F.A.Q.

Here is a little F.A.Q. about SimPE. Before you send an eMail to me, please check if your Questions have already been answered here!

Please keep always in mind: SimPE is not Simple ;)

Content

?Any Tutorials for SimPE? top

top ? Why is SimPE getting slower and larger in memory?

If you cannot load SimPE in the first place in order to set up the suggestions in the previous post, then run it with the -localmode commandline argument the first time.  After you have set it up, it should be ok after that.

 

If you are not comfortable with the commandline way of running applications, create a shortcut from  SimPE.exe, then right-click it and choose Properties.  On the Target line, and after the quotes are closed, add space then -localmode

 

Run it from that shortcut the first time.

top ? Why so many missing portraits and Potato Heads?

There is a new "feature" in The Sims 2 Apartment Life game that keeps wiping out the pictures of the Sims while you play.  The ones you are actually playing quickly get new thumbnails, but the others who lose their pictures just stay without one for the time being.

 

SimPE tries to display the game-generated thumbnail for each Sim, but if it can't find one it either shows a Mr Potato, or a blank space.

 

Sorry, SimPE cannot be made to paint its own portraits :)

top ? Object Workshop: Objects are not showing up after installing a new release

Issue:  You have installed a new release of SimPE and afterwards Object Workshop is not displaying any or some of the objects you know to be part of your game and are supported by the version you just installed

 

Cause: usually this is because a new filetable was not created after installation of the new release that supports a new EP or SP or Stories.  This usually happens because of files or data that was not cleaned up before the new SimPE was installed.

 

Verify:  In SimPe > Extra > Preferences > System Check fails on one or more checks.  In In SimPe > Extra > Preferences > System Folders the paths to your game files are either not correct or are missing

 

 

 

Windows XP installation:  You need to be an administrator to install Simpe.  Double- click on the Simpe-Installer.exe and follow the prompts.  When you start simPE for the first time after this install you should be told that SimPE needs to rebuild your filetable.  Allow it to do this.  You should then be able to run Object Workshop and all the objects should now show up.  If they do not see manual fix below.

 

Windows Vista Installation:  You need to be an administrator to install Simpe.  You will need to download the installer and save it to your computer so that you can right- click on the Simpe-Installer.exe and click 'run as adminitrator'.  On Vista the installer needs to be told by your to act as admistrator to properly install files.  Once SimPE is installed  you need to go into the simPE directory and right click on the simpe.exe and choose properties.  In properties choose the Compatability Tab and at the bottom check the box next to "Run As Administrator".  When you start simPE for the first time after this install you should be told that SimPE needs to rebuild your filetable.  Allow it to do this.  You should then be able to run Object Workshop and all the objects should now show up.  If they do not see manual fix below.  **Note:  Vista will ask you to allow SimPE to run as administrator each time you run it because you have checked the box allowing it to run using admin access - to make sure you are still allowing it too.  This maybe a tad inconventient but early troubleshooting of SimPE issue with Vista has showed us this is the only way to make sure Vista and its permissions will not harass you while using SimPE.  **Note:  SimPE requires Microsoft .NetFrameworks which is not installed with Vista.  Please make sure you install it from the link on the SimPE download page of the main site, and that it is running in services before trying to use SimPE.

 

Update 4/25/2008:  Make sure that you have installed SimPE to a new directory - for more detailed information please refer to the FAQ about new Directory installation

 

MANUAL FIX:   If a clean install of SimPE does not ask you to allow it to create a new filetable or you are still missing most of your objects you can force the filetable to rebuild by chosing the reset button in In SimPe > Extra > Preferences > System Folder and you can fix any incorrect paths in the same section by browsing to the appropriate game file.

 

If none of this works and your objects are still missing please run SimPe > Extra > Preferences > System Check and report any check that failed (if it failed) when you report the issue.

top ? Getting the SimPE Source

None at all. This problem is only there when you compile the sources. Not on Runtime.


The problem is not the german Version of Windows, it is the localized Version of .NET. When you install .NET in germany, you automatically get a second software installed, which contains the german strings for the frameworks messages and stuff. This additional software has to be deinstalled in order to compile (not run) SimPE, becuase MS choos to translate the names of some Enums too (Strg vs. Ctrl), and the english Version does not recognize the german Strings in the resx files, while the german version does not recognize Ctrl.

top ? Where do I get__?

7-zip:  http://www.7-zip.org/  

 

Legacy Nvidia DDS utility :http://developer.nvidia.com/object/dds_utilities_legacy.html

 

CEP: Did you miss that link at the top of the home page?  http://cep.modthesims2.com/

 

Net 2.0 (DO NOT install into Vista or any OS that is higher than that! You already have a compatible version of Net.)  Apparently you are going to have to do a Google search for Net 2.0 Framework Download because Microsoft has stopped carrying it.

