The following information is for reference, I wanted to pass some of my findings over to the community, it might help you think about designing even more unique worlds.
Before you read any more I strongly recommend that you read this first:-
Now that you understand what they where trying to do over at mod the Sims, I started to investigate on how to edit Sea colors inside CAW, I failed in this, not sure why, I think the game overrides' the files. But it was not a complete loss, I did get something working that was rather novel.
To do this you need a basic understanding s3pe find this here:-
To do this the easy way you can download the 6 files I've already completed for you, you can find them here:-
So what are the files?
The files are for testing certain setup for Caw neighborhoods, I will give you what I think the files do, but remember this is only for testing and use this only on a backup.
If you use the files I've sent you, you will change the Initiate files to that of china
1 Change the LotRenderSettings and changes LotLODHeightThresh
2 Lighting, this is little more interesting it deals with SunlightScale, I think thats something to with the sunlight beams, I might be wrong
3 Tunable Parameters Related to Sky, you can change sunrise times, sun and moon radius
4 Misc Params with this file you can change cloud layers, star intensity, fog distance, I think fog distance is a mist that you can surround your neighborhood with.
5 Fly though proof of concept, even if you don't use any of the above, this file might be worth getting, this allows a Fly though when you fist play the neighborhood for the first time, the current file is set for china, good luck on getting the setting right for your own world
So how do you add them into my CAW worlds, that parts is very easy, use s3pe and just, open your World from you Caw folder and then click resource and import and import each file into the game remember backup and save first.
If you need to delete them just open your world in s3pe and delete the INI files, your world will not currently have any INI until you export the game.
Can I edit them files, like change the sunrise times?
Feel free to test this, I've not fully tested what you can and can't do with them files.
When will I see some changes?
Some changes do not happen until you load in the game, but say you wanted to make a vampire town, always dark, try changing the sunrise times and you will see the changes in caw.
This photo was taken 2pm game time
A alien sunset
Now I'm starting to get inpressed, will this damage my game?
All the changes should be for the current neighborhood, but I said and will repeat this again this is still being tested, I did notice that I changed the top colors of my walls, this seems to be global, if you use that file I've uploaded the top of all your walls while building will turn brown, instead of bright white, this is much better for you builders, who like things to blend in better.
Where did you get the INI files?
You can take INI files from completed worlds, so lets say you wanted the Egypt files, with that bright sun, hot glow, just extract the INI files from Egypt world file found in your programs/sim 3/ world adventures folder, using s3pe and then import the files into your CAW world. On a side note for players of the game who wish to see longer days, you can edit the Egypt, world adventure file, for personal use.
That about all I can say about this, I'm sure the people who use this, in neighborhood designs, will increase downloads and the look and design of your worlds.
Feel free to update this with you own findings should you explore this in more detail.
There is little point in repeating the mod the Sims tutorial, I could not say it any better, what most people found was that it was hard to get the custom sea's to work in CAW. So I recommend you follow that tutorial:-
The only thing you need to do different than this tutorial, is that you need to export the Custom Sea files into a completed world and then extract the same files out of a completed world. I understand this sounds odd, but when you extract them out again, it sets up the file names that you need for it to work in caw. The last stage is then using s3pe again export the files to your world.
You now have custom sea's in CAW, but when you exit CAW, after a save, it will delete the INI files, it will not save them inside caw. All is not lost, when you export your world, the INI files go with the world and then work correctly with the exported world.
So the truth is that you use CAW only to test the sea's and it should be the last thing you place in your world prior to exporting the world, just remember if you save you loss the INI and you will need to replace them again, so make sure you have backup of the files you will be using.
Extra objects and Animation, the builders dream
Strictly speaking this guide is aimed at lot builders more than neighborhood designer, but you can get some very useful stuff to help you design your world, I wanted to include this guide, due to part 4 deals with the animated train
The tutorial guide on how to include extra objects and animation in your lots, if your interested in this keep reading.
I think back in the days of the sims 2, it was frillen who unlocked the 229 ingame Maxis objects in
collection files you can all about this on the following link:-
To builders back in the days of the sims 2, them extra objects added a new dimension to building, it was one area I was starting to miss in the sims 3, something builders can have, that gives them a step up, above more casual player.
With the sims 3 to get access to them objects we use a very simple cheat, on a very basic level this is no more difficult than using the money cheat, so what I was going to do was try and show you, more on how to use the objects in the cheat at 3 different levels, Basic, advanced and jedi levels.
you will need ambitions installed for this to work and use only a test lot while playing about with this tutorial.
