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Welcome to ModsLab! Today, we are thrilled to bring you an exclusive interview with TURBODRIVER, a big name in The Sims 4 modding scene. You might have heard of his famous creations like WickedWhims and WonderfulWhims.
Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of modding with us and uncover the mysteries behind TURBODRIVER's work & his latest collaboration with Lovense.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into modding for The Sims 4?

Hey! I’m TURBODRIVER, for the past 7 years I’ve been creating mods for The Sims 4 full-time, aiming to provide naughty pleasures within your Sims worlds and the real world too 😉 Although I have been exclusively modding many different games for over 10 years now, I still have an aspiration to eventually come back to my roots and create entire new video games 😄

I was always very interested in video games, even though I rarely had a chance to play them as a kid. Most of my childhood I was outside causing mischief, but eventually my parents bought a computer and later access to the internet. In late 2007 I found internet forums dedicated to creating video games and that became my hobby since then. Contributing to these communities with my crappy creations and meeting people that could help me learn and improve. Since then this is still my main mostly self-taught hobby, which eventually transformed into modding video games.

It might seem like modding games is a step down from creating games, but modding can be equally fulfilling, especially when you work with a sandbox simulation game like The Sims 4. I’m able to skip the difficult task of building an entire compelling game and instead immediately focus on the depth that many people need in a game of this kind.

In 2016 I won a physical copy of The Sims 4 in an online contest that required writing jokes. I was already installing naughty mods for The Sims 3, so I had to look up mods for The Sims 4 too. There weren’t many at the time, which felt like an opportunity to make something myself. I looked up how to make mods for the game, asked a few creators for help, and after a few months of tinkering I released the first version of WickedWhims, at that time known as WickedWoohoo. The name change was required due to Electronic Arts not being happy with me using the “woohoo” word, but I think I ended up with a much better name thanks to that.

WickedWhims offers various options to explore, but you will need to check them out for yourself [18+]

A day in the life of a content creator must be quite diverse. Could you walk us through what a typical day looks like for you?

My typical average day changes throughout the year as I finish ongoing projects and get involved in new projects, but every day begins with checking emails and social media (see TURBODRIVER's SM links below). I have to stay in touch with the community and address any concerns or issues anyone might have. Observing and responding to the community itself could take me half of the day if not longer, but thankfully I have an assistant person that handles most of that for me. This leaves me with the most critical and complicated matters to resolve, but after that I can focus on the creative work.

I’m not well organized and have difficulties with focusing, so I have dozens of projects in the works at all times, allowing me to jump to anything that I see fit at the moment. This means that I’m usually in contact with many other creators who are working with me on my projects. I’m not good at drawing, 3D modeling, or animating, I mainly code, so I always have to stay in touch with other talented people who help me complete my vision. Checking progress on their assigned work, providing feedback, and implementing whatever is ready for any given project at the time. It might sound like I have a whole team working with me that I have to manage, but that’s not really the case. Who and how many people are working with me changes all the time depending on what I need, as modding The Sims 4 is very diverse and many things require specialized knowledge or experience.

It can get tiring keeping up with everyone so I cherish the moments in my day when I’m simply coding by myself. Doing research for my projects, improving my custom tools, going over reported bugs, fixing and improving my spaghetti code, and actually creating new things. At some point I get hungry so I have to spend time cooking, on an average day probably preparing spaghetti 🍝 and then I’m back to working on code. Occasionally switching to expanding my new website for sharing content - WickedCC. Although this tends to be even more talking to creators that I want involved and figuring out how to provide a comfortable space for sharing and finding mods.

I’m guilty of overworking and overwhelming myself with too many projects, but in between all of that I find many moments to take a break and talk to the people closest in my life. With occasional days where I’m simply doing way less work to shake off some of the stress that eventually builds up. It’s difficult to keep a balance in my life as a content creator because I simply enjoy what I’m doing way too much.

There's a popular Kotaku article about your community supporting you through the whole year when WickedWhims was in development. How true is this, and can you make a living out of creating mods?

