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The Sims (Windows)

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Title Screen

The Sims

Also known as: Les Sims (FR), Die Sims (DE), Los Sims (ES), SimPeople (JP)
Developer: Maxis[1]
Publishers: Electronic Arts[1], Bild Interactive[1] (DE), Aspyr Media[1] (Mac)
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS Classic
Released in JP: March 16, 2000[1]
Released in US: February 4, 2000[1]
Released in EU: February 11, 2000[1]


AnimationsIcon.png This game has unused animations.
CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
Sgf2-unusedicon1.png This game has unused abilities.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


DevelopmentIcon.png This game has a development article
ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article
PrereleaseIcon.png This game has a prerelease article

The Sims is nothing but the Game of Life, and somehow managed to become one of the best selling PC games of all time.


Hmmm...
To do:

Backlog

  • Changes in expansion packs; eg. House Party stuff being used in Hot Date. and Unleashed stuff being added in Vacation (Pet bowls/kennels in hotels). Should Noteworthy Cases be moved to Revisional Differences?
  • Revisional differences via expansion; television screen graphic being different. Complete Collection missing stuff included with Deluxe and Double Deluxe edition.

Sub-Pages

Read about development information and materials for this game.
Development Info
Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info
Read about prerelease information and/or media for this game.
Prerelease Info

Resources

TS-Frien.gif
Unused Graphics
When Sims had Technicolor thoughts.
RegionIcon.png
Translation Notes
Cultural awareness is the name of the game!
TS1 fancyartthumb.png
Unused Animations
See Sims move as you've never seen them move before!
Data consumption warning: Contains multiple animated GIF's.
TS1 cheapshelfthumb.png
Unused Text
Would you be willing to have your fingers bitten by rabid ferrets?
TS1 stereothumb.png
Unused Sounds
It's nothing but a bunch of Simlish!

Data

TS1 EdithSimAnticsTool.png
Unused Behaviors
All work and no play...Or all play and no work?
TS1 EdithSimAnticsTool.png
Developer Tools
Unless you're Patrick, you probably shouldn't read this.

Miscellaneous

TheSims UnknownThumbnail.png
Oddities
Beware of the upside-down lady!
TS1 Nhood Sign JPN.png
Regional Differences
Sims from around the world!
TheSims Setup placeholder.png
Revisional Differences
As their world expanded, Sims' attitudes slowly changed...

Easter Eggs

Autorun Art

TS1 willwright art.png

It is relatively known among the recurring Sims players that, if one clicks at the Maxis logo, located at the bottom-left of the game's autorun application, a hidden dialog window is opened up. It contains an image named "241.bmp", that showcases game designer Will Wright sporting a slight smile as he rides his trademark red scooter, accompanied by five tiny computer people. Similar Easter eggs can be found in other Maxis titles: SimCity 3000's autorun file features a hidden picture where Wright appears as one of the city advisors. The Sims Online's autorun executable, on the other hand, presents a modeling clay Wright holding a The Sims box!

setup.exe

100th Day Easter Egg

TS1 did you know 100.png

Completing the light-dark day cycles for the 100th time in a row in the same save file – a feat easily toppled by the passing of all the family members or other events that force Sims to move from their original houses – unlocks a rewarding treat for the dedicated players. Long, illustrated Did You Know? hint boxes with 27 daily insights into the Sims development team, alongside tidbits about the game's development. It's worth mentioning that this easter egg was intentionally limited to players of the English versions of the game.

House Party 'Jungle Jumble' Message

The message it shows!
The object in question.

Included with the House Party Expansion Pack, the "Jungle Jumble Import Display" object gives the player a special message upon directing a sim to 'View' the display. The message is written in the same stereotypical faux-French tone as the Mime NPC introduced in the same pack and includes a photo of the development team behind the House Party expansion pack, dressed in costumes for a "secret" party. Bizarrely however, a game set to UKEnglish is not able to view the easter egg included with the House Party expansion pack, causing it to be exclusive to North American players.

