This is an announcement that I am planning to release a utility program for The Sims 2. My program allows you to store information about your sims outside the game. It is a bit like a census of your sims, i.e. some kind of table or database that contains your sims' names, the hood they live in, their age, aspiration and various other interesting features.
I am developing the program for use with Sims 2, but since it technically has nothing to do with the game, you could as well use it for Sims 3 (or even Sims 1).
What's the point of this?
I'm a control-freak, and I like to have an overview of all my sims, so I can plan my next major steps in the game (like deciding to kill all elders in Pleasantview, because they are unnerving me). I also like statistics a lot, so I evaluate the data on my sims and draw diagrams. You can do whatever you like with the program. See the 'features' section below for a detailed description of what the program does.
If you do not see a point in all this, please simply leave this thread and do not post nasty stuff here.
Are you interested?
Then please post a short note in this thread! I only want to know if it is worth making this program available on MTS2. If I ever get to finish it (which may well take several more months), I will upload it in the 'utilities' section of Sims 2 downloads, and I will add a post to this thread with a link to the download.
How does it work?
I started taking notes on my sims on paper, but soon that got too messy. Then I shifted my 'census' to MS Excel, which worked quite fine, but is difficult to program. Now I am taking a whole new approach. However, my knowledge of the game code of Sims 2 is close to zero (I can't even handle properly), so this will be a stand-alone application. This means that my program will not retrieve any information from the game. Bad thing: you have to type in all the stuff yourself. Good thing: you can add information that is not even stored or accessible in-game, such as information about the mindset, religion, or political attitude of your sims (or anything else you can think of).
What features does it have?
The stuff I have already implemented or am planning to implement:
- a table-like overview of all sims. Every sim has: first name, last name, gender, neighborhood, age, generation, aspiration, sexual orientation, mother, father, spouse, and there is a possibility to add more (hidden) features. The table is sortable by columns. Dead sims stay in the database; you can specify in the settings window whether they are displayed in the table. There are buttons for editing a sim's features, adding a new sim, growing a sim up, giving birth, dying, killing a sim, marrying, devorcing. There are as little restrictions as possible, e.g. teens can give birth and marry, names can be changed arbitrarily etc.
- a tab that displays (probably customizable) diagrams. These diagrams are based on the information in the table. E.g. for every aspiration, the program will count the number of sims with that aspiration and the total number of sims. Then the program does some calculation and draws a pie diagram that shows the percentage of sims that have a certain aspiration.
- a tab that shows family trees just like the ones in the game. This feature relies on the mother, father and spouse attributes of each sim. These attributes are treated as they are treated by the game: mother is the sim who gave birth to this sim, so it does not have to be a female sim and it can even be left out. E.g. if Pascal Curious has an alien baby, the mother of that baby is Pascal and the father is Pollination Technician. You can decide yourself how you want to handle the spouse attribute - either reserve it for married couples (in- or excluding civil unions), include engagements as well or even committed relationships, if you like.
- a means of storing names that you may want to give to future sim babies. The database will be divided into female, male and family names. I have no concrete idea about the details yet.
- an area for your notes on The Sims 2 (or on anything you like).
Can I help?
Yes. Here's what you can do:
- Add a post to this thread and tell me what you would like the program to do. I cannot promise that I can implement anything, but I will certainly answer your post (sooner or later) to tell you if I will add the suggested feature.
- Would you like to test a part of my program? I personally hate doing test runs. You need no programming knowledge for this. All you have to do is: Whenever an error occurs, you have to tell me exactly what you clicked and what happened.
- Do you know Python or tcl/Tk (or the tkinter module in Python)? Please let me know in this thread, because I always have questions. Probably you have a better idea how to implement some feature. Or you know how to make Python send stuff to a printer... ?
- Do you know how to retrieve information from the game? Do you have an idea how I could connect my program to the game, so the information is automatically synchronized? Any hints on that are much appreciated.
- Do you speak a language other than English or German? Would you like to help translating the program into your language? (Unfortunately, the translation part will only start after the release of the English version. So please tell me now, if you are interested in translating the program and I will come back to you later. There is no obligation to actually do anything if you 'raise your hand' now; you can still say no later without anything happening.)
