Home | Download | Discussion | Help | Site Map | New Posts | Sign in

Latest Site News

MTS Movie Night #4 - posted on Yesterday at 4:46 PM
Replies: 12 (Who?), Viewed: 2654 times.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#1 Old 25th Nov 2017 at 1:37 AM
Creating a New City--"Portlock"
I have just recently gotten back into The Sims 3, and quickly (after playing a bit of Riverview) wanted to build a city!
To a painting program, I went, to draw up a basic map of my future city:

The black lines are the roads (you probably already knew that) and the colored regions with numbers are districts.
Now, with my horrible naming skills, I went over to Reddit and made a post with this map and asked for help or advice naming things. Someone ever there gave me some tips on naming cities: create a history for it, and name it, the districts, and the roads from that... Okay... well, I don't do good at story-telling either...
Anyway, he brought up the name "Locklear Valley" for the region. I though that a good name for a lake would be "Lake Locklear", which I have decided is the water to the south of town. This gives the town the name "Portlock".
About the city layout:
Portlock is a typical American-style city, especially of southern or south-eastern style. It has multiple distinct districts, as seen in the map.
District 1 is the historic old town, with the small row shops and parallel, street-side, parking.
District 2 is the main downtown, with high-rise skyscrapers. With the city being of a more southern-style United States, it will have many areas in downtown that are either parks, surface parking, or parking decks, so as to not be too overcrowded with skyscrapers.
District 3 is suburban residential district with smaller buildings, likely row-houses or single-family detached houses.
District 4 is a higher-density, higher-end "luxury" condo housing.
District 5 is the "outskirts" of town. Large lots with spacious single-family, detached homes, large back yards, and a low-density apartment complex possibly. This district is located on higher ground than the rest of the city, in a hilly, forested, area.
District 6 is the industrial port, likely to use many assets from Late Night's Bridgeport.
District 7 is an undecided, massive emptiness of nothing. I'm not sure what else to say about that at the moment... I am taking suggestions on what to do with it. I was thinking of either a stadium (which could be used as a large venue for Showtime, possibly) with a tourism-style area; plenty of nice shopping centers, hotels, etc. Or maybe do a school/university campus there...

The city itself is located in a forested region near a rather large lake, at the base of a hill/mountain range. The city's economic success is largely due to a nearby foresting and mining industries, but also thrives from a large night-file scene with plenty of bars, clubs, and other leisure. In the map, you may notice a road that randomly splits off into the lake from downtown. This will lead to an in-reachable, distant island or the other side of a part of the lake. Due to the routing issues with bridges (going under them, anyway) in The Sims 3, this bridge will be in construction (and only serve as a prop) with the intent of adding character to the city in the form of roadwork.
Here is an image of some of the roads I have done (I have just started two days ago.)


So, how does this look/sound?
Also, anyone have any ideas for the names of the districts and/or road names?
Feel free to share your thoughts, feedback, suggestions, criticisms (constructive), or just any other random bits that you think may relate! I look forward to hearing from others on this! It's been a long while since the last time I have been around here, and that was for trying to figure out how to build highrise shells.... Didn't work. I don't do modeling well.
Advertisement
Mad Poster
#2 Old 25th Nov 2017 at 1:49 AM
You've really caught my interest here. Naming things is a hobby of mine, so I promise I'll do a little brainstorming when I have the time.

Look out for BRIDGEPORT'88 - it's the hottest new show on YT this season!
Already renewed for '89!

(Oh, and follow me on my Tumblr.)
Scholar
#3 Old 25th Nov 2017 at 9:16 AM
it will be fun to watch this develop.
Test Subject
#4 Old 29th Nov 2017 at 10:55 PM
Looks awesome. This is gonna be absolutely massive! I'll definitely stick around for updates. Which distant terrain are you planning on using if any at all?
Mad Poster
#5 Old 30th Nov 2017 at 12:06 AM
By the way, it's interesting that you mention it's a southern or southeastern US-style city. I'm trying to imagine what kind of look that means you're going for. Do you use pictures for reference/inspiration or do you make it up as you go along?

