Volcanic IDE User Evaluation

Discussion in 'Evaluation' started by RHY3756547, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

    What is this?

    As you may already know, the Volcanic IDE is an object development environment for The Sims Online, which lets users fully create and modify game objects from inside FreeSO. It is also possible to step through, modify and debug objects at runtime!

    Volcanic IDE is actually my University 4th Year Project for this year, which is why it has been getting more attention than FreeSO itself as of late. As part of the project, I need to run a user evaluation to figure out if what I have done so far is good or bad, and what (if anything) I can do to make it better in the future! Of course, Volcanic is also not only a student project - all feedback from this evaluation will be used to make the program better in the future!

    I'm posting this here because I need participants for the Evaluation, so that I can find out if what I've been doing so far is the right thing and do something about it. I'd also like to see what you guys can come up with ;) - some people have already been trying out the IDE and have made changes ranging from full translations to Portuguese to functional changes to the Fire object! Before any of this was even ready! Crazy.

    How do I participate?
    Firstly, you should install FreeSO as explained in this support thread. However, instead of starting the game with FreeSO.exe, you should start it with FSO.IDE.exe. This will initialize the game in Volcanic mode, meaning that when you open a lot, the Volcanic IDE will also show up, allowing you to make changes!

    Next, you should try out one or more of the tasks that I've outlined below. These tasks range from easy to difficult, and you should be able to complete at least one or two. It's ideal that you attempt all of them, but tasks 4 and 5 are rather demanding on prior knowledge and are probably not for most people.

    Finally, I would like you to fill out a quick survey to summarize your thoughts and feelings about the IDE, as well as ask for thoughts on the program compared to Edith and Codex, if the user has used them. You should also post on this thread confirmation that you have entered the survey, a list of the tasks you completed, and those you didn't.

    To complete the evaluation, you should attempt all of the tasks listed below. For each task you complete, you should post on the task thread:
    1. Any .piff or .iff files resulting from the completion of the task.
    2. A description of what you did.
    3. Any problems you ran into along the way, or things that you liked!
    When you have attempted all tasks, post back on this thread which ones you have completed. Then you can complete the survey!

    Task 1: Translate Existing Object Strings
    NOTE: You do not need to translate into another real language to complete this task, only demonstrate an understanding of how it works and attempting a modification.
    To complete this task, all you need to do is modify the strings for one or more objects to support some language other than English(US). There is a tutorial for this available here:

    Task 2: Modify Existing Object's Appearance
    NOTE: No 3D modelling experience is required for this task! Only demonstration that you can successfully replace object graphics.
    To complete this task, you must modify the graphics of any object by changing SPR resources, DGRPs or both. For example, minimum participation would be changing the colour of a sofa object... but a more interesting modification would be changing the channels visible on the TV!
    Task 3: Modify Existing Object Function
    To complete this task, you must modify an existing object to be reasonably different. A minimum example of participation would be a shower that restores motives or something silly like changing the aquarium to electrocute the sim on attempting to feed the fish, killing the fish in the process...

    It would be more fun and helpful to do something original, like modifying the Fire object to correctly spread to adjacent tiles, or modifying the McDonalds food objects to kill you after a series of animations, while the attendant performs an evil laugh in the background. Anything you can come up with is likely possible!​

    Task 4: Import TS1 (custom) content into FreeSO and fixing any broken BHAVs.
    This task is a little more difficult than the others, since it requires some understanding of SimAntics. The main idea here is that objects from TS1 are roughly compatible with The Sims Online; the only problems preventing them from running are differences in the environments, such as what functions have what ID in the global resources, and what the object GUIDs are. You should use a combination of Volcanic, Codex and The Sims Transmogrifier to restore the functionality of one such object. If it works out of the box, it doesn't count!
    Task 5: Create an Object entirely from scratch
    In this task, you have to bring it all together! Make your own object from scratch, set up a base graphic, give it an init and main function, and make at least one interaction for it. The object can be as simple as possible apart from these requirements.

    I don't expect participation for this task to be high, but I'm interested to see what you can come up with if you're up to it! The object does not have to be complicated, it just has to be made from scratch and have at least one simple interaction.

    The survey is now available, and should be completed after you have completed all the tasks you feel that you can. Check out the thread here:


    Evaluation Participation Awards
    It feels a little unfair to ask for participation to a complicated evaluation for free, so I thought I should offer something back! You should attempt all of the tasks above unless you truly believe you don't have a chance. The first two should be easy to perform though, so participation awards are only available if you have completed at least one task! So long as you post your participation on this thread, you should be fine.

