Author Topic: Tutorial: Apartment Building  (Read 248161 times)

Andrew

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Tutorial: Apartment Building
« on: November 10, 2010, 07:33:39 PM »
Scroll down for the Tutorial or use this link.



How would one go about building apartments? I have I feeling it is a very complicated process. I imagine you would need to use buydebug to define certain rooms. Any ideas? ???

Offline TGBlank

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010, 07:51:07 PM »
Apartments are like normal lots, with some extra bits. If you've ever built a WA tomb, it's similar.

There's a few things that are special: the public room marker is used on parts like the lobby so everything in that area doesn't count for lot price (and can't be edited normally on build/buy mode), the hidden room marker  is used to make rooms black and hide them, the doors of your neighboors have been set as "NPC" doors through testingcheatsenabled and shift-clicking. Finally, there's the call-box and the trash chute, they're not available even with buydebug, so you have to either use a mod or start from an existing apartment and avoid deleting those.

For doors to be set as npc doors, they need to lead to an enclosed public area btw. You can also set neighboor sound to them (pick the nearest to the playable apartment and set it in that one). The call-box needs to be in a public area or outside to work as intended.

As for the shell buildings themselves, they're not directly available, so you'll have to start from an existing building or use a mod.

EDIT: forgot to add, you may find the "rbbb off" cheat useful for editing public areas.



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MLBerry

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 08:59:14 AM »
What is the "rbbb off" cheat?  And I am sure I have seen the laundry chute somewhere.  Also is there a tutorial anywhere that will walk us through this step by step?

Offline Joria

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2010, 05:22:23 PM »
Apartments are like normal lots, with some extra bits. If you've ever built a WA tomb, it's similar.

As for the shell buildings themselves, they're not directly available, so you'll have to start from an existing building or use a mod.

EDIT: forgot to add, you may find the "rbbb off" cheat useful for editing public areas.

1.  Sounds like somebody, (you), need to write a tutorial on apartment building.  (please?)

2. Shell buildings can be obtained in buydebug in the miscellaneous section.

rbbb off is restrictbuildbuyinbuilding on/off   This is case sensitive and I'm not sure I have it typed correctly but by playing with caps for first letters of words and adding spaces you'd soon figure it out.
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Offline Jonna

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2010, 09:28:43 PM »
I made one apartment a few weeks ago, it was easier than I'd anticipated.  The idea was that the bottom floor is a "store" (I made a laundromat and placed a Public Space marker in it at the end) and that there are apartments available on the upper floors.  So I made a rear entrance to the bottom floor, a little room that I designated the lobby, with a callbox and elevator.  The elevator goes up a floor, to a hallway with two doors, one to the real apt, and one to the hidden apt.  You could always create more apartments to be hidden, just depends on how you want to design the building.  So anyway.  Place the walls you want first, then add the markers at the very end.  My building had the hidden apt at the very front of the building (so theoretically, the NPC who "lives" there would have windows facing the street), whereas the real apt, the one that sims can actually move into, has windows facing the ocean.  I made the apt three stories tall, and made a flat roof so I could have a "common" area.  I threw up a fence around the roof for safety (not that sims would actually fall off, thankfully), and added a hot tub, dance floor, buffet, etc until I was finished and I added a public space marker to the area.  Oh, to the ground floor, I added some dirt so that the sims could garden.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to alter the area because it was "outside my unit" but thankfully, when I play-tested, the game let me garden there.

You'll have to play a little bit with the cheats (I only needed to use testingcheatsenabled and rbbb which stands for something like restrictbuildbuyinbuildings - I never get it right, I always have to check the cheats window - type in Help), but it's not hard to get the hang of.

Offline Jonna

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2011, 10:23:51 PM »
Here we go.  Hope this helps those who are interested in building apartments...:

First pick a lot.  I've chosen the lot in Sunset Valley next to Jared and Connor Frio.  You need to decide pretty early on how many stories you want your apartment, how nice you want it to be, and how many amenities you wish to offer the residents.



So the first thing I decide is that I want my building to have a garage, so that's what I build first, although that's really not necessary.  I also build the ground floor of the building.  It's not necessary to do it like I did, you can make the lobby area as big or as small as you'd like.  You can certainly decorate it, add a restroom, laundromat, etc.  The elevator is important, though!  Your sims need to be able to go upstairs to reach their home.  I also left space in the back for a yard.



So now I'm going to figure out how tall I want my building, how big I want the actual apartment vs. how much space the NPC apartment (or apartments) gets.  I decide that the apartment itself will cover two stories, and the roof will be a common area.  So I put down floors, then put up walls and figure out where the inside walls go.  I decide on a small hallway by the elevator on the second floor and then add two doors, one for my apartment, and one for the NPC apartment (shift+click on the NPC door, then click on Set as NPC to make an NPC live there).



Add the third story, put in some walls, windows, and doors (doors not shown), along with elevator shaft:


Then I'm ready for the rooftop area.  I put down the floor, add the walls for the elevator, add the elevator, fence it in, and voila!  Ready for Buy Mode.


Well, except for things like paint on the walls and different types of flooring.  Right now, everything is white tile!

