Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sims3Pack: Extracting Packages

Two ways to do this:
  • The Hard Way
  • The Easy Way
The Hard Way helps you understand how .Sims3Packs work, so while I recommend The Easy Way, I also recommend reading over The Hard Way to gain a better understanding of .Sims3Packs.

The Hard Way

Sims3Packs hold .package files.  When you use a Sims3Pack, it empties the package file into the following folder:
Documents - Electronic Arts - The Sims 3 - DCBackup
You can remove the package from that file, rename it, and put it in your mods folder with all the other packages.

This works with Store Items.  A few things I've tested out:
  • Each store item package has a random string of letters and numbers for its name, but each only has one name (i.e. the name is set, not randomized when you install the Sims3Pack).
  • If you Install an item you already have, it will replace the old version (no duplicates).
  • If you take the old version of the item out and Install it again from the original Sims3Pack, it will have the exact same name as before.
  • Sims3Packs from the store and their corresponding packages do not have the same name.

I've found it easiest to make a backup file containing the Sims3Packs and the corresponding image of the item (image edited to show the proper item name) and do the same for the package version of the file.  This way, I can find the item I want (and its Sims3Pack) without having to reinstall everything.  This really helps save time when I have to reformat my computer or delete something.

Sets are a different beast altogether.  Until we get software that can let us see what a package file is outside of the game, installing a Sims3Pack set will give you 10-20 files in a jumble.  I organize these by naming them all the set name, but if you wish to keep the original numerical names, you might also put them in a sub-folder.

Example of Single Item Organization:

Halter Dress:
  • afbodydresshalter.Sims3Pack
  • 0x0068f2d2825b46128d3ae021763b43e8.package
Both have this image beside them:

The Easy Way

Delphy's Sims 3 Pack Multi-Extracter/Installer.

All this does is take the .package (or .packages) out of the .Sims3Pack and put it in any folder you specify.  It gets you past the DCCache mess and even has a checkbox you can use to rename the .package automatically to the name of the .Sims3Pack.  It also lets you do multiple .Sims3Packs at once!  I really really love this tool.