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The Simpsons: Tapped Out Guide

Guide Updates and History


Section Introduction

G'day and welcome to the only section of the Unofficial SuperCheats Guide to The Simpsons: Tapped Out Walkthrough and Game Play Guide that is actually about this guide!

The information that is present in this section of the guide is about how the information in the guide was created, evolved, and changed over the life of the guide. This can be of significant information to gamers who have been playing the game since it was originally released, particularly those who have an interest in the continuity and the various quests that are related to the Expansion Content in the game.

That seems to be a sufficient Introduction to this section considering that we have now told you what this section is, why it was created, and what it contains. So for those of you still reading here, welcome! We hope that the information here is useful to you, and we invite you to request any additional information or the Expansion of the Content that is already here if you feel that this is desirable.

Remember, this is a game - you are having fun!

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Guide History and Updates

The following ongoing notes with respect to the game guide, its History, and Updates are intended to serve as footnotes for information that we wanted to share...

Important release dates for the game include the following (updated) list:

Base Game Dates

  • 29 February 2012 -- European iOS Release.
  • 1 March 2012 -- North American iOS Release.
  • 3 March 2012 -- International Release Cancellation and Market Withdrawal.
  • 16 August 1012 -- International iOS Re-Release Date.
  • 6 February 2013 -- North American Android Release Date
  • 14 February 2013 -- European Android Release Date.
  • 24 June 2013 -- Kindle Fire Release Date.

Expansion Content Release Dates

  • 12 October 2012 -- Treehouse of Horror XXIII (Ended 8 November 2012)
  • 05 December 1012 -- Christmas 2012 Event (Ended 10 January 2013)
  • 30 January 2013 -- Valentines Day 2013 Event (Ended 28 February 2013)
  • 07 March 2013 -- St. Patrick's Day 2013 Event (Ended 28 March 2013)
  • 28 June 2013 -- 4th of July Event (Ended 8 July 2013)
  • 10 April 2013 -- Whacking Day Event (Ended 16 May 2013)
  • 30 September 2012 -- Moonshine River Event (Ended 2 October 2012)
  • 18 November 2012 -- Penny-Wiseguys Event (Ended 21 November 2012)
  • 09 December 2012 -- The Day the Earth Stood Cool (Ended 13 December 2012)
  • 03 March 2013 -- Gorgeous Grandpa Event (Ended 6 march 2013)
  • 17 March 2013 -- Dark Knight Court Event (Ended 21 March 2013)
  • 14 April 2013 -- What Animated Women Want (Ended 17 April 2013)
  • 12 June 2013 -- Squidport Expansion Released
  • 01 August 2013 -- Krustyland Expansion Released

Game WTG Version 0

March 2012

When The Simpsons: Tapped Out was first released on 1 March 2012 for the iOS platforms the assignment for the guide was immediately issues, and we began to play the game and to write the guide straight away, finding it to be (in spite of the massive Bug count) an amazingly addictive mobile gaming experience.

The editors at SuperCheats are good at what they do. at the time the whole sub-genre of freemium-grinder was just being established, but even so their identification of Tapped Out as a prime guide candidate was spot on. There is no question about that.

As we began to dig into the game and the structure of the guide began to declare itself it looked as if it was destined to be a major guide project, but only two days into Game Play and the guide process, Tapped Out was abruptly pulled from the App Store with a notification saying that the game was no longer available until further notice!

This naturally put a halt to the guide and it pretty much stayed that way -- in hiatus -- and we moved on to other projects.

On 16 August 2012 with very little in the way of fanfare, The Simpsons: Tapped Out returned to the App Store and was re-launched for the iOS platform, an event that was met by incredible excitement and good humor by the large number of mobile gamers who would eventually become its core audience. A core audience that grows significantly every day!

Game WTG Version 1

August 2013

With the re-release of the game a second WTG assignment was sent out and work began on the guide.

The focus for the first guide was to present a narrative-based guide that would quickly get the information gamers needed in order to make the most of the game and begin to develop basic strategies that would permit gamers to play the game without spending real-world Money.

The basic thrust of the guide was to subvert the Money-based foundations of the game as it was published and provide gamers and the SuperCheats community with the information that they needed to succeed in playing the game and squeeze maximum enjoyment from the title without having to return to their wallets again and again.

