Hurrah!... and goodbye, to some lots

Date Posted: 11th May 2010 at 3:43 PM

I'm amazed, my beach bar became a picked upload! How fantastic! I didn't even think it was that great >.< If this is considered good then some of my ideas for what is coming next are absolutely fabulous!

I've decided to remove my house lots from MTS, it's not what I'm good at really, not in comparison to some of these amazing people here. I'd prefer if the lots and things I have uploaded here are to do with my attempts to change the Sims 3 community lots and neighbourhoods. I will be removing the gym lot at some point, but not until I make my new gym for the new neighbourhood (which will fit in Sunset Valley anyway).

The new neighbourhood is coming along nicely... have perfected my height map now and imported it into create-a-world. Alot of edge smoothing to do but I really like the general idea! I decided another of my aims will be to make it more computer friendly than Sunset Valley, which was slow to run. I want this one to be more friendly.
I have exams to do so the neighbourhood won't really pick up pace til the end of May, but then it should happen swiftly and the lots come pouring out thick and fast while I finish it off. Exciting!
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Revamped no more!

Date Posted: 5th May 2010 at 3:54 PM

I've definitely decided I won't be continuing with my project to recreate the community lots for Sunset Valley. The amount of work that requires and the awkwardness of the layout of the neighbourhood makes it not worth it.

HOWEVER! I have been playing around with the create a world tool for about a month now. Having seen all that I can do with it and learning how it works etc. I decided it is much more worthwhile to create something from scratch.

I will work to create my own neighbourhood plus community lots to go in it. I'm hoping to use lot sizes that will mean the community lots can easily be used in Sunset Valley and Riverview aswell.

The residential lots will be those from Sunset Valley and possibly Riverview (if there is any empty space).

I've begun the project already, and I'm working from sketches atm. I won't upload the neighbourhood itself though til the whole thing is done (lots and all). I will however upload individual lots that are particularly 'special' before the project is done!

It'll be a slightly slow project still for the next month but after that it shouldn't take too much longer. :D
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Break time!

Date Posted: 16th Nov 2009 at 4:20 PM

I'm in need of a small break... at least from the game. I have many small exams coming up and a period of ferocious study, so I have uninstalled the sims for now. I'll prolly reinstall it in the new year and get back to my work on revamping sunset valley... (or making my own full neighbourhood with community buildings). Either way, it's a huge project and requires more attention than I can afford. All things I was working on and did complete will eventually be uploaded.
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Short break!

Date Posted: 6th Nov 2009 at 1:38 PM

Although I've completed quite a few more lots I'm going to stop uploading til the expansion is out and while I have some assessments going on... Furthermore, this post on the Sims 3 forum means I might likely have to rework alot in the future:

"Create and share your own unique worlds for The Sims 3
POSTED ON 03/11/09 18:19Create and share unique new worlds for your Sims with The Sims™ 3 Create a World Tool – BETA. Step into the shoes of The Sims 3 development team and use the same world-building tool they used to create your own Sims world ... and then go and share your world online.

More info to come!!"
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Upload on hold...

Date Posted: 17th Oct 2009 at 7:47 PM

Since I have been quite busy I haven't had the chance to reupload proper screenshots for my school and graveyard lots before they were rejected... I've decided I will wait with the upload of these now until I have some of the parks finished and I'll make a bumper upload then of park/pool lots and my 'revamped community lots'
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School and Graveyard Completed

Date Posted: 15th Oct 2009 at 3:15 PM

The school and graveyard lots have been completed and are in the upload process.

I would have wished for both to be able to be more realistic but I guess the game has to come with some limitations!

There are no big enough lots to offer up the ability to create a real school with decent sized playgrounds and all the facilities schools usually have, but the lot choice the school does have at least is surrounded by grassland that you could theoretically think of as sports ground.

The graveyard is slightly more 'bright' than I would have wanted but there were certain things that were required of the graveyard and after those things where in the place looked too depressing. I wanted the graveyard to be a much nicer resting place so it came out like it is now. Although I do know some graveyards that are well looked after. But again, there's limitations since you can't make row after row of graves like a real graveyard, so this is how it has come out.
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School - Completed

Date Posted: 14th Oct 2009 at 1:23 AM

The newly relocated school has been completed, here are some shots of what it looks like now:

The school will be uploaded once the graveyard is finished so there is an alternate place for it to go. Description of all the sections will be added once uploaded.
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Current Projects

Date Posted: 14th Oct 2009 at 12:42 AM

I'm currently working on quite a few lots.

