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MTS Movie Night - posted on 15th Jul 2017 at 7:21 PM
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#1 Old 19th Sep 2010 at 11:42 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 2nd May 2013 at 4:37 AM. Reason: Link to tutorial for converting an existing neighborhood to a subhood.
Default Tutorial: How to Create a Custom Subhood Template
This tutorial will show you how to create a custom subhood that can be shared easily with other people, or between several different neighborhoods, without requiring a difficult installation procedure.

Note: If you want to convert an existing neighborhood to a subhood template, please see this tutorial instead:
http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=502306

This method has been used successfully for Universities, Downtowns, Suburbs (also known as Business or Shopping Districts), and Vacation Destinations.

The method is fairly simple and consists of the following steps:
1) Create a empty neighborhood with no lots, sims, or subhoods.
2) Give the new neighborhood folder a unique name and rename files in the folder.
3) Change the neighborhood to the appropriate subhood type and give the subhood a unique name internally.
4) Build the subhood using the standard tools.
5) Install and test your subhood.
6) Share the subhood with installation instructions.

As you can see, most of these steps are the same as those used to create any custom neighborhood. Steps 1 and 3 are special, since these are the steps which allow you create a standalone subhood. Each step will be explained in more detail in the following posts.

Although I recommend the use of the AnyGameStarter and SimPE, I have tried to provide workarounds for those people who are unable to use these utilities.

Be sure to backup important files before trying this technique.

Please let me know if you have any problems with this tutorial. Feel free to comment.

Some things to consider:

- If you have FreeTime installed, you will have to manually disable the FreeTime stealth neighborhood before creating your subhood; the AnyGameStarter will not do this for you correctly. See post #10 for detailed instructions.

- If you try to add multiple Downtowns to a neighborhood, only sims from the first Downtown added will actually appear in your neighborhood. The game will remove the sims from all additional Downtown subhoods before those subhoods are added to your neighborhood. If you want to add multiple occupied Downtowns to the same neighborhood, you may not be able to use more than one Downtown template.

- If you just want a generic subhood, then you will probably want a Suburb. As examples, all of the stealth neighborhoods from Pets, Seasons, Bon Voyage, FreeTime, and Apartment Life are Suburbs; most Mega-Hoods are also made with Suburbs.

- Do not add occupied apartments to a subhood template; occupied apartments will be corrupted when the subhood is added to a primary neighborhood. Unoccupied apartment buildings should have no problem.

- Sims in a subhood template will receive a new ID when the subhood is attached to a neighborhood. This can cause problems if the game doesn't properly update the ID everywhere it is used.

Most of the time, the game updates the ID correctly. However, you should be aware that this problem can occur and be careful with sim relationships in subhoods.

I suggest that you avoid having pregnant sims in a subhood template for this reason. If you decide to keep your pregnant sims, be sure to test whether the father is correct after the birth. [Update: Peni Griffin tested this and the game handles pregnancies in subhoods correctly for each EP.]

This same problem has been noticed with hired maids needing to be rehired. There may be other types of relationships which are also handled incorrectly. Be sure to test your subhood before sharing it.
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#2 Old 19th Sep 2010 at 11:57 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 15th Aug 2012 at 4:39 PM. Reason: Note about AGS and collection packs.
Default Step 1: Create an Empty Neighborhood
Create an empty neighborhood:

This is the most crucial step in creating a subhood template. The ultimate goal is to create a standalone subhood which is not attached to any neighborhood. If you start with a completely empty neighborhood, then everything else is easy.

The simplest way to create an empty neighborhood is to use the AnyGameStarter:
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=250555

Note: The AnyGameStarter will not work with Best of Business, University Life, or Fun with Pets collection packs. I believe that it also has problems with downloaded games. If you can't use the AGS, please use the manual approach documented in post #11 below, and skip the rest of this post.

1A) Run the AGS Installer (Standard) for AnyGameStarter 2.1.1.

1B) Select the option to "CREATE an AnyGame" and check the EPs and SPs which you wish to use for your subhood. Be sure to include the EP which controls the type of subhood which you wish to add. In general, the less EPs that you use to create your subhood, the more people will be able to use it.

1C) Select the options to Create an AnyGame and "Create empty game (no Maxis default content)". Select any other options which you want.

1D) Verify that you are creating a new game, and that the game will be empty.

1E) Once your AnyGame has been generated, run it. There should be no neighborhoods available. If there are neighborhoods displayed, something has gone wrong. Check that you have followed the steps exactly as described. If so, please let me know so that I can try to find a solution.

