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One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#1426 Old 8th Feb 2008 at 9:20 AM
Quote:
4. the lot-shrinking is still technically problematic and that can cause lot...


Perhaps for *some* people. Solved by not playing the lot. It could be used for hood decoration only if desired.

Quote:
...and neighbourhood corruptions and spread trough sharing.


Not one scrap of evidence even anecdotal for this. It has not happened to anyone. Saying it might is as useful and scientific as saying the sky may turn green one day. Yes it may, if a large copper works caught fire, but it hasn't yet. Maxis have ruined more people's games with their bugs than the lot adjuster ever will!

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Alchemist
#1427 Old 8th Feb 2008 at 11:28 AM
So is anyone actually seriously concerned about releasing the LotAdjuster? Or about releasing shrunk lots, suitably labelled?

Once it's out, it's out completely. But it seems a shame to let all Mootilda's (and Inge's) work be swept under the carpet now.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#1428 Old 8th Feb 2008 at 12:00 PM
Responsible lot creators might wish to say "made with the lot adjuster, which is an experimental tool - only use if you are prepared to accept the possibility of risk to your game data". The lots won't damage stuff outside the game, although the lot expander *itself* could while it is running. I am assuming Mootilda is at least a half-way competent programmer however. But then anyone actually adjusting lots themselves will have had the opportunity of reading Mootilda's own warnings.

Other than that there are many creators churning out much stuff that might damage a game. In the end the user has the responsibility of downloading in a discerning way, or stick to the stuff Maxis makes.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Mad Poster
#1429 Old 9th Feb 2008 at 5:30 PM Last edited by niol : 9th Feb 2008 at 5:40 PM.
The scary labels were to scare off those who don't read carefully and those who don't read... and that's why I made reason 4 exaggerated for a snow-ball fallpit. Surely, Inge wouldn't fall for that. :D

Why those 2 types of people can be more problematic when using the tool? They may just mis-use the tool and make lots with more problems than those who know what they're doing and risking. They may not be able to understand they can harm other people's games by sharing their lots probably with misused potential risks just they either don't read or don't read carefully.. Surely, they can have messed up their own games before spreading lots probably with more problems.

The details will provide more accurate infos -- basically what we really know so far, right?
So, those who can finish and read carefully can do their own arts.

After all, if there's a quiz before the access of lot shrinking feature and/or shrunken lots, such scary labels are unnecessary for obviously most of those 2 types of people are quite unlikely to pass the quiz before any access to the tool and the lots.
Forum Resident
#1430 Old 9th Feb 2008 at 6:39 PM Last edited by Mutantbunny : 10th Feb 2008 at 12:44 AM. Reason: missed niol's post at the bottom of page 57 *sigh*
I don't think another debate over the finer points of what is/isn't game destroying and/or 'our responsiblity' is going to get us anywhere we haven't already been. I know I sure don't want to jump into it again. Agree? 'We have a gradient of varying ideas of what is safe/game destroying/our responsiblity' By and large, these all are closely related. Let's simply vote-- public release or not.

What I read so far is: 3 votes for complete public release (with appropriate warning) and 1 against. Right or wrong?

Where's the rest of this crew.....aren't there like nine of us?

EDIT: So I see niol has added a new twist *sigh*

Let's make TWO votes: for or against public release, for or against restricting access in some way (more than simply an appropriate warning.)

My votes:

public release: YES
restricting access: NO
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#1431 Old 9th Feb 2008 at 8:53 PM
I agree with Mutantbunny's votes.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Alchemist
#1432 Old 10th Feb 2008 at 2:25 AM
I concur that the program should be released now if nothing further is likely to be developed at present.

I agree with Niol and Inge, that people using the program will have be trusted to notice the risk warnings that are written into the program. Hopefully those warnings will scare off people who don't know what they're doing.

I do think sharers of shrunk lots should post a warning on those lots, since there will be no other opportunity for downloaders to know that they may be more than usually risky.

