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2. Original Concept
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  Note About Reading Tales from Little Carping
Posted by: maxon - 14-08-19, 11:27 PM - Forum: Tales from Little Carping - No Replies

This is a sort of history of Little Carping - and so it has an order.  A temporal order. Because the forum mechanics aren't too helpful, I can't control the order the posts load in for everyone else (or I haven't worked out how to do it.  I don't want to sticky everything.  Anyway, basically what I've done is give the post a number.  You can, for yourself, order the run of posts by name if you click on the top of the first column where it says thread/author - click on 'thread'.  By default, it's in order of posting and replies but you can order the posts by name or even date if you want.

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  Retro Tiled Walls – Pink Bathrooms Forever
Posted by: maxon - 14-08-19, 12:50 PM - Forum: Walls, Floors and Terrain Paints - No Replies

These were originally posted at MTS.

Grammapat over at MTS did a WCIF a while back asking about CC to make a pink bathroom, 1950s style. Fantastic idea. I was not much help but something about the websites she linked to got to me and I went mad and made some walls and floors suitable for bathrooms and kitchens Retro 50s style! 


The wall tiling itself is pretty simple really, just plain tiles with a black trim. I went with those classic 50s colours of pink, lemon, turquoise, chartreuse and candy apple red. I also made an all white and a black version. There are two variants of each colour: a full wall tile and a half tiled wall with the black trim. Thus there are 14 walls in the complete set. The top of the walls is taken from the in-game paste paint so the tiling will blend with any EAxis wall which uses that colour option. Each wall has a crown and kickboard with the crown lowered on the texture so that it will show underneath a ceiling.


There is also a second set of walls using the base colours randomly (decision-making process can be described as: whatever I thought worked) with some different patterned textures on the top half of the walls. These were just some (I thought) attractive textures I found on my texture-seeking travels across the internet. These are a set of 11 (originally meant to be 10 but there was an extra one).


The floor tiling is based on a classic design and comes in three options: all white, white with black and white with bronze. All three work well with any of the walls.


So, all pretty unfussy and straightforward but I think the décor makes for a reasonable approximation to something like this:


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  Arcady Ice Cream Parlour Pt. 2 Wallpapers & Flooring
Posted by: maxon - 13-08-19, 09:34 PM - Forum: Walls, Floors and Terrain Paints - No Replies

These were originally posted at MTS

This wallpaper and floor set is to add to my Arcady Ice Cream Parlour set of ice creams in order to be able to build an ice cream parlour in a distinctive set of matching colours and designs. The colours and design are based on the design of four of the ice cream buckets from that set. 

The colours are:

  • Black Cherry
  • Chocolate
  • Tutti Frutti
  • Mint Chocolate

The eight walls come in two varieties, four of each: one is a stripe with a plain skirting or kickboard and a scalloped crown; the other is the same but with added wainscotting. The sets are designed to be seamless when used together. They are catalogued as wallpapers and cost $6.


The floors also come in two varieties: the first is a set of five plain tiles; the second a set of four linos based on a pattern I found on the internet. The floor tiles are classed as tiles and cost $7 while the linos are catalogued as linos (d'uh) and cost $5.


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  2. Original Concept
Posted by: maxon - 13-08-19, 07:54 PM - Forum: Tales from Little Carping - Replies (1)

