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LotExpander for Free Time (Obsolete)

by Mootilda Posted 21st Aug 2007 at 2:43 AM - Updated 27th Nov 2013 at 10:09 PM by Nysha
284 Comments / replies (Who?) - 25 Feedback Posts
This is a featured upload! It showcases the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.

The LotExpander will not be updated for Apartment Life.

LotExpander 1.2.10.1

This is the final version of the LotExpander. It has been superceeded by the LotAdjuster:
http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=282409

This version of the LotExpander works with all expansion and stuff packs, up to and including The Sims 2 Free Time. The latest release resolves an issue with continuing after an abort. Please see "Known Issues" below.

Description:
The LotExpander allows you to expand "The Sims 2" lots up to a size of 6 x 6 with a few mouse clicks.

Installation:
To install, just download LotExpander12A1.zip and unzip it. Run the EXE from the unzipped location. This is "alpha" software and is still in development; it is not guaranteed to work and may corrupt your lot. Be sure to backup your game before using this tool.

I have included the source code in LotExpander12A1Source.zip. There is no need to download this file unless you are a C# programmer who wishes to look at or modify the code.

Requirements:
- The program uses some DLLs from SimPE; they are included in the zip file.
- LotExpander is released under the GNU General Public License.
- You need the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 to run the LotExpander: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...dd-aab15c5e04f5

Known Issues:
1) The LotExpander sometimes does not work with Vista. There is no known solution at this time.

2) When moving a pool with rounded edges, the rounded edges will not move. For now, just delete the rounded edges before expanding the lot and add them back to the pool in the new location once the expansion is complete. If you accidently expand a lot without removing the rounded edges, the lot can be fixed using the normal build tools; however, it is more difficult than just removing them beforehand.

3) The expanded terrain takes its form from the terrain at the edges of the existing lot. This does not always produce the desired result, especially for hilly terrain and beach lots. I am investigating whether the LotExpander can use the actual neighborhood terrain for the additional land.

Instructions:
Please see the LotExpander tutorial at: http://www.modthesims2.com/showpost...3&postcount=410

If you have any problems with the LotExpander, please let me know.

Error and Warning Messages: http://www.modthesims2.com/showpost...7&postcount=422

Recovering from Problems: http://www.modthesims2.com/showpost...5&postcount=411

General discussion about modding lots: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=250693

Current To-Do List: http://www.modthesims2.com/showpost...6&postcount=412

Release History: http://www.modthesims2.com/showpost...7&postcount=413

Portal Revealer:
This tool allows you to see, move and rotate portals on your lot: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=251392

Small Lots:
Now everyone can create lots of whatever size they wish with LotExpander. Here are links to expandable lots which are 1 wide or 1 deep, and which have the sun shining on the back of the lot:

Residential: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=195469
Community: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=195467

If you prefer the sun to shine from the front of the lot, take a look at aelflaed's brand new sunnyside lots:

Residential: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=251798
Community: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=251800

And here are some North- and South- facing 2XN lots: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=250096

Thanks:
This program was designed and developed by Andi8104. He really deserves most of the credit for the LotExpander. I have been making minor changes to the tool since Andi died. The original tool is still available at:
http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=250686

Operating System: Windows Mac OS X
Utility Type: Save Editors
Plugin Type: Not Applicable

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

Sims 2
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
LotExpander12A1Source.zip

Size: 135.3 KB · Downloads: 5,094 · 21st Mar 2008
135.3 KB 5,094 21st Mar 2008
LotExpander12A1.zip

Size: 700.9 KB · Downloads: 12,171 · 21st Mar 2008
700.9 KB 12,171 21st Mar 2008
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Basic Download and Install Instructions:

1. Download: Click the download link to save the .rar or .zip file(s) to your computer.

2. Extract the zip, rar, or 7z file.

3. Place in Downloads Folder: Cut and paste the .package file(s) into your Downloads folder:
  • Origin (Ultimate Collection): Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims™ 2 Ultimate Collection\Downloads\
  • Non-Origin, Windows Vista/7/8/10: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Non-Origin, Windows XP: Documents and Settings\(Current User Account)\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads\
  • Mac: Users\(Current User Account)\Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads
  • Mac x64: /Library/Containers/com.aspyr.sims2.appstore/Data/Library/Application Support/Aspyr/The Sims 2/Downloads
Need more information?
 
