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Getting Started

 

This is the beginners' FAQ from Livin-It-Up, hosted here since their demise in August 2005.   I have not checked the contents for accuracy, nor the links for being "live".   This is fossilized as it was last hosted by LIU

1. Where do I put the files I've downloaded?
2. I want to create objects, but don't know where to start. Can someone help me?
3. I was building a new home for some of my Sims, and the stairs in the build mode had become windows. WHY????
4. Where can I get the Magic Fruitcake?
5. What is the size of the lots?
6. How do I get rid of roaches and flies?
7. My game crashes. How do I locate the thing that's causing the crash?
8. Has anyone made glass ceilings or glass walls?
9. Where can I find a strategy guide online?
10. I have to re-format my hard drive, or move the game to a new computer.  How do I do this without losing my game and all of my downloads?
11. My Sims are getting sick. What do I need to do to cure them?
12. How do you add or change animations to the game?
13. What's "Reticulating Splines"?
14. Where can I find the nude patch for Hot Date?
15. I've been playing the game for a long time, but all of a sudden one of my houses has frozen in time. None of the Sims will move, and time does not go forward. What's wrong?
16. How do I add a neighborhood to my game?
17. Where can I find cars?
18. What do I have to do to throw a good party?
19. Could you tell me how to make Sims speak in English?
20. Why does my game crash?
21. I lost my trashcan, mailbox, pedestrian portal or carpool portal. Where can I get replacements?
22. Where can I download the original lots that came with the game?
23. Has anyone made an answering machine, so my sims don't have to run every time the phone rings?
24. How do I get the Throw a Party option in hot Date to show up when I call a Sim? I get talk, invite over or invite downtown, but no party.
25. Anyone happen to have a list of which magazines have articles about which interests?
26. Is there a Glossary of Terms?
27. In Sims Unleashed, is there a way to convert a community lot to a residential (or the reverse) without bulldozing?
28. I want to uninstall and reinstall my game, but I lost one of the crystal cases containing a serial number. Is there any way to get the serial numbers from my currently installed game?
29. I installed Super Star, and now my game freezes. Is there anything I can do?
30. In SuperStar, how do you make the right choices in the recording?
31. What career tracks are available, and how high can I go in each?

Where do I put the files I've downloaded?
First, you have to realize that the files that you have downloaded are in a compressed (zip) format, and you have to use a program like WinZip to extract them.

Many people don't know how to use WinZip, but it's very easy to use. Once it is installed on your system, it will open whenever you double-click on a zip file (in Windows Explorer). It will provide a list of all files in the zip. What you need to do then is just drag and drop the files into the appropriate folder (listed below, by file extension).

IFF files (Objects) - \Downloads or a subfolder of \Downloads
House##.IFF (Houses) - \UserData#\Houses (# is neighborhood no.)
WLL files (Walls) - \GameData\Walls
FLR files (Floors) - \GameData\Floors
CMX, SKN, and BMP files (Skins) - \GameData\Skins
CMX, SKN, and BMP files (Buyable Skins) - \ExpansionShared\SkinsBuy
BMF, CMF, CFP, and BCF files(Animations) - \GameData\Animation
BMP files (Roofs) - \GameData\Roofs
FAM files (families with or without houses) - \UserData\Import
CMT Files (families downtown) - \UserData\Import. These are not skin files. If they are in your skin folder, they may be causing crashing problems. This file is the equivalent for the .FAM files, but for Hot Date.
FAR files (usually contain IFF files) DL will give instructions. If not, put in \Downloads.
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I want to create objects, but don't know where to start. Can someone help me?
A: You have to get your basic tools first. You will need:
A. A good graphics program. Many object and skin designers use either Paintshop Pro (PSP) or Adobe Photoshop (PS). However, there are many free graphics programs available on the internet, or you may have gotten one with a peripheral, like a digital camera, a scanner, or a printer. Get acquainted with the graphics program and learn its features.
B. Transmogrifier. The Transmogrifier program will take the pictures that you have created and put them into objects. There are several tutorials available (see below)
C. Homecrafter. This program will create Walls and floors from pictures that you have created.
D. The Sims Art Studio. You can use Sims Art Studio to create pictures to hang on the walls of your simís homes. Sims Art Studio works best with BMP files or small JPG files.

