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Postal Package Editor (and API)

by Echo Posted 9th Aug 2009 at 4:27 PM - Updated 27th Nov 2013 at 4:14 PM by Nysha
176 Comments / replies (Who?) - 13 Feedback Posts, 9 Thanks Posts
Postal is a DBPF3 package editor. That means that it can open up Sims 3 package files, let you poke at their innards, change things around, then save them back into new package files.

Can I run it?
Postal is built on top of Java 6, so if you can run Java 6 then the answer is "yes". That includes Windows XP, Vista and Mac OSX. If you can run the Sims 3, you should be able to run this.
There is one caveat though. Because I'm running Windows, I cannot test well on Mac. Please let me know if you experience any issues.

What can it do?
Postal can navigate all kinds of Sims 3 package files, and parse/display/write many resources, including OBJDs, OBJKs, STBLs, XMLs, CSTRs, GEOMs, NMAPs, DDSs, PNGs, VPXYs, Texture Compositors and the various text-based formats. As time goes on, the number of resource types it can edit is growing.

Postal also has a filetable which keeps track of all the resources that can be used in game. You can use this to search for resources by type, group, or instance, wherever they come from. Postal has a scripting console, and a plugin architecture to allow you to add your own functionality to the application.

The Postal API
The Postal Editor is built on top of the "Postal API". This is a library which speeds up the process of writing custom tools which can read from and write to package files and the resource types inside them. The API is available under a BSD license, which essentially means you can use it however you like in your own tools as long as you acknowledge the original creator and point to a place where the original source can be downloaded. (The full Postal GUI is available under a GPL license)

The Postal API has already been used in other tools, including The Sims 3 Mod Generator and Merlin . There is some documentation on how to use it to build your own applications and how to extend the Postal environment attached.

INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS
- Go to http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp and install the up-to-date version of Java for your operating system (if you don't already have it)
- Download the latest version of the Postal installer from http://sourceforge.net/projects/postal-sims3
- Double click on the file you have downloaded, and follow the Wizard. Make sure you put in the correct path to your Sims 3 installation when it prompts you!

* Mac OSX users, please see this post regarding running Java 6

Additional Credits:
Most of the behaviour here is based directly off the wiki pages describing file formats and resource structures. Thanks to Rick, Karybdis, Delphy, WesHowe, Inge, Peter, Atavera, Pescado and the many others who have contributed their knowledge to that collective effort.
Tags: #Postal, #DBPF, #editor, #api, #stbl, #dds, #geom, #xml

Operating System: Windows Linux Mac OS X
Utility Type: CC Editors
Plugin Type: Not Applicable

You must have the expansion or stuff packs listed below installed to use this custom content. Please see the post text for any exceptions.

Sims 3
Key: - File was updated after upload was posted
Filename - Tip: You can click the magnifying glass to see the archive contents Size Downloads Date
user-installation.rar | Install instructions (same as in post)

Size: 388 Bytes · Downloads: 21,158 · 10th Aug 2009
388 Bytes 21,158 10th Aug 2009
FOR-DEVELOPERS-ONLY-Postal-developer-guide-PDF.rar | Documentation for developers interested in using Postal in their own tools

Size: 308.1 KB · Downloads: 10,152 · 10th Aug 2009
308.1 KB 10,152 10th Aug 2009
Don't forget to Thank the creator after downloading! Use the Thanks button located above the screenshots above.
Quick Guide:

1. Click the file listed on the Files tab to download the file to your computer.
2. Extract the zip, rar, or 7z file. Now you will have either a .package or a .sims3pack file.

For Package files:

1. Cut and paste the file into your Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Mods\Packages folder. If you do not already have this folder, you should read the full guide to Package files first: Sims 3:Installing Package Fileswiki, so you can make sure your game is fully patched and you have the correct Resource.cfg file.
2. Run the game, and find your content where the creator said it would be (build mode, buy mode, Create-a-Sim, etc.).

For Sims3Pack files:

1. Cut and paste it into your Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Downloads folder. If you do not have this folder yet, it is recommended that you open the game and then close it again so that this folder will be automatically created. Then you can place the .sims3pack into your Downloads folder.
2. Load the game's Launcher, and click on the Downloads tab. Find the item in the list and tick the box beside it. Then press the Install button below the list.
3. Wait for the installer to load, and it will install the content to the game. You will get a message letting you know when it's done.
4. Run the game, and find your content where the creator said it would be (build mode, buy mode, Create-a-Sim, etc.).


Extracting from RAR, ZIP, or 7z: You will need a special program for this. For Windows, we recommend 7-Zip and for Mac OSX, we recommend Keka. Both are free and safe to use.


