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HoodReplace 2.3: Replace Neighborhood Terrain (Updated Jan 24, 2010)

by Mootilda Posted 31st Mar 2008 at 11:03 PM - Updated 27th Nov 2013 at 5:45 PM by Nysha
198 Comments / replies (Who?) - 25 Feedback Posts
Picked Upload! This is a picked upload! It showcases some of the best talent and creativity available on MTS and in the community.


HoodReplace Version 2.3:

The HoodReplace program will copy any selection of: terrain, roads, bridges, trees and decorations from one Sims 2 neighborhood to another, completely replacing the selected elements from the existing neighborhood.

There is an option to fix the elevation of various elements. Structures, such as lots, will be moved up or down to touch the new terrain. This should reduce problems such as lots flying in the air or disappearing underground. At this time, the elevation of bridges cannot be adjusted.

There is also an option to remove an entire type of structures, such as all trees or all decorations.

Because this program allows you to select which elements to copy, rather than having to copy everything, you can do things which used to be very difficult. For example: you can now add roads to a neighborhood without losing your existing neighborhood trees and decorations.

Version 2.3 adds the option to fix the elevation of roads.

Installation:
To install, just download HoodReplace.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 neighborhoods. Be sure to backup your game before using this tool.

I have included the source code for version 2.2 in HoodReplaceSource.zip. There is no need to download this file unless you are a C# programmer who wishes to look at or modify the code.

I left the previous version (PreviousHoodReplace.zip) available, in case there are any unforseen problems. There is no need to download this file.

Requirements:
- The program uses some DLLs from SimPE; they are included in the zip file.
- HoodReplace is released under the GNU General Public License.
- You need the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 to run HoodReplace:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/down...s.aspx?id=20137

Instructions:
- Make sure that you are not running other programs which access your save game, such as the game itself, BodyShop, SimPE, or any other program which modifies the save game.
- Backup your game files.
- Run HoodReplace.EXE and select the "from" and "to" neighborhoods. If your neighborhood is not in the standard location, use the Browse button to select the neighborhood.
- Choose all of the neighborhood elements which you want to replace.
- Choose whether to fix the elevation of each type of element.
- Choose whether to remove all elements of a specific type.
- Click on the Copy button.

Tutorials:
Adding Roads to an Existing Neighborhood:
http://www.modthesims2.com/showpost...389&postcount=4

Known Issues:
1) HoodReplace has been tested with all EPs and SPs up to and including Mansion and Garden Stuff. It may not work with later EPs and SPs.

2) Even when HoodReplace fixes the elevation, there is a possibility that an element will be partially underground or in the air.

You should be able to resolve many of these issues by moving the objects by hand in the neighborhood view. If problems continue, try repeatedly running HoodReplace and then moving the lots and objects in the neighborhood to adjust their elevation. Each iteration should bring you closer to your desired result.

Extra Goodies:
- The Pleasantview SC4 file which shipped with the game doesn't actually match the Pleasantview neighborhood terrain. If you want to add roads to Pleasantview, you can download Melly_Sim's fixed Pleasantview SC4 file, attached here.

Notes:
- This program is an enhancement of my tutorial:
Changing the Terrain for an Existing Neighborhood
Adding Roads to an Existing Neighborhood
http://www.modthesims2.com/showpost...58&postcount=70

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
PreviousHoodReplace.zip | Previous version V2.2 - do not download

Size: 663.7 KB · Downloads: 740 · 19th Feb 2009
663.7 KB 740 19th Feb 2009
HoodReplaceSource.zip | C# source code V2.2 - for programmers only

Size: 40.1 KB · Downloads: 865 · 19th Feb 2009
40.1 KB 865 19th Feb 2009
HoodReplace.zip | Current version of HoodReplace V2.3

Size: 663.6 KB · Downloads: 10,560 · 19th Feb 2009
663.6 KB 10,560 19th Feb 2009
OriginalPleasantview.rar | SC4 file which matches the original Pleasantview terrain

Size: 752.5 KB · Downloads: 3,180 · 28th Apr 2008
752.5 KB 3,180 28th Apr 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?
 
198 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 176 Feedback Posts, 17 Thanks Posts
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Original Poster
#2 Old 2nd Apr 2008 at 8:25 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 24th Jan 2010 at 8:23 PM. Reason: Version 2.3
Default HoodReplace Release History
This is the release history for HoodReplace:

Release 2.3:

New option to fix elevations of roads.


