Tutorial: Getting Started with CC Magic
Scope of this Tutorial:
This tutorial will teach you how to set up CC Magic for the first time. I will not focus in-depth on downloading and installing CC Magic . It’s up to you to know how to do that (or ask in the comments, or on my simblr).
If you’ve never set up CC Magic before, and you’re nervous about using it for the first time, this tutorial should be a great help. This tutorial should also be of interest to people who have tried to use CC Magic in the past, but were frustrated with process, or for people (like me) who panicked when they used CC Magic for the first time. If you’re not sure about using CC Magic, check out my recommendation: Recommendation: CCMagic (it’s true, I’m a Late Adopter).
I highly recommend CC Magic to anyone who has a significant amount of CC in their game. It will make organizing your CC a breeze, and will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend organizing it yourself.
To complete this Tutorial, you will need:
- CC Magic Installer, available at ModTheSims
- Some Custom Content that you would like in your game. This can be in either sims3pack or package format.
Before You Begin:
- Create a Copy of your Entire “The Sims 3″ Folder in Documents\ElectronicArts\. If you have a lot of stuff, this may take a long time. However, backing up your entire “The Sims 3″ folder will ensure that you can very easily return to pre-CC Magic installation should something go wrong.
- You can put this copy on your desktop temporarily, to make the process a bit easier.
- Another easy way to make a backup of the entire Sims 3 folder is to select the folder, right-click and use Send to… Compressed (zipped) folder.
- If you would rather not back up your entire The Sims 3 Folder, simply make a back up of your Mods folder.
- Although it is not necessary, if you want to be very safe, you can also back up your Downloads folder (in addition to the Mods folder).
- Backing up the entire Sims 3 folder is overkill, but it is the ultimate peace of mind for people who are unsure about CC Magic.
- Once you have backed up your The Sims 3 folder in Documents\Electronic Arts, go to Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3 and select the Downloads folder. Right-click the folder and select Cut (or use ctrl+x).
- Go to your Desktop and right click where you want to paste your Downloads folder and choose “Paste.”
Part One – Installing CC Magic
Now that you have backed up your content and prepared for CC Magic, you can install the program. To do this, find the CCMagic_2920_Setup.zip you downloaded from ModTheSims and double-click on it to open it. Run the executable inside to install the program.
Part Two – Setting Up CC Magic
Before you start CC Magic for the first time make sure you complete the steps in Before You Begin. If you haven’t completed them already, go do them now, seriously. Those steps are not required to make sure you don’t mess up your game, but you will have peace of mind for doing it. And who knows, you may thank me later for making you back up your stuff.
Step 1 – Launch CC Magic. If you let it create a shortcut, it should be on your desktop. Otherwise, you may need to launch CC Magic from the Start Menu.
Step 2 – Your CC Magic will look like this:
If you select the Legacy folder, you’ll notice that everything in your Mods folder is listed there. If you use an Overrides folder, CC Magic won’t see that at all, but it will notice you have a higher priority for your Overrides folder. To check that CC Magic will load your Overrides properly, click on the Options tab. You should see a text box labeled “Additional Resource.cfg entries” and it will have the information for the Overrides folder in it. If it’s empty, you can add it yourself:
Priority 1000 PackedFile "Overrides/*.package" PackedFile "Overrides/*/*.package" PackedFile "Overrides/*/*/*.package" PackedFile "Overrides/*/*/*/*.package" PackedFile "Overrides/*/*/*/*/*.package"
Organizing what’s in your Mods folder
Now that you’ve seen that your Mods folder is safe, you can decide what you want to do next. If you would like to move many of the packages from your mods folder to a place where CC Magic will process them, let’s do that now. Otherwise, you can skip this step.
1. Close down CC Magic and navigate to Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3.
2. Open your Mods folder and find all the packages you want to install with CC Magic. I recommend that you add packages to CC Magic in small chunks, so you have an easier time sorting through the content in CC Magic. Move a small chunk of packages into Documents\Eletronics Arts\The Sims 3\Downloads (This is the part where having a back up of your Mods folder will give you peace of mind)
3. Start CC Magic.
4. You will notice that the packages you put in your Downloads folder are now in the Default tab. At this point, all packages in your Downloads folder have been moved to Documents\Electronic Arts\CC Magic\Content and CC Magic is waiting for you tell it what to do. You can either sort these packages into different sets or just leave them all in the Default set. If you always use the same packages, there’s nothing wrong with leaving everything in the default set (however, it is better to leave the default set empty, for rebuild purposes). But if you think you might want to delete, remove or just not use certain objects at certain times, you can create custom sets.
