Replies: 8 (Who?), Viewed: 315 times.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#1 Old 21st Feb 2021 at 2:42 PM Last edited by Axen : 22nd Feb 2021 at 12:37 AM.
Sim State Mini Expansion - Discoveries, Goals & Reference
Hello fellow Simmers and the MTS community!

Who Is Axen?

I'm Axen and I'm trying to learn to Mod The Sims 3 little by little! I have been playing The Sims since about 2002/3 when my parents allowed me to buy it and fell in love with it ever since! Not moved onto 4 but not a hater either just don't use origin and like to stick with Sims 3 due to the open world nature and completed development allowing for less headaches modding (in theory :P).

What is this thread for?

In short I am trying to learn script modding and thought opening a thread to journal my personal experiences with that and anything useful I found could be of help to others interested down the line! I've currently got one mod released which was a simple XML mod adding crafting to the inventing system but I'm in the process of working on a larger project called 'Sim State' which I'll explain below. Feel free to post comments, suggestions and findings below. I am hoping to make a basic scripting PDF of some sort documenting simple but useful things to help modders make more gameplay based mods and I'll post a link to that in this thread too as it gets going.

What is this Sim State mod?

The idea behind Sim State is to release a modpack or one larger package if I can facilitate it as a mini-expansion of sorts. I'm trying to focus on a variety of little additions to add more actual gameplay along the theme of you living in a 'Sim State' with a few more realism tweaks and hopefully a few additions to add end game content systems. I have a variety of ideas but I'd like to work on it without promises so that as it comes together I can showcase each part as it comes but here's a basic roadmap:

-New Custom Loading Screen & Maybe a custom intro video and/or loading music.
-Invention Crafting Overhaul with support for a variety of essential items across the expansion packs.
-PowerSurges during thunderstorms which either break or knock out power completely from your sims home lot for a period of time. (Potentially linked to bills or tax payment failures aswell, can think about this.)
-Seasonal Tax Payments system.
-Gaining celebrity status according to a variety of factors such as certain career levels etc. (For example with the Showtime careers).
-Potentially exploring the Savvy Seller set to somehow add a deeper business system like business perks etc
-And more...much more in my head but would rather get a few bits going before posting about them.

The end goal with Sim State is to release it as a custom all in one expansion package (hah see what I did there...), the good thing about this is that the mods should compliment each other rather than adding X Y Z feature from different mods which work independantly, so hopefully the tax system can affect the power system and so on :P. I know this is a bit different and perhaps people would like some of this stuff standalone but I'm hoping to maybe have ingame options down the line.

Are you going to collaborate with other modders?

Yes and no for the following reasons:

Yes for help and suggestions if people are willing and interested as certainly learning the Sims 3 code base and getting better at C# will require more than my own efforts hah!

No for collaborating code etc basically because that way I can keep it consistent as it will be my own written code/comments style etc that I personally understand, I have no doubt there are MANY better coders than myself bu it just makes it easier and will allow the project to go in different directions without issues if people aren't coming and going.

Are you open to suggestions/ideas etc?

Absolutely :D, I'm not adding everything and the goal is to make it fun and have similar vibes to the Sims 3 game, so please don't suggest anything innappropriate, adult, controversial or otherwise :P. Also I don't own the supernatural expansion as I'm not into that kindof gameplay myself . I am not planning to be an open house for mod requests but suggestions that fit into the project theme will be considered absolutely!

Any other business?

Not really, as the project progresses I'd like to set up a YouTube channel and perhaps do video updates so we'll see how it goes.

I hope this concept is of interest to some and look forward to chatting to other modders and simmers! All the best, stay safe!

Regards,

Axen!
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Mad Poster
#2 Old 22nd Feb 2021 at 3:54 AM Last edited by jje1000 : 22nd Feb 2021 at 7:40 PM.
A combined modpack would be great to see, just for a more unified experience (it's something to have to cobble together several mods at once). Definitely anticipating this!

Some notes:
Quote:
-New Custom Loading Screen & Maybe a custom intro video and/or loading music.

IMO Custom Main Menu Loading screens are bit of an last-thing-to-do feature as they've already been done for awhile, along with custom Main Menu loading music. That being said, an improved intro video would be great, as the original is really low-res for today's monitors.

As for Custom world loading screens, they're already here by @gamefreak130: https://modthesims.info/d/638475/wo...rhaul-v2-0.html , but I think that custom world loading screen music would be a great improvement to that as well, especially for custom worlds.

Quote:
-Invention Crafting Overhaul with support for a variety of essential items across the expansion packs.

Definitely this, some of the future items should be inventable. I might also suggest a similar extension to the sculpting station as well, perhaps allowing your sims to sculpt more furniture as well (essentially allowing your sims to create a custom furniture/woodworking store)

Quote:
-PowerSurges during thunderstorms which either break or knock out power completely from your sims home lot for a period of time. (Potentially linked to bills or tax payment failures aswell, can think about this.)

