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Cyclonesue's Blog

TUTORIAL: Placing lots of any size - and where (short guide)

I've been asked quite a few times now what world and location I use for my lot screenshots, and also how to place lots of varying sizes, so I've put together a simple tutorial (using the area I build in as an example) which I hope will answer both questions...


BRIDGEPORT - City of dreams or junk?

I use Bridgeport - the city world that came with the Late Nights expansion pack.  This world has a built-up city area with fantastic views of docks, cranes, billboards and tall buildings.  It's a great location for any downtown area.

I've marked the area I like to use in the top-down view of Bridgeport below.  You can find it easily by locating the Bridgeport docks area.  You'll see that there's a building site nearby.  I've shaded the area that I've used.  It's a great area for screenshots.  If you want to use the same area, it will be filled with pre-built EA lots.  I recommend you MOVE the community properties to another location, but you can move or bulldoze the residentials (your choice).  I bulldozed because I'm just ruthless!


1. To start - EDIT YOUR TOWN

From the game menu, choose EDIT TOWN.  Save your game if you need to.

2. Click on WORLD EDITOR - that's the little square with a pencil over it at the bottom.  Note: next to this World Editor icon, there is the BULLDOZER tool and, just up above, the MOVE (hand) tool - use these to deal with any properties in the way of land you wish to use...

3. Choose a LOT SIZE

Once in the World Editor section, the first tab (for custom lot bases) is automatically selected.  Choose a base that will accommodate the size of the lot you wish to place.  If you downloaded the lot from this site, the width and depth of its required base can be found on the download details page.  Note: the size you choose doesn't need to be exact.  As long as the size is the same or BIGGER than the lot you wish to place, it will fit.  

For example - with a lot that is 30 x 40:
  • 40 x 30 is fine
  • 40 x 40 is fine
  • 30 x 30 is not fine
Hover your mouse pointer over each base, and choose one that will fit your lot...

4. PLACE in your neighbourhood

Important - you don't need to place the lot base immediately adjacent to a road.  Provided the lot base turns green (as in my picture), then it's a valid spot.  Although the spot I'm choosing here has an adjacent road, I also have some lot bases further out of town up in the hills.  Even though the road is further away, Sims still go to work and school, and all their deliveries still take place...  

To help place your base accurately, you can use the 'less than' [<] and 'greater than' [>] keys to rotate it.

5. Finally, DECORATE your building areas...
EA has added some great decorative objects for world decorating.  Some of the goodies I have in my game include reeds, a wrecked car, a rusted tractor, a broken cart and, joy of joys, an abandoned rail wagon on broken track!  You might have even more (I don't own every expansion pack).  

To decorate, simply access the WORLD EDITOR again, and choose from the miscellaneous decor, trees and rocks.  

I used a lot of the reeds which really help make the surrounding areas look overgrown.  They need careful placement so that reeds aren't bursting through the walls and floor of your lot (unless you like that)!  

And that's it!  Hopefully, this short guide has helped you with lot placement.

Broken Walls aren't broken - so to speak!

You might have noticed in my upcoming creation that I once again have broken walls (similar to those I once made for Sims 2).

I actually made them a long time ago, but EA spotted what I was doing and swiftly introduced a nasty little bug with World adventures that left an ugly grey border where any seamless window was placed (and of course the broken walls are actually windows).

After the early expansion packs, I did routinely try them again and again, but no joy.  if anything, the fault became worse.  So these windows were allowed to join another 200 or so windows in my "dump it" folder (I tend to get ideas for windows, make them and then dump - it's a bad habit).

But yesterday, when preparing screenshots for my Industrial Tanks set, I decided to try one just for kicks - and it looked normal - totally correct!  So, at long last, I can finally launch these windows so your Sims towns can also be in ruins - literally.

Oh no - it's back!

Yes, it's me.  I'm back, and I'm creating again!

Unfortunately, picture uploading doesn't seem to be working, but what I have in the pipeline is a set of industrial tanks of all shapes and sizes that will be great for anyone wanting a more urban/industrial look or are building a farm or other building that might need tanks.  I have another lot in the Bridge Lane series coming (thanks for the requests on this - I'm really happy how popular this dark series has turned out to be, and a small, abandoned factory for those of you who enjoy downloading lots to renovate and make homes from.  Finally, I have some steel truss girders and columns that can support floor tiles or be built free-standing.  I'll likely do the same with some scaffolding and make that into a floor support set of the Cyclonesue kind.  Have a great day and, as always, thanks for all your wonderful comments!



Where do you do it?

I've been asked a few times now which world I use for my screenshots, and even if I would be willing to upload it.  However, you may well already have it!  I use Bridgeport (which came with the Late Night expansion pack).  

I had to butcher a few EA properties (mostly parks and stuff) but chose a spot with a neat view over the bay and with plenty of high-rise apartments to litter the view, and then all my 'Bridge Lane Railway' properties have been built along the same road (I have another of those ready for upload, by the way).

Ooh! Clean!

And so they should be!  

Dirty little Sims!  No more running through the house in wet cozzies straight out of the pool.  No indeed - time for the Changing Room, a place of singular horror residing in the dark memories of school-days gone by.

Yes, my new set is a cleaning-up thing.  I can't believe it.  Naturally, all that shiny stuff offers equally grotty variations that are more in my style.  So what's coming?

