Friday, August 29, 2014

The Sims 4 Player Guide Info

Just a couple days more until we get our hands on The Sims 4!

As if the waiting wasn't unbearable enough, here is a player guide full of tips and info about the game. It is sure to get you inspired...and even more impatient...for release day. My favorite bits?  The great ideas for new ways to play.  There are also a couple of handy sheets to download and print with all of the controls and cheats!

 Here are screens of the most informative parts of the read up and get ready to sim!

The Sims 4 drops on September 2, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Store Set: Is it really Amore?

The final store set dropped today and at first look it seems like they saved the best for last.  The Last Venue of Amore is a dramatic Venetian style community lot that features a clever gondola ride and some truly lovely build items. It requires an empty 64x64 lot to place it.  

Trying to decide if this purchase is worth it?  Here are the details and plenty of pictures you need to help you decide....unless of course you are one of those compulsive content collectors ( you know who you are!) in which case you probably already own the lot.

PRO: This set includes some truly fantastic, detailed build items...several windows, arches, and statues.  There are not a lot of parts in this set, but what is included is beautiful and interesting.

Love the large arched window with ivy surround!  

PRO:The dramatic round rose window included in this set is perfect for any chapel, castle, or church build.

There are charming little views around every corner

PRO: there are several "grungy" and worn wall textures with this set that could be useful for a ton of different builds and looks.

CON: the spec map on some of the wall sections is set too high...resulting in a "grungy" worn wall that is way too shiny and reflective, as demonstrated below:

PRO: the venue itself is a delight to look at...extremely picturesque! It would be lovely for stories and "photo shoots"

CON: aside from the gondola ride, there isn't much to actually DO on the lot.  There is only one small half bath tucked away in the corner.  Most of the buildings just have seating, an occasional bed and not much else.  

PRO: This lot would make a great wedding venue but you would have to add a bar, a dance floor, a buffet table and so forth. The pictures would be lovely!


CON: There are several places where it appears textures are missing, such as the yellow building in the first picture.  There are also missing cornice sections here and there.  I don't know if they were intending to make it look like it was "crumbling" or a worn facade...but it just looks unfinished.  If this was a deliberate design decision they should have made a cornice section that shows crumbling rather than just leaving out sections.

Overall, I found the venue to be lovely to look at, but needing some work from me before I was able to use it effectively.  The build buy items are a wonderful addition to any builder's tool set.  The potential for story telling and photography is huge....I cant wait to see an SF magazine shoot with this lot. ( hint hint)
It might not be love...but this set is a definite "like"!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Time to Talk about Load Screens and Public Spaces

Yes...there are load screens in The Sims 4.  But in all fairness, they zipped by pretty quickly. In fact, I felt like the load screens took less time than the amount of time it would take my sim to travel across town in The Sims 3.  When you go to a lot....any lot...there is a brief load screen as the game "unpacks" that lot. If you want to go to the house next door or a venue across town or even to another world, there will be a brief load screen as the game unpacks the lot you are going to enter.

There are actually a few advantages to this system:

  • EASIER WORLD TRAVEL: there is no difference in going across town or going to another world so your sims can travel without a limit or additional cost.
  • SHORT LOAD TIMES: Since the game is only "unpacking" one lot at a time, it stands to reason that load screens should remain fairly uniform despite adding additional content and worlds to the game. With The Sims 3, the initial load screen got longer and longer the more EP's were added.  Personally, I would rather have a few tiny load screens than one big one that is so long I fall asleep waiting for the game to start. 

  • MORE POPULATED AREAS: The fact that only one lot is "active" at a time means that there will be more sims in that location.  During my play test, I definitely found this to be true...there were plenty of neighbors walking by for me to interact with and when I went to a night spot it was hopping!  In The Sims 3, it is so depressing to send your sim to a club and the only person there to chat with is the bartender.  That will not be an issue for The Sims 4.

So where can I go without a load screen?

The area around your home lot has a wide "bumper" around it of public space.  Your sim can go here without a load screen.  For the lot I played, the public space around my house included a river with a fishing hole, a walking path and a green belt area with several collectibles including wild onions, roses, snap dragons, rocks and minerals.  

See that walking path and greenbelt area behind the house? Public Space.

The public space bumper seems to be designed to allow you a chance to harvest collectibles close to home as well as meet and interact with other sims.  I found the area to be very lively and full of sims coming and going, so I was able to meet plenty of new friends.  There are also venues and a large park in each neighborhood where you can meet others, socialize and collect things, but those DO require a load screen.

