The VIP section at the official Sims 3 website posted a brand new blog update, this time covering the Build and Buy Mode. If you want to access and see the post yourself, then jump to the Sims 3 VIP section and enter last months code: 27824

If for some reason that does not work, you can check out the full post below:

Wed Dec 17 17:00:00 GMT 2008
Build and Buy Mode Developer Blog
Hi Fans,

This month’s edition of the developer blog is about Build and Buy, or B/B, as we often call it on the team.

The core developers on this feature are a diverse lot, hailing from England, France, Pakistan, India, and the United States. One of the engineers, Venkat, has been immortalized as a Bin Sim. Irfan was the team’s official photographer. David reads about semiotics in his leisure time. And Miguel’s wife bakes the most delicious raspberry brownies.

One of the new tools we think you’ll like is Wall Dragging. It certainly “made everyone gasp a bit” at the London demo. Ray, a designer, wanted a simple way to grow (or shrink) a room without having to rebuild it from scratch. Instead, you can grab a Wall, drag it to its new location, and the tool is intelligent enough to bring any Objects (including Floor tiles) along with it.

The user-interface, or UI for short, is also new. Josh, the UI producer, wanted it to be both functional and entertaining, so menus consist of pictures. Clicking on different parts of each picture takes you to that Object or Tool. “I liked the drawing of a house,” commented one of our focus testers, “and being able to pick out a part of a house and selecting objects from that section.”

A “focus test” consists of a group of people who look at a game before its release and give feedback. Our ace Marketing group has organized many focus tests, canvassing people from a wide range of ages, nationalities, and genders. We use this data to help make a better game for you. We also make changes and additions based on what the team thinks, for example, we just put in the new Foosball Table because a team member really wanted one.

You’ll be able to place Objects like the Foosball Table at a 45° angle. You can also have fun with 360° object placement by holding down the “ALT” key while you rotate it. We had a strong debate about making free rotation default, but decided that it was too advanced. This shortcut will also give you the same effect.

“At one of our fan events we showed the game to community site members from all over the world. One thing that they were really excited about were the new clutter Objects, especially the bathroom ones such as the hand towel, toilet paper, and perfume. Our “slot” system gives you several choices where to place decorative Objects on surfaces, such as Tables and Dressers. These small touches help personalize a house and give it a unique feel.”

We hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at B/B and look forward to what you’ll create & share on the exchange when the game comes out!

– Feisal