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Postal Package Editor (and API)

by Echo Posted 9th Aug 2009 at 3:27 PM - Updated 27th Nov 2013 at 3:14 PM by Nysha
176 Comments / replies (Who?) - 22 Feedback 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: 21,125 · 10th Aug 2009
388 Bytes 21,125 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: 10,145 · 10th Aug 2009
308.1 KB 10,145 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
#2 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 3:38 PM
Sounds really useful, thanks for your hard work!
Test Subject
#3 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 4:28 PM
Yeah, and it sounds pretty advanced too! I like it! :D
Scholar
DELETED POST
9th Aug 2009 at 4:36 PM
This message has been deleted by fluttereyes. Reason: not needed
Test Subject
DELETED POST
9th Aug 2009 at 4:59 PM
This message has been deleted by plasticbox. Reason: No requests.
Top Secret Researcher
#4 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 5:15 PM
YAY! Finally a PDF documentation! Thanks Echo that'll be very handy
Scholar
#5 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 5:21 PM
Thanks for all your hard work in making it possible for people less expert than you to mod The Sims 3!

I made some mods for The Sims 1 -- yes, The Sims ONE :-) -- which you can find at http://corylea.com/Sims%201%20Mods%20by%20Corylea.html
Test Subject
#6 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 5:40 PM
Yes, we have the same taste in java editor
Thanks a lot :D
Test Subject
#7 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 5:44 PM Last edited by the.mike : 10th Aug 2009 at 5:26 AM.
I'll test this. Thanks very much!
Field Researcher
#8 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 5:48 PM
i'll test this out on my mac thanks for this !

Head Of Staff @ LivingSims Magazine

Interested In Working At LivingSims ? Then Check This Out

Check Out My Sims 3 Houses @SimsArtGallery
Field Researcher
#9 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 6:06 PM
Are you saying this is like an early version of SimPE for SIMs 3??? That would be very encouraging :D

Say "Keep your neighborhood User Friendly ^^
Test Subject
#10 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 7:48 PM
Can this be used to edit...say the actions of the camera? That zoom in every time someone ages up is so freaking annoying and makes the game nigh unplayable.
Test Subject
#11 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 8:19 PM
Can this be used to delete or rename files?
Test Subject
#12 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 9:08 PM
This is awesome!
A quick question, wich file got the billbord that you're showing on the first picture? :P
Lab Assistant
#13 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 10:29 PM
FINALLY...someone programming in java! I thank you... My mac thanks you!
Test Subject
#14 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 10:37 PM
I can't get this to work... I'm on a Mac, and it says that my version of Java is out of date. I ran Software Update, and there are no updates to anything... so... hm. Anyone have any ideas?

Either way, awesome idea; hopefully I can get it to work!
Rabid Recoloring Renegade
retired moderator
#15 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 10:51 PM
Soooo niiiicccce. Thank you!
Sesquipedalian Pisciform
retired moderator
#16 Old 9th Aug 2009 at 11:42 PM
Thank you, this was the first modding tool I used for sims3 and so will always have a special place in my memory....and my sims modding tools folder

More downloads by Leesester, BoilingOil and others at Leefish.nl | My Stuff at Leefish.nl | LeeFish RSS | Sims4 News Blog | TumblinLeefish
Test Subject
#17 Old 10th Aug 2009 at 1:49 AM
I can't figure out how to do step 1.3...I go to Run then Debug As. It says on the Adobe that there's supposed to be something for Java, but there's nothing there. Plz help!!!!
Field Researcher
#18 Old 10th Aug 2009 at 2:06 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by usagibouzu
I can't get this to work... I'm on a Mac, and it says that my version of Java is out of date. I ran Software Update, and there are no updates to anything... so... hm. Anyone have any ideas?

Either way, awesome idea; hopefully I can get it to work!


hey mate, i had the same problem. go to the apple website, then to downloads, and you should find java 1.6 in the top downloads bit

Head Of Staff @ LivingSims Magazine

Interested In Working At LivingSims ? Then Check This Out

Check Out My Sims 3 Houses @SimsArtGallery
Retired Duck
retired moderator
Original Poster
#19 Old 10th Aug 2009 at 2:30 AM
pen121295 - are you trying to install postal, or develop for it?
Test Subject
DELETED POST
10th Aug 2009 at 3:05 AM
This message has been deleted by kaijinkumori.
Field Researcher
#20 Old 10th Aug 2009 at 3:55 AM
Echo, again I ask...are you saying this is like an early version of SimPE for SIMs 3???
I'd really like to know please...

Say "Keep your neighborhood User Friendly ^^
Test Subject
#21 Old 10th Aug 2009 at 5:54 AM
I think there's a few of us waiting for answers to questions.
Retired Duck
retired moderator
Original Poster
#22 Old 10th Aug 2009 at 6:43 AM
AceOfCrowns, this is a fairly general tool, which can help people to make mods. For now, most of my time is spent working on the tool, so I'm not making mods myself.

usagibouzu, Apple only upgraded Java to version 6 in Mac OS X 10.5, Update 1. You'll need to run the updates to get to that version

phantomgremlock, I'm not aiming to be a complete SimPE. This is just the package editor parts, not the neighbourhood editor parts etc. But yes, it's heading in a similar direction.

dan_sims2, I think there are a great many fans of Eclipse, it's an excellent IDE.

declandabest, let me know how it goes! Make sure you run it from Postal.sh, since it requires a few specific flags passed through on start up.

kaijinkumori, I believe cameras are stored in text files which are tagged as "CAM" from memory. I don't know how configurable they are though. My guess is that the special-event camera (the "zoom in on important stuff") is probably controlled by code in the script files though.

danieeel31, Most of the billboards in game have the type "0x8ffb80f6". If you go to File > Search Filepath, then enter that value into the "Type" box, you should be able to find most of them. The instance ID for that particular billboard is in the highlighted row in the image.

If I've missed any questions, I apologize! Thank you to everyone else who has left feedback.
Test Subject
#23 Old 10th Aug 2009 at 3:39 PM
I'll try this!Thanks for sharing
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