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Extra Information: Sims 2 Furniture

Furniture is easily the most complex of all Sims 2 custom content items. For this reason there are a number of items across the section which over the years have been fixed or improved, or special features added. You can find a glossary in this page which shows an information icon (like the ones you'll see online in our Sims 2 Furniture section) and an explanation of what it means.

Poly Counts: What Are They?

Poly count (short for polygon count) is a value, usually expressed as two separate totals, Faces and Vertices, which describes how simple or complex the mesh of a new mesh object is.

A new mesh object (as opposed to a recolour) has a different shape from an object that comes with the game. This shape comes from it's mesh, which is like a 3D wire frame underneath the pretty texture you see in game. The vertices are the points where all these virtual 'wires' meet and cross over each other, the faces are the surface spaces in between the 'wires'.

If a mesh has a large number of these then your computer has to work harder to display the mesh, it has to make many more calculations to know where every 'wire' is and what it should display where. A simple object (one with smaller numbers of faces and vertices = a lower poly count) will require much less processing than a complex object (with a lot of faces and vertices = a higher poly count).

Different creators tend to have different ideas on what low counts and high counts are. Many artists will make objects with 10,000 - even 20,000 or more polygons, and think this is perfectly reasonable. Other artists will work tirelessly to get their objects down to under 800 faces and vertices because they believe this was the recommended maximum suggested by the developers (they're somewhat right, but also somewhat wrong about this as I shall explain below!).

Low, Medium & High Values

EA's original recommendation was to aim for 800 Faces and Vertices per game tile (which is why we also put the number of tiles in our object information). This recommendation was made in 2004 based on the typical minimum hardware they expected most Sims 2 players with low end computers to have at the time. Our advisory is set higher than this minimum because that is fairly representative of the objects that come with the game and because it's no longer 2004.

  • Low Poly - up to 1200 Faces / Vertices per tile
  • Medium Poly - between 1200 and 2800 Faces / Vertices per tile
  • High Poly - over 2800 Faces / Vertices per tile
  • We have very few high poly objects using this classification and no objects are allowed on our site which are over 4000 Faces / Vertices per tile. Typically our objects are of similar complexity to those that come with the game itself.

    That said, there is no need to worry too much about individual objects. If your game does lag then consider using smaller lot sizes and using fewer objects overall on the lot; it will make more of a difference than obsessing over the poly counts of individual objects.

    Meshes Vs Recolors

    There are 2 different types of object packages:

  • Meshes: these are complete stand-alone objects with a different design from the objects that come with the game (often called 'New Mesh Objects'}
  • Recolors: these are texture only packages which contain a color option for either a game object or a new mesh object
  • Here at Parsimonious all recolors of object meshes will include the object mesh in the download zip, as well as showing you a smaller picture of the original by the download, so you know what to look for in your game Build/Buy catalog.

    The important thing to remember about recolors is that you can only use them if you have the base mesh installed in your game. The meshes should always work on their own in most cases. Any installed color options will work just like choosing colors for the game objects using the Design Mode Tool.

    On some sites you might find special Repository Objects - these borrow textures from other objects, usually an object that comes with the game, but some creators like to have sets of custom objects which all share a single texture. This is designed to save hard disk space, but it can cause complications especially for lot builders who like to share houses with custom objects, or for users who can't find the 'master' custom object which contains the texture. You will not find many such objects at Parsimonious and all those that do work this way, always include the master object in the download zip for any 'slave' objects that borrow textures.

    Flashing Blue Objects & The CEP

    There are 2 reasons why objects might flash blue instead of appearing as advertised:

  • Repository Slave Objects missing their Master: as noted above, the master object is required for repository slave objects to borrow their textures from, no master = no texture. This is likely to be what is wrong with your game if you only have a few custom objects which flash blue, others work as they are supposed to.
  • Missing CEP Files: If ALL your custom objects are flashing blue and/or showing up as regular base game objects, then you have not installed the CEP file. This happens to new users who aren't aware they need to install the CEP before using custom objects and also to more experienced players who forgot to reinstall the CEP after adding a new expansion pack to their game.
  • For more information and to download The CEP please visit either of the following links:

  • Adding Downloads To Your Game
  • CEP Home page @ MTS
  • Flashing Pink/Purple Objects

    If some objects flash pink/purple rather than blue then some of the settings used to create the particular look of an object are not compatible with your graphics card.

    These errors are rare, but in most cases there is no fix for it without radically redesigning the objects. Typically it seems to be certain animating textures that generate this fault. The creator of the object may have made a static recolor which uses different settings and so you can use that recolour instead to avoid the problem if you really like the object design, otherwise the only alternative is to chuck the object out.

    Oddly the same settings are used by some game objects and it is a perpetual mystery to me why a custom object with those settings will flash pink, but the game object works just fine! It seems to be most prevailant amongst users with very low end graphics cards, I have not updated my affected designs on the basis that sooner or later those graphics cards will go out of use.

    Fixing Incorrect Catalog Thumbnails

    A common side-effect of objects being updated is that even though you replace the old file with the new one, the catalog thumbnail in game looks exactly the same - even if the updated object looks really really different.

