Two amazing interviews for you to read in the 11th July Issue - ARNIE SIMS PLUS and DEVON BUMPKIN
Get to know amazing simmers first-hand, read their unique stories and find out more about the Sims lifestyle!
Hi Arnie, Thank you for agreeing to this interview for us.
We wanted to start this interview by asking, Where are you from and how did you discover the Sims?
Hey SimmedUp Magazine! Thank you for the invitation to this interview! It’s a pleasure to chat about the Sims today. My name is Arnie, I grew up in France and moved to Mauritius Island where I’ve been living for years now! I discovered the Sims when I was a kid, a friend of mine was playing it on her Windows 2000 pc back in the time ahah! And I thought « this is so cool! You can do what you want in this game!!! ». So I bought a Sims 2 CD I found at a flea market a few months later and I have been playing every single sims game since then! I think it had a huge impact on my life back then, allowing endless creativity and storytelling, which became my job when I reached Adulthood.
What or who inspired you to become a Modder? Was it difficult to learn at first? Who was your ‘go-to’ Modder to help you learn?
I lost my job at the beginning of the pandemic, and it was a great way for me to finally have some free time to finally start learning new things, like how code works... that I wanted to learn for years!
It was not hard because I didn’t realize I was learning! I just started small with tiny mods, and came to the idea of creating a mod pack a few months later, combining my passions! It was a great time. One of the people that inspired me the most is the amazing modder TwistedMexi, especially the upcoming Project Raven of his!
2020/21 has been difficult for so many, how have you been coping during the lockdown, and has been stuck at home, given you more time to work on your mods?
I actually had a good time in lockdown, slowing down on the crazy life we all live, a time to focus on others, reach out to the ones you didn’t have the time to, and learning new stuff (modding!)
I tried not to focus too much on the bad things that were (and are still) happening all around the world. I am very sensitive and these things have a big impact on me. Plus I had the chance to be in lockdown with my close friend and roommate, and she is the most wonderful person to share moments with.
Everyone is talking about your ‘Farmland Mod, not only will this Mod enable you to grow your own crops, you can have a multitude of animals from Horses to chickens as well as getting your very own tractor license’ what inspired you to create this mod? And what other wonderful things can our Sims do in your mod?
Thank you for the kind words! The idea came from my Patreon supporters actually! I had a poll last year with a few ideas for mod packs and farming was WAY up in the poll! Plus I grew up in the french countryside, surrounded by cows and chickens, and it felt like going back to my childhood sometimes while creating it.
There is also in this mod pack an open world where you can go to the supermarket or at the horse ranch without a loading screen! But my favorite part is the story mode. The story of George and Adele came really early to me. Inspired by the relationship in the movie Up, I wanted to tell the story of this caring elder, when he met Adele and how they grew up and old together, like flowers blossoming in a field. Their story is the story of all the living beings on earth. Growing up, growing old, and returning to the earth, like animals, plants, or us. Farms are in my opinion such lively places, where all beings share the same space, and it felt so right to talk about life… in the Sims!
You have created some amazing Mods from BrookHeights to Farmland, What other surprises do you have in store for the community, and are there any ‘sneak previews or hints you can give us?
Well, I can tell you I have a very long list of things I would love to do! It’s hard to choose! I wish there were 100 hours each day for me to do it all!
But I can tell you the next one is a smaller Mod Pack about technology, inspired by Apple. More about this soon…
When you first started creating mods, there were a lot of negative people who tried to say you were not really making anything at all. How does it feel to finally show everyone what can be created in the Sims, and what would you say to the people who doubted you?
I didn’t know there were « a lot » of them… It doesn’t really matter what people think anyway. I’m creating things for the pleasure to create but also especially because it feels so good to know a creation of yours can bring thousands of people hours of gameplay, of joy, and just knowing these people are feeling emotions playing it, all around the world, it feels like sharing a piece of life. And I am very grateful for that. What a wonderful job to have!
How long did your farmland and Brookheights mods take to create?
They both took at least 6 months to create! I think I lost count for Farmland though since it might be closer to 8 months… It felt like weeks though! When I was working heavily on the development I couldn’t see the days go by! I looked at a calendar instead of a clock while working ahah. Asking my self « WAIT? Are we in *insert month* yet? »
You're a very creative person and a little bird tells us that you work in Film Production and you have a film you have been working on coming out real soon. Can you tell us what that is? Is anyone famous involved?
Ahah you are right I have been working in the Film Industry for years and one of my projects from 2020 is about to come out!
I was working on the latest Alicia Keys’ movie called « Resort To Love » that was shot entirely in my country, Mauritius! It’s a rom-com about a girl who sings at her ex-fiancé’s wedding! That was such a fun film to shoot! It will be out on Netflix Worldwide on July 29th! Watch out!
Are there any big film projects you wish you had been able to work on?
Of course! All of my favourite movies! Jokes aside, I can’t wait to be able to direct my own feature film one day… I am also very interested in new technologies and think I could go towards making a VR movie or even something more experimental! I love to experiment!! I guess only the future will tell us what I’ll come up with…
The Sims team do an amazing job and have been bringing us a steady supply of Packs and entertainment with the Summer of Sims. If you could choose just one thing for the Sims team to work on, what would it be and why?
