Tomb Creation 101

From TS3wiki

During the Simposium Event at EA for World Adventures in October 2009, attendees were shown a document called "Tomb Creation 101", an in-house list of tips and tricks used by the game creators when developing Tombs in the game. This is the final version of the document for you to use in building your own skill in Tomb Creation, courtesy of TSR :-)

Tomb Creation 101 - The Sims 3 World Adventures

Your How-to Guide to Creating Tombs With or Without 4 Levels, Fire, Steam Traps, Lurking Treasures, Hidden Stairways, and More

Building tombs is an entirely new way to enjoy Build and Buy Modes in The Sims 3 World Adventures and adds a new element to the adventure gamplay as a first for The Sims. In this Tomb Creation 101 update, we’ll start by describing some of the dozens of Tomb Objects and offer a tip. Next time we’ll reveal additional Tomb Objects, examples of setting Triggers and Activated Behaviors, and more tips. Let’s get started!

The game offers a variety of tools, unique objects, and updates to objects from The Sims 3 so that you can design deadly catacombs, beautiful burial mounds, and wondrous caves filled with treasures. Some of these tools include the new Basement Tool, the Special Items Buy Menu sort, and the Buy Menu Interactions.

To start from the bottom, basements let your Sims build up to four levels of underground rooms. Each basement level can span the entirety of the lot upon which they are built. By cleverly building basements and placing stairs, you can create an underground network that takes Sims through winding halls and dark descents.

Some of the dozens of Tomb Objects and Object Updates:

  • Tomb Object (Fogger): The tomb object is the cornerstone of tomb building and will often be placed in every room of the tomb. The Tomb Object is what creates the "fog" that hides non-explored rooms from the player. This lets you create a sense of discovery and suspense as your Sims explore new tombs. The "fog" will recede from a room when a player enters the room through a door, descends stairs into the room, enters a room that is connected to a fogged room with an arch, or if a Sim "Looks Through" a window that looks into a fogged room. Adding or Removing fog is also a potential Activated Behavior.
  • Floor Switch: The floor switch is a classic adventure game object. It is a small, 1 tile floor object on which Sims can stand or push statues. Stepping On and Off the switch are both Triggers that can connect to Activated behaviors. Floor Switches can also be set to Appear or Disappear.
  • Wall and Floor Trap: The traps are two different objects that can be placed on the wall or floor. These can be set to shoot fire, darts, steam, or electricity on unsuspecting Sims. They can have a variety of states, including hidden and dormant, armed and visible, hidden and armed, or hidden and firing. Each of these states can be activated by Sims walking over them or as an Activated Behavior. Traps can light Sims on fire or knock them out. However, there are multiple ways to handle traps. Sims can disarm them by tinkering with them, or push statues upon them to disarm. Water will disarm a fire trap, which makes a great puzzle element when paired with the steam trap... which creates water! Sims can walk with immunity through a fire trap when soaked. Experiment and come up with your own puzzles!
  • Dive Well: Dive Wells are one of the most exciting Tomb Objects. Sims can use them to become Soaked, which makes them immune to fire, or to put themselves out when already on fire.  A Hidden Switch can be set at the bottom of dive wells as a Trigger. You can always place treasures at the bottom. Another fun element is that you can set the color of the water in the dive well, so fire tombs can have blood red water, whereas a tomb with a poison theme can have murky green water. Dive Wells are most fun when they are set up as portals. Dive Wells set as Portals will connect to each other. Sims will go to the bottom, and then emerge from the closest dive well on the same floor.  It’s also possible to designate a Dive Well as an Uber Dive Well. Here, you designate a name so that you can define the precise point of origin and exit – even across multiple lots in the world. This lets you create one-of-a-kind entrances to island tombs and other inaccessible areas.
  • Treasure Chest: The biggest reason to explore anything is to find treasure at the end. Treasure Chests let you fill your tomb creations with various treasures, keys, garbage, or whatever you can imagine.  Opening and Inserting a Keystone a treasure chest are also Triggers that can set Activated Behaviors.
  • Sarcophagus: The Sarcophagus can act as a large, ornate treasure chest, a place to hide, a place to sleep, and even a place to WooHoo. Most exciting, however, is its ability to spawn mummies. Mummies will patrol tombs in search of unsuspecting Sims to pummel and *gasp* curse! Mummies provide an element of danger and the unexpected to any tomb.
  • Torch Lever: The torch lever, like the Floor Switch, is an object for Sims to pull on to trigger Activated Behaviors. Some can be set to active, whereas others can be dummies, forcing players to carefully examine their surroundings. It’s possible to define the colors of the torch light, which allows Tomb Designers to provide hints and clues on how to complete puzzles. Or, to simply set the ambience of a tomb!
  • Pushable Statues: Pushable Statues are another classic adventure game element. They can be pushed on top of traps to disarm them, or cleverly pushed through a maze to unveil a formerly blocked path. Their most common use is to be paired with a floor switch. Floor Switch triggers can be set so that they activate something when a Sim is on them, but deactivate as soon as a Sim steps off of them. This means a Sim must push a statue on top of them in order to keep the floor switch depressed. Pushable Statues can be set to be secretly pushable (they require inspection), visibly pushable (no inspection needed), or not pushable at all.
  • Hidden Stairways: Stairways from The Sims 3 can be set to Hidden now. This is an Activated Behavior, so that a Trigger can now Hide or Unhide the stairs. Hidden Stairways are a great way to surprise players. Just when it seems there’s no way out, pulling a switch reveals a stairway!

