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Carl´s Lot Workshop

Started by carlfatal, March 12, 2016, 03:43:21 PM

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Heya Devoties!

Years ago, short after I found my first downloads for SimCity, I was angered by the fact, that there was no useful content to rebuild a historical towncenter like someone can find between Poland and the eastern parts of France, - Framework and cosy small lanes, just that stuff I miss in RL.

Well, I then started the LE for the first time, I became a member of the Simforum to learn more about lotting, later on at other sides also, and always with the dream to be able to rebuild an old town center in SC4, together with surrounding W2W quarters and a tramway system.

Waldey, where all pictures sadly are lost, was a step beyond with all the faked lots, and it was in a way the end of my old town lots. After DaveN published his small houses, I reached some kind of lotting overkill. I stopped.

But I never stopped playing around with SC4, and sometimes I had an eye on my lots. Last year we started working on an advent calendar too over at the Simforum, and I revived and actualized my lots. But I didn´t finish the work, I am still messing with the modding.

And yeah, so I thought, I should open a thread here, cause I want to learn. And I really think, that the models I´ve used for this project should get more attention. The most of them are old, but nonetheless wonderful. So they should breathe instead of been hidden in deep folders of storage hard disks. JENX, Kwakelaar, Haarlemmergold - Music in my ears, only to name a few VIP´s here.  $%Grinno$%

Here some detail pictures, everything is just plopped, it´s only to show, how it can look:

The whole set contains 28 lots for R§§, 28 lots for CS§§, four big churches as landmarks, 2 churches and 2 synagogues as religious buildings, a marketplace and a townhall as landmarks, 2 schools, a library, 3 firestations in different sizes, 2 police stations, small lanes modded as parks (cause they are a nice place to walk through), 2 places with trees and 2 fillers, one woth a lantern.
Also part of the set is a set of cobblestone textures and a matching sidewalk mod.

Completely finished are the (only visual TE´ed) marketplace and the clinic. The rest has to be done.

I would need to much space to show every single lot here, but to give you an insight. The church on the first picture is made to fit into a corner, also it can be used to be connect with one of the "small lane" park lots. On the right the backyard of one of the synagogues. Wallibuk made them, the style is a little bit k&k, but I like, how they match with Kwakelaars houses.

But this set isn´t historically correct, I´ve used a lot of houses from different regions and mixed them up. Nonetheless I think, overall it looks more realistic, than the original lots have done.
Here some of the growables:

Okay, that is for now. I will come back with more detailed informations about my problems soon. Seeya!  :)

EDIT: all lots are made with the SC4PIM, use invisible buildings. I use LE for design, SC4Tool for modding and reader, where other tools don´t work.


Very nice project!   &apls

Looking at the pictures it seems your lotting does nice job capturing the hectic, maze-like structure old European city centers typically have. Once thing I'd change is the flora though, I'd switch them out for Girafe's seasonal props. Other than that it's very promising! Keep up the great work!  :thumbsup:
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana


Wow! Now that is an interesting project. I would also recommend using Giraffe's flora too.. makes it more realistic, and it will change it a lot! I have a question.. what did you mean by "invisible buildings"?

Keep this up.. it's gonna be a huge hit in the forums, and I'm pretty sure it's gonna get a lot of downloads.  :bnn:


Thank you for the nice comment.  :)

The invisible building is an option in the PIMX instead of using a model file.
I made props of every building I´ve used, if it did not come out of a prop pack. So I was able to freely group houses on lots. To be honest, some of them show up very often, especially the ones of Kwakelaar, cause they are perfect made to fill gaps without glitches.

You mentioned the flora, and well, you are right. As much as I love cycledogg´s trees, there are mode options now. One main reason to stay with this until now, were all the flowers on the lots, which aren´t seasonal (is there a set with seasonal sunflowers?).

So it is in a way up to you, dear readers, to decide. If you want seasonal towns, then vote for, and I will change the trees and other plants.

My main problem is something different though. I am always fighting with stages and capacities. The whole set is made for medium density, and I set it to the Chicago style to let it easy grow.
The lot sizes are 1x1, 1x2, 1x3, 2x1, 2x2, 2x3, 3x1, 3x2, 3x3.

BUT: what stages and capacities would I need to let the lots grow together at the exactly same time? And should I give for example all 2x2 lots the exact same capacitiy or am I able to make small differences like Maxis did?
To be honest, I have a lot of buildings in my game I would like to see grow, and I really don´t understand why some of them do like crazy while others don´t. I changed capacities but only seem to mess up everything...  $%Grinno$%


Looks marvelous. I remember, how we're talking about your altstadtset. Are those the same lot, you're continuing now?
Thank you for visiting Kolbrów, and for being for last ten years!


