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New Creator Theme: Elders! - posted on 1st Sep 2018 at 4:43 AM
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Instructor
Original Poster
#1 Old 3rd Apr 2018 at 12:22 AM Last edited by Dorsal Axe : 8th Apr 2018 at 10:13 PM.
Testers Wanted: Fixed Maxis Strangetown
I've been working on making a fixed version of Strangetown, but keeping it as much possible like the Maxis version that ships with the game (this means all Sims are intact). Neither the meetme2theriver or mark93 versions suited what I was personally looking for. The former lacks townies and ancestors, and the latter version is not safe to use due to corruption. It also turns out both of them have issues of Maxis-origin that were never fixed. So I figured I'd give it a go; this is my attempt to take the vanilla Maxis Strangetown in its entirety and simply fix everything wrong with it under the hood.

I've done all my editing entirely with external tools; the neighborhood has never been loaded in-game from its original Maxis state. I've run it through HoodChecker, and other than the initial clearing of junk nothing else has come up. So far things have been fine for me, but I need other people to test and make sure things don't blow up. I don't doubt that it's imperfect in some way, that there's something I missed or possibly did wrong in the process. The only task that hasn't been done yet is to restore all the non-Casual outfits for the Sims who had corrupted appearances fixed (Maxis defined them for these Sims, which you can find in their 3IDR - Did you know Lyla Grunt loves pink?). I haven't had much success with that thus far though.

If you wish to help test this out, I would appreciate it very much. I recommend replacing the N002 template (backup the original first) and generating a clean save game folder, as opposed to just dumping it into your existing neighborhoods folder.

You can download the test version here: http://www.simfileshare.net/download/491033/
This particular version does require an EP (any EP) or UC due to an EP1 memory I've added.

Please Note:
I cannot guarantee that this neighborhood is 100% free of corruption. I've fixed as much as I possibly can with the tools available, but there could be further Maxis borkedness hidden somewhere that these tools are unable to detect. Please use caution when testing this neighborhood. Either way, this one should be a hell of a lot safer and healthier than the hood Maxis shipped with the game.

The Sims with fixed appearances will appear normally without any action from your part. You do not need to take them to a mirror to update their looks as they will already visibly have them.

Also I recommend to avoid resurrecting Knut Futa; I've done what I can for him given the state Maxis left him in, but he's still not quite right for whatever reason. I suspect he's just too broken to fix completely.

Complete Changelog:
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Test Subject
#2 Old 8th Apr 2018 at 4:07 PM
Oh my God, I'm so exited with this! I would love to test it. I'll test everything in the neighborhood and report any issues here.

Good job!
Field Researcher
#3 Old 14th Apr 2018 at 8:56 AM
Strangetown was the very first neighborhood I ever played, but I was always going into SimPE to correct the very things you have fixed. Thank you so very much for this game modification!
Test Subject
#5 Old 15th Apr 2018 at 7:51 PM
I downloaded your Strangetown and had a peek in the memories and relationships of the playables.
Jenny and Jill Smith and Tank and Ripp Grunt have all the "Met Mystery Sim" memory. Is this correct? It doesn't made sense for Jill, Tank and Ripp to have such a memory and in my opinion Jenny ought to have a "Met PT #9" memory. Oh and Erin Beaker knows Circe Beaker, but Circe doesn't know Erin.

Apart from these easy to fix things I'm looking forward to play your Strangetown. Thank you for your hard work.
Field Researcher
#6 Old 21st Apr 2018 at 8:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorsal Axe
I've been working on making a fixed version of Strangetown, but keeping it as much possible like the Maxis version that ships with the game (this means all Sims are intact). Neither the meetme2theriver or mark93 versions suited what I was personally looking for. The former lacks townies and ancestors, and the latter version is not safe to use due to corruption. It also turns out both of them have issues of Maxis-origin that were never fixed. So I figured I'd give it a go; this is my attempt to take the vanilla Maxis Strangetown in its entirety and simply fix everything wrong with it under the hood.

I've done all my editing entirely with external tools; the neighborhood has never been loaded in-game from its original Maxis state. I've run it through HoodChecker, and other than the initial clearing of junk nothing else has come up. So far things have been fine for me, but I need other people to test and make sure things don't blow up. I don't doubt that it's imperfect in some way, that there's something I missed or possibly did wrong in the process. The only task that hasn't been done yet is to restore all the non-Casual outfits for the Sims who had corrupted appearances fixed (Maxis defined them for these Sims, which you can find in their 3IDR - Did you know Lyla Grunt loves pink?). I haven't had much success with that thus far though.

