Gonzo blogging from the Annie Leibovitz of the software development world.

Day: November 24, 2000

Okay, I’ve read the responses here and various emails and ICQ messages and there’s mixed feelings about this. Of course there is. There’s never one solution.

On one hand, some people feel that the verification should be there and not allow running my software without a valid copy of The Sims installed. Others feel it’s a bothersome since they run the no-CD crack on the game (and thus the verification fails) because of convenience, speed, etc. Still there is the Mac users who have perfectly valid copies of the program and use a PC emulator to run Simplorer (which fails the validation because it’s looking for the PC version of the game).

Tough decision. So taking everything into account, I’ve decided to release a new version that does not do the game checking (you will still have to provide a directory to start from which should be where the Sims is installed). I’ll release a new version sometime this weekend if possible. Perhaps I was hasty in putting in the game checking into the software so I apologize for the inconvenience.

Now to get on my soapbox. Here’s the part where dozens of people email me with the ammunition I’m about to give you, telling me how much of a jerk I am. While I can’t say that everyone using the no-CD patch has actually bought a copy of the game, I can say that I don’t see a problem with running a game the way it was intended to be. I run a PII400 system for games and The Sims only takes a couple of mintues to load. This is part and parcel to the size of what’s being loaded. Would I like to have it load faster? Sure, but not at the expense of having to hunt down user made patches everytime Maxis decides to update their software (Maxis patches will not work against a cracked version of the game). I’ve heard that on some peoples systems it takes 10 minutes to load the game which while true, the only system I’ve seen this happen on was my P133 laptop with a crappy video card and 64mb of memory. Not exactly a “game” machine. Okay, I’ll get blasted for that one. I can see the emails now about how I should buy peoples machines for them because they’re sub-standard. I don’t know the minimum requirements for The Sims offhand, but perhaps gaming companies need to up the minimum even if it is sufficient to run a program? Anyways. The argument that you have to hunt down a CD everytime you want to play doesn’t hold a lot of water with me. I have close to 1000 CDs of games, utilties and libraries. I keep 10-15 of them in a handy dispenser on top of the computer when I want to hop on for a few rounds of Unreal Tournament or check something in The Sims. The ones I use the most. Surely not everyone out there has 100 games they play all the time and thus need 100 CDs on hand at a moments notice. Sure, it would be great to have everything at my fingertips, and it takes me a good half hour to find anything that’s not readily available, but having everything instantly is just not possible. Having a CD for a game you play daily lying in a pile that takes you 15 minutes to find whenever you want to play is just lack of organization, not a problem with the way computers work. Maxis has gone to fairly great extents to prevent piracy with their software. Of course no software is crack-free and they’ll always be someone who comes up with a piece of software that can negate the efforts of another. The question isn’t can you use it, but should you?

Okay, some people just don’t get it. If you’ve downloaded the new Simplorer and see this:

then Simplorer cannot find a valid copy of The Sims installed and will not continue to run. See the text that says “non-retail or corrupted”?? It’s not there for cosmetic looks or to piss you off. It means it cannot find a valid copy of The Sims and seems to be the point of controversy these days. Writing messages to me saying that you’re running a cracked version of the game or the no CD patch will not make me jump over tall buildings and remove this checking. Some people are still scratching their heads when this error comes up and are wondering what they’re doing wrong.

Now there is some validity in people that are running Simplorer under Virtual PC for the Mac (or other emulators) since they don’t want to install two versions of the game (PC and Mac) so this throws a new wrench into the works. However, if you did not buy the game from a store, install it from the CD and enter your serial number then you’ll probably be seeing this message.