MTS2:Creator Guidelines/Full Neighborhoods/Sandbox

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Full Neighborhoods

Have you made a new neighborhood in game and want to share it? This guide will walk you through every step of what we require on MTS. After you've read through this entire article, you may start the upload process, which is a bit different for TS2 Neighborhoods. The correct way to upload a TS2 Hood is through our Creator Issues forum. There you will be able to start a thread and add in as many comment posts as you need to include the lots and their images. After you have completed your thread, create another thread in the same forum asking for your neighborhood (with a link to it) to be moved to Moderation.


  • Use Blank Templates: All neighbourhoods must be built using blank templates. Before you start building your neighborhood, you need to install clean and empty neighborhood templates. If you choose to include sims, you may do so after, but the blank templates are a requirement. Most of the templates are available for download on MATY, so do a google search for them.
  • Uniqueness: Your neighborhood should be unique and different.
  • Playable:. Make sure you have some flat buildable areas and a practical road grid.
  • Realistic: Getting creative with your terrain sculpting is fine, but remember to strive for realism.
  • Decorations: Your decorating should add to the overall beauty and theme of your neighborhood, with good choices and placement of items - neither too many nor too few. Try to keep your decorations to a particular style - use trees and flowers that make sense for the type of region you're building. Giving your neighborhood a particular unique flavour and style makes it more charming and realistic than just using one of everything, or a random pyramid because it'd look cool.

Tip: Sims cannot really be removed from a neighborhood once added, so it's a good idea to keep a backup of your neighborhood before adding sims. It would be a shame not to be able to share your neighborhood here if the sims do not meet the guidelines, but everything else does.


Hood screenshots
  • Main Image: We need a main image for your hood - it should not show map edges, but it should also not be too low to show the whole map. Please remember to show all of the roads - don't cut any off!
  • Detail Pictures: Show at least THREE other pictures of some of the views people will see in your world. This should be nice scenic views, taken from a lower angle (a sim's eye view, or a low player's eye view). You can of course take more pictures to show off all the pretty sights.
Lot screenshots
  • Individual Lot Pictures:. If you have built on the included lots, you must provide pictures for at least 10 lots - 5 residential and 5 community. You may choose which 10 lots you show, but we suggest you choose lots that are representative of the overall style of the neighborhood

The pictures you must include for individual lots are:

  • Front view: A picture of the front of your lot with all levels showing, from a low enough angle that it shows the structure well.

Please remember, for your required pictures:

  • As packaged: Your pictures should show your lot as you have packaged it, so that what downloaders see is what they'll actually get, or need to download, for the lot to look the same in their game.
  • Comparison Picture: If your lot is based on a real-life or fictional lot (for example, a replica of the Falling Water house or the Disney Castle), you will need to include at least one comparison picture of the lot it is based on.
Sim screenshots
  • Sim Pictures: If you are including sims with a save file, you will need to give a full set of info and pictures for at least 5 sims. You may choose which 5 sims, but as with lots, we suggest you choose ones that are representative of your creator style and quality.

The pictures you must include for individual sims are:

  • Neutral Face: One picture of the sim from straight-on (not a profile or 3/4 view) with the sim wearing a neutral expression (no big smiles, wide open mouth, etc.)
  • Comparison Picture: If your sim is based on a real-life or fictional person (a celebrity, character from a movie, tv show, anime, comic, etc.) and not made up out of your own imagination, then you will need to include at least one picture of that person. They must have a neutral facial expression, and be shown as front-on as possible.

General Screenshots Requirements
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.


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.

You will need to provide some basic information on the lots included in your neighborhood:

  • Number: Total number of lots, and lot sizes and quantity of each (example: 50 total lots - 25 of 20x20, 15 of 40x40, 10 60x60)
  • Community Lots: None / All / Some (list)
  • Residential: Number of residential lots, and lot sizes and quantity of each (as above).
Custom Content

If you have used any custom items in your world, you MUST provide full links and credit for ALL items used in the world. This means any custom build items, objects, patterns, or content used on any included sims must be linked and credited.

Make sure to state whether or not the content is included or not (as downloaders need to know if they need to download it all separately or not). If you do include content, it must be okay with that content's creator. Please check their policies.



Once you have your creation made and screenshots taken, you need to make sure you have all the fiddly bits in order.

  • Unique Neighborhood Number: One of the most important things is to make sure that your neighborhood has a unique number. If two neighborhoods have the same number, one of them will not appear in the user's game. MTS has created a Neighborhood Number Repository so you can be sure that your neighborhood does not conflict with any existing neighborhoods. If/when your neighborhood is approved, your number will be added to the list to protect you from future neighborhoods clashing. After creating your neighborhood, it will likely have a very low number. You will need to rename all of the neighborhood files and folders to your new number. This can either be done by hand, or with a bulk renaming tool. In your upload you will have to also have to list your number.
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.

  • Do not include multiple archives with the same contents - that is, please don't put your files in both a .zip as well as a .rar because some people only want .zip files. Choose one format.
  • Do not double-compress your files... a .rar file inside another .rar file (or any other archive inside another) doesn't compress it anymore, and it makes it so we can't see the contents without downloading, and also just makes an extra step for the people downloading.
  • The file size limit on MTS is 50 mb. If you exceed this limit you will need to split your archives. This should probably never come up except for large worlds for The Sims 3, or huge sets of smaller items.
Expansion Packs or Stuff Packs required?
Particular items may be added with expansion or stuff packs, and depending on how your creation is made and the item you based it on, your creation may not work for users who do not own that expansion/stuff pack. You need to be sure of which packs are necessary for the items you have made. If users don't have the EP, your stuff may not work! If you are unsure of whether or not your creation will require an expansion or stuff pack, you can ask about it in the appropriate Create forum (under the Create menu on MTS) before uploading.

Make sure you only mark the EPs/SPs required that your upload actually needs! Don't just mark them all! For specifics, please read: MTS2:Creator_Guidelines/Compatibility

Split Archives

For a complex neighborhood, it's possible that your upload will be over the 50 mb file limit that we have at MTS. You will need to upload your creation in parts. To do this, you will need an archive program like WinRAR that can compress a file but split it into multiple pieces.

To create a split RAR/ZIP:

1. Find the sims3pack file for the world you have created.
2. Right-click on the sims3pack file and choose "Add to archive" from the menu.
3. On the box that comes up, give your file a name where it says Archive name.
4. Select ZIP or RAR (RAR is preferred).
5. Change "Compression Method" to Best.
4. Under where it says "Split to volumes, bytes" type 9 mb. Leave the other settings alone.
5. Click OK to create your file(s). This may take a few minutes.

When it's done, you will have one or more RAR files, ready to upload.

Include Install Instructions. Because a split archive is not something our downloaders usually deal with, you will need to include instructions on how to put them back together. You may use this text, or write your own.

Download all the files. Remove the MTS_Creator_(numbers) from their names and you should be left with Hoodname.part1.rar and Hoodname.part2.rar and so forth. Unrar them together, to do this, highlight all the files together and open them at the same time in WinRar. Then place the resulting folder into your Neighborhoods folder. Place any CC into the Downloads folder.

Helpful Links

If your upload is rejected or marked as changes required and you're not sure why, ask in Creator Issues.

If you're not sure whether your neighborhood is ready for uploading, use the Creator Feedback Forum to get feedback on it.

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