The following is to aid users in understanding phenomena that occur when their Sims in The Sims 2 act like age groups other than what they are, and how to treat these maligned bits of code to keep them from damaging the integrity of the game.
Problem: "Eeeeck!!!! My Sim Toddler is acting like a baby! My Adult thinks he's a Teen! Ahh...etc..."
When Sims don't behave according to their age band, then this is the result of something called the Boddler Glitch.
What is a Boddler?
Main article: The Sims 2 Condition and Bug Dictionary
The broadest definition of a "boddler" in any game environment is:
"...any object with multiple layers of code language and logic, in which the stability of the object depends on a synchronization of the logic in the layers, but in which those layers have lost synchronization and become maligned, leading to a useless object that could endanger the stability of the entire game..."
In other words, a "boddler" in the most generic sense is any object which does not behave the way its design seems to indicate that it's supposed to. Not all boddlers are inherently dangerous to all games, as not all of them are the result of data corruption.
Some can be created deliberately and are exploited for humorous purposes:
- In Medal of Honor: Frontline for Playstation 2, for example, one could argue that the game has deliberate "boddlers."
- The "Men With Hats" cheat, for example, makes Nazis wear french fries, entire trains, weapons, and various other random objects as hats. This would therefore be a deliberate instance of a boddler, done for comedic purposes.
Since the term "boddler" originates with The Sims 2, however, the following describes the "boddler" with more distinction:
- The term "boddler" with a small "b" defines any object with maligned code, or else any object whose encoded behavior is inconsistent with its geometry. This could be deliberate or the result of data corruption.
- The term "Boddler" with a capital "B" defines the confusion of "Baby" and "Toddler" by the game's aging simulator, and is usually the result of data corruption to the character file. When your Sims don't act in accordance with their age, it is literally because the game's Aging Simulator has become confused about which age group they truly belong to.
Main article: Boddler sub-classes
Given that the game has six stages to a Sim's life, seven with the University Expansion installed, that means that there are between 30 and 40 different ways in which a Sim's age might become confused by the game.
The reason for this is that the game's understanding of "age" functions based on both the geometric (actual) age of the character, and the virtual (AI) age for the character.
Anyone who has ever used SimPE would understand that the "age" you select is the age AI, the character's virtual age. Under normal circumstances, the game won't confuse the virtual and the geometric age of the characters. But if you do have such an instance occur, it can vary from a minor annoyance to a serious problem.
For purposes here, only a few of the types of age band problems will be focused on. Most of the types of Boddlers are actually extremely rare, and some normally can only exist if created on purpose. Therefore, the majority of this article will deal with how to address the most common problems: the Boddler, the Bault, and the Tendault.
What is BI-SWILS?
Boddler-Induced Social Worker Infinite Loop Syndrome, or BI-SWILS, is a Task Normalcy Fatality Loop condition that occurs in The Sims 2 when a Social Worker NPC cannot haul a character off of a lot due to the improper alignment of character age data (AI) with character geometry (skeleton), which leads to a failure of the animation scripts upon which the game depends to function properly.
"Boddler Glitch" vs. "BI-SWILS"
- The Boddler Glitch is when a Boddler, for whatever reason, occurs.
- BI-SWILS is when the existence of a Boddler glitch on a particular lot leads to the Social Worker locking up the game indefinitely.
Typical BI-SWILS Scenario
The basic way in which it works is as follows:
- Corrupted character shows up on lot.
- Under normal game conditions, there is no way for the player to control the corrupted character.
- The AI involves Baby behavior, thereby ensuring that all animations and pie menu options that might help get one out of a jam are inaccessible.
- Due to the improper alignment of AI and Geometry, the figure cannot execute animation scripts, leading to the game's infamous notice of: "Animation Error: IK Target Animation cannot find bone on other object."
- Because the game believes the character to be a Baby due to relying on observing the AI assignment rather than the skeletal one (C++ environment trumps Maya environment), it expects the player to deal with the character the same way as one deals with a Baby.
- Since the above is impossible logically, the Boddler is neglected.
- The Social Worker NPC notices this neglect, and shows up to "rescue the baby."
- The presence of the Social Worker locks up the game, not allowing the player any means of escape until the Social Worker leaves.
- Since the Social Worker has the same animation dependence and restrictions as normal Adult Sims, she cannot pick up the Boddler either. More animation errors occur.
- The game is locked almost indefinitely in that sequence, creating a virtual infinite loop.
- The player cannot exit the game, save, exit to the neighborhood, etc. The surest safe way out for Windows players is to use the Windows Task Manager. The Simsky Antidisasta Remote may help players exit their games without task management, but is not guaranteed to address all problems.
How infection occurs
Main article: List of conditions that can lock up The Sims 2.
