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ScaryRob
14th Oct 2012, 5:58 AM
I'm building a house where, ideally, I need a section of modular stairs to go from ground level downward to the top of the foundation. That's kind of the opposite of the normal way, which has modular stairs going from the top of the foundation down to the ground level.

I was actually able to accomplish it, but unfortunately my Test Sims will not use the stairs. Maybe if some of the more experienced builders take a look at the following pictures, they can suggest a solution.

Let me show what I did.

To start, here is a pic of the finished product:
http://i50.tinypic.com/qwynte.jpg
Note the driveway, at upper right, which is at ground level.


Here is the area with the surrounding paints removed:
http://i49.tinypic.com/b3lp2e.jpg
This clearly shows the stairs going from ground level to the top of the foundation.


Here is the area one level down:
http://i46.tinypic.com/rsqy43.jpg
Notice that the stairs are no longer visible. I suspect this is the reason why my Sims will not use them. Then again, maybe they just don't show at this level.


Now, let me illustrate how I got to the finished product, and maybe someone can suggest how to get the Sims to use the stairs.

Start by making a hole, 8 clicks deep (4 clicks for the foundation and 4 clicks for the stairs going down to the top of the foundation) and install a foundation in the hole:
http://i49.tinypic.com/2v96ko3.jpg


Next, using CFE (set to False), raise the end of the foundation by 4 clicks, in order to bring the top of the foundation level with the ground:
http://i47.tinypic.com/ual29.jpg


Next (CFE still False), install the stairs:
http://i48.tinypic.com/34evklk.jpg


Next, turn CFE off (set to True) and remove the section of foundation behind and under the stairs:
http://i45.tinypic.com/2wm446h.jpg


Next, using CFE again (set to False), drag the ground level with the top of the stairs:
http://i50.tinypic.com/2ezlenb.jpg


At this point, the stairs will have been connected from ground level, down to the top of the foundation:
http://i50.tinypic.com/10s5b4j.jpg


The sides of the stairs are tidied up with foundation:
http://i49.tinypic.com/1zo979t.jpg


And after some additional CFE'ing and and appropriate flattening of various surrounding floor tiles, the end product looks like this:
http://i50.tinypic.com/29emb88.jpg
and:
http://i49.tinypic.com/1hhtx.jpg


It looks good, but the Sims refuse to use the stairs, in either direction:
http://i47.tinypic.com/90dsmt.jpg

http://i47.tinypic.com/24wxetk.jpg


I've tried various things to try to make it work. Specifically, leaving the foundation under the stairs, which doesn't work because then I can't bring the ground level with the top of the stairs.
Edit: Holy Smoke stairs don't work either.

So, does anyone know why this isn't working?
Can it be made to work and, if so, how?

maybesomethingdunno
14th Oct 2012, 6:15 AM
The foundation is considered the second floor. Those stairs are being set to think they are connecting two areas of the same floor level (in this case the second floor). Just because you raised the ground up, doesn't mean that the game knows you mean to connect those spaces.

Think of the floor levels as layers in a cake. The layers stack on top of one another, but they cannot (normally) intersect each other.

From the game's/Sims' perspective, the foundation area the girl is standing on has a flight of stairs going up to nowhere. From the male Sim''s perspective, he doesn't have stairs "going up" to the second floor (the foundation level) from the ground floor. Moo is a master of floor levels, so she can probably explain better and give you suggestions.

Mootilda
14th Oct 2012, 5:03 PM
I agree with that assessment. If you need a different (hopefully better) explanation, please let me know.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to accomplish your goal. As you've seen, stairs want to go from the higher numbered level to the lower numbered level.

My one suggestion is that you look through the thread about traversing 0-click levels. The animations would probably look "off", but the techniques might at least allow your sims to go from one level to another:
http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=402863

Try installing invisible modular stairs between the foundation and the ground level while the ground level is below the foundation, then raise the ground level. Note that I can't guarantee that this will work, since I've never tried it. I'm not sure whether your sims will be able to access the stairs at the ground level if the ground level is moved.