With its loose narrative structure the guide provided a very informal but functional approach and proved to be one of the more popular guides at the time (and still is!).

The base guide covered the game from the start and through Levels 13/14, which at the time was the capped-off point of the title.

Game WTG Version 0

August/September 2013

The assignment for the second major revision for the Tapped Out WTG went out in August 2013, and covers the game through Levels 34/35, including the Squidport and the Krustyland Expansion.

The second revised guide does not cover the special events that took place between the first major version and the second major revision because those events have come and gone, and their quest series are no longer available in the game. Any residual Content from temporary events that remains is the game is covered extensively in the 2nd revision.

The 2nd revision covers the Squidport and Krustyland Expansions fully, as these are not events but major (and ongoing) Content Expansions to the game.

The 2nd revision includes extensive Strategy and revisionary guidance including strategic information that has been learned from game-play that took place between the major published versions.

Base Guide Expansion and Revision in Version 2
When the assignment was issued to create a second revised version of the guide rather than a simple Update, the decision was made to convert the existing guide from its informal narrative style into a proper and formal game guide.

The result of this was the creation of two additional games for Reference use in creating the second major revised guide, with the result being the careful documentation of the quest structures for Levels 1 through 15 which made up the original guide contents.

This is an ongoing process.

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Contact Issues

Before we get to the point here, I want to emphasize that the players and the site members who sincerely wish to help with the creation of guides and making the guides on the site better through commenting and communicating with the guide writers are very important and valued members of our community.

Because you believe that contributing information -- and helping to correct the information that we have published in our guides, on the site -- is important enough to you to take the time and make the effort to do it, we feel that acknowledging those contributions is important.

In the past it was a common practice for us to include our email addresses in the "Legals" Section for the guides that we wrote for SuperCheats.

We did this so that whenever there were issues in the guides that needed to be corrected, or parts that the community felt should be expanded -- and where there was new information that deserved to be included -- you had the means to contact us and share it.

This was before the wizards who create and maintain SuperCheats implemented a number of new feedback and communications programs like the Add a Comment System, the Q&A System, and the "Help A Gamer" System -- which are covered in detail below in another segment of this section.

Please understand that your contributions are not only well valued and encouraged, but are very important to us. The thing is sending those contributions directly to the writers via email or text message is not the best way to handle that.

If you check the Legals sections of older guides you will notice that the email addresses of the guide writers and contributors have been removed. While those addresses are still very easy to find and obtain via the web and Google, and in many cases on the personal websites of the writers, it is important for you to know that emailing us directly is not the best means for making your special contribution.

We would very much prefer that you do so via the Add a Comment, Q&A System, or the "Help A Gamer" Systems.


Because that way any information you provide becomes a permanent part of the guide. Any questions you ask get asked publicly and the answer we give also publicly become a permanent part of the guide and thus are available to all of the other members of the community!

This can only be a good thing, but more important it is how it should be and how we want it to be. Please know that we sincerely appreciate the efforts you go to, and rhe contributions you make, but we cannot deal with them via email since the creation of these three valuable and important public venues for addressing that sort of thing.

Thank you for understanding -- and thank you for continuing to participate through these new systems!

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Community Contribution Systems

The community contribution systems are a major presence in the SuperCheats community, and are worthy of coverage here in case you are not fully aware of them and what they are intended to accomplish.

You may also be interested in the level of participation that most of the writers here apply themselves to.

The "Add a Comment" System

Appearing by default at the bottom of every single guide page and elsewhere on the site, the Add A Comment system is the SuperCheats version of the traditional spirit of feedback but with a twist!

While most sites lump feedback together in a single display that may or may not be repeated at the bottom of a guide throughout the guide, the wizards responsible for the magic that is SuperCheats decided that it was really important to value the contributions that our community makes and to celebrate the effort that they take in voicing their opinions, ideas, questions, and observations in this manner.

To give that feedback the weight and value it so clearly deserves, each and every feedback item written by a member of the community OR by an anonymous guest is included in the page from which it originated, so that when the comment or observation included information about the Content of that section of the guide, or the subject that it covered, the readers and community had easy access to that information.