Corruption of your game can occur for numerous reasons. Some are obscure, others are the logical consequence of abusing cheat codes. BI-SWILS is not the only thing that can go wrong with your game that can cause corruption.
There are several ways to create a Boddler instance, and several reasons one may be generated on its own. Some are inherent problems that occur with the game's own faulty mechanics. Others are logic problems that need to be induced. In addition to age data confusion, the game can also get confused about whether or not a vehicle has returned to a lot. Faulty custom content can also corrupt both lots and characters on those lots. Obstacles to a Social Worker's path can cause any variety of malfunctions, these obstacles including closed-in walls trapping children and even the Social Worker trying to take away a child that has already died.
Involuntary infections can happen if the game acts up, or if some other prior condition is met which causes the character age behavior data and the skeletal data to become maligned.
- Obsolete hacks - If using an outdated version of a hack from TwoJeffs or JM Pescado of More Awesome Than You, such as the No Townie Respawn and No Dormie Regeneration hacks, then this can render the game's Townie generation engine unstable rather than simply disabling it. This problem is especially prevalent in University. SimPE users will notice that the hack does not always align age and geometry of characters properly. By default, any character with unknown age data is treated like a Baby by the game. This can lead to several instances of Baults (Adult skeletons that the game thinks are Babies,) especially during the generation of
- SimPE errors - An error when using SimPE can cause corruption of character file data.
- The InSimenator - Improper loading of the InSimenator, especially old versions, can cause bad character data.
- The University expansion - Installation errors of University can make the game particularly prone to bad character data. Character data in the original game and in University is inherently prone to data errors. The Nightlife expansion pack corrects many of these problems.
- Bad hardware - Playing the game on aging, underpowered, and/or defective hardware is likely to cause significant thrashing of the hard drive, which can lead to data copy errors that can increase the likelihood of corrupt character data.
Careless or deliberate abuse of 3rd-party software, patches, hacks, and even the game's built-in cheat functions will almost invariably increase the likelihood of Boddlers.
- Trash can abuse - It is possible to enable the deleting of Sims on a lot and then using a debug option on the trash can to bring them back. However, the behavior quirk of the game, according to JM Pescado at one time, is that it will always return them to their last-saved state, not their state before deletion.
NOTE: This has been the nature of the game "since the original game The Sims hit store shelves in 2000." If a Baby ages to a Toddler, save the game before you delete the toddler. Also, if you delete the Toddler before saving, then exit without saving. DO NOT bring the Toddler back and then save!
If you bring the Toddler back and then save, the Toddler will retain its Toddler skeleton but the game will think the Toddler is a Baby. Saved, this becomes a basic-class Boddler. This creature is useless and can lock-up the game. It will make your lot unplayable and unsafe for uploading.
- InSimenator/InTeenimator abuse - While this is a little trickier, abusing the InSimenator and/or the InTeenimator will increase the likelihood of age behavior problems.
- Summoner abuse - If a character has bad data and you are aware of it, fix them in SimPE before using the InSimenator's Summoner object to haul them around amongst lots.
- University NPCs - Moving unpatched University NPC's into residential homes will increase the likelihood of problems.
- SimPE abuse - This is the absolute easiest way to add these illnesses to the game. Players should never misuse SimPE.
It is entirely possible to avoid ever having to worry about Boddlers. The following steps should help:
- Never abuse the cheat system.
- Keep a copy of the latest version of SimPE handy at all times just in case.
- Never abuse SimPE.
- Never abuse the Trash Can's "Reset Age Duration" feature.
- Make sure your hardware is fairly recent and can handle the game before installing it.
- Never play University unpatched. Preferably, get at least Nightlife to assist in patching it.
- Don't move University NPC's into residential homes.
- Use all hacks with caution and read the documentation provided by the authors.
Main article: Boddler infection treatment
If you are infected with a Boddler in any of its classes or sub-classes, then there are easy ways to fix the problem. There are in-game solutions that come standard, but the use of the InSimenator's Temporal Adjustor and of the external program SimPE are recommended for better accuracy. See the above article for technical explanations.
Corrupted characters moving in
This is very common when you have University and no other expansion, especially if you are fooling around with NPCs. The steps to treat them are the same as those for treating Trash can abuse.
Adults acting like Teens, but why?
A Tendault is any Adult that somehow obeys Teen behavior in spite having an Adult skeleton. Basically, it's an Adult that the game thinks is a Teen. Without woo-hoo hacks, this means that the resulting Adult will be infertile. They will otherwise behave like they should. They may have Teen needs and education/job structures.
The solution to a Tendault is simple: Use the Tombstone of Life and Death to Age Transition them. They will keep their Adult skeleton but will change their default everyday outfit. They will now, however, properly behave like Adults.