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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?) - 25 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: 30,000 · 22nd Nov 2009
602 Bytes 30,000 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: 17,221 · 20th May 2009
334 Bytes 17,221 20th May 2009
decorative-parking-space-Mog-20090327.rar | A decorative parking space

Size: 138.9 KB · Downloads: 51,444 · 18th May 2009
138.9 KB 51,444 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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Page 6 of 11
Test Subject
#126 Old 24th Jun 2009 at 9:08 AM
This is awesome! (I don't use that word much.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MogHughson
It's something used in the UK anyway - don't know if anywhere else. Essentially so that mother's with young children can park near the doors.


I am in Australia and we commonly have something similar in shopping centers. Instead of the child, there is a pram instead.
Test Subject
#127 Old 27th Jun 2009 at 3:21 PM
Default meh
meh meh
Miss BHAVing
retired moderator
Original Poster
#128 Old 27th Jun 2009 at 3:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by michael jackson
meh meh
Pardon?
Test Subject
#129 Old 28th Jun 2009 at 5:57 PM
Its fantastic
Test Subject
#130 Old 30th Jun 2009 at 4:08 AM
This is awesome =D Ty ^_^ I cant wait to see it in game =D I've always wanted something like this =D!
Test Subject
#131 Old 1st Jul 2009 at 6:31 PM
Thank youuuuuuuuu!! :D
Test Subject
#132 Old 6th Jul 2009 at 5:26 AM
LOL! I love the chalk outline! Now if only we could get our goddamn sims to park in the spaces. Then again, I'm just learning how to drive, and i know that parking on the side of the road is a helluva lot less infuriating (if not more dangerous. :P)
Test Subject
#133 Old 10th Jul 2009 at 7:21 PM
Hey! I have a quick question for you MogHughson. Is there a way for you to upload this again with the package file ending .zip? I don't have the program to extract the files ending in .RAR and i have had to miss out on a lot of things on MTS2. But I am VERY excited about this and would love to have this in my game. If you could do that would be sooooo amazing of you and I'm sure a lot of unfortunate simmers like myself would thank you for it! If you don't know how that's ok. BUT this looks sooooooo COOL!
Test Subject
#134 Old 21st Jul 2009 at 2:39 PM
Great work, but on my parking place can only 5 different cars park and that are the stupid ones...
Miss BHAVing
retired moderator
Original Poster
#135 Old 21st Jul 2009 at 4:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnyvis
Great work, but on my parking place can only 5 different cars park and that are the stupid ones...
You need to get yourself some custom content cars that have been updated to use my mod, two that I know of are linked in the related pages tab - or update some custom content cars yourself.
Test Subject
#136 Old 25th Jul 2009 at 3:22 AM
this is veryyyyy creative and unique!!! i'm not sure if i want to download yet! but good job it looks fabulous!!!
Doing all the things, and *mostly* not failing.
retired moderator
#137 Old 26th Jul 2009 at 11:32 PM
Would it be possible to make random cars show up in the neighborhood mode as well? I'm having fun making lots of little paring lots for my businesses, but when I go back to the neighborhood the parking lots look so bare.
Lab Assistant
#138 Old 27th Jul 2009 at 3:03 AM
Something I've noticed in my game since installing these parking spaces is that now every single one of my cars in buy mode (even Maxis ones) will display with the CC asterisk (*). Did you notice this?
Doing all the things, and *mostly* not failing.
retired moderator
#139 Old 27th Jul 2009 at 3:46 AM
Yes, this is caused by putting it in the Downloads folder. The same thing happens when you put one of my Buy Mod recat mods in the Download folder. I've recommended getting around that by placing my mod in some of the game file folders in the Program Files instead of Documents. This might also work for this mod but I haven't tried it yet.
Miss BHAVing
retired moderator
Original Poster
#140 Old 27th Jul 2009 at 2:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaenoh
Would it be possible to make random cars show up in the neighborhood mode as well? I'm having fun making lots of little paring lots for my businesses, but when I go back to the neighborhood the parking lots look so bare.
The cars are only generated in the parking spaces when you go into live mode - this is why they don't show up in the neighborhood view. I don't know whether, without completely reworking the way I mad this mod, there would be a way of making them appear in neighborhood as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghettometalchick
Something I've noticed in my game since installing these parking spaces is that now every single one of my cars in buy mode (even Maxis ones) will display with the CC asterisk (*). Did you notice this?
This is because I updated all the Maxis cars to show up in my car parking spaces. This means there is a change to an existing object and that grants the existing object the star to show it has been customised.
Test Subject
#141 Old 28th Jul 2009 at 7:48 PM
WinRAR
Quote:
Originally Posted by PPndprncss
Hey! I have a quick question for you MogHughson. Is there a way for you to upload this again with the package file ending .zip? I don't have the program to extract the files ending in .RAR and i have had to miss out on a lot of things on MTS2. But I am VERY excited about this and would love to have this in my game. If you could do that would be sooooo amazing of you and I'm sure a lot of unfortunate simmers like myself would thank you for it! If you don't know how that's ok. BUT this looks sooooooo COOL!


