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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

New tutorial: How to create custom food

(Small aside comment: The video and sound had to be recorded seperatly because my laptop gave trouble otherwise. I did my very best to match them. It won't be an issue to follow the tutorial, though.)

There are already many different tutorials for creating different CC for The Sims series. But as I still sometimes need various tutorials to create one type of CC I decided to write my own tutorial and combine all the things I want to be able to do with that type of CC.
I also really want to share it so other people can create this type of CC too so maybe there might be a successor when I (maybe someday) retire of creating (and finally start playing with the CC I made myself).
I know there might be good tutorials to recolor food already like the one written by Ariesflare at MTS, but this is how I create custom food.

So in this tutorial I'll explain how to create (recolor) a new food.
This is not really a tutorial for complete beginners. There are a few things I won't explain and I suppose you already know these things like e.g. recoloring a texture and importing into SimPE, making a GUIDblock. But I will refer to some external tutorials on these matters so a beginner so a beginner can follow this tutorial too.
I hope you will enjoy this tutorial and I'm really looking forward to see your food uploaded (here on S2I or on MTS or somewhere else). Just give this tutorial the credit for teaching you howto so others can create food too.
Please, also let me know if you did create and/or upload food created with this tutorial. Otherwise it will be hard for me to find it.
I deliberately didn't add any screenshots to not overload the blogpost. If the tutorial like this is not clear to you, you can also go to my videotutorial of how to create a food item. It's actually me following the tutorial while I read it out loud. It's better to watch the video and use this text as an extra guide.

Things you need before you start this tutorial

Cloning a food item
Some explaining
You can clone a custom food item, but I won't do that here. I made a video of every food that can be cooked in The Sims 2 (except the instant meal and gelatin which has no preparing needed).
When cloning a food item, you also copy the way it behaves.
  • Same time showing up
  • Same cooking skills needed
  • Same chance for rolling a new want
  • Same way of preparing it (in the oven, microwave, grill,...)
  • Same cutlery used
  • Same...
In this tutorial I'll show you how to change some of these things, but not everything. You'll get the basics, though and you are free (at your own risk) to try to change other things too.
The easiest, just clone the food that is closest to your custom food you want to create.

Some important things before starting:
  • Always press the button Commit after you did some changes (in case I forget to mention it).
  • English is not my mothertongue so forgive me if there are grammar or spelling mistakes while writing this. I try to make it as simple as possible for every non-English speaker to understand.
  • Maybe you'll see something explained differently in another tutorial. This is just the way I create my custom food. Feel free to do it otherwise, if you know what you're doing and at your own risk.
  • If you have any questions, remarks, comments, ... regarding this tutorial, please, send an e-mail to s2i_request@hotmail.be and I'll reply asap.
  • I don't know everything about SimPE and this cloning part. This is just what I do when I create food.
    • So, please, be understanding if I can't answer your question or refer you to anothor tutorial or another creator for help.

