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News Archive - February, 2006
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Wednesday 1 February 2006
German OfB Preview with Screens
Written at 23:04 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Forgotten earlier is one of the reports made from Tim LeTourneau's presentation in Germany almost two weeks ago. Fansite TheSims.de has posted its first impressions of the new expansion pack. Along with the preview, in German, they have posted several screenshots and videos of the game. You can find all the material in their OfB Special.
 
9 Open for Business Screenshots
Written at 23:13 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
German website PCGames.de has recently published a couple of screenshots, nine in total, of the Sims 2 Open for Business. The magazine has received a test copy of the game, with which they made the screenshots. They were posted with a small preview in which the first impressions of PCGames are mentioned. For all nine screenshots head over to their gallery.
 
First Shopping Packs in sight
Written at 23:27 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Several names have appeared in surveys for new, small, expansion packs: it started with "Booster Packs," followed by "Shopping Packs," and recently they were called "Sims 2 Stuff." The Sims 2 Holiday Party Pack is what could be considered such a pack, but now the next two of the Shopping packs (which seems to be the final name) have made an appearance. Expected on 26 April is the pack called "Family Fun Shopping Pack," followed by the "Glamour Shopping Pack" at 24 June. If this is the start of a trend, two shopping packs can be expected between every two expansion packs, making an annual total of 2 expansion packs and 4 shopping packs - something new every 2 months. Both themes weren't specifically mentioned in the last survey.

The packs are now listed at at least two Australian shops, dStore and GameHead, for roughly $30 Australian each (about $22 US, or £12). The amount of objects in the pack is unsure. It started off with 125 objects in the first survey, down to 75 in the second and roughly 60 in the latest. The definite answer will probably be given by EA in the future. As more details arrive in the future, we'll let you know in this news section. Thanks to SnootySims for posting the links.
 
Tim LeTourneau Interviewed
Written at 23:36 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Tim LeTourneau was recently in Europe, and while he was there he also gave an interview to a local Dutch paper. Fansite SnootySims has translated the interview from the "Brabants Dagblad" to English. In the interview Tim tells how University didn't score that well in Europe because of the American style it was in. Maxis has learned from the experience, and from the active Sims community. He also gives a little hint as to something that might appear in the next expansion pack: thousands of players have requested the ability for Sims to grow their own vegetables (says the original Dutch text), and Tim says it's natural that Maxis adds in the option in an official expansion pack. The topic of gardening also appeared in previous surveys, in combination with farming, which shows that Maxis is probably seriously considering this for the future. So far this is all still speculation though, without any official confirmation.

Furthermore in the interview, Tim also says that the Sims is an idealistic world, which is very optimistic. Without war, or a long-term memory, players are able to connect to the virtual characters. In the real world, Sims probably wouldn't be able to survive. For more details, read the full interview.
 

Saturday 4 February 2006
New OfB Podcast
Written at 14:58 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
After a bit of silence when it comes to podcasts, Maxoid Dano has created a new one, which can now be found on the official site. This time senior producers Tim LeTourneau and Don Laabs tell about the game. Tim reveals that he's passing on his job as senior producer to Don. Tim will still be active in the Sims community, though he doesn't say what it'll be. Now when it comes to Open for Business, they answer a few of almost 1,000 questions that Maxis received. The first one is about robots, and Tim and Don give away five of them, supposedly the full list: Munchie bot (which probably serves food), Hydro bot (which waters plants), Sentry bot (which protects homes and businesses), a toy robot and Servo, the alternative life form for this expansion pack. Servo become controllable as soon as you activate it, like any other Sim in the family.

Next they tell that the existing skills help getting the talent badges a bit faster. At University you are able to build up a few skills and build up a network, but otherwise going to college has no advantage for starting a business. There are 7 talents in total, each with three badges (Bronze, Silver and Gold). You start off with no badge at all. The seven talents are for flower arranging, robot making, toy making, sales, restocking, the register and cosmetology.

To download and listen to the podcast, check out the news page for links. You can also listen to previous podcasts.
 
