Possible to mod/hack game categories? (TS2)
#1 25-04-2019 
Hello there,
this is a question to all the modders & hackers out there. I went for the tea room again cause I didn't know where exactly to place this.

I'm wondering about those subcategories in the buy and build mode catalog. I know that some were added in expansion packs (like architectural, elevators) and so it seems like they must have had some placeholders there from the beginning to make that possible. Also in SimPe if you use the OBJD Tool and go to the Catalog Sort Tab you can sometimes see that there are checkboxes without any text between those with text. Like Plumbing, there's space for 3 more subcategories between "hot tubs" and "other" although inside the game there would only be room for 2 more icons. However in buy mode most categories would have room for at least one category to be added before the "miscellaneous" or "all" icon (there would even be room for another top category)
I guess I was wondering if it would be possible to fill some of those still empty slots with new categories. Like a fountain category (to stick with the plumbing example). I guess the most difficult part would be to make them show up in the game catalog with a new icon but it would just be so cool to really max out all the possible categories in the game.
I don't know anything about modding/hacking a game but I've already seen so many things being done that I thought I just ask, if only to find out if it would be at all possible for someone in the general sims modding community to change something like this.

Ok and now I stop re-reading my text and send it before I decide not to post it at all.

Greetings and thanks for reading,
Lucydique, proud to be a member of LeeFish since Mar 2019.

#2 25-04-2019 
Huh... interesting idea! I've re-catted all my fountains to be in the plumbing/other section - with the different sizes all priced the same (so, ie, all the 1T fountains are together when I scroll through my catalogue) But, you're wondering about adding a whole new section to the catalogue, right?
I can't wait to see how the real 'modders' weigh in on this! Heart If it could be done, it would be awesome-sauce!

#3 25-04-2019 
I think I've put my fountains into the pool section and I kinda use the plumbing category for everything bathroom related and the appliances for kitchen related stuff (to get all that clutter out of the deco sculptures category Wink ) and I also changed a lot of prizes to get things grouped together (using money cheats anyways) and I have collections and use hiders and everything I heard about to get it organized.
But yes I'm talking about new sections to finally group together all that awesome stuff I downloaded in descriptive categories that are not too full. Guess it's the "problem" with newer computers that allow such a massive amount of CC without getting to slow that create the need to sort them better.
I could imagine several new categories, i actually lie awake in my bed sometimes phantasizing what could be done *lol* including renaming some existing categories.
My guess is that it's too complicated (especially explaining to users how to install it on their machines) but I thought I just ask.

#4 26-04-2019 
What you could do, though it would take a while, is use collections folders. If you only wanted the items to show in collections and not in the catalog that is an easy edit in simpe.

#5 26-04-2019 
I already do that for a lot of things, especially all those building kits that would otherwise totally clutter the catalog with objects that only make sense if put together. I also hid all the christmas stuff and put it in a collection, using it only one time a year (if at all) anyways. Still there's so much left. I already have so many collections that I usually move some in & out of the collections folder before playing so I don't get lost in those too. I also use the room sort in the game but most creators don't care about it so I still have a lot of items I would have to change the room sort for. Having more actual categories would be a life saver here

#6 26-04-2019 
It would be awesome, but I think that the problem is maybe the UI and hacking into it. A lot of the category icons and things like that are updated when the game engine is updated. That would mean a new exe, and that is very hard if not impossible Sad

#7 26-04-2019 
I expected that but I still wanted to finally ask this. I saw some hacks about the UI but it was usually changing text or background images and not adding something new. The reason why this question popped back into my head is that I read somewhere that some categories were added later to the game (I always played with the full version so I never saw it with fewer categories) and it made me wonder if EA/Maxis might have already coded some kind of placeholders into those empty spaces I see in the game catalog that "just" needed to be activated.
But you answered that too by saying that it would need a new exe to update those.
Just to "cross off" another question in my mind, would it be possible to rename existing categories in the game or would that be just as complicated?

#8 27-04-2019 
That would be a question for @BoilingOil I think, but in theory the names of the categories are text strings so if you could find the text strings you could maybe change them.

#9 27-04-2019 
Hi there. I see that my name was spoken. Now I have no choice but to respond. Tongue

RE: renaming existing categories:
I've been doing a quick search, and I think I've found where you should look. Opening "<M&G install folder>/TSData/Res/Text/UIText.package" in SimPE, I found the category texts in the entry designated 0x00000096 (150) [Text Lists]. I hope this helps.
People who do not own M&G, should look in the installation folder of the last-released expansion or stuff-pack that they have installed. The rest remains the same, though.

As for defining completely new categories; I would not hold my breath waiting for such a thing to happen, because I expect that --indeed-- this requires a new .exe, and therefor a new EP/SP. BUT, if there is a way to do such a thing with just a mod, then I would first talk with such people as those who make category hiders and such similar mods, most of which are to be found on MTS. Off the top of my head, I cannot name any, alas. My memory for names and/or faces is terrible.

#10 27-04-2019 
Thank you soo much BoilingOil, I just tried it and that file can actually rename the categories (or at least the tooltip but that's what I need and meant in the first place). Didn't expect it to be so easy.

I can't remember I ever saw a mod to hide a category anywhere and quick look&search on MTS didn't reveal anything either. I might give it another look but probably not because even if I would find out which modder does those things I don't like asking at mts. Their rules about where/what/who to ask something seem very strict to me or I'm too sensible for that especially since it seems that it wouldn't be possible to do what I want anyways.

Thank you all for your answers here!


Sorry, that is a members only option