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Sims 3 Lot Upload Guidelines

When uploading a lot for The Sims 3 to Mod The Sims, we have some basic requirements to ensure that your upload is good, shown well, and has the correct info and files needed for people to use it in their games. This allows both moderators to check your uploads for quality, and for downloaders to see if your item is something they want to add to their games.


Quality

  • Realism: Lots based on an actual building type or specific building should look like what it supposed to resemble (for example a castle should not just be a huge building with stone walls, but should look like an actual castle). Lots not intended to be realistic can be more fanciful, but should still have some logic to them, and be aesthetically pleasing.
  • Architecture: The way the lot is built should be unique, interesting, and more than just a basic box with four walls and a roof.
  • Playability: The layout of the lot should make sense and allow sims to get around easily, with access to all the items they would want to interact with.
  • Roofing: The roof pieces should connect each other nicely, and not leave gaps or connect at odd angles. The roof should fit the structure, look nice, and not just be an auto-roof (or resemble one).
  • Furnishing/decoration: While we strongly encourage you to give lots at least basic furnishings (bed, toilet, shower, sink, fridge, lighting, etc.), it is not absolutely required to upload to MTS. Your lot can be an empty "shell" but should have a fully built structure, wall and floor coverings, and landscaping. You may include both a furnished and an unfurnished version of your lot separately in your upload.
  • Landscaping: Your lot should have nice landscaping that fits the overall style, with most styles of lots having at least some well-placed plants and terrain paint, while fancier lots should have more.
  • Create-a-Style: Get creative with and explore the options available with the CAST tool. Just make sure your finished CASTing works together with your lot's style, makes some sort of sense, and doesn't require sunglasses to view. Generally this should mean:
    • Use textures that look appropriate on surfaces. For example, some of the EA stone textures look great applied to a couch when the colours are tweaked to look like velvet. So you shouldn't feel too constrained by the categories. But most houses probably don't need a leopard print toilet or a wicker bathtub.
    • Your textures shouldn't be too bright/saturated, or too dark. Try to use full-saturation colours sparingly, and if you're making something black, you usually shouldn't use 100% black as it just looks like a "hole" without any dimension to it. Try using dark grey instead.
    • Avoid using some of the EA stone presets or very busy patterns in large areas, as they look very "repeaty" and can create an overwhelming effect.
    • Try to use harmonious colours that work with the lot's style. Look at real-life decorating sites or magazines for inspiration
  • Flat lot: Whenever possible, lots should be flat around the edges, so they can be placed easily in peoples' games. If a lot is not flat, there should be a good reason for it (like a beach or a house built into a hillside). Make sure to tell people that the lot isn't flat, if you do this.


Files

Packaging your lot
TS3-LotShare.jpg

Once you have finished building your lot in the game, you will need to save, then Edit Town. Select your lot and click the Share button on the lot panel.

Enter the lot name and description on the next screen, and then click the checkmark. When it's done, you'll have a new .sims3pack file.

TS3-ExportedLot.jpg

Lots are saved to the Exports folder: My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Exports

Custom content in the sims3pack
  • Did you use custom content when making the lot?
If the answer to that question is no, great! It will be much easier to fill out the required information for your lot. If you did use custom content, then you need to consider the following:
  • Should I share my lot with no custom content in it?
There are two file types of custom content: .package files, and .sims3pack files. Package files never include themselves in your lot file, but sims3packs may be included (though not always). If you have used sims3pack content, you may need to clean your lot file in following cases, so that the files are not actually included:
  • Did you use a lot of sims3pack content? Consider cleaning your sims3pack with CUSTARD to reduce the file size.
  • Do the creators of the sims3pack content allow redistribution of their content? If their policy says no, you must remove their content from your .sims3pack file with CUSTARD.

Make sure to read the Other section in the bottom of this page, so you'll know what custom content you can and can't use when uploading a lot to MTS (included or not).

Remove Custom Content with CUSTARD
Custard01.jpg
Custard02.jpg
  • Download and install CUSTARD
  • Open your .sims3pack in CUSTARD
  • Untick any custom content files you don't want to include
  • File > Save As and save your file with a new name.

Once you have cleaned out your file, you must create a "shopping list" for the content. This means finding the download pages for all the items and linking to them in your upload description. See the Information section for how to do that.

Zip, Rar, or 7z
To upload your file(s) to MTS, you will need to compress them into an archive file, which makes them smaller and allows you to include many files in one download. The archive file formats we currently accept are .zip, .rar, and .7z.

For instructions on compressing your files into an archive, please see: Creator Guidelines: Creating Archive Files.

