Surprise! We have a special update for you – and it’s not even what we were teasing in the last blog post! It will release in a few hours, along with the announcement of a whole new class of object and a long awaited one. A blog will follow shortly after explaining everything – so stay put… in the meanwhile, we can go into a bit of detail about how this crazy project came about, the effort that went into it, and how the game actually works.

Texas Hold-em is coming to FreeSO, thanks to the efforts of everyone on the team! We’re also releasing a new set of objects tailored to casino environments, as you can see above, which you can get from the in-game catalog. You can even get virtually plastered at the bar – a perfect casino experience.

Origins

Long, long ago in the far off time of October 2017, after a joking back and forth with one of the admins I was recruited for an extra special secret project.

The Exchange that started it all.

The extra special secret project was a collaboration between The Architect, M.O.M.I. Raeven, and myself, we were going to create a clone of the unused Blackjack table, give it new art assets and gameplay, and turn it into Texas hold ‘em. My task was to create the art assets necessary for the object while Architect and Raeven worked on the underlying code to make the object actually function.

A brief timeline of the creation of the Texas hold ‘em table, from early conception to first version.

Since the object was to be a clone of the Blackjack table and would recycle the animations and much of the code I had to keep the new Texas hold ‘em table within the same basic blueprint to make it work with the animations better. I had originally had it set at a normal table’s height since I did not know how tall the actual Blackjack table was. And overtime you can see how it morphed into its final form.

However it was decided that the original Blackjack table would be a higher priority since it was missing much of the code needed to make it work, and so efforts were shifted to that, in fact it was missing so much that the table had to essentially be remade from scratch, which Architect and Raeven did so very beautifully. At the same time it was also decided that in order to get some Custom Content out faster the Texas hold ‘em table would be shelved for the time being, this lead to the creation of two new slot machines, two taxis, christmas pudding, and a few other miscellaneous objects.

Back in January I came up with the idea of releasing several objects alongside the Texas hold ‘em table, in a set I referred to as ‘High Roller Stuff.’ This set was set to be expansive, with tables, chairs, and many other objects. However most of them ended up being cut to save on work time, gone was the coffee table, end table, buffet table, dining table, shrimp platter, dining chair, bench, tip jar, and trash bin, and alongside work on this set I set out to revise the original Texas hold ‘em table since at this point I had changed the techniques I used for modeling and texture painting, and ended up with the version seen in-game.

The final version.

The whole point of this set of objects as decided by Architect, was to show to the community at large that custom content was indeed possible with a little bit work and some elbow grease, and alongside the release of the set came a guide on creating your own custom content for FreeSO written by the amazingly fantastic M.O.M.I. Raeven, and a guide on creating EODs written by the also amazingly fantastic Architect.

How to Play (written by Fawn)

Similar to poker, the goal of Texas hold ’em is to have the best poker hand on the table. However, in Hold’em Casino all you need to have is a better poker hand than the MOMI dealer. This means your friends can stay your friends, and you will not have to worry about practising your poker face in the bathroom mirror. A poker hand is a set of 5 cards that contain combinations, for example pairs, four of a kind or a royal flush (a list of these can be viewed on the items “Learn to Use.. Payout” option). In hold ’em there are up to 7 cards that your poker hand will be selected from.

Start off by choosing your betting amounts. There are two kinds of bets you can make in hold ’em. Firstly, is an “Ante” bet. This is your mandatory bet towards having a winning poker hand. Think carefully about how much you want to bet as if you decide to “call” (explained later) you will have to pay twice the amount of your Ante bet, on top of your initial bet. You can also play an optional “Side” bet which we will discuss in a moment.

After placing your bet, the first round of cards will be dealt out. All players (including the dealer) will receive 2 cards. Next, 3 community cards will be placed in the centre of the table. The dealer’s cards will not yet be revealed, so you will have no idea what their poker hand will consist of. If you initially placed a side bet and your 2 cards plus the 3 community cards contain any poker hands (this will be automatically calculated and must be a pair of aces or higher), then you will instantly win that bet!

Now comes the tough decision, do you fold or call? If you think your hand could be an even bigger winner, you can call. This will force you to pay double on top of your initial Ante bet, however the 2 final community cards will be flipped over, meaning out of the 7 available cards your chances of having a poker hand are much higher. Any winning hands are automatically calculated and paid out. If you do not want to risk calling because your hand is terrible, you can fold, which removes you from that round and your ante bet will be lost.