Once you have the tools, you will need to go through a few tutorials. The tutorials are generally geared towards either PSP or PS, so if you are using a different graphics editor, you will have to translate the commands.

If you want a place where new object creators can learn skills interactively, I'll recommend the 2 Sim Sisters Object Help Yahoo group

You can find tutorials at:

7DS Object Tutorial
Transmogrifier Documentation
MOTS Object Tutorial
Simsville Guitar Object Tutorial
Simfreaks Object Overview
SimFreaks Z-Buffer Tutorial
Altazakin's Door & Window Tutorial
Altazakin's Categorizer Tutorial
Imagination 3D Object Tutorial
Ophelia's Tutorials
Ophelia's Object Tutorial
Ophelia's Painting Tutorial
Pandora Sims Ulitmate Object Making Tutorial
Secret Sims DIY
Simprograms Tutorial Page - lots of good stuff
Sim Crazy Objects 101 Tutorial
Sim Crazy Animation Tutorial
Stone Age Sims Animation Tutorial
Stone Age Sims Sound Hacking Tutorial
Stone Age Sims Object Hacking Basics
SunAir Objects Tutorial
Pandora Sims Ultimate Object Making Tutorial
T-Mog Made Easy - By Carmilla
Next Steps In TMog
Mike's Z-buffer Tutorial

If you are interested in hacking objects, be sure to join the Fusion creations Forum (temporarily down),
where you can find a download link to Script Station, and discussions on object hacking, including how to add animations.
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I was building a new home for some of my Sims, and the stairs in the build mode had become windows. WHY????
The reason is that you have gone over the limit of build-mode objects. When that happens, some objects are pushed into other categories. There are three solutions:

1. Reduce the number of build-mode items. Go into your \Downloads directory and delete plants, windows, doors, staircases and fireplaces until it doesn't happen any more.

Or

2. Change the build-mode objects to buy-mode. You can use The Sims Categorizer from Paladin's Place to change the objects from build mode to buy mode. I placed all my plants, windows and doors into outside, outdoor, decorative, and other and have not had a recurrence of the problem. If you don't have Hot Date, just ignore the downtown and subcategory flags. In Vacation, I put them in amenities.

or

3. Purchase Sims Unleashed. Maxis has increased the number of build-mode objects in each category.
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Where can I get the Magic Fruitcake?
Sims-on-a-stick
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What is the size of the lots?
Give or take a couple of squares on some corners or along water lines the grids are as follows;


lot 1 = 40wide x 40deep
Lot 2 - 44 x 40
Lot 3 - 36 x 40
Lot 4 - 32 x 36
Lot 5 - 36 x 36
Lot 6 - 28 x 28
Lot 7 - 35 x 31
Lot 8 - 36 x 30
Lot 9 - 28 x 28
Lot 10 - 32 x 31
Lot 50 - 31 x 30
Lot 51 - 31 x 28
Lot 52 - 31 x 30
Lot 53 - 31 x 30
Lot 54 - 31 x 30
Lot 55 - 33 x 31
Lot 56 - 31 x 30
Lot 57 - 31 x 28
Lot 58 - 41 x 41
Lot 59 - 31 x 28
Lot 60 - 31 x 33
Lot 61 - 31 x 30
Lot 62 - 30 x 28
Lot 63 - 30 x 31
Lot 64 - 31 x 28
Lot 65 - 31 x 28
Lot 66 - 35 x 33
Lot 67 - 30 x 28
Lot 68 - 29 x 28
Lot 69 - 31 x 28
Lot 70 - 48 x 47
Lot 71 - 29 x 29
Lot 72 - 31 x 29
Lot 73 - 48 x 47
Lot 74 - 31 x 28
Lot 75 - 31 x 29
Lot 76 - 30 x 28
Lot 77 - 34 x 30
Lot 78 - 33 x 31
Lot 79 -30 x 28
Lot 80 -30 x 28
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How do I get rid of roaches and flies?
The patch for the roaches is as follows. Open up Notepad. Type in "Die filthy roaches". Save the file as roaches.iff in your \GameData\Objects directory. You'll get an initial message about the IFF, and then there will be no more roaches.

