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Decorative Parking Spaces - with random cars parked

by MogHughson Posted 18th May 2009 at 4:45 PM - Updated 17th May 2011 at 7:16 PM by MogHughson : Removed internal categorisation as a driveway
253 Comments / replies (Who?) - 24 Feedback Posts
This is a featured upload! It showcases the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.
*Updated 7th November 2010*
Removed internal categorisation as a driveway so cars don't park in it - see section below
In the very first Sims 2 game I was curious why the various community lots in Pleasantview had large car parking areas where there were no cars. Then the Nightlife Expansion Pack came out and Sims had cars to drive, but parked on the side of the road when visiting community lots. I find these empty car parks a little bit spooky and decided to make an object to create a little life in the car parks. I also made it possible to Park in the Car Park in another mod.

Now I know there are placeable objects with the same meshes as the cars which you can download and decorate your community lot car parks with, but for me there were some downsides to that scheme.
  • You would have every car mesh in your download folder twice.
  • Everytime you visited the lot, exactly the same cars would be parked in the car park. That's spooky in itself!
  • I would have to try to arrange them in a random manner and I'm not that artistic. I prefer to have the game surprise me.


So what it is and how do I use it?
This object is a Decorative Parking space. When placed on a lot it will randomly generate a car parked in the space. To use it, first lay your prefered car park flooring; e.g tarmac, grass, cobblestones, then locate the Decorative Parking Space object in Build Mode->Garage (along with the driveways) and place one or more of them on top of your pre-prepared car park flooring.

Cars will only be generated when live mode starts. Then the cars generated will stick for the period of time you are at the community lot. This has an extra benefit - if you don't like the random selection of cars that have been generated you can try again, by switching out of and then back to live mode.

The randomness of cars
The cars will be randomly generated from the ownable cars available in your game and downloads folders (see small caveat). The randomness is based on the time of day and the type of community lot and should thus mean that an appropriate number of cars are parked whenever you are visiting your community lot.

A note about the generated cars
These cars in the parking spaces are not yours, someone else parked them there. You can't sit in them, drive away in them, or in any way use them. All interactions on these cars have been disabled. This should have no affect on your real cars (i.e. those that are not generated by the parking space). If you see any problems of course let me know.

Expansion Pack Requirements
This object works with all EPs from NightLife onwards, including if you do not have NightLife, but do have Numenors Driveable Cars without NL. If you have no EPs beyond Nightlife (i.e. you have NL only or UNI and NL) please download the additional package entitled "NIGHTLIFE-ONLY-decorative-parking-space-Mog-20090327" in addition to the main package. If you have any EP beyond NightLife do not download this additional package.

Please note: You must have the NightLife EP OR any EP/SP later than NL as per the description of Numenors Driveable Cars without NL. In short, if you have cars, you can use this mod.

Parking Space symbols
Apart from the choice of dashed and solid, white and yellow lines, or no lines at the edges of the parking spaces, you have a choice of symbols to annotate your parking space with:-
  • Plain ordinary parking space
  • Disabled parking space symbol
  • Oil patch in middle of parking space
  • Mother and Child parking space symbol
  • Chalk outline

Of course if there is a car parked in the parking space you won't be able to see them, but occaisionally they will be visible and will surprise you again!

There are also custom thumbnails for the catalog since the object is mainly transparent which made it difficult to see which lines or symbol you were choosing.

Example Lots
These are some photos of a variety of lots that you will likely recognise (they are EA provided lots) that I had added car parks to, to illustrate how this would look. Please note that although the photos change with each time slot, when playing with these car parking spaces, the cars will not change unless you switch out of and back into live mode as noted above. Also I built Parcheggio Mall which uses these parking spaces.

