Thursday, November 12, 2009

Combined Terrain, Part 1, Building

Here's a peek at the progress so far for Apple County-the combined terrain for Apple Valley, Apple Plains, Apple Valley Metro and Pierce University. I want to show you a step-by-step overview of the progress of building the new combined terrain.

Recall the plan for combined terrain, above. I always start with a plan, no matter how loose, there is a plan. I tend to build using the principles of new urbanism so taller buildings are restricted to a certain area of the hood, the hood is laid out in a pedestrain friendly manner.

To help me create the necessary lots I keep a list, taken from the Isle of Thyme tutorial linked on my main website, and check off as I create that lot (current according to snapshot in time #1):

  • Bookstore/Coffeehouse/Bakery = CupaJava, done

  • Baby/Toy Store = Toy Shoppe

  • City Hall/Newspaper Office = S.Grey Administration Bldg, done

  • Clothes Store/Salon/Jewelry=39th Ave, done

  • Clothes, Bridal=TBD

  • Farmer's Market = Grey Farms, done

  • Gentlemen's Club = not sure if I will put this in the hood again.

  • Gym = 39th Ave, done

  • Nightclub = 39th Ave, done

  • Park/Playground = I have several of these in my hood, 39th Ave/School/Jonagold Lane/TBD

  • Performance Hall/Music Venue = TBD

  • Pool Hall/Bowling Alley = TBD

  • Pub/Restaurant = Several, 39th Ave; Apple Square;

  • Art Gallery/Photo Studio = Herendez Art Gallery

  • Church and Cemetary= Memorial Church

  • Medical Center=39th Ave, done

  • Firehouse = TBD

  • Jail/Police Station = TBD

  • School = done

  • Hotel = 39th Ave, done

  • The Brothel/House of Ill Repute = TBD

  • University Campus=Pierce University Campus, done

  • Beach lot = TBD

Residential Lots

  • Dawson home = done

  • Humphrey home=done

  • Humphrey, Faith home=Metropolis Apts, done

  • Grey home = done

  • Wilsonoff home=Jondgold Lane, done

  • Herendez home=Jonagold Lane, done

  • Kent home=Jonagold Lane, done

  • Warwick Home=Jonagold Lane, done

  • McMillian home=Metro Townhomes

  • Sweeny home=Metro Townhomes

  • Yoo home=Metro Lofts, done

  • Shazad home=Daniels Townhomes

Snapshot in Time #1

Behold, the work in progress, snapshot in time #1. Pierce University has been moved to be closer to the Metro (the beige buildings near the rocks) otherwise the plans have stayed the same as the original plan. A few pieces of essential hood decor have been added such as the train tracks, Lady Bella and some rocks blocking the view of the train tracks from the Metro-they intefer with the whole urban vibe.

I tend to custom build most of my lots so that I have have the crowded city like vibe needed. Most pre-built lots don't give me the same ambience when placed around in my hood, unless I use the same builder, which I don't.

For example the Apple Valley section above is actually only five lots. The school (dark brown building) is a 3x2 lot, next to a pre-built, but highly altered 2x2 shopping lot (which I'm not happy with the height towering over the rest of the buildings, so it may face the chopping block soon), in the middle is a 3x5 lot with a "street" going through it and four homes and private spa/playground/pool in my 'apartment style, but not apartments' gated community style. On the other side is a 3x2 custom lot for formal events, outdoor dining and basic shopping, next to another pre-built, but highly altered 2x2 lot which contains the admistration offices.

Snapshot in Time #2

I borrowed quite a few of the lots from the other Apple Valley neighborhood. Why reinvent the wheel when I have handcrafted some lots that I truly love, playtested and am happy with. As a result, I deleted some of the prebuilt metro lots and rearranged the Metro. The way it looks now, Pierce University has the land reserved near the rocks for future expansions while the Metro then spills over the to the rest of the upper island. The lofts are towering over other buildings in the Metro and it looks so lonely without any buildings around it, so I plan on adding some taller (4+ levels) buildings near it or simply adding some neighborhood urban building decor.

Apple Valley has expanded a bit beyond it's quadrant with the addition of some parks, sim-owned businesses, church and additional housing. I added more neighborhood decor in the form of lighthouses, waterfalls and rural decor in Apple Plains.

You might notice that there are some empty lots. They are reserved for certain functions, but until I can come up with a plan, they will sit empty.


  1. Looking good!

    I still need to build/download some of those community lots myself, almost 100 game years into my hood!

  2. -Carla, I find that hard to believe! Sullivan is so fleshed out!

  3. This reminds me so much of my efforts to build the Cove. I thought I was going to die it was taking so long. You've manage to get a lot done really fast and it looks good.

  4. -HeredonCove, thanks. It helped that I had some pre=built lots from the old terrain to make things move faster.

  5. This is looking amazing!!! I never finished doing mine, mostly cause I started back on a laptop. You inspire me to redo the entire thing! I don't know if I'm ballsy enough to do it though!

    How are you doing the actual hood, is it an add on to the one they all live in now, like a shopping district? Just curious how you will move all the citizens, if it's subhood or if you are saving their files and starting new.

  6. -maisie, thanks. The citizens are moving and starting anew, so I use SimPE to transfer their files (using export) and then I recreate their backgrounds, skills, job levels and relationships. This is a brand new hood, not an add-on since the old hood was getting buggy.


Thanks for reading and commenting!


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