The Sims 3 Create A Pattern Tool
The Sims 3 is a life-building game, and what better way to enrich the lives of your digital minions than through the use of fetching patterns? Patterns have always been customizable in The Sims 3, but with the release of The Sims 3 Create A Pattern Tool, pattern making is easier than ever before.
The first thing you'll notice about the Create A Pattern Tool is that it is a fairly hefty download. 130 MB, to be precise. I remember, back in the day, there were whole human villages that didn't use 130 MB of storage.
The second thing you'll notice about the Create A Pattern Tool is that it's a mild memory hog. Users with mid to low range computers may have trouble running the tool successfully, especially if they try to run it whilst The Sims application is also open. It wouldn't run at all on my PC when The Sims was open, but then again, my PC fails at being awesome in many respects. Closer inspection revealed that it actually only used slightly more memory than Firefox, which is weird, because Firefox doesn't throw a hissy fit when new applications are opened. But I digress entirely.
The Create a Pattern tool is essentially a very toned down version of any of the major graphics editing programs available today (with the notable exception that it throws memory fits.) Essentially you have 6 layers to play with, a bunch of stampy / stencil options and the ability to place them as you see fit in your pattern according to your particular tastes. The tool suffers from a lack of options at this stage (for example, the animal section contains only 5 or 6 animals, and there are at least ten different kinds of animal on the planet. At least.) Hardcore modders aren't going to be impressed with this tool, but it's not aimed at hardcore modders, it's aimed at people who don't own Photoshop already but want to make new and exciting contributions to the beauty of The Sims 3.
Where this tool really comes into its own is in allowing you to preview your patterns in a testing room, where you can apply them to the furniture, walls, floor, ceiling and appliances as you see fit. If you export the pattern in the tool, it will automatically output the pattern to the uploads panel of your game, where you can install it. That function alone makes this tool quite lovely, removing the need to understand the underlying mechanics of the game in order to create words of hideousness that The Sims 3 designers could not hope to conceive on their own.