Hi, I'm TwistedMexi, and this is Create-A-World - a mod I started years ago under the codename Project Raven. It is without a shadow of a doubt, the most complex mod in the entire Sims 4 community. There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about CAW, what the mod will do, and what exactly this "alpha" process is.
First lets cover what the mod is and what it isn't. Those who have seen the previous CAW videos tend to think this mod only allows you to place objects. The mod when complete will 100% have customizable terrain and lot placements. If it was possible in TS3 CAW, TS4 CAW will do it too. The "how" might be different, and in my opinion it's an improvement in most cases, but the end result will be the same. Naturally we do have to work within engine limitations, which brings me to the next point - CAW is not an open world mod. There is no such thing as Open World in TS4 and the only ones who could implement it would be EA themselves. You can of course have a "psuedo-open-world" where really you're just placing a single lot and allowing sims to use a lot of off lot areas. I have working proof of concept of both terrain and lot placement. The problem is I have to make a user-friendly tool for it and that needs to come after all of the in-game portions work first.
Here is proof of concept, showing I've reconstructed EA terrains inside of Blender - a 3d modeling program.
Now what is an alpha and why isn't it free? Anyone who has followed me for some time knows all of my mods go free when they're complete. A mod by my definition is complete once it has completed QA (quality assurance). In most cases, my mods only warrant a week or so of QA before they can be publicly released. Sometimes bugs do make it out to the public, but these incidents are few and far between. There's a reason about 95% of the support questions I get are just user error and install mistakes. I don't want to be the modder support teams despise because their mods cause their support channels to be flooded with issues every time one releases. So while early access doubles as a perk for patrons, it serves its purpose to give me an isolated group of volunteers who agree to test the mods. Create-A-World is infinitely more complex than any other mod I have, so a few weeks is not a reasonable time period. In fact, CAW is complex enough it warrants getting testers in long before the mod is complete. This is the alpha process. The mod is actively being developed and huge features are being added in each release. Things may break. Things may not work as intended. Things may corrupt saves. This is why testers are needed. If I were to assume an existing system is working fine and build other systems upon it, it could be a huge setback if I learn upon release that the base system is not stable. Having testers providing feedback during development avoids that issue.
There is no deadline for CAW to be complete, because I can never know how long a particular feature will take. For example, the lighting update I thought would be a few weeks at most, ended up taking me two months to complete. To quickly list some features implemented since the alpha began - Preset Tool, Pack Requirements Tool, Group Rotation, Better WorldBuilder Camera, Better Preset Visualizers, In-Game Help Menu, and an in-game world lighting editor. A rough roadmap of where CAW is going next would be: more lighting improvements, apartment support, Visual FX tools, enabling the exporter to allow sharing and gameplay of worlds, and glossing over a bunch of smaller things in between, a dedicated terrain and lot editing tool.
Create-A-World is my magnum opus, and I hope the community is as excited for it as I am to design it. While this alpha period may seem like it's excessively long, please remember I kept this project to myself for over two years. I did not want to announce something I didn't know I could deliver for sure. In September of 2021, I became certain I could, and that's why I decided to announce it publicly. If you'd like to test the mod during this process, that's awesome! However if you prefer to wait until the mod is complete, I would encourage you to do so. I absolutely will make this mod free upon completion, as I have always done.
If you'd like to learn more about CAW, I already have quite a few videos covering the various tools and features, so click that Videos tab up top for more.
Alpha Process Explained