Oh happy days are here, well almost. I got word from Maxis that they’re ok with me publishing (and explaining) the file formats to the game to you. Now, before you go celebrating just hang on. I’ll be publishing various file formats from the game (as much as I can) and explain in depth what they are and how to use them. This will be invaluable to anything wanting to write an add-on for the game (or at least, that’s the whole point). However, I’m not going to be leaping into the lions den and publishing the IFF formats up front. This may peeve some of you but there is methods to my madness. Currently to create/access the IFF files, you go through a heirachy of C++ classes, locking and unlocking memory streams, inheriting and generally being complex. With the source code handy it’s no biggie to open up IFFs but trying to explain all that isn’t going to be a picnic. So, at first I’ll be going through the various simpler formats like FAR, CMX, SKN, etc. to get those out of the way. Then I’ll tackle the other larger and more obscure ones. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the IFF format just because it’s a beast, but hopefully someday. Sorry if that bursts your bubble, but please realize that the IFF format is not just a binary file with some bitmaps in it. An object has complex relationships with other objects, Sims, animations and then there’s the entire Simantics code that describes it’s interactions with the game. Trust me. It’s not a walk in the park. To give you a little perspective on it, the MAX format that 3D Studio uses is a file format that’s been around for years yet nobody has figured it out and the makers of 3D Studio are not talking about how it’s put together. So not everything is as easy as you think, but we’ll get there eventually. Rome wasn’t built in a day. That’s it for the news. Now back to your regularily scheduled Simming.