So there you have it. The Barimen Legacy has finally played out to the end.
I wrote the very first words of the legacy, “Meet Julian”, on October 10, 2009. Looking back, my catalyst for the blog was a story named “Alice and Kev“. I was blown away by the concept of mixing fiction with the Sims. The strong message behind “Alice and Kev” provoked the idea that I too, could convey a moral imperative through the Sims and story-telling. When I started, the only things planned were Moira, the cabin, and the ending. Moira, Finn, and Malachi were the very first family created for the legacy. Theirs were the first screen shots I took in-game, and they eventually would become the old photos David found in the library. Everything else played out as the game played out; including Kacey, who was Tori Kimura’s child in-game.
For each generation’s heir, I started with four foundational concepts. Each would have a strength, a weakness, a personal goal, and an opposing force that would stand in their way of attaining the goal. For example, Julian’s goal was to escape the criminal underworld, with Corwin there to stop him. Amber’s goal was to figure out that Wendell was in love with her. Brand was her opposing force. Her strength was a supernatural perception (an irony given her goal), and her weakness was an addiction to information (or solving mysteries). It turned out to be a great formula.
Despite my aggravation at EA for overtly ignoring the religious aspect of life simulation (and openly mocking it in Sims Medieval), I conceived the legacy family as being deeply religious and (dare I say) devout Christians. They were not perfect, and they often sought God to help them overcome their imperfections. Because of this, I knew the story was not going to attract many followers. I’m sure for some, the story was dull, boring, weird, and distasteful; given the religious and conservative undertones throughout. Let’s face it, I wasn’t exactly writing about sparkling vampires, here. It was science-fictiony at times, over-serious at times, and unapologetically religious at times. And that doesn’t earn may fans among the Sims target audience.
Fans of the “Amber Chronicles” will surely recognize many names borrowed from the genre; Corwin, Julian, Gerard, Amber, Grayswinder, Benedict, Brand… In fact, the algorithm itself was (in my mind) a reflection of Amber’s Pattern. Most writers have that one favorite book that stands out above the others. The Amber Chronicles is that book(s) for me.
So, what now? First, I have a lot of reading to catch up on. I will probably spend the next couple of months reading my backlog of blogs and leaving comments for some of the amazing writers out there. I’ve gathered that some of you have become acquainted in real-life as a result of the Sims. I truly wish I had the bandwidth to participate in that community. The reality is that I am so completely overcommitted, it would be next to impossible. It’s not a bad thing, honestly. I have one son who is excelling at guitar, one who has earned Eagle Scout, and a son who is in seventh grade, and playing alto-sax in the high school marching band. Toss in three “babies” preschool and younger, and my passionate and ongoing commitment to the Scouting movement. Plus work, church, ad-nauseum… you get the picture.
Eventually, I will tackle another story. Don’t tell anybody, but I do have a plot outline and the rough draft of a first chapter already written. It will be an apocalyptic, survival story involving two main characters across ten chapters of ten posts each. It will have the Zoxell flavor of morality and virtue in it, of course.
I am grateful for every single person who has helped shape this into the finished product. Thank you to all who have taken time to read and comment. Feel free to contact me on facebook to ask for prayers or just to say “Hey!”
To quote my favorite author (Roger Zelazny), whose wit, humor, and creative license was taken from us far too early… “Good-bye and hello, as always”