Purpose of this page

Several months before this page went up, I finally started playing the Sims, and conceived the ambitious plan of making a SimGatchaman neighbourhood. I also ran into the limitations of the game and was determined to overcome them, whether by hacking the game's objects or adding my own. Running the game on two systems, double installs and harddisk crashes brought more things to look into. In all, the research needed before I could even start skinning took so much time that at the quarterly update, all I had was one skin (three, if I cheat a bit).

A meagre result; and to discard all the gathered information that went into it as irrelevant would be a waste, especially when it might be useful to novice Simmers. Besides, the "readme.txt" I was thinking of including with the skin was becoming so large that I could have made it into a webpage. So I did.

So, although this information will hopefully be generally useful, all this page is meant to support is my own incidental Sim downloads. Therefore, although I'm working on a "less simple object hacking" section, and will of course correct any glaring errors pointed out to me, it won't be updated that often.

On the howto pages, I've included references to other people's downloads; specifically, how to correct errors in those downloads. These are simply handy practical examples of the kind of hitches that can occur - easier than having to invent my own - and are not meant to disparage the makers. Said downloads may be corrected, or even gone, by the time anyone reads these howtos.


What is this Sims thing, anyway?
A illustrated description of the game.

List of expansion packs, & for what OS (but not console and online versions).

Installation and after
Some slight customizing.

What goes where
Some insight into the mess of files installed on the HD.

Skin essentials
Everything the user needs to know about skins and meshes.

Between Deluxe and Livin' Large
How to deal with the incompatibilities, especially on the Mac.

The Exchange TOS: a critical look
The "I agree" button under some software licences should read "I agree but under protest, and only because this is the only way to get the goods, you scumbag" - but that wouldn't fit on the button. Actually reading through the Exchange TOS, I was not at all happy. Skip this if you venerate Maxis/EA.

Personally speaking
My own experience with the game and related activities so far. Skip this if you're not interested, or don't like nasty things being said about people.

Random tips
Real handy to know.

Simple character editing
Oops, you've gone and put the wrong head on that character. How to change this without deleting and re-creating the Sim; and other such minor adjustments.

Simple object hacking
Small changes that players may want to make themselves.

Advanced object hacking
Howtos aimed at aspiring Sim programmers.

The importance of the magic cookie
Only relevant to object hackers, but so essential I gave it its own section. Contains some stiff criticism.

The Sims 2
Learn from my mistake.

Sim links

See also the Sim downloads page for downloads including the "Essential Hacks".