Now that summer is properly here--finally!--I have had a bit more time to devote to creative enterprises. The first task on a very long list is the reorganization of the website, which has become increasingly disorganized as Warwickshire has grown. If you roam around the site, you'll notice a number of changes. The History of the realm is now subdivided into the history of Havinia, up to the succession of Harold I, and the history of Warwick, i.e. after the succession of Harold I. Also, you will see a new tab at the top of the page, titled "Fiefs." This section is devoted to a discussion of the political divisions, geographical features, and population characteristics, including census data, for each region in the realm. This section has undergone the most extensive writing and development over the past several days, and will continue to be updated in the coming week or so.
The Families tab is not entirely new, but it is redesigned. Families are now divided according to class station, rather than geographical location. There will also be a way to access families from the individual regions, i.e. County or Shire, where they live, but families will now be primarily organized by class station, rather than geographic location. Individual character stories will continue to be given under character profiles, but you will notice that when specific characters appear in stories, they will be linked back to their profiles for quick reference. I have a number of stories planned that I will write over the summer--no point in rushing me on this business, I am slower than molasses in January when it comes to writing--but if all goes as I plan it, these stories will be hyperlinked together and offer multiple perspectives from various characters to get the whole story told.
I am now in the planning stages for the Duchy of Amicouer, where the Lord Michel Aubergine will reside with his new wife the Lady Margaret Dernier. The Duke is under great pressure to subdue the Baron d'Aquamarin'e who has walled off his Barony and has begun to mount an army. Rumor has it that he plans to mount an insurrection against the King's majesty, in defiance of his right to rule. The Baron, descending from an ancient line, maintains that he is the rightful ruler and seeks to depose King Harold.
At this point, I have created the subnh for the Duchy. And soon it will be time to begin building. I've been letting this story simmer on the back burner for a long time. I hope I can do it justice.
The Baron, Lord Aubergine, and many others will take central roles in the direction of Harold's court. I am more than a little excited about it!
Meanwhile, I've been playing through the rotation of Shropshire. I have quite a number of merchants there. I am picture taking at the moment and plan to upload some character profiles and stories soon.
Under Shires, the Marchand Family is now available for viewing. Lots of character profiles and a new story: "The Way to a Lady's Heart," under Margaret Marchand.
OK, so as promised I have begun to work on character profiles and pics. I have uploaded the first of what I hope will be many--Michael Chandler, the Shropshire candlemaker. I have hidden all the blank pages, so now Michael's pages are the only ones visible. I probably won't get around to doing another set of pics until next weekend--it takes me sooo long to do it! I am very, very slow with this. But, it was fun to do! :-)
Fall 2010 has been busy and productive for Warwickshire with lots of exciting developments.
Here's what's happened so far:
Warwickshire 2.0 is released! Yay!!
Warwickshire Excel Workbook 1.o is released--thanks Extensa!
I invite everyone interested in the Warwickshire Challenge to join the discussion threads on ModtheSims2 and PlumbbobKeep. All support for Warwickshire 2.0 is given there--see you on the forums!
So, as I've been saying, I have a lot of ideas for creating a regional economy for Warwick. Ideally, I would like for goods and services to circulate, and for each region of the world to have certain raw materials and goods that are native to their part of the world. Furthermore, since regions are fairly large, the distance between towns is far, making travel difficult and arduous by foot, or by horse. So, it would take a farmer traveling by wagon from Warwickshire to Shropshire approximately 13 days in good weather to reach his destination. Suffice it to say such a trip would likely only take place once per season.
By Region, the Main Products Produced are
and some Vegetables
Potions, Specialty goods
among other things ...
And the surrounding countries are all known for their exotic goods, which cost a lot of money in Warwick owing to the long distances they must travel to reach their landlocked nation. These are things like mirrors (glass comes from Westsea), papaya and coconuts from Southsea, and magical goods like silk, rare gemstones, and strange elixirs from Seregharma.
