Replies: 66 (Who?), Viewed: 91969 times.
Page 2 of 3
Site Helper
Original Poster
#26 Old 15th Oct 2008 at 9:04 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 15th Oct 2008 at 9:48 PM.
I ran through the tutorial to Step 8A. At this point, the Plugin View shows the Instance as 0x3D, but the Resource tab shows the Instance as 0x3F. This is before I try to change the instance.

In other words, I can't fix the instance number by changing it in the Resource tab, since there is a mismatch between the Plugin View and the Resource tab.

[Update:]
Just for arguments sake, I decided to change the instance in the Resource tab (from 0x3F to 0x3F - just retyped the F), commit, save and exit SimPE. When I ran SimPE again and looked at the lot, the Plugin View still shows 0x3D.

It looks to me as if the instance in the Plugin View is actually showing a different piece of data than the instance in the Resource tab.

[Update:]
Verified. The instance shown in the Resource tab is the standard instance number which is displayed in the Resource List. However, the instance shown in the Plugin View is the unknown DWORD after the Top, Left, and Z (elevation) values.

Inge, would you like me to enter this as a bug at the SimPE site? This tutorial requires a change to the instance number shown in the Plugin View. So, this change in SimPE actually removes functionality and breaks this tutorial.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#27 Old 15th Oct 2008 at 9:54 PM
So what is it you're actually wanting to edit (regardless of where it's appearing)? Is it not the actual instance number as shown in the Resource *list*?

I mean if you successfully change the actual resource instance number using the resource tab, then although it looks odd, it isn't actually stopping the process being completed if the Plugin field labelled Instance is labelled wrongly, is it?

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Site Helper
Original Poster
#28 Old 15th Oct 2008 at 10:12 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 16th Oct 2008 at 1:59 AM.
Both instance numbers have to be changed. Otherwise, the technique fails.

Another case of stupid EA programming. There's no reason to have two identical pieces of data which both need to be changed to remain in sync. Probably a junior programmer who couldn't figure out how to find the instance number in the lot description, so s/he added one.

My guess is that the Resource Instance number is used for all references inside of the neighborhood package, and the Plugin View Instance number is actually the lot number; ie, the number of the external lot package. The actual behavior, when the two numbers don't match, seems to bear this out:
http://www.modthesims2.com/showthre...222#post2037222

[Update:]
Verified. I just ran through the entire tutorial, but changed the Resource instance number to 63 and the Plugin view instance number to 64. Renamed the new lot to N001_Lot64.package. Everything seems to be working OK at this point. (Note: Kiddies, don't try this at home! The game isn't really meant to have a Lot Number which doesn't match the Instance number of the Lot Description.)
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#29 Old 15th Oct 2008 at 11:38 PM
So what would you have done previously? Edited the instance field in the plugin and then flicked over to the resource tab to do it there too?

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Site Helper
Original Poster
#30 Old 15th Oct 2008 at 11:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
So what would you have done previously? Edited the instance field in the plugin and then flicked over to the resource tab to do it there too?
No, I edited the XML file to change the resource instance number, to avoid any issues with duplicate instance numbers in the Resource List.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#31 Old 15th Oct 2008 at 11:57 PM
I am confused now. before SimPE "broke" you edited the instance number as per your tutorial in the LTXT plugin, yes? Then inside the file you have the new number, while the instance number in the resource list, in the file wrapper says the old number, so they're out of step? Is that how it was meant to work?

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Site Helper
Original Poster
#32 Old 16th Oct 2008 at 12:05 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 16th Oct 2008 at 12:35 AM. Reason: fix typo
First, I export the original lot description. Then, I change the Resource Instance number by editing the exported XML file outside of SimPE. Then, I "Add..." the modified XML file as a new Lot Description. This creates a new Lot Description with the new Instance number in the Resource List (and in the Resource tab). However, the Instance (= Lot Number) inside of the new Lot Description is still pointing to the original Instance (= Lot Number). There is a temporary mismatch. So, before running the game, it needs to be fixed to point to the new Instance (= Lot Number). Once this edit is made, the two numbers are again in sync.

I can easily change the Lot Number using the hex tab, but I hate to make less-experienced users do this... hex editing is pretty difficult.

