A-Maze-ing Estate

I’ve been working on this build off and on for months!  I was delayed in part by a graphics glitch I was waiting for Maxis to fix and then also a lot of stuff going on in my personal life.  However, I’m thrilled to finally be finished and able to present the A-Maze-ing Estate to you!

This creation was inspired by a Pinterest image that caught my eye:

I used to love drawing mazes on good old graph paper as a child, and I also love adding depth and dimensionality to builds in The Sims 4, so this seemed like a great project for me.  I was somewhat faithful to the design shown on the front of this building, but I have no idea what the rest of it actually looks like.  I assume that they carried the maze theme around to the other sides; it’s what I would have done and in fact did!

I really felt like a sculptor as I went along, carving out a design, section by section.  It was fun!  However, when I got to the back, I felt like it would be overkill to continue the maze all the way around, and that a change was necessary:

Here the focus is more on symmetry with good sized balconies on each level and relaxing outdoor living on the ground floor.

I created a video tour of the A-Maze-ing estate, available here.  It’s a great option to see a sim’s eye view walkthrough of the build and skip all the static images, but if you’d rather not watch it, there are additional images of the build below.

More exterior views:

Left Side

Right Side

Closer views of the backyards:

Left Backyard (looking from the back)

Right Backyard

I think we’ve seen enough of the exterior for now; let’s move on into the interior.  We’ll start with the unit on the left.  I designed this unit for a family that would include a toddler and a child who enjoys sports, science, and plants, as well as parents that want serenity during downtime but love music and throwing parties on their “date nights.”  Starting on the ground floor, The tone is bright, playful, and a little funky:

Entry

Living

One thing I did in the kitchen was to actually use elevated counters as opposed to cabinets for overheads, in order to work around a current bug that tends to darken cabinets.  I like the way it turned out; the only thing you lose is the windowed cabinets that show glassware, etc., but for a modern space, I think the clean look works anyway.

Dining

Look closely at that dining room table – yep, that’s a mini maze I created by elevating some floor lighting pieces beneath the table.  You won’t find another one like it!

Bathroom

Small Patio

Moving on to the 2nd floor, here you’ll find the toddler’s bedroom:

I love all of the new objects for toddlers; they are so colorful and cute!  I also liked the idea of the older brother or sister coming in to do a puppet show for the toddler.  The little tyke also gets to enjoy a good sized balcony of his or her own:

The other bedroom on this level was designed for a sporty child with a green thumb and an interest in science:

This bedroom has access to a balcony overlooking the backyard:

Finally, here is this level’s bathroom:

Moving up to the 3rd floor, you will find what I call the “soft” master suite, done in calming teal and green hues:

I enjoyed using bb.moveobjects to design a bit of an enhanced, space saving closet.  While I like the concept of a walk-in closet, I always find it difficult to incorporate Maxis’ version of them because they are so bulky.  I’d rather design my own most of the time.

The bedroom connects directly to its master bath:

This bedroom has a relaxing front balcony:

And a small side balcony, currently used as a crafting space:

As well as a balcony with hot tub that overlooks the backyard:

Heading up to the 4th floor, it’s time to party!  Here, you can get that nightclub experience right in your own home!

When it’s time to take a break, you can head for the balcony overlooking the backyard for a little bubble time:

Or chill out with a drink and maybe some TV on the front or side balconies:

From this level, your sims can also gain access to a special rooftop area, but I’ll cover that after we head over to tour the second unit.

I went a bit darker in this one but still with several pops of color and fun touches.  Let’s take a look at the ground floor:

Entry

TV Nook

Kitchen

Living

Bathroom

Small Patio

Heading upstairs, the 2nd floor provides a very girly bedroom with some fun touches:

This bedroom also features a backyard balcony:

Still on the same level, there is also a teen bedroom with a vivid design:

The teen room also has its own front and side balconies:

Finally, there is a shared bathroom for the level, which favors the feminine theme:

Moving on up, the third floor contains what I call the “gold” master suite.  I recently got the Vintage Glamour pack and really fell in love with some of the objects in it.  While they aren’t necessarily modern, per se, I find that their lines aren’t anti-modern either.

