Gain A Level

Date Posted: 13th Sep 2013 at 9:19 PM

I have gained a level in modding the sims2 game last month. It was fun! I now enjoy creating more than the actual playing of the game.

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QUALITY CONTROLS OF MY UPLOADS OF UNIVERSITY MAJORS

Date Posted: 21st Apr 2013 at 9:36 PM

Creating a major is only 1/2 of the work, the other 1/2 of the work is quality control. I execute it by sending 2 teens to the university. These 2 teens (one male and one female) are usually raised from birth by 2 different families. They will major in the custom major that I am testing, I play through all 8 semesters, 24 sims days, and until they graduate. This is my quality control list of testing a major:

1. Can my sims register their major using a computer on campus? They had better not, because if they can, which means the maxis major has been overwritten, bad.
2. Can my sims register their major using cheats? They ought to.
3. Does the custom major icon image show up properly?
4. Does the class description fit in the little space on the screen?
5. Can my sims’ aspiration wants be fulfilled with memories, such as make Dean’s list, complete a college year (i.e. freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior), graduate with honor, and etc.
6. Can my sims throw a graduation party?
7. After they graduate and move back to the original neighborhood, do they have the career boost for careers that are associated with this custom major? In other words, do they start at level 9? They had better, because all my college graduates have maxed out all 7 skills and are master manipulators (having 12 or 13 non bloodline related friends or so).

Majors that I have uploaded here is 99.9999% error free. Note, I reserve 0.0001% chance of having an error only because I am a human, a human can never be perfect.
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QUALITY CONTROLS OF MY UPLOADS OF RESIDENTIAL HOUSES

Date Posted: 18th Apr 2013 at 2:01 AM

Building a house for uploading is only half of the work, the other half is quality control, I usually executed it by moving an active sims family to live in the house and observe their interactions with each objects. This is my quality control list:

1. This is the most important step of all. I remove my downloads folder from the game, and re-create a brand new and empty downloads folder (i.e. with no custom content in it), then I install the cleaned version of the packaged house, start my game, go to a neighborhood house bin, put it on the land, enter the house to check if all the build mode and buy mode stuff used for this house appear properly, especially custom content, very often they failed to show up as a result of not being packaged (Note: If you skip this step, you won't be able to screen out house with flashing blue terrain, this is a fatal error and is downloaders' nightmare). I playtest the house using the ‘cleaned version of the packaged file’, not the pre-packaged house that is on the land. If quality control step 1 passed, I then proceed to move an active sims family in.

2. Does newspaper boy arrive and deliver newspaper?

3. Does mailman deliver Tuesday and Thursday bills? Do the bills make sense for this house?

4. Does the telephone work? Can my sims call maid service and gardener service? Do these service people arrive?

5. Does carpool arrive? Can the sims get on the carpool easily, i.e. does the passenger side of the door block by the mailbox or the trash can?

6. Does the pedestrian portal function properly, i.e. when my sims invite friends over using a phone, do they show up at the house?

7. Can sims enter each room? While they are in the room, I check the room score. While they are going from room to room, I check the traffic pattern, an unusual traffic pattern means that something is blocking the way or construction issue.

8. While the sims is in the room, I direct them to view each painting and sculpture that were placed in that room (if any), and then observe if the room score increases when the sims doing so, if not, something is wrong.

9. When the gardener is tending the yard, I pay attention to his complaint, and re-confirm that he can trim each bush and water each flowerbed.

10. When the maid is cleaning the house, I pay attention to her complaint, and make sure she can dispose of the old newspaper in the trashcan.

11. Was furniture that placed using the move objects on cheat or the 45 degree rotation cheat useable by sims?

Each house is uniquely built with different architecture designs and possibly using different building techniques, so besides the above quality controls check list, I have additional check list for each individual house. At the time I upload my house, I am 99.999% confident everything is working properly, and that the downloaders will have a very pleasant time and smooth game play on my houses.

Final Note: I found that the most time consuming of the quality control test process is in Step One. It is at this step 90% of the problems can be detected. I also found that the majority of creators at Mod The Sims playtested their houses with the wrong method. There is no short cut in Step One, creators must perform exactly so, this is the minimum quality control step a creator must do. Skipping any other steps might not result in the house not playable, but skipping Step One might, and is dangerous.

Credit: I would like to thank Mootilda at Mod The Sims for her Sim2PackCleanInstaller. It is extremely useful for removing files that don't belong to the lots/houses.
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Why don't I play Sims 2 Seasons?

Date Posted: 13th Apr 2013 at 5:52 PM

I used to play sims 2 Seasons, but after only a few months of playing it, I decided to un-installed this EP due to the following reasons:

1. Too many and too frequent weather systems happened on the lots. Every time a weather system moved in, my computer ran very slow like frame by frame.
2. Two of my sims got struck by lightening within one sim week, i.e. the accidental rate of weather related death is way too high.
3. The body temperature scale fluctuates way too easily, sims are way too vulnerable to temperature change, they got too hot (e.g. from taking a bath twice a day or from kissing someone several times in a row), or too cold way too easily.
4. The outdoor space is pretty much useless because of 1, what’s the point of building a house on a nice size lot if the outdoor space is not useful half of the time?
5. I used to play The sims (or sims 1) (I still do but less frequently), everyday is a spring day with gorgeous flowers and clear blue sky, so I wanted my sims 2 world in perpetual spring as well.
6. I did not enjoy the game because of 1, 2, 3, 4, playing the game is supposed to be fun not frustrating.

