Recently, we covered a popular workaround invented by players called "stacking". But decorative waterways require a trick called "grouping" or "merging", something the game isn't designed to let you do. But as always, gamers are an innovative bunch.
Basically, every item in the game takes up tile space. One item would take up one tile space no matter how small or skinny it is. For example, a scrawny bamboo tree would take up as much space as a big fat boulder. But "grouping" allows you to pack items more closely together. Sometimes, you can pack them so close, they even overlap. For example, you can have a whole field of flowers clustered together, instead of being forced into spaced out rows. This gives you more natural-looking designs. And the secret of grouping or merging is rugs. Lots and lots of rugs. If you put down rugs, then put stuff on top of the rugs, then stuff can be placed closer together.
(Note: How much you need of the following depends on the size of the pond you want to make.)
- The best rug for the job is any of the circular 2x2 ones in the Decorations section of the game store: Aqua Rug, Cream Rug, or Scarlet Rug for 125 Simoleons each. You're going to need a lot of them and they're cheap. Next up for purchase are a handful of large 3x2 rugs. I've got several Fiesta Rugs for this, but you'll have to get something similar, as they're no longer in the game store. A good substitute is the Walk-On Soviet (it's bright red) which costs only 250 Simoleons each and is also in Decorations.
- Now, you'll need rocks. More rocks than rugs. The game used to have a wonderful variety of rocks for this, particularly the Big Basalt Rock, Rock of Ages, and Limestone Boulder. But during a recent store clean-up, Playfish took the rocks away, so now we're down to (oh, irony) a rock called "Rock and Hard Place", priced for 60 Simoleons each in the Outdoor section of the store. Because of this, round plants, such as bushes and Lithodora (150 Simoleons) are valued as a good substitute, as well as being a great way to brighten up your pond's borders.
- The last essential are Aqua Carpet tiles, which you can find in the Build tab within the store for 20 Simoleons each. It's the most realistic item for mimicking water in the game.
- This last bit is entirely up to you, but most people like to decorate the inside of their water. Clover (costs 80 Simoleons, found in Outdoors section) is extremely popular, as is the Pink Flamingo (100 Simoleons; Outdoors). For something more high-end, there's the Dolphin Topiary (4,500 Simoleons; Outdoors buildable) or a Font Of All Awesome (2,250 Simoleons; Outdoors buildable).
If that seems like a lot to you, don't fret. If you're ready, I'm going to tell you what to do with all that stuff. With stacking, building is as hard as preparing. Lucky for us, after you've gathered your supplies, making the ponds are a snap.
Step 2: Add the bushes, flowers, and/or rocks to build the edges of your pond. Rotate some of the rocks so they won't look totally identical. Keep the items on the edge sitting on the carpet. Make sure to arrange the edge in a way that plugs all the empty spaces -- you won't want your 'water' to look like it's leaking out.
Step 3: Start laying down decorations inside your pond, such as the Clover or Blossom Fall (costs 400 Social Points; Outdoors). I bought a Skelemingo during the Halloween event, so I used that too. When you're done, you should have something that looks like the screenshot below.
Step 4: Go to the Tiles section in the Build tab and select the Aqua Carpet tile. Drag your mouse to highlight the areas of your pond you want the tiles to fill. If you planned this right, the unevenly placed rocks and bushes should hide the even edges of the carpet tiles.
Special thanks to zoobeast for the original idea. For more inspiration, I highly recommend visiting the "Show off your ponds!" thread in The Sims Social official forum. You'll be drooling over how pretty everything is.
[Top Image Credit: HanHen]
Have you mastered pond building yet? What other water-based ideas can you think up for decorating a home in The Sims Social? Sound off in the comments. Add Comments