The Sims™ 3 Community Blog
: May 2013
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Check out what one of The Sims 3 Store World Builders, MDT, has to say about the development of Dragon Valley. The Sims 3 Dragon Valley is available to purchase now at The Sims 3 Store, and will be available in stores worldwide starting August 6, 2013.  

Dragons! We knew that we were going to have dragons before we even knew what kind of world to build. I believe this is the first world that we tailored in order to fit an object, therefore Dragon Valley was really created as a place for dragons to exist. As always with The Sims, we needed to balance gameplay, design and technical limitations and with this world, we started very early with the idea of a valley that was somewhat isolated which, although existing in the modern age, might harbor dragons and a unique population.  

There are so many stories and myths surrounding dragons that we had a lot of material to choose from. We wanted to get a fairly clear story for this world but also wanted to make a world that would not limit the stories that players could tell and discover on their own. To start, we listed out various inspirations that we wanted to incorporate. A Celtic and chivalric influence, some fantasy elements, a town that had been initially built in the middle ages but had developed over time, and dragons across different cultures were all key components. We decided on a rural village feel to the town but still kept elements nearby for gameplay reasons. As the team began to collect reference photos, many of us were enamored with rolling hills covered by stone fences so we opened the deep valley to mirror our initial impressions. We also thought that using images of white cliffs could be used as a way to make this world very different from any one we had already produced but also still appealing and somewhat idyllic.  

I made the terrain for this world, so I must admit that I am more thrilled with the final result in Dragon Valley than I have been for any other world. Although very large portions of the world are quite flat to help make it easier for players to add large lots of their own, it does not feel that way. The largest mountain is well within the gameplay area, and your Sims can actually climb it. It looks to me like it could be the ancient home of a dragon. Although we have striking cliffs, the rivers and ocean are still easily accessible for your Sims to swim in.  Initially the world was very green and white but the team added a reddish hue to both terrain and trees, giving the world a warmer feel. We also added some man-made chalk designs in the terrain to help incorporate our fiction world with the long established history from the Neolithic to the present. There are a few Dark Age ruins added in there too – although it’s possible that the dragons may have destroyed them!

There are a few things done differently in this world that may not be recognizable to most people but we see these small changes giving the world an updated look and feel. For example, the road texture is somewhat more elaborate than usual but it is also very close in value to the terrain; therefore, the roads tend to blend in a bit more than they have in other worlds. We carefully placed trees on roads in waves and tendrils, creating windy roads, glens and fields, all bordered by trees. We also used larger sized trees than we normally do to show how some of these trees have been growing for hundreds of years. The trees also have more contrast, to help show how the natural landscape is more important than the man-made, even if the natural world includes some supernatural pets!

Spending time on the fan forums was critical when it came to making big decisions and we made a few changes based on what you were telling us. One of the key pieces of feedback that players had to share was the idea that users did not love The Sims 3 Ambitions lots automatically appearing in thematic worlds – therefore, most players will be pleased to learn that the lots introduced with The Sims 3 Ambitions will not appear automatically. Some of you may disagree about this design so please note that these lots are something we feel we ought to at least try.  That said, we did equip the world with a number of empty lots, many of them quite large, so players can load this world and start building or importing lots right away. Plus, the highest level plain is a sprawling area that is fully ready for players to build and explore while still being nearby to all the rabbit-holes and gameplay that Dragon Valley has to offer. 
I am really looking forward to seeing how players make this world their own and on behalf of The Sims Store team, we hope Dragon Valley inspires you to tell new stories, befriend a dragon  and play with life!

- MDT 

10:14 PM
Posted by: SimGuruTaterTot

Check out what Designer Alan Copeland has to say about the Baby Dragons he created for The Sims 3 Dragon Valley! The Armored Black Dragon will be available as a bonus unlock when you own both The Sims 3 Dragon Valley and the Dukes of Bow Renn Faire venue - both available on The Sims 3 Store on May 30, 2013. 

Some have said that finding an Armored Black Dragon is a bad omen and surely its presence is a sign of evil on the horizon but the truth is that these mysterious critters are beyond the trappings of traditional “good vs. evil”. They are born with an inherent understanding of many of the Reaper’s secrets, a burden that often makes them detached and distant.

For reasons the Armored Black Dragons think best to keep to themselves, being around them gives the Mark of the Black Dragon moodlet, benefiting their companions with bonuses of Energy and Hunger. Every Armored Black Dragon knows that the cycles of death are far, far, more logical than the cycles of life and will occasionally discuss those things with Sims to help them become more logical.  

