Friday Filler – Taking a Closer Look and Listen to Our Games


Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

Something really miraculous happened over the last couple of weeks…

No…it wasn’t that I got my life back after almost two years of “wedding planning” while doing everything else in my crazy, busy, life.  It’s that I got my TOWN back…or at least got it back to a place where I can SEE the stuff that makes it special.

I had an unwitting accomplice in this…AT&T (and a bunch of my daughters).  It’s complicated, but had to do with everyone coming into town for the wedding, and all needing to get new phones, and AT&T having some crazy combo deals on both phone upgrades, but also a bonus on getting an iPad for next to nothing… See where this is going? Not clear enough yet?

Well keep reading…

What happened, is that I got both a new iPhone 8+, as well as a new iPad Air2, during a time when I was completely broke from the wedding…that last part has nothing to do with TSTO, and everything to do with miracles.

But. where the TSTO part comes in, is that for more than two years, I have been playing TSTO on my phone, because the game became too large, and unplayable on my old iPad.  The resolution and clarity of the new iPad has made me re-appreciate some of the hilarious details in the animation of our little towns, and made me want to “know more,” about some of the the things I rediscovered (once I could see them).

I won’t go into the details on everything…but, suffice it to say, there are countless little gems of details that are on every building we get. It is the kind of detail that makes me know that the animators still love what they are doing, and don’t mind a little joke here and there.  After all, it is the Simpsons, right?

This also leads me into a couple of confessions…

I have been KEM farming since the first of the event update (casual, turned to non-casual). And it has weirdly added more value to what has become a bit of a 4-hour grind. Sadly, there isn’t much “story” or dialogue in this event, even though there is plenty to support that we seem to be headed toward our own dystopian nightmare in real life, if you look at the headlines.   That said, by KEM farming, I have been able to EAsily afford all of the Outland buildings, and even broke down to get Wendell, which has it’s own “inside joke” associated with the pizza parlor.

I said I would never get Wendell, because I HATE to barf…but, I relented, when the rest of the TSTO Management Team, during the last Addicts Live, told me it was at the top of the “bracket battle.”  Who is going to argue with Safi?

So…maybe I am just over-reaching to connect headlines to TSTO, but the sign on the pizza parlor seems to relate to “Pizza-Gate,”  the extreme, right-wing-whack-job-Alex-Jone’s obsession for a while...before he recanted. 

Like I said…these guys love their work…and tweaking politics on the nose.

There are also hidden messages in the animation that are beyond conspiracy theories (or seem to create their own). For the first time, I zoomed in…all the way in…to the “Newark Newark” sign in my casino/country club area, and saw the fine print on the sign.

When I was trying to see this…I always thought it has something to do with old-time comedian, Rip Taylor.  But, once I could see it plainly, it was R.I.P. Taylor Negron.  For those of you who don’t remember who Taylor Negron is, you aren’t alone. He is one of those, “Oh…THAT guy...” actors who had one or two memorable parts, and then a ton of one-time-only parts on sitcoms, or B movies. His primary credit to remember, was in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  But, someone on the staff of the Simpsons, or EA, was a friend…and used this little slice of our Springfields to pay homage.  Here is more on Taylor...RIP.

But I was curious, if the sign actually appeared in a Simpsons episode, or if that detail was added later in TSTO.

The answer is creepy...and more than a little unusual in its foreshadowing!
Viva Ned Flanders” is the tenth episode of The Simpsons tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 10, 1999. And the sign, most certainly does appear in the episode…here is a screen grab.


So…the RIP Taylor Negron…actually appeared more than 15 years BEFORE Taylor Negron died, in 2015.  Creepy.

But, that’s not all… there is also a quick cameo appearance of an homage to Hunter S. Thompson, who famously wrote “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”…and HE ALSO DIED an untimely, early death in 2005.

OK…weird. And I’m just glad that I didn’t have a cameo on that episode, or I might already have “croaked!”

Back to lighter discoveries…

With my rash of KEM farming crop, I was easily able to afford “Snuggler’s Cove” on Valentines.  And with it, beside some pretty funny dialogue, comes yet another GREAT Sound Effect.

