Driving Cross Country In TSTO Can Be a Confusing…


As some of you may know, and perhaps even followed, my wife and I did a 30-day, 9,600 mile driving trip. As it is roughly 3,000 miles, coast to coast from Oregon to NYC, you can tell by the mileage that we did a bit of “meandering.”

What we really enjoyed most on our trip, was staying off of the Interstates as much as we could, and feeling the personality of each new town or region as we moved through it. There were some days that we went from High Desert, to the Mountains, to a Valley, and to an Ocean beach, in a single day (and that was just in Oregon!).  It was amazing…as each region, state and town has a unique flavor that set it apart from others, and left an impression of the people who live there, as they are shaped by the environment and topography of their geography and climate.

It occurred to me, that in my current Springfield layout, that “urban/update sprawl” is creating some pretty jarring transitions that would make an average traveler wonder if they have driven into some huge Orlando “Hands Across America” attraction…or had eaten a bad Peyote bean in their chili…

Add to this, that with the newest update, we may be slipping inside of a wormhole along the way, and transitioning not only through distance and space, but time!


The real question here is, “How Do You Make Sense of This in Your Springfield??”

I have been playing since the first week of October, 2012. Yes. That makes me cringe to admit. But, it is, as they say, what it is.

In the early days, it was EAsy (see my emphasis on EA?? Clever…right?), to create and arrange a Springfield that made sense. Some (not many) actually began, and tried to maintain a “Realist” approach to where they placed the primary Springfield buildings, based on copious research of the Simpson’s opening screen credits, endless notes on watching clues from episodes, and of course, the Simpson’s Movie.

A couple of guys even went so far as to lay out a detailed map of what “the Real Springfield” looks like, that resides on the WIKI to this day. You can find it HERE  —  

Do you see anywhere on this map a place for a huge Clash of Clones Castle Installation? Or even worse, some “Future Springfield” that sits right next to an “Old West Springfield?”

This is where things get sticky in the “Modern Age of TSTO.”

I define the “Modern Age” as the period AFTER the “Clash of Clones” update in August, 2014. I realize that this goes a long way back, but it was the first time that EA and the writers simply went off of the rails and said, “Hey…we know this isn’t really anywhere in the show…but we don’t care…we’re gonna do it!”  The subtext of this, could have been, “We’re burned out on trying to do stuff that is Canon…and we all play Clash of Clans…so live with it! Besides…we already GAVE you Stonecutters! The castles and stuff kinda fit in…right? They ARE made of stone!!”

I kinda went with it…placing most of me remnants of COC near my remnants of Stone Cutters…but DEEP in the woods, away from my “normal Springfield.”

Yes..it is kinda random. But, so was Clash of Clones!

According to the Wiki, “Clash of Clones” was the 64th update in the game. We are currently on the 137th content update.  Yikes.

I admit that there were some amazingly “Canon” updates that were perfect for a “Real Springfield,” that focused on “real characters,” that didn’t overload us in clutter and random buildings. Springfield Heights, The Terwilligers, and the Monorail all met those criteria.

But, that means that there were more than a 100 that were questionable. Most notable were the two Superhero updates, Burns Casino, Money Mountain, Tap Ball, and the Wild West updates that all left strange footprints in our town, if you used even HALF of the stuff we won…let alone the Premium stuff being offered.

Is it any wonder that many of us are hitting the dreaded “Item Limit” message?

And now…with this new “Future Springfield,” it’s like we need more than just some directional markers and stop signs to make sense of things…we need a “Wormhole Ahead” Sign!

BUT…I HAVE SEEN SOME AMAZING TOWNS FROM MY NEIGHBOR’S, who have admittedly handled this dilemma far better than I have.

It’s on me. I admit it.

I get more than attached to the “Core Springfield” areas I have in my town…and haven’t altered much of it for years (other than figuring out how to add Monorail track to most of it).

However, I have, like many of the real life cities we visited, succumbed to urban sprawl, using mostly the “new land” offered by EA, to plop stuff down during the updates…and then do my best to find continuity after rearranging it in the lulls (which are also becoming fewer these days).