OfB Designer Walkthrough Video
Written at 15:47 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Maxis has created a new walkthrough video for the Sims 2 Open for Business. This time Hunter Howe takes you through the new expansion pack in over 7 minutes time. He shows a toy store, which has a crafting room to start with. A Sim with a gold talent badge for toy making allows him to create all kinds of toys, customizing them slightly. Uploading the lot to the exchange will include the customised objects in the download, so whoever downloads a lot gets your objects in it. You can also put the objects or anything else from the catalog for sale, setting the price as well.

Next Hunter shows a store that's opening up, and the first customer of the day browsing around a bit. Andy brings the buy bar of the customer down a bit, by failing miserably at trying to sell something. Sims looking around confused need some help from your salesmen. Good salesmen, with the golden sales talent badge, are able to use the dazzle interaction, making customers enthousiastic and buy stuff they might not really need. The customers buying stuff are likely to give you some loyalty stars which rank up your business. You can also buy perks with them, and Hunter shows the motivational speech interaction, which is one of the perks. He also shows setting the price for all items that are for sale. Still Andy is failing to succeed, so he's fired.

Finally, on another lot, Hunter shows some of the new build and buy mode features. From mascots to elevators, the salon chair and crafted toys. You can also spot some awnings and new roof shapes along the way. You can download the movie from the official movies page, or from the Open for Business trailers page, where it's named "Official Movie 1."
 
New H-Mail
Written at 16:10 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Hunter Howe has sent out his second e-mail for Open for Business, with a new update about the expansion pack. This time it's all about the new build mode features. Awnings come in various styles, and can be built in pretty much any shape. Elevators are also new, and are somewhat magical. They can rotate during their trip. Shaft pieces allow the elevator to skip a floor, whereas the door piece (2x2 squares big, 3x2 including the reserved tiles in front of the door) can let your Sims in and out. Plummeting elevators can drain the needs of the Sims in the elevator a lot, causing death as ultimate result if the needs are too low. Woohoo increases the risk of a crashing lift. Split levels are also new, and allow you to make stages or little pvaillions. Finally Hunter mentions the new dome, cone and octagon shaped roofs that you can put down instead of the usual ones. A new windmill ploppable can also be seen in one of the five included screenshots. You can see those together below, just click the thumbnails for large versions. The whole email, with the same screenshots, is behind the read more link (or below if that isn't here).

Open for Business: The Modern Awning Open for Business: Elevator Interior Open for Business: New Roofs Open for Business: Split Levels at a Coffeeshop Open for Business: Split Levels at Home
 
Read More!


Wednesday 8 February 2006
New Open for Business Screens
Written at 21:14 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The official Dutch website has posted two new screenshots of Open for Business, this time showing a not so successful hair salon and the other one showing the sales social. As usual you can find the screenshots below. By clicking the thumbnails you'll get bigger versions of them.

Bad Salon Sales Social
 
Valentine Downloads Available
Written at 21:25 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Maxis celebrates a lot of holidays and festivities with downloads they make available for the Sims 2. This is no different with Valentine's day next week. Five new downloads should help your Sims have a lovely day. First of all there's Sergeant Cuddlewumps, a pink teddybear dressed in a shirt with a heart. The Wigglers of Love, complete with Sim, gives your Sim the opportunity to look cute with a special hat. The third download is a new painting,a pink I Heart Art painting. Another new Sim is brought in the shape and clothes of Fiona, a set of undies produced after years of scientific research. Finally there's one more thing for your Sims to wear, namely some Heartwarming shades, demonstrated by Carrie. A special Valentine's page gives another overview of all the downloads that are available for this year's day of love.
 
OfB Podcast Part 2
Written at 21:45 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Recently the first part of a podcast with Senior Producers Tim LeTourneau and Don Laabs was posted, all about Open for Business. Maxis has posted the second part of this now, offering another 11 minutes of questions and answers about the upcoming expansion pack. In it they tell that, to start a home business, you'll need to pick up the phone to let the council know you're running one. It's cheap to start with, and apparently one technique is to sell the trees on the lot to make a bit of money. When it comes to mentoring, Don tells that your Sim can mentor family members. By doing so, the family member will gain the perks, from the bottom up, that the mentor Sim has earned along the way. You can only mentor the skill based perks though, and not the cash ones. Tim also says that the business system is flexible, and new expansion packs will take into account that Open for Business is out there, and you can run businesses with the new objects from those packs.