    This is because the game catalog only creates the thumbnails when the objects are first loaded rather than every time you start your game to save time. Fortunately there is a way you can force it to create new thumbnails and therefore get correct images for updated objects.

    The following Sims Wiki Topic includes (amongst other things) how to refresh your game thumbnails. It is perfectly safe to delete the contents of your Thumbnails folder. The game will regenerate them and in doing so, will render new versions for any objects which have been replaced and which have different thumbnail settings.

  • Sims Wiki Deleting Cache & Thumbnail Files
  • Information: Fixes

    The following icons are used in our Furniture section to show that an object has been updated. The listing below describes the fix. The date of the update is shown in the set information. If you downloaded an object a long time ago which has one of these icons download the object again and be sure to replace your existing copy.

    For some objects you may need to also delete and re-buy instances placed in your game, but for most, simply replacing the file should be sufficient. When prompted, choose Yes to overwrite your existing copy.

    GUID Clash

    Objects with this icon have been updated to correct a GUID clash. Typically a GUID clash will cause it to over-write a game object (temporarily of course!), or occasionally it'll clash with a custom object causing the game to crash. These are pretty rare, but if you ever see an object in our Furniture section with one of these, make sure you get the newest version right away!

    Reduced Polygons

    The object's custom mesh has been updated to reduce the number of polygons - this makes the mesh less complex therefore easier for your computer to render when it is running the game.

    Fixed Mesh

    The object's custom mesh has been repaired or re-designed to make it look nicer in game. The old version wasn't harmful, but possibly uglier than necessary. Recolours you have installed may no longer work with the updated object.

    Fixed Materials

    Objects with this icon have had their texture/material definition updated either to look nicer, or to better match other items in the same set. It will not affect any recolours you have for the object (if it is a new mesh object), although if the creator of the recolours simply left the existing definitions in place and only updated the texture then their recolours will have inherited the original mismatch. I suggest if it's a major flaw that you ask them to either update their TXMT or create a new recolour from our updated object (ask nicely of course!)

    No-EP Version

    This icon can indicate a few different things. The object is either an old object which used to need an Expansion pack, which has been updated to be base game compatible. It might also be a new copy of an existing design which is base game compatible (if there's another like it in the set, that's probably the reason).

    Now Recolorable

    On occasion older objects were released without supporting recolours. This icon by an object means it has been updated to support recolours. It doesn't, however, guarentee that any recolours necessarily exist, but potentially they can at least be recoloured should any particular artist want to take on the job of recolouring them.

    Pets Compatible Bathtub

    Bathtubs which are compatible with the Pets EP and therefore allow your Sims to wash their dog as well as their kids in the tub. Useful!

    Information: Features / Quirks

    The following icons are used in when objects have particular quirks or features that the game objects don't have. Some do new and interesting things, others have small and harmless faults because of the way custom content is created (or possibly ineptitude on the part of the creator - we all do our best to make things work on a technical level, but it's a huge and difficult subject area so mistakes do get made).

    Hot Air Balloon (yes really...)

    The Hot Air Balloon is a completely new object - that is to say it isn't based on anything that exists with in the game but was made from scratch with custom meshes, animations, and behaviours.

    Sims can ride in the balloon, it takes about an hour and needless to say, they can't get out once they've taken off so make sure they don't risk missing the carpool! Nightlife or later is recommended to use the balloon, it will work perfectly safely with less/no EP's, but Sims do not correctly exit the basket once the ride is over and have to be told to go to a spot outside the basket. With Free Time installed Sims will gain nature enthusiasm whilst riding.

    Although EA were kind enough to consult on this project, even they couldn't figure out how we should set it up to 'snap' Sims into the balloon, and so the animation of them using the balloon includes the vertical ascent and decent. Sometimes these animations will get out of synch if your game stutters or lags slightly but this is in no way harmful!

    With extra special thanks to:

  • Rebeccah
  • Inge Jones
  • Pi
  • I literally could not have hoped to have made this without your considerable assistance!

    Mood Altering Object

    Using objects marked with this icon will change your Sims moods (aka motives). They may not necessarily change them for the better! Sims will not use them autonomously, even with high free will, so they can safely be used as decoration without risking your Sims driving themselves into motive failure whilst you're not looking!

    Buyable Food Object

    Objects with this icon can be eaten by Sims and will satisfy their hunger motive (equivalent to a snack rather than a meal). Buy them from the Buy Mode Catalog (not the fridge or the grocery store). They never spoil and Sims will not autonomously eat them or bin them, so they can also be used as decoration.

    Custom Buffet Table

    This icon is used on buffet table objects which use a different selection of foods from the default game buffet (turkey salad and geletin). All the foods used come with the game itself, although some might require an Expansion pack (it will be listed in the object information if so).

