REbustin' Out (The Sims BO Online PS2 Implementation)

Discussion in 'Other TSO related projects' started by camjam1995, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. camjam1995

    camjam1995 Member

    Hello! I am Cam, and I am part of the REbustin'OUT team! What is that you ask? It is a team who is (Successfully) working to revive the sims bustin out online weekend mode for PS2. This mode was similar (But not the same!) to the sims online. It was a fun little mode where you could connect to other sims fans online and play together, trade, etc.

    Well, due to certain reasons, we cannot say how we did this, but we have the game running, online, in testing right now. Me and two others (Formally three others) developed this. The Sims Bustin Out online used similar online servers to The Sims Online so it was pretty easy. At the moment, I do not have screens to share, but I do have news: The Sims REbustin'OUT uses a similar method to connect as OBSRV, which is a similar revival of Resident Evil Outbreak. You simply change the DNS the game points to, and it connects to our online server. Currently, the game is in testing, because it has SEVERE bug problems. We don't want to release anything until more of the bugs are worked out so we can beta test. We posted this (and eventually deleted) on another sims forum. We have a list of FAQ for you to read.

    Q. What platform is this for? Can I play on Xbox or Gamecube? Or just PS2?
    A. PS2 only. Only the PS2 version of TSBO had online play. There is nothing we can do to bring this to Gamecube or Xbox because it didn't exist.

    Q. How does it work?
    A. The server runs on Windows Server 2003 with emulation support for required plugins. One of the team members developed a completely new server code wrapper to emulate the game server. You boot up the PS2, enter online mode, go to the online setup wizard, and point your DNS to our server. Then, you log in with your assigned names.

    Q. When will this be publicly available? How far along are you?
    A. We are hoping for a Summer 16 release. We believe we are about 60% done. We have alot of connection problem bugs and random server crashes to fix first. The server crashed when we were using a toilet in game. (Seriously)

    Q. Can I run a server?
    A. Unfortunately, we are not planning on releasing the code. The server supports up to 3000 active connections and has 15 game rooms. We do not want to have multiple servers because then more people will be elsewhere and it will be too "Fractured". We run on actual server hardware (not a computer!) and this server is a very reliable server that we use to run other online projects at the same time. There is no worry of it vanishing randomly. :)

    Q. Are there any cool features in this?
    A. Yes! The benefit about our project is you don't need to download/mod/etc ANYTHING! You simply need an NTSC-UC copy of the game (Pal MIGHT work too, but not tested!), a PS2 capable of online play, and a good internet connection. (DSL is fine). You then connect to our DNS and thats it! Boom! No modding required!

    Anyways, feel free to ask questions and such. We have been working hard since 2013 to bring this out and we have great news to share (Including screens!) soon. :)
    So stay tuned!
  2. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

    Very interesting, if this is true then it could prove a rather different way to play the sims online with others - kind of like what we have right now in that there is no mmo server. I did play bustin' out, but I never tried the multiplayer mode. Bustin' Out was my favourite sims game before 2, believe it or not. (though i have grown to appreciate 1 more, and tso is obviously my baby)

    How does the PS2 version of the game handle lots? The PC version simulates lots on the server and synchronises all clients to it, which makes it a hard target for a server emulator (which is why we're reimplementing everything!). Is it a Nintendo WFC-like setup where the clients are trusted with everything, and the server is just a matchmaker-forwarder?

    Have you tried connecting using PCSX2? Last I checked, there should be a plugin for the network adapter, even though most games have shut down...

    Can you post any videos or screenshots?

    Finally - I have a personal interest in examining the files in the console versions of The Sims, but I have no clue what their archive format is. I'm assuming since you've reversed how everything works, you should know a little about how the resources are stored. I've only tried TS1 GCN, not sure if Bustin Out is different but it should be the same engine. Any pointers on the format?
    nicefunfungirl likes this.
  3. camjam1995

    camjam1995 Member

    Its also our favorite too! It had a great fun little charm!

    Its all server side (Mostly). EA ran the game online in a few different ways that was a big pain to figure out. All of the lots main data are client side, but whenever a public area is edited by a server admin, the data is server side and only downloads when you connect. Once you disconnect it vanishes. There were special edition objects that appeared during events (like Xmas), that we have as well from the original server. This data though is uncompressed and 3MB each, which unfortunately makes it impossible to implement in the game because the PS2 cannot handle downloading of a ton of data unless you have a hard drive. We aren't sure how EA worked this yet. TSO could be played (and mostly was played) without a hard drive. We do know that you can insert a hard drive into the original fatty PS2 and TSBO makes cache files on the disc. But we haven't tested trying to use these objects. We pretty much had to redevelop a full login system from scratch because we didn't have that data. Essentially what we did was packet captures and reverse engineering. Unfortunately packet captures can only go so far.

    We have! Alot of the bugs aren't popping up when using an emulator. Our problem is real hardware. Any time we use a real PS2 lots of problems pop up.

    Daryl, the project lead, doesn't want this very public, so not at the moment, unfortunately. He's worried it will get shut down if it gets too well known. We do have plans for a teaser video in Feb though.

