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Ciem is a 2005 superhero-themed, Sims-based DSHW produced by Dozerfleet Productions. Originally to be called Ciem: The Human Centipede. Its name change since is to avoid confusion with Tom Six's Human Centipede series.

Ciem was also going to be the first in a trilogy of Sims webcomics spun off from the initial 2005 epic The Battle for Gerosha and the second Dozerfleet comic ever created in the DSHW format initially. It was originally intended in the 2005 Gerosha Prime continuity to be a parody of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, but went in a very different direction since then.

Plot

The story begins in the city of Gerosha, where high school graduate Candi Flippo is torn between a sense of calling to use her mutant centipede abilities to destroy her family's extraterrestrial enemies; and her desire to decide her own future. Deciding that she's a liability to her relatives, she moves away to Dirbine to start life over - and eventually marries a scientist named Denny Levens.

However, Candi's peaceful life and marriage are rudely interrupted when the Hebbleskin Gang learns the truth about where the missing "Gifted Flippo" went to. They send L1 the Llama to capture Denny, and Candi is left for dead. She survives, but gives birth to a baby in an alleyway. The baby lives only minutes afterward. When seeking help in town, Candi is mistaken for a prostitute that authorities are looking for, and is arrested.

She wakes up the next day, with her godfather Imaki Izuki arriving to bail her out of jail. Her home has been destroyed, and it is unknown if Denny is still alive. He is presumed dead. Unbeknownst to Candi and Imaki, Denny has been brainwashed into a minion known as "Dr. Leone."

Imaki tries to get Candi settled into a new home in Viron, and then attempts to prepare her to try out a suit he made for her, so she can become "Ciem" officially and fight back against the Hebbleskins before they do any more harm. However, before he can give Candi her new suit in person, Imaki dies of a heart attack in the park. Candi heads to his house later that evening with his keys, and finds the suit he was talking about.

She wages a one-woman war on L1 the Llama, Duke Arfaas' other minions, S1 the Bunny, and S2 the Bunny. She frees Dolly Malestrom from the S1 AI control crown inside her bunny suit, returning Dolly to her senses and gaining an ally.

As a relationship develops between the "widow" and police chief Donte Williams McArthur, Candi finds out he has cancer. But also learns he is "Captain Emerald," and the cancer is endangering his powers. L1 gains the upperhand and captures Donte, and Candi must come to his rescue. She succeeds, and foils the Hebbleskins' other plans by freeing Donte, but has to blind Jeraime Malestrom to free him from the AI program's control. The Hebbleskins retreat, vowing revenge.

The story ends on a cliffhanger, with Candi and Donte having to change into their costumes to deal with a sudden disturbance near a downhill skiing resort.

Characters

Heroes

Villains

Supporting characters

  • Miriam Flippo (mentioned)
  • Imaki Izuki (only appearance) (dies)
  • Dominick McAuley (only appearance)
  • Tracy McAuley (only appearance)
  • Khumar Hamilton (only appearance)

Production

Development

The story of Ciem began initially in June of 2005. Back then, it was merely a not-too-serious spin-off of The Battle for Gerosha. Gerosha and Gored By Them Things, a Lord of the Rings parody, were hosted on the Cormorant site at FreeServers. That continuity is now referred to as Gerosha Prime.

The site was created to work in both Firefox and Internet Explorer. However, because XHTML and CSS are the primary code languages used for the site, not all features are supported in all browsers. Since Ciem 1 was not made with Flash, odds are that a Flash version would be required to create a universal appearance and operation.

Screen capture

This early version was made with only The Sims 2 installed, and all snapshots were taken on an HP Pavilion 8700 desktop PC with an NVidia Riva TNT2 Pro video card with an AMD Athlon II processor that had 805 MHz of ability.

The unit had a total of 384 MB of RAM, and all shots were put through Adobe Photoshop Elements 1.0 and were given the necessary level tweaks and special effects. The original resolution for Ciem was 300x225, the same as for The Battle for Gerosha 2005.

Effects

Most of the Ciem suit's composition consists of a simple recolor of the white ski outfit from the base Sims 2 game, designated in the Everyday clothing section for Adult females. The centileg openings were also not very sophisticated. The mask was a simple two-piece consisting of face paint and a customized hairstyle. The reflective green eyepieces were adjusted in Photoshop to look the way they do. Most work with the mask revolved around obscuring ears and hiding her mouth.

The diameter and complexity of a centileg varies between shots and essential details. One thing that remains certain is that they are extremely long-but-strong, thin, well-controlled spare appendages that Centhuen Prototypes have. For most instances in Ciem, they are simple brown lines that are added in Photoshop and beveled to look more natural.

Keyframes from several Sim animations are deliberately taken out of context to create the battle scene effects, the most frequently used of which is the "Play on the Couch" animation sequence. To create the illusion of lunging into the air at an enemy or of doing a flip, the character's couch is removed after the footage is paused. The character then horseplays on an "invisible couch," making them look like they are really doing something more serious. The couch animations are used less frequently for Sims whose faces are visible and not obscured under masks, and it would have been more difficult to alter their facial expressions in post.

Typeface

Most early titles used for Ciem employed the Windows system font Copperplate Gothic Bold, as this font closely resembles a centipede in the body structure of its characters. The official Ciem logo was a modification of Copperplate with legs added, dubbed "Copperplate Centipede." This new font only exists currently as raster, and is not a font available for download.

Trivia

  • Vienna Dockler is a parody of Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bistrow in Alias. Her last name comes from a previous misunderstanding.
    • Sydney's last name was once thought by the Dozerfleet founder to be "Porter," not "Bistrow."
    • Since ships in a port are near a dock, the name "Dockler" made sense.
    • The nickname "Vienna" is used for Valerie Dockler because of Vienna, Austria. This was to parody the idea of "Sydney" as in Sydney, Australia.

See also

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