Sims 3 Store Content: Business as Usual Bistro

I may have already said this (if not here, somewhere on the Sims 3 forums) but if I was excited before, now I’m REALLY excited! The open restaraunt venue has been released, and now has a name!

 But that’s not all, have a look at this excerpt from Simguru Graham’s blog entry…

“Design is a lot like shopping on a budget. You only get so many days of development in each department –Art, Audio, Engineering, etc. – to make something really special. Having a Non Player Character (or NPC for short) work on a Store item was always something that was too big for that budget… until now.”

 That’s a pretty bold statement right there! While quite a few simmers have been after the feature, skeptics insisted that the venue won’t even hold a candle to what it could’ve been if it were included in an expansion. And then there’s the matter of servers. Just how do you run a restaurant without employees?

“This is no ordinary stovetop! While you can fix a quick meal here, the magic really happens when you Hire a Chef and Set Your Menu! Setting your menu allows you to customize the type of dining experience you want for your bistro. Do you only serve vegetarian meals or the best cheese steaks in town? You decide!”

 So like we did with Island Paradise, we now gain the ability to hire employees! This is definitely a first with store content, and (hopefully) not a last! Unfortunately your own sims won’t be able to serve, but they can use the oven to practice and gain cooking skill! Furthermore, placing the oven on a residential lot opens up the option of having a personal chef!

But there’s alot more to it than just what I’ve covered here, for more details, check out the full blog entry. I’m anxious to get my hands on this one myself, along with the dance studio venue!

Simes 3 Store Content Reviews: La Cinema Plumbob

I haven’t had alot of time on my hands lately due to a summer internship, but today I finally got to try out the contents of the La Cinema Plumbob set! Quite generously gifted to me by Corettabarajas!

Outside View (It’ll look nicer up against a proper road)

The first step with any new venue/PC items is to set up the lot by either using a premade or building your own. Since this one came with a venue, I figured it’d be best to show you that first.

Top Floor

3rd Floor

2nd Floor (Landing)

Main Floor
Default Bars

 If you have University installed, I’d recommend you replace the bars with Barista bars as they will spawn NPCs and fit exactly into the space left by the regular bar.

 You can also change the colour with CASt so they fit in with the existing counters!

And as you can see, NPCs are spawned…

Sent my sim for a hot drink (typical theatres serve fountain drinks though, so I certainly hope the sims team has that in the works, along with popcorn machines, cotton candy machines, and some candy apples). You could also use vending machines if you want to modify the lot or build your own.

This is a far better use of the bar setup, and because of the NPCs sims don’t wander back behind the counter (as often), although they can still get back there if they’re aged Teen or older. It’d be interesting to see if Twallan comes up with a mod for the system. Next, have your sims buy a ticket, or they’ll complain about being unable to route to the door (mine did)

This machine works like many standard automated ticket machines
And then the ticket is printed
It looks like the typical ‘admit one’ ticket you can buy in bulk
You can watch quite a few movies in that time

Finally, time to watch the movie! The ‘watch movie’ feature from University really compliments this item! (Ignore that, I forgot it was a PC Item… Doi xD) The seats come in single and double sizes (both available in the ‘Living Room’ tab), and look really nice with this setup, albeit a bit chunky.

You may have to tell your sim to take their seat or they’ll just stand in the back and watch. Just click on the spot you want them to take and click ‘Join’ on the big screen to continue watching the movie. They’ll get up and leave when they’re done, especially to fulfill needs. You’ll also get a +20 moodlet for each type of movie you watch.

It’s also worth noting that the lights will actually dim as the film plays! And  unlike theatres in real life (and quite like the lazier ones) nobody will care if you wander into another theatre! Just make sure it’s set to allow the same kind of ticket your sim is carrying.

THAT CLOWN IS SPY!
The aisle carpets look pretty nice

BOOO! THAT WAS WAY TOO SHORT!!
AGAIN!!

And hypnocow for good measure…

The TV screen is actually bigger than the big screens that came with Showtime and the Level Up Collection, you’ll be pleased to hear! It reaches all the way to the ceiling and is at least 3 blocks wider than it’s predecessor!

For a size comparison, I’ve lined up wall mounted TVs from smallest to largest (excluding the one from Late Night), starting with the one from the base game and another from the store. To the right of that is the TV from the Level Up Compilation, and right of that is the TV from Showtime, which actually looks slightly larger due to the frame surrounding it. Far right of course is the behemoth itself! Needless to say, the ability to set up your own open theatre is amazing! On top of that, you get the biggest wall mounted unit in the game to date. In order to top this, I’m pretty sure they’d need a two storey screen.

Setting up the barrier to entry system is really easy!

Set or remove all locks
There are a number of options for restricting and allowing sims, although it’s not limited to just ticketholders. You can even limit entry to certain age groups, genders, non-humans, celebrities by level, your household, current sim, etc.
Age Options
And if you want to be more/less specific
Different coloured tickets (assuming you can set the price of each on your own lot)

You can even define whether or not you need a ticket to get in, and still set these filters!