Regarding the split levels, the producers say that altering the height of it will not be possible. New music styles include "New Wave", with famous acts from the 80s like Depeche Mode, Howard Jones and Kajagoogoo, who have recorded their work in Simlish. The favourite bug from Don is that Sims would get lost in the elevator - they'd go in, but after that they wouldn't come out of it. Ladies of the evening businesses are possible too, but considering the way the game works, it'll take a lot of effort and won't be the most efficient way to earn money. Jealousy can also kick in a lot that way.

To listen to the podcast, check the corresponding news post for download and subscription links.
 
New Nightlife Patch
Written at 22:04 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Less than a month before the release of Open for Business, Maxis has addressed several issues with Nightlife in an updated patch. 29 Problems that weren't fixed with the first patch have been solved now. The patch also contains all the fixes that were in the previous patch as well. Here's a summary of the newly fixed problems:
  • Fixed an issue where NPC Mrs. Crumplebottom was causing objects.package to be corrupt.
  • Addressed an issue where cell phones could not be placed in a Sims inventory before making a phone call on it first.
  • Dorm Cooks will no longer duplicate on previously played lots after installing Nightlife.
  • Sims will no longer get a memory of making out with themselves in the hot tub under certain conditions.
  • The Mad Scientist career track will no longer have a conflicting message about missing a day of work and having the day off.
  • Moving lots with University Graduates into the Sim Bin and back into the neighborhood will no longer cause all of the diplomas to belong to one Sim, instead the will belong to their original owners.
  • Sims will now be able to use Cell Phones and MP3 players if placed on tables.
  • Young Adult Male Sims can no longer get pregnant and give birth by using the Electro Dance Sphere.
  • Vampire NPC's can now be influenced to drink Vamprocillin-D properly.
  • Sims can now work out if there is a rug in front of the TV.
  • Computers are no longer able to be placed in a Sims inventory if the computers are turned on.
  • Sims playing the hand held games will no longer get a memory about meeting themselves.
  • Fixed an issue where University Sims were randomly getting taken back to their original neighborhood during their Freshman year.
  • Fixed a rare occurring of an issue where Sims could not move off of a University lot after graduating.
  • Teen Sims age transitioning directly to an Adult Sim that has chosen not to go to college will no longer receive a memory that they have completed their Freshman year.
  • Having a Family Reunion will no longer overrun the memories panel of a Sim with a memory for every interaction during the Family Reunion party.
  • Fixed an issue so that dorm rooms will be hidden again when Nightlife is installed.
  • The want "Stay Home From Class" can now be fulfilled by Pleasure Aspiration Sims that Skip class.
The full list is available at the Nightlife Update Page, where all bugs as of the Mrs. Crumplebottom one are only fixed in the latest patch. You can download the patch from the same page, or if you don't have Nightlife the general update page gives you link to previous patches (which have not been updated). Note that to install the Nightlife patch, you'll need to have CD 2 in your drive.
 

Sunday 12 February 2006
First Band Podcast: Kajagoogoo
Written at 02:27 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As revealed in the previous podcast about the new PC expansion pack Open for Business, there will be a new "New Wave" music style which features famous bands from the 80s, like Kajagoogoo, Howard Jones and Depeche Mode. Each of them will be featured in their own podcast, with Kajagoogoo being the first one. In the same podcast there's an introduction with Maxis Sound Director Robi Kauker first though. He tells that besides the three mentioned bands, some music of The Epoxies will also make an appearance in the game. There will also be a New Wave edition of the Sims 2 theme song, as well as more tunes in build and buy mode by Mark Mothersbaugh, the composer of the original tune of the game. He also says which tunes have been re-recorded in Simlish: Kajagoogoo has done "Too Shy," Howard Jones went back to record "Things only get Better," and Depeche Mode recorded a new song called "Suffer Well."

Nick Beggs (Lead Vocalist) and Steve Askew (Guitarist) are the two band members representing Kajagoogoo this podcast. They were honoured to perform for the game, and remaking Too Shy did take them back to that moment in the 80s, with the technology they used to use then. Nick also enjoyed learning the Simlish. They also tell how they played early versions of SimCity on their Atari. The Sims got attention from the singer through his daughter who plays the game. It's the first time Kajagoogoo recorded anything for games. On a slightly different note, they tell about their influence from bands like Yes, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. For more information about the band, visit Kajagoogoo.com. To listen to the podcast, check out its corresponding news post at the official site.
 
