TS1 iOS Port Cancelled
In the last news update, I announced an attempt at using the FreeSO engine to bring TS1 to mobile platforms. For the foreseeable future, these efforts have been stopped.
A few months ago we were contacted by EA regarding how the TSO IP should be handled. At that time, you may have noticed a change in logo to avoid the house motif, the addition of multiple disclaimers to our websites, and further insistence on taking no donations for server costs (really, no change). Given even just its relevance to me, The Sims’ IP is clearly something that is worth EA protecting from any potential damage, so I complied with these terms immediately out of respect.
A few days ago, some time after our last blog post, I received further correspondence from EA, regarding my plans to bring TS1 to mobile devices, as well as potentially FreeSO. To protect their IP, they asked that I cease and desist any efforts to bring either of these games to mobile or any other plaforms. While both projects are entirely legal (copyrighted content and references to “The Sims” provided by the user, not the replacement engines themselves), I do not want to step on EA’s toes, and will obviously comply with their requests rather than starting some kind of expensive legal battle.
Seeing it first hand, I could completely understand how damaging a third party releasing a mobile client could be to The Sims brand. The mobile market had never seen a full The Sims game with no micro-transactions, and even though it might be hard to install and transfer the game from a computer (especially on iOS), the disruption could have had a notable impact.
Granted, only a few weeks were spent on the project, but it’s unfortunate that after seeing it work so well, it may never see the public in a complete fashion. I enjoyed working on the project, and it taught me a lot about mobile development with Xamarin & MonoGame, multi-touch interfaces and more about The Sims (and how it differs from TSO).
Despite the fact that I cannot release it, what I created is really worth seeing, and I wouldn’t want people to think I was lying about the whole thing. Therefore, I’ve prepared a video created with the final iOS build I produced, showing all implemented features in action (running on iPhone SE):
You will notice many bugs. You will notice that the game sometimes stutters, especially at three speed. All of these issues are caused by lack of optimisation – with some amount of work the game could run smooth as butter at all times on devices such as the iPhone SE and 6. It’s a great proof of concept for how the FreeSO engine was extensible enough to quickly run TS1’s game objects and logic with a flexibility not possible with the original game engine. I’m personally fine with simply showing such an achievement was possible.
The last version did not have build/buy, the fame system, save games and many other things, so it was far from playable.
Simitone’s fallback purpose
Though I cannot release mobile projects, I can release what I have as an alternative Windows client. This client is currently very useful for examining how TS1 objects work. In the future, it could improve the playability of the game on high resolution monitors.
The Simitone replacement game client has therefore been released on Github for use on Windows Only. This is not open source in the same vein as FreeSO – the Simitone frontend is entirely a personal project, and has all rights reserved… for now. FreeSO is a subproject of Simitone, which all sources and rights are still available for. The FreeSO engine actually contains most of the parts of , as you can see through its hybrid mode.
I was working on the TS1 port because it was something I enjoyed doing. I quickly became passionate about finding the right ways to handle the UI for the game on mobile devices. While I am alright with this outcome, getting knocked out of working on it has caused me to burn out a little.
The reality is that I cannot keep working on this project forever. Over the past three years, I have hoped that I would eventually be able to pass development onto a community of developers, and then progress to do my own thing. Despite some individual developers implementing crucial game features, (ddfczm long term, and The Architect for some recent object plugins) this community of developers has not materialised. The truth is, finding developers for an open source MMO server is incredibly difficult for a number of obvious factors: we need a ton of experience, a self-driven attitude and dedication to TSO. These things do not seem to overlap very often.
I am currently working on this project while unemployed. While I do enjoy it, neither leeching off of others or starving to death are the best I can do with my life. I wouldn’t take donations for ethical and personal reasons anyways, let alone potential legal issues.
For now, I will be taking a break for a few weeks to figure things out, after I push some fixes for stuck lots, the killer Mina.NET bug and a fix for some error 23s.
12 thoughts on “TS1 iOS Port Cancelled”
Thank you Rhys for working on this project and all the time you put into it. It really was cool to see that something like this was possible and though a lot of us were excited to see it come to fruition, we are happy enough to see that someone like you is taking the time to bring games like FreeSO back into reality. I think, even when creating something as fun as FreeSO, one should always make sure that their own wellbeing comes first, so take care of yourself ^_^
Hi Rhys, I know it’s tough news but don’t give up. You have come a long way, but of course you were always going to be faced with EA at some point like this.
I know it’s not the best news, but maybe you will be better off focusing your efforts towards the PC/Mac version instead. Who knows the future once that is stable and well presentable.
Maybe EA will adopt it as their own, for all we know they may see the community an popularity grow of FreeSO and be more likely to take your development skills under their wing.
Keep up the good work, as much as you can and don’t give up.
You have done a fantastic job mate,
Plus mate, there is nothing to stop you taking personal donations.
Paypal.me – there is no affiliation with the game it is “personal support for your development time and research”.
I hope that helps mate 🙂
Damn, it really sucks that EA decided to do a cease and desist on your TS1 port project, it would be fine if they, at the very least, decided to provide their own solution (or at least re-release The Sims 1 in a modern platform) but noooo, they just don’t care about The Sims 1 at all.
I was really looking forward to your The Sims 1 port, and I’m glad of all your work you made to it, your gameplay video shows that your port is fine and polished (aside from some gameplay bugs that I’m sure you would be able to fix it), man… fuck EA. (if they hired you to make a official TS1 port for mobile devices I would throw money at you, but the chances of this happening is 0% because they simply doesn’t care about TS1)
Man.. you were putting in work though! I was waiting for that iOS version.. micro transactions are ruining games and filling corporate pockets. They don’t know how awesome this past Sims iteration was and how you were making it rise from its grave beautifully lol. If they don’t want you to tackle this yourself for whatever legal reason, they should at least port The Sims Complete Collection up to be playable on newer PC/Mac specs. Either way you took this on, and made it look beautiful with improved…everything! You’ve got amazing talent.. I wish the best and hope to see you again of other games you decided to develop! ^_^
Unsurprising. I can’t wait for EA’s attempt at TSO mobile in five years. It’ll be half-baked, will look worse than TS1 (probably because it is trying to run visuals that look like TS4 and failing to do so), and your re-imagining of the old game will probably do everything better.
You keep up the great work, though! I like your guys’ efforts and have had a lot of fun revisiting an old world.
I’m a bit confused. Does this mean Freeso on PC is dead as well?
No… the article states that neither FreeSO or TS1 are coming to mobile. PC versions of both are permitted (FreeSO will continue to be developed, TS1, who knows).
We all really appreciate the effort you put into this project. It’s pretty sad when fans of the game care about it more than the original developers. EA could’ve handled this much better, but unfortunately they’re a bunch of greedy assholes that don’t care about what their customers want. I mean, just look at The Sims Mobile game they recently came out with, bunch of garbage that no one wanted.
This is such sad news.
As I said on your earlier post, I was really hoping we could see a release for PC, to play The Sims 1 with your enhancements. You mention there is something to download for windows but I didn’t really understand that.