Quote from: carlfatal on March 13, 2016, 10:16:30 AM
My main problem is something different though. I am always fighting with stages and capacities. The whole set is made for medium density, and I set it to the Chicago style to let it easy grow.
The lot sizes are 1x1, 1x2, 1x3, 2x1, 2x2, 2x3, 3x1, 3x2, 3x3.

BUT: what stages and capacities would I need to let the lots grow together at the exactly same time? And should I give for example all 2x2 lots the exact same capacitiy or am I able to make small differences like Maxis did?

If you want to do to this correctly, I'd strongly recommend summing the capacity of the individual BATs on each lot first of all and then play around with the occupant size & filling degree of the blank building, so that it arrives at the correct number of sims. This way the whole lot set will be nicely balanced and distributed over different growth stages.
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana


thank you, Kamil! Indeed, it´s the set, you think about. Only bigger and one step forward...  :)


oh, shame, I didn´t see your first post.  &mmm

Thank you, very nice to hear, that you like it. And I definately will consider a flora rework, I´ve installed all the needed stuff half an hour ago.
And yes, I´ve tried to make this set able to fill any street layout, although from the 12th century on, rectangular townplanning was also an option.

But exactly here is my problem.

Until now, there is no given filling degree, I thought, this should be the last step, cause I simply don´t know, how much people should live on a lot.
Some lots have more buildings, some have less, and the only reason for this was the different character of BATs, when I tried to use them together, i.e. a problem with their lods.
But although the lots differ in their specific density, overall they should represent the same stage of development. It shouldn´t make any difference, how much buildings I´ve used on a lot, to let it grow. And here I am confused.
As far as I see, Maxis uses the stages and filling degrees to simulate different densities of development. But in this set should be no difference in density. A 1x2 and a 1x3 lot should only give you the possibility to fill space inside of blocks, and lots of the same size should work like they were copies. I mean, these lots represent some kind of mixed development, although I had to cut them into R and CS. Most of the backyard buildings would be workplaces or garages in RL, and the houses at the street usually would have stores in the 1. floor and apartments above.

I hope, I was able to explain my concerns.

Linus van Pelt

Hey Carlfatal  :bnn:,
great to see you still working on your timberframe lots.
Altough I guess I'll never use them  &mmm


A lovely project indeed! Am definitely looking forward to trying it out in my cities.

The point made about the Girafe flora is good, though I can't complain too much about the CP and SimFox trees you showed earlier. My question there, and I guess it's to others reading, is if there's an easier way to place those seasonal trees than having to place all three seasonal versions every time?

The sidewalk/pavement mod looks great too  &apls

The PIMX stuff, especially with filling degrees is tricky indeed. Seems like as much of an art as a science sometimes. Would offer advice if I had anything useful to say about it but I think there's wiser people than me here that you would be better off listening too :D


Opening a thread is a great way to get some feedback and some skills to further your ambitions  :thumbsup:.

Like Noah, I'll leave the explanations on filling degree and growth stages to someone more knowledgeable than I. But I shall be following your progress and you can be sure I'll post any information in areas I can help you with.

Making a balanced set of lots is a lot of work, but since there is such a variety in how lots are modded, it's offer the best approach. The earlier you start, the less daunting it will be to go through any backlog. The idea of the filling degree in PIM-X was to base the capacities on size, which would make all lots created this way work together nicely.

Quote from: noahclem on March 13, 2016, 05:08:57 PM
The point made about the Girafe flora is good, though I can't complain too much about the CP and SimFox trees you showed earlier. My question there, and I guess it's to others reading, is if there's an easier way to place those seasonal trees than having to place all three seasonal versions every time?

You can do it with two-state props only. Otherwise, it needs to be flora to have it as one item, not three. You could use the flora versions in your lotting, but only for ploppables. With the drawback, those now must be placed on a certain date in-game. Won't work for growables, since seasons would be out of sync, since you can't control when the lots first appear.


Exactly what mgb said. It is impossible to have growables with seasonal trees, but you can have them with the Girafe's trees for a more realistic approach. Now, for the stages.. well, if you wanna make the set work on its own, it should include some stage 1 buildings in order to have people moving in.. after that, it doesn't really matter.. I would have some stage 3 and 4, and I don't know if I would surpass that at all.

For the pop. in each lot, I don't know, PIMX gives you some numbers based on the size of the building.. but you can always change that in reader, and accommodate the sims you want.

All in all, the numbers shouldn't be really high, but I don't know how realistic or how the lots actually look like.


