Creating A Pet
This is for those people who do not wish to buy a Pet from the pet shop, adopt one or take their chances with whatever strays are roaming around. Also, it is what I wanted to look at first.
"Create-A-Pet" is part of the "Create A Sim" section of the game. The icon on the neighborhood screen has changed appropriately to show you that things are now somewhat different in there. If you are creating a pet to join a new family that you are creating, its surname automatically becomes that of the family. If you are creating a pet to join an existing family, you might be advised to choose the surname of the family that they are going to join.
Once you have decided on a surname, you then choose whether your pet is to be a cat or a dog. The "Create-A-Sim" interface has also changed to add this.
You can choose to start from scratch, working from the random pet that they have given you, or base it on an existing breed.
Dog or Cat, How Old, How Big
You can create a Dog or Cat at that matter at one of two ages. Adult or Elder. You do not get to create puppies or kittens. Dogs come in two sizes. Large and small. Cats come in one size. Cat size. The annotated images show the dog creation on the left and cat creation on the right.
The second stage is to decide what breed you wish to work from. There are 51 breeds of large dogs to work from, 22 breeds of small dogs to work from and 30 breeds of cats. There is also the "Create-A-Dog" and "Create-A-Cat" breeds that effectively allow you to start from scratch.
Once you have selected the breed, or alternately just chosen to continue with what you have got, you then move to the fur.
All about Fur
Different breeds of dogs and cats come with different layers of fur and colourings. As well as choosing different colours for their fur and markings, you also get to choose the different type of coat. With dogs, they can have smooth, shag, flowing, furry or curly coats. Cats only have smooth, flowing and furry coats. Alternately with either Pet, you can even choose to use a coat template from an existing breed. Even then, you can customise what you get and move on when you are done. With dogs, you can also choose "accessories", which give your pooches those unique features found in certain breeds.
On the left is an example of Minerva Dobalina in an unlocked coat colour. However, this does seem rather bright. However, you could use this as a second layer and with a different opacity and it might not look so extreme. On the right is Minerva again with an extra layer of fur added but we chose to change the colours and some new different markings.
Archetypes & Modifiers
The next step looks at the Archetypes and Modifiers. Here, you can choose the shape of the fur, add "accessories" and in general shape the dog or cat to your heart's desire. There are 10 different colours of eyes for dogs, including two different colours in each eye, and 8 different colours of cat's eyes.
Once you have decided upon the shape and colouring of your dog, you next move onto collars. There are 30 of them for dogs, but different ones can be unlocked depending upon what skills your dogs have been trained. I do have one criticism. If your dog has a large ruff, the graphics of the collar goes around it. With Max Fairfax here, who is an example of my option-tinkering gone wild, he could easily slip his collar if he felt like it. I am sure this is just a graphical simplification, applying an existing template to the mesh in this position. Also, Barbara Woodhouse (who?) would turn in her grave. Not a single choke-chain in sight in the collar category or anywhere else for that matter.
From Genius to Pigpen
Then we come to personality. There is no limit on points here as there is with "human" sims. You have extremes and also neither one way or the other. Alternately, you can just choose a star sign and go with the personalities that Maxis have chosen be applied or even tinker around after that.
To conclude this section, here is a message to Maxis (or EA Sims Division as it is now known). As we can dress our sim pets in layers, can't something like this be done to change the way we can dress our "human" sims from skin upwards? Something like this was done with "The Sims Character Creator" that shipped with the "The Sims: Deluxe Edition" and also I understand is available in the PS2 version. If this can be done, quite a lot of this PC Community would be very grateful.
Written at 20:55 on Sunday 29 October 2006 by
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