View Full Version : Townie Family Creator Program
26th Dec 2010, 3:41 AM
You know what I'd really love? A program, or a SimPE plugin that would make my life easier when it comes to organizing my townies. It drives me absolutely bonkers that I've got a zillion townies all with the last name GilsCarbo, but none of them are related. wtf? Seriously, how many different GilsCarbo families would there be in one town?
To this end I've tried to go through and start making 'townie families'. I want all the townies of the same last name to be related to each other (family tree window), know about each other (relationship panel), and answer the phone for each other when they are unavailable (family information). Unfortunately, using SimPE in its current form to do all this is next to impossible, it takes over an hour to properly find and link up a family of 5, and I want at least 30 of these!
I have no idea how to code programs that can read and edit the game files, I'm hoping what I'm after isn't that hard and at least someone else who can do this is also interested in it as well.
Family Information, Family Ties, and Sim Relations are what needs to be edited to make this happen. I'd LOVE a program that listed all the sims in the entire neighborhood by Last Name, and gave me some work space to put together a family tree of all of them, and then they'd all automatically know each other (maybe even 30/30 relationship). Also, having the ability to edit their names would also be super helpful. I'm personally tired of seeing six different Abhijeet and would love to change them to Abe or Andrew or AJ or anything else just to be different.
I'm also extremely willing to help/work with/do grunt work for anyone who is capable of helping me with this. Or, I can do a trade, I've got my skills and I'd love to help you with one of your requests for it. /me crosses her fingers in hopes of piquing someone like CatOfEvilGenius or Mootilda's interests....
26th Dec 2010, 4:23 AM
Yes, this is an interesting idea. I haven't tried modding those records before, and I've never written a SimPE plugin, but it seems that it might be a fairly simple program if the wiki has up-to-date info on the record formats. I can't commit at the moment, since I'm deep into the Clean Installer internals (and it's not going well), but I wanted to say that I like the idea. I wonder how many people would like such a program / plugin?
An alternative that I've been considering is to ensure that names aren't reused, possibly written as an in-game mod. However, this might still require an initial program to assign unique names to existing neighborhoods.
26th Dec 2010, 6:45 AM
'Being interested' is as much as I could have hoped for at this moment. I've been annoyed at it for so long I finally just gave in and wrote a *request* thread. I can continue to wait if it means it's somewhere on your back back back burner. Let me know if I can help with anything you ever need.
As for not letting names get reused again, I generally just try not to let the game generate more townies in the first place, I've got some notownieregen mods from MATY, and I also tend to switch out my name list when I remember. But if you come up with some better way of keeping names from being used, that's extra awesome. Maybe, it does 5 of the same last name and then moves on to the next name, never to return?
26th Dec 2010, 7:23 AM
I wonder how many people would like such a program / plugin?
There is a large amount of people who mess with SimPe to optimize their neighborhood characters, so I think a tool suggested by Phaenoh would be actually used by those who still play TS2.
26th Dec 2010, 6:14 PM
But if you come up with some better way of keeping names from being used, that's extra awesome. Maybe, it does 5 of the same last name and then moves on to the next name, never to return?I haven't got a better way, but I've been considering the problem. The fact that we are both annoyed by this makes me think that it's a worthwhile project.
[U]Family Information: we can't really modify the family, since that record is used to specify that the sims are townies, along with the type of townie (downtownie, asian tourist, mountain tourist, NPC, adoption pool, etc).
Unless you are suggesting that townies be removed from these pools and added to non-townie families. If you create a completely new family and move townies into it without specifying a lot number, the sims are moved to the sim bin and become unavailable (no phone).
Relationships: Would you want to set them to family, without specifying the type of relationship (parent, child, sibling)?
Family Ties: I believe that the family ties record requires a type of relationship, but that record isn't well documented; it will require some research. Should they all be sibling, regardless of age?
Sim Information:: I also assume that you want to remove duplicate names. After all, how many families have three sisters, all named Marylena? If we need to rename sims, then the program will need to access the name lists.
27th Dec 2010, 2:46 AM
Doesn't the game have smaller household groups within the townie pools? That's what it looks like when I mess around with SimPe or Inge's teleporter cat. It doesn't however look like the household groups actually make sense.
27th Dec 2010, 3:40 AM
No, the different families are associated with the different kinds of townies. As far as I know, there are no other groupings of townies. If you know differently, I'd be happy to learn about it. Townies are all members of families with instances higher than 0x7FEE; the instance completely determines the type of townie. For some reason, EA decided to give them arbitrary names, rather than naming the family something useful like Townies, Downtownies, NPCs, ...
I've updated the wiki with this information:
27th Dec 2010, 5:50 AM
I don't generally remove the duplicate names, I just rename them. I've got Marylena, Maria, and Lena instead.Yeah, that's what I meant. If two people have identical names, then go to the names list and pick a new first name.
27th Dec 2010, 5:51 AM
Family Information: Bummer, but I can live with that. I had assumed from poking around in the neighborhood files it looked like there were a bunch of different 'families' already, but I hadn't thought about the different types.
Relationships: Ideally, I'd like the same sort of set up SimPE already has, we can drag and drop in Sims and then set the relationships ourselves. I want to be able to decide that the kid is their child and those two are married because one has S1 and the other is S4 so being siblings would make less sense. Adding in grandparents and uncles and aunts, extra fun. The more complex the family tree the better. And I'd love to be able to toss in some other last names as they kept their maiden name but their sister changed hers. Basically, don't have the linking automatted. :)
Family Ties: This, in SimPE, only has 'family' or 'married' as the options pertaining to here. I don't know yet.