PPndprncss all you need to open .RAR files is win rar. Win rar also opens zip folders
Instructor
#142 Old 30th Jul 2009 at 8:26 AM
Finally, no more lots with spooky empty parking spaces!
Test Subject
#143 Old 31st Jul 2009 at 4:51 PM
Good job! I think its pretty cool. (: Thanks!!
Lab Assistant
#144 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 5:37 PM
Good job, but i sometimes i see that there are more cars than sims. can you make any other mod or else to fix this? It should be more realistic.
Miss BHAVing
retired moderator
Original Poster
#145 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 7:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCO798
Good job, but i sometimes i see that there are more cars than sims. can you make any other mod or else to fix this? It should be more realistic.
The number of Sims generated on a Community Lot is dependant on how powerful your computer is. I suggest you only place as many parking spaces as this number and then your car numbers will never exceed your Sim numbers.

Mostly I fix Gameplay annoyances. I take requests and have made a few Requested mods already. Visit me on MTS Yearbook
My other projects: British High Street, Postal System for the Sims and Better Parking for Sims
Test Subject
#146 Old 14th Aug 2009 at 3:08 AM
Wait... does this also work on custom community lots?

I currently have all the EPs installed except Seasons; when I visit a custom lot, it still shows the empty parking spaces. In your post, it seems like this fix only works for the premade lots.
#147 Old 14th Aug 2009 at 3:22 AM
...and here I thought it worked *only* for custom lots...

[...which includes EDITED premades, of course...]

This Space Intentionally Left Blank
Test Subject
#148 Old 14th Aug 2009 at 3:29 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneralOperationsDirector
...and here I thought it worked *only* for custom lots...

[...which includes EDITED premades, of course...]


The only examples I see are the Pleasantview and other default 'hood ones.

I loaded my Wal-Mart (courtesy of Arch of The Future here on MTS2) and Mr. Summerdream stood amongst an empty parking lot.
Field Researcher
#149 Old 14th Aug 2009 at 2:09 PM
wow relly can your sims park there?
Miss BHAVing
retired moderator
Original Poster
#150 Old 14th Aug 2009 at 5:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by One Step
Wait... does this also work on custom community lots?

I currently have all the EPs installed except Seasons; when I visit a custom lot, it still shows the empty parking spaces. In your post, it seems like this fix only works for the premade lots.

The only examples I see are the Pleasantview and other default 'hood ones.

I loaded my Wal-Mart (courtesy of Arch of The Future here on MTS2) and Mr. Summerdream stood amongst an empty parking lot.
The examples shown have been editted by me to place parking spaces there - you will have to do the same wherever you wish to have parking spaces. You can quite happily do this for premade lots or custom lots, just like you can for any other object - there is no restriction there. There is no way I could have started adding parking spaces to your lots myself - that would be very difficult, if not impossible. If you want parked cars generated in your Wal-Mart lot, download the parking space object and then follow the instructions here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by xmgirl
wow relly can your sims park there?
No - as noted in the thread - these are not cars belonging to your Sim - you cannot interact with these cars in any way. What you request is something I would love to produce as well - but it is not this mod.

Cheers
Mog

Mostly I fix Gameplay annoyances. I take requests and have made a few Requested mods already. Visit me on MTS Yearbook
My other projects: British High Street, Postal System for the Sims and Better Parking for Sims
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