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401  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: buy a karaoke machine want on: 2006 November 22, 07:29:30
I've noticed the same problem. I'd swear they're rolling up that particular want more often as well. Damned annoying, as the karaoke machine is great for the creativity skill but minus the addiction of the piano.
402  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: The Plague-Revisited on: 2006 November 17, 23:03:31
Now that sims can have petz, how about a new and improved version of the flu courtesy of their feathered friends? Maybe a random chance that increases with how dirty the cage gets or how much cumulative contact the sim has with the bird.
403  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: The Plague-Revisited on: 2006 November 17, 22:31:22
There's no need to micro-manage... just lock them in a room with no comfort objects, a fridge, shower, toilet and some 'fun' things to keep them busy while they get on with dying (slowly, very slowly). It'll probably take a good 4 or 5 days but you just leave them, assuming you use free will, and get on with the rest of the household.

I must admit that sometimes I would like an effective plague for randomly culling my neighbourhoods... as long as it doesn't take 4 or 5 days for each sim to die.
404  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: fluctuating elder age duration on: 2006 November 17, 08:21:28
Thanks for the links - I searched the age duration hack thread but couldn't find the info I needed there. I didn't realise this had always happened, it's probably only now that the elder age span is sensible that I can actually see it fluctuating.
405  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / fluctuating elder age duration on: 2006 November 16, 23:57:17
I'm using the adult/elder age duration hack and have been noticing some odd fluctuations in the length of the remaining elder age span. As the sim's elder days advance the white bar fills up indicating how much time they have left. I'm getting instances where the bar advances to the point where it looks like there's 1 day remaining then next time I look the bar has crept back giving the sim several more days. I had four elder sims on a lot that age transitioned to adults pre-hack and to elders post-hack. The first two definitely gained 3 or 4 extra days on their age bars. I checked their bars at 6pm, saw them creep up to the point where they should have died the next day, but when I looked at the sim again, the bar had crept back. Although both sims should have died on the same day, one of them gained an additional day on the death of the other! The second pair didn't appear to fluctuate in age as much and managed to die at exactly the same time on the same day. I saw some mention in another thread of a bush to check the 'real' time left, can you point me in the direction please and/or shed some light on what's happening.
406  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: Pets and Helicopters on: 2006 November 16, 23:26:57
I had the same problem with a sim mayor and a showbiz cat leaving for work at the same time. The helicopter turned up and I watched the cat jump onto followed by the sim. Thinking they were both safely on the way to work I switched focus to something else only to later find both the mayor and the cat wandering round the lot. As the sim in question was a fairly crumbly elder I simply retired them to get around the problem. Having the 'helicoptered' sim use their own car should get around the problem and I will bear that in mind for the future, thanks.

I'm also pretty sure that sims (always) share the car pool when a sim arrives as another departs for work... I still find it very funny watching the criminal mastermind going to work in the police car.  Grin
407  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: Would this be possible - hack for random NPC ages? on: 2006 November 15, 21:18:36
I like the idea, for me the element of randomness would definitely add to gameplay. I usually pre-plan committed relationships at the teen/college stage by building up short/long term relationships so that the townie/NPC can move in as soon as my sim hits adulthood. I do already use the age duration hack which is fantastically awesome and brings a sensible degree of randomness into adult lifespans and some much needed sanity to elder age spans.
408  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: Graphics problem, I think on: 2006 November 15, 21:05:56
Sorry fellow girlies, I didn't mean to stir up a hornets nest by suggesting that we women 'only' get the computer 'dregs'. In fact my laptop is rather newer and shinier than my husbands and in recent discussions about a replacement for his he even suggested that I get a new one and he'll take over mine. Now that's love for you!!!

