I have an update and with that update, I seek some advice.
I now have 3DsMax 2012 (because 2012 version works with Cities XL as well) for students. Anyway, I was wondering whether I should have the windows be recessed into the wall, stick out of the wall, only have frames that stick out of the wall, or be flush with the wall? The lowest polygon count would come from windows that are flush with the wall and are entirely done with textures. The highest polygon count would either be recessed windows or framed windows but that is also the most realistic and good looking. Furthermore, there don't seem to be LOD's for these buildings, does that mean I should make my buildings low-polygon all the time? If these are to be the most commonly built housing in my games, would it be best for me to make these have super-low polygon counts? It should not be difficult to make these have less than 1000 polygons but if performance is hampered by 100+ of these, maybe I should try to keep these under 200 polygons, which might be more difficult (unless I utilize some texture tricks and don't make the details 3D. Does Banished support bump maps? If so, I could add the details of the windows and maybe even the doors with bump maps.
The absolutely simplest 3D model I could go with tier 1 would be a rectangular prism with a pyramid (which would be a hipped roof) on top (and have all the windows and details be in the textures and maps) and a smaller rectangular prism or 2 for chimneys. The absolutely simplest 3D models for tier 3 and 4 would be be large rectangular prisms with 2 smaller rectangular prisms each for the chimneys. Tier 2 would have dormers so it would be similar to tier 1 but with the polygons from 2 extra rectangular prisms and triangular prisms, and possibly with a gabled roof instead of a hipped room.
I have been playing around with 3DsMax for the past couple of days and went through all the tutorials so it is only a matter of time before I can make high quality models of the buildings I want but I don't know how complex the geometry should be. Furthermore, because my housing will require bricks, I will make my first version be a companion mod for CC but if some other modder, such as RedKetchup, adds bricks (and preferably glass as well) to the game, I could make another version that uses his brick mod. I plan on making the buildings have multiple upgrades (and these upgrades can require different resources from each-other, such that in the CC version, the base building would use logs, stone, and iron and the last upgrade would use bricks, glass, and joists).