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The Sims (Windows)

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Title Screen

The Sims

Also known as: SimPeople (JP)
Developer: Maxis
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Windows
Released in US: Feburary 4, 2000
Released in EU: March 30, 2000


AnimationsIcon.png This game has unused animations.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


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:
There's a load of images from Shared/Sys/ (within the .far in the UIGraphics folder) which they all appear to be for a debug menu(?) of some sorts, can someone upload them please?

Unused Music

For some reason, "Spooky 3" isn't used in the game at all. This might be because it didn't go well with other two Spooky variations. Spooky 1 can also be heard in the background as well, and it's also heard in Spooky 2.

Unused Registry Entry

There is an unused registry entry called "BetaSite" with a REG_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.

Unused Graphics

There are some unused graphics in UIGraphics.far, which contains the game's UI images and other content.

Hmmm...
To do:
Rip the rest of the images, there's still more...
The Sims (Windows) - DesignCharSkinsBtn.PNG

An image called Nbhd\DesignCharSkinsBtn.bmp. What's interesting is that this image shows a sim in an outfit not available in the final game. However, It is present and used for the The Sims Steering Committee pre-release build of the game two years before the game officially came out. The Sims (Windows) - DesignFamCancel.PNG The Sims (Windows) - DesignFamDone.PNG

Listed under the names Nbhd\DesignFamCancel.bmp and Nbhd\DesignFamDone.bmp. Both of these images seem to be placeholder buttons for the family creation screen. The buttons used in-game are empty, with text rendered over the button graphic.

The Sims (Windows) - Marquee.PNG

An image called Nbhd\Marquee.bmp. It is unknown what this could be used for. However, Marquees are also used with signs, so it could have been for the credits sign at one point.

The Sims (Windows) - NScreen Loc.PNG

This image, labeled Nbhd\NScreen Loc.bmp, seems to be an early version of the neighborhood screen. The roads are darker, lack sidewalks and street markings, look slimmer, and are placed in different areas. Trees have been moved around as well. This is, however, very similar to the neighborhood screen which is used in non-US locales. This can be seen in the North American release if you set your language to anything other than US-English either by changing the registry or using a program such as EliSims.

The Sims (Windows) - SimEstates.png

This image is simply called Nbhd\SimEstates.bmp It's unknown what this was intended for either.

The icon, oddly glitched and appearing.

The Sims (Windows) - Smiley.png

This icon, called Nbhd\Smiley.bmp, is most likely a placeholder for the Friend Count icon where the budget is, since the final game has a file with this same name and a smiley face. It's unknown who the person is in the picture, maybe a developer.

TheSims Setup placeholder.png

Only present in the Deluxe Edition and later expansions and bundles is a setup placeholder under the name Other\setup_placeholder.bmp. The "Gold" subtitle can be assumed to be an early name for the Deluxe Edition. If one checks the credits for The Sims Vacation/On Holiday, The Sims Gold is mentioned.

The Sims (Windows) - CatalogUnknown.PNG

This unused graphic labeled cpanel\CatalogUnknown.bmp was most likely a placeholder for objects in the buy menu with no icon. Later revisions of the game engine automatically generate the buy thumbnails from the sprite resources when they aren't explicitly defined in the object data. This means most players have never and will never see this in the buy catalog, although it can be seen in later versions of the game if an invention object's thumbnail can not be loaded.

TheSims UnknownRel.png

This cpanel\People\UnknownRel.bmp file only gets used if a sim's portrait is missing or can't be loaded in the Relationship panel or in a speech bubble when one sim speaks about another. Some NPCs have this in their stored data, unused. The game will generate a thumbnail if it is missing so most players should not encounter this graphic. This can be seen if a thumbnail can not be generated or if a thumbnail is corrupt on generation which can happen with malformed skin files.

TheSims UnknownThumbnail.png

cpanel\People\UnknownThumbnail.bmp's purpose is pretty obvious, but this is never used. In earlier game versions a thumbnail of this size was generated but went unused. Later game revisions stopped generating this thumbnail under most circumstances.

TheSims UnknownFace.png

cpanel\Buttons\UnknownFace.bmp is only used if a sim's portrait doesn't exist or can't be loaded. What's interesting that unlike the other 'Unknown' images, this one's a clickable button, which means it's used in Live Mode. Another fact is that there's emotions on the lady's face, neutral, happy, and sad, which corresponds with the sim's mood. In the final release, the plumbob shows the mood of the sim.

TheSims Popuproofpattern.png

cpanel\Build\popuproofpattern.bmp was meant for the pop-up when choosing the roof pattern, much like the one for the roof pitch.

