “rest of the story” told!

I still had not solved the problem of how to introduce the gen-5 heirs. Originally, there was only supposed to be only one gen-5 heir from the union of Huckleberry Clemens and Sheena Goombah, but when Sheena had twins I decided not to decide which one would be the heir and that both would become the first two of a total of 16 heirs.

The next step was to pick the other 14 Sims. To help me do this I used a feature in the NRAAS Master Controller mod to export the genealogy of the town. I then imported the gedcom file into a free family tree application. This allowed me to explore the family trees of Twin Bayous.

My criteria was that the candidates be in the fifth generation from the original sixteen founders, that I choose eight boys and eight girls, and that the descendants be evenly distributed across all sixteen founders. In other words, that there be at least one descendant from, say Mark Clemens, or say Victoria Lincoln, and that they not be bunched up on one side of the tree.

The fact that some were in same immediate family only made it easier for me because that meant that there were fewer households that I needed to switch to.

Once I identified the 16 gen-5 heirs, I needed a way to introduce these characters within the framework of the story. Just thinking about the sixteen town founders gave me the idea for the Founder’s Day Centennial Essay Contest. It also gave me a chance to pull Tabitha LeFey back into the story before she died.

Now it is on to season six.

What Will Happen Next?

While I have my explaining hat on, I feel it is necessary to explain something about season six.

Many of you, I am sure, remember the 80’s/90’s TV show Roseanne starring Roseanne Barr. Do you remember the eldest daughter Becky? In seasons 1 through 5 and part of season eight, Becky Connor was played by Lecy Goranson. In seasons 6 through 9, the character was played by Sarah Chalke. However, throughout the show no one ever said anything about there being a Becky 1 and Becky 2. (Actually they did poke fun at this in the closing credits of an episode in season 8 – see below).

There was also a similar case in the beloved TV show from the 1960’s, Bewitched starring Elizabeth Montgomery. For the first five seasons of the show, Samantha’s husband Darrin Stephens was played by Dick York. Then in 1969, Mr. York was replaced by Dick Sargent who played the character for the remaining three seasons.

In the case of Bewitched, the show went on and nothing was ever said about the fact that the Darren looked and sounded different and we the viewers happily went along with it.

I am telling you about this for a reason. After careful consideration, I have decided that starting in season six I will be using a different world to represent the town of Twin Bayous. There are a number of reasons for my wanting to do this – boredom is one and technical difficulties is another. As I have mentioned in previous posts, at some point in time I started experiencing performance issues that have at times made playing the game a not so pleasurably experience.

The town that I have chosen to be the new Becky – I mean Twin Bayous – is a modified Roaring Heights. Following the instructions that I founded in an article at NRAAS, I modified the EA World “Roaring Heights” in CAW and I discovered that the world is much larger than it appears and it is actually an island. I built roads to the other side of the island and created a little university town over there. I have wanted to play in this town for some time now and finally came up with the idea of making this modified Roaring Heights the replacement Twin Bayous for the remaining five seasons of “The History of Twin Bayous”.

As in the cases of Becky and Darren, not a word shall be said about the town being a different world and I am certain that my readers will accept this, just as the viewers of Roseanne accepted Becky 2.

Look for season six starting on June 1st.

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