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Gently altered Sims installation
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Auntie Rosebud
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:05 pm    Post subject: Gently altered Sims installation Reply with quote

I got the courage to gently "hack" my "vanilla" sims installation. I deleted the rave walls using FarOut and dis-enabled the rave blow-up seating with SEOM. It's so much better already. That stuff makes me grind my teethes.
Next I'd like to alter the BMPs of some of the default skins...

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DamonDamore
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only problem is that objects based off of them may not function--

Well walls are standalone and... they're just normal couches and chairs so... okay maybe they aren't important. laugh

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socrstchik
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always wondered about disabling the stuff in the FAR files that I never use. Not deleting, just disabling.
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DamonDamore
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

socrstchik wrote:
I've always wondered about disabling the stuff in the FAR files that I never use. Not deleting, just disabling.


Well that would be fine, if you just hide it from the menu. Then it's there if the game wants it (for a lot, or something).

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bruja
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Gently altered Sims installation Reply with quote

Auntie Rosebud wrote:

Next I'd like to alter the BMPs of some of the default skins...


I took all the Maxis bmps out of my main game years ago. To be this exhaustive, you have to build an alternate Skins file first, making sure that you have all the types of skins that the game could require.

And you have to have the original Skins Buy folder in place when you populate a new hood, though afterward you can out the one without the bmp files back.

What is it you wanted to do?

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Auntie Rosebud
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Gently altered Sims installation Reply with quote

bruja wrote:

I took all the Maxis bmps out of my main game years ago. To be this exhaustive, you have to build an alternate Skins file first, making sure that you have all the types of skins that the game could require.

And you have to have the original Skins Buy folder in place when you populate a new hood, though afterward you can out the one without the bmp files back.

What is it you wanted to do?

Now what's this? Because, YES.
This time around I thought I would split up my games by esthetic, so one of them is going to follow the Maxis esthetic and just be gently hacked with function-enhancers and Maxis-matching objects, but I am working on another one where I want all the Maxis look gone so I can replace it with realistic or fantasy or whatever.
So what was this thing you did with Skins?
(My thinking is that I'd have a skins folder with all the file names expected by the game, but the grcs would be different.)

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bruja
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I removed all the Maxis bmps years ago. (If you're using a mac, my experience will not necessarily apply. Karin L is the one to tell you about that.)

I'd been told by Dr Pixel, a trusted expert, that the pc version of the game starts by assigning the bmp, then looking for the cmx, which then calls the skn.

From this, I reasoned that as long as the game could find at least one of any type of skin it needed, the Maxis bmps weren't needed.

So I began by building an alternate Skins file, and double checked to make sure that it contained at least one of the following types of bmps (plus the cmx and skn for any non-Maxis mesh):

B: fafatdrk; fafatlgt; fafatmed; etc., etc.

This is so critical that I designed a checklist, which I print out and use every time I build a new theme Skins file. I'll find it and put it in a zip here for you to download.

When you first begin to make your alternate Skins (altSkins) folder in Game Data, you must copy into it the little squiggle character from the games Skins file, so that your new file will be recognized by the game.

Then you add all the bmps and any required cmx and skn files, checking them off on the checklist until all the types required are there.

Now rename the game Skins folder to xSkins. Rename your alternate folder (altSkins) to Skins.

When you load the game, it will recognize your new folder as the Skins folder, because that's what you named it. As the game loads, it won't find the Maxis bmp previously assigned to a sim, so it will substitute another at random, for both the head and normal clothing. As it assigns the new bmp, it will look for the cmx then the skn.

Then you can remove all the Maxis bmps from the far files and the Skins files that Maxis used. This is tedious, but you only have to do it once. Your stripped fars can be copied and stored outside the game, so that whenever you do a new installation for a different theme, you can substitute them for the default fars from the installation.

I have a very stable game installation, and I experimented repeatedly to find out what crashed the game. Sometimes a missing bmp for a body type does.

For a reason I'm still not sure of, the game will crash if you try to populate a new hood when the default SkinsBuy folder isn't in place. So you can make a stripped SkinsBuy folder, but you have to remember to put the default one back long enough to populate a new hood.