Hidden SimsWebCam Feature

SimWebCam message pop-up.
stalk.ini

Hidden within the base game of The Sims lies a curious snapshotting tool, dubbed "SimsWebCam" or "stalker camera." This feature, notable absent from patched versions and expansions, offers a unique way to capture Sims in action. To activate it, players can simply position their cursor over a Sim, playable or not, and press F7. This triggers zooming rectangles to focus on the Sim, and a 320x240 JPG file named "SimsWebcam" is created or overwritten in the game's main directory. A further research at the game's development history shows that, for the means of building pre-release hype and gathering user feedback, the Sims team employed "SimsWebCam" for weekly streamed gameplays on the SimCity website. It is believed that the system automatically captured and uploaded screen snapshots twice a second, effectively narrating a live gameplay experience through a rolling sequence of images. While streaming, fans actively participated in chat rooms with questions about the mysterious, in-progress world of The Sims. A partial coverage of these livestreams can be read here. Functionally similar to the final Camera Mode, SimsWebCam's key difference is its default "Simply SimSational!" caption placed at the lower-left corner of images. Players can customize the caption by using the "w" cheat code followed by desired text. Additionally, the camera's settings, including resolution and an unknown parameter, can be adjustable via the "stalk.ini" file.

(Source: LUCPIX, Earliest SimWebCam livestreams reference (04/29/99))

Unused censored Flags

The game supports 128 different "censored" character flags: their function is to pixelate different combinations of nine unique joints, censoring undressed Sims. Interestingly, of these flags, only three are used in the whole course of gameplay: 1 (bottom "SPINE", normally used when male Sims take a bath), 3 ("SPINE" and "SPINE2", used when female Sims take a bath) and 128 (censors the whole body). The unused ID's are notable by blurring body parts that, at first sight, seem too innocuous to receive such treatment, opening the question as to why there are censorship flags specifically for them, to begin with.

censored (character flag)
ID Sample ID Sample ID Sample ID Sample ID Sample ID Sample
2
SPINE2 (bust)
4
HEAD
8
L_HAND (left hand)
16
R_HAND (right hand)
32
L_FOOT (left foot)
64
R_FOOT (right foot)
(Source: LUCPIX)
(: Our special thanks to Don Hopkins for bringing that up!)

Development Oversights

Lost Time

In all versions of the game, there is an error where midnight isn't displayed, instead skipping from 11:59 PM to 12:01 AM.

(Source: LUCPIX)

Sprite Rendering

NW equals SE

Ts1 blackstab object sample.gif Ts1 chinavase object sample.gif

"Large Black Slab" and Blue China Vase do not have proper back sprites.

(Source: LUCPIX)

False Symmetry

Ts1 midbookcase object sample.gif Ts1 cheapbookcase object sample.gif Ts1 bar object sample.gif

Players may face a number of minor inconsistencies in asymmetric objects, given how the props they carry make it clear that the two sprites for their front and back angles are mirrored captures of one another, instead of being rendered in different perspectives accordingly. Noteworthy cases include two out of three bookcases — Cheap Pine Bookcase and Amishim Bookcase — and the Backman Wood beverage bar.

(Source: LUCPIX)

Vampiress' Swapped Mesh

Only available on the Makin' Magic expansion pack, the players are invited to first venture into the art of wizardry by producing the Beauty or Beast charm — at the best possible scenario, it temporarily modifies both the head and body skins of the caster as one of the various fantastic creatures available. Because the filename of the original vampiress body mesh (MagicFAFitlgt_Vampire) bears resemblance, in context and spelling, to that of Vicki Vampiress' skin (MagicFAFitlgt_Vampiress), a mistake occurred during the input of the filename strings, causing the charm to always use the vendor NPC's mesh instead — the unique set of body files meant for the charm's vampiress summarily going unused as a consequence.

MagicFAFitlgt_Vampiress (Used) MagicFAFitlgt_Vampire (Intended)
TS1 vampiresswrongskin.png TS1 vampiressrightskin.png
(Source: LUCPIX)


Development Foresight

Because of The Sims‍ '​ absolute lack of gameplay linearity, the team has assured to code alternate states for just about any object in the game world. Even though most of them are not particularly hard to be reproduced by players, some of them may end up overlooked by requiring scenarios and commands that may be unusual in standard simmings.

Object Snapshot Foresight Context
Mail Box TS1 nothing to bill for.png

The ultimate developer foresight. The game triggers a text box in case no (net) changes have been done to the current household since the (Sim world's) previous three days that could justify the receipt of Mail Box bills to be paid. That implies on playing on an empty lot for 3 (Sim world) days without doing absolutely nothing, then most Simmers will never get to experience this.

Baby Cradle
Ts1 snapshot babyfire.png

The baby cradle has, in its "init" function, the "fireproof" flag; which no other object in the entire game has. As result, it is one of the few objects that do not burn to ashes when close to fires. What classifies it as a foresight is most fireproof objects in the game can't normally be picked by the user (like the mailbox), plus they use the "Burns" flag instead.