Sim Information:: I don't generally remove the duplicate names, I just rename them. I've got Marylena, Maria, and Lena instead. ;)
27th Dec 2010, 5:55 AM
Snap you are on top of stuff right now, I was still editing my post!
27th Dec 2010, 5:19 PM
This is all just preliminary thoughts on what's feasible. I'll have to take another look at the family ties UI in SimPE; that isn't a screen that I tend to use. Is there any reason that you can't use the existing SimPE screen to set relationships? Is there something else that you'd want to add to that screen? Perhaps the program could set the things automatically, and then you could use SimPE to adjust as required? Is the main problem the fact that sims are sorted by first name, rather than by last name?
28th Dec 2010, 3:36 AM
There are a couple of different problems with it. The screen that sets up the family tree doesn't stay consistant for all the family members you add. If you are editing Joe's tree to include Mary and Sarah as sisters when you go to Mary's tree she has Joe listed as her brother but Sarah is not listed at all. This gets super complicated super fast with families of any real size. Add to the the time it takes to find all the family members you have to add 5 times each, bleah.
The relationship stuff is also complicated but that is more a problem of its not listed by last name. Its hard to track down and find each person because they know 50 people each and this also doesn't go back and forth. Mary can know about Sarah and that she is her sister, but Sarah has never heard of the girl if you don't go track that down and fix it.
I have no idea how plug-in works, but the way simpe works is so close to being able to work well that I thought that might be the way to go. Mostly sorting by last name and having changes go both ways would fix 90% of the problems.
On another note, I think its dumb that a sim can be listed on your family tree but not in your relationship panel. I would think you should at least get a 0/0 with your sister's new baby even though you haven't met it yet. Sims don't have the ability to call up all the relatives and announce a birth, yet somehow grandma gets her aspiration points for 'get a grandchild' and a memory of the kid joining the family, but still has no clue about the new tyke according to the relationship panel. Maybe automating it so that anyone in a family tree is always at least known would help. That would save me a step. I don't really care how much my new townie families like each other, its more for later when they get married into playable character families.
28th Dec 2010, 4:50 AM
I have no idea how plug-in works, but the way simpe works is so close to being able to work well that I thought that might be the way to go. Mostly sorting by last name and having changes go both ways would fix 90% of the problems.I agree. It sounds like a modification of the Family Ties plug-in might be the way to go. It could implement an option to sort sims in the left pane by last name, rather than first. When relationships are added via the Family Ties plug-in, there could be an option to set up appropriate Sim Relations automatically with a 0/0 relationship score (if no relationship already exists); as well, the Family and Known flags could be set and an appropriate choice made for Relationship Type.
It might also be possible to add additional sims to the right pane of the Family Ties plug-in based on last name and extended relationships (the brother of my sister should at least be in my family sphere) without actually setting the ties between them.
The rest would probably be best as an in-game mod... when a baby is added to a family, appropriate Sim Relations are added.
How does that sound?
29th Dec 2010, 12:17 AM
Sounds like I need to ramp up my continued worship of your awesomeness.... ;)
This all being in the kicking-it-around stage and not the actual tinkering-with-it stage, I'd say this would be a great plan for starting. Who knows what will happen along the way ;) Having the relationship score and the flags getting autoset would be amazing. I enjoy making the complicated trees myself, but setting up the relationship stuff is just a hassle. Would it be possible to streamline the 'brother of my sister is my brother' issue as well? It might get a little complicated because half siblings don't necessarliy have the same parents, so you couldn't do that automatically, so I don't know. Maybe it won't be so much of a pain to go back and forth so many times if they are all sorted by last name to begin with.
As for the baby relationship game mod thingy, if you could figure that one out sooner than later, I could use your brilliance in another one of my projects, http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=429055
30th Dec 2010, 4:53 PM
I am glad someone (You guys) are talking about this! It would be nice to use when you get this fixed. I gave up on Townie relationships long ago.
18th Jan 2011, 7:49 PM
I found something interesting. The SimBlender seems to have the ability to do the familfying in game. Kinda a pain because you still need to summon all the sims you want, but its something to look at. I think I'd still prefer to do this all outside the game. Maybe a separate stand along program, 'Family Maker' and it loads in all the sims names and thumbnail images and you can play around with it from there. That would help all those who can't Simpe. Still just thinking out loud. :)
19th Aug 2011, 6:02 AM
Interesting when you wander around the forums to places you haven't been in a while and find projects you completely forgot about...
Are things less busy for you now Mootilda?
19th Aug 2011, 1:37 PM
Ha ha ha... Oh, you were serious. ;)
I always have too many projects on the go, it seems. The good news is that my work on the HoodChecker has made me more familiar with the Family Ties and Sim Relations records.
One thing that you should be aware of: I haven't committed to doing any of this. At this point, I was just throwing ideas around. I've never done any work with the SimPE source code and my ability to create in-game mods is still pretty limited; if you take a look at my two globals mods, you'll see that they are very simple. Standalone programs are really my specialty, but it seems that what you really want is a change to SimPE and a global mod. For my own purposes, I was thinking of something much more automated and much less flexible.
19th Aug 2011, 4:49 PM
I've always got too many projects too, and I know you hadn't committed to it. I was just wandering around the threads and found it again and was wondering if anything had changed.
As for the manner of the <whatever it is>, a stand alone program would be much nicer. Simpe takes forever to load and its daunting for the inexperienced users. Maybe I can poke MogHughson to take a look at this as well, she's amazing at mods.
20th Jun 2012, 4:18 AM
A stand-alone program would be great! Making townie relations is a pain in the ***, but It's soooooo nice to actually have them.
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