Ok this is the easy part, the cheat is very easy to use:-
1 Load up a test sim family and open the cheat menu ctrl+shift C and type the
following code testingCheatsenabled true.
2 Next type buydebug on and enter the debug objects, this is the ? in the object list for anybody who
as never used this cheat before.
3 Goto misc.objects and look for the fog emitter
drag and drop this object onto the game and start playing, many players will be already aware that after about 5 seconds of playing the area around the test object will fill up with mist.
4 Ok lets try something new, lets make some weather, snow would be a good start, lets drop another fog emitter onto a test lot, then hold down ctrl+shift and left click on the emitter, you should see
a new menu:-
click on set visual effects you will see ep2spiritfog, change this to snowfallingheavyday, without any spaces, now test, you should see something like this:-
5 Thats really about all you need to understand, the rest of this tutorial will be about my findings, so
lets finish the Basic level by using the cloning, if you where going to design a winter wonderland
you will probable need about 10+ fog emitters, so lets clone the fog emitter that we used for the
snow, crtl+shift on the emitter and click clone, yes nothing seems to happen, but you do have the
object in your hand, you just can't see the clone, try dropping the snow emitter down and test in
game. the next time you enter build mode you will see the clone will appear so you move it around if your unhappy with the placement.
6 A great tip, when your building it's best to build with a active sim in the lot, so you can test the emitters, if your building for a long time, don't forget you have testingcheatenabled on, so you can click on the energy bars if your sim starts to die. If you wont to have a little play about at this point here are few more emitter codes to try
When I say advanced the objects need a little(I really mean a little) work from the builder, many of the
objects that are needed to be used in water need to be placed prior to building your pool or pond, so if you want to use water jets in your lot you need to place them prior to building the
pool, for example:-
I placed all the waterjets prior to building the pool. Another example
I placed the water rapids prior to building the water, for the best results your best dropping the area that you wish to place the rapids/waterjets a few clicks, so when you make the pool/pond it does not look like the rapids are 5cm off the floor. Ok lets build a simple waterfall, build yourself a nice raised square, something like this
next drop a emitter and rename the emitter waterfall_1_short and drop the emitter at the back of the hill and start playing,
you can see this did not work very well, I wonted the water at the front of the hill, to do this just enter build mode and turn the waterfall around, it should look like this.
that looks better, the next step for me would be to clone a few more emitters, add some rocks, boolprop the hill and you should then end up with something like this:-
still not that great to look at but you must remember while building you will adding trees and other intresting objects, I found also adding rapids to the base of the waterfall looks pretty cool, to do this type rapidsnorock and place the emitter at the base of the waterfall and then I used rapidsrock emitter and placed that at the base of the pond. Then perhaps this would be a good time to place the pond in, don't worry the emitters do not move when you boolprop, but should if you change your mind, you will not be able to replace the emitter in the same location, it will always drop to the lowest point, so thats why you need to place them first. Just to be aware only a few emitters work under water, seaweed for example, rapids need to be placed on top of water.
Top tip, when building rivers or using sea waves, test how far the water animation will go. you don't wont that wave moving into the house that you just spent 3 days building.
Here is a list of things you might wish to try and play about with:-
fountainscience (the water jets I used in the pool lot)
This part more information than anything else, and a few idea's, I was not the first person to work any
of this out, that honor should goto, Goggalor over on the more awesome than you web page, well at
least I think he is the first, you can download a complete list of extracted codes from the following
So what next, well I found a number of the objects in the list can be used with triggers, a example,
you wanted to make a haunted house, you can use a trigger for a rat to run accross the floor. So many
of the objects can be used with the World adventure dungeon triggers. You could make a scientist sim
flick a switch to make it snow, with of course the correct trigger in place. You could even build a
an Olympic stadium and when you light the torch, hundreds birds will fly up into the sky. Many of
that goes beyond this tutorial, but it's all possible. So if you want one final play with your new toy, try a few animals from the list Bird, rat and crow, you can watch them fly around your lot, but they will disappear after a short time, so to make the best use of them, use the trigger events.
Many thanks for reading, please report any good findings.
WILL MY GAME SLOW DOWN
Good question, I've done some research into this and this was my conclusion, directly no, but like anything in the game to much of anything then yes it can.