Portion of baby::init common with the fireproof flag.
"Fountain of Tranquility"
Ts1 snapshot fountain washhand.png

At homes that have no sinks, Sims will autonomously go ahead and wash their hands in the nearest fountain, despite how the object has no "Wash Hands" pie menu button, as sinks do. The tree that handles this action is a straightforward duplicate of the one seen in standard sink objects, whose animations weren't optimized for the fountain's structure. Consequently, Sims inevitably clip into the object's sprite mid-interaction.

Portion of the init scripting tree for the fountain with enables Sims to use it to alternatively wash their hands.
Outdoor Flowers
TS1 FLOWER STOMPING.PNG

There is a chance that Sims of a mood score averaging less than -50 (visually indicated by the Control Panel as three or more red stripes) go ahead and angrily stomp on healthy outdoor flowers, for some stress relief. Said interaction increases their "Fun" score in 20%.Only available when Free Will is switched on. Yet, once autonomous, the characters tend to prioritize the utilization of home objects, unless the lot they live on has otherwise nothing much for them to look after.

Portion of the script flowersoutdoor::Stomp on.
Chairs
Ts1 snapshot chair sleeping.png

Blocking the extremely sleepy Sims' way to standing up forces them to faint while sitting.

Bookshelves
Ts1 snapshot reading standing.png

Sims foresee the cases when they're commanded to read books in houses that are entirely free of seats. In that case... they read while standing, anyway. A much more assimilated, but not entirely identical case is when Sims read the newspaper under the same scenario, because the newspaper is usually the only object the Sims may interact with as they begin their lives at a blank lot.

(Source: LUCPIX)

Leftover Edith Boxes

Room Map tool dialog functioning as intended, on a debug build.

The programming and behavior for every single object in the game (plus quite a few tweaking facilities of a more advanced bias) are directly attributed to the in-house developer tool "Edith", engineered by the own The Sims staff — there attached at the game's main executable "Sims.exe" in debug/pre-release builds, getting its core features and interface almost wholly cut off from the retail releases, for natural reasons. Well... almost. The executable of most of The Sims‍ '​ versions, from the base game until its last update, Complete Collection, still appear to hold extra leftover dialog boxes originally belonging to the "Edith" tool — the Bild Interactive build figures an exception among many possible ones — however, it's already bundled with quite a few quirkiness to call its own. Notable examples include the "Room Map" (draws real-time top-view blueprints of the world in its current state), "Terrain Tweak" (changes the soil's properties, as the color and grass levels) and "Neighborhood" (character data tweaker, including their "age" and many unused attributes).

Because none of the game's commands may trigger these dialog pop-ups, and the string tables coded into the executable are always hidden from the user by default, it's strange to imagine someone experiencing this without mods.

(Source: LUCPIX)

Neighborhood

Unused Lot Data

While a copy with all the expansions handles up to 99 houses and neighborhoods, the original base game runs one 10-lot neighborhood at a time — "House01.IFF" through "House10.IFF".

Even so, two lots are not accessible in the game in any version:

File Thumbnail Note
House00.IFF TS-HOUSE00.bmp

A full-size, deserted 64x64 tile property. NPC's (such as the service Sims), ghosts and, the passersby from future expansion packs, such as the Townies from Hot Date and Vacation Tourists, have this lot set as their home. If one replaces a house the game can normally load with this lot, then moves a family into it, none of the Sims will automatically spawn due to no pedestrian/car portals, mailbox or trash can being present, making it practically impossible to be played with any sorts of story progression. The lot's grass pattern also is identical to several shown in the Gamestar Preview Video of a February 1999 pre-release build, suggesting that it was mainly used for testing reasons, or is the default property of the game's lots, when generated by the engine.

House11.IFF TS-HOUSE11.BMP

Not much special other than the fact it actually has a unique "U"-shaped pavement (which could not quite accommodate any of the areas from the final neighborhood) and a different style of crosswalk. Upon closer observation, it's apparent that is has been built off of the previously mentioned "House00.IFF", given their similar grass patterns, despite the evident user-made alterations. A notable development phase in which one can spot this lot in action is the Steering Committee build (Jun 1998), as one of the demo scenarios. In its original state, had quite a few early trees, and the lawn pattern and flooring remained untouched after all the following iterations, albeit unused. If one renames "House11.IFF" to one the game can normally load, the game engine will report "missing objects", as the lot misses the vehicle portal, suggesting at one point that controller object had different IDs. Consequently, carpools and the school bus are never spawned at this lot, making it a rather unwanted house to be played at if one wants to get a Sim a job. A video tour can be seen here.

