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Nysha's New Creators for November - posted on 1st Dec 2017 at 9:00 AM
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Alchemist
Original Poster
#1 Old 25th Mar 2016 at 8:20 PM
Default Collegiate Gothic
Some of you (probably most of you, by now ) know that I can never stick with just one project at a time, and that oftentimes I'll see elements in a current project that don't work the way I want them to there, but that I still love, and end up creating an entirely new project just to do them justice! Well, enough of those have conspired together that I'm thinking it may finally work for me to tackle building an entire neighborhood up from scratch- in this case, a University. Knowing that this is sure to be a big project, I figure I'll just set up one CFF thread here at the start that I can come back to when it's needed.

I've put together plenty of lots as part of SSU just for my own gameplay, but few of them are up to the standards I hold myself to for MTS uploads, and even fewer of those have been unvisited, so even if I were to want to upload them, I've painted myself into a corner there. Still, I find myself loving the collegiate side of design lately, and I feel like I've done about as much as can be done with SSU... I want to try something new! Likewise, I've had enough projects where I found Gothic elements making their way into the architecture that I've been working (struggling is probably a more apropos term) on a Gothic cathedral, and I'm seeing much more potential for some of its elements on a college campus, rather than a church building! Then of course, there's always the fact that I've just wanted to try my hand at neighborhood-creating for a while yet, and a University seems a little more self-contained than a full-fledged neighborhood, plus it's where my interests are naturally trending now, so it strikes me as a good place to start!

SO! As usual, I'm sure I'm over-ambitious here, but I'd like to give it a try, which brings me to my first question- what is really meant by "clean template?" I know it prevents the game from spawning NPCs in many cases, but I'm at a loss for knowing when one is needed, how to create/get one, and how to keep the project clean as it goes. While I'm certainly happy to get advice from anyone, those who've already created University neighborhoods seem to me to be particularly predisposed to having the answers, so @Peni Griffin and @Hood Building Group , any advice you guys have would be most welcome!

At this point, I'm still working on the SC4 terrain that I'll want to use... I hate the terrain sculpting there!

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Mad Poster
#2 Old 25th Mar 2016 at 10:04 PM
Can you use AGS at all? Because that's the only way I can do this at all.

A clean template has no corruption. An empty template has no sims. Zero, zip, nada, none. The only ones in the neighborhood will be the universal ones in the game files, until the game perceives you as needing one.

Unless you're populating this hood, deactivating your templates, either by replacing them with empties or by renaming them so the game doesn't perceive them, will be enough for most purposes. (The Freetime Stealth Hoods are kind of a bear, which is one reason to create in an AGS setup that just omits Freetime altogether.) Sometimes the NPC generators decide to make an NPC when you open a building in build mode, but usually you can see them, and usually you can deal with it by closing without saving, checking your character files for that neighborhood to see if it's got any characters in it, and opening the lot again. And you probably already know all about that anyway, duh.

If you're populating a hood, you'd have to load in stringent mods for suppressing game-generated NPCs unless you're willing to take randomly-generated professors, cow mascots, etc.

If you don't have AGS, the tricky part will be converting this from a hood to a University subtype. I don't know how to do it without AGS.

The essential guides: How to create a safe, shareable occupied neighborhood http://modthesims.info/t/455403
How to Create a Custom Subhood Template: http://modthesims.info/t/420196

As for advice:
1. Back up every time you work on it. Every time. No exceptions. Keep all your backups - I've had to go back multiple phases in all three neighborhoods I've worked on. That was mostly during the populating/development phase, but you can corrupt during the build phase, too - or just change your mind completely about the map. Packaging your finished lots, also very important.
2. Be patient.
3. Get a map that works well with your concept.
4. Be patient.
5. Back it up!
6. Playtest it.
7. Put it up here for us to playtest.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Alchemist
#3 Old 25th Mar 2016 at 10:08 PM
Ooh!
I can't wait to see what you're going to create.

First of all, (as Peni already mentioned) have a look at these tutorials.
Tutorial: How to Create a Custom Subhood Template
How to create a safe shareable occupied neighborhood
Game guide: Creating a clean neighborhood
Note: Do not rename the folder by just adding a -bak to the name. This doesn't always hide the subhoods and may corrupt your neighborhood. Use AnyGameStarter's option to create an empty game instead.

That should explain the most. You may also want to get anti-corruption mods. Nobody wants to have a corrupted neighborhood.
Have a look here. Essential Mods.
And I'd also use AnyGameStarter if you can use it. Then it would require less EPs and would be more compatible for everyone.

And of course, make backups! That's the most important thing that you need to know if you want to create and upload neighborhoods.

Otherwise, have fun creating the neighborhood!

