hat_plays_sims: All I did was crop-- go read Bite Me by Dylan Meconis, you'll laugh. (Default)
So I have this massive (forty-three pages in 10-point font) document I use to plan out things like class restrictions and cheats allowed and what trees I can put in which neighborhoods and the bones of a criminal justice system and... basically it's my worldbuilding cheat sheet.

After talking about the G-Rated Religion Mod with Morgaine, I said to myself, "Man, my Religion section sure is... thin. What can I do to get more information in there? Religion and culture inform each other."

So I rummaged around for some writing guides (for both fantasy writing and gaming writing; the gaming guides were more useful) about making up religions. And I built myself a questionnaire.

Because Veetie wanted to see the questionnaire, I cleaned it up, made the language as neutral as I could (hopefully they'll help as much for Medieval Fantasy religions as High Fantasy or Contemporary Alternate Universe), and crammed it behind the cut at the end of this paragraph. This isn't a Mary Sue Litmus Test, feel free to skip any questions that don't apply to your particular playable Religion-- but you might want to give them all a read-through anyway. Most of the questions are aimed at fleshing out a made-up religion, but there's a bit at the end about real-world people and the implications a fictional religion can make, by accident or by design. Also, I'm not a religious studies expert, I'm just a nerd who reads a lot and knows when something feels fake or under-done, and like a lot of people I'm constantly learning what's actually accidentally gross (or accidentally-on-purpose gross. I was in the Aladdin fandom in early 2002, you would not believe some people's nonsense). On to the questionnaire-- this is not short. )
hat_plays_sims: All I did was crop-- go read Bite Me by Dylan Meconis, you'll laugh. (Default)
Okay, first, let me say virtually everything in this... it's not even a tutorial, really, it's more like a pasting guide. Anyway, virtually everything in this crib sheet will focus on the Property Sets value doodad in SimPE.

These are EASY. Be not afraid. If you are afraid, then make backups (or don't throw out your zipped files).

Let's get started! )

This concludes what I know how to do in the Property Sets of Body Shop content for Sims 2.

The other SimPE tricks I know how to get some mileage out of involve moving Buy Mode content to Build Mode and making a few simple tweaks to objects and sorts and such by messing with Object Data.

Object Data )

This concludes what I know how to mess with in Object Data, but I recently learned a cool trick for Buy and Build content in TXMT, courtesy of Whispers.

Material Definition )

And you know what, here are my Cut Your Loading Time tricks. Outside the cut I'll just explain the simple ones-- download the Compressorizer (scroll down) and make use of it (though be sure to only use it on finished meshes or copies of meshes; I hear altering a mesh after compressing it makes it not go), and download a bulk renamer (that one's the one I use) to go through all your files and cut out the special characters. ... Okay, behind the cut is a quick Bulk Renaming Your Sims Files rundown.

Bulk Renaming )

And of course, once you're done renaming, you want to keep your subfolders as shallow as possible-- the more subfolders, the longer it takes the game to read them all. Any organizational system is a personal thing, nobody copies anybody else's entirely, but stealing the parts of someone else's system that work best for you? Dude, do it. So, personally, I don't go more than two subfolders past 'Downloads,' and my next level is divided by category-- Sims, Accessories, Buy, Build, Clothes, Defaults, Food, Genetics, Makeup, Mods, OMSP, PetBreeds, Poseboxes. (Okay, granted, it's not then all my clothes in the Clothes folder, I have Clothes_00_Testing and Clothes_01_RECOLOR; Genetics is labeled not only Genetics_Eyes and Genetics_FacialHair but Genetics_Hair_by_Hat, Genetics_Hair_Hats, Genetics_Hair_CHECKING.) Inside those base-level folders are subfoldered sets, and sometimes loose bundled items, especially in hair and clothing.

Which brings me to my next great load-time saver:

Bundling Package Files )

Of special note with all bundled content, once bundled, you cannot then delete it in-game. Because then you delete your entire bundle, and stuff you use the in-game delete button in is not in your Recycling Bin-- it's just gone. This is, by the way, what happens if you use the in-game delete button on re-categorized Maxis content-- it deletes all the bundles that item's associated resources are in from the Program Files folders, meaning you have probably deleted a fair chunk of your Maxis content if not literally everything in that catalog mode, and now have to figure out what and from where so you can pull those files off the disk to fix your game.

So, basically, ignore the in-game delete button. It's for emergencies only, such as "This is the ugliest wall with the most useless title and description and I can't find the file anywhere!"
hat_plays_sims: All I did was crop-- go read Bite Me by Dylan Meconis, you'll laugh. (Default)
Trying to get myself back into Sims by messing around on the play end of things-- catching up on downloads, sorting things to my finicky liking (I actually kind of enjoy that), testing new stuff, updating to-do lists, lurking and trying to get caught up with assorted boards as a reader before I start posting again-- and I discovered a piece of information that revolutionized my Buy and Build catalogs, and I felt a need to share.

