FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

Problems with downloads:

-HELP! I can’t download anything!
-Downloaded files are empty/ cause error messages in Winzip

We use an access restriction on our downloads and pictures based on the ‘REFERER’ header. This means you can only access files directly from AmazonSims.
~When you use browsers which send an incorrect ‘REFERER’ to our server, our zip-files may not be downloaded.
~You can’t download our stuff using a download manager (like Go!zilla, Flashget etc.). Downloading with a download manager may cause empty zip files or error messages in WinZip.
~If you’re using a firewall, try turning it off.
~If you use Norton, try turning off “advertisement-cut”
~You can only download by (left)clicking on the download; right-clicking and choosing ‘save destination as’ won’t work or may cause error messages in WinZip.

If you still can’t download our files e-mail us.
Please enclose info on what browser and firewall you use and if you’re using any Norton programmes or any kind of internet security/privacy programmes or download managers. Sorry about the inconvenience, but we need to protect the site from bandwith theft in order to keep it free…

-Installing heads and skins
Unzip all files including the mesh to C:/program files/Maxis/The Sims/GameData/Skins.
This goes for buyable skins as well.
Remember that your sims has to go downtown to get the buyable skins.

-What is a mesh?
The mesh is the shape part of a head or outfit, while the skin itself
is the texture and colour. You need both for your head or outfit to show up in your game. The mesh is made up of 2 files ending .cmx and .skn while the head/skin itself is a .bmp file.
AmazonSims uses the mesh made by others, but the .bmp file is our own creation.

Do I have to download the mesh when I download a head or a skin?
The mesh is not included in our downloads. We do this to save you time and hopefully save our bandwith as well.
You need both the head/skin download and the right mesh for the head/skin to work. But you only need to download the same mesh once.

Check the name of the mesh under the download pic. If you’ve already got that mesh in your game, you don’t have to download it again.
If you’re not sure just get it anyway. Doesn’t do any harm installing it twice.

-I downloaded some stuff, but it’s not showing in my game…
First, check to see if you’ve installed everything correctly. All skins and meshes goes into the gamedata/skins folder.
Then, check if you have the correct mesh. If you’re not sure, just get the mesh from our site. You can see what mesh you need under the download pic. Unzip both .cmx and .skn file to the gamedata/skins folder.
NOTE: Our skin sets are NOT compatible with hot date and later expansion packs unless otherwise specified. You need special buyable versions, the skin sets won’t work. They could even make your game crash.

-I downloaded some skins and they made my game crash…
Hate when that happens!
First, do you have hot date, vacation or super star installed? If so, it could be some skin sets made for pre-hot date sims that causes the problems. (see ‘I need to get rid of some stuff that’s not compatible with Hot Date…’). Go to our Buyable sections to download the sets as buyable skins.
If you DID download a buyable version – e-mail us, could be a bad skin. Remember to tell us the names of the skins you’ve downloaded and wether you have any expansion packs. And anything else that might be helpfull. Also try to run FileCop from Maxis

No hot date or later expansion packs? If you don’t have any sets or don’t have hot date or later installed it’s probably a bad skin or a mesh. Try to run Sims Filecop (get it from www.thesims.com) and see if it removes any bad files. If not, do e-mail us, as it’s probably a fuck-up on our behalf. Remember to tell us the names of the skins/heads you’ve downloaded and wether you have any expansion packs. And anything else that might be helpfull. We’ll check it out and get back to you.

In the meantime, you can remove all the things you’ve installed and put them back one by one. This way you can see what skin causes the crash. All our files have ‘azmo’ ‘desd’ or ‘heine’ in their names so try searching for e.g. *azmo*.* in file manager search function if you don’t remember the name of the skin/head.
But again, if you discover any thing wrong with our downloads, do let us know so we can fix it, thanks.

-I have the Hot Date expansion pack – can I use your stuff?
Hot Date has changed some of the naming conventions for skins.
This means that you can NOT use skin sets made for pre-hot date sims. You can only use sets in Hot Date versions. (By sets we mean skins that comes with maching pajama, bathing suit and formalwear)
You CAN use all heads as well as all skins that are not sets.

Note that if you download a skin for hot date, your sims still have to go downtown to buy it. Also the saving part is different from the sims, so do check out the readme file that comes with the download.
IMPORTANT: Our skin sets (including the pale skin sets) are NOT compatible with hot date unless otherwise specified.
Go to our Hot Date sections to download the sets as buyable skins.

-I need to get rid of some stuff that’s not compatible with Hot Date…
This is our no 1 most asked question. OK: If you have any skin sets or pale skins that makes your game crash, you’ll want to remove them. You can do two things:

1)You need to know the name of the skin, eg with B322fafitlgt_desdGreyDrP.bmp – the name is ‘desdGreyDrP’. All .bmp files that are part of this set will have that name. Search for all files by that name in your gamedata/skins directory. Type in *desdGreyDrP.* when you use the search function in file manager. Then you delete all files that come up.