So this is a copy-paste of a post I wrote elsewhere a good while ago telling about how Little Carping came into being.  I decided not to update the text (some of the information is a little out of date now) but it gives a good overview of how Little Carping started and what I was thinking and introduces the initial founding characters of the neighbourhood: the Goths, the Vaughans and Phoebe Sororah.
I got TS2 the moment it was available here in the UK (probably a couple of days after it came out in the US). I had been playing TS1 since it was released.  TS1 was my most played and enjoyed game ever (though SimCity 2000 gave it a run for its money). Anyway, I installed TS2 and had a look around. Pleasantview didn't attract me (I think I had a look at the Goth house) but Strangetown looked more quirky and interesting. I played the Curious brothers first for a short while and that was pretty fun. It was obvious the game had taken a huge leap forward and I think, even then, I realised I wouldn't go back to TS1. I never did.
EXCEPT - I realised though that I wasn't ready to give up my TS1 characters. I played Neighbourhood 1 almost exclusively in TS1 and had filled EVERY SINGLE LOT with sim families. I had left the Maxis families in there and, in my head, had built an entire sim community. So in the first week of having TS2, I decided I would try to recreate the neighbourhood I had developed in TS1 BUT that I was going to grow it not just make it. It's interesting to me that even then, I was able to recognise the potential in the game to develop a neighbourhood over time and give it a real history.
So I thought about it and planned. The oldest residents in TS1 had been the Goths (senior) and a couple of sisters - Sororah - I had created to run a kennels (when Unleashed was released), followed a little later by Ginia Katt and Mama Hick. I'd also created an older couple called Porter who were the janitors/caretakers for a hall of residence I built for some student sims. Remember TS1 didn't having aging so although the Sororah sisters were later additions to the neighbourhood (coming in with Unleashed) as they were created as elders, they - well - stayed that way and were some of the oldest residents of the neighbourhood.  I developed a schedule to introduce them to Little Carping.  It helped that the senior Goths were my favourite characters from TS1.  A bit unusual, I think, but then I just loved subverting their respectability.  The other thing to say is about where I use EAxis sims.  It should be remembered that this is my version of those sims - not the canon version.  I don't follow the EAxis stories and there's significant deviation later on.  Though some things are the same - Mortimer does marry Bella (eventually).  Cecilia doesn't really like her though.  But that's getting ahead ...
I wanted history (and possibly hysteria). I decided to bring in the Goths first along with Sororah. BUT I wanted the family background for Gunther and Cornelia so I pushed the timeline of the neighbourhood back and made a family for each of them and a parent family for the Sororah sisters too.
First I made Randolph and Cecelia Goth. Randolph was a businessman (fortune) and, in my head, was to develop into a very successful financier (which he did). Cecelia was clever (knowledge) but, the origin of Little Carping being set some time ago, she was stuck at home with the kids while they were small.  That was Gunther to start with (made as a toddler in CAS), then the first born-in-game child arrived (after Pascal's in Strangetown), Gunther's sister Marianne.  You can see Gunther is blond in the picture (as is Cornelia, also born to dark-haired parents).  This, of course, doesn't gel with the in-game genetics (at all - silly maxon).  You have to bear in mind that they were created in CAS in 2004 and we -I- had no idea about how the genetics in-game actually worked (semi-realistically as it happens and is something I like but whatever).  Although both children have genetics generated from their parents (in CAS), I changed the hair colour.  I had to retro-fit that by pretending both parents carried a recessive blond gene.  

The first Goth family

Randolph went on to be very successful and Cecelia, once the kids had grown up a bit, went back to work and into politics and eventually became mayor (the actual story of that is quite complicated). The storyline developed of Gunther growing up in this high-achieving, competitive climate but always feeling he didn't quite measure up: he had a clever mother and a thrusting successful businessman father. It made his character more interesting to me than the original version in TS1. He's always been morose and bitter (though with some surprising talents - he learnt to meditate and levitate and to move around lots like a ninja - a talent he needed). Gunther in TS1 had been Dean of a college but in TS2 I decided to send him into business following his father in an attempt to impress him (Gunther is also fortune) but Gunther was not as successful and never got the helicopter to go to work. His situation was not helped in the slightest by his wife.

Cecelia and Randolph - as they were at first.  There's a recessive blond gene in there - yes, there is.

One thing I loved about the senior Goths in TS1 was that Maxis had given us this apparently conventional and respectable, high-status couple and I spent hours and hours disrupting that - mainly via Cornelia. She had affairs right, left and centre. She picked fights and made enemies. She drank and partied. If they'd had shop-lifting in TS1, she would have done that. Cornelia was hopeless at concealing affairs, mainly because she had me to deal with and I set it up so that she'd get caught every other day when Gunther came home at 3pm. Gunther was forever coming home to find her in bed with some man or other. He'd stand in the bedroom and stamp and shout and pull his hair out and then they'd have a stand up slap fight. Ah, fun times... So, Cornelia needed to get that from somewhere and so the Vaughans were made. Cornelia's mother was Amelia: a loving, patient woman (family) who had married a dashing and charming advertising executive who worked for Randolph Goth: Mercer. Mercer was a sleazeball (romance). They came, along with Amelia's mother Isabella Briggs and a toddler Cornelia, to live in Little Carping.

