As those of you lovely human beings following this blog know, I’m using Inktober to push myself to publish wonky, mediocre digital art online so that I can release a spinoff comic, Haunted, in November. The idea being I’ll have gotten most of the wonk out come late November. If you’re new and want to know what Haunted is about, picture Oscar Wilde dating Willy Wonka and you’re actually pretty close.

I’ve tried, to the best of my ability, to draw as many characters as possible, rotated in as many directions as possible, in their natural emotional state. “As many characters as possible” turned out to be the protagonist and deuteragonist wearing different outfits. Whoops.

So as a bonus, I also made a mod that turns the Von Haunt Estate ghosts into sarcastic assholes. That’s at the end.

Haunted Preliminary Character Design

Xiyuan Liu (刘熹愿), 33 y.o.

Character design is usually done by people who have more experience with visual art than with writing. Having learned how difficult this is, I understand now why visual people are inclined towards fantasy, sci-fi and the supernatural.

Xiyuan, though, looks like a dude in a sweater and speaks like no one who has ever existed. He’s the craziest person in a story where everyone is nuts. And I love him.

His default emotional state is, of course, “upset about the 1958 Tonys.”

Fine, fine. In 1958, West Side Story, which was considered daring and revolutionary at the time, was up against The Music Man, which is formulaic and forgettable. The Music Man won. This is a BFD for Xiyuan even though he was born eight years later

How long do you think it’ll take before he starts impulse buying art galleries? If you said “Are you kidding? He did that the night before the comic starts,” A+. You get an A+ in Xiyuan.

Xiyuan Shallot-Liu, 54 y.o.

Some of the one-shot comics take place in 2020, even though it’s going to be the 1990s/1970s/1880s/1980s/1890s for a long time in the proper storyline. Scroll down! Despite his messed-up and brutal past, you’re looking at the least miserable character in Catastrophe Theory.

And decades later, he’s still salty about the 1958 Tonys.

i want there to be a list of SimLit OTPs, if not only so that people scroll through 68135 young & conventionally attractive redheaded vampire/spellcaster girls and then BAM angry Chinese grandpa

The ocean evaporates, but the salt stays behind.

Bernard Shallot-Liu, 156 (mentally)/49 (physiologically) y.o.

I did have some professional help with Bernard and probably owe his original creators a huge apology. Say what you want, he doesn’t look like most of the sims out there; he’s very recognizable. The main visual difference between Bernard Shallot-Liu and Bernard Classic™ is that starting in 2016, he—you know what, I’ll let them tell you during the one-shots.

Bernard’s default emotional state is—again, of course—“waiting for you to respond to the joke he just made about burning himself alive.”

the fire isn’t tasteless, it’s thematic. i.e., the running symbolism has already started. people who can draw better than i can may ask why bernard’s left hand isn’t showing up on the profile view; trust me, it looks less obscene this way

He’s the same height as Yuan because there are too many fanfic tropes about characters being different heights. All speculation about who’s on top is similarly discouraged. I’ve also heard justified complaints about large age gaps in fictional same-sex relationships, but we should be safe here because Yuan is only five years older. Right? Or two years younger at the time they met.

Okay, maybe that joke was too dry.

Lord Bernard Escargot Shallot IV, 21 y.o.

Bernard first shows up in a flashback sequence (auugh! flashbacks!! auughh!!!) to 1885. Which means it’s back to his default clothing. He can’t quite joke about his own death yet, but he’ll find a way to troll people regardless.

the pocket watch is the precursor to the Hot Topic wallet chain

Don’t worry—I’ll eventually research cool Victorian fashions that aren’t this one.

Lord Bernard Escargot Shallot IV, 34–141 y.o.

Hey, remember when Bernard was dead? He won’t let you forget. He’s dapper, he’s snarky, he’s stuck in purgatory for over a century, and he doesn’t know who Shakira is. Dead Bernard, in all his spoopy glory.

Okay, now the fire is tasteless.

And that’s about it.

