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New Creator Theme: Elders! - posted on 1st Sep 2018 at 5:43 AM
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Mad Poster
Original Poster
#1 Old 26th May 2018 at 11:14 PM Last edited by GrijzePilion : 6th Jun 2018 at 11:20 PM.
Default Regarding the future of TS3 as a community-run entity / dissecting the root of the game's major flaws
Okay guys, bear with me here.

I've noticed that one of the recurring themes on this board, and in the greater TS3-centric community, is that people talk about fixing the game. Patching it, remastering it, rewriting it, whatever. Huge undertakings, basically. The kind of thing a game's fanbase gets into when they really really like their game.
People have been talking about this for years. I know there's examples of this actually being done by a game's fanbase, and even within the Sims franchise there is now a fully remade game, but it still seems very far-fetched.

BUT, like I said, there IS a Sims game that has not only been rewritten but redesigned and remastered. Thanks to the hard work of a few (2?) hardcore TS1 fans, the original game is now an open-source, full 3d, heavily moddable MMORPG. They've rewritten and updated the entire game and taken it well above and beyond its original boundaries. And TS1 is an old, old game. It no longer has any mass appeal, people who aren't active Sims fans aren't likely to play it. The thing is, TS3 is. TS3 still pops up in YouTube feeds. TS3 still makes the front page of Reddit every now and then. And there's several forums when you can talk or ask a question about TS3 and get a response within a couple of minutes.

So I consider this remaster, or a 64 bit patch, or whatever it may be that ends up being done, an inevitability. It's very very likely that someone is going to do something like that. and one of the questions you can ask about that is when the time is right to do it, and what the scope of it is going to be.
What can be done? Who can do it? How long will it take? How to stay clear of EA; e.g. how to keep them from shutting anything or anyone down?

I'm very curious to know how you guys look at this, especially the regulars on this board who have some degree of in-depth knowledge of the game.

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Theorist
#2 Old 26th May 2018 at 11:41 PM
Requires literally serious Twallian-tier dedication and leadership, since TS3 is still more complex than TS1. You can get people doing little great things (see Arsil, icarus-allsorts, ani, douglasviega), but the game-changing overhauls and fixes require talent and coordination from up top, and serious dedication. I doubt EA would really care about people modding the game significantly, unless they're rebuilding the game up and reusing the assets.

However, I think there is some potential for community-led experimentation with making the game more efficient, especially outside the game engine (i.e. experimentation with HDDs, moving files around)- it would be nice if there could be some actual testing and results.


Also, when are you gonna get me my cars textures so I can begin sending testing versions of the world lol
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#3 Old 26th May 2018 at 11:47 PM
I have 2 of them nearly done and 2 of them roughly half done. I'll get them to you next week. I'm having to balance it with recording/composing/texturing/editing/animating crap for my Let's play, which is running late due to some (multiple) game-related issues, so I'd say Wednesday at the earliest.

And yeah I do think that you'd not only need people like that to get anywhere near to making it happen, but you'd also need to get them working together as something that resembles a team. That it's a project that these people do for fun in their free time isn't an issue at all, there's plenty of those (personal favourite) but it'd almost certainly involve Discords, Skype calls and a crapton of GitHub.

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Mad Poster
#4 Old 27th May 2018 at 12:35 AM
I can only suggest conceptual ideas as I'm not a software developer.

Many people think it is a monumental undertaking, because they're thinking about remaking the whole game. That's not the case. We only need some software engineers to rebuild the engine, while using the existing game data. Still, that itself is still extremely difficult and time consuming.

But at least through this method, it is consider a mod, ergo should be no different in terms of EULA than any other mod. Since the game still uses existing game data, it requires the player to purchase the games and subsequent expansions. The only thing you might have to consider is that EA reserves the right to actually steal the final product and sell it as their own remake.

Sanity is overrated.

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There. Mystery solved.
Theorist
#5 Old 27th May 2018 at 1:15 AM
Well the games community is always abounding in "Ideas people"- it's always the "Make-everything-happen people" who are missing.

If you want a software developer on your side, you'll need to find people willing to put the time into it (and make sure they don't lose interest)- or people that can be convinced through monetary persuasion.

