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Difference between BAT and Lot?

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Sorry for the question that I know will seem dumb and annoying to veterans--I know there are FAQs and stuff about this, but unfortunately I find that language in those to vague to actually answer my question.

For instance, "A BAT is commonly known to the members of Simtropolis as a 3-D model that is made using what the BAT stands for, Building Arcitect Tool. If you would like to use the BAT to make your own custom content you might want to check here, and a great tutorial here...

"A lot is the entire structure of something in Simcity, including the building, fauna, decor, and ground tiles..."

Am I to understand from this that BATs are merely 3D models that modders can use to make lots out of, but they are not buildings I can install and use in the game? For that I would need to find a lot someone has made using those buildings?

I ask this because when I look though the STEX for cool buildings to use in my cities, they usually seem to be BAT files rather than lots. Can I install these BATs as they are, or not?

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Like it says, BATs are made with the B.A.T. They are the buildings you see in the game. Lots are what the building is on and the surrounding objects, such as props. A BAT cannot exist by itself, it must be placed on a lot to be able to be put into the game. Lots however do not have to contain a BAT to function properly.

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  • Original Poster
  • For instance, when I search something like "restaurant" on the STEX, I get several pages of results, and the vast majority of them are BAT files. Many of these are very nice looking buildings I would love to download and install, but I don't see any equivalent Lot files anywhere in my search results. If I see a "Dennys Restaurant" that's a BAT file, even if I search the word "Dennys" I don't get any Lots in my search results, only BATs.

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    Sorry if I am confusing you. Usually downloads will contain both a BAT and lot file. You don't have to find them both. These are the file types for each:

    BAT = .sc4model

    Lot = .sc4lot

    Properties = .sc4desc

    Sometimes you will see a .dat file. This is basically all of these merged.

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  • Original Poster
  • Do you mean that even if a file is categorized in the BAT section of the STEX, the download might include a Lot? This whole time I've been assuming that if it's categorized in the BAT section then it is only a BAT. Out of curiosity, why would so many buildings be filed under BAT if they include Lots? Shouldn't they go in the Lot section?

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    Basically, if a lot includes a BAT, it goes in the "BAT" section. If it doesn't include a BAT and is simply a bunch of props, then it goes in the "Lot" section.

    Almost all downloads from the BAT section will include a lot.

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    Just to clarify for future readers...

    The BAT category on the STEX is usually reserved for those items that contain a building or other item made by the uploader using the B.A.T. (Building Architect Tool). These are included in what are otherwise known as the model files (.SC4Model file). For most items, the model has been lotted to created the lot that the model is on (.SC4Lot file). As mentioned, also included in the download will be the .SC4Desc file that contains the properties of the item.

    The Lot category is used for items made from either Maxis default items or items made by other users. They will often simply contain a lot file (.SC4Lot file) but may need other downloads to function and appear correctly (Dependencies).

    Having said this, it is possible to find items that might be thought of as one or the other in an unexpected category. This could be due to various decisions at the tine of the upload, but in general, if the download contains a lot file is present it will function as such in the game.

    Also as mentioned, there could be exceptions to this (the .dat files), and it is usually a good idea to read the download descriptions included in the listing as they often mention what type of item they are.

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