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Home Meeting with the producers Discovering the Create-a-World tool
Discovering the Create-a-World tool PDF Print
Written by Paperpin Tuesday, 03 November 2009 16:22
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The second main topic of discussion at Redwood Shores was the Create-a-World tool.

This utility allows players to create new neighborhoods from scratch - which is a huge innovation for the Sims saga - and will be available to download for free from December on the Sims 3 Store. Of course, in order to use this program you'll need to have The Sims 3 installed on your computer and subscribe to the official website registering your game code.

Eden from has published several Create-a-World screenshots on her Facebook account, you can find them here. Alternatively, you can take a look at SimProgram's megapost we told you about yesterday.

As usual, we have tried to sum things up.

Create-a-World is a 130MB standalone utility, which allows player to edit or create from scratch entire neighborhoods. The CAW database has several premade templates, that players can modify placing lots, streets, mountains, valleys and so on. Alternatively, you can import your own height map and use it as a base for your town (SteveB from TSR imported a plumbbob heightmap).

The terrain shape can be altered as you normally do in your lots with the terrain tool (increasing, lowering, etc.). Also, the steepest areas can be set as "unreachable" for your Sims. There is also a water tool.
Once you're done with the base template, you need to organize the neighborhood structure, choose the terrain paint (the tool provides you with new textures like lava, snow, pink grass but you can always import your own .PNG textures created with Photoshop), place the streets and the residential areas. You can even choose the town size, from 256x256 to 2048x2048 (that is Sunset Valley's size).

Creating streets should be quite easy, and you can place them wherever you want, shaping and curving them as you wish with a tool that resembles the Bezier Curve used in many graphic utilities.

Residential lots
You can define the areas you want to place lots into with a Rectangle tool, and you can put each lot where you like the most, not necessarily attached to the streets (although this is strongly suggested as the game tracking system may experience troubles otherwise). Also, you can choose the value of each lot and the presence of the "Beautiful Vista" moodlet.

Community lots
Community lots and career buildings must be placed in the neighborhood and you'll have to create an easy-to-use structure both for the player and the game.

Decorations and collectibles
Of course, a neighborhood is not finished without decorations like trees, boards, etc. With the CAW you can place any kind of item in any position (even floating in the air!) and you can also place collectible spawners for seeds, stones, etc. These spawners won't be visible in Live mode.

In order to help players creating full-working neighborhoods, together with the Create-a-World will be released a kind of how-to guide with some tips about positioning lots and streets, game performance, gameplay and aesthetics and technical considerations.

In add to this, the tool is the same used by the developers team to create neighborhoods, and this explains why several ones described it as a "tool for a small niche group of people". The fact that the tool is free and available for everyone to download, in fact, doesn't mean it is easy to use. Also, if you're thinking about trying to be clever and pass other people's towns off as yours, you'll probably be disappointed: once the neighborhood is exported it cannot be edited anymore. Viceversa, if while you play you want to edit the neighborhood, just push a bottom and you'll be able to.

If you want to see more screenshots about the Create-a-World you can take a look at Murano and SteveB's articles on TSR.

We can only keep waiting for a month more or less and then put our hands on the new Create-a-World!

Last Updated on Monday, 09 August 2010 18:14