SIMposium'09. Prosims in Redwood (en)

Автор: Simply_me

Planning a vacation? Still can’t decide where to go? Stay at home with the new Sims 3 expansion pack known as World Adventure and you won’t miss a wonderful chance to visit three amazing countries: China, Egypt and France.
Last Wednesday I had an incredible opportunity to explore new addon’ s features. I hope, you’ll be as much excited, as I was.

 

Egypt

Looking for bright sunlight? Then you should certainly set off to the sim-version of Egypt – Al Simhara. Enjoy the burning sands, the waters of the world’s longest river Nile and the dungeons of the world's famous sights: Great Pyramid, Sphinx and ancient temples. While you can spend all three days of your first vacation exploring the nature of the country and meeting locals, there’s a chance to send your sim to discover hidden treasures of centuries-old tombs and prolong your visa level earning visa points for each completed opportunity.

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The duration of the visa can vary from 3 to 12 days and is dependent on your sims’ travel experience. After the short loading you’ll find yourself in the base camp.

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The essential attribute of it is the Board of Adventures, where exciting opportunities arise.

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In fact “opportunity” means a sequence of quests from 5 to 15 steps. The more opportunities you take, the more visa points you earn. When you reach the third visa level, there’s a chance to prolong your trip with the help of a special reward that can be bought in the market place from a merchant. It is called “Certificate of Partnership” and costs 1000 ancient coins. The reward allows your sims to spend some extra days abroad after the vacation is over. Furthermore, it is a way the game encourages players to explore ancient tombs and dig for a treasure.

Besides, while discovering secret rooms you can find lots of other valuable items that can be kept in your sim’s inventory and taken home as a flashback of your journey, or sold for good money. Among those items are special objects known as relics. The price of a relic depends on its age and rarity. The one that I found was the part of an Egyptian tomb collection dating back 3,926 years ago, and its cost was 118 simoleons. What a bargain!
The first rule you should learn before you go down to dungeons is not to disturb mummies! Being the new type of NPC, mummies look quite realistic and have enough power to curse your sim if he is not the master of martial arts. You wonder: “where can I master it?” The game provides you a wonderful chance to visit the Academy of martial arts, situated in China.

In this way, the trip can turn risky because you’ll have only fourteen days to take off the curse. The interesting fact is that mummies are everywhere-throughout the sim, so there’s a hazard to find them in any country you are traveling to. But be careful! After each trip the sim gets a moodlet that prevents him from traveling for a quite a few days in case he is not adventurous, of course. (That, by the way, is one of the new features of your chosen character).
If you are brave enough to spend a night in a sarcophagus, you’ll get a chance to turn into a mummy yourself as well. Being a mummy is a kind of a worthwhile experience – some of your sim’s needs will decay and he’ll live much longer than he could. The only drawback to being a mummy is that your sim will move much slower than he usually does.

But such things as mummies and treasures are just a few of the things that can attract your attention during your expedition. The list is huge. If you take on a quest, you’ll probably have to find some items lost in the depths of the tomb. In most cases it is placed in the most remote area - that makes your exploration even more exciting, because you’ll be able to fan out into every corner on the way to you goal. As your adventure unwinds you’ll uncover secret rooms with hidden switches, lurking doors, hideaway pressure plates and reveal invisible stairways that will finally lead you to unpredictable treasures: money bags, relics, ancient coins, even (can you imagine this?) dried food! But if it just could be that easy! In addition to searching for treasures and solving puzzles your sims will have to survive dangerous traps of all kinds and different amounts: lightning traps, fire traps, even bugs attacks.

Make sure that you have enough dried food and the tent is in your sim’s inventory – some tombs are really complex.
If you have difficulty with puzzle solving or are afraid of mummies, you can stop at your 3-days visa and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of “black land”. The graphics are able to amaze even the most ardent players. While I was feasting my eyes on Egypt’s nature, I could even see the heat rising up from the ground.

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Furthermore, the flora and fauna of the location seem to be incredibly rich. Successfully completed the first quest, I sent my sim fishing. At first, she was catching only catfish of different sizes, but as her fishing skills grew, she was able to hook red herring, frogs and even crocodiles. By the way, one kilo of normal crocodile cost 10 simoleons, but I decided to keep it as a pet. It has gotten a real Egyptian name – Cleopatra and when the visa expired she was taken home in my sim’s inventory. The most surprising thing is that when you put it in aquarium it gets unbelievably small.

