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|14th Mar 2019, 3:58 PM||Meet the Creator - Zarathustra - March 2019 #1|
Our March Creator is the incredibly talented builder, Zarathustra, who has been providing the TS2 community with outstanding buildings for many years! From hospitals to houses, to churches and cabins in the woods, you can bet that it has been tackled!
1. When did you start playing The Sims Series and what attracted you to it?
I started with the original The Sims game (no expansion packs even, can you imagine!?) sometime back in the early 2000s, I think... I had been playing Roller Coaster Tycoon a lot (and I mean a LOT- like, I would wake up at like 5 in the morning before school just to play another couple hours), and The Sims seemed like another fun sandbox game like that. It wasn't as similar as I thought, but I still had fun with it. I didn't REALLY get into the Sims games until I found a cheap copy of the Complete Collection a few years later and started to actually play with any kind of bigger plan in mind for the whole story, not just one household at a time, and that was enough to make me start buying the various parts of The Sims 2 once they were cheap. That's what really catches my attention with these games- the worldbuilding aspect of actually getting to create entire cities and populations from the ground up, not just single houses or families.
2. What is your favourite installment of the Sims series?
Depends whether I'm playing or building. Obviously my favorite for building things in is TS2- there's just so much more flexibility with what you can do there, but if I actually want to play the game, I honestly still have more fun with TS1. (I can't really judge TS3 or TS4 fairly... I've never had the chance to use either for more than about 10 minutes on friends' computers!)
3. If you could only have one expansion/stuff pack from any of the series and it would work with your preferred instalment (1,2,3 etc), what would it be?
Gotta go with Makin' Magic from TS1... I love the fact that they created a lot of the magical aspects from such a mix of different mythological and original ideas, and weren't just ripping off other magic stories that were popular at the time, but more than that, I think MM was the expansion pack that actually was the biggest step forward- it was the first time you could actually have Sims live somewhere other than the suburbs, and while I think Unleashed and Superstar did a good job creating communities that felt believable, MM is the first one that really did a good job outside of 'real world' inspiration.
4. When did you start creating for the game and what made you decide to become a creator?
I don't think there was ever one point where I decided to start making things as a creator instead of just building for my own entertainment. What really made me think about uploading some of my own stuff for the first time was probably just realizing that there were hardly any playable skyscrapers out there, and here I was with a downtown full of them, most of them never having been used. It seemed like a lot of people might like them, and it wouldn't take much work on my part, since I already had so many built (I'm lazy- I didn't want to have to do much work, haha! So much for that idea… )
5. What is your favourite thing about being a creator?
I really love when I see some of my buildings in pictures other people post of their neighborhoods, or in the background for someone else's upload, or especially when someone decides to use one of my buildings as a setting for a story they're writing. It just makes me happy to see how other people are using the things I've created, especially since I usually just build them and then never really use them! (really, I have fun just looking at my statistics sometimes, just seeing that other people like my stuff!)
6. What was your first creation? Photos welcome!
I'm sure I don't remember the FIRST building I made, but the oldest one that still is lurking in the back of my mind is a "castle" (and I mean that in the loosest possible sense of the word) from TS1. Fortunately for all of us, I don't have any pictures of it, but I think I can describe just how bad it was!
-Take the biggest lot in the TS1 neighborhood and draw a one-story rectangle that fills almost all of it.
-Put 4 two-story turrets, one at each corner, and a tiny box in the middle of the second story for a staircase to come up.
-Go inside and divide it into four equal pieces, and inexplicably put hallways on the OUTSIDE so that none of the real rooms actually have any windows..
-Furnish with the most expensive basegame furniture available, regardless of whether it looks good or not.
-Sit back and bask in the glory of this awesome 'castle' your 13-year-old self just made.
-Many years later, look back on it and wonder "what the hell was I thinking?"
For what it's worth, my first TS2 creation wasn't really that much better...
7. What creation are you most proud of?
It depends whether I've had a good or bad day at work, haha! If it's gone well and I'm happy with real-life National Parks, I think probably the five lots that were part of the vacation contest a couple years back are my favorites (http://www.modthesims.info/d/580199...ouse-no-cc.html), (http://www.modthesims.info/d/580200...nter-no-cc.html), (http://www.modthesims.info/d/580201...tory-no-cc.html), (http://www.modthesims.info/d/580202...odge-no-cc.html), (http://www.modthesims.info/d/580203...ound-no-cc.html)... the buildings are alright (not my best), but what I really like about it is the backstory and thought that went into them. I mean, I basically got to invent my own National Park with those... that's gonna be fun! If work is irritating me though, I'm probably more likely to say my Galileo Station lot (http://www.modthesims.info/d/554401/) it's another one where I put a lot of thought into the story behind it, and it's a more unique design approach than most of my other projects (plus Mars is awesome)!
8. What is your most/least favourite thing to create?
I don't know if I really have a 'most' favorite thing to create... part of why I have so many weird, random buildings instead of any real theme is because I usually have at least a dozen projects going at once, haha! That way I'm more likely to always be able to find something that I have inspiration for... at least that's the idea! I honestly don't like doing normal, suburban houses though, since I always feel like they end up being too boring for me. (So it's lucky that The Sims games weren't really designed for doing exactly that, right? )
9. Are you influenced by any other creators (for The Sims or elsewhere)?
Absolutely! Most of the lot creators who I follow are because they've made at least a few things that just blew me away, and in a lot of cases I've spent a long time trying to copy or adapt things other creators have made, just to figure out how it worked! And really, one of the first things I do with a lot of projects is try to find as many images of buildings or rooms that are kind of like what I'm envisioning, so there's lots of other creators out there who've influenced what I end up with!