(Continued in next post...)
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#3 Old 19th Sep 2010 at 11:58 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 6th Oct 2010 at 5:39 PM.
Default Step 1: Create an Empty Neighborhood (continued)
(... Continued from previous post)

Now that we have ensured that our new neighborhood will be free of sims, lots, and subhoods, it is time to create the neighborhood:

1F) Create a new neighborhood with the terrain that you wish to use. If the game asks whether to add any new subhoods to your neighborhood, say no. Exit the game.

1G) Verify that the neighborhood is completely empty. Navigate to your neighborhood directory and ensure that there are no subhoods. You should only have two files in the main neighborhood folder: your neighborhood package and your neighborhood picture. If you have any other packages in this directory, something is wrong and you will not be able to use this neighborhood. Check that you have followed the steps exactly as described. If so, please let me know so that I can try to find a solution.

Your Characters, Lots, and Storytelling folders should be empty, and your Thumbnails folder will have one package. Again, if this is not true, something has gone wrong with your empty game procedure.
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#4 Old 20th Sep 2010 at 12:02 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 19th Jun 2013 at 12:14 AM. Reason: Link to hood # repository.
Default Step 2: Rename the Neighborhood Files
Give the new neighborhood a unique name:

If you give your neighborhood folder a unique name, there will be no possibility of it conflicting with any other neighborhood or subhood.

This is the perfect time to rename your neighborhood, since there are only a few files which need to be renamed. You will want to change the name of your neighborhood folder and the prefix of all files within that folder.

If you want to stick with the Maxis naming convention, be sure to choose something unique. For example, the shipped colleges are U001, U002, and U003, so you might want to choose U367. The shipped Downtown is D001, so you could pick D073 or D954.

Here is the standard naming convention:
University: U###
Downtown: D###
Suburbs (Open for Business): B###
Vacation (Far East): A###
Vacation (Mountain Lake): M###
Vacation (Island): T###

Even if you don't want to stick with the Maxis naming convention, you may want to stick to a 4 character folder name, since this will make your neighborhood compatible with most of the TS2 tools.

If you intend to upload your neighborhood to MTS, you will want to ensure that you choose a name which is not currently in use:
http://simswiki.info/wiki.php?title...bers_Repository

For example, it would make sense for me to ship all of my subhoods with the prefix MOO, followed by a unique character. I have decided to rename my neighborhood from N001 to MOOD (short for Mootilda's Downtown) and the file prefixes from N001_ to MOOD_. Don't forget to change the thumbnails package as well.
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#5 Old 20th Sep 2010 at 12:30 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 18th Apr 2013 at 12:01 AM. Reason: New easier method
Default Step 3: Change the SubHood Type and Name
Change the neighborhood to the appropriate subhood type:

This step will fool the game into believing that your neighborhood is actually a sub-neighborhood of the appropriate type. By doing this while your neighborhood is empty, all sims and lots that you create will have the appropriate type when this neighborhood is finally added as a subhood.

3A) Turn on debug mode by creating a text file named userStartup.cheat in your <Documents>\EA Games\The Sims 2\Config folder, containing the line:
boolProp testingCheatsEnabled true

Alternatively, extract the version that I've attached here into your Config folder.

3B) Run the game and open your new neighborhood. Type <ctrl><shift>C to bring up the cheat window. Type in the changeNeighborhoodType cheat with the type of subhood that you want. If you have attached subhoods, this cheat will fail. Here are the possible parameters:
changeNeighborhoodType [primary | university | downtown | suburb | asia | mountains | tropics]

For my downtown, I'll type in:
changeNeighborhoodType downtown

Exit your game once the cheat has finished running.

Note that you can change back to a primary neighborhood if required. For example, the vacation subhoods will not allow you to create sims, so you may need to change to a primary neighborhood temporarily to create your vacation locals, then back to the appropriate subhood type.



(Continued in next post...)
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Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: zip userStartup.zip (166 Bytes, 118 downloads) - View custom content
Description: userStartup.cheat file to turn on debug mode.
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#6 Old 20th Sep 2010 at 2:12 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 26th Feb 2013 at 2:41 AM. Reason: Additional changes because of the simpler subhood type method.
Default Step 3: Change the SubHood Type and Name (continued)
(... Continued from previous post.)

You will need to use SimPE to change the internal neighborhood name. If you cannot run SimPE, you will have to temporarily transfer your neighborhood package to a computer which can run SimPE. If you don't have such a computer, someone else can easily make these changes for you.

3I) Run SimPE. Open your neighborhood package. Select ID Number (IDNO) in the left pane. There should only be one record in the right pane, select it. In the Plugin View, you should see the current neighborhood settings. Ensure that your Neighborhood Type has been set correctly. If there is any problem, exit SimPE and try again.