The suite, of course, has its own opulent full bath:

This master suite has its own balcony (with hot tub) overlooking the backyard:

It also has a front balcony:

And small side balcony:

Heading up to the fourth floor, you’ll find plenty of activities, including a library:

with its own balcony:

Foosball table:

A motion sensor game mat (not pictured), a chess set:

And a gym:

with its own small balcony, currently set up for yoga:

This level also has access to a balcony overlooking the backyard:

Both units in the duplex can access a stairwell to the rooftop from this level:

Both can also access a shared half bath before heading up the stairs:

These small spaces were designed to whet the sims’ appetite for navigating a much larger and more complex rooftop maze!

This was a lot of fun to design, and I liked that the vivid aqua color also made it look like it could be another (huge) swimming pool (a maze pool was an idea I played around with originally but discarded).  There are a couple of spots in the maze where sims can take a little break from wandering to relax and chat:

This almost wraps up the flood of images.  I do want to include overheads, so that you can see the layout and flow of each level a bit better.  We’ll start at the top, since we’re already there:

Rooftop Maze overlooking the two backyard pools

4th Floor:

3rd Floor:

2nd Floor:

Ground Level:

A-Maze-ing Estate costs $664,524, and is situated on a 30×30 lot (I used Harbor Quarter Gym in Windenburg).  It has been thoroughly play tested, and the only issue I’m aware of is that your sims cannot use the “view” action on the fountain on the 3rd floor “gold” room front balcony.  This is because I used bb.moveobjects to decorate the fountain pedestal, as I find it more pleasing to the human eye that way, but if you’d rather your sims be able to view it themselves, simply delete the additional objects.

If you’re interested in taking a look at the A-Maze-ing Estate in game,  click here to download the build from the online Gallery.  Or, if you prefer, you can search for it in the game Gallery by its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations.  Please be sure to place the home in build mode, so that lighting colors and intensities are preserved.  Enjoy!

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Open City Living

When Maxis announced that the upcoming expansion pack for The Sims 4 would have a city theme, I was overjoyed.  City worlds are always some of my favorites, and the more modern architecture usually is a good fit for what I like to design.

I’ve had my eye on this building from Pinterest for a while, and decided to create my take on it in the game:

What I love about it:  the height, the openness, and the gorgeous huge glass doors and windows.  I incorporated those elements into my design, but I also wanted to play a bit with an aqua concept, using the new “Great Wall of Bubbles” object from the Dine Out game pack.  I thought it might be a cool twist if I used the Wall of Bubbles as windows instead of actual windows.  The resulting effect is quite fun, I think.  I would enjoy having at least one room with windows like that in my own house!

Here are some additional images of the exterior of the build.  I tried to make the architecture interesting from every angle:

Left Side:

Right Side:

Corner View:

Back:

The residence is 3 stories, and you can see from the exterior shots, that while there isn’t a lot of outdoor room (I chose to work with a 20×15 lot size), there is an outdoor bar area, and a nook that features a peek-a-boo hot tub and a relaxing spot for yoga or other meditations.  Here’s a closer look at these elements.

Bar:

Hot tub/Yoga:

Moving inside, the first level provides open living, dining, and kitchen.  This is what it looks like as you enter:

Here’s a closer look at the areas:

Opposite the kitchen is a small full bathroom:

Heading up to the second level, you’ll find a master bedroom with a balcony that overlooks the interior below.  I was going for a built-in aquarium look with the bed as well as a futuristic wall décor design:

The room also features a desk and dresser:

And, as mentioned, a cute balcony:

There is an attached master bathroom that really carries the aqua theme along:

Heading upstairs once more, you reach the second master bedroom.  I had some fun again designing a unique frame for the bed, and having the glass dance floor (from the Get Together expansion pack) acting as a skylight over the room really enhanced the colors and lighting.

This bedroom also includes a dresser and desk, as well as bookshelves, and it has an attached balcony that overlooks the back of the property.

And that’s it for the interior!  Here are some overhead shots to show you the layout of each level:

Top – Roof On (I tried to make a unique design here):

3rd Level:

2nd Level:

Ground Floor:

That concludes my little tour of Open City Living.  I’m excited about exploring the new expansion pack with this home as my base!  I know that apartments are a big part of the pack, and I’m sure I’ll give them a try as well, but I wanted something upscale that my more affluent sims could get into right away.  Since there are two master bedrooms, the home can easily support a couple of singles or romantic couples.  I hope you’ll give Open City Living a try as well!