My town makes perfect sense…until you “head South” (or right, if you are scrolling). The transition from my boardwalk/Squidport area, into a restaurant and recreation district, and into Burns CasinoLand, makes sense…until you head “East” and go into a Launch Pad and Air Museum (I rationalized that), and with little buffer, into an expansive Wild West area, that butts uncomfortably close to a “modern city portion” created during the first SuperHeroes….which also has an airport…and leads into the “manufacturing zone” and “enchanted storybook/StoneCutters/Castle region.”

Click Image for full size

See?  It’s an urban planner’s nightmare.

And it gets worse, when I added land for the Wild West Update…but it was close to my huge installation of “Super Heroes Modern City” stuff. This is after I rearranged it, to make room for an homage to the trip, including a Los Alamos bomb museum, Arches National Park, Caves and Teddy’s National Park.

Click image to see full sizeCrankyTown3

I realize that many of you have no problem using the NUKE button. But I just can’t. I don’t even know where the “briefcase with the launch codes” is these days.

And now…I can feel some real challenges coming on with the SciFi update…because there are a TON of new buildings and decorations…and I admit to loving this update enough to have already bought the Montgomery Burns Institute of Soul Extraction…which is huge!! ( Yes, I dressed it up a bit with the X-Ray truck and one of my transporters).


But now am faced with the “DO I REALLY WANT A WHOLE SEGMENT OF MY TOWN TO BE IN THE FUTURE???” question that begs for “Mooch Bart” to come with a DeLorean and a Professor Emmett Brown figure. Of course, time travel in the DeLorean would be futile in TSTO since none of the cars move…much less reach the required MPH to trigger the Flux Capacitor.


Please. I’m asking for your help… how do YOU solve this “REAL-vs-Random” dilemma???

Let us know how YOU dream up your designs…use the Nuke…or just have no problem with large “Urban Renewal Restructuring” after one of these major events…

Are you actually OK with “Future” versions of your main characters making a permanent home in your Springfields????



123 responses to “Driving Cross Country In TSTO Can Be a Confusing…

  1. Great gif, my town is perfect at the top and then the further down you go you see random stuff meshed together like sci fi and Wild West, more room needed lol

  2. Patric how did you manage to put the institution infront of an empty square? Do you still have land to buy? Lol

  3. I’m faced with these same questions. I’m an artist myself and think I’ll come up with great town designs. But I find most time tapping and just trying to get all the rewards. I started playing when the stonecutters event happened. Most layed out is a normal Springfield area. All the theme stuff since is scattered about laying there. Some areas hold Simi design but I haven’t found time to plot it all out and now overwhelmed where to start with everything. I hate storing items because I may forget what they go with even the daunting searching inventory. Plus buildings etc don’t earn currency while in storage. And I can’t nuke out either. So I hope one day I’ll get time to shift things and may them out. I still need money for more land which would help lol. I just don’t knooooow

  4. The civil engineering and city planning aspects of the game are why I play it. I have really enjoyed building and rezoning Springfield. The only reason I would nuke it would be to make the river wider. That’s the only thing I regret, too narrow and tucked away, but too much work to move. The events lately have been pretty self contained and I’ve built a vacation area out of them. Westworld/Futureworld/Medievalworld, cheesy Atlantis, Duff Gardens, tar pits, petting zoo, Efcot, cabins in the woods, cottages on the beach, and Cletus’ own monorail tour of prisons, “mebbe y’ll see a shankin'”.
    Come see and tell me some suggestions, I’m Thebeachcrab.

  5. I can’t tell if you’re one of those who tried to be organized and cannon or one of those who just plops items down…..you say ur organized but it looks like plopping. I agree with your substance however. EA has not made it easy for us to make out souring fields look good. They’ve added more items to my inventory than my actual town.