As far as articles/info about Sims 2 demographics, there are loads out there and Google or your fave search engine will find them, but here are a few to start.
http://uk.pc.ign.com/articles/602/602108p3.html
http://www.theesa.com/archives/files/Essential%20Facts%202006.pdf
http://www.igda.org/sf/

The last one is not about Sims 2 but provides an interesting post-mortem of a title that hits on a lot of the same demographic (it does refer to TS2 with respect to game specs).
409  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: Graphics problem, I think on: 2006 November 15, 17:35:41
Sorry, but games companies do have to bow down to the market and Sims2 is a prime example of this. Take a look at the minimum specs for the game, Win98, 1GHz processor, 256Mb RAM, 32Mb TnL graphics card... that's prehistoric! The reason for this is that Sims2 has a very different demographic to most video games with lots of older and/or female players often using the 'other' PC in the house. While that is the very bottom end of the technological spectrum, most people don't play on shiny, new, go faster PCs they simply install the game on whatever computer they have available. Games are designed to look as good as possible on the latest graphic chipsets as gorgeous graphics still go a long way towards selling a game. The reality of most users' gameplay is somewhat less pretty. A lot of time and effort is expended on designing and building 'fallback' into games software so that you can reduce mesh detail, texture detail, lighting effects, special effects etc etc while maintaining the core gaming experience. Part of this is ensuring the game runs properly on a wide a variety of systems as possible - different graphics/sound cards, memory, CPUs etc and that includes laptops and has done for some years now. I agree that if you're a hardcore gamer then you should buy a desktop system, but your average member of the game buying/playing public isn't hardcore and it's not unreasonable to expect their game to run and be supported on a 'decent' laptop.
410  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: Graphics problem, I think on: 2006 November 15, 13:04:29
"Laptops are not intended for serious gaming."

Well, I'm going to stick my head above the parapet and disagree with you there... that was certainly the case up until about 2 years ago, but I bought my laptop intending to play games on it, so chose one with a decent graphics card (128Mb ATI Radeon), 1Gb RAM, decent hard disk and Centrino processor. If I was buying a laptop now it would have a 256mb graphics card (ATI or nVidia) and 2Gb RAM which is exactly the same logic as I'd apply to buying a desktop system. The problem with most laptops and a lot of cheaper desktops is that they use some horrible Intel based shared memory graphics chip rather than a decent graphics card with dedicated memory that supports the majority of DX9 features. If you stick with higher end nVidia/ATI chipsets then you shouldn't have problems. To me, the great advantage of having a laptop is that it goes everywhere with me so I don't have to go through Sims2 cold turkey when away from home. Yes, they do cost more but not that much more than a decent desktop system, it's worth it for the portability and the price differential is still decreasing. EA are simpy using the typical get out clause of 'laptops not supported' which is beginning to sound rather lame as more people are playing games on laptops (and buying laptops to play games on). Games companies have to bow down to market forces at some point.
411  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: What downloads to delete to make loading times of game and lots more efficient? on: 2006 November 14, 22:24:42
I've found that (for me at least) the best way to manage my downloads folder is to organise it into a sensible set of sub-folders e.g. all the MATY downloads are in a MATY sub-folder under downloads. If I download a set then I save all the meshes/textures to its own sub-folder named after the set. If I then download recolours for that particular set it they'll go in the same 'set' subfolder. Default skins go in a default skins folder. Everything else I try to group in sub-folders that mimic the Maxis hierarchy e.g. comfort/sofas, comfort/beds etc simply for ease of keeping track of things. I always try to keep textures (recolours) with the associated mesh(es) in their own sub-folder, usually named after the creator/mesh. If you want rid of something then delete the sub-folder. Likewise if you download another recolour you know where to put it.
The flipside to this is you have to be quite brutal with your file management... if you download something, try it and don't like it, then get rid of it. There is absolutely no point in loading content that you aren't going to use. I keep the downloaded zip/rar files in a similar folder structure - that way if I do want to retry some content it's easy to locate. It's also very tempting to install every single recolour that someone has made, again just install what you will use in game. Finally, you have to constantly be housekeeping with your downloads folder, checking what's there and pruning out the dead wood. Mine is currently around the 750Mb/2,500 files mark and is due another tidy up as the loading times have got a little too long.
(Incidentally, it seems to me that lots with pets appear to take longer to load even if they are relatively small and have only a couple of sims resident.)
412  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: graves/urns displaying tribble-like behaviour on: 2006 November 11, 20:42:12
Sleepycat, thanks for the heads up on the incompatibility of Lot full of Sims with Petz. Initial reports were that it worked fine and this was the first real problem I'd encountered (other than an abduction anomaly which was more an irritation). It's gone for now at least and I'm trying out Squinge's More Family Members mod as an alternative - that is Petz friendly and will hopefully sit nicely alongside all the MATY mods I use.
413  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / graves/urns displaying tribble-like behaviour on: 2006 November 10, 22:53:51
Just come across some weirdness in the game with the urns/graves on a residential lot duplicating themselves. It only seems to happen when I do the following:

send a teenager to college
exit to neighbourhood
load up uni, play sim thru to graduation (quickly with the help of the awesome college adjuster)
move the sim back to the neighbourhood
go back to neighbourhood screen
move the sim back into the family lot
enter the family lot to play

The first time there was only a couple of graves on the lot, the graduate returns and they're both duplicated.
The second time there were five unique graves and each of these was duplicated. Interestingly I don't have the romance grave mod installed yet and both romance sim grave duplicates had lost their shiny platinum status although this was on a residential lot. There has also been at least one ghost active on the lot.

I'm running a bunch of Petz-friendly MATY mods and the DocDoofus lot full o sims. I also have a couple of adopted dogs on that lot, not that the presence of canine PITAs should make any difference, but you never know...

Ideas or suggestions anyone? This is my Black Widow Challenge neighbourhood so don't want to risk messing with the starring attraction's lot and her fine collection of graves.

414  TS2: Burnination / Planet K 20X6 / Re: The Asylum Challenge? on: 2006 October 29, 21:51:03
I had lots of fun with this and was successful on my second attempt (no cheats/hacks etc). I even got round to posting it on the exchange:
http://thesims2.ea.com/exchange/story_detail.php?asset_id=113646

I'd also recommend playing the Black Widow Challenge which is even more fun if you like killing off random townies/NPCs.
415  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / Re: forced abduction weirdness on: 2006 October 24, 08:17:27
I've looked but couldn't find anything related in previous posts. I don't normally use boolprop but the old bioligical clock was ticking very loudly on the sim in question and I wanted a 'purer' alien sprog to add to the genetic mix but didn't want to extend his life to get it.

I will play/experiment some more and see what happens, it could just be a one-off unlucky glitch or something repeatable on other lots.  I've now got the abductions hack installed so hopefully there will be an increase in future 'natural' abductions.
416  TS2: Burnination / The Podium / forced abduction weirdness on: 2006 October 23, 17:46:04
I installed and am running Petz and encountered some weirdness around forcing an abduction using boolprop. The abduction cinematic played ok and the sim (Pluto) disappeared off in the ufo. Immediately after the cinematic ended another sim (Persephone) in the household appeared at the telescope looking through it - she was last seen in bed sleeping. After some time the abductee returning cinematic plays and Pluto reappears, but no pregnancy lullaby. Here's the weirdness... Pluto knows and remembers the fact that he was abducted while every other sim, both on and outside that lot, think Persephone was abducted. Not at all what I expected, so next night I boolprop debug force an abduction and exactly the same thing happens again. Grrrr... so I used the debug make me alien pregnant option which worked fine. I'm only running with a bunch of MATY Petz friendly hacks/mods and the Doc Doofus lot full of sims mod from MTS2 and that is still allowing larger households ok. I am using the autonomous casual romance mod, but that too appears to be functioning fine post Petz. Ideas anyone?
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