♦ Sims diary! ♦
- 23rd: beginning! Deciding what EPs to install, immediately regretting my decisions, early building ideas...
- 25th: installing :)
- 28th: beginnings of my storefix woes
- 29th: more storefix woes, 2nd attempt at a community lot plan, then immediately having to redo
- 30th: what I thought was a storefix breakthrough...
- 31st: settling for buydebug collections, and pool progress :)
Sims 3 EPs & SPs, in release order, my notes:
EP01: World Adventures
Automatic keep: I like the holiday gameplay, and I often make use of the not-French Sims-French stuff, especially the not-wine Sims-wine ("nectar" lmao)
SP01: High End Loft Stuff
This isn't really my thing, but I like the "Desk Pile Prop" (cds) and the "All My Fishes Aquarium" (large aquarium). I have a feeling a later EP added a large aquarium, and I need to verify that. I will look for extracted versions of these objects in the meantime, but I won't install the whole pack even if I can't find them - I'll find cc substitutes or do without.
I loved this when I got it - the concept of sims being self-employed - but I don't really like any of its careers. The NRAAS Careers mod covers keeping sims out of rabbit hole jobs, and I'd get it anyway because it enables homeschooling.
This EP has laundry, but it's kind of annoying, frankly. I'd rather use deco items and pretend my sims are doing the washing. I already used cc for a clothesline and airers instead of tumble dryers
Simbots are not something I've really wanted to play with in TS3. Trampolines might be specific to this EP though and that will actually be a small loss (check store)
SP02: Fast Lane Stuff
The only thing here I want is the "Speecy Spicy Chilies", dried chilis for the kitchen. But I have one from ATS3
EP03: Late Night
Huge negative: the celebrity system, which I remember being more complicated to turn off than expected
But I love the bars and the music (even if the band stuff doesn't work properly), which makes it a must get! OR maybe not: guitar is BG, there's the store violin. I'm still on the hunt for a deco double bass, but I have various hand drums from ATS, which I'm happy enough with
I actually wasted a few hours trying to extract the music system... total failure. Though... I did get the objects. Maybe I can extract the bass as deco at least? I have never cloned my own object before, though! Scary!
For setting up bars and other hangouts, University should suffice. I always had more community lot types than I knew what to do with - and I only ever used the dive bar assignment for pubs and the fancy cocktail lounge assignment for... fancy cocktail lounges :)
I will genuinely miss the dartboard, though.
SP03: Outdoor Living Stuff
There's some cute stuff here. I like "The Lemonade Baron" (lemonade jug, glasses, lemons) and the "Courtyard Coals" fireplace (open cast iron). I'll look for extracted versions or maybe think about doing it myself, but otherwise I will just not have them.
I love the theme of this EP, but what is included? It's hard to research - there's a lot of confusion over EP features and features of the corresponding patch, and this EP is mostly new but mundane gameplay. For example, maybe this EP contains dating, which is a need for me? Or maybe it was the patch...
I hate the glitchy memories system which just has to be turned off to avoid bugs, and I hate the imaginary friend which is just... gross and offputting to me! So I need a mod to disable the latter, but I don't remember it being too hard
This EP definitely contains all kinds of parties like birthday parties etc. - absolute need!
Features like boarding schools I probably won't use. I have "clone child" written in my notes and I have no idea what this means. Oh - using the science rh to make a clone of yourself as your child? I don't really use that either and I bet mods could do it, but it's a nice to have I guess.
I also like quite a few of the hairs
SP04: Town Life Stuff
Nothing here really
This is an absolute must have for me. I didn't make one single note about it. THIS ONE HAS THE CATS IN!!!!
SP05: Master Suite Stuff
This is another one where the concept appeals but the stuff itself doesn't so much. I like the "Sunkissed Curtain" set (lush but narrow), and some of the lingerie, but not enough to install the whole pack
I got this one as a gift in a pack with the base game, because I'd loved TS1 Superstar so very much. But this falls way, way way short. I tried the performing careers, but I don't like them.
Not installing this pack is a huge boon in terms of all the millions of special outfits/objects to fit different themes for your stage: a fun idea if you're playing the careers, or if you have some other use for them (amusement parks, etc?) but for me, it was just a bunch of junk to slow down loading and catalogue scrolling!
Sectional sofas either come with this or LN, I think, and if I'm not having either I guess there's no sectional sofas for me. But in fairness, I never really used them
Dominoes is another story - not just the dominoes object itself, but the way it's the basis for loads of 4 player games! ATS has loads and they're so fun... this is a genuine loss, but I will cope with just the chess-based 2 player games :)
SP06: Katy Perry's Sweet Treats Stuff
This is super cutesy stuff that I think is really only of use for the same kinds of things as the ST objects I never used.
SP07: Diesel Stuff
I know I looked at the contents of this SP when I was making this list originally, but I can't for the life of me remember wtf is in it. I guess... clothes I didn't like?
This was a hard one. I often play with fairies and witches (and hybrids, thanks to NRAAS), but I'm not actually very attached to them. The herbs and beekeeping, though? ;_;
It's okay! The best herbs, like lavender, are a University thing actually!
The only real loss is the beekeeping (which is actually unrealistic to the point of annoying in the game, but boring if modded to be more accurate - I can maybe try extracting the hives as a deco item?) and the mushrooms you can grow, because I think they're cute. They are two of the things I was asking about in my MTS thread, and I never found the mushroom item I remembered, but I got some good alternatives.
I hate the zombies and the full moon thing, so not needing to disable those would be a plus. And none of the other occults appeal to me.
I like a lot of the witchy/library/kitchen deco in this EP, but I download a lot, too, and there always seems to be this overlap where I like my cc better, but it's not toooo different from the EP stuff, so it seems like a waste to have it installed... so this is actually a plus for not installing!
I panicked thinking rocking chairs were a SN thing, and they are, but they're a store thing too :) If I get brave I could try extracting the wooden one from this EP, because it's so cute.
Automatic keep: I love the seasons, I love the festivals!
SP08: 70's, 80's, and 90's Stuff
This should have been right up my alley, but none of the items really appeal to me individually.
EP09: University Life
I love the university gameplay itself, apart from the fucking social group shit that I need to mod out. It's not too hard though IIRC. Also need mods for homeworld university, something I've not properly experimented with yet
And I really love the herbs! Growing them, making herbal tea with its effects... Need the mod that lets you flavour food with them, too
EP10: Island Paradise
I love this one - the resort stuff seems pretty crappy and I've never properly played with it, but I love the items, the houseboats, the diving, the mermaids...! All the beach stuff.
