Happy Birthday, Sneer HQ

Happy anniversary of Sneer Campaign being a place that exists in the physical world! Sneer Campaign as a by-appointment-only travel destination in Covington, KY, has been around since the fair year of 2016, when it was a large empty house containing Amandoll and the cats: Zesta and the Captain.

Then, Dollissa, the actual house owner, finally got here in 2017. We have had other people come and go, and a second house, right next door — making this yes, technically “a compound,” but I will tell you more about how we aren’t a cult later on, in another article.

We would love to show you around without necessarily having to invite a bunch of people from the internet over. Similarly, we don’t necessarily want to broadcast footage of how we actually live to prying eyes. So today, I am going to celebrate our Heaven On Earth by recreating our lives in the Sims 4, a game that I only started playing recently, during my burn out phase when I had to force myself to not do anything productive. In classic “me” fashion, I am going to use it to be productive, but also I am “being productive” by doing something I’d rather be doing today anyway. The system works!

Screencap of a scene from the Sims 4. A plot of land in the game contains two houses (both three stories tall). One is a red brick house and one is a house with light blue siding. They share a fairly big yard.
Practically real.

First, you may notice that these are not exact replicas of the Sneer Estate. I am not one of those people who spends untold amounts of time faithfully recreating an existing structure.

Also, I am not 18 years old anymore, so I can’t find the energy to comb through the billion sims skins that are still being made out there on the internet. So, even though I am certain that all of the paints, wallpapers, furniture that we actually own, et cetera, is somehow out there somewhere, ready to be downloaded for free — I’m not finding it.

Additionally, you will notice that there aren’t any cats in these houses. That’s correct. I am not spending TWENTY DOLLARS (when on sale) for the cats and dogs expansion pack. I might encourage a friend to get it for me as a gift some day, but today it isn’t on sale, and I am not going to encourage a friend to get it for me for FORTY (F O R T Y) DOLLARS. Just imagine the cats in place of these little cat figurine toys that I place around the rooms. They are much bigger than these toys, and more active, and much dirtier, but these will just have to do.

Lastly, I will address the fact that all of these images are so small. I like uniformity throughout the site, and usually the images are this exact size — although they contain a lot less detail normally. This is just how it’s gotta be. Especially since once I started capturing the pictures, I still felt like I was invading our own privacy.

Screen capture of simulated Amandoll and Dollissa scowling in a selfie.
Simandoll is angry that I am taking a photo of us. Accurate.

After carefully creating our individual sims that don’t really resemble any of us except Dollissa, who I got a height mod to create (imagine seeing her as the same height as the rest of us!) — which took so much time and energy, I then moved us into a land plot that was much larger than it needed to be and became frustrated for hours just trying to make basements and visible foundations. I didn’t actually make the visible foundations, really. And I noticed a few minutes ago that some of the floors are uneven, so I got whatever foundations are there wrong.

I also struggled hugely with creating staircases, placing windows, estimating room sizes — I absolutely failed to make enough room for the corner-placed fireplaces in House 2, so instead of those, we have “shelving.”

Screencapture of the back of Dollissa's head as she watches a TV. In the background there should be a pretty fireplace mantle, but there isn't.
Dollissim watches sports (inaccurate) in front of the (inaccurate) (accidentally nonexistent) fireplace.

I did enjoy recreating the yards, although I made the front yards much too small and didn’t have room for our beautiful thundercloud plum tree. I guess it is okay because they don’t have any tree even close to it in the game’s coffers. It’s probably found in one of the two hundred expansion packs you can pick up for dozens of dollars.

I made sure to include the cats’ graves, as the memorial gardens are an important part of our yard decorations. I didn’t know it until after I took these screencaptures, but if I had given each cat a tombstone, I could have engraved them appropriately. Instead we have these:

My dedication to accuracy knows no limit. While going through each category in the build mode, I discovered that I could place mosquito effects! Appropriately, I put clouds of mosquitoes near the garden beds, the bamboo, and anywhere sim me might naturally stand.

Screen capture of a tile with mosquito icon on it, placed in the yard, between bamboo and raised garden beds.
The Amandoll sim stands in the yard near the fence, a cloud of mosquitoes surrounds her.

Using the money cheat codes just like Dollissa does in her real life, I tried to authentically recreate our decor and interior colors. Unfortunately, the green carpet in the game is pleasant and not the color of an evergreen crayon, but I think I did okay. This took me another chunk of hours of my life, which was excruciating to endure because I ran out of joy already during the character-building journey. Hey! Just like in real life, again! This game is going above and beyond with its realism these days.

Screencap of Amandoll standing in House 1's front room. Her face looks strangely annoyed or forlorn or wistful. All of these moods at once.

But come along, we will give you the house tour! You can see part of House One’s front room right there. I’m in it seeming to be made uneasy by my own existence, which is eerily correct.

