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#1 Old 14th May 2010 at 1:30 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 24th May 2010 at 1:12 AM. Reason: Change title to be more inclusive.
Default Ramps, Underground Basements, Enclosed Courtyards and Traversable 0-Click Levels
Some thoughts on a new project that mustluvcatz and I have been discussing.

I'm interested in an object which would allow a user to move from one level to another when there's no difference in elevation between the two levels.

This should allow people to have basements which are completely underground. Right now, basements require the main level to be above the ground level by at least two clicks, mainly because that's the minimal height for a set of stairs.

It should also allow the creation of ramps, by allowing a sim to move between two levels as if they were stepping onto a ramp, then sloping the upper level at a rate that a sim can still maneuver.

I was thinking that this might be accomplished with a modification of the Ascension stairs by Targa, available here:
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=97367
or the 2-tile Wooden Ladder (stairs), available here:
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=96542

Targa has specified that it is OK to modify his objects.

Basically, the mesh would have to be changed from being the height of a standard wall, to a height of 0 (both pads at approximately the same level).

As well, the stairs must take up 2 tiles, rather than 1, since sims can't reach the bottom landing if the top landing is blocking it. So, 1 tile for the bottom landing and an adjacent tile for the top landing.

I don't believe that there are any behaviors or interactions that would need to change. All stairs basically take a sim from one level to another. The Ascension stairs have no animations and I can live with that. I suppose that a simple walking animation would be even nicer.

I can currently use the standard Maxis non-modular stairs to get sims from one level to another, even when the levels are at (basically) the same elevation. I'm attaching a base-game test lot as proof-of-concept. On the lot, I have a red carpet and stairs at ground level, a white carpet and stairs at level 1, a yellow carpet and stairs at level 2, and a green carpet and chair at level 3. I've separated the levels by .0005 (some tiny fraction of a click) to reduce z-fighting. A sim will travel up the stairs to reach the chair on the top level, and down again to reach the mailbox.

[Update:] Tried the same test with the Ladder Stairs and it works even better than the maxis-made stairs. Instead of climbing the stairs just to fall down once he reaches the top, Don walks over to the ladder then quickly slides through the ladder and ends up on the next level. If the ladder were invisible, this would almost be what we want. The animation is almost correct when the sim is running.

[Another Update:] Just in case it's not obvious, this is how you add a different set of stairs:
1) Go to the lower level where you want the stairs.
2) Turn moveobjects on
3) Add stair to lower level, so that upper landing will be in the correct place.

You can ensure that the stairs are on the correct level by moving down a level in the game... the stairs will disappear when you are one level below the location of the stairs.
Screenshots
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File Type: zip TestLevels.zip (670.9 KB, 32 downloads) - View custom content
Description: Test lot which allows sims to travel between same-elevation levels.
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#2 Old 14th May 2010 at 7:36 AM Last edited by HugeLunatic : 14th May 2010 at 5:34 PM.
I have no idea how you do this level thing, but it's cool. =) I'm guessing you had the same problem as I did with the ascension stairs where the sims wouldn't use them? And that is why you need two tiles? I did make a mesh that was two tiles, well technically three since the base is on two and the upper level is one. I would guess I can remove one from the base so it is true two tile (one upper/one lower), but even Marvines ladder is three as is Targa's.

The mesh is just a flat plane, I've done some adjusting with routing values but so far they don't seem to make a difference. I'm thinking the mesh and it's routing values in the cres are almost irrelevant and the moving from one level to another is all in the stairs global, the animations, and the portals in the package.

In the pic the middle stair is an invisible recolor. Right now the sim swooshes really quickly through the middle tile, and if I can get rid of one tile then that speed may be slower. But I am still trying to find the basic walk animation to link to, I found the stairs ones and had my test sims walking through the air on invisible stairs. So if I can find the animation I may be able to make the area normal walk speed, at least I hope so.

I will let you know tomorrow when I'm more awake.

EDIT: I've tried a few different walk animations and instead of it replacing the stair anims it added to it. So instead of replacing the quick swoosh through the tile it would add the walk then swoosh through. Changing the footprint didn't seem to change the speed of the swoosh either like I was hoping.