SP09: Movie Stuff
There's some cute stuff here for themes, but none I super need. I like the saloon set: "Saloon Sal's Bar Stool", "Saloon Sal's Bar", "Rustic Rocker" - but I can't find extracted versions and I'm too lazy to do it myself.
But the "All-in-One Outhouse", which is also a shower, looks really useful for any kind of off-grid gameplay - I'm thinking, combined with a washstand in the house... - and I found that so yay :)
EP11: Into the Future
The future gameplay was slightly fun to explore once, but mostly just annoying, and I never used it again. And I love some things like the replicator, but I don't tend to play sci-fi, so I wouldn't use it.
One plus: this EP has hedges, and I need hedges, but these are ugly! (Also I think I found some good cc ones)
I think the below might have counted as a liveblog had I uploaded it live somewhere... It's just me going through the EPs I was about to uninstall. Or, more accurately, about to determine not to reinstall.
I decided to go for it and extract those few EP items I missed. No idea how to extract the fully grown mushroom plants - too scared to try. Haven't tested my bass, beehive and dartboard yet but they should work (that is, they shouldn't lmao - they are pretending to be potted ferns). Idk why I am so scared following tutorials when I just dived right into the game files in S3PE last time. I used this tutorial which I hate. Maybe it would be easier to follow if the images were inline but ahh going up and down... well we'll see if it worked.
I also grabbed some SN chairs - the wicker dining chair, which I changed to a BG dining chair script, and the ~~beautiful rocking chair~~ which I was going to change to the Aurora skies cute 50s(?) one, but... they already had the same script! So I guess they added that to the BG in a patch. (?)
Grandfather clock - the one in The Now & Then Century Manor looks cute and apparently it's animated unlike the SN one (and this even cuter one by Ambular (SN also has the super cute Pointer Timepiece Replica, a little table clock, but... I hardly ever use clocks!))
Going through the catalog per about-to-be-uninstalled-EP is dangerous! The stained glass door in SN is beautiful, BUT I recall it doesn't really have a good matching set. So I will just ... be strong... (I was strong until I scrolled 3 entries down and saw the matching single door UGH i love these doors i love stained glass!) One thing giving me "strength" (it's actually a weakness) is I just feel like cloning working doors is not easy. Or... maybe I am thinking of TS1? I'm finding a few TS3 stained glass doors on TSR, or I THINK I am - god I hate that site. It's just one giant advert lmao. I am not desperate enough to lower my defences and wade out there. Ugh if I change my mind about cloning: doorSingleAntique, DoorDoubleAntique
SN has a cute retro "antique" coffee machine that matches the little desk clock... I don't need it! I don't need it! (AND A MICROWAVE!! ugh) (THE FRIDGE!!! NOOOOO!! I think I found a cuter larder recently but oh GOD)
I'm realising, writing my personal notes for my site like this, that maybe I sound a little insane right now... well, I am, but that's besides the point. When it comes to the sims, the other simmers know what I'm going through
Most of the furniture in this EP is gross and chunky. Not solid, just fat. And there's all kinds of like A LAMP WEARING A CORSET!!! IT'S GOTH!!! like okay...
Stopping myself on the cusp of cloning loveseatAntiqueWicker (but recording the resource name for future ref) - I think there's wicker furniture like this in a store set? Bohemian greenhouse or w/e? (I looked it up, I'm wrong, Stones Throw Greenhouse only has a bench made of old crates wood (fun but not the vibe), Bohemian Garden has a wicker hanging egg chair though). Sandy has some 4t3 conversions, they're not the right style though, but tbh neither is the SN stuff. Oh! She has these, too and they're adorable, but I wonder how they look in game with those ts4 alpha channel backs... that one armchair looks bad even in the preview tbh :( Hmm... her Moroccan living set actually might be closer to want I want. Something comfy, and carved panels are okay instead of wicker. I guess wicker is kinda high poly if rendered at all faithfully
Okay! I still don't have what I'm looking for, but every time I look back to s3oc, that wicker sofa leg-panel situation gets uglier. Next!
Aww, I'm gonna miss the brooms. I never really had a child witch in a world with roads to take advantage of the hilarious and adorable broom-stabilisers, either
Rocking horse... pile of rugs... forgot about those. Remembered the potion and book clutter, but honestly, I never used these! FIREPLACE TOOLS that's a one I might actually need. Feel like Sandy made some before SN though. No I'm wrong. Found one on the dreaded T$R, but they're not as good. Okay, one more for the export pile. Maybe I need to make these fireproof... Okay, it has
FireType: 0x00000000 (DoesNotBurn) so that seems set? Or... do I need to turn that to 1?I can't find a tutorial waah Okay! I got it! That's actually a reflection of the value and came through the cloning fine, and was sensibly set from the start. Something else was 1 (chars)
Oh... some actually cute victorian tables, and a TRAIN SET! But I think these kinds of things might be in Midnight Hollow? No - but it doesn't bother me too much. Oh - and the train set is actually uglier in game than comes across in the thumb, which is probably why I don't use it
The bay windows... super cute but the lighting was always fucked, so I never used them (or, not for long)
Okay! Done with SN, on to SHT. Some cute 60s furniture I don't remember and hence probably never used... Oh, a chin up bar! Hmm. It's "chinUpBarModern" which possibly implies another one in another EP? Eh w/e I can do without it (but can my MEATHEAD SIMS???) If I need more gym stuff, I like Sandy's deco better anyway
Oh nooo fuck jukeboxes and karaoke are from SHT!!!!! Ugh. So is a whole heap of other crap so it's an okay trade but... oh and POOL??????????????? oh okay those are also in UL
That was pretty painless in the end. On to LN! Ooh... this one's gonna hurt! Arcade machines?? Oh, also in UL. The professional bars + their drinks are a real loss though :( Got the bass as deco at least now, seeing that can't harm me! Oh... more stained glass doors :( But so far it's okay, just a bunch of ugly counters. I got the drum kit while I was here too - don't think I'll use it though. Stained glass windows too, but I can do without! On to AMB!
Wicker chair but it's pretty ugly. Wow... american perception of airing clothes to dry always surprises me. It's like you said you dry your clothes on the moon or with the power of thought. Well... if those things were actually feasible.
There's a cute little waterpump style fountain... don't need it though. Oh! I need a clothes hamper. I have this 4t3 set by kandiraver with some useful items, I guess the round hamper here from Sandy is what I want, too! (evidence of how insane I am about all this: I didn't need to download it because I'd downloaded it in 2016. And before in 2015...)
