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Create a World (CAW) was released in late 2009 by EA's development team. The program, which is used by creators around the world, is the major tool required to create a world in The Sims 3.

As with a lot of EA's releases, there was no documentation provided that taught technique or anything beyond the extreme basics of the program. Of the information provided, only navigation of the user interface and a brief description of its features were covered.

This guide has been created in the hopes that it could fill in where EA's lack of documentation abrubtly ended. It contains all the information that is, currently, known about CAW as well as some techniques, tips and hints on painting, sculpting, routing and many other un-addressed features of the program.

As a quick note, unfortunately Create a World is incompatible with the Mac operating system.

A Word of Warning

Before you commit to reading this guide or making a world, you need to understand something; CREATE A WORLD IS VERY TIME CONSUMING.

For a WELL DONE world, it can take months, even a year to finish. You cannot, in any way, create a decently sized, QUALITY world in under a month. Because every task in CAW is tedious, even a basic map without lots will take you a month. This isn't to say that its not fun, it's very fun! However, if you hate monotony or you cannot stand doing tasks over and over, CAW is really not for you.


This article uses acronyms, phrases, and colour codes which are explained below.
  • CAW Create a World - Just a shortening of the program's name.
  • EIG Edit in Game - This is pretty self-explanatory, it is the version of The Sims 3 that functions directly with CAW to allow you to build lots for your world.
  • RED TEXT in screenshots indicates something is done poorly.
  • ORANGE/YELLOW TEXT in screenshots indicates something that is acceptable.
  • GREEN TEXT in screenshots shows a good outcome!

Programs Needed

  • Create A World is the main program used in this material and can be found here at
  • S3PE is used to change things like sky and ocean colour in .world files. It can be found here at simlogical
  • Photoshop .dds Plugin is a useful little plugin for Photoshop which allows it to read files in a .dds format. Find it here. Please note that this plugin is free, but Photoshop is NOT.

Paint Programs

  • is one of a couple of programs that can be used to edit terrain and road texture files. These are generally in a .dds format. Find it here. Please note, this program is free.
  • GIMP is another program that can be used to edit terrain and road texture files. Again, in .dds format. Find it here. Please note, this program is free.
  • Photoshop is, perhaps, the most well known of the paint programs, but it has one major drawback. It costs. A lot.

Tutorial Sections:


Planning Your World

Initial planning before you even open CAW.


Compatibility and Beta Testing

Making your world Base Game compatible, or not.


The Basics

Starting a new world and navigating CAW.

TVRcaw mainmenu roadicon.png

Roads and Sidewalks

Working with roads and grading.

TVRcaw mainmenu gridicon.png

The Grid

Using the Grid with roads and lots.

TVRcaw mainmenu lots.png


Placing and moving lots.


Buildings And Road Layout

Making a workable road layout and picking a building style.

TVRcaw mainmenu terrainpaintandsculpt.png


Using the sculpting tools.(Includes Videos)


Objects, Bridges and Effects

Placing, moving and rotating objects.

TVRcaw mainmenu terrainpaintandsculpt.png

Terrain Paintings

Painting your world like a pro. (Includes Videos)

TVRcaw mainmenu s3pe.png


Using the 'Show Routing Data' option, deciphering problems with your routing data, etc.

TVRcaw mainmenu s3pe.png

CAW and S3PE

Making your world a city and changing sky, ocean and sun color.


Custom Content

Installing CAW CC Framework.

The Glossary

For a glossed list of words and terms used throughout this guide, see The Glossary
If you have any issues on something that isn't covered in this guide, you can either PM TVRdesigns or, alternatively, go to the CAW forum which you can find under Create > Sims 3 > Create-a-World. or, for convenience, here