I've attached the file, let me know if this is even what you were thinking of.
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File Type: rar HL_SimplePassage.rar (8.6 KB, 28 downloads) - View custom content
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#3 Old 14th May 2010 at 5:46 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 14th May 2010 at 6:15 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HugeLunatic
I have no idea how you do this level thing, but it's cool. =)
Not quite sure if I understand your question, but I just used the TS2GridAdjuster with the parameters in the attached screenshot.

Ascension stairs have two problems. The first is that the top landing is much too high; of course, that shouldn't matter if it's invisible. The second is that the top level floor tiles interfere with the sim's ability to access the bottom landing. As you point out, that's why we need two separate tiles.

An invisible recolor sounds perfect. As I said, the animation is less important to me than the ability to actually traverse levels, although I'm sure that some people feel more strongly about having the correct animation.

The interesting thing is that a completely flat object should allow people to traverse other elevations which are currently impossible, such as one click or elevations which are not a click-multiple, although they'll probably do it with a slight jump.

Sounds like you've been making wonderful progress on this. Since I've never done any meshing, I wasn't sure whether this would be easy or difficult, although I was hoping that it would be a fairly simple project. Especially since we can piggyback off of other people's work. I've downloaded your prototype and will let you know how the testing goes.
Screenshots
Former Hamster
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#4 Old 14th May 2010 at 6:34 PM
*reading along with interest*

I have some ideas floating around in that vast cavern I call my mind. Sometimes my ideas work, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they're way out in left field and end up working out all right. Hopefully I'll be able to tell you in a few hours or so if at least one of them worked or not.
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#5 Old 14th May 2010 at 7:09 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 14th May 2010 at 7:26 PM.
So far, I haven't been able to figure out how to place these correctly. The stair consists of 3 tiles: Bottom, Top, and an invisible footprint next to Top with the positioning arrow (screenshot #1).

If I place the stair so that Top is positioned at the upper floor tile (screenshot #2), it removes the upper floor tile and the ability to place a floor tile in that location. My sim says that no path is available.

If I place the stair so that the invisible footprint is positioned at the upper floor tile (screenshot #3), my sim walks over to Top, then seems unable to figure out how to use the stair.

Bottom and Top seem to be located on the lower level and the invisible footprint seems to be located on the top level (found by pressing <alt> and moving the object around; this is fiddly, but occasionally the invisible tile jumps up one standard level while the other two tiles remain on the ground level).

This set of tests performed with all EPs and SPs except the Store Edition.
Screenshots
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#6 Old 15th May 2010 at 12:57 AM
Ok lets try version 2. This one doesn't seem quite so fiddly, it must not have liked my changes in the routing positions.

It places fine for normal wall heights, and I was able to place it with the moveobjects on cheat next to a foundation and it worked just fine. Both placing and the sim was able to move right up on the foundation. Visitors to the lot also had no issue.

The mesh takes up the red/green square and both are on the bottom, there is no visible mesh for the top square but it is one space in front of the mesh. The arrow just points which direction to go up.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: rar HL_SimplePassage2.rar (5.2 KB, 39 downloads) - View custom content
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#7 Old 15th May 2010 at 2:01 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 15th May 2010 at 3:51 AM.
OK, this one works, but it still requires 3 tiles. If I place it like #2 above, the game adds a plain wood floor for the third tile on the upper level and my sim ends up on that tile and can't proceed further; she can't seem to step back onto the middle tile. If I place it like #3 above, then my sim starts on the first tile, slides through the second tile, and ends up on the third tile, where she can then proceed to the next level.

This is actually pretty wonderful. While I'd prefer a two-tile solution, this is definitely most of the way there.

Testing done with all EPs and SPs except Store Edition. Next, I'm just going to check this with the base-game.

[Update] Same results with the base game. I noticed something which might be interesting. If I leave moveobjects off and try to place this, it's obvious that there are three separate parts to the footprint. Screenshot 1 shows that there are two tiles on the bottom level and two tiles on the top level, offset by one tile. Screenshot 2 seems to indicate that the two tiles on the top level are actually separate in some way and can end up at different elevations.

