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One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#376 Old 18th Oct 2007 at 6:46 PM
Just a small thing, but something that can get irritating when there are a lot of lots to deal with... Could you reverse the positions of the Restart and Exit buttons on the screen that says "The lot expansion is complete and your expanded lot is available for use."? That's so that I don't accidentally press Exit on that screen or the next one - keeps the Exit and Start (or restart) options the same side all the way through and means less mouse movement and less caution.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
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#377 Old 18th Oct 2007 at 8:05 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 22nd Oct 2007 at 9:34 PM. Reason: Removed TEST version
Default TEST Version of the LotExpander 1.2.7.5
Here is a version of the LotExpander which may resolve the problem that several people are seeing, where the LE crashes after clicking "Start" on the initial introduction screen.

WARNING to everyone:

This is an unsupported TEST version of the LotExpander (1.2.7.5). Use at your own risk. Specifically, this version contains the untested code which allows a lot to be decreased in size.

Here is a link to the current supported version of this tool: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?p=1747180

To: aelflaed, JillStories, and Mutantbunny

Please let me know whether or not this solves your problems running the LotExpander.

[Update:]
Removed TEST version.
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#378 Old 18th Oct 2007 at 8:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
The browsing worked well, especially since in this incarnation I was able to use the normal picker view to get as far as lot picking level before beginning the browse. I can't recognise my hoods and subhoods by their filenames, so I need the "human" names to get that far.
There is one other (hopefully simple) change that I could make, which might help:

Instead of having to choose a specific neighborhood package, I could allow people to choose a NeighborhoodManager.package using the Browse button. Then, I could put up the Neighborhoods Selection window for all of the neighborhoods known by this manager.

Hopefully, the best of both worlds: an ability to browse to the top level Neighborhoods directory and still have the LotExpander give you the user-friendly neighborhood names list.

What do you think? Is this worth researching?
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#379 Old 18th Oct 2007 at 8:25 PM
I don't think it would offer anything extra to me personally, I can never remember which number goes with which neighbourhood, so I would always choose to enter the exercise first of all using your original picker. In fact since I have had a reason to learn my lot names, I have been better about giving them memorable names - though once I am using this tool for my real game, the browser will be necessary, as there are just so many lots in my real hood to remember their names

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
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#380 Old 18th Oct 2007 at 8:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
Just a small thing, but something that can get irritating when there are a lot of lots to deal with... Could you reverse the positions of the Restart and Exit buttons on the screen that says "The lot expansion is complete and your expanded lot is available for use."? That's so that I don't accidentally press Exit on that screen or the next one - keeps the Exit and Start (or restart) options the same side all the way through and means less mouse movement and less caution.
Sure... easy change.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#381 Old 18th Oct 2007 at 10:17 PM
My overview of this tool is this: It is at its most useful when preparing a lot that is intended to be moved or shared. Eg you have spent ages on a lovely house but it now needs a garage. With the shrinking, you can also make a house cheaper to buy, make row houses etc.

Or for stretching or shrinking in situ on very flat land. With anything but flat land there are gashes left in the ground.

When the ability to match the underlying terrain heights - at least along the edge vertices - has been acheived, it will then also be useful for expanding lots over more rugged terrain, but not for shrinking on this type of terrain - unless the new edge can be to match the terrain geometry

My hopes of being able to flatten ridges or join up rivers actually came to nought because I had forgotten that sculpting a lot is only a visual overlay to the reality of the land beneath.

However, making row houses, and expanding (non-beach) lots out to sea (at least up to 60 lot tiles - and it beats trying to flood a huge lot and running out of water-plate), is a huge helping of added fun that the old expander would not previously have allowed.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
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#382 Old 18th Oct 2007 at 10:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
My hopes of being able to flatten ridges or join up rivers actually came to nought because I had forgotten that sculpting a lot is only a visual overlay to the reality of the land beneath.
That's too bad. Oh, well... I suppose that it was worth a try.

I think that I found the rotation issue - I'm testing the fix now. Just a coding mistake.
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#383 Old 18th Oct 2007 at 11:25 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 22nd Oct 2007 at 9:35 PM. Reason: Remove TEST version
Default Testers Wanted: Lot Shrinker
WARNING to everyone:

This is an UNSUPPORTED TEST version of the LotExpander (1.2.7.6). Use at your own risk.