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One more thing I was excited to explore in Egypt was a market place with all kinds of goods. Stop here and buy such necessary items like a tent or dried food or simply a few souvenirs reminding you about the fascinating journey you had. It may be some ancient sculpture, fossilized fruit or antique set of broken bowls. Anyway for sure you’ll be delighted.

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It’s also possible to grace your virtual traveler with some special rewards like the Sultan’s Tabernacle palace, that is in fact the luxurious version of the tent, or skeleton keystone with the help of which no door requiring keystone will remain locked. For especially coward travelers there’s a portion of courage and for those who would like to find more ancient coins Master Thief's Coin is provided. All the rewards require some visa level and differ in price. The cheapest one will cost you 40 ancient coins.

 

Back to Sunset Valley

While I was playing my sim’s visa expired, but first I got three warnings: within a 24 hour, 12 hour and one hour before expiration. I was pleasantly surprised that it happened not that quickly: my sim was fishing at that very moment and I was worrying if I would be able to save the results of that fishing. But “The trip is over” appeared only when my sim put her fishing tackle away.

Since there was nothing to do in the hometown and the travel option was not active for a few days, I examined the Sunset Valley’s “rabbit holes” and found out that all of them are still closed from the player’s eyes. But don’t get upset! On adventure it is possible to see what goes on inside.
My next experiment was set on the exploration of Build and Buy modes. A new category of items appeared in the Build mode. It is called “Roof sculptures” and consists of all types of roof decorations: dragon’s head, dragon’s statue, and set of ridges.

Thanks to Grant Rodiek, I learnt a very useful cheat – buyDebug. With the help of it nothing seems to be impossible. Would you like to build a palace on the pile of ancient coins surrounded by French world-famous sights? Go ahead!

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Toying around with the cheat, I uncovered some new types of magic gnomes. Aren’t they cute?

The wildest dreams can now be put into life with the new basement tool! It will not only allow players to create a four-floor basement, you’ll also be able to fill it with all those painful trips and hidden devices that you experienced on traveling. The area of the basement may reach the size of the whole lot, so it is entirely possible to build your own underground castle.
New gameplay involves a totally innovative system of setting tombs objects known as “cause and effect” or “Triggers and Activated behaviors”.
Triggers represent all kinds of switches that can activate tomb’s objects. Most of these items are completely iinteractive with different sorts of switches, so it absolutely necessary to link the trigger and the object together in order to make the cause and effect work.
For example, if you put two floor switches, one door, one statue and one hole in the wall in the same room, there are at least two possible ways of setting that all together:

  1. Set the first floor switch invisible
  2. Link the statue and another floor switch
  3. Put the keystone in the hole and make the hole hidden.
And that’s how that scheme works:
Send your sim to move the statue on the visible floor switch and that will reveal the second floor switch. Make your sim stand on it and you’ll uncover a hidden hole in a wall with the keystone inside that unlocks the door.
Or:
  1. Link the statue and the door
  2. Put some “treasures” inside the hole in the wall and make it invisible
  3. Link another floor switch and the hole.
Now it works in a bit different way:
The door is unlocked by moving the statue on the first switch and the treasure remains hidden till someone curious examines another switch and uncovers it.
More information about the “cause and effect” system can be found in the lesson “Tomb Creation”.
The truth is that your imagination is not limited by a few objects. The game provides you with a whole bunch of switches, traps, chests, statues, stairways and of course all kinds of treasures.
Link it all any way you like and share your creation with other players on Exchange.

 

Setting off to France

You’ll find Champ Les Sims representing France in the Sims 3 absolutely beautiful, quiet place with rich agricultural lands and Roman style architecture.

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As I was asked several times to show what you can possibly explore in France, my first goal in that location was to find a catacomb to discover. Luckily, it didn’t take much time.

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As you can see, the entrance is covered up by surrounding stones.

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It has been said many times before that it’s possible to see only those areas that have already been explored.
The only obstruction I managed to find was the pile of rubble. By a good fortune my sim had a kind of pickaxe and was strong enough to lift it. In a few sim-minutes the way was cleared.

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And that’s it! Dead end! No switches, no statues, no holes… But, wait! Click on the wall and choose “Inspect”. The secret door is revealed!

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In the next room I found a pressure plate and a hole. Sending my sim on the plate I unlocked the door and the keystone in the shape of heart was found in the hole in a wall. I put it into my sim’s inventory and that was the right thing to do: in the next room I discovered the door that could be opened only with the heart-shaped keystone.

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While exploring I was able to collect different valuable items: ancient coins, money bags, even relics.

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The next door leads us to the fence, statue and a floor switch.