Release 2.2:

Listboxes will now display neighborhoods with non-standard name prefixes.


Release 2.1:

Fixed a bug where the checkboxes were incorrectly reset when the Copy button was clicked.


Release 2.0:

1) Change the file extension of the HoodReplace backups from ".BAK" to ".BKP", to avoid a conflict with SimPE backups. This is especially important since some versions of SimPE will unnecessarily delete .bak files.

2) New "Fix elevation" options move elements up or down so that they touch the terrain. Available for trees, decorations and lots; still working on roads and bridges.

3) New "Remove" options delete all elements of a specific type. Available for roads, bridges, trees, and decorations; no plans to implement removal of all lots.

4) New "Show Empty Neighborhoods" option displays or hides empty neighborhoods in the "from" and "to" lists.

5) New "Versioned Backups" option keeps multiple versions of the backup file. If this option is chosen, each backup will have a unique number associated with it, so that this backup will not be overwritten the next time that HoodReplace is run. Because a new backup file will be generated each time, you should be sure to cleanup backups when you are finished with them.

6) If HoodReplace has access to its installation directory, it will maintain the "Versioned Backups" setting across sessions.

7) SC4 (SimCity 4) files can now be selected using the "from" Browse button. Choose "SimCity 4" in the "Files of type" dropdown. Only terrain can be copied at this time.

8) If the "from" and "to" neighborhoods are different sizes, the user is given an option to resize the entire terrain to fit. If this option is chosen, then the user is given an option to scale the elevation. Increasing the percentage will make higher mountains; decreasing the percentage will make lower hills.


Release 1.3.2:

The Browse button will now allow selection of subneighborhoods.


Release 1.3.1:

1) When HoodReplace is unable to find any neighborhoods in the default location, it will now display an empty list (instead of crashing). Use the Browse button to find your neighborhood package manually.

2) Resolve x64 issues using the information in this section: "1.44 References to 32-bit COM components may not work in VB and C# Applications running on 64-bit platforms" of this link:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vs2005/aa718685.aspx


Release 1.3:

Added Apartment Life neighborhood to listboxes.


Release 1.2:

Enhanced Functionality:

1) Added Browse buttons to allow selection of neighborhoods which are not in the standard Sims 2 installation location. For example, you can Browse to a backup of your neighborhood, or to a Sims Stories neighborhood.

2) Added the ability to copy from a Castaway Stories neighborhood to a second CS neighborhood or to a Sims 2 neighborhood. CS neighborhoods are larger than the standard TS2 neighborhoods: 256x256 instead of the standard 128x128.

If you are copying from CS to TS2, then you cannot copy trees or decorations (yet). You will be asked to specify the starting coordinates and HoodReplace will copy a 128x128 section of the CS neighborhood.

Release 1.0:

Enhanced Functionality:
- Allow user to select which elements to copy: terrain, roads, bridges, trees, decorations.

Release 0.1:

Pre-release:
- Copies roads from one neighborhood to another.
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Original Poster
#3 Old 2nd Apr 2008 at 8:25 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 19th Feb 2009 at 3:04 AM.
Default To-Do List for HoodReplace
Ideas for Future Features / Programs:

- Allow the user to add and remove roads in an existing neighborhood directly, without using SimCity 4 to edit the terrain.

- Add an option to move the entire terrain up or down. I believe that lowering the terrain will flood low-lying areas. Alternatively, it may be possible to raise or lower the water level within a neighborhood.

- Add an option to scale the entire terrain.

- Adjust height of roads and bridges so that they match the current terrain. Should be optional; some people may *like* flying trees and sunken rocks. Might even want to allow people to specifically adjust heights... the Castaway Stories neighborhoods show how this can be quite effective.

- When copying from Castaway Stories to The Sims 2, copy only the appropriate selection of roads, bridges, trees, and decorations (since TS2 neighborhoods are only 1/4 of the CS neighborhood size).

- Allow user to copy from The Sims 2 to Castaway Stories? Might want to pad or allow user to combine 4 small adjacent SC4 cities.
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Original Poster
#4 Old 2nd Apr 2008 at 8:26 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 5th Apr 2008 at 6:15 PM. Reason: Add EditTheSims2 SimCity4 Region
Default Tutorial: How to Add Roads to an Existing Neighborhood
Changing the Terrain for an Existing Neighborhood:
One possible use of HoodReplace is to add roads or make other terrain changes to an existing neighborhood.