I didn't feel like my sim was limited by the way The Sims 4 worlds are set up.  The public space around my lot was pretty generous.  I could stay close to home and still have plenty to do...or I could go and explore and regardless of how far I traveled, it only took one short load screen.  The amount of time spent was actually less than loading a vacation world or traveling from one end of the town to another in Sims 3.  So, even though it might seem like getting loading screens is a step backwards, it really isn't at all. 

The Sims 4 Hands On: Review

Speculation has been running wild for months about The Sims 4 as the information slowly trickles in.  A tweet here, a blog post by a guru there.  But now, with The Sims 4 Creator Camp, we have a flood of information.  Because a group of creators and simmers were allowed hours and hours of actual hands-on experience with the game.  The whole game.

The first thing you need to know is that we were allowed to only take a limited number of screen shots.  I chose to focus mine primarily on build mode...both because that is what interests me the most as a builder and because I felt like there has been the least amount of coverage released about that aspect of the game.  I think between all of the variety of creators in attendance, we should have a good variety of things to show you. Even so, I failed.  I was having so much fun playing and exploring the game that I didn't do as good a job on taking screen shots as I could have.

So...where to start?

My overall impression is that The Sims 4 has the potential to make me actually play ( as opposed to just create) more than previous iterations of the franchise.  I found the worlds to be appealing, interesting places I wanted to explore and the sims inhabiting them to be quirky, funny, and full of personality.  I was intrigued and charmed.

Like any typical player, the first thing I did was to go into Create-A-Sim and make a sim to place in the world.  The Gallery is available to download other player's creations if you are not in the mood to make your own, and even with a limited number of demo copies released, it is already chock full of fascinating creations. Although I had already spent weeks poking around in the Create-A-Sim Demo, there was still plenty to discover about this aspect of the game:

  • The outfits shown in the demo really are just a portion of what is available. The demo only shows Young Adults.  But other than the children, there is no age restriction on the outfits.  Elders can wear Young Adult outfits, and Teens can wear Elder clothing.  This makes the pool of clothing choices to pick from more vast than the demo.  Huge plus!
  • The kids are adorable.  Seriously adorable. The outfits for the kids are cute and have a lot of personality.  The hairstyles are much better than what we saw in the base game for The Sims 3.  
  • Teens look deceptively similar to Adults.  Much has been made of the fact that teens are the same height as Adults. I question the effectiveness of this design decision.  It really can be very difficult to identify teens from adults. While they do have narrower shoulders and a somewhat more "scrawny" build, you can easily adjust these features and make a teen that is virtually indistinguishable from an adult. 
  • You can select multiple outfits for each category.  For instance, you can set up 3 different every day outfits for the same sim.

  • The randomizer tool uses a sophisticated tagging technology to ensure that even though outfits are random, things kind of "go together" or make sense.
  • The randomizer can pinpoint exactly those aspects you want to change, allowing you to discover new looks while keeping things you like.

  • The genetics tool is smarter and effectively blends half the traits from one parent with those of the other.  We saw children that were a true blend of the parents and maintained some very clear family resemblances.  The "sibling" generator seems to take half from the sibling and the other from random traits, as there appeared to be much wider variation. 
For a more in depth look at Create-A-Sim, click here

As I have said previously, I feel like I have a lot of tools in Create-A-Style to make a variety of interesting, attractive ( or not so attractive) sims.  So let's get into the game!

What in the World?

One of the first things I noticed was the clean, modern look of the UI.  Everything is backed in white, as opposed to blue, and this makes it easier to see and read.  The controls are present, yet unobtrusive and I felt like they receded nicely and allowed the action on the screen to take center stage. I like the look.

There is a very strong design aesthetic at work in The Sims 4.  It reminds me of hand drawn animation cels.  For those who prefer a more gritty, realistic look, this might be considered a negative.  I found it to be in keeping with the humorous, "adventures unfolding around every corner" feel of the game and I enjoyed it. I felt like I stepped into my own personal story book.

The lush world of Willow Creek

The world lighting scheme is also a very powerful, defined look.  It might be just a little too heavy handed, as I found it skewed the colors of things enough to make building problematic.  The morning light is a very strong yellow, while the daytime lighting makes anything white appear to be more blue toned.  Shadows are a very strong deep purple color and almost appear to be an object, the outlines are so clearly defined.  While I could appreciate the additional ambiance the lighting scheme contributed to the world look and feel, a completely neutral "build mode" light scheme for creators wanting to accurately view the colors they are working with would be extremely helpful.