Also, please note that at this time, I haven't used a single cheat.

Offline Jonna

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2011, 10:36:20 PM »
So now we have the basic outline of our new apartment.  Time to make it become functional!  And look pretty, except I'm not much of a decorator (or even builder, as far as that goes), so you'll just have to suffer with some boring screen shots.

Here I've thrown some items on the roof, you can choose whatever items you'd like.  Later we will make this a public space.  You can even add a hot tub, just make sure that you place it over your NPC neighbor's apartment, so your sims don't have to suffer with the bottom of it protruding on their living quarters!  NPCs don't complain about things like that.



So here we've got the third floor of the building.  I've added some furniture.



And then the second floor, where I've added very little and you're just going to have to use your imagination.



So then let's go ahead and add the backyard to the ground floor.  I've dedicated a patch of it to a garden.



Once you've placed everything you want your building to have (don't forget lights!), you're ready to start using building cheats.  Ctrl+Shift+C > testingcheatsenabled true and buydebug.

I want to place some plants in the garden, so I'll go ahead and do so:


Next we shall cover placing Room Markers!



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Offline Jonna

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2011, 10:52:03 PM »
We're at the point where we've almost finished our apartment and we just need to add our room markers!  (Have I mentioned that you need to be finished making your building look how you want?  That includes adding windows to the NPC's apartment so that the building doesn't look strange with only half of it being windowed!)  It's fun to watch the price of your apartment go down with every marker you place.  Let's go to buydebug, which is in Buy Mode > Sort by Function > ?.  Go to the last tab called Misc. Objects, and scroll down until you see the orb called Hidden Room Marker.  Place this marker in every room that your sims will not be using - basically, the places where the NPC will be "living."

So I'm adding the marker to the second and third floors.  Once we get into Live Mode, these rooms will be blacked out.  I try to add the marker to the part of the room that is farthest away from the real apartment, because I've had trouble earlier with the marker affecting Buy and Build modes (that is to say, if it's too close, it might tell you that you can't change something in your apartment because it's outside your unit, even though it's really not).





Now it's time for the Public Space Marker.  This orb is in the same tab as the Hidden Room Marker, keep scrolling down until you find it.  This marker is for all the rooms that you want your sims to be able to use, but not own any of the objects.  For this particular building, this means the lobby, the second floor hallway by the elevator, the garage, the roof, and the yard.







So that's pretty much it!  If you realize that you've forgotten to do something once you've got your markers placed, input restrictbuildbuyinbuildings off into your cheats window, and fix what you need to, then you can turn it back on when you've finished.

Stay tuned for a couple more screen shots of the apartment in action.

Offline Jonna

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 10:59:39 PM »
Now we're living!  Here you can see that the garden is fully functional (meaning you can plant on the ground!  No getting denied because it's outside your unit!).



We can also place a car down in the garage, in case you were worried.  Also, you can find either callbox in Buy Mode > Sort by Function > Electronics > Miscellaneous Electronics:



And here you can see that our Hidden Room Marker worked (not that you had doubts!):



So there you go!  Now have some fun making much nicer apartments than I!  This one only costs its inhabitants a cool $15,697 furnished (if you can even consider this furnished! lol), and $11,521 unfurnished.


Offline folcon

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2011, 11:37:52 PM »
Not bad.  I'm impressed.

Offline CharlotteDaBookworm

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2011, 03:44:38 AM »
The callboxes can also be found in the alarms section.

Offline RubyLovesSims

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2011, 09:34:13 PM »
That was really usful! I couldn't find  photos anywhere!
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Offline MasterSiwel

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2011, 02:54:08 AM »
@Jonna The thing I like about those apartments is the spaciousness. Really I've had space issues with my last apartments. But for that one its big enough for changing around furniture.
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Offline gerrr00

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2011, 03:24:19 AM »
Thank you Jonna, I love your tutorial.  I can't wait to try and build one now.  I didn't want to take the time to figure it out, so thank you, again, for all your work.  :)  Maybe Carl can try to add this information to the guide in the building area.
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Offline MasterSiwel

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2011, 03:47:54 AM »
Thank you Jonna, I love your tutorial.  I can't wait to try and build one now.  I didn't want to take the time to figure it out, so thank you, again, for all your work.  :)  Maybe Carl can try to add this information to the guide in the building area.

I think we should have that as a tutorial. It was actually quite helpful!
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Offline Jonna

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2011, 12:05:45 PM »
I'm glad you all liked it and found it helpful.  As for putting it up on Carl's Guide, it should probably be done by someone who can actually build a nice looking apartment, and then the tutorial apartment could be available to download from the Swap Shop!  ;)

@Jonna The thing I like about those apartments is the spaciousness. Really I've had space issues with my last apartments. But for that one its big enough for changing around furniture.

For many of the apartments that came with LN, you can use the cheat restrictbuildbuyinbuildings off to move walls and give yourself more space.  Just try to move the Hidden Room Markers farther away from your own apartment.  I believe there are a couple apartments that take up the entire floor, so using that cheat won't get you any extra space, although you could use it to add items to other areas of the building.  For example, there is at least one apartment building that has a public space with a pool table and some other things I can't remember offhand.

lyst83

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2011, 08:27:27 PM »
I'm trying to build a duplex apartment, looking like a regular house, but I'm having problems.

