This isn't exactly a tutorial, but it's an important part of designing City Plans, and so deserves a place in the guided series. One of the things you're going to want to consider when making City Plans, is how you can reduce the number of mods you're using as much as possible.
Every mod you introduce, reduces the likelihood players will see the full design of your settlement, as many people will be turned off by having to download a large collection of workshop mods to use a City Plan.
We've helped with this problem in 2 ways:
The Wasteland Reconstruction Kit (WRK) is a special addon for Sim Settlements 2. This mod adds over 10,000 buildable items to workshop mode that don't actually require any other mods to use in City Plans/Workshop Framework Layouts/Transfer Settlements Blueprint beyond Sim Settlements 2. Not even WRK itself is required by players to have these items placed by those systems!
All of the models, textures, and forms are actually part of SS2 or the vanilla game already, and WRK simply makes them buildable, adds snap points to some items, and makes other small modifications to make things easier to work with for settlement designers.
Below are some of the things you can expect to find in WRK, if you are designing City Plans, you'd be crazy not to grab this, since all* of these items are already available in player's games that are using City Plans!
WRK includes tons of various buildable items you'd expect in a workshop mod, including prefabs, structure pieces, furniture, and unique decorations you can build with.
Here are some highlights:
WRK also includes tons of specialty coded objects that had been created for Sim Settlements and are made buildable.
Place special "Blue Man" markers all over your settlement to give NPCs extra things to do. These play especially well with the SS2 Visitor system which ensures your settlement will have plenty of extra NPCs idling around the settlement later in the game.
Lay down these markers to redefine the spawn points for vanilla raids.
Set up all sorts of visual effects, such as fire, electricity, water sprays, and much more.
Create lights that appear to have no source outside of workshop mode which can be used to extend the range of other lighting, or simply illuminate an area you feel would be naturally lit.
Set up markers to spawn friendly workshop versions of animals, such as Brahmin, cats, and dogs, as well as all sorts of other wasteland creatures.
Enhance your settlements with sound effects by placing machine, wind, water, and other interesting sound loops.
Invisible blocks that allow NPCs to path and can only be seen in workshop mode for making otherwise unpathable objects walkable by settlers.
Snappable ladders the player can actually climb can be used to place some interesting paths through your settlement or create spaces NPCs can't reach.
In addition to the above markers and special objects, Sim Settlements 2 has a range of special features you can set up your settlement to react to.
Certain mechanics, such as the Ally leader traits and the future Faction control system, allow squads of guards to patrol a settlement. These markers can be placed to generate the route through your settlement those guards will take.
The Cinematic Mode system that Sim Settlements 2 uses to show a City Plan being constructed, or just any time the player wants a tour, can be given a set path and optional center point rather than allowing SS2 to create a generic path automatically.
Much like the aforementioned Patrol Markers, special Guard Spawners can be placed which will cause appropriate NPCs from the settlement or leader's allies to be spawned at these markers.
In addition, Civilian markers can generate additional visitors to a settlement.
All of the NPCs spawned by this system will then claim the nearest animation marker and spend their time there to make the settlement feel far more populated and alive.
These markers come in a variety of sizes and will be replaced with holiday thematic items depending on the in-game date. For example, a small surface holiday marker can be placed on a table and it might have a Christmas present in December, a Jack-o-Lantern in October, or a basket of "easter grenades" in the spring!
These are actually available directly in Sim Settlements 2, but this seemed like a great place to mention them. In the Sim Settlements section of the build menu, under Decorations, are a collection of different Flag and banner objects that appear teal in workshop mode. These will be automatically swapped for an actual flag or banner that is set to match a centrally controlled design.
Player's can then choose a design, such as a Faction flag, and have all of these flag and banner objects automatically updated to reflect that choice.
Near the top, I said every SS2 player has access to all of these items, and put an asterick on "all". That's because there are a handful of items that fall into one of two categories that break the rules and may not be available to the player. Though just as I mentioned at the top with other mod items, these will automatically be skipped for players who don't qualify, but it's worth being aware of in case you start getting reports about it.
Due to massive size constraints on Xbox modding, there are a a few hundred items that are not available to Xbox players. We limited this to non-structural items only to reduce the likelihood of a City Plan having floating items for Xbox players.
WRK requires all of the DLC, this is because we've created construction records for a lot of DLC items that aren't buildable by default in those DLC. Our assumption is that any of you committed enough to design City Plans has probably invested in the DLC. Though just like other modded items, City Plans will automatically skip DLC flagged items the player doesn't have installed.