  6. I don’t think I’ll ever nuke my town. There’s big sections I would never change, so why get rid of everything and start over. As I get similar buildings, I try to jam them into existing districts as much as possible. I’ve tried to keep holiday sections as much as I can, like Christmas, thanksgiving, Easter, st Patrick’s, wacking day, though they don’t make sense most of the year. But if I ever expand a district in the middle of the town, those holiday sections are sacrificed. I keep the COC castles in a forest area, along with my Halloween stuff. But when new events come, I tend to just buy more land at the edge of town and drop them there. It works at first, but as the land expands and it’s no longer at the edge of town, it can make things very out of place. My Monsarno campus got surrounded by the slum section of my town. My Vegas strip is next to my Zenith city. My Wild West town is next the the sea. With the cut and paste tool, I may try to move entire sections elsewhere, but for now, new event buildings just go to the edge of my town, which is where my future Springfield is going.

  7. Since I nuked earlier this year most of my town is empty anyway. I bought all the land available when I nuked and have continued to buy all the new land as soon as it is added, so I have plenty of room to plan future designs (although I have very little time to actually design) and use as “buffer areas” if needed. I think one good solution is using nature (woods, rivers, lakes, etc.) to separate “unrealistic” areas from more Springfield-related ones. Some pretty good solutions can be worked out that way (I’m talking mostly from observing neighbors’ towns, but I’ve begun to apply it in my own town as well).
    During this event, for the first time, I’ve begun actually planning my “future Springfield” area as the items come along, although I’m not putting everything there. The Institute for Soul Extraction goes well in Springfield Heights (although I may move it next to the hospital later), and the Retro Style Townhouses just don’t fit in with the rest of the future stuff.
    As for my “core Springfield”, there is a pretty strict rule governing its design which is to find Maggie as quickly as possible in the Where’s Maggie? minigame. So I arranged that specific group of buildings as sensibly and cohesively as I could and expanded from that – Rail Yard/recycling buildings to the North, industrial area to the Northeast, seedy area to the East, including the Orphan Alley and, right next to it (to the South), the Tetanus Terminal, which makes for a perfect transition to the Old West area.
    I would just like to add that Peyote is a cactus, not a bean 🙂

  8. I like keeping my themes in sections like at Disney World!

  9. Would love to see that! Is that your username?

  10. I’ve also been playing since about Sept/Oct 2012 and have a greater fondness for my “original” Springfield that doesn’t change much. I tend to shove new stuff on the corners and then store it when the event is over. It’s hard to make everything cohesive. I’m trying fmwith the future section, but I’m not sure it makes sense.

  11. Koji, if you do visit me you have got to ride my monorail!! I love it!!

  12. I’d like to see your town. What’s your name and I’ll send a friend request, if you have openings.

  13. Love this post. I like the new additions and events that TSTO has given us, but I know it has been a challenge to incorporate the buildings and items into my town. Sometime we get real gems, like Burns Casino, but what am I going to do with Homers House of Cards? I struggle to store the items, because I want to display what I’ve “earned” by playing for such a long time.

  14. Well obviously all towns needs a planning commitee and as chair secretary and architecture my commitee is a complete nightmare.
    Apart from wishing I could place more items in Krustyland I have zoned (note pan Atlantic terminology) my town main Street mimics the splash page of tsto so cannot ever change same goes for Elstree terrace.

    Posh area is north east SH nouveau richer poorer downtown are near springport and south heading past my Funland area to the new yuppie up and coming area sort of like vancouver yaletown. East you go past casino wild east area past Scorpios volcano and industrial are then sports city you are back in the posh bit. With the mountain ski resort and country park.

    I do try and blend them together and will reorganise for a special building
    Dingwall or even a standard one that needs to fit an area.

    Mm maybe pictures would have been easier?

  15. I always try to keep my Springfield “realistic”, and quite enjoy finding ways to do so. I have the Clash of Clones castle in the forest area, as if it were in ruins. For future Springfield, I’ve only made a tiny connection with the rest of the city through the caves, and put the Portal to Rigel 7 as a time portal-access. Thankfully I still have enough land to do these things.

