Category Archives: Design Guide

DID – Designing Within the Limits of The New Normal

In this installment of DID (Designing In Downtime), we are going to address the options you have for designing with the “New Normal.”

What is the New Normal?
Many of you are facing the growing number of restrictions that have become “normal.” And as we have mentioned before, these are the hurdles you may need to jump if you are going to keep playing a game that seems to be sputtering to meet the demands of long-time users.

I’ll deal with a couple…
Lack of Land, and Item Limits That Seem Stuck
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Friday Filler – When In Doubt…Purloin!

In this week’s edition of DID (Designing In Downtime)  FRIDAY FILLER we are going to cover the age-old designing tool of “borrowing ideas” from others, to spark your own creativity.

OK. Why the cross-out and flip from a DID to a Filler? Because, this is timely and topical…and we GOT AN UPDATE. I truly didn’t have faith in EA (and apparently, the writers) to actually come through, even with the tease.  So…ironically…I am going to be writing about “Borrowing” while doing so from myself!

Borrowing is such a nice way of saying “stealing.”  But, I even like the word “purloined” better, because it is an amazingly obscure, and underutilized word in the English language (that mostly makes people run and look it up when used).

But, as my job here is to serve the community, I will look it up for you.

purloin
verb
pur·​loin | \ (ˌ)pər-ˈlȯin  , ˈpər-ˌlȯin\
purloined; purloining; purloins
Definition of purloin – transitive verb
: to appropriate wrongfully and often by a breach of trust

Synonyms for purloin
appropriate, boost [slang], filch, heist, hook, lift, misappropriate, nick [British slang], nip, pilfer, pinch, pocket, rip off, snitch, steal, swipe, thieve

I have to admit, that in the case of what I am going to write today, purloined may be the very best word possible to represent the content. While you have to love a good “filch” or even “filch’s” lesser cousin “pilfer”, purloin, and the whole “breach of trust” bit, just fits best.

A lot has transpired since the last DID post…and purloining seems to be the least of it.

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Designing In Downtime – DID Feature 1

The simple fact is, habits are very hard to break.  While psychologists make the point that changing lifestyle habits may take just 30 days to form, it may take just one relapse before you need another 30 days to make/break the habit again.

And so it goes with TSTO.

A daily habit of almost 7 years (it was originally released in March 2012…before being pulled in June, and then re-released in Sept 2012), is indeed a difficult one to break. Especially if it is something that brings you as much fun and pleasure as TSTO has over this time.

Unlike smoking, drinking, or illicit opioid use, which require more and more quantities, to maintain any semblance of relief (like the old saying, “smoking more, but enjoying it less”), TSTO is a habit that once your 4-hour grind is complete, almost always gives you something in return. And, with events, updates, and constant fluctuation in the game, the prospect for rewards only increases.

So…when EA all but cuts us off, cold turkey (frankly I like cold turkey sandwiches, even better than warm ones, but I digress), there is bound to be some adjustment to the regularity of our daily dose of fun.  And after a lull of this length, we are truly being forced to be creative, patient, and pragmatic about how/if we continue to play.

And so, to help alleviate the pain of Lulldome …I give you the first installment of Designing In Downtime!
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Addicts 5-Year Look Back: Wookiee’s 3-D Mega Prison

Following the same path of wanting to be different than other TSTO sites, we introduced design How-Tos to TSTO Addicts back in 2013.  Mostly based around 2D and 3D design work.  Really intricate design work done by some really talented people.

Wookiee, at least to me, was the King of 2D/3D designs.  It’s one of the major reasons I asked him to join Addicts when we first started.  Little did I know I’d be getting so much more than a 2D/3D designer!  Wook would break down some of his most intricate designs from his Springfield into simple steps anyone (and everyone) could follow.

While we’ve had loads of 2D/3D posts over the years, the one that always stands out the most to me (and was the most duplicated by you guys) is Wookiee’s Mega Prison!  So it’s time to turn it over to Wookiee and take a look back at the Mega Prison how-to…

Prison Continue reading

Friday Filler – Town Tours and To Jack or Not to Jack?

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

I don’t know about you, but I am flying through this Act, and am almost done with the prize track. Yes…I have several of the Premium Peeps (5) earning, and yes…I immediately maxed out the Bonus 20% on my Tower. So, that made it EAsier by a long shot.

But, that did open me up to a philosophical dilemma as it pertained to one, “Jack. The. Ripper.” in our towns.  From what Alissa says (and checking the comments), this may be one of the most divisive characters to come to our little burgs in the history.  Even more so than Nixon…or Dracula…or Herman, or…well a ton of others that seemed controversial at the time.  I pulled the rip cord on our Ripper, but mostly for selfish reasons.

