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Old Post Sim Settlements Lite = Sim Settlements Xbox One

Catallaxis

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As Sim Settlements continues to grow, the 2GB mod limit on Xbox One is becoming a more pressing constraint.

If you install the 3-in-1 and a couple of popular add-on packs, then you've probably used at least 1.5GB on Sim Settlements content alone. At present, a Sim Settlements Lite is available, for the base mod only, that reduces the size by about 100MB. It does this by eliminating the intermediary construction stages and cutting the custom construction sound effects seen and heard while building plans are upgrading.

However, so far, the burden of maintaning and updating full and lite versions of all SS mods and add-ons has prevent all but a couple of them from actually getting Lite versions.

My suggestion is that Sim Settlements Lite should simply be the Xbox version of Sim Settlements, and continued support for the full version should cease. This should become the new standard for all Xbox SS mods, including Industrial Revolution, Rise of the Commonwealth, the 3-in-1 pack, the Year One Megapack (full and new-only versions), and any future SS expansions, and mod authors should be encouraged (though not required) to follow this standard when porting their SS add-ons to Xbox.

Although it will require some additional work to set-up all the Xbox versions, once done it will actually reduce, at lease some, of the workload involved in maintaining and updating the mod in the future.

I can't think there will be very many Xbox One users who will so miss their intermediary construction stages that they wouldn't take the exchange for some extra memory.

As for other content that might get cut from the Xbox version: maybe the dynamic soundscape? Just how big would RotC be if those sound files were removed?
 
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Tinuvia

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Hi!
You’re right in your thoughts, and there must be more Xbox players wishing the same. Just pitching in with my thoughts, to hopefully explain a bit behind the scenes from an addon author’s view:

This could work for new mods, but only if the building stages etc were excluded from the pc versions as well. Which kind of goes against the SS idea of seeing settlers building the stuff, simulating that it happens over time.

Paring down an existing mod to a lite version, would take me about an hour for each building plan, even with the scripted tools that Ohnno and Kinggath developed. For us that is about 80 hours. Then we’d test all plans to make sure they build ok, probably another 10 hours, including bug fixing. Every update, we’d have to add the new building plans separately to the Xbox versions, compared to now when we upload the same pc versions for Xbox. That is an extra couple of hours for an update and upload process that already takes about a day (not counting actually creating the stuff!).

I have about 5-10 hours per week to spend on SS, since it’s something I do in my spare time, so a lite version would mean 2-3 months work exclusively on this type of administrative (deadly boring ;) ) stuff. No creating new buildings.

@uituit has remarkably done lite versions for Xbox, but his lite version of Junk Town has less than 900 downloads so far (and 1 rating) compared to his full version with 30,000 downloads (and 75 ratings). That is kind of downheartening for all the work that goes into it.

And we are really just pushing the problem on the future, with every update we’d eat another bit of your max size, even for a lite version.
 

Catallaxis

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Paring down an existing mod to a lite version, would take me about an hour for each building plan, even with the scripted tools that Ohnno and Kinggath developed. For us that is about 80 hours. Then we’d test all plans to make sure they build ok, probably another 10 hours, including bug fixing. Every update, we’d have to add the new building plans separately to the Xbox versions, compared to now when we upload the same pc versions for Xbox. That is an extra couple of hours for an update and upload process that already takes about a day (not counting actually creating the stuff!).
Those numbers are about double what I had hoped.

In that case, this seems unlikely to happen unless someone can create a tool that can automatically, and reliably, convert SS building plans to Lite versions.

Thanks for the info.
 

Catallaxis

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@uituit has remarkably done lite versions for Xbox, but his lite version of Junk Town has less than 900 downloads so far (and 1 rating) compared to his full version with 30,000 downloads (and 75 ratings). That is kind of downheartening for all the work that goes into it.
I suspect this is a case of users not knowing enough to know that they'd prefer the Lite version.

