First, a BIG thank you to all the following people:
Jordi, for the Seasons version of this walkthrough
, which I mostly just copy-and-pasted, then edited from there. Most of these words are Jordi's!
SaraMK, for the empty templates for Uni through Seasons.
Argon, for the empty template for BV (buried in Sara's thread)
and for the NPC generator [Make Vacation Sim (Local)] fix.
JM Pescado, for the no respawn, no regen, and antiredundancy hacks. Without these, this process would be mostly useless! Pescado is also the owner of the site.
Everyone who offered suggestions to make this tutorial better.
Anyone else I may have forgotten (for which I deeply apologize - point out the omission, so I can add you to the list). Creating a clean custom neighbourhoodIndex:
2. Creating a new neighborhood
4. Populating the hood
a. Batch-creating townies, downtownies, and locals
b. Creating custom townies, downtownies, and locals
This tutorial will explain how to create a custom neighborhood with unique townies and NPCs, rather than the default Maxis ones. To make sure these new Sims are as unique as possible with skintones, clothes, hair, eyes etc.., you can follow the links/tutorial by Zarkan.0: Mods
I recommend the following mods to prevent extra character files from cluttering up your game:
No townie regen
No stray respawn
No SS respawn* [You can get these 4 hacks from the FFS Hack Directory]
No dormie regen* [You can only get this one from the DC]
A teleporter [look in Peasantry or MTS2] is also handy.
In addition, you need the Make Vacation Sim (Local) fix
to make Vacation Locals correctly.
(* You only need these if you have Uni, of course.)1: Preparing - cleaning out templates
Go to where you have installed The Sims 2. This will be C:\Program Files\EA Games\The Sims 2\ by default.
Browse to the UserData Neighbourhoods folder: The Sims 2\TSData\Res\UserData\Neighborhoods
Rename the "N001" folder (to anything, such as "N001-bak"). This prevents the default townies from being created in new neighborhoods.
If you have Pets, go to your Pets folder (C:\Program Files\EA Games\The Sims 2 Pets\ or wherever you installed it). Browse to the Neighbourhood template folder \Pets\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\P001 and do the following:
Back it up. I just zipped the entire folder so I can restore it if the Pets patch comes around, or if I ever want it back.
Do further cleaning: delete now-unneeded the \Character, \Storytelling, and \Thumbnails subfolders
Replace P001_Neighborhood.package with an empty version. This prevents the standard Pets and Pet NPCs from being added to every 'hood. It also prevents the two families from magically appearing in your new 'hood's family bin.
If you have Seasons, go to your Seasons folder (C:\Program Files\EA Games\The Sims 2 Seasons\ or wherever you installed it). Browse to the Neighbourhood template folder \Seasons\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\ and do the following:
Back G002 up. I just zipped the entire folder so I can restore it if a Seasons patch comes around, or if I ever want it back.
Do further cleaning: delete the now-unneeded G002\Character, G002\Storytelling, and G002\Thumbnails subfolders
Replace G002_Neighborhood.package with an empty version. This prevents the standard townies and Seasons NPCs from being added to every 'hood. It also prevents the two families from magically appearing in every new 'hood's family bin.
If you have BV, go to your Bon Voyage folder (C:\Program Files\EA Games\The Sims 2 Bon Voyage\ or wherever you installed it). Browse to the Neighbourhood template folder \Bon Voyage\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\ and do the following:
Back V001 up. I just zipped the entire folder so I can restore it if a BV patch comes around, or if I ever want it back.
Do further cleaning: delete the now-unneeded V001\Character, V001\Storytelling, and V001\Thumbnails subfolders
Replace V001_Neighborhood.package with an empty version. This prevents the default NPCs, tourists, and locals from being added to every 'hood. It also prevents the Traveler family from magically appearing in every new 'hood's family bin.
If you plan to use any of the premade subneighbourhoods for your new 'hood, now is a good time to clean them out as well. If you are going to use an empty terrain file for the subneighborhoods, you can skip this step. (You can use premade sub neighborhoods for some sectors and empty terrain files for others, of course.)
This has what you need for Uni, NL, and OFB. Note that box.net requires cookies enabled.