Open City Living costs $182,160 and is situated on a 20×15 lot (I used Oak Alcove in Newcrest).  It has been thoroughly play tested, and the only issue I found with it was that sometimes, while preparing a meal, sims will use the sink area as if it were a blank counter.  They are still able to properly prepare/cook the meal, so it’s just a weird thing visually.  I tried switching out the counter sink for a pedestal sink, and sims would then use the open counter properly but wanted to go wash dishes in the bathroom.  I opted to go with the original design at that point.

If you’re interested in taking a look at Open City Living in game,  click here to download the build from the online Gallery.  Or, if you prefer, you can search for it in the game Gallery by its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations.  Please be sure to place the home in build mode, so that lighting colors and intensities are preserved.  Enjoy!

PeKing Star

I’ve been very excited for EA’s next game pack for The Sims 4, Dine Out, which was released on 6/7/16.  I wanted to create a modern Asian restaurant, somewhat inspired by the architectural style of P.F. Chang’s.  PeKing Star is the result.  In this build, I focused a great deal on trying to do something interesting with the roof instead of just having the gaping holes that we typically see when using half walls to create the illusion of structural elevation:

I also tried my hand at creating decorative arched bridges, which turned out to be very challenging but fun to do:

I can’t wait for the day when Maxis gives us functional arched/hanging bridges and/or the ability to create them ourselves.  I definitely spent a lot of time pouring over the details on this one.  Here are additional exterior shots.

Front:

Back:

Side:

Playtesting the interior was a ton of fun, and fortunately, I didn’t have to change much in order to make it functional.  As you enter, here is the hosting station, where you can greet your customers:

And a waiting area.  I found in playtesting that sims seem to just stand around until they are taken to their seats.  It’s too bad they won’t actually go sit while they wait, but I can imagine that it would have taken additional programming.

I set up 12 tables plus a bar.  I wanted to have a good amount of dining space available but without feeling cluttered and with appropriate dividers/privacy for at least some of the tables.  Here are various shots of the interior:

Here’s the waiter’s station with art by Leander Belgraves (not CC, but a painting my sim created of it):

And here is the chef’s station as seen from a customer’s viewpoint, followed by shots of the kitchen interior:

The bathrooms are relatively small; I tried to make them cute, but it’s not really worth showing.  You can see the design in the overhead layout shots.

Property:

Interior:

PeKing Star costs $245,295 and is situated on a 40×30 lot (I used Municipal Muses in Willowcreek).  It has been thoroughly play tested, and I found no issues with it.

If you’re interested in taking a look at PeKing Star in game,  click here to download the build from the online Gallery.  Or, if you prefer, you can search for it in the game Gallery by its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations.  Please be sure to place the home in build mode, so that lighting colors and intensities are preserved.  I hope you have fun dining in and/or managing it!

Heartbreak Hotel

I envisioned this build as an alternative to the likely parade of sweetheart houses that will be floating around the Sims 4 Gallery on Valentine’s Day this year.  I have nothing against the holiday, and I’m sure many of those builds will be great.  However, I enjoy a bit of irony and going against the flow, so if you’ve got a lonely or broken-hearted sim, they might get a kick out of moving into this unique home.

Despite the initial appearance, this build is not just for show.  It provides a fully playable 3 level duplex.  Each unit includes living/kitchen/dining, study/gym, and beds/baths, as well as balconies and private backyards with pools.  There is a good deal of personalized art, and I had fun designing my own modern fireplaces (as I often do).  Even with the traumatic theme, there are still romantic touches.  Maybe someday the sims will bridge this broken heart!

Before we take a look at the interior, I’d like to show a bit more of the outdoor spaces.  Back exterior:

Shared entry:

Backyards with pools (yes, each is a half heart), dining, and yoga/sunbathing:

2nd level balcony layout:

3rd level balcony layout:

Moving on to the interior, I’ll start with the unit on the left.  As you enter, you’ll spot a kitchen and dining nook:

To your right is a living area with my take on a modern curved fireplace:

There is also a bookshelf:

Heading on upstairs, I’ve set up the second floor as a work and play space with a small, full bathroom.  The space could easily be reworked to provide a second bedroom if desired, but for now it’s got a home office:

Card table and treadmill:

Bathroom:

Proceeding upstairs to the third and final level, the bedroom is set up with separate twin beds as part of the theme, but they of course could be changed out for a full bed should your sim’s prospects improve.

