[personal profile] threadandsandpaper

Okay folks, I'm really hoping to blow somebody's mind here. To the tutorial!

Things you will need:
Sims 2, Duh
The Lot Adjuster
Numenor's unleveled walls (you should also get the other ones while you are there, VERY USEFUL)
An invisible fence
You will probably also want to do this. It makes it so the light direction in the neighborhood view match the light direction in the lots.

We are going to build a small residential lot that sits over two really tiny community lots. Why? So our sims can live over their store without having it IN THE HOUSE. It's also gonna be a fake row house, so you can place multiple copies next to each other to create one large complex. FANCY PANTS.

We'll start with the community lots. Place a 3x2 community lot on the map. Name it this: 0 -1RLB
*what that name means: the 0 kicks it to the top of the lot adjuster, -1RLB is -1 square from the right, left, & back. Naming like this makes figuring out what you need to do in the lot adjuster SO much easier.

Enter lot. Start by masking off the areas we will delete when we use the lot adjuster. in this case thats 10 square from the right, left, and back.
 photo CommunityLot01-2.jpg


Next we build our tiny lot. It's an 8x8 square.
 photo CommunityLot02.jpg

On top of our playable floor we need to build a dummy floor. This is what makes the lots stacked below and above appear seamless in the neighborhood view. Build an 8x8 second floor on top of the first. You can also delete the mask tiles, we are done with them.
 photo CommunityLot03-1.jpg

We only want our dummy floor to be 4 clicks tall. In the open space beside the building make one tile of foundation, put a wall on top. Open the cheat console and type: boolProp constrainFloorElevation false. Create a floor tile above the wall  then drag the floor across your the second floor of the building, like so:
 photo CommunityLot04.jpg

Open the cheat console and type: boolProp constrainFloorElevation true. Delete all the floor tiles you just placed, the wall on the foundation, and the foundation. That's it for this lot, easy right?  It should look like this:

 photo CommunityLot05-1.jpg

For the residential lot what we really need is a 4x2 lot, but EAxis didn't give us one. Plunk down a 5x2 residential lot. This is important: make sure you place it in the same orientation as your community lot. The road on the same side! Facing the same direction! If you don't do this the shadows won't match up. Name it 0 -1LB -2R. Enter the lot and mask out the tiles we won't be using, that's 10 on the left and back and 20 on the right.
 photo ResidentialLot01.jpg

Now place some walls to represent the two 8x8 community lots that will sit underneath:
 photo ResidentialLot02.jpg

Alright, close up the space between the two community lots. That 2x8 corridor will be the access to the lot above. After you finish the tutorial and go back to decorate, that's where you will put the stairs/elevator. Also add those 4 little wing to the outside, those are our row house walls. they will give the illusion this lot is connected to the next. If you decide you don't want them, you can take them out even  after you shrink the lot. For the time being just go along with it. You can also delete the mask tiles, we're done with 'em.
 photo ResidentialLot03.jpg

Now we have to do a funny thing. We need this wall to be exactly two clicks higher than it is. Using the change elevation tool, move one land tile up two clicks. Place a wall on top.  Open the cheat console and type: boolProp constrainFloorElevation false. Put a tile on top of the wall and drag across your building, just like before. Turn off the cheat: boolProp constrainFloorElevation true. 

*Wait! why did we just do that? Because the lot impostors (the neighborhood versions of your buildings) are proportional to your buildings, but sit slightly too low. If you don't do this, the residential impostor will clip into your active building when you play the community lots. VERY ANNOYING!
 photo ResidentialLot04.jpg
[There really should be a second picture here but in my infinite wisdom I forgot to take it, sorry.]

Now for the dummy floor. First delete all those floors you just made and the stray wall. DO NOT lower the elevation on that tile though, you'll need it again. Next build a copy of your first level on the second level.
 photo ResidentialLot05.jpg

Place a foundation on that elevated tile over to the side (the one I told you not to level). Put a wall on the foundation. Turn on the floor elevation cheat, place the tile, and drag it across the building.
 photo ResidentialLot06.jpg photo ResidentialLot07.jpg

Turn off the cheat, delete all those floor tiles, the stray wall, and the foundation. Level the little hill you made. Your building should look like the picture below. Now build your building on top. I'm just making the next two floors exactly the same and throwing a cornice fence on top.
 photo ResidentialLot08.jpg


Taa daa! I put windows in too. If you try to put any windows/doors on the first level you will notice the mask for them is incorrect, we'll fix that in the next step.  I have continued the row house walls up the sides AND i've put windows in. That gives you the maximum possibilities later. You can delete the row house walls OR the 
windows. I have also continued the cornice out over the row house walls.