Requirements:
  1. HoodReplace, installed.
    .
  2. An SC4 file which corresponds to your existing neighborhood terrain. This file is usually found in the directory:
    ...\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\SC4Terrains

    - If you are using a neighborhood which came with the game, then EA usually provides a corresponding SC4 file.

    - If you created a neighborhood from scratch, then you either selected an existing SC4 file, or you copied a custom SC4 to this directory.
    .
  3. SimCity 4 / Rush Hour, or SimCity 4 Deluxe. If you don't have a copy, you might want to consider buying one; I've seen them in stores for $10 or less.

Making changes to the terrain:
  1. Run SimCity 4. Create a new region called EditTheSims2 (or whatever). Exit the game.

    Alternatively, you can download EditTheSims2.zip (attached here) and unzip it into ...\My Documents\SimCity 4\Regions\ and then skip the next step.
    .
  2. In ...\My Documents\SimCity 4\Regions\EditTheSims2, edit the config.bmp using the Windows Paint program and change it to a 1x1 (pixel) BMP. Change the color of the pixel to red (Red=255, Green=0, Blue=0).

    Alternatively, you can just copy the config.bmp file attached here to replace the original config.bmp.

    This step changes EditTheSims2 to a region with one small city.
    .
  3. Copy the terrain .SC4 file from The Sims 2 into the SimCity 4 Downloads directory:
    ...\My Documents\SimCity 4\Regions\Downloads

    Note: The city name displayed in-game may not match the name of your SC4 file. I usually try to keep my Downloads directory empty, so that it's easy to find the SC4 file that I want.
    .
  4. Run SimCity 4 again to import your SC4 file and edit the terrain:
    - Make sure that you are looking at the EditTheSims2 region.
    - Click on the city to bring up Start New City. The EditTheSims2 region will have only one small city in it.
    - Click on the Import icon to bring up the Small City Import dialog.
    - Select your city from the Downloads folder and click Import City. If you cleared out your Downloads directory first, then it will contain only 1 small city, so your SC4 file will be easy to find.
    - Click on the city again to bring up the city information, then click the right arrow to edit the city.
    - You'll notice that the city is mirror-reversed from your TS2 neighborhood - this is expected behavior. Change the city as desired, then save and exit from SimCity 4.

    Note: The first time that I did this, I didn't have SimCity 4 Rush Hour / Deluxe installed. Turns out that Strangetown was created with Rush Hour, so it wouldn't import. Depending upon how your city was created, you may need the SimCity 4 Rush Hour expansion pack or the SimCity 4 Deluxe edition.
    .
  5. Copy your SC4 file from the SimCity 4 region:
    ...\My Documents\SimCity 4\Regions\EditTheSims2
    back into your TS2 directory:
    ...\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\SC4Terrains
    .
    You may want to rename your SC4 file, rather than replacing the original one - just in case you aren't happy with your changes.

Replacing the neighborhood terrain:
  1. Create a temporary neighborhood in the Sims 2 using the edited SC4 file.
    .
  2. Run HoodReplace. Select the temporary neighborhood in the left (from) listbox and the old neighborhood in the right (to) listbox, select which elements you wish to copy: terrain, roads, bridges, etc, then click on the Copy button.
    .
  3. Delete the temporary neighborhood created above.

Cleaning Up:
If your new terrain is different than your old terrain, you may notice some issues such as lots, trees and decorations which are above or below the level of the terrain. You can often fix these issues by picking up the object and then placing it back into the neighborhood.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: zip Config.zip (144 Bytes, 482 downloads)
File Type: zip EditTheSims2.zip (373 Bytes, 602 downloads)
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Original Poster
#5 Old 2nd Apr 2008 at 8:26 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 3rd Apr 2008 at 8:59 PM.
Reserved for future use.
Test Subject
#6 Old 2nd Apr 2008 at 10:38 PM
Looks good, I will try it out. I have a question, not really related to the terrainreplacement, but to a hoodreplacement. Is it possible to make the same program to replace your Simfamily's from one hood to another? So, in stead of terrain, the houses with sims in it. I wanted to move a lot (almost all) of my sims to a new neighbourhood, but after waiting for 30 min for 1 lot (only 1/4 part) I exited the game. And have been looking for something like what I just described. I don't know anything about making programs, so just say so if it's a stupid question
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Original Poster
#7 Old 2nd Apr 2008 at 11:23 PM
I'm not really sure that I understand the difference between changing the terrain of a neighborhood and moving all of your families and lots to a new neighborhood. Could you explain further? What are you trying to accomplish?