There is also an attached master bathroom:

Heading across to the second unit, there are a lot of similarities but still enough differences in color palette and décor, that I think it’s worth showing you.

Kitchen:

Living room with another modern fireplace design:

Another shot of the living room with a view of the dining nook and hanging flat screen TV:

Second floor office/play area:

Bathroom:

3rd Floor Bedroom and Master Bath:

Here are top down views of the property and layout:

Heartbreak Hotel costs $162,432 and is situated on a 20×20 lot (I used Mid-Nowhere in Windenburg).  It has been thoroughly play tested, and I found no issues with it.  However, because I elevated some items from the basement for interior design purposes, sims are able to route straight through them (the coffee table in the right hand unit, for example).  If routing through an object bothers you, you can always delete it and replace it with an object of your preference.

If you’re interested in taking a look at Heartbreak Hotel in game,  click here to download the build from the online Gallery.  Or, if you prefer, you can search for it in the game Gallery by its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations.  Please be sure to place the home in build mode, so that lighting colors and intensities are preserved.  Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ll enjoy this fun, alternative Valentine’s Day build!

Stilted

I was in the midst of two fairly complex and large WIPs and wanted to do something small and quick (as quick as I can manage anyway).  I was struck by this shot of a modern design that I spied on Pinterest:

I loved the simple lines, open balcony, and that stark white.  I didn’t want to go quite that micro though, and I did want to add some pops of color.  The rest of it just proceeded to develop and shift a bit as I worked.  I think the result is a home that any bachelor(ette) sim would be proud to call their pad!  Not enough to this build to warrant a video, so I didn’t create one, but here are some additional images of the exterior.  Front:

Back with Entrance:

A closer look at the pond beneath Stilted:

And the waterfall emerging from a mysterious cave:

I had a bit of fun with a planter design near the entrance:

And I enjoyed creating my own modern welcome mat:

The interior isn’t large, but it’s largely open with plenty of windows, and of course the Get Together dance floor used as a skylight (as well as a … floorlight?).  The photos you’ll see were all taken by my sim photographer in game and are unique.

Images of the living room:

Dining:

Closer look at the dining area at evening time:

I like the way the colors pop even more as it gets dark outside.

Kitchen Nook:

Bedroom:

Bathroom:

Here are some overhead shots to show you the layout of the property and rooms.

Property:

Upper Level:

Living Room:

Kitchen/Dining/Bed:

Bathroom:

Lower Level:

And I can’t resist a few night shots, as I did do some work with the lighting.

A closer look at what I did at the entrance.  It looked so boring to me, so I introduced an indoor/outdoor fish tank with a planter above it.  I think it fits well with the open theme.

Stilted provides 1 bedroom and 1 bath and costs an affordable $40,321.  It is situated on a 20×15 lot (I used Nookstone in Oasis Springs).  It has been thoroughly play tested, and I found no issues with it.

If you’re interested in taking a look at Stilted in game,  click here to download the build from the online Gallery.  Or, if you prefer, you can search for it in the game Gallery by its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations.  Please be sure to place the home in build mode, so that lighting colors and intensities are preserved.  Hope you enjoy it!

Update regarding my previous builds:

As I mentioned in my last post, the 12/4/15 patch introduced a few bugs that have unfortunately caused problems with some of my older works.  I have revised some of them:  Colonial Coalescence, Green’s Blue Victorian, and Chokkaku.  It turned out that Vivid Art Gallery’s issues were mostly corrected with a repair of the game.  The tops of 3 cabinets are still visible through the floor on the third level, but it doesn’t affect gameplay and would be an easy fix for downloaders, so I am letting that one go.  With regard to the rest, I am still waiting on/hoping for a Maxis patch to fix their issues…

Vivid Dance Club

After a bit of a break, I’m finally back with a new build, this one designed for the new Get Together expansion pack for The Sims 4.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I was lucky enough to attend EA’s Creators Camp back in November, and I was able to start the build then.  By some miracle, I have managed to complete it in time for the expansion launch.  5 days total build time, which is unheard of for me!