There was an individual working on some sort of 64-bit sleeve for TS3 but he stopped a few years ago because of IRL circumstances- if you can persuade him again- it could be interesting.

https://simoluan.tumblr.com/

I'm sure some sort of Patreon account could make it happen, especially if everyone chipped in a little bit of money.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#6 Old 27th May 2018 at 2:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jje1000
I'm sure some sort of Patreon account could make it happen, especially if everyone chipped in a little bit of money.

That would certainly push things along, but it's also the kind of thing I'd stay well clear of. Most corporations are lenient when it comes to you using their IPs for constructive or creative purposes.....but when money starts exchanging hands, things tend to get shut down. Those are the stories I've heard, anyway.

Then again, Patreon is a nice cheat in that unlike, say, ad revenue on YouTube videos, it's rarely a means of income that's tied DIRECTLY to the content itself. I use copyrighted music in my episodes; the policy is that I get to use the music, but I don't get to run ads. Were I to use Patreon, that adds a degree of separation between making money off the content directly...and making money off the process of making said content, i.e. you can't pay me for the episode itself, but you can certainly pay me for the coffee I drank while making it. Or the €20 a month subscription I have for the software plugins I make my soundtracks with.

So in a project like that it has to be considered WHETHER that exchange of money is worth the potential risk and if so, what the money is going to be for.
Now of course, I'm sure you're going to be able to find a few people if they're going to be getting a bit of pocket money for their work. Finding someone who'll do it for money is good, and finding someone who genuinely loves TS3 is good, but finding someone's who's both is BETTER.

Look out for BRIDGEPORT'88 - it's the hottest new show on YT this season!
Already renewed for '89!

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Mad Poster
Original Poster
#7 Old 6th Jun 2018 at 11:17 PM
Okay, so the first step in modding a game, or even just planning to, is to identify a series of goals and priorities. What do we want, how important is it, and why? Is this realistic? Who can do it, why, and how does it relate to the greater idea? This need to be done to create a realistic image of what a project - any project - entails.

So, for priorities you could say:

1. Enhancing the game engine to circumvent limitations of its 32-bit architecture
2. Integrating NRaas functionality to provide additional control and stability in unmodded game environment
3. Fixing visual/graphical bugs and various minor quality of life improvements on front end experience
4. Adding "reticulating splines" back into the pool of start up scrolls, dammit

Look out for BRIDGEPORT'88 - it's the hottest new show on YT this season!
Already renewed for '89!

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Lab Assistant
#8 Old 6th Jun 2018 at 11:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrijzePilion
4. Adding "reticulating splines" back into the pool of start up scrolls, dammit


I use one of the loading screen replacements force the game to use the base game loading screen. Can't live without seeing Reticulating Splines and Ascending Maslow's Hierarchy once per game session. Yeah...
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#9 Old 6th Jun 2018 at 11:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jathom95
I use one of the loading screen replacements force the game to use the base game loading screen. Can't live without seeing Reticulating Splines and Ascending Maslow's Hierarchy once per game session. Yeah...

Did the same. Put this one in:

Look out for BRIDGEPORT'88 - it's the hottest new show on YT this season!
Already renewed for '89!

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Lab Assistant
#10 Old 7th Jun 2018 at 7:06 AM
I wonder if Pescado is still doing TS3 things/would do TS3 things. Way back when TS3 stopped being updated, he said he was excited to start messing with the game now that it was completely stable and wouldn't be broken by a new patch, but I never actually saw anything come of that. I'll ask over on MATY.

(also, 2 out of 4 things on that list up there are already integrated in AwesomeMod functionality )
Puffin McMuffin
staff: administrator
#11 Old 7th Jun 2018 at 7:37 AM
I actually think regarding policy reasons it would be easier to remaster ts2 since EA is kinda pretending it doesn’t exist. A remaster of ts3 in 2018 could probably still get your ass sued for freely using their things. Now most shaders info, mesh, morph info, etc are all done in their C# script library which with an engine like unreal might be easily remade. Thing is, ts3 (and it’s other games) are made on EA’s own engine. That also explaining why the 64 bits thing would be a huge pain in the butt to impliment because realistically speaking, it would be as if you’re prying open this giant rock from a cave of possibilities.

Now for the short version:
Would it be possible to get ts3 on a whole new engine and all pretty and redone? Yes
Would it be a good idea to do this in 2018? Unfortunetaly not. If it gets to ts2’s state of EA going “nope what’s a TS2?” Then I would say, gather a team and go for it
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#12 Old 7th Jun 2018 at 2:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyralei
I actually think regarding policy reasons it would be easier to remaster ts2 since EA is kinda pretending it doesn’t exist.

