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Please check out the discussion page for less substantiated research and areas to look into.
It is possible, using a combination of mods and EA debug commands, to add Sims to custom worlds using Edit-In-Game in the Create-A-World tool (CAW). Testing to date demonstrates that these Sims will be installed with the world file, and will act just as the premade Sims in Sunset Valley or Twinbrook. However, creators should bear in mind the pool of testers has been small and largely non-technical. These testers have now maintained working worlds across four or five generations without any corruption that is apparent to end users. Suffice to say, worlds populated with this method should carry warnings, but appear to be safe if certain rules are followed. Even so, it is a sensible precaution to back up the world before attempting this.
This tutorial assumes readers understand how to install and manage custom content.
- NRaas DebugEnabler
- NRaas Porter
- NRaas MasterController
Players can find the latest version of all the NRaas mods at NRaas Industries
The first thing you want to do is create a fresh folder in My Documents so that you don't clutter up your gameplay library with families you're going to add to CAW. This is an optional step, but it can be very helpful for keeping things organised. Just rename your "The Sims 3" folder in My Documents, and start your game. The game will generate a fresh folder and you can have a group of save games specifically for building families, lots, and testing out Beta-quality and below world files.
Make sure you install all the appropriate NRaas mods in the new folder that the game has generated.
Make all the households that you want to add and save them to the library Edit Town mode. You do not need to share them. There will need to be a residential lot in the world for each and every one of these households. Make sure you name each household differently, and keep a record of which is which. You can change the household names in CAW later, so if you have two Smith families name them Smith1 and Smith2 for the moment. When using the Porter mod you will need to be able to recognise which family is which based only on these names. Bear in mind relatives can be in different households, you can reattach them later using the MasterController mod.
Step One: Using the Make Sim command in Edit-In-Game
Lots are an essential requirement. They are the vessels that carry all a creator's Sims and their data. First, the creator should finish their world, excepting only small details like the odd bush or street lamp. This is a precaution to ensure the Sims' data is preserved perfectly, without any risks that might arise from building upon or shifting lots with Sims in them. Creators can risk it if they want, but it is not recommended. Before adding Sims it might pay to switch the Story Progression toggle off, as while the Sims only seem to do basic processes and have static motives, it is best to have fewer processes running that might go wrong.
All the action takes place in Edit-In-Game mode, so once the world is ready, enter it.
Now simply type "Make Sim" into the cheat console and you will have an active homeless Sim.
The Make Sim interaction spawns a random EAxis pudding-faced Sim. This Sim automatically becomes the player's active household and active Sim, just like when playing the game. Sims in Edit-In-Game have no free will, and their motives are static (don't worry, they don't remain static in the actual game). They can run around town, and interact with most objects, but bear in mind they will always be standing up when the player first opens the game, so sitting them in a chair or on a bed will result in upright Sims clipping weirdly through the objects. The random Sim I've been saddled with is Gregg Edward. For a random Sim he's surprisingly unfugly, but this process as totally random as the EAxis townie spawning in the game, so most of the time these Sims will look ridiculous. At any rate, players should now have a Sim standing about on a lot in Edit-In-Game, and under their control. It might appear that these Sims do not have Lifetime Wishes (the box will be blank), but these are registered and do survive the export process.
This Sim is a powerful tool, unlocking many more commands that, without an active Sim, are not available. However, creators should use the additional debugging commands (under NRaas DebugEnabler) with extreme caution, if at all, and if you do not know what a command does DO NOT TOUCH IT.
Step Two: De-fuglying and clean up
This step is where NRaas MasterController comes in handy, although not essential. If creators want only to make Sims and then de-pudding them, dress them properly, change their traits and wishes, and add description text then awesomemod is sufficient. Just use MasterController's various functions by clicking on the City Hall and running everything from there. Spawn each new Sim on the lot you wish them to inhabit using Make Sim. Creators who want a population of inter-related Sims with varying careers and skill levels, can have that using MasterController as well. Do not try to use the EA debugging commands to set skills and careers: MasterController is safer and more reliable. Players who have used MasterController previously will have no trouble with this, and for players unfamiliar with the mod it is very intuitive. It should not pose any steep learning curve, and twallan provides further instructions on his forums (linked to above).
Creators can edit family descriptions from Edit Town mode, but should not try switching or moving active families here. This will deselect the current household. Instead use MasterController's Add Sim command to move Sims from one household to another. Without an active Sim, creators cannot select other Sims, so it is necessary to use Make Sim at the beginning of every session in Edit-In-Game. For this reason, it is best to try and add all the Sims to a world in one session (step three will be helpful in this regard). Any excess Sims can be destroyed cleanly using SuperComputer's Total Annihilation interaction.