- Do you have ideas / suggestions on how to represent pets in the program? Should they appear in the same list as sims? What features would you register (e.g. gender, age, job)? Also non-technical ideas are appreciated. (I don't have the Pets EP, so please add some more explanation.)
- Are there any Apartment Life features that you think should be taken care of? Please let me know, since I don't have AL.
- What am I forgetting? Do you have further ideas or questions on anything that is at least remotely related to my program? Please post everything here.
I use Python 3.1.2 with Tk 8.5 on a Windows 7 machine. Python programs should usually also run on Unix/Linux/Ubuntu and Mac, but my program will not work with Python 2.x. I would classify my knowledge of Python as advanced, while my knowledge of the tkinter module is still rudimentary.
My installed EPs and SPs are: base game, University, Nightlife, Open for Business, Seasons, Bon Voyage, Free Time, Glamour Life Stuff, H&M Stuff.
Progress of this project as of December 31, 2010: 80% of the main components, 10% of the optional additions after about 6 months of (often interrupted) work.
It is most likely that the program will be released under the GNU GPL and that it will be open-source. There is a small chance that I might not be able to compile the program, i.e. you will have to download the Python programming language in order to run it. I will give more information about this when I release the program.
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Namaste... or "go"
But there were a lot of people happy to use it back then. So I'm SURE people will be very interested in this!!!
So yes, I would really welcome it. (the updated FileMaker is about $300.00-not cheap!)
You might want to download her program just to see what she did with it-I'd recommend you expand the categories of things to include "hobbies" and other minutiae.
I don't know if Python will run under MS Windows-I assume so, because it's open source. I will test it for you if you would like, after it's finished. I'm not fazed at all with having to put all the information into the database-after all, I still have that original program, (which still works) and have to update it from time to time.
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Originally Posted by Pegasys2
Back in 2006, I created a customized standalone database for the Sims 2. It had similar goals to your program (it was called the Sims2DB). I released it to the community and it was pretty well received. But then I stopped playing the Sims for several years and of course stopped maintaining the program/database. (I have NO interest at all in resurrecting Sims2DB - it was using old software which doesn't run on current PCs anymore. Plus I'm playing much more casually these days).
But there were a lot of people happy to use it back then. So I'm SURE people will be very interested in this!!!
I'd forgotten who'd made Sims2DB (I bow to you and your full-of-win program). I'd love a program similar to it, but updated for all EPs (I do have all the gosh-darn things...) Personally, I'd have preferred to have something similar to what Pegasys did (where it pulled the info from SimPE), without having to manually enter all ~200 playables in Pleasantview and their stuff - but definitely, an outside program to keep track would be lovely.
Right now, I'm using a very basic spreadsheet, grouped by generation and sorted into families. It doesn't keep track of parentage or anything else - I'd just about keel over and die if something came out to track things like genetics, and hobbies/interests (recording those got very tedious, very fast). My main areas of tracking would be:
- Family ties (not too deep, maybe going 3 generations to great-grandparents, and step/half-relations)
- Genetics (in particular, I tend to track the basic hair-eyes-skintone)
- Basic Sim/Household profiles
- Neighbourhood-wide employment (how many and who in each field)
- University graduates, students and dropouts.
I'd be happy to test-run a draft if and when it came out.
As for AL and things to consider, off the top of my head:
- Magic (there's a spectrum of evil - neutral - good)
- Do they rent or own their residence? Similarly, which properties in a neighbour are rent / available for renting or a census of apartment complexes.
Ah! Probably I should release two versions of the program, one that connects to the game, but is a bit restricted and one that is totally customizable, but does not connect to the game. Would that be an adequate solution? Hm, I don't know. First I have to finish one version.
So, the bottom line is, this is very difficult, but I'll try my best.
FranH, I will program the whole database myself, so I'm independent of FileMaker or other programs. The major problem is not the database, anyway, but rather the interface. GUIs simply take ages to program...
Python is a programming language and works on all major operating systems, including Windows, Unix-based systems and Mac (isn't that Unix-based, too?). On Windows, you would have to install Python first, but I am trying to find a way to circumvent this by compiling the program. On most Linux systems, Python is already installed, but as version 2. My program is in Python 3, which is not compatible with Python 2 at all. (I'm not doing this to bully Linux users, but I need the tkinter module for Python 3.)