Look out for BRIDGEPORT'88 - it's the hottest new show on YT this season!
Already renewed for '89!

(Oh, and follow me on my Tumblr.)
Scholar
#6 Old 1st Dec 2017 at 3:37 AM
My only comment/suggestion at this point is do not make it so big/ambitious that you will never finish it, and unless you want to spend years on this. Which is fine, but also, if too large you may do all the work and it is unplayable. I overdid a moonlight falls redo with a zillion lots and it lags a bit even on my i7. I have downloaded several gorgeous worlds that are beautiful to look at, but are pretty much impossible to play easily. Make sure you will be able to run this and others too if you want to share.

You have just started this and it looks like you have about 60 lots already and this is a tiny number compared to what will be needed to fill up a world this size. Maybe some others can advise, but at a certain point it probably is too many for most hardware. I think the most I have ever had was about 150?
Lab Assistant
#7 Old 1st Dec 2017 at 11:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by daisylee
My only comment/suggestion at this point is do not make it so big/ambitious that you will never finish it, and unless you want to spend years on this. Which is fine, but also, if too large you may do all the work and it is unplayable. I overdid a moonlight falls redo with a zillion lots and it lags a bit even on my i7. I have downloaded several gorgeous worlds that are beautiful to look at, but are pretty much impossible to play easily. Make sure you will be able to run this and others too if you want to share.

You have just started this and it looks like you have about 60 lots already and this is a tiny number compared to what will be needed to fill up a world this size. Maybe some others can advise, but at a certain point it probably is too many for most hardware. I think the most I have ever had was about 150?


A normal pc or laptop should be able to go to 100 lots in a not over decorated town, but you feel that in the handling and is very dependant on the videocard of the player. You can create a better "flow" by less detailed settings (I only use the game to build, so playing with sims doesn't bother me (I create ideas of towns/lots), on the largest map you can place (if flat enough) a town with over 500 lots (made a couple, even CAW began to do weird things, technical around 900 is possible (2048/64=32, lets take 120 for 10 roads and 4 as borderzone=30 lots X 30 lots), it will take an hour to load if you don't have memory or high processor power, when building a lot the game will work normal (no matter how many lots, iff distant terrain isn't loaded it won't effect creating a lot), but after a lot of 60/100 your saving and loading will take longer by the lot extra you build.

I'm a allround developer (video, website, webprograms, 3d (with CAD as Sims 4 example) so I've got a pretty amazing computer (it's my money maker) but even I feel when I pass a certain amount of lots...

Another way to approach this is to create a couple of different building on 1 lot and trick the game with rabbitholes or build 4 houses on a 64x64 lot (all a 32x32 space) make it an appartment, assign where sims can live (/appartment) & presto, 4 buildings in 1 lot (naturally you can create other compositions) but you trick the game by using the same space on the map but as 1 lot instead of 4. = the game has to save 1x coordinations instead of 4, 1x heightmap instead of 4 etc etc

The filesize for the buildings themselves stays the same, but again are saved as 1 distant object = even when editing other lots this method increaces preformance

Still the fact I (with monster PC) do warn you say that if you want to share you should think about that, you can be creative and create multilots (several in one) but if you got 60/100 of those you'll still feel it

&BTW really like the clear outlines you made! I like order and it feels really "clean" to me, a city created with thought! keep the good work going
Mad Poster
#8 Old 2nd Dec 2017 at 12:38 AM
EA worlds typically have 80-100 lots, and they were made to be playable on most PCs. Don't forget that a distinction is made between residential and community lots, and that residential lots with Sims on them are more taxing. So 150 seems like a good limit, though you may need 200 or more to fill up a world of this density. That's okay; you shouldn't let this limit your creativity.

Look out for BRIDGEPORT'88 - it's the hottest new show on YT this season!
Already renewed for '89!

