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Featured upload! Decorative Parking Spaces - with random cars parked

by MogHughson Posted 18th May 2009 at 3:45 PM - Updated 17th May 2011 at 6:16 PM by MogHughson : Removed internal categorisation as a driveway
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This is a featured upload! It showcases the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.
*Updated 7th November 2010*
Removed internal categorisation as a driveway so cars don't park in it - see section below
In the very first Sims 2 game I was curious why the various community lots in Pleasantview had large car parking areas where there were no cars. Then the Nightlife Expansion Pack came out and Sims had cars to drive, but parked on the side of the road when visiting community lots. I find these empty car parks a little bit spooky and decided to make an object to create a little life in the car parks. I also made it possible to Park in the Car Park in another mod.

Now I know there are placeable objects with the same meshes as the cars which you can download and decorate your community lot car parks with, but for me there were some downsides to that scheme.
  • You would have every car mesh in your download folder twice.
  • Everytime you visited the lot, exactly the same cars would be parked in the car park. That's spooky in itself!
  • I would have to try to arrange them in a random manner and I'm not that artistic. I prefer to have the game surprise me.


So what it is and how do I use it?
This object is a Decorative Parking space. When placed on a lot it will randomly generate a car parked in the space. To use it, first lay your prefered car park flooring; e.g tarmac, grass, cobblestones, then locate the Decorative Parking Space object in Build Mode->Garage (along with the driveways) and place one or more of them on top of your pre-prepared car park flooring.

Cars will only be generated when live mode starts. Then the cars generated will stick for the period of time you are at the community lot. This has an extra benefit - if you don't like the random selection of cars that have been generated you can try again, by switching out of and then back to live mode.

The randomness of cars
The cars will be randomly generated from the ownable cars available in your game and downloads folders (see small caveat). The randomness is based on the time of day and the type of community lot and should thus mean that an appropriate number of cars are parked whenever you are visiting your community lot.

A note about the generated cars
These cars in the parking spaces are not yours, someone else parked them there. You can't sit in them, drive away in them, or in any way use them. All interactions on these cars have been disabled. This should have no affect on your real cars (i.e. those that are not generated by the parking space). If you see any problems of course let me know.

Expansion Pack Requirements
This object works with all EPs from NightLife onwards, including if you do not have NightLife, but do have Numenors Driveable Cars without NL. If you have no EPs beyond Nightlife (i.e. you have NL only or UNI and NL) please download the additional package entitled "NIGHTLIFE-ONLY-decorative-parking-space-Mog-20090327" in addition to the main package. If you have any EP beyond NightLife do not download this additional package.

Please note: You must have the NightLife EP OR any EP/SP later than NL as per the description of Numenors Driveable Cars without NL. In short, if you have cars, you can use this mod.

Parking Space symbols
Apart from the choice of dashed and solid, white and yellow lines, or no lines at the edges of the parking spaces, you have a choice of symbols to annotate your parking space with:-
  • Plain ordinary parking space
  • Disabled parking space symbol
  • Oil patch in middle of parking space
  • Mother and Child parking space symbol
  • Chalk outline

Of course if there is a car parked in the parking space you won't be able to see them, but occaisionally they will be visible and will surprise you again!

There are also custom thumbnails for the catalog since the object is mainly transparent which made it difficult to see which lines or symbol you were choosing.

Example Lots
These are some photos of a variety of lots that you will likely recognise (they are EA provided lots) that I had added car parks to, to illustrate how this would look. Please note that although the photos change with each time slot, when playing with these car parking spaces, the cars will not change unless you switch out of and back into live mode as noted above. Also I built Parcheggio Mall which uses these parking spaces.