2)Use the old naming conventions to delete all sets. Female: Search for
FF*.* , NF*.* , UF*.* and PajamaF*.* Male: Search for FM*.* , NM*.* , UM *.* and PajamaM*.*
You’ll have to check the files before you delete them though, just in case you have a useful file starting FF in that directory…
If you want to get rid of the hands as well, search for – female: HF*.*
GF*.* – male: HM*.*

Yes, I know, this could take hours *pissed at Maxis* But as far as I know it’s the only way (other that re-installing and losing all your downloads) 🙁

-I downloaded some files – now what? How do I get them into my game?
You need winzip to open the download files (http://www.winzip.com). Then you double click on the download file and extract it to the right game folder. For skins and head this is the gamedata/skins folder (see ‘Installing heads and skins’).
Tip: Winzip using ‘Classic’ interface allows you to read the readme before extracting the file. Just open the download file and right-click on the .txt file (Choose ‘view with internal viewer’). This way you’ll know what game folder to extract into 🙂

-Your pale sets don’t work right…
Again, hot date has changed a lot – our pale sets is not guarantied to work in hot date. You need a buyable version. Get it from the Buyable section.
If you do have a buyable version, you’ll need to go down town to purchase pajama, swimsuit and formal wear.
Also, we’ve had problems with pale hands and nude – if they don’t show, let us know. We should’ve solved the problem by now… Remember to tell us the names of the skins you’ve downloaded and wether you have hot date or later expansion packs. And anything else that might be helpfull.

No hot date or later? First, check to see if you’ve installed everything correctly, that is all files into the gamedate/skins folder.
Then, check if you have the correct mesh. If you’re not sure, just get the mesh from our site. You can see what mesh you need under the download pic.
Still not working? Hm, our pale sets should work, that must be an error on our behalf – drop us an e-mail and we’ll fix it. Remember to tell us the names of the skins you’ve downloaded and wether you have hot date or later expansion packs. And anything else that might be helpfull. Also try to run FileCop from Maxis.

-I click on a picture, but nothing happens – how do I download?
Oops, embarracing, probably forgot to make that link when I updated *blushing* Just drop me an e-mail and I’ll fix it ASAP.

-Buyable skins and expansion packs…
All buyable skins must be saved into maxis/sims/gamedata/skins. Saving in the ‘skinsbuy’ folder might work too, but it could cause game lagging and crashing due to double meshes. Better save *all* you downloaded meshes and skins into gamedata/skins, that’s how Maxis intended it.

When downloading buyables, be sure you have the appropiate expansion packs:
buyable swimwear: works only if you have the expansion packs Hot Date, Vacation and/or Super Star
buyable nightwear: works only if you have the expansion packs Hot Date, Vacation and/or Super Star
buyable formalwear: works only if you have the expansion packs Hot Date, Vacation and/or Super Star
buyable winterwear: works only if you have the expansion pack Vacation
buyable high fashion: works only if you have the expansion pack Super Star

note: Skin sets don’t work with with any of these expansions, you can only use the buyable skins.

How to:


-I want to make my own heads and skins. What do I need?
You’ll need SimShow from Maxis and a good graphics program like photo shop or paint shop pro – one that can handle layers. (I use paint shop pro 7 myself. You can get a 30 day try out version here: http://www.jasc.com/download_4.asp?). Then you’ll need some nude skin bases in all three skin tones (threnody has them: http://www.threnodys.com/chicboutique/ – check ‘skinning files’).
And if you want some great pics of your sims posing you’ll want Simpose: http://www.simpose.com/
Note: you should only use nude bases and Maxis heads and skins. Most sims artist don’t want their work changed or redrawn. And also don’t take bits and pieces from other peoples work. It’s considered stealing in the sims community. Read the do’s and dont’s before you start making your own sim stuff.

 

Can you recommend any tutorials on skinning?
We have a skinning tutorial and a head tutorial made for Paint Shop Pro 🙂 Threnody has a tutorial on skins. And SimSisters has a great heads tutorial, a skin tutorial as well as some set tutorials. Other than that it’s generally a good idea to ask on a forum, as someone else might know a great new tutorial.
Check out our forum 🙂 – NighttimeSims, WellDressedSim and SimFreaks are other sites with good forums.

-The do’s and dont’s of skinning – what every Sim artist should know.
Rule no 1: You don’t use other peoples bitmaps. The bitmap is the actual drawing of the face or body, the file type is .bmp. Most artist don’t like their work being changed or bits and pieces taken and used on another skin. So only use Maxis skins and heads as bases for your own skin.

Rule no 2: Give credit. If you use a mesh , a picture or anything else not made by you, you should give the original artist credit. Make a note saying e.g. ‘mesh by Fionn’ and a link to Fionns site. And remember to put the credit and link in your readme file too. If you’re not sure who made the mesh, here’s some lists to help you out: Master Mesh List and Sandshifter’s Identify. If you still can’t figure out the original artist, it’s OK to say so. Just make it clear that this was not your work. And be sure to provide your e-mail somewhere, so people can get in touch with you if they know the correct credit.

