Oh bless me Simmers, for I have sinned. It’s been almost a week since my last news post and what have I done since then?

No, my hard drive did not crash or my brain explode or any of the other rumours flying around. I’ve been locked away in the blue labs building my silly little program. I guess I was a little burnt out (you probably would be too, posting daily updates for 6 months straight, show me another Sim site that does that!) so I took a bit of a break for endlessly reporting much ado about nothing. You have to admit, when I was brought down to posting screenshots of The Sims on my Palm, something had to give.

The good news! I’m shipping off two versions of blueprint this weekend. Huh? Two?? First, a copy of the final program is going off to the testers (finally) where they’ll poke and prod it and create gobs of objects and generally break all my hard work. About a week or two after this, the final version will be available on the website for you to build your own new objects. However, in light of not only keeping the candle burning at both ends but also trying to make thousands of little Sims happy, I’m releasing what I’m calling a compatibility test version of blueprint to you (that’s right, YOU) this weekend as well. This version is certainly not bug free but it’s there for a primary reason. To make sure everyone can run the final version when it comes out. What can you do with this compatiblity test version? Plenty. It imports pretty much any 3DS file and you don’t have to play Track’n’Field (for all you arcade enthusiasts) with your mouse to get something on the screen. You can edit object properties to your hearts content. You can create new 3D objects with blueprint’s (primitive) modelling tools, no 3DS file required. And you can export the sprite images of the 3D objects to bitmap files. What can’t you do with this version? A few things. No multi-tile, no animations, no menu/sound/etc. editing and the sprites are not inserted into the objects.

So take it or leave it. The only thing I ask is if you do download the compatibility test, please report problems in the bug report forum and include any information about your video/hardware setup. Also, check out the message in the general forum that Scott McDonnell posted about fixing blueprint (and Tmog) running on ATI systems. Seems to work so hopefully it will solve a few problems people were having with the preview release (and this one).

That’s it for now!