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

Month: June 2004 (Page 1 of 3)


Hi guys,

I was poking around on a few Sims sites and found (courtesy of the Wayback machine) this little thingy:


It was a website (probably manually done) that displays an inventory of all the objects in the game, separated by the Expansion Pack they were introduced with (you’ll have to excuse the broken links as the site doesn’t exist anymore).

I was looking at this and thinking about Simventory which was a program I was creating to inventory personal objects. While its still further down on the priority list, I wonder if there’s any value in generating a report like this (with object preview, name, price, description)? Inventoring your own items is one thing, but is there value in taking an inventory of Maxis objects and when they were introduced? Let me know.

Useless Comments in Code

I’m always pleased when I see developers commenting code. It means there’s something there that should be commented so the next guy will know WTF whoever wrote it was thinking. However much like any FOX special, there are times when “Comments Gone Wild”. I present some production code that contains some more, err, useful comments that I’ve found.

// Returns: Position of the divider

// Summary: Call this method to get the position of the divider.

int GetDividerPos();

Hmmm. Glad that was cleared up.

// Summary: Call this method to refresh items in the list.

void Refresh();

Again. Good to know.

// Summary: Call this method to remove all items in the list.

void RemoveAllItems();

Whew. For a minute there I thought we would have to spend some serious debugging time hunting down this method.

And my personal favorite…

/* this next part does something cool; don't even try to understand it*/





(i_love_lucy_is_on_tv turned out to be a boolean variable set to false). Go figure.

The Other Guys

Thought I would mention a couple of other Sims sites that have been kicking around for quite sometime and worthy of mention here. These guys have been on the Sims scene almost (if not longer) than I have. As I dwindled to a dull roar in the past couple of years with the game, these guys have continued to press on and are producing some really nice programs.

SimPrograms is Judson Hudson’s site (I still can’t get over this guys name). He quietly churns out tools and ideas and is quite the 3D artist and programmer now (even if it is VB, someday he’ll pick up a real language . In the last week, Jud has pumped out 3 new programs for The Sims including a neat little thing that lets you change the T.V. screens in your objects. Very cool stuff.

Steve Bonham and his crew got things started up awhile ago as what was the biggest Sims site, The Sims Resource, was shifting gears. The Sims Workshop is probably the premier place to go and get new tools from now and what I consider the epicentre for cool stuff as it relates to The Sims (yes, even cooler than here). It was to created to bring all creative talents of the Sims community into one place, for discussions, learning and sharing knowledge and has done a fantastic job of it so far. Home to over 100 Sims programs, you can’t go wrong here. I’m just jealous I didn’t write them all, but we’re only human I guess.

El-Super-Crapo-Interface Contest

I thought I would toss out a bit of a challenge for you gifted graphical designers out there. Here’s the current MP3 player that’s built into SimExplorer:

Pretty crap-tastic huh? So if you’re up for the challenge, come up with a better design (hell, anything at this point would be better) and submit it. Obviously it needs the basic controls like play, stop, rewind, etc. but be creative. Imagine what WinAmp for The Sims should look like.

It can be done with your favorite paint program or whatever (scribble it on a napkin and scan that for me). Best designs will go up on the site for voting and your design will become the new MP3/WAV/XA player for the new SimExplorer (full credit, free copy of the software, all that great stuff). I can’t promise I can implement any design, but I’ll do my best to be true to your graphical nature.

So get your crayons out and start scribbling.

PS This is news post #600 for SimsTools! Yay team.

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