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My builds - Jude525

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  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    edited May 2018
    ...skip....
    Post edited by Jude525 on
  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    edited May 2018
    So, here it finally is. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon Resort. This is my biggest project to date. link

    The lot is categorized a Resort and is 64x64

    The inspiration for this build was The Hanging Gardens of Nebuchadnezzar, one of the fabled Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. As I've probably mentioned previously, this started out as a concept for a house/mansion. But, as the ziggurat came together, I couldn't see how having the large indoor pool would allow for interior upper floors without detracting from the aesthetic. (Ironically, as I'm typing this, I've thought of a possible solution to that. LOL) I then briefly considered making it a public pool. But it just seemed too grandiose for that. So I decided to build my first resort.

    This is going to be a long post. Because there is just SO much to cover. I've opted to use the "Spoiler" option to keep the post from becoming overwhelming. But, with it being a resort, I need to make sure you know where each resort requirement is being met.

    Front view
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    Rear view
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    And, now, something you rarely see here, an actual elevation breakdown. The property is too complex for me to have left this out. Again, I didn't want you to get lost. *smile*

    Aerial view
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    Main level
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    A - Front desk
    B - Cafeteria
    C - Billiards table
    D - VIP rooms
    E - VIP suite
    F - Hot tub
    G - Party area
    H - Bar
    I - Pool with Pool Bar
    J - Wedding pavilion
    K - Massage cabana
    L - Sauna

    Main Level Tour:

    Welcome Center (A, B, C)
    You enter the resort through the main lobby.
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    Check in at the front desk
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    Enjoy a meal or snack in the cafeteria style dining area. Here your Sims will find a large variety of foods to choose from, including vegan options. There is also an Aims Co. Choc-O-Falls Fountain for a quick sweet treat.
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    Hang out with the other guests, or even try to make a quick Simolean or two, at the billiards table.
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    VIP area tour (D, E, F)
    Behind the welcome center, stroll down the path past the VIP bungalows toward the hot tub.
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    To the left are two identical, smaller VIP rooms. With a shared/public full bath between them.
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    To the right is the VIP suite, with en suite full bath and sitting area.
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    Facilities (G, H, I, J, K, L)
    Toward the front of the property is a party area where your Sims can grab a snack or light drink
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    or a specialty drink at our full bar
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    Within our main building is a large indoor pool, including an in-pool bar. The pool has been designed with a special underwater glass wall feature to give the illusion of swimming in the open ocean. This walled glass design was the core of my inspiration before I even got the idea for the ziggurat.
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    Along the far wall there is a coffee/beverage machine and a snow cone machine.
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    Behind that pool is the wedding arch, shaded by a trellis of green ivy.
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    Off to the side of the pool is an interactive spa area to complement the spa features available in the resort tower rabbit hole. There is an Infinite Zen Massage Table across from a Steam-it-up Sauna.
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    Upper level
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    A - Gym/Game area
    On the upper level of the Welcome Center is the gym, with a couple social games and the locker rooms.
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    Sub-level

    The Spanish Resort Tower is buried under the Welcome Center, with an access staircase from the lobby. Fully upgraded, this provides 40 standard rooms and rabbit hole spa services similar to those available in town.

    You can also see the glass walled structure of the pool. Oh, and the hot tub structure in the back corner.
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    As an owned resort, I think I've covered all the bases on what is needed/desired. Although my Sims still get wishes to upgrade with duplicate amenities from time to time, my latest rating is 4 stars and rising. Profits are approaching §4,000 per day, after expenses.

    One important design decision was to leave the entire back portion of the lot empty so that it can be placed on beach front property, further increasing the value and desirability of the resort. It doesn't really show in the pics, but it is on the side with the wedding arch. If you do this, you may want to place a couple water vehicles on the beach to give Sims a few more activity options. The game may even suggest them through wishes. I don't know. But, overall, it is designed to attain high ratings as is within a desert setting. It was built in Lunar Lakes and would be a perfect fit for Lucky Palms. In Lucky Palms it would be appropriate to place a gaming room in the area reserved for the beach. I would like to offer the extra options as blueprints, but I haven't been able to get the blueprint mod to work lately. If I get it working again, I will try to remember to come back to this option.