Hood Building Group neighborhoods are available here
Clean and Empty Steatlh Hoods
Winter Wonderland is available here
My Simblr
My 2015 Yearbook Entry
Alchemist
Original Poster
#4 Old 25th Mar 2016 at 10:28 PM
What a surprised that Mootilda would have written guides on this too!

I have no plans at this point to include Sims with the neighborhood- that's very much not my strong suit when it comes to this game, so I figure it's best to leave out altogether, and let people develop the campus population as they see fit. Plus, everything I've ever read seems to peg the Sims themselves as the main source of corruption stemming from an upload. From what you've said, it sounds like that means I want an "empty" template- right?

As far as AGS, I've never used it before, but I don't know of any reason why I wouldn't be able to... then again, I've never used it before, so I don't know what problems I might run into that would preclude me from using it either! You're probably better able to judge that than I- all my games came from the individual-game disk purchases- no downloads, no combo packs, no UC. It doesn't seem like there should be any issue, right? I am planning on including everything though... I know that limits my audience, but it also broadens the potential I have to work with (plus I've grown too habituated to having certain elements from just about everything!)

Since my forte is lot creation, my initial thinking is to work on some key lots first, since I know how that works, just to make sure that element doesn't lead me into any unwanted problems! If I'm reading those tutorials correctly, I can add in packaged lots once I have a clean template, yes?

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Alchemist
#5 Old 25th Mar 2016 at 10:33 PM
If you can't use AnyGameStarter, don't panic. Custom subhoods can still be created without the AnyGameStarter. Look at this post

Hood Building Group neighborhoods are available here
Clean and Empty Steatlh Hoods
Winter Wonderland is available here
My Simblr
My 2015 Yearbook Entry
Mad Poster
#6 Old 25th Mar 2016 at 11:36 PM
Since you've got everything on disk and no combos, you should be good to use AGS. The great thing about it is you won't have to jump through any hoops to keep it empty - just create an AGS "without Maxis content" with the EPs and SPs you want to use, put the anti-corruption/anti-spawning (shouldn't be a problem, but why take chances?) mods into a Downloads folder and your desired SC4 terrain into the SC4 folder inside the AnyGame1 folder, open up the game and make your empty neighborhood. I suggest you go download it at once. It will make your life so much easier!

I have had problems with an attempt at an all-EP Anygame trying to take over my full game, and with one with later EPs refusing to stay empty, but these were experiments I decided I didn't have time or will to troubleshoot and abandoned what I was trying to do until a more convenient time. I believe Maxon made Polgannon in AGS with all EPs/SPs, and she didn't get a family bin cluttered up with premade sims, so you know it's possible, anyhow, and any problems you have will be fixable by the combined might of our collective minds and experiences!

You should have time to figure out AGS on the side in between bouts of frustration getting your map just the way you like it.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Alchemist
Original Poster
#7 Old 28th Mar 2016 at 1:20 AM
Still struggling with the neighborhood terrain in SC4 (seriously, who in their right mind thought the terrain modification tools in that game were worth anything?), but that in itself actually makes me think of a question- if I get the SC4 terrain close enough, and then modify it further with the much-more-user-friendly terrain modification tools in neighborhood view in TS2, does that cause problems down the line? Or can I make my job easier by doing more of the work in TS2?

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staff: moderator
#8 Old 28th Mar 2016 at 12:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathustra
Still struggling with the neighborhood terrain in SC4 (seriously, who in their right mind thought the terrain modification tools in that game were worth anything?), but that in itself actually makes me think of a question- if I get the SC4 terrain close enough, and then modify it further with the much-more-user-friendly terrain modification tools in neighborhood view in TS2, does that cause problems down the line? Or can I make my job easier by doing more of the work in TS2?

I did that with Polgannon and it's fine. The only downside to the in-game tools is that they work in squares. Most of the time it's not a problem but on edges of things (like water for instance), you can get some funny shapes.

The other downside is you can't use Moo's Hood Replacer easily should you need to. What I went for was getting it as close as I could and then tweaked.

Polgannon: Who Murdered Blaise Penhaligan?
(3rd ed. neighbourhood now available with corrections). Poll: http://strawpoll.me/6689876

Polls: length of neighbourhood play: http://www.strawpoll.me/10908815 & http://www.strawpoll.me/10908842

Thread for yakking about making TS2 stuff
Alchemist
Original Poster
#9 Old 28th Mar 2016 at 10:19 PM
OK, good to know! I'll have to fiddle around with the terrain a little more, but some elements I'm not really sure I can even do in SC4, but I know exactly how to do in TS2!

Next question- Looking at the neighborhood map in TS2, I'm pleased to note that I've managed to get the central area centered in the un-modded camera's range of vision at least as well as any of the EAxis neighborhoods did, but I know I'll want to put decorations elsewhere (because, you know, decorations!) so, what camera mod am I looking for to have more freedom of movement to place decor?