Amelia and Mercer - my favourite sim ever

I've written elsewhere about how Mercer took me by surprise and behaved incredibly badly (though the unanticipated behaviour of romance sims played into the plotline in a most satisfactory way).  He romanced just about every adult female in Little Carping, except Cecilia Goth who always saw through him and disapproved (but then she ended up with a lot to disapprove of).  Poor Amelia was permanently depressed throughout (until she met Kennedy Cox – more on him in a bit). 
Cornelia, poor girl, is like her father (she's also romance). She got pregnant by Gunther as a teenager (the only time I have used InTeen for its intended purpose and also, yay, the first Inteen was out around the time University was released) and had to marry him before Mortimer arrived. It was a very quiet affair at the Goth house though she got the memory of marrying into money. Afterwards, she felt trapped in her marriage (she eventually had four kids though one of them wasn't by Gunther – something that hadn’t cramped Mercer’s style (he had seven by the time he died)) and was jealous when her two younger brothers, Henry and Horace (twins) went off to university. So she started misbehaving and poor Gunther was back to stamping, shouting and pulling his hair out. Fun times...

The Vaughans - the name Vaughan always makes me think of advertising execs and sleaziness.  Poor Amelia got saddled with that I'm afraid.  Well she married him.  Her lookout I say.
The other 'family' was Phoebe Sororah - also a romance sim. I'd envisioned her as a silly romantic woman waylaid by Mercer into an extramarital affair. Well Phoebe's romance sim inclinations soon put paid to that but she did have an affair with Mercer (you get a more straightforward answer if you ask who *didn't* Mercer have an affair with) and also had an affair with Randolph. So the Sororah sisters who had originated in my TS1 hood (Cecily and Clarissa) turned out to be half-sisters rather than full sisters. Phoebe had a string of amorous adventures too (between her and Mercer, Little Carping was a seething hotbed of lust) and eventually had five children by three different men. She died a while back after having moved in her latest (and newly adult) lover (a townie: Amin Sims) who now is about to die but lives in her house keeping it open for when her youngest child (Chloe – his daughter) returns from university.

That's how it started. Mama, Ginia and the Porters came along shortly after - Ginia just in time to have a romance with Mercer and bear his seventh child (Stephen, still at school but only just) - and Little Carping has grown and grown from there. It's still a hotbed of lust though there's plenty of envy, jealousy, ambition, greed and all the rest of it too. I found recently that Fergus Crims wishes to see the ghost of Maddy Jayalapan (an EAxis generated apartment neighbour) because they had a fight - well series of fights - their relationship is -100/-100. He just bought a gun and will be laying a nice new concrete patio in his back garden shortly. The Curious brothers and Nervous will come to join us eventually because I do have a soft spot for the Curious brothers.
I went through Little Carping’s screenshots folder and realised that when I started in 2004, of course, the quality of snapshots was horrid.  So I’ve taken some new pictures – remaking Randolph, Cecilia, Mercer, Amelia and Phoebe from clones of the originals in Little Carping.  The pictures show them with my newer defaults (of course) and I tried to get the spirit of their original homes though it’s inevitable I’ve forgotten details or used the wrong stuff.  The original lots only used EAxis content of course, it was a while before we got recolours for objects (CC skins were available before the game was released – I even have some still.  Well one or two).  They all had custom skintones which they’re still wearing and Phoebe has custom eyes.

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  1. Little Carping Introduction
Posted by: maxon - 13-08-19, 06:36 PM - Forum: Tales from Little Carping - Replies (1)