3J) Change the (parent) Name to something unique. A good choice is the name of your neighborhood folder.

As far as I can tell, there is no need to change the UID; the game will generate a unique ID when the subhood is added to a primary neighborhood. *

* Research question:
If we give the neighborhood a unique UID, will the neighborhood story stay intact when the subhood is added to a neighborhood?

3K) Commit. If the Commit button is not visible, try scrolling down in the Plugin View.

3L) Save and Exit SimPE.
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#7 Old 20th Sep 2010 at 4:38 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 27th Feb 2013 at 4:05 PM. Reason: Creating vacation locals.
Default Step 4: Build your neighborhood
Build the subhood using the standard tools:

When you run the game again, your neighborhood should behave as a subhood of the type that you've chosen. You can build your subhood just as you would normally do. If you want to use custom content, you can add it to your AnyGame folder now. If you want to generate townies, the correct kind of townies should be generated. You can create lots and sims as usual. Basically, you have fooled the game into believing that your primary neighborhood is actually a standalone subhood.

Information about how to build lots, create sims, and decorate your neighborhood is beyond the scope of this tutorial. However, there are some excellent tutorials available if you need help.

Note: If you want to add sims created in CAS to a vacation destination, you will have to create the sims while the neighborhood is a normal neighborhood, since CAS is disabled in vacation subhoods. You can either create your sims before changing your neighborhood type the first time, or you can change back to a normal neighborhood at any time during the creation of the neighborhood to create your sims, then change the neighborhood back to a vacation subhood. There is no problem with changing the neighborhood type multiple times.

WARNING: Do not click on the button to return to your primary neighborhood, since you do not have a primary neighborhood.
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#8 Old 20th Sep 2010 at 4:54 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 1st Oct 2010 at 11:22 PM.
Default Step 5: Test
Test your subhood:

Your subhood is now ready to be tested. I would recommend that you do not use the same AnyGame to do your testing that you used to create your subhood, because the subhood will conflict with your primary neighborhood. Instead, create a new (non-empty) AnyGame or test with a throw-away neighborhood in your main game.

DO NOT install your subhood into a neighborhood that you care about until you have tested that it works as expected.

5A) Copy your neighborhood folder into an appropriate NeighborhoodTemplate folder within your Program Files directory. In general, you might want to copy your neighborhood to the standard folder for the subhood type:

University:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 University\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate

Downtown:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Nightlife\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate

Suburb (also known as Shopping District or Business District):
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Open For Business\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate

Vacation Destination:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Bon Voyage\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate

However, if you used additional EPs or SPs to create your subhood, you should probably install it into the NeighborhoodTemplate folder for that EP / SP or a later one, so that the subhood will never be added to a game which can't handle it. If the NeighborhoodTemplate folder does not exist for a particular EP or SP, you can just create one.

5B) If your subhood is a university or vacation destination, then you should be able to see your subhood in the appropriate list when you run the game.

However, if you have created a Downtown or Suburb, you may run into a problem. The game displays a large button which completely covers the list of available subhoods:

You have several options to resolve this issue:

- Download my mods which will remove the two buttons:
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=420924

-OR-

- You can temporarily move the shipped D001 (Downtown) or B001 (Business District) folders somewhere else. Then, your new subhood should be available to be installed by clicking on the large button. Be sure to restore the original shipped neighborhoods after you've installed your new subhood.

-OR-

- I understand that if you have three or four Downtowns available, you can actually select the last one, even though the button is almost on top of it. This should also be true for Suburbs.

5C) If you can't see your new subhood in the appropriate list, there are a number of things that you can check:

- Make sure that you are testing with your full game, or in a non-empty AnyGame. The AnyGameStarter will hide all NeighborhoodTemplate folders while you are running an empty AnyGame.

- Make sure that no subhoods were accidentally added to your standalone subhood. If there are any subhood packages in your subhood folder, then something has gone wrong with your "Empty Game" setup.

- Open the neighborhood package in the NeighborhoodTemplate folder using SimPE, and check whether the neighborhood is still classified as the expected type of subhood. If not, then the game probably found a conflict between your subhood and another neighborhood and has attempted to "fix" the problem. Check that your subhood folder has a unique name and that the (parent) Name is also unique. Be sure that you are not running a game which can see your standalone subhood (the one being created) at the same time as the subhood is installed in a NeighborhoodTemplate folder.

5D) After installing and testing your subhood, you may decide that you want to make further changes. Be sure to remove your subhood from the NeighborhoodTemplate directory before attempting to run the AnyGame and edit your neighborhood again, since the two versions may conflict with each other.