True, but one of the considerations that has to be made is whether TS2 is a higher priority. TS2 has issues, but it's not unplayable. It also has a smaller player base. So again it's a matter of what needs to be done, how it should be done, and why. Is there demand for a TS2 remaster, would it be worth the time and effort? Rebuilding a game from scratch is NOT something you can just do over the weekend. You need people who are willing to dedicate their free time, who are willing to put in months and months of hard work, in the hopes that maybe something good can come out of it. It's so out of line with the usual, be it making CC or putting together a Let's Play or something, that it's hard just to talk about the idea without it sounding like some sort of pipe dream.

Look out for BRIDGEPORT'88 - it's the hottest new show on YT this season!
Already renewed for '89!

(Oh, and follow me on my Tumblr.)
Theorist
#13 Old 9th Jun 2018 at 4:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrijzePilion
True, but one of the considerations that has to be made is whether TS2 is a higher priority. TS2 has issues, but it's not unplayable. It also has a smaller player base. So again it's a matter of what needs to be done, how it should be done, and why. Is there demand for a TS2 remaster, would it be worth the time and effort? Rebuilding a game from scratch is NOT something you can just do over the weekend. You need people who are willing to dedicate their free time, who are willing to put in months and months of hard work, in the hopes that maybe something good can come out of it. It's so out of line with the usual, be it making CC or putting together a Let's Play or something, that it's hard just to talk about the idea without it sounding like some sort of pipe dream.


The Sims' fanbases are basically segregated, so people interested in remastering TS2 will largely be from that fanbase, as are those interested in TS3.

Ultimately, a remaster has to start with someone with the skills who can make it happen, as with most mods.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#14 Old 9th Jun 2018 at 5:34 PM
Well that's kind of the jist of it. You need someone who's not only very skilled, but also very invested in TS3 and very much available. There's no point to messing around until it either works or doesn't work (like I tend to) because that's not going to produce anything remotely substantial.

For me, personally, that's something I wish I knew how to do. I'd like to get started with C++ and Visual Basic and work my way up as if I were in a training montage, but that's not how it ends up going. So I can post here and even pretend this entire thread is my idea or my pet project, but ultimately it'll have to depend on people who can see such a massive undertaking all the way through.

Look out for BRIDGEPORT'88 - it's the hottest new show on YT this season!
Already renewed for '89!

(Oh, and follow me on my Tumblr.)
Site Helper
#15 Old 15th Jun 2018 at 3:29 AM
You also need to look at the fact that by the time EA has decided to completely refuse to admit that TS3 is a real thing, TS5 will be getting its pets, weather, and whatever else they can decide to sell as an EP rather than putting in the base game. The fan base for TS3 will be a lot smaller. Anyone who wants to work on it would have to do it as a kind of secret project until the fan base is perceived by EA to be small enough that it's not really worth the time to acknowledge it anymore.

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Lab Assistant
#16 Old 15th Jun 2018 at 3:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost sdoj
You also need to look at the fact that by the time EA has decided to completely refuse to admit that TS3 is a real thing,

Ha! That time has already come. I remember when City Living was released. You should have seen the trash talking they were doing towards TS3 to make CL look good. And that was when they were at least acknowledging its existence. Now with Seasons, they're blatantly disregarding past releases and touting the new gameplay as if it's completely new to the franchise. And people like Grant being around doesn't help their case at all.

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Theorist
#17 Old 15th Jun 2018 at 11:27 AM
I think ts2 can indeed be redone to work as a semi-open world. We already have mods that let time pass while visiting other lots and a mod that lets us visit all the lots (residential and community). Now its a question of restructuring the 'map' or neighborhood systems. Which probably requires some of the source code which sadly there is none public. Id sooo want a remaster of TS2 since i only have some problems with it and thats it.

Sims 3 on the other hand does not need a remaster and just fixes. First one, 64bit version, major routing changes, proper genetics, faster texture loading (sims 3 textures load in like an ass), some additions to family gameplay, sim face reconstruction (those ewww pudge faces) and a proper business system. Note that some fixes for the game to run better and some of the business aspects of the game are still possible with mods and some twiddling with the game. But its still not enough. The game is so buggy that even recently when I completely got rig of lag with mods and whatnot, i got a huge bug I spent whole day trying to fix, and it still isnt fixed. Ill probably post it soon on WTF are you doing thread because it is super hilarious and jus absurd. But yeah, most of my enjoyment from the game is from its bugs and glitches instead from the game itself.

