The build mode in The Sims is by far my favourite aspect of the game. I’ve spent countless hours making house that I end up half-furnishing because I just want to build enough house. While I had a few problems with the build mode in The Sims 3, I was pretty happy with how it turned out for the most part so I was excited to see how they would tweak it in The Sims 4.
The Sims 4 changed the way walls worked and they absolutely nailed it. No longer do we have to just have the same height wall all around the house. The introduction of changing wall heights is something I love playing around with while building my houses. Expanding onto this is also a variation in heights of windows. This allows you to have windows that suit each type of wall height. However it becomes much more than that. A mixture of using big walls with different sized windows allows you to create so many different variations on window placement, something that I play around with each time I build a house.
However, my positives for the build mode dries up about here. While I understand why the concept of rooms was required to create the addition of the dragging and moving tools, overall the room concept is straight out annoying. Trying to construct a house using a series of room at times frustration, especially when creating sightly complex floor plans. Often I find that rooms do not automatically recognise itself as a room unless you create a basic rectangular room. When they do not configure into rooms, it make doing simple things such as putting in a ceiling, and laying flooring.
Once however you have placed a room over them and given then a flooring, you are than stuck with the problem of painting. In The Sims 3 you were able to paint 2 blocks of wall and be able to paint the section in the middle by using the Shift key. This does not happen in The Sims 4. Your options are either paint every wall individually or paint by room. This causes problems as painting individually at times takes forever and trying to paint a “room” when the rooms have not been configured properly often leaves you finding your bathroom wall tiles on the exterior of the house. This than forces you to patch up the incorrectly painted areas by individually painting the whole house. The simple process of painting a wall has at times become more difficult than completing a rubric cube.
At this point I feel like a broken record. The terrain tool doesn’t exist in The Sims 4. For people who never played around with the terrain tool, this isn’t much of an exclusion, but for those who did, boy oh boy was this a major blunder. No more cliff side houses, underground garages (which is no longer needed due to the lack of cars), sunken backyards. The terrain tool allowed people to create more realistic looking houses. For now however that is gone and we can all but hope that it returns along with open worlds in The Sims 5.
Similar to the terrain tool, the foundations could be used to make your sim houses look basic to extreme. In The Sims 4, I can sum up foundations up in 1 sentence. They ruined them. The first thing they introduced with foundations was the ability to raise and lower their height. The second thing was you were able to put foundations under prebuilt things. Implying these additions to the foundations of The Sims 3 would have been perfect but instead they changed one major thing about the foundations that has really disappointed me. Foundations no long are placed then built on, instead they are already apart of every section of flooring that you place. For a basic builder this is fantastic, no longer do you have to worry about have to deal with foundations on top of everything else you are trying to plan. For builders who like to push limits, such as myself, this has taken away the abilities to make 2 things that I loved putting in my homes. They are floating outdoor decks and the ability to place bridges or flooring over pools or fountains. While these are minor things, it is because of things like this that I have a sense of disappointment towards The Sims 4.