These days it’s easy to find many examples of successful talented mod creators for just The Sims 4, but I was one of the earliest to join Patreon and see if I could make it work. Surprisingly many people believed in my mission of building a fully featured naughty mod, and without me even directly asking for support they clicked on my Patreon link and pledged money. It was a huge encouragement to see that others believe in me as a creator. I didn’t have to ask anyone to help me, I just needed to show people that I deserved it by providing something they wanted and enjoyed. This is still how I see things today, I take my time creating great things and hope that there are people out there who are thankful and able to support me.

I believe that games with very well implemented or very open support for mods can enable people to go above and beyond with their creations and potentially earn them some money on it. I wouldn’t focus on the aspect of making a living from creating mods though, you should be driven by passion to create and love for the idea that you’re trying to achieve. Modding is still a very personal and community-centric hobby, so if you’re out there trying to just get money out of people, someone more passionate and creative will easily overshadow you.

Make mods because you’re passionate about creating. If there’s an audience for your work, you just might be able to make a living out of it. I wish everyone luck, being able to profit from your creative hobby feels great.

The recent integration of Lovense sex toys with WickedWhims certainly caught many by surprise. Can you share with us the journey of bringing these two seemingly disparate worlds together, and what were some of the unexpected challenges you faced along the way?

Integrating Lovense sex toys with WickedWhims is a somewhat embarrassing story but with a happy ending. I was approached by Lovense in early 2023 and told that a lot of WickedWhims users asked Lovense for integration with the mod. I was immediately interested but worried that I wouldn’t be able to do this well, not having any knowledge of how things like this are done. Thankfully I received all of the necessary information and plenty of helpful tips from Lovense employees. There was just one problem, my overambitious idea of how I’m going to make this an exceptionally good integration.

Sometimes modding comes with its drawbacks, you can’t always do everything you want, and modding The Sims 4 comes with many limitations. My idea was to provide a one-to-one conversion of animations actions in-game to how different sex toys would perform. The issue is that The Sims 4 doesn’t come with ways to access such detailed information of animations during runtime. I thought that’s okay, I could just pre-compute all that information and ship it with the mod. The next issue is that the WickedWhims animators scene is huge, with over 10000 available animations, so creating basic solutions for detecting actions is somewhat impossible. I thought that perhaps that’s okay, I could have an AI trained that will learn from a few animations and save a lot of time down the line. Turns out it’s not easy to just train an AI for detecting actions in animations, especially when they can be so… unconventional. The entire plan of providing an accurate experience fell apart. I felt quite defeated and kept delaying things for a whole year hoping to get somewhere.

You can’t always be successful, sometimes you just have to learn your lesson and move on. I have finally accepted that I just need to integrate Lovense sex toys the best way I know how to do it and consider ambitious improvements for later. Surprisingly, or maybe not at all, I didn’t need to make this feature perfect. I’m receiving plenty of positive feedback from many Lovense users and I already have new ideas on how to make things even better.

Was collaboration with Lovense your first project with a brand, and can we expect to see more collaborations like this in the future?

This is the first time I agreed to work with a brand. Deciding to collaborate with Lovense was a very unique opportunity. It wasn’t the first time I was approached by a company to work with them, but it was the first time doing it really made sense. Integrating Lovense sex toys with actions happening in the game was a great idea. It wasn’t just about promoting products, it was about providing players with a whole new unique experience to enjoy. If there’s potential to expand my creative work in future collaboration proposals, I will be very happy to give them a try.

Among countless mods available for The Sims 4, your name appears really often in the thank you section. Can you even estimate how many creators you’ve helped or how many mods were possible to create thanks to your help?

Similarly to many talented creators working with me on my projects, I’m always available to help others in the community with coding or advice. Sometimes even people who never tried modding The Sims 4, as I attempt to provide them with tips on how to begin.

I’ve helped dozens of creators directly in making their mods, small and big. I know hundreds of creators, especially animators, who are able to create because I’ve made WickedWhims and tutorials on how to begin creating for it. I’m simply happy to help and oftentimes it’s only fair that I provide help as these creators have helped me before too. We’re a community of mod makers working together. Sharing the knowledge I have is very fulfilling and it feels nice when other creators are impressed by what I’m able to provide for them.

