Designing In Downtime – Rituals That Give Back

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.

The Terwilligers – Keeping them where I can see them. Look. This collection of misanthropes are bad.  The fact that I can keep them “Performing at the Opera,” and off of the streets, is a huge relief.

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!












60 responses to “Designing In Downtime – Rituals That Give Back

  1. +1 for Birch talking to Little Springfield. Reminds me of Farage and Little England.

  2. I send Kodos and Kang on their 10-hour Take a Break From Reality task at the Gateway to Nowhere, all the characters (that are free at the time) to Moe’s Express, Willy to his 6-hour Work With Fierce Diligence task at the Springfield Greenhouse, and Apu and Jacques on their 12 (and 24-hour for Jacques) tasks at the Kwik-E-Mart Central Office and the Pin Pals Bowling Alley.

    If you don’t complete Jacques’ questline you can always get straight to him / the bowling alley by clicking on him on the task list while he’s doing either of those 2 tasks, and the rest of the areas are in far flung quadrants of my town connected by 4 teleporters and 2 Nick’s Bowling Shops.

  3. I have a new ritual…I’m tagging all my neighbors!
    If you hate it, let me know and I’ll stop, otherwise prepare to be terrorized by El Barto on a regular basis…no mercy, no prisoners…☠️😜☠️

    • And THIS is why I love you. I am doing the same. It has become a bit of a political exercise. If someone unfriends me for tagging, then they didn’t really know me well at all! LOL!

      Please. Feel free to tag away!

  4. Dora, grind gym mats
    Jesus, both visual tasks
    Mindy, work on tan
    Luann, relax in a jacuzzi suit
    Fat Tony, relax in hot tub
    Sideshow Bob, meet his raker
    Mrs Quimby, go shopping
    Acorn-Kirk, chase his acorn
    Mr Burns, take a dip in the Pool
    Ralph, eat yellow snow (winter update)
    King-Size Homer, let it all hang out at the beach
    and of course the barflies at Moes Express

  5. Tasks i love to trigger cuz they always amuse me:

    Hank Scorpio, interrogate Mr. Bont
    Mr. Burns, brisk constiturional
    Eddie, set batons to twirl
    Caveman Moe, tend bar
    Nigel, enjoy a cocktail
    Doggy Smithers, play with robo Burns

  6. I don’t know if this is OCD. I play where’s Maggie everyday for fun. Once and a while she doesn’t make the suck “noise” I miss her and time out. Drives me nuts lol.

    Daily tasks. When the task is something.. like send “Men to buy gifts” or “Send kids to the store” You only need 5 characters to complete task. However it ties up 50 characters who have to do the same thing..

    Lastly Friends/Neighbors span out and explore towns.Tap something else other than Simpsons house and what’s nearby. Take a Monorail ride etc

  7. If EA is reading this, as I have written before (and probably many others), it would be a great addition to the unemployment office to have lists of characters/jobs we can set up to activate.

    • Hmm…not wanting to disagree with you…but, between the Unemployment office that allows you to send in chunks of hours/tasks, and the Town Hall Census that allows you to search individually, I’m not sure what else they need to do. But, maybe I’m missing something in your request.

      • Instead of finding the character and selecting a task every x hours, you have a task list A: (1) Stephen Hawking – Rocket Around Town (2) Jesus Christ –Feel Sad Nobody Remembers His Birthday (3) Lunch Lady Dora – Grinding Gym Mats, etc.
        Task List B: Lisa: , Bart , etc.
        You could have different one for seasons (zombies for Halloween, Christmas tasks), for lull times,

        Yes, the unemployment office is good for generating cash, but if you want your characters to do something special you have to find each one (day after day, etc).

      • I would like to see them update the storage and Springfield town hall database so that i can find a character or item easier instead of continuous scrolling maybe even in the item storage maybe have an option so that I can group specific items in the same area for example all my Halloween and Christmas items in separate boxes, and a search bar in the town hall with an alphabet directive so that I can tap on g and it would list everyone with their name starting with D.

