Whew. Finally made it.

Welcome to the new home of blueprint! Actually, this is my 4th home but who’s counting.

So just what is up with all this blueprint stuff? Here’s a quick recap. The server hosting blueprint for the last few months was finally taken down by the owners. So we needed to find a new one. Luckily there were many offers from some great people ready to host me. I want to thank everyone for stepping up and helping out (you know who you are). I really appreciate it. Of course, I can’t have the site hosted everywhere so I had to pick one. I chose SimFreaks just because Heather is a great gal and there were no strings attached (although I did say she could have any internal organ if she needed one). So here I am ready to rebuild. Rebuild what you say? Well, that’s the fun part.

Big blue is dead. If you didn’t hear the news, blueprint, a 3D modelling tool for object creation for The Sims went belly up last month when, after a series of events, I repartitioned my hard drive and wiped out everything I had done. No backups, no recovery. So be it. Where that left me was a decision to rebuild and just how to do that. There were a few options available. I could a) rebuild the entire program that I had been working on for 6 months from scratch b) walk away, cry a little and be done with writing Sims utilities or c) take a more conservative approach to building new or refactored tools. So I opted for “c” and started sifting through various notepads, garbage cans and the cobwebs of my mind and make a list of what was lost and the plan to rebuild them.

So out of the ashes that was once my hard drive, a phoenix is born. blueprint will return but in a reduced fashion. The majority of work on blueprint, surprisingly enough, was on the 3D modelling aspect of things. blueprint was meant to be a simple modeller that everyone could use to create half-decent objects for The Sims. The more experienced 3D gurus could take their creations from professional packages like 3D Studio MAX and Truespace to import their works. Well, instead of rebuilding a 3D modelling package (no easy feat, trust me) I decided that blueprint will return in the form of a translation tool. So the plan for blue is to provide you with three essential features: 1) Import 3D meshes into the program 2) Tweak the objects in position and scale to match what is needed for The Sims and 3) Tweak the object values and generate the IFF files to use in the game. After all, that’s really what blueprint needs to do right? The first two steps are essentially fleshed out and will be completed in the weeks to come. The third step has a dependancy on getting a snapshot of The Sims code again. I’m currently getting that together so things look good to get a tool into your hands as quickly as possible. Will blueprint ever rebuild itself back to a full featured modelling package? Who knows but the focus now, to produce user created objects is the goal at hand. This will require a 3D file for import, but there are gobs of them available on the new for free. I’ll be putting up some 3D resources for you to explore once I get the site rebuilt here.

As for other tools, I have plans for a few new utilties and recreating things like the FAR Editor (that a surprsingly large number of people use but won’t admit to). I’ll have more information on those as I get enough work done on them to deliver something to you. So all in all, things look good. It may take awhile to get everything rebuilt but the lemmings are hard at work on it. For me its a labour of love and I just want to put something in your hands that you might find useful.