290 Main Street in Pleasantview
This lot always had an empty car park (and was one of the triggers for me making this object originally) - so I have simply added transparent decorative parking spaces in between the lines already marked out. This lot is considered an 'Other' (at least as it comes in the game). photo

Rodney's Hideout in Downtown
This lot had a pond next to it, so for these photos, I replaced the pond with a small car park. This lot is considered a 'Restaurant'. photo

LuLu Lounge in Downtown
This lot had number of decorative pools adding to the ambience of the outside view. Here, most of them are replaced with car parking spaces. This lot is considered to be a 'Nightclub'. photo

Sky Vista Hotel in Three Lakes
I removed a tree filled area here to place a grassy/bark surface car park using the completely transparent version. This lot is considered to be a 'Hotel'. photo


Which cars are actually used?
In order to have any specific car mesh found and used in your car parking space, that car must be marked with a particular selector value. This package comes with an additional separate download with the Maxis cars marked appropriately. If you are using this with Numenors Driveable Cars without NL do not download this additional package. The cars.package that comes with that mod is updated to work with this mod - use it instead. For custom cars, there is a very small step that anyone familiar with SimPE could do for themselves, or, hopefully, car mesh owners will gradually update their cars to include. For details go here. Check out the Related Pages tab. I will put links here to cars that I am aware of having been updated in this way.

I do not currently know of any hacks that this mod might conflict with, but of course there is always the possibility. For the benefit of other modders, the details are below.


Cheers
Mog

Update History
20May2009
  • Now works for user with no EPs beyond Nightlife, see here
  • Thanks to a suggestion from Numenor, I am able to include custom DJ Booths when determining whether a lot is a NightClub lot.
22Nov2009
  • Now works with Numenors Driveable Cars without NL - thanks to thesims29 for letting me know that it was such a simple change and testing it out for me. The Cars.package in Numenor's download is updated to work with this mod.
  • Maxis cars now removed from the main mod package and available as a separately downloadable package. If you want the Maxis cars to show up in your parking space and you DO have NightLife, then download that package as well.
31Jan2010
  • Fixed an issue with the Maxis Pickup Truck where my update to it meant that it didn't show up anymore.

07Nov2010
  • Removed internal categorisation as a driveway - to allow it to work with Park in Car Park mod, otherwise cars try to park in it!

Additional Credits:
Quaxi for SimPE.
Creators of Wings3D.
Echo for her tutorial on Understanding the Scenegraph without which I'd have never got this started (Driveways are very annoying!).
Numenor for this which got me past the invisibility problem, for the AnyGameStarter and for the know-how to find Custom Content DJ Booths.
tunaisafish for all the advice that produced this tutorial without which this object couldn't be made to work with all the custom content cars out there. In fact without which it would have been a complete non-starter.
Jasana_BugBreeder for all the help with custom thumbnails that produced these two tutorials.
Thanks to psychosim0 for the idea of a 'Nightclub' community lot type.
Thanks to melethana for the chalk outline idea.
Thanks to thesims29 for letting me know that it was such a simple change and testing it out for me.
Thanks to Clarina for reporting the problem with the Maxis Pickup Truck.

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

Sims 2 Nightlife
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
MUST-HAVE-NIGHTLIFE-maxis-ownable-cars-Mog-20090327.rar | Maxis cars updated to work with the parking space - DO NOT Download if using with Numenor's "Driveable Cars without NL"

Size: 602 Bytes · Downloads: 30,068 · 22nd Nov 2009
602 Bytes 30,068 22nd Nov 2009
NIGHTLIFE-ONLY-decorative-parking-space-Mog-20090327.rar | Additional package required for user with no EPs beyond NightLife

Size: 334 Bytes · Downloads: 17,230 · 20th May 2009
334 Bytes 17,230 20th May 2009
decorative-parking-space-Mog-20090327.rar | A decorative parking space

Size: 138.9 KB · Downloads: 51,516 · 18th May 2009
138.9 KB 51,516 18th May 2009
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Basic Download and Install Instructions:

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

2. Extract the zip, rar, or 7z file.

3. Place in Downloads Folder: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your Downloads folder:
  • Origin (Ultimate Collection): Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection\Downloads\
  • Non-Origin, Windows Vista/7/8/10: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Non-Origin, Windows XP: Documents and Settings\(Current User Account)\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Mac: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads
  • Mac x64: /Library/Containers/com.aspyr.sims2.appstore/Data/Library/Application Support/Aspyr/The Sims 2/Downloads
Need more information?
 
