Don Hopkins website came back (as was expected, it seems to go stealth from time to time) and there’s a whack of updates. Thought I would point you to them as I don’t have anything from my own brain today.

He has a neat piece on Sim City for Linux. I talked to him a year or two ago and he had ported the app over to Linux (adding scripting capabilities through a language called TCL) and was going to motion to EA to allow him to distribute it for educational purposes. It’s apparently still lost in EA legal land (as does where most things seem to end up) so not sure if that will ever become a reality.

He’s got a posting on a nice proposal he wrote back in 2000 about building a common authoring SDK for The Sims. The next release of SimExplorer will have something like this in it although I’m not sure how far it will go and initially it won’t be documented (barely have time to write the app let alone the documentation for it) however the SDK thing has been a long time passion for me to get more people writing tools for The Sims.

A section about object hacking pointed me out to Slice City which is essentially Sim City inside the Sims. Quite an amazing feat of hacking by cobbling objects together and making them stand on their head and spin. As you may recall, I created an add-on object a couple of years ago that essentially turned all players into zombies (and creating a few NPCs on the fly), loaded the player up with a shotgun and locked all doors to the building they were in. This created a mini-resident evil game inside The Sims (to activate it you picked up a gamebox and selected an option from the pie menu). The exercise was a disaster as it really dug into the innards of the ways objects worked and I probably did a million things I shouldn’t have. In the end, it was a unusable attempt at object hacking and would lock up my system hard. Not a good example coming from the guy who claims he knows a lot, but then I think I might have been pushing the Sims envelope a little too much back then.