Stay tuned for more details on Tomb Creation in The Sims 3 World Adventures including more object details on Tomb Objects and Triggers and Activated Behaviors. For now, here is a tip from the development team. The adventure is near... the game will ship November 17, 2009.

TIP 1: Basements cannot be built directly underneath pools or ponds. When building above ground, it helps to plan for stairways that descend into basements ahead of time to reduce rework! You can access the Special Items Buy Menu sort by going to Buy Mode, opening the cheat console (hit Shift + Ctrl + C) and entering "buydebug." This new sort allows you to pick out new tomb objects such as floor traps, floor switches, dive wells, and more!

The Underworld of The Sims

Lesson in Cause and Effect—What You Can Build for Your Sims to Explore in The Sims 3 World Adventures

In The Sims 3 World Adventures, you can build like never before and share simple or complex tombs, hidden caves, and catacombs you’ve created with other Sims players. Building tombs is an entirely new way to enjoy Build and Buy Modes in the game and adds a new element to the adventure gameplay as a first for The Sims. To continue the lesson in adventure building, we’ve outlined additional objects that you can use and triggers that will activate behaviors—cause and effect style. Plus, we have another tip. We can’t wait to see what you’ll create!

Additional New Objects + Tweaks to Existing Objects
Note: Triggers and Activated Behaviors are set up using the Ctrl + Shift + Left Click Buy Mode interaction described above.

  • Hole in the Wall and Floor: The Hole in the Wall and Floor objects are small, rune inscribed holes in which Sims can seek treasure or hidden switches. Beware, as bugs may come flowing out! The Hidden Switch Trigger can be used to set off Activated Behaviors. Holes in the Wall and Floor can be set to Appear or Disappear. Furthermore, treasure can be hidden inside them for Sims who take the time to look!
  • Keystone Panel and Keystones: Every tomb should have keys! Keystone Panels have the Insert Keystone Trigger, which can be used to set off Activated Behaviors. Most commonly are opening of locked doors or treasure chests. Keystone Panels can be set to accept generic Heart, Star, and Crescent keystones. Keystones can be found in tombs, inside chests, underneath rubble piles, or anywhere in which a treasure can be hidden.
  • Ancient Coin Pile: Ancient Coin piles are a great reward for Sims. They can be used to buy Adventure Rewards from the special merchant. Ancient Coin piles can be set to be Very Small, Small, Large, or Very Large.
  • Rubble Pile: Caves and ancient structures need cave-ins. You can block door ways, hallways, and rewards like Ancient Coins and Treasure Chests by placing a rubble pile on top of it. There are corner and flat wall rubble piles, as well as dark and light stone variants. Over time, Sims will hack away at them and clear them eventually to reveal switches or treasures. Tomb Designers are able to set the length of time it takes to clear the tomb.
  • Hidden Doors: Hidden Doors are great for hiding secret areas and surprising the players. These can be set to Locked, Unlocked, Visible, or Invisible, or even "Non-Discoverable." Visible ones must be opened by patient and strong Sims, whereas Hidden ones must first be inspected. If Locked, the doors can only be opened by a Trigger, as Locking, Unlocking, Hide, and Unhide are Activated Behaviors. Non-Discoverable doors cannot be inspected. In fact, they can only be found when the correct Trigger makes them appear!
  • Locking and Unlocking Doors: Doors can be set to Locked or Unlocked in tombs. This is a very straightforward way to gate Sims until they complete a puzzle. A simple example is to set the Unlock Activated Behavior on a Locked Door, that is Triggered when the Sim Steps On a Floor Switch.
  • Gigantic Boulder: These can be placed to block entrance to special areas, or an entire tomb. These huge boulders can only be destroyed with the mystical Pangu’s Axe, which can be found via an Adventure in China. The Gigantic Boulder is a great way to give players a reason to return to your tomb once they have Pangu’s Axe.


Trigger Flow and Content Examples
It is best to follow a specific order to design straightforward, intuitive tombs for others to experience. It’s possible to modify the process for what best fits your creative side, but this is a good method with which to begin.