Don't try this with the flies, or you'll crash the game every time the caterer is used. That's because there is an interaction initiated by the caterer that calls the flies IFF, and if it's not valid, the game will crash. So the answer to the question regarding flies is "you can't." What you can do is delete them, using the "move_objects on" cheat. If you wait to delete them until after midnight, you might even get some serious
simoleons for them.

There is a way to get rid of flies (finally!). Paladin's Place has a replacement flies.iff file, which allows the flies to generate and kills them immediately.
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My game crashes. How do I locate the thing that's causing the crash?
Before you go to the drastic step of re-installing, make sure that it isn't your objects and/or skins that are causing the problem.

Run File Cop. It will locate most common errors in skins. Make sure that none of the files in your skins folder are read-only, because File Cop will day that it removed the offending skin, while it remains in your \Skins folder. You can get File Cop at the official Maxis Site

Run Object ID. It will locate ID conflicts between different IFF files. You can get Object ID at The Sims.be.tf

If File Cop and Object ID don't find anything, you have to search a bit deeper...

Start by moving all of your downloads out of their respective directories. Be sure to include everything, including walls, floors, skins (including buyable ones), animations, and objects. Try to start the game - don't play and don't save anything if it does start up, or you could end up with unfurnished houses, Sims that are shadows, bare walls and/or floors, etc. If it starts properly, the problem is in one of your DL'd files, not in the game itself. That's your signal to do a search.

Binary searching is the most efficient way of finding a bad object (skins are different, because everything is connected via the triumvirate of SKN, BMP and CMX). So, we'll start by putting the skins back in and hope the game starts OK. If it doesn't, try file cop again, after making sure that nothing in your skins folder is read-only. If you've put skins into your expansionPack3\SkinsBuy folder, don't forget to include those in your search for bad ones, especially since file cop doesn't look there at all. You might even consider moving those files back to your \skins folder so that File Cop can look at them.

If a crash is still happening, and you've narrowed it down to skins, you might try this: (by: Pouringrain)
I would run EliSims as it shows the skins. You can easily recognize which are ones you downloaded that are probably causing the crash, and delete the bmp files (the pictures), and then delete the matching body files below (the names will be similar). Delete any body files that have a red x beside them as part of them are missing. This works for me to locate bad skin files easily.

Elisims can be found at http://www.elandnews.com/elisims/

(by UK Northerner)
Each skin should be 66kb in size. Go into Program Files/Maxis/The Sims/Game Data/Skins and go through your skins and make sure they are 66kb in size. If the offending skins are bigger than this, then they haven't been saved in 256 (8-bit) colors and are still likely 24-bit.

If you are using PSP then you need to load the skin and reduce the colors to 8-bit using the 'optimized octree' option (this option tends to preserve most of the main colors) and save it.

Another problem exists with those skins that are physically double their original size. Some artists increase the image size to get more detail in their skins, but the game's not particularly good in adjusting to skin sizes that do not conform to it's original specs and occasionally this can also cause the game to crash. With these, the skin needs to be reduced to 256x256 pixels for them to work properly. (the telltale sign for these skins is the 127kb file size, which can be mistaken for a 24-bit file).