Ha, I had a complete night to my likes, I could also been born as an owl...  $%Grinno$%

First comments:

@Linus van Pelt,
thank you, and yes, it´s this long abandoned project...

thank you, Noah! I would be damn proud to see them grow in Siljoki!  :thumbsup:
These cobblestone should also match some hopefully one day availlable "vortext-SAM".  I am no texture-maker, so I´ve looked for a free to use one, that looks really good. An I used it in Waldey with DaveN´s BATs.

thank you too! Luckily the Simforum isn´t dead, and we have some nice RPs going on but I think, here is a better place to get feedback for such a project. It overwhelmed me earlier, and I want to bring it to a good end. So the decision was logical for me.

EDIT: @compdude123789,
thank you! Indeed I think, vortext made a very nice set out from DaveN´s houses, that could easily work for the early stages. And I want this set grow, if you have enough people to "maintain" a town. See my today´s posting.

To the other points:

I´ve revamped one of the lots, the biggest CS, where I had a tree as well as flowers. And something I love while lotting is cluttering around with flowers and stuff. So i installed all the girafe plants and replaced all plants on the lot with seasonal ones. Fact is, I needed some time. The erasing was easy, but then, wow, that is another way to put hundreds of props on one lot...  $%Grinno$%

But here, have a look! First comes the old one, then the new:

Here the new one:

OOPS - where is the winter-tree? Could it be a problem to play in software mode and settings on middle?

But it got better in spring:

During spring you can see small plants grow in the backyard!

And then summer...

I must say, this convinces me. Luckily all lotting is done so far, and although this will be some work, it is nothing, that leeds to a new arrangement. If the models may cause problems on old machines: there is always an option to provide the old lots also.

I´ve taken this lot, cause it explains also very well, why PIMX can´t help me with stats. First thing is, here is a building in the backyard, that looks like maybe a residential but also it could be a small workshop. The whole space is well used, only a small green part at one side, where plants can grow. The lot is 3 tiles wide - I didn´t want this - but only then I could place the buildings so, that they fill nearly the complete front. The small gap - what a luck - was big enough to simulate an entrance. But I found no matching yard gate, so it looks a bit like the start of a short lane.

Other lots have more free space, depending on the way I was able to group BATs. And well, the only ones, that didn´t make any problems are Kwakelaar´s buildings, where the framework is hidden under plaster. This is the reason for the lack of 1x... lots, I simply haven´t enough matching models.

Another reason to let the PIMX give wrong stats shows the next picture:

As you can see, the buildings are placed as near to the street as possible. For this reason I had to change the size of the blue boxes (don´t know the name for this) to let them not overhang. So I´ve changed all prop packs, I´ve used. Very nice is, that you don´t need other than the original prop packs to let the buildings show up right at night.  :thumbsup:

And at least a picture of the original lot in LE:

Here you can see the small footprints of the buildings.

For the stats I thought about something like: all lots with the same size get the same stats, and then I can give an aproppriate filling degree afterwards. As they all will grow in the Chicago style, this should help to let them rapidly grow together.

If I look to the size of the most houses (2 of them are from Nürnberg), they show mostly the appearance of a town with maybe 2000 to 10000 inhabitants inside of the town walls. So if you build a town with maybe 500000 citizens in total, these houses would fit for an old town center. But also they would match a merely rural setting, where you will find some old mansions outside the former town gates and some small housing for middleclass people in Western Europe, or residential highrises in the Ex-GDR or Poland.

So what stage would be the right?  %confuso

Until now all lots are stage 4, and the 1x1 are stage 5. I did this, cause the most W2W I know start at stage 5. And although they are less old, they represent a different town size at all.

I hope, this could explain some of my confusion...  :)

Away from the problems two last sentences: All lots are slope friendly, again thanks to Kwakelaar ´s BATs. I am using only his walls. They may look less detailed than more recent BATs, but you can see them half on, half outside the lot. So the really fill any gap between lots, and on slopes it doesn´t look ugly. Here is no chance for any change.

And do you know, what´s funny? Whle making the pictures, I turned on night, something I really never do ingame. And well, the houses had no light. I mean, I am playing a copy of that game, that I´ve installed more than 5 years ago. And I never missed the BAT-update...  $%Grinno$%


Quote from: cmdp123789 on March 13, 2016, 09:34:37 PM
Exactly what mgb said. It is impossible to have growables with seasonal trees, but you can have them with the Girafe's trees for a more realistic approach.

Well that's not really what I mean. You can't do it with flora, you must do it with props. Since the prop timing is properly synchronised to the game calendar, you can control when things appear and not. Hence the need to place each of the Autumn, Winter and Summer (+ spring where that exists) props on top of each other.