290 Main Street in Pleasantview
This lot always had an empty car park (and was one of the triggers for me making this object originally) - so I have simply added transparent decorative parking spaces in between the lines already marked out. This lot is considered an 'Other' (at least as it comes in the game). photo

Rodney's Hideout in Downtown
This lot had a pond next to it, so for these photos, I replaced the pond with a small car park. This lot is considered a 'Restaurant'. photo

LuLu Lounge in Downtown
This lot had number of decorative pools adding to the ambience of the outside view. Here, most of them are replaced with car parking spaces. This lot is considered to be a 'Nightclub'. photo

Sky Vista Hotel in Three Lakes
I removed a tree filled area here to place a grassy/bark surface car park using the completely transparent version. This lot is considered to be a 'Hotel'. photo


Which cars are actually used?
In order to have any specific car mesh found and used in your car parking space, that car must be marked with a particular selector value. This package comes with an additional separate download with the Maxis cars marked appropriately. If you are using this with Numenors Driveable Cars without NL do not download this additional package. The cars.package that comes with that mod is updated to work with this mod - use it instead. For custom cars, there is a very small step that anyone familiar with SimPE could do for themselves, or, hopefully, car mesh owners will gradually update their cars to include. For details go here. Check out the Related Pages tab. I will put links here to cars that I am aware of having been updated in this way.

I do not currently know of any hacks that this mod might conflict with, but of course there is always the possibility. For the benefit of other modders, the details are below.


Cheers
Mog

Update History
20May2009
  • Now works for user with no EPs beyond Nightlife, see here
  • Thanks to a suggestion from Numenor, I am able to include custom DJ Booths when determining whether a lot is a NightClub lot.
22Nov2009
  • Now works with Numenors Driveable Cars without NL - thanks to thesims29 for letting me know that it was such a simple change and testing it out for me. The Cars.package in Numenor's download is updated to work with this mod.
  • Maxis cars now removed from the main mod package and available as a separately downloadable package. If you want the Maxis cars to show up in your parking space and you DO have NightLife, then download that package as well.
31Jan2010
  • Fixed an issue with the Maxis Pickup Truck where my update to it meant that it didn't show up anymore.

07Nov2010
  • Removed internal categorisation as a driveway - to allow it to work with Park in Car Park mod, otherwise cars try to park in it!

Additional Credits:
Quaxi for SimPE.
Creators of Wings3D.
Echo for her tutorial on Understanding the Scenegraph without which I'd have never got this started (Driveways are very annoying!).
Numenor for this which got me past the invisibility problem, for the AnyGameStarter and for the know-how to find Custom Content DJ Booths.
tunaisafish for all the advice that produced this tutorial without which this object couldn't be made to work with all the custom content cars out there. In fact without which it would have been a complete non-starter.
Jasana_BugBreeder for all the help with custom thumbnails that produced these two tutorials.
Thanks to psychosim0 for the idea of a 'Nightclub' community lot type.
Thanks to melethana for the chalk outline idea.
Thanks to thesims29 for letting me know that it was such a simple change and testing it out for me.
Thanks to Clarina for reporting the problem with the Maxis Pickup Truck.

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

Nightlife
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
decorative-parking-space-Mog-20090327.rar | Description: A decorative parking space 138.9 KB 38,235 18th May 2009
NIGHTLIFE-ONLY-decorative-parking-space-Mog-20090327.rar | Description: Additional package required for user with no EPs beyond NightLife 334 Bytes 15,382 20th May 2009
MUST-HAVE-NIGHTLIFE-maxis-ownable-cars-Mog-20090327.rar | Description: Maxis cars updated to work with the parking space - DO NOT Download if using with Numenor's "Driveable Cars without NL" 602 Bytes 18,996 22nd Nov 2009
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Basic Download and Install Instructions:

1. Download: Click the download link to save the .rar or .zip file(s) to your computer.

2. Extract: Use WinRAR (Windows) or Stuffit (Mac) to extract the .package file(s) from the .rar or .zip file(s).

3. Place in Downloads Folder: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your Downloads folder:
  • Windows XP: Documents and Settings\(Current User Account)\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Windows Vista/7/8: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Mac: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\

-or-

4. Place in Program Files: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your appropriate Install folder:
  • Windows XP: C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 (Your Latest EP)\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Windows Vista/7/8: C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 (Your Latest EP)\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Windows Vista/7/8: C:\Program Files(x86)\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 (Your Latest EP)\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Origin: C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun with Pets\SP9\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Mac: APPLICATIONS FOLDER -> THE SIMS 2 -> TSDATA -> RES -> CATALOG


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