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MTS Movie Night - posted on 15th Jul 2017 at 7:21 PM
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Now what dammit?
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#1 Old 10th Jul 2017 at 1:40 PM Last edited by maxon : 10th Jul 2017 at 2:08 PM.
Default Tutorial: Making Object Collections and Hiding Them From the Catalogue
wthrwthoutyu asked me to write a quick (ha!) tutorial about how to hide stuff (objects) from the catalogue while making them available in collections. This is really quite easy to do and there is plenty of information about how to hide stuff around – the process is basically this: put your desired object into a collection of your choice and then hide it from the catalogue by editing the OBJD in SimPE (or use Sim Cat – see below). You can do something similar with skins. I'm going to post this over three posts because there's a lot to say and there are a lot of pictures.

Having said all that, it’s perhaps helpful to have the process described in one place and I’m also going to post a SimCat version of this which is incredibly quick and easy to do – a lot of people don’t really know about SimCat but it’s a very useful utility for quick and dirty catalogue editing. So here goes.

With the instructions, what I’ve done is put all the important information in the first part of each step. After that, if I want to make comments or add detail or specific instructions, I added that underneath. That way, if you’re in a hurry and can parse this stuff quickly, you can just read the first part of each step to get all the necessary information, only venturing on through the rest of each step if you need specific instructions or want to read about extra information.

There are basically two steps as I said – I’ll use an example so you can see how it goes. What I tend to do myself is do this with stuff I only use for specific purposes – for example, farming stuff where I only have one farm in Little Carping and only visit every so often, or school stuff. I’ve already done this with a lot of my CC but there’s always something new. The example I’m using is mustluvcatz’s Christmas Garland items (http://modthesims.info/d/491853) for doors and windows. I love these (thanks mlc) but I only use them at Christmas (i.e. in Winter) and that’s not that often. The rest of the year, they’re just cluttering up the lighting catalogue and other places and getting in the way (sorry mlc). So I’m going to put them in a collection and then I can get at them when I want them. As it happens, MLC already did a collection for this set but I want to create a collection for all my Christmas stuff so I’m making a new one. I’ll add a lot of other Xmas stuff to the collection too at a later date. And then I’m going to hide them from the catalogue.

Step One - Make a collection
Put your object(s) into a collection – this is essential – create a collection in game or use one you already have and add the object to it. If you don’t make a collection for the object(s), once you do the catalogue edit, the objects will disappear from the game altogether.

Further instructions
If you don’t know how to do this, here’s a quick instruction list (see pictures):

1. Go to the collections tab in game (build mode)
2. Create a new collection
3. Pick a name and an icon – I nearly always tick both the residential and community collection boxes here because that way you can access stuff in both types of lot via the collection. This will not make items available for a community lot though (or vice versa) if the item is not coded to be there (see below). This only makes the collection itself available in both types of lot.
4. Go to ‘organise collections’ and push your new collection to the front of the queue

5. Then go into the catalogues and find your objects. Click on the thumbnail to bring up the fuller information screen and click the ‘Add to Collection’ icon
6. Pick your new collection – which should be at the front of the queue now since you shoved it there in step 4. In fact, you don’t even have to select it since the first item is always selected. You just have to click the tick (check) box. This makes filling collections very quick – and is why you shove the collection to the front of the queue.

Once done, if you have a look now at your collection, you should see the things you put in there all present and correct.


Comments - I generally use custom icons though you can happily use the in-game ones. You can make your own custom icons. The example here is of a Christmas tree to represent Christmas. The icon is very simple (and should be if you make your own).