5E) Once you are happy with your subhood:
If you have used any of the Special Procedures to disable neighborhoods temporarily, you should be able to restore those folders now by renaming them back to their original names. Be sure to test your subhood one last time with the standard configuration.

Always be sure to edit your standalone subhood in an empty-game configuration. If a subhood is ever added to your standalone subhood, it will no longer work as a subhood template.
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#9 Old 20th Sep 2010 at 5:00 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 27th Feb 2013 at 4:18 PM. Reason: Mention various compression methods.
Default Step 6: Share and Install
Share and / or install the subhood:

When your neighborhood is complete, just zip or rar the entire subhood folder and share the compressed file. Anyone who wishes to use your subhood can unzip it into their NeighborhoodTemplate directory, just as you did while testing. Be sure to let people know where to install your subhood.

If you want to reduce the size of your neighborhood, there are several tools available which can significantly decrease its size. Be sure to backup before using these tools, and to test your neighborhood afterwards to ensure that everything is OK. The Lot Compressor will reduce the size of all of your lots. The Compressorizor can reduce the size of all packages in your neighborhood, and should be run after the Lot Compressor for best effect. Removing unnecessary files, such as .BKP, .BAK, thumbs.db, etc. can also reduce the size of the final compressed file.

Your compression method can also make a difference to the size of the shared file. 7Zip has the best compression ratio, followed by RAR. zip has the worst compression ratio, so consider a different compression method if your zip file is still too large.

If you are shaing a Downtown or Suburb, be sure to mention the problem of the big button, along with the potential solutions.
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#10 Old 21st Sep 2010 at 7:32 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 26th Jun 2013 at 5:24 PM. Reason: Warning about Hobbies subhood.
Default How to Hide the FreeTime Stealth Neighborhood
Special Procedure for FreeTime only

If you do not have FreeTime installed, then you can ignore this post.

If you have FreeTime installed, there is a feature in the AnyGameStarter which will incorrectly handle the stealth neighborhood. You will need to do an initial step to disable the stealth neighborhood which is automatically installed when you create a new neighborhood. You must do this before creating your new neighborhood in the empty AnyGame. Basically, we rename the folder so that the game cannot find the neighborhood.

1) Find the location of the F002 folder in your installation directory. Usually, this is:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 FreeTime\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\F002
However, if you selected a custom installation, then you will have to find the location where you installed FreeTime and navigate to the NeighborhoodTemplate subfolder.

2) Rename NeighborhoodTemplate to NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth.

Note: Be sure to restore the NeighborhoodTemplate folder after your empty AnyGame neighborhood has been created.

Warning: The hobby subhood is automatically added to a primary neighborhood the first time that you open the neighborhood in the game. You must be careful not to open any neighborhoods which require the Hobbies subhood while the Hobbies subhood template is unavailable. Specifically, do not open a neighborhood while the template is unavailable unless:
A) It already contains the Hobbies subhood
or
B) You never want the Hobbies subhood added to this neighborhood (for example, a neighborhood which you intend to convert to a subhood, or a subhood which is currently being edited).
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#11 Old 21st Sep 2010 at 7:34 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 25th Sep 2010 at 5:34 AM.
Default How to Create an Empty Neighborhood Without the AnyGameStarter
Special Procedure for people who cannot use the AnyGameStarter.

If you can use the AnyGameStarter, please ignore this post. The AnyGameStarter is a much simpler approach.

If you cannot use the AnyGameStarter, then you will have to disable the creation of sims and subhoods manually. The procedure is basically the same as in post #10 above; we just temporarily rename the folders so that the game cannot find them.

1) You must disable the base game neighborhoods by renaming
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2\TSData\Res\UserData\Neighborhoods
to Neighborhoods_Original
This will prevent the game from adding the standard set of sims to your new neighborhood. If your game is not installed in the standard location, look for N001 in your installation directory and rename its parent directory.

2) You will have to disable all of your stealth neighborhoods by renaming NeighborhoodTemplate to NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth for all of the EPs which have been installed. Here are the standard locations of the stealth neighborhoods. If your games are not installed in the standard locations, look for the names of the individual stealth hoods:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Pets\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\P001
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Seasons\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\G002
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 FreeTime\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\F002
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Apartment Life\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\E002

3) Bon Voyage is a special case, since the NeighborhoodTemplate folder contains both the shipped vacation destinations and a stealth neighborhood. You can either rename the entire NeighborhoodTemplate directory to NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth, which will make your vacation destinations temporarily unavailable, or you can create a new NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth folder and move the stealth neighborhood to that new folder temporarily. Here is the standard location of the stealth neighborhood:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Bon Voyage\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\V001

4) Run the game.