(Oh, and follow me on my Tumblr.)
Test Subject
Original Poster
#9 Old 10th Feb 2018 at 1:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrijzePilion
By the way, it's interesting that you mention it's a southern or southeastern US-style city. I'm trying to imagine what kind of look that means you're going for. Do you use pictures for reference/inspiration or do you make it up as you go along?


By southeastern US-style, I mean it is not a very dense city such as those found in the northeast like Chicago and New York, but it is also not very spread out like in L.A., Vegas, etc.
My plan is to build downtown, but build some suburbs around it, with some wooded areas in with it all.
I don't use any pictures, except for that map, I just kind of go with the flow, and from what I have already planned (I basically have the entire city in mind already). I, myself, live in the south (Arkansas), so I can basically take what I have seen, and remember, and use it for inspiration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daisylee
My only comment/suggestion at this point is do not make it so big/ambitious that you will never finish it, and unless you want to spend years on this. Which is fine, but also, if too large you may do all the work and it is unplayable. I overdid a moonlight falls redo with a zillion lots and it lags a bit even on my i7. I have downloaded several gorgeous worlds that are beautiful to look at, but are pretty much impossible to play easily. Make sure you will be able to run this and others too if you want to share.

You have just started this and it looks like you have about 60 lots already and this is a tiny number compared to what will be needed to fill up a world this size. Maybe some others can advise, but at a certain point it probably is too many for most hardware. I think the most I have ever had was about 150?


I currently have a little over 150 that make up just about all of Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4. I am about to work on terraforming for District 6 so that I can get it laid out, then to work on the hillside for District 5.
I hope that when I am done, I can have at most 400 lots. I know that sounds like a lot, but I plan to get all the lots laid out, then go through and decide which lots I can get rid of. For example, if you look at the picture, you will notice the H-shaped roads that are more of an orange color? In that H, I have 5 lots! One is a 64x64 that the center road runs trough, then there are four smaller ones, two on each side, for little parking lots/parks. I may end up doing away with that and just placing trees/items in the world itself rather than using the lots, and just keep the main lot.
After I get all 400ish lots, I can go through and decide which lots I can get rid of and knock that back down. The reason I placed them in the first place is simply for tagging and remembering each spot, as well as for measurements. Another example is the area at the top of the image, there are blocks with 6 lots in them. Those are going to be rowshops. When I go to edit the lots, I can probably get rid of all of those and replace them with 1 or 2 lots per block and just build multiple row buildings on each lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonfiar
Looks awesome. This is gonna be absolutely massive! I'll definitely stick around for updates. Which distant terrain are you planning on using if any at all?

I would like to use a custom distant terrain, but I have no idea how to make one. If I can find one that basically has tall hills on three sides and ocean/water on the other, then I will use it. The city is on the northern shore of a large lake or ocean, and surrounded by hilly forest on all other sides.
Test Subject
#10 Old 11th Feb 2018 at 8:10 PM Last edited by anamericanwaste : 11th Feb 2018 at 9:05 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobgrey1997
I hope that when I am done, I can have at most 400 lots. I know that sounds like a lot, but I plan to get all the lots laid out, then go through and decide which lots I can get rid of. For example, if you look at the picture, you will notice the H-shaped roads that are more of an orange color? In that H, I have 5 lots! One is a 64x64 that the center road runs trough, then there are four smaller ones, two on each side, for little parking lots/parks. I may end up doing away with that and just placing trees/items in the world itself rather than using the lots, and just keep the main lot.


Like the others, I find the lot number a bit concerning. I'm also a bit concerned about the lot you mentioned that has a road running through it. While I don't have any actual data to back this up, my gut says that having a road run through a lot can't end well. I might be completely wrong, I'm still very new at this, but it seems to fly against everything I've read on making a good, stable, and smooth running world. From what I've read, the two primary culprits of lag in a world are excessive lots and dodgy routing and you might end up with both of them. Not saying this is definitely the case here, just something to be cautious about.

