When Electronic Arts released its "Late Night" expansion pack for the simulation game "The Sims 3," the computer game company added a new playable item to the game's inventory -- the skyscraper. While ostensibly appearing as tall buildings, skyscrapers in "The Sims 3: Late Night" are simply variations of the standard residential or community lots that are already part of the game. Avid players and game modders looking to modify skyscrapers have a few tools available to them.
In the game are 27 "shells" of skyscrapers that look like tall buildings. The shells are all designed the same way, but each is of a different architectural design to give the sense of variety found in a modern city. Every shell has a ground floor and a top floor or floors for building public spaces and living spaces. The floors between the ground floor and upper floors do not exist, and changing floors skips the player directly to the upper floors.
Accessing Hidden Items
Players can only access skyscraper shells and other hidden items by enabling cheats built into "The Sims 3." Pressing "Ctrl," "Shift" and "C" opens the cheat bar for typing in cheats, and using "TestingCheatsEnabled True" activates all other cheats. Next, the "BuyDebug" cheat reveals a hidden category of objects in Buy Mode appearing as a question mark icon in the Sort by Function catalogue. You will find the skyscraper shells in the "Misc. Objects tab, all named "Metropolitan Building."
Building a Skyscraper
Before placing a skyscraper shell on a lot, you must enable another cheat, "RestrictBuildBuyInBuildings False." This cheat also makes it possible to build within the shells. You can place shells on a lot like any other object, except once a shell is placed, you cannot move it. Once placed, you can build walls, floors, windows and any other building item as if it were a normal residential or public lot. There are, however, items specific to skyscrapers.
Three markers found in Buy Mode with the shells control how different spaces in the skyscraper appear in the game. When you place the Public Room Marker in an area such as a lobby, it makes the space open to all characters in the game. The Hidden Room Marker blacks out areas not accessible to the characters, such as other apartments. The Level Skip Marker makes the entire floor inaccessible to the characters, so a player can skip floors if he does not want to build on every one. All markers appear as mirrored spheres in Buy Mode, but are not visible while playing the game.
Finishing the Skyscraper
Like their real-world counterparts, skyscrapers in "The Sims 3" have features specific to them. These include trash chutes instead of kerbside dustbins, callboxes and elevators. The player places trash chutes outside of upper floor apartments in common hallways. Callboxes go in the lobby and are used to contact characters in apartments and elevators provide access to the upper floors from the lobby. While players can find the garbage chute and the elevators in the same place as the shells, they will find callboxes in the Electronics catalogue in Buy Mode.