Screencap of an overhead view of three rooms in House One. Manny is in the kitchen.
Manny stands in the kitchen of House One, secure in the knowledge that his room is very nearby.
Screencap of Dollissa's sim sitting at a dining table. There is a fire roaring in the fireplace. Her little diamond above her head is yellow. Hopefully the coffee improves her mood.
I found Dollissa drinking coffee all alone in House One’s dining room: ACCURATE. But our fire places are all sealed up! INACCURATE.
A spic and span basement with stucco walls, totally devoid of dank moisture, is the setting of this screencap. The four of us are all sitting at a table. Dollissa is asleep sitting up!
Down in the basement of H1 there are lots of surfaces, but the whole atmosphere is dingy and we have never hung out down there together.
An overhead view of the second floor. There are stairwells visible, and two bedrooms. The bedroom Dollissa is in is full of plants and gardening stuff.
H1 Upstairs: Dollissa is happy about the guest room/plant room.
Manny and Dollissa are in a bright yellow kitchen. Due to a glitch in the game (maybe), half of the tree's foliage is in the kitchen. A dark cautionary tale for us.
Our tree needs some pruning! It’s barging right into the second kitchen! A cautionary tale to us regarding necessary house maintenance.
The four of us mill around in four darkened rooms that are filled with the items in the "clutter" category of items.
Do you like how dark the attic is? There’s no electricity up there!

At this point in the house tour, we usually let our guests have a little rest. The tourists are often a little winded after so many flights of stairs and so much looking at trinkets and asking questions, questions about our lives! But then we go to House 2, usually via the back yard.

The Jamie sim is cooking grilled cheeses in a green kitchen. There are chalkboard wall hangings on every available wall.
Kitchen Three, or K3 as we call it, is actually surrounded with chalkboard paint along about half of the room.
Amandoll is sitting on the basement floor (which would never happen because it is permanently damp). There is a work bench and like three kinds of exercise equipment. That's inaccurate, but if the basement were dry in real life, maybe it would be.
I forgot to showcase the middle and front rooms of H2 but here is what the basement definitely does not look like.
Jamie is sitting in a grey chair in a bedroom that is a lovely dark blue and there is a turquoise wall nearer by. There is a little desk with an orange chair, shelves, framed pictures, green carpet.
Jamie keeps a very nice room that features soothing colors.
Jamie is standing at the top of the stairs on Floor 3. The carpet is light grey, the walls are painted a reddish orange. Sort of coral.
Jamie is standing in his home office here. It is on half of the third floor, which we call an attic, but it really isn’t I guess.
Amandoll is at an easel in a brilliantly blue room next to the coral pink room (which is visible in the corner). There are desks and it looks like a nice studio. In the game, the heaps of canvasses that belong next to the easel won't be unlocked until after she pursues a career in the arts. Come back for an update in the next few years.
The other half of the attic is where Dollissa works her day job and I am supposed to do my paintings up there. We also have intentions to do all of our empire business planning from that room.

Interestingly, even though my House 2 is more or less accurate on the ground floor, each story going up seems to get smaller and smaller. There is a lot more space in the rooms and offices in real life but by the time I realized I must have made a terrible miscalculation, I was too far into it. Sorry to the sim versions of us.

Looking over the simulated Amandoll's shoulder while she sits at her desk in her office. She is playing the game's Sims game. You can see a giant sad clown painting, hanging jackets, and a table with trinkets on it. True to life.
Here I am in my office playing the game Sims Forever. It is how I have looked for the past two days. I’m sitting here now, feeling a little uncomfortable.

I will now speak on the actual game, the Sims 4, for a moment.

Back in the day, I had played Sims and Sims 2. I don’t even remember Sims 3 existing, but Sims 4 is different from the ones of fifteen or twenty years ago. There are “neighborhood stories” and I think I’ve lost several neighborhood starts because I don’t understand how to go back to a game I had been playing.

I find it unsettling that other homes and characters are apparently aging and making their own decisions while I am focused on another house. I think I noticed one of the other families child looking older when I accidentally unpaused today. It aged up and I wasn’t there to say otherwise! This is challenging for me, the kind of player that used to turn off the free will toggle so that they couldn’t do a thing without my approval.

I think it is a pretty common thing, to use the Sims as a house-building game with unlimited simoleons and a billion downloaded skins. I certainly see the appeal. But I think when I was around 22 years old, I had some sort of internal crisis about using my real time to play a simulated life while leaving mine to fester and crisp in the shadows. Ever since then, I can only play any game for like a maximum of two hours before a Depression rolls in, like a darkly cackling fog.

Sims 4 was purchased because it was on sale for $6 at the time and I had to force myself into doing nothing, for my own good. It really was for my own good, I keep telling myself. And even though this took far too long to create, little simulated usses in simulated Paradise, I am glad that I finished this in time to celebrate HQiversary — the whole point of doing this anyway.

And who knows. After my Sims 4 Burnout dissipates — because this very definitely felt like grueling unpaid work — I might use our characters for purposes and future content. I suppose only time will tell.

Another screencap of Dollissa and Amandoll taking a selfie. They are making wacky faces and Dollissa looks like exactly real her. Amandoll's hair isn't asymmetrical enough, for your information.
By the way, I assume my accurate hairstyle is hidden within one of the expansion packs, but that means I may never know!

Game Grade: 5 out of 5 stars — Sims 4 is perfect, despite my bitter complaints and hostility.
HQ Grade: 5 out of 5 stars — will definitely continue living here, with no complaints at all!

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