  • Design the Layout and Theme for your tomb. Is it going to be a tomb filled with fire? What about a watery graveyard with pools, fountains, and steam traps? Before you get caught up with individual puzzles, and tiny details, know where you’re going to place things and what you want the overall experience to be.
  • Build the Tomb and Place all objects: Make sure your traps fit in the tight hallways, there’s plenty of room for your dive wells, and be sure to confirm that there is room for statues to be pushed and pulled towards completion of the puzzle.
  • Set up Triggers and Activated Behaviors: Depending on how much thought you put into your puzzles in the earlier steps, this part may be a breeze or quite complicated. There is a very specific flow that must be used here in order for things to work properly.

TIP: In order for the tomb to act like a tomb, you must set up a series of Triggers and Activated Behaviors on the placed tomb objects. It is possible to access these commands by entering Buy Mode, and Ctrl + Shift Left Clicking on objects. Examples will be provided on how to use these commands, but it’s important to explain how to access them in the first place!

Triggers and Activated Behaviors
When you want something to activate something else, essentially a cause and effect, you must first designate a Trigger, then Activated behavior. For example, you want to make it so that when a Sim steps on a floor switch, a door is unlocked.

Floor Switch to Unlock Door

  • Place the Door
  • Place the floor switch
  • Lock the Door using Buy Mode Interactions
  • Use the "Link Triggers... Step On" interaction on the Floor Switch
    • Here, you are saying that the Trigger is Step On
  • Use the "Link to Activated Behavior... Unlock" interaction on the Door
    • Here, you are saying that the Activated Behavior for the last Trigger is to Unlock

TIPS: The "Link to Activated Behavior" interaction only appears once a Trigger is set. If you want to change what the current trigger is, simply click on an object and select "Reset Current Link." If you want to see the Triggers current set from an object, hover over the object with the mouse cursor. Lines will be drawn to the connecting objects. If you want to see all triggers set up, select "Triggers... Draw All Links on Lot."  If you want to delete a Trigger, click the object, select "Triggers... " with the name of the Trigger. When doing "Link to Activated Behavior," all available Activated Behaviors that have not already been selected from the Trigger object will be displayed.

To further acquaint you with this building system, here are some common tomb object components and setups for you to use. Remember, these are just examples! Triggers and Activated Behaviors can be mixed and matched to create a huge variety of puzzles.

Keystone Panel to Unlock a Door

  • Place the Door
  • Place the Keystone Panel on the wall near the door
  • Place a keystone in the room
  • Lock the Door
  • Use the "Link Triggers... Insert Keystone" interaction on the Keystone Panel
  • Use the "Link to Activated Behavior... Unlock" interaction on the Door
  • When inserting the keystone into the Keystone Panel, the door will unlock.

Disable Fire Trap with Steam Trap

  • Place a trap on the floor
  • Place a trap as close as possible to the first one on the wall
  • Place a Floor Switch
  • Use the "Set Trap Type... Fire" interaction on the floor trap
  • Use the "Set Trap Type... Steam" interaction on the wall trap
  • Use the "Set Trap State... Firing and Visible" interaction on the floor trap
  • Use the "Set Trap State... Armed and Visible" interaction on the wall trap
  • Use the "Link Triggers... Step On" interaction on the floor switch
  • Use the "Link to Activated Behaviors... Fire Once" interaction on the wall trap
  • The Sim cannot get past the fire trap. However, when the Sim steps on the floor switch, it activates the steam trap which puts water onto the fire trap. The fire trap is now disabled and the Sim can pass!

Use Pushable Statue to Disable Trap

  • Place Pushable Statue
  • Place trap on the floor
  • Use the "Make Visibly Movable – (Currently: None)" interaction on the Pushable Statue
  • Use the "Set Trap Type... Electricity" interaction on the floor trap
  • Use the "Set Trap State... Armed and Visible" interaction on the floor trap
  • The Sim probably doesn’t want to risk walking across this armed electrical trap. The Sim can now push the statue onto the trap, which will disarm it for safe passage!

Use Pushable Statue on Floor Switch to make Floor Switch Appear and unlock Door

  • Place Pushable Statue
  • Place two floor switches (Switch A and B)
  • Place Door
  • Lock the Door
  • Use the "Hide" interaction on Switch B
  • Use the "Make Visibly Movable – (Currently: None)" interaction on the Pushable statue
  • Use the "Link Triggers... Step On" interaction on Switch A
  • Use the "Link to Activated Behaviors... Appear" interaction on Switch B
  • Use the "Link Triggers... Step Off" interaction on Switch A
  • Use the "Link to Activated Behaviors... Disappear" interaction on Switch B
  • Use the "Link Triggers... Step On" interaction on Switch B
  • Use the "Link to Activated Behaviors... Unlock" interaction on the Door
  • If the Sim steps on Switch A, Switch B appears! However, it quickly disappears when the Sim gets off Switch A. The solution is to push the statue onto Switch A, which makes Switch B permanently visible. The Sim can now step onto Switch B to unlock the door.
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