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A project worth checking out

Date Posted: 31st Mar 2013 at 12:53 PM

While not exclusively sims related, this project is something definitely worth checking out if you're a mesher, recolourer or machinima creator:

I spoke for a while with the person behind it a couple of weeks ago. The idea is essentially this; you see (or make) a machinima video of someone's game, and it has a piece of CC in there which you absolutely must have. You run this video through this tool, and it prints out a list of all the different CC used in that clip, along with all the details of the creator.

The tool is still very much a work in progress, but is apparentl showing some very promising results. If it works well, maybe they'll even be able to expand it to work on static images. I can see potential to provide instant CC credits lists for competition entries, an automatic way to answer WCIF queries, and a tool for creators to see all the cool videos and images that their content has been featured in.

At this point, their team needs sample data. That means that they need content and creator information in their database which they can then match to the images they see in the videos. If you're a mesher or recolourer and you want to help out, check out the link above and upload some samples for their database.

I can see a tool like this being useful not just in the sims space, but also in the wider 3D modelling and video game space. If nothing else, think about submitting some stuff just to help out some research students work on building something really clever!
Comments 2
The Unreleased (part 1 - a working bridge)

Date Posted: 30th Dec 2009 at 7:52 AM

By way of introduction...

As many people who know me have probably realised, I have a problematic attention span. When I mod, I get enthusiastic about figuring out how to do something, but once the tricky part is figured out I lose all interest in finishing it.

As such, my sims modding folder is littered with dozens of almost-complete mods for TS2. Some are cloning templates, needing only some creative meshing. Some are complete objects, but missing a key animation. Some are the proof-of-concept pieces for something which later became an actual released mod.

Since I'm all but retired in the actual making-new-mods-for-TS2 sense, these mods are going to stay unreleased, unsupported, and incomplete. However, since there are still a few aspiring TS2 hackers about, I'm going to make them 'unofficially' available over the next few journal posts for anyone who wants to build on them or use part of their code for something exciting.

All of these files are free for use in any way you like. Finish them and release them yourself, use them to create something new, play with them in-game as incomplete objects... Anything you like. Credit is appreciated, if you aren't making significant changes to my bases.

They are, however, only available from me as-is. I have no interest in doing any further work on them.


Mostly-complete item one - A Working Bridge

This was a request from Canoodle, who wondered why we had to build bridges with elevation cheats instead of having bridges as drop-down objects. This was a proof of concept for such an object. Its two end tiles must be placed on land, but the intervening tiles can also be placed over water. Sims will use it to route over ponds etc, rather than walking around them, assuming the body of water is wide enough to warrant it.

What needs to be done to it to make it "ready"?
It is fully working, but the animations look entirely ridiculous. The bridge requires two "walking" animation files, one for walking each direction. If you are able to make these animations, then simply replace the two anim files already in there with yours and it should work. The mesh and textures could do with a bit of care too! You will also need to give it legitimate GUIDs if you intend to share, as those currently in there are just dummy values.


I actually would love to see this one completed, if there are any interested animators about.
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Typing one handed...

Date Posted: 30th Mar 2009 at 10:49 AM

Seems I have tendonitis in my left hand. This is extremely frustrating for me, because I'm basically unable to use it for anything. Tying up shoelaces is bordering on impossible, so as you can imagine typing normally is pretty much out of the question. The good news is that I'm still a fairly fast typist even one handed, but it does mean that I'm making a hell of a lot more typos than usual. This irritates me somewhat. Sigh. A whole week of this? I may go insane(er than I already am).
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Modder seeks animator?

Date Posted: 7th Mar 2009 at 11:47 AM

I have a problem. My attention span is... Oh look! A kitten!

Ahem. Yes. I have a short attention span problem, which means that while I am technically capable of meshing something decent, and of texturing it reasonably well, and animating things smoothly... I normally get to the end of the coding and modding phase of my projects, then quit due to a shiny new idea that I've had.

Well I'm in just such a position now. I've got something hacked, rearranged, and working as a proof of concept, but it has an average mesh and average textures and very dodgy animations. It's base game compatible, and I think it would be quite popular. At least two people have mentioned in passing that they want such an object, and that was before I actually considered making it

So if you feel like pairing up with me for a little once-off project, one object only, and you have animating skills, drop me a note for some no-obligation project details!
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Upcoming coolness and some Java

Date Posted: 10th Jan 2009 at 3:02 PM

Two bits of interesting news today!

First thing is that you may have noticed a few people mentioning a 'High Rollers' project recently? It's really close now, and I mean *really* close. Keep your eyes open, it's pretty cool.

The other thing is more of an idle achievement. I saw a post on a different forum that mentioned how, with all the detail in the wiki, it's really quite easy now to code up a package reader in your language of choice. I couldn't let a comment like that just slide by, so I gave it a shot. Sure enough, I had the bare bones of a package reader working in Java inside a couple of hours, but then I had to come up with something graphical to use it for so I could show it off.