- genetics are no problem and will definately be added, at least skin, hair and eyes.
- hobbies and interests seem easy as well, although interests are a lot of information to store. Probably customizability is really the key. I have to think about this.
- family ties are already implemented. Just the GUI is not yet finished.
- households. Yes, a difficult one, but doable. But it will take some time.
- jobs. Ok, certainly doable. Statistics on anything are no problem as soon as the data has been collected.
- University statistics, umh. Well, the data would have to be collected over time. I assume you want the all-time statistics of how many students dropped out at that uni. I'm planning to implement something similar, anyway, so I will see what I can do.
- magic should be no problem, if it's just the evil-neutral-good spectrum.
- the rent / own thing has to do with households, so I have to implement them first.
- a database of empty houses, however is a totally different thing. It is certainly interesting and doable, but I'm frankly too busy with all the other features right now. Maybe, I'll come back to that later.
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I think the best way to handle the skill is that the skill is an empty form you fill up yourself and add to the Sim's info.
And about familyties, it would also be nice if you could mark what two Sims have WooHooed or have an affair.
Some of my lots are too small to expand, so I keep track of the lot size of my businesses. I prefer keeping all the main activities and retail items on the first floor. But if I decide to add to the lot because the sim gained a new talent badge or something, it is nice to look up what the lot size is instead of dragging the sim to the lot when I have an idea just in the planning stages. There are times a plan forms when I am in the household of another playable or in a different subhood or community lot.
For Uni, it would be great to track their majors and which semester they are in. And keep the major viewable for all sims that have graduated.
As long as you enter all the stuff yourself, it is easy to add another column that shows who has had a woohoo with whom.
@cheshirekat: As I said, the empty houses thing is a totally different area, so I will just put that aside for the moment.
Semesters and majors will be added, no problem.
thanks for all your great ideas. I didn't think there would be so many fellow control-freaks out there
I'm just going to upload a few screenshots of what I've already got here, so you can imagine what it looks like.
You all seem to have pretty concrete ideas on what you want to register and what not. So, the best thing would be if the program was as customizable as possible. So, we need a button to add and rename columns, and a button to add statistics. As soon as we can connect to SimPE, we also need a button to put the right info from into the right column. Hm, that sounds difficult. Let me see how I can implement that.
my simblr (sometimes nsfw)
“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.”
Panquecas, panquecas e mais panquecas.
One suggestion though: because of Freetime, there are two aspirations-one Primary and the secondary-many times players might find it useful to know both so they can more or less match their simmies to their "innate" aspirations to their innner desires or personalities, so your idea to expand the buttons to increase the columns is going to be a very good one.
The jobs column is going to have be customizable for a lot of reasons if you choose to format it-because there are a few players (such as myself) who have tons of custom careers that do not fit into the usual categories of the game.
"Fear not little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a kingdom". Luke 12:32 Chris Hatch's family friendly files archived on SFS: http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=603534 . Bulbizarre's website: https://archiveofourown.org/users/C...CoveredPortals/
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So many control freaks?? - Oh come on, the game attracts them (us) like flies.
Edit to add: can I second the request to track genetics. I have an obsession about that and I have a lot of custom genetic material in the game which has ALL been adjusted to work with the genetics system. With eyes and hair there are only a limited number of options, so this should not be a problem (eyes are either brown, light blue, dark blue, gray or green) but skintones can have any genetic 'strength' from 1-100 (and beyond, in fact).
@katalina522: You will have to export the data from and import it into my program. The game code and structure is too complicated to do this directly, I'm sorry.
@maxon: I tried exporting a file from today and it worked quite fine. The format is easy to read for programs. The only problem is that some values are given as strings (i.e. text) and some as numbers. Sometimes this is even mixed, e.g. one sim has aspiration 'fun' and another sim has aspiration '5'.