Quote:
(My thinking is that I'd have a skins folder with all the file names expected by the game, but the grcs would be different.)


I'm not sure what you mean. What is a "grc"

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Auntie Rosebud
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grc = graphic sorry@jargon
oops

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Auntie Rosebud
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bruja wrote:
(If you're using a mac...

This is so critical that I designed a checklist, which I print out and use every time I build a new theme Skins file. I'll find it and put it in a zip here for you to download.


I would love to have your checklist bruja! Gotta admit the Skins folder is pretty daunting but a checklist should help.

I play on a pc though I use a mac for most other things and have up to Unleashed for Mac as well. So when I start making my own bmps I'll probably create and preview them on mac.

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bruja
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Auntie Rosebud wrote:


I play on a pc though I use a mac for most other things and have up to Unleashed for Mac as well. So when I start making my own bmps I'll probably create and preview them on mac.


Previewing on a mac can be crazy making, my mac friends tell me. If you have both, design on mac if you prefer, preview on pc until you think you've got it, then game test on mac. yes

That's because the preview programs like SimPose and BodyWarp and SE3D are available only for pc.

I'm trying to format the checklist, which I have in perfectly useful WordPerfect into *&%)$# .doc format, which is such a useless, over meta'd format! Huge file size, and difficult to get exactly as I want it.

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DamonDamore
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bruja wrote:

I have in perfectly useful WordPerfect into *&%)$# .doc format, which is such a useless, over meta'd format! Huge file size, and difficult to get exactly as I want it.


If you can make it am Office 97 .doc your filesize has less meta crap, but it only supports basic layout.

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bruja
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This wasn't a massively difficult document, and I think this will work as a .doc.

But it's a dammmmn good thing I can do all my word processing etc, in Wordperfect, because having to work with the Curse of Microsoft would make me abdicate from all the free stuff I do for non-profits. I don't think they could pay me enough to have to try to work with that over-engineered, under-designed POS.

I think this is a printable version of the chart I use when I build a fantasy or regency or medieval Skins folder, to make sure that I have all the required types covered, before I remove the Maxis fars and replace them with stripped fars.

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Beth
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgive me for butting in... could I take out the Maxis skin files altogether, as long as I put in the ones your document mentions, Bruja? I don't like the Maxis files, and it would save me from having modern looking Townies in my medieval/magical world. Don't like any of the Maxis skins, anyway...

Frankly, fiddling with skins makes me uneasy jfade's psycho

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you just want to change Townie clothes without worrying about messing about with skins, you can do as I did and use Sim Enhancer (pay program but WELL worth the money!-Does a lot more than change clothes) to change the head, clothes and name of any game character then use NPC replacer to re-apparel the NPCs.

Some day I should clean out my skins however. I hit the skin download ceiling a while back.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beth wrote:
Forgive me for butting in... could I take out the Maxis skin files altogether, as long as I put in the ones your document mentions, Bruja? I don't like the Maxis files, and it would save me from having modern looking Townies in my medieval/magical world. Don't like any of the Maxis skins, anyway...

Frankly, fiddling with skins makes me uneasy jfade's psycho


You can take out the .bmp files of all the types on the list, as long as you have in your Skins folder at least one bmp of every type on the checklist.

I don't recommend removing .skn and .cmx files.

And I never recommend 'cleaning out' a Skins folder, because you may have all kinds of things there that you need.

I recommend starting with a brand new empty folder altSkins, adding the squiggle by copying it from your existing Skins folder, then copying your favourite skins (bmp, then cmx, opening the cmx to make sure you get all the skn files required, then the skn files, opening any prop skn to find which bmp is required).

As you go along, check the box in the checklist. When you've been through your existing Skins folder, look at your checklist. If you're doing victorian sims, and you don't have a formal for a fat dark male, you know what you need to look for.

In Feb 2009, I wrote out all the instructions for mmarie, but I don't have time now to find that thread and give you a link to it.

mars is right about SE3D being very useful. But I like the fun of building Skins folders by theme, then populating new worlds (names in generator changed to theme ones), to find out what new sims, body and soul, have been created by the game god.

There are a few Unleashed NPC's which for some reason (laziness??) Maxis made using normally named heads and bodies. I've the list somewhere, from KarinL.

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