I hope Mootilda is happy with the situation.
Mad Poster
#1433 Old 10th Feb 2008 at 6:46 AM Last edited by niol : 12th Feb 2008 at 4:28 PM.
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Original Poster
#1434 Old 12th Feb 2008 at 7:27 PM
I have just posted the newest shrinking code in the private forum. If people are happy enough with this version, then I will consider releasing it with warnings. I'd just like a bit of testing first.

Just FYI: since mutantbunny has been on my ignore list for some time now, telling me that you agree (or disagree) with what he says is basically meaningless to me - I have no idea what he's saying. Please provide any feedback on this version without referring to mb's posts. Thanks.
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Original Poster
#1435 Old 12th Feb 2008 at 7:51 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 12th Feb 2008 at 7:58 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inge Jones
Quote:
Originally Posted by niol
4. the lot-shrinking is still technically problematic and that can cause lot and neighbourhood corruptions and spread trough sharing.
Not one scrap of evidence even anecdotal for this. It has not happened to anyone. Saying it might is as useful and scientific as saying the sky may turn green one day. Yes it may, if a large copper works caught fire, but it hasn't yet. Maxis have ruined more people's games with their bugs than the lot adjuster ever will!
I believe that we do have anecdontal evidence for this in the MATY thread. I don't have the time to find the quote right now, but I seem to remember someone saying that their neighborhood became more and more corrupt until it was unplayable, even though initially everything seemed to be working just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
So is anyone actually seriously concerned about releasing the LotAdjuster? Or about releasing shrunk lots, suitably labelled?
Yes, I am actually seriously concerned about releasing the shrinking code.
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#1436 Old 12th Feb 2008 at 10:58 PM
I thought mutantbunny was a she!? Basically she suggested we vote and I agreed with release and no restrictions.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Forum Resident
#1437 Old 13th Feb 2008 at 2:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
I believe that we do have anecdontal evidence for this in the MATY thread.


With one person or even a few stating it so, that is not really 'evidence' of ANY kind. Without a look at their system, their game files and their playing style it says nothing more than 'they had a problem--maybe we should be careful - keep a backup.' Please use some logic/common sense.

Ignore that which we cannot out reason.....whatever....
One horse disagreer of the Apocalypse
#1438 Old 13th Feb 2008 at 9:20 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantbunny
With one person or even a few stating it so,


I don't think this happened. Or at least if it did it was someone who came back later and said they didn't think the lot caused it. Probably someone who edited their hood with the old SimPE.

"You can do refraction by raymarching through the depth buffer" (c. Reddeyfish 2017)
Alchemist
#1439 Old 13th Feb 2008 at 12:56 PM
I've done some preliminary testing with the latest version. Notes in the private forum.
Mad Poster
#1440 Old 13th Feb 2008 at 7:23 PM Last edited by niol : 13th Feb 2008 at 7:49 PM.
Before Mutantbunny raised doubts on the instance about neighbourhood corruption in his previous post, I had made comments about the reliability of some reports simply because they lack of some essential supports like procedures on how they reached that point and system specs. Some people just bombed out a few relevant statements without any significant relevant infos to support their "simple" reports.
I'm unsure if they did that intentionally or not.
But such reports are really questionable.


For most of us who relatively know what we are doing, I don't see we could get that severity claimed by some people. That's why I suggest a quiz to test if one knows to do the following basic things:
1. to do back-up before any trial, among lot-building-progression
2. to know the known risks
3. to release shrunken lots with warnings
4. not to release lots with problems when one gets an error when using LE/LR
5. to clear up at least for known visible objects off the trimmed regions. Avoid any build object like walls and roofs to be trimmed. To avoid objects on the bounding grid lines unless that's really meant to be so like walls and fences.
6. problems and questions? to know where to report, to ask for help, etc...
7. etc... lol, can't concentrate to think of any more presently... i'm busy on a few things ATM. But, welcome to add into the list.
This way, we can hope the frequency or likelihood of the undesired outcomes to be kept diminished by sweeping away those "I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing-at-all" people messing things around.
Such quiz is not to demand people to know how to mod a lot, so most technical issues won't be there but just some simple knowledges for the precautions. It's to ensure at least most users do know the basic "what they're doing" and how to deal with some common problems. It won't block away those who deliberately wants to harm other people's games though.