That was yesterday. Now I've got something with virtually no practical use, but which looks pretty and complicated and unpacks .package files to do it. Basically, it takes an object clone, then puts together a directed graph showing the relationships between its BHAVs, up into its semiglobals and (optionally) into the globals. It also draws in the OBJFs, but I haven't written the decoding logic for TTABs yet so it doesn't draw those. Also, my interest is starting to wane. (I have trouble working on the same thing for more that a day!)

So pictures! Click to embiggen!

OBJf = yellow
Local BHAV = blue
Semiglobal BHAV = red
Global BHAV = green


Piano with globals:



Double bed (!!!):
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Well that was FUN!

Date Posted: 18th Nov 2007 at 2:11 AM

My fairytales entry is up now, and I've got to say that that was fun! I even managed to do it in under my allotted time of 6 days (a self imposed limit to stop me from making another monster set).

Of course, now that I've finished it, I feel obliged to write up a proper tutorial on custom socials. I figured out a few things while making it which I don't think have been documented anywhere (and if they have, I haven't found them). Plus, it's not like we have a shortage of people who want to make new social interactions! I've just got to figure out what parameter 0x2 is for in "Soc&Rel: Adjust Soc & Rel to Other Sim".... Grr!
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Fairy tales eh?

Date Posted: 6th Nov 2007 at 8:14 AM

So I figured that since I actually voted for the "fairy tales" theme, I really ought to put in an entry for it, so I am. I haven't worked on anything small for several months now, so I'm a bit out of the habit, but it's a fun challenge to create something in a limited time frame.

Here's what I've discovered since starting this challenge entry:

- Not working on something which is going to take 12 months to complete? Awesome. But slightly harder, since I keep coming up with 20 other things that would go with the current object to make up a cool set

- Trying to make something you haven't made before? Also awesome. Never made a social before, never made a social plugin before, never done *anything* with the visible inventory before, but I'm doing all three with this project and, while frustrating, it's a lot of fun.

- Working on something within a fixed time frame? Awesome, but a bit scary. I've always sort of done the "when I feel like it" thing, and this time I can't. Fortunately, "when I feel like it" has pretty much been all the time the last two days, so yay for that!

- Social mods? Yep, that's right, awesome. You can do so much in so little code, it's freaking brilliant.

and finally...

- Working on an entry for a challenge at the same time as dozens of others are also working on entries for the same challenge? Fantastic!

Seriously, if you haven't considered entering before, consider it now. There are so many options to play with in this theme, and it really is fun.
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A million?

Date Posted: 30th Sep 2007 at 9:23 AM

At some point today or yesterday, I passed 1 million downloads. This, of course, makes me feel somewhat chuffed.

It's a bit of an irrelevant number, of course, given that it *does* include all the cases where the same person has downloaded the same item multiple times because of an EP update/bugfix, and it *doesn't* include downloads for any collaborative project contributions like the HP set or the rugs. But, it does mean that my profile takes up one more character than it did before, since my download count is now at 7 digits.

I had intended to release something really spiffy for the occasion, and started a few months ago accordingly. Alas, at the moment it's causing my game to crash every time I try and start, so it may be a while off yet. Give it another couple of months and it might be working properly!

Thanks so much to all the people who have downloaded and enjoyed my stuff. If there weren't so many lovely people who use this content and celebrate it, I think most of my stuff would still be in the "works but is highly buggy, for personal use only" directory.
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Quick note...

Date Posted: 21st Sep 2007 at 6:57 AM

I'm afk all weekend. Any PMs, emails or questions in any of my threads will have to wait until Monday. Just so you know that I'm not ignoring you.
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First projects.

Date Posted: 3rd Aug 2007 at 11:13 AM

Ok, I'm not targeting anyone specific here, but I've seen several people falling into a particular trap recently and I feel the need to say something:

First projects are for experimentation, not exposure!

Everyone who's ever created something really cool has had to face the daunting prospect of a first solo project at least once in their time. Generally it happens after working through several tutorials, and despite the word "solo", it tends to involve a lot of hand holding from others who have done it before. And that is really, really, good.

But! When you're choosing the goal of that first project, please make sure you can do the entire thing with skills you've already got! Your first project really should be something you look back on with embarassment in 6 months time.

You should not be aiming for an instant hit with the downloaders. It should not require new textures and new meshes and new materials and new slots and new behaviours and new animations. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that your first solo project should not be something that's new and exciting and everyone wants! Why? Because if it's something new and exciting and everyone wants, but no one's made it before, it's probably because it's hard to make!

What does make a good first project? Well, if you've just finished the table tutorial, make a chair. If you've just finished a t-shirt making tutorial, make a dress. If you've finished a max-motives painting, make a drop motives statue. You don't have to release this stuff, just see what your new knowledge will and won't allow you to do. You'll save yourself (and you hand holding mentors!) hours or days of frustration if you do.

Finally, for the more practiced modders... No new project should require you to learn more than one new modding skill. If it does, put it on hold for a couple of weeks, read some tutorials, and make some mini "proof of understanding" objects - one for each of the new skills. That way you know you'll do it right when you get to the actual project. My modding folder is full of the discarded remains of random statues and chessboards which do all sorts of odd things, because whenever I want to make something cool I test the idea it out small scale first.

I'll stop preaching now. Thanks for listening.
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