Greetings! Well, this is going to be a fun filled weekend. Got my hot little hands on my hot little date, so I’m pulling, twisting, prodding and otherwise messing around with the files right now. The FAR files haven’t changed format nor have they introduced any compression, so Far Edit will work fine with them. I am releasing an updated version of Far Edit, now called FarExplorer, this weekend that will let you do a few more things and give you a little better view of the contents of Far files.

You might have heard about issues installing Hot Date. Well, I thought I’d be smart and completely uninstall my system and re-install everything just to be sure. The install didn’t go too badly. There were a few rough spots. During the install, the CD was ejected and I got a nice big BSOD (blue screen of death) but after closing the CD drive and continuing the install, it completed without any other problems. When I launched it for the first time though, I got a message “Could not find Sims directory”. So The Sims couldn’t find itself, which was bad. I got dumped back to the desktop but decided to reboot to see if that fixed things. It did and everything worked fine from there. I will say that I’ve never had any issues installing the previous 2 expansion packs, and an install should be just that. Plain and simple. Oh well, I’m not bashing Maxis for it, although I suspect things like this might cause some extra emails and phone calls to support.

Object files, again for the most part, haven’t changed much. In fact SimExplorer will browse them perfectly fine. There is however a new file with the .STX extension that’s never been there before. From what I can tell so far, these are duplicate files that contain the string resources and a couple of other resources (enough to make it a valid IFF file). Again, these are resource files for the game but they seem to contain the same data that the original does (but I haven’t looked completely into the format yet, have to modify my routines for reading these things to support the new extensions which is a bit of a pain). These files (I believe) will let your objects be available downtown, but I’m not certain yet. Just have to brew up some new files, tweak a few things and hopefully we’ll be good to go.

I guess with Hot Date, Maxis had to make some fairly sweeping changes so if you’re poking around looking at the files, you might notice some changes. Anyways, below is a screenie from SimExplorer browsing one of the new objects. I know, not much but what the heck. Back over the weekend with more news, discoveries and other good stuff.