FarSight is a MacOS utility that enables editing of the textures and other resources used in The Sims, a great game by Maxis.

Most of the data in the game is stored in file archives (FARs). Within those archives, much of the data is easily recognizable -- for example, all the textures are stored as BMP (bitmap) files.

FarSight lets you browse the contents of a FAR archive, and extract any item into its own separate file. It will even preview most BMP files for you (but it will extract any file at all). You can then use your favorite editing tools (I recommend GraphicConverter) to edit these files to your heart's content, or replace them completely.

Then, here's the neat bit. The clever folks at Maxis designed their game such that, if a file with the name they're looking for exists in the same folder as the FAR file, it will use that file rather than the one in the FAR. So, to override a particular texture, just extract it into the same folder as the FAR it came from, edit it, and leave it there. If you later get sick of it, just delete that file, and the game will resume using the one in the FAR archive.


Click one of the following links, depending on what version of MacOS you're using:

for Mac OS X: http://www.strout.net/files/farsight.sit.hqx (1 MB)

for MacOS 8-9: http://www.strout.net/files/farsight-classic.sit.hqx (930 K)

The latest version is FarSight 1.2. See the Release Notes for recent changes.

System Requirements: FarSight requires a PowerPC running MacOS 8.1 or later.

License: FarSight is freeware -- share and enjoy. Just don't modify it in any way, or separate the application from its "Read Me" file. (If you really feel a need to thank me financially, buy a copy of Meshwork!)


FarSight was written by Joe Strout using REALbasic. It is freeware, sponsored by Codenautics, makers of Meshwork and other cool stuff (including a free game called Wumpus!). It is also sponsored by the Mac Web Directory, your starting point for all things Macintosh. Thanks go to Aladrin Kelahn for help with the FAR file format.

Related Links

(I used to have quite a few more here, but most of them have since decayed; you're probably better off just searching Google for "Sims Macintosh".)