Need more help?

If you need more info, see:
 
176 Comments / Replies (Who?) - 155 Feedback Posts, 10 Thanks Posts
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Test Subject
THANKS POST
#151 Old 25th Oct 2010 at 4:33 PM
Hello,

And saddened beforehand for my bad English.
I have one concerns with the software. I have just formated my pc. I had previously exactly the same OS (Windows 7 64bits) and Postal worked very well. But since I have to reinstall, nothing to make. I have an error message "Could not create the Java virtual machine".
I looked on internet but I find nothing, then I ask you directly.
In advance thank you for your answer.
Retired Duck
retired moderator
Original Poster
#152 Old 26th Oct 2010 at 12:56 AM
Hello Hachiko-san,

Try this:
Click on the "Start" button
Click on "All Programs"
Click on "Accessories"
Click on "Command Prompt"
Into the black box, type:
java -version

Copy the resulting text, and paste it into a new post.

I will see if I can tell what is going wrong.
Test Subject
THANKS POST
#153 Old 26th Oct 2010 at 2:32 AM
Thank you very much of your help.
Thus having made for what you ask me, that answers :
"java is not recognized as internal command or external, a feasible program or a file of commands."
In French :
"java n'est pas reconnu en tant que commande interne ou externe, un programme exécutable ou un fichier de commandes."
I indeed have nevertheless to download Java on the given site, etc.
I admit not to understand any more O.o
Test Subject
THANKS POST
#154 Old 10th Nov 2010 at 11:33 AM
Hi Echo =)
I made some manipulations with a friend, and I have now for result :
java version "1.6.2_22"
Java<TM> SE Runtime Environment <build 1.6.0_22-b04>
Java HotSpot<TM> Client VM <build 17.1-b03, mixed mode, sharing>

In spite of this change the software does not still work and I have the same error message.
Test Subject
THANKS POST
#155 Old 26th Dec 2010 at 8:57 AM
It's very helpful. Now I can see the CCs without having to play the game. Thanks a lot! :D
Test Subject
#156 Old 10th Apr 2011 at 4:38 PM
When I click on it, it says I need Java 1.6.0_06. It directs me to java.com, I download the installer for the upgrade and the installer says This software has already been installed on your computer. Would you like to reinstall?

I reinstall, Java says the install is successful, and I launch Postal. Everything is fine.

Then I try to launch Postal again a week later and it tells me I need Java 1.6.0_06 again.

I cannot get this program to run without reinstalling Java every time.
Retired Duck
retired moderator
Original Poster
#157 Old 11th Apr 2011 at 1:11 AM
Artisan, are you installing Java as an admin user? It sounds like something is getting reset in your environment.
Test Subject
#158 Old 11th Apr 2011 at 4:37 AM
Worth a shot.
Test Subject
DELETED POST
25th Apr 2011 at 3:06 AM
This message has been deleted by dcrbadger7.
Test Subject
#159 Old 9th May 2011 at 7:48 PM Last edited by jello1993 : 9th May 2011 at 8:28 PM.
Hey, I downloaded this (on a mac) but I am not sure which file I open, I have a /applications/postal but its a folder, in it there is start.jar and postal-GUI.jar, which one do I open?
edit: Actually, there are several .jar files, I opened 2 (hsqldb.jar and Postal-GUI.jar) and got com.packagegui.main and window like the screenshots but with no .package files, when i try to open them using open with... i am not sure what to use, because this is made of of several .jar files
Retired Duck
retired moderator
Original Poster
#160 Old 10th May 2011 at 7:11 AM
jello, you should run the .sh file, not the .jar files.
Test Subject
THANKS POST
#161 Old 24th Jun 2011 at 1:41 AM
Hi Echo.
Firstly thank you very much for this programme. I use it a lot and have found it particularly useful to extract png files for various reasons.
One thing I'd like to ask....do you have a version for TS2? When extracting pngs through the PE programme for TS2 I end up with black backgrounds and they aren't transparent png files.
When using Postal for TS3 it works perfectly. This could just be me being useless at this sort of thing and it could be the way the files are set but I thought you would be the one to know. Thanks.
Retired Duck
retired moderator
Original Poster
#162 Old 24th Jun 2011 at 3:25 AM
Hi hawke,