For the Downtown:
Open C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Nightlife\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\
Make a backup of the D001 folder
Open the D001 folder. Delete everything inside the Characters folder and delete the file D001_Neighborhood.package
Unzip the downloaded file, which is D001_Neighborhood.package. Place this into the D001 folder.
For the Universities:
Open C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 University\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\
Make a backup of the U001, U002, and U003 folders.
Open the U001 folder. Delete everything inside the Characters folder and delete the file U001_Neighborhood.package
Unzip the downloaded file, which is U001_Neighborhood.package. Place this into the U001 folder.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 for U002 and U003
For Bluewater Village:
Open C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Open For Business\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\
Make a backup of the B001 folder
Open the B001 folder. Delete everything inside the Characters folder and delete the file B001_Neighborhood.package
Unzip the downloaded file, which is B001_Neighborhood.package. Place this into the B001 folder.
For the Vacation Destinations, you have to download the file from this post.
Open C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Bon Voyage\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\
Make a backup of the A001, T001, and M001 folders.
Open the A001 folder. Delete everything inside the Characters folder and delete A001_Neighborhood.package
Place the downloaded A001_Neighborhood.package into the A001 folder.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 with T001 and M001.2: Creating a new neighborhood
Open The Sims 2 and start a brand new neigbourhood in the normal way. Do not create any Sims in CAS yet!
After creating this 'hood, alt-tab or exit to Windows and check your new neighbourhood character folder (If this is your first custom neighbourhood, this will be My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Neighborhoods\N004\Characters\). This folder should be empty. If it is not, you have not done step 1 right. You should probably start over at this point.DO NOT USE THE DELETEALLCHARACTERS CHEAT!
This corrupts the neighborhood.3: Subneighborhoods
Adding a default subneighbourhood (universities U001-U003, downtown D001, shopping district/bluewater B001, or vacation destination T001, M001, or A001) will add a great number of default townies and NPCs, as well as some playable Sims. You can prevent this by replacing them with empty versions (follow the instructions above, in step 1), or by starting from an empty terrain file.
If you use the cleaned out templates, make sure you have also deleted the templates' character subfolders.4: Populating the hood
First, decide if you want to create all townies yourself in CAS, or if you want to batch-create them. Batch creation will lead to a balanced neighbourhood setup, but your townies will not have any custom clothes or make-up, unless you "de-customize" them. Theo explains the process here.
They will use the default facial templates (or overrides, if any) and default name list. You can change the name list with Jordi's mod from MTS2.
The thread there explains how to change the name list yourself.
The CAS method requires you to create townies yourself, and later edit them in SimPE.
There is not yet an easy way to make custom Pets into strays, aside from using SimPE.4a: Batch-creating townies and downtownies
Create a Sim or family in CAS and move him in a lot. Immediately pause the game. Note: unless you had Pescado's No Townie Regen in place at this time the game will automatically create one townie.
Important: If you also want to fully customize your NPCs, buy the FFS Lot Sync Timer and use the Time Warp feature at this time to set the hour to 05:00 to prevent the paper delivery NPC from coming by while you're busy. If the clock approaches 08:00, reset it to 05:00 again with the Time Warp.
Enable the testing cheats in the console: boolprop testingcheatsenabled true. There are two ways to batch-create townies: the NPC and Townie maker ("Townie tree") or the mailbox. Both methods will work.
If you want to use the Townie tree, click on your Sim, and in the Spawn menu select the NPC and Townie maker. This looks like a dead willow tree before Seasons or like the Repoman's gun post-Seasons. Choose "Create townies", and select "townies" again.
If you want to use the mailbox, shift-click the mailbox and select *DBG - FORCE Create Townies, and select "townies" again.
Townies will now begin spawning. At first the thumbnails will show NPC portraits, ignore this. It will report when it is ready.
Save the game and check the character folder when it is done, you should now have 32 Sims: your CAS Sim, the initial townie (unless notownieregen is in place), and the ~30 created townies.
This number seems to be increased post-Pets: I ended up with almost 50 townies by batch-spawning them.