Managed Direct X: http://sims.ambertation.de/files/mdxredist.msi

 

SimPe Debugging tools (Knowledge base page so you can get an overview of them. You probably don't need them, but I'm trying to keep the list complete.) http://sims.ambertation.de/en/kb/entry/66/

 

Knowledge base article and Download link for the Milkshape AniMesh exporter by Wes_h: http://sims.ambertation.de/en/kb/entry/97/

 

Photo Studio Templates:

        Requires SimPe

        Version 3.0 (6-1-2005)

        Just start the Setup Application

 

http://downloads.sourceforge.net/simpe/SimPE-Templates-Setup.exe?use_mirror=auto_select

 

SimPe Base Careers:

 

      Requires SimPe

      Version 1.0 (26-3-2005)

      Copy the Files in this Archive to your SimPE\Data Folder and restart SimPE

      Additional note by Ghost: They are made by cloning the Science career. Therefore it will look like Science. And it will overwrite the original science career if you do not change the GUID. If you want to edit another Maxis career, you can go into advanced mode and clone the career you want to work with in Object Workshop. Of course, you will still need to change the GUID if you don't want the new one to overwrite the old one.

 

http://downloads.sourceforge.net/simpe/SimPe_base_careers.rar?use_mirror=auto_select

 

 

 

 

top ? Warning for people who edit sims and hoods in SimPE

It has come to my attention that some people have misunderstood how to make and restore game backups, and have been trying to use SimPE’s .bak files to fix problems. The .bak files should only be used to restore an object, recolour or hack you have been working on - never ever your game data! Game data includes anything in My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Neighborhoods, such as Sims, Lots, Hoods etc. Even if it a mistake you made just that moment in editing a sim in SimPE, and you haven’t played in between times, you still need to go back to a proper full backup, because you may miss out one of the files that has been affected by your edit, and your data will be out of sync.

 

A safe backup is a complete copy of an entire Neighborhood folder and its contents - eg My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Neighborhoods\N001, and to restore safely from that, you need to first completely delete the folder you are replacing so that any new files that were made during your last play session are gone. Simply overwriting the folder is not safe. You can do this manually, or you can use SimPE’s backup manager, in the Neighborhood Browser.

 

Future releases of SimPE will not have automatic .bak creation on by default, to try and avoid any more confusion

top ? Installing a NEW release of SimPE without an Installer (.7z)

The Latest version of SimPE (0.68) was released as an archived file - a .rar or .7z.  Follow these instructions for unarchiving the .7z into a new directory for SimPE. 

 

As often as possible we will try and release SimPE with an installer; however, if the developers that write the installer are not available and we need to get a release to you to support a new EP aor SP, we will release an archived version.  For people familar with .7z its a simple matter of:

  • creating a new directory,
  • unarchiving the files into the new directory,
  • creating a shortcut
  • reinstall plugins and templates and settings
  • reset your simPE settings
  • (setting permissions correctly on Vista) and
  • off you go. 

 

The detailed version here is for people who have not worked with .7z archived versions in the past.

 

Always do a New Directory/Clean install for this new release or if having trouble after installing a new QA release.  Adding to or installing over previous installations usually work fine for QA tests but to avoid issues with a NEW RELEASE and what version or part version you might have already installed can cause conflicts that make it hard for us to help you fix when we do not know what files you might have installed over.  SAVE yourself extra work and many bugreports by creating a new directory and doing a clean install before following the directions for installing.  We can't tell you how important it is to be installing a new release as a clean install, its that important and a habit one should get into doing.  This also will save you time if you encounter an issue in the new release that prevents you from using it the old version is available. 

 

New Directory install simply means that you Create a new SimPE directory preferably with a new name such as C:\Program Files\SimPE_versionnumber (IE. C:\Program Files\SimPE_66) and then follow the steps below to install from an archive.

 

Note:  A New Directory and/or a  clean install does mean that you will loose templates and any plugins not included with the simPE archive.  You will also need to check your simPE settings such as ident and the path to your DDS tools install. Instructions for how to handle this you will find following the installation and troubleshooting steps below.

 

 

 

A. Installing SimPE from an Archive (ie .7z) on XP Systems:

  1. Make sure you have a program that will extract from a .7z archive installed.  You can download from the SimPE downloads page.
  2. Make sure that is not open or running on your computer (always check processs to make sure it has been completely shut down - if it is still on the process list click on it and then click on 'end process')
  3. Download the SimPE version in .7z format from the download page on the SimPE site.
  4. Save the archive to a working directory (an empty directory anywhere on your computer that you make for this purpose - do not download to your desktop)
  5. In Windows Explorer find the file you just downloaded, right click on it and choose to extract to.. and either locate the new directory you already made for your SimPE directory (usually C:\Program Files\SimPE_versionname) in the directory list that pops up in the archiving program or type the new directory name (IE. C:\Program Files\SimPE_66) into the space for it in the unarchiver and let the program create the new directory.
  6. If the extraction is successful you can then locate the simPE.exe in your new directory, right click on it and create a shortcut to move to your desktop.
  7. Install any plugins/templates that you normally use to the location of your new install (see below)
  8. Check your simPE settings such as indent, DDS tools path and other preferences.
  9. Double click on the new shortcut to run SimPE

 

 

 

B. Installing SimPE from an Archive (ie .7z) on VISTA Systems:

 

