As a reminder, the acronym for Designing In Downtime is DID (as in “look what I DID!”). Because let’s face it, design is a personal thing. And when it comes to filling downtime, there is nothing more personal than how YOU do it.
But, I am writing this. So, for now, we will focus on how I DID it. Get it? Got it? Good!
If you have been tapping for any extended length of time, you have no doubt formed habits that may border (or actually be) determined clinically to be aspects of Obsessive or Compulsive behavior. As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to TSTO, that’s fine. It relaxes me. It makes me laugh. And I can quit anytime I choose… right? RIGHT???
OK. Maybe not.
But, with all of the recent content, as well as the chance to go back and load our towns up with old/new content through the Year Book, I have found that I have added a few “must do” tasks to my list of rituals. And, not coincidentally, they can/will force me to spend more than just 5 minutes every 4 hours, to do what MUST be done. This is even more obvious during Down Time (which is pretty much ALL of the time these days…as I finished this “event” 11 days early) but, I digress.
Let’s take a look at some of the things that I HAVE to do every cycle...and you can compare it to your list.
Some of these will be redundant (if you have been a longtime reader)…but then again, the very topic of this article is about rituals, which are, by their very nature, redundant! So…give me a break. All of the greatest religions are formed out of rituals. So that can’t be all bad, right? RIGHT???? (Yes. I am a bit defensive about my habits/rituals/addictions).
The title of this post is “Rituals That Give Back.” The meaning implied, is that you are actually getting something out of the ritual. A quid pro quo, so to speak.
But, there are many ways to be “rewarded” from a ritual (outside of the satisfaction of checking them off of your list every few hours). The primary reasons I have for my rituals can be clumped into three distinct categories:
1. Humor (they make me laugh)
2. Animation Appreciation (the animation makes me laugh or relate)
3. Revenge (There is a rueful purpose associated with the task, which makes me laugh, and fills my heart with purpose).
The first two are pretty easy to understand, the last one a bit more complicated.
Humor (they make me laugh). To be fair, they all make me laugh. But these are “every damn time I see them” kinds of laughs.
Lunch Lady Dora – Grinding Gym Mats– This is hilarious to me, because the slaughterhouse is in close proximity to Fat Tony’s compound, Springfield Downs, Duff Beer, and the Pet Cemetery. The implication, is that gym mats might be the healthiest thing Dora grinds there.
Jesus Christ –Feel Sad Nobody Remembers His Birthday – This animation, and the dialogue that goes with it is simply perfect. The image of Jesus, whining in the various forms of heaven I have built, just makes me laugh. Nothing like a petulant Son, who has everything…whining to his Father about being forgotten.
Stephen Hawking – Rocket Around Town – If anyone deserves to be happy in the afterlife, defying the very law of physics that plagued his real life (gravity) it is Stephen Hawking. He looks overjoyed…so his smile is infectious!
Ramrod- Hit the Open Road. There are a number of characters that can ride motorcycles in our game. But, I have Ramrod “trapped” in my Shelbyville…and it reminds me of “Easy Rider,” or “the Wild Bunch.” Gotta love it.
Animation Appreciation The name says it all. I just like to watch what happens with a couple of these.
Nikkie McKenna- Shred at the Springfield Skate Park and Mighty Pigs skating Rink.
This is a “two-fer” in that I get to watch Nikkie shred (taking me back to my skateboard days) and then can watch the great animation when you tap the Mighty Pigs skating rink. Both…just cool animations.
Principal Dondelinger – Practice Putting Game
This one should be obvious, after all of the time I spent building my golf course. But, this animation cycle, of watching PD make, miss, and mash putts, is really funny. It does however, also make the horrible scale of the buildings very obvious…unless PD has suddenly grown to 9 feet tall.
Mindy-Work on Tan and Radioactive Man – Shirk Responsibilities
This is an “oldie but a goody” and another Two-Fer. Mindy looks great in her two-piece, and Radio Active Man is hilarious, sunning on his rooftop, staring at Mindy below. Mindy has been “tanning” for years now…which can’t be good for her skin. However, if she and RadioActive man ever “get together for some adult recreation” after watching the mini-series “Chernobyl,” I have to think coming in contact with Radioactive Man, may be harder on her skin than the sun.
Femme Fatale and Sky Finger- Do Dangerous Gymnastics. I covered this one in my first installment of DID. But, it’s worth a second look. And maybe a third. The most dangerous part of these gymnastics is to those who stare while walking on the pier…and might fall into the water. There are rituals, and then there the kinds of rituals that keep the Sky Finger happy. This is one of those.
OUTLANDS Characters- In my overall design scheme, I have an area that encapsulates a bit of the “End Times” in perspective. Next to my “Heaven of many flavors” area, I have my “After the Big One” Outlands area,” where all of the survivalists go to “survive” after the “big one.” There, the Ice Bishop of Beverly Hills is always “Broadcasting his Message,” Howard K. Duff is “Giving out Samples” (spooging the world with freebies), Meathook is reciting poetry to the motorcycles, which have taken on a Stephen King two-wheeled version of Christine, and Maggie is “Improving Outland Social Skills” while fending off bullies from a tree.
These are all clever animations…and make me remember why I want to die in the first wave when the “big one” hits.
This category also includes a couple of “gate keeper” tasks that keep things in my Springfield safe and protected from doing harm on a greater scale.
Cocoa Beanie –Get Beat Up I don’t know why I hate Cocoa Beanie so much. But it may be that I believe that he is actual smuggling cocaine in his suite (a different kind of bean for sure). I hate the way he walks around town smirking. So I love seeing the kids “kick him in the beans.”
Herman and Agnes- Where they belong. I won’t elaborate on Agnes and her attitude…but she is kind of an old bag. She voted for the guys who reduced her Social Security, so she deserves to be forced to work as a greeter. And Herman? If he is selling jeans…he can’t sell guns. Enough said.
Birch Barlow- Prepare for Radio Show. Let’s not try to pretend that Birch isn’t based on a certain, large, radio bloviator. I take great solace in the fact that radio’s audience continues to shrink exponentially every year (which is why I got out, thank God!), and that guys like “Birch” have fewer listeners as a result. My homage to this reality, is Birch broadcasting to a very shrunken version of Springfield.
J. Edgar Hoover – Infiltrate Bars I went into great detail in the original post about this scumbucket’s real life, when he first landed in our towns. I’ll suffice it to say, that he will always be wearing a dress. Forever….and have folks like Ned make his life miserable in payback for the damage he did to the sanctity of freedom and fairness in America.
Mapple Square, Grandpa, Mona and Sherry. This area of my town checks off all of the boxes. The animation of Grandpa and Mona feeding pigeons into the black hole, created by the Supercollider across the street, while Sherry floats FOREVER as a reminder to the abuse of power that large tech companies can bestow on players. This goes clear back to my hatred of the Easter Update when we got gamed by EA for Sherry, with EA forcing people to spend donuts, under the pretense that she could be won, in a rigged game. Big Tech, Science off the rails, and the need for average citizens (and Mona who is between this world and the next) to save us from ourselves, all play out here.
I have loads more. But this post is starting to cross into the length of a full book chapter…so I’ll stop there.
WHAT ARE YOUR RITUALS? Do you design to create new ones…or do the new ones just reveal themselves over time?
Let us know! Enjoy your downtime! It looks like we are going to get plenty of it!