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Twinbrook, New Community Lots, World Editing
Twinbrook - A New Community

In its heydey, Twinbrook was a small industrial town at the mouth of the Simlaus creeks. Years later, the dam was built and it changed everything for the town. Now with an influx of professionals, artists and inventors living around the sim-made lake, Twinbrook is experiencing a rebirth. How will life in this eclectic community turn out?

Not surprisingly, a new community has come with this expansion pack. This is a familiar concept from the sims series and serves as an effective way to demonstrate the new concepts that are featured in that expansion pack. Once again, the designers have managed to create another atmospheric town with a character all of its own.

From the spacious houses on the island to shacks in the wetlands, the town has what looks like abandoned factories and the derelict remains of an old railroad system. For someone wishing to speculate in real estate, these would be ideal for renovating.

Twinbrook is a very diversified town. Although it is experiencing a rebirth, this town offers everything that your sim may want to do.

From the atmospherically done wetlands with its billowing mist to the more affluent houses on the islands, this does not even cover the households that populate this town, who have stories all of their own. I again very impressed with the work that has been done on this new neighborhood. Once again, it is so unique that it is hard to compare it with either Sunset Valley or Riverview.

New Community Lots

In order to deal with some of the new features, it requires new community lots. In order to allow the functionality of these lot-dependant features to carry over to Sunset Valley, Riverview and any other custom neighborhoods, there are examples of them in the community lot bin when editing the town. When loading up a savegame, the player will be prompted to put them in place immediately, but it does not have to be done at once. When these are in place, it does mean that you do not have to play Twinbrook to enjoy this new content.

Unless otherwise indicated, these illustrations are of the variants found in the lot bin that I have placed in Sunset Valley.

Fire Station - Your town is no longer dependant upon fire departments from outside the area fighting their local blazes. Also, it means that sims can work as firefighters as this is their place of work. Local citizens are also welcome to visit although it is unlikely they will find any firefighters in attendance during their call. In fact, people could live at the fire station without fear of eviction. I suppose even the town Ghosthunter could be based here.

Beauty Salon - This differs from the spa in that sims can come here for a complete makeover. It is also the place of work of work for the Stylist until they have acquired enough experience to go and find their own way. The salon provides a professional service for sims to change their hair, makeup and wardrobe. If they don't wish to pay, they can still use the facilities to do it themselves. It also has a place for a tattooist.

Landromat (or laundrette) - Sims now have the option to do their own laundry and it does give good moodlets. If they do not choose to buy a washing machine and dryer (or washing line), they can bring their laundry here. Also, whether sims are here for laundry purposes or not, it is a convenient place to hang out.

NoteDespite there being other community buildings to add to the other neighborhoods, there is not a laundromat, which I find to be odd. I suppose they expect the people of the other towns to buy their own washing machine and dryer or washing line.

Consignment Store - This is one place I recommend sims visit regularly as it can be selling some rare valuables at low prices. For example, some of my sims have been able to start to learn photography without having to go abroad to buy a camera or a book on the subject. I would hazard a guess that these items would not be found unless WA is also installed. Sims leave the goods and they are informed from time to time when an item they have consigned to the store has been sold. The store takes a 10% commission. There are new traits and advantages that help a sim with their sales. It is also a place to come if a sim wants to try to sell items that they have made. If an item can sell quickly, a sim will make more money than if he had sold it normally.

I was going to be completely positive about the consignment store but during my gameplay, I have found a bug relating to it. Although I have not had any problem with my families in Twinbrook using the store there, when I added a consignment store to the Beckett family savegame, who you may remember from my WA indepth reports live in Sunset Valley, anyone visiting the store cannot buy or sell anything. Even using the "buydebug on" cheat and replacing the cash register does not do anything. The only time that the cash register can be interacted with is when the store is closed just to inform me of that fact. Disappointing. This is something that needs to be addressed by EAxis as it is spoiling not only my enjoyment but that of a lot of people in the community.

Junkyard - Every town deserves one because as the saying goes "One man's junk is another man's treasure". If you want to keep your inventors working and don't want your simbots destroying things for scrap, this is a good place to come to sift through the piles and see what little gems that there. Inventors need scrap in order to make their inventions and simbots use scrap as food.

The examples we see here are in Sunset Valley. The ones in Twinbrook look quite different but function the same way.

World Editor

This feature came as part of one of the latest patches for the basegame but I will include it in this review nevertheless.

Create-A-World (CAW) was a tool that came out for The Sims 3 shortly after the release of World Adventures. This was to allow players the ability to create their own neighbourhoods. I did download it and try it out but I found it to be quite complex and I was not able to find the time to do it justice.

Finally, there is what is called the World Editor included ingame that allows you to add your own lots, move existing lots and edit the placement of neighbourhood decor and other bits and pieces. Although it is not at the same magnitude as the CAW tool, it finally gives the players the same facilities that were there in The Sims 2 where we could add or move lots or decor.

In this illustration on the left, I have selected the size of lot and I am trying to place it beside this road in Twinbrook. There are different sizes ranging from 10x10 to 64x64 and can be rotated to get them to align properly with the road. I'd recommend a straight road if you are trying to place a lot.

As well as being able to add new lots, decor can be added also or existing decor can be moved or removed. The second and third tabs are for trees and rocks respectively. These can range from ornamental stones to massive boulders. The fourth tab is for landmarks, which can include Simhenge or massive obelisks down to a sign telling people not to fish. In this illustration on the right, we see how some clutter has been added outside the Landgraab Mansion in Sunset Valley just to illustrate some of the decor editing that it is capable of. Naturally, the more expansions that are installed, the more decor that is available.

Note - I did find one flaw with it when I was trying to move a lot. I was trying to move a lot but could not find anywhere suitable to place it. The game would not let me abandon this and at the end of it, I had to force-exit the game. Fortunately, I had saved quite recently. Hopefully, this may have been fixed since then as I have been quite reluctant to try and move anything again.

Personally, I think this is a feature that should have come out when the game was released and not for us to wait for it although I am very glad to see it now instead of not at all.

Written at 02:41 on Wednesday 21 July 2010 by Andy.

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