    Post edited by Jude525 on
  • rosemowrosemow Posts: 151,707 Member
    The Hanging Gardens of Babylon Resort is such a very grand and detailed build! :) It has many special feature areas in it! Each area of the build is designed so very well! Very nice exterior design of the building! It looks so very great! The layout of the Resott is very nice. The glass walls in the pool is a great creative idea for the Resort! It was great going on a tour of it through your pictures
    It is a very special Resort to either run or to stay at! :)
  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    Thank you @rosemow, I always look forward to your reviews.
  • MiaSkywalkerMiaSkywalker Posts: 3,191 Member
    I can't wait to see more pictures of the finished build, and to be able to download it. It looks like it will be an awesome addition to Al Simhara. Assuming there's a lot large enough there where it can be placed. :D
  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    @MiaSkywalker, maybe the spoiler headers threw you off. All the pics are in that post and the share link is at the top of the post.
  • MiaSkywalkerMiaSkywalker Posts: 3,191 Member
    I don't think all those pictures were there before, but maybe I needed to do a hard refresh. I only saw two pictures when I looked before, and no spoiler tags.

    Oooh! It's marvelous! You need a gym to have a resort? Huh, how weird. I don't like the game forcing you to certain parameters that way; Sims is supposed to be sandbox.

    My favorite aspect of this is definitely the outside of the main building, which had already been built, but I was just looking forward to seeing what you did on the inside. Which looks really, really nice. I LOVE how you did the pool! All of those outdoor areas are gorgeous, and I'm just lovin' the buffet. I like the recolors of the hanging lamps in the buffet area. Going to steal borrow that recolor for myself.

    You weren't able to get it uploaded to the Exchange, huh? I have another friend with a similar issue. Might I suggest renaming the extension on the .bin files in your Downloads directory? You'll have to relog in to your launcher and possibly the website, but it might work. And try clearing your browser cache on IE. Even if you don't use IE, the launcher does, and the cache glitches on it sometimes, causing problems. So launch IE (you may need to find the .exe, if you're on Windows 10, because it won't be obvious), and then clear the cache. If you don't use IE at all, just have it clear everything, even logins and cookies.

    Those things didn't help my friend's issues, but they've usually fixed it for me, so you might want to try that, if you haven't already.

    Btw, how big is the lot? Since we don't have the Exchange to give us that information automatically.
  • bekkasanbekkasan Posts: 8,349 Member
    @Jude525 I've been lurking following your builds and your resort is awesome. There is so much to do for the sims to enjoy having fun as well as the beautiful atmosphere. You did a fantastic job. Shame the exchange is being ornery as I wanted to give it a rec, but, this will have to count as the rec! :)
  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    @MiaSkywalker It may have been that we posted about the same time, and they just hit the server in a different order for your browser. I've had that happen before.

    Technically, a gym is not required to open a resort. The only required items are a resort tower and a front desk. Every other "requirement" is really only to increase the rating. If you do not plan to play the resort as the owner, then everything else is optional according to your taste. But as an owner, customer reviews and star ratings will be based on this list being complete. What I found frustrating is that the towers are so large and only come in three styles. That's why mine needed to be buried.

    Ironically, the buffet was driven by the customer ratings. They kept complaining that there weren't enough food options. Vegan, dessert, dim sum. After adding so many tables, they had to be run around the outer wall. Honestly, I prefer the results over the original floor plan. I'm not sure that I ever did get a children's menu in. Since I never saw children as guests, I never saw this as necessary.

    I don't remember recoloring the lamps, but if I did, steal away!

    As for the Exchange, this problem comes and goes with no effort by me to fix it. Often within a week. I've fixed the description, but the lot is a whopping 64x64. The ziggurat would have overwhelmed anything smaller.

    All that being said, I appreciate the compliments and am glad that it meets the expectations the teasers left you with.
  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    @bekkasan, Thanks for un-lurking. :D And for the compliments.
  • MiaSkywalkerMiaSkywalker Posts: 3,191 Member
    @Jude525: You're probably right about the posting. I often start posts hours before I finish them, because I get distracted. And I always write novels. :D.

    I downloaded your lot and checked it with Cleaner (I always do that before installing anything), and there are several pieces of CC in that build. While CC won't stop a lot from uploading, CC that appears to the Exchange to be pirated store stuff will.

    hanging-gardens-cc_orig.png

    Note the bottom item in the list: "Store/EP6VenueStageSet..." Although it may not be something pirated, I believe the Exchange thinks it is. You may have picked it up in something else you downloaded, and not realized where it came from.

    I would go through the lot and try removing the pieces that are likely to be the CC, and then use Cleaner to check the lot before trying to upload. Save the file under a different save name, just in case it takes several hits to find the right items, so you can go back to previous versions if need be.