The problem with moving an occupied lot is that the game insists on creating dummy sims for everyone associated with that family. Does your sim have a friend outside of the family? Then the game will create a dummy friend. Does your sim have a memory of meeting someone? Then the game will create a dummy sim for that memory. If you've been playing your family for any amount of time, then the game will create a lot of dummy sims to populate your neighborhood. When you move the second lot, the game will create dummies for everyone associated with the new lot, even if duplicate dummy sims from the first lot already exist. In no time at all, your game will crawl to a standstill.
Not actually evil.
#8 Old 2nd Apr 2008 at 11:24 PM
I applaud new tool creation. This is a nifty project.

Are there plans to eventually combine this with a terrain heigh modification tool to deal with those tunneling roads and flying trees?
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Original Poster
#9 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 12:02 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 3rd Apr 2008 at 12:20 AM.
I am considering requests for features. It should be fairly easy to write a program (or modify this one) to adjust the land and/or water height of a neighborhood. But, I'm not sure that's what you want...

Currently, HoodReplace is not parsing the internal structure of the arrays for the roads, bridges, etc.; it's just copying the arrays whole. However, parsing these arrays is on my to-do list, so that HR can copy trees and decorations from Castaway Stories.

Would you like the option to have HR change the heights of all structures so that they match the current neighborhood terrain? This should be fairly simple for 1-tile objects, but it's more difficult for lots and larger decorations, since they cover a number of tiles and I'd need some reasonable algorithm for deciding the appropriate height.

Of course, you can pick up lots, trees, and decorations and adjust their heights, yourself. Also, with FreeTime, you can adjust the height of the terrain in game. I'm not sure that this solves all of the problems, but it may solve some.
Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
#10 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 12:38 AM
This is wonderful news. In case I ever get to play my game again, I can finally salvage that old neighbourhood of mine -- a beautiful terrain that I lost the sc4 file of .. I don't want to play it anymore (the families are broken) and i'm happy to know I'll be able to restart it with fresh sims. Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
I'm not really sure that I understand the difference between changing the terrain of a neighborhood and moving all of your families and lots to a new neighborhood. Could you explain further? What are you trying to accomplish?


I guess we can now achieve the same result (old sims, new hood) much more elegantly and safely than before! Instead of breaking our games by attempting to move sims around (NEVER EVER do this!), we can now simply move the terrain .. this is great.

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.
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Original Poster
#11 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 12:54 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 5th Apr 2008 at 5:07 PM. Reason: Add title
Default Extract SC4 terrain from TS2 neighborhood
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
This is wonderful news. In case I ever get to play my game again, I can finally salvage that old neighbourhood of mine -- a beautiful terrain that I lost the sc4 file of .. I don't want to play it anymore (the families are broken) and i'm happy to know I'll be able to restart it with fresh sims. Thank you!
I've also been looking at whether it's possible to create an SC4 file from the information in a TS2 neighborhood package. Looks like it might be do-able. EA seems to ship a lot of neighborhoods without proper SC4 files. *Sigh.*

Just can't believe that EA dropped the ball on this one... since they went to the trouble of allowing us to modify the neighborhood terrain in FreeTime, you'd think that they would let us add and remove neighborhood roads, as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
I guess we can now achieve the same result (old sims, new hood) much more elegantly and safely than before! Instead of breaking our games by attempting to move sims around (NEVER EVER do this!), we can now simply move the terrain .. this is great.
Now, if we could just *safely* remove sims that we no longer want.
Doing all the things, and *mostly* not failing.
retired moderator
#12 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 1:02 AM
Perfect! I've been fiddling with trying to figure out a way to add roads to Strangetown. I'd love to play the neighborhood, but real estate in that town was at a premium when they shipped us the game! This will work perfectly for that!
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Original Poster
#13 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 1:21 AM
You're lucky, because the Strangetown SC4 file is very close to the Strangetown neighborhood terrain, so this technique should work well.
Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
#14 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 1:25 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
Just can't believe that EA dropped the ball on this one... since they went to the trouble of allowing us to modify the neighborhood terrain in FreeTime, you'd think that they would let us add and remove neighborhood roads, as well.

Yeah I was hoping for that, as well. I *hate* SC4.