    Well, The Sims 1 and BO used an engine developed by Edge Of Reality. We actually had to use a proprietary tool that we were given by a former developer from the studio (EOR developed TS1, Bustin Out and Sims 3 Console). Some files though wouldn't open, which required us to reverse engineer them. I'll talk to Daryl about the file system. Maybe he can elaborate a bit more on that.
  4. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

    You say it's server side, but then say that the lot data is client side... What I meant was, does the game run the simulation on a "host" ps2 after it has received the data from the server/saved lot, and synchronised commands stream through the central server ps2 to ps2 without the server running the full SimAntics environment?

    We have to run the SimAntics environment on the serverside to ensure security (no money, object cheats), though generally for console games this seems to be foregone and the peer consoles are trusted with hosting game instances. It would make sense for the ps2, and definitely make a server emulator much more possible without doing what we're doing.
    nicefunfungirl likes this.
  5. simshout

    simshout New Member

    Looks very promising!
    nicefunfungirl likes this.
  6. nicefunfungirl

    nicefunfungirl Active Member


  7. LetsRaceBwoi

    LetsRaceBwoi Well-Known Member

    Maybe now is a good time to buy a PS2 network adapter and mod my PS2?
    nicefunfungirl likes this.
  8. nicefunfungirl

    nicefunfungirl Active Member

    Have yet to figure out what Bustin' Out Online gameplay was. ._.
  9. camjam1995

    camjam1995 Member

    Sorry, I probably could have worded it better. :p
    No, it all runs on the main server and has a certain number of people per room up until all rooms are full. Unfortunately, similar to Simcity and there is nothing we can do about this because while we are able to modify how many Sims are on each lot, obviously too many will cause severe framerate problems. Theres also security in place (Which is actually broken right now) that prevents users from using hex editors, cheats, code breaker/gameshark, etc. It is supposed to refuse connection to those players but its broken. This is one of the reason why we developed a wrapper and emulator, because we can "Remake" or "Recode" certain systems that are broken. The entire chat system was broken when we first started. Now its mostly working. You can talk to sims on lots by typing. But in the chat lobbies text isn't showing up in the chat box preventing chat in lobbies. We currently have no idea how to fix this.

    It is basically like the two player mode, but with multiple people and you are able to type text to chat. Theres also many objects that aren't in the single player/2 player offline game like kiosks.

    It works on PS2 slim. You don't need to really mod anything. It should work out of the box.
    nicefunfungirl likes this.
  10. Blayer98

    Blayer98 Active Member

    I did used to have that game on PS2 but I never really played it much.
    nicefunfungirl likes this.
  11. nicefunfungirl

    nicefunfungirl Active Member

    I wish TS2 had something like this,and if it were down IT could be restored....


    (If i can...)
  12. LetsRaceBwoi

    LetsRaceBwoi Well-Known Member

    I have the old SCPH-50003 model, which isn't slimline - I don't yet have a network adapter and they're pretty expensive so I'll probably only get one as the project becomes more stable. I have the hardware required for smooth emulation, though, so PCSX2 will be my first port of call. :)
    The reason I'll be modding my PS2 is unrelated to this topic - just thought I'd start doing it now while I have particular interest in the PS2 (used to love Driver 3 until I got it for PC)

    EDIT: Another note, I have both a modded GameCube and Xbox - could the PS2 version not be compiled for the consoles, so that they could play online too?
    nicefunfungirl likes this.
  13. nicefunfungirl

    nicefunfungirl Active Member

    I wanna use my PC to play... I don't have my actual PS2 anymore....
  14. LetsRaceBwoi

    LetsRaceBwoi Well-Known Member

    I still have my PS1 :p
    nicefunfungirl likes this.
  15. AquilaSim

    AquilaSim Administrator Staff Member Moderator

    Maybe with a PS2 emulator ? but not sure if you will be able or not to play at online weekend mode... :/
    nicefunfungirl likes this.
  16. nicefunfungirl

    nicefunfungirl Active Member

    It's possible. If this is just like the obsrv thing,(Which i have indeed used,AND CAN SAFELY SAY IT WORKS),Like that say it is,then i should be able to. Doing a few things will easily allow online play.

    (EDIT:I'll be honest... I tried it earlier,My PC is going to ruin any chances of me getting close to playing a 3D Online Sims too... D'; ) PS.I never saw the online weekend button.
  17. camjam1995

    camjam1995 Member

    The reason the PS2 version was the only version to have online play was because it was released in 2003. Xbox Live still hadn't launched at this point for Xbox and the gamecube online service wasn't doing well and was pretty obscure. All of the online coding was stripped out of the other releases and its not possible to change this sadly.

    It will work. You just need to bypass DNAS which is not something we will say to do, only because the legality of doing so is filled with red tape. (With DNAS terms of service state NOT to bypass it, so doing so would be at own risk and we legally won't say how. There are online guides though.)

    It works very similar to OBSRV. It uses the same technique (Packet Captures and reconstructed servers, as well as a server emulator wrapper). Its actually where we got inspiration.
    nicefunfungirl and LetsRaceBwoi like this.
  18. Blayer98

    Blayer98 Active Member

    nicefunfungirl and LetsRaceBwoi like this.
  19. Nahuel3d

    Nahuel3d Active Member

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!! Sadly, i can't connect my modem to my PS2....
    Good Luck :D
    Looks interesting
    nicefunfungirl likes this.
  20. nicefunfungirl

    nicefunfungirl Active Member

    Im crying for some screenshots!!!! I FEEL SO LONELY EVERYTIME IN THE SIMS!! @.@

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