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Featured upload! Middleground -- Neighbourhood with lots; base game compatible

by plasticbox Posted 2nd Dec 2007 at 12:49 AM - Updated 13th Jan 2015 at 4:18 AM by plasticbox
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This is a featured upload! It showcases the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.
A perfectly mainstream middle-class suburbia in an idyllic location next to the shore, complete with lots but no sims. With a bit of pre-christmas decoration in most of the lots, because I like the Maxis Poinsettia and .. well, look at the calendar =).



Middleground is centered around a museum and park with city-ish houses down Main Street, older country style houses in Riverside Drive (to the right of the picture) and newly-built family starters in Forest Lane up the hill. There's also an oldfashioned cottage in the woods, two beach/holiday houses, and one house in Dieffenbach Boulevard (down the left side) where I imagine more upperclass houses and villas could be built -- behind the loop at the end of the street would be a perfect location for a small castle or oversized mansion.

The street layout of Middleground is small (no cameramod needed), but still with room to expand. The neighbourhood is 100% flat in the buildable areas; the sc4 terrain (available as a separate download below) is flat in the central part but may have slopes elsewhere.

Middleground will install as N514. Made with the Empty and Cleaned-up Templates by SaraMK and Argon @ MATY -- it contains no playable sims, townies, NPCs, or other traces of sim life. Pets users: if you don't want your game to generate random pets when you start playing, the thread on MATY has an empty Pets template too.



Map of Middleground:



Middleground comes with 6 community and 13 residential lots, 6 of them starters; see follow-up posts for pictures and detailed descriptions of each one. The lake in the upper left corner is not included, that's the "Swimmable Lake" from this thread (base game compatible).

R = Residential
C = Community

01 R - 04 Forest Lane 1BR 1BA cottage with basement
02 R - 03 Forest Lane 2BR 1BA starter house
03 R - 02 Forest Lane 2BR 1BA starter house
04 R - 01 Forest Lane 2BR 1BA starter house with pool
05 R - 02 Dieffenbach Boulevard 2BR 2BA
06 R - 12 Riverside Drive 2BR 2BA starter house
07 C - 10 Riverside Drive Mini Market (Groceries)
08 R - 08 Riverside Drive 2BR 2BA country house
09 C - Middleground Cemetery
10 C - 01 Main Street Museum for Asian Arts and Crafts
11 C - Middleground Central Park
12 R - 09 Riverside Drive 2BR 2BA with garden and pool
13 R - 01 Riverside Drive 3BR 2BA + spare rooms
14 R - 02 Main Street 2BR 2BA
15 R - 03 Main Street 2BR 2BA starter house
16 C - 04 Main Street Newsstand
17 R - 02 Langerak Drive 2BR 2BA, with pool
18 R - 01 Langerak Drive 1BR 2BA starter house, with spare room
19 C - Willow Square (tiny park)


Most of the lots are rather small, between 1x1 and 2x4. The largest ones are 3x3 (the cemetery and the museum).

All residential lots have a garden and are furnished for at least 2 sims. Every house includes the usual starter equipment (double bed, table and seating for two, bookshelf, lights in all furnished rooms and outside, toilet, bathtub or shower, fridge, kitchen sink, phone, trash can, smoke detector, burglar alarm -- most of the houses have some extras on top) and has room for at least one driveway.

Playtested in the Base Game, Base+NL, and Base+Seasons. Snow and other weather effects on the screenshots are a Seasons feature -- there are no custom terrain paints or snow decorations included. Community lots are not playtested as owned businesses, only as visitable lots. All lots are tested for adequate lighting at night and are landscaped to a reasonable degree (there's not just blank terrain underneath the snow).



Compatibility:

Middleground should work for everyone -- it's made in the Base Game, residential lots are prepared for NL with room for driveways, all lots are playtested in Seasons for weatherproofness, gardens are easy to fence off (if they aren't already) against strays/pets, businesses are ready for OfB with lockable areas and staff toilets. I hope that BV users will be able to place at least a few beach lots somewhere; this I can't check out myself so if it doesn't work you'll have to build non-BV beaches instead (get frillen's floortile hider if you do, it really makes a difference).



How to install:

1. Download middleground_customcontent.rar, expand and put in My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads
2. Download middleground_neighbourhood_N514.rar, expand and put in My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Neighbourhoods
3. Start your game: Middleground should appear as last entry in your Neighbourhoods menu (unless you already have one that has a higher number).

