Welcome to the Build-n-Share Weekly Challenge!
The Build-n-Share challenges will be posted every other Wednesday and run for two weeks. Results will be posted approximately one week after all entries have been submitted in the Winner's Circle thread.
The benefits First place will be awarded at all levels. If there are at least eight entries in a category, up to four places will also be announced.
Challenges also create an opportunity for community on the forum site. We get to know one another’s names, share news, builds, and positive words. This is a chance to get your name out there, and hopefully make a few friends along the way.
What makes this challenge different from all the other ones I've seen? We have been hosting this weekly challenge since the first week the game was released. We have many levels of builders in our community and welcome th em all. This group is truly a product of all its great members!
Within the first few challenges, our group was recognized by the gurus that be, who have helped the weekly challenges gain even more popularity be stickying both Build-n-Share threads. Since then, we have had at least one featured creation almost every week, and our list of featured members continues to grow.
With 3 successful collaborative neighborhoods (Gnomelandia, Summer of Love, and NYC) completed, Build-n-Share hopes to bring more creative challenges and new neighborhood ideas to the community with the help of our dedicated participants who willingly contribute and help each week to make sure each challenge runs smoothly.
The rules All entries must be original work. Any competitor who submits another builder’s work will be disqualified and banned from any future Build-n-Share challenge. These competitors will also be removed from the Builders' Boulevard related websites if they have chosen to join (membership to the site and the Yahoo! group are not required to enter a Build-n-Share challenge).
Please announce your official lot posting using the entry form below. Make sure to leave the "Official Entry" label big. If you need to reformat it, you can do this by highlighting the desired text and then selecting "Big" in the font box above. This will help us see the entries in a sea of posts with no pics to guide us.
Entries must be submitted by the deadline, 7 p.m. Wednesday evening (eastern time, USA).
Your media should include a variety of screenshots to best showcase your entry. Please include at least one clear shot of the main floorplan of the build. If your build has multiple floors, please take a screenshot of each floor.
A description of the three major level categories
Beginner--I have a little experience, but I'm still figuring a lot of things out. I would not call myself an official "builder" at this point.
Intermediate--I have been building for awhile. I know the basics and maybe a little more. I enjoy building, but it is not my primary focus with the game.
Advanced--I know the Sims, and the Sims knows me. My name is familiar to a lot of veteran players, and I've competed in and won some building challenges and maybe even been recognized in a community showcase or two. I know most of the cheats AND I know how to use them.
Official Build-n-Share Animated Siggy Want to represent Build-n-Share in your signature? Here is our official signature. Just copy and paste [*img]http://i854.photobucket.com/albums/ab105/anjubee/bns_fad
e.gif?t=1251688153[/img] into the signature section under "preferences" and delete the *.
Two additional opportunities Love to build? Come join us at http://www.buildersboulevard.com . The site offers an additional forum for advertising lots, share tips and tricks, and participate in collaborative neighborhood projects!
We also have a Yahoo! Group for builders. It can be accessed at http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/buildersboulevard/ . You do not have to be a member to enter. This group will be used primarily as an announcement center and for some of our more complex polls, and possibly, databases.
Judges and Keepers of the Thread
Your official judges are Princess Natasha, Robodl95, Tristarin, Scoiattolo, and KittKat7147.
Your backup judges are Robb, jessk328, and denisimms.
Freynas is the official organizational guru collecting entrants' names, levels, links, and results!
Look for results typically a week after the deadline.
Big thanks to our judges and helpers!
Screenshots: Tips and Tricks
Since judging will be based on screenshots, we figured this would be a good time to go over some tips and tricks in taking good screenshots to help showcase your lovely builds.
1) Camera Man Mode - This is a must in taking good shots! You will have to be in live mode to do this, but just hit "TAB" to enter this mode. Once you are in this mode, you can use the mouse to freely control the angles and use "W, A, S, D" buttons to move forward, backwards, and side to side. "Z" zooms in, "X" zooms out. "Q" moves up and "E" moves down. "C" to capture the shot.
2) Find the perfect angle - With photography, it is all about finding the right angle. Spend some time in camera man mode to find the perfect angle. Get down to a sim's point of view to take the best shots of rooms.
3) Walls up - Most people play with walls cut away, but when you are taking pictures of your lot, try to keep your walls up to make your shots look more realistic.
4) No grids - Unless you need to show the grid for a specific purpose, make sure no build/buy grid is visible when you take your pictures. You can avoid this by taking pictures in live mode or by hitting the terrain paint button in build mode.