    Creature Potions

    This icon is used to denote buyable potions and cures which turn your Sims into the special creatures included with the various EP's - and then back again if you so desire. They are bought from the Buy Catalog rather than having your Sims buy them from the Gypsy. Additionally as they are designed to also be put on display, they are designed to be used on the lot and not from inventory. To use it, click on the bottle to have the selected Sim drink it rather than clicking on the Sim and selecting the 'drink potion' self interaction. They can be used as decoration, Sims will never use them autonomously and they should set the correct memory markers (i.e. 'became a vampire' 'was cured' etc).

    Drinking the Werewolf Maker potion will not instantly turn your Sim into a werewolf. Infected Sims will only turn into werewolves at 8pm the first night after drinking the potion. This means if your Sim drinks the potion at 7pm, they will transform 1 hour later. If they drink the potion at 9pm, they will not transform for another 23 hours.

    Wall Mounted

    Objects with this icon have been coded so that they must always be placed against a wall. This is done to make the design of the object seem more realistic. You can use the move_objects on cheat to place them normally.

    Special FX

    Some objects use special effects which are included in the game to enhance their appearance. These effects will not run in Build/Buy, they will only start in Live mode. Please be aware that these FX will contribute more towards the processing requirements of the game, so if you use many objects which run FX all at once, it may cause your game to run more slowly. How much will depend on how good your computer is and how many FX are operating at any given time. If you accidentally place more than your computer can cope with use your keyboard to switch into Build or Buy Mode (F2, F3) and delete the active objects.

    Community Lot Object

    These objects are only available on Community lots.

    EP Bookcases

    This icon shows that the bookcase object it is next to is a new version of an existing bookcase which supports extra features added to bookcases in general by later expansion packs.

    Please be aware that where there are multiple versions of the same object in a set, ones which support expansion pack features, ones which are base game compatible, but lack those features, the set download zip will only include the expansion pack version.

    No EP Bookcases

    This icon shows that the bookcase object it is next to is a base game version, there is typically more than one version of the bookcase available within a set, others may be designed to have extra features included in later expansion packs. The one with this label will work with all versions of The Sims 2, however it will not have those extra expansion pack features.

    Please be aware that where there are multiple versions of the same object in a set, ones which support expansion pack features, ones which are base game compatible, but lack those features, the set download zip will only include the expansion pack version.

    Perfumes

    Parsimonious custom perfumes are available to buy from the Buy catalog, not from the Nightlife Perfume Rack in a shop. They cannot be used on inventory as they are meant to be put out on display. Some include varying effects for additional impact, although there may also be a no-FX version for those who want the benefits of perfume without the fog of flowers, or water drops or anything else added! They will also last longer than the game perfumes which wear off very quickly.

    Sims will not use these perfumes automously, to use them click on the bottle in live mode with the selected sim, they will pick it up and use it (destroying the bottle). Just like the game perfumes it will attract other Sims who have perfume listed in their turn ons (and equally repell Sims who have it in their turn offs).

    University Dorm Door

    Custom Dorm doors are designed only for University lots. Unfortunately the game does not handle these very well, NPC's will not move into a dorm room with a custom dorm door as they will look for the University door by it's GUID, so it is best to use them on a lot you intend to fully occupy with playable Sims, or add some rooms with game doors for NPC's to move into.

    Vacation Hotel Door

    There is a pricing bug with custom hotel doors. When a Sim selects a hotel room with a custom door, the price shown is stupidly high, however when they rent the room at the desk, they are only charged the amount they would have paid if the room had a normal game door.

    Repository Master & Slave

    Objects with these icons share their textures. The Red Slave icon indicates the object which borrows the texture it uses from the green icon master object. You will need the master object to use the slave.

    Lot builders need to be aware that if you use the slave in a lot you are sharing online, it will be flashing blue if your downloads don't have the master. You can include the master in the download zip, or give the download link to get it from us if you do not want to use the master in your lot.

    I have opted not to label all doors and windows with these icons (because it would look silly and confuse people), but it is important to remember that doors and windows also have this same master and slave relationship between the 'normal' and diagonal meshes. The same issue may occur for lot builders, if you use a custom window only on a diagonal wall, without putting an instance on a straight wall, anyone downloading your lot who doesn't have the master already, will find the diagonal version flashes blue.

    In general I have found visitors experience a lot of problems using repository objects so you will not find that many of them at Parsimonious. It is important for me to mention here that the master is always included in the download zip of it's slaves so you do not need to hunt around for the required master file.

    Change to Outerwear

    Objects with this icon support the Seasons 'change to outerwear' option. Typically this applies to toddler changing tables. Often sets that feature one of these objects also have a base game version of the same design which lacks this option.

    Please be aware that where there are multiple versions of the same object in a set, ones which support expansion pack features, ones which are base game compatible, but lack those features, the set download zip will only include the expansion pack version.

    Pets Compatible Mirror

    Mirrors were updated with the Pets EP to allow Sims to change the appearance of their toddlers and pets. Some of our sets offer both a base game mirror, and a Pets compatible version which has these additional features.

    Please be aware that where there are multiple versions of the same object in a set, ones which support expansion pack features, ones which are base game compatible, but lack those features, the set download zip will only include the expansion pack version.

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