This is because collection icon graphics are VERY VERY small (32x32 pixels). Make them as jpgs or bmps. Either work. If you want some custom icons without the faff, here are some of mine: http://simfileshare.net/download/271364/ Put them here (this is Win10): C:\Users\yourname\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Collections\Icons. You don’t need to keep the icon in your game folders, btw, once you have created a collection. The game puts a copy of the graphic in your collection file. I keep them around as it happens because I use them to keep track of what I have but it’s not necessary and you can tell by looking at mine what sort of special hiding collection categories I make. Finally, you can rename collection files to anything you like. I do this as it allows me to keep track of them – otherwise you get a lot of letters and numbers. Just sort your collection folder by date and look for the latest created file then rename it. You don’t have to do this. I’m picky.

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
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Now what dammit?
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Original Poster
#2 Old 10th Jul 2017 at 1:40 PM Last edited by maxon : 10th Jul 2017 at 1:54 PM.
Step Two - Editing the OBJD
There are two ways you can do this: either use SimPE and do it by hand or use Sim Categorizer. I edit nearly everything with SimCat myself. This is because it’s quick and easy to use. But not quite everything – there are caveats, or specifically one caveat. So I’m going to outline instructions of doing it both ways – you only need to do it one way.

Backup First
I would advise – strongly advise – doing the edits on a copy of the file, keeping the original as a backup. Things don’t usually go wrong with this but it is helpful to be able to go to a backup version of the file should you need to.

Editing the OBJD with Sim Categorizer
SimCat is by James Sausville at SimWardrobe. SimWardrobe is no longer up but ihatemandatoryregister has uploaded the content of the site to Sims File Share and SimCat is available here: http://simfileshare.net/download/257958/

CAVEAT: Using SimCat can sometimes – rarely – cause files to become unusable and will make the game crash. Personally, I do not find this to be a problem and continue to use SimCat because it’s so damn fast and convenient. I always work on copies of files when editing and test in game before I pass them. I would advise this to you too. If you have a problem, you can go back to your backup and use SimPE to edit the files instead. I had a discussion about this with other users at one time on here and was told it was because some people compress their textures in SimPE. This doesn’t seem to be true in my experience. I have compressed files myself and edited them afterwards in SimCat without problem. HOWEVER, there is one maker of sim objects – CycloneSue – where I have had problems consistently. Nearly all (but, in fact, not entirely all) CycloneSue objects will not pass through SimCat editing without problems. Using SimCat with CycloneSue object files will often cause them to stop working and will crash the game on loading. That’s the only problem I have ever had with this. What I do now is edit CycloneSue stuff with SimPE and everything else with SimCat. And believe me, I’m an inveterate and very, very picky fiddler with files and do it a lot. I mean a VERY VERY lot. I do like a lot of CycloneSue’s stuff though, so that’s a shame but it’s the only one I have to edit by hand, from first principles with SimPE. I’ve been using SimCat since James released it which was around University’s release I think.

So what’s this superfast method?

1. Open SimCat and find your object
2. Double-click on it to open it up (or select and use the ‘edit object’ button)
3. Press the ‘Clear All Flags’ button

4. Select something in the Room and Community options at the top right. In this case, I’ve gone for ‘Outdoor’ as the wreaths are used outside the house. If you want something to be usable inside (without moveobjects on), then select a room type. You need something in Room AND Community if you want things to be available on residential and community respectively. If you want something to be only available on community lots, then select something in Community only (and vice versa).
5. Save

That’s it. Really. I’d advise running the game with the object in Downloads. If it loads to the neighbourhood chooser screen, you’re fine though you might like to go and look for it in your Collection and place it on lot to be convinced – also checking it’s no longer in the catalogue.

See – very quick. You spend more time loading the game for testing. It’s why I prefer the SimCat method – see how to do it in the next post with SimPE.

