June 2009

Sims 3 Paintings: Still Life, Portrait, Individual Interpretation, and More

The issue of paintings in Sims 3 is a lot more complicated than it was in Sims 2.  In Sims 2, all of your Sims painted the same paintings, and the paintings varied by skill level.  For the most part, the sequence of paintings was fairly predictable.

In Sims 3, paintings vary from one Sim to another, along with their skill level.  According to some early press releases, the paintings your Sims produced could also be things that they had seen.  I remember a quote somewhere about how two Sims could go to the beach, come home and make paintings, and each painting would be slightly different, depending on the Sim's interpretation.

Some Sims 3 technical notes: creating a new playable household, edge scrolling, and more

1.    Over the weekend, I had some trouble adding a second playable family household to my neighborhood.  In order to add a new family, first you have to start playing your existing family.  Then click the ellipsis ("…") button and choose "Edit Town."  From there, click "Create Sims."

Once you have created and saved your new family, you will return to the Edit Town screen.  You can choose your new family from the family bin, and use the "Place Copy" button to drop them into a new house in your neighborhood.  The game will give you a warning that your first family's wishes will be deleted when you do this.

Camera Controls in The Sims 3

For those of us who've been playing the Sims 2, the camera controls in Sims 3 are a little confusing and hard to get used to.  Even after several hours of play, I still find myself moving my mouse to the left or right in an attempt to shift the camera by scrolling off the side of the monitor.

In fact, I still haven't found a good way to move the camera left and right.  According to the card that came with my game, you hit the left or right arrow to move the camera.  However I find that when I do this, it moves the camera over by one entire unit.  As opposed to using the mouse, when you can just nudge the camera a little tiny bit.*

Sims 3: How To Upload A Family (Household) to the Exchange

Recently I struggled with trying to upload a family to the Sims 3 Exchange, so that other players could download my creations.  The booklet that came with the DVD was not terribly helpful.  It instructs you to click the[thingie] to upload your family.  The [thingie] looks like an asterisk sitting atop a triangle, sort of like a windmill, if you squint your eyes.  The problem is that it doesn't tell you where to find the [thingie].  I checked the documentation on the Sims 3 website, but they don't have any articles on how to do this.  Frustrating!

After some floundering about, I was finally able to work it out.  Here's how to upload your Sims household to the exchange:

1.    Start playing your family.  Click on either Build or Buy mode.
2.    Click the menu button (I don't actually know what this is called.  It says, "…" so maybe we should just call it the "ellipsis button.")