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Needs Coffee
staff: moderator
#10 Old 29th Mar 2016 at 3:38 AM
You will really like having AGS to build in I think. Took me ages and then after I got it set up I wished I had done it years before! Not only clean but you have 3 slots that you can set up in different ways, so if you want to try and do some base game only lots a base game slot makes that easy.

I use this neighbourhood camera http://modthesims.info/d/312294 I'm sure everyone has a favourite.

"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." - Unknown
~Call me Jo~
Alchemist
Original Poster
#11 Old 31st Mar 2016 at 1:36 AM
Alas, looks like no AGS for me... I've spent most of the day trying and re-trying all the steps both Numenor and Mootilda wrote out, but to no avail... it either refuses to open my game altogether, or opens it with all the EAxis neighborhoods still showing up. :P

Now I'm worried whether other non-negotiable elements like SimPE will work for me or not though... especially once I've already started in on so much of this!

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Now what dammit?
staff: moderator
#12 Old 31st Mar 2016 at 1:41 AM
Is you game the UC? You should be able to use AGS otherwise. It's by far the best thing to build stuff like neighbourhoods.

Polgannon: Who Murdered Blaise Penhaligan?
(3rd ed. neighbourhood now available with corrections). Poll: http://strawpoll.me/6689876

Polls: length of neighbourhood play: http://www.strawpoll.me/10908815 & http://www.strawpoll.me/10908842

Thread for yakking about making TS2 stuff
Alchemist
Original Poster
#13 Old 31st Mar 2016 at 1:46 AM
No, it's all disks, no combo packs or anything (except Double Deluxe for the foundation, but that's listed as one that should work fine), so I don't think that's the issue... At this point, I'm just gonna blame it on the fact that I have this all running on an almost-ten-year-old computer... that usually seems to be the reason for problems, in my experience...

I'll still have to see if SimPE works or not, since that might at least let me get away with the non-AGS-based approach Mootilda lays out, but I'm not trying that today. If all else fails, I can just have the SC4 terrain and lots designed for it, and either upload them individually, or see if I can find someone for whom AGS does work to beg to put it together for me!

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Mad Poster
#14 Old 31st Mar 2016 at 2:05 AM
Actually older should be better for this. It's easier to run AGS under XP than under Windows 7, where you have to tell it to Run as Administrator. I bet if we were standing next to you and could see what happens we'd be able to get it working.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Needs Coffee
staff: moderator
#15 Old 31st Mar 2016 at 2:18 AM
Odd, do you have room for it? My daughter had issues with her old EP not having enough room to install more games. When i tried putting on OFB, it would begin to install, stop and uninstall itself.

"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." - Unknown
~Call me Jo~
Alchemist
Original Poster
#16 Old 31st Mar 2016 at 2:19 AM Last edited by Zarathustra : 31st Mar 2016 at 2:29 AM.
Well, that may not work exactly, but I'm 100% certain you'd know a hell of a lot more about this than I do! What info would you need to be able to troubleshoot from afar?

EDIT: (you know, assuming you're willing to help! )

And Jo, I wouldn't really expect that to be the problem, since I've never had any indication from any other program that space should have been an issue, but I'm hardly a computer guy... I know how to use them, provided they work right, but I'm usually gonna be at a loss when they don't!

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Mad Poster
#17 Old 31st Mar 2016 at 6:46 AM
I'm hardly a computer person, either - I solve problems by poking at them and sometimes by getting a good grasp of what's happening and describing it to someone who knows more than me. Which makes me a sucky online troubleshooter, and makes it difficult to phrase questions. I'm interested in this problem because it sounds just like the one I had when I tried to install an AGS that used all EPs, which is the problem I decided I didn't have time or sufficient urgent need to mess with. But someday I'll want to do it, and it would be nice if you'd already gone through all the hassle of discovering what was wrong for me.

Here's one thing you can try, assuming you haven't already. Install an empty Base Game only. If that works, and I bet it will, upgrade it one EP at a time, till it stops working. And that'll be information we didn't have before. There's a known problem with Freetime stealth hoods; maybe there's an unknown problem with Seasons or Pets stealth hoods, which only applies in certain configurations.

I have to do this with two disk drives - MG in one, the latest EP necessary to run the limited configuration in the other. I know other people don't have to do that. I would never have learned that by asking. I had to do it by poking.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Alchemist
Original Poster
#18 Old 1st Apr 2016 at 10:40 PM
No joy... I tried running a completely BG AGS as well as a BG/NL/CEL AGS (since I got Double Deluxe as my foundation, I figured I'd check that configuration too, just in case) and in both cases, despite having followed Mootilda's tutorial to the letter (it's not that long, I'm 100% certain I didn't miss anything) I still ended up with Pleasantview, Strangetown, and Veronaville showing up when the AGS ran. No attached hoods or new lots in any of them, so it was running them essentially as if I'd just installed the game normally, rather than the neighborhood-less empty game that it SHOULD have created... ugh.