The junkpile stuff is interesting. I remember looooving that when I first got AMB. But I never used it later and now I don't really care.
Oh no! An adorable streetlight: lightingOutdoorStreetEuro. I feel like later EPs and most store worlds have plenty of other cute options, though. I have the Light the Night Lamp Post which is from Hidden Springs and cute in a similar way; the panda one that's in a bunch of sets is seriously adorable for a playground or something, though I don't know how tall it is. The Dixie Street Lamp in the Old Town: Starter Kit is great for a shopping area, and I love the other stuff in it (TS1:HD take me hoooooooome) and I don't have this??? (I just dled it! yay) lightingOutdoorStreetGarden is cute too...
There are actually a bunch of objects here that I like, but not enough even to type them up. I don't think I'll miss them!
Oh no... birch trees! But I think my faves, silver birches, are in... idk... probably Aurora Skies (yeah they are I am a genius who has used her life sensibly to MEMORISE THE SIMS 3)
Okay! Done! Phew! It's okay, that was only 3 hours of my life, I have plenty more!
Initial plans, moved off the front page because they're already out of date
But the lot sizes etc are still a useful reference as I keep working :)
The original labelled Monte Vista map and all the lot info comes straight from AznSensei's super useful writeup (he has most if not all of the store worlds, if you're interested!) I'm sticking to his label scheme, which is nice and simple: letters for residential lots, numbers for community lots, and X+number for empty lots.
Addresses I got from Summer's Little Sims 3 Garden but this comment makes no sense yet because I haven't uploaded them. But I will, as soon as I manage to match them all to AznSensei's scheme without actually loading the game. Wish me luck!
Initially empty lots:
- X. 40x40
- X1. 35x35
- X2. 30x20
- X3. 30x20
- X4. 64x64
- X5. 20x30
- X6. 40x40
- X7. 35x35
- X8. 40x40
- X9. 60x60
- X10. 50x50
- X11. 35x35
- X12. 30x30
- X13. 40x30
- X14. 30x30
- X15. 20x30
- X16. 20x30
- X17. 20x30
- X18. 20x20
- XX. 20x20
Initially community lots:
- 1. Coliseum 64x64
- 2. Little Gipper Fishing Park 20x20
- 3. Worries and Woes Country Pub 25x25
- 4. Etruscan Park 40x40
- 5. Seafood Hideaway Fishing Park 64x64
- 6. Mucho Expresso Cafe 40x64
- 7. Slanciato Spa 40x30
- 8. Doctor Simano's Sanatorium 40x64
- 9. Siesta Community Pool 40x50
- 10. Sunlit Stride Park 40x20
- 11. Venice Beach 30x20
- 12. Sunbather's Retreat 50x25
- 13. Palacial Pools 50x50
- 14. Gymnasium Ultima 50x40
- 15. Scuola Simatica 60x60
- 16. Moonlit Stroll Park 40x40
- 17. Graciella's Groceries and Delfina's Diner 30x20
- 18. Restful Mausoleum 25x50
- 19. Good Guys Inc. 32x32
- 20. Simcatti Industries 25x30
- 21. Tasty Treats and Tomes 40x35
- 22. Museum D'Art 25x25
- 23. Piazza Regalia 25x25
- 24. The Bibliotech 20x20
- 25. Civic Center 30x32
- 26. Teatro Fantastico 25x35
- 27. The Public Pizzeria 30x30
- 28. City Hall 42x42
Initially residential lots:
- A. Quiet Quarters 64x64 (Giordano)
- B. Ample Accomodations 60x60
- C. Beautiful Barn 40x40 (Taylor)
- D. Sun-Kissed Starter 30x20
- E. Deluxe Domicile 50x50 (Rassi)
- F. Exceptional Endifice 64x64
- G. Lovely Lodging 30x20 (Valenci)
- H. Decent Dwelling 20x60 (Stefani)
- I. Tuscan Tudor 30x30 (DeLuca)
- J. Picturesque Plot 35x35 (Toledo)
- K. Poetic Property 40x20 (Monty)
- L. Fashionable Farm 64x64 (Moretti)
- M. Attractive Tract 20x20
- N. Dramatic Digs 30x30 (Almeria)
- O. Unmarred Utopia 25x35
- P. Average Acreage 30x20 (Russo)
- Q. Homey Haven 25x35 (Pantalone)
- R. Cozy Cottage 30x30 (GilsCarbo)
- S. Marvelous Mansion 40x40 (Modena)
- T. Stylistic Shack 20x20
- U. Rustic Den 20x30 (Seng)
- V. Villa Paradiso 25x35 (Monty)
- W. Cypress Retreat 30x30
- X. Lonely Lot 30x20 (Perry)
- Y. Renaissance Retrait 40x20 (Romano)
- Z. Happy Hive 30x15 (Lombardi)
- AA. Reputable Residence 30x15 (James)
- BB. Hidden House 15x30
- CC. Sunny Sanctum 20x15 (Bianchi)
- DD. Rustic Retreat 60x20
- EE. Commendable Condo 20x30 (Rivers)
- FF. Historic House 30x30 (Rossi)
- GG. Honest Homestead 15x20 (Costa)
- HH. Terracotta Townhouse 20x20 (Lin)
- II. Favorable Flat 20x30 (Ferrari)
- JJ. Hilltop Heights 20x15
- KK. Admirable Abode 20x15 (Mancini)
Looking at my notes for this, all "AA to Z2", makes me think of chess. But I am not very good at chess...
Empty top of map
- B to 15 (delete school - homeschooling)
- B empty
- C to X8
- C empty
- D to X8
- D empty
Coliseum and ruins into town
- F to X4
- 1 to F No!! Rebuild on F
- A to 1
- A empty
- 4 to X6
- 4 empty
Stealing an island for me
- H to 6 (landscape larger lot; add cafe to 1 picnic area)
- H empty
- Build home on X5, former H garden/farm/horse etc., 11 private beach!
Empty outside town walls (for future ideas)
- AA to X2
- Z to X3
- Delete BB (it's not that cute)
- Z, AA, BB empty
Room for uni
- O to 7 (delete spa - add to 13/14)
- O empty
Pub, theatre, criminal
Church and market (missing!)
X and 2 are now kinda isolated, move them in!