I am  sound guy…I’ve had a studio for most of my adult life, and have done a variety of sound effect creations for various productions, back in the day.  And so when I hear something as distinctive as this…

—after I am done laughing at the obvious.. I start to think, “OK…how did he make that sound?”

Foley artists are the guys who add the sounds into a movie, way after the original film has been edited.  They often have to recreate everything from footsteps, to heads being exploded (in a dystopian movie, there are lots of heads being exploded) to two people “snuggling” on a bed.  The reason this has to be cut in, is that during filming, there is just too much ambient sound (background noise) on most locations, or even closed sound stages to work in the final cut. So these guys have to go back and match action with sounds they create.

I tried to figure out how the TSTO/Gracie folks made the sound of the bed creaking (I am assuming it is a bed, and not Homer’s back), but the closest I could come was moving a plastic straw, up and down a plastic lid, while squeezing an old wooden clothes pin close to the microphone.  Yes. My wife thought I had lost my mind.

I love the sounds in this game. There are loads and loads of them that just make me laugh.  I love to “Air Play” them through my Bluetooth speakers…it drives my wife nuts (it’s a short trip).

BONUS Look…
Yes… I finally got the Damn Dam that I wrote about a few weeks back…and enough land to move things around to be able to place it next to my homage to Mt. St. Helens and Spirit lake.  I lifted part of my dam design from a neighbor (the dinosaur part) but added some other features to make it my own.  The water sound is beautiful…but makes me need to go to the bathroom if I have had to much coffee…
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE..

Ironically, during what some are calling a “Meh Event,” I am really enjoying my game, my town, and all of the little details with a renewed freshness.  Me. CrankyOldGuy…stopping to smell the fresh air of the mist coming off of the dam.  OK. So maybe I’m just trying to escape the real world a little too much…but, I really love that damn dam!

What are YOUR favorite “little details” in your town?  What are YOUR favorite sound effects?  And, do you remember who Taylor Nigron is?

Let us know…we love to hear what you have to say…really.

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38 responses to “Friday Filler – Taking a Closer Look and Listen to Our Games

  1. Could someone please tell me how you check your percentage points. Thanks

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  2. I always think of Easy Money where Negron played Julio, Dangerfield’s daughter’s fiancé. At least I think it was him! 🤔 RachelS

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  3. Got to get a new tab bigger than the 7″ amazon fire, looking at the Samsung tab 10.1, but doesn’t come cheep, don’t kem farm but maybe I should? What’s your strategy patric?

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    • I was a very reluctant “farmer,” as it does require grinding. However, I have taken to Safi’s “Casual Farming” where he only farms when he wants something, or there is an Event Update brewing.

      In short… I use Safi’s method of not placing more KEMs than I can afford, without going into a Cash deficit. I am currently at a 357.5% multiplier, so the magic number of KEMs for me is 36. I keep my XP collider on for 10 day chunks (which costs 25 donuts each cycle), and then clear/replace the KEMs every 4 hours, while I am grinding the other 4-hour tasks with the update.

      Add to this the bonuts I earn with my Monorail Yard…and I earn between 24 and 35 Bonuts a day. So…over a 6-week update (when we are already grinding), I can earn pretty much all of the Premium items I want.

      I’ll do a “circle back” post on this at some point soon. I think it is important to encourage the farming…but to keep it in context, and reasonable. Those with 1000% multipliers, who have been doing it for years, just aren’t a good example to those just beginning to farm. And I am bored with those who brag every time we talk about KEM farming. I contend that this degree of obsession, takes away from the quality of your REAL life. But…to each his/her own.

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      • Thanks, I am currently on 244.75% multiplayer, and have a good donut turnout with railyard, finding Maggie and daily challenges plus any I get randomly, don’t like to spend donuts to get them and not keen on a 4 hour grind, will give it some thought but outside Springfield am always busy thanks again for the reply

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    • FWIW, I play on a 10.1 Galaxy Tab and the game looks amaaaaaaaazing. I bought mine open-box and have had no problems with it that I didn’t bring upon myself, so maybe that’s a way to go?

