Moon Sims
Tech

Carla's Weird Floors Room

Carla's strange floor
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Move your mouse over a rotation angle to see that view.

Outside floors are Moon Sims orginal by James Gholston. Patterned stone floor tiles by Dr. Frankensim. Garden lamp, doors, windows, Graue Steinwall (exterior), and most of the outdoor plants that didn't get in frame by Brigitte Pamperl of BriSims. Rocky floral print wall (interior) by ?. Blue garden globe light by Uncle George Sim.

"Ah, that's it. OK, hold it right there, Pasiphae," says Carla. "Just let me get this little wire in here to hold this stem in place."

"We have company," says Pasiphae. "It looks like someone has come to see your weird floor!"

Carla says, "Hi there! Welcome to my Weird Floors room! I built this place just to show you what floors look like in The Sims, so I hope you like it!

"Oh, sure, of course you already know what floors look like, but the floors you've seen are the work of artists who have put a lot of thought and design work into compensating for a bug in The Sims. The point of these floors is to show you what happens when you rotate a room that contains floors that don't accommodate the bug.

"Look carefully at the numbered floor tiles. Numbers 1-2-3-4 are all on one tile. Then 5-6-7-8 are on another tile, and so on for 9-10-11-12 and 13-14-15-16. Pay special attention to Pasiphae's left foot and my right foot. In the 0° rotation, you'll notice that our feet are on the white corner of a floor tile with the number '1' on it. In the 90° rotation, or feet are on the blue '3'. At 180° we are standing on the black '4', and at 270° we're on the red '2'.

"Do you see what's happening? The room is rotating, and we are rotating with it. Each floor tile is moving its position as the room rotates, but it is not rotating! The same corner is always toward the top of your screen!

"This is a problem that plagues floor designers. If you make a replica of a nice mosaic floor from ancient Pompeii, the floor will look fine in one rotation, but will be all scrambled up in the other three rotations.

"This seriously complicates designing floor tiles. The easiest way to make a floor tile look good in all rotations is to make it radially symmetric, such as the beautiful stone tiles from Dr. Frankesim that decorate the outside border of this room. This type of tile looks great, but it rather limits what you can do; and after a while the rooms tend to look all the same even if every one uses a different tile pattern.

"I would like to be able to create tiles with nice border along the edge. We could have some really magnificent-looking rooms that way, but it doesn't work. To see what I mean, go back to the 0° view and look at the black line that borders the large white square. Pretty nice, huh? Now rotate the view and watch what happens to my carefully constructed pinstripe border.

"Another oddity that occurs due to this bug -- not shown in these views -- is the way long floor elements appear. In one view, you might have a nice hardwood floor (on Earth of course; not on Luna) running lengthwise along a hallway. That's the way people build such floors. Then if you rotate the view 90° you will see all those boards running sideways across the hall instead of lengthwise along it. Yuk!

"...every tile will eventually adjoin each of its four immediate neighbors, changing its partner with every rotation."

"I don't have a solution to this bug. Maybe in some future version of The Sims, Maxis will fix the bug so that floor tiles rotate properly. It would mean having to store two images for each floor tile and adding six lines of code to the software that calculates the image, but the extra disk space would be a trivial price to pay for having floors that work. Until then, we might try to come up with some clever floors that take advantage of the bug.

"If you study these rotations carefully, you will see how different edges of a floor tile line up with different adjacent tiles depending on the view you've chosen. In fact, every tile will eventually adjoin each of its four immediate neighbors, changing its partner with every rotation. It might be possible to design tiles that cleverly use this phenomenon, changing their appearance with each rotation but still looking good in every view.

"For a hint at what I mean, compare the black-line border tiles in the 0° and 180° views. They were designed for the 0° view, but in the 180° view they form a different but nevertheless pleasing pattern. On the other hand, in the 90° and 270° views they look horrendous.

"Well, I hope you've had fun with my Weird Floors room! If you create designs for floors that find an innovative use for this odd bug in The Sims, please let me know about it!"

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