  • Do not include multiple archives with the same contents - that is, please don't put your files in both a .zip as well as a .rar because some people only want .zip files. Choose one format.
  • Do not double-compress your files... a .rar file inside another .rar file (or any other archive inside another) doesn't compress it anymore, and it makes it so we can't see the contents without downloading, and also just makes an extra step for the people downloading.
  • The file size limit on MTS is 50 mb. If you exceed this limit you will need to split your archives. This should probably never come up except for large worlds for The Sims 3, or huge sets of smaller items.

Information

Title & Description
Give your upload a descriptive title and write a text description for your upload, describing what you're uploading. Your title and description must be in English or provide an English translation. If you are not a native English speaker, using Google Translate is okay. You can also ask for help writing your description in the Creator Feedback Forum.
Required information
  • Lot size: The lot's size, for example 20x30
  • Lot price: The price to purchase the lot - both the unfurnished and furnished prices
  • Included custom content: List custom content that has been included within the lot file or the archive, with links to the download page. Items that should be listed as included are:
    • Sims3pack custom content items that are part of your sims3pack lot file (not cleaned out with CUSTARD)
    • Package files or sims3pack files you have manually added to the archive alongside your sims3pack lot file (usually content you yourself have made)
  • Required, but not included custom content: List custom content you have used on the lot, but not included within the lot file or the archive, with links to the download page. This is a "shopping list" for your downloaders and will include:
    • Sims3pack format content you have cleaned from your lot file using CUSTARD
    • Package format content that you have used on your lot.

Every item used on your lot - included or not - must have a link and credit to the creator, and if the item is not included, your link must go directly to the place where the item can be downloaded (not just the main site or the creator's profile). This should look something like: "Wood Pattern 3 by Armiel: http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=511126" - what the item is, the creator's name, and a direct link to where the item can be downloaded.

If you made your lot without CC, you of course don't need to list any. A note: "No CC" or "Made without custom content" is nice to have, but not mandatory.

Game version and required EPs/SPs

In TS3 lots can be installed regardless of the expansions (EPs) or stuff packs (SPs) it was built with, as long as the downloader has the same patch version or greater. EP/SP specific content will just leave empty spaces. If you've used a considerable amount of content from an EP/SP, or the items used are essential to the look of the lot, you must list it as being required.

Please list the base game version that the lot was built with. This will look something like 1.63 - 1-dot-something. For information, see: Finding Game Version

Tip: If you would like to create lots which require only the expansion packs actually for the build features you're using, you can use johna's AnyGameStarter.


Screenshots

You'll need to include at least:
  • Front view: A picture of the front of your lot with all levels showing, from a low enough angle that it shows the structure well.
  • Floorplans: An overhead picture of each floor.

Keep the following in mind for your screenshots, especially the required ones:

  • Size: 600 pixels or more on the smallest side is a good size to aim for. Your images can be up to 2560x1440 pixels, and 800 kb, so you have lots of space to work with!
  • Lighting: For most things, it's best to take pictures in an interior room with good lighting. For lots, pictures should be taken during a nice sunny da, for floorplans, take the pictures with the lights ON.
  • Clarity: Neither blurry, nor pixellated/crunchy. Do not size up small pictures to make a large one as this will blur them, and make sure not to use too much compression/too low quality when saving your images.
  • Distance: Take your pictures so that your creation fills the screen without anything cut off at top or bottom - neither zoomed in too close, nor zoomed out too far.
  • Distortion: If you resize your images, retain the aspect ratio so they don't get stretched or squashed. In TS2, make sure "use square pixels" is ticked in your game options.Take care when zooming in and out with the camera that you do not create a fisheye effect on your pictures.
  • Photoshopping: Do not apply filters like sharpen, contrast, etc. to the required pictures, as downloaders want to see what your creation will look like in their game, not your skills at using Photoshop.
  • Attached: All required images must be attached directly to the MTS upload, not just inserted using the img tag, so that even if the pics get deleted from your Photobucket (or other host), the upload on MTS is still complete.
  • Show all items: For most areas, if you are uploading a set, you must take all the required pics for each item in the set. If there is an exception, it will be noted.
  • Picture limit: You may upload up to 100 pictures for a single upload thread, so feel free to add some additional pictures just to show off your work to its best. Of course, keep it reasonable - nobody needs 50 pics to show off one sim or hair.
  • Inline pictures: Inline pictures are those that use the [img] tag to show up in with the description text. So that it doesn't take too long to load, please keep this to no more than 4 pictures done inline, unless you put them inside an [infobutton] tag. To do this, see our guide on post formatting.

Please remember, for your required pictures:

  • As packaged: Your pictures should show your lot as you have packaged it, so that what downloaders see is what they'll actually get, or need to download, for the lot to look the same in their game.
Nice to have, but not mandatory:
  • Unobstructed views: If your lot has dense foliage blocking the view of the house.
  • Comparison pictures: If your lot is based on a real building.
  • Back picture: Showing the lot from the rear.
  • Other pictures: Showing the rooms, landscaping, etc. from a sim's eye view, to give an idea of the feel of the lot.


