Well it seems to a bit of bruhaha in the Sims community tonight, and perhaps I’m partially to blame.

For SimDay this week, Maxis released a patch for Hot Date. The patch, among other things, removes the ability to have visitor-enabled objects in the downtown section. Okay, take a step back. Awhile ago (pre-Hot Date) I released a program called MenuEditor that I thought was a nice addition to your Sims toolset. This was an enhancement over the “official” Maxis menu editor as it supported the various languages, advertisement values for objects (how loud an object asked Sims to come do something with it) and extra flags. Among these flags was the ability to enable visitors to interact with the object. At the time, nobody from Maxis said anything (and hasn’t yet to me) about it so who am I to know what was to come?

Skip ahead to the release of Hot Date. Most user created objects don’t show up in the downtown area (or more specifically they can’t be used by your Sims). Someone (not me) comes up with the idea to use the visitor flag on the objects and voila, objects work downtown. Of course with the release of Hot Date, Maxis made a slight adjustment to their file formats and the saving of objects through the menu editor didn’t always work and could potentially lead to errors in the game. At the time I had two options. First I could remove the functionality and put the new version up on the site but the damage would be done and people could get the old version from other sites or users. Second I could get more information about what changes happened and update the program so objects edited with it could be more “safe” for the game. Basically I did neither because the program was already out there and I couldn’t find out what changes were made to the file formats and didn’t have time to walk through them byte by byte and figure it out (call me lazy if you want).

So now the lastest patch from Maxis removes this functionality completely. Apparently (and this is second or third hand info so take it as you will) Maxis removed the ability for several reasons. The next expansion pack, The Sims Vacation, will allow most of this and they believe enabling it now will cause problems when folks go to install and run the pack. They also said that visitor enabled objects might cause runtime errors so removing it should solve most problems.

What this means. It means anything you downloaded or cloned previously that was visitor-enable will a) not show up at all or b) it will be there but you can’t do anything with it, you can’t even “View” the object. This includes Toliets, sinks, flowers, chairs, tables, beds, showers, etc.

According to some posts on the forums, you have a few options:

1. Don’t install the patch

2. Install the patch and do without custom objects downtown

3. Install the patch but remove from your downloads all clones of the pool cabana, eating booths and tables, clothing racks, food carts, Hot Date windows (like the bay window, that some had prior to this patch)

Feel free to vent your anger towards me if you choose. Originally the menu editor was never meant for what people were using it for (enabling objects downtown) because there was no downtown area when I created it. However it would be nice to update it to be compatible with Hot Date so I’ll see if I have time for this. With the patch I’m not sure if it’s worth the time and effort. Also please note, the Maxis object organizer lets you make objects available for purchase in the downtown area, but doesn’t enable the visitor flag so your cloned objects still cannot be used.

In any case, a bit of a mess and some people are screaming about it (rightly so if you spent hours and hours editing objects only to have all that wiped away). Well, I’ll leave it at that and let you be the judge.