  1. Make sure you have a program that will extract from a .7z archive installed.  You can download from the SimPE downloads page.
  2. Make sure you have admin access on the computer you are installing to
  3. Make sure that SimPE is not open or running on your computer (always check processs to make sure it has been complete shut down - if it is still on the process list click on it and then click on end process)
  4. Download the SimPE version in .7z format from the download page on the SimPE site.
  5. Save the archive to a working directory (an empty directory anywhere on your computer that you make for this purpose - do not download to your desktop)
  6. If you have not created a new directory for SimPE, do so now.  Name it something like C:\Program Files\SimPE_version
  7. In Windows Explorer find the file you just downloaded, right click on it and choose to extract to.. and locate your new SimPE directory (usually C:\Program Files\SimPE_versionnumber (IE. C:\Program Files\SimPE_66)) in the directory list that pops up in the archiving program.
  8. When asked to allow these file changes click Allow and Yes on any further permission popups
  9. If the extraction is successful right click on SimPE.exe and choose Properties, and then the Compatability Tab.  Then check "Run As Administrator" near the bottom of that window.
  10. Right click on SimPE.exe again and create a shortcut to move to your desktop or quickbar.
  11. Install any plugins or templates that you commonly use (see below)
  12. Check your simPE settings such as indent, DDS tools path and other preferences.
  13. You can then run the simPE.exe

 

 

For Templates and Plugins you commonly use - AFTER A New Diectory or CLEAN INSTALL 

 

When you have done a clean install you will have lost your Photo Studio Templates, the Base Careers for the Career editor and some plugins like Theo's editors.  You will need to reinstall them or unarchive them and copy them to the correct directory in your clean install.  The Photo Studio and Career Bases are downloaded from the simPE download page and thero's plugins from his site (see link in the main Forum Index).  You will need to install these anytime you do a clean install so it is a good way to make sure that you are using the most updated plugins and templates.  Go to Preferences and set your simPE settings such as advanced mode, auto backups on or off, path to your DDS Tools installation, etc. Make sure you run SimPE one time before installing PhotoStudio templates so the registry has changed to your new simPE location and the installer works correctly

 

 

ALWAYS do a clean install with a new directory/directory name when you are installing this new release before reporting bugs or other problems.  More then 80% of the issues reported after a new release is installed are do to installing SimPE over an older version.  Doing this also means you have the old version available if you encounter a problem that keeps you from using the new release.

 

Note:  After you run this new install of SimPE.exe for the first time (from the new directory) the registry will be changed to point to your new install.  So after that first run if you double click on a .package or other simPE file extension, run an plugin installer that needs to know the path to the newest install etc, the registry will point to the correct - new installation.  REMEMBER this in case, for some reason, you run the simPE.exe from an old install - the registry will then change and point to the old install, and you will need to run the simpe.exe in the new install to point it back.

top ? How to perform a "clean installation"?

Update:  Please also refer to http://simpeforum.ambertation.de/sims2/New-Directory-Install-Instructions-for-New-Releases

 

Thank you

top ? New Directory Install Instructions for New Release 0.68.1

For Version 0.68 (the lastest release) please follow this link for instructions for installing from an archive (.7z or .rar):

 

Installing SimPE without an Installer (IE installing from a .rar archive) (click here) 

 

Installing SimPE without an Installer (IE installing from a .7z archive) (click here) 

 

Occassionally we will have to release a new version without an installer if someone to write the installer is not available and we want to get a release to you ASAP, especially when it is supporting a new EP or SP.  Its very simple to do, but for those of you who have never installed from an archive - the directions are there in detail for you - and remember installing from an archived file still needs a new directory!  The links above are to detailed instructions for installing from archives and the directions below are for using an installer.  An installer (setup.exe) will be made as soon as possible and then you should follow the directions below).

 

Always do a New Directory/Clean install for this new full release (0.68.1) or if having trouble after installing a new QA release. Adding to or installing over previous installations usually work fine for QA tests but to avoid issues with a NEW RELEASE and what version or part version you might have already installed can cause conflicts that make it hard for us to help you fix when we do not know what files you might have installed over. SAVE yourself extra work and many bugreports by creating a new directory and doing a clean install before following the directions for installing. We can't tell you how important it is to be installing a new release as a clean install, its that important and a habit one should get into doing. This also will save you time if you encounter an issue in the new release that prevents you from using it the old version is available. New Directory/Clean Clean install simply means that you Create a new SimPE directory preferably with a new name such as C:\Program Files\SimPE_versionnumber (IE. C:\Program Files\SimPE_66) and then follow the steps below to install from an archive.

 

Note: A New Directory  does mean that you will loose templates and any plugins not included with the simPE archive. Instructions for how to handle this you will find following the installation and troubleshooting steps below.  You will also need to reset your settings in SimPE preferences

 

 

 

Installation for XP Systems

 

  1. Download and save the SimPE Installer to a working directory on your computer (not to your desktop).
  2. Make sure you have Admin access to install programs on your computer
  3. Double click the installer and follow the installer steps until asked where to install SimPE
  4. When asked if you want to install SimPE to the default directory (C:\Program Files\SimPE) Change the name of the directory to a new name.  You can choose any directory name you want to use but we suggest you use C:\Program Files\SimPE_versionnumber  (ie C:\Program Files\SimPE_66) to avoid confusion
  5. Install any templates and plugins you commonly use as they will not be available in this install even if you installed them in the old one.
  6. Run SimPE by clicking the shortcut on your desktop or quick bar.
  7. Go to Preferences and set your simPE settings such as advanced mode, auto backups on or off, path to your DDS Tools installation, etc. 