Sunset Institute of Modern Art (relocation and rebuild)
Unnamed coastal Art Gallery (new build)
Unnamed park lot (new build)
Graveyard (relocation and rebuild)
Graveyard filler lot (new build)

Unnamed seamless park and pool lot x2 (new build)
School (relocation and rebuild)
Unnamed park lot, location undecided (new build)
Formal park (rebuild)
Central park (rebuild)

Sunset Institute of Modern Art
The Sunset Institute of Modern Art will be being moved to the current location of the theatre, bookstore and grocery store. The rebuild will be a large modern building with roof terrace and a 'special' roof feature aswell. The new art gallery will have large picture windows looking out over the coast (not too many windows though as light can damage artwork!). This lot will not be completed or uploaded until the expansion is out as I want to make use of photography. The lot will feature custom artwork.

Unnamed coastal Art Gallery
I'm creating a second art gallery that will be on one of the thin coastal lots behind the large beach (currently building on the middle one). I want to create a small gallery of 'local' artists artwork. It will be a small rustic gallery like those you find in small towns. This lot will not be completed or uploaded until the expansion is out as I want to make use of photography. This lot will feature custom artwork.

Unnamed park lot
A small park lot on the 'cliffy' part of Sunset Valley. This is on a corner lot. The lot will definitely feature a playground and possibly also a small pond. I haven't decided yet if I will build a pool on this lot but the odds are against it.

Graveyard and Graveyard filler lot
I'm moving the graveyard to a more suitable lot, the very last lot on the coastal/cliff side of Sunset Valley. The lot will remain largely the same with only a few changes. It will obviously be smaller. The neighbouring lot will be filled with trees and some other assorted things, it will not be a park but more of a 'filler' lot so that no house has to be next to the graveyard (although if you wanted it to be then you could easily demolish it); I want to keep the coastal cliff area as a space for the 'wealthy' individuals of Sunset Valley so it wouldn't be right to have a house right next to a graveyard.

Unnamed seamless park and pool lot x2
Currently there is a pool lot in amongst a small complex on the edge of the centre of Sunset Valley. The lot infront of this pool lot has been demolished. These two lots will become a seamless set of a play park and a pool. There are two slim lots elsewhere in Sunset Valley that will receive the same treatment.

The school has been moved to the previous location of the graveyard. I have chosen this location as it is not on any 'busy' roads and it also has a safe pathway up to it. This lot is near completion but may not be uploaded; if it is uploaded it won't be until work on the graveyard is finished so there is an alternative location to place the graveyard.

Unnamed park lot, location undecided
I've begun work/research for 'reservoir' style lot. Near where I live are many reservoirs. These are not very clinical and feature woods and pathways around them, my favourite is Harlaw Reservoir. I intend to recreate Harlaw Reservoir in game, however I am not certain yet which of the remaining park lots will be used.

Formal park
To the left of Sunset Valley are 3 large lots surrounding 1 large park lot. I consider this to be the home of the wealthy 'elite', usually those with large families. It feels like an exclusive community as they have the best view of Sunset Valley. My interpreation of this area has led me to believe that the park lot in the middle ought to be a 'formal' garden with a rustic edge. I want to create a very exclusive park space that has a very luxurious and formal feel to it.

Central park
I will be doing a complete rebuild of central park. This lot is going to be one of my largest projects and I haven't begun it yet. I'm currently in the research stage as I have no firm ideas yet on how it will look.
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Completed Lots

Date Posted: 14th Oct 2009 at 12:19 AM

Completely unique lots or vastly improved lots will be uploaded separately prior to completion of the entire neighbourhood. Lots that are only slight tweaks or are small filler lots (contain trees etc. and a few benches, nothing fancy) will not be uploaded separately from the neighbourhood.

Once all lots are completed the whole neighbourhood will be uploaded.