As far as the lots for parking-lots thing you mentioned, don't do that. You don't need to. You can make a parking lot in the open world it self. Maxis did this in their University world if you want to have a look. Just paint the terrain there up with asphalt, search for "car' or some such in the metadata filter and plunk a lot of those down as deco, throw down some lights and what-not and you have a parking lot. Actual lots should probably be reserved for interesting destinations that have something fun and unique for both the sims and the player to interact with and be entertained by.

My other concern with your lot number and the sheer density of the world is, well, you. You might want to dial things back just so you don't burn out before the finish line is in sight. Maybe just make one of those districts your entire world or maybe shrink each district down to it's most important 3-4 roads. If this is your first ever world, the general rules-of-thumb for first time creations should apply: don't make the biggest, best thing you can imagine, just make a simple thing that you're certain to finish. Most first-timmers fail at making thing, not because thing is terrible or broken, but because they simply never finished making thing in the first place. Not saying this is true for you. This is just some words of caution -- I might be overly cautions so be cautious of that as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobgrey1997
I would like to use a custom distant terrain, but I have no idea how to make one. If I can find one that basically has tall hills on three sides and ocean/water on the other, then I will use it. The city is on the northern shore of a large lake or ocean, and surrounded by hilly forest on all other sides.


They're surprisingly easy to make. I did it with a combination of BLENDER and what I found HERE and HERE .

I couldn't figure out how to make one with a new mesh; Blender kept tossing out errors on export, but manage to make one by altering the DT from IF. Here's what I did if you want to give it a shot:
  1. Started a new medium flat world in CAW.
  2. Sculpted the land into a rough shape of what I wanted the DT to look like.
  3. Painted the terrain fallowing the LAZY TERRAIN PAINTING technique.
  4. Exported the height map and saved the world.
  5. Imported the cloned DT mesh from Oasis' Landing into Blender fallowing the above tutorials.
  6. Flattened the DT mesh.
  7. Added a Vertex Displacement Modifier using the exported height map as the displacement map.
  8. Played around with the strength of the displacement until i had something close to what I wanted (turned out being something crazy like 1000 or so).
  9. Applied the modifier to the mesh.
  10. Exported the mesh fallowing the above tuts.
  11. Opened the saved .world file in S3PE and exported the 8 [EDIT] it was 16 textures, don't know what I was thinking with 8, sorry[/EDIT] low LOD chunk textures (there were actually more than 8 but that's because each one was duplicated 3 or 4 times. I don't know why. I just exported the first of each I found)
  12. Opened all 8 [EDIT]again, it was 16 dang it![/EDIT] in GIMP and played a rousing puzzle game with them trying to line them all up into one large texture.
  13. Resized the finished texture to 2048 x 2048 and flattened it.
  14. Exported as a BC3/DTX5 .dds with mipmaps.
  15. Used S3PE to import the altered mesh and new texture into my DT package as per the tuts.

The end result for me isn't supper great looking but, when viewed from a distance, it dose the trick -- and for DT, I guess that's all that matters in the end.
Scholar
#11 Old 12th Feb 2018 at 2:12 AM
I did parking areas in one of the worlds I was working on. I actually made them residential lots so the cars would not be cleaned up with overwatch. I buried the mailboxes in trees. I had parking lined up along a few streets in the downtown area and by some squares.




Test Subject
Original Poster
#12 Old 12th Feb 2018 at 3:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by anamericanwaste
Like the others, I find the lot number a bit concerning. I'm also a bit concerned about the lot you mentioned that has a road running through it. While I don't have any actual data to back this up, my gut says that having a road run through a lot can't end well. I might be completely wrong, I'm still very new at this, but it seems to fly against everything I've read on making a good, stable, and smooth running world. From what I've read, the two primary culprits of lag in a world are excessive lots and dodgy routing and you might end up with both of them. Not saying this is definitely the case here, just something to be cautious about.