Pregnancies set with SuperComputer's Pollinate command will carry over successfully into the world you create.
Step Three: How to add premade Sims
When the creator discovers that CAW blocks access to Create-A-Family in Edit-In-Game, and that all the accessible manifestations of Create-A-Sim don't allow access to premade Sims, they can start to see a horrifying one-by-one effort of sculpting and resculpting every single Sim in the entire world individually. Forever.
There is, after all, not even access to the genetic mixing tool for making children. The outlook is bleak until the creator discovers that twallan's Porter mod also works in Edit-In-Game so long as they have an active Sim in the world. Porter allows creators to add families from the family bin into lots simply by clicking on the lot, selecting Porter and choosing the name of the family in the bin. For this reason, it helps to keep the family names distinct from one another - creators can always change them using Edit Town mode once they're in Edit-In-Game. So it's simply, really: Build all the families in the game itself, save them to the bin, and then introduce them into Edit-In-Game using Make Sim > Porter > [Family name].
Creators can make the families related in interesting ways using SuperComputer's Advanced > Family > Add [relative] feature. Importing premade Sims is the only way to get Sims with celebrity status, as well.
Townies (aka "homeless Sims") are the pool of Sims that the games drafts to become bouncers, mixologists, etc. If you want premade townies you start by adding them exactly the same way as other Sim households. Once the family you want to be homeless is installed in a household click on one of the walls and select MasterController's Evict command. If you want to clear the lot you can go to Edit in Game and bulldoze it. The homeless Sims will disappear, but they will still be in the world file.
Adding Service NPCs
To add Sims to the hidden Service NPC household just click on a Sim and select MasterController's Advanced > Set Service command. Choose which service you want your Sim to perform and when the game loads up the Sim you chose should be your new Mailman or Repairman.
A Warning about Ghosts & Mummies
Ghosts and Mummies added in Edit-In-Game lose some of their essential data during saving, specifically the data from when they were normal Sims. Hence Ghosts and Mummies always become hopelessly corrupted. Likewise, urns containing dead Sims are stripped of their Ghosts, and will present simply as "Remains" objects. Players seeking to incorporate Ghosts and occult Sims into their worlds must offer these Sims in a shared save file - there is no other way. Vampires and Simbots can both be added safely, thankfully.
A Warning about Horses
While dogs and cats seem to porter into worlds successfully, horses appear to make the households that they are in unplayable.
Step Four: Reset motives before saving
Before saving there is one essential step that creator must take using NRaas DebugEnabler. Sims' motives are calculated in accordance with the time in the world. More than likely the creator has let the clock run in Edit-In-Game, and this can cause an intial lag in when the motives begin to calculate for players who have just loaded up the world. Thank twallan of NRaas for providing a specific solution to this issue. Using DebugEnabler, and making sure the game is paused, type in the restartmotives command. Now save the game, without letting the clock run again. This ensures that all Sims' motives will start calculating as soon as the world is loaded. If you adjust the world in any way that lets the clock run, remember to redo this step before saving.
Sims should not have complex relationships with objects, nor pre-existing skill data if they are imported with the Porter mod. Do not important Sims that have written books, painted paintings, or made nectar bottles, etc. There is a good chance these objects, if also imported, will corrupt. There is also a chance the Sim's skill data will not save in its entirety. Creators should keep the Sims they import clean and simple - preferably fresh from Create-A-Sim or Create-A-Family. Set all skill levels with the MasterController mod or by skilling up manually once the Sims are in Edit-In-Game mode. Bear in mind at all times that not all processes run in Edit-In-Game mode, and there is the risk that any but the most basic data won't transfer into this environment, or be preserved in CAW more generally.
Do not ever let a Sim die in CAW. It never turns out well, and often crashes the entire programme. The NPC household doesn't exist in Edit-In-Game, so there's no Grim Reaper or any other services, and this mode doesn't run death scenarios properly. You'll just corrupt Sims. Force Kill with SuperComputer is not a way around this. It just results in Urns with heavily corrupted Sims attached.
Learning how to populate a world is really only one part of the equation. Creators should also consider how many Sims a world requires to function well. This number will vary according to how big your world is and how many expansion packs you have.
Remember the three different kinds of Sims you've learned how to add? Residents, Townies, and Service NPCs? You need to consider carefully how many of each you will need. Also think about the design for these Sims. This part of the tutorial should give you some baseline numbers for your population.