*waves to everyone I've borrowed/stolen ideas from*
10. Who is your favourite Sims creator(s)?
I certainly can't narrow it down to just one! The people who I get ideas from are certainly up there, but I think my favorite creators are the ones who found ways of fixing glitches or unlocking build/buy content for people like me to use... I won't use any CC in my lots, so I really want to be sure I can use EVERYTHING that the game has to offer, and that it WORKS! So I guess that means people like Mootilda or Sophie-David probably are at the top of the list... So there's a vague and unsatisfying answer for you, haha!
11. What piece of CC would you recommend to anyone reading this (yours or otherwise)?
Surprising no one, I'll generally recommend using less CC rather than more (sorry)! I don't have anything against people using it, but I actually like the feel of the vanilla game, so I guess I'd say I recommend things that stay a little closer to that vision? For builders, the one recommendation that I've gotten a lot of use from is mods that unlock Maxis rewards- after all, it's a lot easier to make a convincing hospital if you've got the Medicine and Science career rewards available to you!
12. What tips do you have for up and coming creators?
I'd say make sure whatever you're doing, YOU have fun with it. Don't give yourself due dates or requirements or grades or anything like that where you'll end up stressed over your Sims game- that's what school and work are for! (I mean, the closest I'll come to a 'due date' for any of my stuff is like with a Christmas lot that I want to release around Christmas. If it's not gonna be done by this year, who cares? There'll be a Christmas next year too, maybe I'll finish by then, haha!)
1. Supernatural or Human sims?
Supernatural sims ruling over human sims.
2. Strangetown or Pleasantview?
Pleasantview. You've gotta keep the facade of being normal even when you're a supervillain, y'know?
3. Womrat or Kraken?
4. Residential or Community lots?
5. Castles or Cottages??
Castles. Obviously. Why is this even a question?
Thank you so much for taking some time out of your busy life as a supervillain architect to answer these questions for us, Zarathustra If you're looking for some fantastic lots for your neighborhood, look no further!
4 users say thanks for this.
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|14th Mar 2019, 5:28 PM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2006
I loved your builds in that contest! But I also love your other builds, so many different styles and concepts. You and your works are a wonderful source of inspiration and show what is possible in this game!
P.S. You really should try CAW (Sims 3)
|14th Mar 2019, 6:53 PM||#3|
Great interview, Z Congrats on being featured!
Keep creating and challenging me to build with less and less CC.
*flails around in a circle, muttering* How does he do that? How does he do that?
|14th Mar 2019, 8:45 PM||#4|
Those are impressive buildings. Makes me wonder what all it takes to qualify for an interview like this one. I've tried some nifty experiments, sure. But making them this cool with zero CC? Not easy. At all.
The Sims 4: Into the Future Conversions Stuff Pack is now available on DeviantArt.
|14th Mar 2019, 9:25 PM||#5|
Nice getting to know you @Zarathustra !
|15th Mar 2019, 7:33 AM||#6|
Congratulations Zara! Well deserved, you very well know your lots inspire me and I get excited to see what you build next!
|15th Mar 2019, 11:06 AM||#7|
I really felt like uncorking the champagne when I saw you here
You will forever be an inspiration to every sims builder out there!
|15th Mar 2019, 4:07 PM||#8|
Join Date: Jun 2008
It was very interesting to read that! I loved Roller Coaster Tycoon too. Especially second. Ugh... I has spend so much time there in decorating!
|16th Mar 2019, 10:57 PM||#9|
It's great to hear from the person behind the amazing uploads!
Besides the no cc thing, I feel like you're a kindred spirit by your answers. I've recently started playing Parkitect, because RCT, and am hooked!
|17th Mar 2019, 2:30 AM||#10|
Join Date: Feb 2010
Zarathustra is one of the best, most influential TS2 builders, also one of the greatest inspirational figures in this community. He really deserves all the praise he gets.
I selected few of my favorite Zarathustra's moments. It's worth taking a second to admire clever No CC details once in a while. It really boosts my creativity and sets me in the mood for building.
|17th Mar 2019, 11:57 PM||#11|
Join Date: Apr 2008
HE?! And all this time I thought the Great Z was female! Never mind that he uses Maxis stuff I've never seen (maybe those pipes come from a SP I don't have..?
|19th Mar 2019, 10:17 AM||#12|
What a lovely tribute, @MystAngel - now why didn't I think of doing that?
|Yesterday, 10:36 PM||#13|
I've got to say, while I admire all of Zarathustra's contributions, the lot that stands out most to me, for being the most outside-the-box creation is the space station. There's so much great stuff to choose from, but whenever somebody mentions Zarathustra, that lot is the first one that comes to mind... followed immediately by the beaver dam, which seriously blows my mind! I'd always hoped for a dam tutorial, so i could build a dam lot of my own! haha
By the way, if any of you haven't seen Zarathustra's "Men's Room Etiquette" video, i HIGHLY recommend it! HAHAHA!!
Thanks for all you do, Zarathustra! "Extraordinary" isn't a big enough word for it!!