Recently I've began working on a new utility for The Sims: The (Sims) Add-on Handler (Abbreviated: TAOH). Like several other tools out there, this will be able to install your downloaded files to The Sims by simply dragging the downloaded files to the window of TAOH - which shows any image you like. But unlike others, this tool will be a lot better! If you want to select the files using a conventional "Open" dialog box, that's possible too. For instance, you won't have to hassle to install roofs manually anymore - this will detect if a file is a skin or roof, and install it as you wish. The same goes for objects and houses. As if that isn't enough, it will also check if Skins are in just 256-colours. Skins that are bitmaps with more than 256 colours (or a palette bigger than that) tend to crash The Sims. The program will simply give you a warning if a file seems to be invalid. But wait! There's more...
If you had a long night of downloading from the Sims fansites out there, normally you'd have to install every file one by one. A time-taking process, but not with The Add-on Handler! You can drag as many files as you want to the screen in one go, saving you a lot of time. You will be able to read the readme files before installing anything, and if you want to exclude some files from the installation, that's done with just one double-click.
As if that isn't enough, this program will install all known files for you. As mentioned above, that includes skins, roofs, objects and houses, downtown, vacation, old town and (in the future) studio town areas, but also walls, floors, and even animations! Buyable skins will be installed to the right folder so you can buy them downtown, on vacation or in the old town. If you don't have the necessary expansion packs installed for a download, it just won't show up. Just in case, you'll have the ability to manually set the expansion packs you have installed in the options, like with The Neighborhood Handler.
In the future this program will do a lot more too: Imagine you installed all those files, and now The Sims takes ages to load? TAOH will be able to make one single FAR-file out of your object files, speeding up the loading process. Also, in the future TAOH will maintain a sort of database which keeps track of when you installed some files. If all of the sudden The Sims started crashing after installing a specific download, you'll be able to check what files you added the last, and delete those which you think might be crashing the game.
As you can imagine, this program is yet far from finished, and so far only the install feature is working. However, because I don't want to wait with the release for months, I will be releasing version 0.1 beta soon. That will just have the install function in it, but as time goes by I will be upgrading the program and adding new features. In the end this is supposed to become the ultimate tool to manage your downloads - like The Neighborhood Handler
is for your neighborhoods. Expect the first version of the program within the next couple of days. Because you can't wait, here's a screenshot of somebody installing the Sim Brother houses:
If you're interested you can find the Sim Brother 1 house download over here
, and the Sim Brother 2 house at this place
Written at 14:00 on Wednesday, 16 April 2003 by ChEeTaH