The Sims 3 World Builder Beta | Sims 3 Modding
In Breaking News ( a month ago,) EA has released a World Builder tool in Beta for Sims 3 enthusiasts who want to create their own worlds. The tool allows players to create worlds from the ground up, and heralds in a whole new era of player directed game design.
The world builder tool is fairly straightforward, but you will need to read the instruction manual to make it actually work because essential functions are hidden in right click menus. Once you figure out where you are what you'll find are are several starting maps and the tools to place roads, lanes, lots and spawn points throughout the maps. Everything is customizable, right down to the gradient of the road.
All these options make for a very complex little piece of software. A testament to this is the fact that although the world building tool was released in December, as we approach mid January, there are still only 16 worlds available for download in the Sims 3 exchange, and only one of these has met with any real success at three hundred or so downloads, and it's just a tiny island with all the important commercial buildings shoved at one end and a few cut n' paste residences dotted about the place. Building worlds appears to be hard.
If you insist on building your own worlds, be prepared to sink some time into this endeavor. Building a world is a fairly time intensive process, which is one of the reasons why, I imagine, there are so few worlds currently being released on the Exchange. Sims players have a reputation for being rabid modders, yet very few have taken up the challenge provided by this tool, which is, in and of itself something of a warning sign.
Then there's the glitches. The pre made terrains come with many interesting glitches, like the fact that oftentimes the entire map will be under water for no obvious reason whatsoever. The sea level tool doesn't appear to do anything useful, and for some reason, creating a hill will suddenly elevate all your terrain several hundred feet.
If you have low memory, forget about it. The Sims 3 World Builder Beta is a memory hog. This is the first program that has crashed due to a lack of memory, (on my computer, not in the history of the world) and it did so after just a few lots and plants being put in the world.
It's great that EA released this for free, but they couldn't have hoped to have released it for a fee. It's hardly intuitive, very time intensive and has managed to put most modders off, which is something of an achievement in the world of the Sims 3. Here's hoping EA puts out a final version with perhaps a few less bells and whistles (do we really need wire framing mode, or is it just there to make us feel special and technical?) but that chews fewer system resources and creates interesting worlds without packing up its toys if your system doesn't have a few terraflops of RAM lying around.