NRaas Terminology FAQ


Some of the terms and short-hand the developer uses can be confusing to new users who are not familiar with how this suite's mods operate.

Find here a list of the various less than obvious terms you may see in responses to your posts.

Autonomy

  • Autonomy is the process that simulates the life of a sim.
    • It includes the increase and decrease of motives, such as Hunger, Sleep, Hygiene
    • It also defines the process by which a sim chooses their next autonomous interaction.
      • Note that this process is based on the fulfillment of motives/needs
      • If you have your sim set to "static needs" they will have no reason to perform any particular interaction, and will simply stand around doing nothing unless directed by the user.

  • There are different levels of autonomy used by the game :
  • High Autonomy

    • This is the most processor intensive level of autonomy, and is therefore reserved to only a subset of the town population.
      • The Autonomy Manager is allowed to score new autonomous interactions and add them to the sim's queue
      • The Motive Manager is allowed to actively simulate the needs of the sim, making them decay at a regular rate
    • Always used by the active sims, regardless of where they currently are in the game
    • And used by any inactive sims that are currently near to the viewing window (they can be off-screen, so sometimes your neighbors are run in this manner as well).
    • A number of mods, such as StoryProgression, will occasionally push inactive sims to High Autonomy as well. This is normally temporary and wears off eventually.
  • Low Autonomy

    • This is the standard for most sims in-game.
      • Sims at this level of autonomy tend to stand near the front door of their home-lot and stare blankly at the walls.
      • Needs/Motives for these sims are periodically reset back to maximum, as they are unable to perform interactions to improve them on their own.
    • The town Meta-Autonomy Manager governs the interactions these sims are pushed to perform.
      • Meta-Autonomy regularly pushes inactive sims to visit community lots, drive around town, and generally simulate a living population without using an large amount of processing.
  • No Autonomy

    • Sims that are currently NOT in-game, such as hibernating homeless/service sims, and foreign sims fall into this category
    • No simulation of these sims is performed at all, so they use no processing time.

  • Note that the "Free Will" options provided by EA govern the available choices allowed by the Autonomy and Meta-Autonomy Managers.
    • The higher the free will, the more autonomous a sim can be regarding which interactions they are allowed to perform on their own.

Bounce

  • A "bounce" is the in-game effect that occurs when a sim is reset due to a script error.
    • In The Sims 2, this was also commonly known as a "Jump Bug" for the same reasons
  • Since most script errors that involve sims will reset the sim back to a safe location in the game, the term "bounce" can be considered to be synonymous with having encountered a "script error", and the developer may use them interchangeably during discussions.
  • If the script error is captured by a mod, a notice will be displayed to you regarding a "Script Error" having been created.
    • These errors can be then be reviewed by following the instructions here : How To Upload

Buried Dead

  • This term is used by the developer to denoted sims who have died, and whose urnstones are stored in-game somewhere.
    • Sims of this nature can be reinstantiated as real full-bodied sims, as their complete sim data is being retained within their urnstone.
    • This allows such sims to haunt in-game, whenever their urnstone is not stored in inventory.
  • This type of sim differs from "Playable Ghosts", which are actually simply regular/live sims with a special "make me transparent" flag assigned to them.

CAS

  • CAS is an abbreviation of "Create-A-Sim" : The game system provided by EA for manipulating the looks and personality of sims.
  • When the developer mentions CAS, they are referring to the overarching Core system that controls the following:
    • Stylist
    • Plan Outfit (aka "Dresser")
    • Change Appearence (aka "Mirror")
    • Tattoo (added with Ambitions)
    • "Edit in Create a Sim" (aka "Edit in CAS")
    • Plastic Surgery (added with Pets)
    • Create a Household (the new name of CAS after Pets was released)

Core-Mods

  • Core mods are a special type of override mod, which replaces one of EA's S3SACore files with a custom copy.
    • Since you can only override a EA file once, any Core-Mod that also attempts to replace the same S3SA Core file will conflict with the mod.
    • This is commonly known as the "Highlander Rule", as in there can only be "one".
      • However since there are multiple EA Core files to override, the "Highlander Rule" is a slight misnomer.
      • ErrorTrap and UntranslatedKey are both Core-Mods, but do not conflict with each other. Nor do they conflict with Awesome, another Core-Mod.
  • For further details can be found in the Scripting term.
  • Delphy uses a different definition of "Core" in their Dashboard product.
    • Their definition is any package containing a S3SA file within it, which includes Scripting Mods.
    • Do not be confused by this difference.

