MTS2:Creator Guidelines/Creating Archive Files
RAR or ZIP Your Custom Content
When uploading to MTS2, you will need to compress your files into a RAR or ZIP. MTS2 only accepts .rar or .zip files for uploading custom content - you cannot upload .sims2pack or .package files, as these files are uncompressed. Compressed files take up less space - which means they're quicker for you to upload, take up less space on MTS2's servers, and are quicker for people to download.
You will need...
A program to create RAR or ZIP Files.
These instructions use WinRAR. It is a great little utility that can both compress and extract from RAR and ZIP files. Other programs such as WinZip and 7zip can also be used, but you will have to look at their help files to see how to use them, as they will work slightly differently. WinRAR is our recommended program, and it is quite easy to use.
WinRAR is a trial program, often called "nagware" - this means that you can use it for free for 40 days, and once the 40 days are up, you will get a "nag" screen asking you to pay for the program. You can still use WinRAR completely free after 40 days - you just have to click "close" on the nag screen when it comes up. However, if you use it and like it, you should consider paying for it, even though you don't actually have to.
Find your custom content files:
- All Body Shop content (hair, clothes, eyes, etc.) will be in your My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\SavedSims folder, containing your project name after an 8-character random string (i.e. 8edf7c5b_MyProjectName.package). Do NOT use the files from your Projects folder as they will not work in-game.
- Lots and houses will be in your My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\PackagedLots folder.
- Pets will be in your My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Packaged Sims folder.
- Packaged sims will be saved to your computer's Desktop.
- Meshes you have made yourself as well as any object recolours, hacks, etc. will be where you put them in the first place when you made them. You should know where they are - probably somewhere in your My Documents\EA Games\Sims 2\Downloads
- Walls, floors, and ground cover will be in your My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2\Downloads folder. Do NOT package walls, floors, or ground cover to .sims2pack files from within Homecrafter - it is an unnecessary extra step and they will not be accepted for upload on MTS2.
Rename your files (optional):
If you have made an item with Body Shop or Homecrafter, it won't have a very descriptive name. It's better to rename the files so they're descriptive. You don't have to do this, but it helps people downloading to know what's what. The easiest way to do this is to write down the order you created your files in the first place and then sort the files in the folder by date so you can see the order they were created in. The last file created will be the last file you made.
If you -do- rename your files, make sure you leave the extension on - that is, the part after the dot/period/. If your file is called "8edf7c5b_MyProjectName.package" to start with, you can rename it to "BlueDress_MyName.package" but not "BlueDress_MyName" or it won't work for people in the game.
It's a good idea to make your filenames descriptive - say what it is, the set name, the colour, and your name so people know what the item is and who made it at a glance.
Select the files to compress:
Once you have found your files and renamed them if desired, you need to select the ones you want to compress into a RAR or ZIP. Select the first file in the list and CTRL-click on any more files that you want to add to that RAR or ZIP. If the files are all in a row, you can hold the SHIFT key and then click on the last file in the list to select all of them at once.
If you have files in a different folder that you want to add to the same RAR or ZIP (for example, another user's mesh that you want to include with your clothing recolour, or files for a lot that didn't package with the .sims2pack), it's easiest to copy those additional files into the same folder temporarily so you can put them all together at once.
Compress the files:
Now, with all the files you want to compress still selected, right-click on one of the selected files and choose "Add to archive..."
Now, you'll get a window that pops up, labelled "Archive name and parameters".
In the box under "Archive name" type a name for your file. This is usually the name of the set or item.
Under "Archive format" you can choose whether you want RAR or ZIP. For MTS2 upload, RAR is preferred as it is a better compression format, which means smaller files, and quicker uploads and downloads.
Click the dropdown arrow under "Compression method" and choose "Best." This makes your file as compressed as possible - making it as small as it can be.
When you have your settings set up properly, click OK.
You'll get a window that pops up that says "Creating archive..." and will disappear once it's done. Depending on the size of your archive, this may take just a second, or may take several minutes.
Check the size of your archive:
Once you've created the archive, it will show up in the same folder as your files. Float your mouse cursor over it and hold it there, and you should see a small yellow box that pops up, similar to the picture below.
The size will be displayed at the bottom. In this case, my file is 1.70 MB. The file size limit on MTS2 is 10 MB, so a 1.7 MB file is well under the limit.
Usually, you will not exceed this file size limit unless you are making an extremely large set, or in the case of lots, you have it stuffed full of custom content. For large sets, you can split your files up into smaller groups so they will be under 10 MB. For lots, if you are exceeding 10 MB, you probably have way too much custom content. Please see the Lots and Houses Creator Guidelines for more information.