Middleground will be N514. Please make sure that your N514 folder ends up in the /Neighbourhoods folder *directly*, not inside a subfolder! (thanks to JessieBee185 for catching that one). In case you already have a N514 hood, rename the folder you downloaded from here and all files inside it that start with "N514_" (the ones in the Lots and Thumbnails subdirectories too) with a number that you don't already use. Anything up to "N999_" works, in my experience.

Alternatively, if you want this to be a subhood for example, or if you want your default townies in it, you can also install the hood as above, then use the sc4 terrain to make a new empty (sub)hood, move the houses over to that one and delete Middleground.

Enjoy!



Files below:

- middleground_customcontent.rar -- all custom content that's needed for this hood (see list) in one neatly subfoldered pile
- middleground_neighbourhood_N514.rar -- the compressed Neighbourhood folder
- middleground_sc4.rar -- the .sc4 file + previews for those who only want the blank terrain

Please do not ask for zip files: Windows users, get WinRAR | OSX users, get UnRarX

For two people, lots #15 and #17 (3 Main Street and the blue one in Langerak Drive, number 1 or 2 or whatever) didn't show up in the neighbourhood -- if you have the same problem, you can download them separately from post #53 of this thread. I'd reupload the whole thing if I knew what the problem actually is, but right now I don't (if you've got any ideas, please post).



Custom content:

What's contained in middleground_customcontent.rar

Doors/Windows:
- Two doors by MaryLou @ MTS2, from this thread
- Three windows by MaryLou @ MTS2, from this thread
- White recolor of the Maxis French Door by HolySimoly, from this page

Columns:
- Timber Column and lattice + recolours by Reyn @ MTS2, from this thread
- Wooden post by Marina, from this page

Stairs:
- Open Underneath Steadfast Stairs by crocobaura @ MTS2, from this thread
- Recolorable Wooden Deck Stairs by Numenor @ MTS2, from this thread
- Recolorable Wooden Deck Stairs by Reyn @ MTS2, from this thread
- Two deck stair recolors by justmoi @ MTS2, from this post
- One deck stair recolor by nengi65 @ MTS2
- One deck stair recolor by Reyn @ MTS2, from this thread

Please see the threads linked above for installation instructions -- the lots will work just fine if you don't install the stairs properly, but you won't be able to select or change them or use them in other lots (they won't show up in the catalogue, which is what the installation procedure is for).

Other:
- White Pinegultcher fence by nengi65 @ MTS2
- Ceiling rim and white recolour by 4esf, from this page
- Two wallpapers by larsson1970 @ MTS2
- Four wallpapers by myself

Buy Mode - Meshes:
- Classic Wreath and Poinsettia by Maxis

Buy Mode - Recolors:
- White recolor of the Maxis cheap toilet by perdita_x_dream @ MTS2, from this thread
- White recolor of the Maxis cheap stove by WebbyMom @ MTS2
- Two recolors of the Maxis "Wall Flowers" light by justmoi @ MTS2, from this thread


Thanks:

- All of the authors of the custom content listed above, for making it and especially for allowing it to be redistributed
- SaraMK and Argon for their Empty and Cleaned-up Templates
- Numenor for the Base Game Starter
- Frillen for this collection
- Andi8104 for the these mini lots
- MaryLou for those mini lots
- Everyone involved in the LotExpander/LotAdjuster development: without you, the nonstandard lot sizes in this hood wouldn't have been an option.


Thanks in advance:

Please don't PM me with downloading issues or build mode problems (post in the appropriate forums instead) and don't ask me for sc4 files or Body Shop content (I do lots and won't consider anything else). Any feedback related to this download, please post here instead of PMing me. Thank you.
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
middleground_neighbourhood_N514.rar 9.85 MB 50,369 2nd Dec 2007
middleground_customcontent.rar 1.53 MB 39,112 2nd Dec 2007
middleground_sc4.rar 564.2 KB 29,579 2nd Dec 2007
Basic Download and Install Instructions:

1. Download: Click the download link to save the .rar or .zip file(s) to your computer.

2. Extract: Use WinRAR (Windows) or Stuffit (Mac) to extract the .package file(s) from the .rar or .zip file(s).

3. Place in Downloads Folder: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your Downloads folder:
  • Windows XP: Documents and Settings\(Current User Account)\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Windows Vista/7/8: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Mac: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\

-or-

4. Place in Program Files: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your appropriate Install folder:
  • Windows XP: C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 (Your Latest EP)\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Windows Vista/7/8: C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 (Your Latest EP)\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Windows Vista/7/8: C:\Program Files(x86)\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 (Your Latest EP)\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Origin: C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection\Fun with Pets\SP9\TSData\Res\Catalog\Bins
  • Mac: APPLICATIONS FOLDER -> THE SIMS 2 -> TSDATA -> RES -> CATALOG


Need more information?
 