I will give you some example of how this can slow down your game, Your playing in the game with a very large heavy detailed lot that uses loads of animations, the lot on it's own, should not slow the game. But lets say your neighbor contains a large number of electrical animations, you might start to notice a very small slow down, lets say your other neighbor is a big lot, full of animations, this will start to get hard for most PCs' to handle, it's trying to animate from 3 different locations. In testing what I found the game will slow down if you use to many large animated lots in around the same area, my advice is to split up the animated lots around the neighborhood. That should reduce all slowdown, just don't have them all together in the same place.
Some animation are worse than others, for example the waterfalls are very minor, but the large electric discharges are high in power. I'm not saying not use them, just don't use to many in the same location.
I've not done that much research into this, but I think the game loads your active lot and upto 12 lots around your active lot, they will run in the background, so simple maths tells you, to keep any large electrical animated lots, a few streets away from each other and the game will be running like clockwork.
In conclusion, I'm happy to use them, I've noticed no slow down in my main neighborhood, but in extreme testing, with all settings on top, the FPS will drop if you use multiple very high animated lots in the same area. At the end of the day you could also say that if you build a massive world with CAW or use 1000s of custom objects, or even if you have 7 expansions installed.
A little about the test I did, the test was this, I placed my shimmer lot (full of electric energy discharges) around the neighborhood at various points and tested the FPS, more or less they where all about the same, I placed 4 shimmers next to each other and tested, the FPS did drop a little, it was not unplayable, but I could see how the FPS could drop more if shimmer used more animation or was on a bigger lot.
I will update the first page with this info, if anybody wishes to do any more test into this, please print your findings.
CREATE A WORLD & EMITTERS
This is more a knowledge update, should you set up a lot in create a world that contains emitters, when that world is first installed, some of the emitters temporary reset to fog emitters. This is a minor setback, all you need to do to get the emitters to work as normal, is save your world, exit to the main menu and reload the save and the emitters will turn back to normal, all test I've done confirm this.
The reason this happen, CAW only contains Fog emitters, so when the world is installed you only get fog, until of course you save the game, then the game will recognize your emitter codes, this currently effects all lots installed by CAW.
The animated train
The train was made using a simple emitter placed inside a lot, of course I also needed to make the train track, that is a simple texture.
You can see the emitter in the center of the lot built over the train tracks, if you have read part 3 of the guide you will understand how to change the emitter code:-
the code for the animated train is:-
The downside, of the train, it does not stay in the world forever, I needed to place 4 emitters in 4 different lots, so when one emitter runs out, hopefully inside a tunnel another emitter kicks in, to give the illusion that train is going from when one end of my world to another.
PART 5 custom neighborhood objects, recolors
By the time you get to this part you should be upto speed with using S3pe, and you will need this for the last part of this guide
The more I play about with CAW, the more I see to edit:-
In fact the truth of the matter and all my test confirm this so far, you can edit just about anything in the game and keep your game custom content free. You can use your world to edit the, neighborhood objects
The way you do this is to extract the texture using S3pe, you can find the textures here:-
C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\GameData\Shared\Packages
FullBuild2 file contains most of the building recolors, just extract the file you wish to change and when you have finished the edit, you need to move the file into your CAW world, using S3pe.
The textures work much like INI files, your best editing the texture and check they work ok in backup copy of your world, if everything work, then like the INI files they should be last thing you do prior to exporting your world.
WILL THIS WORK WITH CUSTOM SIM CLOTHES?
Not tested this yet
WILL THIS WORK ON PLAYER MADE CUSTOM CONTENT & STORE OBJECTS?
I did test this on custom made object I downloaded, it did not work, I've not tested on store objects.
Most of the info is still being tested, so you should consider all the guides are open to change, should any problems or any new info comes about.
So you use the info at your own risk, the last thing I want is somebody to damage a world they are building so please make backups and test what you use from this guide.
If you wish to read more info of a more detailed description of how to use some of the guides I've started thread over on TS3 CREATORS CONSORTIUM,over the next few weeks I will update the guide here:-
The guides will contain more a step by step on how to do things, so if your a little new to extracting files, using programs to edit your world, this thread will be easier to understand.
If you wish to follow the progress of the exotic world I'm building you can view this thread here:-
Many thanks for getting this far, I suppose I want my world I'm building to be about the world not how I turned the sea turquoise, or how I made a green balloon.