If that doesn't work, you might have better luck if you lower the upper level, rather than raising the ground level.

If that doesn't work, you could try the flat non-modular stairs from the thread that I linked above. Those can be installed on the raised ground level.

ScaryRob
14th Oct 2012, 7:44 PM
I agree with that assessment. If you need a different (hopefully better) explanation, please let me know.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to accomplish your goal. As you've seen, stairs want to go from the higher numbered level to the lower numbered level.

My one suggestion is that you look through the thread about traversing 0-click levels. The animations would probably look "off", but the techniques might at least allow your sims to go from one level to another:
http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=402863

Try installing invisible modular stairs between the foundation and the ground level while the ground level is below the foundation, then raise the ground level. Note that I can't guarantee that this will work, since I've never tried it. I'm not sure whether your sims will be able to access the stairs at the ground level if the ground level is moved.

If that doesn't work, you might have better luck if you lower the upper level, rather than raising the ground level.

If that doesn't work, you could try the flat non-modular stairs from the thread that I linked above. Those can be installed on the raised ground level.
Thanks for all those suggestions.
I glanced over that thread you linked to and it looks a little more than what I want to get into right now.
As I said in my OP, while it would be ideal for the stairs to work as shown, it is not absolutely necessary. In the end, it's mostly an aesthetic consideration.
But since I was in fact able to at least graphically link the ground level to the top of the stairs, I was hoping I might have stumbled on to something.
Oh well, that's OK, thanks for looking at my post.

MSD, your post makes perfect sense and explains it succinctly. I was afraid that there might be some very basic issue that may not be possible to overcome.

Mootilda
15th Oct 2012, 3:30 AM
Since you already have that lot, I'd love if you would share it so that I could try some of the techniques that I mentioned, just to see how things work.

joandsarah77
15th Oct 2012, 4:00 AM
The only way I have found to make something like that work is when each foundation level is separate so there is a gap between the higher and lower foundation of one tile. I used that combined with staging tool and hedges to disguise it outside my hotel which is on here under my uploads. I tried to do what you did for ages and the game just wouldn't accept it. I'm not an expert builder though.

ScaryRob
15th Oct 2012, 4:37 AM
The only way I have found to make something like that work is when each foundation level is separate so there is a gap between the higher and lower foundation of one tile.

Yup, that obviously works, but unfortunately my higher level needs to be at normal ground level, not on another foundation, because of the driveway.

ellacharmed
15th Oct 2012, 5:14 AM
Thread moved.

ScaryRob
15th Oct 2012, 4:34 PM
Since you already have that lot, I'd love if you would share it so that I could try some of the techniques that I mentioned, just to see how things work.
Attached.

Mootilda
15th Oct 2012, 7:35 PM
I decided to raise the foundation, add invisible stairs from the foundation to the ground, then lower the foundation again. Quite simple and works well, except for the animations.

I forgot to ask you which EPs you have. Is the list on your profile correct: Original, Nightlife, Open for Business, Free Time, Apartment Life, Celebration and a version of the Store Edition which may be compatible with AL? I made my version with M&G, so it may not be worth sharing, but I could create an AnyGame with the correct EPs and do it again, if you'd like.

By the way, very nice house!

ScaryRob
16th Oct 2012, 3:13 AM
I decided to raise the foundation, add invisible stairs from the foundation to the ground, then lower the foundation again. Quite simple and works well, except for the animations.

I forgot to ask you which EPs you have. Is the list on your profile correct: Original, Nightlife, Open for Business, Free Time, Apartment Life, Celebration and a version of the Store Edition which may be compatible with AL? I made my version with M&G, so it may not be worth sharing, but I could create an AnyGame with the correct EPs and do it again, if you'd like.

By the way, very nice house!
Well, thank you very much for investigating this. I'd rather use the house with the stairs going down than another version I made (attached) with them going up, because with stairs going up the house ends up 8 clicks higher, which really throws it off in relation to the garage, especially the bridge connecting the two.

Yes, the games listed in my profile are correct, although by the end of this week I should have all the EPs and SPs, except for Holiday Fun Pack, or whatever it's called. So I will have M&G, say, by early next week at the latest, along with everything else worth having.

