Simslice's

Hacking Tutorial For New Sounds

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This tutorial will give you step-by-step instructions on how to install and use your own brand new sounds through your game objects using one convenient program. This document will reference a few necessary tools, most predominantly being the PI Sim Sounds program at Parsimonious (discussed with agreement). In addition, I included a Hands-on Workshop at the end of each step. They include downloadable files so that you can practice hacking in your new sound as you follow each step of these instructions. If you are relatively familiar with object editing, you can skip the Hands-on sections if you want, although they do contain helpful new information too.

This Tutorial and Workshop can be completed in four easy steps:

Step #1: Choosing An Object File
Step #2: Choosing A New Sound File
Step #3: Installing A New Sound File
Step #4: Editing The FWAV Resource

Appendix: Credits, Contact Info and Other Links

If you meet the following criteria, you will have an edge in learning this (but if not, we'll walk you through it):

1) Have a basic knowledge of how to clone an object.
2) Have a rudimentary understanding of object resource editing.
3) Have a sound file you can use -- in .mp3, .wav or .xa format.


Step I: Choosing An Object File

First, you will need to clone an object. The Sims Transmogrifier is a very popular and useful tool for this, and it requires no knowledge of genetics to use. A Transmogrifier Tutorial is also available for those who are new to object cloning. If you are new to this, please take the time to visit the Transmogrifier website before proceeding.

To skip the Hands-On workshop of this step, you can click here to jump directly to Step II.

Step I: Hands-on - Choosing An Object File

First, make sure the game is not running. Then download the "SimsliceHarleyAlarmTutorial.iff" file by right clicking on the link, and selecting "Save Target As" -- it's a 161kb file that I cloned and edited for you. It is already unzipped. Here is a picture of the object and it's in-game description:


Harley Twin-Cam Alarm
Buy Mode Price: §35
Category: Electronics
Statistics: Fun 1
Description:
What better way to rattle your Sims out of bed in the morning, than to do it with 1450 cc's of pure Harley metal and chrome! REAL Harley engine sounds will be hacked into this object! (once you complete our tutorial). This works just like the regular alarm clock, but you can also "test" it anytime you want... so if those sleepy guests are taking up too much of your precious bed space, just rev this baby up and it'll do the rest. ;)

Put that file into this folder: C:\Program Files\Maxis\The Sims\Downloads (or any sub-folder in the Downloads folder if you want). The little red arrows in the pic are my doing. ;)

If you installed the game to a different location, then adjust that directory path accordingly.

Basically, the Harley Alarm is just a clone of the in-game Alarm Clock, with a few motorcycle engine graphics added from my own Harley and a little Slice-spice thrown in for our purposes (so a Sim can walk up and test the sound anytime without "setting" it first). You can try it in the game now if you want -- click on "Test Alarm" and note that it still has the standard alarm "ringing" sound... that will soon change! Make sure you quit the game before proceeding below.

To continue with the Hands-on workshop, you can click here to jump directly to the next Hands-on in Step II.

Or click here to return to the top of the page

 

Step II: Choosing A Sound File

Next, you need to choose a sound file. It should be in .mp3, .wav or .xa format. If you want to find a particular sound file, there are sites that can help, such as the Find Sounds website (view their copyright policy) or you can just make your own rather easily. Please note that some sound files may have copyright restrictions and we respect the legal rights of others. We do not permit or encourage copyright infringements and we accept no responsibility for the sounds users choose to use with this program.

Most in-game sounds only last for a few seconds (unless they're looped), but you can choose a larger file that plays longer if you want. Any media player should show you the length in time of a sound track. Just pick a sound that you'll want to hear in the game when the Sim interacts with the object. I will explain where to install this sound file in Step III: Installing A New Sound File (below).

To skip the Hands-on workshop of this step, you can click here to jump directly to Step III.

Or click here to return to the top of the page

Step II: Hands-on - Choosing A Sound File

Download the "Simsliceharley.wav" file by right clicking on it, and selecting "Save Target As" -- it's a 65kb file I prepared for you. It is already unzipped. Download and save it to your desktop for now (or any non-game folder you want). It's the sound of a wonderful Harley Davidson Twin Cam engine (real engine pic), revving for about 5 seconds. It is very important that you do not change the file name. If you do, the sound may not be called upon by the object in the game. And that will make your alarm very sad and lonely.

