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Royal Kingdom Challenge Fan Interview

Thursday, October 12, 2006 - 23:10

MaxoidMoonBelly recently interviewed the creator of the popular Royal Kingdom Challenges:

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Fan Interview - Royal Kingdom Challenge

MaxoidMoonBelly from The Sims 2 team tracked down community member EnblithTheFair and got the scoop on her popular Royal Kingdom Challenges! Her Royal Kingdom Challenge 3.0 - Anniversary Edition can be found on our BBS.

The Sims 2MaxoidMoonBelly: How did you come up with the Royal Kingdom Challenge, what was your motivation?

EnblithTheFair: I created the Royal Kingdom Challenge because I wanted to create a themed neighborhood with some sort of organized structure and goal. I tried several times to create a medieval neighborhood with The Sims 1 but they were never successful since there was no direction to it and I quickly lost interest. After playing the Legacy Challenge for a few months I decided the best way to get my dream neighborhood was to create a set of rules and guidelines in the form of a challenge that other people could enjoy as well. The families in my Royal Kingdom Challenge neighborhood all have a place and purpose rather than being a bunch of random families thrown into one neighborhood. The social structure of a monarchy is what this challenge is based around.

MaxoidMoonBelly: What was the most difficult part in conceiving the rules?

EnblithTheFair:Getting all my ideas down on paper in the form of rules and trying not to leave anything out was difficult. I thought about how I would make the challenge for at least a month before I wrote it down, but with a open ended game like The Sims it's hard to think of what to do for every situation. Since The Sims was designed around modern times it was tricky to make everything fit into a historical period. Interactions like "red hands" make it possible for the Sims to live without electronic entertainment. Since the game was designed around a modern reality, custom content really helps to make the challenge come alive and gives it the perfect themed atmosphere. I made sure to add a list of custom content to my BBS posts to give new players a head start on downloading items for the challenge. When creating the challenge I was careful to avoid making too many restrictions. Some rules I left a bit vague on purpose so each person playing could fit the challenge to their own playing style. Even though I frequently refer to the medieval time period with this challenge, you can really choose any time period for your neighborhood. The most popular time period besides medieval is Victorian.

The Sims 2MaxoidMoonBelly: How did you determine the scoring system associated with the Challenge?

EnblithTheFair: I added in the scoring system to give people more of an incentive to follow the rules. However the scoring system isn't very extensive because the majority of people don't play the challenge for points. I originally had plans to expand the scoring section of the rules but determined there wasn't a great demand for a larger point system.

MaxoidMoonBelly: What has the response been like in your guest book or on the boards? Did you expect it to become so popular?

EnblithTheFair: I was really pleased with the response I received from the challenge. Everyone was so positive and encouraging about it. I especially like hearing what other people are doing with the challenge. I did not expect it to become so popular; I didn't know there were so many other people like me out there that really loved the idea of a challenge like this. The feedback from other community members was really important to let me know what in the rules needed changing.

MaxoidMoonBelly: Since the Game has come out, what kinds of surprises or evolutions of your Challenge have you seen?

EnblithTheFair: The challenge has changed a lot from when I first wrote it. Despite my long list of rules I originally wrote, I still managed to leave things out and other community members have contributed to giving me ideas for more rules. I have released a new version of the rules with each new expansion pack that has come out because they each added a new element to the game that needed to be added to the rules. I was thrilled with Open for Business because it really made the merchant class come alive. While updating for each expansion pack I also went though all the comments I received so I could tweak the existing rules to be more efficient. However, I always made sure that it wasn't necessary to have any particular expansion pack so anyone without one could still enjoy the challenge.

The Sims 2MaxoidMoonBelly: How long have you been playing The Sims?

EnblithTheFair: I have been playing The Sims ever since about a week after the game originally came out, around 7 years ago. The Sims has actually affected my life a lot since then. It got me to become more interested in computers, particularly the artistic capabilities. Since the challenge came out I have been learning various photo editing programs so I could make historical clothing to use in my challenge, 3D programs to make custom meshes for my clothing and have taken a web design class so I could offer my custom content in my own web page. It has turned out to be more than just a hobby for me. Now I am majoring in multimedia arts and sciences at my university and plan to have some sort of career in the web design, 3D animation, or game design fields. I haven't been able to decide what to focus on yet.

MaxoidMoonBelly: What do you like the most about The Sims 2?

EnblithTheFair: I love the creativity that The Sims 2 offers. It allows you to become a storyteller, architect, decorator, clothing designer and the list goes on and on. Since it is such an open ended game it really lets your imagination run wild. There is also a fantastic community that has developed because of the game. It is really fun to communicate with Sim fans from all over the world. Both have helped keep me sane over the past year when I moved across the country to a town where I didn't know anyone.

MaxoidMoonBelly: What are the most challenging aspects to this game?

EnblithTheFair: There is so many things I want to do with the game I have a hard time focusing on just one thing. I got so involved with making new clothing for the game last spring that I had no time leftover to actually play it. Then in the summer I started a blog with stories about my medieval Sims but that kept me away from making clothing although it allowed me to play more. Now that I'm back in school with little free time it's really hard to decide which Sim related activity to do. At least I know that there will always be something new to do with this game.

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