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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 16th Oct 2020 at 10:44 AM
Default Tidying up CC/Mods - Any tips or advice?
Sooo, the never ending story... at least for me I've put off this task for a while now, but now I've got some time in the next week, soooo *drumroll*

I want to tidy up my sims folder

When I started to download stuff, I had NO IDEA at all, about anything. So I've installed something as package, something in sims3packs, something via launcher, something via CC Magic. I guess there is a lot of stuff, I've just downloaded because I had a long time where I could not play and I just loved to imagine how I would use this stuff, once I could play again... now my game is cluttered with stuff I probably never used and never will use Additionally I have installed some lots and sims from the exchange and I have the strong feeling they brought me in some CC I've never wanted, so I would never do this again. And I have obviously some mods conflicting (as igazor and nitromon thankfully pointed out to me in other threads) as my registers are acting up and my females are not aging correctly (they want to stay teens forever, god bless them).

So what I want to do: I start with a brand new Sims3 folder and I guess all of my NRaas mods as I think they are really needed and also the best tested mods out there and therefore probably as bugfree as software can be. Then I will start and move CC back like perhaps 10 or 20 packages at a time? Or perhaps only when I miss something?

Do you have any tips here? Or want to share how you do it? How is everything organized? I used to have a structure in CC Magic, that was like Hair_f, Hair_m, Hair_c etc. but often this went wrong when Hair was enabled for all genders or the package contained hair for multiple lifestages. I think I would like to apply a more playstyle related approach this time like: Futuristic items, Nursery Stuff, Medieval Clothes... then I could enable/disable portions of cc when switching between different saves...

I've read that some people don't use CC Magic as the program can get hickups and the compressed files aren't important anymore on modern systems?
I've also read somewhere that it is best practice to convert everything to packages first... should I do that? Does this even include patterns and counters and custom/store worlds now? How do you manage the stuff that comes bundled in the store worlds?

I had no problems to get my store stuff to work while installing it via launcher, but heard that many people use decrapified versions (but need a store fix file then, or did I get this wrong?) Is there any advantage to this approach so that I should switch?

Some people seem to check every package they bring in their game for miscategorization (is this even an english word?) or check skins for unwanted color ramps... I'm not sure, if I want to do this (or even can do this), but actually it sounds like the rational thing to do. Is there a tutorial out there showing what to look for in the package files? Should I remove custom thumbnails or even compress texture like nitromon is experimenting with (details )?

I hope you get the point of my post Any thoughts, hints, links to "How tos" or just sharing how you do it will be highly appreciated!

Let the cleaning begin!
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Mad Poster
#2 Old 16th Oct 2020 at 3:35 PM
Counters and patterns should not be compressed as they will not work properly.

I'm not all that picky when it comes to organizing mods and custom content, in game. My way of doing it is primitive, but it works for me.

Any new custom content I download goes into a test folder as most things I download are converted into package files. This way if something causes a problem or I don't like something, it can be easily found / removed. Mods are also put in this folder until I play test my game and make sure that all mods are going to play nice with each other.  Once I make up my mind and or find out that a mod isn't going to cause a problem via testing, whatever is in that folder is moved to its permanent home.

The test folder is the most important folder IMO, but everything beyond that is stupidly simple. Hairs go in a hair folder, clothing goes in clothing folder. Male clothing goes with male clothing, female clothing goes with female clothing, ect...  Since I only use one set of skins, I clump those in a general CAS folder.  If I have specific things I use for specific sim such as jewelry, I will give those items their own folder.  The folder is named after the sim those items are used for.

Anything that is build related such as windows goes in a build folder, anything decor goes in a decor folder.   For things such as custom content furniture, those will have their own folder as well. My 'logic' is to keep like things with like things as that is how I keep things organized in real life. i.e: Keeping paper with pens means I'm never hunting around for either as I know exactly where they are. This also keeps me from buying said things when I don't need them as once upon a time I had almost enough office supplies where I could have opened a small store. I digress.

I don't have a lot of custom content, so I don't have much to maintain or to keep organized.  My mods folder is bigger than my cc folders.  I have most of the NRAAS suite, and a bunch of mods from here on MTS.  All of my mods are in a mods folder.