So I thought I might post something about my main neighbourhood, Little Carping.  I'm not sure my stories and ideas would be that attractive to others since playing the game my way is a pretty personal thing for me.  I have my particular obsessions and interests and simply won't consider any other way of doing things.  I'm aware I don't do things like other people but then again, what's attractive about the game is the enormous possibilities.  That's why it's still going strong 15 years after its release.  The bottom line is I just like fiddling about with stuff: stories and ideas (not to mention the CC I make).  Also, perhaps I should warn you all before we start that my sims are not always pleasant individuals.  That sometimes seems to be an issue.  I like drama.  Lots of it.
On the other hand, the idea of making a thread about Little Carping is attractive to me. This is because I have a love of documenting and recording stuff and the notion of using this forum to do that with Little Carping – a project of 15 years now – is enticing.  I guess we’ll see how this works as we progress but the next posts will give an outline of Little Carping’s concept and history, its geography and built environment (I got that phrase from one of my students) and then the families who live there.  These posts are going to be long - and I don't blame anyone for not wanting to read through them all.  Remember, I'm mostly indulging myself here.  I'll post pictures though.
15 years?  Yeah that’s right.  I started Little Carping the month the game was released in 2004 and I’ve been playing it ever since.  Though actually, that sounds more impressive than it is.  I haven’t played with the sims in Little Carping on a regular basis for quite some time now.  I do go back every now and again and progress a story here and there but regular play has not happened for several years.  Progress, therefore, is VERY SLOW.  BTW, although I’ve been playing Little Carping since 2004 (when it was called, unoriginally, Great Bay), I rebuilt the neighbourhood in 2007 and so the files for Little Carping are only 12 years old (only - LOL!).  I rebuilt it when we first started to learn about corruption of neighbourhoods and how you could build them with empty templates.  The current version of Little Carping, therefore, started with no townies or NPCs though it has acquired them since – I made them all myself!  The main characters though were rebuilt in 2007 from scratch – it’s when I learnt a lot about how to clone sims, create empty neighbourhoods and edit memories (and other stuff) in SimPE.  
So I say I still 'play’ the game and, if I’m not playing with my sims, what am I doing?  Well, my main interests are two-fold.  In the first instance, I like making things and fiddling with game settings.  I have uploaded some CC for others to download and use, here on this site (and elsewhere), but the amount of stuff I’ve made for the game (for my own use) is much, much more than that.  There's piles of it.  I particularly like fiddling with hacks and mods, usually just adjusting BCons or BHavs and I’m known to hacks/mod stuff myself from scratch.  Though for most things I want, someone else has had a go at it long ago so I will use that (with edits).  Having said that, I think I have edited, in some way or another, practically every CC file in my game – well maybe not everything but a lot of stuff.  I change catalogue settings as a matter of routine and will do things like replace base textures in objects if I don’t particularly like the original, slave stuff and so on.  I also fiddle about with meshes and textures though I will say here what I’ve said elsewhere, that I’m not a natural skinner or texture maker.  I can do crude stuff but nothing like the subtle stuff some people do (which I admire immensely).  Secondly, a favourite thing for me is trying to create a sense of place for Little Carping.  This is a long term project and there have been several phases already.  Basically what I mean is remodelling the neighbourhood.  I’ve been fiddling with the current version for a couple of years but I think I have decided to have another complete overhaul, especially in the light of some of the newer neighbourhood objects and graphical improvements we’ve seen lately – but more on that later.  
You might say that neither of those two things is playing with the game but I would disagree with that.  I’m playing with the game as an object in its own right here rather than playing sims.  Maybe you don’t agree but I keep myself occupied doing this.  People do play in different ways – some people play sims and families, some people like to build, some people like to create neighbourhoods, some people like to make meshes and textures – I like to do all of those things but I like to play with the game as well.  If that makes sense.  TS2 is a wonderful thing really.  Will Wright said he created it as a toy rather than a game and he did – but it’s perhaps more of a toy than even he thought it was.
The picture is of Little Carping as it is now.  Little Carping has a shopping district, Carping Magna, and Sirencester, the downtown.  There are also two universities attached to Little Carping (Redbrick and Metropolitan) and three vacation destinations (Noboku, Yellerstone and St Neots).  I have no idea how many lots there are but the vast majority are custom built, either by me or are something I downloaded.  There are 489 sims in Little Carping, 173 of which are playable in 40 families (at present – that does change fairly regularly) with 27 cats and dogs (200 playable sims and 286 NPCs (I know that doesn't add up).  At the time of starting this series of posts, it is 6am on Saturday the third day in Summer – how do I know?  I play in strict rotation and everybody is at the same point in the year, plus I religiously save at 6am in the morning.  It’s always 6am in Little Carping.

NB I've posted a version of some of these first few posts before and there's some copy-pasta going on. Just so you know.

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  Mama Hick's Cleaner Career
Posted by: maxon - 13-08-19, 05:52 PM - Forum: Careers - No Replies

This was originally posted at MTS

Why Mama Hick?
Are you kidding? Mama is great. The original Mama Hick - at least as I remember it - was feckless trailer trash in curlers who spent her days in her cleaning overalls and slippers with a permafag hanging out of her mouth. She'd harangue her neighbours, set the dogs on local children and gossip about Sim Lane's great and good to her friends: how Cornelia Goth was a mad old bat, the slovenly habits of those Roomie girls and how Bella Goth was no better than she should be. What's not to like? 

She also, if you remember, had a no hope job to go with this lifestyle. 

