You’ve read all the tutorials; you’ve watched all the CAW videos. But you’re going crazy because there’s something you’re trying to do but doesn’t work the way it should or at all. The reason why is that there are a lot of not so obvious things about Create a World that you need to know and will drive you up the wall if you don’t. So, to keep you from going nuts, here are the ones that are known so far:

1. Your sims can’t swim or fish on hybrid lots

A hybrid lot is a lot that is placed half on land and half on water. If you create a lot like this, your sim won’t be able to swim or fish in the part of your lot that is over water.

This is important to know because a lot of beginners get the idea that they’ll be able to create beautiful piers and other amazing structures that their sims can swim and fish from. I know, because I was one of them. When I first started out, I built a ton of piers and beach lots over water, thinking sims would be able to fish or swim in them. When it came time to play these lots, it was a different story. They would do the angry stampy dance. The reason why is that the routing for water inside of these lots were broken:

So don’t bother building these types of lots unless they’re meant to be decorative. This is especially true of beach lots. You don’t need to place a lot over water for a beach lot. When sims arrive at the beach, they know to swim at the nearest body of water even though the beach lot is placed entirely on land.

2. You can’t just place a food truck and have it work

It’s not enough to copy and paste a food truck parking spot from Bridgeport to your world to make it work. You have to do other things to get it to show up, too. Because I don’t want you throwing your keyboard at the monitor in frustration or on the verge of tears figuring out why your food truck isn’t showing up, I will tell you what you need to do:

  • You have to tag your world as a Late Night World in SuperCAW.
    There are different types of worlds in the Sims 3, each one working differently depending on how they are tagged. The food truck is a city/Late Night object, so needs the world to be tagged as “Downtown” for it to work. Unless you do that, it won’t work. To learn more about this, check out the tutorial, Adding a Food Truck to Your World.
  • You need the trash can– I think.
    I am not 100% sure on this, but I believe that the trash that comes with the parking spot in Bridgeport is needed to get the food truck to show up. I say this because I remember that years ago when I first played around with the food truck, they never showed up when I removed the trash can and seemed to show up when they did. I might be wrong but if you want to play it safe, I would suggest keeping the can.
3. Structures like these will give you a headache

Everyone gets an idea to build elaborate structures like the one below. There’s an issue, though. They may look nice but they are very hit and miss in terms of routing. Sometimes sims will happily use them. Sometimes sims avoid them at all costs. Sometimes they’ll use them, but not the way you wanted them to.

The reason why is that sims were programmed to be lazy. They like to travel from Point A to Point B going the easiest way they can (via hill or straight line) and will avoid staircases and other types of elaborate structures if they can help it. In the instances that they do use staircases and fancy structures, they will do crazy things like squeeze in between the staircase and the routing paint you’ve placed around it to run down the sides.

So getting structures like this to work properly can be a very frustrating process. My advice is: try as best as you can to make the structure work but don’t drive yourself crazy trying. If worse comes to worst and sims keep skipping it or not using it correctly no matter how much fencing and routing paint you put down, just set it to “No Visitors” and use it as a decorative lot.

4. You have to give your world a new WPID if you want to reupload it to The Exchange

Most dedicated world builders have a website where they host their worlds. However, some people like to upload their worlds to The Exchange. There’s just one problem, though. Suppose you’ve edited your world and want to reupload the new version to The Exchange. You won’t be able to, because The Exchange will think you’re trying to upload the same file. There’s a workaround, however. You can give your world a new WPID using the Simlogical program, S3PE. If you’re intimidated, don’t be; it couldn’t be easier. Just check out this Mod the Sims tutorial to learn how.

5. Some objects and effects are only available in Super CAW

Loved some of the objects you’ve seen in some of the worlds and want to add them to your world in CAW? Or maybe you’d like to have the lighthouse light up like in Sunset Valley? Unfortunately, some objects and effects aren’t available in CAW or buydebug in Buy/Build Mode. You have to get them using SuperCAW, an advanced version of Create a World that unlocks all of the objects from the game. If you have no idea what SuperCAW is, check out the primer, How to Use SuperCAW.

6. You can’t section off parts of your world for wildlife

Some people want a city with wildlife. The problem is that there’s no way to prevent wildlife from spawning in certain parts of your world. So, either you will have to put up with horses running up and down your highways or you will have to use SuperCAW to tag your world as a city, which means no wildlife at all.

7. Spawners Get Left Behind when You Bulldoze Lots

When you bulldoze a lot that has any type of spawner (fish, plant, wildlife, etc.), the spawners don’t get bulldozed. Why is this important to know? Because if you keep placing the same lot from your library in this space, you will accidentally have multiple instances of the same spawners on it.

Another thing that can happen is accidentally having spawners on a lot you don’t want them to appear on. For example, if you build a community garden with spawners, bulldoze it and then place an office rabbit hole over it, you will have fish and garden plants spawning on the lot.

Naturally, you don’t want 50 million butterflies, ladybugs or wildflower plants spawning everywhere on one lot or fish hopping and jumping all over your rabbit holes, so always remember that if a lot you bulldozed had spawners, to go back into Build/Buy mode to clear them out before adding anything back in from your library.

Lot with spawners
Lot after bulldozing
8. Garden Spawners Will Disappear from Lots When Saved to Library

You have the option of planting vegetables and fruit to lots via buydebug to create garden and farm lots. However, when you save any lot that contains these spawners to library, they are cleared. This is important to know because there may be times when for whatever reason, you will want to place a fresh copy of a lot from library. You will be thinking that the spawners will be in place when you go back to edit the lot, only to find that they’re all gone.

Me placing garden spawners to complete this community garden.
What happened when I saved the lot to library, then placed it back into the same place. The plants disappeared.

If you’re building a world for yourself, it’s just a nuisance and you will have to go back to place the spawners again. However, if you’re building a world for other players, this can turn into the embarrassing situation in which a lot you’ve created with spawned vegetables (like a farm or community garden) have nothing for the sims to harvest.

So, when you’re working on a world, remember that you can’t save a lot with garden spawners to library without losing all of them. If you place the lot back, you will have to go back and place all of them again in Build Mode.

9. Ground Paints Shift When You Save and Place a Lot to Library

Know those terrain paints in Build Mode? Unfortunately, when you save a lot to library and place it back into your world again, the paints will shift. You can see that happening in the screenshot below:

In the above lot, the soil has shifted and now bleeds outside of the white fence.

Again, as with lots with garden spawners, make sure to remember to be careful when saving and placing lots with terrain paints back into your world.

10. For Generations Players, You Need to Place These Picnic Tables Everywhere

When the ice cream truck was added to The Sims in Generations, a white picnic table also showed up in Create a World as a world object. You may be tempted like I was to just place a small handful in your world. Don’t. These are the tables that sims use to eat the ice cream. When they need to find one of these tables, location is no object. If the closest table is on the other side of town, they will drive out there to get to it even though they are only a few feet in front of their house.

Because of this issue, make sure you have plenty of those picnic tables in each hood in your world within walking distance of all the major residential areas. You can never have too many of them!