Now with the terrain modification in FT, things should become a lot easier -- if it were possible to somehow extract a proper sc4 file from an FT-modified terrain, that would be fantastic. We wouldn't need SC4 anymore except for the roads .. and those are the smallest problem in my eyes; I used to spend hours and hours going back and forth between TS2 and SC4 in order to move the terrain up a notch, down a notch -- it should be so much easier to do this in-game instead, where you can actually see what you're doing. If you would give this a thought, that would be wonderful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
Now, if we could just *safely* remove sims that we no longer want.

http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com/s...pic,6205.0.html

This looks safe, but very complicated. But safe. I never tried it myself though.

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.
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Original Poster
#15 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 1:46 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 5th Apr 2008 at 5:07 PM. Reason: Add title
Default Extract SC4 terrain from TS2 neighborhood
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
Now with the terrain modification in FT, things should become a lot easier -- if it were possible to somehow extract a proper sc4 file from an FT-modified terrain, that would be fantastic. ... If you would give this a thought, that would be wonderful.
I've been doing some research on this. I've found some information about the internal structure of the SC4 file, and working on HoodReplace has given me insight into the neighborhood terrain. If enough people are interested, I can certainly set this as a priority.

Thanks for the link for deleting sims. Looks pretty complex. Unfortunately, the neighborhood corruption that can result from doing it wrong can be difficult to detect...
Field Researcher
#16 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 4:20 AM
Great idea for a program Mootilda, I'm always changing terrains with SimPE to try out layouts on any new SC4 hoods I've made, and this looks so much easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
Now, if we could just *safely* remove sims that we no longer want.


I remove the extras all the time, either with SimEnhancer or Clean Installer. These are the only two programs that allow you to see the sim you are deleting without having to save the hood file. Do not use SimPE, using SimPE requires that you save the neighborhood file and that screws up the hood.

Make a backup before doing anything or risk losing it all!!

I just restarted my game again and this is the method I use to get rid of all NPCs, townies, strays, etc. and it's working just fine. I have all the no regeneration hacks in so they don't come back and I can create my own versions.

If you use SimEnhancer to delete them don't do any other editing at the same time. Just delete those you don't want and close the program, they will still be gone with out saving anything.

With Clean Installer you'll have to know who is related to whom if you want to keep families intact because it only shows first names and dead ancestors are not greyed out, this makes deleting a little more involved.

I don't delete ghosts or ancestors so I can't tell you if that will work, I don't want to get rid of them anyway so I've never tried, but I have gotten rid of duplicates.

It's always worked for me, rarely I'll get a house that seems to be a bit jumpy, don't know if it's because of the delete or not, but using the Lot Debugger from MATY to clean junk memories fixes the problem.

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Original Poster
#17 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 7:59 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 5th Apr 2008 at 5:09 PM. Reason: Added title
Default Extract SC4 terrain from TS2 neighborhood
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
if it were possible to somehow extract a proper sc4 file from an FT-modified terrain, that would be fantastic
I started working on this and ran into the first issue.

Small SC4 cities have 64 x 64 terrain tiles, but TS2 neighborhoods have 128 x 128 terrain tiles. This means that the sampling process will have to drop 75% of the terrain points. I assume that EA interpolates the intermediate points when the SC4 file is fed back into the Sims 2. If you are spending a lot of time making minute changes to the terrain, these changes could easily be lost in the process.

So, the question is: is this still worth doing, even with the inevitable loss of data?

I suppose that a possible solution would be to create a medium-sized SC4 city for editing, then import the SC4 file into TS2 myself - thus maintaining all of the individual terrain points. However, this makes the generated SC4 files unusable in TS2 without my new program.
Doing all the things, and *mostly* not failing.
retired moderator
#18 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 8:12 AM
Having no idea what the last couple of posts are really talking about, is adding roads a feature that might eventually get added?
Theorist
#19 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 12:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaenoh
Having no idea what the last couple of posts are really talking about, is adding roads a feature that might eventually get added?


No Phae, what it is is...

You take a hood that you already like, but lacking some fetures.
You CREATE a hood that adds those fetures (IE in the first post, the Roads that wanted to be added to pleasentview)
You add those fetures from 'H1 to 'H2 ('H1 being the original, 'H2 being the additions)

Yea?

Thats right isn't it? :S

You so need a tutorial!


