Big (Not So) Empty

OK, since I can never think of good titles for my posts, I decided to go with whatever song happened to be playing in my iTunes. In this case, it was “Big Empty” by Stone Temple Pilots. Somewhat fitting, since my hood is big and, well, pretty much empty.

Some good news: my Snag-It is working again, and I didn’t have to re-purchase it. Woot! I just had them re-send me my key via e-mail. Easy peasy. So I got all worried about it for nothing. :-p

I spent most of this afternoon tweaking my Gnomesby terrain and having a heck of a time with it. I swear I spent three hours just trying to get my bridge to look right. (It’s flat now, thanks to the Bridge Height Mod for SimCity 4. Yay!) I also smoothed some of the peaks since I didn’t really want Gnomesby to be mountainous, just hilly. Another thing I wanted was the ability to put some beach lots in my “campground” area, so I worked on that and finally had some success. And I added/rearranged some roads. Here is the result:


I added some trees and rocks for flavor but I don’t know how much of it will stick around. We shall see.

You may notice a lone lot near the center of the pic — it’s the first house in Gnomesby! Yep, once I got the terrain set up to my satisfaction, I plunged into building a home for the Cliffes. It’s a little fancy for a young college professor, but as he’s also a writer, maybe he got lucky and penned a bestseller. I mean, he does have a cat named Lucky, so anything could happen, right?


I haven’t finished decorating the inside yet, since I ran into some CC that is crashing my game. Wheee. So now I’m moving things out bit by bit in order to find the culprit. I did do a little work in the dining room, however, so here’s a preview:


So Gnomesby is finally taking off!

One more thing — I’m working on a Credits page as well. Until that’s up and running, feel free to ask me where I got stuff. I haven’t posted many pics yet, so it shouldn’t be too hard for me to track things down.

24 thoughts on “Big (Not So) Empty

  1. Gah, Jen, your building and decorating abilities never cease to amaze! That house is GORGEOUS!

    As a side note, you now have that song stuck in my head. :P

  2. Wowiee Jen that is a pretty yummy house! And I’ll take you up on that offer to ask you where you got stuff, where are those lovely dining room chairs from?

  3. Mao – Heehee….”Ti-hime to take her home, her dizzy head is conscience-laden…” Glad you like the house! :-)

    Gemma – The lovely dining room chairs are part of the Shayne Pottery Barn set at Sims Kitchen. (The table is from the other Pottery Barn set there.)

    Shaera – Thank you very much!

  4. Just when I think I’ve seen every piece of CC on the Internet (because I spend waaaay too much time surfing it), you link to something gorgeous that’s new to me! :)

    The Cliffes’ house looks beautiful. You have far more patience than I!

  5. Great house Jen! I’ve always been a huge fan of your building projects, but this one blew me away! It doesn’t feel Maxian at all! I think it’s one of your best pieces! So, my question is:

    I know before you’ve said that you use house plan books for floor plans and stuff, and then tweak them in the game, so was this one from a floor plan? Or from the great mind of Jen?

    Another question, did you learn how to make roofs like that on your own? Or from a tutorial somewhere? I’ve searched everywhere and can’t seem to find a tutorial on roof slope and stuff. Maybe I’m just searching for the wrong thing? Have there been any building tutes that you love?

    I know I’m asking alot, but thanks so much! Also, Gnomesby is looking great! Keep up the fabulous work!

  6. Jen, your building/decorating skills always astound me. What a gorgeous house! Lovely, lovely work (as always).

    Speaking of your houses.. I’ve been playing an offshoot of the Legacy’s recently, and got them set up on their own little lot and tossed together a quick house for them. And during the course of my wild clicking during gameplay, I noticed that the house across the street from them.. is Shanley Manor! I’d totally forgotten I’d once downloaded it and put it into my game. Hee.

  7. Wow, I always love your houses, they look so amazing! ^__^ The neighborhood is beautiful, I always use SnagIt, its simply amazing.

  8. Oh my Gosh, that house is beautiful, inside and dining room! I can’t wait to see the rest of the house!! It absolutly gorgeous!!!!

  9. Wow That House Is Amazing.
    I would Never Have The Patience To Build Something as Good As That :D.

  10. One more thing Jen, What Is SnagIT. And How Do You Get It?

    Hope Everything goes ok with gnomebsy!