Dolly Llama’s Sarcastic Ghosts Mod

This mod changes the ‘Get To Know’ interactions for the Von Haunt Estate ghosts. Now they’re sarcastic assholes.

Mind you, the way ‘Get To Know’ is set up, the interaction vanishes after the target sim uses it once. I didn’t mess with that. All this does is replace each ghost’s six default phrases with 14 sassier ones. No modding conflicts known.

Testers needed. It works fine for me, but I had to stop collecting screenshots because A CERTAIN DISASTER WOULDN’T STOP HITTING ON HIMSELF.

Three separate instances. Mm-hmm. The fourth time, he decided to scare himself instead.

Here’s the Mod The Sims link. And feel free to post screenshots on social media, but please do credit me! I’m a very small creator and could use the buzz.

(Digital) Inktober: Character Design for ‘Haunted’ and Sarcastic Ghosts Mod
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4 thoughts on “(Digital) Inktober: Character Design for ‘Haunted’ and Sarcastic Ghosts Mod

  • November 1, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Welp. I told you I was going to get incoherent so here goes.


    I die.

    (I mean…I’m still upset about the 1958 Tony’s and I knew 100% what you were referencing even before you explained. I actually starting singing “Maria, I just met a girl named Maria!” at the top of my lungs like a lunatic and my husband came in from the backyard and just stared at me. I like to imagine a world where Xiyuan is still upset about West Side Story and Bernard brings up the point that everyone hated Bizet’s Carmen and then they get into a debate about MTV’s 2001 Carmen: A Hip Hopera starring Beyonce).

    I digress.

    Bernard flirting with Bernard is just so goddamn perfect. Of course. He knows who the best person is.

    Also, that mod is chef’s kiss if I haven’t told you already.

    Also, you made a mod and these fucking dope digital illustrations? WHEN DO YOU SLEEP, DOLLY?

    Oh man, it’s so good. So, so good. I’m just in awe.

    The fire is always funny if your humor is dark enough.

    • November 1, 2020 at 11:21 pm




      That world you’re describing would probably be this one, especially if the debate is whether Carmen: A Hip Hopera existed. Like that show, Avatar: The Last Airbender? Wouldn’t it be cool if they made that into a movie? Too bad no one’s tried to do that.

      bisexual disaster (noun) [bī-ˈsek-sh(ə-)wəl di-‘za-stər]
      1 a person whose bisexuality causes them to do stupid shit
      2 a person who does stupid shit and is coincidentally bisexual
      // Whoa! Did you see Bernard hitting on himself in front of his husband and wife? What a bisexual disaster!

      When do I sleep? Have I not told you my secret? I don’t. But I also don’t feel like doing the normal Millennial socialization thing where we rattle off what meds we’re taking for our laundry list of mental illnesses, so I can’t prove it.

      <3 <3 <3 <3

      • November 3, 2020 at 4:05 pm

        Not sleeping, this is the way LOL. I can’t decide if it’s very good that everyone is all LOL I’m in therapy, or a sign of how bad things are. Prolly a little of both?

        Um, as I continue to distract myself, I feel compelled to say that Vlad (should the Martin-Strauds be over for dinner one night) would insist that music was better when it was bawdier and sung in a tavern. He would be very interested in Carmen: A Hip Hopera because he’s just beginning his journey of adapting to the modern world. Bernard would act superior about this,

        Nope, no one tried to make Avatar a movie at all and it definitely wasn’t ruined by the bro who has not managed to make a decent movie since the Sixth Sense.

        Fine, I liked Unbreakable.

      • November 3, 2020 at 7:01 pm

        Whoa, you have enough spoons for therapy?! You don’t just hide in your room and listen to K.I.D.’s album, Tired All the Time? (E.g.) Good on ya!

        Should they? They should. Hmmmm. I would actually watch a reaction video of Vlad being shown the Hip Hopera. And, for sure, Bernard is going to be “helpful.” I mean, you can guess what 2016 work they’d be forced to listen to. Guess.

        At least he has “Sumer is Icumen In” covers.

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