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Lab Assistant
#51 Old 17th Jun 2011 at 1:21 PM
There's nothing wrong with having sims in your sim bin, but it might not be a good long term decision. Think how annoying it is to find the Pet families and the Travellers in every single 'hood in your game! You can't just delete them out of the sim bin either, because it's not safe according to Pescado. So you need to play them and/or kill them in each 'hood and, if you ever re-install your game, you'll have to do it all over again.

How about putting them on an empty lot(s) instead, so you can move them to the sim bin once installed?

Re- the big button......Anyone who downloaded Sedona, got Marvin Kosh's 'big button hack' as part of the download. I put it in a folder called hacks so you could see what it was, but obviously you don't want that as well as Moothilda's.
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Original Poster
#52 Old 17th Jun 2011 at 4:52 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 17th Jun 2011 at 9:52 PM. Reason: fix typo
There's a huge difference between the sim bin of a subhood and the sim bin of a stealth subhood. Since stealth subhoods are added to every single neighborhood, the sims will show up over and over again.

However, if you're trying to deal with something like Belladonna Cove as a subhood: 1) people are likely to only add this subhood to one neighborhood and 2) the sims are an integral part of that subhood and 3) putting apartment residents into the sim bin seems cleaner than placing them on another lot, when the intention is to place them back into their original apartment building.

There's no advantage to putting sims on a lot vs. putting them into the sim bin. In either case, they will be added to your neighborhood when the subhood is attached.
Lab Assistant
#53 Old 18th Jun 2011 at 7:31 AM
So the Pets and Traveller families are part of stealth sub-hoods? I didn't think Pets created a sub-hood or that the Travellers were part of the Seasons sub-hood. Am I wrong here? Or maybe a stealth sub-hood is terminology for something that gets added to every 'hood be it sims, lots or.a sub-hood (visible or invisible).

So if I had put sims in the simbin of Sedona, they wouldn't have appeared in every 'hood, but only in 'hoods where you actually added the sub-hood to their game. I hadn't understood that, but of course it's true; we didn't get the Bluewater sims everywhere.. thanks!
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Original Poster
#54 Old 18th Jun 2011 at 4:40 PM
That's right. The Traveler family comes with the Bon Voyage "Exotic Destinations" stealth subhood (V001)

The Pets families vary. Any family which comes with a house is installed into the LotCatalog folder and shows up in the lot bin. Examples are the Kat and Kim families Those families are safe to remove, as long as you haven't added them to a neighborhood.

The Roseland and Crittur families are a different matter. They are included with the Pets stealth subhood (P001) and are added to the sim bin of every single neighborhood. Because they are actually added to each neighborhood, they are unsafe to remove. If you don't want them, you have to install an empty Pets stealth subhood or remove the stealth subhood entirely, before your neighborhood is created or converted to Pets.

Sims that are an integral part of a subhood can safely be shared in the sim bin of the subhood template. They are functionally identical to sims in lots, except that they are not associated with a lot. If a subhood template is correctly created, the sims in the sim bin will only be added to a neighborhood when the subhood is attached to the neighborhood.

EA completely overuses both playable sims and townies in stealth neighborhoods and didn't consider the annoyance of having the same exact sims in every single neighborhood. Empty stealth hoods are definitely the way to go.
Lab Assistant
#55 Old 22nd Jun 2011 at 3:57 PM
Thank you for explaining! I actually went and looked at some 'hood data which now makes more sense.

I'm using empty templates in principle, but every time I re-install, I've missed one and ended up with one or more of the annoying sim bin families.

Pescado says it's not safe to delete sims out of the simbin because it leaves dangling data and dangling data is corruption in the making. I always felt it should be safe to delete them the first time you see them, before they have done walkby's on community lots and met people, but never sure enough actually to do it. I always place them in a lot and then feel obliged to play them. I'm not awesome, so I mostly do what Pescado says is safe.

I'm puzzling over album issues at the moment. I never got the sub-hood album for Sedona to transfer into the game when you add it to a 'hood. I'm not planning to make a new version of that either, so it's academic. The family albums transferred OK. Or maybe I just never heard about it if they overwrote existing albums!
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Original Poster
#56 Old 22nd Jun 2011 at 5:20 PM
I tend to agree with Pescado. When a family is added to the sim bin, a number of things may be added to the neighborhood package, including family ties, memories, relationships, etc. If you delete a family from the sim bin, the game doesn't clean those up. Therefore, you risk having invalid sim pointers which may come back to haunt you. It's always best to clean your families thoroughly before deleting them, especially because SimPE will not display family ties and memories for invalid sims so you won't be able to clean them up later.