  11. Hi, Jen. You said you got a way to “build” a beach lot. How did you do it? I mean, because every time I try it in SC4, I get only a slope, not a flat beach. :(

  12. So we learn more about that cute cat’s name ! The house is gorgeous and I hope we’ll see the other rooms soon. Bravo for that piece of work ! When I look at this house or Jade’s houses on the Isle of Time, I think that I am a poor architect. Do you really draw plans before you build your houses ?

  13. Love the hood, is jealous about the flat bridge! There should definitely be more bridge options, me thinks. And the house is gorgeous!

  14. Annette – It’s amazing how much CC is still being made for TS2, isn’t it? I find new stuff all the time, too! Parsmonious has a great Finds section — I check it every day.

    Mandie – This one was loosely based off of another 1926 Sears home (I have a thing for those Sears houses — very traditional and a ton of variety) called “The Rembrandt” (fourth one up from the bottom on this page). The floor plan is fairly close to the original. As for building that roof, it was mostly through experimentation. If you can do the “individualroofslopeangle” cheat, it’s pretty easy. Maybe I could do a quick tutorial. As for other tutorials, there are some listed at the Sims2Wiki. I also do a lot of searches on the Building Zone forum at MTS2. Hope that helps! BTW, remember Mandie Abbington? The Sim you made for the Maude’s Scavenger Hunt prize (who never got to see the light of day because Shady Bluff went poof)? I was wondering — could I put her in Gnomesby? And would you like to re-create her, or should I go ahead and use the one you made before? Thanks!

    Audrey – Whoa, Shanley Manor, huh? Now there’s a blast from the past! Hope you’re having fun with your Legacys (and offshoots)! :-)

    Josh – Thank you! Snag-It is pretty awesome.

    Jade – Thank you so much! That means a lot coming from the Goddess of Thyme!

    chloe – Thank you for your comment!

    YasminSnag-It is a program that allows you to take screenshots easily. It basically does the same thing as hitting “Alt-Printscreen” on your keyboard, but stores them in a catalog so you don’t have to alt-tab out of the game to paste the pic into Paint or whatever. So you snap your pics and edit them later. It costs about $40, but you can download a trial version and try it out. Or you could try Gadwin Printscreen, which a few people here have recommended (and it’s free!).

    Simlish – It is definitely trial and error working with SC4 to get beachlots to work. I have the best success when the water line is almost exactly two squares away from the road. Also, the shoreline should be gently sloping if possible, not a sharp drop-off. There’s probably a better way to do this, but the way I did it was to make my shoreline with the “canyon” tool (to get a straight edge), then use the “erosion” tool to soften it. Then place your road two squares over from where the water hits land. It doesn’t always work, but with a little tweaking you should be able to get it. Hope that helps!

    Carla – Thanks much! Funny thing is, I don’t even remember where I got the wallpaper. I do love it, though.

    gab75 – I don’t always draw plans. If I’m going from an already existing floor plan, I use that as my guide. But if I’m building a house from my own imagination, then I usually have to draw some of it out first. I have a tablet of grid paper just for that purpose!

    Lisa – Thank you! Good to see you! :-)

    ingeli – I totally agree with you that we need more options for bridges. I hope they improve neighborhood creation in The Sims 3. And thanks for your comment. Windlebridge is very cool!!

  15. Thanks for the info on tutes Jen! I will definitely check them out. (And the prospect of you writing one sounds pretty sweet to me!). As for my sim, wow! Lol, I totally forgot about that! I would love for her to be in Gnomesby! You can use her if you want to…she doesn’t look much like me anymore (my hair is much longer and I’ve gained about 10 pounds due to being pregnant!), but you can make any adjustments to her that you want! Just make sure to marry me to some handsome, rich, and extremely romantic man! Heehee, just kidding of course. Just not Goopy please!

  16. Hey Jen! long time, no see, I’ve missed your updates :) I was wondering though, are you going to be doing a tour of that house or anything anytime soon?

    thanks :)

  17. Hi abby! Good to see you. :-) I’m not sure when I’ll do a tour of that house — it’s not finished yet, and I’m working on something else for Gnomesby at the moment. But I’m sure I’ll get back to it at some point!