5) More is better—Weird, huh? But in this case, we want to make sure judges have enough shots to fairly judge your lot. Be sure to show off each room with at least one picture. Also, please include an overhead shot of the floorplan for each level.
Ok, those are the basics! If you want to further your simatography skills, we highly recommend you visit http://simatography.webs.com for more tips and tricks and to see some excellent shots taken by professional simatographers!
Please try to keep this thread as photo free as possible and either create a story, a slide show, a separate thread, or use the stickied photo thread to post shots of your lots!
So sorry for this inconvenience, but it's chopping off the right side of the page. This means I can't read your full posts, you can't read the challenge info, and we can't edit our posts because the button is off screen somewhere.
Here's what I'd like to do this week: I'm going to create a separate thread for photos only. Please still announce your lots here and use big letters to do so (just for a lot name, firm name, or title of some sort). I will only judge lots that are formally announced here, and the big letters will give me a visual cue that I need to go rec and download that asset for consideration.
Here's why I'd like to still have a thread for photos: 1. It's a great way to advertise the AWESOME work our talented builders are doing.
2. Some of the newer people may not know how to use an outside photo site.
3. Some people may not want to create another account on another site.
4. Some forum members may not want to bother with the time of linking to another site.
You may post your pics to this separate thread, or you may use an outside site if you prefer. Finally, you may link to a story here on The Sims site. It works pretty much the same as any other link, so I figured why not.
Once people are more experienced, we may chop these options down a bit. The vote on the Builders' Boulevard site was an outside source (ie. Photo Bucket or Image Shack), but there was scattered interest all over the board.
This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 06/10/09 04:16 PM
I'm just going to give instructions for a basic, foundation-only basement. In a starter, you probably won't have much money for one with walls anyway. Below my post is the way to make a basement that will allow you to include walls, too. It's a great tutorial. Thanks, Bonafied, for the link!
1. Using the foundation tool, build the foundation for your home. Keep in mind that your basement will be one square smaller on all sides than the foundation of your home.
2. Again using the foundation tool, hold down ctrl and create a hole in your foundation. Leave at least 1 square width on all sides. This will allow you to carve it out while maintaining a visible foundation for your home and walls for the basement.
3. Using the terrain tool, select the one for lowering. The new square option is very helpful, I think. Lower the ground in the new hole you created. Make sure you go at least far enough that there's "headroom" for your sims when they go downstairs and walk around. If there's not enough room, it won't let you place the stairs. So if you get them to work, you should be good. Conversely, don't dig too far down, or the drop will be too steep and the stairs won't make it to the bottom in a small floorplan like a starter.
4. Once you've confirmed there's room from that point to place the stairs, level the foundation to that level. You can find the level tool in the terrain section. You'll see a green square when you have the tool on. Click and drag it to the edges of your foundation walls that form your basement. Repeat until the basement floor is totally flat.
5. Place your stairs by clicking on the foundation edge or a floor tile. I recommend being at least one floor tile away from the outside edge of the foundation wall because it just gives a little more space for playability (in other words, I like a landing that's at least two blocks away from the wall). Hope that makes sense. Ask me if it doesn't.
6. Add flooring, wall coverings (if you have money), and objects.
7. On the first floor, you should be able to cover the whole floor with tile except the ones just above the stairs. I usually build a wall or fence around this hole so the sims don't "fall."
Carports I'm going to include instructions for building a carport that is attached to your home that has foundation (I'm thinking people will need this if they're building a basement.) If you're not building a house with foundation, basically just skip the first step.
1. Build a foundation next to your house and make it the size you want for your carport with roof overhang. I would recommend at least 7 tiles wide (A car is three tiles wide, so this will give you a free row of ground on each side and then another row on each side for foundation.
2. Enclose the three open sides of the carport with walls (the other side should be your house and should already have a wall).
3. Decide what type of roof you want and apply it. If you have a one-floor home, your roof could extend to include the carport. If it's two stories, you could still have a traditional roof. You could also try a flat roof if you like that best. After this, turn off autoroof. It's just to the left of the roofing options. It will get rid of the roof in the next step if you don't do this step.
4. Delete the walls from the carport area (but not the wall that is part of the house.)
5. Delete the foundation from the center five tiles (three in the middle for the parking space and car, one on each side for a little area to walk.) You can use the foundation tool to do this by clicking on the foundation and holding ctrl.
6. You can either leave the foundation as a strip on each side of the carport, or you might just want to leave a square of foundation at each corner. Either way, I would put a column or some system of visual support at each corner to "hold up the roof." Remember that you can use patio foundation if you're low on money. Drag over the regular foundation square with the patio tool to create the first level. Click shift and drag over it again to get the "column" of patio that now supports your carport roof.
