The City Plan contest is a chance for you to show off your settlement building skills, share your work with the community, and earn cool prizes!
If you don't want to post your entry to NEXUS you can post it within the Entries forum!
This month we are offering 3 smaller early game settlements to choose from. Players are more than likely to encounter these so get your high visibility personal protective gear on and get building!
Red Rocket Truck Stop
Please read the New Rules.
For more information about the current contest and to join the discussion, please visit our forum.
The forum for May 2023 Contest Entries is found here.
Competition Entries Close on 11:59 PM CST on the 28th December, 2023!
Following these guidelines can help make sure you're giving the best representation of your contest entry prior to the judging process.
Tips for a successful City Plan Contest entry!
Click here to download the city plan entries from past contests to use in your own game.
If you are new to city plan building, here are some resources that can help you learn how to make your first city plans!
Quick Start Tutorial
This is the 5 minute tutorial on how to make a City Plan. If you run into problems following this, see the Common Issues list below. -
How to Compete in the City Plan Contest
Intro to City Plan Creation
Here is a helpful page explaining the basics of creating a city plan. - Intro to City Plan Creation
Learn to Create City Plans
Step by step instructions about building city plans. - Learn to Create City Plans
Advanced City Planning
Here is a very detailed page about advanced city planning. - Advanced City Plan Info
Build a Settlement: Each month we’ll announce a set of settlements you can choose from to build an epic design in. We’ll also let you know what the requirements are for your design, such as any themes, expected items, and build limits.
Convert to a City Plan: City Plans have levels, which means you’ll need to tear your settlement down a bit and use a simple process to export it into a special City Plan mod to share with others. Don’t worry! The process is straight-forward and can be done without ever opening a tool like the Creation Kit. (Quick video guide coming soon!)
Upload to Nexusmods.com: After you’ve created your City Plan plugin, you’ll want to take some good screenshots and share it all on Nexusmods.com. Be sure to use Sim Settlements 2 as the category, and add the City Plan Contest Entry tag.
If you are chosen as one of our Top 3, you will then put together a video tour of your settlement for the voting round!
Q. I don't see the Manage option on the Workbench.
A. You can also access this menu with the MCM menu for Workshop Framework, or if you aren't using MCM in the Workshop Framework Controls holotape, which can be crafted at a Chemistry bench. The menu in either place is under Tools > Manage Settlement Menu.
Q. I don't have an Export Layout option on the Manage menu.
A. The Export option requires that you are using F4SE. Here's an incredibly simple tutorial on installing it.
Q. The export completed, but the file doesn't exist.
A. Confirm you have Papyrus logging enabled. Here's a simple guide to do so.
Q. I'm testing my City Plan but it won't show up in the list.
A. Give Sim Settlements 2 a few minutes to detect your new plan before accessing the menu. If it still doesn't show up, go to the Mods screen off of the main menu, then go to the Load Order screen and confirm your plugin is listed with a checkmark next to it.
Note that the choices of merchandise and game keys may vary month-to-month depending on availability. Once the top 3 are decided, they will be notified of available options for prizes.
Most prizes will be distributed digitally, in the form of gift cards, or online store credits to purchase the actual prize. Though on occasion, a physical, limited edition item may be available, in which case the recipient would need to disclose a mailing address in order to receive that prize.
Winning a prize is contingent upon being compliant with all official rules, and fulfilling all other requirements in this document.
**If your country is not eligible to accept Steam gift cards, we will do our best to accommodate with a similar prize.
*If you would prefer not to have your City Plan included in a pack, please let us know.
Each month the contest details will be announced on the 28th and you will have until 11:59 PM CST on the 28th of the following month. After which, the first round of judging will begin.
Judging is done in two rounds; the first is limited to Sim Settlements team members, Patreon supporters, and long-standing community members. From this first round, a top 3 is selected, which will be announced within two weeks of the contest closing.
Afterwards, the creators will be contacted directly for help in preparing their settlements for the public judging round which will involve video tours and a public voting* session, which will be handled on the simsettlements.com forums.
Video tours will be released and public voting announced on kinggath's YouTube channel, as well as the simsettlements.com forums, around the 21st of each month, with the winners being selected and announced on the 28th alongside the announcement for the next contest’s details.
*Only active accounts on the simsettlements.com forums are eligible to vote on the public voting section. Active status requires existence on the forum before the contest begins, having made a small number of posts, and maintaining a positive post reaction rating (which means not spamming random threads to hit the minimal posting threshold). This is to reduce the likelihood of fake accounts being created to skew voting.
Anyone not currently on the City Plan Contest Management team may enter*, provided you are building your settlement on PC. We currently lack the tools necessary to export a settlement from Xbox. If that ever changes, we'll likely expand to allow Xbox players to enter as well!