So, have a mini-tutorial!

If you have Apartment Life, Mansion & Garden, Sims 2 Store Edition, or any of the recent bundle packs (Fun with Pets, Best of Business, and I think University Life), you have a category called Architectural in your Build mode. Of course that would be the best place to sort things like decorative columns and ruins and beams and basically all that stuff that makes your houses look awesome but doesn't actually do anything... but SimPE has no ticky-box based way to get anything into that category.

But it DOES have a way to get things in there. And it's super simple!

You need to be on the Apartment Life game engine to do this. You need AL, M&G, Store Edition, or one of the above mentioned bundle packs. Otherwise I don't know if this will crash your game, but you won't be able to find your objects.

Look at Object Data for the doodad you'd like to move (I suggest starting with Kativip's Legend Series Breath of Time and City collections). You'll see the usual handy-dandy tickyboxes under Catalog Sort-- untick all of them, as though you were making a hider, then hit commit. (If you WERE making a hider, you'd just save here. That's how easy hiders are to make.) Then click the Raw Data tab right next to where it says Catalog Sort. Over on the right, you should have three radio buttons (ticky boxes are square and let you click many; radio buttons are round and let you click one) offering you a choice between Binary, Decimal, and Hexadecimal. Tick Decimal.

Now actually look at the Raw Data. You've got your OBJd file stuff, I don't know what that does. You've got your Catalog Price stuff, and if you want to fiddle with that, feel free. Heaven knows a surprising number of creators price their lavish sofas at $0 or their single palm frond in a white plastic vase for $3000.

But the important bit is the third section-- Catalog Sorting. Most of that, I don't know what it does. I know the Room Sort and Function Sort flags should be a string of zeroes if you un-ticked your ticky boxes. There are only three values you want to fiddle with:

0x0045: Build Mode Type
0x004A: Build Mode Subsort
0x005E: Function Sub-Sort

These all have numbers you can edit. The numbers may vary, but it doesn't matter. You'll be changing things. You want it to look like this:

0x0045: Build Mode Type = 1
0x004A: Build Mode Subsort = 4096
0x005E: Function Sub-Sort = 1

Hit Commit. Hit Save. Lather, rinse, and repeat for every architectural gizmo you want to get out of your Deco Sculptures or Deco Misc category. I just moved all my columns, ruins, custom fireplaces, deco chimneys, decorative balconies, thatched roofs, gypsy wagon roofs and wheels, beams, roof spires, and other such doodads, and now my Deco Misc category... well, it's still got a lot in it, but the slider is no longer a tiny, tiny dot.

Like the other two things I do to keep my Deco Misc category under control, this totally isn't something I'd even hope for any creators to do to their own content-- for one thing, it requires specific expansions-- but if you ever find yourself wishing this architectural stuff were in the architectural section in Build Mode, well! Now you know how to do it.

I re-categorize pretty much everything I download. If you want to see the system that saves my sanity and keeps my Deco Misc section reasonable to click through, click the cut. )

My next goal, when I get my catalog all fixed properly (and maybe try to winnow my downloads folder back under seven gigs) will be to catch up on comments. I just felt that a mini-tutorial on how to get things into Build Architecture was in order.

There will be a hider coming for the Build Architecture section, and possibly all of Build Mode. And eventually I'm going to release a Director's Cut of hiders, but it probably won't be of much interest to anyone who doesn't play Medieval/Fantasy/Period themes (because as a Director's Cut, it will be the hiders I use personally).

(Things in progress at this very moment: Have tested text and image replacements for my first Medieval default career (athletic as Knighthood, which will probably need variations (egalitarian (male and female chance cards identical) vs sexist (every time a female knight loses her job, it's because she got outed pulling an Eowyn/Fa Mulan/Sweet Polly Oliver) and some title variations). Going well! Need to do a little research about which careers use the helicopter at the higher levels and figure out which car to replace them with and how. Also suspect that one can use the same method to use the Captain-Hero-Flying-Carpool for any level of a given career. Have updated Hair List with more hairs I want to do. Got a couple more to add to said list, actually, but I have to find where I wrote them down. Installed SC4 on the laptop (because the laptop won't handle Sims 2 and needs moar games) in order to build own kingdom terrains. I want to use adjacent SC4 terrains for noble estates, so I tested how many OFB shopping districts you can add to a neighborhood. I got tired of testing when I hit seventy-four, not counting the one Downtown and three Vacation 'hoods I added first, to make sure I wouldn't hit some invisible limit.)
hat_plays_sims: All I did was crop-- go read Bite Me by Dylan Meconis, you'll laugh. (Default)
It's easier than you'd think to make an invisible object recolor. About half these steps, I picked up from a Lord Darcy tutorial, the rest was from a HugeLunatic tutorial. I figured it was about time to put 'em all in one place.

It's not really that long. )

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