Basements 1 -- (Sims 2 Style) Tutorial

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Basements 1 -- (Sims 2 Style) Tutorial

Postby lindawing » February 15th, 2014, 9:50 pm

This will be about two different types of basements: (1) the older type that we were used to building in TS2, that we can still build in TS3--the simple version, and a more advanced version; and (2) the new TS3 type--without foundations/simple, and with foundations/advanced.

There are a lot of pictures. I'm going, right now, to save enough posting spaces to get everything in line before you all start making comments.
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Basement #1--Old Style (Simple Version)

The old style requires a foundation (or you can shrink a wall down to the height you want, but it's easier to work with the foundation tool, in the long run). That said, it's also easier to start with the hole, and add the foundation, than the other way around.

You can easily set the correct height of the hole (which needs to be the exact height of a regular wall), by using the stair tool. First set one modular stairs flight into the ground (this used to be quite difficult in TS3, but they fixed a lot of the pickiness about this procedure, quite some time ago). Starting at the landing from the first flight, sink another flight, then do a third. The third one in this picture, made a turn when I did it, but it makes absolutely no difference. It's the depth that matters (3 flights of modular stairs).
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Delete the stairs. This leaves a hole. It's the bottom of that hole that you need for the next step.
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Using the leveling tool, make a rectangle the size you want. I made this one 8x8. That leaves plenty of room to put in a flight of stairs from the ground level to the bottom of the basement.
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That square at the bottom of the hole, now, is my basement. The slanted walls of dirt will be outside of the basement walls.
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In order to set stairs into the basement, you need the foundation above the hole. Starting at any corner of the top edge of the hole, drag out a rectangle to match your basement. It will end up one grid square larger all the way around, than the hole you leveled at the bottom.
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This is what it will look like, under the foundation.
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Staying right at the edge of the leveled rectangle at the bottom of the basement, set in four walls (the easiest way is to use the rectangular wall tool, but you can just do one wall at a time--up to you).
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Here's what it looks like after choosing your foundation texture and applying it to the inside and outside walls.
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Now that there's a floor above the cellar floor, at exactly the right height, any set of stairs will fit. I set one right along one wall.
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Quick recolor.
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What it looks like from the top, after the stairs are set in.
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With TS3, if the stairs go in and don't give you any problems, you know they're going to work for your Sims. So there's no need to test at this time. You could leave your basement right there and just start finishing the inside walls, adding a floor, etc., and then building above it. I happen to think that's kind of boring, so I'll go on to the more advanced version, now.
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Re: Basements--2 Types--Tutorial

Postby lindawing » February 15th, 2014, 10:47 pm

Basement #1--Old Style (Advanced Version)
This version takes up where the simple version leaves off. I want to add a daylight window and an exterior basement door.

To begin adding the window, I sank two more flights of modular stairs--beginning four grid squares away from the outer basement wall.
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Then I removed the stairs to just leave the hole in the ground. After the stairs were gone, I used the sledgehammer to remove three blocks of the foundation. This revealed the (regular) inner wall.
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As you can see, a window sets right into that wall, with no problem.
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Using the leveling tool, I leveled the ground up to one grid square away from the foundation wall. I could have gone all the way up to the foundation, but a daylight window needs to have a little space around it, so I stayed away by the one square.
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Since Sims in TS3 will go down pretty steep hills, but then sometimes they don't want to come back up (silly Sims), I decided to put a short barrier fence up there on the level ground. Instead, I could have used the smoothing tool, and allowed the sims to walk right up to that window, but it's fairly tricky to smooth just enough, because you can easily get the smoothing out too far (see the end of this version's tutorial for more of an explanation).

So I stuck with the barrier fence. Later, you'll see that I recolored it to white. At the moment, though, I just stuck the first color in, so I could move on.
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I lightened up the basement with light wood floors, white walls, and some light fixtures. You'll notice if you do a window like that, that it does let in a TINY bit of light, but not a whole lot. You'll still need to rely on the interior lights. The window is more for looks, than anything.

At this point, I usually use some dirt-flavored terrain paints on the ground inside the two basement walls. Think of it as crawl space. I didn't bother, in this picture, because the narrow space doesn't have enough light in it to really see what the ground looks like in there, anyway. If I'd left more space between the walls (which you might do if you are making your basement a bit different shape than the house above it), you'd probably want to use the terrain paint, because otherwise it will look a bit weird to see green grass growing down there, when you look down into the basement. To me, that's distracting.
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OK! Basement window in place...stairs going down into the basement...we're in good shape! We could stop, now, but I still want to have an exterior basement door.
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Because of where I placed the basement on the 20x25 lot, I needed to go to the other side of the house (as you can see, I added the upper walls and a roof, before I actually decided to put in this lower door).

Starting seven grid squares away from the outer basement wall, I placed three modular stair flights. For the door, you need to go down a whole wall's worth in depth.
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Then I removed three foundation squares using the sledgehammer, and leveled the ground up to the inner wall of the basement. Notice that I left the stairs in this time, because they will be the way in, from the ground level.
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The door is set in place. You can see through the windows, that the basement is, indeed, right there behind it.
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I added floor tiles for the walkway, from the door, out to the street.
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Inside the basement. As you can see, I have already set the steps up to the foundation floor, and I recolored that window barrier. This basement could have rooms added to it, or left as is--up to you. Of course the size and shape of your basement could vary greatly, as well.
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Here's how I did the entry for the front door.
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I wanted to show you what happens when you use the smoothing tool, next to this type of basement's outer wall. Because the top of the basement is actually the foundation, any morphing of the land around it, doesn't change the shape of the basement. You can morph the land around those walls, all the way down to the bottom of the existing lowest wall (and you CAN have another basement under the first one--you have to dig down four stair flights to get the correct height, then proceed with the stairs as with the first one). So...in order to show you the smoothing process, I first dug a ragged hole.
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Then I used the smoothing tool to make a nice, gradual, rounded slope down to the wall. See how it bares the wall as it goes? Also, you can see, though, that this is not a precise science, which is why I didn't use it at the window site. This is better left for landscaping and gardening, and to add interest to the line of the house.
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Another view of the smoothed area.
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That's it for the advanced basement. You could add more windows and doors, or whatever you want. The principles remain the same. I've shown you all you need to know to make successful TS2-type basements.

Now on to the simple version of an honest-to-goodness, full 3D, TS3 basement.
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Re: Basements 1 -- (Sims 2 Style) Tutorial

Postby psychedelicsim » February 16th, 2014, 2:18 pm

Wonderful tutorial!
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Re: Basements 1 -- (Sims 2 Style) Tutorial

Postby lindawing » February 17th, 2014, 2:37 am

Thank you, Carrie!
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