284 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 275 Feedback Posts, 3 Thanks Posts
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Site Helper
Original Poster
#51 Old 23rd Sep 2007 at 3:21 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 23rd Sep 2007 at 5:21 AM. Reason: Corrected spelling error
Tanterdimaleddeon,

I tried various things, but was unable to reproduce your problem... were you using the latest version of the LotExpander (1.2.4)?

I also fooled around with your lot and family a bit. It looks like we were on the right track with the "dummy" family. I determined that you need a family who is close to your legacy family in number of members, sex, age, etc in the lot catalog. Then, you can delete the dummy family and rename your legacy family to have the exact same file names as the corresponding members of the dummy family. This worked on my system, but I believe that some of the information about the family is actually stored with the corrupted lot and is therefore lost. Of course, I have no way of knowing for sure, since SimPE won't work and I don't know much about your legacy family.

So, you could try that technique and see what's missing from your legacy family... perhaps it will be good enough. If not, then I would suggest that you wait until SimPE is available for Bon Voyage, so that you can fix things up properly... by extracting the required information from the corrupted lot and inporting it into the new legacy lot.
Site Helper
Original Poster
#52 Old 23rd Sep 2007 at 7:03 AM
Default Another New Version for Bon Voyage
Just wanted everyone to know that the LotExpander seems to work with Bon Voyage and I have updated my post with the latest version:

http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?p=1747180

The biggest change is another attempt to prevent corruption of the lot when a fatal error occurs. Instead, the LotExpander will refuse to continue with the expansion.

I tested many, but not all, of the new Bon Voyage vacation destinations and new entries in the lot catalog.

There are two known problems:

1) There is an issue with how the LotExpander decides on the terrain for the newly expanded land. As far as I know, this has been an issue with the program from the beginning. However, it is particularly noticable when expanding some of the new Bon Voyage beach lots. If you expand a beach or mountain lot and are unhappy with the results, just restore from backup. Some lots can be expanded more successfully than others, depending upon the orientation of the lot in the neighborhood when it was first created.

2) The rounded-pool problem from Seasons still exists, but it has an easy workaround.

As well as these two known problems, Tanterdimaleddeon experienced corruption of a Bon Voyage lot, but I have been unable to reproduce the problem. I suspect that the lot was already corrupt before the attempt to expand it.

Please let me know if you find any other bugs.

I think that the first issue should be the highest priority, since the release of Bon Voyage makes this type of lot more common, and therefore the issue is more noticable. I have an idea of how to fix this in the general case.
Mad Poster
#53 Old 23rd Sep 2007 at 6:43 PM Last edited by niol : 24th Sep 2007 at 12:49 AM.
Mootilda,

thanks yay...

BTW, have you checked Broke's corner 2x2 which happens to be a 30x30 lot with functional crossing roads? An interesting instance, isn't it?
Maybe, someday, custom road-side corner can be figured out.
Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
#54 Old 24th Sep 2007 at 12:07 AM
In case anyone is looking for 2xN Base Game lots, I've uploaded some empty templates here. Sizes: 2x2, 2x3, 2x4, 2x5, each in two directions.

(Sorry for the advertisement .. I'm only doing this because I have been looking for those sizes before, and this thread was the first place I checked)

Stuff for TS2 · TS3 · TS4 | Please do not PM me with technical questions – we have Create forums for that.

In the kingdom of the blind, do as the Romans do.
Test Subject
#55 Old 24th Sep 2007 at 12:01 PM
.thankyou for continuing Andi's fine work. I used to use it all the time and will continue to do so now that someone with a lot more brains than I has decided to help us mere mortals. Cheers.
Lab Assistant
#56 Old 24th Sep 2007 at 11:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
Tanterdimaleddeon,

I tried various things, but was unable to reproduce your problem... were you using the latest version of the LotExpander (1.2.4)?

I also fooled around with your lot and family a bit. It looks like we were on the right track with the "dummy" family. I determined that you need a family who is close to your legacy family in number of members, sex, age, etc in the lot catalog. Then, you can delete the dummy family and rename your legacy family to have the exact same file names as the corresponding members of the dummy family. This worked on my system, but I believe that some of the information about the family is actually stored with the corrupted lot and is therefore lost. Of course, I have no way of knowing for sure, since SimPE won't work and I don't know much about your legacy family.