Valentines E-Card
Written at 02:30 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Valentine is coming up next weekend, and the official site is taking it serious. Besides earlier downloads, Maxis has now also expanded their collection of postcards with a Valetine one. You can now send an electronic message to your sweetie, all in Sims style of course. Check out the postcards to send it.
 
Are you an Entrepreneur?
Written at 02:39 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
With the upcoming release of The Sims 2 Open for Business, Maxis has put a quiz online, with which you can check if you're a good at running a business. The small quiz takes only a few minutes to fill in, after which you'll immediately get an answer about how successful you'd be when trying to run a business in the world of the Sims. Take the quiz to see if you've got the skills to pay the bills.
 
Sims Dating Game
Written at 03:01 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
On EA's games site Pogo.com a new Sims-related game has appeared, in the theme of Valentine. In the Sims Virtual Date game you have to pick a date, and take him or her out, following a couple of multiple-choice options to determine the success of your date. If you play between now and Valentine's day, you'll be able to win a diamond necklace (be sure to read the rules, US and Canada only, Rhode Island and Quebec not included). The older Sims Pogo game, The Sims Pinball is also still available. Thanks to the Dutch fansite The Hub for spotting the game.
 

Wednesday 15 February 2006
Howard Jones Videocast
Written at 22:30 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
After Kajagoogoo was interviewed by Dano earlier this week, it's now been MaxoidMonkey's turn to interview Howard Jones about his music in Simlish, which will appear in Open for Business in the New Wave radio station. Jones tells a bit about his music, and how his son plays the Sims 2. When asked about the music he made for the game, he says recording "Things Can only get Better" in Simlish was very challenging to do, but it was a lot of fun and the result is good. He also says that if he was a Sim, he'd probably listen to Kraftwerk. A game about himself would be about travelling around the world, and making the electronic equipment work. You can find out more about the artist at HowardJones.com, where you can also get ringtones, lyrics, pictures and more. The whole interview, just over 3 minutes long, can be found through the iTunes Subscription or on the Sims 2 website's Podcast page. There you'll be able to get two versions, a high resolution one (9.0 Mb), and a low resolution one (2.6 Mb).
 
Valentines Videos
Written at 22:38 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Yesterday was Valentines day, which was a reason for Maxis to release two new videos of Open for Business. They are in the spirit of the romantic day. The first is all about a relationship that doesn't seem to be too great, whereas the second one shows some Sims gussying up to get ready for their date. As usual you can find the videos on the Open for Business videos page, on the official site. Both videos are about one minute long, and require QuickTime to be played.
 
OfB Gone Gold; 4 Screenshots
Written at 23:26 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The latest expansion pack for the Sims 2, Open for Business, has gone gold. EA has announced that today in a press release. The game, now coming off the presses and being packaged, will appear on American shelves on Thursday 2 March (just 15 days from now), the UK will follow a day later. The release date elsewhere might vary around these dates, though it'll be released in the same week worldwide. To get the game delivered to you on the day of release, you can pre-order the game from our shop. Along with the press release, EA has also sent out 4 new screenshots of the expansion pack, which you can see in their full glory below.

Open for Business Open for Business Open for Business Open for Business
 
Family Fun Stuff (Shopping) Pack Spotted Again
Written at 23:41 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Early this month there were reportings of so-called Shopping Packs being available for pre-order in Australian stores. One of them, the "Family Fun Shopping Pack," has now been discovered on American shops as well, including Amazon. The price for the pack is around $20 (US), and the American name is slightly different, in that it's called "Family Fun Stuff," rather than a shopping pack. Some shops have already removed the product page, like GameStop, and it's unsure how long the existing ones will remain available. This first pack is expected to be released mid April. Naturally we'll keep you updated about the official name, release date, and price, as we get more info.
 

Friday 17 February 2006
Misty Eyes Series
Written at 19:54 by Jendea - 1 comment.

I posted new files under genetics today; the Misty Eyes series in five teary colors for your emotional sims. :)
Enjoy!

