Hi guys. A few updates to let you know about. I’m very happy with progress on V2 of blueprint now. Things have been going well for the last couple of weeks (with a bit of a re-install setback last week, but I had full backups. Remember, dumb, not stupid).

Anyways, things are moving along so just hang in there. Lots of cool stuff to come. I wanted to address a couple of burning questions people have about blueprint. The biggest problem (besides not knowing how to create anything with it) seems to be install issues. People move their Sims game around, uninstall then reinstall and blueprint gets confused about where things are. I’ve corrected this so you can pick the location for The Sims directory anytime you want, but in the meantime if you’re having problems you’ll need to do a little registry editing. If you’ve never done it then you should ask someone first as it can be damaging to your operating system if you go deleting things that you shouldn’t. First, blueprint looks for the original information from The Sims in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE tree under SoftwareMaxisThe Sims. If you don’t have this entry then there’s something wrong with your Sims install and thus blueprint is going to be messed up where it looks for things. If you do end up with a blank list of objects to pick from, make sure you have this entry. If you do, it’s possible that your Sim install moved since blueprint was installed (or the blueprint install didn’t correctly determine where the files are). In this case, you can delete the entire blueprint key from the registry and blueprint will recreate it on startup (and thus find your Sim files correctly). Go into the registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER and delete the tree called “blueprint” under the Software entry. blueprint will recreate this next time you launch the program and insert the path to The Sims correctly. Hopefully that will clear things up but if you still have problems feel free to post them in the forums or email me.

I noticed on PetitionOnline that there are quite a few public petitions going on regarding the The Sims. One focuses on whether or not Maxis should charge for their online version and others are centered around Mac versions of the expansion packs. I think some of the causes are noble, but might just be a waste of bandwidth. I mean, as a commercial game developer you do have some responsibility to the public to listen and respond to them but if every game company jumped up and responded to the masses with each release there would be no time for new development and the focus of the product would be all over the map. I’m not trying to justify Maxis’ actions here (it’s unknown if they’re going to do anything about these issues) but just remember that there is a lot of people to answer to when it comes to The Sims. For blueprint, it’s a one man show so I decide what goes in and what doesn’t. Your suggestions are the most important thing to me. Sure, I have my own visions of what the program is shaping up to, but ultimately it’s you who download it and use it so why shouldn’t it have the features you want. A commercial company on the other hand (any one) has to answer to managers, CEOs, executives, lawyers, stockholders and whatever else there is. Not everything can be just tossed in. Think about it like you with your own job. Imagine if your boss came to you asking for lots of little features in whatever you were doing, things that deviated from the normal schedule you’ve already agreed to. Sure you think, it’s just a little thing and I can do it in an hour. Now multiple that by a dozen or so requests and then multiply that by 20 or 30 (the number of people working on your project). Anyways, I admire the efforts people put forth on The Sims and don’t always agree with what Maxis does, but maybe think twice before you fire off that scathing note to Will Wright about the next Sims feature.

So just to wrap up, this is a list of known problems with the current version of blueprint and their status in the new version:

  • Multi-tile objects not supported. This will be ready for a future version but not the next release.
  • Textures look funny. Fixed for the next release.
  • Cannot import some textures. Fixed for the next release.
  • Cannot import some 3DS files. Fixed for the next release.
  • No objects in list to clone from. Registry workaround. Fixed for the next release.
  • System crashes on some graphics cards (mainly ATI). Fixed for the next release but you must have the lastest drivers installed for your card!