  8. Deep Freeze guards the bank by making it Hail Bullets, Janey loves to Jump Rope, Lurleen will always Barbecue Some Road Kill, and Jesus tries to watch over all as he Casts Judgement.

  9. Professor Judo

    That Birch Barlow placement is deep.

    – I try to wait for Boobarella to be in an amusing place
    before I have her burned at the stake (in front of a church is perfect).

    – I put stacking sheep all around any church or movie theater
    I have (take THAT organized religion and movie industry!)

    – Miss Springfield should be somewhere nasty if she will be on
    her selfies task, preferably near the city dump, or near Barney sleeping
    in the gutter

    – Mr. Burns’ Mansion is right next to the power plant…he’s keeping a much
    closer eye on things so the town isn’t destroyed again

    – Lil Lisa Recycling plant is down the road from most of my restaurants, they gotta get meat from somewhere, right?

    – There are stacks of wine barrels stashed and just visible behind the High School and the DMV

  10. I always have the characters that can, sitting down to watch something, currently it’s tennis
    And Howard duff giving out samples,
    I used to design around characters outside tasks, but the effort required to keep them where I wanted was too much.

  11. Mr. Burns in the fountain and Mrs. Sinclair doing nothing brings me joy. I just wish the Burns task was longer.

  12. Radioactive man must seek out crime 24×7.
    Space mutant has been on a rampage for 2 years.
    The parson has been riding in his golf cart for a year.
    When not busy on other stuff, Homer is practicing for whacking day (or cleaning the streets in with her)
    I change the movies at the drive in regularly. I love that animation.
    Chief wiggum has been rolling around in his beer can costum since that skin was released.

    I’m very peculiar about skins in general. I do t always use the same tasks, but I get pissed when some 0/20 springfielder task gets 1/2 my characters in default skins. Barney must complete his astronaut training!

    • You clearly “get it!” A true addict uses the word “must” a lot!


      • ☯️🌈✨I must most certainly agree!!! …yet another joyously fine ‘Cranky’ TSTO shenanigans game summary… while I head off to assign all my funky mayhem of hysterical groovy science, weird whackyness, aerial aerobics, monsters, & morons to all their respective ridiculous rituals✨🌈☯️

  13. I always send Bumble Bee Man on his 24 hour task at the the TV station, and then I also set the 24 hour broadcast of Channel Ocho. I also like to keep Disco Stu at his place, so I either send him to Boogie Down or Work a shift, depending on when I thin I will sign in again.
    I try to send Yakuza Boss on his 24 hour task, because I don’t want to accidentally send him for his 8 hour task that ends with that annoying bright flash of white.

  14. I do like putting Kang & Kodos on 16 hour evil throttle tasks, as I can start that first thing in the morning and it will be finished in time for sending everyone off for night shift tasks!

  15. Oddly I put the slaughter house near Fat Tonys compound too, not for any particular reason just the way things have developed organically.

    • Nice. I often have fat Tony sitting in the hot tub, overlooking his vast betting empire. The sports complex, the racetrack, and the “legitimate Gentlemens social club,” are all within eyeshot of the hot tub.

      • I usually just use the job manager anymore as it’s too hard to hunt down characters but when possible I do like Tony in the hot tub and I have a bench right by it that I try to lure Roger Myers Jr to, they both have a cigar and RM Jr. ashes his in the hot tub. I like to keep the new carousel in motion. I also have Caveman Moe tending bar for Lewd, Barfy and Crawl and Moe’s Express in action. I haven’t had Radioactive Man shirking responsibilities in a while, he needs to get back to that. If possible I try to get Wise Guy to fix the plumbing in the futuristic domicile (but that’s hard to do) and have Herman protect my other domicile while Maggie rocks the Hyperstadium and the Reverend animates the lyceum. Really fun animation there.
        My favorite skin for Homer is Cool Homer where he’s drinking a PBR or riding his fixie.

