Community Spotlight Interview: SF Magazine

Latest fashion trends, gorgeous model photo spreads, makeup tips, and even interior design - these are just a few of the features included in every issue of SF Magazine. We're delighted to present this interview we had with Madison1909, TSOAsiashamecca, and Allium - the senior staff at SF Magazine. See how they got together to create one of the most impressive magazines made with The Sims 3:

Read SF Magazine: Issue 1

How long have you been playing The Sims games?
Madi: I've been playing since The Sims 1. My brother, who's the resident gamer at the house, told me about it one day and got me a copy. I got hooked instantly and have not been able to stop. Since then, I have bought EVERY EP and SP.
Allium: Since The Sims 1! As soon as I played, I was fascinated with the creative aspect of the game. My style of play has always been micro managing every detail, I envy those who give their Simmies free will. Luckily, I am not a control freak in real life! Like the others I purchased every EP & SP out there lol.
Asia: I got The Sims 1 as a birthday gift and have been hooked ever since. I've probably had (well definitely) had every expansion pack and stuff pack ever put out for every version. I'm not just a fan, I'm a bit of a fanatic.

What was your first creation in any of The Sims games?
Madi: To be honest I have NEVER created anything for the game. In fact, I rarely "play". I know it's bad, but I was just so obsessed with the interior design aspect of the game that I never really had a chance to actually play the game in its intended form. I have attempted to build a few homes, but it's obvious that that was not where the joy (or my talents, to be honest) lay. I tended to abandon my attempts rather quickly.
Asia: Don't be so modest, Madi! You're a FANTASTIC interior designer! I don't get to play as much as I would like either. Even before SF it was rather electronic doll houses for me. I make them pretty with a terrific home and then on to the next. But my first contribution? This one's easy - embarrassing, but easy- I posted an outfit set on TSR for The Sims 1. My first and pretty much LAST custom content foray.
Allium: I have always dabbled in building homes and creating Sims in all the Series. In The Sims 2 I began creating more homes and Sims using the huge amount of gorgeous CC that became available online and even made some clothing skins. I never shared anything. I never thought anything I created would be of any interest, I suppose. When The Sims 3 was nearly ready for launch I was so excited. I signed up to the EA site, and when I got my hands on the game I couldn't resist sharing some creations as it was so simple to do so, and quite frankly, I was amazed that people ACTUALLY downloaded them. I was hooked!
Madi: Now who's being modest?

What got you into Sims modeling??
Madi: I was always into the "playing dolly" aspect of the game - that is dressing them up and making them look pretty but never made anything much out if it as many of my Sims never made it out of CAS - I would always go back to my decorating. I figured I had no use for them since I never really played anyways. But later on, Pinkwizz - my partner at SID (Sim Interior Designs) introduced me to how much fun Sim modeling could be with the idea of hosting modeling competitions and such. As a self-professed Fashionista in RL, I thought "Why did I never think of that, DUH!?" Since then, it's become an obsession.
Asia: SID kind of was like turning a corner for me. I was a forum "lurker" before I came across them and it was just such a welcoming environment. They happened to be hosting their first modeling competition. I happened to have just made a Sim I thought was really pretty. I entered her and she won! I've just been going and going since.
Allium: Until SID started the modeling comps, I had only really shared my builds and interior decorating projects. I always made my own Simmies (no offense at the pre-made EA ones of course ), having a background in photography made it a natural transition for me, really. It's both challenging and fun creating "pretty pictures" in The Sims games.

What inspired you three to create a Sims fashion magazine?
Allium: Really it's all down to Madi and her crazy creative head. She enlisted SimEve's help on the pilot and the members of SID could see it had huge potential. But we are much more than just the core members, we owe so much to all our wonderful staff and contributors - it really is a team effort!
Madi: I saw how much potential there was after seeing what was happening with the CC (custom content) world and hosting the modeling competitions and said to myself - what next? So, one day, I brought up the idea of starting a Sim Fashion Magazine to Pinkwizz (who was as obsessed with fashion as I was) and we thought, hmmm, how do we do this?! My first thought was to bring on Simeve, whose shots I fell in love with during one of our modeling competitions. Of course, there were others that I wanted to rope in but, honestly, I thought these guys are WAY to busy for this. We went on ahead, on our own, with a "pilot" issue that, surprisingly, went over quite well, despite not being readable AT ALL! I figured, if anything, it would lure in the bigger fish with its success! And it did! By issue two, I had managed to nab Allium and Superpogimon into the whole thing! Asia was another obvious choice. I loved her work in the competitions as well, specifically her writing skills, but she has proven to be a multidisciplinary talent and a true asset to the magazine for sure!
Asia: I was just happy to be nominated.