    I'm going to try removing those items just using Cleaner, and then put it in my game. But if any of the pieces are critical to the build, it may end up looking awfully strange for me. :) I will let you know if I can figure anything out, but I probably won't be able to, since I wouldn't be familiar with how it necessarily SHOULD look.
  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    edited May 2018
    @MiaSkywalker Thank you so much!!! I completely forgot to run it through custard!!! I'll clean it up and repost. I'm so sorry about that.

    The jars are in the pool area. I think I know which CC set they are from, although I had assumed they were from the World Adventures pack. I'll go into that to that pack to find some alternatives. The firepit must be another item from TSR, although there are enough in-game that it must have been part of a set I downloaded and didn't realize I had it.

    Finally, I have the Ultimate Venue, but I have no idea what could be involved in the build from that, or why it's being reported as CC. I'll have to try just deleting it through Custard and seeing what happens.

    Anyway, I have pulled the file and will clean it up before reposting later tonight. Again, I'm so glad you noticed. I was so proud of myself for doing such a thorough job of play-testing this one, but then I missed this... *sigh*
  • MiaSkywalkerMiaSkywalker Posts: 3,191 Member
    I'm glad you've figured out what the jars were; I figured they're just deco, so wasn't worried about them. I don't have that Ultimate Venue, so I don't think it would show up for my game at all anyway. I will see what it will replace it with. If it replaces it at all, which it might not, since I deleted it through Custard.

    I've done the same as you before, and then smacked myself for it. I check every download, though, and a good thing, as something I downloaded today had the Arezzo counter. Had no way of telling the creator, though, because her wall is locked to private.

    I'm about to start a Lucky Palms game today, and I'll try out your lot there. I really want to see it in game, because it looks so beautiful in your pictures. :)
  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    I've cleaned up the file and re-posted on Sim File Share. I had to manually remove the Ultimate Venue piece. I have no idea what it is, and it re-installed itself after I took it out and placed the lot back in my game. I'd appreciate if someone could download the new file and confirm for me that it is clear. In the meantime I'm going to have to start scrubbing my game installation for that rogue piece. Ugh.
  • MiaSkywalkerMiaSkywalker Posts: 3,191 Member
    An easier way than trying to "scrub your game" would be to temporarily rename any .dbc file in your DCCache folder to another extension. (I usually do something like change it to .dbcbackup.) If it disappears, then it's in one of your .dbc files.

    If you then want to completely remove it, it may take a bit of work, but this is my suggestion:
    1. Rename (or temporarily move) all your .ebc files (those are your store content) to another folder.
    2. Rename just ONE of the .dbc files back to .dbc.
    3. Check the launcher (under Installed Content) and see if the item appears. If it does, delete it from here. If it doesn't, go to the next step.
    4. Rename that .dbc file to something different, and rename the next .dbc file back to a .dbc extension. Repeat step 3.

    It might take a bit of time, but you can remove the cc from your game that way. That, btw, is the only way to remove that Arezzo counter completely from anyone's game.
  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    Thanks Mia. I've commented before that managing CC is not one of my current skills, but as a builder who shares I really do need to make it a priority. Being able to switch out content folders to "insulate" content when I am building for the community is really the key here.

    I also wonder if it is even attached to the actual store file, or a Trojan file that rode along on some other CC unintentionally. The way the Aruzzo cabinet does. I am thinking this because of how it seems to have reinstalled itself after Custard removed it. Removing all CC it definitely the first step regardless. So, thanks for the recommendations.
  • MiaSkywalkerMiaSkywalker Posts: 3,191 Member
    The Arezzo cabinet is still stored in a dbc file. I have no idea if you can clean it from whatever dbc file it resides in, as I've never been in a situation where I've had to try.

    I downloaded a lot from the Exchange yesterday that contained the Arezzo counter. There was no way to inform the creator that she has that virus (yes, I view it as a virus, because that's how it behaves), because her wall is set to Private and we aren't on each others Friends lists. Obviously I did not install that lot, but I wish there were a way to warn others that her lots now have that problem.

    I don't think there's any other CC that behaves the way that counter does, fortunately, so as long as you avoid that, you're pretty much OK. That's not to say there isn't other bad CC out there; there is, they just don't tend to behave like viruses. I once downloaded a pair of boots that were categorized for all age groups - including infants - and that therefore caused some MAJOR issues in my game until I removed them. Made infants and toddlers look like bizarre giant spiders. The visual glitches sometimes even showed up in the town overview mode. But it was a .package file, so once I was able to narrow down the file, I was able to remove it from my game easily.

    That is one reason that using CC in package format rather than sims3pack format is better. That and the fact that it won't automatically attach to anything you upload, meaning that even if you do use CC in a build, it won't get uploaded to the Exchange.