Completed Lots - Uploaded

Waterfall Way Cove - Part 1 (seamless lot)
Waterfall Way Cove - Part 2 (seamless lot)
Recurve Strand Beach Bar

Completed Lots - Not Uploaded

Maywood Glen

Please note that my expansion of Sunset Valley Institute of Modern Art and remodel of the 28 Hour Wellness Gym are NOT part of the Sunset Valley revamp. They will both be rebuilt completely for this project.
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Project Overview

Date Posted: 13th Oct 2009 at 4:18 PM

I’ve recently embarked on a project to revamp all the Sunset Valley community lots, whilst also creating many new ones. This will be a long arduous task I have set myself but I think it will be worthwhile.

Initially, I had no problems with the layout of Sunset Valley and the ideas behind the community lots, but gradually they started to irritate me more and more. It always seems like EA get a good idea but then fail to run with it. But this is where I come in!

  • Create a better layout of community lots
  • Provide more community lots that are family friendly
  • Provide places of amusement for ‘starter’ families that are nearby and satisfy needs effectively

Why are these things needed?

The layout of Sunset Valley is particularly bad at the moment; the police station is next to the library, a graveyard overlooks the whole town, the only public school is in the very centre of a bustling town... and there is much much more with Sunset Valley! I want to rectify these errors! I want to put public services such as the police station and hospital in more realistic locations... Move the graveyard to a much less eerie location; if this were real, would you really like it if you looked out your upstairs window and saw that at the top of a hill in your town you could see a graveyard? Put the school in a ‘safe’ location! I want to give Sunset Valley a more realistic feel and layout.

As with each version of the sims or a new expansion I’ve always played the game for a while first to get a feel of how things work before embarking on any building projects. With the Sims 3 I was very excited that it would be so easy to go out and do things within the neighbourhood... However, despite this ease, I found that it was often quite hard to take my families to community lots that didn’t have the prebuilt buyable buildings on them. There was never something for everyone to do and the sims would just get upset. I disliked this, I want there to be plenty of options for things for my sims to do, places where the whole sim families can go... such as my Recurve Strand Beach Bar, this lot is extremely family friendly whilst also being a great party and romantic location!

As I said previously, before beginning with any building projects I played around with the sims for a while. When I was doing this I discovered that my starter family sims started off with much less money than before. This seemed like an improvement to the game, however I soon found myself getting very mad at the game; it is not easy to keep your sims happy when they are living on such a low budget and you don’t cheat! So I decided to take advantage of the community lots to keep my sims happy and build up their skills – this did not work out. The community lots are mostly in awkward locations with long travel distances. If you live on the cliffy coastal side of Sunset Valley and you want to go to Mayfield Glen... well, this takes AGES! It wastes so much time. This applies to almost all community lots that aren’t right next door, the time taken is insane. As Sunset Valley isn’t a rural place I don’t consider this to be very fair; the neighbourhood needs more parks and recreational areas that are nearby to houses. A local park or similar in every few streets, expanding on the community lots that are just ponds, redistributing existing community lots would all improve things vastly.

The Project

One of key thing with this project is that I want to use as little as possible custom content. I also want to avoid using paid or store items as far as possible. I don't want the end product to involve a huge amount of credits and costing a large amount of money potentially! The neighbourhood should be accessible to anyone.

Things like fish location will be redistributed and kept as similar to the original Sunset Valley as possible. Spawn locations for seeds and stones etc. will be thoroughly tested.

Many completely new types of lots will be added. Some examples...
Wedding lot: a small park with a purpose built wedding arch and seating
Concert lot: a small park with a purpose built stage for budding guitar enthusiasts to perform on

Each completely new or vastly revamped lot will be uploaded to MTS prior to the completion of the neighbourhood. Lots that are only slightly tweaked and basic remodels will not be uploaded, neither will small filler lots.

Once the neighbourhood is completed it will be uploaded in full with all the new community lots (no housing lots). I may consider uploading a version with as many of the default EA houses intact aswell; but the community lot only version will come first.

I’ll be keeping track of my work with Sunset Valley in this journal.

Any and all suggestions of themes, ideas etc. are extremely welcome, this is a large project!
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