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#301 Old 12th Oct 2007 at 5:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by niol
Just got BV and gonna try to install it over my EP5 and grab the beach lot for testings... :D
One thing to keep in mind: Some lot rotations (U11) may be easier to "shrink" than others. Each lot has a "natural" inclination to grow or shrink in a particular direction. If you choose the "right" U11, then a beach lot would be easier to shrink at the front of the lot, which is what I think that we want...

Unfortunately, I can't tell you which U11 is the best. I'd have to research this. For now, just keep this in mind. If you try shrinking a lot and it removes the beach, try a lot which faces in another direction.

Sorry that I can't be more helpful.
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#302 Old 12th Oct 2007 at 6:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
Mootilda, sorry I didn't get time to test your latest until today.
Thank you for testing this. I know that you tend to use complicated terrains, so I really value your input on this.

I've read your post and understand that there are still problems; I'm still hoping to get the neighborhood terrain working at some point.

My question is: Is this version better or worse than the previous version? Should I release this as an intermediate solution, or will it cause more problems than it solves?

The test version solves some of the problems with the portals, which is my main reason for wanting to release this intermediate solution. However, if lots become more difficult to place, then it might not be a good idea.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
On another topic, I would be very happy to test an unfinished preview of your lot shrinking as soon as it is doing any shrinking at all, even if it's still a bit crashy and doesn't move the portals correctly. I have several test hoods so hood destruction is not a problem for me I am just very keen to start testing the principal of "row houses" from the wall placement point of view, I wouldn't be intending to actually play the lots yet so the portals are not a problem.
Thank you. The portal logic is done and in final testing... Unfortunately, it was more difficult to get right than I was hoping... more changes to more record types than expected. However, I should have a version available for release today, once I make a decision about whether to include the terrain changes.

Next, I want to try installing the BaseGame Starter and see whether there are any easy solutions. If so, I might spend a week or so trying to get this working, especially since I currently have a bug report which may be related to these same directory and registry issues.

Then, I'm going to start work on shrinking the lots. Finally! I know that you've been waiting for this for a long time. I hadn't realized until recently that Andi was so close to a solution for this just before he died. Too bad that I couldn't have gotten his code changes... Ah well...

Hopefully, the lot shrinking has no major issues and is primarily grunt-work: going through each record in turn and adding logic to decrease the size of the arrays in the correct way.

Although this post was directed to Inge, I'd appreciate any feedback about the terrain changes. Is anyone else having more problems placing expanded lots? Do you find this test version better or worse than the released version?
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#303 Old 12th Oct 2007 at 6:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
My question is: Is this version better or worse than the previous version? Should I release this as an intermediate solution, or will it cause more problems than it solves?


I think users might be alarmed by the water ridge if they are not forewarned. Otherwise, yes it is an improvement. I don't think the lot that became hard to place was any harder to place than it would have been with a previous version. And the game often refuses to let you place another lot overlapping a previously bulldozed one, even without having stretched it. BTW you may not be aware but as well as a nhood camera hack I also have edited the configuration file to allow building on steeper slopes. I just wish the game had not been changed to make the road flatten wherever you place a lot. It was more realistic when the road stayed sloping.

Quote:
Then, I'm going to start work on shrinking the lots. Finally! I know that you've been waiting for this for a long time. I hadn't realized until recently that Andi was so close to a solution for this just before he died. Too bad that I couldn't have gotten his code changes... Ah well...


Are you uploading your source code to anywhere publicly accessible as you go?

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
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#304 Old 12th Oct 2007 at 8:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
Are you uploading your source code to anywhere publicly accessible as you go?
Oh dear! It hadn't occurred to me that I should!

How about if I upload my source changes to a thread here? Intermediate code can be a bit messy, but I suppose that it's better than nothing at all.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#305 Old 12th Oct 2007 at 8:48 PM
I didn't mean to alarm you Well it could be sufficient just to send it to one other person periodically (preferably someone who doesn't live or travel with you - oh dear I am horrible - lol!)

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
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#306 Old 12th Oct 2007 at 9:10 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 13th Oct 2007 at 7:09 PM. Reason: Remove TEST Version Download
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
It seems to do what it says on the tin, except one strange feature, which is that there seems to be a layer of "water" above one side of the expansion. The water will disappear if you try to build a wall on that portion.

For the hill lot, pictures show the water added by the expander, the water after disappearing due to the wall being build, and after ctrl-z undid the wall, the water comes back and this time makes itself a little "beach" effect.
I had an inspiration about the water effect, based on your pictures. If you can give me a couple of minutes to make a quick change, I'd really like you to try a quick fix for me, with your bumpy lots.

OK, here's a new test version (1.2.6.4), which I'm hoping will resolve the water issue.