Custom Content

  • Strictly speaking this is any addition to the game that was not officially created by EA, which would include mods as well as other content.
  • However the preferred community definition of custom content is one that does not include mods, and as such the developer uses that definition as well.

Developer Notes

  • These notes are scattered throughout the wiki, and are usually highlighted in yellow to make them stand out from the rest of the documentation.
  • The notes are usually reminders to you or the developer themselves to do something, or information on how to do something.

Dreams and Promises


EA Standard

  • This term is used to specify that the effect being seen in-game was intended by the developers, and is not mod-related.
  • Note that the phenomena may be the result of an EA coding error that simply has not been corrected yet.

Hibernation

  • A sim is considered to be in hibernation when their physical form is removed from the game environment.
  • Hibernating sims don't actually exist anywhere and are therefore not actively simulated, so they do not use as many resources as in-game sims.
  • This can occur for a number of reasons :
    1. The sim is homeless. When the sim returns "home" and either vanishes into some lot or an apartment door, they are placed in storage out-of-game until they are needed again. Note that Service sims fall into this category.
    2. The sim is at boarding school or on a Generations Free Vacation. The physical bodies of these sims have been deleted to make them appear as if they out-of-town.
    3. The sim is a buried dead. While not haunting the cemetery, dead sims who still have urnstones in-game are considered to be in hibernation.
    4. The sim is a foreigner, either a tourist or explorer. Such sims are considered in hibernation when not actively visiting your town.
    5. Inactive babies and toddlers, left without a guardian on their home-lot will be hibernated
  • When the game requires the sim to be added to the game again, it will create a new body (a "Sim" object) and add them to the game environment, at which point they can then be actively simulated.

Injection Mod

  • An "Injection Mod" is any mod that saves custom data into your save-game that can not be handled by EA Standard when the mod is uninstalled.
    • This data can come in many forms, such as custom skills, custom careers, custom interactions, custom service types.
      • EA Standard is pretty good at removing data it does not understand, and reducing the chance of it corrupting the game
    • However there are a number of custom data elements which require a mod to clean up:
      • ErrorTrap and Overwatch deal in this sort of cleanup process, for this suite, as well as corruption caused by non-suite mods.
  • In the past :
    • There was a long standing issue within the EA coding, in which it does not handle the removal of custom interactions.
    • Because of this issue, whenever you uninstalled a mod containing custom interactions it is possible that references to custom code will be left in your save-game, and bounce the load-up process the next time you load the game.
    • NOTE: EA has since corrected the error that caused this type of injection to corrupt your save-game. As such, the warning has been removed from all the mods in this suite.

  • Mods noted as being "Injection Mods" must be uninstalled with special steps in order to avoid save-game corruption
    • For instance: Careers has special uninstall instructions, due to an EA error regarding custom schools.

Instantiation / Instantiate

  • This term is used to define the process in which a sim's physical body is added into the game environment.
    • Essentially, it is the reverse of Hibernation
  • Normally only homeless sims require regular instantiation, as most residents have a permanent presence in the town.
  • MasterController's "Reset Sim", "Reset Lot", and "Reset Everything" essentially removes the sim's physical body, and reinstantiates them at a safe location on their home-lot
    • This process is called a hard-reset, as it completely resets all the information associated with the sim's physical body (it deleted the old one entirely, and replaced them with a new in-game copy).
  • Instantiation of sims is possible because the true data associated with the sim is not stored within their physical presence in-game, rather it is stored in the Household data-set to which the sim is assigned, or in the sim's urnstone (if they are buried dead).
    • When a sim is reinstantiated, the information from the original sim data is used to recreate their in-game body.