The thing is: there is a field (currently named Instance) in the Lot Description Plugin which we used to be able to change. Now, it's read-only. My technique requires a change to that field.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#33 Old 16th Oct 2008 at 12:12 AM
Oh I see. I guess I would have created the second description by cloning the resource in situ and changing its number on the resouce tab rather than extracting and adding it.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Site Helper
Original Poster
#34 Old 16th Oct 2008 at 12:20 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 16th Oct 2008 at 12:30 AM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
Oh I see. I guess I would have created the second description by cloning the resource in situ and changing its number on the resouce tab rather than extracting and adding it.
I'm not really that familiar with SimPE... I'm sure that there are better ways to do it.

Let me try your technique and, if it works, I'll update the tutorial.

However, I still have the problem that the Lot Number field is read-only and we need to change it.

[Update:]
Tried cloning, but there seems to be a problem. Can I clone a Lot Description from one neighborhood and have it appear in a different neighborhood? If not, this technique won't work.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#35 Old 16th Oct 2008 at 12:34 AM
A completely different hood, not a sub-hood? No obviously cloning leaves both copies in the same file. Maybe I should read the tutorial to find out what you're all trying to do Why can't you build lots in castaways anyway? What a silly game.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Site Helper
Original Poster
#36 Old 16th Oct 2008 at 12:49 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 16th Oct 2008 at 4:26 AM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
A completely different hood, not a sub-hood? No obviously cloning leaves both copies in the same file. Maybe I should read the tutorial to find out what you're all trying to do Why can't you build lots in castaways anyway? What a silly game.
Yes, a completely different hood, not a sub-hood. OK, thought that I might be missing something. So, do you know any better way to copy a lot description from one neighborhood to another without extracting and adding?

You probably don't have Castaway Stories. If you did, you'd know that N001 has a ton of poor homeless families with no empty residential lots and N002 has a bunch of empty lots, a few of which are even affordable. So, people often want to copy an empty lot from N002 to N001.

As to why you can't build a new lot in Castaway Stories...?

I believe that the primary problem is that CS contains only roadless neighborhoods. Creation of a new lot in TS2 requires a road for the lot to "snap" to. The CS developers decided to just disable the entire Lots menu, rather than try to come up with a way to deal with roadless neighborhoods and roadless lots.

There is an additional problem with CS. All TS2 lots have the same set of portals (car start and stop, service vehicle start and stop, and two pedestrian). However, CS handles portals differently. Each portal only points to one other lot. If you want to travel between lots A and Z, you may have to travel from A to B to C to ... to Z. So, how does the game know how many portals to put on your lot, where to place each portal, and where these portals go?

There are also a number of different styles of portals and the user would probably want to choose what each portal on their lot looks like. You can see some of the portal styles at:
http://www.modthesims2.com/showthre...404#post1903404

Another issue is that you can only travel to community lots which are on the map (see Step 9 in original post). However, there's no way to add a new community lot to the map. Ouch!

As you can see, the CS developers saved themselves a lot of work by just disabling the ability to create and move lots.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#37 Old 16th Oct 2008 at 10:39 AM
Well I wouldn't edit the xml anyway. What I do if I want to move a resource between packages is I Extract from original, then Add to target file. At this point you may have a duplicate instance. But if you don't save immediately, the newly added resource will be listed in italics showing that it needs saving. So for each italicised resource, check it doesn't have the same instance number as any other resource of its type, and if it does, change it in Resource tab. Then you can save.

I honestly don't understand the appeal of the game. Trif talked me into buying it because he thought I would like it on the basis of the beautiful sea water - and I did like the sea water. However, after messing about in the game for an hour I realised I had no idea what I should be trying to do, so I never loaded the game again.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Site Helper
Original Poster
#38 Old 16th Oct 2008 at 6:14 PM
I enjoyed Castaway Stories because it was a really unique Sims 2 game. It's fun seeing what EA can do with the basic TS2 engine. They added a lot of new concepts, so the game kept my interest for longer than I expected. I especially enjoyed seeing working roadless neighborhoods.

If Castaway had been an EP, I believe that it would have been a wonderful addition to the game. But, I don't like the entire Stories line for a number of reasons:

1) "As is" - no fixes, no patches, no support, extremely buggy... "EA doesn't care about this game, so why should I?"

2) Crippled. None of the stories allow sharing of lots. CS is particularly crippled because you can't even create new lots.

3) No expansions and no interaction with the rest of my games; it's difficult or impossible to move items into the regular TS2 game.

4) Horrible interface - I like being able to scroll by moving the cursor to the edge of the screen. I like using the arrow keys. I like having a consistent interface for all Sims 2 games, so that I can move easily between them. Why in the world would EA decide to disable a perfectly good interface? I can understand adding new keyboard shortcuts, but removing elements of a perfectly good workable UI?

