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F.A.Q. > FreeTime and Custom Content: Tips for Installation/Gameplay Issues
StormwenchLink to postposted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:36 pm

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BACKUP your current game files before attempting to install FreeTime.  If you do not do this and need to uninstall FT, you will not be able to use the neighborhoods/saved games that have been updated by FT in earlier games. 


Remember to remove the contents of your downloads folder (CEP can be left behind) before installing or before playing the game.  Of course, many of you know this should be done for any ep release but  many new folks who have gotten Sims2 long after it and other EPs were first released did not have to face this issue as the content they have seen has already been updated for thier game.  The last couple of EPs had very few conflicts in them, so even though we know this is the right thing to do in the past, we may have been lulled into thinking this is not a step we should worry about.   


Recolors of maxis items should not be a problem.  Catalogs should be okay as well and Collections

Existing neighborhoods, existing custom terrains created from SC4, SC4 files themselves, music, movies and pets should not have to be removed and should be left since many of them are updated on install by FT.


About 95% of the issues seen with loading, opening, playing The Sims2 with FreeTime have been quickly resolved by removing the downloads folder or its contents or turning off custom content.  Moving CC to another directory outside /My Documents/EAGAMES/The Sims2 with save you a great deal of anxiety.  The download folder can be moved after installing but it is better to do this first as some people have been unable to install the game past a certain point due to some CC. 


If you have left your downloads file intact while installing FT and the installation works, that does not mean you are safe from issues.  You can turn off custom content in the game, as long as you have no issues getting that far, however, it makes it hard to test files a few at a time and it will 'turn' off CEP so some recolors may not show up.  Turning off CC is a quick test to determine if CC is causing the problem - if it is you can move your downloads files and start looking for the file(s) that are causing the problems.


If you have a problem during gameplay you should close The Sims2 and turn off ormove your downloaded cc out of your game directory in My Documents/EAGAMES.  Chances are that this will fix your problem but if it does not then you the will know it is most likely a game issue and troubleshoot for other issues.  If you contact EA support with an issue the first thing they will  ask is if you have any content in your game that was not installed by the base game, the eps and sps; so that is a practical step you should take anyway to make getting EA support quicker.


Before returning your CC files to the downloads directory check with the creator of the mod, hack, modded/edited object, etc. to see if the its been tested and found it compatiable with FT or they have updated it for FT.


If you are unable to locate the creator of some of your content then slowly add back your cc several at a time, testing in between so that you know which re-added batch is causing the problem and locate the files(s) from a much smaller number of files then trying to search your whole downloads folder.  As mentioned above recolors of EA/maxis created objects should not be a problem and can be moved back or left in the downloads folder. 


Most new meshes in non modded/hacked files "probably" will be safe in your game, but since you cannot know for sure if the object cloned as a base has been updated by EA/maxis you should move these back in managable batches opening and closing the game (and checking in a lot) to make sure everything is working.  This way if you suddenly load the game and encouter a problem you know that the issue is in the last batch you added since the last test, you can then remove that batch and add them back a few or one at a time to sero in on the file that is an issue.


For mods and modded objects; hacks and edited objects the best thing to do is to wait until the creator clears the file as updated or notified users that they are safe for FT.  If you simply are unable to wait then move these files back one at a time and test each one with some gameplay.


None of these methods are foolproof and you could test and seem to not have an issue and then suddenly conflict during later gameplay.  Anytime you hit an issue with the game you should check by removing downloads, or turning them off in game, to make sure its the game that has the problem and its not caused by your cc.


This has been mentioned several places (including other posts on the forum), but as a reminder, if you are creating/cloning/editing FreeTime content, or with FT installed while editing other ep/sp/basegame content, you need to wait until the SimPE is updated for FT, create on a computer that does not yet have FT installed, or use Numenors anygamestarter which can be downloaded from to use a setup that does not include FT when you are creating.   


Before asking for help with missing FT objects in SimPE remember that you will need a version of SimPE that 'recognizes' FT.   At this time that has not been released yet.   SimPE developers are working hard on this but when there are many changes in an ep release it does take some time.   If you are anxious to create with FT objects or with FT installed look into joining the QA program and help test the next simPE release.  You will still have to wait until a test version is released but you will be able to use it with FT and it helps the devs get the release out faster if people are actively testing and reporting.   It maybe a less stable release, but it might be worth it to you if are anxioous to get some content out based on FT. 


Remember, that some of the new FT object may not be recolorable even with a SimPE QA/Full release for FT if you do not have the CEP version for FT.   





linarwingLink to postposted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:02 pm

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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. :-)



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