Installation for VISTA Systems

 

  1. Download and save the SimPE Installer to a working directory on your computer (not to your desktop).
  2. Make sure you have Full Admin access to install programs on your computer
  3. Right Click on the installer and click on Run As Administrator 
  4. Follow the installer steps until asked where to install SimPE
  5. When asked if you want to install SimPE to the default directory (C:\Program Files\SimPE) Change the name of the directory to a new name.  You can choose any directory name you want to use but we suggest you use C:\Program Files\SimPE_versionnumber  (ie C:\Program Files\SimPE_66) to avoid confusion
  6. Click yes when asked to allow the directory to be created
  7. When the installation is complete locate SimPE.exe in the new directory and right click on it. Click on the Compatability Tab and click the box next to Run As Adminstrator at the bottom so that it is checked.
  8. Install any templates and plugins you commonly use as they will not be available in this install even if you installed them in the old one. (see special directions below) 
  9. Run SimPE by clicking the shortcut on your desktop or quick bar.
  10. Go to Preferences and set your simPE settings such as advanced mode, auto backups on or off, path to your DDS Tools installation, etc. 

For Templates and Plugins you commonly use - AFTER A New Diectory or CLEAN INSTALL 

 

When you have done a clean install you will have lost your Photo Studio Templates, the Base Careers for the Career editor and some plugins like Theo's editors.  You will need to reinstall them or unarchive them and copy them to the correct directory in your clean install.  The Photo Studio and Career Bases are downloaded from the simPE download page and thero's plugins from his site (see link in the main Forum Index).  You will need to install these anytime you do a clean install so it is a good way to make sure that you are using the most updated plugins and templates.  Go to Preferences and set your simPE settings such as advanced mode, auto backups on or off, path to your DDS Tools installation, etc. Make sure you run SimPE one time before installing PhotoStudio templates so the registry has changed to your new simPE location and the installer works correctly. 

 

 

ALWAYS do a clean install with a new directory/directory name when you are installing this new release before reporting bugs or other problems. More then 80% of the issues reported after a new release is installed are do to installing SimPE over an older version. Doing this also means you have the old version available if you encounter a problem that keeps you from using the new release.

 

 

 

Note:  After you run this new install of SimPE.exe for the first time (from the new directory) the registry will be changed to point to your new install.  So after that first run if you double click on a .package or other simPE file extension, run an plugin installer that needs to know the path to the newest install etc, the registry will point to the correct - new installation.  REMEMBER this in case, for some reason, you run the simPE.exe from an old install - the registry will then change and point to the old install, and you will need to run the simpe.exe in the new install to point it back.

top ? Installing a NEW release of SimPE without an Installer (.rar)

The Latest version of SimPE (0.68) was released as an archived file - a .rar.  Follow these instructions for unarchiving the .rar into a new directory for SimPE. 

 

As often as possible we will try and release SimPE with an installer; however, if the developers that write the installer are not available and we need to get a release to you to support a new EP aor SP, we will release an archived version.  For people familar with .rar its a simple matter of:

  • creating a new directory,
  • unarchiving the files into the new directory,
  • creating a shortcut
  • reinstall plugins and templates
  • reset your simPE settings
  • (setting permissions correctly on Vista) and
  • off you go. 

 

The detailed version here is for people who have not worked with archived versions in the past.

 

Always do a New Directory/Clean install for any new full release or if having trouble after installing a new QA release.  Adding to or installing over previous installations usually work fine for QA tests but to avoid issues with a NEW RELEASE and what version or part version you might have already installed can cause conflicts that make it hard for us to help you fix when we do not know what files you might have installed over.  SAVE yourself extra work and many bugreports by creating a new directory and doing a clean install before following the directions for installing.  We can't tell you how important it is to be installing a new release as a clean install, its that important and a habit one should get into doing.  This also will save you time if you encounter an issue in the new release that prevents you from using it the old version is available. 

 

New Directory install simply means that you Create a new SimPE directory preferably with a new name such as C:\Program Files\SimPE_versionnumber (IE. C:\Program Files\SimPE_66) and then follow the steps below to install from an archive.

 

Note:  A New Directory and/or a  clean install does mean that you will loose templates and any plugins not included with the simPE archive.  You will also need to check your simPE settings such as ident and the path to your DDS tools install. Instructions for how to handle this you will find following the installation and troubleshooting steps below.