 photo ResidentialLot09.jpg

To fix the masking problem we need the unleveled wall (you did go get it right?).
 photo ResidentialLot10.jpg

Delete the entire dummy layer. replace it with the unleveled wall. You don't need to turn the cheat back on, this is what they are for!
 photo ResidentialLot11.jpg

Do the same thing on the bottom level.
 photo ResidentialLot12.jpg

Apply door. Apply wall texture. Write down the name of the wall texture you use, unless you think you can just remember it smarty pants.
 photo ResidentialLot13.jpg

Time for another strange step. We are going to delete the walls on the first level that are redundant with those of the community lots but are not part of rooms we need for residential lot. Yeah, just copy the picture. Then replace those walls with an invisible fence. Two pictures for clarity.
 photo ResidentialLot14.jpg photo ResidentialLot15.jpg

Now go add the roof. Place tiles between the row house walls. Yes it's okay to put them all the way up to (but not over!) our boundary.
 photo ResidentialLot16.jpg

More weirdness! Place a row of floor tiles around the outside edge of your building on each floor that has windows. Just trust me on this one.
 photo ResidentialLot17.jpg

Holy Cow! We're done building! It should look like this:
 photo ResidentialLot18.jpg

CLOSE YOUR GAME! START THE LOT ADJUSTER!
Navigate to your neighborhood and select the lot named 0 -1RLB.
Hit the advanced button at the bottom. 
Check the box next to Enable Shrinking.
In the main window enter -10 in the boxes next to right, left, & back.
Hit finish. 
Hit restart. 
Open 0 -1LB -2R.
Hit the advanced button at the bottom. 
Check the box next to Enable Shrinking.
Enter -10 in the left and back boxes, -20 in the right box.
Finish.
Close program.

[Should there be a picture here? Yes. Is there? No. Fail!]


LOAD YOUR GAME.
Find your little community lot and enter it. Awwwww so cwute and wittle! Put a roof on (because I forgot before) it needs to be between the first and second floors NOT on top of the second floor.
 photo CommunityLot06-1.jpg

Use the same walls you used for the residential lot. Go back to the neighborhood screen. Rename the lot some thing useful and put it in your lot bin.
 photo CommunityLot07.jpg

To the residential lot! That looks more or less how I remember it... hey, wait.... weren't there some windows on the side there? 
 photo ResidentialLot20.jpg

Oh, there they are. Inside. Which is a great place for windows. The lot adjuster sometimes moves objects that are on the edge of the lot back one space. Normally you wouldn't be able to put them back in place (at least not facing outwards), but remember that last weird thing we did? We put all those tiles around the outside of the building? Those will let us move them back into place.
*They also will let you put paintings/signs on the outside wall. As long as the tiles are there, the game will 'see' those spaces. When you delete them you will no longer be able to place things outside the building on the upper floors. You have been warned!!!!
 photo ResidentialLot21.jpg

When you've put the windows back you can delete those perimeter tiles. This is what you should have:
 photo ResidentialLot22.jpg

To the neighborhood view! Pull two copies of the community lot out of your bin. Arrange them and your residential lot like so:
 photo Neighborhood01.jpg

Rename residential lot 0 M2L
*Thats move 2 left, but you guessed that.
 photo Neighborhood02.jpg


CLOSE YOUR GAME! START THE LOT ADJUSTER!
Navigate and open 0 M2L.
Hit advanced.
Check the box next to Move Lot.
Hit the left arrow 2 times.
Hit Finish.
 photo LotAdjuster01.jpg

You are DONE.
 photo Neighborhood03.jpg

Well, you still need to decorate. You could also add a second copy next to it, or go in and just delete the row house walls. SO MANY POSSIBILITIES! Here's an example of a similar set of buildings. 2 residential lots, 4 community lots.
 photo Example03.jpg

The community lot can be more than one story! 2 residential and 2 community, next to 1 residential and 1 community.
 photo Example04.jpg

You don't just have to build boxes! 3 residential, 4 community.
 photo Example02.jpg

Its a whole urban enclave! 19 residential, 21 community. It's enough apartments for 46 families plus one building is a dorm that sleeps 8. 
 photo Example01.jpg


Some things to be aware of:

Once the two lots overlap they ground will look glitch-y. This is because the lot terrain and the neighborhood impostor are on the same plane. To fix it place floor tiles on all the affected terrain.
Because of this same problem you cannot have pools on spaces where two lots intersect. Well... you can but it looks BAD.
You can stack more than two buildings high, but it's not a good idea. Lots above the second have camera issues that make them unplayable. I assume this is an issue with any lot that gets too high. 


Edited to fix typos and incorrect images.
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