  • A working sliding curtain for cubicles (and separate fixed-open version - shown)
  • Stackable, recolorable lockers
  • Communal inter-connecting showers (for bold Sims)
  • Single shower for cubicle use (shy Sims!)
  • Sports bag - allows change of clothes when placed on the floor
  • Cubicle 1-tile wall-mounted bench
  • 3-tile full bench both with and without clothes pegs
  • Deco objects for pegs and benches
Depending on your Sims household, you can opt for open communal showers, or you can build your own shower and changing cubicles for total privacy with the curtain (open and sliding curtains both offer privacy).  Unfortunately, without some nasty little script modding, it's not possible to remove the 'privacy' requirement of showers.  If EA ever makes a communal shower, then I'll updates these.  In the meantime, make sure your Sims are all good friends if you want them to share.


Back so soon?!

Okay, scratch what I said before.

When I posted in June, I felt I owed it to people who come to my page to mention that I was no longer active, so I did. It had been six months since I'd last created anything - far too long, and so I handed in my dog-tags to TSR and said I was done. They said: "Whew!" I said: "Call me when Sims 4 happens."  I heard guffaws of laughter behind the closed (hastily bolted) doors where I should instead have heard: "Of COURSE we will!"!

And now here I am creating again!  The creative bug has bitten.  I have 9 pieces of the set finished - a sneak-peek of which is shown here.  

As if the game wasn't already full of useless pap!


The time has come...

If you hadn't noticed already by the tumbleweed blowing across my minisite, I haven't been terribly active for rather a long time, and so I've decided to step down for now. I'm no longer creating for The Sims and I'm no longer playing any active role in staff and admin here either, so for now I'm saying goodbye - but in the words of some big bossy guy, "I'll be back" - maybe. If there's a future Sims game that isn't locked down into fairyland pretty mode, you can bet your butt on it! Until then, I likely won't be here to answer personal messages and such, so should you ever encounter any rogue creations, simply 'report' them and a staff member will contact me. I just want to thank every downloader who ever downloaded something I made and put it in their game. There is no greater honour for a creator than that. And of course a BIG thank you to TSR!

Experts in the Bleeding Obvious walk this way!

The urban viaduct: something I've built for every Sims game - only in Sims 3 you get to build your own.  Well, I expect I'll build one too for all those who positively hate building (and for my own ego-gratification from succeeding in building a row of boxes in the name of lot design).  But you don't have to have my lot this time; just don't even contemplate making a better viaduct than mine, because I'll have to come destroy your PC if you do.

So far, the set contains a steel rail bridge (fence), rail track (fence), brick arch (decorative curtain-thing), sized-to-fit 3-tile windows (er, windows) and a notable absence of doors because I haven't had the patience to make any yet.  Everything else in the piccie you've already got, unless you kept fluffy hills, fluffy trees and fluffy bunnies in your game instead.  The fact you're even at my minisite gives me hope for you though.

And I LOVE that fabulous subway grate that came with, er, um, [insert-name-of-pack].  Anyway, thank you EA!!!  Who knew it could be this cool?!  Makes a great top-surface for the steel bridge.  Anyone wishing to point out about how the rail track stops dead at a barrier will be unceremoniously awarded my Golden EBO award (Expert in the Bleeding Obvious).  Yes, I know it does.  I'm currently inventing some grisly story (a.k.a excuse) in my head about it.



And a new picture to show taller viaducts (the arches like to be placed on walls so I used the moveobjects cheat...

Fixes you should download (NOT Pet fixes)!

I've been fixing content - making improvements that are long overdue.  Trouble is: even though they'll be listed in your Updated Content page, they'll probably be buried in your Pets-fixed stuff, so I'm going to list here what has been fixed and why. 

In every case, please uninstall the original before installing the replacement.  Unless otherwise stated, the replacements will reappear in lots where you've used them because the replacements have retained their same internal ID numbers...



Details of fixes and what you need to download are set out below:



Gravestone set - complete overhaul

This entire set has been updated and improved.  Every item can now be placed on slopes, repeat-buy is enabled and faulty sunshadows have been fixed.

Note: the original skull file could not be opened, so this new skull will not replace the old (you'll need to re-add it to anywhere you used the skull).  Everything else in the set will replace the old.

Ghastly Graves set


Prison set - bedding and desk slots fixed

The RigFixer did not fix bedding problems and so I fixed these myself, and the desk lost its computer-placement slot too.

Top bunk (ladder on right)
Top bunk (ladder on left)

Single cot bed (and bottom bunk)
Wall-mounted 1-tile modular desk



Colonial windows - Late Nights wall-masks problem fixed

All the 2-tile windows in this set were affected by the Late Nights bug, which meant that the wall masked part of the window when these windows were placed on diagonal walls.

The one-tile windows were unaffected and are fine.

Colonial windows




These changes have meant a few of my lots needed to be updated with the new content.  If you want the updated versions, uninstall the above-listed content first so that the lot can install the new updates...

The Old Clockwork Mill

Download (opens in new window)


Bracemoor Medium Security Jail

Download (opens in new window)


Spooky Hollow Graveyard

Download (opens in new window)

Gypsy Caravan Tutorial

To accompany the Gypsy Build Set being released, I've put together a very simple 10-step tutorial.  As well as demonstrating every part to creating a lot like the one shown on the right, it explains:

  • how to build the bases
  • which doors to use for which wagon
  • how to match your wallpapers to the wagon roofs

Link: Build Gypsy Caravans Tutorial


Latest Headlines

TUTORIAL: Placing lots of any... Broken Walls aren't broken - so... Oh no - it's back! Where do you do it? Ooh! Clean! Back so soon?! The time has come... Experts in the Bleeding Obvious... Fixes you should download (NOT... Gypsy Caravan Tutorial
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