    1 Task Completed
    When the first global server launches, you will recieve a Bronze version of the first FreeSO exclusive rare event object, complete with some mystery function! What will it be?? I'm not going to spoil anything right now, but it's definitely not going to be a boring old founders plaque.​

    3 Tasks Completed
    As well as the bronze variant, you will receive a Silver version of the event object, which will not only look different, but have extra functionality too!​

    5 Tasks Completed
    As well as the bronze and silver variants, you'll receive a Gold version, which, again, will have more functionality, and thus definitely be the most fabulous version of all. You'll totally have to trust me on how great this will be.​

    (IMPORTANT!) Task 5 Clause
    If you complete task 5: "Make a new object from scratch", you do NOT need to complete task 4 to get the gold object! This is because task 4 was considered too hard and generally a bad idea in the first place. ​

    Note that objects or modifications that you complete as part of tasks could be officially distributed with the client in future! Any feedback will also be used to improve the program into the future, which could make it easier for content creators to get started making objects for FreeSO.

    The evaluation will finish at 5pm GMT on Thursday the 17th March 2016. This gives you around two weeks to complete the tasks above!

    Thanks for taking the time to read this! Hopefully this doesn't come across as too demanding. :p
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
    Alonzo, NubSmoo, zero35 and 5 others like this.
  2. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

  3. LetsRaceBwoi

    LetsRaceBwoi Well-Known Member

    If you don't mind us asking questions here - when will tasks 4 and 5 become available?
  4. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

    4 is available, you probably mean 2. I'm working on SPR & DGRP support right now, so later this week. Not sure about 5, might have to cut it and change the thresholds..
    LetsRaceBwoi likes this.
  5. JWofles

    JWofles Active Member

    Can you still participate if you're 2 weeks late?
  6. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

    The deadline is 15th March. It might be extended, depending on how things go from here..
    JWofles likes this.
  7. zero35

    zero35 Active Member

    very glad to see you not only love TSO RHY
    i hope your tools add convert TSO bhav to TS1 also,because i have very much problems in convert TSO objects
  8. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

    Hey, I noticed you saw the thread on Simblesse Oblige! ;) The engine won't be gaining TS1 support until TSO is back online, but I'm hoping to do it some time this year.
  9. zero35

    zero35 Active Member

    RHY i can provide some translation if you sent a text file to me because i haven't TSO client in my now use computer,i will translate them to Simplified Chinese
    if you need chinese translation help,please tell me
  10. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

    There's a bit of a technical issue with Chinese right now, so unfortunately that's not possible yet. Thanks for offering though!
  11. Animation

    Animation New Member

    Hello. How can I download the volcanic ide ? fso ide = volcanic ide ? fso ide is not working :(
    error not a valid win32 application
    Fso is run but fso ide not work :(
  12. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

    FSO.IDE is compiled for x64 I think. Most likely by accident...
  13. zero35

    zero35 Active Member

    i strongly need FSOIDE for x86 version´╝îTSOEdith make me have a headache every when check TSO bhav codes
  14. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

    Hmm... actually it's set to x86. I'm not sure what the problem is then.
    zero35 likes this.
  15. zero35

    zero35 Active Member

    however slove issue i don't want headache
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  16. TheMarshmallowBear

    TheMarshmallowBear Active Member

    Long shot, but turn off your anti-virus.

    I noticed avast! conflicts and will refuse to launch IDE. Altough you get a specific error, trying launching it without antivirus shields on.
  17. deiff

    deiff New Member

    Why when i try open volcanic, I turn on FreeSO?
  18. mrpenguinb

    mrpenguinb Active Member

    You have to open a lot in FreeSO after launching the "Volcanic.exe" to trigger the Volcanic interface to appear. (I had the exact same issue so I had to ask for help, thankyou simsfreak :cool:)
  19. Raeven

    Raeven Well-Known Member

    One of the advantages to Volcanic is that it allows you to work on objects while inside of the game (just like the Maxis/EA guys did with their program, Edith). This means you can see/test your changes immediately.
    Two tips:
    (1) If you are working on the Main BHAV you might want to sell the object first so you don't have any hiccups while hooking everything back up again.
    (2) You may need to change your view (rotate the camera or zoom in and out) to tell it to reload graphic changes, though.
    mrpenguinb likes this.
  20. Raeven

    Raeven Well-Known Member

    I KEEP losing the link to your paper so I'm popping it in here for m'self and any others.

    In addition to introducing Volcanic itself, the Primer for the SimAntics Enviornment section is fantastic and needs to be read by anyone interested in tinkering in The Sims objects, no matter which tool they choose to use.
    dotequals likes this.

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