Here is a link to the current supported version of this tool: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?p=1747180

Changes from 1.2.7:
- The LotExpander now has the option of shrinking the size of a lot. Note:

1. Objects on land to be deleted may not be handled correctly. You should be sure that the land is empty before trying to shrink. If there is anything on the area of the lot which is removed, the lot may appear to function correctly until it is put into the Lot Catalog. When taken from the Lot Catalog and placed into a neighborhood, the lot may cause the game to crash.

2. Shifting a building on a lot has not been implemented. If you shrink in one direction, you cannot grow on the other side of the lot. However, these two operations should be able to be done in two separate runs.

- There is now a Browse button on the Lot Selection screen, to allow you to choose a lot based on lot number or date, rather than name.

- The final screen now has a "Restart" button, which takes you back to the initial screen.

Changes from 1.2.7.4:

- Resolved an issue with U11=1 and U11=3 lots which caused them to be expanded or shrunk in an incorrect location.

- Resolved an issue where the LotExpander would crash if it couldn't determine the primary neighborhood. This may resolve some crashes that people are experiencing when clicking on the "Start" button on the initial introduction screen.

- Swapped the Exit and Restart buttons on the final screen, so that Exit remains in the same place on the screen for the initial and final screens. However, Exit is still the default action for the final screen, regardless of it's position.

[Update:]
Removed TEST version.
Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
#384 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 12:09 AM
I just gave the 1.2.7.4 version a quick test drive (because you're uploading faster than I can download): for me it worked wonderfully and flawlessly. Browsing the neighbourhoods works, opening works, shrinking works, then I was happily surprised that the freshly shrunk lot doesn't appear emty upon neighbourhood load (this is nice so I can immediately see which is which); all walls are where they're supposed to be, it's no problem at all deleting walls on a lot border (and undoing works too), lots can be placed next to each other and moved around and everything .. this is really cool. You rock.

I had a tiny little issue at one point -- a floor tile suddenly hung over the edge of the lot that hadn't been there before, and was of course undeleteable -- but I wasn't able to reproduce that. Other than that, no crashes, no problems, no nothing (that can't be attributed to lack of caffeine/sleep .. like trying to open lots when it says clearly "Choose a neighbourhood"). Oh, and it even remembers what hood I was in when I restart the expander procedure!

Tested with Base+NL.

I haven't yet checked what happened to the portals .. going to get the Portal Revealer now and take a look.

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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#385 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 12:47 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 19th Oct 2007 at 2:21 PM. Reason: Corrected grammer issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
I just gave the 1.2.7.4 version a quick test drive (because you're uploading faster than I can download)
I don't normally upload anything without testing it first, but Inge was concerned about losing the code changes after what happened with Andi - I gather that he was less than a day away from being able to shrink a lot when he died. It's taken me another year to get back to that point and she didn't want to see anything happen this time.

So, I've been having to respond to bugs that I normally would have found myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
for me it worked wonderfully and flawlessly.
There are two serious problems with 1.2.7.4 - some lots are expanded in the wrong direction and some portals are not moved correctly. You should probably download 1.2.7.7 before doing anymore testing.

Thanks for helping me to test this. I feel a lot more confident when other people are having no problems.

[Update:]

Quote:
Originally Posted by plasticbox
I was happily surprised that the freshly shrunk lot doesn't appear emty upon neighbourhood load (this is nice so I can immediately see which is which)
Well, this was another coding error - I missed yet another "don't do anything unless the lot is being expanded" check.

That said, it seems to work well without destroying the view of the lot in the neighborhood. Perhaps I should implement this for expanded lots as well?
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#386 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 12:57 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 19th Oct 2007 at 2:35 PM. Reason: Additional explanation, for future reference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
Obviously the post box etc was missing, but I was expecting that at this stage of development.
OK, I've managed to repro the disappearing mailbox. Hopefully, I'll have a solution for this soon.

[Update:]

Yet another missed check... the LotExpander contains an extraordinary number of checks to make sure that the lot is actually being expanded before anything is done. Obviously, each of these checks needs to be changed to allow shrinking of lots. Should be a simple fix.
Pettifogging Legalist!
retired moderator
#387 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 1:18 AM Last edited by plasticbox : 19th Oct 2007 at 1:31 AM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
I don't normally upload anything without testing it first


Oh, I was by no means questioning what you're doing -- just wanted to explain why I used the old version. I got the newer ones now.

Portal-wise and mailbox-wise, I saw the exact same things as Inge (same three portals left on the lot after shrinking; no mbox/trashcan). It was easy to put the missing stuff back in though, thanks to the flamingo and the rotation tutorial. I'm falling over now .. hopefully I'll get a chance to playtest this tomorrow.

