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Backdoor Lane 44 -- Testers wanted: Lot shrinking revisited

by plasticbox Posted 13th Apr 2008 at 3:49 PM - Updated 21st Sep 2008 at 1:54 PM by plasticbox
17 Comments / replies (Who?) - 16 Feedback Posts, 1 Thanks Posts
Picked Upload! This is a picked upload! It showcases some of the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.
Requires NL.
No custom content.

After it's become clear that shrinking lots right up to the edge of a building is not a safe thing to do, Mootilda and others have done a lot more research and came up with a version of the LotExpander -- now available as LotAdjuster 1.0 -- that handles the shrinking differently and will resize a lot down to one tile from the edge but no further than that. I've been using it to make this lot which is kind of a "pilot upload" to find out whether or not the new version is safe to use. Please report any crashes, irregularities etc in this thread (do not PM me).

This is a test lot. Only download this if you are willing to provide informative feedback in case anything goes wrong. Back up your game before installing it. Do not use this lot for your favourite family in your favourite neighbourhood. It has not been crashing so far -- and we have reason to assume it won't, since the current version of the LotExpander underwent significant code changes related to the shrinking --, but previous shrunk lots did and they've been causing data corruption even when they didn't actually crash. So please be careful -- even though it's not likely, I don't want to be responsible if you blow up your game. Thank you.

Do not redistribute this lot under any circumstances.

For sims that are sick of living in the suburbs, Backdoor Lane provides an alternative: a couple of small town lots with a more urban look and feel. They fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, creating a maze of backyard gardens and interconnected alleyways when placed in a tightly spaced neigbourhood. Most of them work as corner lots as well as facing the street, creating a very different impression depending on how you place them and what's on the lot next door.

Backdoor Lane 44:
A city starter on a 1x2 mini lot, furnished for up to three sims with room for more. Kitchen/dining, nursery and bathroom on the ground floor, living room, two bedrooms and another bathroom upstairs, empty basement. There is enough room for a driveway in the backyard (place it with moveobjects on; I recommend frillen's Invisible Driveway), as well as a bit of lawn that can be turned into a garden.

1 x double bedroom
1 x single bedroom (empty)
2 x bathroom (1 furnished)
1 x kitchen/dining
1 x living room
1 x nursery
1 x basement (empty)

All basics included, with a stove and a stereo on top. Playtested for a couple days each in Base+NL with no hacks and Base+NL+OfB+Seasons+FTp0 with lots of hacks; 7PM came and went, no crashes or problems found. Playtested by others as well (not sure about their game configuration).

Please note: If you want to make structural changes to this lot, be aware that the last two tiles from the edge are unbuildable in exactly the same way as on all other lots, which includes the outermost tiles of the house in this case. You should be able to modify all inside walls since they're perpendicular to the lot edge, but not the left and right outside walls (parallel to the lot edge), the roof, stairs, half walls, foundations, or floor tiles on level 1 and up.

See also:
More information for those who are curious about the lot shrinking issues:

Discussion: Lot Size, Orientation, Rotation, etc. -- Research thread @ mts2; the first post has lots of relevant pointers
LotExpander download thread -- only post there with issues related to the tool itself!
7PM crash thread @ MATY (historical; zombify at your own risk)
Tutorial: Building to the edge of a lot (EXPERIMENTAL) -- historical, needs an old version of the LE (not available anymore)
Test upload by aelflaed, 2008-04-17
Test upload by niol, 2008-04-18

This is entirely based on the work of Mootilda and others, I only have the honor to introduce it to the public. Thanks to Mootilda and the fearless testers who've spent so many hours crashing their games during previous research: aelflaed, Inge Jones, MaryLou, niol, Mutantbunny, Rascal, Simsample, KariMinger/Zazazu, DocDoofus, behold_the_muse, baratron, dizzy, ladykatsim, JMP, ebonyspiral, MadameMim, ikbod, mildlydisguised, Emma, Quinctia and everyone else. Extra thanks to aelflaed for the 1x2 mini lot I've used for this.

Lot Size: 1x2
Lot Price: 19.997§
Number of bedrooms:
      3 Bedrooms
Custom Content Included:
      None: No Custom Content included
      Starter Furnishings: Lot is furnished similar to how one would expect a real life furnished house or apartment to be
Special Flags:
      Not Applicable

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date

Size: 658.8 KB · Downloads: 3,882 · 13th Apr 2008
658.8 KB 3,882 13th Apr 2008
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Basic Download and Install Instructions:

