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Mad Poster
Original Poster
#1 Old 2nd Sep 2015 at 10:48 PM Last edited by gazania : 3rd Sep 2015 at 11:17 PM.
Default The much-reviled box.
Over and over, I've read how we should never make a box. Oh, and never repeat the shape of the second floor.

But I've seen many a real-life boxy house, and the house I live in now has repeated floors. I will probably get tons of "disagrees", and will never get a submission accepted (I wouldn't try anyway... my lots have Hug Bug cooties, I never played around much with AnyGame, and my expertise is still limited), but I think a boxy shape has merit ... providing you play around with it a little.

Many real-life floor plans I use have a boxy shape as a base. The one I just completed had a boxy base. I find them easier to include an open-concept living room/kitchen, and have fewer stampy Sims with routing issues. I do not like dormers in the game (I avoid those, for the most part, except in a few retro houses), and many building styles I use would look odd with bay windows or turrets. Some of my most-used houses, some of which I downloaded from here, are boxy in nature. Oh yes, they may have a porch or a small design detail here and there, but the interior is pretty boxy-basic.

And I like them. I like how you can move walls, shift rooms, have a little fun. I like how a boxy shape is utilitarian ... you can mold it to what you want. That is probably WHY several houses in real-life are somewhat boxy. While I have some of the more elaborate houses from here, I do admit that the ones I use the most are the ones I can change around easily without MY getting stampy. Lots of twists and turns and embellishments can limit a house. A Google search of "boxy houses" can turn up some interesting results, and I find many of them pleasing to the eye.

I believe the idea is not boxy = bad. Not at all. But if you go with a box, have some fun with it! Google for ideas. Include an overhanging roof or a stunning detail on the side, Mix. Match. Maybe MTS is going to hate it, but if you like it, that's what counts!

So I raise a glass to the boxy house. And that one in the first link is giving me an idea. It screams "art museum" to me! Later!
(And it even has a name .... minimalist houses! Amazing what you learn with a quick Google.)

P.S. Even I would stay away from these, though! That might be pushing the boxiness a little too far.

By the way, I'm probably really late to the party here, but various sections of this site provide valuable information and ideas about housing from different periods. Granted, it focuses on one area in the United States, but I believe many of the themes were pretty common throughout the United States and Canada.

Thanks to ALL free-site creators, admins and mods.

RIP Sunni ... truly a ray of light.
Mad Poster
#2 Old 3rd Sep 2015 at 6:03 AM
I'd agree with you- as long as it's done with the understanding that the exterior will be pretty plain, a box can be perfectly good for a lot of things- if you're making a lower-end neighborhood where the houses aren't that big, a box is almost the only option that makes any logical sense, or a military base that's designed for expediency (really any government housing- most recent National Park Service housing options are essentially boxes). There are even luxury dwellings that are deliberately designed as boxes, like Scary Rob's Desert Nomad house.

Plus, if you're trying for a purely utilitarian vibe, a box is the only shape that makes sense- look at my Armscor Warehouses- they're just boxes, but it wouldn't make sense for them to be anything else!

Welcome to the Dark Side...
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Mad Poster
Original Poster
#3 Old 3rd Sep 2015 at 4:07 PM Last edited by gazania : 3rd Sep 2015 at 11:10 PM.
One other thing addressing the oft-quoted standards for a "good" lot. Looking at "ugly house photos" site (kind of misleading ... I don't find many of the houses ugly, but they do serve as valuable information if you're building older houses) and other sites ... the oft-cited assertion that landscaping needs to be plentiful and detailed on Sims lots.

It depends on the period and style of house. A minimalist house, or a house from certain more-modern periods, may not require nearly as much landscaping in a Sims lot as a house from a different period. So that the oft-maintained view here and on other sites that of course, you need lush landscaping or complicated yards is not necessarily true. I remember not very much landscaping at all back in the 60s and 70s, unless you were moving to a rich neighborhood. If you're going with a retro house for your hood that a family would use, that would be worth noting. Think easy-care shrubs, gardens, some flowers, children's play sets (if you want a family lot). Lots of grass for kids to play and trees for kids to "climb". We played outside for hours then. Once your family has a bit of money, an above-ground pool for middle-class Sims (with more than a little help from CFE) of more modest means or a built-in pool for Sims with a little more cash to spend.

However, this doesn't excuse lot-builders from ignoring landscaping altogether. Again, back in the 60s, people entertained outdoors. I remember many houses where people entertained having a focal point ... a great patio (don't forget those hanging patio lights!). a fish pond, a small flower or veggie garden. A lot does need some sort of focal point or two in the unused areas; otherwise, you wind up with a boring lot. But it doesn't have to be complicated or fancy at all.

Sorry. Thinking out loud here. But when I read these standards for a good Sims 2 lot on various sites, I keep saying, "But ... wait!" Time to look at some other standards.

Thanks to ALL free-site creators, admins and mods.

RIP Sunni ... truly a ray of light.
#4 Old 1st Jan 2016 at 9:11 AM Last edited by ScaryRob : 2nd Jan 2016 at 6:44 AM.
Boxes can be beautiful.
I happen to like this small starter house I made. It's specifically made to be a perfect cube, which I think is a aesthetically pleasing shape. I also made an apartment version.
But the boxiest I ever made was my Glass Cubed house, which I still have, but not uploaded. It's also a perfect cube and in order to preserve the shape of the cube the entrance is via a small basement level and spiral stairs:

The thing that emphasizes the cube shape in all three of these is that they're all perched atop a recessed foundation, or in the case of the apartment, a recessed ground floor. This makes them look like sculptures on pedestals.

A couple of years ago I also tried making a sims version of Habitat '67, in Toronto, Canada, until I ran out of wall segments. There are pics of it here. I might try a small version of it someday. All boxes are the same shape and dimension, stacked in various ways.
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