I figured out a way to include a lot of store content in my world and I thought I'd share it here, since I did an extensive google search and hadn't found anything, and thought other people might be having the same problem.
I had the problem where EIG would crash, and not allow me to continue adding lots/content and saving beyond a certain point. Essentially I was using too much memory on a world with 150 lots and a whole lot of store content installed.
However, I noticed that within the CAW folder for my world (Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 Create A World Tool\UserToolData\Worlds\NAMEOFWORLD) there were two other folders labeled lots and layers. Within the lots folder are a number of files - each one representing a specific lot on your map (150 lots in my world = 150 files in the folder). When you add a lot in EIG and are able to save it successfully, the name of the file doesn't change but the contents does and the file increases in size. So I thought if I could add the lots in smaller doses in EIG, and then replace the empty lot files with built lots, I would be able to include more lots and store content.
So essentially the steps are as follows:
- Make copies of your "NAMEOFWORLD" without any built lots (saved in different folders on the desktop so you don't get them confused) - as many as you need, although I only needed 2. Do not rename them or change anything about them!!!
- Keep one copy whole and untouched.
- In your other copies, you need to delete lots to form partial world files. I did mine where one had commercial lots and one had residential lots. You want both (or all) of your partial world files to "add up" to your whole world.
- Add the built lots in EIG to each partial world file and save it.
- Copy and paste the lot files from the partial world CAW folders to the CAW folders for the whole world file, choose the option to replace the files with the same name. On my computer these files are kept here: Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 Create A World Tool\UserToolData\Worlds\NAMEOFWORLD\Lots
You should now have a "combined" world with all of your lots installed. Some things to note - you have to be careful as you need to have a number of CAW files all with the same name and you don't want to get them confused. So far doing this I have been able to export successfully, and while I have only begun play testing I haven't run into any obvious problems from using this method to add lots, everything appears to be showing up in game.
I'm not 100% about doing this with pre-populated worlds since I haven't tried it yet (am planning on it, will update) but I imagine it would work. It may be a bit more complicated, as you'd need some residential lots in your whole world file to place the sims in. But you could still add all your community lots or unoccupied lots after the fact.