Update:
Removed the TEST version. Look for the new Release version, coming soon.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#307 Old 12th Oct 2007 at 9:54 PM
Ok I tried it and it was fine - no unexpected water layer! It even let me put it back in the same place. Only problem is that it vaped some road that was nearby. The gap you can see used to be a normal T-junction.

BTW did you fix it so that the expanded bits follow underlying terrain geography? It seemed to me it was doing that this time.
Screenshots

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
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#308 Old 12th Oct 2007 at 11:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
Ok I tried it and it was fine - no unexpected water layer! It even let me put it back in the same place. Only problem is that it vaped some road that was nearby. The gap you can see used to be a normal T-junction.
OK... that's interesting.

In order to expand the lot out at more points, I made some changes to the 3D Array Instance 1 logic.

When I noticed that the water seemed to be following the old terrain, I thought that perhaps the water was in a different record type from the terrain. So, I made the same kind of logic change to the 2D Array Instance 3B76.

I'm wondering whether the road issue would have occurred if you had just added a larger lot at that spot in the first place? From your picture, it looks like the expanded lot doesn't actually touch the road at the problem point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
BTW did you fix it so that the expanded bits follow underlying terrain geography? It seemed to me it was doing that this time.
Wow! No, I only made the (very quick) changes noted above.

So, should I try to figure out the road problem? Or, would you prefer to do some more testing? Or, perhaps you think that it's pretty good the way that it is?
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#309 Old 12th Oct 2007 at 11:10 PM
I'll make a new hood from that terrain and see if putting a larger lot there in the frist place does it. I don't think users will be happy if the road gets wiped out at random as it's not something that can be fixed later.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#310 Old 12th Oct 2007 at 11:20 PM
Ah! Forget it - good news, the road *was* actually broken already for some reason when I imported it. I just hadn't noticed.

Yeah so I'd say go with this version as a release.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
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#311 Old 12th Oct 2007 at 11:31 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 13th Oct 2007 at 7:12 PM. Reason: Removed TEST Version Download
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
Ah! Forget it - good news, the road *was* actually broken already for some reason when I imported it. I just hadn't noticed.
That is good news! I didn't have a clue where to start looking for this problem...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
Yeah so I'd say go with this version as a release.
Actually, our discussion about difficulty placing lots gave me one more idea... I think that I may have a quick change which may make U11=1 and U11=3 lots easier to place. Again, if you wouldn't mind giving me a few minutes to make this change, I'd really appreciate it if you could do another quick test...

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your doing these tests. Since I haven't been able to reproduce your problems yet, it would be very difficult for me to test these changes myself.

[Edit:]

OK, I've attached another version (1.2.6.5). If you imagine a lot expanded in every direction, then this change will affect the four corners of the expanded terrain. If you notice any change at all, you might find an expanded lot easier or harder to place in the neighborhood, or you might see a beach lot looking better or worse.

If you don't see any difference at all, then I'll release the previous version. However, if this makes either the roads or the beaches better, then I'll release this version.

Update:
Testing showed that this version was functionally equivalent to the previous version (1.2.6.4). Since the logic is more complex for this version, I decided to scrap the changes and go back to the previous logic.

Removed the TEST version. Look for the new Release version, coming soon.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#312 Old 12th Oct 2007 at 11:52 PM
I'm actually supposed to be going to bed now - hubby just taking my bedside tea up...

I'll check it out first thing in the morning?

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
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#313 Old 12th Oct 2007 at 11:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
I'm actually supposed to be going to bed now - hubby just taking my bedside tea up...

I'll check it out first thing in the morning?
Sure. I really appreciate your taking the time to help me.

In the interim, I'll just do some more testing to ensure that nothing is broken by these changes.
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#314 Old 13th Oct 2007 at 6:57 AM Last edited by Mootilda : 13th Oct 2007 at 9:32 PM. Reason: AnyGame Starter
Default LotExpander and the BaseGame Starter
I finally installed the BaseGame Starter Pro and tried expanding lots in various configurations. The LotExpander automatically opens the full game neighborhood list, but I was able to use the new Browse button to choose a neighborhood from an alternate configuration:

\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2 - BaseGameStarter Folder\{EP/SP Name}\EA Games\The Sims 2\Neighborhoods\N009\N009_Neighborhood.package

Everything seems to be working just fine.

[Update:]

I also installed the AnyGame Starter and had no problems expanding lots.

[End Update:]

Because of this, I have re-enabled the Browse button and this functionality will be included in the new release, coming soon.

aelflaed, I just haven't been able to reproduce your problems. I am using the newest BaseGame Starter V2.0E.
Alchemist
#315 Old 13th Oct 2007 at 8:02 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda

aelflaed, I just haven't been able to reproduce your problems. I am using the newest BaseGame Starter V2.0E.