7. To create an entry to the house (per Cody's request), place a door on the house wall. This will create a floating piece of wood tile on the side of the wall facing/under your carport.
8. Place a piece of foundation where the door is and extend it one more foundation square against the carport wall.
9. Attach stairs to run along the wall. (You could build them straight out, but this will leave less room to walk around the car.)
This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 06/10/09 03:52 PM
A few tips for starters Here are just a few tips to get you started. If you know a few more and are willing to give them up to the competition , feel free to post below with more info!
Walls: Are expensive. Use alternatives whenever possible.
Open layouts work nicely for starters. Just use natural transitioning and create "areas" instead (ie. the kitchen opens onto the living room, instead of being its own little room.)
Simple foundation basements are nice because they are made out of foundation, which is cheaper, and they add a whole lot of room to your house. If you leave them bare with brick walls, they cost even less. (I would at least cover the floor, though.) Attics can be good for the same reason. If you use a pointy roof and the house is big enough, there is some area under the highest point of the roof that's usable. All it costs to utilize this space is a set of the cheapest stairs and some inexpensive flooring.
Diagonal walls can be a little awkward, but because they can go from corner to corner and are wider than regular walls, you get a "room" out of one wall.
Foundation: Whether you are going to use a basement or not, hollow out the middle of your foundation floors. You really only need foundation around the outer edge of your home so your walls aren't floating in outerspace. When you use ctrl with the foundation tool, it erases foundation. If the area is still closed in with walls and a border of foundation, you usually are left with a floating floor. If the tile grid "disappears," start from the outside and work your way in. Each new row of floor will add the grid for the row after it. Soon, the whole room is covered.
Deleting the foundation has a second advantage: you can create little sunk-in areas with a set of stairs. Kind of a fun design twist that's cheap.
Columns: Also expensive. You know that carport? Instead of columns, you might consider using a two-level patio foundation (the one with the wood slats). Build the patio foundation. Then, on top of that one, hit shift and drag another patio foundation. They stack and become taller. High enough for that carport roof.
You also don't "need" all the columns. If you're trying to get flooring above a column, use the column, add the floor, and then delete the column. Voila! Floating tiles. I wouldn't have a massive floating object with no columns, but a few less than you need helps pinch pennies when you're talking starter.
Wall coverings: This is something I've figured out in Sims 3. I probably shouldn't tell you if you haven't done it yet...find the cheapest wall with no built-in pattern you can find (I use Flat Wall in the paint section). Click on it with the create-a-style tool. Go to your brick or whatever other more expensive pattern you want and select it. Your brick wall now costs about $3 less per panel then if you just did it the normal way.
Floorplan: Always go small. More walls=more money. They're expensive, and you have to cover them. Make it big enough that the sim can move around. But if they outgrow the house, they can always add on later. This is probably the biggest money-saver for starters.
Windows: Check window prices carefully. Some of the double windows will be cheaper than using two of the smaller ones. It's usually not by much, but if you're doing a whole wall of them, it can add up.
Build and build again: The cool thing about starters is you can build them pretty quickly. I usually find the more I build consecutively, the more I can get in and for less money.
This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 06/10/09 01:12 PM
Of course, not everyone knows HTML or has a photo-editing program like Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop in order to resize their photos. If there's a different way to do it, let people know.
In fact, some people may not know that above their box in the reply is how you change the size of your font.
NOW you know.
Me personally, I like posting thumbnails instead, even though I didn't do it with the first challenge. Granted, they may link to another site, but they get the point across. Though I just might try the story feature as well, it looks fun and I may get more hits.
Now all I have to do is put google on my website, and then maybe I can make some extra quarters. But that's a personal challenge.
This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 06/10/09 12:45 PM
Wonderful. Thank you, Sinastra. Yes, I was wondering how to deal with those who don't have any editing software for resizing. I have something basic that came with my camera; I need to poke around on it a little more.
Well, I'm not the best person to ask! Several other people posted thumbnails in the first Challenge thread.
However...with me....when I was uploading the screenshots to my website, I just clicked "Auto-Thumbnail" and it immediately created thumbnails. That was with Microsoft FrontPage. So in other words, house.jpg immediately became house_small.jpg or something like that.
Then by using the IMG tab above in the reply box, that's how I'd post the image on the photo thread. Example:
Although my problem is, heh, by using that particular picture, it only brings the small one up. No clicking, etc. Like I said, I'm not the best person to ask.
I still think I'm gonna try the story this time 'round though. Although Sinastra's option is awesome...and very user-friendly.
This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 06/10/09 01:02 PM