Well, we've had the curlers for some time but where are the no hope jobs in Sims 2, eh? Even the least well-paid and supposedly menial tasks are still swanky jobs with good pay and conditions and are well out of Mama's league. I want poor sims, not sims that can climb up up the greasy pole with almost no effort. I've never had that much interest in building great big posh mansions with every possible amenity and pretty, pretty sims. Blimey, before Seasons was released I made them live outside until they could afford to build enough walls to get a roof over their heads. Now they can't afford to buy the toilet instead. Which has its compensations of course (at least for me).


"But why Mama?" you ask (again). Well, it's a long explanation which I won't bore you with. Suffice to say that when Sims 2 was released I decided to import all my characters from Sims 1 and, inevitably, some of the Maxis-made characters had made such permanent connections with my own sims that they had to come along too. I created Little Carping, a village by the azure sea, where they all went to live. Mama has been busy up to now making a disastrous liaison with a useless thief, living in a trailer and spitting out sprogs (I made her as an adult). But the time came, a while back, when she got past child-bearing age, had no money, no man about the place and Eldon was apparently permanently glued to the sofa watching the sport.

As for that Eldon, the less said the better in all probability. However, in Little Carping he delivers pizzas. What? Did you think he would go into the Slacker career? Oh no, that went to Bob Newbie; a secret porker of illicit chocolate bars at the late night service station if ever I saw one. No, Eldon doesn't have Bob's class. But that's another story ...

Overview [Image: MTS2_maxon_1164039_Cleaner.png] 
So, here's Mama's cleaning 'career' (and I use that word loosely). It's based on the slacker career but has its own unique GUID (so won't overwrite any of the Maxis careers). It is fully EP compatible. I've deliberately cut down the wages - Mama is poor and I have every intention that she stay that way - but there is a career structure with a top level that's quite well paid. Not that I ever expect Mama to rise above level three but I wrote something for the upper levels anyway and also the male version is fully written out. There's a full set of chance cards and I used the cleaning icon from the game as the icon for the career. The writing has a rather British slant - I am English - and uses names and terms for things that overseas friends might find a little unfamiliar. The first level is Scrubber, for instance, which I don't think is a term Americans use. There is no custom uniform but the maid levels make your sim use the maid outfit - if, like me, you use a default replacement, your sim will wear that (hurrah). 

So, it's not a conventional career then but if you have a little Mama Hick or similar in your (sim) life, it's perfick.

Job Levels, Pay and Hours
Scrubber $94 M, T, W, Th, F Hours: 6am-14pm
Look, you have no qualifications and the bills are piling up. The pay and conditions are crappy but you need to work and you aren't qualified to do anything else. You'll be spending all day on your hands and knees scrubbing floors. Maybe you should have paid more attention in school.

Lavatory Attendant $122 M, T, Th, F, Sa Hours: 8am-16pm
The hours are doable - well, at least you are not getting up at the crack of dawn any more. The pay is pretty lousy and on occasion you find yourself with odd headaches which result from the fumes of the powerful cleaning fluids you're using. On the other hand, you have a private room to yourself - you get to share the cupboard with the mops and buckets during your breaks - and can get away from the punters and have a cup of tea in peace. Just don't look too closely at the contents of the pans.

Hotel Cleaner $167 M, W, F, Sa, Su Hours: 8am-16pm
Right, well, it's slightly better paid and the environment you are working in has to be a vast improvement over the public lavatories. On the other hand, you do not believe the habits some of the guests have. I mean, what was that in the toilet of 327? To get ahead, you'll need to develop those mechanical skills.

Cleaner $225 M, T, W, Th, F Hours: 6am-14pm
OK, you're working for the Council now cleaning the offices after hours. The number of toilets you are cleaning has decreased though getting the office carpet clean can be a pain with the ground in crisps and biscuits and the way the paper clips dig in to the pile. The pay and conditions have definitely improved, you even have a pension scheme and are unionised. Pay is still not great but you can pay the bills without worrying too much.

Maid of All Work $302 M, T, W, Th, Sa Hours: 8am-16pm
Well, that friendly chat with the boss working late one night in the Human Resources Office paid off nicely even if you were late home and had to pay the child minder extra. You've been offered a job as a mobile cleaner - you're the swat team of the cleaning world. You get to drive your own little car: actually it belongs to the Council but you're out on the road on your own, and you drive round to places that need cleaning services fast. Pay is improved so you might be able to buy your kids some new footwear this winter. Congratulations.