Yes, I uninstalled my BSG yesterday, and the new LotExpander still wouldn't do a thing for me. So I put in the new BSG, still the same old error.

I assume that means the problem is something unique to my system, but heaven knows how I'd find it. Perhaps someone will have a brainwave about it sometime - I'd LIKE to use the updated version you've been working so hard on.

Thanks for trying.
Mad Poster
#316 Old 13th Oct 2007 at 8:40 AM Last edited by niol : 13th Nov 2007 at 8:57 AM.
Default [Lot -shrinking] - precautions [lot templates]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
One thing to keep in mind: Some lot rotations (U11) may be easier to "shrink" than others. Each lot has a "natural" inclination to grow or shrink in a particular direction. If you choose the "right" U11, then a beach lot would be easier to shrink at the front of the lot, which is what I think that we want...

Unfortunately, I can't tell you which U11 is the best. I'd have to research this. For now, just keep this in mind. If you try shrinking a lot and it removes the beach, try a lot which faces in another direction.

Sorry that I can't be more helpful.


Thanks for the hints


[lot templates]

BV installation just made my whole EP2, EP3 and EP5 game copy a broken game.
Not really that much a surprise tho afte reading so many BV news.
So, bear with my slower trials with the beach lots...


just got the EP6-lottemplate extracted, and I'm surprised to see Maxis team added some crappy hotel lots as lot template without even trimming the ugly jpg that increased the file sizes by about twice!
What worse? the 3D arrays and 2D arrays and blah blah blah have used values in them. So, when the game use these templates for the new lots, chaos may happen.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#317 Old 13th Oct 2007 at 9:53 AM
I think this is working better than it was for the normal user who just wants more room for a garage at the side for example. Most people are using gentle terrain, without the cheat that allows lots on 85deg mountains like me :D

The issue of moving the lots is only an issue for me with my wild terrain, I have no trouble moving an expanded lot to a flatter area, or one with gentle slopes. On the whole I was able to move expanded lots to most places.

I would just like to ask for two (hopefully) simple features that I think would be helpful to everyone:
1) Show the package name and modified date next to the lot name in the normal picker view. It's easy to forget the silly names we sometimes give our lots, and this will be an extra reminder which one we were working on.
2) Allow us to pick another lot to expand without having to close the Expander each time. Currently after expanding, the only button available is Exit.

Anyway, that's covered normal use. For more advanced use the images show why I hope your proposal to expand the lot using underlying terrain geometry works out. The beach could have been blended in with the rest of the coastline, and there would not have been sky showing at the corner of the other lot.

The remaining image is nothing to do with the lot expander, just the funny sort of thing that happens when you do not limit what slope you can place lots on, and EA desperately try to adjust the terrain to suit.
Screenshots

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
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#318 Old 13th Oct 2007 at 7:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
Yes, I uninstalled my BSG yesterday, and the new LotExpander still wouldn't do a thing for me. So I put in the new BSG, still the same old error.

I assume that means the problem is something unique to my system, but heaven knows how I'd find it. Perhaps someone will have a brainwave about it sometime - I'd LIKE to use the updated version you've been working so hard on.
I'm so sorry that I haven't been able to figure out what's wrong. The only other thing that I can think of is to give you a debug version of the LE, which prints out a message before and after each system call. This could help to point out where the problem is occurring, but will take some work on my part to create.

Let me continue to think about this. Now that I'm actually using the BGS, perhaps I'll have a brainstorm.

I'm going to re-enable the Browse button, anyway. It looks like a sufficient solution for my system, so I'm hoping it will be sufficient for most people.
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#319 Old 13th Oct 2007 at 7:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
I think this is working better than it was for the normal user who just wants more room for a garage at the side for example. Most people are using gentle terrain, without the cheat that allows lots on 85deg mountains like me :D

The issue of moving the lots is only an issue for me with my wild terrain, I have no trouble moving an expanded lot to a flatter area, or one with gentle slopes. On the whole I was able to move expanded lots to most places.
Thanks so much for your help. I'll be putting out a release today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
I would just like to ask for two (hopefully) simple features that I think would be helpful to everyone:
1) Show the package name and modified date next to the lot name in the normal picker view. It's easy to forget the silly names we sometimes give our lots, and this will be an extra reminder which one we were working on.
2) Allow us to pick another lot to expand without having to close the Expander each time. Currently after expanding, the only button available is Exit.
I believe that these are both fairly simple changes, but my initial quick attempt at #1 failed, so I'm going to release what I have and I'll look at this later.
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#320 Old 13th Oct 2007 at 7:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by niol
Thanks for the hints
Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by niol
BV installation just made my whole EP2, EP3 and EP5 game copy a broken game.
Not really that much a surprise tho afte reading so many BV news.
So, bear with my slower trials with the beach lots...
I think that I've been lucky with Bon Voyage... I haven't seen too many problems (so far). However, I AM pretty upset with EA and have been wondering whether to boycott them. The only thing that makes me consider buying anything further from them is my work on the LotExpander... I feel like I'll be letting people down if I don't continue to support the newest EP / SP.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#321 Old 13th Oct 2007 at 8:05 PM
I am very annoyed with EA but no way am I going to boycott them because that would be cutting off my nose to spite my face. I hope not too many other people boycott them either, cos I don't want them to be put off going ahead with The Sims series.