ETA, forgot to say: Now I understand less than ever why Maxis made this so f*cking difficult to achieve ..

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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#388 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 2:03 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 4th Nov 2007 at 1:45 PM. Reason: Added source code
Default Testers Wanted: Lot Shrinker
WARNING to everyone:

This is an UNSUPPORTED TEST version of the LotExpander (1.2.7.7). Use at your own risk.

Here is a link to the current supported version of this tool: http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?p=1747180

Changes from 1.2.7:

- The LotExpander now has the option of shrinking the size of a lot.
Notes:

- 1. Objects on land to be deleted may not be handled correctly. You should be sure that the land is empty before trying to shrink. If there is anything on the area of the lot which is removed, the lot may appear to function correctly until it is put into the Lot Catalog. When taken from the Lot Catalog and placed into a neighborhood, the lot may cause the game to crash.

- 2. Shifting a building on a lot has not been implemented. If you shrink in one direction, you cannot grow on the other side of the lot. However, these two operations should be able to be done in two separate runs.

- There is now a Browse button on the Lot Selection screen, to allow you to choose a lot based on lot number or date, rather than name.

- The final screen now has a "Restart" button, which takes you back to the initial screen.

Changes from 1.2.7.4:

- Resolved an issue where some portals were not moved to the correct locations on the new lot.

- Resolved an issue where some lots were expanded or shrunk in an incorrect location.

- Resolved an issue where the LotExpander would crash if it couldn't determine the primary neighborhood. This may resolve some crashes that people are experiencing when clicking on the "Start" button on the initial introduction screen.

- Swapped the Exit and Restart buttons on the final screen, so that Exit remains in the same place on the screen for the initial and final screens. However, Exit is still the default action for the final screen, regardless of it's position.

Finally, I temporarily removed the logic which deletes the view of the lot in the neighborhood. plasticbox seems to like this better... if I get enough favorable comments, I may decide to keep this new behavior.

[Update:]

Removed TEST version.

A new test version with fence posts fixed is available at:

http://www.modthesims2.com/showthread.php?p=1801236
.
Alchemist
#389 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 2:22 AM Last edited by aelflaed : 19th Oct 2007 at 2:29 AM.
Mootilda, you're a marvel!

Version 1276 worked, and already I see 1277 is here.

I was actually logging on just now to add more info to yesterday's rushed test, since I realised I didn't actually report the paths as you requested. However, I'm glad I did do that rush job before going out, since you obviously got what was needed from that small information, and worked all night (by my reckoning) to rectify it. Thankyou.

1276 ran fine, the browse button allowed me to access the BGS neighbourhood and I expanded a lot correctly. Minus values appeared for alteration only on the left/right side boxes, but as the lot was a 2x1, that seems sensible.

The restart button seemed good too, although I didn't actually modify a second lot.

I'll try shrinking one next - I'm a bit excited by being able to use the new LotExpander!

I'll do some more work on the tutorial later too - thanks for everyone's various suggestions, I'm taking them all in gradually. I do think it would be good to separate the portal modifications from the rotation if I can.

Is there anything particular you'd like me to check now that LotExpander is working?

Thanks again, and I'm off to mess around with some lots.
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#390 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 2:41 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 19th Oct 2007 at 4:24 AM. Reason: Suggest lot catalog
Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
Version 1276 worked, and already I see 1277 is here.
I'm so glad that we finally resolved your problem. Unfortunately, this didn't resolve Mutantbunny's problem... sigh. The LotExpander definitely needs more error checking code.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
I do think it would be good to separate the portal modifications from the rotation if I can.
Agreed. Especially since the flamingo probably works for most people. Why make the rotation tutorial more complicated than it needs to be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
Is there anything particular you'd like me to check now that LotExpander is working?
At the moment, I can't think of anything in specific.

Mostly, I'd like to think that we got good coverage of the new lot-shrinking code, ie, lots with different U11 values, lots shrunk in all 4 directions, lots which are shrunk then expanded or expanded then shrunk, lots created with the various EPs, lots which "push the boundaries" by having something on the very edge of the space being kept, lots put into the lot catalog then added back to the neighborhood.

As well, any testing that people do to ensure that I didn't break the expansion code is greatly appreciated. Although almost all of the shrinking code is brand new, this did require some changes to existing code.

Again, thanks to everyone for helping me to test this. This is the largest code change that I've made to date and the more testing, the better.
Alchemist
#391 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 3:28 AM
Okay, I've played with it a bit more, with mixed results. I'm now using 1277.