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  4. So I take it you’d recommend Snuggler’s Cove then? I like the look of it, but I never buy stand alone buildings so I’m sort of on the fence even after the SIB.

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    • If you arent too much enthusiastic about it, I can suggest that you risk waiting for its return (quite possibly in a mystery box at a discounted price)

      Of course there is NO Guarantee that what I suggest will happen …… but the recent trend is that premium items tend to come back within a year (or in mere weeks, as in the case of STEM Conference Hotel & Brendan)

      Dia-Betty & the Motherloving Sugar Co, Le Krusty Burger & Rio Days-Inn-Ero were introduced in February 2017 & came back this Valentine’s at a discount …… Dia-Betty also came back at the time of Black Friday sales

      So Im pretty much hopeful that we will see Snuggler’s Cove again in Valentine 2019 (if not earlier)

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      • I usually don’t have the best of luck with mystery boxes but you do make a good point, thanks 🙂 It wasn’t really an “OMG have to have” item like Wendell was when he popped up and I’m definitely more inclined to save those sprinkles for a character/building combo – my stash got pretty much wiped out between Christmas and buying very nearly all the stonecutters stuff – but if I plan for a couple mystery box attempts this time next year, I’ll probably be happier. If only because I don’t have any real idea of where I’d put it. Buildings I don’t know what to do with right away are so much easier to justify when there’s a character attached.

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    • It is funny…but it IS just a building with kind of a “dirty” sound effect. I bought it, because I like the look of it, and the SFX…and it reminds me of one of our favorite B&Bs at the Oregon Coast.

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  5. If you want to get the ruined lard lad. Send Wiggum to eat there then afterwards there will be a 60 min job to lay a wreath and the second you start it your lard lad will be ruined… At least until you put it in storage and take it back out then good as new or if change skins it’ll return to new also.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I got an iPad mini for Christmas and have, like you, been really enjoying all the detail I’ve missed out on via my old Kindle. It has me redesigning after getting a bit bored and falling behind on organizing the new content from the past handful of events. Thanks for all your fun posts!

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  7. I like the little details, like the Pizza store walls look like grease stains on a pizza box.

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    • I somehow had never noticed that. Brilliant.

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    • I am starting to look at the roof tops…as there is all sorts of weird debris there… socks, 2×4 lumber… stains…hilarious.

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      • Hi Patric, I love zooming in on the rooftops and around the grounds of buildings and houses. You’re right, it’s really amusing at the stuff you can find!! Lol 😁 we should do a ” who can find the funniest, silliest or grossest item” just for the heck of it. It will break the monotony of the daily grind. Ha, sounds like a coffee shop.
        Btw, I really enjoyed this post. It was awesome.

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  8. What does it mean to be “at the top of the “bracket battle”? Not sure if I should get Wendell. Would like to know what that means….

    Also, I think I read recently that you have about 250% on the Conform-o-meter for Money and XP correct? That’s about what I have. I KEM farm too, but I don’t seem to ever be able to afford many items each event – maybe just one. I try to keep around 4 million cash at all times, and that comes out to about 35-40 KEM buildings every 4 hours at 250% – that’s maybe 9? donuts a day? plus about 3 for maggie’s game and 5 for monorail work – a day – 17 – maybe 20 if I’m lucky and diligent – but let’s just say it’s about 12. It would take me at least 2 weeks to afford a combo 120-150 donut purchase, and that’s not including keeping my XP machine going – feeding it 25 donuts every 10 days – so maybe 100 donuts every 2 weeks.

    How in the world are you affording all of these items, and more importantly what could I be doing wrong? What am I missing? Does the benefit really only come from having 300% or more bonus for Money and XP?

    Thanks Patric. Sorry this wasn’t a reply directly addressing your post, but you have stoked the burning questions I’ve been thinking about for quite some time.

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    • I actually started at 250%. I am at around 390% now. Mostly because of premium buys. When you have the XP collider on, I get 4-6 every cycle.

      You just have to grind it… cycle every 4 hours…it adds up.

