This month’s edition of the developer blog is about Build and Buy, or B/B, as we often call it on the team.
The core developers on this feature are a diverse lot, hailing from England, France, Pakistan, India, and the United States. Each has a story. Venkat has been immortalized as a Bin Sim; Irfan is our resident team photographer; David reads about semiotics in his leisure time; and Miguel’s wife bakes the most delicious raspberry macaroons.
One of the new tools we think you’ll like is Wall Dragging. It certainly “made everyone gasp a bit” at the London demo. Ray, the designer, wanted a simple way to grow (or shrink) a room without having to rebuild it from scratch. So instead, you can grab a Wall, drag it to its new location, and the tool is intelligent enough to bring any Objects (including Floor tiles) along with it. If you’ve built a sleek living room for your Bachelor Sim and want to give him some more space, this tool allows you to move the Wall and everything connected to it at once. You don’t even have to go back into Create-a-Style to redo the patterns you’d created.
The user-interface, or UI for short, is also new. Josh, its producer, wanted it to be both functional and entertaining. The menus consist of pictures of the different categories you can browse through in Build and Buy Mode. Clicking on different parts of each picture takes you to that Object or Tool. We made our UI better by talking to fans and letting them play with the new tools. We also make changes and additions based on what the team thinks. For example, we put in the new Foosball Table because a team member really wanted one.
You’ll be able to place Objects like the Foosball Table at a 45° angle. You can also have fun with 360° object placement by holding down the “ALT” key while you rotate it. We had a strong debate about making free rotation & placement default, but decided that it was too advanced. This shortcut will give you the same effect.
At one of our fan events we showed the game to community site members from all over the world. One thing that they were really excited about were the new clutter Objects, especially the bathroom ones such as the hand towel, toilet paper, and perfume. Our “slot” system gives you several choices where to place decorative Objects on surfaces, such as Tables and Dressers. These small touches help personalize a house and give it a unique feel.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at B/B and look forward to what you’ll create & share on the Exchange when the game comes out!