There are actually two worlds to select from for your Sim's home base: a lush suburb reminiscent of the New Orleans Garden District and a vivid, painted desert setting similar to The Sims 3 world of Lucky Palms. Each world has 5 neighborhoods and a large park.  There is a "manage worlds" control button that allows you to do things like delete and replace lots, choose a different lot for your sim, and such.  While I was excited to see 2 different worlds in a base game product with such distinctive looks, I was also a bit disappointed by the relatively small size of the worlds over all.  There are only 4 venues in each world along with the large park.

The painted desert of Oasis Springs

There ARE loading screens between lots.  In practice I did not find it obtrusive or bothersome.  The transitions were very quick, though I would be concerned that those with slower machines might find this problematic.  The result of loading one particular area at a time is that your active zone is much more vibrant and alive.  I cant count how many times while playing The Sims 3 I sent my sim to a location only to find that it was fairly empty and devoid of other sims.  I cant imagine my sim being lonely in The Sims 4.  There was plenty of foot traffic near my home lot and when I visited a night spot, it was full of a variety of sims to interact with.

Lot sizes range from 15x20 to 50x50. Most of the lots in the neighborhoods already have houses on them, but you can easily demolish them with a bulldozer tool to make space to build your own creation or swap them out with something from the player created Gallery.  We noticed that it was very easy to change your sim's home.  You didn't have to move them out or anything.  Just a few clicks and boom!  New home.

What can I make?

Speaking of new homes, it is no secret that I am a builder.  My absolute favorite part of any of The Sims franchise is creating and building lots.  That being said, I spent a huge majority of my time poking around in Build mode.  We have seen a CAS demo and game play footage, but the coverage of build mode has been a bit on the light side, so I wanted to correct that.  Overall, I found many things to be delighted with and plenty of new tools and functions to expand my creativity.

For an in-depth, detailed look at Build Mode in The Sims 4 CLICK HERE

Animations, Emotions and Multitasking...Oh MY!

Once you have your sim settled in a home ( a single sim starts out with $20,000 simoleons!) and you start playing, one of the things you will immediately notice is amazing animation improvements.  Sims really do move and interact with each other in a more natural manner.  I saw one sim cooking and talking to someone behind them.  As they cooked, they occasionally looked over their shoulder to address the person behind them.  I had another sim working at a computer desk in a bedroom.  When his wife came in to talk to him, she sat on the edge of the bed very naturally. All of the animations are brand new for this game, so the sims are constantly doing something interesting...and hysterical.  The new dances had me laughing out loud. Between the animations and the new emotion system, I found the sims much more interesting to watch.

Feeling proud?

Much has been said about the emotions of the sims and I was curious to see how this was different from previous games in the franchise.  Right off the bat, you will notice that your sims thumbnail portrait in the corner is not static, but changes to reflect your sims emotional state. There are also colors to reflect this emotional for "uncomfortable", pink for "playful" and blue for "inspired" just to name a few. The descriptions of these states give you hints at what you can do to either enhance or mitigate your sims current emotional state.  Of course, you can also just look at your sim to see how they are feeling.  When my sim was mad, she stomped around and looked like she was ready to hit someone.  When she came home tired from work, she literally drooped with exhaustion. it was fun to watch.  I can see a lot of potential for story telling and machinima makers.  You can also see three desires or "whims" for your sim and hints as to what might happen if you fulfill them.  The action queue is also down at the bottom directly above your sim portrait and you can line up 6 actions at a time.

My sim had an awkward social interaction and she became embarrassed.  This opened a new option to "hide from everyone in bed"  It was so amusing!

 I particularly appreciated the clean, modern look of the UI.  Everything is backed in white, as opposed to blue, and this makes it easier to see and read.  The controls are present, yet unobtrusive and I felt like they receded nicely and allowed the action on the screen to take center stage. I like the look.

The level of multitasking is a delight. I had a sim child do homework and chat with a friend at the same time.  She would alternate between doing the school work and looking up to joke with her friend...earning relationship points with the friend at the same time she was finishing her chore.  Fantastic!  Sims can chat with the person on the treadmill next to them while watching a cooking tv show and develop a relationship, earn fitness skills, and cooking skills all at the same time. I love this.

What is the bottom line?