1. Download: Click the download link to save the .rar or .zip file(s) to your computer.

2. Extract the zip, rar, or 7z file.

3. Install: Double-click on the .sims2pack file to install its contents to your game. The files will automatically be installed to the proper location(s).
  • You may want to use the Sims2Pack Clean Installer instead of the game's installer, which will let you install sims and pets which may otherwise give errors about needing expansion packs. It also lets you choose what included content to install. Do NOT use Clean Installer to get around this error with lots and houses as that can cause your game to crash when attempting to use that lot. Get S2PCI here: Clean Installer Official Site.
Need more information?
17 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 15 Feedback Posts, 1 Thanks Posts
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Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
Original Poster
#2 Old 13th Apr 2008 at 7:44 PM Last edited by plasticbox : 27th May 2008 at 7:22 PM.
General Issues:
Some known issues that have nothing to do with the shrinking, so there's no need to report them here (copied from the old d/l thread since I can't link back to it):

"Disappearing front yard":

When looking at a lot from other lots, or from neighbourhood view, the terrain looks like shit:

(Picture nicked from aelflaed, thank you =)

This is an old problem, not related to the lot size or the shrinking. When you change the terrain of a lot, that change isn't incorporated properly into the "lot impostor" (the low-resolution model of the building that is displayed in neighbourhood view) -- I hate this too; there is no fix that I know about, although Inge has had an interesting idea: "MaxoidTom did say that he wasn't all that satisfied with the way the lot imposters were created, but we reassured him it was better than nothing - than just seeing wilderness around your current lot. So I think the problem happens at imposter creation time, not when you go in to play the next door lot. Presumably there is a GMDC for the imposter, so the adventurous player can try fixing it after saving the lot but before taking to bin." (see also here and here for previous Q+A)

The only remedy I know about is not to build a basement, or a very small one (so that the slope is hidden underneath the house).

Taxi movie displacement:

When moving in a family, the taxi in the in-game movie appears on the footpath and grass (or in some other odd place), rather than the road. Known issue -- this will probably happen quite often on my lots, it's because I'm moving the mailbox and the game somehow uses the mailbox to figure out where to put the taxi.

If it bothers you: enter the house before moving in anyone, move the mailbox to the default location (and delete any extra boxes -- you'll need to use "moveobjects on" for this), save and exit, and then move in your sims.

This does not affect gameplay at all, it's not related to actual cars, only a visual glitch with the movie.

Filled-in basement windows:

Sometimes, in the basements I build, the basement windows don't appear correctly -- the hole in the wall does not show up, it's as if they were filled with wallpaper. This is because of the slope outside the windows, and yes it is a bit annoying. I try to build unannoying basement windows wherever I can, however in this house there was not enough space for that.

To fix this, either exit and re-enter the lot and hope for the best (this sometimes works for me), or

1. flatten the ground outside the windows
2. move the windows somewhere else and back (or just grab them and let go)
3. move the ground back up.

A quicker and easier way: you can also try to put a piece of foundation in front of the windows (inside the basement) and then hit undo.

Carpools blocking each other:

This is normal with mini lots -- there is only enough space for one car at a time, so your sims need to get into the car and drive off to make room for the next one (they can't lie on the couch until 08:59). If you want small lots, you will have to put up with this. This is one of the reasons I don't use regular driveways anymore (not on small lots at least): the driving-off animation is only one more thing blocking the road (plus, it makes my game lag and is boring to watch).

"Disappearing street lights"

When you move a family in and out again, the streetlights will be gone -- they count as furniture, which is not terribly obvious, so they are removed along with all other furniture. This is not a bug, it's simply how the game works. You can try using Inge's Stay Things Shrub to get around this if it bothers you.

Stuff for TS2 · TS3 · TS4 | Please do not PM me with technical questions – we have Create forums for that.

In the kingdom of the blind, do as the Romans do.
#3 Old 14th Apr 2008 at 3:33 AM
Good luck everyone, fingers crossed!
Site Helper
#4 Old 14th Apr 2008 at 8:17 PM
I've been testing this with Uni & NL (using BaseGame Starter), fresh CAS sim, 1 sim week. No crashes or other oddities.
Field Researcher
#5 Old 15th Apr 2008 at 10:38 AM
It's a good lot from me!!!No 7PM crash or other stuff!!!Tester in NL/OFB & SEASONS!!!The Hood was the 1 4 SEASONS!!!Got CC & hacks )