The album is keyed on the hood ID (UID field in the IDNO record in the neighborhood package), which can change when the game re-generates your save game or attaches a subhood to a neighborhood. If the ID changes, the story can become disconnected. I believe that EA changed the way that this works with later EPs, by changing the way that the story is stored.

One of the things that annoys me is that EA named one of the neighborhoods from the later EPs (I think that it was Belladonna Cove) with the same ID as Pleasantview. Since the neighborhoods from the newer EPs are added first (based on their hood folder name), Pleasantview always loses its story in a newly generated save game. I've changed Belladonna Cove on my machine to have a different ID number, so that I get both stories. (Unfortunately, this means that the hood ID in the neighborhood Tombstone memories is now invalid, but that doesn't matter much since they mostly have invalid lot numbers anyway.)
#57 Old 16th Aug 2011 at 8:04 AM Last edited by Alma70 : 16th Aug 2011 at 8:40 AM.
I'm having problem with my custom N-Hood and I'm hoping you could help me out.
I can't run Any Game Starter since I'm on Windows 2000 so I went with your Special Procedure at post # 11.

- I've disabled the base game neighborhoods by renaming
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2\TSData\Res\UserData\Neighborhoods
to Neighborhoods_Original

- I've disabled all of my stealth neighborhoods by renaming NeighborhoodTemplate to NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth for all of the EPs which have been installed:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Pets\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\P001
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Seasons\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\G002
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 FreeTime\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\F002
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Apartment Life\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\E002
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Bon Voyage\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\V001

- I've started the game and made a brand new empty N-hood that I exited before I did anything to it.

- I've verified that my new N-hood is completely empty.

- I've given the N-hood an unique name and changed the name of my N-hood folder and the prefix of all files within that folder including the thumbnails package as well.

- I've made a backup of that N-hood just incase.

- I've opened up SimPE. Opened my neighborhood package. Selected ID Number (IDNO) in the left pane. And then nothing!!!! There's nothing in the right pane!!!!! =(

I can't see that I've done anything wrong but it just won't work. I've tried 3 times already but no change so far (I've had some trouble with SimPE before when I wanted to make my own face templates but most of the time it works just fine.) First I thought it was because I named the first hood to ALMA instead of N468 (just an example) but I got the same result anyway.
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Original Poster
#58 Old 16th Aug 2011 at 5:33 PM
If there's an ID Number (IDNO) in the left pane, then there must be at least one IDNO record in the package.

How long did you wait? SimPE can be quite slow when it first loads a neighborhood and it won't respond if it's already busy. This is especially true for the latest version of SimPE. I seem to remember seeing an article about speeding it up. Let me see whether I can find it.

Also, ALMA is a perfectly good neighborhood prefix. That cannot be your problem.

[Update:] Try the localmode command line parameter:
#59 Old 16th Aug 2011 at 6:14 PM
I think I waited enough time, I usually hear when it's fully loaded and I removed everything from my downloads folder and any extra hoods to make both SimPE and the game load faster since I didn't really need any of it at this stage.
One thing I noticed though, all the little colorful icons you have in your recource tree are just grey blocks in my SimPE, like the icon for your Neighborhood Terrain Geometry in post # 5. Could that have something to do with it not working or does it even matter?
Uninstalling and reinstalling are probably pointless since it's an .exe file and those don't go bad, right?
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Original Poster
#60 Old 16th Aug 2011 at 7:45 PM
Actually, EXEs can go bad. It might have been corrupted during download. A hard drive failure can change bits inside the EXE. As well, viruses will modify EXEs.

Perhaps you should zip and attach your neighborhood. I assume that it's tiny right now. I could at least see whether I am able to open it, which would suggest a problem with your SimPE installation. If I can't, then we know that your neighborhood is corrupt.
#61 Old 16th Aug 2011 at 7:57 PM
Thank you so much for checking this out, here's a link:
It's in 7.z, hope that's ok?
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Original Poster
#62 Old 16th Aug 2011 at 9:42 PM
I can see and edit your IDNO without any problem, so there must be a problem with your SimPE installation. Try re-downloading and re-installing.
#63 Old 17th Aug 2011 at 3:33 AM
Thank you so much for your help Mootilda, uninstall and reinstall did the trick! YAY! =D
Test Subject
#64 Old 17th Aug 2011 at 11:36 AM Last edited by zuriv : 17th Aug 2011 at 11:46 AM.
Default need help making empty uberhood using your technique
hi! i hope you can help me. i want to make an uberhood using your technique and using all empty neighborhood templates (just lots w/ no sims).

i downloaded SaraMK's empty Pleasantview from here:

thing is, when i open it in SimPE (newest one, ver.0.73.44, re-downloaded it in case it was corrupted), there is only one white row of numbers, prefaced with all zeros.

attached is my screenshot.
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Original Poster
#65 Old 17th Aug 2011 at 4:16 PM
You are looking at the hex tab. You need to select the plugin tab at the very bottom of the screen.
Test Subject
#66 Old 17th Aug 2011 at 4:45 PM
here is the screenshot of the plugin tab

following your tutorial, in step 3B) i click the hex tab, and what appears is the first screenshot, with just one yellow row and one white row. do i change the number on the only white row?

or is there something wrong with the empty Pleasantview template as it is, so that i cannot use it to make a subhood?

thanks for helping me.
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Original Poster
#67 Old 17th Aug 2011 at 6:35 PM
Oh, sorry for the misunderstanding. I understand your problem now.