The Honeymooner's Sanctuary interior design spread from SF Magazine: Issue 4

What's the process in creating an issue of SF magazine?
Asia: The day after release is a day of no SF. We are usually not allowed to talk shop! Madi's orders!
Madi: Yeah right! Usually at this point, she is busy looking for ideas on what to put in the next issue - like me! None of us can turn it off!
Asia: 'Tis true. Almost immediately after, the real planning starts. We usually hold a senior staff meeting to decide collectively on a theme and potential editorial ideas. Then we bring it all over to the rest of the team. They add their own input and ideas, then we mix it all up again. Once everything is approved, we start plotting out the pagination and hand out the assignments amongst the staff. We also set up a schedule so that everyone is aware of all the important deadlines and keep track of it all. There is a virtual SF "Office" forum so that staff can collaborate and communicate more easily. Once all the assignments are handed in it's up to Alli and Madi to figure out the layout and overall Design.
Madi:Alli is the resident DESIGN GURU! And SF would not be what it is without her. We think it and she makes it happen!
Asia: Finally, we move on to proofreading and final touch-ups. Then LAUNCH!
Allium: Then we sleep! Then the process starts all over again!

SF Magazine features models of every shape and size. How does the team determine which models will appear in each issue?
Madi: I think the process of scouting models starts off AFTER we decide on what editorials we want to feature. Then we play around with some ideas so that we can mix things up a bit. Keep it all fresh and interesting! Once that is decided on we search and search some more. But we do try as much as we can to include models from the community. That way we keep community members as involved as possible.
Asia: There is so much talent out there, we never have a shortage. Everything gets submitted to our own Editori-Mads for approval about a week or so after production begins.

What is it about The Sims games that makes modeling enjoyable?
Asia: What I have always liked about Sims is that however you play, there is something for you. Do you want to tell stories, do that. Make movies - load the camera and film away. Build homes? Take pictures? Play how you want. Legacies, short terms goals - it's all there.
Allium: Exactly what Asia said, I also LOVE that this is a game that caters for both sexes and all ages. The Sims brings so much MORE to modeling than a 3D modeling program. The Sim Models have personalities - they can do the most inappropriate thing, but that hitting the "pause" button you can capture the perfect expression. That's what makes it fun, expect the unexpected!
Madi: I agree with all the ladies - it's just pure fun! You not only get to play dress up, but you get to LIVE "The Life" vicariously through these lil' characters that YOU created. Also, one of my main reasons for being so obsessed with this is that it saves me a WHOLE lot of RL money. Thank you "MOTHERLODE"!

Fab Finds from SF Magazine: Issue 6

If anyone were interested in helping out with creating SF Magazine, how should they go about doing it?
Allium: Contact any of us via SID, Facebook or even on the Forum threads. We are always interested in feedback and/or help. We are all very approachable (we hope!), so no need for anyone to be shy! Although there might not be any creative positions available immediately, you might be surprised how much background work goes on - styling, marketing, writing, organizing and any bored web designers would be particularly welcomed! So even if you don't feel you are creative there are other ways to get involved, all we ask for is enthusiasm and reliability.

Do you have any websites that promote your work you'd like to share?
Why sure. Visit us all over:
Sim Interior Designs
Sim Fashionista on Facebook
SF Fashion Week (WIP)
SF Website

Thank you so much, SF Magazine staff! We highly encourage everyone to visit their websites mentioned above and, of course, visit their My Pages and to check out their amazing magazine! Don't forget to keep an eye out on the SF Magazine thread on The Sims 3 forums for new issues.