I am MOHAAPlayer on Discord
#6 Old 16th Apr 2008 at 7:00 PM
My sims live happily for 4 seasons now, with all EPs and Stuff Packs.
They made a snowman, had a snowball fight, play "toss football" at the side of the house,
and today they got a genie lamp delivered on the doorstep!
Not a single problem. Thanks,
Test Subject
#7 Old 16th Apr 2008 at 8:54 PM
I love your Backdoor Lane series... its so different to the boring suburb houses.. not all of our sims are lucky enough to live in big houses with rolling hills and landscaped gardens!
The Great AntiJen
retired moderator
#8 Old 16th Apr 2008 at 11:16 PM
Hi Plasticbox - thanks for your message. I've DL the house and will give it a try (looks great BTW) and report back on any issues or indeed and non-issues.
Lab Assistant
#9 Old 17th Apr 2008 at 1:51 AM
I've just tested so far for a sim week with a CAS family on my cc & hack free account. No crashes. No weirdness. I have all EP up to & including FreeTime, just H&M stuff pack. 4 gigs RAM, Sapphire ATI Radeon X1950Pro. Will test on my hacked & cc'ed account as well, but it will be a couple of days before I get a chance.
The Great AntiJen
retired moderator
#10 Old 20th Apr 2008 at 2:18 PM
Feedback Report:

I was going to report that this lot was playing very well - which, in fact, it is though I had a small problem with it (see below).

First: I have all EPs and the Xmas pack but otherwise no SPs. I'm running the game on my new machine with Vista.

The house played very well - both without problems and for playability - it's a nice lot and I will be using it in my regular neighbourood if possible.

I have been through all seasons (snows, rain and hail, storm etc.) with a family and had many of the usual events (birth, marriage, birthdays, got a dog, etc.). I also had a good number of the usual visitors to the house (mail person, paper person, maid, bug person, hobbies whatsits, etc.). I was also able to happily leave the lot and go shopping or send them off hiking. All portals and phase shifts (day-night, seasons) on the lot seem to be working well.

The ONLY problem I had was when placing a greenhouse. The first time I tried it, I decided I didn't like the roof and deleted it. But part of it got left behind. It looked like a graphical fault so I exited the lot without saving. When I went back in, the half deleted roof was still there (see picture). I don't know whether this is just a bug or a problem with the lot. I will try to reproduce it on a copy of the lot and will let you know if I can. If I don't post again, it will be because I couldn't reproduce it and we can put that down to a one off bug (with my game).

Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
Original Poster
#11 Old 20th Apr 2008 at 2:46 PM

thanks for the feedback! =) That is strange with the greenhouse roof .. is it the same as what happened to this person?:

If yes, then it looks like just another game bug .. seems to happen on other lots too. (Have you tried the Stuck Object Remover from MATY to get rid of the roof? Or the sledgehammer tool?)

Stuff for TS2 · TS3 · TS4 | Please do not PM me with technical questions – we have Create forums for that.

In the kingdom of the blind, do as the Romans do.
The Great AntiJen
retired moderator
#12 Old 22nd Apr 2008 at 12:23 AM
Originally Posted by plasticbox
thanks for the feedback! =) That is strange with the greenhouse roof .. is it the same as what happened to this person?:

If yes, then it looks like just another game bug .. seems to happen on other lots too. (Have you tried the Stuck Object Remover from MATY to get rid of the roof? Or the sledgehammer tool?)

I'll have a look at the link. Anyway, the roof had gone away once I had shut the game down and restarted so it does look like a game/graphic bug and not the lot. There is something else I noticed and want to check with the lot and I'll post again shortly. I won't say what it is until I've checked and I'm sure of what I'm saying.
Lab Assistant
#13 Old 22nd Apr 2008 at 9:48 AM
Hi plasticbox

Despite my best efforts this lot refuses to crash for me. Yay!

I tested both with and without hacks, with new and existing neighbourhoods and new and existing sims.

The one tile border is a definate improvement for townhouses over what we had before. I'm of to download the lastest lotexpander and experiment with my own houses. This is a really nice house too and easy to play - thanks very much!
Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
Original Poster
#14 Old 22nd Apr 2008 at 11:30 AM
Originally Posted by maxon
the roof had gone away once I had shut the game down and restarted so it does look like a game/graphic bug and not the lot.

Ah ok, thanks for letting me know. Yes, I've seen that sort of graphic glitch too on various random lots (with awnings mostly), that's not a result of the shrinking.

Thank you for testing and posting, Rascal and KariMinger! =)

Stuff for TS2 · TS3 · TS4 | Please do not PM me with technical questions – we have Create forums for that.

In the kingdom of the blind, do as the Romans do.
Test Subject
#15 Old 23rd Apr 2008 at 8:04 PM
I tested this lot for 5.5 sim days with no problems at all.

genius by birth, slacker by choice...
The Great AntiJen
retired moderator
#16 Old 28th Apr 2008 at 10:15 AM Last edited by maxon : 28th Apr 2008 at 10:16 AM. Reason: need to proof read before I post
Just a quick update to let you know the 'problem' I thought was a problem, isn't. The lot is working 100% fine in my game AFAIK. I now have a street of them in my main neighbourhood.
Lab Assistant
#17 Old 21st Oct 2008 at 5:19 AM
this is so cute! I cant wait to try it out
Test Subject
#18 Old 5th Mar 2016 at 1:55 AM
thank you