So, you could try that technique and see what's missing from your legacy family... perhaps it will be good enough. If not, then I would suggest that you wait until SimPE is available for Bon Voyage, so that you can fix things up properly... by extracting the required information from the corrupted lot and inporting it into the new legacy lot.


Thanks a lot for all your help, time and dedication Mootilda, I'll wait until the new version of simPe, the dummy family didn't worked =(. And again, thanks a lot for everything
(ps: I used the 1.2.4 version)

thanks for everything

Dasenka K.

Paint it Black...
Mad Poster
#57 Old 25th Sep 2007 at 5:32 AM
Now, I'm wondering an experiment for Tanterdimaleddeon's case.

Suppose that I make a new dummy lot of the same dimension as Tanterdimaleddeon's case, and then I replace te files of a copy of the corrupted with some known files in the newly made dummy package or the vice versa the potential family files into a copy of the dummy lot package. After file replacements and probably package replacement, test in a testing environment...

What do you think?
Site Helper
Original Poster
#58 Old 25th Sep 2007 at 5:54 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 25th Sep 2007 at 6:03 AM. Reason: Added link to legacy lot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by niol
Now, I'm wondering an experiment for Tanterdimaleddeon's case.

Suppose that I make a new dummy lot of the same dimension as Tanterdimaleddeon's case, and then I replace te files of a copy of the corrupted with some known files in the newly made dummy package or the vice versa the potential family files into a copy of the dummy lot package. After file replacements and probably package replacement, test in a testing environment...

What do you think?

Yes, I really believe that this will work.

My experiment with replacing a dummy family in the LotCatalog with the legacy family seemed to work but the legacy family picked up some of the attributes of the dummy family... The character data seems to be split between the cx_{LotID}.package and the corresponding cx_Character_cx_{LotID}_{SimID}.package - probably in about the same way that the character data is normally split between the neighborhood package and the character package. So, I just don't know how to get the entire character data back until SimPE is working for Bon Voyage...

Note that the original legacy house is available from the download link and I was able to expand it without any problem at all, both empty and occupied:

http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=249424
Alchemist
#59 Old 25th Sep 2007 at 2:32 PM
Hello!

How on earth do you make SMALLER lots? It has been done, and I use MaryLou's 1x1 lot all the time. However, the shadow seems to be on the wrong side of the block for me, so I was thinking to make some of my own.

I saw Plasticbox's 2x N lots have a specific orientation, and that must be what I need to do, but I also have to make the lot smaller, which I cannot work out how to do. Can someone help?
Mad Poster
#60 Old 25th Sep 2007 at 4:38 PM
aelflaed,

Even Andi's original 1xn lots are all made backing the sun light direction.
Just hold on and may read post 412, here
Site Helper
Original Poster
#61 Old 25th Sep 2007 at 7:33 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 28th Sep 2007 at 9:16 PM. Reason: Pointer to Rotate a Lot
Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
How on earth do you make SMALLER lots? It has been done, and I use MaryLou's 1x1 lot all the time. However, the shadow seems to be on the wrong side of the block for me, so I was thinking to make some of my own.


Suggestion #1:
Andi documented how to create a 1x1 lot in one of the earlier posts on this thread. Check out post #106:

http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?p=1376196

This was written more than a year ago, so there may be a few new record instances that you need to deal with. Your best bet might be to create these lots with the base game, since most EPs add new record types that you would have to deal with. This also allows the most people to use the lot, since it will be compatible with everyone's installation.


Suggestion #2:
Perhaps someone could figure out how to make Andi's 1x1 lot into a template? Then, the sun direction can be chosen when the lot is first put into a neighborhood.


Suggestion #3:
I just realized that my "Rotating a house on a lot" technique would work in this case. This is really easy to do. Basically, you just add a new road in the back yard, and then tell the game that that new road is now at the front of the house. I've put my notes into this post:

http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?p=1778075
The ModFather
retired moderator
#62 Old 28th Sep 2007 at 7:33 PM
OK, I hope you all will appreciate the major thread cleanup

The old LotExpander by Andi has been moved and archived into a new, locked thread here:
http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=250686

And the ongoing discussion about modding the lot size, orientation etc, along with the nifty tutorials by Mootilda has been moved to the Research & Development forum, here:
http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?t=250693
Don't forget to subscribe to the new discussion thread, if you want to be aware of new posts.