On a related note (just for your information), if an object tries to call upon a sound that it can't find or that doesn't exist, no harm will be done to your game - it simply won't play the sound. So if you make a mistake with this part of the Hands-on workshop, don't sweat it. :)

To continue with the Hands-on workshop, you can click here to jump directly to the next Hands-on in Step III.

Or click here to return to the top of the page

 

Step III: Installing A New Sound File

I recommend that you back up your SoundData.far file first, just to be on the safe side. If you installed the game to it's recommended location, then you'll find it in C:/Program Files/Maxis/The Sims/SoundData. Then create a new folder in that directory and name it "PiSimSounds". Then put your new sound file(s) into that PiSimSounds folder:

Next, download the PI Sim Sounds 1.0 program from Parsimonious. It will be a zipped file. We recommend using Winzip to unzip it, however any zipping program should suffice. Windows XP users can just double click on it to open it. Unzip the PiSimSounds.exe file and put it in the PiSimSounds folder. Take a moment to read the readme and FAQ files that are also included. This program is the "meat" of this whole process -- it will associate your sound files with game files so for the first time ever, you can use a convenient and easy tool to put new sounds in your game!

For more information, you can visit the PI Sim Sounds Creator Info and FAQ pages. When you are ready, run the Pi Sim Sounds program (by double-clicking on it). It will open a window that looks something like this:


"Holy Frijoles! I Got An Error!" -- If you just said this, click here


When you see this window above, click
the Update Sounds button to install all sound files listed in the PiSimSounds folder (NOTE: it will also reinstall the sounds from your prior installations... and that's ok).

All three buttons at the bottom will gray out for a moment while the program is doing it's stuff. Afterwards, you should get a screen that looks something like this:

Your new sounds have just been installed! Now all you need to do is code a game object to call upon that sound (see Step IV: Editing The FWAV Resource).

To skip the Hands-on workshop of this step, you can click here to jump directly to Step IV.

Or click here to return to the top of the page

Step III: Hands-on - Installing A New Sound File

A lot of this Hands-on information is being repeated from the step above, but modified for these purposes. If you haven't done so already, I recommend that you back up your SoundData.far file first, just to be on the safe side. If you installed the game to it's recommended location, then you'll find it in C:/Program Files/Maxis/The Sims/SoundData. Then create a new folder in that directory and name it "PiSimSounds":

Next, move the Simsliceharley.wav file into your new PiSimSounds folder.

Now we're ready to get to the good stuff! Download the PI Sim Sounds 1.0 program from Parsimonious. It will be a zipped file. We recommend using Winzip to unzip it, however any zipping program should suffice. Windows XP users can just double click on it to open it. Unzip the PiSimSounds.exe file and put it in the new PiSimSounds folder. Take a moment to read the readme and FAQ files that are also included. This program will associate your sound files with the game so for the first time ever, you can use a convenient and easy tool to put new sounds in your game!

For more information, you can visit the PI Sim Sounds Creator Info and FAQ pages. So to continue, now we need to run the Pi Sim Sounds program (just double-click on the PiSimSounds.exe file). It will open a window that looks something like this:


"Tera Ma! I Got An Error!" -- If you just said this, click here


When you see this window above, click the Update Sounds button to install the Simsliceharley.wav file.

All three buttons at the bottom will gray out for a moment while the program is doing it's stuff. Afterwards, you should get a screen that looks something like this:

Congratulations! You just installed a brand new sound in your game! If you have any problems or unexpected results, feel free to email Pi at Parsimonious for help. In some situations, they may even accept your file and tweak it for you! What excellent customer service. But they don't do footrubs (I asked).

To continue with the Hands-on workshop, you can click here to jump directly to the next Hands-on in Step IV.

Or click here to return to the top of the page

 

Step IV: Editing The FWAV Resource

It is all downhill from here. Now that your new sounds are ready to be used in the game, the last thing to do is to code an object file with the new sound tag - so that the object can call upon that sound in the game. That is done by editing the FWAV Resource of your object, and it's not as hard as it may sound. There are a few different programs available that can edit object resources. IFF Pencil 2 is a very popular and useful tool for this kind of editing (if that link isn't working, try getting it at the Sims Workshop). If you don't have IFF Pencil 2, then click the link, download it, and unzip it to your desktop (or any non-game folder you want). You will need to have some familiarity with this program for best results, however you can follow our Hands-on section below if you need help.