    Speaking of CC, did you have a chance to clear the CC from your build, and try to upload it to the Exchange again? I'm betting you won't have any trouble uploading once you've removed it. :)
  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    I've run it through Custard and it shows clean, but the launcher won't even try to upload it now. I've renamed it, moved it a couple times. I checked IE and there are no cookies, etc. No luck. I'll keep trying. Like I said, in the past it had resolved itself with no apparent logic.
  • MiaSkywalkerMiaSkywalker Posts: 3,191 Member
    One more suggestion then: Rename your The Sims 3 folder to something else (like "The Sims 3 old"), so that the game will create a new folder when you run the launcher. Then exit the launcher (without launching the game), and copy the .ebc files to the DCCache folder, the ccmerged file to the DCBackup folder, and your Saves folder. You might also copy the one or two .ini files in the base folder, but that's up to you. (I would, it saves hassle.) Don't copy your Mods folder at this point, even if the only thing you have is Nraas. I don't THINK there's anything else to copy, but I could be forgetting one or two things, even though I do this fairly frequently.

    Then launch the game, go into the save, rename the lot at the save gave level, re-export it, and see if that works. At that point, any corrupted file(s) in your "The Sims 3" folder SHOULD be gone.

    If that doesn't solve it, I dunno. :confounded: That's a fairly painless thing to try, however, so you might try it. Unless, of course, you've already done this, in which case I'm baffled.
  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    @MiaSkywalker It turns out the Launcher/Studio page just didn't like my custom thumbnails I applied using the Sims 3 UIC tool. It has seven thumbnails, so replacing them all may have made the file too large for the process to handle. Although, I don't get how it can have limits, since content itself can enlarge a file indefinitely. Regardless, it has been uploaded to My Studio now. CC free and ready to go.

    Thanks for all the pointers and tips, even if all they ended up doing was making me look where I should have looked first. It was my first time using UIC, so that should have been my first suspect.
  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    edited May 2018
    Actually, I'm going to have to find some help on using UIC. I just saw a lot on The Exchange that was only two stories, yet had 11 UIC thumbs. So, not only did they get UIC to work, but they created more slots than the game's usual 1/floor. I reviewed the instructions where I downloaded UIC, and it all seems pretty straight forward. Oh well, not tonight. I need to get to bed, not to be jumping down the rabbit hole of some new project. *yawns and winks*
  • MiaSkywalkerMiaSkywalker Posts: 3,191 Member
    edited May 2018
    I've gotten around the floor limitation, by using columns. Technically you only get two screen shots per UPPER level. So a one floor house will get two images, and a one floor plus 3 basement house will still only get two images.

    BUT! If you use columns, you can trick the lot into thinking it's more floors. Lots of things count as columns, including the roller coaster supports, the castle tower pieces, the circus tent pieces, and the Mill chimney pieces. So you can have a really tall chimney, and for each height above what the house is, you gain two extra images.

    That's the only way I know how to do it. Maybe there are other ways that other people know that I don't, though. A two story house with 11 UIC images certainly indicates that there are better tricks than the ones I know.

    I've never had a problem uploading something after using UIC on it, but maybe there was something about those images. Were they jpg, png, or something else? I generally use png format, but I think jpg should work fine as well. If you use png make sure you flatten the images and don't leave any transparency in them. That might make the launcher hiccup, for all I know.
    ETA: Oh! Do you have a link for the lot in your studio? I'd like to download it from there and rec it for you. :)
  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    edited May 2018
    The pics were flattened png's. Allegedly the program automatically converts the most common formats to a usable format and adjusts the size as well.

    And, yes, the lot is now on my studio page. I've updated the link on the entry above, and my Studio link is in my siggy below.

    I'm going to contact the creator whose build I saw and see if she'll share how she got the extra picture shots. Also, it was my first try at using UIC, so I'll try with a simpler file and see what happens.
  • Jude525Jude525 Posts: 1,643 Member
    Ugh!!!!! In the process of trying to clean out the problems I found attached to the resort file, something went wrong and the time/weather stone I use EVERY game EVERY day has disappeared and refuses to reinstall. It is a mod from MTS by cmomoney. I use it almost exclusively to keep the rain from falling every day in the spring and fall. I prefer it to turning rain off completely. Other mods are working, so I don't know what happened. But, I'll just deal with it. Everything else is working and I'm not up to a full reinstall. Oh well. Onward and upward.
  • rosemowrosemow Posts: 151,707 Member
    I am sorry that you are having these issues :( I hope that they can fix themselves., or you can work out the cause and fix it.
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