Sims1-olddollhouse-rip.png

An older design of the dollhouse object. This graphic can be found in various controller objects (which not only do not draw a sprite resource in the final game but also are usually placed out of world). The shading style is different and slightly more dramatic and the roof of the dollhouse is a dark red color as well as being more pointy and gothic.

Unused check button

An old check button, which appears to may have been used in a debugging menu and/or the options menu.

Unused button for currently unknown use

A sheet for testing the button effects.

Unused pie menu background?

PieBack.png, this was most likely a very early background design for the pie menu.

Unused Cursor

An unused cursor for the Downtown loading screen exists in the game's files which appears more cartoony, and doesn't have shading unlike the final design. What's interesting is that the final cursors for Hot Date and Vacation/On Holiday are already included in the Deluxe Edition even if the player has not installed either expansion pack yet.

Early Taxi Cursor Final Taxi Cursor
Early Taxi Cursor
Final Taxi Cursor

Unused Lot Data

The game can handle 100 lots, House00.iff through House99.iff. However, some lots are not used by the game in any game version. Below is a list of lot numbers (HouseXX.iff) that are unused and have something special about them. If any other unused lot is loaded, the game will simply try to treat it as a residential "Sim Lane" lot. However, the game engine will correctly pull a lot zone from Neighborhood.iff if one is added.

Files for House00 and House11 do exist in the game but are unused. Files for all other unused lot numbers are absent.

# Info
00 NPOs and Ghosts have this house number. In Hot Date and later, this is the house number assigned to the "Townies". Later EPs use this as the house number for other generated public visitors such as the Vacation Tourists and Makin' Magic Stranges. If one replaces a house with this house, then moves a family into it, none of the Sims will automatically spawn due to no mailbox or *Trash - Outside being present. The layout of the lot also appears to be identical to the one shown in the Gamestar Preview Video of an early version of The Sims.
11 Not much special other than the fact it actually has a street and a different style of crosswalk. The neighborhood screen may have had a different look before it changed to the one we see nowadays. A video tour can be seen here. If you rename House11.iff to one the game can normally load, the game engine will report "missing objects". The lot seems to lack some controller objects, suggesting at one point controller objects had different IDs.
49 The game will try to treat this as a Vacation Forest lot.

Lots 12 through 20 and 31 through 39 are not defined anywhere and load as described above.


Missing Objects! Prompt on House11.iff
TheSims-Windows Missing Objects Prompt.png

Although the game can be forced to load the lots, the game simply generates an entirely blank lot for them since there is no default data available in the game files. This "default" generated lot is simply a 60x60 square with the default green grass. However, the lot generation code does include all "global" objects including the lot controller objects which means they do function correctly, to a point. The vacation lots have a Vacation Director Lana walking around, functioning properly but no payphone objects to get home.

Unused Animations

  • a2o-car-getinl.anim
    All cars contain animation strings, which correspond to working animations in the game data, for opening the doors and sitting down inside both a seat on the left and right. The cars, however, have no door graphics which can be opened or interior graphics which a 3D animation proper door could sit in top of. These animations are referenced in "carname::send person to work", but the tree actually skips over the primitives which run them in the final game.
Hmmm...
To do:
List other animations and get video of animations.

Unused NPCs and NPC Features

Some Base Game NPCs are named in a format such as job_fafitmed suggesting that multiple firefighters, maids and mail carriers were planned to be generated live. Hot Date does feature multiple variants of cashiers and restaurant staff which will spawn if the same objects are used more than once on the same lot.

NPCs

  • Bones (Anim test) in game.
    Bones *Anim Test, An animation test sim which was left in by mistake, probably. This sim causes the game to hang if you try to load it onto a lot, as the skeleton referenced by the body strings ("biped") does not exist. If you change it to "adult", the sim loads with a missing body graphic, before walking off the lot.
  • Party Clown - Not the Tragic Clown from Livin' Large or the Entertainer Clown from House Party. This NPC appears to have been conceived as an entertainer for a children's party. Some ideas were probably rolled into the other Clown NPCs, though. This sim will crash the game to desktop if you try to load it on a lot. No debug mode error is shown by the SimAntics engine.

Unused Game Engine Features

The SimAntics engines which handles the object's code has some features which are not referred to by any Maxis objects as of the final game edition. Most things have straightforward names and most even function properly.

