MTS2:Creator Guidelines/Sims 3 Game Mods
These guidelines were last modified 13 May 2011
Sims 3 Game Mods
Made a cool new mod for The Sims 3 and want to share? Please read the following guidelines carefully so you understand what we require for MTS uploads.
This is by far the most important factor in all uploads, but also the hardest to quantify.
|Is the mod you've created something people will actually want? Does it make sense? Will people get a lot of use out of it? When uploading a mod, make sure you have a good description but also that it's useful to a lot of people. Simple XML tuning mods do not come under this category (see below).
|Not just a cheat or exploit (*)|
|At MTS, we are not interested in hosting "get everything for free with no effort at all!" type hacks/mods. We do not host mods that make it so rare/special items (like seeds, fish, etc) are free or only a few simoleons, or make it so sims are millionaires by default, or get tons of lifetime reward points without earning them - these things are of limited usefulness and are really just cheats.
If you create a mod that, for instance, makes it so a hard to obtain item is buyable, then make the price make sense - it should still be expensive (and thus not super easy to obtain).
|Not just a single change (*)|
|With the advent of the XML tuning guide, and the Mod Generator, it's extremely easy for players to make their own mods. Please do not be tempted to upload mods that only change a single variable in a single file, and be double aware of mods that are also "cheats". Neither of these two types will be accepted.
|Multiple versions (*)|
|If you create a mod that you change the time or amount of something, rather than just changing it to some random arbitrary number, try making it half (or double) and then a quarter (or 4x), etc. and upload multiple versions so people can choose the type they want. For XML tuning mods, this is super easy and takes no more than a few minutes to do, so there's no reason to not let people pick and choose from the version they want.
People want to see what they're downloading! Your screenshots sell your upload - if people don't like the look of your screenshots, they're not going to download - and if your screenshots are too bad, you won't get your upload approved.
|Illustrate your mod (*)|
|We know it can be difficult to capture something useful in-game for many game mods, but we do require -some- sort of illustrative in-game screenshot. In fact, with no screenshots, your upload won't even show up in the Downloads section.
|No pay content in screenshots|
|Do not use pay content in your screenshots! Do not use pay hair in your screenshots!
You MUST use free or EA/Maxis items in your screenshots! MTS promotes and supports free content, and using pay content in screenshots is basically like free advertisement for paysites. This includes pay content you found elsewhere for free - if it was pay originally, it's still promoting pay content. We strongly recommend taking pics with neutral backgrounds, just showing off what you've made and nothing more. Not only does this look nicer for uploads, it also eliminates any possibility that you may inadvertently include pay items in your screenshots.
As per the news item of November 2010, do not use pay items in your upload. A pay item is an item that you'd have to donate money to access if you went to the original creator's website. It doesn't matter if you can get it for free through a file sharing site - it's still a pay item. Don't use pay items in your screenshots either, even if they are not included. Links for "optional" or "recommended" content may be included as long as they are free sites only.
If you need free hair for a model in your pics, MTS has an extensive collection of free hairstyles in our Downloads section. You can also look in the TS2 Hair Gallery or TS3 Hair Gallery for more free hairstyles to find something you'll like.
We STRONGLY recommend that you credit the hair (and other content) used in your screenshots in the text of your upload post. With hundreds of hairstyles out there, it's very difficult for our upload moderators to know every hairstyle on sight, and if we have to hunt down where the hair is from to see if it's pay or free, it may take longer for your upload to be approved. Make it easy on us and at least say something like, "Hair from XM Sims (free)" in the text of your post under a little section for model credits.
|The larger your pics, the better! Tiny pics won't show enough detail to see what you've made.
Please don't just take a small pic and size it up in your graphics program to get bigger pics - this only makes the dimensions larger but doesn't add any detail and just gives you a blurry, pixellated larger pic, not a nice clear one.