I think it is probably more productive all round if we work with EA to make it so we can use their anti-piracy devices but without the problems it gave some of us on this occasion. Apparently the vast majority of people who have been complaining have not bothered to file a report as invited to do. That would be a good place to start.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Alchemist
#322 Old 14th Oct 2007 at 12:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
I'm so sorry that I haven't been able to figure out what's wrong...I'm going to re-enable the Browse button, anyway.


Please do - it seems like such a sensible feature. And I second Inge's requests above, epecially about the 'do another lot' button, instead of having to exit.

Sorry my system won't behave for you! I'm happy to send you any info you think may asist, just tell me what and how to get it if you think of something.

aelflaed.
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#323 Old 14th Oct 2007 at 1:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
Please do - it seems like such a sensible feature. And I second Inge's requests above, epecially about the 'do another lot' button, instead of having to exit.
The only reason that I took it out is that I hate having half-finished features. I always meant to put it in when I got the BGS / AGS working. I've released the new version, with the Browse button.
Mad Poster
#324 Old 14th Oct 2007 at 4:59 AM Last edited by niol : 13th Nov 2007 at 9:07 AM.
Default [chit-chat] [lot-neighbourhood terrain sync.] [Lot -shrinking]
[chit-chat]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
Good luck!
I think that I've been lucky with Bon Voyage... I haven't seen too many problems (so far). However, I AM pretty upset with EA and have been wondering whether to boycott them. The only thing that makes me consider buying anything further from them is my work on the LotExpander... I feel like I'll be letting people down if I don't continue to support the newest EP / SP.

Thanks, first of all.
http://thesims2.ea.com/mysimpage/bl...26&date=2007-10

lmol, Mootilda, please don't feel too pressured or inhibited...
modding lots or improving the lot expander is completely a voluntary act, so you don't deserve any blame, shame or what if you feel you "don't continue to support the newest EP or SP".

For all of those who know at least some of what's happening there, they can understand your "agony".
Lol, I just ranted somewhere.
Surely, as expected, some confused ones had no idea why I said so.

After all, there're something I can confirm you that you have been doing great jobs on improving the lot expander making it much more useful. It wouldn't even work above EP3 or fix things more properly. For something too hard to archive yet, letting the ones who will learn some bits more to fix the presently imperfect bits for their own. Say, relocating the portals with Inge's portal revealer, garbage can, phone booth and the mailbox can really be done pretty easily with a clear instruction. Sometimes, people can just learn a bit to do more things instead of demanding some people too hard for the things they just didn't do.

[lot-neighbourhood terrain sync.]

For the neighbourhood terrain adaptation, I think it's gonna be hard because the neighbourhood terrain can also be readjusted based on the fixated lot terrain values when MaxLotSlope is raised close to 90 degree (as you can recognise, that's obviously a tangent function.) as shown in tutorial . May also read patul's post (post 6 of that thread).


I've to apologise that I'm not very co-operative on certain things due to my strong ego-centrism, stubbornness and romanticism. So, for those who had worked with me before, they knew they can't force or pressure me to do certain things or the opposite will result more likely.

Anyway, thanks...


[Lot -shrinking]

The attached pix are about the result on my last attempt trim a lot built with rooms all the ways for the top left buildable region - 26 8x1 rooms at the top left of the lot U10=2 and U11=1
W=1 & H=2

When I built on the lower page, the walls are still built above for some reasons.
The above grid-line just got compressed down to
the ground by the game engine after the shrinking values were edited.
Screenshots
Alchemist
#325 Old 15th Oct 2007 at 12:27 PM
I'm working towards a lot rotation tutorial. When it's ready for checking, should I attach it here, or would it be better to send it to someone specifically? Won't be for a couple more days.

Mootilda, I really appreciate all the support you and others have given, and I know this is all extra to Real Life for all of us. No-one can sensibly complain about how much or how little you do to improve the lotExpander. Everything you do is a bonus.

If it isn't rewarding any more, why keep on? Stop when you need to, and take some time to play the game too. And thanks again.
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