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As a seasoned modder, you've likely encountered numerous highs and lows throughout your journey. Can you share some behind-the-scenes insights into your modding experience? What advice would you give to someone who is starting a modding adventure?

When you’re passionate about creating, the beginning is always the most exciting. You’re entering a whole new world of creativity, the possibilities are endless, and it’s hard to stop yourself from coming up with overambitious ideas. Being overly enthusiastic is great, I encourage it, and that’s often required if you want to stick around, as learning new complicated technical things to begin modding is exhausting. That’s how it was for me when I started. I had no idea how to begin and I didn’t know anyone that could help me, but I had a clear goal in mind that I could achieve with baby steps.

Get to know the community, read and watch anything helpful that’s available, ask creators for advice, and then make things, anything, as long as it gets you closer to your goal. That’s what I did, and once I got the hang of it after a month or so of trying, it was some of the most productive and fulfilling time of my life. I always focused on creating things that I would enjoy having in my own game, and it so happened that many other people enjoyed the same things as I did. For a year or two I was on a roll, all my time was spent learning and modding, the highest of the highs. It was inevitable that I eventually burnt myself out and hit the first low. There’s no advice that can prevent this from happening, you should just expect it and understand that it’s normal.

As you continue creating you improve, your experience grows, and most likely with that your standards get higher too. I always wanted things to be bigger, better, and prettier, so I feel like I’m still doing something great. This could mean that you become slower to finish things, you get less chances to experiment, and your hobby essentially becomes more tedious and less fun. This can be a very good state to be in for providing exceptional quality, but it can feel extremely stressful. This was an important lesson I learned a few years ago. Everything in life requires balance, you have to sometimes let go of your high standards and just play around, have fun. If the creator is not having fun creating, then the player is likely to be dissatisfied playing.

To summarize, start creating out of passion, whether you’re searching for it or you already have the enthusiasm to begin with. Interact with the community, connect with people, and learn as much as you can from existing resources. Make small things first, experience comes from trying and often failing. Prioritize providing an enjoyable experience that you would want yourself, there are other people out there that think just like you and they will thank you for it. Have fun!

In the famous WickedWhims and DD drama, in short, someone used your code in an inappropriate way to create a vicious addition to it. Can you share what your insight was and how you prevent situations like this in the future?

My goal is to provide everyone with a safe and sexually positive environment to explore and enjoy. It’s really unfortunate that when it comes to sexual subjects, inevitably someone always shows up and causes disruption, bringing unacceptable things into the community without a second thought. This caused me to become a lot more hesitant about helping new creators showing up in the community. I was deceived a few times by very problematic individuals and this makes it difficult to know who to trust. This is one of the biggest downsides of working with adult themes, but you can't allow that to stop you.

Staying in touch with the community helps ensure what you stand for. It’s really important to inform and educate everyone about what’s going on and what’s considered acceptable or unacceptable. I wouldn’t want anyone to think that I have anything to do with some despicable individuals taking advantage of others. Make sure to communicate and provide accurate information wherever there’s confusion or doubt. You can’t prevent difficult situations, but you can make sure everyone has easy access to correct information and safe spaces.

One way to deal with difficult individuals in the adult mods community is by providing a heavily curated platform, which is one of the goals of my WickedCC website. To assure the best experience for anyone wanting to try adult The Sims 4 mods, only invited creators are allowed to share their work on WickedCC. It’s an effort to increase the safety, accessibility, and comfort of obtaining adult mods, which can at times feel a bit sketchy to do at other places on the internet.

Thank you, TURBODRIVER, for inviting us into your world of Sims 4 modding. Your passion, creativity, and unwavering dedication to pushing the boundaries have undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the community (and us!). We eagerly await further collaborations, awesome WW updates and wish you good luck with all the projects. To stay updated with TURBODRIVER’s news, make sure to follow his Twitter and Patreon.

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