Rule no 3: Read the read-me! Most artist includes a text file in their download. This contains important information from the artist. You should always read it, especially if you’re planning to use the mesh. Note that some artists want you to include the original readme in the download, if you use their mesh. So – read it and save it on your disk so you can find it later.

Rule no. 4: Ask! If anything is unclear to you about using stuff from another artist, just ask them. E-mail them or post at their forum. Some artist don’t mind you using their bitmaps, if you give credit AND ASK FIRST. So don’t be shy. Better to ask than to piss of that artist, right?

Rule no. 5: Use your own bandwith. If you get permission to use a picture or even a download from another site, you should upload it to your own server. Do not just use the original URL from the site.The same goes when you use a site’s banner on your links page. The reason for this is simple: most sites have restrictions on their bandwith, meaning the amount of traffic on the site. Each time a picture is loaded or a zip is downloaded, this takes up bandwith. So if you don’t upload the pictures or whatever to your own server, you’re actually stealing the bandwith the other site is paying for. Bandwith theft sucks!

TIPS FOR SIM ARTISTS:
1
– Make a read-me text and include it in your zip file. Put your URL, e-mail, name and anything else concerning the download e.g. that you don’t want other people to change or redistribute your work without your permission. Or get inspiration from other artists read-me files. It’s generally a good idea to keep it simple and small in size – you don’t want people downloading 10 KB of read-me with every skin…
2-Put your initials in the filename. This way it’s easier for other people to see who made the skin/head. Be sure your initials are not taken (check Sandshifter’s ID) and then remember to e-mail your initials to Sandshifter.
3-Name the zip after the skin. If the filename of the zip and the head/skin is the same, it make things a whole lot easier, especially as your site grows.
4-Let other artists inspire you. While its a big no-no to use parts of other artist bitmaps, it’s a good idea to be inspired be them. If you open a bitmap that you like in a graphics program, maybe you can get a clue as to how this or that great effect was made. Studying other artists techniques can be very educational. Just as long as you remember: Just look – no thouch 😉

 

-Where can I get the bases for pale skins?
The bases we use were made by Seraphine of Simsylvania. You can find them here: http://www.simsylvania.com/heads_female_pale.htm If you want to make your own pale heads, my pale head bases are included in the C001 head bases .zip If you use the pale bases no credit is necessary, but Seraphine would appriciate a link back to Simsylvania, something like ‘get more pale heads and skins at Simsylvania’

About AmazonSims:


-Can I make a request for a head, a skin or maybe a theme?
Sure thing. Feel free to inspire us! We can’t promise you we’ll do it though, but we’ll definitely look at it and get back to you. Just visit our forum and leave a message in our Requests area. Make sure you have pictures for the request, that will make things a LOT easier for us.

-Do you charge for your downloads?
Nope. This is a free site. You can download as much as you want. If you want to help us pay the hosting bills, your donation will be welcomed.

-Can I submit a link to another great sims site?
We generally don’t take requests for links to put on our link site. That’s something WE decide. But drop by our forum if you feel like promoting your own or someone elses site – don’t be shy 🙂

-How can I get in touch with you?
Post on our forum. That’s what it’s there for… requests, problems, links, updates, just chatting, or maybe saying something nice about the site 🙂

-Is it OK to email you?
Sure.
If you have a problem be sure to specify: what did you download, what does it do and do you have hot date installed? And anything else that might be helpful.
Oh, and did I mention, we loove getting nice e-mails…. Visit our staff page for e-mails

Resources:


-OK, I have a very tricky question that you haven’t answered…
It could be that I’ve just left out that part, but most likely it’s because I don’t know. What I can do though is giving you the URL’s of some people that are smarter than me 😉

Generally it’s a good idea to post on a forum so that lots of different people see your post. Did I mention that WE have a forum? 🙂 -> visit AmazonSims Forum
Other sites with good forums: NighttimeSims, WellDressedSim and SimFreaks

For help with ez-board account:
http://login.ezboard.com/bezboard

List of meshes and artists: Master Mesh List and Sandshifter’s Identify

Tutorials on skinning: Skinning Tutorial by Desdemona, Head Tutorial by Desdemona, Threnody and SimSisters

Do’s and dont’s of skinning: Read here

Wonderful poses for Simpose: Stylissimode

Get Simpose: http://www.simpose.com/
Get SimShow: http://www.thesims.com/
Get FileCop: http://www.thesims.com/
Get Paint Shop Pro evaluation: http://www.jasc.com/
Get Winzip: http://www.winzip.com/
Bitch about the internet, crappy host and fucked up programmers:

FAQ done by desdemona of AmazonSims
thanx to all those who’ve asked the questions 😉 love ya