BodyShopped /// ShoofleedSims
♦ // Jack.exe // ♦
/
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Original Poster
#20 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 6:32 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 4th Apr 2008 at 5:35 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PETCHY14
Thats right isn't it? :S
Yes, that's right. This program came out of my tutorial for adding roads to a neighborhood. Someone at MATY asked for the ability to keep their trees and decorations intact, but copy over the roads from a modified neighborhood terrain. It's a very simple program, but enough people downloaded it that I decided to fix it up a bit and release it for general use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaenoh
Having no idea what the last couple of posts are really talking about, is adding roads a feature that might eventually get added?
Writing a program to add roads directly to a neighborhood is more complex, but I'm researching it now.

One of the conversations above is about a primary requirement for using this tool: you need an SC4 file which matches your existing neighborhood. EA doesn't always provide an SC4 file for the neighborhoods which are shipped with the game, and custom SC4 files can be lost over time. So, I'm thinking about writing a quick program which will extract an SC4 file from an existing TS2 neighborhood.

The other conversation above is about one possible use of HoodReplace: to clear a neighborhood of sims and lots. EA's current cheat to do this is known to corrupt your neighborhood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PETCHY14
You so need a tutorial!
Thanks for the suggestion. I will write something about adding roads to an existing neighborhood and attach it here.

This is a general-purpose tool, so there may be a need for multiple tutorials.

Other possible tutorials which use HoodReplace:
- Modifying the terrain for an existing neighborhood, for all EPs and SPs before FreeTime gave us the ability to change the neighborhood terrain in-game.
- Completely changing the terrain of an existing neighborhood, while keeping your sims, families and lots intact.
- Create a fresh neighborhood with an existing beloved terrain, where the SC4 file has been lost. AKA: Delete all sims and lots from a neighborhood. Thanks to plasticbox for this idea.
- Fix "terracing" of roads which occurs over time as lots are added, moved, and deleted from a (hilly) neighborhood. Thanks to Inge Jones for this idea.
- Porting neighborhoods from Sims Stories, where EA did not provide a corresponding SC4 file.

If anyone has any additional ideas for tutorials which use HoodReplace, please let me know. If you want to write a tutorial, even better.
Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
#21 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 8:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
If anyone has any additional ideas for tutorials which use HoodReplace, please let me know. If you want to write a tutorial, even better.


Perhaps too obvious, but:

* Making terrain/road changes to a custom hood (of which you still have the .sc4), *after* you've started to play it. Like what someone above said -- adding roads to Pleasantview -- for example .. this can also be achieved without HoodReplace, by adding the new terrain as a subhood and moving your sims over there, but replacing the terrain directly is much neater and quicker.

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.
Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
#22 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 8:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
Small SC4 cities have 64 x 64 terrain tiles, but TS2 neighborhoods have 128 x 128 terrain tiles. This means that the sampling process will have to drop 75% of the terrain points. I assume that EA interpolates the intermediate points when the SC4 file is fed back into the Sims 2.

That is my experience, yes. Roads for example (they're one tile wide in sc4, but also one tile wide in ts2) will, in TS2, always have a one-tile-wide area on one side that is at road level and 100% flat. Even if in sc4 there's a steep slope directly next to the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
If you are spending a lot of time making minute changes to the terrain, these changes could easily be lost in the process.

So, the question is: is this still worth doing, even with the inevitable loss of data?

It would be worth *trying* in any case, I think =) I guess it'll depend on the individual shape of the terrain whether the data loss is noticeable/annoying/unbearable or not. I think many people like to use relatively flat terrains anyway, and with those I hope it wouldn't be too much of a problem .. flat is flat, no matter the resolution.

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.
Lab Assistant
#23 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 8:51 PM
This is fantastic, Mootilda. For years I've wondered why the "nice" folks at EAmaxis have denied us the ability to add roads, unquestionably the most useful mod one can do to our hoods. Thanks for the great work.
Site Helper
Original Poster
#24 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 9:13 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 4th Apr 2008 at 4:06 PM.
I simply cannot fathom why EA did not include road editing with the new neighborhood terrain editing tools that came with FreeTime. They get 90% of the way there and then stop before implementing the one feature that I see requested over and over again.

Can anyone confirm for me that HoodReplace works for FreeTime? The last time that I installed FreeTime on my machine, it immediately uninstalled Bon Voyage - so FreeTime is no longer on my machine. If necessary, I'll reinstall FT to test this, but I was hoping that someone had already tried it.
Not actually evil.
#25 Old 3rd Apr 2008 at 9:58 PM
I have no objections to interpolating SC4 terrain. I would use SC4 mostly for roads anyway, and most of my terrain would be flat. If I wanted fancy shmancy terrain height details, I would add those in later in TS2.
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