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      • My strategy for KEM farming is that once I have around 80 million (game) cash, I turn on the XP collider for 72 hours (usually on Friday nights) and place nearly 100 KEMs and then farm & refarm them for the next 72 hours. I am at 442% so at the end of 3 days, I get around 500+ bonuts …… Then I don’t KEM farm until I have built up around 80 million (game) cash once again

        While I find KEM farming VERY rewarding (Ive been a freemium player from the start), it is also very tedious for me. So once a month for 3 consecutive days, KEM farming is doable. I would begin hating TSTO if I had to farm KEMs everyday

        Patric, have you reached Level 939 by now?? And why is it that you don’t mention your golf trips now in your posts?? Have you stopped playing??

        One more question. In the USA, is it always the girl’s parents who pay for the entire wedding?? Don’t the bride or groom or groom’s parents contribute financially to any part of the Big Day??

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        • I forgot to add that I farm approx. 150 KEMs every cycle. And I have fences vertical lines between KEMS in in my farming area, which really makes dropping KEMs down very easy. And when I have to sell KEMs, I just close the “fence” icon so my fences are spared

          And I play on an iPad so the big screen size helps a lot

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          • Thank you Aafreen – your process is very insightful. I have never gotten above 10 million in game cash and I’ve been playing since the beginning. Admittedly, there was a lot of time where I hadn’t played efficiently, and two times when I missed out on events altogether over the years, so I’m thinking maybe I missed some critical collection of items in events that significantly added to people’s % easily.

            I think I will try your system of collecting a large amount of in game cash and then turning on the XP collider for just a few days and doing a massive amount of farming during the weekend and seeing what I come up with. I can’t increase my % total easily without purchasing premium items and I can’t get premium without donuts and I can’t get donuts without a high %, so… it’s hard to break out of this cycle.

            But thank you!!

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        • Your answers below…

          Patric, have you reached Level 939 by now??
          YES!! For quite some time now…

          And why is it that you don’t mention your golf trips now in your posts?? Have you stopped playing?? I haven’t stopped playing…but between the two weddings, and making a major shift in my company’s business model, I have played fewer round in the past year, than I did in a month, in years prior. That is going to change…NOW! I am now in AW (After Weddings) mode!

          One more question. In the USA, is it always the girl’s parents who pay for the entire wedding?? Don’t the bride or groom or groom’s parents contribute financially to any part of the Big Day??
          It really depends on the situation…the size of the wedding…and how many people are coming from each side of the family. In our case…because I have FIVE daughters (which means 5 weddings, after 5 college educations), I put a cap on what we would contribute. In both of the recent weddings, the groom’s parents did contribute…but the bride/groom in each case also chose to add their own money for some of the things that were “above the bar of the budget.” We have been blessed with independent, successful girls…who were happy to chip in…and who brought families together, who were more than happy to work together for the Big Event!

          Traditionally…the bride’s family pays for the wedding, and the grooms family pays for the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. In our case…we were all in it together!

          That said…wedding expenses are off the hook…and insanely out of proportion to the REAL reason for the day. The ceremony part was very inexpensive, in comparison to all of the craziness around it. Both girls paid for their own photographers…and spent more than Deb and I did on our entire wedding. So…yes…I am glad for the break in the action!

          And yes………………..I have to suspend my brain from our non-profit work…because the dollars spent on a five hour party, could have been spent on something more important. Luckily, we continue our work in Buyijja, at the same time.

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      • 390%! It will take me years to get to that. I try to spend donuts on only items that are good % for donuts and it’s been slow going. About 35-50% increase every 6 months – so that means it would be about 2 years before I got to 390%. Will the game last that long? 😉

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        • It would be much quicker than 2 years, because XP growth is typically not linear, but rather exponential. The higher your XP gets, the easier it gets to earn cash and donuts, and by virtue the easier it gets to raise your XP.

          If getting to 50% took 12 months, it might take 11 months to get to 100%, 10 months to 150%, 9 months to 200%, 7.5 months to get to 250%, 5.9 months to get to 300%, 4 months to get to 350%, 2 months to 400%, etc., etc.

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        • Limit your donut spending to regular (non event) mystery boxes for a couple months…you will see a massive jump in XP% earned. Once you’ve gotten a boost , decide how you want to proceed from there. Getting the first 200% is the hardest, it gets easier and easier as you continue to build your XP%.

