DH4S has updated with some nice tutorials on foundations in TS3. Check them out:
I have to admit I’m not that good at designing and choosing all those crazy patterns when I design my Sims’ houses. Well, maybe because I don’t have too much patience and time to do that all the time. But sometimes I feel that I lack more skills about design and colors. Most of the time, I can chose the colors / patterns with ease but sometimes when I want to experiment, I feel like I need a bit of helping hand. Here it is: Color Theory Quick Reference Poster. I think it might help me a little if I set is as my background. If you have the same problem, I hope it’s some little help to you, too.
Please, No .PNG Pictures!
I know that many creators love to use .PNG pictures. Despite I’ve read these files tend to have a bit yellowish shade (but for human eyes, it’s almost invisible, so don’t worry about it), the pictures are high-quality. I also know that some of the creators are trying their best to make the previews look pretty and that’s why they use .PNG files.
But think of this: They are sometimes 10x bigger files than .JPGs (depends on compression)! And that’s a lot. If your visitors are unlucky and still have dial-up (which are not so that common nowdays, but not rare), it might take them forever to load these pictures.
Consider getting a paint program that allows you to set the quality of .JPG files. If the compression is low, your files will stay as good as .PNGs, but smaller in size. This will also save a bit of your bandwidth.
A lot of sites use third-party hostings, mainly forums. But in case you have a few spare bucks in your pocket, I highly advise you to get a decend hosting. It will save your time, nerves and your visitors will be lucky, because there will be no expired links and pictures.
If links expire, people won’t download your custom content, they will send you emails and you’ll have to reupload everything again.
As you probably know, I’ve decided to start with new “column”: How to make a Popular Sim-Site. In the first article, I’ll spread some words on how a decent site should look like, what should it contain and what is better to avoid. Suggestions and comments appreciated!
This might be a slightly tricky thing to start with, but I think that one of the first things that will catch your reader’s eye – or in this case, your downloader’s eye – is the design. Of course, not everyone is a graphic designer and can make a superb site that will look like a professional site.
And so I think it’s better to find a site that offers free web templates (just Google some). They’re easy to download, easy to change and make them perfect to fit your style. Even Spring4Sims runs on a pre-made theme, but the sidebars and header are remade.
Make sure that the background is simple and clean. No small thousand-time-repeating pictures. Nothing too flashy or blinking, it just distracts and doesn’t look too good, either. Plain background is always better than that.
The same goes to letters and texts – they should be visible. I advise not to use too many colors and nor too many styles. Pick some and stick with them.
I’ve been thinking lately what makes certain Sim-sites better than others. Well, yes, you can say: CUSTOM CONTENT but honestly, I’ve noticed that it’s not the most important thing about Sim-sites. I consider myself to be a pretty decent Simmer (although you’re right if you mention I haven’t played the game pretty long time) and there’s been some time I was absolutely addicted to downloading custom content for the game. I would rename the .rar files, add pictures inside them, categorize folders… oh god, it took so much time of my life!
As you see, I still like CC even though I don’t download it anymore. Sometimes, to be very honest, it’s very annoying. Imagine seeing a big piece of chocolate cake (my favorite) in front of you, but then you recall there’s a glass which makes it unable to reach… However, I think that this site has gained some popularity and it would be shame to close it, wouldn’t it? And so I’ve decided to continue and see how long it will last. I can’t say it will last forever, but I will try not to disappoint you.
So, during the last year I’ve pretty much stumbled upon hundreds of Sim-sites and blogs which include stories, custom content, videos, or just random thoughts about the game. Some of them I visit everyday, some are in my RSS reader and some are still unknown and remain a mystery.
The question is: why are some of them visited more than others? Why do people love some of them and never visit the others? There are many answers that I can give you, but I’d like give them to you little by little. Take this as a serial that will give you the know-how.
Another question from you: why should you, Hannah, tell us what to do? Answer: I’ve been blogging about pretty much everything in the last two years. My first roundup was Apple stuff, iPods mostly, which lasted for a year. Then I thought I should try something on my own and I came up with this site while continued to write about various technology news on other site. More than six months ago, I’ve opened another blog that’s focused on fashion and have some further plans in the near future.
All the sites have given me a lot of information on what it means to run a site. A popular site. It’s not easy from various aspects, but can be if you know how to manage it. So, I thought I could share a bit of my knowledge with everyone who runs a Sim-site or plans to. I’m not sure how many articles will be published, but I think there will be about three of them – one per week. Hope you’ll enjoy them.
P.S.: If you have any particular questions, write them in the comments.
I know that Halloween is over and the next one is approaching very slowly, but I found this article today and had a great laugh about it. We don’t celebrate Halloween here in my country (only visit the graves of the dead ones), but you don’t need Halloween to become a Sim, right?
I’ve mentioned it many times before and I have to mention it once again: I love Plumbobs. They’re awesome and iconic, something that charecteristics the game a lot. I’ve always been wanting one, that’s why , but now – with this tutorial – I can make one myself with only a few things that I should have at home.
And when it will be done, my friends can call the doctor and call me officially crazy and highly-addicted. How cool!
As a big The Sims fan, I just can’t wait to put my hands on The Sims 3. Since I live in a country where EA Games doesn’t have the official reprezentation and just like in many other countries, I’m not able to buy the Collector’s Edition. You people from America are really lucky and should appreciate that you can. Anyway, there actually is a way to buy the Collector’s Edition from other countries than USA. Want to know how? Read more!
Christine has posted a new tutorial for skinners. If you want to know how to create seamless textures, it’s for you. You’ll only need Gimp, which is for free.