So these invisible stairs are presumably custom content, right? I've never used CC in my game. Are they simple to use, like any other stairs?
I've already figured that if I want any decent windows in this house, I'll have to go CC anyway. (It's a historical house, made from plans and the windows play a big part in the overall look.)

Here's what we can do. Let me get the rest of the EPs and SPs and finish the lot. Then I'll see about learning to install the invisible stairs, or I'll let you install them if necessary.
Eventually, credit will be shared, of course.
As a matter of fact, since I have a feeling I'm not going to find any non-CC windows close to what is needed, and since I've never done any meshes of any kind (or even recolors), this might turn out to be a community project, if I can get people interested. I'll need custom walls too.
I've got complete floorplans and 176 exterior and interior pics (over 32 MBs).

Mootilda
16th Oct 2012, 3:45 AM
You can see from my pictures that the stairs are exactly as you made them. I didn't change anything about your house except to give sims the ability to traverse the stairs.

Yes, unfortunately the stairs are CC. I also prefer to avoid CC whenever possible, but there's no way (that I know of) to solve your problem without CC. There are a number of stairs with invisible recolors. Here are the recolorable stairs that I used:
http://www.modthesims.info/d/53159

Unfortunately, the invisible recolor for that stair is no longer available, but the creator said that it could be freely shared with your lot, as long as you don't charge for the lot.

If you want to share your lot, the simplest thing is to get a recolorable version of one of the modular stairs that ship with the game. That way, the downloader doesn't need to do anything special to install the stairs. Custom stairs are much harder to install, since you need to make modifications to the installation files. Because the stairs are going to be invisible anyway, it makes more sense to just use an invisible recolor than a custom stair.

No need to give me credit. I was just trying to help. Clearly this is your work.

I've attached the changed lot, which will require M&G.

ScaryRob
16th Oct 2012, 4:32 AM
If you want to share your lot, the simplest thing is to get a recolorable version of one of the modular stairs that ship with the game. That way, the downloader doesn't need to do anything special to install the stairs. Custom stairs are much harder to install, since you need to make modifications to the installation files. Because the stairs are going to be invisible anyway, it makes more sense to just use an invisible recolor than a custom stair.
I'm a little confused now.

The invisible recolored stairs you used on my lot are not considered custom stairs? They're just recolors (invisible)? All I do is CFE raise the foundation, install the invisible recolor stairs and lower the foundation? That's it?

So when you're talking about "custom stairs being much to harder install", you're not referring to the invisible stairs you used, correct?

I've attached the changed lot, which will require M&G.
OK thanks, I will get back to this in a few days, once I have the rest of the EPs and SPs.

Mootilda
16th Oct 2012, 4:52 AM
Sorry that I'm not explaining it very well. The invisible stairs that I used are not custom stairs, they are just a recolor of stairs that are already in the game. There are two parts to the invisible recolor:

1) The one that I linked to is a default replacement for stairs which are already in the game. The only change is that it makes the stairs recolorable. This is very similar to what the CEP does. Unfortunately, the CEP doesn't include stairs.

2) The one that is no longer available (because the website is gone) is the invisible recolor.

Custom stairs are more complex than a default replacement. They will contain a new mesh and they require the downloader to make changes to the installation files, so that the game will recognize the brand new stairs. I would recommend avoiding custom stairs, especially since you need an invisible stair, so it really doesn't matter what the stairs look like.

Does that make it any more clear?

All I do is CFE raise the foundation, install the invisible recolor stairs and lower the foundation? That's it?That's basically it. If I remember correctly, the steps are: CFE, raise the foundation, "moveobjects on" so that you can install the stairs in the same location as the existing concrete stairs, install the (visible) stairs, make the stairs invisible using the recolor tool, then lower the foundation.

If you want to try it now, you can grab the CC out of the lot that I uploaded, and try those steps. Then, you wouldn't need to wait for M&G. Alternatively, you may want to find an invisible recolor which is available for download, rather than the one from the obsolete site.