If you wish to help test this out, I would appreciate it very much. I recommend replacing the N002 template (backup the original first) and generating a clean save game folder, as opposed to just dumping it into your existing neighborhoods folder.

You can download the test version here: http://www.simfileshare.net/download/491033/
This particular version does require an EP (any EP) or UC due to an EP1 memory I've added.

Please Note:
I cannot guarantee that this neighborhood is 100% free of corruption. I've fixed as much as I possibly can with the tools available, but there could be further Maxis borkedness hidden somewhere that these tools are unable to detect. Please use caution when testing this neighborhood. Either way, this one should be a hell of a lot safer and healthier than the hood Maxis shipped with the game.

The Sims with fixed appearances will appear normally without any action from your part. You do not need to take them to a mirror to update their looks as they will already visibly have them.

Also I recommend to avoid resurrecting Knut Futa; I've done what I can for him given the state Maxis left him in, but he's still not quite right for whatever reason. I suspect he's just too broken to fix completely.

Complete Changelog:
Downloaded... I just built a new "Simming" machine. Will be happy to test it for you.
Scholar
#7 Old 4th May 2018 at 12:59 PM
I downloaded it, and I'll be reporting back things I find along the way. Thanks so much for all the hard work!

Edit:
You seem to have forgotten to include the neighborhood story, i.e. the cute pictures and family descriptions catalog that first pops up when you load Strangetown. Easiest one to fix, though!

DJ. who?
"What do you have to be nervous about? You're someone on the internet." -A.M.R.
Forum Resident
#8 Old 6th May 2018 at 2:34 PM
Playing on UC. I haven't seen any issues, yet. It's really quite wonderful. When I first started playing Sims 2, I think Strangetown was one of the first things I tried. After only a little play, terrible things started happening, the duplicate Nervous showed up, etc. and I thought I'd broken it. I shut it down and never played it, so this is all shiny and new for me! Wonderful! Thank you so much for the work! :D

I'm really interested in your process and just curious. Looking under the hood, have you found any other similar issues in other neighborhoods that we didn't know about?
Instructor
Original Poster
#9 Old 9th May 2018 at 12:42 PM
Thanks everyone for the feedback, I'll get back to work on this with some fixes! Good to know there's not too much trouble with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carinasim
I downloaded your Strangetown and had a peek in the memories and relationships of the playables.
Jenny and Jill Smith and Tank and Ripp Grunt have all the "Met Mystery Sim" memory. Is this correct? It doesn't made sense for Jill, Tank and Ripp to have such a memory and in my opinion Jenny ought to have a "Met PT #9" memory. Oh and Erin Beaker knows Circe Beaker, but Circe doesn't know Erin.

Apart from these easy to fix things I'm looking forward to play your Strangetown. Thank you for your hard work.

Those memories were ones Maxis gave them, but yes, it does make sense to point them to actual Sims so I'll make that change. I'll also be sure to fix Circe and Erin's relationship. Thanks for reporting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ.
I downloaded it, and I'll be reporting back things I find along the way. Thanks so much for all the hard work!

Edit:
You seem to have forgotten to include the neighborhood story, i.e. the cute pictures and family descriptions catalog that first pops up when you load Strangetown. Easiest one to fix, though!

Ah, that's why I suggested replacing the template and generating a new save game folder. For some reason every time I copy over the N002-specific storytelling folder it wipes out my other neighborhood stories. I'll look into including it for those that want it though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunrader
I'm really interested in your process and just curious. Looking under the hood, have you found any other similar issues in other neighborhoods that we didn't know about?

The other hoods aren't nearly as bad as this one, but yes there are a lot of issues. Veronaville in particular seems to be unfinished, or at least a lot of information that was there got wiped sometime during development. I want to tackle that one next, but I need a break first

As for the process...I had documented various issues so I knew what to start fixing. I took a fresh copy of the hood, went through looking for corrupt and missing data and replacing it. Since the hood has never been initialised with EP features, there's not a whole lot of data per Sim to go through. The missing careers for townies was determined by their skillset and the career level that Maxis gave them. Memories are easy to edit, and I cross-referenced them with other Sims to ensure they logically lined up.

The hardest/most time-consuming part was fixing the Sims with corrupt appearances and broken face templates, which requires some trial and error in Body Shop (I've documented my method for that, which I'll post at some point). Replacing portraits was easy, I just used the batbox to regenerate them, saved, then extracted the updated thumbnail to replace the originals with.
Alchemist
#10 Old 10th May 2018 at 12:50 PM
Quote:
Also I recommend to avoid resurrecting Knut Futa; I've done what I can for him given the state Maxis left him in, but he's still not quite right for whatever reason. I suspect he's just too broken to fix completely.