I’ll get into my decision on Jack, along with a look at at another outstanding new neighbor’s town…and believe me, the “Gold Standard” may have shifted…or at least been expanded.
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Simple Town Designs: Rooftop Bowling

Hey Howdy Hey Tappers!

Well we’re knee deep in the Pin Pals Event, with loads of fun prizes and premium buildings!  With this mini event I can’t help but notice we’re once again left trying to make room in our Springfields for items that typically belong inside!  In particular the Bowling Lanes.  I don’t know about you, but where I come from Bowling Lanes are typically INSIDE the Bowling Alley…not outside.

Often, when we’re faced with items that typically would go inside, many tappers would simply stick these items in their inventory and never think of them again.  It can be fairly daunting to find room and a decent design for these types of items.  But, in this case the Bowling Lanes earn a bonus % AND are required to complete certain visual tasks for Pin Pal characters.  So what’s a Tapper to do?

Use a little perspective to create some fun bowling alley designs of course!  So, there’s no better time than the present to share with you all another Simple Town Design all about those Bowling Lanes….


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Driving Cross Country In TSTO Can Be a Confusing…

wormhole-ani

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!

TRIPPY!

The real question here is, “How Do You Make Sense of This in Your Springfield??”
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Viva Springfield: Share Your Casino Inspired Design Ideas!

Hey Howdy Hey Tappers!

Viva Springfield…the Casino update has arrived!  With all new Vegas inspired buildings and decorations it can be pretty daunting trying to find the prefect place to put everything.  So I thought what better way to help design your Casino area of Springfield, then with input and shared ideas from each other!

So post screenshots of areas you’re working on.  Something you’re particularly proud of, something you need some input from others on or just something you’re completely lost on.  Have fun and share ideas with each other, that’s what makes the TSTO Addicts community so great!

Personally I’m working on my own Vegas Strip in the lower section of my Springfield, on the new land added with this update.  I’ve already added a Monorail “stop” to the strip..and hope to build it up more as I unlock more casinos and decorations…for now here’s what I’ve got:

2016-02-28 01.53.13

Like I said it’s a work in progress.  I need more stuff.  But I’m slowly working on it.  I’ve got the general idea of what I want to do so far…

Oh and a heads up…we’ll be doing a Springfield Showoff of the Casino update in the coming weeks.  So start laying out those towns and getting them prepped for their glamour shots!  We’ll put up a post when we’re ready to start gathering your images for Showoff, so for now just keep designing.  (please don’t send them in now, they’ll just get lost in the shuffle)

Simple Town Designs: Building a Go Cart Track

Hey Howdy Hey Tappers!

So every once in a while, a period of TSTO downtime pops up and during that, tappers (ourselves included) begin a redesign (or design) phase for their Springfield.  This is something we love to see.  There’s nothing better than seeing tappers expressing their creativity and show casing different ways to build certain areas of Springfield.  That’s the beauty of TSTO!  It’s fluid and you never have to keep a design the same, unless you want to, for very long!  This allows for redesign after redesign and allows you to express your creativity!

Sometimes… we get comments asking for tips and design ideas when it comes to certain areas of Springfield.  While we do have a basic design guide here at Addicts (mostly just tips to get started), we thought it would be fun to create a series of posts based on different ways to design various areas of your Springfield.   Note: In no way do we consider ourselves “experts” at this design stuff, in fact MANY of you could teach us a thing or two about town designs.  These are just fun and different things we’ve come up with, inspired from our own minds or friends towns, to “spice up” our favorite virtual city!

For this edition, I decided it was high time to tackle a design in my B town I’ve been wanting to do for way too long.  It’s been a long time since I first saved this image, but credit goes to a tapper named nehash81.  I honestly don’t remember where I first saw this but my guess is on Flickr.  I’m thankful I at least wrote down the origin ID.  Inspired by this amazing Go Cart Track, I went through it step by step for anyone interested in placing something similar in their towns.

nehash81 TSTO go cart track Continue reading

Diary of a Wookiee: Building an Airport/NARA Launch Facility

TSTO Space: the semi-final frontier (provided EA keeps adding land).  This is the voyage of your resident fuzzball.  His one post mission: to explore a design idea, to seek out why he doesn’t have a life or civilization (as in the descriptive idea of being civilized), to boldly go where let’s be honest a lot of people probably have gone before.

Still chuckling at myself for that pathetic attempt to start a post about town design and wondering why this Deep Space Homer Event has me all nostalgic for the famous opening lines of Star Trek.  I’m going to blame watching “Deep Space Homer” (S5:E15) and laughing at Barney and Homer during their astronaut training.

Deep Space Homer Star Trek Simpsons

Anyhoo… this event has been fun for me so far but getting to the point of this post… all this new NARA stuff has me itching to go over the idea of building your very own airport in TSTO.  If that sounds as good as astronaut ice cream to you, go ahead and click more. Continue reading