Well, some interesting things happening with blueprint. First off, I’ve updated the original tutorial and changed it somewhat. It’s now an introduction to the user interface and shows you the blueprint UI, how it works and explains a few things (or should). The following tutorials are planned for release later this week: Moving, Scaling, and Rotating Objects; Materials and Textures; Exporting Sprites; Lighting Tips and Tricks; Editing Object Attributes. This should get everyone going on making new stuff for the game.

The current list of bugs is pretty straightforward from a fix-me perspective so no major problems there. A new release will be available shortly (in the next few days or by the weekend) that will mainly focus on fixing grouping and saving/loading 3DS files. There are some other problems that are mostly related to understanding the program and troubleshooting what to do when things go wrong. I’ll probably start a new FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to handle these.

As for new stuff, some exciting things under development. The main thing is the introduction of templates in a future version (i.e. not the next release but probably one after that). Templates are 3D definitions for basic objects like chairs, tables, bookshelves and paintings (and other objects). Basically you turn on a template and it’s inserted into the scene. This will give you a framework to build your object around. You won’t be able to select the template or make any changes to it. Think of it as a 3D outline to color in. You build or import your 3D object into the scene, and position it so it sits inside the template. For example, the bookshelf template shows the maximum size you can make a bookcase and there’s a single shelf where The Sims will go and fetch a book from. You can of course, add whatever else you want to your object, you’ll just have to follow the template if you don’t want it to look odd in the game. The initial implementation of templates will be minimal and provide a half dozen templates for various construction. Later, more templates will be added and perhaps a way to build your own will be created. In any case this will make creating objects a snap for positioning and sizing, a major concern right now. Watch for this feature soon!