Also, here’s what I was able to do with my own lot! Albeit I’d forgotten the ticket machine the first time around, so the doors/turnstiles only let them walk through.

Turnstiles…
And doors…

Again, the barista bars make for a top notch snack counter as far as the limitations of the game go. It’d be better if we had an outright snack counter, a fountain drink machine, maybe a slushy machine or two. In the meantime, the waterfall lights from Island Paradise and ocean mural served to decorate my main lobby. The elevator goes to the second floor and arcade!

 

I used a trick from a previous build to create a sunken room for the main theatre, albeit it created graphical artifacts hidden in the walls. I moved that tree when I realized it was an obstruction, don’t worry xD

A major downfall for this set is the lack of a popcorn machine, but with the barrier to entry door/turnstile and the ticket machine serving as a way to set the price of entering a closed off area, there are your two premium content items, even though they’re both downloaded together. For having this kind of game functionality, I suppose it’s worth it but I can’t say I’m not disappointed. Otherwise the set is a little expensive but worth the cost if you really want an open theatre.

I’ve been hoping for popcorn, slushy and cotton candy machines since before Seasons, but thus far it hasn’t happened. I’m just hoping we get those (and maybe a fountain drink dispenser/proper blender) either in the store or in the Into the Future pack!

In the meantime, this set is a great excuse to build an adjoining arcade!

Dave & Buster Style Arcade

If you’ve been to Dave & Busters or any ticket arcade, you know that they’re big, they’re loud, and packed with craziness! In the beginning of the Sims 3 series we didn’t have much, but Late Night introduced the arcade machine and that’s where things began to take off.

Skeeball machines are usually present at proper ticket arcades, and while they didn’t have a high ticket yield in my experience, they were still lots of fun!

Basketball hoops are another arcade staple, and even pop up at smaller arcades adjoining movie theatres like Silvercity (if you live in the area where they have those you know what I mean).

You’ll see pinball machines and game consoles just about everywhere you look, although those don’t always yield tickets. In my experience with arcades, the only machines with any ticket yield usually require reflexes or luck, like spinning wheels, reflex testers (like that blasted stacker) etc.

And here’s the same layout with a different style of wallpaper. This one looked alot more fun but it’s also very busy! The waterfall lights from Island Paradise looked really good here, and I plan on using them again for various clubs and performance venues!

Restaraunts Finally Coming to The Sims 3 Store!

And even I’m getting excited 😉

Following that link will bring you to the official sneak peak thread for the store set/PC items! We’ve seen Sims sitting out in front of the bistro trying to decide what to eat, and now we have an indoor shot of the same. Hopefully this means the item(s) will work on any lot!

By SimGuru Tatertot

Well it’s not looking like a writing pad…

This tweet definitely helps to clear things up. Obvious restaurant menu is obvious.

I must confess I’m disappointed since I thought for a while it was going to be a writing pad or a journal, but the bistro environment and this setup are a dead giveaway!

As I’m sure I’ve said before (and if I haven’t, I’m saying it now) there’s been ALOT of speculation about open restaurants in TS3, and  as to whether it’s even possible due to routing issues. Fortunately, that hasn’t always stopped the game devs, although unfortunately, routing can still be problematic. Although over time there have been numerous attempts by fans to fix that, to the tune of recreating entire worlds from expansion packs! Some fans are happy just to have features, with or without glitches!

Personally, I’m skeptical that this could be a fix-all solution. Although, if this makes open restaurants somehow possible (with or without IP), I will be impressed.

New Store Content Hint: Something to do with OFB?

There’s been quite a bit of buzz regarding the possibility of OFB style PC items in the store, and this particular tweet by Simguru Copeland has our attention!

 At first I thought we’d finally be getting a writing pad, but as Ms. Crumplebottom here is situated in front of the bistro, one would presume otherwise. I’m thinking this is either a restaurant menu, or an item that goes along with something else, like one of those ‘cash registers’ we were all asking for.

Regardless of what comes to pass, I certainly hope we still get notebooks/journals/writing pads! OFB PC items would be an excellent opportunity to introduce such a feature!

Foundations on top of Foundations

Foundations are a tricky beast. You can do things with them using cheats (like that one with friezes) although wall warping from adding doors makes it undesirable right now. The good news is we’re getting more control over them in the upcoming Island Paradise patch, but it doesn’t look like we’re able to get around the warped wall issue as of yet. Only time will tell…

Here’s what I’ve been able to manage in the meantime:

See that sunken room?
Here’s a closer look…

You can create sunken areas like this (makes a great den, or at least gives you a ‘hole’ in the foundation that’ll allow basement access if you have room for stairs), but it’s a bit of a pain when you’ve got a 2nd floor and want to make sure that’s evened out. Also, I got around the texture issue by using stone as seen here. I still can’t put a door at ground level since things will stretch and warp but it beats nothing right? *sigh*

Although it’s not really fair to say things like that. While TS3 is still around, it’s our last chance to make it known that we want to break away from these limits. TS4 may be new and all but newer isn’t always better.