- X to 17
- 2 to X18
- X and 2 empty
On site of 19: Globe Theatre
This will be really cute in the town. I'm just planning to use the Dragon Valley rabbit hole and to decorate it. I don't think the 32x32 lot is big enough to add anything to the 27x23 rh. Maybe a food stand or something that doesn't quite fit at the market?
On site of F: Coliseum
This is a 46x46 rh on a 64x64 lot. I'm going to steal the seating area idea and make a cafe, because this 2nd town centre (really needs a name) has lost the one it had. I don't like the way this lot is decorated so I might as well start from scratch!
I want to make a little cafe/tea room/food stand (something small) and add a diner RH rug so we can eat at some of the tables with the "eat outside" command + this mod. I'd like a UL cafe bar, but I don't want a register npc to spawn here because it's 24/7. Idk if a place like this looks right without someone at the till, though... Maybe a seasons concession stand, because they have their own opening times?
I think there'll be room for a small "visitor's centre" with toilets... accessible from inside the centre plus from outside (centre "closed" at night), and an outdoor eating area, 1/3 covered (with Sandy's cute Seasons stand and the rh rug) 2/3 uncovered.
On site of 21: market (festival grounds)
40x35, plenty of room for the fun seasonal stuff :)
On site of KK: church
20x15 is big enough for my church, but it means no graveyard (ooh maybe some catacombs or whatever you call it, though). I don't really like the mausoleum on 18, but I can keep it and also build a cuter graveyard on the former BB, which is halfway between the church and the mausoleum.
Pub 3 (25x25), on site of 26 (25x35) > better pub
UL has the lot assignment Arcade, which is open 10am-4am with a 7pm happy hour. Closing times are useful because registers work best on lots that close. We can have a BG bar and a nectary register!
WA nectaries don't really need that assignment - they only need a nectary register and nectar racks that are set using the Shift + Ctrl + click command to contain sellable (and tastable) nectar bottles
This lot is cute, it's one of my favourites in the whole game really. . I need to work out where that should be placed - how far will they walk? Downstairs somewhere so they eat on the front is the most obvious, but there's that cute balcony too...
This doesn't need to be a huge place to eat, because there's 27 the pizzeria next door! It can stay more of a pub. We can add a playground or something because of the extra 10 width/length(?) we have.
27 The Public Pizzeria 30x30 > cafe/bookshop/grocery/and yes, pizzeria
UL Java Hut assignment, opening hours 5am-1am (it's 5am!!)
This is a huge building! 3 stories and loads of outdoor space. It's kind of cute, but there's no way to make sims make good use of it.
Mini shopping centre: where the arches are, a lobby kind of area. Move the toilets along to be alongside it: the one in the middle opens into the lobby, the one behind opens into what will be the restaurant's back corridor. Its kitchen on opposite side. Fill in under balcony: this is the rest of the restaurant. Bistro rh rug, sims should "eat outside" outside and also inside (hopefully?)
According to this page by Sandy, the wood fire oven + a WA food register will make a register that actually sells pizza? I never knew that, I thought we just had to use the pizza oven like a grill. Could install this up on the balcony so we can also have NPCs eating up there! Stairs inside to imply it's all one restaurant?
Other half (third?) of ground floor is a grocery store. I'll really build it and also have a rh rug in there. Store Fruit and Veggie Stand just outside! (as if part of it)
Upstairs, continue the central lobby (lots of open, railings etc.?) and on the other side, above the food shop, a bookshop! Which can continue up on to the upper floor through internal stairs. Rh all the way up there? And register downstairs, so you see another sim on this floor along with the pizza person.
The downstairs part of the restaurant should have a UL cafe/cake/whatever bar! I wonder if sims will take cakes outside? Even if they don't, it'll still be cute.
Unless/until I find a better location: half of the top floor is another shop, maybe a gift shop kind of thing that is selling the stuff from the glassblowing set (perfume, jewellery). I don't think the glassblowing studio itself will look good in this world, but it's a possibility
This page makes more sense as a diary. It's never going to be better organised than that!
Today I've kept working on my Monte Vista plan. I've been thwarted by the way my existing install is fubar (I think I was trying to move it and edit registry and gave up halfway when something more interesting came along, as is my wont). I mean, it's fine, I was going to reinstall anyway (I am not brave enough to try simply uninstalling an EP. I install them all in order, too... I have rituals) but it means I can't just load up Monte Vista and have a look. I guess it wouldn't be too hard to uninstall and just install base (uninstall again when I come to properly install if I'm nervous about patches etc.) but that'd get in the way of my new project: default replacing hair!!
I have no idea wtf I am doing. It's so confusing. Really doesn't help that I can't test. Well, I used s3oc to do what I think should be a bgc version of the EP hairs I want to keep (but, I haven't removed the EP flags yet) and what should be a default replacement of the ones to replace (but, not really, because nothing is replaced... it's just "default" hehe). And then some day I will work out how to combine those. I have all my notes (in a spreadsheet table natch) and I even exported all the thumbnails so I could make illustrations for if I ever share them! But first... do them! Idk wtf a casp is, what does it do, is it really all I need to replace? And then how? ugh.......................
Having a really good world plan is going to help me decide what store & cc to install. No more "oh, if I make a _______ I'll need--" WELL IS ONE ON THE PLAN?????????? There's other stuff like the WA destinations I always end up sprucing up, and I'd like to use Nilxis' beautiful Suvadiva as a custom destination too. But I don't need more content for those. The stuff in WA and IP and whatever I need for my actual world should be enough!
Need to check rh job times vs lot !
Trying to compare DR hairs and understand wtf is going on. I can't make sense of any tutorial I have looked at. The DRs I downloaded only have:
- _KEY (it's pointing to, amongst other things, things in the DR: which is the diffuse, etc.)
- _IMG (the textures and the only thing I know how to replace...)
- CASP (from my reading, the only thing I need to actually override??)
- THUM (okay I know how to replace these too)
- GEOM (this is the meshes)
My extracted hairs are full of bones lmao. And, I don't see how the _xml escapes being overwritten, but maybe it can be made from the CASP? i mean... it's got the categories etc?
In the DR I've downloaded, all the parts have been renamed to the hair they're replacing. I don't know how necessary that is. Was it done by hand? What happens when you're replacing something with more/less parts??
The _KEY has the same instance in different hairs??? Also this DR has two but idk why?
The GEOMs have matching instances. Apart from one LOD in the files I'm looking at, but this creator often seems to have to fix the LODs and maybe this is the kind of issue she's fixing???
Everything matches on the THUMs too. The actual textures... some match something? Some are duplicated? Some don't match?