I tried to shrink a maxis 3x2, which had not been loaded (or built of course). You probably know what happened, but I thought I'd try. I got an 'unknown error', and after that, using the restart button caused LotX to shut down. Restarting LotX afresh did seem to be fine.

After building a wall on the lot, it shrank nicely. However, one edge of the lot has a blue edge, where the terrain is not perfectly flat. And the portals and mailbox are suspended in mid air. They did move to suitable places, though I suspect the car portals should be offset at the mailbox, and the pedestrian portals are right at the edge of the lot, rather than one tile in as with Maxis lots.

I also shrank the built lot which I had enlarged previously. It seemed fine, but wouldn't load after placing in the catalogue. (As you warned)

I also expanded a community 1x1. After the structural change and relocating phase, there was some extra (old) road. I could remove most of it without 'moveobjects', but the last section was on the locked part of the grid, and required the cheat. The portals and phone moved successfully. I didn't notice them being suspended, so I suppose they were not.

I haven't tried actually playng any of these lots.
Hope this report is some use to you. Back later.
Screenshots
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#392 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 4:03 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
After building a wall on the lot, it shrank nicely. However, one edge of the lot has a blue edge, where the terrain is not perfectly flat.
Odd... Did you move the lot within the neighborhood after shrinking it (ie, standard procedure)? I assumed that shrinking a lot would create less of these problems, since I don't have to come up with a new terrain height value for every point in the expanded array... when shrinking a lot, I just use the existing terrain values.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
And the portals and mailbox are suspended in mid air.
I suspect that this is because they used to be on higher ground. I obviously need to consider changing the Z-value (height), as well as the X and Y values. Could you please test these flying portals to see whether they actually work correctly, in spite of their odd appearance? If not, changing the Z-value becomes more important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
They did move to suitable places, though I suspect the car portals should be offset at the mailbox, and the pedestrian portals are right at the edge of the lot, rather than one tile in as with Maxis lots.
This was intentional. I'm trying to get the maximum viewing distance for visitors, while keeping the portals on the lot. It's particularly noticable with a 1-wide lot. Again, could you test the portals and ensure that they are functioning correctly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
I also shrank the built lot which I had enlarged previously. It seemed fine, but wouldn't load after placing in the catalogue. (As you warned)
Was there something on the part of the lot which was deleted? I expect these shrunken lots to be shareable, unless there's corruption caused by objects on parts of the lot which no longer exist.

Thanks for the input. Sorry for all of the extra questions.
Mad Poster
#393 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 4:17 AM Last edited by niol : 13th Nov 2007 at 11:00 AM.
Default [LA/LE - UI & versions tests] - v1276
jus a quick note, the 1276 works well in my base game.
to expand a 10x20 into30x40 for all sides.
Alchemist
#394 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 5:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
Did you move the lot within the neighborhood after shrinking it (ie, standard procedure)?


I did.
I'll play those lots a bit to test the flying portals for you, and the other ones too. I only quibble about the portal positions because I suspect the cars might stop and open their doors into each other, which looks silly.

Quote:
Was there something on the part of the lot which was deleted?


I don't think so, but I can't remember exactly where I did my 'structural change', so maybe I did do it at the back instead of at the side of the block.

I have now tried rotating one of my built lots. It was an Andi 1x1. I expanded at the rear, then changed the U11 and U10 values. Then I shrank it, again at the rear. When I entered the lot next, all the tiles were unlocked. The portals etc had moved to suitable postions, but the Car Start and Service Stop markers were facing in wrong directions. I picked up the lot and moved it again, after which the grid had reset itself properly, but the portals were still slightly odd. I was able to swivel the two markers without using MoveObjects - they seemed to 'snap' into the correct position when I let go of them. The lot went in and out of the catalogue correctly, and reloaded fine.

Seems to be a success, so I suppose I must have had a wall built in the wrong place, on the other one that broke.

I took pictures at different stages if anyone wants to see them.
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#395 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 6:01 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 19th Oct 2007 at 6:59 AM.
Here's what I've been doing to test, using all available EPs and SPs:

I created 4 20x20 lots (excluding the road), facing in the 4 possible directions. On each, I created two intersecting walls at the junction of the 4 neighborhood squares, so that any shrinkage would truncate 1 wall. Then I tried expanding and shrinking each lot in each of the 4 possible areas.

Result: Many of these worked well, but a few crashed the game. So, I believe that we can conclude that not even walls can be guaranteed to be truncated correctly.