(Source: Eientei95, LUCPIX)

lotpos.txt

lotpos.txt

Found in GameData is an undocumented read-only simple text file named "lotpos.txt". There are printed ten different X and Y coordinate variables suitable for a 800x600 canvas, which correspond to the placement of the 10 house files that the Neighborhood Menu displays (in order). It can be easily edited via simple text editors, influencing the position of the affected coordinate's house the next time the game is opened. Later expansion pack-based versions of the game make the task of editing the houses' position a little less intuitive (yet still possible), however, as the coordinates data are, then, located within different IFF files for each neighborhood the player owns, demanding appropriate tools to edit them.

(Source: LUCPIX)

"Developer Time Message"

TS1 readonly lots message.png

The Neighborhood Menu triggers a prompt box that, upon the player's consent, reverts the read-only state from the house files in game (naturally, forbidding the players from saving their games). Because the unused lots "House00.iff" and "House11.iff" are the only ones among the twelve lots available that meet this condition, players can never get to experience this unless the properties from their game's files are otherwise deliberately modified.

(Source: Autinerd)

Build Date

TS1 buildvercheck.png

"Sims.exe", the binary for all the game's versions, contains strings for information upon the date and time for when the latest installed build was compiled. It is possible to print the strings through a pop-up window choosing an occupied lot at the Neighborhood Menu and pressing V.

Hidden Livin' Large Disc Skins

Included on the install disc for the Livin' Large expansion pack is a set of skins; three heads and three bodies. These skins are very obscure and tucked away in the Patches\res folder, where the average user would be unlikely to ever look. These skins are not installed with the game, and only ever remain on the installation disc. Meaning that coupled with their obscure location, the average user would be unlikely to ever see them.

Aside from their obscurity, the heads in particular stand out for their "realistic" appearances, having been based on photos of real life people. Although who exactly those real people are, along with why skins depicting them were included on the disc in the first place remains a mystery.

Heads

Filename Render Texture Age Gender Skintone
C003MAlgt_Werner.BMP TS1 LL C003 Werner Head.png TS1 LL C003MAlgt Werner.png Adult Male Light
C006FAlgt_bobby.BMP TS1 LL C006 bobby Head.png TS1 LL C006FAlgt bobby.png Adult Female Light
C001MClgt_dennis.BMP TS1 LL C001 dennis Head.png TS1 LL C001MClgt dennis.png Child Male Light

Bodies

Filename Render Texture Age Gender Skintone
B003MAFitlgt_Werner.BMP TS1 LL B003 Werner Body.png TS1 LL B003MAFitlgt Werner.png Adult Male Light
b002fafitlgt_bobby.BMP TS1 LL b002 bobby Body.png TS1 LL b002fafitlgt bobby.png Adult Female Light
B002MCChdlgt_Dennis.BMP TS1 LL B002 Dennis Body.png TS1 LL B002MCChdlgt Dennis.png Child Male Light
(Source: Sindle)

Doornbos' Tree

Partial bball:Play Once tree

TS1 TRIVIA BMP 5081.png
"team_jamie.bmp" is an image indexed in the "100th day" trivia dialog about Jamie Doornbos, picturing his Sim self working out, plus a screen snapshot of the visual programming of an object behind him, too small and blurred to be readable. The code in question, despite what the logic may suggest, has nothing to do with the exercise machine Jamie is working out with: It is a script for the Basketball Hoop, called "bball:Play Once": it handles the events related to a Sim playing basketball without the company of another Sim. The code portion that the snapshot covers shows the starting routines related to the interaction, where it is first checked the Sim's age so it can call the appropriate 3D ball prop and character-to-object animations for them.

(Source: LUCPIX)

Unused Models

Arrow

head-arrow-ROOT-BOX01.skn in an early 1999 build snapshot.

01 June 1999, 13:28

A downward pointing arrow. Earlier in development, active Sims had this across their heads as a programmer art of sorts. Later in development, the model was scrapped in favor of the "plumb-bob".

Hand Gestures

The characters' hand models could be changed to these depending on the value of their "left" and "right hand gesture" flags, which is a feature no object in the final game makes actual use of. Dresser objects contain several scripts referencing "Expression" primitives that change the hands model to "HAND-FIST", but nothing ever calls them. It's unknown the contexts "HAND-POINT" would be used in.

(Source: LUCPIX)

Unused Registry Entry

There is an unused registry entry called "BetaSite" with a DWORD value of 0x00000001 (1). What it does is unknown and changing the "DWORD" doesn't appear to do anything visually, so it's completely unknown what it's meant to be for.

(Source: Blayer98)

References