Les formats .package et .sims3pack de Sims 3

Sims 3 utilise deux formats pour regrouper les fichiers avec les resources et données du jeu :

  • les fichiers .package sont les fichiers du jeu eux-même
  • les fichiers .sims3pack sont de mini-executables contenant un ou plusieurs .package

Pour télécharger des contenus en format .package,  il faut installer le fichier Resource.cgf dans le répertoire:

C > Program Files > Electronic Arts > Les Sims 3.

et les fichiers téléchargés dans le répertoire :

C > Program Files > Electronic Arts > Les Sims 3 > Mods > Packages > dossier 1 > dossier 2 > dossier 3  (maximum 3 niveaux de sous-dossiers)

Le logiciel Install Helper Monkey permet d’installer d’une façon conviviale les téléchargements au format .package.
En double-cliquant sur un fichier .sims3pack, l’utilitaire associé (le lanceur du jeu Sims 3) installe les données au bon endroit. Pour enregistrer les données d’uen façon plus contrôlée, on peut recourir au programme S3PME.

Postal : DBPF3 package editor and API for Sims 3 package files

Postal is developed by Echo, a drive-by modder and supermoderator of the Mod The Sims website. Echo is a female software engineer located in Melbourne, Australia; her website is eternal-echo.net.

Postal can open up Sims 3 package files, let you poke at their innards, change things around, then save them back into new package files. Postal can navigate all kinds of Sims 3 package files, and parse/display/write many resources, including OBJDs, OBJKs, STBLs, XMLs, CSTRs, GEOMs, NMAPs, DDSs, PNGs, VPXYs, Texture Compositors and the various text-based formats. The Postal Editor is built on top of the “Postal API” which has already been used in other tools, including The Sims 3 Mod Generator and Merlin.

The latest version of the Postal installer can be downloaded from Sourceforge.

Postal extracts .obj files from the geom to enable users to modify the mesh.

realXtend : Open Source Platform for interconnected virtual worlds

realXtend is an open source virtual worlds – immersive web platform.  The framework contains server and client software along with content creation tools.

One of the most important aspects of the realXtend framework is its scalability. Anyone can have a personal virtual space with typically only a couple of users, but it is also possible to create entire worlds for greater numbers of users. Instead of separate proprietary sites realXtend will make it possible to connect between the different worlds as easily as browsing web pages today, which will increase the popularity and usability of virtual reality above what is possible for any individual service provider alone.

The most important issue in creating smooth transitions between virtual realities is a global and secure avatar management system. The avatar is the user’s virtual representative, which can be used for a multitude of purposes. In realXtend the same avatar can be used in every virtual world, it will assist the user in communication tasks and possibly even be used for secure online transactions. The avatar services are also available for anyone to host themselves, there are no centralized or proprietary components in the framework.

RealXtend is a partnership company formed from Admino Technologies (now Evocativi Oy) and LudoCraft, two Finnish companies. They have developed an improved version of the Second Life(tm) viewer which can be downloaded here. Information on how to connect the RealXtend viewer is defined by the ModRex interface.

LudoCraft recently developed the Virtual Expo World which is provided by Tekes Spaces and Places Programme; my user name in the realXtend viewer to connect to the Authentication Server Home Grid is gigamon@world.virtualexpo.fi.

Modrex: integrate realXtend features in OpenSim

Modrex is a project to integrate all of the realXtend features with the mainline OpenSim code by incorporating them in a optional regionmodule – hence the project name modrex. The work is being done by Adam Frisby. The stability of the code is surprisingly good.

The RealXtend viewer employs the open source OGRE game engine and differs from the Linden Lab viewer (LLviewer) in several ways. The most distinct difference is in the new rendering potential offered by OGRE. When using RealXtend as a viewer for OpenSim, one obtains real-time shadows, improved lighting simulation, and more importantly, the OGRE mesh. The mesh is hierarchical (multiple meshes and sub-meshes) and can include a skeleton for defining avatar motion and dynamics.

ModRex (source code) while not part of the viewer, is the glue that connects the viewer to the opensim trunk code. Version 0.5 of  realXtend released on 30.6.2009 is featuring ModreX for the first time.

Open Metaverse Foundation

Last update : April 10, 2013

Logo Opne Metaverse Foundation

Logo Open Metaverse Foundation

The Open Metaverse Foundation (OMF) is a non-profit organization founded with the mandate of developing open technologies and open-source software related to the metaverse and virtual worlds. The OMF provides support and guidance to selected projects that espouse the principles of the foundation.

The current projects supported by OMF are the Meerkat Viewer and the LibOpenMetaverse, a .NET based Client/Server library used for accessing and creating 3d virtual worlds. The library maintains compatibility with the Second Life protocol and can be used for creating clients and automatons in Second Life, OpenSim or other virtual worlds which use the Second Life Protocol.

The current library (version 0.9.1 released September 3, 2011 ) consists of several .NET Assemblies:

  • OpenMetaverse.dll : The core OpenMetaverse library which can be used for creating client and server applications
  • OpenMetaverseTypes.dll : A 3d specific Types and Math library
  • OpenMetaverse.StructuredData.dll : A serialization library which implements full support for LLSD and Json
  • OpenJpeg A .NET : wrapper for encoding and decoding Jpeg2000 data utilizing the openjpeg library

The OpenMetaverse library is compatible with the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 and newer and Mono 1.9 or newer.