 

 

 

A. Installing SimPE from an Archive (ie .rar or .zip) on XP Systems:

  1. Make sure you have a program that will extract from a .rar archive installed.
  2. Make sure that is not open or running on your computer (always check processs to make sure it has been completely shut down - if it is still on the process list click on it and then click on 'end process')
  3. Download the SimPE version in .rar format from the download page on the SimPE site.
  4. Save the archive to a working directory (an empty directory anywhere on your computer that you make for this purpose - do not download to your desktop)
  5. In Windows Explorer find the file you just downloaded, right click on it and choose to extract to.. and either locate the new directory you already made for your SimPE directory (usually C:\Program Files\SimPE_versionname) in the directory list that pops up in the archiving program or type the new directory name (IE. C:\Program Files\SimPE_66) into the space for it in the unarchiver and let the program create the new directory.
  6. If the extraction is successful you can then locate the simPE.exe in your new directory, right click on it and create a shortcut to move to your desktop.
  7. Install any plugins/templates that you normally use to the location of your new install (see below)
  8. Check your simPE settings such as indent, DDS tools path and other preferences.
  9. Double click on the new shortcut to run SimPE

 

 

 

B. Installing SimPE from an Archive (ie .rar or .zip) on VISTA Systems:

 

  1. Make sure you have a program that will extract from a .rar archive installed.
  2. Make sure you have admin access on the computer you are installing to
  3. Make sure that SimPE is not open or running on your computer (always check processs to make sure it has been complete shut down - if it is still on the process list click on it and then click on end process)
  4. Download the SimPE version in .rar format from the download page on the SimPE site.
  5. Save the archive to a working directory (an empty directory anywhere on your computer that you make for this purpose - do not download to your desktop)
  6. If you have not created a new directory for SimPE, do so now.  Name it something like C:\Program Files\SimPE_version
  7. In Windows Explorer find the file you just downloaded, right click on it and choose to extract to.. and locate your new SimPE directory (usually C:\Program Files\SimPE_versionnumber (IE. C:\Program Files\SimPE_66)) in the directory list that pops up in the archiving program.
  8. When asked to allow these file changes click Allow and Yes on any further permission popups
  9. If the extraction is successful right click on SimPE.exe and choose Properties, and then the Compatability Tab.  Then check "Run As Administrator" near the bottom of that window.
  10. Right click on SimPE.exe again and create a shortcut to move to your desktop or quickbar.
  11. Install any plugins or templates that you commonly use (see below)
  12. Check your simPE settings such as indent, DDS tools path and other preferences.
  13. You can then run the simPE.exe

 

 

For Templates and Plugins you commonly use - AFTER A New Diectory or CLEAN INSTALL 

 

When you have done a clean install you will have lost your Photo Studio Templates, the Base Careers for the Career editor and some plugins like Theo's editors.  You will need to reinstall them or unarchive them and copy them to the correct directory in your clean install.  The Photo Studio and Career Bases are downloaded from the simPE download page and thero's plugins from his site (see link in the main Forum Index).  You will need to install these anytime you do a clean install so it is a good way to make sure that you are using the most updated plugins and templates.  Go to Preferences and set your simPE settings such as advanced mode, auto backups on or off, path to your DDS Tools installation, etc. Make sure you run SimPE one time before installing PhotoStudio templates so the registry has changed to your new simPE location and the installer works correctly

 

 

ALWAYS do a clean install with a new directory/directory name when you are installing any new release before reporting bugs or other problems.  More then 80% of the issues reported after a new release is installed are do to installing SimPE over an older version.  Doing this also means you have the old version available if you encounter a problem that keeps you from using the new release.

 

Note:  After you run this new install of SimPE.exe for the first time (from the new directory) the registry will be changed to point to your new install.  So after that first run if you double click on a .package or other simPE file extension, run an plugin installer that needs to know the path to the newest install etc, the registry will point to the correct - new installation.  REMEMBER this in case, for some reason, you run the simPE.exe from an old install - the registry will then change and point to the old install, and you will need to run the simpe.exe in the new install to point it back.

top ? FreeTime and Custom Content: Tips for Installation/Gameplay Issues

I would just like to say that that is one of the best, most succinct descriptions of the new-ep installation process that I've seen. I've been putting up several similar notes around the Exchange, where some of the younger gamers have no clue how to proceed, so they get large measures of problems. I always try to get a few put up at every new EP or SP time, because there are always some who just don't know how to do it correctly to keep their game running well.

 

The number of newbies constantly surprises me, this far into the game, and the more articles like this one they can find, the better. Thanks for being one of those who cares. :-)

 

Linda

top ? What is 7z and why do you use it?

7z is the File Extension of 7-Zip archives. 7-Zip is something like .rar, but it is (for our case) better. We save more than 1MB in filesize by using 7-Zip instead of .rar (which is about 30% saving).

WinRar 3.4 and higher can handle 7-Zip archives just like .rar Archives. If your extraction Tool can not handle 7-Zip, you can get the free 7-Zip Tool from http://www.7-zip.org/.

7-Zip is OpenSource (just like SimPE), and therefor I decided to use this free format instead of the proprietary rar.

top ? ObjectWorkshop or WizardsOfSimPE not loading any Objects?

This Problem does often happen, when the SimPE cache got corrupted (maybe because SimPE did crash once while you were recoloring), or the FileTable was not set correct.

Here is what you can check:


  1. In Extra->Preferences...: Make sure that all the listed Paths are correct. You can use the Browse... Button to validate that the Paths point to the corrrect Directories (which are the install Dirs of the Game, and the EPs, and the Folder that contains your "Downloads" Directory)
  2. In Extra->Preferences... on the FileTable Tab: Reset the FileTable, and click Reload. Make sure that the Filetable listing does not contain any missing Lines (except of course if you did not install the EP that it refers to (EP1 is University, EP2 is Nightlife, EP3 is Open For Business...).
  3. In Extra->Preferences... on the SimPE Settings Tab: Clear the SimPE Cache, and restart SimPE


This should bring back your Object in the ObjectWorkshop and Wizards of SimPE.

top ? How to use the career Editor

The Career Editor itself is shiped with SimPE. It get's installed by default. So if ou did not deselt it during Installation, you'll have it. It's located in the Tools Menu of SimPE.