I would love to get an official create a world tool, but I don’t think it’s ever coming for TS4. Most simmers are feeling like they belong to a favourite type of gameplay (CAS, Build/Buy, or Live Mode). But I think we forgot « World » players in TS4. Back in the Sims 3, I would spend most of my time designing worlds in the CAW Tool or even in-game! That was my favourite type of gameplay and it no longer exists in this iteration of the game. So I learned how to mod them, but I really wish there was a feature like this in the next generation of the Sims!
What tops tips can you give to others out there that would like to create mods, but don’t know where to start?
Start small! Try tiny things! Lots of them! And you will learn along the way without even realizing it! There are also hundreds of good tutorials on how to start anything in modding! Then, once you get to know the code, you can explore, try new things, experiment!
After all your hard work with BrookHeights and Farmland you have taken a well-deserved rest to catch up on some sleep. If you could take a break anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I am finally taking a real break for a week with my partner! We are going to a Theatre Festival on the French Riviera!
And this is the place I choose to be in the world! I am so happy and grateful to be able to share moments with my relatives in these times we’re living. The best place is next to them, wherever they are in the world.
Thank you so much for agreeing to do the interview again Arnie,
Sami & the team
Thank you so much for this interview! I had a great time remembering these memories and telling them! Thank you for your kindness! Take care! Sending love to the team.
Devon Bumpkin is quickly becoming a household name in the Sims community. A full-time content creator and a fantastic builder, Devon Bumpkin (or Aden as he is known to friends) played a significant role in the creation of EA’s newest expansion pack, Cottage Living!
We sat down with Devon to talk about what life was like growing up in a small British town, discussed the pull of the big city. Lights, and got some inside info on the EA to build restrictions that this small town Bumpkin boy had to work with.
You are a full-time content creator. What did you do before you decided to take this leap?
It still feels so weird knowing I am a full-time content creator! But yes, I am! I was a hairstylist for 20 years before I decided to take the leap.
What inspired you to make content creation your full-time job?
It’s something that has always been a dream to me, but something I didn’t feel I’d ever be able to achieve realistically. But then 2020 happened, I couldn’t work, so I poured all of my free time into my YouTube channel and things really took off from there!
What were the most significant obstacles involved in this choice?
For me, it was the fact I had to leave a job of 20 years that I was financially comfortable in. YouTube was the big unknown in this regard. It wasn’t an easy decision, but the COVID situation weirdly helped me take the final leap into full-time content creation.
You create some amazing content, both on YouTube and on Twitch. Recently, you were called upon to build in the newest expansion pack, “Cottage Living,” can you tell us about that experience? (What did you create, were you nervous, what was it like, etc.)
Thank you! It was a dream to build something for a Sims expansion pack and it finally came true! I built The Watson family farm which is the 64x64 lot and also The Gnome’s Arms pub in the village area. I was totally nervous about creating these, especially the 64x64 lot, without MoveObjects and with EA limitations to building, but I had so much fun with the process and learning about how the devs work on packs.
You have a fantastic community that supports and adores you. How do you maintain such an accepting community?
My community is amazing and I thank the Universe for them every day. I don’t really have an answer on how to maintain an accepting community. My community is full of people from all walks of life, we don’t stand for any kind of bigotry as a whole as It’s a huge LGBTQIA+ safe space and for anyone that feels a little “different” from the masses out there.
What advice would you give other creators that want their community to be as accepting as yours?
Just be kind! It’s that simple. The right people will find your content and follow suit. Also, be yourself. No airs and graces, just unfiltered you. There is something liberating about not having to be a persona or rely on fancy editing skills to make content enjoyable. I never wanted that for my channel, I just wanted my videos to feel like you are sat with a friend, playing a computer game.
Okay, let’s get to the stuff that everyone wants to know. What was it like to work with EA on the new pack, Cottage Living?
It was amazing. The dev team are some of the loveliest people you could meet. They trusted your vision and gave you completely free reign to create whatever you wanted!
What were your thoughts when you first got the call to help?
I had no idea what it was about until we were in the Zoom call going over everything. I had my suspicions when I knew the rest of the creators asked were British though. I thought this has to be something British themed and I was right ha-ha
What did you build for the pack and what was your inspiration?
I built The Watson Family Farm and The Gnome’s Arms pub. I got my inspiration from everything around me as I live near the countryside in Devon. Plus, I mainly build British-looking builds in The Sims, so it wasn’t too hard to get the inspiration for these particular ones.
Can you share a bit about the types of restrictions that you were given?
Ah yes, the dreaded restrictions. Firstly, no MoveObjects to be used, no ALT placement, no Debug, no live edit objects… It was daunting to say the least, as I am so used to using these for building.
What was the most challenging part of building with EA’s restrictions?
I like to heavily detail my builds. But there are many restrictions on the number of objects you can use. So this was the most challenging part, but also the fact we weren’t allowed to use MoveObjects, which is an integral part of my building technique. I hate that it’s looked upon as a “cheat” when in all fairness, it makes the outcome of your builds 100 times better in my opinion.