Downtownies can only be created using the Townie tree. First, select Switch to make downtownies (not needed in Pets), then "Create Townies" again - select "Downtownies" this time. Downtownies will begin spawning, without portraits in the upper right. Again, the game will report when it is ready.
From the mailbox: *DBG - FORCE Create Townies - "Downtownies"
Save the game/lot now.4b: Creating custom townies and downtownies
In CAS create as many townies as you like, of whatever ages, genders, and using any content you like.
No need to bother with names at this time. I simply named them 1 to 8 for each group.
My own setup is the following:
Group 1: males -- create 8 adult male Sims
Group 2: females -- create 8 adult female Sims
Group 3: Miscellania 1 -- create 2 elder males, 2 adult females, 2 teen males, 2 teen females. Set the teens as children to any adult female.
Group 4: Miscellania 2 -- create 2 adult males, 2 elder females, 2 child males, 2 child females. Set the children as kids of any adult male.
This leads to 32 townies: 10 male adults, 10 female adults, and 2 of each gender of the other age groups. This leads to an average spread of ages and genders. But you are of course free to chose anything you like.
Move group 1 in a lot, and pause the game. If you also want to make your own NPCs, refer to the note above about the Sync Timer in 4a.
Buy the Ingelogical Teleporter Shrub or Painting (or another teleporter such as the inSIMenator module). I use the Teleporter Shrub in this example.
Select Sim 1, and make them a townie using the teleporter. Repeat this for Sims 2 to 8.
Using the teleporter, summon the Sims from the other groups you created, and move them in using the shrub. Then make them into townies.
You should have no playable Sim left on the lot after you're done. Save and quit the game, and check the character folder. You should now have 32 Sims: all your custom townies.
Now open SimPE, and select all Sim Relationships you see. Delete them if you don't want your townies to have family relationships with each other.
Start naming your townies anything you like. If you like, also give them skills, jobs, and gender preferences. Note that if you do not give them a job they will get a random one the first time they're loaded, and their skills will be randomized accordingly.
Save the 'hood file, and you're done.
Make downtownies the same way you did townies, only select Make me a.../Downtownie for them. I created just 8 downtownies in my game: 3 adults and a teen for each gender.
To make vacation Locals and tourists, you need to make the Sim into a townie first, then select "Make Into Vacation Sim>(type)>Sim Name" from the townie-making nerf gun. Note that that menu doesn't give the Sims' last names, so make sure you differentiate your Vacation Sims' first names in CAS from your regular townies. (Such as A1 - Asian 1 - instead of 1.)4c: Dormies
*Please correct me if I'm wrong about method (a).
You can make dormies the same way you make townies. Using method (a)*, you have to be on a University residential lot when you batch-create the townies. A residential lot, not a dorm. Under method (b), you have to create the Sims in the Uni CAS (duh), then move them in to a residential lot and use the teleporter or townie tree/gun as illustrated above. Again, it can't be a dorm.4d: Pets
You can create strays one-by-one with the tree, or you can create custom pets in CAS. Use SimPE to put CAS-made pets into the Strays family.5: NPCs
Note: NPC creation using the tree may not work correctly in OFB, FFS, and GLS. This was fixed in Pets/Seasons.
If you don't care about customized NPCs, don't bother creating them. The game will make them as needed.
You can use the Townie tree to customize your NPCs.
Make sure the townie/downtownie switch is set correctly (townies for base, EP1, and EP3 NPCs and downtownies for EP2; the switch is not needed in Pets), and set your desired age, skintone, and gender settings. Then create NPCs one-by-one. Select 'keep' once one is created. Do not chose invalid combinations: nannies must always be elder females, headmasters are always male, etc..
As of Pets you can create individual NPCs again, and Grand Vampires (Count/Contessa) are now under the NPCs menu.
If you want to spawn the "special townies" Vampires, Slobs, Diva/Mr Big, set the switch to downtownies (not needed in Pets), and spawn the special townies using their menu. 'Keep' them once done.
You cannot spawn the (OFB) reporter "special townie" (one reporter will be spawned whenever the game needs one). The special NPCs Death, Mrs. Crumplebottom, etc. cannot be spawned as these are unique: the game creates them the first time a 'hood is loaded.