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Test Subject
Original Poster
#1 Old 2nd Jun 2009 at 3:27 PM
Default House Design: How to Calculate SQ Footage, Pre-Mades, Gripes, and My Home
This post may have features moderately unrelated, but minimizing post count is the trend these days, in a style meant NOT to attract attention to your username. So here are 3-4 posts in one.

Figuring out your Sim home's square footage.
(Why? Because it's fun. We all know that 5000 square feet or so denotes wealth in real life, and that many people live in a 1000-2000 square foot home. If you have ever bought a home or paid attention to your parents' paperwork, you being to realize that square footage is a practical and easy enumeration of house size)

1. Count your tiles (the big ones, not the dotted subdivides). Lets say your home is 20 tiles wide and 15 tiles deep.
2. Multiply each side by 3. (20 tiles wide x 3 = 60. 15 tiles deep x 3 = 45. These are feet.)
3. Multiply your previous results. (60x45 = 2700. 2700 square feet.)

If your home is not conveniently rectangular, you may guess roughly, or do the square footage of individual rectangles within the structure, adding them up at the end. For truly bizarre shapes, count the tiles individually. Each tile is 9 square feet. (9+9+9+9....etc.) This derives from the reckoning of The Sims 1 square footage methodology where 3 feet = one tile edge. It is supported by the approximate size of in-game objects compared to real-world values.

The Pre-Built Homes....

Sim homes in general suffer from some sort of isometric distortion making them look way bigger than they actually are. How many of you are analytical enough to annoy others? You, like I, have probably bent your head and alternated winking eyes trying to figure out how exactly home X on "windview lane" is looks so gigantihuge while barely being able to contain a bathroom. The Sims series has always had this problem. The goth home in the Sims 1 looked decent, but was actually really tiny. The middle-class range in the Sims 3 has usually one bedroom only. The pre-designed homes look amazing this time around, but the "architects" took clear liberties with the exaggerated size presentation and exacerbated the problem. Smaller homes designed were given one common living area with no sub-divisions. Mansions had huge interior spaces eaten up by swollen livingrooms and single monstrous master bedrooms. Maybe people want about 4 or 5 bedrooms in huge homes to make the stupid thing believable.

Solution: While they're not going to fix the graphical perspective to provide a better sense of size, they could at least offer a better range of 1.5 and 2 tiled windows to shrink the houses and the falseness of their sizes. Not to mention, the ability to place stuff on the half tile. Windows snap to the full tile. You can't place them as finely as you can -- chairs. Maybe it's the fact that windows are wall objects--no wait--you can place paintings' edges in the middle of a tile. Well then for absolutely no reason whatsoever, windows cannot be placed precisely, even though those were precisely the build objects most needed to do so. Freedom of placement would better center single windows over or under double windows to reinforce the usefulness of the doubles.

A minor gripe: The stairs.

Recoloring/texturing on the fly is one of the better aspects of this game. The staircases though, bizarrely, cannot be changed at all. Big problem. Even the edgiest designer will have his work weakened by a home's most limiting feature, and this is a major one. Half the staircases provided seem to be devoted to commercial/industrial/modern design use. The modern part of that is fine, except there are only about 3 windows that fit the modern theme. The other half of the staircases are in ugly woods, a mystery and cheap-looking white, and a carpeted version. The carpet is colored gray-green. Good choice, EA. Lack of redesignability is a vast, but correctable problem.

Finally, some of my stuff.

I design my homes as an antithesis to my gripes. This is the first home I have done for the Sims 3. Please note the use of wide windows and imagine for a moment how large it would look if I used the single-tile width windows. My home is around 5200 square feet, I want it to look that, rather than 9000.

Note the uncomfortable use of differentiating wood patterns in the struggle to match the stairs. Also, the fact that rooms are separated for function. No "kitchen-dens".

Finally, a display of aggressive partitioning. Proof that four bedrooms are easy and functional

That's it. Thanks for reading.
Lab Assistant
#2 Old 2nd Jun 2009 at 3:33 PM
Wow, thanks for the information about the stairs! Hopefully some awesome CCers will be able to mend this problem. I absolutely LOVE my TS2 Stairs! :D
Test Subject
#3 Old 2nd Jun 2009 at 3:42 PM
I'm curious, did you ever find half-walls? I love to use them in my kitchens, and I don't see an option for them this time around. Did they not include them? -_-
Test Subject
Original Poster
#4 Old 2nd Jun 2009 at 3:49 PM
No half-walls. Reminds me: no recoloring of the fences either (they couldve been a half-wall if that were possible)
#5 Old 2nd Jun 2009 at 3:56 PM
Originally Posted by xoovermindox
We all know that 5000 square feet or so denotes wealth in real life, and that many people live in a 1000-2000 square foot home.

This made me laugh! Having grown up in or around San Francisco, this rule does not apply to me or anyone I know! If you are able to live in anything bigger than a closet, you must be rich. (My husband and I live in a 700 sq foot condo, which we own, and trust me, it wasn't cheap!)

Otherwise I thought your post was very interesting. This month's issue of Dwell magazine features a theme of "Think Smaller - Homes Under 1000 Sq Ft."

As soon as I install the game I'm going to try to duplicate one of the houses they've featured.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#6 Old 2nd Jun 2009 at 4:01 PM
Hah I'm from New York originally -- I know how that is. Except for rent control. Most of the older people I know have awesome apartments. I have a fixation with state residences, so I'll probably do those. That is, the ones without multiple-storied pillars. Those are gone, too.
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