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        • When Patric started KEM farming his bonus was ahead of my test game (D). By concentrating on using the donuts to buy Mystery Boxes (6 donuts) and using the increase cash output to buy land and more houses, my D game is at 1070. I have increased the KEM farm from 24 to 44 KEMs (depending on how much cash I had to currently 124 KEMs. I am on day 257 of my test game. The point, within a year you too can generate enough plenty of donuts and up your bonus. (This is while playing the events and all quests).

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          • If I were to buy more land and houses – which houses would you recommend I purchase and in what quantity?

            Also, are you saying your D game is 1070% bonus cash and XP???

            How many mystery boxes per day? Every time I get 6 donuts , or wait until I have a collection?

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            • I usually wait til I have 24 donuts, that get’s me a least one % increase. The first van sequence ends with 30 donuts, if the second van sequence ends with 30, I can 12-15 MBs at a time. As for the houses, it depends on how often you visit. But eventually they all become more expensive than the Brown Houses. I play the game while watching a ball game or TV program, so I can collect about 10 times an hour a couple of times a day. Even if you visit only every 4 hours but stay 15 minutes, you can collect rent 3 times a visit. I created a spreed sheet to figure out which house to buy next depending on the cost of the next item, how much it earns and how many visit a day I could make. I bought 21 purple houses, 26 orange, 22 blue, 35 burgers, 22 pink, 23 white, and 20 gulps before buying just brown houses.

              BTW my bonus is now at 1114.5%.

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              • Thank you Charles! This is great insightful info. 🙂

                But what is a “van sequence”?

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                • A “van sequence” is a set of Mystery Boxes that include a Van (2%). Usually: Car or Bomb Shelter , minnow pond or Khlav Kalash Stand, Van, Donuts (30 or 10).

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                • I forgot to add – on house farming – Lard Lads become “cheaper” as go along – versus the other houses which become more costly. They are always 6 donuts in Mystery Boxes, but the cost of donuts become cheaper as you KEM farm and increase your bonus.

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                  • I had no idea that you could win 30 or 10 donuts in a mystery box!

                    How many brown houses do you have and how much land did it take?

                    This all sounds great, but I am nowhere near close to being able to do these kinds of things. Earning in game cash has been slow even without spending on KEMs (maybe 1 million every 2 days), and I only have 252% bonus cash and XP. I’ve been wanting to get those million dollar purchases for a long time and get a dam too, and even just 7 million to upgrade my IRS building for radius expansion. I just have never had the cash because I use it on land or KEMs.

                    Also, didn’t know that about the Lard Lads. Thanks!

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                    • The secret to KEM farming is buying Mystery Boxes to increase your bonus. I hit 252 on 11/11 (130 Brown Houses). I was generating only enough cash to have a KEM 24 farm (<60K) I started buying land (104K) and then started adding brown houses 5 at a time. So any time I had extra cash I would buy more land and more brown houses. On 12/1 (370 BH) I started increase by farm by 10 to 34. A couple days later I increased it to 44, I was at bonus 325%. I started buying houses again on 1/16 (560%, KEM 64). By 1/31 I had 501 BH, 734%, and buy KEMs of 84. Today (2/19) I have 931 BH, 1138% and KEM 134.

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    • I forget my exact bonus percentage right now but I think it’s somewhere in the 230s. I get 9-12 a day by building 30 KEM per cycle 3-4 times a day, plus a monorail set about once every 24hrs and I can usually manage one premium character/building combo an act while keeping about 100 in the bank for things that pop up unexpectedly. Patric’s right. You just have to cycle every (reasonable) 4hrs. With my bonuts from the event I managed to hit about 20 today. Very nearly pays to keep the collider going, but let’s say it’s 12? Two days more or less does it, so that’s 8 days of gravy, and about 95 donuts just from KEM farming. Throw in a daily monorail and in that 10 day span it’s another 50 donuts. 5 shy of say, Wendell. I hope this helps a little.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just to update my previous comment now that I’ve gone back in my game (the Olympics are doing wonderful things to my sleep schedule, 17hr time diff). The percentage is lower than I thought. 217.5.

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