How about deleting him entirely, using the Deleted 2 method? And then re-create a new Knut Futa to replace the current one?
Just like you deleted duplicate Nervous Subject, you could delete the broken Knut Futa.

Hood Building Group neighborhoods are available here
Clean and Empty Steatlh Hoods
Winter Wonderland is available here
My Simblr
My 2015 Yearbook Entry
Instructor
Original Poster
#11 Old 10th May 2018 at 3:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jawusa
How about deleting him entirely, using the Deleted 2 method? And then re-create a new Knut Futa to replace the current one?
Just like you deleted duplicate Nervous Subject, you could delete the broken Knut Futa.

That's actually a good idea, I never considered doing that. I'll add it to my list.
Field Researcher
#12 Old 13th May 2018 at 11:02 PM Last edited by Kunder : 13th May 2018 at 11:33 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorsal Axe
I've been working on making a fixed version of Strangetown, but keeping it as much possible like the Maxis version that ships with the game (this means all Sims are intact). Neither the meetme2theriver or mark93 versions suited what I was personally looking for. The former lacks townies and ancestors, and the latter version is not safe to use due to corruption. It also turns out both of them have issues of Maxis-origin that were never fixed. So I figured I'd give it a go; this is my attempt to take the vanilla Maxis Strangetown in its entirety and simply fix everything wrong with it under the hood.

I've done all my editing entirely with external tools; the neighborhood has never been loaded in-game from its original Maxis state. I've run it through HoodChecker, and other than the initial clearing of junk nothing else has come up. So far things have been fine for me, but I need other people to test and make sure things don't blow up. I don't doubt that it's imperfect in some way, that there's something I missed or possibly did wrong in the process. The only task that hasn't been done yet is to restore all the non-Casual outfits for the Sims who had corrupted appearances fixed (Maxis defined them for these Sims, which you can find in their 3IDR - Did you know Lyla Grunt loves pink?). I haven't had much success with that thus far though.

If you wish to help test this out, I would appreciate it very much. I recommend replacing the N002 template (backup the original first) and generating a clean save game folder, as opposed to just dumping it into your existing neighborhoods folder.

You can download the test version here: http://www.simfileshare.net/download/491033/
This particular version does require an EP (any EP) or UC due to an EP1 memory I've added.

Please Note:
I cannot guarantee that this neighborhood is 100% free of corruption. I've fixed as much as I possibly can with the tools available, but there could be further Maxis borkedness hidden somewhere that these tools are unable to detect. Please use caution when testing this neighborhood. Either way, this one should be a hell of a lot safer and healthier than the hood Maxis shipped with the game.

The Sims with fixed appearances will appear normally without any action from your part. You do not need to take them to a mirror to update their looks as they will already visibly have them.

Also I recommend to avoid resurrecting Knut Futa; I've done what I can for him given the state Maxis left him in, but he's still not quite right for whatever reason. I suspect he's just too broken to fix completely.

Complete Changelog:


Ok, I've just loaded The Sims 2 on my new Simming machine, loaded your new Strangetown, and will EXTENSIVELY test it over the next week or two, and report back any borks I find.
However, being this is a clean, new load of Sims 2, It wasn't necessary to clean the Save file.

The amount of time I spend on it is not an issue, as Strangetown, is the Maxis town I spend most of my time in anyways.

Here's the machine specs FYI:

HP15 Gaming "Green Machine" NoteBook.
Intel 6thGen i7 (6700hq QuadCore, all cores running steadily at 3.6ghz, Turbo, full time)
16gb/RAM (soon to be 32)
nVidia GTX950m/4gbVRAM--Intel HD530 Graphics. I will be running Sims2 on the Intel graphics. Getting it to run on the nVidia graphics is going to take some time, as there are multiple issues for me to figure out.
HP CoolSense to keep everything frosty.
B&O sound system
960gb SanDisk Ultra II SSD.
Running through a 32" HP Gaming monitor via HDMI
Windows 8.1 Pro

Sims2, with ALL EP's, and "stuff" packs installed, along with my own "NoCD" adjustments:

Properly set up Graphics rules, and TEXTURE rules for Intel graphics.
1366x768 resolution
Medium/High settings
CEF installed SimPE installed
All of Mootilda's toys installed.
Sims 2 Folder Decrudulator installed
Lots of mods
Lots of CC
No CFF adjustments.