Armored Black Dragons have conquered fear by twisting it into a powerful tool to use against others. If they find a Sim particularly annoying they can turn their onyx stare into a curse so heinous that some have even transformed into a soulless zombie!  

Armored Black Dragons have a kinship with the dead so they can summon ghosts that can haunt an area or give your Sim a chance to talk to those that have passed to the other side.  

But the reason the Black Armored Dragon is arguably the most powerful of all of the dragons is its ability to summon a free pass for the next time the Grim Reaper is around in the form of a Death Flower! 

Armored Black Dragons are exclusively unlocked for those customers that have both the World and the new “Duke of Bows Renaissance Faire” venue.  

05:32 PM
Posted by: SimGuruTaterTot

Check out what Designer Alan Copeland has to say about the Baby Dragons he created for The Sims 3 Dragon Valley! For more information about The Sims 3 Dragon Valley, and the Purple Baby Dragon, click here.

Over the past few blog posts I’ve discussed the brazen, fire-breathing Red Baby Dragon and more recently the earth based Green Baby Dragon and its love for all things shiny or harvestable. Today I want to write about what is arguably the most unique of the dragons, a dragon that thrives on joy, humor and happiness. A dragon that is so dang cheery it literally pukes sparkles and rainbows.

This is the Purple Baby Dragon.

While Green Baby Dragons may have them beat in the tree hugging department, Purple Baby Dragons are the hipster-est of hippies in the Baby Dragon community. They want nothing more than to see everyone around them having a good time. In fact even the grumpiest of Sims can get a steady dose of Fun and Social just by hanging out with a Purple Dragon thanks to the Mark of the Purple Dragon moodlet.

While talking to a Red Dragon can raise your Athletic Skill and talking to a Green Dragon can raise your Gardening Skill, Purple Dragons will cheerfully discuss the particulars of raising your Charisma Skill so you can meet the Sim of your dreams.  

But what happens if your Sim is a bit of a wallflower or doesn’t know where to find the special someone?  No worries, the Purple Baby Dragon has more summoning abilities than any other dragon! Purple Dragons can summon up one of your friends, help throw an amazing party, or introduce you to someone completely new!  

But one of the coolest aspects of owning a Purple Baby Dragon is its Rune Charm ability. Purple Baby Dragons can imbue your Sim (or any Sim you choose) with massive bonuses to their mood, making them happier and more likable for up to twelve hours!

If you’re looking to meet that one in a million Sim, the Purple Baby Dragon will be your ultimate “wingman”.  

I love to hear your ideas and suggestions, so follow me on Twitter @SimGuruCopeland

04:05 AM
Posted by: SimGuruTaterTot

Check out what Designer Alan Copeland has to say about the Baby Dragons that he created for The Sims 3 Dragon Valley! For more information about The Sims 3 Dragon Valley, and the Green Baby Dragon, click here

Last week I introduced you to the Red Baby Dragons of Dragon Valley. They are impulsive, brash and focused on the physical. They are aligned with the element of fire and will happily help you smite your enemies in a Fiery Torment.  

But not all baby dragons in Dragon Valley are as brazen or hotheaded. Some are deep thinkers with an inherent understanding of this land, and the untold riches it can bring forth. They understand that a job is a way of amassing wealth and there are few things that they love more than gathering treasure. They are Green Baby Dragons.

Green Baby Dragons find all of Red’s fire-breathing rather crass and fairly destructive. Green Baby Dragons would rather talk about gardening, which can help your Sim build their skill quite a bit. But if your Sim is getting impatient with their garden, Green Baby Dragons can also summon a harvest for all of the plants on your lot.

Green Baby Dragons are collectors at heart and they love all things shiny. Some has said that being so close to the earth has given them a better understanding than most of the many wonders it holds. Is your Sim a little greedy? Then they should befriend a Green Baby Dragon who can call upon gold and gems from the very earth!

As I mentioned last week, there are benefits just to having a Baby Dragon around. With the Green Baby Dragon your Sim will get the “Mark of the Green Dragon” moodlet which gives them the mental fortitude to control their Hunger and Bladder.

All of the Baby Dragons have the ability to fly and having your Sim take them outside to practice flying is a wonderful bonding experience for them both and a great way to build your Sims Fun and Social.

Next week I’ll be back to discuss a bit more offbeat Baby Dragon, but in the meantime, contact me via Twitter at [url=""]@SimGuruCopeland[/url] with all of your Baby Dragon questions.    

07:05 AM
Posted by: SimGuruTaterTot