5. To create a custom Set, select the Default set and click Add. Then select the New Set and rename it in the right hand panel, where the Name field is located. *Note: If you add a set to the Legacy set and want to delete it, you will have to navigate to Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Mods\Packages and delete the folder CC Magic created. Before you delete the folder, make sure there are no packages inside it that you want to keep.
6. To move a package into a set, go back to the Default set by clicking on Default. Then simply drag and drop your package to the new set. To drag multiple packages at once, see this tip from Grant:
It is possible to drag and drop multiple items in CC Magic. You just have to start dragging with the last click as you make your multiple selection. So for example if you have 5 items you want to move, you can click the first one, ctrl-click numbers 2 through 4 and ctrl-click-AND-HOLD number 5 and start dragging. If you hold the mouse button down on the last selection, it won’t reset to only selecting one item as you drag. (source)
7. Now you can keep adding more chunks of packages to CC Magic by moving the packages into the Downloads folder. Once you’ve sorted everything into sets, you can use the Build button. Do that now. CC Magic may take several minutes to merge all the packages, depending on your computer and how many packages you had.
8. Go to the Configurations tab, and enable the sets you wish to load when you load your game.
9. Optional: Start the game and check if you have all of your items. You should not get a message that you’re missing items (even though we didn’t process the original downloads folder). If you do, you may have somehow misplaced a package file. However, you should notice that all of your legacy files are working just fine.
Processing Your Downloads Folder
So, now that you’ve got your Mods folder done, you need to consider your downloads folder. This one is a bit tricky. If you’re like me, your downloads folder is always empty. This is not because of CC Magic, but because after installing something through the launcher, you back up your sims3pack on another hard drive and delete the one in the Downloads folder. Chances are, though, you might not be like me, and you have a downloads folder full of stuff.
If you want to keep everything you’ve installed through the launcher and don’t want to turn it into package files, simply place your downloads folder in a safe place and you’re done. You won’t need it again unless you have to re-install all of your Sims3Packs for some reason.
If you want to install all of your custom content as Package files instead of through the launcher, the solution is fairly straight forward: delete your DCCache and InstalledWorlds folder. Please keep in mind — this will remove everything you have installed through the launcher. Do not do this unless you want to uninstall EVERYTHING in one fell swoop. I am serious about this!
Part Three – Using CC Magic on a Regular Basis
Whew! You made it this far, great work! You’re almost done.
To install new CC/mods via CC Magic:
1. Put the sim3packs, package files OR compressed file (.zip, .rar. 7z) in the Downloads folder. **
2. Run CC Magic. Sort the new CC into the sets you wish (or don’t, up to you).
3. Click the Build button.
** Some creators include both sims3pack and packages of their objects in one compressed file (for example, OBP does this). In that case, you may want to unzip the file and delete the format you don’t want to use. If you don’t do this before starting CC Magic, simply delete the duplicates and then sort and re-build.
To Update Mods via CC Magic:
1. BEFORE you put the new mods in your Downloads folder, start CC Magic and delete mod version you’re currently running. You can use the Filter to help you find the mod.
2. Click Build, then close CC Magic.
3. Put the new version of the Mod in your Downloads folder and then start CC Magic again.
4. Sort the mod into the set you wish, and then click Rebuild.
Some CC functions better if you install it through the EA Launcher as sims3pack:
- Counters (corner counters are often not re-colorable when installed as sims3pack)
- Patterns made with Create-A-Pattern
Using Delphy’s Dashboard with CC Magic
Delphy’s Dashboard will pick up any conflicts in your Mods folder, whether the packages are create by CC Magic or put into the Packages folder yourself. In fact, I highly recommend using the Dashboard alongside CC Magic, as you will be able to identify if you have somehow managed to get duplicate items in your packages.
One Easy way to get duplicate items is to run the Build command on CC Magic when you have objects in your Default set. Later, if you move some objects to another set, you could end up with duplicates. To prevent this, you can use the “Clear Cache” button in CC Magic. This will delete all CC Magic generated packages. Then use the Rebuild button to rebuild your packages.
Sims 3 Store Objects and CC Magic
If you want to install your Sims 3 Store objects as package files, you will have to run them through s3rc before you put the sims3packs in your Download folder.
Please feel free to ask questions and share comments and critcisms.