The CASP matches, and I expected that.
However, I still have no idea wtf I am doing.
Okay I finally found a tutorial I understand and ........... I don't think I can be bothered. But oh. Some of those hairs are VERY UGLY. And some of the ones I wanted are very cute...
no wait I didn't hallucinate this thread after all! (One time automatically deleting reddit from history has failed me! maybe now I don't actually use that site I can turn that off...) It's just the casp and it's just the name. Thank GOD the name means something, I was so annoyed that they don't when they're so unique (and ugly with all the random generated parts). This also explained what the keys are (generated by s3pe and not my problem). Anyway just in case it gets deleted:
You're overcomplicating things, no need for Milkshape or Blender to make a default replacement. All you need is to rename the replacement object's CASP file (or OBJD file for a non CAS object) with the name of the original CASP file you want to replace. You can also do the same with thumbnails. And that's all.thank you 80sBabyGirl you are my saviour
I've decided to bite the bullet (soon) and do a BG + MV install for testing MV, I can test these at the same time!
Okay rh career times (Carl's sims guide seems to have them all!)
- Culinary always starts at 3pm, never finishes later than 9pm
- Bookstore/grocery pt have identical hours and pay, 4pm-7pm
- Business always starts at 8am, never finishes later than 3pm
- Journalism (business rh?): 8am-2pm max
- Criminal can start at 10am and finish as late as 3am
- Science: always 9am start, up to 2.30pm finish (I really thought some ft jobs in this game were actually ft?!)
- Sports: 3pm start, up to 9pm finish (okay so they do work, but weird hours!)
- Politics (city hall): 9am start, up to 4pm finish
- Music (theatre): 3pm start, up to 1am finish... oh apart from top symphonic track 3am-6am?! So, 3pm-6am, insane.
- Military: 7am-1am I forgot the top level, astronaut, worked like that :)
- Medical: 9am- some, -3am one, and the possibility of being on call... is that 24/7 then?
- Police: 9am- up to 1am
Culinary, bookstore and grocery are all safe for Java Hut assignment 5am-1am :)
Monte Vista's spa rh is kinda cute and only 12x14 fp, so maybe it will fit on a lot. The pool is ugly so I'm gonna rebuild it anyway (spa pt is 3pm-6pm but this lot won't have a closing time whether it's gym or pool)
business is 26x20, looks really cute in the town with the dome roof. I'm going backwards and forwards on not using the city hall rh, I'd need something very cute to take its place though. But I think it's a shame for such a pretty thing not to be usable at all. I think a castle which is a town hall & art gallery would be fun. The existing art gallery is pretty boring. Could be a fun place for archery, too, in the courtyard! Oh... I forgot, but the city hall has very cute lighting though... it's 40x39 also if I want to know that
!! I could move the city hall rh to a lot more in the town. That could be cute. And build another similar thing where it used to be, which yeah, is definitely gonna be the new art gallery. (The one they have is totally realistic, it's just... dull!) UGH no none of the lots there are big enough. The town is so full of empty space.
I'm gonna go mad and have no real rhs apart from the globe theatre and the colosseum, because those are super round and not really possible to build!
Idk why I thought festival lots were inaccessible during construction, they're not. So that seems ideal for a kind of city hall lot... actually, a church... I wish there was a bigger lot in the town centre so I could be sure to be able to squeeze on those ice rinks etc. I can put them on other lots with the seasonal marker but oh well.
I last played TS3 in 2017 when I was failing to make a world from scratch. Wow... that's a long time. Anyway, I will make an actual instructions thing later, but now, just for my reference:
Moving Documents folder
Move it to the correct location first, then cmd
mklink /D "C:\Users\[name]\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3" "E:\Games\The Sims 3\00 Docs"
I finally did it! I installed TS3. Just BG, IP and MV for now whilst I'm testing (it took me FOREVER to get all the store fixes straight: note to self, stick to maty fgs!!!) I've been drawing up a map of MV and working on some community lots already. So far: I hate the pool, the gym is stupid, I forgot about the sports field next to the school, and I had the best and sexiest idea which is to put the colleseum where the city hall is, and put THAT down in the 2nd town area overlooking the sea :) I'm gonna rebuild the hospital (joined to the medicinal garden walls) and I have some sick park ideas
Too busy building to update :) Some snags: though I've given every lot a new address, I can't actually apply them without opening the world in CAW which I'm loathe to do. I hate CAW! I could also use NRAAS tagger but I don't think I want to (and it doesn't really edit, only appends to where the address shows up in your save - which isn't many places really). Also I need to check what's going on with mods and my patch level. I think 1.69 is broadly compatible with 1.67 which is my fave and what I'm staying on (some mods were never updated past it anyway) but ugh
I'm sure in the past I've installed Monte Vista as a package but I can't work it out this time, and/or I can't be bothered. I was like, oh, because it's my only installed cc at the moment, the launcher will cooperate and let me uninstall the items I don't want... no, they're linked. The thing is, I know damn well MV works without its cc because I fucked up my install (I forgot to decrap ellacharmed's fixed .world to match my .s3pack, so some of the items wouldn't load - interestingly, some did...)... so... I guess I'm gonna try to default replace some things. One is this dress and the others is two of the novelty street signs which annoy me (the no garlic and the llama warning...) - I'll try to replace with some more fun novelty signs from Pets. Hopefully the placements will be fine because they're all signs on the same poles and not offset? Hopefully? (Also, hopefully the ones in the world aren't baked in??)
With the MV signs, in the end I decided to replace the image alone. And luckily for me it was easy to find it because the signs all share a texture. Some hiccoughs trying to import my new .dds because I forgot how (you have to export with the S3___sdfosdfomgwtfbbq_.dds and overwrite it and then reimport that with its name. Idk what the "load .dds" options are for but they are not for this). I decided to use existing s3 signs as a basis, and not to be too realistic because the placement is not realistic. The Pets signs are fun, and I don't have any in my world because it doesn't depend on any EP, so I got to work replacing the "no garlic" sign with the unicorn (crossing? warning?) sign. And realised too late that the sign I'd created says something like "you need to be riding a unicorn" or even "you need to be a unicorn". Oh well - at least it looks better outside the gym I'm working on, and less like a hate crime!