Take some time to just play around with the camera. It can take a while to get used to the camera controls, and even once you are experienced in their use, it may be challenging to get the shot you want with the constraints on the controls.
If you haven't taken many sim pictures before, here is a list of camera controls:
Using Print Screen: If you have enough RAM to run Photoshop or another graphics editing program at the same time as TS2/TS3, you may want to take screenshots yourself, without the use of a program to store them for you.
To do that, simply press the Print Screen or PrntScn key on your keyboard - it's usually off toward the right, over the arrow keys, above Insert and Delete. This will copy your current screen to your Windows clipboard, as if you had selected and copied it as an image.
Then open any graphics editing program, create a new document the size of your monitor's resolution, and paste into that document. Your screenshot should appear in the document.
There are many programs available, free and pay, that will take screenshots for you by using a hotkey, and save them to a folder - just like The Sims 2 with the C key, but with options for much better quality settings.
A quick Google search for 'free screenshot program' will also bring up many other options, which may have other features that are of interest to you.
Many simmers struggle with getting their images to be clear, crisp and under the maximum file size while keeping the image size larger than 800px by 600px. After getting your images from the in game camera or using a print screen program you will need to resize them and compress them into a jpeg image. Many graphics programs have a built in optimizing feature. Here are a few common ones:
Once you have your creation made and screenshots taken, you need to make sure you have all the fiddly bits in order when uploading.
|Essential Files Only (*)|
|Please don't upload a Resource.cfg with your mod, or with a full subfolder structure. Just the essential files, as simply as possible. You can include a Readme.txt file if you choose, but don't clutter up the file with a bunch of stuff that will just confuse downloaders.
|Zip, Rar, or 7z|
|To upload your file(s) to MTS, you will need to compress them into an archive file, which makes them smaller and allows you to include many files in one download. The archive file formats we currently accept are .zip, .rar, and .7z.
For instructions on compressing your files into an archive, please see: Creator Guidelines: Creating Archive Files.
|Upload in Sets (*)|
|If you have created several mods in a set, or similar mods in the same sort of theme at the same time, please upload these together in a single set, all on one thread (instead of all separately, one by one, on different threads). This is easier for everyone: on our upload moderators, as they only have one thread to review rather than several... on you, as submitting a single thread is much quicker and easier than several... and on downloaders, as they can get everything they want all in one place rather than having to hunt around.
|Good Title (*)|
|You'll need a good title for your upload – something descriptive, like "Autonomous Woohoo" or "Buyable Omniplant Seeds" work well for a title. "My first upload!!!" or "cool mod!!" is not. Make sure that if your mod disables a feature, that you have "No" in the title - ie "No Autonomous Sprinkers"
|Good Description (*)|
|For mods, a good description is essential - perhaps more so than any other area on the site.
People need to know:
Please format your description in a readable format. Lists, headings, and proper use of bold text where appropriate is a heck of a lot easier to read and follow than a giant block of text. On the flipside, don't just put in a one-liner. Explain something about mod and why you made it.
|Game mods - especially overrides - can conflict with other mods, so users need to have an understanding of what your mod might conflict with before downloading. If your mod is an override, please state the name of the resource(s) it overrides. In any case, please outline with what kinds of mods your mod may conflict. Even if your mod is the kind of mod that doesn't conflict with other mods, that's still an important information that user should know.
|State supported game version (*)|
|In TS3, certain coding is changed with patch versions, which may render previously-working items broken. You may also need a certain patch and later to use certain features. This is especially applicable to modded objects that have extra scripting, but may also apply to features added in later patches such as additional sliders in Create-a-Sim, new build tools, or other features.
Please state the related base game version you built your mod with in your upload post! People need to know if they can run your mod in their game. If you made sure that your mod is compatible with other game versions as well, you can additionally state these as well of course.
- If your upload is rejected or marked as changes required and you're not sure why, ask in Creator Issues.
- If you want some feedback before uploading, post info about your mod in the Creator Feedback Forum to get feedback on it.