Around 75 sim-years ago, the Green family moved to Richmond. At the time, the family consisted of Chris Green, his wife Helen, and their two children. Chris's father James also lived with them.
Soon after, the couple had another biological son, and adopted a son and daughter. In the years that followed, these five siblings grew up and established their own families in the growing town. All but two of the five siblings have passed away now, and their eldest children are entering into old age. They and their families form the majority of my playable sims.
Richmond started out as Pleasantview, but eventually became so made-over and customised, that I just decided to re-name it and make it a completely different place in the sim-universe. This means, however, that along with some recognisable landmarks, the familiar Pleasentview sims and their descendants are still around. Most have faded into a non-playable happily-ever-after, with the exception of two or three who married into the various branches of the Green family. So some familiar names/faces will probably show up from time to time. Along with them, some players might also recognise a few other random families I downloaded from various sites, just because I needed families in my game who weren't related to the Greens. I could have created more myself, but the not-creative-writer in me likes sims that come with some relationships and a back-story to work with.
Most of the pre-made and townie sims have undergone some kind of makeover, some have changed their names a little, and a few have even acquired family that they were never given by the game - I don't like the fact that 80% of my town has no known relatives, so I sometimes create family relationships between townies/premades who have the same last name, or who resemble each other, or just because it makes sense to my story.
There's another bunch of sims who really shouldn't be here :) When I first got the Uni EP, as Pleasantview/Richmond was the only hood I was playing, I attached all three universities (yeah, relatively new player, didn't know what I was doing...). When I eventually decided I only wanted SSU, I deleted the other two, but all the playable sims decamped into my sim-bin. I've put them into various accommodations around SSU and they have the same status as townies, only becoming playable if they develop a strong relationship with a playable sim - as some have. So if you see someone and think, shouldn't he be in Strangetown, or something, you're probably right. But he transferred
As for where Richmond is located... I am in New Zealand, but Richmond definitely isn't. For starters, it has Northern Hemisphere seasons. I tried Christmas in sim-summer at one point, but it didn't feel right... probably because I've always thought of sims existing somewhere in the United States - a lot of the terminology in-game, the political and school systems and so on, are American. But at the same time, I'm not, and that will probably be reflected in my writing, my use of colloquialisms, my schools, etc. So I really think of Richmond existing in some vague parallel-universe country where the culture is a mix of whatever happens to come up in the story.
I only started playing my houses in sync and assigning actual years to my neighbourhood about 20 sim-years ago.This means that, although I tried to work things backwards by my screen shots and the sims' memories, there are a few age discrepancies and storyline inconsistencies regarding birth orders, ages and the like. I'll try to write around them, but it pays to not look too close, if I'm writing about things that happened in the distant past :)