I seem to be a glutton for punishment sometimes. I’m trying to make the system so simple and carefree that it’s driving me batty (short drive, trust me). I’m working on getting the lighting model correct, but there are still problems lighting some models. However, I’m making some progress so it’s just a matter of a little more time and I’ll have it nailed. This will save you from having to create lights and position them in blueprint. Trust me, you don’t want to get into that. A screenshot below shows a 3D model of a gargoyle brought in and the lighting almost working on it. More tweaking.

I spoke to Don Hopkins tonight about editing the rating values of objects (hunger, comfort, etc.) The truth is all along I thought what I was doing was correct but it seems that the catalog where you edit these things is only for show. To really set the hunger value, it’s generally done in Edith. Since you guys don’t have that luxury, I need to figure a way out to walk the object tree and set it up. Pretty messy stuff as it involves a few dozen structures and classes all which have to be reference counted, locked and updated. I’ll eventually get it but it’s not going to be an overnight thing. The catalog ratings are just for show. Maxis needed a way to display them in the game, but internally they’re set elsewhere. Also, there are 6,348 (rough estimate) different things that can affect these ratings (like the personality of The Sims), so even setting a comfort value of 5 doesn’t guarentee that it will affect each Sim the same way. Again, the complexity of The Sims shines through again. So in the meantime, you’ll have to do with the ratings from the existing objects but that’s really not all that bad. Note, this only affects the ratings. You can still set where the object shows up in the catalog, it’s description and other good stuff. It’s just the comfort, hunger, etc. values that are buried deep inside the system that I need to revisit and get working.

In addition I’m starting two things in blueprint that will further your customization efforts. These are the menu editor and sound editor. The menu editor lets you change the pie menu that appears over an object when you click on it. At first you’ll only be able to change the options, but later I’ll add the ability to add new ones. Just need to iron out the details about how to do this without making it another 10 page tutorial. The sound editor will allow you to replace sounds associated with actions in objects. For example, I’ve really enjoyed the arcade machines some people have been creating. The effect is shattered when I hear the bings and bells of the pinball machine though. I have in my collection the original sounds and graphics to Joust, a really slick arcade game made in the 80s that just rocks and I’m dying to build an arcade machine that has these sounds in it. For that, I’d play the game for hours just listening to my Sim bang away at the game. In any case, that’s in the works for a future version.