With two stage props, things are a little easier. You can not only have these as a single prop on the lot, you can also place them into prop families too. For example, I've done this with Girafe's Sparaxis and Flowerboxes already.


@mgb204 I meant with flora, that's why I mentioned Girafe's trees in the end  ;D I made a street side mod some time ago, and I hated so much placing every tree on top of each other.. but the result was amazing!

Now, carlfatal, those pics look good. I really like the energy.. EDIT: found the set you mention! I think it works pretty good with yours. And your idea of matching according to size is not bad at all.. in fact it would be easier to follow that pattern in case you wanna add more in the future.


Yes I understand your concerns because I faced the same with JENX' medieval lot set, i.e. each lot consists of multiple BATs. And you're right growth stages simulate different densities, but the relationship is the other way around. That is, density is a function of occupancy & lot size and ultimately what determines growth stage.

Quote from: carlfatal on March 13, 2016, 01:12:00 PM
[...]I simply don´t know, how much people should live on a lot.

Hence I suggested to get the occupancy per individual BAT first of all and then sum the occupancy for each lot depending on which BATs they contain. This will give the most accurate and balanced statistics, and since the BATs are more-or-less the same sizes chances are the lots will end up being all within the same growth stage. That was my experience at least. Your example lot is a good pick indeed, so lets work it out as an example.

For this purpose I'll assume it's a R$ lot. First of all, to get the individual occupancy I made building descriptors for each BAT facing the street side, so 4 in total. In addition I left the filling degree at 0.5, which for all intents and purposes can be considered the proper default value when it comes to these orthogonal w2w BATs.

So from left to right the R$ occupancy for each BAT is: 49, 26, 96, 40, which gives a total occupancy of 211 R$ sims. Next I used a blank building to create a new building descriptor. After a bit of fiddling I found a Occupant Size of 28,28,28 and a filling degree of .508 resulted in a occupancy of 211 R$ sims. Finally I used this building descriptor to create a 3x3 lot, which ended up being growth stage 5.

So what about the small building in the back, you ask? Well, lets see. It has an occupancy of 35, which brings the total to 246. Using the same dimensions for the Occupant Size, but a filling degree of 0.561 puts the blank building descriptor at the same value, and making a 3x3 lot once again puts it in stage 5. So in terms of growth stage it doesn't matter in this case, but it's easy to imagine a scenario where it does matter. And in that case it's up to your judgement whether or not to include the building in the total value.

Now, admittedly I'm a stickler for getting these kind of things correct so it's understandable if you don't want to go to these lengths, i.e. getting the occupancy for every BAT involved and summing the total for each lot. That said, I would suggest to take a random sample of lots and figure out the total occupancy for those, based on the actual BATs they contain, and average the results over the sample. This should give a somewhat accurate value for the entire set, though you might end up with low-end occupancy for larger lots, and likewise a high-end occupancy for small lots.

Hope this has been of help. Also, depending on how fast you want to get these lots out of the door I might be able to offer help getting the correct occupancy & growth stage.  :)

ps: since you been out of the loop for a while, did you know I released my base & overlay textures in the meanwhile? Might be useful.
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana


Those lots are great ! I hope you share them with all of us, they are perfect for a nice European town  &apls

                                                                                     || Benelux Team || Windows on the World || My Photos on Flickr || Kelis BNL Projects ||


First a bg thank you for all the comments!

I am back, but only to tell you the reason for my absence in the last weeks and in the next also.
17 years she was my friend and companion,

Her name was Pünktchen, but mostly I called here Madame Schnü, She died April first in my arms in the last sunshine of the day, the very first day of spring this year.
She was a friend not a pet, she was born in my bed, two times she became a mother herself there, and she was always free to come or to go. I live with cats since ever, but she was someone very special. And anyhow we were a team.
She was no old Lady (the picture is from 2015) but a still very talkative one, when she died after a short time of sickness.

The gods like to play games with us mortals, and we always have to loose.

At the moment I am not in the mood for any game. Some may think, its only a cat but there is no real difference between us and them, We have a thumb, and cats know how to use this tool.

I miss her, so please be patient with me. I´ll come back.


As someone who lost 2 best friends last year within 4 months (18yo cat and a 14yo dog) I know exactly what you are feeling at the moment. My fiercely loyal chihuahua Pablo died in my arms and Missy, my cat died in my son's arms.
Like you said, they were not just pets but actual family members. We were crushed.

I'm very sorry for your loss.



I'm very sorry for your loss. I hope you feel better soon.