I, as a lot downloader, I don't want to have to worry about if the lot I'm downloading is an unsuspected corrupted lot made by some "I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing-at-all" people.
If such thing happens, most lot-downlaoders may start to panic because they can't know if a lot is just an ordinary lot, and lot-sharing may become even a rare choice.
The recent plunge in lot-downloading is already not a happy sign to most lot-sharers even without such potential worry. If we allow those "I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing-at-all" people to start to mess on lot-sharing with their "funny" lots, I can see those lot-builders who are not widely known at least OK will lose their downloaders fast while in a long term those more widely-known lot-builders can be affected as well if they accidentally use downloaded lots made by those people after the lot-shrinking feature release.to all people.
Thus, in my general sense and estimation, letting "I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing-at-all" people freely download the shrinking feature and shrunken lots can have a bad effect on lot-sharing.

Yet, I'm unsure if such things had already happened since the first release before the access-control. I don't mean to spread fears but suggest to face the known possible outcomes.

That was a short time period of no access control , but this one is gonna be a long time period, right?
Alchemist
#1441 Old 13th Feb 2008 at 9:30 PM
Niol, how do you suggest we enforce the quiz? Put it into an intro screen on the LE? Do you have some other way in mind, to make people do it and take notice?

I don't mind having such a quiz, I'm just concerned how it can be made useful.
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Original Poster
#1442 Old 14th Feb 2008 at 1:57 AM
Unfortunately, I can't think of any way to ensure that only certain people have access to the shrinking code. I can't think of any way to ensure that people use the tool "correctly". I can't even think of any way to ensure that people who share shrunken lots warn people about the potential dangers. If I release this tool, then people will use it "improperly" and will share the results without any warnings.

I *have* been wondering whether I could "mark" the resulting packages, so that people have some way to check whether a lot has ever been shrunken. Of course, lot creators could just remove the mark, but I'm not sure that the average lot creator would consider it worth the effort to remove it.
Alchemist
#1443 Old 14th Feb 2008 at 9:51 AM Last edited by aelflaed : 14th Feb 2008 at 9:58 AM.
Default LE 1.3.0 glitch, marking shrunk lots
Marking lots shrunk with the LE sounds good if you can do it. You mean something that would need SimPE or similar to un-mark? You're right that most builders won't bother removing it specially, and if they do, they're well able to understand the warnings. We can't FORCE anyone to take proper notice, we can only do our best.

I've run into a possible glitch in the latest LE. I am unable to shrink any further lots - the shrink feature ticks properly, but 'front yard' on the other side is already ticked and greyed out. I can't get any minus values, only positive ones. See attached pic.

The possible trigger was that I was in the middle of shrinking the third and final edge off one of the foundation test lots, when my four-year-old interrupted me with something. After dealing with that, I was confused about what stage I had got to with the shrinking, so I probably repeated some or all of it. The lot has already been shrunk twice, once at the left and once at the rear, which worked as expected. The lot in-game remains accessible, with its remaining 'waste' side still there.

Other lots selected in that neighbourhood now have the same problem. Help!
Screenshots
Mad Poster
#1444 Old 14th Feb 2008 at 10:41 AM Last edited by niol : 14th Feb 2008 at 11:22 AM.
Mootilda's approach to add a mark/indicator to show the lot has been shrunk is a good choice, too.
I certainly like that. That will leave out those who just happen to omit the mark by accidents and those who can follow a guide to omit the mark but still not knowing whatever else. They should be rare cases that I assume I feel safe enough with that.

lol, a basic quiz is just a suggestion to distinguish different users accordingly.
while the marker approach is to distinguish different lots accordingly.
But, the cross-over and other possibilities can still be some back-fire worries.