  •  Very strong game play and entertainment value.  
  • A distinctive look that could be a "love it or hate it" depending on your taste 
  •  A robust build mode with a plenty to offer but a few  shortcomings.
  • More of the humor and quirkiness that are the hallmark of The Sims franchise

The fireflies near the river were such a lovely detail 

Over all, my hands on time with The Sims 4 flew by and that is an excellent indicator of an entertaining, engrossing game.  One day it seemed like we had just gotten started and it was already lunch time.  Hours had passed without me hardly noticing because I was so thoroughly captivated by this funky, vibrant colorful world of The Sims 4.  Will I be buying the game?  You bet!

The Roof...The Roof..The Roof is on Fire: The Sims 4 Build Mode

As a creator, as soon as I got my hands on time with The Sims 4 at Creator's Camp, I went straight for Build Mode.  And stayed there.  For hours and hours.  I kept setting myself a limit along the lines of "just 2 more hours of build mode and the I will look at the rest of the game..." and then failing to do just that.  Why?  Because there is a LOT to see/discover/figure out.  

Faster/Easier Building

One thing that I heard repeated over and over is that they wanted to make building faster and easier so you can hurry up and start playing.  While I think this is a noble goal for many players, my concern is that it makes the assumption that no one likes to build.  Creators like myself would heartily disagree. For many players, building and creating is as much or more fun than actually "playing" the game.  So, when I dove into build mode, I was curious to see if this zeal to make things faster and easier limited the creativity of those of us who actually enjoy the building process.  In most cases, it didn't.  A majority of the new tools and features offer a fun, less frustrating build experience full of possibilities. In order to get a genuine feel for how Build mode works in The Sims 4, I tried to build as much as possible and in a variety of styles.  So let's dive in!

Manage your World

There are 2 different worlds to choose from, each with its own distinctive feel.  Will you decide to build in the lush New Orleans flavored Willow Creek...or is the painted desert of Oasis Springs?  The choice is yours.  I like that even with a base game, we get two completely different environments in which to explore and create.

Each world is divided into small neighborhoods with about 25 lots total in each world.  Since 5 of those lots are venues, that leaves you about 20 lots to work with in sizes ranging from 15x20 to 50x50.  There are no huge 64x64 sized lots.  There are just a handful of empty lots to choose from; however, you can use the bulldozer tool and delete any existing lot to make room for your own creations.  In fact, most of the controls you are familiar with from The Sims 3 are here which I found made for an easier learning curve.  For a list of all of the tool hot keys CLICK HERE

There is no way to edit the terrain or the world files at this time, so you will have to keep your creativity to one of the lots for now.  I was expecting this as we did not get the ability to edit world files with The Sims 3 until expansions were released.

The new "manage worlds" function is basically your EDIT TOWN mode.  I was particularly pleased to learn that from "manage worlds" you can go in and build on any lot, regardless of whether or not there is a sim family there in residence.  There is no need for a clipboard because you do not need to move them off lot to change or edit the homes of any sim in the world.  You simply enter the lot and make whatever changes you like or even swap out the home entirely with something from the gallery, making it much easier for a player to customize the neighborhood.  A plumbob floats above the map view to indicate where your "active" household is located, but you can very easily enter any lot, occupied or not, and make any changes you desire.

Once you select your lot, you will discover a clean, easy to follow build menu with several new features. While functions are still grouped together with a more "build" related section and a "buy" section, there is also a handy search feature that allows you to type in the name of an object.  As in The Sims 3, you can find objects grouped by room or by function.

Building Blocks

One of the most innovative features of Build Mode is the "block" system.  You can place rooms in a variety of shapes and then pick them up and mold them in any way.  You can grab any side and push it in or pull it out to get the exact shape you want OR you can pick up the whole thing and move it.  It feels like you are sculpting.  The draw tool is still available if you prefer to draw your walls out one by one.  Once you have connected walls in a "closed circuit" they become a room unit that can also be picked up and moved anywhere on the lot.

And speaking of moving things on the lot....YES.  You can pick up your entire house and move it around the lot.  Hurray!  I tried this out several times and it is a dream come true.  No more rebuilding the whole structure simply because it is a few squares too close to the street.

Speaking of blocks, you will discover that the "room catalog" function is located in the build mode section.  This consists of several pre-designed rooms similar to the blueprint mode we had in The Sims 3.  When you place one of these rooms,  it comes as a completely designed, furnished block. Sounds like it should be located in the buy catalog?  Nope. Unlike most interior decoration you should not wait until you have the exterior of your home complete to use them because they erase any windows or exterior wall treatments in the location they are placed, which might be a bit frustrating.  To get the best use out of the pre-designed rooms, you will want to use them as a base for your structure...arrange them into a pleasing shape....and THEN work on the exterior of your home.