I mostly figured out what to do on my own, then came here for what I didn't know. I can't get the other apartment's door to activate as a NPC door. Shift+clicking does nothing, testingcheatsenabled true is already on, RestrictBuildBuy is already off. No matter what I've tried to do, it won't recognize it as an apartment for a NPC. It just says that my sim is not allowed to go through the door.

I took all my  markers out, tried to change the door and didn't have that option, put all my markers back and tried to do it and didn't have that option. Shift+clicked on the call box. My door, the main door, the other door of the apartment. I got nothing. What am I doing wrong??

Offline Jonna

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2011, 10:18:00 PM »
Hi lyst83 and welcome to the forum! =)  I don't have my game up right now but the next time I do, I'll make sure to check out how to build a duplex.  Right now my idea is to make an enclosed lobby/entryway and to have the two doors to each side, then try to change the other door to NPC.  I know it's not like a real duplex (with the front doors leading straight into the front yard), but I'm sure with a little creativity, you could make it look okay.

Offline Hosfac

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2011, 11:24:12 PM »
I just posted a similar question in the LN forum, so since you appear to be "in the know" somewhat, I'll pose it to you:

The high rises don't fit well into the other towns at all.  As I now know that you can change the interiors, I wonder if it's possible to change their position on the lots as well.  Many of them are extremely odd sized lots, so you'd be required to put them in an oversized lot, so is it possible to put them into a more reasonable position after they've been placed?

Offline Jonna

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2011, 02:12:04 PM »
@lyst83: I tried making a regular duplex and it won't work for me either.  Looks like you're going to have to make a lobby or enclosed porch of some sort, mark it as Public, and then set the door as NPC.  The enclosed part is very important!  You can use an archway, but it does have to be walled in.  

If that does not work for you (aesthetically I mean), you'll just have to mark the other side of your house as hidden and pretend an NPC lives there.

@Hosfac: The high rise shells are available in buydebug.  There are several that fit very comfortably in 30x30 lots.  Once you set them down, however, you cannot move them again so make sure you put them in the right place (like, if you want to have parking spaces, make sure you place them or leave enough room before you put down the building).  I suggest looking at the buildings in BP before you start messing with creating one of your own.  They're pretty tricky, especially the walls and windows.  You'll notice on the EA high rises, the "outside" walls and windows don't actually show when you have the roof up (or are on a higher floor) -- you only see the shell building.  Pay attention to how they do the lobbies as well.  There is the outside shell building door, and then they use a walkway to get to the actual in-game lobby doors.  That is to say, there are two sets of "main" doors: one to get inside the shell, and another to get to the actual playable lobby.  

So to answer your question, yes you can move the high rises around, but not after they've been placed.  

Offline Hosfac

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2011, 07:26:28 PM »
So to answer your question, yes you can move the high rises around, but not after they've been placed.  

That is precisely what I wanted to know.  Thanks!

lyst83

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2011, 01:07:18 PM »
@Jonna, Thank you for your help. I did make a little lobby and placed a public marker down, but I'm still not able to make the other apartment an NPC apartment. It's just hidden and for some reason that really bothers me. I simply do not have the option of Make NPC door. Do I have to do this before I place the hidden marker down? I will double check, but I think I've tried that and still don't have that option. Do you think that [mod name removed - ds] could be the problem?

Offline Jonna

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2011, 11:05:50 PM »
I know nothing about mods, I'm sorry.  We're not even really permitted to talk about them on the forum.

I'm not sure why you're having your problem.  I would start over on a fresh lot to see if you can do it, instead of messing around again with the one you already have.  If you can do it on the fresh lot, I'd suggest deleting all your markers on the real house, replacing them, and then try to mark the door as NPC.  If you're still having trouble, though, I can take some more screen shots and try to do a step-by-step for you.

Offline Joria

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2011, 06:18:15 PM »
Jonna your posts are fabulously informative and very clear and easy to follow.  So here is what I wanted to do.  I don't want high rises.  I want to take an existing building that is more "houselike", like the large laundromat that has two or three floors above it with stairs leading up.  My thoughts were, forget the stairs, replace with elevators to save space, but now how do we get those floors to be apartments?  Sure you can divide the floors up into rooms to make huge apartments, or even into two apartments, but how do you get them to be usable, purchasable by Sims, separate living quarters?  First start by putting public markers in the laundromat itself?  But then what?  I don't necessarily want npc apartments in the building, just places other Sims can buy/live and call home.
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Offline Hosfac

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Re: Building apartments?
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2011, 07:55:21 PM »
Once I place the building, it won't let me build anything else on the lot.  It says that I can't alter anything outside my living area (or something to that extent), so I think I'm missing a step somewhere along the lines.

Obviously, I have to use "testingCheatsEnabled true" and "buyDebug" to get access to the shell, and I need "moveObjects on" to place the shell on the lot.  What else do I need to do?  Do I need to place a marker or something to build?