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jrd
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Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation (updated for Seasons)
« on: 2006 October 09, 13:12:21 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

Creating a clean custom neighbourhood

Index:
0) Required mods
1) Preparing
2) Creating a new neighbourhood
3) Subneighbourhoods
4) Populating the 'hood
    a) Batch-creating townies and downtownies
    b) Creating custom townies and downtownies
    c) Pets
5) NPCs

----

This tutorial will explain how to create a custom neighbourhood 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) Required mods

Before you start creating a new neighbourhood, you have to get some mods. Get Pescado's "anti redundancy" to prevent unnecessary NPCs from being generated. If you do not want random townies/dormies/downtownies, also get  Pescado's No Townie Regen and No Dormie Spawn mods. To prevent strays from being created, get No Spray Respawn.

Other handy mods are the Lot Sync Timer and a teleporter, like the Ingelogical Teleporter Shrub.

All FFS hacks are available through http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com/ffs. For a teleporter, look in Peasantry or at MTS2.

----

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 N001 to N001-bak to disable it. This prevents the default townies from being created.

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 plan to use any of the premade subneighbourhoods for your new 'hood, now is a good time to clean them out as well. Read the instructions in this thread.

----
2) Creating a new neighbourhood

Open The Sims 2 and start a brand new neigbourhood in the normal way. Do not create any Sims in CAS! at this time.
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 neighbourhood and may prevent townie and NPC spawning from working correctly.

----
3 Subneighbourhoods

Adding a default subneighbourhood (universities U001-U003, downtown D001, or shopping district/bluewater B001) 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 in the thread), 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. They will use the default facial templates (or overrides, if any) and default name list. 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, asides from using SimPE. See section 4c for more info.

----
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. 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 in Pets/Seasons: I ended up with almost 50 townies by batch-spawning them. YMMV.

4a) Part deux: Downtownies

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! You (probably) 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.

4b) Part deux: Downtownies

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 of each gender and one teen.

----
4c) Pets

You can create strays one-by-one with the tree. I have not yet found a batch spawner Sad

You can make your custom Pets, but currently there is no teleporter which can make them into strays. You can use SimPE to put them in this family if you like.

----
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.
I recommend having Pescado's Anti Redundancy in place so no more than absolutely needed will be spawned.

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 as soon as a 'hood is loaded.

Notes: I have all expansion packs and shopping packs installed, so this was done on Pets code. It should work identically so on earlier, at least back to EP2 Nightlife. Uni and base-game only configurations are untested and unsupported.

Credits: Nec for the first tutorial, and the rest of the MATY crew for testing and advice.
« Last Edit: 2007 August 17, 12:28:04 by Jordi » Logged
JadeEliott
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #1 on: 2006 October 09, 20:01:43 »
THANKS THIS IS GREAT

This is excellent Jordi. My method has always been to make the townies one by one on a lot, using the Tree, then gussy them up using Christianlov's clothes rack, then make them a townie using Inge's bush.

Well, when I used townies, that is.

There are several ways to skin a hood, as it were.

Thanks for writing this!
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #2 on: 2006 October 10, 14:46:44 »
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Thanks for spelling it out for us. Must have been irritating to have to repeat yourself over and over again.  Wink
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #3 on: 2006 October 10, 19:46:47 »
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Thanks for this. I was getting so confused by the other threads.

I do have two questions. First:

Browse to the UserData Neighbourhoods folder: The Sims 2\TSData\Res\UserData\Neighborhoods
Rename N001 to N001-bak.

Should you then leave the folder like that indefinitely? Or change it back after you're done with step 2?

Second: What if you plan to add a few custom townies, but not a whole batch of 30? Would it work okay to follow step 4a), and then plunk another half-dozen or so custom sims into the neighborhood as townies after all other steps have been completed?
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jrd
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #4 on: 2006 October 10, 20:44:48 »
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You only need that folder if you ever want to regenerate the default neighbourhoods. Since I don't plan to, I'm leaving it renamed.

It is perfectly okay to add just a few custom townies, or none at all. The reason I recommend adding 30 or so is that this way the game won't generate them itself (I don't use notownieregen). And yes you can do step 4a at any time you like—I've done this before when I wanted a few more townies. Although in my current 'hood I have 34 townies and 31 downtownies, so I'm not adding any. When the existing ones have been married in or told to die of old age I'll let the game generate new ones.
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Nec
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #5 on: 2006 October 11, 19:05:57 »
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Excellent find, Jordi! I'll try this tutorial next time I make a new hood. Thanks again for answering so many questions in the other thread that I couldn't answer. Smiley
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MissDoh
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #6 on: 2006 October 12, 19:58:42 »
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So the fact we are renaming N001 folder to N001-bak it stops the game from adding the pre-made sims in the new hood?

Edited to remove horrible typos.
« Last Edit: 2006 October 12, 20:09:09 by MissDoh » Logged
jrd
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #7 on: 2006 October 12, 20:00:44 »
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Yup!
At first I tried just renaming the N001\Characters folder, but that left the SDS, SDNA and relationship garbage in. Removing the entire N001 folder leads to a clean new 'hood.
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MissDoh
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #8 on: 2006 October 12, 20:13:22 »
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Do we still need Sim-Pe to clean the memories or is it also clean of that?

And I guess as long as N001 is named N001-bak we can make as much new cc hood we wish with the same clean result Smiley

When we add a custom University or downtown (not maxis ones), can we still delete the characters the game created like in Nec tutorials without risk of FUBAR?
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jrd
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #9 on: 2006 October 12, 20:18:02 »
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The hood is 100% clean: the only SDNA etc. is that of the default NPCs (Grimmie, Crumplebottom & co.). There is absolutely no more need to clean with SimPE.