  16. I am a freemium player who has been playing since September of 2012. I can’t imagine ever nuking my Springfield – there is just too much stuff. My biggest complaint about arranging my Springfield is not being able to place items where I want. I think a lot of the odd event items would make great new sections for Krustyland. However, since EA won’t allow that, I have decided to create another amusement park-like area in Springfield Heights. So far it contains the old west items, most of the superhero items, the go cart track and Duff Gardens. There is also an ugly, cramped walled off section where I keep non-income earning buildings that multiply XP. I try not to keep any income or XP multiplying items in storage. More land over the mountains would be great!

  17. I never nuke but am always willing to rearrange a sizeable area to fit something in a good place. I think this one fit in pretty nicely. Made some room behind my museum area and next to some tech buildings (sub atomic collider, monserno, ziff office). Used the Springfield of the future sign as a good entrance point and blocked in the area with holographic bushes.

    Wild west springfield was a challenge, but I think it fits nicely as I progress from Springfield lake, to Springfield falls to the Gorge then the wild west town .


  18. My Springfield is a big rectangular grid pattern: road all the way across left to right, 6 blocks of open space, road row, repeat. With a vertical road on both ends. It’s an easy layout to build into and makes it super easy for collection for me, I just move left to right in a serpentine pattern along the roads to collect.
    As for things making logistical sense from one item to the next: they probably don’t to anyone but me. I fill my town with items and buildings by placing items where there is open space at the time in a way that nothing is blocking or too close to anything else. For the event stuff I separate it all, every event starts in the biggest open space I have at the time (never a problem to find in my town) and is kept there exclusively. After the event I usually place fence or something to create a barrier between that section and others. To me it’s like little specialized “lands” within my town.

  19. I can’t nuke like some people can either. My neighbors who nuke often have a Springfield not nearly as good as it first was although I respect the urge to just say,”Screw it I’m burning it all to the ground!!!” As far as layout goes I have some inspired moments but some parts of my town looks like a drunk toddler did it so I don’t think my advice would help anyone. 😊In random news, I get a chuckle seeing robots in my wild west for some reason. The episodes with future Simpsons are some of my favorites so I really love that we can have them in our game.

    • There is a random chuckle side effect created with the roaming robots. I also liked the bears during Wild West.

      • Yep I actually spent doughnuts to get one.. and I’m stingy with those. I’m sure I’ll spring for some robots too.

    • I could never nuke. My downtown and gigantic SPFD park was so complicated to build mathmaticly with symetry and balance that it woul be nearly impossible to reconstruct. And besides that its epicly beautiful! From those constants i build outward locking in sections as i go. I do wish i would have made my railyard and dump area bigger to put items i are lame. Like krustys prize wheel.

      Its all about the grid in the end. Biggest challange is trying to put a building or item with a face that has an even number of squares into a space with an odd numbered width or length and make it look nice. I use optical illusion or a decoration to hide gaps. Im proud of what ive done so far, but i do have developed places with empty spaces in anticipation of buildings or items im saving donuts for. Jasper might be my next donut drop. Ive got a spot set aside behind the church. Most churches have a center attached or right next to it. I even did a mock buy to see if the center would fit and didnt confirm the donut spend. So i know it will look awesome! My monorail is up there with the best ive seen. 🎺🎺🎺🎺🎺