Unfortunately, Postal doesn't currently handle TS2 files very well. You can certainly export transparent PNGs from SimPE though, just right click on the PNG file in the main resource list and export it from there. You'll get all the transparency data if you do it that way.
Test Subject
THANKS POST
#163 Old 13th Sep 2011 at 3:03 AM
Hello,
I followed the wizard after getting side tracked by following the mac install recommendations,Old 30th Aug 2009, 02:24 AM Report this post # 49
Marhis
and the installation worked, I think.
Can someone explain what I do now?
Do I start the game?
I tried copying the text in the Postal.sh page into Terminal app. window and 'Enter' and just get the same thing I always get, "command not found".
Sorry, I am still confused after many months how do I run these 'windows' type apps.
Can someone please explain this to me, I'm kind of dumb with this.
Test Subject
#164 Old 24th Feb 2012 at 6:45 PM
Hi, I am using a mac and i put down the sims install path as the electronic arts >sims 3> downloads folder, is that ok?
Also I have been looking around but all I can find are comments how to install the program. Can someone teach me how to actually use the postal program? I want to merge a couple of my package files together into one to reduce lag in my game.

thank u!
Retired Duck
retired moderator
Original Poster
#165 Old 26th Feb 2012 at 6:10 AM
Hi Moomeeks,

The Sims install path should really be the path to the game, not to your downloads folder, but that will only be a problem if you're trying to find resources from the game which you intend to mod. If you just want to open package files you already have then it shouldn't be a problem.

To open a package file, Go to "File", then "Open" and select the file. A list of all the resources will appear in the main window.

To save a copy of a resource, click on it in the list, then select the "Hex View" tab on the bottom half of the screen. Click "export" and save it some place memorable. Leave the file name the same if you intend to re-import it later, since it will use the information in the filename to get the type/group/instance numbers.

To add a resource which you have saved into a different package, open that package, then go to "Workspace", "Add Resource", and select the file you saved. It will be added to the package.

To save the modified package, go to "File", then "Save As".

I feel I should warn you though... Modding support for Postal is pretty much non-existant. I was the one who wrote the program originally, but I haven't modded for TS3 since the first expansion pack came out, so I can't be much use to you beyond the barest of basics.

If you're planning on learning to mod properly, you'd almost certainly be better off learning with the Jones' tools, Delphy's tools, or TSR's tools, all of which are much more up to date and better supported than Postal is.
Lab Assistant
#166 Old 10th Aug 2012 at 4:32 AM Last edited by Duncan Disorderly : 10th Aug 2012 at 4:43 AM.
I have 3 consolidated package files that I made about 2 years ago using the Custom Launcher. The 3 files total just over 2 gig. Now that CCMagic has been released I want to completely redo all my CC from scratch. My problem is I misplaced the list of package files that I consolidated into these 3 files and I'm not 100% sure what they contain.

All I want is a list of all the package files that are consolidated into the 3 files. Am I correct in thinking that all the listings under 'objd' (Catalog Object Definition) are the ones which will provide me with the list I need? Or are they just a list of the objects and I need to look under a different listing for clothes or flooring say?

Also, is this the best way to obtain this info? Is there a quicker way? Some advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

WHAT I IF TOLD
YOU

THAT YOU READ
THE FIRST LINE WRONG?

GARGA BLARG BLARG!!!
Lab Assistant
#167 Old 24th Nov 2012 at 1:18 AM
my question is will this let me edit the prices on things, and let mt add more motive ablitys to things like a shower able to let u re-less sim's bladder, and give them con-furt value from hot-water? xD

im trying to find something so i can change pricing and motive values of things.
Test Subject
DELETED POST
28th Jun 2013 at 8:39 PM
This message has been deleted by DarkWitchVampire.
Test Subject
#168 Old 18th Nov 2013 at 12:39 PM
Hello,

I am trying to create a career mod, based on the tutorial , I'm having trouble replacing a dll file

I'm on mac

Cheers
Test Subject
#169 Old 13th Jan 2014 at 5:54 AM
I would like to use this to re-pack my .package files, but it seems to not work

You said to open it the .sh file, but it doesn't work

I made the .sh a .command, but it says that the javaw command isn't found
I'm on a mac, btw
I can open it using the .jar, but nothing shows up
I tried using the directions that you gave for us OSX users, but it didn't fix it

Is there anything I might be missing?
Test Subject
THANKS POST
#170 Old 27th Feb 2014 at 3:59 PM
Bu programın en iyi yanı unstall seçeneği olması :D
Field Researcher
THANKS POST
#171 Old 30th Jun 2014 at 5:02 AM
Thanks!
Test Subject
THANKS POST
#172 Old 7th Aug 2014 at 4:12 PM
very useful!your works have helped me a lot in customrizing my sims3!thank you !
Test Subject
DELETED POST
22nd Dec 2014 at 7:42 PM
This message has been deleted by BurettoB. Reason: irrelevant
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