Now we can reserve this thread only to support and help posts strictly related to the Lot Expander.

I've finally started my Journal. Information only, no questions.

My latest activity: CEP 9.2.0! - AnyGameStarter 2.1.1 (UPD) - Scriptorium v.2.2f - Photo & Plaques hide with walls - Magazine Rack (UPD) - Animated Windows Hack (UPD) - Custom Instrument Hack (UPD) - Drivable Cars Without Nightlife (UPD) - Courtesy Lights (FIX) - Custom Fence-Arches - Painting-TV - Smarter Lights (UPD)


I *DON'T* accept requests, sorry.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#63 Old 28th Sep 2007 at 7:47 PM
Ok.. but a load of the cleaned up posts were research Mootilda asked for that was meant to help this project, like my post about the beach portals I made about half an hour ago.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Site Helper
Original Poster
#64 Old 28th Sep 2007 at 8:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
Ok.. but a load of the cleaned up posts were research Mootilda asked for that was meant to help this project, like my post about the beach portals I made about half an hour ago.

That's just fine. I'll certainly be looking at the other thread for research to help with my work on the LotExpander.

From now on, let's leave this thread for bug reports and problems with the LotExpander, as well as suggestions for new features.

I intend to spend some time now checking that the links are all still functional.
The ModFather
retired moderator
#65 Old 28th Sep 2007 at 9:33 PM
Well, the discussion thread is intended to be a source of info useful to Mootilda to improve the LotExpander; I believe it's better to leave this thread only for support, updatets etc., like any other download thread...

I've finally started my Journal. Information only, no questions.

My latest activity: CEP 9.2.0! - AnyGameStarter 2.1.1 (UPD) - Scriptorium v.2.2f - Photo & Plaques hide with walls - Magazine Rack (UPD) - Animated Windows Hack (UPD) - Custom Instrument Hack (UPD) - Drivable Cars Without Nightlife (UPD) - Courtesy Lights (FIX) - Custom Fence-Arches - Painting-TV - Smarter Lights (UPD)


I *DON'T* accept requests, sorry.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#66 Old 28th Sep 2007 at 9:55 PM
If Mootilda's happy I am happy

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Mad Poster
#67 Old 28th Sep 2007 at 10:03 PM
Well, the 1xN lots Andi made are still workable and good for downloads...

BTW, I'm happy with the arrangement as long as most of us who are concerned are satisfied.
Thanks 4 your help.
Test Subject
#68 Old 29th Sep 2007 at 2:11 PM Last edited by Tsouka : 29th Sep 2007 at 2:18 PM. Reason: Adding screenshot.
First of all, thanks for this. I had a very large family on a very small lot who needed more space, but I didn't want to go through all the trouble of moving them into a new house and having to refurnish it as I saw fit, not to mention lose all the gravestones I'm bewilderingly attached to, and I was thrilled to have found a solution other than just building up until I ran out of floors. :D

However, something's happened that completely baffles me--I was able to resize the lot and place it properly with no problems, but upon closer inspection, all my family portraits have vanished. I didn't think it would be related to the expansion since literally everything else seemed to be fine, but I restored from a backup I'd made just before I tweaked the lot and, sure enough, all the paintings were fine. I then expanded the lot again, and once again the paintings vanished, leaving instead lovely white canvases that display...

The word 'painting,' and what looks like some hexadecimal. Fantastic.

Anyway, my question is, could the LotExpander cause this, or was it just a coincidence? I assumed it's related somehow since it happened both times I used the expander, but I'm pretty clueless when it comes to anything more complicated than downloading new stuff. If it was just an unfortunate coincidence, sorry for the off-topic post.

Site Helper
Original Poster
#69 Old 29th Sep 2007 at 5:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsouka
upon closer inspection, all my family portraits have vanished.
{...}
Anyway, my question is, could the LotExpander cause this, or was it just a coincidence?

The LotExpander touches many of the objects on the lot, in order to move them to their new locations. This means that there is at least a possibility that the LotExpander is causing this behavior.

No one has reported this behavior before, so I'll need to try to reproduce the behavior on my machine. Can you tell me which expansion and stuff packs you have installed? Also, how were the portraits created? IE, were they painted by members of the family, custom content, photos taken with the career reward, ...?

