Was The Sims 2 written by amateurs?

Sometimes you encounter some pretty ridiculous things in commercial software. I bought The Sims 2 for Stephanie, something to distract her from grad school, and was horrified to see that it installs over 300 MB of save data to your My Documents folder, whether you like it or not. There is no option to do otherwise. This is a problem for us because we off-site backup our My Documents folders daily.

Honestly, who hard-codes a path into an application? That's like a newbie programming move, and this is a game with a gigantic budget. While the game is cool, there are other things I'm suspect about, like ridiculously long load times and really choppy graphics when the scene isn't that complex.

I hope that RCT3 performs well when it comes out next month. The first two were brilliant but they had the benefit of being written by one guy, with a cohesive vision and serious assembly language skills. I think RCT3 could be bigger than Sims 2 if Atari markets it right.


  • I never thought I'd do this, but in this case, I'm going to go to bat for Electronic Arts.

    In the past, game developers would save their games to the installation directory, or a subdirectory of the installation directory.

    This was good in that all of the related files for a program were in one place. However, it had one major flaw on NT-based architectures...it required the user to run as an Administrator.

    As more and more people run as Limited users, game developers found they needed a space to save their data in such a way that Limited users could run the game without being an Admin.

    They started using the per-user temporary file area for data caching rather than a subfolder in the game install directory, and started saving saved games to each user's "My Documents" folder. After all, for most Limited users, that is the ONLY non-locked down location on the entire computer.

    In a game like "The Sims," where half of the appeal seems to be sharing what you have done with the world (at least when I look at the community, that's what I see), it makes sense to save the saved games there, rather than dump them in your Application Data folder.

  • I agree, it's absurd that you cannot choose your own location for these files. I run a small C drive on my system and this causes big problems

  • Sims 2 can ONLY be run as admin, so it was written by amateurs

  • Actually, I have my my docs folder on my D drive and that's where it puts it.

  • My daughter uses the game; I have no clue about it's workings past loading the software. She has bought the second expansion pac, but the instructions state that the previous game must be "saved" before loading the new versions. How is that done.

    Thanks to anyone that can help, I am stuck.


  • Just to add: it has to store such a high capacity from the outset because the neighbourhoods are dynamic from the beginning (obvious i guess).

  • Sigh... you made a stupid argument, congratulations.

    A) Backup software is for idiots. Smart people save their data in a "safe location" from the start.

    B) If you use backup software that doesn't allow you to exclude a folder and its subfolders you're worse than those who need backups.

    C) Most games don't allow you to change the path anyways (And many games use My Documents as the save path). (And why would you even DREAM of NOT hardcoding paths? Thats so, amature, and it's not like other games don't hardcode their paths too.

    D) If you have long load times, you have worse hardware than I (512 MB, ATI 200M, 1.8 AMD Sempron). Or perhaps, you don't enhance your system. You want absurd loadtimes? Try HL2, on high settings it can take more than five min to load. (Although initial load is much longer as more information is 'processed'). (Mind you, the graphics aren't choppy so you MUST have a severly antiquated computer... or probally just don't have a graphics card.)

    E) 300MB isn't that much (Now its 1 GB) but even I questioned why... until I looked inside. The game appears to make hundreds of small files, each of these probally is a sim. Now it is VERY amature of them not compressing their save files (I got a 19% compression ratio with winzip)

    End run, stop complaining about stuff that doesn't matter... and this wasn't what I was looking for.

  • What kind of jerk writes that much about something three years old when it wasn't even what he was looking for?

    Are you a moron? What will you do if your house burns down? And when it comes to saving things in a "safe place," which part of you don't have a choice did you not understand?

  • Even though I don't entirely agree with your article (for most of the reasons already mentioned), and this topic is 3 years old, the simple answer to your question is 'yes'. Yes, The Sims 2 was written by amatures.

    EA mostly employs gung-ho, fresh-out-of-university, good-for-the-coding-farm amateures.

    Hope that satisfies your curiosity!

  • You all are stupid! You can't claim how The Sims2 was writen because you didn't write it! I hate the fact that it is hardcoded to drive C, my Sims folder is more than 2 Gb! But I'm not going to complain and claim my own opinion is the only valid one because I'm not a stupid hippy or a pansy.

  • Fanboy ahoy!

    "The limitations suck, and I agree with your issues, but you're still a stupid hippy or pansy!"

  • This might just be the most unproductive comment trail ever...

  • Probably was but who cares! It's a great game.

  • Lots of games seem to think they know better than the users and lots of programmers think that giving the user too many options is a bad idea. You may not agree with their philosophy, but that doesn't make them amateurs.

    And, anyways, using a symlink, you can redirect any content to a blank NTFS folder. So redirect "%userprofile%\My Documents\EA Games\The Sims 2" to the folder of your choice. And, as Ana said, disable the backup of the original folder.

    If you don't know how to create a symlink (and I'm guessing by the comments that no one here does) click on my URL.

  • Sorry. I found out that Junction points may not work over the network, so this URL links to instructions on how to do that.

  • By "safe place", he means install it there.
    Like the guy who put "My documents" on D:

  • This makes me laugh.
    I google how to back-up my Sims 2 Data and I come to this article. I read every comment XD
    Jeff isn't looking for any real answers, most of his were rhetorical questions, he just wants people to agree with him.
    I'm 13 and I still don't understand the fights you can stir up through the InTerNeT.

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