  20. Oh Pat, how I feel your pain.
    I’ve been tapping since Halloween 2013 and the issue of urban sprawl is always a challenge. I, like most others have discussed, let my Springfield grow naturally and divide it into districts/sections. However, just like in the real world when space becomes an issue, it is necessary to demo and reconstruct what is old or doesn’t work.
    Right now my Springfield is in a redevelopment phase. I have used the nuke button only once in the past (took a lot of courage) and I did enjoy rebuilding. Pushing the button again, I can’t do it. There are some areas I really like, and I’m afraid of losing things to the void of cyberspace if the nuke glitches or cashes. So now I am just doing sections at a time. I still haven’t figured it all out, especially with all the new Sci-Fi/future stuff. I will probably mash it together with Superheroes and build it off my downtown/metro area. I am also still trying to solve the problem of the Monorail without starting from scratch. As much as I love the Monorail, it is really challenging to work it into a Springfield that wasn’t planned for it.
    I also know the challenge of fitting in the buildings and decorations that don’t make sense. You brought up the clash of clones a few times. One of my least favorite updates. There are a few reasons why this was a horrible update (in my opinion). One being it coincided in time with FXX every Simpsons ever marathon which could have been a awesome concept to build an update around. Another is that, although it was based off clash of clans, EA didn’t adopt one of clash of clans best features. The duel town feature. If you are not familiar with this, it lets you have one active town while also having a dormant town. While the application of this would be used differently between the two games, it could solve all of our development problems. Basically allowing us to rebuild our Springfields from scratch without having to nuke them, and at the same time letting us keep an active town to quest and collect in. Pipe dreams, I know.
    As long as EA keeps the updates coming, developing my Springfield will always be a work in progress and maybe someday all my pipe dreams will come true. Until then, happy tappin.

  21. I have been playing about as long and this event is the one that might just make me change my town in a big way. I can’t see hitting the nuke button, just to much work in the main area that I don’t want to loose.

    I have a large central town that I like, and that is somewhat like the “real” Springfield, but I have a bunch of small sections from mini events that don’t have anything to do with the show. Up until this event I have wanted to leave as much out as possible. Wanting the cash and to show off that I have all the stuff. This event has so much, and such large buildings I think when it’s done I’ll probably store most of it. Now that I’ve made that decision I’ll probably start to store some of the other ares. Really why would I leave my tapball area or COC area out if I’m going to store my space event stuff.

    I realize that EA has run out of real buildings and characters, but with space stuff almost filling up my open SH area, it’s just to big, and to random to want to leave out.

    Personally I would rather have a smaller good looking, realistic (I know it’s a cartoon, but you know what I mean) town than a bunch of large random buildings.

    • I think the SIZE is the problem. There is something strange about giving us more land…and then filling it up with huge buildings that take over the landscape. Storage. I see a lot of storage in my future.

  22. I’ve nuked twice. The first time was shortly after I started because I had so little and also had no idea what I was doing, lol. I’ve been playing since August 2014, so not as long. The second time I nuked I had an idea to help me keep things the way I like but in a realistic town way. My idea also lets me expand easily with updates and for that I’m super happy!

    My town is devided in half. The side furthest from the water is my “housing development” where I can have houses and add to it as houses are added. I can store generic houses from areas to add new houses where I want and just move the generic to the bottom where I have extra unused land.

    The side closer to the water is my “business area,” shops, stores, workplace type buildings, restaurants, etc. Along the same lines, I can add stuff there moving down my Springfield as I have extra unused land at the bottom.

    My beach line is where I have placed some randos, the space event, clash of clans castles, anything that looks like it would fit with castles and as you head down the beach it devolves into all the rando items lurking on the beach around my squidport- I like to think of it like a destination for all the weird, like you could do all your weird site seeing there. Butted up next to it, but not at the very bottom, is my Wild West area. And my Las Vegas strip runs down the very bottom of my town all the way across. Since this latest update I have added my future area directly behind it like its all in a vacation “see the strip” type of local.

    So I feel like the top looks more like a normal town while the bottom looks like a vacation area so I feel ok adding weird stuff that doesn’t necessarily fit because I feel like that’s how Disney World works.

    • Josephine Kick@$$

      Makes sense to me, the closer you get to the boardwalk the stranger it gets 😊

    • I love the concept. I haven’t “nuked” yet…because there are a ton of early things I did (as in almost 4 years ago) that are practically their own “historic districts” now. But, I can see the freedom to design the nuke button gives you!

  23. So I just let my town grow organically like in real life. Suburbs grow up around the core and there is the occasional urban renewal project to move a few things around but mostly new developments ,be they a western town or a Vegas strip, happen as new land opens up and I kind of like it that way.