@everyone: The features that can be exported from are: hood HoodName NID FirstName LastName SimDescription FamilyInstance HouseholdName HouseNumber AvailableCharacterData Unlinked ParentA ParentB Spouse BodyType NPCType SchoolType Grade CareerPerformance Career CareerLevel ZodiacSign Aspiration Gender LifeSection AgeDaysLeft PrevAgeDays AgeDuration BlizLifelinePoints LifelinePoints LifelineScore GenActive GenNeat GenNice GenOutgoing GenPlayful Active Neat Nice Outgoing Playful Animals Crime Culture Entertainment Environment Fashion FemalePreference Food Health MalePreference Money Paranormal Politics School Scifi Sports Toys Travel Weather Work Body Charisma Cleaning Cooking Creativity Fatness Logic Mechanical Romance IsAtUniversity UniEffort UniGrade UniTime UniSemester UniInfluence UniMajor Species Salary PrimaryAspiration SecondaryAspiration HobbyPredestined LifetimeWant.
Please don't ask me what all this means, I have no idea. If you know what e.g. 'BlizLifelinePoints' could mean, please tell me! If you need examples of values in these categories, then export your own file: open SimPE, click tools > neighborhoods > export neighborhoods, choose a destination folder for the export files, choose a neighborhood and sub-hood, wait for to extract everything, then go to the destination folder that you specified earlier and open the file ExportedSims.txt (it may be in a new folder with a strange name).
hood HoodName NID: N001, Pleasantview, and the character number. Therefore, 'hood' pertains to the code of where the sim is currently located (main or subhood), 'HoodName' to the actual name of the place and the character file number (for example, Mortimer Goth is listed as '1', having been the first created character in Pleasantview).
FirstName LastName SimDescription: Mortimer, Goth, biography. First and last names of the sim in question, followed by the biography written in the appropriate tab on the UCP. If no biography is written, there's only an empty set of quotation marks.
FamilyInstance HouseholdName HouseNumber: I have no idea what the FamilyInstance is (but it's numerical), name of the household the sim resides in, no idea for HouseNumber.
AvailableCharacterData Unlinked: No idea what these could indicate, but they both appear to have a "Yes" or "No" functionality.
ParentA ParentB Spouse: The character codes for each parent and spouse (if married). For example, Don and Cassandra's son Tirian has 15,24,728 (Cassandra, Don, Chelsey). Though I've noticed some spouse codes are deleted in the case of a widow/er, some remain. I'll investigate a little further.
BodyType NPCType: Fit (16)/Neutral (Unknown)/Fat (?? I don't have any characters in the fat range ATM). 0 appears to be the designation for playable Sims either CAS or born-in-game; I'm guessing 19 is the code for Maid NPC origins, based on Kaylynn Lothario's data.
SchoolType Grade: Like it says, the type of school and the final grade the Sim finished with upon aging to YA or adult.
CareerPerformance Career CareerLevel: the performance meter for careers (seems to be in a format from 0-100), the career track and current level (for example, Tirian Lothario is at Level 6 of the Criminal track with 90 performance.
ZodiacSign Aspiration Gender: like it says.
LifeSection AgeDaysLeft PrevAgeDays AgeDuration: stage of life (adult/elder, etc. - YAs seem to still register as "teen"), number of days before birthday, number of days alive in previous stages (or as far as I can tell - the value seems to remain at 0 until they reach the child stage, at which case it jumps to 5 - 2 days as infant, 3 days as toddler), the length of the current life stage.
BlizLifelinePoints: As far as I can tell, this is something to do with how long a platinum mood lasts, according to this thread at . forums
LifeLinePoints LifeLineScore: I want to say the current mood stage, followed by aspiration points (that you would use for asp. rewards).
GenActive GenNeat GenNice GenOutgoing GenPlayful: genetic values for personality (normally we see them in single units - 1 bar, 2 bars, etc. - seems to read them in 100s, so 1 bar Active would read 100). Same thing goes for the next five values, which are the current values for personality.
Animals Crime Culture Entertainment Environment Fashion Food Health Money Paranormal Politics School Scifi Sports Toys Travel Weather Work: all of these fields relate to the sim's interest levels.
FemalePreference MalePreference: romantic preferences. Why they're mixed in with the interests, I have no idea, considering that they're on a completely separate tab in SimPE.
Body Charisma Cleaning Cooking Creativity Logic Mechanical: the skill levels of the sim in question.
Fatness: my guess would be where on the scale they are in terms of body types (sort of like the meter on the information panel). I think this meter is found in the same tab as the skills in the UCP panel, which may explain why it's mixed in with the skills.
