WooHoo: Ultimate Mac Hack for The Sims 2

History of the Project

The Sims 1 Years

It all started deep in the woods, of Pennsylvania. The year was 1776. Just joking.

But, seriously, it all started with the sims 1. I didn’t buy the sims 1 right away. It was out for about 4 years before buying a copy. I was amazed that the game had such a long shelf life. After playing the game I discovered why and fell in love with it. You know why and that is history.

I’m not sure if I am abnormal but I will always remember my first sim who died. I cried. She died in a fire. I was stuck by the juxtaposition of a game where life was beautiful most of the time but at the same time infected with the realities of life. Back to reality.

In short, sims 1 was one of my favorite games. It was tons of fun modding it. The hours spent shortening file names to 32 characters and matching up skins with meshes was a bit frustrating. Even so, tons of fun.

Modding the sims 1 game was difficult at best. And, even after 4 years creating mods on a Mac was nearly impossible because of the lack of hacks and inexpensive 3d modeling tools for the Mac.

I was previously a programmer at a fortune 50 (that’s fifty) corporation. After Sept. 11 and a falling out with a Vice President, I packed up and moved to the high desert of California, in search of a more spiritually rewarding lifestyle. That is where this story starts and I started playing sims 1.

Back to the story. I wanted to learn more about game programing so I started teaching myself 3d technology and specifically openGL, the 3d library adopted by Apple Computer for OS X. I was on my way to building a 3d game engine when a series of misfortunes struck and was side tracked from programming for a couple of years.

(time passes…)

The Sims 2 Months

Last March, I finally scraped together 60 bucks and purchased the sims 2. Immediately I began looking for mods. I was amazed by the quantity of mods available. I was also disappointed at the lack of Mac hacks. I was determined to find some modding tools or build them myself.

The project began. But what to call it? It almost became gnome or llama or flamingo or a dozen other names. WooHoo came to mind one day while writing the original backup app and I loved it. Purple Heart here we come. The name is filled with all sorts of connotations. Choose your favorite.

First Function: Smart Backups

The backup utility was the first WooHoo function. I know. Backups are boring. You want red meat. Let me just explain why backups are vital to a sims 2 power user and hence the first function. The backup utility is under appreciated and under used so I am going to deviate a little from the topic to help you understand the importance of a WooHoo backup.

The Sims 2 can have problems, especially if you mod the game a lot. Any good troubleshooting guide will say as a last resort: Restore your game from a back up. You did make a backup, right?!?!?! End of troubleshooting guide.

Duh? How do you make a back up? Copy your ~/Documents/EA Games/The Sims 2/. Really? Did you know that folder on my computer is almost a gigabyte? And takes several minutes and makes my hard drive go crazy. Hard drives are mechanical devices and wear out. Sounds like a recipe for hard drive failure after making several hundred sims 2 backups along with all the normal wear and tear. Plus its just a lot of work to manage a bunch of backups with the finder.

WooHoo backups are much smarter and easier to use than a finder backup. Finder copies everything and names it —copy.

WooHoo is easier because it has a simple and convenient window to manage your backups. It names the back up with a sequential number, places a time stamp on it and allows you to enter a description to help you remember what the back up is and saves the smart backup in your ~/Library/WooHoo/ folder.

WooHoo is smarter because it only saves a few files that actually changed since ANY previous backup. As well it does not make needless copies of any custom music you added to the game (mp3). All combined, this saves you mass amounts of time and wear and tear on your hard drive.

Restoring a saved backup is equally smart and simple. Only a few files are actually replaced in your game to fully restore your game to the saved state. Again saving you lots of time and hard drive wear. Custom music is also moved from the old document folder to the new restored folder… again saving time and wear from making needless copies of mp3s.

On average a smart WooHoo backup will copy only about 50 MB of files compared to a finder copy of close to a Giga Byte or more. And a WooHoo backup/restore is virtually error proof and fool proof unlike a finder backup/restore.

Some of you may have system backup software. That kind of software is good if you can figure it out and I recommend it for anyone with two hard drives. System backup software will work very good combined with WooHoo backups.

Back to the History…

I was looking for Mac modding tools for the Sims 2, or any kind of tool. I found only one tool. It was very limited and the author had stopped developing it long ago.

While looking I discovered many other Mac simmers were looking too. And were very enthusiastic when I mentioned I was thinking about developing some sims 2 tools for the Mac. This sealed it for me and I committed myself to the project. That was around April 2006. At that time the game had been out on Windows about two years and Mac about one year. We have a lot of catching up to do.

Within the next six months I hope to get WooHoo to where CleanPackInstaller and simPE are now. If you never heard of those tools they are the most popular sims 2 tools for Windows. They are excellent tools and very useful. However, many people want a Mac alternative including me.

Bear in mind those tools have been developed for over two years. I think we can develop WooHoo a lot faster because I am working on this project full time, we have a talented and enthusiastic web designer working for us and because I am counting on Mac simmers, who love the game as much as I do, to contribute to the project. I think we can do it and the game is worth it.

Please, see the ‘How to Contribute’ page and consider a contribution. We thank you for it.
MA

4 Comments »

  1. Nice to see the project has been resurrected. I hope it sees completion and all the wonderous glory it is destined to enjoy. Many mac simmers will be very happy to see this product, including myself. Even with Intel Macs, I still don’t want to turn to the PC side for my sims. I appreciate the effort and thought put into the project thus far, and all those ideas and blood, sweat, and tears yet to come.

    I am unsure if I can help in any way. Programming and web stuff isn’t my forte. Design and creative juice is. I can offer moral support as well.

    Let’s just see how it goes and we’ll all work on this together. The Mac world deserves this.

    Thank you.

    Comment by macgirlffx — July 20, 2006 @ 3:26 am | Reply

  2. I been real busy programming and have not had much time to reply to comments.

    Thanks for the good wishes. You have the right idea. This is a grass roots effort and a great game and we can do it together. I started this project because I wanted to create stuff for the game but could not. So, I am in as big a hurry as every one else to get this project into high gear. And for this site to support Mac Simmers, not only with WooHoo but also with the game and help with creating for the game. The only site that I know of that caters exclusively to Mac Simmers. (Correct me if I am wrong about that)

    Comment by masteralphonso — July 23, 2006 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

  3. There isn’t much out there for Mac simmers so a site that would support us is most welcome.

    I’d love to make stuff for the game as well but, as you know, we can’t as of yet. That’s why this project is exciting. The thought of being able to create stuff, on a Mac, for this game. That is just great.

    And I’m not desperate enough to switch over to a PC just for this game and all the extras they get. I’d rather just make do with what I have on my Mac and be happy, if not a little envious.

    Do you plan to have a forum area for all us crazy Mac simmers to chat and troubleshoot?

    Comment by macgirlffx — July 27, 2006 @ 3:19 pm | Reply

  4. You are a brillent guy! i think this is a massive achivement just to pick up a massive project then continue on with it, i’m sure any mac users out there would love to help, including me, i look forwards for more progress!

    Comment by Liz — December 9, 2006 @ 10:56 am | Reply


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