Housemaid $356 M, T, Th, F, Sa Hours: 7am-14pm
Another job with an early morning start but you're moving up in the world. You're working for the gentry now as a Flying Housemaid working your way around the posh residences of Little Carping and Carping Magna. They employ you to give the impression to their friends that they can afford house servants though they don't go to the expense of actually having you live in. General cleaning duties with limited lavatory time makes for a far more pleasant way to spend the working day.

Maid $412 M, T, W, Th, Sa Hours: 10am-17pm
Making yourself indispensable to those posh ladies and men in the neighbourhood was a good move. Being rich they like to save money and it's cheaper for them to pay you direct than pay for the Flying Housemaid service from the Council. You're getting so good at the cleaning business that you're now able to sell your services and keep all the money coming in, you're self-employed. 

Cleaning Shift Supervisor $653 M, T, W, Th, F Hours: 8am-15pm
Your expertise at organising yourself and the work and your ability to deal with people has been recognised. You've been employed by the Council again to supervise cleaners in the job you once did yourself. You spend your days organising the poor mugs who will clean the lavatories but never see one yourself. The only downside is dealing with the personnel crises that crop up regularly as temperamental cleaners get sick of it and tell you to shove the job and walk out. The hours are easier and the pay is better but you need to develop personal and organisational skills to move on up.

Deputy Housekeeper $734 M, T, Th, F Hours: 10am-16pm
This is more like it. You've moved up to Deputy Housekeeper. You're now in charge of working out what work needs doing and where and then organising the Shift Supervisors and their teams. You report directly to the Housekeeper herself. A nice comfortable office, easy access to the kettle, decent pay and conditions, decent hours; you even get an extra day off a week. What could be better? Well, it's 'dead man's shoes' but there is the boss's job.

Housekeeper $800 M, W, F Hours: 10am-15pm
Wah-hey, top of the pile. Not bad for someone who started out with no qualifications to speak of. You report directly to the Council sub-committee on Sanitation and are responsible for strategic cleaning planning throughout the Sirencester area. You get a salary rather than a wage, a decent pension provision, plus shorter hours and your tea served to you at your desk by the Deputy Housekeeper. The only time you see a lavatory is when you use one. Let's hope nothing goes wrong...

Update 7th September 2015 - I finally got around to correcting the foreign language issues with this career - something I should have done a long time ago. The career should display now properly in all language versions of the game albeit in English.

It was a bit of a shock that the file size plummeted so much. If anyone downloads this from this point forward and has issues, would you please post and let me know. I think it's ok but have no way of getting this tested. Thanks.

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  Street Name Signs
Posted by: maxon - 08-08-19, 11:36 AM - Forum: Buy Mode Objects - Replies (2)

It's completely typical of a simmer isn't it to be intending to make something else entirely and then end up with a set of street name signs?  I was doing some more work on shop signs, following up some ideas I had from doing the Victorian Shop Facade recolours, when I was distracted (sigh) by a sudden idea that I needed road signs for Little Carping.  So here they are - I actually made about 40 but I've selected 18 plus a 'Way Out' sign (based on a British Rail Way Out sign because who doesn't want one of those?) for upload.
I made them on AikeaGuinea's height adjustable wall painting which is shiftable so you can have them at a variety of heights on a wall (mesh included though it's a very common and useful piece of CC so you might have it already).  They are in simlish but the basic texture is based on a real British street sign.  You'd need to use moveobjects on to place it over other things also hung on walls.  The picture is found in Decorative>Wall Hangings and costs $45.  I also designed the texture so they'd sit on my exterior Victorian Pub Tile walls.
The names are as follows (l-r, top to bottom):
High Street; Station Road; Oak Avenue; Wood Lane; Sparrow Street; Lancaster Gate; School Lane; Market Street; Beech Road; Nonsuch Place (spelt with an 'e' but whatever); Beaumont Square; Church Lane; Richmond Road; Bridge Street; Park Avenue; Lark Rise; Lime Grove; Buckingham Road plus the Way Out there to the right.

The selection I made was based on what I thought the most common or generic-type names were - Little Carping has themes for it's neighbourhood roads including (British) trees, birds and vaguely aristocratic names, hence some of the names.  I'm going to add flower names next.  Incidentally, I included Sparrow Street because, although it's not common, it's my favourite road name in Little Carping (it's actually in Carping Magna - the shopping district). I could write an entire book about Sparrow Street...