5) Concept - I hate following someone else's idea of a good story. Especially when the stories are trite and the main "solution" seems to be to beat people up. To my mind, the Stories are much better after you finish slogging through the "story" and get to play the game.

6) Forced to follow a preset "story". Although EA says that you can play in non-story mode, you still have to slog through the entire story first. I considered the stories to be unpleasant "work" that I had to do in order to get access to the real game.

I would much prefer to have stories where you were allowed to make choices, and where those choices would have some impact on the final results. This would make it worth playing, and would also allow you to play the story again making different decisions.

In the end, I didn't feel that the games were worth the initial work. I didn't even pay for any of my "Stories" games, but they still didn't seem worth the "cost" of my time.

However, I did check out their lame web site a few times (looking for downloads) and noticed that a lot of people were upset about the inability to create new lots. Because of my experience with the neighborhood and lot packages, I thought that I could come up with a solution, which led me to creating this tutorial.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
All of which, I suppose, is irrelevant to the question at hand. Should I file a bug report on SimPE? Is this likely to be fixed, or should I consider looking for an alternate solution?

Thanks for all of the time that you've spent on this issue, Inge.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#39 Old 16th Oct 2008 at 7:30 PM Last edited by Inge Jones : 16th Oct 2008 at 8:14 PM.
Yes Peter will definitely be motivated to fix this now we've understood the significance of it. But someone already reported it so you could just keep an eye on the thread in case there is anything you think needs adding. How certain are you that the Instance number plugin field, apart from being uneditable, really is displaying the wrong field? I mean just because it doesn't match doesn't necessarily mean that isn't what was actually in the file for that field?

Just wanted to add that the Instance field in the plugin view is showing the correct data. Of course it's going to still say 3D after you changed the resource instance to 3F, because you didn't change the internal instance number.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Site Helper
Original Poster
#40 Old 19th Oct 2008 at 4:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
Just wanted to add that the Instance field in the plugin view is showing the correct data. Of course it's going to still say 3D after you changed the resource instance to 3F, because you didn't change the internal instance number.
Yes, SimPE is displaying the data which is in the field. The problem is that the field must match the Resource Instance. Since the tutorial changes the Resource Instance, we really need to be able to change that field.

I've got your fix and will test it ASAP and let you know how it goes. Thanks so much for your quick response!
Site Helper
Original Poster
#41 Old 20th Oct 2008 at 7:26 PM
Inge, I'm going to wait for the fix to SimPE, then I'll update the tutorial with your other suggestions. Nice to know that we can remove a few of the steps and make this entire process easier.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#42 Old 21st Oct 2008 at 9:58 AM
Here is a link to the fixed SimPE, for those who would like to follow this tutorial:

http://downloads.sourceforge.net/si....7z?use_mirror=

It may take a while to propagate and you may get confusing pages to navigate. Sorry, I don't administer Sourceforge Just make sure the file is called SimPe_0_72_03.7z and you have the right one. You un7Z it into its own folder, and run it by double-clicking SimPE.exe.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Scholar
#43 Old 30th Jun 2010 at 10:38 AM Last edited by Moraelin : 30th Jun 2010 at 1:05 PM.
BTW, Flora Bora also seems to fit just nicely at
Top: 68
Left: 100
Z: 385
U11: 0x00 (unchanged)

In fact, it practically looks like it belongs there. The edges of the terrain form tiny hills and depressions, but just about right to look natural IMHO.

That's on the plateau near the men's hut, BTW. (Within easy dating range for a new female sim.)

Of course, you can have two Flora Boras too, one here and one at the other coordinates. That's what I'm using, in fact. It's a nice little lot.

Edit:

Also, the Wreck Of The Redsnout fits really nicely at:
Top: 180
Left: 127
U11: 0x00

I know the numbers look too round to be a good job, but it actually fits the contour of that mini-gulf quite nicely, after you edit, exit and save once.

The house _is_ too expensive for a new sim, but it makes something to save the resources for. Or one can sell the items and demolish the walls and roof, and keep only the raised foundation as a place marker to rebuild on later. A few nights of living in a tent on top of that foundation won't be any worse than a couple of nights in the same tent on the beach

Btw, is there some section here to upload CS neighbourhoods? I've got my eye set on a couple more lots to move.
Site Helper
Original Poster
#44 Old 30th Jun 2010 at 6:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moraelin
The house _is_ too expensive for a new sim, but it makes something to save the resources for. Or one can sell the items and demolish the walls and roof, and keep only the raised foundation as a place marker to rebuild on later. A few nights of living in a tent on top of that foundation won't be any worse than a couple of nights in the same tent on the beach
Yeah, this is what I tend to do... delete almost everything on my new lot and build something original.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moraelin
Btw, is there some section here to upload CS neighbourhoods? I've got my eye set on a couple more lots to move.
My guess would be to upload as a "TS2 Neighborhood", but perhaps you should ask in the site questions forum:
http://www.modthesims.info/forumdisplay.php?f=24
Scholar
#45 Old 30th Jun 2010 at 6:51 PM
Thanks. I was guessing the same, but that would probably cause a few people to download it for their real TS2 game.