    • This is what I’ve done, too. I’ve moved very little since I started playing 2 1/2 years ago. I love the way my town has grown…Western & Future worlds included. It looks “real” to me, as in a place I’d like to visit in real life. If I could turn myself into a tiny cartoon. However, I do wish that the new buildings we seem to get these days weren’t so enormous. Anything too big (Re-Neducation Center…I’m looking at you) goes right into storage.

  24. At the moment they are all placed in the messy right hand side of my Springfield. It does really annoy me that these dimensions are in the same world but I love this event for the content and concept.

    This event would have been better as an expansion. You get a free teleporter that takes you to a SEPERATE future Springfield expansion.

    I think I am just going to make a separate area.

    • I think there are a lot of people who have resorted to a “messy side” where they plop stuff. I try to avoid it…but the rapidity of updates now, (with no downtime to regroup) and the need to have someplace to play the update…I have created kind of a staging area that I use for the update clutter…and then remove all of it when the update is complete.

      • I wasn’t saying that it will stay messy. Heck no. But when I have some quiet time then I go and design.

        BTW, Pat or Patric? Which do you prefer?

        • OK then…

          So…the Pat or Patric question? It is complicated. As you can see, the Patric is Patrick without a K. It was not my doing. It was my mother’s nod to my Welsh heritage. The only good thing it has done for me, is get me registered in a girl’s dormitory for two weeks in college. Good times. Good times.

          The rest of the time, people “correct it” for me. I was always Pat out of convenience…until I started realizing that there aren’t many Patric(s) in the world…and that it actually stood out in my professional career in broadcasting and music production, and was really my name. No need to fabricate a unique name, like Drake, or Madonna. Except that people still tried to correct it, and often pronounced it as Patrice.

          So…I am actually ambivalent about it. call me whatever you choose. My friends mostly call me opinionated…

    • No because then it would be like krustyland all over again, I hate krustyland lol

  25. I started at the time Clash of Clones kicked off (there was a Gil deal for Otto and some playground equipment, that’s when I started). My original intent was to have a neighborhood section, a shopping district, a business sector…and a castle area for the Clash of Clones stuff.

    And then came my first Halloween. Which I loved and soon created an area for that.

    Each subsequent event seemed to spawn a new area, until I realized things were getting cluttered and no longer kept to “sections.” Halloween mixed with Christmas and Valentine’s and houses and my shopping area and my castles and…


    So, I decided to nuke the town and start again. Which took a while, but when I was done, things were back in some semblance of order.

    Can’t remember the event after that, but it soon became obvious that I was going to have a difficult time keeping to my idea of having sections. I could do my best; I have my casino strip by the boardwalk, which fits well. And my chili cook-off is near the house area (might move it next to the Simpson’s home, just to torture Homer). But I’ve got my Wild West area near my monorail, and my sci-if district was just started in my only open area.

    It’s making me think about storing buildings to make room and have the ability to rearrange my town without nuking it. I hate storing stuff; there are so many cool items that I like having out on display, but stuff like Orphan’s Alley just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere. Maybe it’s time to put it away so I can regain free space and try to organize my town.

  26. I don’t nuke and I seldom move stuff. I think that the Simpson house is still at the exact same spot as where I put it during the tutorial. Sometimes I move stuff though to where they fit in better with the style of the area. I want my town to look like it might actually work with different areas like commercial districts, sports district, wild west theme park (that’s how I like to think about it).

    I will probably think of the new future stuff as a block built for a future fair (or whatever it is called in English) combined with a science center.

  27. Hey Cranky

    I am still going to name you that, because of us being long time friends.

    I too have been going since November 2012, but with many a new update, I do try to categorise my town into districts, I have what can only be considered the old town with all the regular buildings from The Simpsons, I have my aged forest, my mansion district, my huge sports area and so on.

    My monorail encompasses most of all the areas, although with the decorations limit, I am substituting all the half straights for long straights in order to try and solve this, so at the moment my rail does not meet up but each week, i am working on this.

    I may have a moan myself about the constant need to tap due to playing freemium, but after so long, I would not know what to do with my time, so I am so much looking forward to what EA have in store for us.


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