Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The story of Janet

Over two years ago, Firemonkeys (EA) released an update called the "Neighbors" update for the Sims Freeplay. This was the update that allowed us players to visit towns of other players (through Facebook friends or Game Center friends). While this caused panic for some who used real names in the game, for others it was a wonderful opportunity to see the creativity of others with their own eyes.


Of course this wasn't without bugs. Many encountered a bug -which I dubbed "Todd's Town bug"- causing the game to crash. The name for the bug is because people found their game stuck on "Visiting Todd's Town", despite having visited a friend. Some needed to reset their game and download the last save from the (Firemonkeys) cloud, others got a "ghost" visitor. In my case I got a Janet in one of my towns. Janet was (and still is) a ghost visitor, but she has her own "home".

Her home is an empty lot. Not just empty as you'd find them in the game, but completely lacking ground, fences, mailbox, bin and roads. The good news was (and still is) that it has a grid to place things on it! So the obvious choice was... A space ship!

Over time Janet's space ship expanded, she even has two pets (which no longer is possible). Other things changed too. At first she didn't count towards the inhabitants count, then at some point she did. She was accessible through the job, hobby and relationship tracker, but during the Life Dreams and Legacies update she disappeared from the first two, leaving her only visible in relationships.That is still the case...

Today I was fooling around with my old Nexus 7 (model 2012) on which I had reinstalled an old custom Android version (Chameleon OS 0.8, Jelly Bean 4.3). I had also reinstalled Sims Freeplay and started a new game. When I decided to visit my own town from there, the game crashed. It crashed so badly that it didn't start again, not even after a reboot. (The nightmare some of you know all too well.) I was stubborn and didn't want to load up the cloud save, instead I tried a few possible solutions. I deleted the cache of the game, but no luck there, it still crashed. I rebooted into the TWRP recovery I have installed and deleted the Dalvik cache and regular cache, then restarted. After a few minutes I was back into my OS and much to my surprise, the game started and my Sim was back at home. I didn't notice anything odd and went on with the "Breadwinner" quest. At some point I opened up the relationship tracker and there was.... A Janet!!! She too has an empty lot on which things can be build.

Needless to say, I tried again with one of my older test towns. But no matter what I did or which town I visited, I can't get it to crash again.

Here is a video I made in early 2014 about Janet...