Interactions

anchor : [[Terminology FAQ#Interactions]]
  • An "Interaction" is the term used to define an operation that can be initiated in-game, either via user-direction or autonomously via a sim.
  • There are two types of interactions:
    1. An Immediate Interaction. These appear with an Orange symbol on the menu entry
      • ImmediateInteractionIcon.JPG
      • These types of interactions cannot be autonomously chosen by sims, and are not saved to the save-game (They are not injection interactions)
      • When run, the interaction is performed immediately, and does not require the active sim to stop what they are already doing.
    • The other form of interaction is one that is added to a sim's interaction queue for processing.
      • Custom forms of this style interaction are known as injection interactions because they are referenced in the save-file.
  • Note that Immediate interactions in this mod suite can be displayed in two ways :
    1. Either via the EA Standard menu system, using the blue nesting menu
    2. Or via a scrolling listing window, the default for suite mods that contain more than a dozen in-game settings.
  • For further information on options, see the

  • When the developer refers to an interaction, they may say the following : MasterController's "Sim \ Status \ Personal"
    • This is short hand referring to where the interaction is located in the suite
  • In the above example :
    1. The interaction is located in the MasterController base-mod, so you have that installed to use the interaction
    2. Interactions for NRaas mods are located under the "NRaas" menu entry when you click on an object.
    3. Under "NRaas" you will locate a "Master Controller" menu entry.
    4. Within the "Master Controller" entry, you will find a "Sim" enty.
      • Note that the "NRaas \ Master Controller" portion of the menu is always implied in the short-hand.
    5. Under "Sim" you will find a "Status" entry
    6. Under "Status" you will find a "Personal" entry.

  • When it comes to StoryProgression..the short-hand is close, but does have a couple of differences:
    1. "Options: Flirts" is short-handed to "Flirts" . Namely the "Options:" portion is implied.
    2. Sometimes there are sub-menus under the "Options:" sections that are left out to save typing.
      • Most sub-menus are pretty obvious to guess, however you may need to look in the documentation if you cannot locate it.
    3. The "General Options" portion is generally implied.
    4. If the interaction is not in the "General Options", a note of it being a "Sim/Household/Town" option will be made
  • So an interactions such as "NRaas \ Story Progression \ Sim Options \ Allow Aging" is short-handed to :
    • "Allow Aging" Sim Option
  • While "NRaas \ Story Progression \ General Options \ Options: Money \ Options: Debt And Taxes \ Automatic Active Billing" is short-handed to :
    • "Money \ Automatic Active Billing"

Mini-Sims

  • Mini-sims or minisims, as they are called in several mods, are a special type of sim reference added by World Adventures
    • They provide a location for the game to store information about the sim even if the sim is not available in the currently loaded Town-File
    • Their original purpose was to provide a compact way to show information about Foreign Sims living in the EA Vacation Worlds
  • These mini-sims contain just enough information to display the "Known Info" tooltip for the Relationship Panel and Family Tree windows.
    • A mini-sim does not contain sufficient information to instantiate a sim, so if the actual sim is required, the game will pull the complete sim data out of the foreign town-file and use that instead.
    • Because of this limitation, if your sim is emigrated or otherwise removed from the town by the game, it is not possible to recover them using solely the mini-sim information.
  • MasterController..lists mini-sims under the "Type of Sim" - "Local Mini-Sim" filter. Sims listed in that filter are most likely permanently lost to that save-game.
    • It is possible to return to an earlier save, export the sim, and import them into your new save. However you will need to manually reattach all relationship and family-tree links yourself.

Mods

  • A mod is defined as being any package that contains scripting, either in the form of a Core-Mod, or as a Scripting Mod, that was not created by EA.
  • Note that EA Premium content contains new scripting (hence why it is considered "premium")
    • Strictly speaking, these are essentially mods created by EA, though for clarity purposes, no one bothers including them under this term.

Non-Core Mods

  • Non-core mods are scripting mods that does NOT override one of EA's S3SA Core files.
  • Though many users consider non-core mods to be safer, that is not necessarily the case. Many of the corruption pitfalls that plague larger mods such as Awesome..are applicable to non-core mods as well.
    • You should ensure that you understand the WARNING section listed on the download page for a mod before you install it.
  • For further details can be found in the Scripting term.