For all of this to work, I have had to devise an exchange rate for raw materials and manufactured goods. The first step was in setting up my wood cutter, Joe Borden. Joe lives at the edge of the whispering pine forest in Warwickshire. He "cuts" wood by purchasing investment coins in the same amount as the value of the trees on his lot. At the end of the season, he redeems the investment coins and purchases lumber (wood piles) at the cost of his profit, which he then sells in a community lot business. Furniture makers purchase wood to use in their trade, which requires a system of exchange in order to determine how much wood a furniture maker needs in order to make a stool, or a chair, or a bed. What I decided upon was that a 1X1 tile piece, or part, of a furniture item would require $10 simoleons in lumber to make. The furniture craftsman can only sell the amount of furniture he can afford to make. Once he purchases the lumber from the wood cutter, I then redeem it in buy mode and trade it for furniture at or above cost--some things may be "expensive" to make, i.e. time consuming. The furniture maker then sells these items in his inventory for that season and closes up shop when it is all sold.
Voila! A working economy where nothing comes from nothing ... that is, everything must come from somewhere. If the wood cutter doesn't cut wood, the furniture maker can't make chairs ... and so on. The same principle applies for all manufactured goods. There is no ore for the blacksmith unless the miner digs it up. There is no wool for the tailor unless the shepherd shears the sheep. Really--none. That is the plan.
Now, I just have to discipline myself not to use buy mode when building a house. That is the hardest part!
Progress Report: And Some More Thinking to Do
So, it has been a few months since I last updated the Blog. My, but time does fly by! Summer got very busy with RL and work around the house. We did a lot of interior painting and just sprucing up, which kept me from getting as much done as I'd hoped on Warwick. Ironically, now that fall has properly gotten under way I've got a bit more time to settle in and get back to the business of simming. Oh happy me!
I have been working out a regional economy for the Kingdom of Warwick in order to indicate which goods are manufactured where, and what the availability of goods might look like. I began this undertaking with sorting out which materials are in production, and where they are manufactured, harvested, or otherwise produced. I'll get this up on Google docs when I have it finished.
Also, I am working on a system of assets taxes. I will get that up on Google docs when it is written up.
Finally, am working on a list of careers geared specifically to the Warwickshire challenge. This is a looong process. We'll see if I ever finish it.
So, for the past two weeks I have been furiously building and designing from neighborhood view.
It all started with creating an overland map for my world. At this point, I discovered that the distances between my subneighborhoods were actually quite far by foot. So, I began planning some self-sufficient communities for each subneighborhood. This began with laying out the town walls of Shropshire, the country's main marketing center. Well, one thing led to another and before long I was on a building spree. Seriously. I'm getting tired of building. But it led me to some intriguing conclusions and long-thought decisions.
One thing that has been bothering me for a long time now is the fact that there is a huge silent corporation lurking behind all of the commerce in the game. Whenever a sim buys a house, the money goes straight out of his/her pocket and into the void. Vanished into the silent corporation that sucks up nearly every dollar spent in the game. When a merchant restocks an item, same thing happens. So, I got to thinking about how I might work around this problem for myself. I really want money and goods to circulate in the neighborhood. How else can poor sims ever hope to become wealthy? Especially without those lucrative Maxis jobs? The first decision that I made was that I would create a guild of masons who would be responsible for "building" the lots in a given neighborhood. I haven't yet hashed out the gory details, but suffice it to say, whenever a lot is purchased, the purchase price of the unfurnished lot will go to the mason's guild. That way when the money comes out of one sim's pocket it will travel into another sim's pocket. The neighborhood as a whole will get richer with time. To address the issue of merchants and restocking, I have worked out supply chains for each of the products available in the neighborhood. For example, a joiner must be supplied with wood or he cannot make