I wanted to take this time to talk about 3rd party software for The Sims. The Sims is going to be around for a very long time (at least that’s what Will Wright wants to see) so in order to facilitate this dream, there must be ways to expand it. Maxis has to remain focused on the tasks at hand (and they are) like SimsVille and the upcoming online version of the game. This means they don’t have the time or resources to build new tools. This doesn’t mean they’re ignoring the Sims community, just focusing their efforts on other areas. To expand the existing game, the onus falls on 3rd party developers (like myself and all the others out there) to create new tools that enhance the game in the best way possible.

Recently, however, there have been several 3rd party tools that are popping up which are not only buggy and difficult to use, but they’re creating an instability in the Sims little digital realm. Maxis has not really, officially anyways, taken a position on programs for The Sims and recently in an interview with Patrick Barrett, stated a love and hate for these utilities. Poorly written software, for any game or purpose, is always a bad thing. With The Sims, I feel the bar is raised up a little when it comes to add-ins. The Sims is a complex, multi-faceted living world that you cannot just drop in values into files and things will be happy.

So I’d like the 3rd party authors out there to take a second look at what they’re producing and what effect it has on the game. I’m not discouraging these authors. In fact I encourage anyone and have taken it upon myself to provide file specs where I can, advice on new programs and even review software to make suggestions. What I am saying is to please consider building a Sim tool a professional thing and take pride in your work by checking and double checking it as much as possible. When you have such an affect on peoples games with your software, it’s your responsibility to provide them with something as bug free as possible. Sure, no software is bug free and is always in a state of flux. I’m just saying that it would great if Maxis didn’t have to deal with technical support questions on your software because it had adverse effects on their game.

Thanks for your time.

PS I was putting together some new screenshots of blueprint, but my time is being gobbled up today so it may be late tonight or tommorow before I get them posted. Hang in there.