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    Tutorials:Creating A World That Doesn't Suck by TVR Designs @ Sims 3 Wiki


    Posts : 220
    Join date : 2010-12-04

    Tutorials:Creating A World That Doesn't Suck by TVR Designs @ Sims 3 Wiki

    Post  Archivist on Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:26 pm


    Create a World (CAW) was released in late 2009 by EA's development team. The program, which is used by creators around the world, is the major tool required to create a world in The Sims 3.

    As with a lot of EA's releases, there was no documentation provided that taught technique or anything beyond the extreme basics of the program. Of the information provided, only navigation of the user interface and a brief description of its features were covered.

    This guide has been created in the hopes that it could fill in where EA's lack of documentation abruptly ended. It contains all the information that is, currently, known about CAW as well as some techniques, tips and hints on painting, sculpting, routing and many other un-addressed features of the program.

    As a quick note, unfortunately Create a World is incompatible with the Mac operating system.

    A Word of Warning
    Before you commit to reading this guide or making a world, you need to understand something; CREATE A WORLD IS VERY TIME CONSUMING.

    For a WELL DONE world, it can take months, even a year to finish. You cannot, in any way, create a decently sized, QUALITY world in under a month. Because every task in CAW is tedious, even a basic map without lots will take you a month. This isn't to say that its not fun, it's very fun! However, if you hate monotony or you cannot stand doing tasks over and over, CAW is really not for you.

    This article uses acronyms, phrases, and colour codes which are explained below.

    CAW Create a World - Just a shortening of the program's name.
    EIG Edit in Game - This is pretty self-explanatory, it is the version of The Sims 3 that functions directly with CAW to allow you to build lots for your world.
    RED TEXT in screenshots indicates something is done poorly.
    ORANGE/YELLOW TEXT in screenshots indicates something that is acceptable.
    GREEN TEXT in screenshots shows a good outcome!

    Programs Needed
    Create A World Tool is the main program used in this material and can be found here at TheSims3.com
    S3PE is used to change things like sky and ocean colour in .world files. It can be found
    here at simlogical
    Photoshop .dds Plugin is a useful little plugin for Photoshop which allows it to read files in a .dds format. Find it here. Please note that this plugin is free, but Photoshop is NOT.

    Paint Programs

    Paint.net is one of a couple of programs that can be used to edit terrain and road texture files. These are generally in a .dds format. Find it here. Please note, this program is free.
    GIMP is another program that can be used to edit terrain and road texture files. Again, in .dds format. Find it here. Please note, this program is free.
    Photoshop is, perhaps, the most well known of the paint programs, but it has one major drawback. It costs. A lot.

    Tutorial Sections:

    Planning Your World

    Last edited by Archiver on Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Posts : 220
    Join date : 2010-12-04

    Planning Your World

    Post  Archivist on Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:27 pm

    Planning Your World

    Planning Your World
    Bridgeport's Main City Road Layout (click for full size).
    A Little Extra Area in Twinbrook (click for full size).

    Before you even open CAW, it is recommended that you have at least some idea of what your world is going to be, even if it's just "Desert," "Remote," "Small," or "Quaint Town". This will allow you to choose your world's size and map type easily.


    The first thing you need to decide is the size of your map. Sunset Valley, Twinbrook and Bridgeport are all Large maps, though they use up a lot of space around the edges in inaccessible hills. Do you want a small, cozy neighborhood that's just big enough to fit everything, or a bustling urban landscape with houses and businesses everywhere - or maybe a small town surrounded by wilderness? Once you get past terrain sculpting, you won't be able to easily re-size your world without losing work, so be sure of the scale!

    Bridgeport's Main City Road Layout

    A Little Extra Area in Twinbrook


    What kind of landscaping do you want? What trees do you want to use to compliment this? What kind if climate do you want? What sort of vibe? All these questions need to be asked when altering terrain. The way you sculpt your map will depend on what kind of area you are trying to portray. Some examples could be long flowing cliffs and hills or jagged, pointed mountains surrounded by desolate desert. The climate you are trying to show will also be reliant on what trees and architectural styles you want. Another thing to consider when on these things is the weather. Will it be a cold place or will it be heated? These are all factors in deciding foliage.


    This is one that is absolutely vital. Your landscaping can look absolutely gorgeous, but when it comes down to it, your world needs to have a good layout and nice buildings. To do this, you should have at least a small idea of what kind of street template you want. This might mean, for a city, you want close knit streets that intersect all the time, creating a sort of grid look. Conversely, it could mean you want one road running through your town with a few side streets running away from that.

    Special Features

    These are fun little nooks and crannies that you can put into your world for sims to explore and have fun with. For instance, there is a mine area in Sunset Valley and an old warehouse area with train tracks running through it in Twinbrook. This could mean you would like a little harbor area or a waterfall with a river running through your world. You need to have some good ideas for this, if you want your world to be interesting.

    Distant Terrain

    If you are going to make a world that is large, you might want to consider using "Distant Terrain." It becomes increasingly difficult to add these to your world in a natural-looking way if you have already sculpted your world. If you decide that your world needs distant terrain before you start it, you can make the land on the edges of your world meet up with the distant terrain to create a nice, flowing landscape.

    Things to Remember

    Once you decide all of these things, remember that you cannot change the map-size; you need to be absolutely certain that you can fit everything you want into the map size you choose. You can export the height map of a half-completed world and save it into a bigger map (more on this in another section), but this involves re-doing all the lots, paint, objects and decoration.

    You might also want to consider whether you want to add a second water-level. These can be seen in the EA world Bridgeport, amongst the mountains. Adding these can be difficult for the non-experienced, but it can also give your world a much more realistic and fun feel (see this section for details).

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