The Sims 3
Quality Guideline: Optimized
Neighborhoods & CAS Screens
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At a glance
For best performance, worlds should avoid using more than 8 different terrain paints per chunk, and should have lots and world objects organized into logical layers.
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This world is not fully optimized for performance.
This world seems well optimized for performance.
For best performance, worlds should avoid using more than 8 different terrain paints per chunk, and should have lots and world objects organized into logical layers. This will make your world run much better for downloaders, especially those with lower-end computers.
Each map is divided up into pieces - called chunks - of 256x256 tiles. Basically, chunks allow your computer to load part of a world's details instead of the whole thing, and makes the game run better.
All you really need to worry about with chunk boundaries is to generally avoid using more than 8 different terrain paints in one chunk. Exceeding this in a few chunks is alright, but chunks with more than 8 terrain paints should be used sparingly. You can have as many as you want for your whole world, but don't mix and match them too much within a single chunk, to improve performance. And of course, fewer is better - if you can get away with 3 or 4 rather than 8, do so!
Layers are a way of grouping objects in your world. It is typically best practice to group objects of the same type in their own layer. For example, having a layer for trees, a layer for spawners, etc.
Trees in particular should be properly layered, as trees get grouped into a single object per chunk but they don't group across layers.
Tutorials - The Sims 3
Tutorial: Creating Sims 3 Worlds
Create-a-World wiki: Layers
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