If the game still doesn't work you can try going through your skins by group. First all the B001 skins (and don't forget to take out the corresponding SKN files) at the same time. Keep doing this until the game comes up and you'll have narrowed your search by a considerable amount. You can then narrow it down still further. Once your game comes up with no problems, you can go on to test the objects.

Put all the objects back in your game. If it crashes, then the problem is in an object. So, remove half of the objects. If the game works, we've narrowed the search down to the ones you removed. If the game doesn't work, we've narrowed the search to the ones remaining in the downloads folder. Either way, the search has been narrowed, and that's the beauty of the system. If you've narrowed the search to those within the system, move half of those out. If you've narrowed the search to those outside the system, move half back in. If you keep track of which bunch was the last moved in or out, you could keep doing this and find the bad file quickly. This search by halves is called a binary search.

You can also do the binary search on walls and floors.

Yes, this is tedious and time consuming. But look at it this way. If you have a bad object or skin, a re-install won't prevent the crash after you re-install, and you'll be even more frustrated. In any case, once you ID a bad object or skin, an e-mail to the maker would be nice (but don't flame, even if it takes you days to locate the bad file). Tell them what you found, and do it politely. The maker is probably not aware that the object or skin caused a problem, and may have a way of correcting it.
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Has anyone made glass ceilings or glass walls?
Yes. Glass walls at Simorphor
See-through floors at Caro's Sim Kagen
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Where can I find a strategy guide online?
http://www.gamefaqs.com/computer/doswin/game/25322.html
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I have to re-format my hard drive, or move the game to a new computer.  How do I do this without losing my game and all of my downloads?
You will need to save all of your neighborhoods, and all of the stuff you've brought down from the Internet.

Neighborhoods: \UserData## (Neighborhood 1 is UserData, neighborhood 2 is UserData2, etc.) Save the entire set of folders. Don't export the families and try to re-import when after you re-install. Just restore the whole neighborhood on the new drive. If you have Hot Date and have made the necessary corrections to the downtown lots in \TemplateUserData, you'll want to save and restore that folder as well.

Skins: \GameData\Skins and \GameData\Textures. Save both folders. If you downloaded buyable skins, include \ExpansionShared\SkinsBuy

Animations: \GameData\Animation

Objects: \GameData\Objects, \GameData\UserObjects, and \Downloads. Make certain that all subfolders are included in your save.

Walls: \GameData\Walls. Make certain that all subfolders are included in your save.

Floors: \GameData\Floors. Make certain that all subfolders are included in your save.

Roofs: \GameData\Roofs.

Sounds: If you've modified the sounds in the game, you'll want to back up \SoundData, and you'll want to back up the directories that are pointed to, if you placed shortcuts.

Music: If you've modified the background music, you'll want to back up \Music. You'll also want to back up the directories that are pointed to, if you placed shortcuts.

Neighborhood backgrounds: If you use "The Hoods" to switch the neighborhood backgrounds, you'll want to save and restore \UIGraphics.
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My Sims are getting sick. What do I need to do to cure them?
Your Sims have "The Dreaded Guinea Pig Disease". This is caused by exposure to yuck puddles from the guinea pig, or some pet cloned from the guinea pig. Since the disease is contagious, your Sim could have caught it from a neighbor who has the disease.


You can cure the disease in several ways:


1. Hang the picture of "The Forgotten Guinea Pig" on a wall. Have your Sim look at it.
2. Have your Sim use the chemistry set to create a white potion (only sick Sims can do this). The potion is the cure.
3. Cheat. Have someone eat the radioactive fruitcake while your Sim is ill. This won't cure the Sim, but at least he won't die.
4. Cheat. Use the "move_objects on" cheat code to delete your Sim and then restore him by clicking on the Sim's icon. I'm not sure this cure is permanent.


You can also prevent the disease easily.