Pleasantview is a base game neighborhood. In the base game, there were no subhoods. Therefore, the IDNO record does not have the appropriate format for subhoods.

To change a base game neighborhood into a subhood, you need to get an IDNO with the correct format. The easiest way to do this is to just copy the IDNO record from a valid neighborhood which has the correct format.

Assuming you have already set up your game with the correct configuration for the type of subhood (empty neighborhood, no subhoods, correct selection of EPs and SPs), just create a new neighborhood and then exit the game. Open the new neighborhood in SimPE and extract the IDNO record (right click on the IDNO record in the right pane and select "Extract..." from the context menu). Then open Pleasantview in SimPE and replace the IDNO record with the extracted one (right click on the IDNO record in the right pane and select "Replace..." from the context menu).

Now, you should be able to adjust the IDNO record as per the tutorial. Your new Pleasantview subhood will require the latest EP used to create the new neighborhood.

You should be able to delete the new neighborhood that you made, since you no longer need it.
Field Researcher
#68 Old 11th Sep 2011 at 6:20 PM
Is possible to edit Downtown's terrain? Or any other subhood terrain? The terrains used for subhoods doesn't seem to be available.

Is it possible to "extract" the .sc4 file so it can be edited in SC4?
Sorry if this is beyond thread's aim.
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Original Poster
#69 Old 11th Sep 2011 at 7:06 PM
You can use HoodReplace to reuse the terrain from an existing neighborhood. However, we do not have a way to extract the SC4 file from a neighborhood package so that it can be edited in SC4. It should be possible, but requires alternate access to the raw data, since the SimPE low-level routines do not fully support the SimCity 4 file formats; I have it on my to-do list for HoodReplace.

And yes, this is basically beyond the scope of this thread. Here is the HoodReplace research thread:
Lab Assistant
#70 Old 22nd Nov 2011 at 11:55 PM
This probably isn't the place to ask, but how would you go about modifying the stealth subhoods?

Examples include:
Putting your own puppies and kittens into the adoption pool.
Modifying the Hobby and Witch subhoods and/or the lots inside them.
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Original Poster
#71 Old 23rd Nov 2011 at 1:02 AM
First, a caveat: Once a stealth subhood has been attached to a neighborhood, you will not be able to modify that subhood using this procedure. This will only affect neighborhoods which have not yet had the stealth neighborhood attached. Editing an attached stealth subhood is beyond the mandate of this thread. If that's what you want to do, start your own thread and we'll try to help you.

Off the top of my head, here's what I'd try:

- Create an empty environment, as described in the tutorial. If you accidentally attach a subhood to your stealth subhood, it will no longer work, so it's important that you're running in a completely empty environment.

- backup the stealth subhood and your save game.

- Move the stealth subhood from Program Files into your save game. If you had to rename the stealth subhood to create the empty environment, be sure that it has the right (original) name in your Neighborhoods folder.

- Run the game and see whether the subhood is available as a neighborhood. If not, try removing all of your other neighborhoods and try again. (They're backed up, right?) If it still doesn't show up, let me know and I'll investigate further. Be sure to let me know which stealth subhood you're trying to edit.

- Once the stealth subhood is available as a standalone neighborhood in your game, you can play as usual to add puppies and kittens and modify lots. Note that you may have to use the LoadLot cheat to edit a hidden lot.

- When the neighborhood is set up the way that you want, move it back to the correct location in Program Files.

- Test the stealth subhood with a new neighborhood, or one that you don't care about. Be sure that it's working correctly before you allow it to attach to a neighborhood that you care about.
Lab Assistant
#72 Old 25th Nov 2011 at 12:40 AM
Thanks! I'll try it out and see what happens.
Test Subject
#73 Old 7th Dec 2011 at 5:16 PM
Originally Posted by Mootilda
There's no theoretical reason for a problem. Occupied apartments, on the other hand, have a very real reason why they fail.

OK, I am very confused... I made a Mega-hood about 2 months ago, and so far everything seems to be running fine. But I didn't use SimPE... I did it the "Wrong Way" as I'm seeing it called...
So why haven't I had any problems???