253 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 209 Feedback Posts, 34 Thanks Posts
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Test Subject
#26 Old 19th May 2009 at 1:31 AM
Wow. Incredible! You really came up with an amazing and creative fix; thank you!
Field Researcher
#27 Old 19th May 2009 at 2:59 AM
What a brilliant idea! This will add so much to my enjoyment of the game; thank you so much for sharing!

More of my work can be found @
Sims2Artists.
Forum Resident
#28 Old 19th May 2009 at 3:01 AM
You. Are. A. GENIUS.

Oh my lord, I am absolutely floored by this. I had no idea that such a thing was possible -- and it's perfect to inject a little bit of life into my community lots! Thanks a million, you are so talented. :D
Lab Assistant
#29 Old 19th May 2009 at 3:06 AM
WOW! This is completely out of the world awesome!!!!! I've been longing for this for soooo long!!! At last there's life in the community lots!!! TAHNKS!!!
Forum Resident
#30 Old 19th May 2009 at 3:09 AM
This is soooo awesome. I am in the process of recreating a new neighborhood since I had to reinstall, and I make those same empty parking spaces on my comm. lots just like Maxis. Thanks to you, I don't have to do that anymore!

Onyx Sims is now open!
Instructor
#31 Old 19th May 2009 at 3:30 AM
This is great work! You have my sincere thanks.
Lab Assistant
#32 Old 19th May 2009 at 3:58 AM
Thank You!
Lab Assistant
#33 Old 19th May 2009 at 4:45 AM
If I may ask, if we have custom cars that over ride these in game like hexameter replacement carriages would they show up or would it still be the Cars shown in the above screen shots?

Thank you

Don't piss me off. I'm running out of places to hide the bodies.
Lab Assistant
#34 Old 19th May 2009 at 4:56 AM
This is great ! Thanks for this <=}

"I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward."
-Thomas Edison
Lab Assistant
#35 Old 19th May 2009 at 6:57 AM
Wow, I am really speachless. What a fantastic idea and mod.
Thank you very, very much!
Lab Assistant
DELETED POST
19th May 2009 at 6:59 AM
This message has been deleted by Matze.
Instructor
#36 Old 19th May 2009 at 7:42 AM
I love you for this. It's awesome. Gonna download as soon as I'm back home again. Yay!
Lab Assistant
#37 Old 19th May 2009 at 7:53 AM
This is really, really cool and you must have worked so hard on it to get it right--thank you! I love how the spaces fill differently depending on what time of day it is and what type of lot it is. This will add so much more 'life' and realism to the game!
Alchemist
#38 Old 19th May 2009 at 8:59 AM
Pure genius! Brillant and original indeed, who needs TS3 and who still thinks that TS2 will be over soon, no way, there's still too much to see, test and play.
Hope to get into my game in the next days, can't wait to see this realistic effect in my hoods too (and yes, with a lot of FP cars hehe ) Thank you veeery much
Mad Poster
#39 Old 19th May 2009 at 9:28 AM
Wow, what a great idea and what a fantastic effect ! I love that random cars are parked on this decoration that's stunning ! Thank you so much for sharing
Scholar
#40 Old 19th May 2009 at 9:38 AM
Very,very good ! Thank you !

Understand Material definition-TXMT and customize the look of your objects ! This way

"The longer something exists in this world, the more wear and tear it will have."
Field Researcher
#41 Old 20th May 2009 at 11:54 AM
This is unbelievably cool! Thank you so much for thinking up such a brilliant idea, then executing it and sharing it with us all. Fantastic :D

for more of my lots check out my blog: smmishing.wordpress.com/
Miss BHAVing
retired moderator
Original Poster
#42 Old 20th May 2009 at 12:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by corwin
If I may ask, if we have custom cars that over ride these in game like hexameter replacement carriages would they show up or would it still be the Cars shown in the above screen shots?

Thank you
The cars that will be used by the Parking Space are those marked with the selection criteria (see main post for details). Initially you will have the Maxis cars and nothing else. As car makers update their cars with the selection criteria and you download ones with these selection criteria set, you will have a bigger choice. You can also do this yourself to any car you have already downloaded. It is a very simple step in SimPE - akin to changing the price of something (see link in main thread). If you have done anything with SimPE it ought to be within your skill set, and if you haven't, it might be a way to get started For the photos, I have done the updates myself to a selection of custom cars that I liked the look of.

