I am not a builder, if I build something I’m either in a build mood, using blueprints or making boxes! I find building frustrating because, very often, towards the end of the project you realize something you should have done in the beginning. Like: house should have been on another spot, made ground floor bigger/smaller, added/removed foundations and the endless amount of windows that need to be placed.
The Sims 4 removes these frustrations!
Single wall mode is still in the game, but I will not discuss it much! I do want the emphasize you still have the same wall placement freedom as you are used to and basically, you know how it works. Though I suspect that you will use it (much) less now.
This picture is a scanned in image (with a bad scanner) of the German Sims Official Magazine, I wanted to show the wall and fence possibilities!
Disclaimer 1: I’m very sorry but this article will have a lot of text and not enough images, we were supplied very few images that show off all the features. I will update this each article when we get better images!
Disclaimer 2: We saw a demo of pre-alpha software, they are still adding features to the game and nothing is final yet.
Rooms are like objects
You can start off with single square room and then pull the walls so that you have a big room, we have this in The Sims 3 though it was a bit of a hassle to make work properly. It looks so much easier in The Sims 4. But the new thing with rooms with The Sims 4 is that you can pick it up, like it’s an object, and place it anywhere you like.
Frustration 1 gone: If you place the room on the wrong spot, no need to destroy it, you can just move or even rotate it.
Each room is treated like an object that you can move (including everything that is in it). If you build a wall straight through a room, it turns into two separate rooms. You can also move a room to the 2nd floor easily, you are not restricted to the floor.
Because each room is treated like an object that you can pick, it makes it also so much faster to delete your house if you are not happy!
Foundations are hard to work with in The Sims 2 and 3, intermediate to advanced players can work well with it but I think most basic builders (me included) ignore them as much as possible.
In the Sims 4 this is much easier for us basic players! There is a slider that adds a foundation to your house or removes it. It also gives different heights of foundations and the staircases to the foundation will work with it!
Random laugh: We saw a Demo by @SimGuruRyan, @SimGuruGrant and @SimGuruGraham where they showed a little bit of the buildmode and let me share it as it made me laugh. You have to imagine they gave this demo to Press like 80 times.
Graham built a house and Ryan was talking.
SimGuruRyan: “Omg we forgot the foundations”
In a super bored voice, SimGuruGrant: “Really, we are going to do the joke?”
And then he added the foundations to the house. This demo also included @SimGuruGrant doing his own version of Tragic Violin interaction.
Frustration 2 gone: Foundations are super easy for the basic builders, you can decide while building or afterwards if you want to make them lower/higher or remove/add them. Choices you make in the beginning do not limit your end result.
You will have to zoom into these pictures and look closely, you will see that at the top picture the foundation is about the height of the plant, in the bottom picture it is a bit above that! That is the foundation height slider in action, also the staircase resizes with it!
I will say here for everyone who is asking questions about basement and single foundation placement, they are still working on foundations and by the sounds of it there is still a LOT of work to be done. We did not see single foundation placement. This does NOT mean it won’t be in there.
Another question is what if you want to have two different parts of the house on different heights – for example a shed outside on ground level (no foundation) and the rest with. Again, they are working on foundations including this I think.
There are curved fences in The Sims 4! you can plot them down and then drag the straight sides to make the fenced area bigger. You cannot dynamically place the fence in a curve like how you place curved roads in SimCity.
Before you ask about Curved Walls, putting them in the game is really really tough. Never say never in the future but curved fences already look amazing, I wish I had a proper picture to show you.
There is a default fence but you can select another fence option and hover over the placed fence and it will change to that. Easy way to place a different fence!
Frustation 3 gone: Can easily place a different fence as you can replace an existing fence with a different choice instead of demolishing and placing the new fence.
Wall heights & floors
Currently (this might change!) you can make 3 stories and the roof. There is now a slider to change the height of a floor, so you can make the ground floor higher than the top floor. There are 3 choices, my guess/estimation it is like 1x, 1.25x and 1.5x the height of a wall.
I love this because in my real life I live in an old house (1907) and the ground floor is about 1.5x the height of the top floor. When done right it looks amazing to have this on your house.
This works per floor, so if you are currently active on the ground floor you can change the height of that floor, go up a floor and then change the height of that floor (or not). It is not like the foundation where it is one button and it controls everything.