5) At this point, you should be able to create your empty neighborhood using the standard tutorial, starting with step 1F) in post #3.

Note: Be sure to restore the folder names after your empty neighborhood has been created.

If you find that sims or subhoods are being automatically added when you create the empty neighborhood, please let me know and I'll try to find a solution.
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#12 Old 21st Sep 2010 at 7:40 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 25th Sep 2010 at 5:31 AM.
Reserved for future use.
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#13 Old 25th Sep 2010 at 5:31 AM
Another reserved post.
Doing all the things, and *mostly* not failing.
staff: retired moderator
#14 Old 29th Sep 2010 at 3:58 PM
This is SUPER useful! Thank you Mootilda for your continued research and modding in the neighborhood area of the game. This is definitely a very tricky and not widely understood aspect of the game to mod.

On a side note, do you think it would be possible to turn an existing played neighborhood, sims and all, and turn it into a template? I'm thinking along the lines of connecting some of my neighborhoods into a Mega-hood, but I don't want to loose my sims or their history. I understand this shouldn't/couldn't be shared but occasionally I like to do things just for myself. Since Maxis templates include sims I'm sure something like this should be possible, but what types of problems would I run into?
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#15 Old 29th Sep 2010 at 7:50 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 25th Jun 2013 at 9:17 PM. Reason: Add link to new tutorial
Default Create a Suburb Template from an Existing Neighborhood
Note: If you want to convert an existing neighborhood to a subhood template, please see this tutorial instead:
http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=502306

Field Researcher
#16 Old 28th Oct 2010 at 8:25 PM Last edited by lechapeau : 28th Oct 2010 at 9:54 PM.
I hope, now that we are able to, that it is OK to post here instead of in your group thread, my apologies if not!

Before I go any further with peacetreaty49's version of Beacon Falls, which was asked for in the WCIF thread, where you said
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
I'd definitely be interested in Balloth and your two BV subhoods.
Also, I may be able to help you fix the installation problems (Balloth conflicts with B001, the two BV subhoods conflict with each other), if you'd like.

In your PM you advised that steps 2 and 3 of this tutorial were the ones most applicable to me and should "allow these standalone subhoods to exist". I have gone through and changed things according to your instructions here, and they are still each acting as they should do, hotels function properly, holidays are successful, all seems to be well!

However there are a couple of points I would like to check with you first:
For step 2 - I renumbered the files and folders from B001, T002 and M002 to B628, T609 and M409. I hoped it wasn't it the B, T and M which were the problem, because from what I've understood you to say in the tutorial, it doesn't seem as if they should be.
Edit: I mistakenly at first wrote B002, I had always intended to release it as that, but as at the time the original B001 had to come out in order to use mine, so I obviously hadn't actually done so!
I see now why you said they would conflict, I remain unsure whether the BV hoods are OK with what I've done though!
The the Neighborhood Type and (parent) Name in the IDNO record were already changed to match the existing folder/file numbers, but I have now of course changed them to match with the new parent name and numbers.
The only further change I could see that made sense was to 'turn' each hood back into a neighborhood (step 3a) by making it Normal and then committing and saving that change, then following the tutorial onwards from that point as if I were making all of the changes for the first time. I hope this was correct, otherwise, could you let me know what should have been done differently please?

For step 3 - The subhoods had already been showing as number 4 a business hood, number 7 as an island hood, and number 6 as a mountain hood in the Hex view section (step 3c). After changing each back to a Normal neighborhood, I then made the changes as you described.

You said my BV hoods conflict with each other, I hadn't picked up on that comment when I first asked for your advice, if what I've done hasn't already stopped the conflict, could you please advise me on that as well? Of course I would rather do these things myself so that I understand the process, but I do trust you to explain things! So if you think you will need to actually look at the files, as you have so kindly offered, then I would be happy to send them to you.
There is also a pregnancy in the business hood, it appears to work after being added to a main hood, the father shows correctly, if it's a really bad thing, I could look into editing it to make it safer.
I am also sorry it has taken me this long to do anything more about all of this, things came along that I couldn't ignore! I am also sorry for the wordy descriptions, I just want to make it clear where the differences were in my files before, and what they are now after the changes have been made!
My sincere thanks for all of your help with this!