I spent a lot of yesterday sorting through store content. I think I had it all - I certainly had a lot of duplicates! I hope to finish today (this isn't the same as sorting through it to decide what to install - this is just tidying up, finding/extracting previews for a bunch of things that didn't have them, and deleting anything I find truly hideous/dull)
Trying to fix some lingering issues I ran into in the past: ghost entries of varying corporeality in build/buy catalogues; inability to use buydebug and also save after. I religiously installed storefix and decrapfix packages in overrides and packages because "I install store content as s3packs and packages" but that was the whole problem. I removed entirely the store fixes because I don't need them (and removed some ghost stairs, windows that had forever been pissing me off), but I kept the decrap fixes because I know from experience they're necessary. And I just tried removing them to see if it fixed either problem and... it solved both. So I was just about to open up the file and get to the horrible business of teasing everything apart when I realised: they were still in my overrides folder!!
Oh... but I've installed one piece of premium content as a s3pack: the pizza oven, which 100% needs the fixes. Ugh... I think there is a certain overriding order which is launcher, packages, override, which means maybe if I also install the pizza oven as a package, it will override the s3pack version, and hence the fixes in the override folder will work on it??? I can test it but so far I've been mostly avoiding testing with sims. Though not entirely (I needed to to work out which way is north in MV: it's the opposite way to the routing fix map here (which, I'm hazily remembering, is the CAW default: up is south)). And I can just save without quitting.
I'm also working on a birthday cake replacement that I'm pretty happy with. Just need to adjust the new plate underneath and the sprinkles on top. It's mainly just an edit of sweetdevil's chocolate cake. And this is how I found out about the GHOST CAKES!!!!!!! ~woooo~
So my pizza plan didn't work. But my sim could still make pizzas - strings weren't missing, foods themselves weren't missing, moodlets seemed fine. It was everything that happened in between her tipping the dough off the board and getting pizza out of the oven that was broken. Like, her wrists were broken too. I guess that's missing accessories - the animations were fine, and the level of detail/realism/vividness is great that she still did look like she was kneading dough and making pizza... That kind of makes my fix easier, though. I just need to look for a bunch of meshes to extract and put in the packages folder - no strings and other scary things.
I found a bunch of likely looking things with "WO" in the name in the big file - some of which I'm sure were working - but let's see how we go now!
IT WORKED!!!!!!!!! If you are having the same problem, you can grab it here - it's based on the fix compilation in this post, which I still have in my overrides for the rest of my store cc which will be installed from packages, and also KT's xml in both packages AND overrides, and someone's ccmerged in packages AND dcbackup (it's either KT's from that thread, or Nona's, and I'm not invested enough in this to compare and work out whose). Oh my god, I'm so happy, I can't believe I can use buydebug again!!!!! Autosoils and invisible lights here I come :)
I did finish going through the store content last night. Sooo many duplicates and so many ugly things... however, my hope was that the finished folder would be smaller than the zipped entire nonsense, and it's not. It's nearly 4gb and it was like 2.2 zipped, I think. But, I like that it's easier to search, now.
Now I can finally do what I came to do, oh, yesterday or even the day before? And find two pieces of cc I need: modern stairs for my gym (my notes are glass, l-shaped...) and glasshouse roof pieces. But... I think that was for my gym's swimming pool, but I decided a solid roof makes more sense (it's soooo big and ugly lmao, I put "solar panels" (solar panel floor) on top of a mansard to try and make it less of a LUMP)
I do need to be able to build greenhouses, though! They're a big part of my plan; also I love them (hm, that's probably why they're such a big part of my plan...)
I'm struggling with the plan. I love building community lots - it's probably my favourite thing to do in the sims, and has been since TS1. My other favourite thing is finding cool cc sets for them: you know, here's what you need for a supermarket, a chocolatier, a salon, a garage, and 1000 different kinds of restaurants...
But I also love building and playing in rural worlds! They can only have a tiny handful of these things. Even in a city world, you run up against the limitations of the game: limited space, no real mixed purpose buildings, and the limited population spread thin making everything seem so empty and fake.
So, I'm trying to limit the number of community lots, and to combine several things on a lot. It not only keeps the number of lots down, it makes things look more active, and it makes it more possible to build things sims won't actually use (waiting rooms, kinds of shops and services that don't have usable objects), but have them look more used.
My ideas so far (they've changed a little since I started actually playing again!):
- Ruins, in town (maybe on the long residential lot)
- museum and library
- java hut lot assignment (has closing times, promotes reading ("studying" - it's from UL)) - with a bookshop and cafe
- This could easily be two lots, but I don't really want to build a separate library by itself with library lot assignment - it's boring. And I can't put a bookshop register there safely without closing times. Hmm... I guess I could do a library with bookshop rh, NEXT TO a museum with bookshop register?
- Garden centre
- this also needs its own cafe, not least because it'll be in the outskirts of the town with nothing else nearby
- All kinds of fun little shops can be here, just like a real garden centre:
- a water-y part with an aquarium shop, and a bunch of fountains for sale outside
- a pet shop (for... dry pets?? haha idk you know what I mean) filled with cat and dog beds, and maybe some small pets and birds "for sale" if I can work out how to stock them (I'll need to see if I can stock the fishtanks, too)
- and of course the main attraction, the gardening stuff!
- And the nurseries "growing" the plants for sale, which can be harvestable greenhouses for visiting sims :)
- Some should be for coffee! Which is "used" and "bought and sold" at the cafe :)
- this is my idea for how they are growing coffee in a climate I modelled after England! Plus community lot harvestables stop me getting obsessive about replanting until perfect quality
- they will also be growing cocoa, and drinking hot chocolate... :) and "selling chocolates" too
- A florist... maybe also a gift shop
- And also, a seasonal lot marker, because the housewares parts of the shop will become mainly a xmas shop in autumn and winter!!
- not sure what lot assignment... park maybe?
- Botanical garden
- maybe set to art gallery, but I don't like the way wall deco gets replaced by sims' paintings
- an outdoor and indoor sculpture gallery :)
- a gift shop... maybe decorated with the little jewellery and perfume stuff from the glassblowing studio set
- this is yet another place that, in nature, would have a cafe/tearoom! and can also justify a bookshop
- Gym, where the old gym was
- I started building this with the idea that it would have an indoor serious swimming pool (with the fun one next door on the old school, appended to the park from across the road - I'm super happy with this lot, but I realise looking at this pic that I need to extend the paving terrain paint towards and under the chess set, and put it under the cooking area, too)
- the old gym building is so huge, even though there's loads of empty space outside... so I thought about adding things like
- offices for the police and military, with rh rugs - these wouldn't be big affairs in MV and they can work on their skills haha
- a spa, with a bunch of spa-y store objects as well as some hot tubs and a spa rh rug (spa rh rug doesn't draw sims, so my spa needs to be on a busier lot to have any hope of seeing use)
- but the new building is sooo huge and I've done pretty well at breaking it up but I still don't like it
- yet again, it's a cafe candidate. but I don't want registers on a 24/7 lot
- actually I need to scrap this, or most of it (I've worked unnecessarily hard on the swimming pool and changing rooms...) and DO leave a lot of outdoor space, but NOT empty, and more concentrated: "tennis courts" which idk how to make... but yeah, outdoor adults sports!