Is this observation of any use at all?
Screenshots
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#8 Old 15th May 2010 at 5:37 AM
I've been playing with this to see if I can get it to two tiles, but it has other issues then. Such as not being able to be placed with a wall to the front and leaving the top foundation tile every where you hover with it. I'm going to keep playing with the routing slot with this two tile one to see if that is part of the issue, especially since Targa's ascension stairs don't do this.

The two tiles, there is one on bottom and one on top that occupy the same space and I think this is so for all EA stairs too. I think that is just a side effect of the walls being so short in the second pic but I will keep it mind just in case it does mean something more.
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#9 Old 15th May 2010 at 6:42 PM
In the interim, I plan to make a few prototypes for the various building styles that are now available. I was also thinking that this might make true sunlit courtyards possible, by having a 0-height open foundation.
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#10 Old 18th May 2010 at 2:01 AM
Default Proof of Concept: Underground Basement
Looks like the underground basement works well with this stair, although I'm still testing.

Unfortunately, it won't work for a no-slope basement, since the sim needs to travel from the ground level (level = 0) to the first floor (level = 2); level 1 is the inverted level. A modular stair can traverse multiple levels, but these fixed stairs can't.

Small base-game lot attached for testing purposes only.
Screenshots
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: zip UndergroundBasement.zip (625.3 KB, 32 downloads) - View custom content
Description: For testing purposes only
Retired Duck
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#11 Old 18th May 2010 at 5:34 AM
Just saw this thread now. Not sure if it's of any use to you at this point, but this:
http://www.modthesims.info/journal....howjournal&j=76
lets sims route across gaps and uneven terrain. Or have I misunderstood what you're trying to achieve? I'm not really a builder, so I may have completely missed the point.
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#12 Old 18th May 2010 at 7:04 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo
Just saw this thread now. Not sure if it's of any use to you at this point, but this:
http://www.modthesims.info/journal....howjournal&j=76
lets sims route across gaps and uneven terrain. Or have I misunderstood what you're trying to achieve? I'm not really a builder, so I may have completely missed the point.
Your bridge will only allow a sim to travel on one level. I need an object which allows a sim to travel between one level and another, like a staircase.
Lab Assistant
#13 Old 19th May 2010 at 3:04 PM
Don't know if i should post here as I'm only just experimenting with the grid adjuster but.... I use invisible modular stairs and I place them at a placeable height usually 4 click and then adjust the height. There is a funny animation, but that's just the same as stealth stairs. I haven't try'ed with a smaller level I imagine 2 clicks would work and the animation would probably look better. I'll load up my game and try and get some pics.
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#14 Old 19th May 2010 at 4:09 PM
So far no luck making any changes to the passage stairs. Could you attach a testing lot for the no slope basement for me? So when you add the modular stairs for no slope basements, are they placed before you use the lot adjuster to invert the levels?

Modular stairs and there passage is different, at least from what I've read. Apparently they allow more sims to pass through where fixed staircases don't so they don't create choke points on stairs. No idea how this is implemented or if I can even accomplish that, especially considering I keep crashing both TS2 and TS3. LOL
Lab Assistant
#15 Old 19th May 2010 at 5:24 PM
Here's some pics to illustrate what I'm talking about.

Like I said i use an invisible recolor for my modular stairs.
Visible stairs are just for illustration.



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#16 Old 19th May 2010 at 5:53 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 19th May 2010 at 6:23 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HugeLunatic
Could you attach a testing lot for the no slope basement for me?
I believe that I kept that test lot, so I'll attach it as soon as my dev machine is booted. [Update: unfortunately, I kept experimenting with the lot, so I'll need to make some changes before I can upload it.]