How to clone a food item (I'll show you how I made the beef stew)
  • Have in mind what (Maxis) food you want to clone (I'll use chili con carne to create beef stew).
    • To decide this you want to see my video of all Maxis food in Base Game (see Things you need before you start) and pay attention to the following things you want your food to do:
      • The time the food appears
      • The category the food appears (breakfast, dessert,...)
      • The cutlery used
      • The preparationstyle (cutting, sandwich, oven, stove, grill,...) (not to be changed)
      • Ingredients to recolor on the preparationplate
      • The serving (in a bowl, plate, can,...)
    • It's easier to clone this behaviours than to change them afterwards. Also by changing them you have a risk for errors in game (the fork-spoon story for some ice-creams).
  • Open SimPE
  • Go to Object Workshop (at the bottom) and press "Start"
      • You can press "open" when you want to clone a custom food item like ice-cream.
    • It might take some time to load (you'll see the progress in the (green) bar)
  • You'll see a treestructure
    • You'll find the food Chili con carne (and others) under "Unknown"
    • Select the food you want to clone
      • If this is the first time you follow this or any food tutorial: I strongly recommend to clone the Chili Con Carne because in examples I'll mostly refer to that one.
  • Then press Next
  • You get the option clone or recolor
    • We will recolor the food, but as it is a fridge item we need to select clone
    • Be sure to set defaults
  • Then you can change the catalog description
    • but you don't need to do that now. You can do that later too.
  • Then press finish
  • You can give a ModelName
    • Change Nullmodel in whatever you want, but it's not a bad idea to refer to the food you want to create.
    • Then press Update
  • Then SimPE asks you to already save the package somewhere and give it a name.
    • I always use kinda the same structure something like BeefStew-S2I-20160528
  • Now the real work begins!
Assigning the GUID
  • As I said before, this is not a beginners tutorial. I won't explain how to assign a new GUID.
  • Be sure to press the button "Plugin view" at the bottom on the left.
  • Go to Object Data (OBJD) in the Resource Tree.
    • You'll see two names in the Resource List
  • Be sure when you change the GUID you use names like Food - Beef Stew - Menu and Food - Beef Stew
    • Don't forget to press the button Commit
    • Now write down both GUIDs 'cause you'll need them later.
Assigning the food
  • I don't know what other title to give it, but this is very important that you do it right or the food won't work in game.
    • Take the written down GUIDs with you and split them up in pairs leaving out the 0x. E.g.:
      • Food - Beef Stew - Menu: 00 65 A2 96
      • Food - Beef Stew: 00 65 A2 97
    • Go to Behaviour Function (BHAV)
      • Go to CT - GUID - Menu
        • You'll see the operands and below that you'll see "is instance of: GUID 0x........ which is actually the operands but the other way around
        • So you fill out in the first cell of the operands the last pair (in my eg 96) and so do that for all four pairs.
      • Go to CT - Factory - Food
        • Select the first line and do the same with the operands as above, but with the food GUID.
The menu

  • Go to Catalog Description (CTSS) in the Resource Tree and press Catalog Description in the Resource List
    • In the first line you write the title of your food. In my example that's: Beef Stew
    • In the second line you write the descriptions for the food. In my example that's: This is a delicious bowl of Beef Stew. Looks tasty!
  • Go to Text Lists (STR#) in the Resource Tree and press [Text Lists] in the Resource List
    • Go to your languagestring. I speak Dutch, but I'll use English as the language string in this example and make it default as I want to upload it.
      • Very important to press the button "Default lang only" so if the custom food is used in another game with another language it's still English. Otherwise you'll get comments like, "In my game it's still called Chili Con Carne, but when my sim prepares it, it looks like Beef Stew".
      • To easily change these lines, press the button Export Lang so you can save into a notepad .txt file. Then you can replace the words (eg: Chili Con Carne) very fast into, in my example, Beef Stew. by pressing CTRL+H.
      • Save the .txt file again and use the button Import Lang in SimPE to import it again.
    • Don't forget to press the button Commit on the right.

Changing the texture

  • Go to Texture Image (TXTR) in the Resource Tree.
    • The names in the Resource List kind of speak for themselves.
    • You only need to change a few of them.
      • ...foodprepchili-ingredients_txtr: These are the ingredients of the food you cloned. That's why you need to think carefully what food you will clone (at the beginning of this tutorial).
      • ...foodeatchili-state-cooked_txtr
      • ...foodprepbowlchili-state-raw_txtr
      • ...foodeatchili-state-burned_txtr
    • Right-click on the texture and press export. Save the texture somewhere and change it to the way your food needs to look like.
    • Right-click on the texture again and press Build DXT
      • Format: DXT3Format or DXT1Format (I basically leave it when I clone Maxis food, but prefer changing it to DXT3Format when cloning custom food like ice-cream)
      • Sharpen: None
      • Open Image and select the changed texture.
      • Then press Build.
    • Don't forget to press (right-click) Update all sizes and the button Commit
  • Take a view at Geometric Data Container (GMDC) in the Resource Tree
    • In the Resource List you see the same names as in the Texture Image list so the names speak for themselves.
      • To take a peek at your new texture on the mesh, select the name of the texture you have changed in the GMDC Resource List.
      • Then press Preview in the Plugin View.
      • Wait a while because it has to load. Then you can see the preview and change the texture again if your not satisfied.
      • In this way you don't always need to start the game to take a look at the texture (really a huge timesaver).

Actually now you're done creating a custom food item.
You can upload the packagefile somewhere as long as you mention this tutorial by using this link http://bit.ly/TutorialFoodS2I.

More subtutorials on creating food will be uploaded soon!

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