1. You can remove all pets. This is a drastic cure, since pets are nice to have.
2. You can delete the file "yuckpuddle.iff" from your downloads, objects, and UserObjects folders, or any subfolders of these.
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How do you add or change animations to the game?
You can add your own animations into objects, but in order to do that, you have to replace an existing animation. You can do this on an object-by-object basis, so that an animation for watering a rose bush can be different from watering a delphinium. So, you can create a clone of an object and change the animation just for the clone.

New animations can be made with Simpose and changed with Animation Alchemist. The animation can be viewed with The Sims Makeover Studio.

Animation Alchemist
The Sims Makeover Studio
SIMpose-ium
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What's "Reticulating Splines"?
There are various interpretations to this question. On the metaphysical plane, one might even consider this a Zen. Some have interpreted this message to mean that the game is initializing its randomization tables, and others think that the message presages the loading of skins into the game.


If you are not on the path of enlightenment, though, the answer is that it is just some nonsense words that actually sound like something is happening, to keep you interested in the loading process and listening to the music.


Whenever this is posted, someone always points out that reticulating and splines are actual English words that could possibly have some meaning to the game. They don't and the context makes them nonsense words.

What's actually happening during this particular message (in the original game through at least House Party) is loading either skins or objects, and sorting them in an internal table.
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Where can I find the nude patch for Hot Date?
http://www.strategyplanet.com/thesims/madeforsims/Tips___Tricks/Patches/patches.html

The hot Date Patch also works in Sims Vacation and Sims Unleashed.
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I've been playing the game for a long time, but all of a sudden one of my houses has frozen in time. None of the Sims will move, and time does not go forward. What's wrong?
This problem is probably due to an object, recently placed into the house. Try removing objects that are in the house, from the most recent to the oldest. This is probably an object for an expansion pack that has not been installed on your system
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How do I add a neighborhood to my game?
First of all, you cannot add neighborhoods if you only have the original game, unless use an add-on program, like Elisims or the Neighborhood Handler.

If you have Livin' Large or other expansion packs, it is easy to add a neighborhood. First of all, you should be aware of the naming conventions for neighborhoods. Neighborhood 1 is the folder called UserData. Neighborhood 2 is \UserData2, etc. The base neighborhood (all empty lots) is kept in the folder called TemplateUserData.

To make a new neighborhood, copy the TemplateUserData folder, and rename the copy to the appropriate neighborhood name. So, if you wanted to create Neighborhood 3, you would highlight \TemplateUserData with a right click, and choose copy from the menu that appears. This will create a new folder called "Copy of TemplateUserData". Right click on that folder and choose rename. This will allow you to change the name to UserData3. When you open your game, you can then click on the arrows in the upper left corner of the screen to change neighborhoods.
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Where can I find cars?
7 Deadly Sims
8 Deadly Sims (paysite)
Dincer Hepgullizer
Forum Jove's Sims (French Forum)
Killer Sims (paysite)
La Grotte de Teddy (look in divers)
Livin-it-up
Marina's Sims (look in Objects/Misc)
Milky Sims (look in objects)
Sim Freaks (paysite)
Simfully (Yahoo Group)
Simitation
Simslice (cars & motorcycles)
Sims Plus!
Sims Planet (look in Objects/decorative)
Sims T... Parlour (Objects/Tanya's Diner)
Simulation Sims
Slink's Burrow
Trinkets & Treasures
TKS et Cie (French)
Urban Sims
Xomtek Sim Design