Even before the camp, I knew that I wanted my first Get Together build to be a club.  Originally, I thought I’d try my hand at a Loner’s Club – motto: “where your sims can go to be alone together.”  I envisioned lots of separate entrances, bars with stools spaced apart, tables with only one chair, etc.  I’m still amused by the notion, but no strong idea for a structure was coming to me, and I knew I wanted to try my hand at using the new dance floors as skylights.  I thought I might as well use ’em as dance floors too (since that was their original purpose), and thus the idea for a dance club was born.

I also wanted to play with vivid, neon colors again, like I had with my Vivid Art Gallery a few months back and to get as much animation going as I could.  I took particular pleasure in coming up with a new technique to create light art via embedding various lights in pillar objects (with just their edges showing).  I think it lends a really fun vibe.

Vivid Dance Club provides two levels that include three bars, two dance floors, arcade games, and a pool.  For those who would like to see the venue in action, take a look at the video for it here.  If you’re unable to watch the video or would prefer to browse through images, here they come!

Various angles showing the exterior of the club:

I had fun making my own fountain and planter designs.  Take a closer look:

Quick fun fact – the lit frame around the entrance door is an enlarged mirror elevated from the basement.  I love the effect, and the door remains fully functional.

Heading inside, you’ll find a chill little bar area.  I love the new bar objects; they had the perfect color combinations and gradients I was looking for.  As you can see, the skylight is also a prominent feature in the space, and the hallway is lit by my custom wall light designs.

Turning down the hallway, your sims can enjoy the new Button Masher arcade game together.  It’s a ton of fun to watch them play; I just wish that the game lasted a bit longer.

Across from the arcade game, there’s a sitting area and water feature that I designed.

Continuing along, I also set up a small area where the sims can make their own music, if they prefer it to the DJ tracks.

And at last, we come to the upper dance floor, glass, of course, with skylights above!

Dancing as a group in Get Together is just too much fun!

And look down – the sims are actually dancing above another dance floor on the lower level!

Beyond the dance floor is an additional gaming space, with another Button Masher, Darts, the new Foosball table, and a Gaming Mat.

Before we head out to the pool area (since I replaced the Windenburg pool venue with this creation, I felt like it should at least have a pool), here’s a quick glimpse of the bathroom design.  Kept it pretty basic – nobody’s coming to this club in order to hang out in the bathroom.  Unless someone makes a club for that!  There are two his and hers restrooms with a total of 4 stalls, so I don’t think there should be huge lines…

Now, on to the pool.  I had more fun with wall light art on the way out.

I definitely wanted a big skylight over the pool, and I love the effect.  You sure can’t beat the views from this lot either.

There’s a self service bar and fridge out here for your sims’ convenience.

Moving back inside, it’s time to descend the stairs and checkout the basement dance floor and bar.  The vibe is slightly different in here, maybe a bit classier?  Definitely a light show anyway!

When they get tired, there is a nice little area for them to lounge, drink, and chat.

And that about wraps it up for the interior.  Here are some overhead shots to show you the layout of the build.

Roofs up:

Roofs down:

Closer view of top level bar area:

Closer view of the upper dance floor:

Overhead of the basement dance floor and bar:

Vivid Dance Club costs $254,779 and is situated on a 40×30 lot (I used Bathe de Rill in Windenburg).  It is categorized as a dance club.  It has been thoroughly play tested, and I found no issues with it.  There is one FYI – I used an oversized lit rug on the bottom of the pool because I really liked its design.

However, if you have your camera angled to look down into the pool and click on it to swim, it will instead bring up the interface to control the lighting for the rug.  If you position your camera at more of an angle to the pool, you can click to swim as usual.

If you’re interested in taking a look at Vivid Dance Club in game,  click here to download the build from the online Gallery.  Or, if you prefer, you can search for it in the game Gallery by its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations.  Please be sure to place the club in build mode, so that lighting colors and intensities are preserved.