I do sometimes wonder if I'm the only simmer that is bothered by this stuff.  I suspect no-one else has missed street name signs.

Attached Files
.rar   max_RoadNameSigns.rar (Size: 554.45 KB / Downloads: 35)
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  Targas Transparent Water Fix - IN TESTING
Posted by: maxon - 31-07-19, 03:42 PM - Forum: CC Fixins - No Replies

Vegan-kaktus over at MTS asked about Targas's Transparent Water Fix which had started crashing the game when you tried to select or load the large fish tank (Aquabox 60 gallon) that came with Apartment Life.  The mod was made long before that EP appeared and I thought that the internal referencing was possibly not up-to-date but that turned out not to be the problem.  In fact, logical when I actually looked at the file and found out that the mod is in reality a simple texture default replacement.  

In fact, it was a very, very simple fix - at least as far as I can tell.  The problem was that the texture format of the texture causing the issue was misidentified as a Raw24Bit rather than DXT3 so the game was misreading the texture.  Literally, a one-click fix in SimPE (well, three if you count the commit and save).

However - caveat:

I was so taken aback by this - it would appear to be a simple mistake by Targas (one we've all made if you've fiddled with textures) - I couldn't quite believe this was correct. I meant to test the hell out of the file but, as usual, I got distracted by something else and it slipped out of sight (to the bottom of my 'Work in Progress' folder in fact).  I thought I might have missed something obvious.  Also, I can't quite believe the base game texture file which the Aquabox references isn't used elsewhere.  It should have caused crashing long before AL if the format was wrong.  I dunno.

Anyway, Vegan-kaktus contacted me again on tumblr and asked about progress so I have posted the file here with the caveat that if you do download it and try it, it might cause a crash down the line when the game calls the texture in some other context.  If it does, PLEASE let me know either here or over at tumblr.  This file is currently regarded as IN TESTING.
For anyone reading this who doesn’t know what the mod does, it defaults the water textures so that bath water appears as transparent.  It was originally uploaded to MTS’s sister site Sexy Sims 2 - not sure why exactly, perhaps because with it you can see the little sims’ bodies in the bath.  Personally, I like it and, if it proves to be a robust fix, I will be pleased with that.  I have not changed the file name so if you already have the mod, you can just overwrite (though you might want to back up the original just in case). I also might try some further development of the file since it is somewhat large and contains the LIFOs as well as the main textures. HL informs me on that MTS thread that the LIFOs are not needed so I might try removing them at a later date.

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.rar   max_TargasTransparentWaterFIX.rar (Size: 185.03 KB / Downloads: 12)
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  Shakeshaft's Victorian Shop Facade Recolours
Posted by: maxon - 08-07-19, 05:50 PM - Forum: Build Mode Objects - Replies (1)

I've always liked Shakeshaft's Victorian Shop Facade for making old-fashioned shopping streets in Little Carping (you know, like those tourist-trap places we have in cities like York and Chester, selling the romance of a Victorian Christmas card image - most British shopping streets look nothing like that.  But still...).  It's an older set of meshes but I still like them very much and do use them fairly often on community lots especially to make PUBS!  There are a lot of pubs in Little Carping (and surrounds).  They also work great for making pokey little shops: Victorian survivors in Sirencester's modern shopping streets.  But there were two things I wanted to do with the set.  
First of all, colours.  The original meshes came in green and I have not found any other recolours (though there may well be some).  However, I made, quite a while ago now, a set of Victorian pub tile walls (they're here) in six very Victorian colours: Laurel; Honey; Burgundy; Cobalt; Chestnut and Buttermilk (a sort of palish green).  So I made a set of matching recolours of the meshes in this set.  These recolours came out pretty well I think (for the most part - not so sure about Chestnut) and do match my walls.  Now I can make pubs with appropriate walls AND matching facades!  Hurrah!  There are five recolours - I did make a Laurel recolour but it's so close to the original colour, I've not included it.  The colours are Honey; Burgundy; Cobalt; Chestnut and Buttermilk.  Here they are matched up with my walls.  It's a slaved set, so there are only four recolour files of each colour IYSWIM - that's because there are four master objects and only they get recoloured.  There are, therefore, 20 files.  
Secondly, shop names - the original set has a set of 'recolours' with shop names but they're in English.  I, personally, prefer Simlish in my game so I made a set of Simlish shop names too.  There are 17 of them (pick and choose I'd say) including a much-needed blank 'recolour'.  These are for the second colour channel of the 'Shop Sign' meshes - i.e. those boards that make up the top part of the facade (i.e. the bits with writing on them in the pictures).  The names are: Antiques; Bakery; Bookshop; Butchers; Confectioners; Delicatessen; Draper; Fishmonger; Florist; Greengrocer; Grocer; Ironmonger; Pharmacy; Tea Rooms; Tobacconist and Toy Shop.  
With these, because all the shop sign boards are slaved to the 8-tile version, the width of the letters is compressed to varying degrees in all the smaller signs.  I still think they look fine - here's a comparison picture of the 8-tile sign board with smallest 2-tile sign board.  There's nothing to be done about it anyway since it's a slave set and they all use the same texture.