So put on your cowboy hats and smash your piggy banks! The real question is, are you feeling lucky?

To Conclude…

And now all is said and done, the Texas hold ‘em set has been released into the wild for all to enjoy. But what comes next? Well…
Who’s to say?

~S1ndle

(tutorial by jwofles! thanks!)

Hey everyone! I’d like to announce a quick side project I made to bring back long lost servers for another online Sims game: The Sims: Bustin’ Out! (PS2)

Thanks to the reverse engineering efforts of the Need for Speed community (in like, 2003!), Blayer from our own community, and a day implementing everything from scratch from me, we have our own lobby server called “Breakin’ In”. With these servers, you can now play one on one sessions in the Bustin’ Out challenge mode with players you find via an online lobby. All of the server code is open source, and more details on how to connect are available here:


Click here to visit the GitHub repo!

The server is hosted here on freeso.org! If you want to know how to connect, or all of the juicy details of how this got going, check out the description on GitHub!

NOTE: You need The Sims Bustin’ Out for PS2, and the PCSX2 emulator set up. This isn’t exactly easy, so it probably won’t be worth setting up if you have trouble with this kind of thing. (it’s more a nostalgia trip than anything you can play for weeks)

If you have some friends interested in playing Bustin’ Out’s story mode or checking out this obscure online mode, go right ahead!

Destiny Bond

 

 

The Sims Online and The Sims: Bustin Out Online Weekend are the only two online multiplayer modes ever implemented in full scale The Sims games. Their online code is surprisingly similar – the lot data is uploaded from the host to the client, both start simulating the lot at the same time, then the client simply runs the same commands (interactions, go here, cancel interactions) as the server at the exact same time, with the exact same random number seed. Since the simulation is deterministic, both the client and host should be synced up the entire time the game is running.

There are a few key differences, though. The first is the architecture of the games – TSO’s host simulator is run on our MMO server, so that it can access our database and so that every action that occurs is “trusted”… eg. you can’t cheat your funds to 1 million by hacking your client’s simulator. Bustin Out, like most PS2 games, achieves online multiplayer by connecting directly to the other player (Peer to Peer Networking), the host being whoever invited the other sim to play.

The second is the gameplay: The Sims Online is an MMO with persistent money, skills and lot data, where the player controls one sim and interacts with up to 24 (normally) on the same property. The goal is to build yourself and your property up in a sandbox world filled with many people.

The Sims Bustin’ Out simply connects two players and starts the host’s Single Player save file, which lets them hang out in their current challenge mode house. The host can play any other sims in the family (such as Mimi at Mimi’s House) and invite anyone over from the neighbourhood. The invited player plays their own sim as a visitor at the property, and can interact with all the objects and sims on the property. Unfortunately, this interaction is only limited to two players, build/buy is disabled, and you cannot progress with the single player mode. However, it is cool to show off your challenge mode progression, mess around with the Bustin’ Out game objects, and hang around with your friend the Bustin’ Out characters. If you want to have the most fun, the best way is honestly to cheat and build your own house in challenge mode.

The Wikipedia page for The Sims Online says that Bustin’ Out’s Online Weekend mode shut down on August 1st 2008 alongside The Sims Online, though I can’t find any sources to confirm this. Either way, by that date no online variants of The Sims remained – the online modes of The Sims shelved forever. 10 years later, we have both back, hopefully forever! Mission accomplished, the SO is now Free. 2 Free Sims Online. Free Sims 2 Online? No.

What about FreeSO???

Relax, relax. The Bustin’ Out project is pretty much complete as is – it was only a weekend project anyways (some might say. an online weekend). I’m still heads down working on the next feature for FreeSO, which is going to be absolutely huge.

The latest updates added a fully 3D city view – but I didn’t have time to write a blog for that, then the blog I was writing for that got lost somehow. I’ll probably try again some time later, as there are some interesting technical details for generating 3d lot thumbnails that are low poly enough to be rendered at this grand a scale. If you want the full details, check the #annoncements channel on discord

I also posted a (very small) leak on discord. Of what is to come. Maybe I will post more in the future? Maybe I’m posting one… right now..