Note: Driveable cars are available at Killersims, Simslice and Simfully.
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What do I have to do to throw a good party?
The secret to throwing a good party lies in the Sims needs:
1. Hunger: Have food and lots of it. Use the caterer, order additional pizza.
2. Comfort. Have enough seating of a high comfort level so that your Sims can sit.
3. Bladder. Have lots of potties available. Remove the family toilet temporarily and install plenty of toilet stalls.
4. Fun. Have lots of fun things for your guests to enjoy. The electronic bull is nice, a high-fun TV in front of those comfortable couches will provide fun and comfort. If your Sims are a high-level musician, throw a concert. Bring in the cake dancers (both sexes). Have a dance floor and the DJ. Use the bubble machine.
5. Energy. Have several espresso machines available. Add additional potties.
6. Hygiene. Hot tubs provide fun and hygiene at the same time.
7. Room rating. Remember that Sims like large, well lit areas....and if you really must cheat, put in a radioactive fruitcake.
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Could you tell me how to make Sims speak in English?
Sims do not speak English. They speak a nonsens language called Simmish. If you drink enough of your favorite alcoholic beverage, the sounds will even become intelligible. Here's a good link that will explain more: Olde Hippie's Site
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Why does my game crash?
Normally when a generic question like this is asked, more information is needed. Such as, when does it crash? What are the symptoms? Does the game lock up or does it og back to the desktop? Has it run properly in the past? Is this a new installation? Do you have all the patches installed? In general, I'm not going to tell you how to fix things here, but how to diagnose the problems. I will tell you that re-installation of the game is something that should be tried only as a last resort, as many crashes will happen after re-installation, if you have not taken care of the problem that caused the crash. So, go through a process of diagnosis and coreection before attempting to enact a cure through re-installation.

1. If this is a new install, make certain that the drivers for video and sound are up-to-date. Get the updates from the manufacturer's websites. Make certain that you use the version of DirectX that is recommended by those manufacturers. At any time, when attempting to figure out what is wrong, try to minimize the number of running processes, to see if the problem is related to resource use. You can also start up the game with the -w switch, to force it to provide a diagnostic message when the crash occurs.

2. If the program ran fine before and is no longer doing so, then something happened between the last time you played and now. One of the big indicators is when the crash occurs.

a. Crash occurs during startup but before the neighborhood screen comes up - Have you installed any other programs, which might have altered the DirectX or any of your driver settings?

b. Crash occurs when the neighborhood screen comes up - Are all the files in your neighborhood writeable? Are any houses missing from the \Houses folder in the affected neighborhood?

c. Crash occurs when creating a new Sim - Probably a bad skin file. Run File Cop, CMX Validator and EliSims.

d. Crash occurs when clicking on a house - It might be a skin that's being used by one of the Sims in that house or that of a visiting neighbor. It also might be a recently added object.

e. Crash occurs when going downtown or to Vacation Island - Is this your first time visiting this particular downtown? Have you made any changes to the downtown area? This included elimination of any townies through marriage or death. If you haven't changed any of the downtown areas, the problem may be a skin that is being used by one of the townies. If you've changed the downtown area, it could be a skin or an object you put into the modified downtown lot.

It's probably a bad skin. Townies are dressed at random from your skins, and a bad one will cause a crash. The same with a bad skin when creating a character. Run File Cop, CMX Validator, and Elisims to locate the bad one.
File Cop is at the Official website (Get cool stuff/make cool stuff)
CMX Validator is free at SimEnhancer
Elisims can be found at the Elisims website

f. Crash occurs when attempting either to buy objects or going into buy mode - Probably an object. Perform a binary search.

g. crash occurs during shutdown - probably an object for an expansion that is not installed on your system.
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I lost my trashcan, mailbox, pedestrian portal or carpool portal. Where can I get replacements?
Slinks Burrow. If worst comes to worst, and you can't replace the portals for any reason, you can restore the original lot by copying the default lot from \TemplateUserData\Houses.
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Where can I download the original lots that came with the game?
Slinks Burrow
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Has anyone made an answering machine, so my sims don't have to run every time the phone rings?
No. Since the messages (other than the late for work and the "you're fired" message are generated randomly, it would require changes in the program (the .EXE file, not just the object) to create storage for messages
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How do I get the Throw a Party option in hot Date to show up when I call a Sim? I get talk, invite over or invite downtown, but no party.
There are a few requirements for the Throw party option to show up.

