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

Month: June 2001 (Page 1 of 4)

Long time no talk. Well, work goes on with blueprint. Don’t worry. I haven’t given up. Just resting in the shadows until I get my full hit points back then I’ll be returning with some new goodies. Seeya!

Hi guys. Well my daily posts have turned into weekly ones for awhile. Sorry, just swamped with a few million other things and then there’s 800+ emails a day (seriously) that I have to wade through. In any case, I’m still here and plodding along slowly but surely. Still working on the next release but nothing really new there so why bother to post. All is well. Move along citizen.

One thing that has grabbed my attention is the concept of an object wizard that someone suggested. At first I wasn’t sure what the point was (perhaps the way it was presented didn’t look that appealing) however on further thinking about it it might work. This is partially what I had in mind with the blueprint SDK. For example, someone could create stairs via a plug-in. The plug-in would ask how many stairs, the base object, the default texture, handrails, materials, etc. and poof, a staircase is born. For a table someone could input the shape (round, square, diamond, etc.), how many people to seat for, the base object, etc. and poof, a table. Might work and like I said, that was one of the ideas with the plug-in concept. Now that I’m in the throes of restructuring things to make it both easy to use and feature rich (not an easy task mind you) this might fit into the plans. I’ll let you know how it goes and thanks to the original poster for the idea (don’t remember your name).

Seeya next week (no posts for this weekend).

Something that continues to happen in the Sims community is people poking around inside the game files. One of the main problems I see from this is nobody seems to put any disclaimers up with their findings. An example site I found for example talked about editing the neighborhood file. Once you touch this file, it’s good-bye to future patches from Maxis. This also happens with some other system files (but not the individual object files).

However one of the main problems with hacking IFF files is that not a lot is known about some of the areas in them. So peoples documentation will have lots of “Unknown” sections in them. Editing files without knowing what’s in them could put your system at extreme risk (read: complete re-install of your game and data files). Another problem is the fact that not everything is always in the same place. The resource areas in IFF files can move around from time to time and are located in different offsets based on the file types (objects vs fences vs houses etc.) so taking this information as gospel is just going to get you into trouble. True, some people run with hacked neighborhoods and experience no problems but when someone does have a problem just realize that you’re not going to get any help from Maxis on the subject.

I’m not condoning people from putting up IFF hacking sites, but I would ask them to post some warnings and disclaimers about the information they’re spreading and what effects it might have on your system (e.g. editing this file will end your support from Maxis from future upgrades). I don’t know how many times I get email that start “I was hex editing my sims files and…”

The second part of this newspost concerns old sites that still offer up blueprint files from last year (the version before my hard drive crashed). I would ask the people running these sites to take them down. The files created with that version of blueprint (even if you can find it on the net) are not and will never be compatible with the current or any future version. I’ve simply lost the source code to that version (and their files) and I’m not going to try to figure out the file formats for compatibility sake. Sorry but that’s the effect of my dumbass move last year.


Ahh, the start of yet another weekend. Have a great one. I’ll be huddled in the dark corners of the theater watching Angelina Jolie bouncing across the silver screen…

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