Rhys

Hey folks, it has been a long time since a blog post, but the game has still been recieving regular changes and updates. If you want to keep the most up to date, you should be on our Discord server at https://discord.gg/xveESFj. Raw game changelogs are also available on http://tsomania.net ! (and a great set of guides for new players)

Introducing the Nightclub Job

Online Jobs are a big part of TSO’s gameplay, as they are the most interactive (and highest paying!) way to make money. Two of these, the diner and robot factory jobs, have been in the game since we launched the beta, but the Nightclub jobs have been notably missing. The diner and robot factory jobs started working as a byproduct of our SimAntics interpreter being able to run more of the original game’s scripts – not much effort needed to be rebuilding their functionality specifically, just “fixing” what was already there and the problems with our interpreter.

Continue reading “One Year of Beta Testing”

After last night’s flash snowstorm, weather forecasters in Sunrise Crater have been predicting persistent snowfall for the entirety of December, and a large part of January. Unfortunately, this means that residents may be unable to collect their annual christmas trees from the City Hall atop the mountain, and Christmas may be ruined for good. However! The Sunrise Crater government never backs down from a challenge, and has instead delivered all Christmas trees directly to your inboxes, free of charge. These special trees come retrofitted with (refilling???) presents beneath them – 3 of which are sweet treats, and one of which is a special gift for each day… You’ll have to find out for yourself what’s in each box!

Festvities aren’t the only thing we’re bringing to the table this update. Though not much development work has been going on from my side, our community and other developers have been pushing to push the game further to being functionally complete, and even beyond. Here’s a list of all the stuff we have going now, newest first:

Intoducing Motive Overfill

Example of motives with 50% overfill. Motives will stay green while the white bar is present.

Visiting some types of lots will now allow you to fill your motives for a lot longer than other lots. These “overfills” will persist as you move across lots, so are perfect before you run a job, group money, single money or skill. To obtain overfills, go visit a lot from that type and green up in their overfill category. If a lot doesn’t exist for that overfill category, why not make it yourself?

Here’s a list of the tunings we’re demoing this feature with:

  • Service Lot: 50% overfill on hunger, energy, hygiene and bladder.
  • Entertainment Lot: 100% overfill on fun and social.
  • Romance: 100% overfill on social. (pending additional feature)

Note that this is not all we have planned for other lot types. Several additional systems are in the works to make these categories more appealing or have more of a purpose.

Continue reading “Merry Christmas from the FreeSO Team!”

EDIT: The update has been available since last Friday. You can check it out by downloading the latest update from FreeSO servers, then following the instructions later in this post!

Three years ago, any chance of anyone reviving The Sims Online looked very slim. Any existing project seemed to either fall off in activity, be a hoax in the first place, or burn hopeful fans with controversial donations for a server that was never meant to be. Despite all the ruckus, three years ago is when we got the first glimmer of hope that TSO would be back again – a convincing UI recreation of the initial few screens of the game including Create A Sim, with a lot of backend work to load important game content. Developed by Afr0 and ddfczm, this recreation was called Project Dollhouse, and it’s what inspired me to work towards this same goal. Despite exciting developments in SimAntics emulation by me and ddfczm, with ingame footage of TSO objects somewhat working, this community stayed at only a few members – nobody believed anymore in TSO ever returning. Our community slowly grew as I implemented the online sandbox mode and split into FreeSO, and people finally started believing that it was possible. The launch into beta was a spectacular surprise.

Today, we’ve almost done it. It has been a heck of a long journey, and finally people don’t have to believe in something anymore – it’s right here. A fully re-implemented TSO client and server is available for all to use, with source available so it can be developed further by anyone in the future, maybe tens of years from now. The ability to play TSO will never truly disappear, thanks to the efforts of its community.

Recently, I attempted to port The Sims 1 to mobile by myself, something many users never would have believed would work until recently. Unfortunately this was not meant to be, but I demonstrated that it was never impossible, and that it can even be done well by an independent developer.

To keep up with my trend of doing stupid things nobody believes in, I decided to make good on a crazy idea I shared three years ago, and have even mocked on one april fools since it felt so unfeasible at the time. I had an idea that The Sims and The Sims Online could potentially be rendered and playable in 3D, in real time, using mesh reconstruction techniques. Our next update will have an experimental mode showing that this is indeed possible!

I’m guessing your immediate thoughts from seeing our header image is, “how is this even remotely possible? the objects in this game are 2D sprites”. This article will also explain how it wasn’t as impossible as it seemed, and explain how it was achieved.

Continue reading “The Impossible”