UPDATE Nov '11: Beacon Falls & Maple Valley are custom TS2 neighborhoods with storylines, add-on families & lots. The Beacon Falls Blog has separate business & vacation subhoods & Maple Valley's Blog has a separate university subhood. All have been fixed using Mootilda's HoodChecker.
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#17 Old 29th Oct 2010 at 1:14 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 29th Oct 2010 at 5:53 PM. Reason: Add instructions for restoring a corrupted IDNO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lechapeau
I hope, now that we are able to, that it is OK to post here instead of in your group thread, my apologies if not!
This is fine. I just set up the other thread because some people couldn't post in this thread. Hopefully, that's been solved now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lechapeau
However there are a couple of points I would like to check with you first:

For step 2 - I renumbered the files and folders from B001, T002 and M002 to B628, T609 and M409. I hoped it wasn't it the B, T and M which were the problem, because from what I've understood you to say in the tutorial, it doesn't seem as if they should be.
That's correct. It's not the B, T and M which matter, but the entire folder name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lechapeau
The Neighborhood Type and (parent) Name in the IDNO record were already changed to match the existing folder/file numbers, but I have now of course changed them to match with the new parent name and numbers.

The only further change I could see that made sense was to 'turn' each hood back into a neighborhood (step 3a) by making it Normal and then committing and saving that change, then following the tutorial onwards from that point as if I were making all of the changes for the first time. I hope this was correct, otherwise, could you let me know what should have been done differently please?
This should be fine as long as you made the changes in the Hex view. If you ever edited the Neighborhood Type in the Plugin View, then SimPE may have corrupted your IDNO by adding extra bytes into the center of the IDNO record, which can cause problems for the game.

If you are worried that your IDNO was corrupted by SimPE, you can just create a new one. Here's how:
1) Create a new (temporary) neighborhood in your AnyGame.
2) Run SimPE, open the new neighborhood and Extract the IDNO.
3) Open your subhood and Replace the IDNO with the extracted IDNO. Save.
4) Go through the steps in the tutorial to fix the IDNO correctly.
5) Delete your temporary neighborhood, since it's no longer needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lechapeau
You said my BV hoods conflict with each other, I hadn't picked up on that comment when I first asked for your advice, if what I've done hasn't already stopped the conflict, could you please advise me on that as well?
I never downloaded the BV hoods, so I was just going by what it said on the website. It sounds like everything should be fine now. Having a unique folder name and (parent) name should ensure that the hoods do not conflict.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lechapeau
There is also a pregnancy in the business hood, it appears to work after being added to a main hood, the father shows correctly, if it's a really bad thing, I could look into editing it to make it safer.
As long as the father shows up correctly, I wouldn't worry about it. This was a major problem with the mega-hoods, so I wanted to point it out as a potential problem. I'm glad to hear that the game is handling these subhoods properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lechapeau
I am also sorry it has taken me this long to do anything more about all of this, things came along that I couldn't ignore! I am also sorry for the wordy descriptions, I just want to make it clear where the differences were in my files before, and what they are now after the changes have been made!

My sincere thanks for all of your help with this!
No need to apologize; we all have real lives which take priority. I'm happy to help whenever you have questions. I'd love to see more subhoods available for download.
Field Researcher
#18 Old 15th Nov 2010 at 2:10 PM
This is a query for if I make other BV hoods or districts with sims again in the future, rather than anything I am stuck on now.
In part 4 of your tutorial, it says "You can create lots and sims as usual", where in a BV hood you wouldn't normally be able to create sims and this means the button for CAS is greyed out.

I came across this after I'd found glitches in both of my original BV versions once I'd edited the Hex. I then made a fresh version of my mountain hood following your tutorial, after which I made a new island hood as well. Everything in there had been tested and was working, but after cloning the original custom locals and tourist sims from a copy of my old original, I was now unable to put them together in this fresh version because the options weren't available.
Having got a working hood I was happy with, I was about to change the Hex back to make it a normal hood so the sims could be added, and then go through step 3 to change it again afterwards. I came here to check that I'd noted all of the steps correctly, and had not made some mistake with it, when I saw your edit about extracting the IDNO.
I decided to try that and see if it fixed my original version which already had the sims set correctly: that worked, and it also solved the other problems I'd encountered with them so hopefully everything is now good, with even more thanks to you!
I found a similar problem when editing my business district, the sims had also been 'set up' in there, making good or bad relationships or linking them as owning businesses etc, to have the theme/storyline of the hood make sense. With that, after editing the Hex, I noticed I couldn't *do* anything with the sims and they just stood there. This was fine and didn't matter much because I'd already finished most of the editing and was just checking up on something I was later able to use SimPE to confirm things in.
It left me wondering how things would work if I wanted to add sims to a new district in a similar way, then again this time when I couldn't add them to a fresh BV district.