You will need to get the original meshes from T$R (hissssss - sorry) if you don't already have them: here

BTW, I've put these in the Build Mode section because they include recolours for doors and windows and, even so, the buy mode objects (the signs and awnings) are used when you're building anyway (I think).

Finally, there's a bit more to come for this set - so watch this space.

Attached Files
.rar   max_VicShop_FacadeRecolours.rar (Size: 447.38 KB / Downloads: 24)
.rar   max_VicShopSign_ShopNames.rar (Size: 123.6 KB / Downloads: 22)
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  Amaryll Snuggly and Papillon Dresses - Jewel Colours
Posted by: maxon - 05-07-19, 04:13 PM - Forum: Skins - Replies (1)

So, I've been away from TS2 for a bit dealing with RL (marking - ugh!) and now have a bit of time and I'M BACK!!  I made these a couple of weeks ago as a bit of light relief from work and thought I'd upload them but naturally there's a bit of a story with them.  

I'm not normally much of a skinner but I liked these two dress meshes from Amaryll.  I must have downloaded the original files months ago because I CANNOT find the original download threads to link to which is annoying as hell.  That's something I very much like to do - probably a hold over from my time at MTS.  However, Amaryll I know posts at GoS and has a Livejournal (under the name Withered Lilies).  If anyone knows where I got the mesh files from originally, please let me know. 
I did some plain recolours for both meshes.  I realise there are probably several plain recolours of both already available (if I could find them to look at, I could tell!) so this might be a bit of a repetition of something already out there but my thinking here goes something like this: I have this habit when making stuff (usually objects) to always want a recolour in all the primary colours - or a version thereof - a red, a yellow, a blue, a green and sometimes light and dark versions and then secondary colours too; every time I make something, I'm forever reinventing the colours I'm using to suit whatever it is I'm making; I have made recolours of objects in quite a large variety of blues (and greens and reds and yellows) by now; I'm kind of getting irritated by that; I have come to realise I like strong jewel-like tones, i.e. well-saturated - I've found over the years that I tend to dislike and, therefore, habitually delete recolours of stuff which are discreet, tasteful and desaturated (looking at you BB - like the meshes, textures not so much) - I have no taste.  And I don't care.
Soooooo, what I did a while back was develop a palette for myself to save some time working out what colours to use and also that I might have a slightly more harmoniously coloured game with textures at least able to blend with each other and not be decorating with 56 types of blue (or green, red or yellow or whatever).  So when I came across these dress meshes, I used them as a recolour test for my new palette (I can do colour swaps ok).  I was fairly happy with the results.  I haven't provided a complete palette for both dresses but have made a selection for each one.  This is because, depending on the original texture, some colours from the palette come out very similar (blond and chartreuse can behave very similarly on a fairly dark gray original for example) and some I thought were not particularly successful.  For my use, that's completely fine.  I want stuff that I feel works.  It sounds a bit pretentious for me to have my own palette but it's already saving me a lot of time and fiddling about.  

Anyway, hope you like these.  The colours are as follows:
For the Papillon dress I used (l-r, top-bottom): cherry; sandstone; turquoise; coffee; blond; aegean; aubergine; crocodile
For the Snuggly dress I used (l-r, top-bottom): peacock; garnet; aubergine; spice; chartreuse; coffee

Mesh included

Attached Files
.rar   max_AmaryllDressPapillon.rar (Size: 24 bytes / Downloads: 30)
.rar   max_AmaryllDressSnuggly.rar (Size: 1.9 MB / Downloads: 33)
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