Sita's Ramblings

or - my explorations in the wonderful worlds of Sims

Aaron

Comments welcome: please send them to sita@simechoes.org. If appropriate I will post them.

April 2014

Sims 3 is working - sort of

Having built a beautiful world for them, in the lovely Traintown made for members of The Sims Daily Forum, I sent a family of students to University. They are stuck. I can play them through for weeks on end - Sims terms are meant to be two weeks of Simtime at most - and they do exams but do not get results, graduate, or get sent home. I don't seem to be able to get out of that loop, so that family, and that world, appear to be written off. I've gone back to previous saves but it still gets the same problem.

I can play other saves, in other worlds. But all the work I did customizing and building that town is gone. Again.

This is why I don't do LONG stories for Sims 3; Legacies and so on. My worlds just DO NOT LAST THAT LONG.

It's very frustrating.

Meanwhile in Sims 2, I can play. Most of the time I have no crashes. I have a LARGE amount of Custom Content and am even experimenting a little with making some. I made this fence recently and am very proud of it! Even considering I'm dyslexic and have great trouble following tutorials, it's taken me a LONG time to get to grips with SimPE. (So at the end of the lifecycle of Sims 3, I am beginning to feel confident with an editing program for Sims 2? Actually, that's about par for the course with me.)


 

And even later

OK - Generations, here we come. Finally decided to buy it, so it's ordered and I wait with trepidation for the day to start the uninstall reinstall patch cycle all over again...

Later in July

Well, after all that, I had a couple of really nasty crashes to the desktop, followed by an inability to load at all... After rebooting and dancing widdershins awhile, I got my game back - but many of my savegames were missing.

What appears to have happened is that in the crashes, some data was corrupted, including my Riverview world. So the user-made worlds that had Riverview content simply refused to load. And since most of the worlds I download have Riverview content.... sigh. The lost worlds included my Gardiner Legacy world, Toronto Islands and others I had not played as much.

So... I am SO glad I make lots of backups. I have a huge hard drive and I simply copy the whole "The Sims" folder from My Documents to a folder marked with the date, every few days. In this case I had two recent backups. One was not complete for some reason (apparently I had not checked to see it was complete when copying) but one dated 7 days before my crash looked fine. So I renamed the broken version to Sims 3 borken, copied the version from the 8th back to the My Documents folder and renamed it to Sims 3, and hey presto. Riverview, the Gardiners, and other savegames were back in place. The only thing that did not recover, for some reason, was the Toronto Islands. So I lost a couple of families there. Could have been a lot worse.

Of course, this savegame that I am now playing was saved BEFORE I did all the download-sorting mentioned in the entry below here. So I did have to do that all over again - and in the end I removed the Custom Launcher, which I had been using to manage packages. I seems that when that program compresses packages it does not actually save space in one's game. It comes with no instructions and while it works fine as a no-CD starter, and I have no reason to think it was responsible for my crash, I don't like programs that I don't understand how to use. So most of my downloads are now Sims3Packs once again. I miss my lovely package content but I had a LOT of packages, which is why I was using Custom Launcher to compress and amalgamate them.

The only packages I have installed now are hacks: Awesomemod, Inge's LotSizes hack, NRASS Mastercontroller and Overwatch.There are also some paintings and posters and a very few items of furniture, hair, clothing. But overall FAR fewer than I had pre-crash, and I am intending not to install packages but choose Sims3Packs if the option is there; this had been my practice until I got Custom Launcher, and worked for me then.

Meanwhile, I have most of my game back. The moral of this story is, of course, BACK UP. And when you think you don't need to, BACK UP AGAIN!


 

July Update

Recently I've been very frustrated with Create-A-World, probably because of the chronic sinusitis I've developed this spring - with a head full of snot it's very hard to think clearly. I've uninstalled it for now.

Meanwhile, I have been Sims 3-ing a lot. Being unwell does have good consequences. Built lots of lovely things, and some Sims, which you will find in the Downloads section. I've started on a world (Sunset Valley scraped clean and rebuilt from scratch!) called Los Banos, which is a place for my Royal Family Sims to live. So far they are all getting on very well indeed.

I was also enthusiastically downloading lots of goodies, and any experienced Simmer will tell you that can only lead to disaster. Of course it has. My game got so slow (on a good computer with 8 Gigs of RAM!) that I was waiting 10-15 minues for each save, and at times even clicking on a Sim would stall it. So I pulled out all the downloads, and tried checking everything. Since I don't really know those checking programs very well, it hasn't completely worked. So far I have managed to lose my Legacy version of Riverview, Simsville and some other worlds - which I suppose might have dependencies on Riverview?

Today I pulled out all my package files, and reinstalled all the Sims3Packs, having got rid of quite a few Sims3Packs. We will see, I am crossing my fingers that I don't need a complete reinstall.

My thanks to all the wonderful, patient people at Neighbourhood 99, who put up with my constant questions, complaints, screams (with CAW!) and puzzlement.

Update:

I've moved onto a different world, Erstisla. Cicada Country will not get lost though, nor the gelflings. I discovered how to make a 16-bit greyscale image at last; so now I can do what I originally planned, make a Sims 3 world from a true terrain map. Erstisla wasn't made that way; Cicada Country was an attempt that went wrong, but still made an interesting shape.


 

I've been on a voyage of discovery the last few days, bashing my head against Create-A-World for Sims 3. 

I finally discovered how to export a terrain map from Photoshop, and built a world. 

This place is called Cicada Country. It needs lots more work but it's a start... it's very dry.

I wanted to test it out so I made some Sims to live there. They are gelflings. (see The Dark Crystal).

I discovered why no-routing painting is so important. The gelflings Sims seem to actually PREFER to walk through all the steep areas, rather than going along the top. It must be further - maybe they think they need the exercise. I suspect they pick a straight line as the crow flies and just walk it. No-routing paint looks blue in Create-A-World, and puts an impenetrable barrier in front of them.