Noted for Future Consideration

  • The developer thinks the idea is worth of further study, and has added it to TheList page for whatever mod is applicable
  • There is no guarantee the developer will ever actually implement the change, however it will be reviewed whenever a new Phase is warranted

Options

anchor : [[Terminology FAQ#Options]]
  • These are special [[#Interaction|Immediate Interactions]] exposed by a mod, allowing you to change a setting
    • For most of the suite mods these options are listed using a scrollable listing window
      • ListingWindow.JPG
      • (This example is the listing displayed when you Middle-Click on a sim portrait when PortraitPanel is installed)
      • This style of window has benefits over the EA Standard popup menu, in that it allows for multi-selection
    • If the mod does not have sufficient settings to warrant adding the listing window code, the options are simply displayed using the EA Standard popup menu
      • ModOptionEnty.JPG
      • (This example is from Phase One of Traveler
      • In this case the value of the setting is displayed after the "=" sign.
    • Several of the older mods have tuning available to switch between the Listing Window and the Popup Menu Style methods of display.

Phase

  • A new Phase of a mod is released for one of two reasons
    1. EA has released a new Patch that has broken the mod's scripting. A new Phase is created to maintain compatibility with the EA Core coding
    2. The developer has decided that the mod requires a new expanded translation. Extensive alterations to the translations is kept to a minimum to reduce the work required by third-party translators.
  • When a new Phase is released, a new download page is created to host the mod, the documentation is updated to include any new features, and new tuning is released.

S3SA

anchor : [[Terminology FAQ#S3SA]]
  • The term used to describe a coding file, when stored in a Sims 3 Package
  • These files are DLLs, written using MONO, a subset of the .NET Framework that is compatible with Mac Operating Systems
  • Mods containing these files are called [[#Scripting|Scripting]] mods because they contain custom programming code, or scripts
    • EA Premium Content are scripting mods (that is why they are "Premium")

Script Error

  • When an coding error occurs in the scripting portion of the game, the system will fire an "Exception".
  • Depending on where these exceptions occur in code, they may be caught and reported by a mod.
    • Errors caught by this suite's mod will produce a notice stating their creation, and eventually will be dumped to file for later review.
    • You can locate script error files by following these instructions : How To Upload
  • If the error goes uncaught, it is termed an "Unhandled Script Error". These type of errors are represented in game by :
    1. Objects resetting out of the blue for no particular reason
      • ErrorTrap can catch errors that occur during the simulation of an object
    2. Menus not appearing (an unhandled script error during menu creation will halt the menu entirely.
      • Selector can be used to catch and report these sort of errors.
    3. The interface only partially refreshing, leaving parts of the screen empty, or simply not changing the contents at all
      • Unfortunately, there is no generalized mod that is currently capable of reporting these type of errors.

Scripting

anchor : [[Terminology FAQ#Scripting]]
  • The mods in this suite are referred to as scripting mods. What this means is that the packages contain a S3SA..file which contains software coding.
    • In the case of non-core scripting mods, this coding is new and distinct from the EA Core. It references the Core, making changes to the data, or replacing sections of EA coding with custom versions.
    • In the case of Core scripting mods, the coding is a complete replacement of one of EA's Core files. Essentially the mod becomes your game's Core scripting, and all non-core mods reference it instead.
    1. The Game-Engine - This is the system that runs the graphics, file management, and the scripting interpreter.
    2. The Scripting-Engine - This is a MONO or .NET compatible system, using DLLs stored as S3SA package files to define the coding.
  • The developer writes their scripting in the C# language, using Visual Studio Express.

Sims3Pack

  • - CameranutzII CameranutzII describes these files as such:
    • A Sims3Pack file is a bundled file with a thumbnail that can be viewed for content in the Launcher.
    • File types contained can be either package, sim, or world.
    • Once extracted via the Launcher, the files are put in the appropriate folder.
      • These folders would be either Library, DCCache, or Installed Worlds.
      • Extracted package files are in the DCBackup folder.

Town-File

  • A town-file is represented in the save folder as a single ".NHD" file.
  • With the addition of World Adventures, EA changed the save structure to allow you to have multiple town-files within a single save-game.
    • Each file must have a unique name, usually the name of the World file from which it was created.
    • Traveler expands the choices of worlds to visit, and in doing so will create a town-file within your save-game each time you travel to a new world.