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Mad Poster
#19 Old 1st Apr 2016 at 11:16 PM
Double Deluxe? That's your problem, I'm afraid. Even Mootilda couldn't get it to work with Double Deluxe or Fun with Pets. I think it's the Store Edition?

It works with Deluxe, because that's my first installation disk. But not Double.

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Alchemist
Original Poster
#20 Old 1st Apr 2016 at 11:27 PM
Well, shit. Really? I'd been going off of the disclaimer on the AGS download page that said "Collection packs other than Deluxe, Double Deluxe and Holiday Ed. 2005/06 are not supported." and assumed that it should work with DD... shouldn't it?

OK then... what are my options at this point? Am I stuck just making things individually and trying to beg someone else to put it all together for me?

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Mad Poster
#21 Old 2nd Apr 2016 at 7:06 AM
It says Double Deluxe is an exception? Well, you should certainly believe them ahead of me. I'm going from what I remember being talked about. If anyone out there has made Double Deluxe work to make an empty environment, they need to speak up.

You still have the option of disabling all the Stealth hoods, which you can do by renaming them. But I think you'd have to leave them disabled till you were done working on it, as if you ever booted up with them enabled I believe they'd get added anyway. Maybe not after you'd converted it to a University hood?

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Alchemist
#22 Old 2nd Apr 2016 at 7:11 AM
I have Double Deluxe and the AnyGameStarter works just fine for me.

And I was able to create a BG+Uni only anygame.

Hood Building Group neighborhoods are available here
Clean and Empty Steatlh Hoods
Winter Wonderland is available here
My Simblr
My 2015 Yearbook Entry
Now what dammit?
staff: moderator
#23 Old 2nd Apr 2016 at 11:57 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peni Griffin
You still have the option of disabling all the Stealth hoods, which you can do by renaming them. But I think you'd have to leave them disabled till you were done working on it, as if you ever booted up with them enabled I believe they'd get added anyway. Maybe not after you'd converted it to a University hood?

They usually get added when you run the hood for the first time (including when you put the new hood in a new game (i.e. someone else's) but the game might check every time you load a neighbourhood. I don't know.

What did you do Jawusa? Installed it as normal or was there any other step?

Polgannon: Who Murdered Blaise Penhaligan?
(3rd ed. neighbourhood now available with corrections). Poll: http://strawpoll.me/6689876

Polls: length of neighbourhood play: http://www.strawpoll.me/10908815 & http://www.strawpoll.me/10908842

Thread for yakking about making TS2 stuff
Alchemist
#24 Old 2nd Apr 2016 at 10:23 PM Last edited by Jawusa : 2nd Apr 2016 at 10:34 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Numenor
Collection packs other than Deluxe, Double Deluxe and Holiday Ed. 2005/06 are not supported.

Numenor says that both (Deluxe and Double Deluxe) work with the AnyGameStarter. It's just the tri combo packs and the UC that don't work with AnyGameStarter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peni Griffin
I have to do this with two disk drives - MG in one, the latest EP necessary to run the limited configuration in the other. I know other people don't have to do that. I would never have learned that by asking. I had to do it by poking.


I have to do this as well, in order to get AGS working. I believe that needs to be done if you either have Deluxe or Double Deluxe installed. Try that. Maybe you'll get it working.
But maybe it doesn't have to do with this at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxon
What did you do Jawusa? Installed it as normal or was there any other step?


I installed the games in EA's recommended order. https://help.ea.com/en/article/inst...for-the-sims-2/
I believe everything was installed as normal, it's just the special two disk drives thing which I need to do in order to get AGS working.

Hood Building Group neighborhoods are available here
Clean and Empty Steatlh Hoods
Winter Wonderland is available here
My Simblr
My 2015 Yearbook Entry
Alchemist
Original Poster
#25 Old 2nd Apr 2016 at 10:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jawusa
I have to do this as well, in order to get AGS working. I believe that needs to be done if you either have Deluxe or Double Deluxe installed. Try that. Maybe you'll get it working.
But maybe it doesn't have to do with this at all.


Well, I hope it doesn't have anything to do with it, because if it does, I'm still sunk... my laptop only has a single disk drive, and I don't have easy access to an external secondary one.

I'm passing my time creating first drafts of some of the easier lots while I try to find/wait for you guys to find a solution to the AGS problem, just so that I don't feel like giving up on this altogether!

Welcome to the Dark Side...
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