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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 20th Apr 2020 at 2:27 AM Last edited by joeabuy1000 : 20th Apr 2020 at 7:35 AM.
Default Untitled Urban Filipino World
A few years ago, I pondered on creating a version of Manila for the Sims 3. I was inspired mainly by worlds mimicking real cities such as Nilxis' Barcelona , Sims Key's Paris , and Hanogi's Seoul . Of course, life and my own limitations got in the way and I never got around to doing it, instead working on the colonial conversion San Simeon. The original scaled-down city idea was meant to capture the familiar landmarks of Manila and its surrounding cities. This was a lot harder to do given the distances between the landmarks and how far apart they were from one another.

In the wake of jje1000's work on Boroughsburg (a fictional NYC neighborhood) and after playing in Starlight Shores (a knockoff of Hollywood), I decided to again explore the idea of recreating a portion of the Manila region. This time, the goal was to capture the zeitgeist of the region while still being its own thing, unconstrained by the difficulty of mapping around a real location and cutting things out.

Because I am also making a Colonial Manila world, I may revisit that original plan at another time. By then, I would've had a better framework to build on. Unlike my previous project, San Simeon, this new city is set in the contemporary period. Thus far, none of the builds have used CC, though some customs have been used in the landscape. I will use a much smaller percentage of CC in building this world to keep it at a manageable, easy to share form. In addition instead of building pretty colonial buildings, I'm also building slums and modern houses.

Here's my initial layout. The actual plans would change as I develop the city, as shown in the pics below of the actual roadmap so far.

I'm currently at a crossroads with the map since by its appearance, it could look just as good representing somewhere further south of Manila or a city outside it like Santa Rosa. i originally planned to have a train in the area as well.

What to Expect
  • Up to ten different neighborhoods mimicking familiar places across the Manila region and throughout the Philippines
  • A vibrant population of Sims representing the weird, wacky tapestry of life in the National Capital Region.
  • Filipino pop culture references galore
  • Also, a lot of bad visual puns, many of them in Filipino languages
  • A dash of social commentary and satire

What I'll need help with
  • Come up with a name
  • Convert a few meshes of Filipino, Latin, or East Asian style deco buildings for the city's backgrounds.
  • Find low-poly downloadable deco buildings in the abovementioned styles
  • (Optional) Convert a few deco signs to complete the city from the ground level.
  • (Optional) Find a way to replace the taxis and carpools with appropriate looking motorized tricycles or jeepneys

I might need a bit of help decorating the area since I'm not a mesher. My original plan was to do it myself which requires a crash course in converting low-poly buildings (I'm in the process of seeking permission to use a few assets from Cities Skylines). I'm also leaving the option open for builders to help finish out some of the lots and make those other bits a reality. If we could at least replace the taxis with jeepneys, that'd already be awesome.

The Neighborhoods

I had a few areas mapped out that are based on actual neighborhoods in the National Capital Region (the Metro Manila area), with a few incidental details from other cities outside Manila. I plan to accommodate at most ten neighborhoods.
  • Villareal Airbase. Based on the Armed Forces complex between Villamor Airbase in Pasay and the Phillipine Marine and Army bases in Taguig. Other notable features in this area include a large ritzy graveyard with a pompous name.
  • Tabinglawa. This district is basically a small rural neighborhood in the middle of the city, and includes a small downtown area, a few outlying farmsteads, and a few recreational areas (resort and beach) by the lakeside
  • Poblacion. This is the "old town" district populated by heritage buildings from the 19th Century. Based on Pasig, it'll take cues from various heritage districts across the country.
  • An industrial district and its accompanying slums, based on various parts of Manila.
  • An exurban area known as Legacy Point, similar to the wealthy home developments in the road leading away from the Capital Region.
  • Carmilla Homes. A small exclave of tacky, cookie cutter homes.
  • "The Village". A large middle class suburb where most of the mildly afflluent live.
  • The Midtown. This is where most of the middle- and lower-middle class services and businesses converge. Basically meant to resemble your average Filipino urban main street.
  • Tabatas. A large slum area close to a dump. May include a necropolis based on a large graveyard inhabited by squatters.
  • Jacinto. A large modern area based on Makati City's CBD and Rockwell districts, Taguig's Bonifacio Global City, and Quezon City's Araneta Center. Part entertainment complex, part business district.
#2 Old 21st Apr 2020 at 2:03 AM
This is a very ambitious project. Just be sure to not make it so big that it never gets done and that if done is not playable. I have seen this over and over and over. Sometimes we can only do so much in this game.