By default it is grayed out. That is, because you need a "base career" befor you can use it. One way to activate the Editor, is to open a base career .packaeg in SimPE (you can find base carees on ModTheSims2).

Another way is, to download the "SimPE Base career" from our Downloads Page. You will need WinRar (or a similar Tool) to extract the content of the .rar archive. Extract them into the SimPE/Data Folder. Now the Editor is allways enabled.

After you did start the career Editor, changing all your stuff and hitting ok, you will be back on the main SimPE Screen.

Now open the objd Resource and get a new GUID for you career. (Otherwise it will override the base career you did use).

Finally click File->Save as... and put the .package in your Downloads Folder.

top ? Application has generated an exception...

Error:



SimPE.exe - Common Language Runtime Debugging Services



Application has generated an exception that could not be handled.



Process id=0x000 (0000), Thread id=0x000 (0000)



Click OK to terminate the application.

Click CANCEL to debug the application. 





This seems to happen a lot with People that install SimPE 0.42. So I decided to create a small helping Thread about this Problem.



Cause:

The Problem in general can have two diffrent causes.



  1. The installed .NET Framework got corrupted

  2. (and more likely) There are SimPe libaries on your System, that do not match (like a .dll from 0.34 and that is loaded by 0.42).







Solution:

Normally this Problem is solved by perfoming a "clean install" as described here.



If the Problem still occurs, you can use the Debug Tools installed with SimPE to trace down the Problem. Releasesbefore 0.44 are not supported.



First, run the File NET Test.exe. this is a very simple Tool, that basically just test if .NET is available and can start Applications.

If this Tool fails with an Exception, you need to reinstall .NET



The second File is Validator.exe. When you start this Tool it will scan the Directory it was started in for known Files, and checks them against the suggested File Version. If this Tool reports an Error (on the bottom of the Window, or showing one or more lines in red), you have conflicting .dll Files installed on your System. Which can only be solved by performing a clean installation as described here.



Hope this helps a bit. :)

top ? A Plugin is not starting? What can I do?

There can be several causes for Plugins that do not start.

If it is a Plugin, that is not shipped with SimPE, and the error first occurred after a SimPE update, it is very likely that the Plugin needs an Update too.

If it is an original SimPE Plugin, it probably was not updated during the automatic Setup.

In both cases, the simple Solution is, to perform a clean installation of SimPE.

top ? I have an Error mentioning Direct3D, what should I do?

SimPE needs DirectX 9c and the managed DX extensions installed in order to start a preview, or load the GMDC Plugin.

If you can play the Game, you do not have to worry about DirectX 9c, as it wouldn't run without it, but you probably need to install the managed Extensions.

You can download them from our site. Just doubleclick on the downloaded File and let the Installer do it's work :)

top ? "Item has already been added". What to do?

You probably just tried to create a Recolor, Fix a package File or create clone when you got this Error.

The Reason for this is, that two or more Resources in the package have the same name. In almost all cases this is caused by a faulty package in the downloads Folder.

So you should either remove that package from the downloads Folder, or (to be safe in the future), remove the downloads Folder from the SearchPath (=FileTable) in the Extra->Options Menu and restart SimPE.

top ? Where do I find "Wizards of SimPE"?

Wizards of SimPE is part of every SimPE Release, and should be listed in your Startmenu (if you used the exe to install SimPE).

If you used the .rar to install, you can find the Wizards of SimPE in the Folder, you extracted the Archive to.

top ? What are .bak Files?

.bak is short for Backup. They are Backup Files created by the auto Backup Feature of SimPE and do contain the package file (with the same name), before the last save.

If you don't want SimPE to create those Files, you can turn this feature off, by disabling the Auto Backup under Extra->Options....

top ? Do I need to make my downloads EP-Ready?

Generally speaking: NO


The Fix Integrity (=EP Ready) Tools in SimPE were Designed with Creators in Mind not Downloaders. As a downloader the best (and safest) Solution is to redownload the Objects.

If you cannot redownload the Files, you still don't have to fix them! Check the Objects in your Game. Find all the Objects/Recolors that don't work anymore, and fix only those.

Important:
The EP-Ready Format is only supposed to be used with Objects and Recolors created with SimPE. Clothes, Floors, Skins, Walls and everything that was either created using a Maxis Tool or downloaded from the official Exchachange should NOT be fixed. In fact, the fix Routines will render those Objects Useless for your Game!

Already fixed Maxis content?
If you did not turn off the Autobackup Feature of SimPE, you can restore your Objects by renaming the .bak files to .package. But the .bak Files only contain the Item before the last save.

top ? SimPE is not starting. What to do?

If you installed a new Version of SimPE and suddenly it stops working, the cause in most cases is an old, incompatible File in the SimPE Folder, which was added or changed by a third party Tool, the User or an older Version of SimPE.