Run IFF Pencil 2 and click the "open" button. Find and open your object file. Once opened, you will see a list of Resources on the left side. Click on the FWAV Resource. The left part of your window will look something like this:

 

Each sound tag is listed on the right by a unique Resource ID (#0, #1, #2, etc.). Double click on the ID that you want to edit. A new window will pop up displaying the name of the tag:

Edit the name appropriately and hit "OK". Then hit the "save" button and close IFF Pencil 2.

That's it! If you did everything properly, the next time you run the game, your new sound will be played in place of the preexisting sound! In this example above, when the Sim "shrugs" after looking at "Homeslice", the "huh?" sound will be replaced by whatever sound you put in there (such as "bleckh" for instance... ;) ). If it didn't work, retry the steps above and see if that helps.

Click here to return to the top of the page
Click here to jump to the bottom of the page for contact info and additional links

Step IV: Hands-on - Editing A FWAV Resource

Some of this Hands-on information is being repeated from the step above, but modified for our purposes. Now that your new sounds are ready to be used in the game, the last thing to do is to code the SimsliceHarleyAlarmTutorial.iff object file with the new sound tag -- so that it can call upon the revving sound in the game. That is done by editing the FWAV Resource of the object and it's not as hard as it may sound. There are a few different programs available that can edit object resources. IFF Pencil 2 is a very popular and useful tool for this kind of editing (if that link isn't working, try getting it at the Sims Workshop). If you don't have IFF Pencil 2, then click the link, download it, and unzip it to your desktop (or any non-game folder you want). You will need to have some familiarity with this program for best results, but for these purposes we'll explain it for you below.

Run IFF Pencil 2 and click the "open" button. Locate and open the SimsliceHarleyAlarmTutorial.iff file. Your window will look something like this:

 

Next, click on the FWAV Resource to the left. Your window will now look something like this:

Each sound tag is listed on the right by a unique Resource ID (#1, #2 and #3). Double click on the ID that you want to edit. In this case, we want to change the ringing sound, so we will double click on #1. A new window will pop up displaying the name of the sound tag:

 

Type (or paste) the new tag name: PSS_simsliceharley_wav

Then hit "OK". Then hit the "save" button and close IFF Pencil 2.

That's it! Now run The Sims and put the Harley Alarm on your lot. If you did everything properly, when you click on "Test Alarm", it will roar alive with the sounds of genuine Harley-Davidson power! Be careful using it near sleeping Sims, or they'll be rattled right out of their beds. ;)

Congratulations on your new sound hack! Hopefully you'll have many more to come after this one. If it didn't work for some reason, retry the steps above and see if that helps. If you're really in a jam, contact information is listed below.

Happy Days,

-Homeslice


Credits and Contact Info:

This tutorial was written 2004 by Homeslice at Simslice and is not to be copied or reproduced on other sites.

Pi Sim Sounds is freeware made by Pi at Parsimonious. Visit the Pi Sim Sounds webpage for details, or for the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (if needed). If you have any comments or issues regarding the Pi Sim Sounds program, you can email Pi at Parsimonious directly.

If you want to read what others are discussing about this program, or join in the discussion, please take a moment to drop by the Pi Sim Sounds Forum (hosted by Simslice).

IFF Pencil 2 is freeware made by Tom van Dijk - visit the IFF Pencil 2 webpage or The Sims Workshop for details.

The Sims Transmogrifier is freeware by Don Hopkins at Lush Creations. Visit the Transmogrifier website for details.

If you experience crashes or freezes, please review our FAQ page about common download issues and resolutions before contacting us about it.

If you have any questions or problems with this tutorial, feel free to contact Simslice


Other Links:

If you would like to see your creations posted at Simslice, we'd love to hear from you - please visit our Submissions Page for details.

If you'd like to skip all the work in our Hands-on workshop and are not interested in learning to use this program, you can download a finished Harley Twin-Cam Alarm by clicking here. (updated: new sound files are included with it so you don't have to run this program first).

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