Would it be possible to package up your lot and family and attach them to this thread? As long as you have your backup, there should be no problems with packaging the occupied lot to a file, attaching the file to this post, and then restoring from your backup.

There is one other thing that I'd like you to try: Put the family portraits into your sim's inventory before expanding the lot. Then, let me know whether the portraits come through the expansion correctly or not.

Thanks for reporting this.
Site Helper
Original Poster
#70 Old 29th Sep 2007 at 5:19 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 29th Sep 2007 at 6:25 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by niol
Well, the 1xN lots Andi made are still workable and good for downloads...

Are Andi's 1XN lots fundamentally different from MaryLou's residential 1xN lots?

I didn't add a link to Andi's lot in the first post because I thought that they were identical.
Mad Poster
#71 Old 29th Sep 2007 at 10:47 PM Last edited by niol : 1st Oct 2007 at 5:48 PM.
No, I just realised that MaryLou in her thread also provides Andi's 1xN series of "horizontal" lots and her "vertical" lots probably expanded from the basic 10x20 lot Andi made.

I used to think she released the vertical version only coz Andi has already the "horizontal" series posted.
Sorry for the confusion due to my not checking her thread carefully before or Andi's series was added after my first glimpse. My bad for not rechecking before posting.

She also linked back to Andi's thread.

Since her download thread is already featured, so I assume most users can easily get Andi's lots already. After all, I no longer see that as a problem.


Tsouka's case is a common reason why I personally wanna keep sims in the same lot even though the lot specifications no longer suit for the sims' need. Yet, I figure it's better take the screenshots and use the screenshot for the sims to turn them into portraits. So even they may lose the portraits, they can always repaint them back.

But, there should be a place to store the painting graphics in a lot pacakge so that it loads everytime the lot is accessed. Will modding the painting slot help figuaring its potential location easier?


Added:
Thanks for your on-going efforts
Test Subject
#72 Old 1st Oct 2007 at 2:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
Can you tell me which expansion and stuff packs you have installed? Also, how were the portraits created? IE, were they painted by members of the family, custom content, photos taken with the career reward, ...?

I have Nightlife and Pets, no stuff packs. The portraits were created from within the game with the 'Paint Portrait of...' option on the easel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
There is one other thing that I'd like you to try: Put the family portraits into your sim's inventory before expanding the lot. Then, let me know whether the portraits come through the expansion correctly or not.

Dropping them into somebody's inventory worked; I've expanded the lot and the portraits are safely back on the walls now. Regardless, do you still need me to package up the lot? It's got a lot of custom content on it; I'm not sure how or if that would affect anything. I'm tempted to try it with another house and see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by niol
Yet, I figure it's better take the screenshots and use the screenshot for the sims to turn them into portraits. So even they may lose the portraits, they can always repaint them back.

*facepalm* That would probably be a much better way to do it. I'll have to try that instead from now on.
Site Helper
Original Poster
#73 Old 1st Oct 2007 at 2:43 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsouka
Dropping them into somebody's inventory worked; I've expanded the lot and the portraits are safely back on the walls now.

Excellent. Always nice when there's a workaround until I can find and fix the problem.

Quote:
Regardless, do you still need me to package up the lot? It's got a lot of custom content on it; I'm not sure how or if that would affect anything. I'm tempted to try it with another house and see.

No, don't bother to give me the lot. I'm in the middle of a fairly extensive code change right now. Since you've got a workaround, I'll note it as a possible bug and try to reproduce it once I'm finished with my current work.

If you do have problems with other houses, please let me know.
Site Helper
Original Poster
#74 Old 1st Oct 2007 at 5:21 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 1st Oct 2007 at 6:35 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by niol
But, there should be a place to store the painting graphics in a lot pacakge so that it loads everytime the lot is accessed. Will modding the painting slot help figuaring its potential location easier?

Moved this discussion to the research thread:
http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?p=1784613

I've completed the code to keep the lot in place in the neighborhood and am now working on getting the expanded terrain from the neighborhood package. Since Tsouka has a workaround for her problem, and the problem and workaround have been documented in the original post, I'm hoping to put this problem off until I complete the work on the neighborhood terrain.
Field Researcher
#75 Old 1st Oct 2007 at 6:58 PM
Fabuolous.. I soo missed this program, and it was so sad to hear about andi. My question is: is it possible to shrink beach lots? If anyone succeded in this, are there any for downloading?
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