To fix this, follow these three easy Steps:


  1. If you used the Setup to install SimPE, just uninstall it
  2. Go to the Folder that SimPE was installed in and delete it (using file explorer)
  3. Install the new SimPE.

top ? Where can I find the Web Frontend for the GUID Database?

Right here. But you only need it if you have a cloned Object. Recolors do NOT need a GUID.

top ? How to Install SimPE? (updated for v64 and above and for Windows Vista Installation)

How to Install SimPE with Windows XP

 

  1. Download SimPE
  2. If you don't have Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 download (see above) and install it.  If your do not have Managed Direct X 9c  and you want to work with Meshes, download and install it.
  3. Open SimPE-Setup.exe (Doubleclick it and a Setup should start)
  4. Follow the Onscreen Instructions
  5. Before starting SimPE, create a Backup Copy of your Sims 2 Savegame Folder!!! In fact, you should do this always before using any Modding Tools!
  6. Now check your Startmenu. SimPE should be availalbe there.  To set preferences and to download and install NVIDIA DDS Tools open Preferences>System Folders under Extras in the main menu.  Set SimPE preferences in Preferences>SimPE Settings and your GUID database information and ID in Preferences>Ident. 
  7. Enjoy

How to Install SimPE with Windows Vista (Home, Home, Unlimited)

 

  1. Download SimPE

  2. Windows Vista comes with Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 installed.  If your do not have Managed Direct X 9c  and you want to work with Meshes, download and install it.
  3. SimPE must run with Full Administrator's permission so you will need to have these rights to install and operate SimPE without known issues.   
  4. SimPE must be installed with Administrator access.  Right-Click on SimPE-Setup.exe and click Run As Administrator.  There will be a pop-up box telling you that the publisher cannot be verified.  Click run.  Windows Vista will then ask if you will allow this software to run because the publisher is unverified (again).  Choose Allowed.   If you do not have administration rights the installtion will fail at this point.
  5. Follow the Onscreen Instructions. 
  6. Before starting SimPE, create a Backup Copy of your Sims 2 Savegame Folder!!! In fact, you should do this always before using any Modding Tools!
  7. Locate the directory that you installed SimPE and locate SimPE.exe.  Right click on SimPE.exe and check the box that says "Run As Administrator".  Windows Vista will now ask you each time you start SimPE if you will allow this program to run, since it is set to run as administrator.  Click Allow.   
  8. Locate the SimPE shortcut in Start > All Programs and right click SimPE in the menu and repeat above.  If you choose to create a shortcut on the desktop and/or quickbar you will need to right click on them and repeat as you did for SimPe.exe setting the shortcut to "Run As Administrator".  
  9. To set preferences and to download and install NVIDIA DDS Tools open Preferences > System Folders under Extras in the main menu.  Set SimPE preferences in Preferences>SimPE Settings and your GUID database information and ID in Preferences>Ident.  Download SimPE

Enjoy!!

 

 

NOTE:  For those of you that may have access to install programs (such as a poweruser) but do not have full administration access, you will be able to install SimPE as above.  However, you will not be able to allow the program to "run as administrator" so do not set that option or you will not only be able to allow the program to run but unable to uncheck the run option or uninstall the program.  SimPE has been able to run on Vista operation system with out administrator access set and without it set to run as an admintrator, but there are known issues with SimPE unable to find all expansions, stuff packs,  failing to initialize some plug-ins, cause errors with some frameworks commands, and/or failure to save data.  SimPE installation was tested with a regular user account and it could not be installed at all.  This is not a bug, SimPE needs this action for some of the code to run correctly and there is currently no 'fix' or plan to recode SimPE to work without full administrator access.  This may mean that some may not be able to use SimPE, unless they can be granted admin access.

 

 

Clean installation is described here.

A more detailed explanation for Windows XP installation (by TazzMann) can be found here.

 

EDITED: Jan 26, 2008: (Stormwench)  Updated for current version of SimPE and instructions for installation on Vista operating system.

top ? What is an Alpha Release?

Alpha Software: Software that is in it's developing stages. The Feature list is not constant (i.e. Features could be added or removed during alpha) and the Application might contain serious Bugs!

Beta Software: Software with a stable list of Features that is in it's QA Stage. The Developers do not implement new Features but try to find and fix Bugs.

top ? Is SimPE free to use?

It is now and will (of course) always be. It is based on community work, and therefore it can never be released under a commercial Licence.
In Fact, SimPE is an open Source Project (GPL License). Check the CVS Repository on SourceForge.net. The Module is called fullsimpe

top ? What do I need to install SimPE?

Microsoft .NET Framework Version 1.1, which is a Set of Libraries needed to run SimPE.

top ? Why do all my Sims have the Name Unknown Unknown?

There can be two Reasons for this Problem. The most common one is that you have selected the Option No meta Information in the Extra Menu. if you uncheck it and restart SimPE, the names should be available.

If that did not Fix your Problem, you might want to check that the Folder that contains the Neighborhood Package you have opened also contains the Subfolder Characters. Because that is the location SimPE uses to load the Character Details.

Since the EP, this can have another Reason: You have to open the default Neighborhood File to edit your Sims. For example even if they live on the Campus, the University Neighborhood Files contain only unknown Data.

top ? What is the difference between Package and Packed File?