As writers and as the sources behind these guides we cannot even begin to explain how important that is, or how important it is to us that the community have a voice with respect to the guides we write, section-by-section, and page-by-page!

The Q&A System

A lot of sites lump what passes for a Q&A System into their standard Feedback or Comments Systems and feel that this is sufficient to address any concerns on the part of their community and readers.

The wizards who created and maintain SuperCheats do not feel that is sufficient, particularly when you stop to consider how significant an effort it is for a reader or member of the community to stop what they are doing and take the time and effort to express their opinion, and ask their questions.

We consider this to be very important -- even when they are just pointing out an Error we made in spelling or grammar, but especially when they are revealing an error in the Content, Strategy, or elements of a game we are writing about!

While the typical site administrator tends to consider Q&A sections about on the same level as Feedback Sections -- particularly in the environments of sites that deliver information as their stock-and-trade -- their is an established practice to de-value the information that often results from these exchanges to the extent that they seem to prefer to sweep it under the figurative rug than embrace it and turn it into a positive part of the process.

At SuperCheats (and for that matter throughout the websites that are part of the Web Media family) rather than adopt that unfortunate attitude, the wizards who created our sites and the editors and sub-editors who provide guidance for the writers who create each featured Content element instead choose to own those contributions -- to encourage the exchange of information between the reader and the creators -- and in nearly every way to elevate it in order to illustrate that it really does have considerable value both to them and to the process.

There is no better method than to feature these exchanges as part of an established Content base in a site, and in this case that content base is the Questions and Answers System (what we call the Q&A).

This constantly updated and faithfully addressed Q&A System provides the community with a means to not only ask questions and receive answers, but to contribute their own information to a guide, a site section, or even just an observation about the community of gamers that make up our own community. It is all good, and it is all important -- that is the message that SuperCheats sends when it creates a formal system for Feedback, Comments, and yes, Q&A.

Help A Gamer

The most recent addition to the information exchange protocols that were put in place on SuperCheats is its Help A Gamer Section, which is really much more than simply a means for community members to submit questions, information, and observations, but also allows for all of the above with subtle organization that includes three distinct categories:

  1. Any Games
  2. My Games
  3. Game Platform

That last category -- Game Platform -- includes more than 25 sub-categories including traditional game platforms like consoles and computer (and not just PC but also Mac which is incredibly rare these days), handheld game consoles, and mobile game platforms (not just iOS mind you, but Android too!), and specialized platforms from Facebook to Arcade, and even a category for games on DVD.

We would be remiss not to mention that the categories for Help A Gamer span the entire range of generations for the modern game platforms, including Dreamcast, Gameboy, and SNES just to name a few.

Basically the Help A Gamer system supports every gaming platform that is still popular enough to have a following among the community, and that is saying something!

My Setp
I am fairly active in the Help A Gamer section of the site, and particularly with some of the older games and platforms, because I play both on those older platforms and those older games. How does that happen? Simple, really...

For the record and in the interest of transparency if you examine the work environment for the typical games journo you will find that there tends to be a wide selection of game platforms present and available.

I can only speak for myself when it comes to specifics of course, but I can say that in my office the following platforms are present and available, with media (and I am not speaking of them as displays in a personal museum mind you, ALL of these consoles and devices are fully functional, can be plugged in, and are available for play in an instant):

  • Atari 1200XL*
  • Atari 2600*
  • Atari 2600 Jr*
  • Atari Jaguar*
  • Commodore C=64*
  • Dreamcast*
  • Intellivision*
  • PlayStation (aka PS with RCA ports)
  • PlayStation (aka PSOne / PS1 circa 1999/2000 no RCA ports)*
  • PlayStaiton 2*
  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation Portable
  • Neo Geo CD*
  • Nintendo Game Boy (multiple)
  • Nintendo Game Boy Pocket
  • Nintendo Game Boy Color (multiple)
  • Nintendo Game Boy Advance (multiple)
  • Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP - Torchic Limited Edition
  • Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP - Spongebob Squarepants Limited Edition
  • Nintendo Game Boy Micro
  • Nintendo NES (Nintendo Entertainment System)*
  • Nintendo SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System)*
  • Nintendo 64 (DD not attached)
  • Nintendo Game Cube (with Game Boy Player installed)
  • Sega Genesis*
  • Wii
  • Xbox*
  • Xbox 360

* Consoles marked with the "*" are boxed in their original packaging and safely tucked away in the closet, but are fully functional and can be added to the available systems in the office entertainment center when needed... Those in bold type are part of my active working play system.