You must have the House Party expansion pack
You must have Enough neighbors in your neighborhood to come over and actually have a party (minimum of four neighbors)
Your phone call has to be made between 7am and 8pm, sim time.

If you have met all the requirements, and still donít have the option, then you probably have some files that are overriding the stock phone files (left over from third-party downloads). Delete phones.iff and phones.spf, since they are overriding the files in Objects.FAR, which were changed for Hot Date and Vacation
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Anyone happen to have a list of which magazines have articles about which interests?
from Tam at Simpendous:
MAXSIMUM: outdoors, travel, exercise
Victor's Digest: food, sports, weather
Livin' Large: music, the 60's, parties
WhooNoo!: romance, Hollywood, style
The Avarix: money, politics, technology
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Is there a Glossary of Terms?
First, the game and its expansions:

Vanilla - just the game
LL - Livin' Large (Living it up, in the UK)
HP - House Party
HD - Hot Date
SV - Sins Vacation (Sims On Holiday, in the UK)
SU - Sims Unleashed

Then some common terms

Skins - Clothes for the sims
Mesh - The 3-D body of a sim. What the skin BMP file wraps around. Alternatively, a mesh is also what is used by object creators who have 3D programs that they use to create sim objects.
Hack, Hacked - An object that has been changed so that the stock attributes are different.
IFF - The file type for objects within the game.
Sprite - The pictures contained within an IFF file. There are three types of sprites - Alpha buffers, Z-buffers, and P-sprites.
Alpha buffers - control transparency of an object
Z-buffers - control bleeding of an object through walls and/or sims
P-sprites - The pictures of the actual object as seen in-game
Multi-tile - Objects that use up more space. Some, like rugs, can be moved over, others, like couches, cannot.
Object ID - Each object within the game has a unique ID. Duplicate IDs can cause problems.
Simmlish, Simmish-The language Sims speak.
Simoleons.The currency Sims use.
Build mode bug-- your stairs become windows or trees because you have too many build mode items-- fixed in SU
Auntie Rosebud--- the rosebud cheat for more money
Portal. The places on a lot that allow cars to enter and leave and pedestrians (neighbors) to enter and leave.

Programs

Edith - The editor that Maxis uses to modify the sims interactions with an object.
Script Station - The 3rd-party motivation editor for the rest of us - used for hacking objects.
Blueprint - a 3D program used to create single-tile sim objects
T-mog, Transmogrifier - a program that allows people to create their own objects
Elisims - A program that handles a number of sim chores, like allowing multiople neighborhoods in the Vanilla game. It is also useful in finding some problems with skins.
IFF Edit, IFF pencil - programs used for hacking objects
Object ID - A program that locates duplicate object IDs
Categorizer, Wardrobe, Metamorphoser, +others - Programs from Paladins Place that allow changes of sims or sorting of objects. They do lots more, but let's save a bit of space.
File Maid - a utility that will unzip and place most downloaded files into the proper folders for the game.
Sim Enhancer - a commercial program that does a lot of nifty things for the game.
Sim Lifecycle - A program that allows sim schildren to become teenagers or adults.
The Neighborhood Handler - A program that allows you to save and restore neighborhoods.
Simshow-A program that let's you view skins and heads before you put them
in the game.
Menu Edit (from the official site)- Change the pie menu(the dialogue that comes up when you click on something. eg tv, fridge,)to read whatever you want,
Sims Art Studio - Free program from Maxis - allows you to create a small (one tile) painting with just a few mouse clicks
Sim Explorer - view your game objects in an Explorer-like window
Sims File Cop and Sims Plus File Fixer - checks for files which are likely to crash your game
FarOut - easily create Far files from your objects
HomeCrafter - for creating wallpaper murals
SimEnhancer Character CMX Validation - checks for missing skin parts