Each person may only submit one entry per month. If it is found that an individual is submitting multiple entries under different usernames, all entries from that person will be rejected.
*Anyone who has not maintained good standing with the community (i.e., has been banned from Sim Settlements or Nexusmods.com, Discord, Forums, or other community platforms) is not eligible to enter.
While there aren't going to be strict criteria on how people vote, you do have to follow the rules of the contest or your City Plan will be disqualified. So be sure that you have the appropriate numbers of plots, settler support, and any other rules laid out in the current month's requirements.
Voting will be largely subjective, but you should aim to make something that is immersive, detailed, and functional, as each judge on the team will likely have a bias towards one of these things.
Immersive - Keep it lore friendly. If you build a modern day shopping mall, it might look cool, but likely the judges will find it jarring as a City Plan.
Detailed - Don't skimp on the detail; little touches go a long way. Think things like clutter, wall decorations, and other little touches that show you've really thought about how the place would feel if lived in.
Functional - Some judges will really care about whether or not your settlement could actually function. It could be from a pathing perspective, from having a good mix of plot types, or from just seeming like it has a common theme.
Sort of. The City Plan Contest Assistant mod will adjust the build limit of the settlement to something higher than you can build in vanilla. After years of doing settlement modding, we’ve determined a value that is safe for most Fallout 4 players.
So follow the build limit meter, but know that it is more than you get in the vanilla game.
Yes! In fact, there’s an advantage to that, as you could get valuable feedback from people about your design before the deadline in case you want to make changes and re-upload.
The judging team won’t be downloading the plans until the night of the contest deadline.
Sometimes a participant doesn't fully understand the rules and may mistakenly break one. We will be happy to help you better understand the rules and work with you to fix your city plan to be in compliance. However we expect this process to be constructive. Continued arguing with staff because you dislike or disagree with the rules will not be tolerated. Contest staff provide the final rulings that will be upheld by Kinggath and Damanding with rare exception. Failure to comply with final rulings and/or continued disrespect of contest staff may result in your removal from the contest and possibly even the community. (this paragraph added by Damanding)
Clarifications requested can be found here on the Forums
You can only build with items from the following places: Sim Settlements 2, vanilla game objects, DLC objects, and objects from the mod Wasteland Reconstruction Kit. If you use other workshop item mods, players will likely end up with a lot of missing items when using your plan, as people using City Plans generally don't want to install a bunch of extra mods. Fortunately, the Wasteland Reconstruction Kit has over 10,000 items to build with!
Don't worry, you don't have to uninstall your other mods; we've thought of that! To help you keep track of what you can build, the City Plan Contest Assistant mod will automatically highlight anything that isn't legal in glowing purple so you know instantly if you placed something you shouldn't have.
Large load orders can lead to instability, and you definitely don't want save corruption after putting in tons of work on a settlement design!
The following clean up mods can be used if you make an export of the original vanilla settlement as well as an export of it after it has been fully scrapped. When you upload your exports properly, the webtool should handle the rest.
Regarding scrap profiles, these are only needed if:
You are creating a city plan that uses a scrapping mod, like Spring Cleaning
You are creating a city plan for a custom (mod-added) settlement
You are using Settlement-extending mods
The Sim Settlements team has already created profiles for the vanilla game locations. (These include if Place Everywhere is used in enhanced selection mode.)
These mods clean settlements without breaking precombines:
Scrap Everything or any other unlisted scrapping mods (including Spring Cleaning, if you do not plan to create a scrap profile) - These mods will allow you to scrap much more than is possible for Sim Settlements to handle reliably and will not work with City Plans in this contest. If a mod lets you scrap something extra, you probably shouldn't use it.
All Settlements Extended & Annex the Commonwealth - Mods that increase the build area aren't necessarily a problem technically, like scrap mods are, but they will encourage a bad habit for this contest. If anyone using your City Plan doesn't have a border extending mod installed, the settlers who are assigned to items outside the vanilla build area will never be able to reach them.
Yes and no. You can use Building Plans on your plots from any add-on you like! What you can't do is build extra items from an add-on, for example, custom City Planner's Desks.
Building Plans are allowed because Sim Settlements 2 can dynamically change them for players not using the add-on you had, whereas it won't know how to handle the other items.
The information contained in this section pertains to advanced modding procedures. The majority of city plan builders will not use these procedures.
We have been asked about using vanilla and dlc models (nifs) with additional snap points in the competition.
This is a conditional yes based on the following conditions:
I have tested and confirmed that the NSO - Base Pack 5.0 on Nexus meets all of the above requirements.
If you have the ability to add snap points to vanilla objects, please get in touch with the Wasteland Reconstruction Kit team members to discuss how you can contribute.
¶ At this point no other nif replacers have been tested. You use them at your own risk.
¶ If it needs an ESM, ESL, or ESP file to load, your entry will be disqualified.