The ideal number of residents depends on how many lots are in your world and how many EA townies you can stand living in your hood. You have a lot of control over this option, but you will need a lot of Sims if you want jobs to function smoothly alongside your characters. Each career has a minimum and maximum number of co-workers depending on the career level. These are listed below. If you don't have enough Sims in your world you can end up with Story Progression drafting Sims built around being doctors into low level journalism careers.
It is also important to remember that only resident Sims will be drafted into the following roles:
|Nectar Merchant||World Adventures|
|Book Merchant||World Adventures|
|General Merchant||World Adventures|
|Food Merchant||World Adventures|
|Relic Merchant||World Adventures|
|Pet Store Merchant||Pets (Pet Store)|
|Concession Stand Merchant||Seasons|
Service Sims all belong to a single invisible household named Service NPC. If you do not add service Sims using the methods described earlier then this household is randomly generated at the start of a save game. In Edit in Game the only service NPC that exists initially is the Grim Reaper. Preliminary testing suggests that the game won't recognise Simbots as service NPCs, although this requires further investigation.
- Note - The Mixologists here are different to the Mixologists listed in the townie section below. Service Mixologists can be hired by the phone and live in the Service NPC household. Mixologists that appear in venues are randomly selected/generated homeless Sims.
Townies, or homeless Sims, are often drafted randomly for less formal or more dynamic roles than those occupied by service NPCs. Players can have as many or as few townies as you like. Creators currently cannot choose which role a townie will occupy, so they should account for that in their Sim design. The best way to work out how many of these Sims you might need is to count how many mixology bars, barrier ropes, tattoo chairs, etc you have placed in it, then add +5 to that number to account for paparazzi.
Townies will be drafted into the following roles:
|Apartment Neighbour||Late Night|
|Elixir Consignment Specialist||Supernatural|
|Male Kissing Booth Attendant||Seasons|
|Female Kissing Booth Attendant||Seasons|
But what is this all in aid of? If a player is adding Sims to their world it is because they want the place to have a sense of history, and greater sense of lived-in-ness. So it is worth taking time to discuss different narrative tricks that are available. But first, let's look at the constraints with this method.
- No deceased Sims, so all relatives must my living.
- No Mummies or Ghosts.
- No sims sitting or lying on objects when the world first loads
- No skilling history that isn't added in Edit-In-Game.
- Adding pregnancies is a great way to ensure a few more non-pudding faced Sims will start out in the world, adds a bit of randomness to families (pregancies are always concealed at the world's launch, except for morning sickness). It adds to the ever important sense of history, and can leave players speculating about paternity as in Claire Ursine's case.
- Adding Moodlets
- This is a fantastic, if fiddly, feature of EA's debug commands and twallan's MasterController mod. Once you have this unlocked, simply select a Sim you've added to the world, and use the Add Buff command. This will give you a list of all the possible moodlets. You can have a grieving Sims (but because no Sim has actually died the moodlet will be neutral, although the Sims will still cry), Sims that have just eaten Ambrosia (back from the dead?), Sims that have just time-travelled! In my version of Riverblossom Hills I placed a broken, rusty TV beside my mad professor, and have her starting the game Singed. Remember that moodlets like Singed actually cause the Singed state! The possibilities for how your Sims begin their lives with players is very broad here.
- It's possible to make Sims that are about to die. Give a Sim the 'On Fire' or 'Mummy's Curse' moodlet, and the player will have to choose whether they save them or not. Time can pass in Edit-In-Game, so you can even run the moodlet down if you're patient. Just don't ever let the Sim die in Edit-In-Game this will either crash the whole programme, or it will result in a corrupted Sim that will NEVER die (this isn't a good thing, the Sim is corrupted, not enhanced, and will mess up player's games. Don't make the mistake of using glitches as part of your narrative!) You can also set Elder's ages very high using SuperComputer, guaranteeing they will die soon after the world first launches. This can help if you want families to have dead Sims in their family trees relatively swiftly - a sense of generations passed.
- CAW packages Sims into their lots, apparently, meaning that although they can walk to other lots in EIG, they will always reload ON their own home lots. However, sims can be placed on their own lots, so that two teenagers could be meeting behind a shed for some reason, while the rest of the family is out front. Appropriate moodlets on the two teen sims helps deepen and clarify the player's experience.
Thanks to Robodl95 of ModtheSims.info for provided the initial career co-workers list, which has been extended.
I'd like to thank J.M.Pescado and twallan for their mods, and just as importantly, for their support and advice in developing this message. Special thanks go to twallan for fixing the static motives issue that can crop up! Thanks as always, as well, to the entire MTS community. Hopefully this tutorial deepens the scope of worlds across the whole Simming community. I look forward to seeing what you guys make!
(Also published on Pasimfic Wiki)
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