No comments here, would be great to see. I wonder if generating moodlets would be possible, along with excluding certain items (i.e. candles)?

Quote:
-Seasonal Tax Payments system.

To add to this, I think that sims should be able to pay their bills autonomously, or at least be prompted to pay their taxes when due. There was this mod, but it seems to have been broken for awhile: https://modthesims.info/d/383084/au...5-5-and-10.html

Quote:
-Gaining celebrity status according to a variety of factors such as certain career levels etc. (For example with the Showtime careers).

Would be great to see, I wish the celebrity feature in general really does need to be more realistic. At the moment, it's too automatic, and sort of lacks the supporting PR network that real-life celebrities have around them.

I think that the fame system perhaps needs to be gatekept a bit- I think your sims should be able to gain maybe up to a star in fame on their own, but anything beyond that should require exponentially more points to achieve- maybe to get to those levels, you'd hire an agency via phone/computer, which would essentially act as a multiplier to your interactions and offer you opportunities.

Quote:
-Potentially exploring the Savvy Seller set to somehow add a deeper business system like business perks etc

The thing I sort of wish the Savvy Seller set had was a more polished UI- compared to TS2, it does feel a bit janky to have to navigate through the radial menu- it definitely needs more information neatly presented. Maybe also an general economic 'mood' system could be interesting to see in the background, maybe acting as a multiplier on the number of sims entering your lot and their willingness to purchase, and would add some depth to your business decisions (i.e. slashing hours during a recession, or lowering prices during Black Friday).It could be something that your sims would read the computer or newspaper to figure out.

I think another note is that it would be nice to have XMLs or in-game menus available in case you want to tweak some settings to your own personal liking. I would also suggest separating the sections of your mod into separate module packages like NRAAS, for more customization (i.e. if you want power surges but not a new tax system).
Test Subject
Original Poster
#3 Old 22nd Feb 2021 at 12:41 PM
Wow thank you so much for taking the time to do such a detailed well thought out reply! If you don’t mind I’m going to save this to reference as I look at implementing these features. Great ideas there and some had crossed my mind already such as an XML or in game settings. I would rather give the option to turn it off in settings instead of separate mods as it’s hard to get them to reference each other in code if I make them available separately, also I can do ‘SimState’ fixes instead running through multiple mods I guess hah. I’m on my phone at the moment but I will check back later with a few screenshots and more comments on what you’ve said! Power surges are what I’m currently implementing at the moment and I’m interested in contacting Ani to see if she would mind me using her savvier seller mod as a base to build upon / tweak for the OFB stuff. Thanks again! I’ll update later . SimStateDude.
Test Subject
Original Poster
#4 Old 24th Feb 2021 at 12:37 AM
Ok so just a little update, here's a video preview of the power surge (after the surge) although hard to see lighting as I filmed during the day ><, after that you see the start of the business system which I'm hoping will allow players to set up little shops with the buy mode items:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ex-...eature=youtu.be
Mad Poster
#5 Old 24th Feb 2021 at 4:45 PM
Looking promising!

In terms of power surges- are you planning on having lights go out?

I also wonder if there could be a small chance that it breaks an electronic- just to make the event even more significant?

Not to add too much feature creep, but maybe if your sim has a generator object (could just be a decorative object cloned from TS4, I could provide you with that object), it could allow you to reduce the extent of the power surge (i.e. phones and laptops stay working)?
Test Subject
Original Poster
#6 Old 24th Feb 2021 at 6:34 PM
Yeah so lights go out, the video doesn't do it justice as I recorded during the day >< :P. Randomly stereos and tvs break and I might add computers too! Yeah I'm considering the options for reduction of the chance of it happening, currently its 'assumed' that you have a backup generator as wall lights turn red but can be enhanced. Technically with this system it would be possible to add in an option that requires an item to provide power, meaning that when it runs out you need to 'regenerate' it, but the basics are there.

Been working more on the business system today mainly.

Thanks.
Lab Assistant
#7 Old 24th Feb 2021 at 8:42 PM
Wow, looks like you're off to a great start! The name "Sim State" really fits the scope of what your modpack is about imo, sort of like an overarching body governing stuff like utilities, taxes, and commercial functions.

As for feedback, I'll just add my two cents in addition to what jje1000 already mentioned:
Quote:
IMO Custom Main Menu Loading screens are bit of an last-thing-to-do feature as they've already been done for awhile, along with custom Main Menu loading music. That being said, an improved intro video would be great, as the original is really low-res for today's monitors.

I agree that this should probably come towards the end of your project. If you're looking for an updated video, I saw this Sims 3 intro remake on Twitter the other day. It includes clips from all of the different expansion trailers and has a higher resolution than the current one.

Quote:
Definitely this, some of the future items should be inventable. I might also suggest a similar extension to the sculpting station as well, perhaps allowing your sims to sculpt more furniture as well (essentially allowing your sims to create a custom furniture/woodworking store)

More items made craftable is always a plus in my book. It really gives my businesses a sense of purpose. Instead of just buying an item from buy mode to sell in my shops, my sims have to put in the work to get the reward. Also, yes on the sculpting expansion.

