Build-A-Pack Challenge

The basic premise of this challenge is to take an empty Sims 4 game file and repopulate the lots with themed houses based on each of the EA-released packs. I came up with the idea basically because there are so many of the packs I simply never use to build, and I wanted to give myself the opportunity and reason to use them. Obviously, each pack doesn’t have enough stuff in it to come up with whole lots.. so using other packs will be a must… but the point is to follow the theme. Since this is NOT a game play challenge, what your sim looks like and who they are don’t matter, but you’ll have to make one to start a new game file out.

This challenge is designed for the Simmer that likes building and has a good general idea of how to do it. If you’re a beginner builder, this may not be the challenge for you, you may want to try my Flipping Lots Challenge first. This page is designed to help you get started and get a basic overview of the packs you’ll be working with. Also included is a guide for building in each neighborhood, based on a very basic list of housing styles, the master list of released packs, and my own ideas for how to turn this idea into an actual challenge. Obviously, you don’t have to follow my guide exactly, it’s just a suggestion. I also provide a list of other theme ideas that you can use to build lots at the bottom of this page. I designed the challenge to build residential lots, but you’re also welcome to take the idea and run with it to build community lots.

To add a little bit more structure and “spice”, I added overall housing style requirements to each neighborhood. This is to give challenge players a general idea of what the OUTSIDE of the house should look like. I tend to get in a rut and build all the same type of house, and the pack themes are more internal, so this adds another layer of “difficulty” to the challenge. Obviously, I don’t get into all the multitude of styles houses can be built in, just a rough guide.

I will be updating this challenge with packs as they’re added.

Note: I purposely skip using the San Myshuno and the Magnolia Promenade neighborhoods. The City Living neighborhood lots are hard to build and share, and if you’re interested in doing a challenge around that neighborhood, feel free to check out my Apartment Switch Challenge. Magnolia Promenade is more designed as a retail/commercial neighborhood, and as such, I skip using it. If you need more room for houses, however, feel free to use those lots, too. Also skipped are the “vacation” worlds of Granite Falls and Selvadora, but feel free to build a vacation home or two there if you want. Just make sure to only change the “star” (or “rental”) lots. This will leave the save playable if you ever decide to play it. Similarly, leave the “special” lots in Windenburg (Bluffs, Ancient Ruins, and Von Haunt Estate.)

Getting Started:

  1. Create a sim. Any sim. They won’t matter in the long run, and will end up just sitting in the household management screen.
  2. Move said sim into a lot. Any lot. Pick any season you want (it won’t matter). Pause game play, then save and go to the manage world screen.
  3. Evict all sims from all lots. There’s no reason to delete them, as you won’t be playing any of them, but if you really feel like it, go ahead and send them into the nether. *evil smile, waving goodbye to the annoying townies*
  4. Now’s the time-consuming part. Delete / bulldoze all lots and set them to “residential”. Ignore San Myshuno and Magnolia Promenade as both neighborhoods are skipped for this challenge. DO NOT bulldoze the commercial lots in Granite Falls and Selvadora, or the three special lots in Windenburg (Bluffs, Ancient Ruins, and Von Haunt Estate.)
  5. SAVE YOUR GAME. (I include this step because it’s so easy to forget to do this.) You may want to also do a “save as” and keep a second, empty file for if you want to re-do this challenge. Not necessary, but it’ll save you a lot of time in the long run.
  6. You’re ready to play. For each lot there are six basic steps:
    1. Take a look at the neighborhood guide pick a style for the exterior of your house
    2. Pick a lot you want to work with in that neighborhood
    3. Pick a Pack or theme to base the interior of your house on (you may need to pick more than one, some of the stuff packs are quite limited in what they offer and are hard to match with base game things)
    4. Build!
    5. Name your lot whatever you want. Just because EA named the lot doesn’t mean you have to keep that name. It may be a good idea to include the theme in the name, however, to make gallery searching easier.
    6. Save and Share! When you’re finished with each house, don’t forget to upload it to the gallery with the hashtag #buildapack so others can find and download to see what everyone else has done. Also, I again remind you to save the game. Uploading will save the lot to your library, but if you want to keep all the houses together in this save file, saving is a must.
  7. This is a pretty much open-ended challenge. My challenge to myself is to fill all lots, but take it at your own speed. You may only get through half of them. Give yourself a chance to try as many of the theme and style options available before you quit, though. You’ll only get better at building by practicing!

How to Play/Rules/Suggestions:

  • NO CC. This is to make the houses available on the gallery to everyone. If you choose to use CC, please state so in the description on the gallery.
  • There is no target value for each house. In other words, it can be as expensive or cheap as you choose. Since you’re building straight from the manage world screen and not loading a family, no money cheats are needed and you have unlimited funds for each build.
  • Don’t forget landscaping. I’m notoriously bad at this, so asking that each house also include landscaping is a bit of a challenge to myself to get better at it.
  • Move objects cheat is allowed. This is especially useful in landscaping.
  • Try to make the houses “livable”. In other words, if someone wanted to download the house and use it for one of their game play families, things wouldn’t have to be moved around to be accessed and used.
  • Don’t forget there’s different mailboxes and outside trashcans to be used, too.
  • Feel free to use buydebug items, but again, remember the houses are supposed to be livable. Don’t clutter them up too much! *wink*
  • Don’t forget you can sort items in the bin by pack, color, etc.
  • Be creative. Let your imagination be your guide. The options and possibilities are pretty much endless.
  • You are not limited to using the same theme only once, however, try to be creative and try new things, too.

Neighborhood Themes:

Willow Creek:

  • Victorian
  • Townhouse

Oasis Springs:

  • Spanish
  • Mediterranean
  • Adobe
  • Modern
  • Mission

Newcrest:

  • Colonial
  • Ranch
  • Craftsman
  • Traditional

Windenburg:

  • Tudor
  • Villa
  • European
  • Cottages

Forgotten Hollow:

  • Gothic
  • Castle

Brindleton Bay:

  • Beach House
  • Cape Cod
  • New England

Master List of Released Packs:

Expansion Packs:

  1. Get to Work
    • Scientist
    • Doctor
    • Detective
  2. Get Together
  3. City Living
  4. Cats & Dogs
  5. Seasons

Game Packs:

  1. Outdoor Retreat
  2. Spa Day
  3. Dine Out
  4. Vampires
  5. Parenthood
  6. Jungle Adventure

Stuff Packs:

  1. Luxury Party
  2. Perfect Patio
  3. Cool Kitchen
  4. Spooky
  5. Movie Hangout
  6. Romantic Garden
  7. Kids Room
  8. Backyard
  9. Vintage Glamour
  10. Bowling Night
  11. Fitness
  12. Toddler
  13. Laundry Day
  14. My First Pet

Other Theme Ideas:

Holidays:

I base these off major traditional “decorating” holidays (the ones that typically involve home decorating). Feel free to add/supplement with your own. 

  • Easter/St. Patrick’s Day/Springfest
  • Valentine’s Day/Lovefest
  • Independence Day/Summerfest
  • Halloween/Spooky Day
  • Thanksgiving/Harvestfest
  • Christmas/Winterfest

Other Ideas:

These obviously don’t all fit in with the neighborhood guide housing styles, but can be added to any neighborhood for “flavor”.

  • Alien/Spaceship
  • Trailer Parks
  • Mansion
  • Tiny Home
  • Tree House
  • Cantilever (unsupported rooms)
  • Antique/older homes
  • Spy/Secret Lair
  • Pirate
  • Loft
  • Asian
  • Underground

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