I will report back soon!
Field Researcher
DELETED POST
15th May 2018 at 4:01 AM Last edited by Kunder : 17th May 2018 at 2:18 AM.
This message has been deleted by Kunder.
Lab Assistant
#13 Old 20th May 2018 at 11:10 AM Last edited by Nopke : 20th May 2018 at 12:30 PM.
I would love to play in fixed Maxis hoods… but I haven't found any I like. This one would be the first I would like to try to play in. I really like you haven't deleted townies or NPCs. But there is a little annoyance: missing non-English names of the Singles. I've fixed it using their original first names and their (step)mothers' last names.

I don't speak English well. | Tumblr
Test Subject
#14 Old 20th May 2018 at 5:38 PM
I'll give this a try, since my Strangetown just went up in a Very Big Fireball despite numerous efforts to prevent it. One problem I have consistently had is the "Singles" household - the game was apparently savagely scripted to make Chloe and Erin HATE one another, to the point that the only solution was to force Erin out. (I sent her back to college, and left her there.)

But before very long the 'hood began glitching uncontrollably, with weird error messages forcing "delete Sim" (something I have been reliably informed you should *never* do). Break the script, break the game?
Test Subject
#15 Old 20th May 2018 at 7:07 PM Last edited by SimMaven : 22nd May 2018 at 4:48 AM.
Default First try at it
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimMaven
I'll give this a try, since my Strangetown just went up in a Very Big Fireball despite numerous efforts to prevent it.


First thing I have to report is a disquieting discrepancy. Sim DNA details appear normal under SimPE, as far as I can tell (I'm not very good at reading raw code). But I also use a different tool, Rick Halle's "TS2 Enhancer" (SimEnhancer3D was a must-have for Sims 1 even though it was pay). And TS2 Enhancer doesn't read the DNA files correctly - or rather, it reads them as void (N/A) when they aren't. (It also doesn't read pets worth a toss, except for thumbnails, but I already knew and was annoyed by that.)

I don't suppose very many people do use TS2E, what with it being pay and all. It may have been a waste of money this time.

Still getting characters with duplicate names. There are two of "Marion Almassizedeh", for instance, and they aren't anything alike. Are they being copied over from Pleasantview, or were they supplied with the 'hood? Or is creation not-so-random?

Update, 5/20/2018, 6:35 pm: Got to the bottom of that one. The pool of names supplied with the game is too small, and I had removed one-too-many hacks (a file which supplied a much larger quantity of names). Have put the hack back, and probably now will see greater variety of names.
Field Researcher
#16 Old 20th May 2018 at 8:53 PM
Well, so far-so good. Noticed a lot of little improvements. The Singles, are properly named, I can remove flowers off the front of the Smiths fence. Couldn't do all of it before. Other fixes are transparent. That's good. So far, thumbs up! Good job.
Test Subject
#17 Old 20th May 2018 at 9:51 PM Last edited by SimMaven : 22nd May 2018 at 4:47 AM.
Default Bella Goth apparently still borked
She shows up as "Uneditable" in SimPE, and as a Ghost (but without an IAmDead token) in TS2E. (Ghosts/Dead characters have b/w thumbnails in that program.)

Unless she's meant to be a "Do Not Touch - EVER!" character like the Reaper or the Crumplebottom, something still isn't right.

Update, 5/21/2018: Played around with the Batbox (I'm not sure what I did right), and Bella is no longer Uneditable - she's classed as a Townie. Go figure....
Test Subject
DELETED POST
21st May 2018 at 12:35 AM
This message has been deleted by SimMaven.
Test Subject
#18 Old 21st May 2018 at 3:28 AM Last edited by SimMaven : 22nd May 2018 at 4:58 AM.
Default First day successfully completed
Got the girls through their first day, due to a quick finger on the Quit button (Lola almost started a fire trying to cook something she didn't yet know how to). Intercepted a couple of bad interactions between Chloe and Kristen and Chloe and Erin, and worked on their positive interactions - they don't dislike each other now, though they're still a ways from really liking. It'll go faster with Kristen, who has more Nice points - Erin is more likely to fight back if provoked.

Update, 5/21/2018, 9:22 AM: I should mention that I've been running with a heavy hand on the "no spawn" hacks, to keep the 'hood from getting cluttered up. The first spawned Pet has shown up - a dog - and he's classed as a "Service NPC". I don't know if this is "correct" or not.

Update, 5/21/2018, 11:50 PM: Lots of work on interactions has three of the four girls as friends: Chloe, Lola, and Kristen. Erin is also friends with Lola and Kristen, and Chloe and Erin are learning to get along in a haphazard fashion. All four have jobs, which is going to make scheduling rather hectic.