I think this is a very interesting concept and hope you can progress well with it.
#3 Old 21st Apr 2020 at 1:27 PM
Wow, finally something "Pinoy-flavor" for the sims.
I like the buildings in the industrial area, they truly resemble those apartment buildings you see around Manila. I know it will be a challenge building with no or minimal CC, I hope this will progress well. Please do know you have my support. And if I may, I'll help build some houses in the residential area. (Finally those real estate brochures I collected will now be useful hehehe...)

Oh, and I thought of a name also. I found "Mayaw", a Tagalog word for harmony, fits well with your world background, where people in all classes (rich/poor/middle) live together. It can be "Kamayaw/Camayao" (the latter was patterned with how most of towns in Philippines are named with Spanish influence), or simply "Mayaw City". (I'm not really good with naming stuff, you may drop it if it doesn't sound good for you )

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#4 Old 21st Apr 2020 at 6:03 PM
This looks like a neat concept.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#5 Old 22nd Apr 2020 at 3:10 AM
@Daisylee I'll do my best to avoid that hazard. I'm trying to go by the route of reducing the need to build things through deco buildings, which could also help speed up the map. In addition, I'm mostly working on finishing the map so lot placement can go on without much of a hitch. If all else fails, there's a map I can upload for others to fill in and finish as they see fit.

@aisquared Good suggestion on the name (Camayao seems like a believable place name and the name has both positive and ironic meanings given the satire element). I'd love to have you on board for this project. I'll let you know when the neighborhoods are ready for building. Depending on which developer you've got brochures of, you might have a blast developing either homes either in Legacy Point, Carmilla Homes, or the Village.

I'm also currently working on the lore for the populated version of the town and built some of the initial houses around the planned families. The lore and premade families is part of the fun of building this project since they consist of the bulk of the jokes. So far, for the rich, I'm thinking of two main political dynasty-type families and a few opportunistic rich hangers on. For the lower classes, most would be snide references to popular culture.

Here's where we are so far. I'm inclined to add a secondary tributary river just so I can add slums that are on the riverside. The River Esteros is meant to serve as a border between the playable and decorative portions of the city, so that wont be built up much. The Golf Course also serves as an excellent way to divvy up the town's districts and add green spaces. It wouldn't be a single lot, though, but a large swath of landscaping with maybe one or two lots for people to play golf in or have a picnic at. Its not yet complete so feedback at this stage is welcome.

#6 Old 22nd Apr 2020 at 4:52 AM
What size map are you using? Are you going to use a distant terrain? If no, how are you going to avoid seeing the world edges, or will this all be an island like in RL? If wanted, check Powenea I think it is called. A nice golf course was done in that world.

I do many lots/houses that are just to fill in and be for show in my worlds. Some get just enough for sims to occupy and some get nothing pretty much. I want to keep the file sizes down somewhat by doing that, and any that need more of the interiors done I can do later.

I am looking forward to seeing the progress on this.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#7 Old 22nd Apr 2020 at 5:43 PM
@daisylee. The world map was a blank 2048 x 2048. My plan is to use distant terrain, then use deco buildings to give an impression of a much tighter urban core to the north and west of the city. This is located some distance away from the coasts so I wouldn't count on the ocean being directly visible.
#8 Old 22nd Apr 2020 at 10:17 PM
The distant terrain should do the trick. Sounds good!
Field Researcher
#9 Old 24th Apr 2020 at 6:49 PM
I love your other projects and everything else I've seen from you, so I'll be keeping an eye on this
It sounds like a very interesting project and looks good so far. Good luck with it and can't wait to see more!

Find all my creations here:
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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#10 Old 29th Apr 2020 at 5:17 PM
Okay, little update on the project as it stands. I had to redo the map because placing distant terrain that fit was, to put it succinctly, a b----. I didn't delete the original file and will return to it if either this doesn't work out or if I plan to build an altogether new world. It'd be a pity to waste that road network already laid out. The tentative name of the world is Camayao, and the new version is more directly based on the junction between the IRL cities of Pasig, Taguig, and Antipolo rather than the side facing the South Luzon Expressway. The lakeside district will still be present.

Anywho, here's what I have so far. I'm in the process of adding the road layout, shaping the distant mountains, and adding the bridges. The first of the bridges (and the one I'm especially proud of) has been tested. It works! I'll also be working on a canal to separate the old town from an antiquated midcentury suburb. Let's see if I can send out the proposed map of the districts so far. The stuff I made for the previous world will be uploaded into the new one, don't worry.

Note. That body of water isn't the lake. Likely, its either a portion of the bay or another smaller lake, likely the former.

