MTS2:Creator Guidelines/Neighborhood Maps/Sandbox
Sims 2 Neighborhood Maps Upload Guidelines
When uploading a neighborhood map for The Sims 2 to Mod The Sims, we have some basic requirements to ensure that your upload is good, shown well, and has the correct info and files needed for people to use it in their games. This allows both moderators to check your uploads for quality, and for downloaders to see if your item is something they want to add to their games.
You will need to include an overview shot of your neighborhood that shows the whole map, in each of the four terrains. You can, of course, include multiple pictures of your neighborhood if you like, showing different aspects of it.
Keep the following in mind for your screenshots, especially the required ones:
- Size: 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels tall is a good size for the smallest pic you would want to upload. Your images can be up to 2560x1440 pixels, and 800 kb, so you have lots of space to work with!
- Lighting: For most things, it's best to take pictures in an interior room with good lighting. For lots, pictures should be taken during a nice sunny day, for floorplans, take the pictures with the lights ON.
- Clarity: Neither blurry, nor pixellated/crunchy. Do not size up small pictures to make a large one as this will blur them, and make sure not to use too much compression/too low quality when saving your images.
- Distance: Take your pictures so that your creation fills the screen without anything cut off at top or bottom - neither zoomed in too close, nor zoomed out too far.
- Distortion: If you resize your images, retain the aspect ratio so they don't get stretched or squashed. Take care when zooming in and out with the camera that you do not create a fisheye effect on your pictures.
- Photoshopping: Do not apply filters like sharpen, contrast, etc. to the required pictures, as downloaders want to see what your creation will look like in their game, not your skills at using Photoshop.
- Attached: All required images must be attached directly to the MTS upload, not just inserted using the img tag, so that even if the pics get deleted from your Photobucket (or other host), the upload on MTS is still complete.
- Show all items: For most areas, if you are uploading a set, you must take all the required pics for each item in the set. If there is an exception, it will be noted.
- Picture limit: You may upload up to 100 pictures for a single upload thread, so feel free to add some additional pictures just to show off your work to its best. Of course, keep it reasonable - nobody needs 50 pics to show off one sim or hair.
- Inline pictures: Inline pictures are those that use the [img] tag to show up in with the description text. So that it doesn't take too long to load, please keep this to no more than 4 pictures done inline, unless you put them inside an [infobutton] tag. To do this, see our guide on post formatting.
Take some time to just play around with the camera. It can take a while to get used to the camera controls, and even once you are experienced in their use, it may be challenging to get the shot you want with the constraints on the controls.
If you haven't taken many sim pictures before, here is a list of camera controls:
Using Print Screen: If you have enough RAM to run Photoshop or another graphics editing program at the same time as TS2/TS3, you may want to take screenshots yourself, without the use of a program to store them for you.
To do that, simply press the Print Screen or PrntScn key on your keyboard - it's usually off toward the right, over the arrow keys, above Insert and Delete. This will copy your current screen to your Windows clipboard, as if you had selected and copied it as an image.
Then open any graphics editing program, create a new document the size of your monitor's resolution, and paste into that document. Your screenshot should appear in the document.
There are many programs available, free and pay, that will take screenshots for you by using a hotkey, and save them to a folder - just like The Sims 2 with the C key, but with options for much better quality settings.
A quick Google search for 'free screenshot program' will also bring up many other options, which may have other features that are of interest to you.
Many simmers struggle with getting their images to be clear, crisp and under the maximum file size while keeping the image size larger than 800px by 600px. After getting your images from the in game camera or using a print screen program you will need to resize them and compress them into a jpeg image. Many graphics programs have a built in optimizing feature. Here are a few common ones:
|Zip, Rar, or 7z|
|To upload your file(s) to MTS, you will need to compress them into an archive file, which makes them smaller and allows you to include many files in one download. The archive file formats we currently accept are .zip, .rar, and .7z.
For instructions on compressing your files into an archive, please see: Creator Guidelines: Creating Archive Files.
|Title & Description|
|Give your upload a descriptive title and write a text description for your upload, describing what you're uploading. Your title and description must be in English or provide an English translation. If you are not a native English speaker, using Google Translate is okay. You can also ask for help writing your description in the Creator Feedback Forum.|
Basic maps made in Sim City are base game compatible, but decorated hoods will require the Expansion pack that the neighborhood objects came from. You can use AnyGameStarter to limit the EP requirements when decorating your neighborhood.
|Uploads not allowed on MTS|
| These items are not allowed on MTS in any category.