Next, I created 4 3x3 lots, facing in the 4 possible directions. On each, I created a 10x10 house in the exact center of the lot, so that any truncation should leave the 10x10 house standing, usually at one edge of the lot. I'm going to try shrinking these in each possible direction to ensure that truncating empty space always works.

Result: No problems. No crashes. Portals look good.

Next: I want to try doors, windows, and pools at the edges of lots.

Can't decide whether I prefer having the lot look empty immediately after expanding / shrinking, or whether I like the odd look of leaving the lot views intact.
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#396 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 6:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
I'll play those lots a bit to test the flying portals for you, and the other ones too. I only quibble about the portal positions because I suspect the cars might stop and open their doors into each other, which looks silly.
Shouldn't be a problem, since the car start is lined up with the service stop and vice versa... I don't believe that you will see any problem. If you do, it's easy for me to change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
The portals etc had moved to suitable postions, but the Car Start and Service Stop markers were facing in wrong directions. I picked up the lot and moved it again, after which the grid had reset itself properly, but the portals were still slightly odd. I was able to swivel the two markers without using MoveObjects - they seemed to 'snap' into the correct position when I let go of them.
Yes, I've noticed that sometimes the portal display doesn't match the direction in SimPE... but the portals work correctly and the portals clearly believe that they are pointing in the correct direction (thus their desire to snap to the correct rotation). This just seems to be a display issue, and therefore not too important. Of course, they can always be fixed with the flamingo.
Alchemist
#397 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 7:03 AM Last edited by aelflaed : 19th Oct 2007 at 7:39 AM. Reason: different lot, better result.
About those flying portals...

Entering the lot again, I noticed that the terrain is uneven across that whole edge, including the road. The entire front/road-half of the lot is also four or more clicks higher than the back of the block. I left it be, to start with.

I used MoveObj to put the rubbish bin onto the ground, and left the other flying things. The rubbish was still on a slope, though, and not usable until I put it on a flat bit of ground away from the road.

The pedestrian portal at the flatter end of the lot worked, and cars and taxis worked. Service vehicles were broken. No pedestrians appeared at the steep edge. The postie put mail into the box on the slope, but my sim wouldn't collect it. The paper boy left the paper at the entry edge, instead of near the mailbox.

In the end I picked up all the markers and mailbox, and snapped them to the ground. I used the CFE cheat to flatten the terrain as much as I could (not at all, at the very edges). Then the service start portal functioned, but the remaining tilted edge prevented the pizza boy getting to his boot. The second pedestrian portal worked once flattened, even though there is still an uneven ridge all along that side.

The community lot I expanded earlier appears to function - my sim visited, waited a while to admire the pedestrian traffic, and left again without mishap.

I would say that the flying markers in themselves don't cause trouble (they seem to believe they are on the ground), but the uneven terrain doesn't work. Presumably the uneven ground caused the markers to float, so that does need to be investigated.

I don't know why the roadway should have become uneven. The only hint I have is that I shrank that lot from the front. It has not been rotated.

Mootilda, I admire your sensible approach to testing - I'm still just bumbling along without very much of a plan.

(edit) I made a new lot the same, except for shrinking it from the rear instead of the front. No uneven terrain, no odd portals. However, I forgot to mention previously that the sims move onto the lot, get out of the taxi and stand in the mailbox. It happened again on this fresh lot, where the mailbox hadn't been altered at all.

I don't think it affects play, but it looks silly. I'll try a bigger lot, in case it's only happening on these 1x1 lots.
Alchemist
#398 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 7:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
Can't decide whether I prefer having the lot look empty immediately after expanding / shrinking, or whether I like the odd look of leaving the lot views intact.


It might save something in the coding? Also, maybe it is less scary to see your house looking just a bit odd after expansion, rather than looking completely demolished. Other than that, I don't mind myself.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#399 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 8:07 AM
I haven't tested the latest yet, but seeing the house however distorted at least helps you remember which is which before you enter them, especially if you processed several lots in one session.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Alchemist
#400 Old 19th Oct 2007 at 9:19 AM
More feedback on shrinking...
I shrank another lot from the front. The original 3x2 was uneven, reflecting the n'hood terrain. I flattened it to the edges, but when shrunk, there was still the platform effect, with a big drop to the n'hood at the edge of the lot. And in the n'hood view, the road was VERY strange. The lot seemed to be usable, but not pretty for sharing.

However, I then used another finished lot to make sure the neighbourhood was flat all over, and tried again. This time the terrain was flat, and even after shrinking, came out with road and everything flat. I had been thinking maybe shrinking from the front was a no-no, but this lot worked. Catalogue placement was fine too.
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