Additionally, I think it would be really cool to add more cars to your invention mod so you could effectively own a store selling cars that your sim made from scrap. Currently, I don’t see much of a point making a car dealership for my sims to own as I just grab the cars from buy mode and plop them down; not much investment there. But my sims having to build the cars themselves would definitely change that.

Quote:
-PowerSurges during thunderstorms which either break or knock out power completely from your sims home lot for a period of time. (Potentially linked to bills or tax payment failures aswell, can think about this.)

Love the power surges during storms idea, very realistic. Are you considering having sims pay an electric bill, either added on to the regular bill or separate? And maybe a water bill as well? I do like that the Eco Lifestyle update for TS4 added more depth to bills this way by breaking down utility costs.

Quote:
-Seasonal Tax Payments system.

I'd like to know more about your plans for this in the future, but I'm intrigued by this concept.

Quote:
Would be great to see, I wish the celebrity feature in general really does need to be more realistic. At the moment, it's too automatic, and sort of lacks the supporting PR network that real-life celebrities have around them.

I think that the fame system perhaps needs to be gatekept a bit- I think your sims should be able to gain maybe up to a star in fame on their own, but anything beyond that should require exponentially more points to achieve- maybe to get to those levels, you'd hire an agency via phone/computer, which would essentially act as a multiplier to your interactions and offer you opportunities.

The celebrity system is definitely lacking and I would love to see it expanded. Different agencies with different requirements for approval (celebrity level, skills, career level, number of friends/celebrities known, etc.) could make for some interesting gameplay. Maybe celebrity sims could create their own brands to make money and gain more fame (directly biting off of the Lifestyle Brand system from Get Famous).

Quote:
The thing I sort of wish the Savvy Seller set had was a more polished UI- compared to TS2, it does feel a bit janky to have to navigate through the radial menu- it definitely needs more information neatly presented. Maybe also an general economic 'mood' system could be interesting to see in the background, maybe acting as a multiplier on the number of sims entering your lot and their willingness to purchase, and would add some depth to your business decisions (i.e. slashing hours during a recession, or lowering prices during Black Friday).It could be something that your sims would read the computer or newspaper to figure out.

I love all of the suggestions here. It'll really give the feeling that our sims are having an impact on the economy. I'm in favor of pretty much anything that makes the business system operate closer to OFB's. As for UI, maybe the resort UI from Island Paradise could be used? It has a review section built in which is nifty.

When townies buy items will they show up in their inventories or be destroyed after they’re purchased? For performance sake, I’d like it if the items were destroyed so NPCs don’t wind up with a bunch of stuff clogging up their inventories, but I know others may prefer the items actually being purchased like they are in the Savvier Seller mod. Maybe there could be a toggle?

I'm looking forward to seeing how this comes along. Good luck!
Test Subject
Original Poster
#8 Old 24th Feb 2021 at 11:42 PM
Well got todays progress update video, more progress on the idea of the OFB system at the end of the video and a clearer demo of power surges:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTa...eature=youtu.be

Now thank you for such an amazingly detailed post again Alunn, awesome!

In response:

-Loading screen stuff is not top priority but something that will give the mod more polish as I get more features implemented.
-Adding cars to inventing is easy and can be done, you might also little the car from Roaring Heights Store content as thats a fix em up kind of thing.
-I want to add my own tax system that will trigger each seasonal change as an *addition* to bills, so your sims will have more to pay for potentially mixing into the business system if you own one to pay tax somehow on that but all to think about. Considering having electric tax bill failure cause power outage also.
-Celebrity system additions such as agents sounds awesome, will keep that in mind when I get round to that bit of the code! (Thanks Jje also as I know you suggested it too ).
-Going to look at the various UIs and how to use them but definiately want to have this actually feel more like a business with perhaps level ups and cash payouts etc savvy seller was underwhelming and those rugs are ugly. Check the video for how Its working currently on a basic level, but once I get buying/selling owning businesses setup then I can add more features to bulk out the system.

Any more thoughts/suggestions let me know, I'll keep posting updates and hopefully screenshots soon.

Thanks,

SimStateDude.
Mad Poster
#9 Old Yesterday at 4:00 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axen
Yeah so lights go out, the video doesn't do it justice as I recorded during the day >< :P. Randomly stereos and tvs break and I might add computers too! Yeah I'm considering the options for reduction of the chance of it happening, currently its 'assumed' that you have a backup generator as wall lights turn red but can be enhanced. Technically with this system it would be possible to add in an option that requires an item to provide power, meaning that when it runs out you need to 'regenerate' it, but the basics are there.

Thanks.


Definitely so, your new video explains the idea more clearly.

Just throwing another idea out there- maybe alternatively, the generator won't automatically stop a blackout, but it gives your sim the option to interact with it (maybe 30-45 mins to make sure it's not too cheaty), and then ends the blackout early?
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