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Bring your cursor to the statue and you’ll see that the yellow arrow appeared from some side of it. That arrow shows you the direction of further movement. If it is fine, click on the statue and choose “Pull”\”Pull far” or “Push”\”Push far”

“Pull far”\”Push far” will move the statue in two grids and “Pull”\”Push” just in one.

[pic] [pic]

The first statue revealed the second switch for the second statue. And it itself uncovered one more switch, on which I sent my sim. This is how I found the staircase.

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When the opportunity is completed, you’ll get a proper message. In this case, the treasure chest will be surrounded by fireworks, as you can see below:

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Sometimes you can’t do without some tricks. For example, to uncover the hole at the screenshot below, I had to make my sim to mourn.

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The most amazing thing to do in France is nectarmaking. The whole new skill is closely connected with gardening. With the new expansion pack you’ll get 16 different sorts of grapes to grow. Among them Meloire grapes, Avomalino grapes, Cranerlet Nuala grapes and Gralladina Fran grapes. Each sort makes nectar’ s taste unique.

Besides, you’ll be able to mix grapes with other fruit. So it will take some time to find out which recipe appeals to your sims the most.
When your nectar is ready, you’ll need to name it and after that it may be sold or used.

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While I was playing my sim made friends with a local French guy. In such a way I retrieved some new social interactions like “learn a song”. There are actually only two songs available: "Phillipe's Kenspa" and "Je t'aime". After the song is learnt in can be sung to any other sim and he is also able to learn it from your sim as well.

Besides, as the relationship of my sim and the French guy developed, I found out that it’s entirely possible to do “WooHoo” and “Try for a baby” in a tent.

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Some places of new locations are far away from the base camp. If you hadn’t a chance to put your sim’s car in his inventory, don’t worry about the transportation. You’ll be provided with the luxurious scooter.

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Unfortunately, none of my attempts to recolor it was successful. I should probably mention that Build and Buy modes are not available on vacation.

 

Beautiful China

Picturesque landscapes, magnificent palaces, well-tended parks… I was absolutely fascinated by the charming beauty of Shang Simla!

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When I was finally able to revive myself from the shock, it was time for my sim to find a balance between her body and soul. In other words, I sent her to a Phoenix Academy of Martial Arts. While she was talking to some locals, I had a chance to observe other sims mastering their skills.

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Notice the clothes they are wearing! The guy with the yellow belt seems to be a complete newbie as he moves slowly, stumblingly and a kind of clumsily. The sim wearing a blue belt is apparently an advanced learner. His strokes are well-directed, accurate and masterful. By the way, the lady in red is a local merchant. By clicking on her and choosing option “buy items” there’s a chance to get some exciting items.

Finally, after a few hours of training with a dummy my sim also got her first belt – the white one.

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CAS items and favorites

To comply with the new gameplay, Create-A-Sim offers you a great number of new items: clothes, accessories, traits and even new preferences. From now on Egyptian, French or Chinese music, and cuisine are available as favorites of your virtual people. Probably everyone will be able to find something appealing to his own taste: Chinese stir-fry, Egyptian falafel or French frog legs.

Create-A-World tool


During the event we got one more pleasant surprise – Azure Bowie announced the successful development of the Create a World tool. The utility’s purpose is to create custom neighborhoods. It has a plenty of useful options that allows the user to be creative.
You can set one of the four available sizes for your possible map starting from 256x256 to 2048x2048.

Terrains

When you start a new map, the tool offers you to choose one of standard types of terrains: i.e. desert, lush. You are able to modify the terrain as you like: to lower it or to raise it to create hills and mountains.
It’s absolutely possible to import your own images in jpeg\png format and paint your terrain with the help of it.
The users of Photoshop or Illustrator won’t face any difficulties while editing the terrain – most of the job is done by a brush. You are able to select the size as well.

Decorations

As you start with your own world you are fully equipped with all types of decorative items: stones, trees, butterflies.
Just place them anywhere you like to make your city look even more fabulous.

Roads

There is a possibility to create two types of roads: driveways that will let your sims use their vehicles and sidewalks designed for hiking. You may form the shape of the road spinning the curves that by the way look pretty like Bezier curves.

Lots

The size of the lot is wholly changeable from the smallest one to the maximum (which is 64x64) with a left button of your mouse. A lot may be placed on all types of reliefs, including hills and mountains.
I should mention that the interface of Create-A-World is very friendly; by some reason it reminded me the city editor from the SimCity series.

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The tool will be available for free downloading this December on the TheSims3.com. Stay tuned for further information.


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