Primitive Argument Intended Function Actually Works?
Global From Simulation... Time Of Day Check the time of day on the loaded lot. Returns a string for the time of day, but is unused in favor of arguments which get the minute and second separately.
Global From Simulation... Year Keeps track of how many in game years have gone by. Begins at 1997 (or on some lots 1996?) but will advance if you play a lot for 365 days.
Global From Simulation... Last GZ Button ID Checks for a macro button or hotkey. Untested. Possibly rolled over from the Edith object creation environment.
Global From Simulation... Budget Mod 10000 Adjust the budget by 10,000 simoleons. Believed to refer to a developer mod budget cheat which was dummied out in 1.0 and removed almost entirely from 1.1 and up.
Global From Simulation... Budget Div 10000 Divide the budget by 10,000 simoleons. Believed to refer to a developer div budget cheat which was dummied out in 1.0 and removed almost entirely from 1.1 and up.
Global From Simulation... Speed Checks the current game speed Works, but no object uses this. Note that some object do use the argument which checks to see if the game is paused.
Global From Simulation... Held Sim Speed Possibly refers to walking speed(?) Untested since no one is sure what it is supposed to do, nor can an example be found.
Global From Simulation... Lot Size Check the current lot size Works, but it checks the LOT size not the build able area defined in the lot's map data.
Global From Simulation... Debug Flags Checks for debug flags such as --Debug_Houses or --Debug_Sims. Appears to work at least so far as checking if any flag is set. No object in the final game ever uses this.
Global From Simulation... Maximum Day Number Keeps a running tally of the days instead of resetting them when a new month ticks over. While the game does track days months and years correctly the actual elapsed days does not stop when a new month ticks over (at least as of 1.1) suggesting that a full time system was scrapped early on or intended to be outsourced to a controller object.
Global From Simulation... Free Will Checks the adjustable level of free will. Works, but effectively useless in the final game as most object interaction calculation is done by values set in the TTAB resource which handles free will meaning only in some oddly specific conditions would even version 1.0 of the game engine need this in a BHAV.
Global From Simulation... Simless Build Mode Introduced in Hot Date for building downtown. The game sets this correctly when building on a lot without sims both community lots and for unleashed residential lots with no sims. Some object hackers have made good use of this, but no maxis objects seem to care.
Global From Simulation... Machine Level Checks the game's idea of the machine's specs, mostly based off of available RAM. While this does correctly reflect the game's interpretation of the machine it is not great at handling most of today's machines so it is effectively useless.
Object Attribute... Object Version Returns the object version from the object's OBJD (OBJect Definition table) While the game engine will use this and, when a lot is loaded, will run a tree (specified in the OBJD or OBJf) if the version of the object on the saved lot does not match the version specified in the object's actual OBJD. However Maxis never made use of this and, indeed, they had a great chance when they updated the telephones in House Party and required players to sell and re-buy all their house phones.
Object Attribute... unused trailer score The game has several unused scores from when sims had a 'taste' or preference for decorations. In the final game each object handles it's own likability, though the one in ArtGlobals is based mostly on cost. Unused as a scrapped feature, but some objects actually set this even though nothing checks it.
Object Attribute... Unused eclectic score Same as unused trailer score, but presumably a different style. 'eclectic' could really mean anything. Unused, scrapped feature.
Object Attribute... Unused classical score You guessed it, this went with the trailer and eclectic scores. Scrapped feature as above.
Object Attribute... Age in months The object (or sim's) age in days roughly divided by 30. Nothing ever checks this. Some objects use age in days to simulate wear over time and to break more often, but age in months is never checked by anything.
Object Attribute... Birth Day A string that records a sim's birthday. Possibly generated from other values at call. The game simply does not care if a sim (or object) has been on the lot however long. All sims from Create-A-Sim have the same birthday.
Object Attribute... Birth Month Works for sims born in game. Does not reflect a sims's star sign. Since the game really only measures time of day this is unused.
Object Attribute... Birth Year A sim's birth year. Matches the lot's year for sims born in game but all Create-A-Sim sims are born in 1997. Again, the game hardly checks days let alone months or years (note that the 100 day easter-egg that is rarely seen is less than 1/3rd to a full year!) so this is unused. What's interesting is that some pre-made lots have a default year of 1996 meaning a sim may be alive but born after the current year (effectively -1 years old) and be born after their children. The Sims 3: Into The Future was not the first in the series to include timetravel, it seems.
Object Attribute... Birth Hour While I know for a fact I was born at 9PM if I were a sim the game engine would not care. Perhaps a remnant of scrapped birthdays.
Object Attribute... Birth Minute While I know I was born 45 minutes after the hour if I were a sim the game engine would not care. Possible remnant of scrapped birthdays.
Object Attribute... Sim Age While this is used the game engine allows for any number at all but only 28 (for adults) and 7 (for children) are used. Interestingly checks for age are always greater than or less than 18.
Object Attribute... Walk Style OK this is used but is useless after the "Gorilla Walk Fix" patch was rolled into the main game. Pre-Unleashed active sims would swing their arms while they waked, but it looked too exaggerated for many players and they compared it to a gorilla using its knuckles to drag itself. The patch simply overrides the default active walk with a copy of the normal walk.
Generic Sims Call get distance to camera in temp 0 Untested. Presumably checks the zoom level or distance to center screen. There's no meaningful way to an object to use this since the game engine handles all the sprites.
Generic Sims Call house radio station := temp 0 Assigns the radio station to the value of temp 0. This does work. This is much more easily done with an expression (since an expression would, in most cases, be required to assign a value to temp 0 anyway) and usually is.
Generic Sims Call change normal outfit Changes sims to outfit ID 1 (normal/everyday). Does work, may be a leftover from when outfits were handled differently (most Maxis objects use a global to change the outfit while most players simply use an expression). While no object uses this it is possible that in Superstar and later the game engine makes use of it, as Superstar introduced enforcing normal clothes on residential lots.
Generic Sims Call house radio station := temp 0 Assigns the radio station to the value of temp 0. This does work. This is much more easily done with an expression (since an expression would, in most cases, be required to assign a value to temp 0 anyway) and usually is.

