For some, lockdown has been a period of true boredom…
But for Ancoats resident Jess Vaughan, these three months at home have been quite the opposite. Utilising the iconic The Sims 4 game, which has been a real saviour during this pandemic, Jess has been skillfully recreating popular city centre spots using her newfound craft in ‘Build Mode’, including summer institution Sinclair’s Oyster Bar and the pretty marina in Ancoats. But how did Jess discover such a unique talent? While placed on the Furlough scheme during the pandemic, the avid Sims-er created her very own version of Ancoats’ Cutting Room Square (albeit a failed project), getting used to the game’s capabilities before showing her friends her first achievement. Naturally, they loved it, and before Jess knew it, @sim.ulatedmanchester was born.
Now, reaching a pro league of Sims-ing never seen before, Jess has begun building most of the city – with hotspots such as Albert Schloss, The Ivy Spinningfields and The Peveril of the Peak just some of the establishments serving fresh pints to The Sims residing in the virtual city. Lucky sods.
Speaking to Secret Manchester about the project, Jess said: “The project started after a failed attempt to make cutting room square in Ancoats. I’d been over-ambitious and the game couldn’t handle it, it kept crashing. I was so frustrated. I’d taken a few fuzzy screenshots and showed them to friends and they really liked it! So I thought about trying again. I’d learnt from my mistakes and was ready to give it another go. So I made the Instagram and people have been really enjoying it.
Continuing: “I never imagined it would take off like it has or that I’d see myself on the news! Its been overwhelming in the best way and I’m thankful for every one taken interested and are excited to see what I build next.
“I’ve got a long list of builds I want to make and the aim is to get cracking on with it. I’m currently doing about 3 builds a day so the content is building and the plan to show more of the process on Twitch in the next week or so. My highlights of what is to come is The Oast House, Trof and The Shakespeare.”
The detail is absolutely impeccable, with so many identifiable features included such as The Peveril of the Peak’s quirky shape, the brand new Akse mural outside of Sweet Mandarin, and even the floral feature that frames Albert’s Schloss’ doorway – which many of us are probably guilty of stumbling out of at least once in our lives.
Builds so far include a number of views of Ancoats and New Islington Marina, including Cask and Pollen, numerous quirky Northern Quarter streets, the historic St. Anne’s Church, Mackie Mayor, and even the Market Street tram stop (including the Café Nero, which is recognisable even with the Sim language!).