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#1 Old 12th Nov 2020 at 12:13 AM
Default BYO Apartment mod - Where to start?
Hey everyone!

So, I'm new to modding and I realize this is probably a big task for a new modder. I've been wanting to join the modding community for a while and I feel like this is just the thing to pull me in. Plus I have some experience with Python and I'm looking for ways to practice it. I've followed a few tutorials on the basics and I'm hoping I have a good idea of what this modding process is going to look like.

I want to write a mod that allows the user to build their own apartments.

Here are my goals for the mod, along with some smaller goals I assume will be necessary to meet the bigger goals (I'm sure there will be plenty more, this is just from my initial research):
  • The user must be able to change the lot assignment from residential to apartment and back again.
    • Unhide the Apartment lot type
    • Make sure there is handling for a change from apartment to residential.
  • I hope to use EA's apartment picker mechanics for adding households from the map.
    • The lot must be uninhabited when adding or removing apartments so that no stand-in is required for doing this in build mode
  • The user will create an apartment by grouping each room in a lot into either an apartment or a common area.
    • A button on the build mode UI which will allow the user to manage the apartments on the lot (i.e. define a new apartment, delete an apartment definition and add all rooms to another, etc.)
    • Some new buttons on the UI that pops up when a room is selected. I'm thinking a dropdown that lists the common area and each defined apartment. The user will select which one the room will belong to.
    • If necessary, fiddling with EA's existing apartment mechanics to make them accessible and user-friendly
    • Again, all of these options must only be available when the lot is uninhabited

I also have some extra goals that I don't plan to look into until the above goals are met, though the first couple may be easy enough to pull off once I know what I'm doing.
  • In order by how achievable I think each one is:
    • Apartments may be multi-story
    • Each room in an apartment must either be touching a common area or another room in the apartment.
    • The user may add or remove apartments to homes that are already inhabited and decide which family should live where directly from build mode.
    • In addition to 'Apartment' and 'Common area', a third 'inactive' type that will allow the user to raise an apartment several floors, Evergreen Harbor style.
      • Another stretch goal: floors that are entirely 'inactive' will not contribute to build height limit, allowing for San Myshuno style high-rise apartments.
      • Elevators will skip inactive floors
    • An apartment lot may have multiple lot-types; allowing for bars, lounges, etc. to co-exist with residences within an apartment building.
      • If not residential lots, perhaps just commercial lots will be able to co-exist.
      • Think of this as a super-stretch goal. I think this will far overcomplicate things, but it would be super cool as a feature.

Does anyone have any leads for this project? What am I going to have to dig into to figure this out, and what will be my best approach? Also, how can I use the data from lots that already exist in the game as reference as I am writing this?

Any help and/or advice is very much appreciated!
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