The full version of Junk Town was created first, and so tends to go higher in most peoples' searches for Sim Settlements add-ons. I don't think people understand what "Lite" means. I think they would be afraid it means fewer building plans, or that removing "building stages" means removing building levels (I once had to ask for clarification of this). Moreover, Junk Town Lite cannot be switched out for Junk Town without having to rebuild all Junk Town plots, so there are compatibility issues that may prevent people switching over.

I suspect that if Uituit were able to just swap the full version for the lite version, and told people that he managed to reduce the size while keeping all the same building plans, then most users be very happy and many probably wouldn't even notice the missing building stages.
 
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Tinuvia

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Those numbers are about double what I had hoped.
I talked to Uituit, he said it didn’t take an hour for each plan, much less ;)
So for some addon authors a lite version might not be impossible!
But I still think the size of ours make it a bit unlikely that it will happen soon.

For new addon mods targeting Xbox, I think that no building stages is definitely the way to go.
 

Tinuvia

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@Catallaxis We've found a way to reduce the file size without removing the building stages. So Wasteland Venturers (our original addon - WV1) is now 83 MB smaller, and down to 115MB.
 

VersusXV

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We've found a way to reduce the file size without removing the building stages. So Wasteland Venturers (our original addon - WV1) is now 83 MB smaller, and down to 115MB.
That's really good! How did you do that?

I did wonder about swapping stage models to just the StaticCollection record but might become a mess of having to pack in loads of little statics. Would be nice to make mine be just an ESP and handful of textures & little meshes.

I talked to Uituit, he said it didn’t take an hour for each plan, much less ;)
So for some addon authors a lite version might not be impossible!
But I still think the size of ours make it a bit unlikely that it will happen soon.

For new addon mods targeting Xbox, I think that no building stages is definitely the way to go.
With the fancy addons like Wasteland Venturers I feel it is worth it to make room. Personally when I was on Xbox that's what I did. I got rid of the random Uzi/AK-47 mods & I kept settlement menu mods down to just 1 or 2. I think I kept WV & Industrial City almost all the time, and usually also Home Improvement. Though I only played on X1 for 1st half of 2017.

Agreed about the no building stages. It's a big part of why building stages are low priority on mine, the other big reason being that probably >90% use normal build times rather than realistic build times & so likely they won't see the building stages or will only see them rarely. I use almost every addon and I've probably seen building stages on like maybe 10% of the plots, when I just happened to be showing up when they were upgrading.

I suspect this is a case of users not knowing enough to know that they'd prefer the Lite version.

The full version of Junk Town was created first, and so tends to go higher in most peoples' searches for Sim Settlements add-ons. I don't think people understand what "Lite" means. I think they would be afraid it means fewer building plans, or that removing "building stages" means removing building levels (I once had to ask for clarification of this). Moreover, Junk Town Lite cannot be switched out for Junk Town without having to rebuild all Junk Town plots, so there are compatibility issues that may prevent people switching over.

I suspect that if Uituit were able to just swap the full version for the lite version, and told people that he managed to reduce the size while keeping all the same building plans, then most users be very happy and many probably wouldn't even notice the missing building stages.
Great points! These are some reasons why for mine Xbox one basically only gets a Lite version. Though currently that's pretty much same as PC.
 

Catallaxis

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@Catallaxis We've found a way to reduce the file size without removing the building stages. So Wasteland Venturers (our original addon - WV1) is now 83 MB smaller, and down to 115MB.
Wow. That's great. I know a lot of Xboxers will appreciate that!

How many goats were sacrificed to the Creation Kit to make that happen? That is how the CK works, right?
 

VersusXV

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How many goats were sacrificed to the Creation Kit to make that happen? That is how the CK works, right?
Pretty much.
  • Sacrifice goats
  • Pray to :todd:
  • Promise to buy Skyrim again, wherever they port it to next:load:
(My guess is Skyrim for the phone next)
 

Yagisan

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How many goats were sacrificed to the Creation Kit to make that happen? That is how the CK works, right?
Pretty much.
  • Sacrifice goats
  • Pray to :todd:
  • Promise to buy Skyrim again, wherever they port it to next:load:
(My guess is Skyrim for the phone next)
I object to being sacrificed.

Here, have a song about me instead.
 
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