Thanks for the tutorial, btw. Very useful.
Theorist
#46 Old 30th Jun 2010 at 7:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moraelin
BTW, Flora Bora also seems to fit just nicely at
Top: 68
Left: 100
Z: 385
U11: 0x00 (unchanged)

In fact, it practically looks like it belongs there. The edges of the terrain form tiny hills and depressions, but just about right to look natural IMHO.

That's on the plateau near the men's hut, BTW. (Within easy dating range for a new female sim.)

Of course, you can have two Flora Boras too, one here and one at the other coordinates. That's what I'm using, in fact. It's a nice little lot.

Edit:

Also, the Wreck Of The Redsnout fits really nicely at:
Top: 180
Left: 127
U11: 0x00

I know the numbers look too round to be a good job, but it actually fits the contour of that mini-gulf quite nicely, after you edit, exit and save once.

I very much appreciate you sharing these working coordinates, Moraelin. It certainly would be fun to be able to download new lots if you find a way to post yours.

I confess I have a real soft spot for Castaway Stories, although I'm currently in a creating phase for the Sims 2 and haven't taken much time to play either game in a while.
Scholar
#47 Old 30th Jun 2010 at 8:25 PM
Thanks for the kind words. And thanks for sharing yours. It was very helpful.

Well, if it helps anyone, I've played with a couple more lots so far:

Beginner's Landing I placed at
Top: 165
Left: 175
Z unchanged (as usual for a beach lot)
U11: 0x01

Another case of round-ish coordinates fitting surprisingly well. I actually went in 1 increments, but that position looks the best to me on that beach. Basically I put it close to the (now turned community) Castaway Beach, since the description for that one does say that's where occasionally people land.

I liked your coordinates actually, but I wanted to play with coordinates myself too Of course, one can also have copies of it in both places if there are many families on the island.

My second Flora Bora I moved now a bit to:
Top: 74
Left: 101
Z: 384
U11: 0x00

... to make room for Big House at
Top: 66
Left: 98
Z: 382
U11: 0x01

It's the closest I could find to the equivalent of the mandatory mogul's mansion to save for, in all the normal The Sims incarnations And it seemed fitting that it would be up in a scenic point overlooking the ocean.

BTW, re-activating Shady Lagoon seems to have actually worked decently for me. Without the furniture, the place is entirely within the budget of a starter family of two, and there are already the tents there anyway, and I already know how to play that map. Downside, half of what's there is immovable. But there is space to extend the hut towards the back (opposite of the porch with the medicine) by a room or two. It would probably be annoying if I wanted to play that family in the very long run, but to place my sims' new special friends there and play them through a couple of promotions and some furniture, meh, it works and it only takes two clicks.

Also, if I may offer a suggestion, for me the Flora Bora at your coordinates kinda looks a bit better at Z: 400.1 and U11: 0x02. Probably a subjective thing, though. Looks more flush with the default surrounding terrain to me, but as I was saying that's subjective. (And of course doesn't apply if the surrounding terrain has already been changed by another moved lot.)
Theorist
#48 Old 30th Jun 2010 at 11:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moraelin
Also, if I may offer a suggestion, for me the Flora Bora at your coordinates kinda looks a bit better at Z: 400.1 and U11: 0x02. Probably a subjective thing, though. Looks more flush with the default surrounding terrain to me, but as I was saying that's subjective. (And of course doesn't apply if the surrounding terrain has already been changed by another moved lot.)
Thank you - I'll check this out when I'm playing again.
Site Helper
Original Poster
#49 Old 1st Jul 2010 at 2:54 AM
Hmmm... I hadn't thought about this "unmovable" issue before, but it's possible that I could write a program to make everything on the lot movable. Will require a bit of research, but it may be a very easy change if they used the standard technique for locking locations.
Scholar
#50 Old 1st Jul 2010 at 9:19 AM
If you can, that would be a huge help. Castaway Shore for example is basically unusable because I think a total of two trees can be moved.
Page 2 of 3
Back to top