Community Spotlight Interview: jisgr8

Contemporaries with sunken features, mansions with labyrinth gardens, and castles that rival nobles would envy -stop by jisgr8's studio and you'll see why his lots have have received thousands of recommends and downloads. Check out our latest Community Spotlight interview with this amazing creator and see what style he finds the most challenging to build, his favorite cheats, tips for aspiring builders, and more!

Download Wavecrest

How long have you been playing The Sims games?
I was first introduced to the series with The Sims when I was a kid after my parents bought a new family computer and picked up the game to go along with it. Being so used to console games, it was one of the first computer games I had played so it took some time for me really to get into it. I think it was when it dawned on me that after years of trying, I could finally build a castle without it being immediately demolished by a younger and/or older sibling that I became hooked.

What was your first creation in any of The Sims games?
Two words "total disaster". I tried what every builder probably did at one point or another, which was to recreate my own house. It turned out that the real life to pixel translation process was not as easy as I thought it would be. Picture a milk carton shape, but poorly constructed and at least 2 times bigger than it should be. I think it was that first failure that pushed me to really get into the game with building. I always love a good challenge.

Your lot styles range from contemporaries, moderns, Victorians, to grand mansions - which of these do you have the most fun building?
Wait you forgot one - castles - which is my favorite style to build in. My castle building started with wooden blocks, then moved to Legos, and it's still going with The Sims. So in other words, I haven't really grown up. My over-active imagination won't let me build a normal house. I've tried, but they spontaneously start growing towers, and then I find a water-filled trench circling the building. Strangest thing.

What lot style do you find is the most challenging to build?
It would have to be modern. I have a love-hate relationship with that style when I'm building. I love all the creativity that is necessary for a successful modern and how you have to at times push the limits of the game. But almost 9 times out of 10 my ideas are left as permanent WIPs because they aren't possible. That's why I'm always thrilled when a new building tool comes out with an EP so I might have the chance to make them work.

Your lots are so detailed in both exterior and interior - how long do you normally spend just designing one room? Particularly your contemporaries with sunken features!
I really varies. When inspiration hits it can be lightning fast, but there are times when I'd be outpaced by a snail. I would attribute that to what I've called my design OCD. If something doesn't look right to me I'll change it and keep changing it until it does. I rarely have a concrete plan especially with comtemporaries so trial and error is how I roll.

Which lot (or lots) are you most proud of?
That's tough. I'd have to say that I'm proud of all my lots in different ways. I'm proud of my Parisian townhouse for its realism and just finishing it after a year-long WIP (work in progress). I'm proud of my modern lot Wavecrest for all the design ideas that came from building it. And I'm proud of my very first The Sims 3 lot Villa Tramonto because the awesome feedback I got from it spurred me to make bigger and better lots.

Download La Maison du Roi

Where do you draw your inspiration for your lots?
Everywhere really. Walking down the street, homes that I visit, magazines and the web. It's more like where don't get inspiration. I can honestly say that there were times when I've visually "Simized" a building when looking at it or in other words picturing it as it would be built in game. At least I'm not to the point where I go and count square footage of a house in tiles...yet.

Have you ever done any collaborations with fellow players?
Only once, believe it or not, after all these years. Another builder and I shared the work on a massive project that wouldn't have been possible alone. It was loads of fun bouncing ideas off each other, and by the end I felt that I had a great learning experience so hopefully there will be more in the future.

What are your favorite cheats to use when building?
They have to be MOO (move objects on) and CFE (constrain floor elevation). No surprise they are both building cheats. MOO adds so much versatility to interior design. You can combine objects and put them in places they wouldn't normally go. I definitely couldn't live without that cheat. CFE I use only in certain cases, but it opens up a world of possibilities for building, and there are designs that can't be done without it.

Can you share a bit of your building process with us including where you get your ideas?
I once shared with someone that my building regime uses an infinite number of monkeys each creating a lot, which would almost ensure a successful design. But you know they have to take a break sometime so any other time I begin with research after I've decided on a style. Sitting down with a notebook and a pen comes next and I just draw what comes to mind. By the time my garbage can is full of rejected ideas, I then load the game and start building.

Download Castle Raventhorpe

Do you have any tips/tricks for new builders?
From my early building days, I remember that it was important for me to really get a good understanding of the basics of the game first. That is learning how to use the tools in the game to their fullest before branching out. Don't be like me and try to get overly complicated for your first couple of attempts. My one teacher told me that once you know the rules then you can bend them and even break them. Also, don't be afraid to share your work. I didn't start sharing until a couple of years ago and my building has improved drastically since that time from learning from other creators.

Do you have any websites that promote your work you'd like to share?
Now that you ask, I just started a new blog called Why Plumbobs Are Green. Though I will showcase my builds, the main purpose for the blog is simply to share some of the things I've learned with building over the years from experimentation and from other builders. I hope to inspire builders as I've been by so many creators in the community.

Huge thanks, jisgr8, for taking part in our interview! Don't forget to visit his studio in his My Page, check out a sneak peek of his upcoming projects in his blog, and stop by Why Plumbobs Are Green!