The quiz before access won't stop private or disobedient sharing by any means.
The marker approach won't show indirectly affected lots and neighbourhoods when file corruptions may be able to spread in certain cases.
Both can at least reduce the likelihood of an epidemic.

Lol, I'm not saying the methods are no good. I'm just stating out the general limits. So, we know how preventable the 2 discussed methods can be and hopefully make wise decisions.

I assume having at least 1 approach applied is much better than having no preventive measure done.

As for how a quiz is approached, I assume it's set to be automatically done for the check and the approval. Since the quiz is testing only the basic essential "know-what-to-do", one has to get 90%-100% of the full score to pass while the questions are really simple and easy.
It can be just like a question form page with check boxes and a checking script to compare the answers.
If one passes it as approved by the engine, one can gain the access into the LE/LR forum.
Surely, "or" can be used to treat questions with >1 fixated answer.

But, if we want a quiz to be educational only, the quiz page can show the correct corresponding answer after a given input to a question. An in-page pop-up with a big red cross for a wrong answer requires the tested to click to close.
After such quiz, one can access the LE/LR forum directly, and there's no real scoring or pass or fail. No panic.

These're just suggestions.

So, for the quiz approach, there can be a pass-or-fail one and a reminder one. Obviously, the the latter one is a weaker approach.but would still be better than nothing at all.

The undesired possibility will always be there, but I'm targetting at diminishing the probabilities of those unwanted estimatable possibilities.
Forum Resident
#1445 Old 14th Feb 2008 at 6:19 PM
Would it be possible to change the color of the 'placement border' thingy--it's green now when a lot can be placed...I don't know waht else to call it. BUT if that border could be changed or even omitted....
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#1446 Old 14th Feb 2008 at 7:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
Marking lots shrunk with the LE sounds good if you can do it. You mean something that would need SimPE or similar to un-mark?
Exactly. Haven't looked into it, but I believe that something should be possible. Unfortunately, this requires more programming, which I'm finding difficult right now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by aelflaed
I've run into a possible glitch in the latest LE. I am unable to shrink any further lots - [...] Other lots selected in that neighbourhood now have the same problem. Help!
Have you tried restoring the backup that you made before starting the shrinking process?
Alchemist
#1447 Old 15th Feb 2008 at 7:56 AM
Default marking shrunk lots
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantbunny
Would it be possible to change the color of the 'placement border' thingy--it's green now when a lot can be placed...I don't know waht else to call it. BUT if that border could be changed or even omitted....


In basegame, that border disappears anyway in altered lots. We've ignored that missing border in the past as a minor inconvenience.

If someone knows how it can be re-instated, and then colour-changed, that might be a way of marking shrunk lots.
Alchemist
#1448 Old 15th Feb 2008 at 7:59 AM Last edited by aelflaed : 15th Feb 2008 at 10:32 AM.
Mootilda, I haven't tried anything since then, but I was thinking of getting a new LE exe from the rar and seeing if that is okay.

I'll fiddle with it after dinner, so may have more info then.

(edit) - Restarting the computer seeems to have done the trick - LE 130 works fine today. Hooray.

I've therefore finished the set of shrinkages I was stopped on yesterday, and posted findings on the other forum.
Mad Poster
#1449 Old 15th Feb 2008 at 3:20 PM
I guess the makers can be added to the "lot name" and "house name" in the "lot description file" of the corresponding "neighbourhood package file" and the "Lot name" and "Lot description" in the "lot file" of the corresponding "lot package file".

Yet, my second thought may be better -- to add a small jpg file or txtr file as a marker in a lot package file..
I'm unsure if an extra jpg file may be updated along with those made by default when a given lot is saved in-game. But, an extra txtr file shouldn't be deleted normally..
Yet, a small test is necessary to confirm them.
will post my test result the next time just i case it may be useful..
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#1450 Old 15th Feb 2008 at 5:38 PM
niol, thanks for your plan to test this. I was thinking about adding a new string value, but a jpg or txtr sounds good too. The only real issue is whether it will stay in the file permanently, through editing with both the game and SimPE, and through the package / install process.
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