- the rh is a science-hospital combo which is fun. It's also a beautiful building, and I'm going to try to rebuild it for real, right where it stands. And have it merge more into the herbalist garden, as if they're really one building
- this would be a great place for a spa, too... a roman baths kind of vibe. But it's pretty small
- this would also be a good botanical garden candidate if I put it onto a bigger lot, but I like where it is in the little 2nd town.
- City hall
- I kept the rh and its landscaping, but I moved it down to the 2nd town (the colleseum took its place in town) - to the lot directly opposite the road to the island
- I saw some pics where someone had made it into a wedding venue, filling the courtyard with the right items. If it's routable - I don't think I saw a shot of it in play - it's a fun idea! I will use the church for this, but I thought archery could be fun. It's the kind of place that would have some medieval-themed activities in real life, if it weren't totally repurposed (and I guess it's meant to be, but as sims don't really visit the city hall rh...)
- A pub is a must! And I love the bones of the one that comes with the world. But first of all, I'm moving it into the walled town
- What lot assignment? I thought arcade - and I'll add an arcade machine or two, a pool table...
- You can have nectary stuff not on a nectary lot - you just need the register and the filled racks. So that can be the drinking here, seeing as I uninstalled LN
- I thought the store deep fryer would be fun for "pub food" :) But it means it's self serve... but it's okay I think
- I thought about a buffet table for a "carvery", but I don't like how they'd work and look
- Because this needs to be an everyday eatery of some kind, and because the pizza restaurant this world demands occupies the same kind of niche... pizzeria-pub? It seems strange to me, but it's growing on me. It's no different to a curry house-pub, really.
- Non-pub evening restaurant
- This could also be the pizzeria, taking it a different direction. But I don't want both restaurants to be pizza places, it's too boring. The "real" Monte Vista would have plenty, but this one has a walled city with like a dozen buildings inside lmao.
- I would like to go super fancy for this one, as a constrast to the cafe(s) and the pub
- I also really want a casino!!!!! This is a disease I caught from FNV and it's not showing any signs of stopping. There's so much cool casino content from the store, and I love the retro themes they have (50s Vegas, 20s... Chicago? NYC? Idk!!! A colder city, it looks like). So, the restaurant could be attached to the casino :)
- The restaurant alone or particularly with the casino seems like it could be part of a hotel. This is, also, another place that can have a spa!
- If I have a casino, it's a good place for the criminal rh. But, if it's got any people on the lot, it needs closing times, which will definitely conflict. I could put the rh rug at a "back entrance" or something (which sims won't then walk through to 'go to work', but w/e) and then it's accessible for work 24/7
- Wedding venue :)
- Ideally, if I were starting from scratch, this would have the graveyard. But there's already a cemetery with ghosts in, so I don't want to move it
- Also, sims are little baby cowards about graveyards. They don't see them as beautiful, like they are in real life... they won't want to get married "in one" haha
- If I can find a lot where there's room (in town), I'd love to make it a festival grounds, with a church fete outside on the carpark hehe :) No room for the big activities, though. I think I'd rather put those in a park or even the gym?
- "small park" assignment should see some visitors but not too many
- Lavender farm
- Mix of deco and harvestable lavender
- ... that's as far as I've got, but I need need need this lot!
- Allotments, somewhere closer to town
- An actual aquarium, not just the shop in the garden centre. (This is another thing that irl can be a huge attraction, with a cafe/restaurant, gift shop and so on...)
- A big museum with things like an Egyptian exhibit :) This was my favourite as a little girl and the WA items should be perfect! Can also make a Chinese exhibit the same way, and there should be enough generic WA stuff as well as specific MV stuff to make (another) Roman exhibit!
- A natural history museum, but I don't know if I'll have the objects really. I don't want to download things just for one lot. But I love natural history museums!
- Some kind of non-LN nightclub, if the pub (and casino?) isn't enough
- A cinema (there's a cool store set for this!) - the theatre rh (I'm using the Globe) is technically a cinema, but with a cinema too I can say it's plays over there.
- A bank?? I'm not sold on this, but it could be fun. Maybe something to add as a filler to another lot
- Clothes shop - same as bank, no gameplay aspects, just for realism
- A herbalist - maybe at the hospital?
- Radio station - Sandy has so much cool cc that could be used for this, and the game has some kind of radio tower object too... But I can't see a gameplay angle
- Bowling alley (maybe combo with diner... I love that 50s diner look, and there's great cc store and Sandy for it...)
Rabbit hole notes!!! These are from MTS and I should have made a note of where. If I put these on the resource page I'll look it up. Doesn't draw visitors: police, military, science, spa(?), criminal, mausoleum, business/journalism. NRAAS Overwatch required to make combos that ought to attract visitors actually do so
Oh my GOD I've been wrong about EVERYTHING!! I knew there was a problem with role sims and lot closing times, but I had it the wrong way around! It's that things like WA registers and the UL cafe bar should be on a 24/7 lot - EA actually shouldn't have put the UL cafe on its special UL cafe lot assignment...
This makes some things easier, but requires starting from the top again haha.
The only closing time lots I believe I have access to with my install are from UL. And the only one I wanted for something other than java hut-cafe is the arcade for an arcade. So, if I make that my diner, and use the rh and store objects to feed 'em... that's perfect :)
Diner 24/7, bistro 11-11
New restaurant plan:
- Hotel - hangout lot assignment, 24/7
- Fancy restaurant (bistro rh, and maybe nectary register?)
- Spa (rh and items)
- Casino (store items... criminal rh?)
- Pub - nectary lot assignment, 24/7
- Bar - nectary register
- Arcade machine, pool, etc. + little playground outside
- Pizza oven and deep fryer and a food register that ought to sell the food from both!
- I can't decide which of these two should get hangout/nectary - the pub is more alcohol-oriented, nectary more attractive than hangout, so I think it makes sense to have this place be busier
- Diner - arcade lot assignment, 10am-4am
- Diner rh and super cute classic diner
- Bowling alley
- Arcade with loads of games (basketball machine, whack a mole...)