My first non-CC church. Still not happy with it, though.

My newest building is a tenement, based on one built near my old hometown. This is but the template. I plan a small compound of these buildings and a few other tenements here and there to provide a place for sims to live without resorting to living in the shanties.

As an aside, one of the things that inspired me to incorporate social commentary into this piece is the Zarathustra's Inequality District. One of the key themes is that idea applied to an entire world (and one that'll be familiar to most Filipino gaming communities). One of the goals I have in building this world is to create a passable facsimile of how difficult it is to live in the big city if you don't have a well-paying job. Since I can't make sims completely broke in this game without cheating, I relied on my own inability to make a nice decent-looking starter home into a thing to keep new families from having too much money when moving into a decent house. The shanties, which are all LN apartment units, are much cheaper, but given that the actual starters are also the only houses to accommodate any form of future expansion, getting out of the shanty is going to be an uphill battle. More so since I figured that some of these houses are going to be deliberately designed to be difficult to live in.

My main challenge is how to make my depictions of IRL poverty realistic enough within the constraints of the game without playing into the conventional (and often insulting) cliches surrounding poverty porn.

The Riverside. I'm thinking of layering the city through retaining walls so that some of the villages are elevated above the slums as a o wow subtle nod to income disparities and to give an illusion of density.
#11 Old 30th Apr 2020 at 12:36 AM
I like the church. Good start on this world. Thank you for the update.
#12 Old 30th Apr 2020 at 5:32 AM
^^ I agree. You did a great job on the church without cc at all.

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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#13 Old 7th May 2020 at 11:55 PM
I have more or less finished the map.

There are a few other districts that have yet to be named and I'm looking for suggestions. The building phase would commence once I've finished filling in the land with lots.
#14 Old 8th May 2020 at 2:57 PM
Looks good!
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#15 Old 15th May 2020 at 8:31 AM Last edited by joeabuy1000 : 17th May 2020 at 3:15 AM.
An update on the map. I changed up the Eastern bank a bit to make it more layered. This design decision was made since I had considered making only the East Bank playable, with the rest of the Western bank being distant decorative terrain. The design decision was more or less influenced by Boroughsburg after a brief playthrough. My original plan had been to split the difference between the typical "city world" and the city in miniature Boroughsburg was by dedicating a large part of the outermost city to distant terrain. I also had thought of creating large empty voids as seen in some parts of the Manila region, usually areas that were swamps, absurdly large grassy cemeteries, or golf courses. I've still to decide where the golf course goes.

Part of the industrial area and its associated slum I decided to situate close to the river itself. This created a layering effect that not only gave an impression of density but also created that social disparity you only usually see in Sci Fi but is actually quite real if you paid attention.

Another neighborhood I've worked on is the lakeside. The lake communities are another place you can find cheap homes. Me sucking at making starters is proving to be useful in the social satire department: you can live here, with room to expand, but not have much else to spend on skills development or, for that matter, a vehicle to make working in the city easier. You also get an absurdly long commute. Have fun!

The inner-city suburbs are based on those in the north of the Manila region, especially those built up around the canals. Unlike the canals in the center of the city, these represent concretized (though no less filthy) canals that pass through older towns.

The rural lakeside is another bit of the city I'm working on.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#16 Old 24th May 2020 at 11:42 PM
Default Camayao Cathedral
So, I decided to repurpose and expand one of the churches I built for San Simeon in this project to serve as the cathedral. It serves as one of the two or three cemeteries I planned for this world

The church facade.

The cemetery.

Church interior

I used a ChiSims pedestal as a surface to make the statues visible in the niche, but I was unable to find a download of that that wasn't tied to one of their worlds. Which is a shame: it's a very versatile pedestal.

I'll be placing a convent and other colonial houses in the area surrounding it.
#17 Old 25th May 2020 at 3:13 AM
This is looking really, really, really good. Beautiful church inside and out.
#18 Old 28th May 2020 at 12:24 PM Last edited by tizerist : 28th May 2020 at 10:07 PM.
I like this. I'm often in the slum areas of the Philippines so I know how these places are laid out. One thing that would add authenticity would be a Cebuana / L.Mhillier pawn shops, they're copy-and-pasted a million times throughout the country. Sari-Sari stores are a must. Jeepneys? EA school bus recolours is the closest we'll get to that, I think. Another tip: less green grass. Definitely not much in urban areas.
And, as much griminess as possible. As weird as it sounds, think Megaton in Fallout 3. Houses on stilts, corrogated iron sheets working as roofs and walls, etc.
Keep it up man!