A Package (the File on your Filesystem with the Extension .package) contains several Packed Files. Those Packed Files can have diffrent Types (they can be simple jpeg Images, or Xml Files as well as more complex binary Filetypes).
Some of the Packed Files are compressed, so you could say a Package is something like a very specific .zip File.

The Format used to store those Package Files is called DBPF and was created by Maxis.

top ? Which Packed Filetypes are currently Supported

Here is a (not complete) List of already supported Types:


  • CPF (Property Sets, somthing like ini Files)
  • Image Types (like jpg, png, bmp)
  • Directory Files
  • String resources
  • Xml Files
  • CRES Files (in an experimental stage!)
  • FAMi Files (Only the money Value is editable)
  • OBJD FIles (Object/Sim Descriptions)
  • OBJf Files (Object Functions)
  • Sim Description File (Age, Skills, Interest, Character Editable)
  • Sim Relation File (daily and longterm Relationship)
  • FAMT Files (Family Ties)
  • TTAs Files (Pie Menu Strings)
  • CTSS Files (Catalog Description)
  • BHAV Files (in an experimental stage!)
  • BCON Files (in an experimental stage!)
  • TTAB Files (in an experimental stage!)
  • NGBH/Memory Files (Neighborhood Data and Memories)
  • TXTR Files (Textures)
  • MATD Files (Material Description)
  • LIFO Files (Large Image File)
  • SHPE Files (Shape Files)
  • TTAs Files (Pie Menu Strings)
  • Name Map Files
  • 3D Reference Files
  • LTXT Files (Lot Description)
  • GMDC Files (GeometryDataContainer which contains Meshes and Bones (Joints))
  • GMND Files (GeometryNode)
  • CRES Files (ResourceNode)
  • Sim DNA
  • SLOT
  • ANIM (Animations)
  • Every File can be viewed with the builtin HexViewer
  • Default Plu8gin for all available Scenegraph Resources (RCOL)

top ? What can SimPE do anyway?

Currently SimPE is basically a Package viewer/editor. It can perform any task to alter the composition of Files within a Package, it can even create new Packages from scratch. Here is a complete List:


  • Create new Packag files
  • Add arbitrary Files to a existing package
  • Delete Packed Files from a Package
  • Extract Packed Files to the Filesystem
  • Replace Packed Files with Files from the Filesstem
  • Extract an entire Package to the Fileystem (create Subfolders for each type and is optimized for speed)
  • Recreate packages from previously extracted ones (You can make changes to all Files on the Filesystem an incorporate them back into a new Package)
  • Needles to say, that all Extracted Files will be uncompressed if it is needed
  • The HexViewer can now display the numeric value on the selected Position
  • You can Edit most of the Resources available for the Sims 2
  • Change your Families Money, and Members directly with SimPE
  • SimPE offers support to change the Age of a Sim, Career, Character ... in fact almost everything about your sims
  • When opening Sim Related files you wil see the Name of the Sim (Called Meta Informations). On some Files also a thumbnail of the Sim will be displayed. It makes finding Files a lot easier. Anyway, you can diable the feature as it slows down the opening of the first Sim related File in a package.
  • You can Browse your Neighborhoods and the Sims living in a Neighborhood
  • Edit the Relationship values ans states for any Sim.
  • You can change/add/deletes the Family Ties of all your Sims
  • Change BCON and BHAV Files (for SimAntics)
  • Create/Edit Object for the Game
  • Create Color Options
  • Edit the Memories of your Sims
  • Clone or Recolor the Objects/Clothes of your Sims
  • Clone your Sims (or aspects of your Sims)
  • Edit Wants & Fears of your Sims
  • Scenegrapher Tool to check the integrity of your remeshed Objects
  • 3D Preview of Sims 2 Objects/Recolors in SimPE without loading the Game
  • Scan for corrupted/invalid Packages
  • Change the Clothes of your Sims
  • Replace the default Skintone
  • Import/Export Mesh Data (GMDC Files) of Sim 2 Objects (Wavefront .obj Format)
  • Alter ANIM Ressources (Mesh Animation)
  • Replace the default Skintones with custom ones
  • Import/Export/Create/Edit Bone assignements and defintions for Animations
  • new! Import/Export Animations
  • new! Clone/Recolor Fences, Wallpapers, Floors, Terrains and Roofs

top ? Can I download the Source of SimPE

Yes you can! Just check the SVN Repository on SourceForge.net The Folder is called trunk/fullsimpe and contains SimPE, all Plugins and the Wizards of SimPE.

Instruction on how to download the sources can be found in the FAQ Getting the SimPE Source.

top ? Can I extend SimPE with my own Plugins?

Of Course you can. SimPE is developed in C# for the .NET Framework, so anyone who can produce Managed Code can extend SimPE and reuse the Engine hidden within other Applications.
Since SimPE is currently an Alpha release, the Interface for the Plugins will change, so we won't release any Documentation on the Interface until we think it is complete an usable.

top ? What is a Wrapper?

In SimPE it is a piece of Software (with a standard Interface) that can read Packed Files and represent them in a Format usable for SimPE. So it is a kind of Translator. The Wrapper is part of the FileType Plugin.