Unused Object Features

Unused OBJD and OBJf Entries

Putting these together because the OBJf is basically an extension of the OBJD. And if we keep putting an extension on the previous extension, the table will be a big circle. Many OBJD entries are unused in favor of the OBJf (and, indeed internal notes discourage using the OBJD in place of the OBJf). If no OBJf is associated with an object, the game will use the OBJD values. Some of the earliest made objects were never updated to have an OBJf. For this reason, the technically-unused-but-exists-as-a-functional-fallback OBJD entries won't be included. Most aren't even interesting.

  • version_2 - Never set to anything other than 0. version_1 is always set to 138.
  • sale price - This is never used. The game calculates the sale price from the buy price and the initial and daily depreciation values.
  • shadow brightness - does not seem to work.
  • level info request - this button does not exist in the final game. If it did, objects could react to it.

Scrapped Behaviors

Some objects have strings and leftover scripting that suggest that other things may have been planned.

A note regarding NPCs is that the Repo Man seemed to be a favorite NPC to clone other maxis NPCs from and his strings are often leftover in other NPCs. Amusingly enough this includes the Grim Reaper introduced in Livin' Large.

Base Game

Stoves

All stoves (even ones introduced in later expansions!) contain strings for a help system related to fires. None of these are translated and the notes even indicate that the feature was cut.

Sims can start fires when they use a stove and have a low cooking skill. Warning: Cook Object is going to burn. Do you want to allow this?

Livin' Large

The "Concoctanation Station”

There is a duplicate "I'm not in the mood to work" string. ID 3 is unused while ID 14 is used. While not every language translated the duplicate ID 3 string, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish did and interestingly enough have different translations for ID 3 and the used ID 14 string. All three of those languages were (officially) added int he Unleashed expansion, meaning this translation was possibly retro-fitted.

Unused Finnish ID 3 Used Finnish ID 14
Minua ei nyt huvita tehdä kokeita! Minua ei nyt huvita!

Madame Blahbatfry Crystal Ball

Contains a string (ID 30) for when the sim is currently working on a crystal ball "riddle". However the object never references this string. It is translated into other languages.

You are already solving a crystal ball riddle.

Translation notes indicate that the sim would receive the riddle then have to check in with the crystal ball the next day after completing the task. However the way the scenario works in the final game the sim is told by the tracker object when they finish a riddle without any sim interaction. If the sim does gaze into the ball again they will be reminded of the riddle.

This dialog appears when the user is in the middle of solving a riddle and gazes into the crystal ball.

Hot Date

Downtown Controller

An alternate line (ID 1) for when your sim does not have enough money to pay for their food. The game explicitly calls the used string at Index 0. While this is translated it is likely just an oversight since the tree that manages the eating controller is hectic enough. It is possible that the used string was intended for the "classy" restaurant and the unused one was intended for for the "diner". Regardless this is unused.


Nobody gets a free lunch. No §§, no grub. Sims need full bank accounts if they want to stuff themselves downtown.


Apparently, at one point all of downtown was supposed to close at 2AM. The controller does not check the time or ever display the following messages in case you're wondering they are translated.