After un-installing Seasons from my game since April 2010, I enjoyed it a lot more. So, I have been playing my sims 2 game without Seasons for 3 full years as of today (April 13, 2013). However, my boyfriend is still playing Seasons in his game, he said that Seasons made the sims world looks like a real world. To me, I have plenty experience of the real world already by living in it for my entire life, I don’t need to bring that bad weather and etc to my sims world, that’s why I play the sims so that I can escape from the real world. I cannot change anything in the real world, but I can make my sims world perfect.
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What are the things I consider the most when building a residential home?

Date Posted: 6th Apr 2013 at 5:32 AM

I was asked by a friend that what are the things I consider the most when building a residential home.

Practical: It is important to me that a residential home be built as practical as possible. For example, if a house that was built on a 2x2 lot (or larger) but has only one bathroom regardless how big or how fancy that bathroom is, that is impractical; if a house has 2 playable levels but only one of the levels has a bathroom then it is impractical; if a floor has 3 or more bedrooms but has only one bathroom on that floor, it is impractical; if the house was built for a large family but it has less than 3 bathrooms, that is impractical. So, what I am trying to say is that if the ratio of the number of sims living in that house to the number of bathrooms the house has is greater than 2, then it is impractical. In other words, there should be no more than 2 sims per bathroom. Note: Starter house, fantasy house and the like are the exceptions. My boyfriend built houses with large families and only one bathroom, and he really struggled to meet the needs of all his sims, I just don’t understand.

Example II: Architecture structures consume space, sometimes my boyfriend is so focused on the external architectural design that he spent a big portion of the lot on that but ended up having no space to put even a dining table inside the house (for instance), so his sims have to eat on the kitchen counters, that is impractical. If a house was built on a 3x3 lot or bigger but having only one stairway system, then it is impractical. A house has more than 4 residents but has only one stairway system (regardless the lot size) is impractical. Note: Starter house, fantasy house and the like are the exceptions.

Example III: Landscaping requires maintenance. A house with a garden that is bigger than the house itself is impractical; if a sim need to spend more than 2 hours per day to maintain the yard, then it is impractical; if the gardener is unable to finish his job by the time he has to leave for the day, then it is impractical. If flowerbeds or bushes that need to be tended but were placed in an unreachable area, then it is impractical. Note: Fantasy house and the like are the exceptions.

Example IV: Stairs. I felt that my sims wasted too much time on climbing stairs, so it would be impractical if a house has too many levels of stairs for sims to climb. In my hoods, I used Targa’s elevator ascensions stairs (I called it transport tube) on every house. I care less about mixed style, I care more about being practical. Note: Houses that I uploaded to MTS all have stairs at the moment to fulfill MTS’ standards of being realistic. Someday I might decide to upload one of my futuristic/fantasy houses from my house bin and perhaps I then can justify the use of the transport tube.

Example V: Decorative items. A house that is saturated with decorative items is impractical, because it really slows down the game even on a powerful computer. We just need to put enough of those stuff to maximize the room score, once the room score has reached its plateau, putting any more decorative item will serve no purpose except increase the price of the lot and thus make it less competitive on the market. Decorative items such as painting and sculpture should be placed in such a way that it is viewable by a sim for the most part.

Example VI: Getting on the carpool. If a sims has to spend more than 10 minutes to walk to the car (counting from the front doors), then it is impractical, i.e. houses that were built way too set back from the street is impractical. Note: Fantasy house and the like are the exceptions.

Example VII: Too close to the sidewalk. A house that has a row of its front walls touching the pedestrian sidewalk horizontally is impractical. This is same for fences, flowerbeds, and bushes, too many of those touching the sidewalks is impractical. Overlapping the square of the sidewalk with the landing square of a stair is by far the worst.

So my friend, did I answer your question?
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How I started to play the sims

Date Posted: 19th Mar 2013 at 4:33 PM

My boyfriend introduced me The Sims (i.e. sims 1) back in September 2008. I began by watching him how to play the game, at first I was not too impressed by the game, because it was all about everyday life, go to work, eat, go to the bathroom, watch TV, and sleep, and then the next day the same routine recycle, go to work, eat, go to the bathroom, watch TV, sleep. Only after several sims days I became bored by the game, but then my boyfriend was having trouble to get his 2 favorite sims married to each other, he tried it for years (before dating me) and never succeeded at it, even thought his 2 sims (Jessie and Michelle) had very good relationship score of 100/100. I then got involved more because I wanted to help. In addition, my boyfriend liked to build the sims house piece by piece, he added a wall here and a wall there, a room here and a room there as his sims made enough money. Therefore, his sims suffered with very low room score all the time. I then began to help him to improve the room score. I started to have fun because of decorating the house, it was this motive that eventually got me to play The Sims, having my very own neighborhood (instead of messing with his neighborhood). That's how I started to play the sims, because I found out that I like to build houses and decorate the rooms. After I helped improving my boyfriend's sims' house's room score, almost immediately Michelle said yes to Jessie when he proposed to her. A year later (November 2009) we then tried out sims 2 and liked it a lot. Although I spent most of my time playing sims 2 now, once in a while I still miss my sims 1 game, so I still play sims 1 on and off.
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