Can't find stuff in build and buy mode?
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#19 Old 31st May 2020 at 7:38 PM
@aisquared Thank you. The church isn't nearly 100% complete at this point, though, so watch out for updates like the crypt.

@tizerist I'm glad you liked it. I've already thought about many of these suggestions. I'm currently determining where the stilt villages would be placed. I've plans for two: One in the rural area next to the lake that acts as a fishing town, and one closer to the city that looks like a slum. As for the ground, the green is a placeholder. I do plan on making the ground dingier closer to the slums and the city center, and restricting the greener areas to those placed in the better-off parts of town. Occasionally, though, I do spot vacant lots in the city that are exactly that green, especially when allowed to be overgrown with wild grass.

I do plan on adding pawn shops (they fit either in the proposed inner-city midtown area or the slum, or both) as consignment stores. As for the sari-sari stores, they're a bit more of a challenge. I have no clue how to incorporate them into home lots and still function as stores, or if I should make them into distinct buildings.

As for the cars, I had thought of eventually learning how to extract or build meshes to create custom vehicles or vehicle recolors. It was suggested that I extract a pedicab mesh from another game for this purpose. Although this is a long shot, I had planned on making the motorized pedicabs the replacement for the taxicab, a custom jeepney as an early-career carpool, and a car recolored into a UV as a mid-career carpool. But that's a bit further down the line.

Anyway, everyone, here's Carmilla Homes.

I'll see if I can finish adding lots by the end of the week. If anyone wants to join in on the building, let me know.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#20 Old 5th Jul 2020 at 2:43 PM
Hello. I started working again so I wasn't able to do much with the world as I initially thought. In any case, here's a draft of the what I'm doing at the waterfront.

At present I've decided to focus only on making one side of the river playable.

I got the idea for making at least some of the grounds that shade of green from the pockets of grass and weeds that sometimes grow in urban lots that haven't been developed, such as this one in Makati, visible between overpass near Ayala Avenue and Forbes Park. I'm thinking of doing a lot much like this one that's also basically the farm lot you can use to source vegetables and seeds from.

While the rest of the urbane part would certainly look less green (I am still looking for an appropriate dingy shade that looks like the algae-coated mud I usually see in Pateros and other places without a lawn), there will be pockets of green in this shade where they logically would be. There's also the proposed golf course, which would be in this shade as well. I'm also currently focusing on using basegame content so a lot of the attempted grime isn't nearly grimy enough because of the limits of EA textures.
Field Researcher
#21 Old 12th Jul 2020 at 10:41 PM
This is looking nice!
I think it's a good idea to add some green parts that haven't been urbanized. Will you be adding weeds and vegetables growing like in the picture?

Find all my creations here:
My blog: Nilxis Designs // My Tumblr page:
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#22 Old 27th Jul 2020 at 2:45 PM
@Nilxis. Thanks. And yes. A few farming swiddens would be included here and there as sources of free seeds. The other possible source I'm thinking of is the school; farming is sometimes taught in home ec classes here and from memory grade and high school kids all had to attempt to grow vegetables.

I am once again considering a re-roll of the city map due to the issues I've encountered plopping trees into place and how difficult it is to shove new lots in. I am not, however, averse to reusing and re-terraforming the extant one.

Details of the church. i remade it so that the Parish house and nearby cemetery are attached, as they would in history.

An ancestral house, one of several I'm planning for my vision of the Poblacion/Town Center. I'm thinking a few houses repurposed as modern shops mixed in with houses in various states of restoration. I'm aiming for four occupied residentials in the Poblacion. The others are restorable. The rest are repurposed community lots.

The fire station. Based on a real one in Manila that sadly hasn't been fully restored, but is still being used.

#23 Old 28th Jul 2020 at 12:37 PM
Yeah that last batch look really good

Can't find stuff in build and buy mode?
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#24 Old 29th Jul 2020 at 5:51 PM
More updates:

Plaza Rizal. But of course it's gonna be named that.

The first of the two haunted houses. This one is the Marasigan House, a ramshackle abandoned home whose owners are charged with restoring it.

Views of the old town so far:

A key element in this part of the town is that most of its heritage buildings are preserved and/or adapted well. The commonwealth and midcentury period houses have yet to receive a similar treatment. As soon as this center is done, I might start branching out. That is, if I don't just go plop these lots on the v2 world and refurbish everything from the center outward.
Field Researcher
#25 Old 31st Jul 2020 at 8:18 PM
The old town is looking great! The buildings are very cohesive

Find all my creations here:
My blog: Nilxis Designs // My Tumblr page:
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