Something really miraculous happened over the last couple of weeks…
No…it wasn’t that I got my life back after almost two years of “wedding planning” while doing everything else in my crazy, busy, life. It’s that I got my TOWN back…or at least got it back to a place where I can SEE the stuff that makes it special.
I had an unwitting accomplice in this…AT&T (and a bunch of my daughters). It’s complicated, but had to do with everyone coming into town for the wedding, and all needing to get new phones, and AT&T having some crazy combo deals on both phone upgrades, but also a bonus on getting an iPad for next to nothing… See where this is going? Not clear enough yet?
Well keep reading…
What happened, is that I got both a new iPhone 8+, as well as a new iPad Air2, during a time when I was completely broke from the wedding…that last part has nothing to do with TSTO, and everything to do with miracles.
But. where the TSTO part comes in, is that for more than two years, I have been playing TSTO on my phone, because the game became too large, and unplayable on my old iPad. The resolution and clarity of the new iPad has made me re-appreciate some of the hilarious details in the animation of our little towns, and made me want to “know more,” about some of the the things I rediscovered (once I could see them).
I won’t go into the details on everything…but, suffice it to say, there are countless little gems of details that are on every building we get. It is the kind of detail that makes me know that the animators still love what they are doing, and don’t mind a little joke here and there. After all, it is the Simpsons, right?
This also leads me into a couple of confessions…
I have been KEM farming since the first of the event update (casual, turned to non-casual). And it has weirdly added more value to what has become a bit of a 4-hour grind. Sadly, there isn’t much “story” or dialogue in this event, even though there is plenty to support that we seem to be headed toward our own dystopian nightmare in real life, if you look at the headlines. That said, by KEM farming, I have been able to EAsily afford all of the Outland buildings, and even broke down to get Wendell, which has it’s own “inside joke” associated with the pizza parlor.
I said I would never get Wendell, because I HATE to barf…but, I relented, when the rest of the TSTO Management Team, during the last Addicts Live, told me it was at the top of the “bracket battle.” Who is going to argue with Safi?
So…maybe I am just over-reaching to connect headlines to TSTO, but the sign on the pizza parlor seems to relate to “Pizza-Gate,” the extreme, right-wing-whack-job-Alex-Jone’s obsession for a while...before he recanted.
Like I said…these guys love their work…and tweaking politics on the nose.
There are also hidden messages in the animation that are beyond conspiracy theories (or seem to create their own). For the first time, I zoomed in…all the way in…to the “Newark Newark” sign in my casino/country club area, and saw the fine print on the sign.
When I was trying to see this…I always thought it has something to do with old-time comedian, Rip Taylor. But, once I could see it plainly, it was R.I.P. Taylor Negron. For those of you who don’t remember who Taylor Negron is, you aren’t alone. He is one of those, “Oh…THAT guy...” actors who had one or two memorable parts, and then a ton of one-time-only parts on sitcoms, or B movies. His primary credit to remember, was in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. But, someone on the staff of the Simpsons, or EA, was a friend…and used this little slice of our Springfields to pay homage. Here is more on Taylor...RIP.
But I was curious, if the sign actually appeared in a Simpsons episode, or if that detail was added later in TSTO.
The answer is creepy...and more than a little unusual in its foreshadowing!
Viva Ned Flanders” is the tenth episode of The Simpsons‘ tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 10, 1999. And the sign, most certainly does appear in the episode…here is a screen grab.
OK…weird. And I’m just glad that I didn’t have a cameo on that episode, or I might already have “croaked!”
Back to lighter discoveries…
With my rash of KEM farming crop, I was easily able to afford “Snuggler’s Cove” on Valentines. And with it, beside some pretty funny dialogue, comes yet another GREAT Sound Effect.
I am sound guy…I’ve had a studio for most of my adult life, and have done a variety of sound effect creations for various productions, back in the day. And so when I hear something as distinctive as this…
—after I am done laughing at the obvious.. I start to think, “OK…how did he make that sound?”
Foley artists are the guys who add the sounds into a movie, way after the original film has been edited. They often have to recreate everything from footsteps, to heads being exploded (in a dystopian movie, there are lots of heads being exploded) to two people “snuggling” on a bed. The reason this has to be cut in, is that during filming, there is just too much ambient sound (background noise) on most locations, or even closed sound stages to work in the final cut. So these guys have to go back and match action with sounds they create.
I tried to figure out how the TSTO/Gracie folks made the sound of the bed creaking (I am assuming it is a bed, and not Homer’s back), but the closest I could come was moving a plastic straw, up and down a plastic lid, while squeezing an old wooden clothes pin close to the microphone. Yes. My wife thought I had lost my mind.
I love the sounds in this game. There are loads and loads of them that just make me laugh. I love to “Air Play” them through my Bluetooth speakers…it drives my wife nuts (it’s a short trip).
Yes… I finally got the Damn Dam that I wrote about a few weeks back…and enough land to move things around to be able to place it next to my homage to Mt. St. Helens and Spirit lake. I lifted part of my dam design from a neighbor (the dinosaur part) but added some other features to make it my own. The water sound is beautiful…but makes me need to go to the bathroom if I have had to much coffee…
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE..
Ironically, during what some are calling a “Meh Event,” I am really enjoying my game, my town, and all of the little details with a renewed freshness. Me. CrankyOldGuy…stopping to smell the fresh air of the mist coming off of the dam. OK. So maybe I’m just trying to escape the real world a little too much…but, I really love that damn dam!
What are YOUR favorite “little details” in your town? What are YOUR favorite sound effects? And, do you remember who Taylor Nigron is?
Let us know…we love to hear what you have to say…really.