Townies. That’s what they’re called. As Sims players, we know them as those randomly-generated, and usually unfashionably-dressed people who populate our towns when we’re not looking.
Townies. They’re everywhere!
My personal relationship to townies is one of love/hate. Here’s how it began:
Way back in the days of The Sims — the original version — I was fascinated by townies. If I recall, townies had only a first name, nothing more. We couldn’t call them or visit them in any way. We could only interact with them if they happened to show up on a lot where our sim was located.
At that time, I had a lovely sim named Lisette Lejeune. Sims were either adults or children, remember. We had no toddlers, young adults, or elders. Sims didn’t age or die. So Lisette was a lovely young woman in my mind, and like most lovely young women in my games, she was looking for a good man to marry. She found him in the form of a townie named Daniel.
I thought Daniel was the most exciting sim I’d ever seen. He was dressed in a safari suit, and my mind immediately spun off a story for him. Daniel, the adventurous wildlife photographer. I imagined him doing photo shoots for the likes of National Geographic, traveling the wilds of Africa, the rain forests of South America, the frozen tundra of Siberia. What an interesting life he led.
Lisette, of course, wanted to marry this incredible fellow. I had no idea how to make it happen. Obviously, she would have to propose to him. Would he accept?
Yes, he did. My heart was racing as Daniel moved in with Lisette. The first disappointment came when he was listed as Daniel Lejeune. He had to take her last name. I hated it, but I accepted it.
Then came my excitement as I delved into his character. I couldn’t wait to see how this townie was put-together, so to speak. In my mind, he was such a skillful and successful man, I was sure he would excel in every way.
Wrong. He had no job. He had no skills. He had nothing to offer.
What had I expected? It was at that point that I began to hate townies. They weren’t real people. They weren’t even real sims, at least not as far as I was concerned. They were mere shells with nothing inside.
Over the years, the townie situation changed somewhat as games progressed. Townies had first names and last names. We could call townies. We could invite them over. We could go on dates with them. It made life easier — if you liked townies. I didn’t. After that horrendous let-down with Daniel, I wanted nothing more to do with any townies.
Of course, today’s townies are a little more sophisticated. Many do have careers, and they do develop skills in some areas. Townies have their own unique personalities. Too bad they still don’t have any fashion sense.
Even so, I’ve maintained my dislike of townies, even insisting that my sims will not marry townies. Actually, many of them have since the early Sims 4 social interactions seemed to leave something to be desired. No matter how many sims I created as potential romantic prospects, the only ones showing up at bars and clubs were those awful townies! As before, I hated it, but I accepted it.
Now, my entire approach to townies is undergoing a major change. If you frequent the Sims 4 Forum and have seen my recent posts, you already know that I’m doing a major “Townie Project”. The results have far exceeded my expectations, and I’ll be posting more about the project in coming weeks.
Basically, I’m learning to love townies again. I’m finding creative ways to weave their personal stories into the lives of my own sims. Working with townies, I’ve discovered, gives me much greater freedom than I feel with my own creations. I can easily make townies into despicable creatures, like Tristan Luke who, in my game, is now awaiting trial for the brutal murder of a beautiful young model. Another fellow — who appears to be a decent family man — has actually been molesting his two teenage daughters for years.
Oh, yes. I’m uncovering long-buried family secrets, seeing a darker side of life, and venturing down pathways I would never take with my own personally-created sims. Townies, I’ve learned, can be very useful.
What do YOU do with Townies?