Comments – there are other things you can edit in SimCat. The name and price should be obvious. If you want to change the catalogue location of an object instead of hiding it, use the boxes for ‘Function’ or ‘Build Mode’. I also will have a look at ‘Deprecation’ – this controls how much value the object loses after you buy it and how far that can fall to a lower limit (it can go the other way too). ‘Initial’ is how much the object loses immediately after you buy it; ‘Daily’ is how much it loses per day and ‘Limit’ is the lowest price it will fall to. I like things to devolve at a reasonable rate and stop somewhere that makes sense to me. I also often like to change the ‘Wants Satisfy Category’ though I haven’t checked whether that needs to be done in the BCON tunings as well or not. The motives part is cosmetic. The way you edit motives is to change the BCONs not the OBJD – what you are seeing here is how that information is conveyed in the catalogue. Changing these values only changes what you see not how the object behaves – a tutorial for another day perhaps though there is again plenty of information around about this issue.

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
Now what dammit?
staff: moderator
Original Poster
#3 Old 10th Jul 2017 at 1:40 PM Last edited by maxon : 10th Jul 2017 at 1:58 PM.
Editing the OBJD with SimPE
1. Load SimPE. Top tip – If you have trouble with SimPE hanging or refusing to co-operate as you’re working, go to ‘Object Workshop’ first before you do anything and press ‘Start’. Let the loading process that launches then to complete. You will know when it’s done because it presents you with a little list of stuff. You don’t need to do anything else with this. What has happened is that SimPE has now loaded a pile of object resources and has most things it will need to function in memory which stops it being slow loading stuff or hanging while you’re trying to work with it.

2. Open your object and go to the OBJD (make sure you’re in Plug In view, not Object Workshop).
3. On the ‘Catalog Sort’ tab, first clear everything off that you can (you won’t be able to clear ‘Overall Sort’) then pick something from ‘Room Sort’. In this example, just like the SimCat version above, I’ve gone for Outside because the wreaths are used outside. If you want your object to be used inside, pick a suitable room(s). Alternatively, if you want to change the catalogue sort of your object, you can do it here for most things (though not all).

4. If you want the object to be available on community lots, you will have to go into the ‘Raw Data’ tab. Find the line 0x0064 and change the value (circled) for the community sort you want. In this case, I’ve changed it to 0x0004 which is for outside. (0x0084 is one of the commonest sorts and works for both inside and outside – I’ve forgotten which combination of factors produces that particular number though).
5. Commit and Save. You’re done.

Also in the ‘Raw Data’ tab, you can do a lot of other stuff. Here’s a quick run down of some of the most common.

You can change the price (line 0x0012) if you like. At first the amount is given in Hex but you can change the value to decimal by clicking the ‘Decimal’ option. Once you’ve done that, it’s much clearer what the price is and you can change it to suit. You can also change the Deprecation values too. ‘Initial’ (line 0x0023) is how much the object loses immediately after you buy it; ‘Daily’ (0x0024) is how much it loses per day and ‘Limit’ (0x0026) is the lowest price it will fall to. (You might compare these figures with the settings I did in the SimCat section).

If you want to change the name of the object, that should be the string found in the ‘Catalog Description’ (CTSS) which you can also edit. Top tip 2 – Sometimes though that doesn’t work properly (I don’t know why) but I find changing the ‘Filename’ here in the OBJD and committing and saving will force a change on the file and game and make it use the CTSS properly.

Other lines you can edit include 0x002F the ‘Want Satisfy’ category and 0x002D the Niceness Multiplier. For all these settings, of course, you need the specific Hex code for the setting you want. I will perhaps, at some point, post a list – I have one though it’s incomplete because I just update it for my own use as I go along. Another reason I prefer SimCat – I don’t have to find my file and look at the codes.

One really useful one to have though is 0x0045 Build Mode Type and 0x004A Build Mode Subsort. If you set these as Build Mode Type = 1 (i.e. the 0x0045 line has the value 0x0001 in Hex) and Build Mode Subsort = 1000 (0x004A line has the value 0x1000). That will sort the object into the architecture catalogue in game. This option isn’t available in SimCat or SimPE as a clickable option because Sim Cat stopped getting support long before we got the architecture catalogue and the makers of SimPE never got round to adding it.

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
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