Cheers
Mog
Test Subject
#43 Old 20th May 2009 at 12:48 PM
Just a small question, OFB is shown as a requirement but it seems to work OK without it. Is it just the 'venue' lot which requires OFB?
Instructor
#44 Old 20th May 2009 at 1:18 PM
Thank you so much for inventing something so fun and needed.
Test Subject
#45 Old 20th May 2009 at 1:32 PM
I've got a problem: if I want to open the rar-file, I just get a error message.

Quote:
! C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\Alf\Eigene Dateien\Eigene Dokumente\AnyPermaGames\PermaGame1\EA Games\Die Sims 2\Downloads\Parkplätze\MTS2_MogHughson_920787_decorative-parking-space-Mog-20090327.rar: CRC-Fehler in decorative-parking-space-Mog-20090327.package. Die Datei ist fehlerhaft.

! C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\Alf\Eigene Dateien\Eigene Dokumente\AnyPermaGames\PermaGame1\EA Games\Die Sims 2\Downloads\Parkplätze\MTS2_MogHughson_920787_decorative-parking-space-Mog-20090327.rar: Unerwartetes Archivende.


It's German. Can anyone help me?
Miss BHAVing
retired moderator
Original Poster
#46 Old 20th May 2009 at 2:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfsmädchen
I've got a problem: if I want to open the rar-file, I just get a error message.
Quote:
! C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\Alf\Eigene Dateien\Eigene Dokumente\AnyPermaGames\PermaGame1\EA Games\Die Sims 2\Downloads\Parkplätze\MTS2_MogHughson_920787_decorative-parking-space-Mog-20090327.rar: CRC-Fehler in decorative-parking-space-Mog-20090327.package. Die Datei ist fehlerhaft.

! C:\Dokumente und Einstellungen\Alf\Eigene Dateien\Eigene Dokumente\AnyPermaGames\PermaGame1\EA Games\Die Sims 2\Downloads\Parkplätze\MTS2_MogHughson_920787_decorative-parking-space-Mog-20090327.rar: Unerwartetes Archivende.
It's German. Can anyone help me?


Using bablefish as my translator, "Die Datei ist fehlerhaft." means "The file is incorrect", and "Unerwartetes Archivende." means "Unexpected archives end". I suggest that your download of the files did not complete correctly. Try redownloading it and see if that fixes the problem.

Cheers
Mog
Miss BHAVing
retired moderator
Original Poster
#47 Old 20th May 2009 at 2:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kluless
Just a small question, OFB is shown as a requirement but it seems to work OK without it. Is it just the 'venue' lot which requires OFB?
It currently doesn't work if you only have NL - I am trying to solve that issue. I assume you have NL and one other EP (but not OFB)? If so, yes that will likely be fine too - I haven't tested all combinations of NL + one other EP. Often the code from an earlier EP is rolled up in later ones. The code that is missing for NL that is the root cause of it not working was added in OFB initially. If you see this reply, can you let me know what EPs you do have (helps me to know what other combinations it works with).

Cheers
Mog
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#48 Old 20th May 2009 at 2:40 PM
This is a GREAT idea. It's one of those things that you think "Man, that would be cool, if anybody could pull it off", and you did! Thanks for sharing you hard work.

p.s. Your tutorials are AWESOME!!!

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
| (• ◡•)| (❍ᴥ❍ʋ) [◕ ‿ ◕]
˙uʍop ǝpᴉsdn ǝɹ,noʎ 'oN
#49 Old 20th May 2009 at 2:46 PM
This is a GREAT idea. It's one of those things that you think "Man, that would be cool, if anybody could pull it off", and you did! Thanks for sharing you hard work.

p.s. Your tutorials are AWESOME!!!

"Part of being a mesher is being persistent through your own confusedness" - HystericalParoxysm
| (• ◡•)| (❍ᴥ❍ʋ) [◕ ‿ ◕]
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