  • The game is designed to only have one town-file active at any one time.
    • Essentially, a "Town-File" is equivalent to a "Lot-File" in The Sims 2, simply with a much bigger scope.
      • Where-as in The Sims 2 only the active lot was simulated, with neighborhood sims being imported and exported as needed, in The Sims 3, it is the entire town that is simulated, with sims from foreign town-files being imported and exported as needed.
    • When you select a save to load, the progess window that follows is the game loading the currently active Town-File information.
    • Note that the same thing happens when you travel to a new world using World Adventures.
      • The game saves and unloads the old town-file, and then loads the town-file for your destination.
      • In doing so, your traveling sims are exported to file, and later imported into the new town.
    • Since only one town-file is active at any one time only the sims in the active town-file can be simulated by the game.
      • Foreign sims are aged using their Mini-Sim representations, and are properly updated the next time they visit your town, or your visit theirs.
      • EA Story Progression will automatically run a series of actions against any vacation world you visit, to simulate the passage of time.

Townies

  • The term "townie" is a holdover from the Sims 2 days, where sims were created solely to populate downtown world lots.
    • These type of sims did not reside anywhere in the game, and simply provided additional atmosphere and immersion.
  • In The Sims 3, with its open world approach, the term is confusing, so the developer chooses not to use it.
    • Instead, the following terms are used in its place :
    1. Active

      • A sim in the active family that can be actively selected and provided the Plumbbob of Control
    2. Inactive

      • A sim that is not Active
      • Note that this can include sims in the active family that are currently set as unselectable

    3. Role Sims

      • A sim assigned to a role in town, such as a Cashier, Tattoo Artist, Paparazzi
      • Note that these sims can be Residents in your town, or Homeless.
      • When StoryProgression and Register are both installed, homeless role sims are automatically moved to the Service Household
      • These sims are listed in MasterController under the "Type of Service" criteria, using the word "Role" as a prefix.
    4. Service Animals

      • Added with the Pets Expansion, these type of animals are generated to fill adoption pools or fulfill specific roles in town.
      • Note that only the "Raccoon" and "Deer" are both Service Animals and Role Sims.
      • These sims are listed in MasterController under the "Type of Serivce" criteria, using the word "Pool" as a prefix.
      • These sims must reside in the Service Pet Household in order to operate properly
    5. Service Sims

      • Sims governed by the EA Service System, such as Maids, Mail Deliverers, Social Workers, etc.
      • These sims are listed in MasterController under the "Type of Service" criteria, using the word "Type" as a prefix.
      • These sims must reside in the Service Household in order to operate properly.
    6. Residents

      • These are sims that are assigned to a physical lot in town, and can be listed when you look at the lot from "Edit Town"
      • Note that Butlers are *not* residents while living with you. Those sims are still part of the Service Household, and are not part of your household's population
      • Do not be confused by the virtual apartments added with Late Night. Those doors are simply rabbitholes from which homeless and service sims will hibernate or spawn on demand.
        • Sims "living" in these doors are *not* considered residents by the developer.
    7. Homeless

      • Homeless include all sims that are not Residents.
      • EA Standard uses homeless sims to satisfy coworker requirements and fulfill role assignments, however most homeless are the result of coding errors.
        • By default StoryProgression is quite harsh when dealing with homeless and will remove them from existence if a suitable lot cannot be located for them.
      • Though Service Sims are technically considered homeless, they are not included in this term by the developer.

  • Note that the use of "NPC" is equally confusing, since by definition that means any "Non Player Character".
    • EA defines NPCs as any sim that is not actively selectable without changing households, which includes every Service Sim, Homeless, and Inactive Resident in town.
    • Other users use the term to specify only the Service Population, and not the Residents.
    • The developer will never use such a term in a discussion (though it does appear in a number of mod translations), due to its various conflicting meanings within the community.

Tuning

  • Tuning is the term used by EA to denote XML formatted files stored in packages that contain the global default parameters for use by the scripting system.
  • EA provided a large pile of tuning for changing how the Core scripting game operates, and since it is XML, the format is very simple to understand, even for novice users.
    • The biggest challenge with EA tuning is locating the values you want to change, since their are so many files to choose from, with many having dozens of parameters within them.
  • Since this suite's mods are also scripting, they have the ability to define their own XML tuning, and most do so.
    • StoryProgression is the exception to this rule. The structure and sheer number of its options makes it incredibly difficult to tune conventionally.

Version

  • A version is a new release of a mod containing changes to the scripting.
  • New releases of this nature will be suffixed with a new numeric value, usually one higher than the previous release