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Like most well-maintained Free-2-Play games on mobile platforms, it is clear that Tapped Out has a tightly designed and well maintained long-term plan for expanded content neatly divided between very distinct approaches that have already been demonstrated.
There are three types of proven special content for the game that now have well established formats with a demonstrated schedule that allows players to more or less plan for the unique time-limited play that largely makes up this new content.
Section Table of Contents
The Simpsons TV Show Tie-In Events
For purposes of reference only, the following list of tie-in events between The Simpsons
television show and The Simpsons: Tapped Out
video game have been added (so far).
While these tie-in sort of event are really more of an opportunity to bring the two mediums into a more cohesive sort of experience the primary difference between this sort of event and the other two types is that the tie-in events are often incredibly brief in terms of game play time. Because of the unpredictable nature of these events and the very brief timers associated with them, unless you are playing the game daily it is easily possible to miss them.
- Moonshine River Episode -- September 28, 2012
- Treehouse of Horror XXIII -- October 7, 2012
- Penny Wiseguys -- November 13th, 2012
- The Day the Earth Stood Cool -- November 29, 2012
- Gorgeous Grampa -- February 28, 2013
- Dark Knight Court -- March 14, 2013
- What Animated Women Want -- April 8, 2013
- Whiskey Business -- May 2, 2013
- Treehouse of Horror XXIV -- October 1, 2013
Holiday and Special Events
Holiday Events are special events that are temporarily added to the game whose focus and theme are real-world holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, and the like.
You may notice that the Treehouse of Horror (Halloween) events are missing from the list below. The reason for their absence is that they are not holiday events, they are in fact television show tie-in events (and thus are listed in the first section/type above).
Unlike tie-in events, which have notoriously brief timers, the Holiday Events tend to run in spans measured in weeks rather than just days. The following Holiday Events have been held (so far) and many more are anticipated...
- Thanksgiving 2012 (November 2012)
- Christmas 2012 (December 2012)
- Valentines 2013 (January / February 2013)
- St. Patrick's Day 2013 (March 2013)
- Whacking Day 2013 (April 2013)
- 4th of July 2013 (July 2013)
- Thanksgiving 2013 (November 2013)
- Christmas 2013 (December 2013)
The primary difference between the three types of events can be considered their time and footprint on the game - the short-term events are the Tie-Ins between the TV show and the game, the medium-term events are the Holiday Events, and the long-term events are the Game Expansions.
Regular Content Expansion
The expansions termed "Regular Content Expansion" are more -- much more -- than the typical (and mostly temporary) additions that come in the form of tie-ins and Holiday Events, but rather offer players a permanent change to the game that generally includes new buildings and structures, new quests and missions, and a plethora of new content in the form of items and characters.
While there have only been two official Expansions to Tapped Out, the Season 24 Yard Sale event is widely considered to be an expansion event due to the introduction of a large number of highly desirable limited time, limited edition items that present a major impact on the game visually. In particular the Excellence Statue, Devil Donut Cart, Duff Blimp and Party Bus, and other highly visible objects that stand-out as town decorations make it so.
- Season 24 Yard Sale Event (May 2013) an unusual Content Expansion (mostly items).
- Squidport (June 2013) the First official Game Expansion.
- Krustyland (July 2013) the Second official Game Expansion.
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Originally the plan was to create just a temporary page for whatever the active special event contents was for the moment, but that clearly will not work now that there are three basic expansion types, with one of the trio taking the form of permanent content like the Squidport and Krustyland Expansions.
Bearing in mind that the typical SC member enjoys reviewing past events as well as participating in current events, we decided that instead of removing the event content after the timer runs out in the case of temporary expanded content, we would go ahead and keep it, by moving it to its own page from the Current Event page when it is done.
That being the case the solution that we arrived at was to create this Introduction page as a sort of overview of the content, then we created a default page for the Current Active Event, and then once that event ends and a new one replaces it, the contents of the CAE page is moved to its own suitably titled page, and so on.
This has the effect of creating a useful page to cover the current event, while at the same time creating something of a permanent record for the special events as sort of a historical view. That gives you the option to review past events and may (probably not but still) help you speculate on what might be coming for future events in the series.