As far as the lots for parking-lots thing you mentioned, don't do that. You don't need to. You can make a parking lot in the open world it self. Maxis did this in their University world if you want to have a look. Just paint the terrain there up with asphalt, search for "car' or some such in the metadata filter and plunk a lot of those down as deco, throw down some lights and what-not and you have a parking lot. Actual lots should probably be reserved for interesting destinations that have something fun and unique for both the sims and the player to interact with and be entertained by.

My other concern with your lot number and the sheer density of the world is, well, you. You might want to dial things back just so you don't burn out before the finish line is in sight. Maybe just make one of those districts your entire world or maybe shrink each district down to it's most important 3-4 roads. If this is your first ever world, the general rules-of-thumb for first time creations should apply: don't make the biggest, best thing you can imagine, just make a simple thing that you're certain to finish. Most first-timmers fail at making thing, not because thing is terrible or broken, but because they simply never finished making thing in the first place. Not saying this is true for you. This is just some words of caution -- I might be overly cautions so be cautious of that as well.



They're surprisingly easy to make. I did it with a combination of BLENDER and what I found HERE and HERE .

I couldn't figure out how to make one with a new mesh; Blender kept tossing out errors on export, but manage to make one by altering the DT from IF. Here's what I did if you want to give it a shot:
  1. Started a new medium flat world in CAW.
  2. Sculpted the land into a rough shape of what I wanted the DT to look like.
  3. Painted the terrain fallowing the LAZY TERRAIN PAINTING technique.
  4. Exported the height map and saved the world.
  5. Imported the cloned DT mesh from Oasis' Landing into Blender fallowing the above tutorials.
  6. Flattened the DT mesh.
  7. Added a Vertex Displacement Modifier using the exported height map as the displacement map.
  8. Played around with the strength of the displacement until i had something close to what I wanted (turned out being something crazy like 1000 or so).
  9. Applied the modifier to the mesh.
  10. Exported the mesh fallowing the above tuts.
  11. Opened the saved .world file in S3PE and exported the 8 [EDIT] it was 16 textures, don't know what I was thinking with 8, sorry[/EDIT] low LOD chunk textures (there were actually more than 8 but that's because each one was duplicated 3 or 4 times. I don't know why. I just exported the first of each I found)
  12. Opened all 8 [EDIT]again, it was 16 dang it![/EDIT] in GIMP and played a rousing puzzle game with them trying to line them all up into one large texture.
  13. Resized the finished texture to 2048 x 2048 and flattened it.
  14. Exported as a BC3/DTX5 .dds with mipmaps.
  15. Used S3PE to import the altered mesh and new texture into my DT package as per the tuts.

The end result for me isn't supper great looking but, when viewed from a distance, it dose the trick -- and for DT, I guess that's all that matters in the end.


Thank you for the directions on distant terrain, I will have to give that a shot!

As for the road in the lot, I haven't noticed any issues with it. In fact, there was a city map I used to play on that had a gated community area with the main entry road going through a lot that had a fence, gate, and little gatehouse building. The lot was set to "no visitors", so it never did have overlapping routing. I also built a lot in a custom world I made which was a casino above a road with a little plaza in the tunnel. It seemed to work well. If it does get too bad, I can simply remove the road, as it really isn't essential.
As for the number of lots, as I said, the goal is 400 total, but that will be MUCH higher than the final. When I get all lots placed, I will go through and remove many of them. By "goal", I mean the max. I want to finish the building of the world itself with no more than 400. I want the final world to be at or lower than 200. 200 is a high amount, but not insane. Hopefully, I can land it even lower! Around the 150 area.

About the parking lots being in the world itself, I may do that for some areas, but the reason I want them to be in lots is so sims can drive their cars to it and not just stick them in pockets (well, I suppose it fits), but then again, if the parking lot is in a separate lot than the one they are visiting, they won't use it anyway, so that will be something for thought.
MakeNeedsStaticOn
staff: super moderator
#13 Old 12th Feb 2018 at 4:19 PM
Back to top