  16. Ive got some OCD stuff too….
    I keep Wise guy in bad dream house to ket it lit up and flashing. Its a full on panic if he gets away!
    Likewise with Weird Al…he keeps the “Monster that ate everything” movie on a continuous loop.
    Apu constantly shines bowling balls next to the 1 bowling lane i own.
    The Rio Samba guy (forget his name!) is always samba-ing right outside his dance studio.
    Ms. Glick is in her sewing circle outside the retirement castle.
    I know there’s more but cant think of them….but my panties get in a bunch if there’s a disturbance in my springfield universe!

    • Agh!! I forgot about a couple of these… I may need to add to my list.

      And yes…my wife thought someone had died one day when I failed to keep Femme Fatale in her place (takes a lot of luck and timing) and groaned, “oh no!” loudly while looking at my pad.

      I admit to simply telling her that I got an email from a client that upset me, rather than trying to explain my need to keep FF entertaining Sky Finger.

      • Patric you are certifiable. Lol. U know we love u that way. I make teddy hunt every day and Barney barfing. Also squeaky voice teen for ever advertising burgers. That’s what he gets for working for $2.00 dollars an hour. I too unconsciously put the slaughter house by Tony’s compound? Weird…😎 ms. Glick is also at her sewing circle, love that animation.

    • I like having someone in the bad dream house too. I usually send some of the Simpson’s family as they earn premium rates for sleeping there!

  17. i like to place Mr. Burns swimming in pool of money, Duffman promoting duff @ stadium, Dog Smithers and Robot Burns playing (finally fulfilling Smithers dreams), Fat Tony (10hr) relaxing in pool, I have an area for a rock concert inside Itchy n Scratchy land, with an area for RAP and Pop music too, but with little audience compare to Rock stage.(shows my thoughts on music styles) ooh and so many others, quoting from a great writer: “I have loads more. But this post is starting to cross into the length of a full book chapter…so I’ll stop there”…

    • Lol! “great writer” is a bit of a stretch, but I’ll gladly call you a fellow task-master, as you know how to make the tasks fun!

  18. I only have two rituals. I like to keep Patty and Selma together outside their apartment building smoking for 24 hours. Sometimes they fight and get slightly separated and I have to have them both watch MacGyver to bring them together again, and quickly tap for their 24 hour task.

    Another is with Apu. I have many QEM’s around town but I want him at his original store, the others I think of as franchises. When he strays away I send him on a 12 hour task to eat a salad in Springfield Heights. The closest QEM to SH is his original store, then I send him where he belongs.

  19. I gotta admit, I am not as creative as you when it comes to certain tasks, Patric…

    All I ever do in my town is have Robot Burns play with Robot Smithers (only because RS doesn’t have a solo 4 hour task), and (as I have mentioned before, I keep Arthur Fortune, Norbert and LT Smash on 24 hour tasks, sync-ed with Channel 6, KBBL, and my Donut Factory, as it’s easier to remember them all at the same time – I despise the flying animations. You can thank Arnie Pye for that one… (also the reason why he stays in his Stonecutter garb). I used to have Stampy lumped in there as well, but I was able to pick up the Pet Store, so that helped. Also, I keep Cletus’ farm going with corn…

  20. Keith1Roon991

    I have done a few of these in the past and like the bikers riding around town, but i seem to fall into the 12hr cycle, maybe just getting lazy lol, will need to try harder to make my town more fun 😃

  21. 1, Launch the rocket but don’t stick around to see if it was successful or not.
    2. Keep L.T. Smash, Norbert, and Arthur Fortune out of the sky using 24hr tasks.
    3. Keep annoying Smithers dog busy using 24hr task.

    • Yes, yes and yes. That smothers dog sounds creepy. ” stroke my fur”
      Oh forgot about parson stuck in dirt road in the farming part of my town. Just going around and around. Lol I get a kick out of that. I’m mean to some other characters I don’t like, but that’s enough for now. I’m letting too much of my crazy show. Lol 😎

  22. Should be look what I “Designed In Downtime”, look what i DID, sounds like your saying look what i “Designing In Downtime”

Leave a Reply