furniture to sell. A woodcutter is thus needed to produce the raw materials and bring them to market. This problem gave me a headache for several days. Lots to think about while I was building! I finally remembered that I had those investment coins Christianlov made over at MTS. Could those be put to use in this situation? I decided that they most certainly could. I built a woodcutter's lot, stocked it plentifully with trees, had my rugged woodcutter, Joe Borden, purchase investment coins equalling the value of the trees on the lot, placed the coins on the shelf, and began to wait. During the season, my woodcutter kept busy with the axe throwing game and viewing his axe on the stump. When he tired of those industries, he trained his dogs or jumped rope. In all, he didn't have many dull moments. At the end of five days, Joe sold the investment coins for a tidy profit. Then, the money earned was converted into piles of wood, logs, and boards. He sold a portion of these to the local joiner. Others may be sold to the cartwright, or even to the general store as firewood. This method looks like it will work well for most of these situations where the goods are ephemeral, rather than actual. In the case of the joiner who bought the wood, I will have him sell the wood piles for furniture, which he will in turn sell to the end consumer. I may avoid the restocking issue altogether this way. Alternately, I could see the possibility where I simply credit the merchant back the restocking fee in light of the goods already purchased from a local merchant. Of course, there will be the issue of how much raw material is necessary to produce the goods. More on that later--haven't thought it all out yet. Which brings me to another thing I've been thinking about--for goods like Beer, one needs Hops. For goods like Bread, one needs Flour--which means wheat. But stand crops are not available. Alas. This really had me bummed most of the week. I finally decided that I would simply code a stand crop to each of the six available vegetable plants in Seasons. To this end, the six vegetable crops will double as stand crops. Vegetable fields will be limited in size to 20-24 plots, whereas stand crop fields will range from 64-80 plot squares. Thus,
Tomatoes = Hops -- Sell to Brewer, for Beer
Strawberries = Rye -- Sell to Miller, who then sells to Baker
Cucumbers = Barley -- Sell to Brewer, for Beer
Pole Beans = Wheat --Sell to Miller, who then sells to Baker
Peppers = Flax --Sell to Draper, for cloth, who then sells to Tailor
Eggplants = Grapes (I know, not a stand crop--but we need them) --Sell to Vintner for Wine
In the process of working out supply chains, I realized that the neighborhood would need a lot more merchants than I had previously planned for. It also helped me to see the relationship between subneighborhoods emerging more clearly. Shropshire is clearly a large town in Warwick. Warwick, the region, is tiny--a hamlet at best. Hampshire, once it is all built, will be a bustling city. Warwick will have more raw materials for sale. They are the agricultural center, and they supply goods to Shropshire. Shropshire is the mercantile base of the region. And Hampshire is the political center, the cap of money and power. The merchants there offer fine and exotic goods--things that the poor people of Warwick have never seen, nor probably even imagined.
So, all of this means that I'm building ... and not exactly playing for a while. But that does NOT mean I'm not writing! Chapter 3 is already in the works--hope to have it up by the end of the week. Also, I will try to post some pictures of the neighborhood view in each of the three subnh's--maybe later this week. I keep forgetting to take pictures and when I do, I forget to transfer them to the firefly so I can access them on the laptop. The downstairs computer is receiving a 24 hour workout now that all of the kids are home from school.
Here's the To Do List:
(Some of these are Long-term)
1. Build the remaining Vegetable Farmer Lots in Lord Chesterfield's estate. DONE
2. Build the Livestock Herder Lots in Lord Chesterfield's estate. ON HOLD, for now ...
3. Build the Crop Farming Lots in Lord Chesterfield's estate. DONE
4. Finish building the Home for Foundlings and Orphans DONE
5. Build a small church and graveyard for Warwick. DONE
6. Build Harold's personal Towers ON HOLD, for now ...
7. Build Baron Aquamarin'e's Estate BACK BURNER!
8. Create Sims:
Priests for Warwick and Shropshire DONE
Sextons for Warwick and Shropshire IN PROGRESS
Ladies in Waiting for the Queen -- probably three needed I have ONE so far ...
The rest of Harold's interior ministers-- there will be several here IN PROGRESS
And that's all I can think of for now, but that seems like Enough!