I keep a copy of everything I download on a external drive.  I organize that drive with much more detail than I do in game as I like to keep my game as clutter free as possible. On my external drive, I break downloads down by the creator, what the items are, ect... but still stick to my rule of like goes with like.  For example, I have a very large folder that only contains worlds.

There is no right or wrong way to organize. The trick is finding a way that works best for you.  What works for one person completely fails for another, so take the time to figure out what your way is.  If you try organizing one way and you find that it is causing more stress than feeling satisfied, then it is time to try something else and fine tune your organizing method. You'll know when you find your way as you'll stop feeling overwhelmed, annoyed and all those other things when a person is trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

If you have things in game that you don't want there, but are not sure if you want to delete them completely or not, store those downloads somewhere else. From there you can decide if and or when you want to deal with them again.  I try to clean out my external drive every 6 or so months. I figure if there are things on that drive that I haven't thought about or went looking for, odds are those things are not important and can be deleted permanently.

~ You need StarWars TRADEMARK Journey to Baboo for My First Pet Stuff because your hamster can be a Jedi~
I stole this line from a YT video comment. Cheers to the person that said it.
Mad Poster
#3 Old 16th Oct 2020 at 8:27 PM
It really doesn't matter how to categorize them, as long as you do. Sometimes if I download a set, I just put that whole set in there under it's category. Since you can make a lot of folders in the mods folder, so use that to your advantage.

I have a folder in mods called "hacks" specifically for mods, while CCs are separated into "sims" or "objects" then from there separated into "hair" "clothes" "accessory" etc.. for Sims and objects basically by individual "sets" or by category type "walls" "floors" "all glass" etc...

If you are going to retest your mods/ccs by going 20 at a time, I suggest you go by category type. Specifically separate the testing of "objects" and "mods." Most are mods that will give you problem, I assume objects can be tested easily and quickly.

You should ALWAYS take a look at a package file and Sims3pack to make sure there are no surprises. We don't want another Arrezzo cabinet incident, right? I mean, just take a peek, even if you are not going to change anything. You'd be surprised sometimes what you find in there. One time, I downloaded a package and inside the package I think was another package file of another CC that was completely unrelated. I think the author just mistakenly dragged it in with the other files and it was stored in there. It didn't harm the package but it bloated the size.

When you download clothes or hair, you should always go over the CASP file and make sure they're in the categories you want. Many creators like to check all of them for some reason. Other than that, unless you want to change the size of the textures, there's nothing really you should touch. In texture resizing, only extract the texture files and then put them back after altering. Whether you want to compress the textures or not is up to you. Most authors compress them b/c it makes the size smaller for download. However, keep in mind they need to be decompressed by TS3 before use and though a few packages won't be noticeable, but if you have hundreds, this means there'll be an increase loading time either in the beginning or during the switch to CAS. I actually notice the 1st time I enter CAS after loading the game, it takes a "notable" longer time now b/c I compressed all the textures and I only have like 20-30 clothing CCs. Basically it was pretty instantaneous before, but now it takes around 30 seconds.

However, it only affect the 1st CAS load, which I surmise the textures are decompressed and then put in your RAM. Which would be a good reason to alter the texture sizes if they are beyond the scope of what you need. Also the decompressed textures already in the game are stored in the simcompositorcache, which the size of the texture still makes an impact to your game RAM usage.

Well, you don't need to be OCD like me, but I think it is fair to say if you downloaded a clothing and it is 20MB, there's something wrong.

Sanity is overrated.

Nitromon is a type of Pokemon encountered in the Pokemon Nitrome Version series.

There. Mystery solved.
Lab Assistant
#4 Old 17th Oct 2020 at 5:23 AM
I use the launcher for worlds, counters and my store content. I put mods straight in the mods folder and use CCMagic for everything else, and organize it in folders in CCMagic after I convert it to packages. I have a new stuff folder that I use for new stuff to test.

I used the decraped store stuff before and even with the fixes they often would randomly stop working or cause other problems so I stopped using it that way. I just load it properly now.

There are things I will probably be going through and fixing categories and things like that when I get a working computer again because because that drives my a little crazy.
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