I don't know exactly which Nec tutorial you are referring to… but deleting all characters should still be possible. Just don't do a deleteallcharacters or you lose the ability to use the Townie tree again.
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #10 on: 2006 October 12, 20:23:20 »
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I was referring to point #3 and 4 of that Nec tutorial:  http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com/smf/index.php/topic,4090.0.html
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jrd
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #11 on: 2006 October 12, 20:31:22 »
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I am not sure what effects that would have. Looks it will leave a lot of SDNA garbage in your game… and you can't delete those.
Unless of course you add the custom 'hood before you start playing, then you can remove all SDNA.

Or just put notownieregen/nodormieregen in place and there won't be any garbage to delete.
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #12 on: 2006 October 20, 02:40:25 »
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This is very helpful.  However, I have a question ...

Is there a way of deleting individual Townies from an existing neighborhood (perhaps using SimPE)?  I have a lot of Sims in my neighborhood, and I fear it that Im going to hit the critical mass and my neighborhood will implode before I finish my ten gen Legacy.  Im not marrying in Townies or NPCs into the family -- its a Matriarch Legacy, so no one marries or moves in -- so I dont have the regen issue.  I just have a ton of Sims, and Id like to thin out the population.

If this is in the wrong place, I apologize.  I thought it was somewhat related to this topic, so I figured I might get replies here. 

Thanks.

Dor.

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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #13 on: 2006 October 20, 02:59:26 »
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How many character files do you have?  The number of character files that can exist without bothering the hood has gone up considerably since at least NL, and perhaps Uni, so it would take a lot more to implode the hood than the 800 or so that used to limit it under the original game.
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #14 on: 2006 October 21, 23:09:56 »
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Adding a subneighbourhood (university, downtown, or shopping district) calls the standard townie generator. If you want to avoid adding new townies this way, use Pescado's No Townie Regen and No Dormie Spawn mods.

Will the no regen hacks stop the game from creating downtownies and dormies when you first attach a subhood?  I thought that the game still created the default downtownies and dormies when attaching a custom subhood even when the no regen hacks were installed.
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jrd
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #15 on: 2006 October 21, 23:46:17 »
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Dunno. I use empty templates.
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #16 on: 2006 October 22, 00:03:50 »
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The empty templates are great, but I get sick of the same neighborhood terrains.  I'm hoping to find a way to create sub-neighborhoods with custom terrains to install without creating any characters. 

By the way, thanks Jordi for this tutorial.
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #17 on: 2006 October 22, 00:49:48 »
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Depends greatly on installed subhood.
All University subhoods spawn a full set of sims. Empty templates do not help
Only the first Downtown spawns a set of sims. Using an empty-template will prevent this.
Only Bluewater OFBs spawn sims.
The ZOMGPETZ!!!111oneoneone "invisible neighborhood" always brings in a full set of sims. It will add an NXXX_SuburbN file to your neighborhood. To be "clean", after this process finishes, you should save this file, restore neighborhood from backup, and insert only this file. This will suppress the default set of NPCs, including wolves and strays, and force your game to generate its own (or not at all, if you have norespawns).
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #18 on: 2006 October 22, 02:31:33 »
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...what?  Invisible neighborhood?  My game shows no invisible neighborhood.

What trickery (thatchery?) is this?
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #19 on: 2006 October 22, 03:41:59 »
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...what?  Invisible neighborhood?  My game shows no invisible neighborhood.
If the game showed it, it wouldn't be *INVISIBLE*, now would it?
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #20 on: 2006 October 22, 03:46:51 »
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I think it's in %DataDirectory%Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\P001\ but you won't see it in a dialog anywhere.
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation
« Reply #21 on: 2006 October 22, 04:59:04 »
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Ok, I'm a total dum-ass and completely non-awesome.  I just attached a bunch of custom terrain sub-hoods with the empty templates in place, and wouldn't 'ya know, no new characters.  I made a new custom neighborhood using Jordi's method, then attached sub-hoods with the empty templates, and SimPe is showing no sim descriptions aside from the normal therapist, reaper, etc., and no SWAF.  Don't know why I thought the templates only worked when attaching the maxis-made sub-hoods, but I was mistaken.  Apologies to all for my dumb questions.
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation (Pets updates)
« Reply #22 on: 2006 October 24, 14:24:22 »
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Some notes on Pets. Once I get to installing it and playing with it I'll revise this if needed.

In my game at least renaming the Neighborhoodtemplates for the various sub'hoods completely prevents the game from pre-spawning service NPCs and townies (dormies, downtownies), even without Pescado's no respawn mods in game.
I renamed all the Nhood templates and created a new 'hood with all types of sub'hoods. This 'hood had no Sims in it asides from the objects.package NPCs. But ymmv.
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation (Pets updates)
« Reply #23 on: 2006 October 25, 21:53:36 »
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I am not awesome-this method is not working for me.  I have pets, and the only custom material I have installed right now is the Pets director's cut.

Whenever I attempt to create a new neighbourhood after renaming N001, the game quits and the invisible "Pets" neighbourhood becomes visible (I can't do anything with it though).  I get a whole new N001, defaut townies and all.

Any idea what I'm doing wrong?
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Re: Tutorial: Clean custom neighbourhoods + townie creation (Pets updates)
« Reply #24 on: 2006 October 25, 22:07:24 »
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Jordi, have you done any testing to see if this method will prevent townies from Spawning in subhoods (like Bluewater) if you add the subhood AFTER you've been playing for awhile?
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