With different wall heights you might think windows become a problem. The window category has, I believe, 3 options for most windows (and doors) so that they are suitable for each wall height.
Windows get even better.
There is 1 single button now that allow you to place windows on an entire room in 1 click. You select which window type you want and then click on the room you want them on. It does them automatically on the outside walls
Let me repeat, 1 click = all windows placed. Awesome right! I will be asking @SimGuruhouts for screenshots/videos of this, it is very very cool.
You still have full control over the windows afterwards, but this is a quick way to place your windows and have them (almost) look right. Then you can go in with your hand tool and move them where you want.
If there is a painting on the wall, the game recognizes this fact and will not place a window there.
I believe changing the type of Window is just as easy as with the fence, but I am not 100% sure any more. As soon as this article is published I will ask @SimGuruHouts about this again.
Wall and floor textures + Filters
There are colour filters, so if you have a specific colour scheme in mind you can easily sort only see the wallpapers/floors of that scheme. This is helpful when you have more colour options than you can count.
As before you can paint a single wall but can also paint an entire room as before, that option is still there.
Build/Buy mode are now put together into one mode, the object catalog. It comes with a new feature called the magazine mode which is a new way to browse your objects, they are like decorated rooms in your catalog. You can select an individual object from the preview image or the entire room. Selecting the entire room is like Blueprint in The Sims 3 but much more awesome. It is a powerful mode that allows you to direct place a room in the world or replace an existing room and it looks proper! You place the entire room in one go without the ‘preview’ step that The Sims 3 has (which takes a long time to load). This is perfect people who cannot decorate to safe their life like me 😉
I am a big blueprint fan, so this got me excited! As soon as the room is placed you can still move all the furniture in there as you normally would. The rooms will come with several pre-made styles, it is a quick way to get a room on the lot.
Dragging walls with objects on/near it
If you drag a while, for instance to make a room bigger, in The Sims 4 but it has furniture near it (like a table), it will go with the wall! So if you have a decorated wall you dont have to worry about having to rebuild it if you move the wall 5 tiles further.
Second floor rooms that extend over the ground floor no longer need to be supported by columns. So you can make crazy big rooms on the second floor without any limitations by the ground floor. However I do wonder if the ground floor will be needed or if you can make completely floating second floor and have just a stairs to there from the ground floor.
In the real world houses like that (For example: http://www.dailyicon.net/2008/07/cantilevered-house-by-jackson-clements-burrows/) do need some support cause of gravity, but in The Sims 4 the rules of physics can be broken!
Times of the day and lighting
There is a button that shows off your house at different times of the day, there are more times than just day/night like before.
In The Sims 3 lighting is stuck to each level, it does not go/spread up or down. They fixed that in The Sims 4.
Frustration 4 gone: Light properly spreads across different floors.
You can place different paintings above/next to each other without cheats or fuss. It is super easy!
Roofs + Roof Decoration
You can place a roof like usual and then you can edit it! Creating an overhang without changing the size of the roof, by simply pulling on the sides. Like with Create A Sim you can change things by the pulling/dragging method.
Then you change the curves by clicking on a circle handle above the roof, pulling up or pushing down will change the curve. So you can go from an angled to a curved roof very easily. I hope Maxis shows us examples of Curved roofs very soon cause they are awesome!
You can have different patterns on different roofs individually.
You can have friezes, roof trims and spandrels. If you have not heard of these terms before, neither had I!
Here is a gorgeous example of a roof trim by http://victorianwoodshop.com/
Plants and trees
If you pay close attention to all the in game screenshots and videos we have been given, there are a lot of plants and they are gorgeous. Very vibrant colours.
We have not been given any information about the world itself, but what you see in the screenshots reminds me a lot of the Night Elf world Teldrassil in World of Warcraft.
Build mode in The Sims 4 is definitively more accessible and less frustrating for new and basic builders.
More advanced builders do not have to worry, they still get many many options to make awesome houses. The number of options that have been added is insane, I think especially the new roof abilities is something that advanced builders are going to love.
Many things will not be answered in this article, pool, fireplaces, more. We hit the no comment wall a lot!
By @thesimssupply: Can you save your own room in magazine mode, which is considered an awesome idea.
My question: Will there be ‘magazine’/blueprints options to place gardens instantly? Pretty please?