From the bottom up

Once you have a structure you like, you can then decide if you want to use a foundation or not.


Shouldn't the foundation come first?  Not any more!  The new foundation tool completely eliminates yet another  potential "darn it...I have to start completely over" moment. You can add the foundation at any point in your build process.  AND you can decide on several different heights for your foundation.  The lowest setting is similar to a stage...there is no need for stairs at all as sims will just step up on to it.  The highest setting will provide a nice imposing look well above street level.  You can adjust the height at any time. Unfortunately the foundation tool applies a foundation to everything on the lot uniformly.  This means you are not going to be able to have a high foundation on your house and no foundation on a potting shed.  It is an all-or-none proposition.

Notice that lovely curved porch? Walls dont curve, but foundations/fencing can.

There are several different foundation looks to choose from...ranging from a very smooth modern look to a more classical, sculpted look.  Some of these foundation looks come in multiple colors and others do not.  Since it is all presets, I did find it frustrating that some of the foundation walls did not have a matching wall treatment.  It was difficult at times to get a uniform look.

Wonder Wall

Another innovative feature is the adjustable wall height.  There are three different heights and you can have a different one for each floor of your structure.  This is variety we have never previously seen and should open new doors for creators.  The taller wall heights have a selection of larger windows and doors that are better scaled to them, but you can place any of the windows at any height on each wall panel so it is very easy to get a wide variety of looks.

Speaking of windows...the flexibility of placement is fantastic, but it does not extend to off grid placement.  Windows still have to snap to grid and cannot be centered between two wall panels.  A very minor quibble given the freedom of being able to place them at any height.  That is a feature I have wanted for a very long time indeed!  There is a nice selection of styles available for a base game and I was pleased with the details and choices.

Wall treatments themselves...both inside and out....are somewhat limited and the block style building system can make filling the walls a bit tricky.  Using the tool to cover the entire wall can result in some areas being missed because they are not considered part of that room "block" or other areas being filled unintentionally for the same reason.  My best advice here is when applying the walls to make sure you are in "walls up" mode and go slowly.  I was in a rush to get the most out of my time, and I later discovered a few unexpected errant wall tiles on some of the homes I made in Creators Camp.

Another convenient feature of the new walls is that they do NOT need to be supported to create usable space.  You can cantilever a room over empty space or float it in the air, if you so desire.

All that is required to make it useful is a way for your sim to enter the room.  I can imagine that this feature will be particularly fun for those who enjoy modern and sci fi style builds.  Hovering space ship, anyone?

What else is new in Build Mode?

  • Add a string course to the top of your exterior walls  ( what the heck is a string course, you ask?) It is one of these lovely little architectural details that at dimension to your structure: 

  • Add both curved and straight fencing in a variety of styles and colors
  • Add spandrels and corbels to your porches ( more architectural details) 
  • Add columns and pilasters.  (I know, I's like architecture 101 in here now.  Pilasters are like a column that is halfway embedded in a wall.)  In The Sims 4 these are not separate objects.  You simply place any column against a wall and it turns into one.  The other half of the column does NOT cut into the wall or space behind it at all.  How clever is that?!

  • Add exterior elements like awnings, window boxes and other decorative items.  In base game!  And remember, since you can place them at any height, you can adjust them to fit any window.  No more inability to use an element because it doesn't fit properly.
  • Add a chimney separately from the fireplace.  This is a flexibility we have never had before without using cheats.  The chimney sections are an element on their own and can be placed anywhere on the exterior of the home.  Best part?  As long as there is a fireplace somewhere inside the house, smoke will come out of the chimney.  It doesn't have to be placed over the fireplace directly!

Above it ALL: The Roofing

Ask any simmer who tries to build what their main headache is and "roofs" will come up 9 times out of 10.  They can be tricky and frustrating.  Apparently EA gets that...they listened and responded with a innovative new roofing system that doesn't " draw" them on at all.  Each section is it's own movable block, just like the rooms.  You plop it down and then mold it to the shape you want...push and pull it to the exact height or width you need.  You can even adjust the curvature to get some cool new shapes.  Currently there are no conical or octagon shapes available, but I am sure those will be arriving at some point.  In the meantime, there are even MORE roofing details to play with. You can adjust the eaves to be longer or shorter AND you can even adjust them on just one side to get even more unique looks.