Romance: heaven help me if I can figure it out. I'll take a gander at some of the Romance-aspiration sims to try and puzzle it out.
IsAtUniversity UniEffort UniGrade UniTime UniSemester UniInfluence UniMajor: all fields relating to university. If the first is an N ("no"), the rest are blank. After that, it's (in order) their class performance, GPA, time remaining before exam, which semester they're in, an influence level of some kind, and their major.
Salary: I have a feeling this relates to a sim working in an owned business - since I have none, everybody's fields are at 0 (even the ones with jobs).
PrimaryAspiration SecondaryAspiration HobbyPredestined: as FT owners will know, this is the two aspirations of the sim in question as well as their 'natural' hobby. If there's no secondary selected, then it's listed as Nothing.
LifetimeWant: seems to be a numerical value for each of the LTWs.
Hope that helps somebody. It was certainly interesting to look at...
FamilyInstance seems to correspond to HouseholdName. Any number between 1 and 31999 is a playable household. 32000 and above are the NPCs. 0 ("Default") seems to contain mainly dead sims, but I'm not sure. HouseNumber is some identifier of the lot where the sim lives. NPCs all have 0.
Wherever AvailableCharacterData is "Y", Unlinked is "N" and vice-versa. Unlinked "Y" seems to indicate deleted sims.
The BodyType setting for fat sims is simply "fat". But BodyType also has a value 'PregnantFull'. 6 is invisible pregnancy in adults, 24 in teens or young adults (I have InTeen). 22 is some kind of visible pregnancy, probably the stage between invisible and full.
Yes, NPCType 19 means Maid and the other numbers also seem to specify groups of NPCs, e.g. 13 = gardener. All selectable sims who have not been a service sim before have NPCType 0, but there are also NPCs in this class, probably non-service NPCs?
CareerPerformance also allows for levels below 0, but this could be a bug in my game. A selectable unemployed sim and an employed NPC in my game have CareerLevel 11, whatever that means.
PrevAgeDays and AgeDuration do not always correspond to reality in the game, but honestly, I don't consider these fields too important.
I still can't make any sense of BlizLifelinePoints. Probably it is deprecated.
Romance is a hidden skill that should be acquired by 'practice romance' at any mirror, but due to a game bug, this functionality is broken.
Species does not distinguish aliens, they are marked as human. And even the only plantsim I ever had is marked as human. Probably this field is reserved to distinguish pets from sims? To all owners of the Pets EP: Please try this out and tell me if this has anything to do with pets!
Salary: It's just the same with my game.
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Rufio at MATY made a somewhat similar utility not that long ago, it is here: http://www.moreawesomethanyou.com/s...ic,12737.0.html.
The thread contains description for an export switch that was implemented in for this purpose. Maybe reading it will be of help.
One thing I sorely missed was an automatic attachment of the thumbnail pictures of sims to their data. It would be soooo helpful to view their pics when viewing their data. Especially non-playables.
I would certainly go for automatic extraction of the data via SimPE. Play the game, close it, start SimPE, do an extraction, start up your programme, import new data, and voila: see the current state of the game. Of course there should be data fields which would not be overwritten, for storing notes about the player's plans, quirks etc. which does not supply.
I volunteer for testing (and need the programme for Sims2 only).
The files that are exported from already include pictures with standardized file names. So it should be rather easy to link the pictures to the other sim data.
@everyone: Since I'm a perfectionist, I had originally planned to release the program only when it is really finished. But right now, I just can't find the time to work at it and I don't want to keep you guys waiting for too long. So I will try and release an alpha version as soon as possible. If you like, you can then try it out and report to me what doesn't work.
- An export tool so you can export the list to another program like Excell (preferable) or Access.
- Adding detailed ages. The lifespans can be changed with a mod/hack (made some myself). It would be easy to keep track of the right age if you could make it possible to say how many days left the sim has (e.g. Adult: 400 days left to Elder)
I would of course add a link of this program to the thread with my agemods.
Let me know whether these things are possible to do! And thanks in advance!
Btw: My mothertongue is Dutch so I wouldn't mind to translate the program in Dutch once it's finished. I would love to have this program in my own language.
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