Here to kick off August’s Community Spotlight is Sims Tool Developer Granthes! In a brief introduction below, Granthess gives readers a chance to learn a bit more about what he does. If you don’t already know who he is, you will now! Take it away Grant!
Greetings! I’m Grant, known to the sims community as granthes, and live in Colorado, USA. I came into the scene for The Sims back when The Sims 3 was announced. Since I had never played the game before, I went out and bought The Sims 2, just so I knew what the game was about. After playing TS2 for a few weeks I pre-ordered TS3 and the rest is history.
Of course, as a professional programmer, when TS3 would jump up and annoy me, I’d take a look at what I could do to get around the annoyances and that led to me being a tools developer for the game. Early on, most of the tools were just for me since I didn’t think anybody else would even care about what I was doing. Then I made the mistake of telling someone about a program I had created called Custom Launcher; they suggested I upload that to Mod The Sims. I guess it was fairly popular with a total of over 30.000 downloads.
I followed that up with a much more deliberately designed tool known as CC Magic sometime later, which proved to be amazingly popular since it gave people a way to organize and control their custom content collections. Both CC Magic and Custom Launcher had the additional benefit of consolidating massive amounts of CC into a few larger files, which helped reduce game lag and load times.
I also did a few tools and custom mods that people seem to have enjoyed over the years, including the Height Adjustable OMSP, Height Adjustable Curtains, and a mod to enable multiple-wick candles. One that I get a bunch of responses about even still is the Rig Fix program that I wrote. When the Pets expansion came out, there were changes in the game engine that broke a huge number of custom objects. I was able to decode the changes between the old and new format and wrote a tool to convert the data into the correct form for the new engine.
Now, with the advent of The Sims 4, I’m jumping back into the fray and starting tools development for the new game. While the game isn’t available yet, EA was nice enough to release the CAS Demo to a number of people, which sparked the modding tools community to go dig in and look at the file formats. Because of this, there are tools available to the player community for modding even before the game comes out.
I have been working with various members of the tools community to decode different parts of the new game files and to get the basic tools working. Currently things like S4PE (from Simlogical) are still in a state of continuous development, as new discoveries are made. In addition, I have been working on a tool to allow people to easily create new recolors of clothing / hair / accessories in CAS. An early version of this tool has already been used by dozens of people to create new and unique clothing items for the demo. A new version of the tool should be out by the time you read this that is easier to use and fixes a few problems that people have been seeing.
Once the actual game is out, I will probably be updating CC Magic to work with it and if I see anything that really screams out for help, I’ll see about coding up even more tools. I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing just how the game works in September.
Finally, I’d like to thank Alexis and SimsVIP for the opportunity to share my history with you. As you all know, when you want the straight information, you come here! Great work Alexis!
Let the Modding begin!
P.S.: I’d like to thank the various members of the modding tools community that are hard at work trying to get tools ready. Thanks to (in no particular order) Peter and Inge, Rick, Delphy, OrangeMittens, ChaosMageX, Rick, A, CMO and Kuree for their efforts at decoding the demo files and getting details of the results.