Important Note regarding my previous builds:

The 12/4/15 patch introduced a few bugs that have unfortunately caused problems with some of my older works.  I am hopeful that Maxis will fix them, but if not, I will revise and re-upload them as I am able.

In particular, Maxis changed how basement spaces work.  Prior to the patch, the game treated the entire basement space like a room, regardless of whether there were actual rooms present in the basement.  I elevated many objects from empty basement areas.  After the patch, the game now treats the basement space as an outdoor space, and objects elevated outside of a proper room in the basement will fall back down to the basement floor upon placement from the Library/Gallery.  This change affects the following builds: Oasis Falls, Ra’s Tower, Chīsana Hōseki, Clearview Midrange and Clearview Luxury (Clearview Starter is okay), Tiny Blues, Dali’s Exotic Toys & Pets, and Funky 1.  If you already have them set up in your game, they should still be fine, but I would hold off on downloading them or placing them from your Library for now.  This is the cost of being an experimental builder, I suppose!

Another bug that is causing a problem is objects shifting on older lots that had been stable.  This has happened with my Chokkaku, Vivid Art Gallery, and Moody Blues lots.  Moody Blues is also affected by a new graphics glitch with water emitter f/x that causes them to go invisible depending upon viewing level, distance, and camera angle.  While I can relocate shifted objects, there’s not much I can do about the graphics.  Finally, there is another odd bug where the game will place random walls over the top of stair railings, and my Green’s Blue Victorian and Colonial Coalescence got hit by that one.  It will be an easy fix, and I may take the time to add some new bells and whistles to the builds while I’m at it.

Well, that’s it for now.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post.  If you play with the Vivid Dance Club in your game, I hope you enjoy it!

Oasis Falls

With Chīsana Hōseki, I felt like I started developing an idea that deserved further exploration, namely using basement spaces to create multi-tiered ponds.  I envisioned a mountain with small waterfalls cascading down into ponds at various levels.  I hadn’t yet created a park in The Sims 4, so I decided it was time to give it a try.  I really like the color and decoration of the debug desert ponds, so I chose to build in the desert.  Oasis Falls is the result, and I feel like I was mostly able to pull off the vision.

Oasis Falls is not just for looks; it provides many activities, including fishing (naturally) swimming and soaking, horseshoes, chess, easels, lounging, snack bar, picnic tables, and kids play structures.  There is also an area with bar, piano, and stereo for adult entertainment.  Static images really don’t do this build justice, so I invite you to take a look at the video I created here in order to see it in action.  If you’re unable to watch the video or would prefer to browse through images, here are more.

Various angles showing the front of the park:

What it looks like from the back (not amazing, since the front is where the action is, and the back is the foundation, but even here, I tried for a few touches):

Enjoy some fishing in one of three ground level ponds:

Don’t forget your fishing pole!

Play some horseshoes or chess:

Here’s a closer look at the kids play area:

Roast marshmallows around the fire or cook yourself up some delicious bar-b-que:

Capture the beauty of nature on one of two easels:

Go grab a snack, and don’t forget to use the conveniently placed restroom!

Enjoy a soak or swim, as well as some yoga or tanning:

Here’s a closer look at the pool, which flows through a cave with a waterfall of its own:

Or you could always lounge around and just do nothing:

If your sim is up for climbing some stairs, there is a deck above the snack bar that provides a decent picnic area:

And on the other side is a corresponding deck with bar, piano, and stereo:

Go all the way to the top and peek through one of the spyglasses (no coins required).

Okay, so the spyglasses are non-functional, but the view is still great from up here!

Here’s what the park looks like from an overhead perspective:

And here’s how I used basement spaces to position a large portion of what you see above ground in seemingly impossible configurations:

I think the park looks pretty at night too, so here are a few shots:

Oasis Falls costs $246,492 and is situated on a 50×50 lot (I used Desert Bloom in Oasis Springs).  It is categorized as a park.  It has been thoroughly play tested, and I found no issues with it.

If you’re interested in taking a look at Oasis Falls in game,  click here to download the build from the online Gallery.  Or, if you prefer, you can search for it in the game Gallery by its name, or by my hashtag, #bryscreations.  Please be sure to place thepark in build mode, so that lighting colors and intensities are preserved.  I would recommend turning bb.moveobjects on also, just to be sure nothing is lost.