SIFBuilder

A program to build Sims Information Files for identification

Introduction

SIFBuilder is a program to build SIF (Sims Information Files). These are simple text files that you can attach to your objects for ownership and provide some information to the end user about them.

Features

  • Simple creation, just fill in the form and click “Save”
  • Saves author information in the registry for later retrieval
  • Supports The Sims, Living Large, House Party, and Hot Date
  • Automatically fills in information from existing IFF files

Documentation

SIFBuilder is probably the simplest program for The Sims you’ll find. As an object creator, you probably know that it’s good to let people know you created something. There’s currently no way to store this information in the object files so people generally write a README.TXT file (or something similar). This usually leads to having to repeat a lot of information (like name, email, website, etc.) if you create a lot of objects.

SIFBuilder is a simple program that lets you quickly churn out descriptions for objects as quickly as you can zip them up for the web. You simple fill in a few fields and an entire SIF file (text file) is created. You can package this SIF file along with your object so people will know where it came from, information about obtaining more objects and your own rules of distribution.

No program is going to prevent object theft, but at least with the output from this one, you can attach it to your objects so you have some record of where the file came from. Of course people might alter or erase this file completely, but this is just one step better than nothing.

To create a SIF file, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Start the program from the desktop or Start menu
  2. Click on the button labeled “…” next to filename to select an existing IFF file
  3. Select what game the object is valid for (The Sims is always chosen)
  4. Optionally set any other information you want and click Save

Fields

The following fields are available in SIFBuilder. Here’s what they mean.

Object Information
This section contains information about the object you’re creating. Most of it is automatically filled in for your convenience.

Name
This is the name of the object. This field is automatically set based on the value from the IFF file, but you can change it if you want.

Filename
This is the filename (no path) of the object. This field is automatically filled in when you select an IFF file, but you can change it if you want.

Price
This is the price (in Simoleans) for the object. This field is automatically set based on the value from the IFF file, but you can change it if you want.

Description
This is the long description for the object. This field is automatically set based on the value from the IFF file, but you can change it if you want.

Author Information
This section details information about you! This information is saved in the Windows registry (if you choose to) and will be filled in each time you run the program.

Name
Your name silly.

Email
An email address where people can reach you.

URL
A personal URL for yourself. This can be the same as the website URL that you fill in for the object.

Game Information
This box contains flags for which game and/or expansion pack your object was made for. It’s important to set this correctly so people can be sure your object works with the expansion pack they have (not everyone has all the packs).

The Sims
This checkbox is always selected and cannot be changed. All objects are at least valid for The Sims

Living Large
Check this box if your object was cloned from or made for Living Large

House Party
Check this box if your object was cloned from or made for House Party

Hot Date
Check this box if your object was cloned from or made for Hot Date

Distribution Information
This section is important as it identifies to people downloading your work how you allow them to use it. You can choose not to allow anyone to re-distribute your object, but that’s no fun.

Allow this object to be cloned into new objects
By checking this box, you’re giving permission to people to clone this object (with Transmogrifier, ObjectCloner, blueprint or other program) and use it to create a new object. This does not give them any permission to distribute the object. That’s set below.

Distribution
This series of 3 radio buttons allow you to specify how people can distribute your object. The options are:

Distribute as long as the SIF file is left intact
Not distribute. In other words, they cannot put it on their website for download by others
Do anything. With this option you’re basically releasing it to the public domain and letting people do whatever they want with it
Export Information
This box contains information about exporting defaults.

Default Path
The path listed here is where SIF files will be automatically saved to when you click on the “Save” button. You can change it with the button labeled “…” to the right of the field.

Save This Information
This checkbox will save the default values from the dialog box to the Windows registry. This lets you restart the program without having to re-enter most information again.

Construction Information
This box contains all kinds of information that is saved to the SIF file regarding construction information. This lets people viewing the SIF file, at a glance, to see what was changed in the file and how it was built. This includes any credits you want to give to other people.

New Graphics
Check this box if you added and/or altered any graphics in this object.

New Sounds
Check this box if you added and/or altered any sounds in this object.

New Animations
Check this box if you added and/or altered any animations in this object.

New Menus
Check this box if you added and/or altered any menu items in this object.

Base Object Used
Enter the filename or description of the base object you used to create your own.

Original Author
If you cloned this object from another source, please put their name and/or email here. This value defaults to Maxis as most objects will originally come from them.

Editor(s) Used
Here you can list the editors you used to create this object (Transmogrifer, blueprint, PhotoShop, etc.)

Location Information
This box contains information about your website and/or FTP site where people can get your objects.

Website
Enter the URL to your website here so people may visit and download other objects.

FTP Site
If you have an anonymous FTP site where people can download your objects then enter it here.

Save
This saves the information on the screen and writes it out to a SIF file. The SIF filename is created based on the object filename and the default export path so no prompting happens. You will want to save your SIF file with your objects (they will not do any harm to The Sims game) so you can zip up your IFF files along with the SIF files.

Save As
This works like the save function, but lets you specify the filename and location of the SIF file to save.

New
This clears out the information you set for this object and puts you back to the default values. You are not prompted to save any existing information.

Exit
This exits the program. Any information is saved to the registry if you checked that option. No SIF file is writen on exit of the program so make sure you saved your information with the “Save” button first!

Sample Output

This is a sample SIF file created in about 30 seconds with the program.

========================================
Object Name : Mini T-Rex Display
Object Price : 1200
Filename : bptrex.iff
Author : Bil Simser
Email Address : bsimser@home.com
Authors Website : http://members.home.net/bsimser
Description : An exact replica of the most ferocious animal to ever
stalk the SimEarth, this replica comes complete with
acrylic stand and identifying brass plaque. Unearthed by J.T.
Sim near the outskirts of Garden City this 1/4 scale
replica is sculpted by Bil Simser exclusively for The
Sims, capturing all the detail and grandeur of the original.
The superbly crafted case will displaying this amazing
fossil with added elegance. An excellent product for the
dinosaur enthusiast.
Additional Credits : Maxis
========================================
* Play Information *
Game(s) : The Sims
New Graphics : Yes
New Sounds : No
New Animations : No
New Menus : No
* Construction *
Base Object(s) Used : None
Editor(s) Used : blueprint
* Copyright/Permissions *
Authors MAY use this object to be cloned into new objects.
Authors MAY distribute this object, providing you include this
description file, with no modifications.
* Where to get this IFF *
FTP Site: None
Web Site: http://www.simfreaks.com/blueprint
========================================
This file was generated with SIFBuilder version 2.0
Please visit http://blueprint.thesimsresouce.com for more great Sims software!
For questions or comments about the SIF format please contact bsimser@home.com