Quote:
Originally Posted by HugeLunatic
So when you add the modular stairs for no slope basements, are they placed before you use the lot adjuster to invert the levels?
No, I place the stairs after the inversion. Would you like me to try placing them first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amiehiggs
Don't know if i should post here as I'm only just experimenting with the grid adjuster
Yes, please feel free to post. I started this thread in order to get more ideas. Welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amiehiggs
I use invisible modular stairs and I place them at a placeable height usually 4 click and then adjust the height. There is a funny animation, but that's just the same as stealth stairs. I haven't [tried] with a smaller level I imagine 2 clicks would work and the animation would probably look better. I'll load up my game and try and get some pics.
This is a very interesting idea. I will definitely try this; with a 2-click working invisible stair adjusted down to 0 clicks, this may be a good solution, especially for the no-slope basement. Thanks for the idea; I'll let you know how it goes.
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#17 Old 19th May 2010 at 6:06 PM
No I don't need you to try placing them first. I just want to play with a lot and the modular stairs to see if I could get a modular version to work like the other one. I am wondering if a modular version would be more useful then. And if I can work on a different mesh/package placing them myself it will be easier.
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#18 Old 19th May 2010 at 6:45 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 19th May 2010 at 7:14 PM. Reason: Add quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HugeLunatic
I just want to play with a lot and the modular stairs to see if I could get a modular version to work like the other one. I am wondering if a modular version would be more useful then.
Would there be any way to mod the modular stairs so that they will allow 1-click and 0-click placement, rather than having to place them before adjusting the grid?
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#19 Old 19th May 2010 at 7:12 PM
Default Proof of Concept: Underground No-Slope Basement
The simple passage stairs won't work for a no-slope basement, since the sim needs to travel from the ground level (level = 0) to the first floor (level = 2); level 1 is the inverted level.

Small base-game lot attached for testing purposes only.
Screenshots
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File Type: zip UndergroundNoSlopeBasement.zip (712.2 KB, 30 downloads) - View custom content
Lab Assistant
#20 Old 19th May 2010 at 7:54 PM
Might be a silly question but is there a way to renumber the levels in SimPE so the basement becomes level 0, the ground floor level 1 etc?
Former Hamster
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#21 Old 19th May 2010 at 8:06 PM
I thought about modular stairs myself- even opened one of them up in SimPE. I looked at the GMDC and closed SimPE, lol. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what was what. I think there was 10 different parts? I should've looked at them all in MilkShape to figure it out because a modular stair is the one stair that keeps sticking in mind as being the one that can be made to work here.
I realize there are 4 steps to modular stairs. But they're the only thing I can think of that adjusts itself if it needs to be longer, so I keep thinking that a modular stair can be modified in some way to be almost flat- or just one step. But I also keep thinking that just won't work unless there's more done to it- and I'm sure that would mean changing a behavior/interaction/animation/somethingelsei'mnotcomfortableplayingwith?
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#22 Old 19th May 2010 at 8:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by amiehiggs
Might be a silly question but is there a way to renumber the levels in SimPE so the basement becomes level 0, the ground floor level 1 etc?
No. The game always treats level 0 as the ground level. I did look into using level = -1 (the underground pool level) for a no-slope basement, but the game is unwilling to allow me access to the level (since there is no way to go to that level within the game).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mustluvcatz
I realize there are 4 steps to modular stairs. But they're the only thing I can think of that adjusts itself if it needs to be longer, so I keep thinking that a modular stair can be modified in some way to be almost flat- or just one step. But I also keep thinking that just won't work unless there's more done to it- and I'm sure that would mean changing a behavior/interaction/animation/somethingelsei'mnotcomfortableplayingwith?
It's easy to create a 2-click modular stair, but 1-click and 0-click don't currently work (at least, I haven't been able to get them to work).

I'm completely willing to admit that I may have made some bad assumptions in choosing fixed stairs and that the modular stairs may be the way to go, even if the stairs have to be placed before the grid adjustment.
Lab Assistant
#23 Old 19th May 2010 at 8:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
No. The game always treats level 0 as the ground level.
It was a silly question!!!
Sorry.
The only thing i can think of is making a stealth stair that goes from the ground floor to level 2 before conversion.
Ill give it a go.
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#24 Old 19th May 2010 at 8:26 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 19th May 2010 at 8:44 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amiehiggs
It was a silly question!!!
Not at all. That was actually my first approach; level = -1 was my second try.

The ground level is used for a number of things, but lot placement within the neighborhood is one of the most important. If the ground level at the road isn't at a relative elevation of 0, it can cause major problems.

When tackling a new problem, I think that it's really important to keep an open mind and consider all options.
Lab Assistant
#25 Old 19th May 2010 at 9:08 PM Last edited by amiehiggs : 19th May 2010 at 9:52 PM.
Okay i got it working will post some screens with an explanation shortly.

Editing to add pics.

2 1 tile floors should be 2 1 click high floors.







Stairs can be invisible.
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