World Adventures Preview SIMposium
Wow. What a trip! It was quite an honor to be invited to this event and I thank EA for their great hospitality. The preview event was on October 29th and 30th. It was 2 whole days of all that is good. Not only did they demo the game for us, they handed out little prizes to us throughout both days and we got to spent quite a decent amount of time at our own computer stations to peek at all the new things.
My favorite part about this event was something EA tried for the very first time: live social networking to the community. I loved being able to reach the community while I was playing, who were chomping at the bits to get more information about the expansion pack, and share all the information I could live via facebook, twitter, and flickr. I think this is a brilliant idea and I hope they do this for all of the preview events.
I must say that when the World Adventures expansion was first announced, I wasn’t very enthused about the pack. It sounded like another Bon Voyage (TS2 expansion pack) and it seemed like they focused on adding “adventuring” elements into the game, making it feel more like an adventure/RPG game rather than a simulation game. I was also quite confused as to why they would use actual country names (Egypt, France, China) when everything about the game is usually “simified.” I was worried they weren’t going to be able to capture the essence correctly for each of these countries and may end up offending those who live in those countries.
Furthermore, all the information they released gradually had very little information on what I was most interested in as a builder … STUFF! I was starting to worry we weren’t going to get many new build tools and buy objects. I was quite relieved when I sat down at my computer station just to see all the new stuff that was added! In my excitement for my fellow builders, the very first thing I did in World Adventures wasn’t going on an adventure. Instead, I spent quite a bit of time taking screenshots of just all the new stuff and posting the images on facebook so everyone could see.
It wasn’t until after that did I finally make a sim and take her traveling. I visited Shang Sim-la, China first as I was really curious to see their interpretation of “China.” It took a little while to load into the new world, but I was not disappointed when it did load. The scenery was just absolutely breathtaking.
I had planned on building a house while I was at the event, but as it does take me quite awhile to build, there were just too many distractions, so I ended up just touring the different destination spots and taking screenshots of everything to share with the community. If you would like to see all of these screenshots, you can visit Builders’ Boulevard or Builders’ Boulevard Facebook page where I have all the screenshots uploaded.
This was an exclusive shocker EA threw at us after they demo’d WA. If you are part of the TS3 community, you should be well aware of the fact that we have been desperately pleading for a neighborhood creator ever since the game originally shipped. With the release of the new Create-a-World tool in December (the tentative date that was given), our wishes will finally be realized.
You could feel (and hear) the excitement in the room when this was announced to us. All of the cameras were at hand along with our Sims notebooks and pens to jot down notes of this new tool. They demonstrated some pretty nifty things from being able to surround the terrain with lava and floating space rocks to importing your own images to create truly unique terrain. How cool is it that you will be able to import an image of your face and see it turn into land?
The Create-a-World tool is basically a slightly simpler version of the tools developers use to create the actual neighborhoods such as Sunset Valley and Riverview. It is very robust with a ton of control over everything, from sizing and placing lots to adjusting the curvature of each road and sidewalk. Routing will be extremely important in terms of making your neighborhood fully playable. Do not expect this tool to be as easy as the neighborhood creation options that were available in TS2. You will need to fully understand all the elements of sim city planning and becoming familiar with the tool itself in order to create worlds.
I am definitely looking forward to getting my hands on this tool and see what the community comes up with. This tool will open up a whole bunch of new opportunities to get truly creative with customized neighborhoods. And with the ability to upload these neighborhoods to the exchange and share them like we can with other creations, we are bound to see some very creative stuff. I just hope the continued issues with uploading via the launcher is fixed by then so everyone will be able to share their creations.
Once again, thank you EA for inviting us fans to the preview SIMposium! I had a blast not only in previewing the game and CAW, but also in getting the chance to meet fellow builders from the community. We all had a great time and we all are determined to keep creating quality builds. Just 2 weeks until the release of the expansion pack! Can’t wait!