Back from the world of reality (just saw Unbreakable at the theater, pretty good flick). Thanks to everyone who’s had an opinion on the whole piracy thing lately. A lot of good, well thought out responses and the occasional “You’re a moron” messages (I do enjoy getting those before my morning coffee). There are a few million reasons for and against it and It’s something that can be discussed ad nauseum so we’ll put that to bed. I’ll put together a release for later tonight or early tommorow that should make everyone happy. A few small minor enhancements like bypassing the confirm dialog on Delete and fixing the focus in the file list when you delete an object will make some people stop going batty.

I’m also in the throes of doing a big blueprint update. Please refrain from asking me when it will be ready. It’ll be done when it’s done. That’s all I’ll ever say on it but some people keep insisting on sending me ICQ messages about it (with the response of nothing but deep silence, unless I can create a macro to auto-respond with the above statement). The big update will be resolving a ton of issues like lighting and texturing objects, introduce a few new special features and above all improve the user interface 1000%. When will blueprint be ready for prime time with exporting? Not sure yet. There’s still a lot of testing in the way of multi-tile support and making sure I’m creating all the nasty z-buffers and alpha channels correctly (after all, blueprint has to create everything from scratch for you including animations so it’s got a lot to do). Hang in there, it’s gonig to be really cool release. Trust me.

And lastly, I’m putting together a quickie application for a friend that will convert the binary versions of skn/cmx files to their text counterparts. There is a bmf->skn out there but nobody has created a cmx one. If you don’t know, the cmx files that glue the character meshes together are stored, in binary format, inside the Animations.far file in your game directory. If you’re a character mesh creator or want to see a billion options in SimShow then you’d do well to extract this entire file into your SimShow directory (careful about where you put the files) and convert the whack of them to text format. They’re very useful to study. I guess I should have done this a long time ago, but never thought of it. It’s a simple little thing but I’m just tossing on a quick GUI front-end. So you can grab that later from the software page.