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contributors to this answer: Ohmikeghod, Sandra Hudson, Briar (Zeek), Shebang
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In Sims Unleashed, is there a way to convert a community lot to a residential (or the reverse) without bulldozing?
Just copy the house file, rezone the lot, then restore the houseXX.iff file back into your houses folder for that neighborhood. The zoning status of a lot will not change.
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I want to uninstall and reinstall my game, but I lost one of the crystal cases containing a serial number. Is there any way to get the serial numbers from my currently installed game?
1. In your Windows tool bar, click "Start"
2. In the Star Menu, click "Run"
3. Type regedit in the dialog box that pops up and click OK
4. Regedit will start. Be careful not to change anything while in Regedit, since it could damage your computer's operating system.
5. Regedit works on a tree system, just like going through folders in Windows Explorer.
6. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Electronic Arts\Maxis\
7. Then click on the name of the expansion that you want the serial number for.
8. Under that expansion, you will find a single entry named ergc. click on that entry.
9. Click on (default) in the window on your righthand side. The serial code for the expansion will be displayed in a dialog box.

Information was obtained from Libby (Flotsim & Jetsim) on the usenet newsgroup alt.games.the-sims - Thanks, Libby!
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I installed Super Star, and now my game freezes. Is there anything I can do?
Some third-party patches changed a file called Global.iff. Clobal.iff controls many of the actions in the game, and unleashed came out with its own version. You need to see whether you have this file in any of your download folders and delete it - don't touch the one in \GameData\Objects, since that should be the one from SuperStar.
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In SuperStar, how do you make the right choices in the recording?
There's no "quick" answer, because the game changes the "correct" choices each time you perform one of these actions. But there *is* a way to *guarantee* that you'll get them all right by the third try.

Each of these actions is actually a really easy logic game, best illustrated by an example. Let's say that you go into a recording booth to record a dance track. You get three choices for singing style:

Normal
Mellow
Over the Top

The recording session is divided into three parts and you must pick a singing style for each third. The easiest way to do this is to pick the same style for all three parts:

1) Normal
2) Normal
3) Normal

Write these down on a slip of paper.

Then, as your Sim sings, watch the engineer at the board. His/her actions and the balloon depicting your Sim will show you whether you made the right choices. A balloon with a pic of your Sim means that you made a correct choice, while a balloon with the pic crossed out means that you made the wrong choice. Also watch the animations (because some of them are hilarious anyway -- I once picked all three wrong on the first go, and by the end of the tune he was repeatedly banging his head on the control board with audible "clunks").

As you watch the balloons/animations, put a check next to the picks that are right and an x next to the ones that are wrong.

Once in a while you'll luck out and nail all three on the first try (which will cost your Sim less money and score more points toward Superstar status). But let's say you get only one right:

1) Normal (correct)
2) Normal (wrong)
3) Normal (wrong)

So you now know to pick "Normal" as the first action on your next try.

Change picks #2 and #3:

1) Normal
2) Over the top
3) Over the top

Then watch the animations again. Since there's only one other possible choice ("Mellow"), you're *guaranteed* to nail the third try if either #2 or #3 (or both) is wrong on the second go:

1) Normal (correct)
2) Over the top (wrong)
3) Over the top (correct)

#1 and #3 are right -- #2 is still wrong. Since you've already tried Normal and Over the Top, #2 *has* to be Mellow -- there are *no* other choices. So for your third try, you pick:

1) Normal
2) Mellow
3) Over the top

And you nail it.

It's a simple logic game and you *cannot* lose it, though it's cheaper and scores more Superstar points if you get all three right on the first or second try.

Answer courtesy of Steve Lopez (Pulgao) from alt.games.the-sims usenet newsgroup
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What career tracks are available, and how high can I go in each?
From Crysanna, on alt.games.the-sims usenet newsgroup

Here is a handy chart detailing all of the career tracks your Sim can have and the money they make at each level. It also includes details on how many skill points and friends your Sim needs to advance.

Computer Simulation Games Career Tracks for "The Sims"
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