Other thing to notice, game is hugeeee. Maybe not complex as TS2, but it is way bigger in terms of files, assets, music... It would require a lot a looot of time to somehow rework a game wih that. And I dont see it happening now. Not any time soon. In 15 year time maybe.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#18 Old 15th Jun 2018 at 12:13 PM
Exactly. TS2 isn't perfect but at least it's playable and sufferable. TS3 tends not to be. I'm exceptionally lucky to be able to play the game with reasonably good performance (relatively speaking of course) and little to no crashing, but I'd be lying to myself if I said the game still runs disastrously bad considering my hardware and the game's age.

Now as for "files, assets, music"....that's not where the problem lies. That data itself isn't the culprit, the simulation is. So a simulation rework would likely not require any assets to be overhauled.

Look out for BRIDGEPORT'88 - it's the hottest new show on YT this season!
Already renewed for '89!

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Theorist
#19 Old 15th Jun 2018 at 12:46 PM
But you really cant change the simulation and gameplay mechanics unless you've got source code. Which won't be available till who knows when. And knowing EA probably never.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#20 Old 15th Jun 2018 at 12:47 PM
You and I both have the source code on our PCs. The game wouldn't run without it.

Look out for BRIDGEPORT'88 - it's the hottest new show on YT this season!
Already renewed for '89!

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Theorist
#21 Old 15th Jun 2018 at 3:45 PM
You'd have to reverse engineer it to make any sense of it tho. We only have asset files in FullBuilds and a lot of other access routes with S3PE to other types of files as well (tuning, strings, script...). It's only a portion of parts of how the game actually works.

Again, you could reverse engineer it, which would take years upon years for game as big as this. I don't expect anyone to do that. It's a hard, tedious and simply extremely long process. The only thing we have is if EA would release it or not, or if someone would accidentally leak it.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#22 Old 15th Jun 2018 at 4:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixa97sr
Again, you could reverse engineer it, which would take years upon years for game as big as this. I don't expect anyone to do that. It's a hard, tedious and simply extremely long process.

....Well, um....that's the whole point of this thread, I guess. Obviously you can't just fix a game overnight.

Look out for BRIDGEPORT'88 - it's the hottest new show on YT this season!
Already renewed for '89!

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Test Subject
#23 Old 15th Jun 2018 at 4:52 PM
I'd like to express two maybe contradictory comments about the future of The Sims 3. First I want the 64-bit engine. Which needs a clear, well-documented interface to the outer tiers of the game, the ones on which all our modders put their love and enthusiasm. That would need to involve some software geniuses who, besides being proficient programmers, needs to read and understand the thinkings of the original programmers. If neccesary have a chat with those persons

Now I have forgotten my point no 2. What a shame. I am so sorry..
Theorist
#24 Old 15th Jun 2018 at 5:00 PM
Then there is the next question. Would code obtained with such hard work and dedication even be considered legal and useable. Would EA allow such thing, and what would it take to establish a system where EA would allow such thing to exist? Frankly, FreeSO ( and Simitone, the game you brought up and that I've also been following for a long time) has had a hard time being actually rewritten to read original game's assets and reproduce the same result, and it has had even harder time trying to work out how to survive under EA's copyright. Lots of people, programmers, crazy fans, lots of financial sacrifices and lots and lots of willpower, time, knowledge and restarting and creating new projects was needed in order for that game to finally surface out.

That's why I said, some fixes would be just enough to make the game better. Sims 3 rework is not needed at this point as the game still feels kinda new, even though it's broken.

The only thing I wish for is 64 bit version and routing rework. I don't even mind the borked genetics and sims faces. I can manually fix those with CCs and sliders.
Test Subject
#25 Old 15th Jun 2018 at 5:25 PM Last edited by luftspeiler : 16th Jun 2018 at 10:59 AM. Reason: Typo: Nerdiness not nerfdom
I think the main task is to replace the EA engine for Sims with a modern 64bit one. An expert programmer should be able to perform that kind of surgery. That will probably need a sophisticated agreement with EA about all money stuff. To be positve, I don't think patents on software are so paralysing as those in earlier days, therefore they should expire pretty soon and leave the field open for the enthusiasts and kings of nerdiness.
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