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

Month: July 2001

Greets. More news from the semi-dead. I’m agressively working on blueprint now so should have some fruits to show for my labour shortly (I know, I’ve been saying that for awhile, take it with a grain of salt). I’ve finally got my inbox down to under 30 or so messages (it was sitting at about 800 unanswered emails for the last few weeks, sorry about that). It’s just rather hard to trudge through some of the inane messages like people asking me where to download blueprint from (is the software link not obvious? Do I need to be more obvious with a big button like “GET BLUEPRINT NOW!” or something?) Anyways, I still have some unanswered messages to get to so if you’re waiting, hang in there as I’m getting to you. Also I’m getting ready to release some programming libraries (COM objects) for The Sims in general. I just have to finish the public interfaces on them and do some testing. I’ll put those up as soon as I can along with some sample VB and Delphi code to access Sim files. It’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it. And of course, there’s big blue. As I’ve fast realized, the original program just wasn’t up to snuff IMO. However with V2 I’m promising that (hopefully) both the most computer idiot users and 3D savvy users will be able to gleam through creating professional looking objects in no time (cross your fingers).

Hi ho. Pretty quiet around here at blue central. I’m still hard working on blueprint and moving towards that version 2.0 that I keep talking about. Some interesting things that might be coming out of this are a COM+ interface for The Sims. Basically while building all the goodies for V2, I’ve been tweaking and tuning my Sims library (my magic bag of tricks that talks to The Sims files) and found that I might be able to put them into a COM+ object for you programmers out there. What does this mean? Well it might mean you can very easily create your own Sim programs using this COM+ object. The object comes in the form of a DLL that you install and can distribute with your app. You just create your application (VB, Delphi, C++ or any other programming language that supports COM) and use the interface provided. With the object in hand, you’ll be able to do something like open up an IFF file and write data to it without having to know anything about the structure. The COM object does it for you. You just call a public interface that I design to do the nasty work. I haven’t worked out all the details yet but it looks like this might be possible. I’ll be building a test COM application in the next little while and make it available (with source code) and if anyone is interested (you are still out there right?) then I’ll continue to add features to the COM object. Anyways, back to work (sorry for the techie slant on this post to all you non-programmers).

Greetings! The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. I wonder sometimes what kind of wierd icon status I’ve risen (or dropped) to in this world? I’ve been keeping the news posts to a minumum because there’s not much to say and I’m involved in a few other projects so I don’t have time to do daily posts anymore. But if I take a week or so off from posting, everyone seems to think I’m dead or something. Odd.

In any case, a couple of things. Yes, both blueprint and the Sims book are coming along. I hope to hear from Maxis on some news this week about something regarding the book (and the release of various software with it) so I’ll let you know about that once I get word from them. I’m just still plodding along with changes to the program to bring it to the level that should be happy with everyone. Easy to use and efficient in producing good objects for the game. I don’t know what it is, but I get daily messages that basically say “I don’t know how to use it.” Guess I can’t be too harsh as I’m used to the program so it’s second nature to me. Oh well.

Also, there have been various reports and screenshots of a blueprint that people are saying is version 2. This is not true, as nobody has seen version 2 and nobody has a copy of it. The screenshots that are floating around are from the pre-harddrive crash version that was going to be released. Some people like the look of it so maybe I’ll keep with the layout (there’s a shot somewhere in the forums if you want to see it). I abandoned the idea of the tab bar across the top as it was just too 3D Studio like. Also, the icons created for it were by someone and unfortunately they didn’t give me permission to use the in a new version, but I can create something similar if you want that. Let me know as I’m pretty open to the look of things. I’ve been just entrenched in all the techie details and getting various cool things working like object wizards, templates, animations and the ever elusive multi-tile feature.

That’s about it. Back later (don’t know when) with more info. Stick around.

Hi ho. Well, it’s been quite awhile since a meaty bluepost huh? Sorry. Life taking over, projects being juggled, books to be written and all that jazz. Anyways, work progresses on the system and I’ll have new stuff for you soon. Just have to get all good things organized and ready. I’m shifting into high gear with the Sims book so that’s still on and I’ll be presenting the outline hopefully next week with some new news on the contents of the books CD and other good stuff like that. Catcha later!