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207 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 193 Feedback Posts, 8 Thanks Posts
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Test Subject
#26 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 4:34 PM
plasticbox, you are easily my favorite mts2 creator. my neighborhoods would be barren without your great work. if you don't already have a career in architecture or urban planning, you are more than qualified for one! thanks for this - i can't wait to use it.
Test Subject
#27 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 5:08 PM
I can't start playing since you keep making these wonderful neighborhoods, and I just can't decide whick I'm going to have. My God you're making neighborhoods of my dreams. You have such an eye for these things. it's so beautiful, I would give away 50 years of my life just to live there myself.
please keep creating, I'm always downloading all of your things.
Test Subject
#28 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 5:48 PM
I tired downloading the custom content and I get an error message. It downloads but it has an error message saying its the abrupt end of the file. Is it missing something?
Pettifogging Legalist!
staff: retired moderator
Original Poster
#29 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 5:59 PM
delariean,

redownload. End of file means the download is incomplete.

Stuff for TS2 · TS3 · TS4 | Please do not PM me with technical questions – we have Create forums for that.

In the kingdom of the blind, do as the Romans do.
Field Researcher
#30 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 6:17 PM
Wow! Just downloaded and checked this little town out in the game! You did an excellent job! I love it!!! I love these towns you keep putting together! Can't wait to see if you give us another one Thanks for this. My Sims are going to be very happy living here! Also wanted to comment on your homes, they are so cute, functional, and really just the right size. You never really make anything too big or too small. Your building skills are exceptional!!! Thank you
Test Subject
#31 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 6:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
delariean,

redownload. End of file means the download is incomplete.


It worked. Thanks for the quick response!
Field Researcher
#32 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 6:34 PM
Great work I love Baskerville, and can't wait to see this one in-game! Thanks so much for all your hard work

Mene Sakkhet Urseveh
Live Long, and Prosper
Instructor
#33 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 8:45 PM
Absolutely perfect as always. I just love your lots and neighborhoods. Can't wait to see it in game.
Test Subject
#34 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 8:46 PM
Question:
Do you expand ALL the folders or just 1st one:
-Ex:Open-then middle ground custom content and from there just simply install?

Cuz it didn't show up for me?


But its AWESOME,thank you so much!
:D
Pettifogging Legalist!
staff: retired moderator
Original Poster
#35 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 9:31 PM
Converselove,

I don't understand your question. middleground_customcontent.rar expands as a folder, you put that folder in your DL folder, and that's it.

And what exactly did not show up for you .. the custom content? Or the neighbourhood?

Stuff for TS2 · TS3 · TS4 | Please do not PM me with technical questions – we have Create forums for that.

In the kingdom of the blind, do as the Romans do.
Test Subject
#36 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 9:57 PM
Both.
Nothing came up


Can you give step by step
-I'm slow,SORRY!

Thank you if you or can't
:D
Lab Assistant
#37 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 10:06 PM
Would it be possible for you to put the lots as separate downloads? That would be great! Sorry if this is one of those things that you did not want people to ask about.

~ Hiro Osric ~
Pettifogging Legalist!
staff: retired moderator
Original Poster
#38 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 10:31 PM
Hiro Osic,

it would be possible but very unnecessary. You can simply install the hood, move all lots into the lotbin, delete the hood -- that's much quicker and easier.


Converselove,

I think it will go faster if you explain step by step what you do, and at which point you get stuck. Otherwise I can only guess blindly .. probably not very useful.

Stuff for TS2 · TS3 · TS4 | Please do not PM me with technical questions – we have Create forums for that.

In the kingdom of the blind, do as the Romans do.
Test Subject
#39 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 10:36 PM
1st:I downloaded middleground_neighbourhood_N514.rar
2nd:Then middleground_customcontent.rar
3rd:Opened both files
4th:I extract middleground_neighbourhood_N514.rar to the Neighbourhood file
5th:Did the same for the other but only to the download file.

I started the game but I didn't see it,no where to be found.
-Thanks for the help
Pettifogging Legalist!
staff: retired moderator
Original Poster
#40 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 11:15 PM
Converselove,

with your steps 3 and 4 I'm not sure I can follow, because with the tools that I use (under OSX), opening and expanding are not separate steps .. in case there is anything going wrong at that point (not saying this is so, just in case), I'm not going to be able to spot it. Are you using WinRar? Or something else?