- Cinema with popcorn machine and any other relevant foods (ice cream, candy floss maybe... "gumball machine" looks good! guess we can have another deep fryer here too... another pizza oven? might as well haha)
- I can split the food between the cinema concession counter and the diner itself, it's all pretty similar anyway
- ICE SKATING OMG if this place can fit it... I want it to be in town but it's getting kinda big lmao. Oh... we could have an ice rink AND a skating rink...
- And I can have cafes on any 24/7 lots like library, gym, park, whatever! And as long as I don't have too many community lots in general, none should be too quiet.
I was reading about the interplay between the tree of prosperity and the wishing well - I think I'll put both either somewhere in the church or the city hall grounds
I had a dreadful hour writing down all the broken store objects in my testing. I was wondering wtf was wrong with my ccmerged when so many had missing accessories... but other bugs are weirder... Anyway, guess who accidentally let the launcher overwrite her ccmerged file and didn't notice?
Genuinely broken are two of my BGC extractions. Just two! One deco (fireplace tools), one usable (rocking chair). All my other deco is fine, and my usable dining chair is usable... I made them all the exact same way, too. It's not a huge deal, but it's odd. There's no thumbnail and you can't click them, but the names are showing up.
Speaking of names, I experimented with changing the string name of my new rabbit hole rugs, and it comes up as the in game name :) So I just need to name them and then go ahead and write it into the package.
Crossing my fingers for my popcorn machine etc! But I think I've got it :)
It's still broken! Dying... it ought to be the decrap fixes actually but I have those where they're supposed to be. And I don't want them in my packages folder because it fucking breaks the unmodded game!!
Yeah, them in /packages fixes stuff (at least the cotton candy) but breaks the game if I use buydebug. Why have I had this problem for 5 years but never heard of it???
I finally fixed my store-fix problem! And everything is making a certain kind of sense: I remember being able to use buydebug once upon a glorious time, then it stopped working, and I guess I just put it down to too many mods or a broken save or something. But it's actually Captain Marie's combined fix (from 2 years before I stopped playing!) in this thread: if you have that in your packages folder, which you need even for store content installed as packages!! (this is like a 10 year old piece of misinformation??) you can't enter edit town or save after enabling buydebug. But without it, you can. And I'm sure it's no malice or even incompetence on CM's part because her OldMill+WoWonder-Fixes works fine. I have no idea what she did wrong, but that merged file is poison, don't touch!
I've made my own merged fix: KT_StoreFix_DecrapFixes + BohemianGarden_Plants_Fixes + CumulativeStoreTempFixes + DeliciouslyIndulgentBakery_Fixes + OldMill+WoWonder-Fixes, with various authors whose names are on that thread. I might have missed something, but this fixes all the store content in my game, at least. And it has to be in /packages!! (It's in /overrides too, I haven't tested if that's necessary, but it probably is).
I also made another version fixing something annoying, which is the doubled bakers station birthday/wedding cakes in the catalogue. I could have left one, but I'm not sure which is the best one to leave (as I recall, the bakers station worked pretty well without the fix... or with it only in overrides, at least) so I hid both. After all, they are supposed to be the ~handmade~ cakes. Decrap fixes, hidden cakes | baker's station, hidden cakes
Either of those fix files renders my pizza fix unnecessary!
One day I'll sort out my notes on these and put them on the mods page. I'd really like to attribute all the authors properly, but right now I just wanted to upload this. Then I can plaaaaaaaaaaay!
I've been going back and forth on university: homeworld or destination. I think I just won't bother. The uni gameplay isn't fun in TS3 (maybe it was only fun to me in TS2 because I was a teenager and it seemed so exciting... but I swear sims had more time for socialising etc. in that EP). But I am gonna have a school, with these caveats about shorter term times etc., and I had already been thinking a kind of school-college lot with evening classes (which, so far, is just "a glassblowing machine") could be fun. It would be a good candidate for library lot assignment, too. I think it should be in town, but let's see. And anyway, it can have the uni objects in various "classrooms", like the skeleton and so on.
I'm being so productive and proactive. I think there's something wrong with me. This is a mod for the chicken coop I still need to test: 1-3 eggs instead of 2-6, no "golden egg"/"rare exotic egg" and no rotten egg.
I take everything back. Buydebug is still broken. The only thing I fixed is my ability to place autosoils, which is important, but I can't place daylight-lights, which is a shame, and I can't place seasonal lot markers, which is a disaster! Wtffffffffffffff I can't stand this shit
Okay, I feel a bit more positive about all the time I spent making a new store fix file, because it did actually help: I was able to enter buydebug and save, even to place autosoils. Or at least, store autosoils (because I was separately anxious about these being broken, I guess). Or, at least, blueberry... pecan... I mostly tested blueberry.
I have several options here:
- Get to the bottom of this storefix crap once and for all. Worthy, but I'm too lazy. I did my part lmao.
- Make overrides to make the buydebug stuff buyable. This will take some time, but I prefer it to collections because I basically never go into collections (I also don't really go into buydebug unless I feel I really need to). I'd focus only on the items I truly want, which is WA wine press/fortune cookie machine/martial arts equipment (to appliances > misc (I don't want them in large because they'll be in the middle of the fridges) and entertainment > sports); all autosoils including store autosoils (to build > shrubs); all spawners (to build > rocks, build > shrubs, and pets > misc, as appropriate); lights to the lights category; the seasonal lot marker (to entertainment > parties). But, ugh, just typing it out's a chore!
- Give in and use collections. I can just fucking download some. I'll need to make my own for the store autosoils, but it's okay, because it looks like I can now (I couldn't before, because nothing would save)
I mean, this all hinges on the items not being the problem, just buydebug itself. But I think that's true. Anyway, I'm going to try the collections now, and if they work, I'll make one for the store plants too.
Note for me who never uses collections: they go in the docs folder, in Collections/User
It worked and I have been happily building :) I used the collections I linked to, but I've also renamed them, changed some icons, and added the store autosoils to the collection with the others. I guess the reason only a few people ever talked about this problem was because most people were using collections! But I hate them... but I'll learn! Maybe this will turn me into a collections maniac, who can say.
Isn't it coming on nicely now? It's a lot more cohesive than my initial attempt, I think. I'm glad I got rid of all the fences and levels in the middle, and it'll get more use like this. It's so fun when the pool is full of sims, too. I hope to test it with some families soon and see if they use the playground.