All of the handheld consoles that I own are stored ready-for-use in a drawer in the Ikea entertainment center because you never know when you want to play with one, right? Especially Pokemon...

I have on order (but they are not yet released) an Xbox One, Steam Box, and PlayStation 4, and as soon as I receive an assignment that requires them, I plan to obtain a WiiU, and an Ouya too!

This segment of the section is not really intended for bragging (OK maybe just a little bit bragging) but to illustrate the typical setup for the average games journo because, and this is widely the case, almost all of the writers who remain working the games beat happen to also be gamers. I also include it here to show that the stuff I write for the Help A Gamer section is based on current play, not memory.

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Incomplete Content Notes

The issue of incomplete Content in the guide and instances where it appears that content was being added and we stopped temporarily in writing it so that it abruptly breaks the flow or appears to jarringly halt at an unexpected point, which seems to be something many of you are not only aware of but notice and write us about...

Before we address this (and we are being very sincere and not sarcastic when we say this) we want to invite you to read the part above titled "Contact Issues" again because it really is important that the proper protocols and contact forms be followed, both for us as writers and for the community at large, who certainly will benefit from your efforts when those efforts are properly tracked and included in the guide!

Yes, there are instances where the flow is abruptly cut-off and some time can pass before we return to that section and fix it or continue it.

The reason for that is actually mundane and simple and we are happy to explain it to you here...

The editing system that we use at SuperCheats is a live filesystem.

What that means is that we actually edit the pages you are reading using a live editor, so that any changes that we make save for illustrations (which have a delay of anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour before they will actually appear in the guide once they are added) appear as soon as we hit the 'Save' button on the editor.

The downside of this is that it promotes a specific pattern of editing and writing that is not efficient or really a good pattern. Basically so that the pages do not appear to be incomplete and to avoid having more of the instances where you guys feel you need to write us and ask what happened, we hold off on hitting the Save button until we are satisfied that we have said what needs to be said, in the way that we mean to say it, and in the final form and format we want it to appear.

The result of this is that sometimes the fickle-finger-of-fate can interject itself into our efforts and sabotage them.

The most common occurrence of this -- and it just happened the evening before this was written -- is that changes to the site can often cost us the product we have created. Last night the site was changed to a new promotional focus that in addition to serving as a complimentary presentation to the primary advertising on the site, is intended to make viewing the information easier on the reader by making the areas of the page that are not part of the main Content display and menu be a click-able link to that information.

The result of this - when it happens - is that the server did a forced reload of the page. That is bad because NONE of the writing we do is actually saved in memory until we hit the "save" button. That is why most of the time we are careful to copy and paste the work we do every five minutes or so to an offline text file.

You have likely heard the expression "familiarity breeds contempt"? In this case it really does, and as time passes and we do not have problems we tend to forget to copy and paste the work we are doing -- and then a Content Update happens, the server forces the page to reload, and as happened last night, we lose an entire day of progress and work in the blink of an eye. In this case the loss was a complete re-write of an important section of the guide that represented over six hours of work.

The lesson that is learned from this is to ALWAYS copy-and-paste! And the reality that hubris can hurt you.

So we think you for your notes about the issues of Content breaking or falling off, and we are very gratified that you pay so close attention to the guide that you notice -- and that you care enough to write us about what you notice -- and we really do want you to continue to do that as long as you feel strongly enough about the subject that you feel it is worth your effort to do so.

We really do appreciate it and find it to be a gratifying verification that what we are doing here matters to you.

But in the same breath, we really, really want to encourage you to use the Comments system on the site, and not email us directly. The reasons for that are covered above, in the "Contact Issues" Section.

But thank you again. And we sincerely hope that you not only enjoy the guide, but that you find it useful to you! Cheers!

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Updates Summation

This is an ongoing process but the conversion of the base guide from an informal narrative to a proper and formal guide should result in the availability of a far more detailed guide with a larger variety of strategies and Tips.

More to come...

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