So my question is, would making and/or editing sims in these situations be better done in the empty neighborhood, before moving on to step 2, and then carry on as you describe?
It seems less complicated to change the Hex after any sims have been added, and/or basic relationships or situations set up, but I don't know if I'm right in thinking that. I understand people don't usually want sims and that it may not be a good thing to encourage sharing them, as they do have to be cleanly made and carefully managed to avoid game problems. Especially not the same ones passed through several neighborhoods, which is probably the main reason for making custom hoods and districts where we add our own sims!
But for situations such as this, where a district is shared, or there's a purpose to having sims in the storyline and with it as a district the options aren't there, then these things would need changing and I'd appreciate your opinion on what's good and bad! If you don't already know or hadn't come across it before, I don't mind trying and setting up such situations if that would help clarify anything?
If I've done something stupid, I'd appreciate being pointed in the right direction! If it's only me wanting to know, then as mine has now worked I can easily follow the same process if I ever need to, I'd just rather know I'm not doing anything *wrong* if I do!
Thank you!

UPDATE Nov '11: Beacon Falls & Maple Valley are custom TS2 neighborhoods with storylines, add-on families & lots. The Beacon Falls Blog has separate business & vacation subhoods & Maple Valley's Blog has a separate university subhood. All have been fixed using Mootilda's HoodChecker.
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#19 Old 15th Nov 2010 at 7:08 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 16th Nov 2010 at 6:48 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lechapeau
when I saw your edit about extracting the IDNO.
I decided to try that and see if it fixed my original version which already had the sims set correctly: that worked, and it also solved the other problems I'd encountered with them so hopefully everything is now good, with even more thanks to you!
Sounds like SimPE has had the IDNO bug for quite a while and this bug affected your existing subhoods. Replacing your corrupt IDNO record with a valid IDNO record is probably the easiest solution to this problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lechapeau
I found a similar problem when editing my business district, the sims had also been 'set up' in there, making good or bad relationships or linking them as owning businesses etc, to have the theme/storyline of the hood make sense. With that, after editing the Hex, I noticed I couldn't *do* anything with the sims and they just stood there.
I haven't been able to reproduce your issue with Open for Business. Were your sims unwilling to follow commands? Or, did they just refuse to do anything on their own?

Is there a possibility that the IDNO was corrupt? Did you try replacing the IDNO with a newly generated one, and then making the appropriate changes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lechapeau
So my question is, would making and/or editing sims in these situations be better done in the empty neighborhood, before moving on to step 2, and then carry on as you describe?
It seems less complicated to change the Hex after any sims have been added, and/or basic relationships or situations set up, but I don't know if I'm right in thinking that.
There is one primary benefit to changing the neighborhood type before creating your sims. Non-playable sims in subhoods are usually not standard "townies", but are instead a specific type of sim associated with the type of subhood. For example, it's impossible to create young adult "dormies" unless you are actually playing a university subhood. If you create your sims before changing the neighborhood to a standalone subhood, you'll have to do additional work to ensure that your subhood sims are properly categorized.

I still have to look into your issues with making sims in Bon Voyage. Are these sims that you intend to make into vacation "townies"?

[Update:] Yes, it looks like it makes sense to create your sims before changing the neighborhood type. After creating your sims, you'll need to ensure that they are added to the correct family.
Field Researcher
#20 Old 19th Nov 2010 at 4:42 PM
I'm afraid I hadn't checked a business district in play mode since that first experience because I thought, in attempting it, that I'd messed something up! I deleted the folder after I quit and made my changes to a fresh version. I have now seen, as you've said, that there would be nothing to stop me editing or setting things up in such a game, and that it plays as you would expect it to. I mentioned it in case it was linked to the BV sims situation, I know now that it isn't but I don't know if the IDNO caused the errors or if it was something else that I did wrong.
I apologize for taking up your time in looking into it!

Thank you for checking on making BV sims, or those in subhoods where CAS wouldn't normally be available. It is useful to know they can be added at either stage, and that the Hex can be edited more than once if needed. I understand it is important to correctly add sims to the relevant family type, I followed instructions from MATY to set them.
I would have made one group of locals and another of tourists, but extracting a new IDNO for the original version fixed everything I'd had trouble with, meaning I didn't need to recreate them at all. Again, I appreciate your help and advice!

