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View Full Version : What are people looking for in a house?


AngelFrouk
25th Apr 2007, 2:35 PM
When you first start building it's hard to see what people are looking for in a house. What makes them want to download your house?
Everybody plays the game different. Person A will zoom in and out all the time, scrolling around like mad. Person B keeps the camera fixed in one position, almost sims1-like.

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/1941/camera1ed1.jpg
http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/7188/camera2rq3.jpg

The house itself:

When someone first starts building they usually think, the bigger the better! Big lots with big houses. But a recent thread (http://forums.sims2community.com/showthread.php?t=39689) on Sims2Community (posted April 24 2007) showed that most people want medium sized or big sized lots with small to medium sized houses. They want to be able to extend the house.

http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/8599/lotsize1dt6.jpg
http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/9080/lotsize2ix6.jpg

A basement in your house may seem like a good idea. A space saver as you wish. But the truth is, many people don't like them. It's hard to see what happens when your sim is in the basement. The camera can't go lower than ground level, so you need to rotate your camera up to get a view in the basement.

Many people have said that they don't like houses that have more than two stories. It takes a long time to get one sim from the third or even fourth story to the carpool when it's time for work.

The rooms must have a good size. Small rooms with lots of furniture sure look cozy, but do they work? If you put a table too close to the couch your sim will complain about how to sit down on that couch. Always make sure the sim can get to all furniture in a room. Testplay the lot if you aren't sure!

http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/5349/roomsize2xu2.jpg
http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/4319/roomsize1iv2.jpg

With the internal foundations in OFB we can all make nice interesting stairs. Try to use them. They will make your house more interesting.
If you want to use the normal stairs, you could think of getting two instead of one. Sims can't walk the stairs when another sim already is. Make sure your stairs aren't blocking the view into other rooms. It's fine if there's something tall behind, which you can easily click on (shower, fridge), but keep the people in mind who don't rotate the camera that much.

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/2387/stairs1ef4.jpg
http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4213/stairs2th7.jpg

Unlike real life, where one bathroom is more than enough for a family of four, sims 2 is different. A sim spends hours in the bathroom, and all he does is showering and peeing. Make sure you have enough bathrooms. I always have more than three. Most of the times i give each bedroom it's own (en-suite) bathroom.

A house on a foundation instantly makes you think wealthy. A few steps up to the front door gives you the feeling of humbleness. That's why palaces have huge stairs! In TS2 you can choose to have your house on a foundation or not. A house on the ground can look just as good as one on a foundation. Keep this in mind; toddlers, puppies and kittens can't go into the garden if your house is on a foundation. Your toddler can't go catch butterflies or play in the snow on it's own. Puppies can't reach that all important tree to relieve themselves. It's your choice, really.

http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/3568/foundation1yn1.jpg
http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/6576/foundation2gc5.jpg

AngelFrouk
25th Apr 2007, 2:55 PM
The garden:

Many people have said they wanted a big garden. Who knows what your sims end up with? Maybe they want a swimmingpool, or a hot tub, or a vegetable patch. Especially ponds take up a big space. Small ponds were great up to the Pets EP, but since you can fish in Seasons, they need to be relatively big to get them to work.

Many flowers and shrubs sure look great, but will it slow the lot down? Especially flowers are known memory hogs. If you're building on a small or medium sized lot, you will attract the people with the medium to low end computers. Many of which don't have much RAM. Many flowers will slow down their pc so much that they can't even delete the flowers in most cases.
If you want your lot to be attractive to everybody, keep this in mind!

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4057/garden1zw1.jpg
http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/6774/garden2qy2.jpg

If you're building a starterhome, you might choose not to put in a swimming pool or a garage. This would raise the cost of the house too much. A little over 20.000 simoleons isn't too bad, but a house that costs 35.000 or more isn't a real starter home, is it?
If you choose not to build that swimming pool, you can choose to leave room for it. The same goes for a garage. Even if you don't have NL, some others might have it and still want your lot. A drive way is 8 by 5 tiles, and needs a turn of 12 tiles. Try to keep room for this if you want to appeal to the widest audience.

http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/2024/driveway1nn3.jpg
http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/875/driveway2an3.jpg

A greenhouse for your sims is a great edition to your house. If you don't have Seasons, you can choose not to make room for it, but once again, if you do, your house will be attractive to more people. Of course you don't have to leave a blank spot, you can choose to put down a tree and tell in your post that people can move the tree and there will be enough room for a greenhouse or vegetable patch. Vegetable patches don't have to be very big. Tending your veggies will take a lot of time, and not everyone is using gardening hacks.

AngelFrouk
25th Apr 2007, 3:23 PM
Finally:

Be aware of the 'terrainpaint bug'. If you use terrainpaint on your lot and you remove your lot will flash blue. This problem isn't always solved by painting over. Try not to use terrainpaints on your lot other than Maxis ones. Best is no terrainpaints at all.

Shopping lists to get stuff from other sites are great if you know where to look. But if i tell you to get the curtains from 4eversimsfantasy, do you know which ones i am talking about? Probably not. Either include them if that's okay with the creator or don't use them at all. There are lots for download that have literally 20 or more items on the shopping list. Many people don't like that. They want a house with everything included or only Maxis furniture. Of course a short shopping list of 1 to 5 things isn't so bad. But 20 or more to many people is off putting and they don't download the house.

Custom content looks great in your house. But if you download a house with a custom kitchen you can't check how high the polygons are. If they are too high they can crash low end computers. It's better to use as little custom content as you can. Maxis furniture can look just as good as you match it.

Adequate lighting is very important. I've downloaded house before where the creator actually forgot to put in lights. When i went to play and it got dark the rooms were too dark to see where i needed to place the lighting. Test play the house to see if you have enough lights in your house. And don't forget the outside. Lighting outside is important too. Place some groundlights in flowerbeds or on your fence.

http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/7167/lighting2ag9.jpg
http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/6453/lighting1ik8.jpg

Fancy building tricks are really good. And of course you want to show off what you can do with them! We all understand that. But what if someone who downloads your lot wants to extend it? How would they do that if they don't know those cheats? Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you can't use them, but think about where you use them. Think about how easy it would be to extend your house if someone wants to do that.

Leveled terrain is important to many people too. An unleveled lot can seriously mess up your flat neighbourhood. And it's very hard to level that neighbourhood again. If you are building a regular house with no fancy groundwork, use a leveled terrain. There are flat terrains available in the game or you can choose to download a flat terrain.
If your neighbourhood isn't flat, you can make a new neighbourhood just for building.

http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/1161/unleveled1vb4.jpg

AngelFrouk
25th Apr 2007, 3:26 PM
If you concidering building a house for upload i would strongly suggest you take a look in our building wiki (http://db.modthesims2.com/wiki.php?title=Tutorials:Build_Mode_Tutorials).

Boolpropped and Phaenoh wrote a great tutorial on how to make your house more interesting to look at. Check it out here (http://www.sims2wiki.info/wiki.php?title=Tutorials:Better_Houses_-_Tips_and_Tricks).

If you are concidering uploading your house, please read out creator guidelines (http://www.modthesims2.com/forumdisplay.php?f=338).



I already linked to the build mode tutorials, but i wanted to point out these two very helpful threads:

Unfurnished = EP compatible? (http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=96826): This thread is dealing with the question if people really need the EP's the builder has to get the house to work.

List of sites with a friendly redistribution policy for build and buy mode items (http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=214984): This thread will help you establish if you can share your custom content.