Since the roof sections are individual objects, that means they can be colored independently as well.  Never had that ability before...I am looking forward to experimenting with it and seeing what kind of new looks can be created.  I can envision a charming Hobbit style home with a curved, rounded roof done in a patchwork of colors.  What will you come up with?

The eaves can also have a trim color and style added as well for an extra bit of design.

Roofing collision is quite different in The Sims 4.  In the past, our roofing sometimes intruded or clipped into a room of the house.  As long as there was another roof above it, it was usable space. Unfortunately, this often resulted in disappearing roof sections or holes in the roofing.  Now, it is the room "blocks" underneath the roof that determine if the space intersected by a roof is usable.  It is a bit tricky as it must be a solid room unit to prevent a roof line from intersecting into the space.  I had to use a little trial and error, but overall I am confident that with time this new system will be much more superior.

Getting Down to Earth

Once you have your structure completed, you will probably want to do a little landscaping. The Sims 4 landscaping package is varied with plenty of flowers and bushes to choose from....the more lush trees and bushes you would expect for a world like Willow Creek and plenty of cactus and palm trees for Oasis Springs.  Unlike The Sims 3, all of the landscaping plants come out the same exact size...not in the "small, medium, and large" variety I was expecting.  You can imagine how thrilled I was to hear about a new cheat that is designed to allow the player to make any object...including the plants...larger.  Yay!  You can then imagine how disappointed I was when another player discovered the cheat does not transfer when a lot is uploaded to the Gallery. I will be avidly waiting to hear that they have gotten the kinks worked out of that cheat code, because I can see the vast potential it brings.

There are many different terrain paints and the brush controls you would expect to see.  Some nice rocks are available, somewhat on the small side...but well modeled.

What is currently not available is the ability to sculpt the terrain or add bodies of water. All of the rout-able terrain is flat.  This helps greatly with routing and sim movement, and the surrounding world is sculpted so well that you don't really feel like it is a "flat" world at all. I will be very curious to see if these tools are ever made available at some point.

Ready to move inside?

One of the first categories I looked at was the clutter (!) section.  There are multiple sections in decor that are clutter or clutter related: sculptures, clutter, and miscellaneous objects. Oh wow!  I could not be more pleased with these objects.  They are charming, detailed and interesting. A great variety, too.  An old favorite of mine, the bowl of fruit from The Sims 2 makes a more refined appearance along with tons of new objects.  I am absolutely delighted.

Another "squee-worthy" category is the kids objects.  Very cute, adorable objects for a base game can be found here including several oddly large stuffed animals.  Speaking of oddly large, the child's doll house appears to be on steroids in The Sims 4.  Make sure you have plenty of free space for it.

Rather than tell you about all of the objects, I would like to show you.  One thing I think that stands out is the level of detail to be found in the catalog.  Objects are appealing and intricate.

The new kitchen cabinet system is very thoughtfully designed.  After you choose the cabinet, open the sub menu to select the shape you would like to use.  Some sets come with curved or slanted end sections or island sections, enabling the player to achieve a variety of looks.

There is no color wheel or Create- A- Style.  Objects come in preset colors and pattern combinations.  Some objects come in many different colors/textures and others just have a few choices available.  I found this aspect of the game to be the most frustrating.  To find out more about it CLICK HERE

One of the best parts of using these objects is the freedom of placement.  Almost all objects....mirrors being one exception....can be placed anywhere on the wall.  Horizontally and vertically.  There is not a way to overlap or place more objects on the same panel, as the "move objects" cheat does not seem to exist at this point.  You heard me correctly.  No MOO.
It's true.

Even without a "move objects" cheat..which we hope will be forthcoming...there are a much wider variety of ways to place and use these objects within your creation. 

Overall, my impression of time spent building with The Sims 4 was that they listened to many long standing player complaints and frustrations ( "roofs are hard!"  "We cant move the house on the lot once built!" "We need more clutter!"  ) and came up with clever, innovative solutions to make building easier and more fun.  I wont pretend that the loss of Create-a-Style isn't a huge blow for creators, but I can see how all of these other tools, objects and advances can certainly soften the blow and open up new possibilities.  I will be building and creating for The Sims 4 and I suspect many people who might not have tried to build previously will be making things as well.

About Me

I build lots for people to use in the Sims. I have created hundreds of lots that have been downloaded by people all over the world. My work has been featured on the official Sims 3 site, several Sims 3 fan sites and in Game Informer magazine.
I am a mom...a gamer...a book worm...a worrywart...a fan of architecture, interior design, and all things Grumpy Cat.