UPDATE Nov '11: Beacon Falls & Maple Valley are custom TS2 neighborhoods with storylines, add-on families & lots. The Beacon Falls Blog has separate business & vacation subhoods & Maple Valley's Blog has a separate university subhood. All have been fixed using Mootilda's HoodChecker.
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#21 Old 19th Nov 2010 at 5:05 PM
I'm always happy to help. The few things that you've asked from me are tiny in comparison to the work needed to create a really nice subhood.
*shrugs*
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#22 Old 21st Dec 2010 at 3:00 AM
So, let me see how much I understand of this correctly.

I've extracted your MooU folder (Brainania) into C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 University\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate. If I want to modify the template to use things from new EPs or to be a themed version (medieval or Post-Apocalyptic), I'd attach it to (let's say) Strangetown and edit the attached instance of Brainania as I'd wish.

Quote:
1) Copy the entire neighborhood folder into a NeighborhoodTemplate folder under Program Files. Changes in subsequent steps should be made to this copy, rather than to the original neighborhood. Do not run the game until you have done the next few steps; these steps will ensure that your subhood template will not conflict with your original neighborhood.
So, I wouldn't copy the MooU folder but the folder for Brainania in Strangetown's folder, correct?

Quote:
2) Rename the neighborhood folder and all files to something unique
So, the name folder for Brainania in Strangetown's folder becomes something like "msdU" and so forth will all the file prefixes...

Quote:
3) Change the IDNO record by setting the Neighborhood Type to Suburb and the (parent) Name to the new folder name
So, the parent name would be msdU.

When I load the game, msdU will be a new Uni template and I'd still have the original Brainania, correct?

I don't mind if you call me "MSD" or something for short.
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#23 Old 21st Dec 2010 at 3:50 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 21st Dec 2010 at 5:02 PM.
Default Modifying an Existing Subhood Template
No. Once you attach a subhood to a neighborhood, you cannot disconnect it again (without a lot of work). This means that you will not be able to use it as a subhood template in the future.

The best way to edit MooU would be to set up an empty AnyGame with just the EPs and SPs that you want (basically, steps #1A - 1E). Move MooU from Program Files to your AnyGame Neighborhoods folder and make the appropriate changes. Then, you can move MooU back to the Program Files directory. Be sure to move rather than copy, since the game will not be happy having a neighborhood (in Documents) and subhood template (in Program Files) which are the same.

If you wish to make a new subhood based on MooU, then copy MooU from Program Files to your AnyGame Neighborhoods folder and then make the copy into a unique standalone subhood before you run the game.

To make it unique, you will need to rename the folder and all files to "msdU" (step #2) and you will need to change the IDNO record (step #3). Since MooU is already a University, you can skip steps #3B - 3H (unless you wish to change to a different type of subhood). Change the (parent) Name of the IDNO record to "msdU".

If you have other neighborhoods in your AnyGame folder, you might also want to click on "make unique" in the Plugin View, to ensure that your new standalone subhood doesn't conflict with any of your existing neighborhoods.

Commit the changes to the IDNO record and save the neighborhood package. Now, you should be able to run the game and make your changes to the standalone subhood. Be sure to change the name from "Brainania", so that it will be identifiable when you are eventually ready to add the new subhood to a neighborhood.

I hope that makes things more clear. I think that I'm going to write a new tutorial on how to edit an existing subhood template. Hopefully, that will help even more.
Lab Assistant
#24 Old 21st Dec 2010 at 9:43 PM Last edited by jeffallenroberts : 21st Dec 2010 at 10:36 PM. Reason: More clarity was needed.
I've created a OFB test 'hood and everything went exactly as published in your tutorial. It had one housed sim and a family in the bin. The Anygame created ten sims during the build phase, nine NPCs and one townie. I attached it to Strangetown. When I played the lot, the sim had a want to hire a maid. He already had done that earlier in the day in Anygame playtesting. He hired the same maid, then I shut down the game and looked at the hoods in SimPE. When the game attaches a sub-hood it clones the sims to the main hood and gives them a new ID number. The original file becomes "Unknown" with the original sim ID intact in the sub-hood package. This includes service and social NPCs, but not Grimmie etc. To test whether this was a mistake in my work, I attached Bluewater to Veronaville and found this was the normal procedure. A lost maid is no big thing, but the scope for errors might not be limited to that and pregnancy issues. A caution might be in order to append to the Tutorial so that users will look for problems and not be surprised.

That said, I found the whole tutorial clear and easy to follow and understand. At no time did I encounter any problem, or have any reason to ask for clarification. Loading times for the programs took more time than the actual work of converting the hood. Nice job!
Doing all the things, and *mostly* not failing.
staff: retired moderator
#25 Old 16th Feb 2011 at 3:42 PM
So, I was considering taking this subhood that I've got and connecting it instead to a different hood, hopefully without losing my sims. Is that even possible?
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