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Christina51's Blog

First Object Recolor Published!!!

Yay!! I am so excited!!! I just published my first object recolor!!! It is the first in a series of sets of Oriental rugs (Heirloom Oriental Rugs).  This set is the sqaure version.  Upcoming sets will include rectangle, round, and runner versions of the same patterns, plus new oriental rugs and other pattern rugs, as well.

 I decided to create my own rugs because I am tired of using the same EA rugs over and over in my houses.  There aren't very many traditional (non-modern) CC rugs out yet, either, so I found I was using the same CC rugs over and over, too--thank you Canneline, Severinka and The Numbers Woman--I still love your rugs!!!

Anyway, I hope you all like my rugs!  Take care, and Happy Simming!!!


Just too funny...

Awhile ago, I received the Sims 3 Ambitions EP.  I started playing around with it when I was testing one of my recent lots and, of course, I chose the Architectural Designer profession.  One of my first jobs was to remodel a bathroom.  The owner said that the previous occupant had terrible taste!  I thought, "Great!  It wil be fun to redo one of EA's designs."  Imagine my surprise when I visited the lot and found out it was one of the houses I of my favorites actually and I thought the bathrooms looked great!!  So I did what any self-respecting vengeful diety would do...I evicted the fool and sent him and his whole ungrateful family to the rubbish bin!!! 

Building on a Budget!

I have just submitted my fourth lot, Vista Del Mar.  This is the largest home I’ve built, and as in real life, it was a challenge to keep it within “budget”. 

In real life, you are limited by the amount of money available for construction.  You must make trade-offs between what you really want and what you can afford.  Do you really need that fifth bedroom?  Can you live without the pool house and gym?  And, you must spend your decorating dollar wisely, splurging only on those furnishings that will have the greatest impact on your design. 

The same is true in building Sims 3 houses for TSR, except that instead of money, you are budgeting file size.  You must stay within TSR’s 50MB upload limit.  Unless you are planning to submit your lot unfurnished, you have to limit the size of your home to what you can afford to furnish, so the choices you must make are very much like those you make in real life.  Do you really want to spend your precious MBs building the pool house or on decorating your home? 

To stay within your 50MB budget, you must limit your MB “spending” to the choices that will best achieve the overall look you want.  In choosing furnishings, you need to consider that custom content takes up much more file space than EA’s in-game items and that the MB “cost” of similar custom objects (two beds, for example) may vary widely.  Also, subsequent copies of an object cost less than the first copy so using multiple copies of the same object can actually be more cost effective than individual copies of different objects.  (Obviously, I haven’t tested this on every item but it generally seems to work that way). And, finally, the size of the file is not necessarily based on the size of the object.  Often, files for relatively small, highly detailed objects that offer many variations, such as pictures and rugs, may actually be larger than files for much bigger objects, such as beds and sofas (thanks to AnoeskaB for this particular insight).   

Monitoring your lot’s file size and the impact of your various construction and decorating choices is not as easy as it sounds.  However, the last thing you want to do is to wait until you finish your perfect house to discover that you are way, way over budget (like 90MB!!).  So, periodically during the building and furnishing process, you will have to check your lot’s file size.  The only way I’ve found to do this is to export (i.e., share) the lot and then go to your export folder and check the size of the file.  How often you need to do this depends on what you’re building and how close you are to the 50MB limit.  You also need to know the size of the files for custom content objects to decide which is the best “investment”.   Again, the only way I know to do this is to download the objects and then go to your download folder and check each object’s file size.  You can assume that any EA in-game item has a smaller file size than a similar custom content item, but, as far as I know, the only way to determine its actual file size is to check the overall lot export file size, first without, then with the item.

 While time-consuming, this process wouldn’t be such a bother if it weren’t for EA’s temperamental programming, which “stops responding” at the drop of a hat.  It thoroughly dislikes it when you move back and forth between windows, i.e. the game and your export or download folders in Windows Explorer.  Too many trips and it’s likely to just quit on you.  Of course, you could check file size via the game launcher.  The Upload tab will list the file size for exported lots and the Download tab will show the file size for the custom content you’ve downloaded.  But, I’ve found that switching between the active game and the game launcher takes longer and is more likely to end in disaster than moving between the game and Windows Explorer (at least it does on my computer).  Whichever way you do it, take it from someone who has learned the hard way—save, save, save, and save again!


Thanks for taking the time to read this.  I am sure this is nothing new to the experienced builders out there but I hope it helps another novice like me.   Maybe staying within budget will become more intuitive with experience.  I hope so.  But, if anyone out there knows an easier way to build large, fully furnished houses within the 50MB budget, I would love to hear from you!

So Much to Learn!!

I have (finally) submitted my second lot, Red Maples.  What a challenge!  I included custom content in this lot and found there is a lot more involved in using CC than I imagined.  

In my first attempt at this lot nearly all of my furnishings were CC.  I ended up with a file much larger than the 50MB upload limit. Ok, back to the drawing board.  More in-game furnishings, less CC.

Next, I discovered I had used some EA Exchange patterns, which I downloaded before I discovered TSR.  I wasn't sure if that was acceptable so I asked the question and was told that, yes, I could use them but that patterns created with the EA Create a Pattern tool do not always upload properly.  So I replaced all of the EA Exchange patterns with in-game patterns and TSR custom patterns.  As suggested, I tested my exported lot in a "vanilla" version of the game, and that's when I learned that some of the TSR custom patterns I used were also made with the EA Create a Pattern tool and wouldn't export properly.  (Too bad because these were really beautiful.)  So, I had to replace them with patterns created using TSR Workshop.  They worked fine and looked great, too! At last, I thought I was home free.  

Wrong!  When I tried to upload my lot, I received the dreaded "RigFix" error so I had to run TSR's RigFix program on my CC. Actually, that turned out to be much easier than I expected from reading all of the posts on the subject.  I just followed the instructions and it must have worked because my lot uploaded fine this time.  Now, it's just a matter of waiting for approval--I hope. 

I know this is a long post but I thought maybe some of you might benefit from my experience, so here it is.  I hope you all enjoy this new lot as much as I enjoyed creating it--over and over, LOL.

My First Lot!

I have just submitted my first TS3 lot, The Willows! Yeah!!  I want to thank Cherrybooboo for all her help, advice and encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without you, my friend! 

Ironically, this lot contains no CC. It was the last lot I built before I discovered TSR and it is about the best I could do with what EA gave us with the basegame.  I am looking forward to your comments.  I hope you like it, but if you don’t, let me know how I can improve.

Latest Headlines

First Object Recolor Published!!! Just too funny... Building on a Budget! So Much to Learn!! My First Lot!

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