Other

Uploads not allowed on MTS
These items are not allowed on MTS in any category.
Pay/Pirated Content

Everything required or recommended for an upload must be freely available, without having to pay.

  • No uploads requiring pay content: We do not host content (for example, recolours of a pay hair or object mesh) that absolutely require pay content to function in-game.
  • No optional pay, pirated, or stolen content: Even for optional or recommended content not absolutely required for the creation to work (for example, hair on a sim or a couch on a lot), this means:
    • No content you must pay for. This means you cannot use items that are pay, donation, subscriber only, "special gift", etc. type content, anything accessible only when you pay money or subscribe.
    • No content from sites that are repositories of unmodified content when it is still available from the original creator, whether these items are pay or free (no Booty or Simscave, torrents, sites full of stolen content or similar, but the Graveyard and sites that offer recolours or modifications with the mesh are okay).
    • No EA content simply converted to base game use with no other changes.
    • No pirated EA Store content. EA Store content, linked to the legitimate EA Store, is okay though.
Other content not allowed
  • Items that belong on the adult site: No content posted on MTS can have visible nudity, sexual content, or adult content, and instead must be posted on our adult site, Sexy Sims. This means on MTS, you may not post:
    • Content that contains nudity, which we define as exposing the female nipples, or the butt crack/genitals of either gender, including semi-transparent stuff like a sheer bra. Items that are merely "sexy" like skimpy miniskirts or string bikinis are fine on MTS. Transsexual/transgender items are also not considered adult content unless they contain nudity.
    • Skintones containing genital details - female nipples are okay on MTS but see below regarding screenshots.
    • Images of skintones with uncensored female nipples. Please blur or cover the nipples, butt crack, and genital area when taking screenshots of your skintones.
    • Fine art uploads containing visible nudity.
    • Items with specifically sexual content (sex toys, sexual poses).
    • Items containing swear/curse words
    • Items relating to illegal drugs. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs, alcohol, and tobacco are okay on MTS though.
  • Sexualized children: We do not allow any sexy/sexualized content for baby, toddler, or child sims in any way - no breasts whatsoever on child sims, no "sexy" outfits, etc. If you want to make preteens, make a less developed body for teen sims. Sexualized child content is not allowed at our adult site either.
  • Offensive content: Racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, bigoted, hateful or otherwise offensive content will not be allowed. Again, also not allowed at our adult site.
  • EXE installers: Creators are not allowed to post exe (or other executable) files for any area of the site but Modding Tools. If your content needs to be installed to a certain directory, you can compress your files and leave the directory structure intact, so you can tell people to just install to Program Files, for instance, and the files will go where they need to. Executable installers can easily hold viruses, and are generally not needed for installing most content.
  • Preorder bonus content: Certain items were only available if you preordered certain expansions or stuff packs from certain retailers. It's unfortunate if someone missed out on getting them, but they can't be redistributed here as EA has made it clear that they do not allow it.
  • Unmodified EP/SP/Store content: While it is common practice to modify and use bits and pieces of game content to create custom content, extracting content from an expansion, stuff pack, or Store item and uploading it unmodified is not allowed on this site. You are welcome to upload significantly modified versions of expansion, stuff pack, or Store content, but you can't just be ripping it and changing one tiny thing (or nothing) just so people who didn't purchase it can still use it.
  • Converted game content: You can freely modify Sims 2 or Sims 3 meshes and textures for use in Sims 2/Sims 3, and EA doesn't seem to mind TS2-to-TS3 or TS3-to-TS2 conversions of game/store content. However, you may not use meshes and textures from any other game to make Sims 2/3 content to upload without permission from the original creator - i.e. the company that made the game you're taking pieces from.
  • Stolen/reuploaded content: This should go without saying, but do not upload content made by others and claim it as your own, in whole or in part. Don't upload the work of someone else without their permission... if they wanted to share it at MTS, they can easily upload it here themselves.
  • Uncredited content/violating permissions: If any part of what you have uploaded (mesh, textures, alphas, bump maps, coding, etc.) comes from another user's work, you MUST provide a link and credit in the text of your post, for the original creator. State what you've used of theirs, their creator name, and give a link back to them. You must check the creator's policies to see if you can use their content in the way you want, and you may not violate any policies stated. If there are no policies or they don't disallow your type of usage, then you can assume it's okay. Please see here for more details: Updates and Remixes of Creations.
  • Redirects: If you want to move a creation to another site, please remove your upload from MTS, don't just edit the text to point to a different site.
Tips:
  • If your upload is rejected or marked as changes required and you're not sure why, ask in Creator Issues.
  • If you're not sure whether your lots are ready for uploading, use the Creator Feedback Forum to get feedback on it.