One thing that comes to mind: are you sure you're expanding to the right Neighbourhoods folder, the one in My Documents? There is another one somewhere in the game folder in Programs, if you're putting it there the game won't see it.

It is also possible that your download is incomplete: the uncompressed N514 folder should be about 20MB, with 19 files in the Lots subfolder. Can you check if that is the case? If not, please redownload.

Also, the folder must be named N514 -- you can't rename it.

Another idea: theoretically it might be possible that the internal ID of this hood conflicts with some other neighbourhood you have. My own game handles this gracefully (even exact duplicates show up fine next to each other), but you never know. To check whether this is your problem, you can *temporarily* remove (NOT delete -- just move to your desktop) all your other neighbourhoods and see if Middleground shows up then.

Lastly .. you did page through your neighbourhoods menu (in-game) to the very last page, yes? Keep in mind that Middleground will be most likely the *last* entry you see (the hoods are sorted numerically).

I'm out of ideas, for now. If anyone else (possibly someone familiar with WinRAR and its ilk?) has an idea, please post =)

Stuff for TS2 · TS3 · TS4 | Please do not PM me with technical questions – we have Create forums for that.

In the kingdom of the blind, do as the Romans do.
Test Subject
#41 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 11:18 PM
Awesome job! Thank you!
Top Secret Researcher
#42 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 11:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
I'm out of ideas, for now. If anyone else (possibly someone familiar with WinRAR and its ilk?) has an idea, please post =)
If you "open" a rar'ed or zip'ed file with WinRAR installed, you will get a WR window that lets you extract to hard drive locations. Not the easiest or best way to do it IMO, but it works.
Pettifogging Legalist!
staff: retired moderator
Original Poster
#43 Old 2nd Dec 2007 at 11:52 PM
Ah ok .. so the "opening" step is so that you can see what's inside the rar (before you actually expand it), yes? If this is so, it doesn't sound like it actually does anything with the files at that point .. so that's probably not where it breaks. Thanks for the info.

Stuff for TS2 · TS3 · TS4 | Please do not PM me with technical questions – we have Create forums for that.

In the kingdom of the blind, do as the Romans do.
Test Subject
#44 Old 3rd Dec 2007 at 1:05 AM Last edited by Converselove : 3rd Dec 2007 at 1:12 AM.
"To check whether this is your problem, you can *temporarily* remove (NOT delete -- just move to your desktop) all your other neighbourhoods and see if Middleground shows up then."


Its a full download,and I'm using Winrar,And I placing it under My Document,so I think my proublem is:

"remove (NOT delete -- just move to your desktop) all your other neighbourhoods and see if Middleground shows up then"

How do I do that?
Top Secret Researcher
#45 Old 3rd Dec 2007 at 7:07 AM
Thanks plasticbox - I love the hood you made for Baskerville, and this one should be great too - nice of you to make such decent, small maps.
Alchemist
#46 Old 3rd Dec 2007 at 4:04 PM
It has the x-mas feeling all about it! Thanks!
Test Subject
#47 Old 3rd Dec 2007 at 4:26 PM
I love Middleground and am already enjoying it, thank you!

There's a little problem, though. Lots 15 and 17 aren't showing up. Any idea what may be the problem?
Lab Assistant
#48 Old 3rd Dec 2007 at 7:28 PM
Aw, that's well cute! And OMG, 08 Riverside Drive looks like my friends house! >>
Well done and thanks a lot for all your hard work It was so worth it. It wouldn't surprise me if this got featured! Go you! (No wonder you're one of my fave creators!)

Rainbow Street: colourful starter homes.
Test Subject
#49 Old 3rd Dec 2007 at 10:50 PM
Great Neighbourhood ! And base game compatible !!
I looked at baskerville hoping you would do something for the poor simmers without seasons and YOU DID !!! Thank you sooo much !

It looks lovely in game. My favorite are nĀ°1 and 8 Riverside Drive ^^.
Pettifogging Legalist!
staff: retired moderator
Original Poster
#50 Old 4th Dec 2007 at 2:30 AM
otrjam,

I can't think of a good reason why this would be .. except perhaps an incomplete download: are there 19 files in your N514/Lots folder? If not, please redownload. Even if you can see the files, redownloading might be your best bet .. the missing ones could be corrupt or something.


Converselove,

I'm sorry, but if you don't know how to move files around on your computer I don't think I'm going to be able to help you.

Stuff for TS2 · TS3 · TS4 | Please do not PM me with technical questions – we have Create forums for that.

In the kingdom of the blind, do as the Romans do.
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