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.