OSgrid : the largest running OpenSimulator grid

Last update : April 10, 2013

OSgrid logo

OSgrid logo

OSgrid is the largest running OpenSimulator grid, run by OSGrid Inc., a Californian Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation. Users can connect their own Sim-regions to the grid for free. OSgrid recommends the Hippo Viewer provided by MJM Labs. This viewer includes a list of public OSgrids.

End november 2009, OSgrid countet 34 inworlds, 3,105 regions and 28,546 accounts. Mid April 2013, there are 8696 regions and 88.381 total users.

The OSgrid website provides statistics, forums, chats, photos, news, a general store with free items, a wiki, a region lists with connected Sims and a list with the coordinates of free spots. OSGrid “map tiles” are only reserved while a region is online, if a region is offline it risks having it’s location taken by another user. OSGrid Admins may help resolve map position disputes, however this is not her responsibility.

A detailed documentation how to connect a Simulator to the OSgrid and how to configure the .ini-file is available on the OSgrid website.

Hypergrid : what is the best grid ?

Maria Korolov, Editor in Chief of Hypergrid Business, published by Trombly Ltd., a Hong Kong-based communications firm with offices in Boston, Shanghai and Mumbai, is the author of the contribution “What is the best grid ?“.

Maria Korolov is president of Trombly Ltd. Subsidiaries include the China Speakers Bureau, the largest speakers bureau for greater China, providing China experts to speak at conferences and events around the world.

One of the columnists of Hypergrid Business is Adam Frisby, head of Research and Development at DeepThinkLabs, an international company headquartered in Perth, Western Australia. Adam Frisby  has been using and developing for Virtual Worlds since 1997, he is a recognized industry professional and has been influential in the development of several key virtual world technologies including OpenSimulator, OpenViewer, Xenki, libsecondlife. Adam is also a member of several Virtual World standards bodies including the Linden Lab® Architecture Working Group.

Maria Korolov says that besides the isolated virtual worlds in cyberspace like Second Life, World of Warcraft, OpenLifeGrid and others, there are a few worlds which are on the hypergrid — accessible to travelers from other worlds via hyperlinks ( hypergrid teleports). The main are OSGrid, ReactionGrid, ScienceSim, FrancoGrid and Grid4Us.

OSGrid is the place for OpenSim developers and hobbyists running regions on their home computers or on spare servers. All the cool new features get tested first at OSgrid, like voice and vehicle physics.

If you like teachers, you need to be on ReactionGrid. Intel has a conference center here. ReactionGrid runs stable, older versions of OpenSim, tested and debugged, making it good for teachers or small businesses looking for a nice, reliable place to meet with students or clients.

If you want to do experiments, or watching them done, goto ScienceSim. Check out Galileo, Einstein, Kepler and other interesting builds.

FrancoGrid is the top French-speaking grid on the hypergrid and Grid4Us is best for hanging out with Germans.

Maria Korolov concludes that the best grid is the grid you build yourself and she gives an overview about OpenSim Hosting Providers.

FrancoGrid : Metavers 3D Francophone Libre

Last update : April 10,2013

Logo Francogrid

Logo Francogrid

FrancoGrid est un espace virtuel en trois dimensions, un metavers libre et francophone. Le logiciel Open Source OpenSimulator est le « moteur » de Francogrid, il est compatible avec le client de Second Life ™. L’équipe de Francogrid maintient une grille où chacun est libre de connecter son propre simulateur et ainsi, d’agrandir l’espace avec de nouvelles régions virtuelles !

L’objectif est d’exploiter au mieux ce nouveau support de communication et d’organiser la collaboration entre les membres. L’équipe de Francogrid veut soutenir activement le projet OpenSimulator par le rapport de bugs, le développement de “patch”, des expérimentations, et la réalisation de tutoriels.

Le site web de Francogrid comprend plusieurs blogs avec une liste d’évenements, des partenaires, des statistiques et des nouvelles.

OpenSimulator : create a virtual environment similar to Second Life™

Last update : January 22, 2013

logo by Adam Frisby

OpenSimulator logo by Adam Frisby

OpenSimulator (OpenSim) is a 3D Application Server that can be used to create a virtual environment (or world) similar to Second Life™. OpenSimulator is released under a BSD License, making it both open source, and commercially friendly to embed in products. Environments, protocols and features are supported via add on modules. The available modules (alternative gridservers, plugins and region modules, etc) are hosted on OpenSim Forge. OpenSimulator is powered by the community members that devote time and energy to the effort.

OpenSim is still at an alpha code maturity stage, the current latest releases is 0.7.6  released on October 4, 2013 (git source repository). OpenSimulator requires either the .Net Framework version 3.5, or Mono 2.4.3 or newer.

The OpenSimulator website provides documentation, FAQ’s, grid lists, bug reports, wish lists, forums, configuration files, news, blogs, rss feeds, technical reference, IRC channels, links, support and other informations concerning the development of the OpenSim project.

The following 3D Viewers are known to work with OpenSim : Official Second Life ™ Viewer, Hippo Viewer, Imprudence Viewer, realXtend Viewer and Meerkat Viewer.

An up-to-date coverage of the OpenSim technology is offered in-depth by the Hypergrid Business magazine.

Some commercial providers of OpenSim virtual worlds are listed hereafter :