All right people, you know the drill. This town has a strict 2 AM curfew and don't pretend like you don't know. Move it!

OK, OK, let's go people! It's 2 AM. Some people need to get up in the morning. Everyone go home. Now...I mean it.

Don't you people ever sleep? Perhaps you just moved here, so I'll go light this time. Downtown closes at 2 AM. Now let's move, nothing to see down here, go home now.

Restaurant Podiums

Apparently at one point the restaurants were intended to close. The strings are translated but there is no call to them in the podium object or any code which seems to reference the time or any attribute (which could be set by the downtown controller object) to see if the restaurant is closing.

Dear patrons. The restaurant is now closed. Thank you, and good evening.

Dear patrons: the restaurant will be closing soon. Please enjoy the remainder of your evening. Thank you.

UI Strings

UIText.iff contains many strings which are used and naturally some that aren't (funny how that works, eh?).

  • There are no user-directed actions available - The game simply displays no tooltip for this and does not let the user do anything. It does get used in Unleashed for Pets, though.
  • Must be at center of tile - Objects snap to the center of the tile or to a slot. While the game can handle objects elsewhere perfectly fine it's strange to imagine the player seeing this.
  • Must be in corner, Can't be in corner - No objects use the flags defined for this (5 & 6 in object data - wall placement flags) so it is unused by the game.
  • Must be on its own tile on the ground - unused in favor of the more genetic "can not intersect other object".
  • Must be on diagonal - Not used by the self-admission of the notes section of the STR# resource.
  • User should never see this message! - It's clear why this was unused in the final game.
  • Can't effect first level from second level. - Again, unused by admission of the notes.

Additionally, a few unused strings are in EvictModeStrs.

EvictModeStrs

Title Text Notes
Community Space You cannot bulldoze community space. This suggests that Community lots were originally going to be in the base game but didn't appear until Hot Date, which released over a year after the base game launched.
Sorry You cannot bulldoze the SimEstates marquee. In the final game there is no marquee in the neighborhood, and judging by the "SimEstates" and "Marquee" images shown earlier, the marquee may have been where you originally created a family before the feature was changed to simply be an option on the neighborhood screen.
Purchase Pre-Made? Do you want to buy a pre-made home? Unknown where this would appear.

Hotkeys

The Hotkeys are defined in UIText.iff resource 161 - presumably so they could be changed by the localization teams easily.

  • A for Anti-Alias toggling is is removed in Vacation, after Hot Date always forced it on by default.
  • S for Shadows does not seem to work and was likely removed in favor of the shadow detail level setting in the UI.

Regional Differences

Note that even though UK English has a valid language entry and does contain some graphical changes (such as its own title screen, usually identical to the US one), almost all UK strings are blank, meaning the game will pull from the US English strings. The game is programmed so that if a string is missing in a language it will try the language with ID 0, which is American / US English. While this is helpful behavior for other data stored as strings, it means almost all UK English strings simply display the US English strings, as no UK English text was ever written. The game even still uses the Vacation Island text in the On Holiday expansion.

Logos and Start Screens

Hmmm...
To do:
There appear to be different versions of the setup(?) logos.
Hmmm...
To do:
Add information/photos on Livin' Large/Livin' it up expansion.
USA/UK Japan
Sims1-setup-enus.png Sims1-setup-jp.png

With the game's transition to the Japanese market, the game's name was changed from The Sims to SimPeople. Why this change was done is unknown, but it might have been done to keep the game in line with the other 'Sim' games. A common theory among fans is that the lack of definite articles in Japanese, and the way families are referred to in normal Japanese culture. This would make the normal title hard to properly translate, as the last name is typically placed on the left of the name. The SimPeople logo matched other Sim games internationally but not the stylized logo of The Sims series until the Unleashed expansion.


Sims1-unleashed-setup-jp.png

The yellow text in the Japanese version's Unleashed logo says, "Pets and Gardening! Data Set", meaning the Japanese version didn't retain the title of the expansion pack either.

USA UK
Sims1-vacation-enus.png Sims1-setup-enuk.png

Some expansions had different names in different languages. While are most are simply translations or similar expressions, some translations are notable. Vacation is known as On Holiday in the UK. The final expansion, Makin' Magic, has many different titles in different languages, usually translated from the internal name Spellbound, being translated as everything from Hokus Pokus in Germany to Abracadabra in Dutch and Portuguese.

Makin' Magic
USA UK
Sims1-magic-enus.png Sims1-magic-enuk.png

The UK Makin' Magic title screen also has the expansion title rendered slightly higher than the North American one, for some reason.