Considering whether Vidcund Curious should be marked as "Family" to Chloe and Lola - he currently isn't. He and Jenny (now Smith) were raised by Glarn Curious - but are they his? Not the way Glarn and his ancestors are currently programmed for SimDNA - no recessives for lighter skin or blonde hair or blue/green eyes anywhere. Maybe Vidcund and Jenny were adopted? That would clear him for a relationship with Chloe (or Lola), squicky as it may be. (It also makes Jenny marrying PT9 a bit less squicky.)
Test Subject
DELETED POST
21st May 2018 at 6:50 AM
This message has been deleted by SimMaven.
Test Subject
DELETED POST
21st May 2018 at 3:22 PM
This message has been deleted by SimMaven.
Scholar
#19 Old 21st May 2018 at 3:30 PM
SimMaven, thanks for reporting back your progress. Please, however, refrain from posting four five! times in a row - use the edit button instead.

DJ. who?
"What do you have to be nervous about? You're someone on the internet." -A.M.R.
Test Subject
#20 Old 26th May 2018 at 12:35 AM Last edited by SimMaven : 3rd Jun 2018 at 5:00 PM.
Successfully added Ajay Loner in the small bungalow. He took an immediate shine to Kristen, and we'll see where that goes.

Made an Odd-Eyed White cat (an experiment that I didn't intend to be actual character creation, but oops) and added her to the Specter household. Olive and Ophelia are both quite taken with her, and she seems to like them too.

So far no significant problems to report other than occasional graphics glitches, which could be due to laptop card not quite keeping up with the program.

Edit: First MAJOR problem surfaced. Vidcund abducted by aliens, came back pregnant with TWINS. They promptly hosed the game. I don't really want to do a full do-over, but if I have to....

Edit: After several failed quit-without-savings, I ran the sequence a little longer, and got the opportunity to name the babies. They came out "one of each", which wasn't what the screen originally showed (duplicate "Baby Girl"s). Looks like I'm going to have to do even more house rearranging - I was only planning for them to have two kids, and now they have three(!).

Update (June 3, 1: 25 AM) Game has started throwing random glitches again. Nothing serious yet - hope the Batbox and/or Hood Checker can handle it.

Killed off Gen. Buzz Grunt and his hateful older son Tank. There's a Townie named Margaret Howe who would gleefully dance on their graves, if she knew they were dead.

(11:58 AM): Moved Grunt tombstones to small local cemetery (downloaded from MTS2). Created a guardian for the two younger Grunt (now Grant) boys and merged households. Have yet to test how the absence of Tank will affect the Smith household (he was scripted to crash and disrupt Johnny Smith's birthday party). Game has stopped throwing glitches, for now at least.
Field Researcher
#21 Old 2nd Jun 2018 at 8:16 PM
Well, nothing seems borked, I see several improvements, no problems. Will continue to use.

Good work, and thanx!
Test Subject
DELETED POST
8th Jun 2018 at 7:57 PM Last edited by SimMaven : 11th Jun 2018 at 12:09 AM.
This message has been deleted by SimMaven.
Test Subject
#22 Old 14th Jul 2018 at 4:25 PM Last edited by SimMaven : 14th Jul 2018 at 6:41 PM.
The Specter lot is a total howling bugfest - it extends over the road, which it should not, and weeds grow IN the road, which they should not, and the ghosts drip water all over the road, which they should not.

I have not been able to use LotAdjuster to keep the mess off the roads without messing up the lot. Maybe there's a highly sophisticated trick to it that I just don't know, or maybe LotAdjuster isn't sophisticated enough. (The Move Lot tool was never brought into alignment with the other updates - it still moves in units of 10(!!!) squares at a time.)
Alchemist
#23 Old 14th Jul 2018 at 8:01 PM
That issue should be fixable by selecting the lot in neighborhood view and then place it again.
This is true for every lot that has been edited with LotAdjuster. To fix it, you just have to re-place it again into 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
Test Subject
#24 Old 17th Jul 2018 at 8:29 PM
Jawusa: in this case it also needed re-placing, as it had somehow gotten displaced from an area it was supposed to be to one where it didn't belong. I don't know whether it shipped that way, or it accidentally got moved. The problems showed up BEFORE I ever used LotAdjuster and were the reason why I was struggling with LotAdjuster. If I find more weeds growing in the road...!!!
Alchemist
#25 Old 17th Jul 2018 at 9:44 PM
If you have issues placing the lot, there is still the option to match the lot edges to the neighborhood terrain in LotAdjustor.
Then, it can be placed back for sure.

Hood Building Group neighborhoods are available here
Clean and Empty Steatlh Hoods
Winter Wonderland is available here
My Simblr
My 2015 Yearbook Entry
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