Here's what I did. I wanted a Mega-hood with all the original Sim families from all the games and expansions. Basically a neighborhood where someone like Cassandra Goth, from Pleasantview, could hang out at the same restaurant with Juliet Capp, from Veronaville. After some experimenting I thought the easiest way to do this was to make a new, original neighborhood, then make duplicate sub-neighborhoods, shopping districts to be exact, to match all the games original neighborhoods (Pleasantview, Veronaville, etc...). I decided to use Shopping districts when I was playing around and saw Florence Delarosa, who lives in a shopping district, stroll past a house in my main neighborhood... that's when I realized shopping district residents can interact with main neighborhood sims on their own.

Because this was going to be a big, new project, I wanted all the families pristine and unplayed. So I uninstalled my copy of the game and all the expansions, then reinstalled everything clean. I'm reading the biggest problems with importing families into mega-hoods is preexisting memories... maybe this is what's saved me... none of the families I moved had been played, so they maybe didn't have memories yet??? Oh, BTW... I was't terribly concerned with stuff like Cassandra and Don's wedding... which did NOT play out after I moved them both. I take this as a good thing, because hopefully it means they didn't have any pre-existing memories from prior to being moved..

So anyway, I made my mega-hood, and added all the standard sub-neighborhoods, vacation spots, universities... etc. Oh, FYI... I'm playing Double Deluxe with all of the expansions. I backed up everything and started building the duplicate sub-neighborhoods, starting with Pleasantview. I used a matching map, and dulicated the landscaping as best I could. Then I exited my mega-hood, entered the regular Pleasantview neighborhood, and snatched up all the houses, families and all, put them into the house bin, exited the Pleasantview neighborhood, loaded my mega-hood's Pleasantview sub-hood, and plunked all the houses where they belonged.
I did this with all 6 of the pre-made neighborhoods, from Pleasantview to Belladonna Cove, until I had a complete mega-hood. Every single house and family from all 6 neighborhoods. Again, I did NOT play any of the families prior to doing this... I just snatched them from their neighborhood and plunked them into the matching sub-hood of my mega-hood. Oh, I also did not bother to add any of the sub-neighborhoods to the other pre-made neighborhoods... I knew I'd be deleting them after I moved the house, so why bother??? And like I said, after I had moved everything I deleted all the other neighborhoods except my mega-hood.

Now here's the thing... it's been over 2 months, I play almost every evening, and so far it's working fine. Oh, after I got everything up and running I found homes for the remaining pre-made families, matching them as best possible with the appropriate sub-neighborhood. Everyone now lives somewhere, and a couple families are in appartments. I just played Vivian Cho the other day, who now resides in an apartment in my Belladonna Cove sub-neighborhood... and I didn't encounter any problems. If an apartment in a sub-hood is supposed to fail I don't see how.

Right now I have sims in my main hood going steady with sims from sub-hoods... sims from different sub-hoods interacting fine on their own... and I'm getting ready to send a bunch off to college... this will be a mix of hood and sub-hood family teens.
Oh, and one of my main neighborhood family also runs a restaurant/gift shop, and is employing sims from my sub-hoods with no glitches.

So again I'm confused... as well as a little terrified I'm reading about all these glitches and problems with making a mega-hood... is mine doomed to eventually crash???
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Original Poster
#74 Old 7th Dec 2011 at 5:52 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 7th Dec 2011 at 6:15 PM.
Originally Posted by just_jim
I'm confused... as well as a little terrified I'm reading about all these glitches and problems with making a mega-hood... is mine doomed to eventually crash???
Short answer: Yes, your neighborhood is doomed.

As I explained in the other thread:, this thread is a discussion about how to create valid subhood templates, which is a necessary step in the creation of a valid mega-hood. If you want to learn how to make a mega-hood correctly, this is the place.

However, your post is not on topic for this thread. Start by reading the thread about "non-intuitive things NOT to do in a Sims game". It's a long thread, but contains a wealth of useful information which can help you to avoid destroying your next neighborhood. As I explained before, your current megahood is unfixable. This thread explains why:

That thread should also contain the answers to your questions. If you are still confused about the corruption in your existing mega-hood after reading the entire thread, ask questions in that thread.
Field Researcher
#75 Old 29th Mar 2012 at 11:59 AM
OK, I'll get to the point quickly. For one more time, I have a problem.

Until yesterday, everything worked fined ( AnyGame1 with BV installed, a proper subhood to get started). I was building as usual, saved my work and quited the game. Today, when I opened AnyGame, there wasn't any neighborhood.

In the startup screen, there wasn't any neighborhood to choose (my only option was to create one). But, in "MyDocuments/EA Games/.../Neighborhoods" my subhood folder exists.

Any advice?
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