There is no guarantee that all downloads work on your game setup. I have Deluxe and all expansions installed and sometimes an object might not work in your game if you have a different setup, even though you have the right expansions. In that case just delete the object from your game.
I'm not to be held responsible for any damage the (incorrect) use of downloaded files may cause to your game or system. Use on your own risk.
My system and server are virus free.
- How do I install these downloads?
Each file comes with a readme, but here it is for easy reference:
Skins: All skins, buyable skins and heads go to to Sims/GameData/Skins.
Floors: must be unzipped to Sims/GameData/Floors.
Walls: must be unzipped to Sims/GameData/Walls.
Roofs: must be unzipped to Sims/GameData/Roofs.
Objects: must be unzipped to Sims/Downloads. These are the only downloads that you may sort into subdirectories (E.g. you could put objects from here in a folder called "eph", that makes it easier to find something when you want to delete unneccessary things.). You can try to put walls, floors and roofs into subfolders too. For some people (e.g. me) it works, for others it doesn't. Skins however must always be on the top level of the named folders.
I heard objects may not work from the Downloads folder if you have only Deluxe installed. In that case just put the objects into gamedata/userobjects, that works just as well.
- The skins don't work in my game...
Maybe you don't have the neccessary expansion set.
Lingerie: For lingerie you must have Hot Date installed. The lingerie can be bought downtown.
Swimwear: You must have Hot Date installed for these, too. Swimsuits can be bought downtown.
Prom Dresses: Another one you need Hot Date for. Buy your gowns downtown.
Winter Clothes: These come with Vacation. Buy them downtown or when on winter holidays.
If you don't have those, you can make most skins into casual clothes. For that, you have to do two things:
- Change the names of the bmps. Lingerie starts with an "L", swimsuits with an "S" etc. Change the first letter to a "B".
- Open notepad (In Windows that's start -> run -> notepad, or search for it) and load the cmx file that comes with the download. See that line that is called just the same as the cmx file? Change the first letter of that line to a "B" also (without the quotes, of course!). Save the file and close notepad. Now change the first character of the cmx file name to a "B" too.
You're done. Just copy the files to your skins directory. Please note this will just create clothes for the "create a sim" screen. I have no idea how to make the swimsuits work as swimsuits in games without Hot Date.
- The objects don't work in my game...
Certain objects need certain expansion sets. Check the object description on the download. If it says "Requires Makin Magic" then the object won't work without that expansion installed.
If you have the right expansions but the objects still don't show up, there might be problems with object IDs. Every object has a unique ID, and people who clone new objects automatically create IDs for them, too. It's unlikely that IDs collide if you download fanstuff from a single homepage or just a few, but if you download from everywhere then it can happen that two objects have the same ID number, and then one of them won't show up or even makes your game crash. If that happens download the program Object ID from this website: http://www.simprograms.com/the-sims/the-sims-1/the-sims-programs/programs-the-sims-object-editors/
It lists duplicate objects for you so you can sort them out.
I also heard that sometimes objects don't work if you have less expansions installed than the creator, because Maxis may have added patches to the object behaviour. Also that objects made with Deluxe installed might create problems if you have the original basic Sims installed, or the other way round. I have all expansions and Deluxe installed and use the Object Organizer to determine what expansion you will need, but sadly that's the best I can do. Sometimes not all required expansions show up, though. So I can't guarantee that an object will work for you 100%.
- What is a x-in-1 object?
X-in-1 objects were hacked to keep your catalogue shorter. Basically they are several objects in one. Often it's the same object in several colours, sometimes it's a set of similar objects, e.g. stones.
On residential lots your sim can buy such an object and then usually change its appearance by clicking it. You can do this anytime, at no cost. What a lucky simmie!
For a few objects (e.g. some garden plants) I left out the menu options because having many of those on one lot is very stressing for the computer. In such cases you have to sell and rebuy items until you get the desired colour option.
On away lots, e.g. downtown or on vacation island, these objects have a random appearance when you place them. If it's not the desired colour just delete the object and buy it repeatedly until you have the one you wanted. Then save your lot. Note that sims who visit such a lot can change the colour of a few (older) objects while there, but this will not be saved and the object will change back to its original colour on the next visit.
To make it easier for you to find them, x-in-1 objects have a greenish background in your catalogue instead of the usual blue.
In case you wonder why only certain items are x-in-1 and other deco such as cars etc are not: this kind of hacking only works on 1 tiled objects with no animations. So it's mainly used for deco objects, bookcases etc. It wouldn't work for a car because that's 6 tiles, and it wouldn't work for a scratching tree because that changes its graphics as it gets (ab)used by a cat.
There is one downside to x-in-1 objects, though: A 3-in-1 towel may have a smaller filesize than 3 individual towels because there's less code, but in the end it's still 3 towels. If your computer is very slow and can't take that many downloads you can't pick your fav colour to use and delete the rest. You have to either delete or keep the whole object. I'm sorry about that, but I won't offer individual versions of objects for such peeps, because for me these hacked items are incredibly useful and I don't want to waste all of my magic cookies (and server space) on clones that I have no use for. Sorry!
Luckily computers which are so old to have a problem with this are slowly dying out.
- What is a mesh? What is a skin?
The mesh is the actual body of a figure, like a wireframe. There are meshes for heads and meshes for bodies, also meshes for props and pets. A lot of meshes come with the game, and you can make your own skins for them. There are also many meshes created by fans, and most often you may use those for your own creations, too. Meshes for The Sims end with ".skn".
A skin is the "flesh" of a figure, it's the actual skin, hair and clothes texture. A skin is a simple 256 colour bmp file.
Several skins can go with one mesh.
The cmx file is what knits both together.
Which files belong together is usually defined by the 2nd-4th figures of a file name. If a bmp is e.g. called b123fafitlgt_bla the corresponding cmx file will also start with b123 (or with f123 if it's formal wear or w123 - the identifier stays the same.). The same goes for the mesh.
All you have to know for now is that you may often re-use meshes, but usually you may not alter, recolour or distribute skins.
Even this is only important if you want to create things of your own. For the casual player the only important info is that all 3 file types (skn, cmx and bmp(s)) are required to make a new head or outfit show up in the game correctly. If you want to remove skins from the game you have to delete at least the cmx and bmp files. Be careful deleting meshes (skn) though if you also have objects with custom service personnal installed. It's quite possible that a mesh is still required by such an object even if you can't determine it from the file name.
A good example for this are the restaurants from Parsimonious. Although Kate always names the cmx and bmp files starting with her acronym k8 and the set name she still leaves the mesh names unchanged so you don't see on first sight that a mesh is still in use. That is good because it doesn't put duplicate meshes in your game even though it makes removing unwanted skins harder.
Removing outfits and clothes from the game is the most fault-prone and nerve-wracking issue of all. There are a few tools on the website Simsprograms (linked above for Object ID) that may help you.
- I want to create fanstuff too, how do I do it?
Welcome to the club. ^^ Sadly in all those years I never managed to write up tutorials so far, so for the time being I can only advise you to use google. I can answer smaller questions here in the board if you ask but apart from that I can only warmly advise you to never give up. The first few tries might be embarassing but after a while it's not hard to make something yourself.