You can find them all under Sims2: genetics
or my section:jendea

 

Monday 20 February 2006
"Sims Played By" Campaign Updated
Written at 13:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last year EA launched the "Sims Played By" ("How do you play?") campaign to promote the Sims 2 on all platforms. New stories have been created since, for Open for Business, which will be released soon. EA has now published the 6 new stories - 3 videos and 3 picture stories - on the campaign's website, SimsPlayedBy.com. Fansite SnootySims has posted three stories as they were printed in magazines, all of which you can see by clicking the thumbnails below. The first and last were scanned and submitted by ZemiZem6 from Teen People Magazine, and posted on the official BBS, whereas the second is from Mitch, who has written the story.

Sims Played By Ad Sims Played By Ad Sims Played By Ad
 
New Official Avatar Options
Written at 13:02 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
If you've registered yourself at the official site you might have made a Sims avatar already. Maxis has enhanced this feature last week, by adding a few new bits of content. In the spirit of Open for Business they have added a chef hat, fast food hat, deep dive helm, and apron which you can now use to create your own avatar. If you're logged in, all you need to do is edit your avatar.
 
13 New OfB Screenshots
Written at 13:06 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
With Open for Business just around the corner, websites and magazines are publishing more and more information and screenshots of the game. The German website GameStar is no exception, and has published 13 new screenshots of the expansion pack. There isn't much news to see, but rather it continues on themes that have been seen in many earlier screenshots. See their screenshots gallery for all of them, marked with "Neu".
 
Back of OfB Box Spotted
Written at 13:11 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The online version of the British WoolWorths has published the back of the box for Open for Business. It's not dissimilar to the back of earlier expansion packs, showing some of the new objects and mentioning a couple of features. Click the thumbnail below to see the full image. Thanks to Callum91 at Sims 2 Community for spotting the image.

Open for Business Back Cover
 
GameSpy's SimPrentice Part 2
Written at 13:17 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
A few weeks ago, GameSpy started a new series of articles, called The SimPrentice, as a preview for Open for Business. The second part of the series has now been published on the gaming site, and again Fargo talks to Grubbs, one of the entrepreneurs in the Sims world. It's mostly about the types of businesses you can run in the new expansion pack. Examples given are a toilet store, a toy store with crafted toys, a Rockurary, restaurants, and Grubbs' boutique. All the details are given across 4 pages in The SimPrentice Part 2.
 

Tuesday 21 February 2006
New Nightlife Patch introduces University Bug
Written at 14:17 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The recently released patch for Nightlife isn't perfect according to Maxis. Several users have reported that since installing the patch, students in University (only in combination with the University expansion pack of course) are having problems when class overlaps with the final exam. The game will then make the Sim act as if he or she is going to class rather than the exam, and will mark the Sim has not having attended the final exam. This also hurts the grade of the student in question. Maxis is working on a new patch to solve this problem.

Two work-arounds exist right now. If your student still has enough time before the final exam, you can make them visit a community lot. When returning at home, the clock will not have advanced much, but the time until the final exam has ticked on during the community lot visit. This should make the final exam be before class starts, and thus they won't overlap anymore. Another solution, provided by Maxis, is to move out the Sim and then move them back in. This will reset the time to 8am, without changing the countdown timer to the final exam.

It's unsure if the bug also appears in Open for Business, which has recently gone gold and possibly contains fixes similar to those in the latest Nightlife patch. See the BBS Thread for more details about the problem. The work around is called temporary, until Maxis releases a new patch, which makes it very plausible that they're working on a new one. An estimated date for the release of the patch has not been given. Thanks to Fabian from SimsZone for the link, and Mirena68 on their forums for a community lot workaround.
 

Wednesday 22 February 2006
Howard Jones Audio Podcast
Written at 23:06 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
A week ago Maxis updated their list of podcasts with a new videocast with Howard Jones, one of the singers who has recorded an old hit for Open for Business. Jones answers a few more questions, this time not from MaxoidMonkey but from MaxoidDano. He tells that the Sims 2 is the first videogame he has ever recorded a song for, though he used to play videogames a lot, like "Space Invaders". Howard also tells about his history in the music industry, his inspiration and favourite bands. iTunes users can subscribe to the podcast to hear the latest one. Others can check out the official site's podcast page to download the latest and previous podcasts.
 
New OfB Trailer
Written at 23:20 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
A new trailer of the upcoming expansion Open for Business has been released by EA. This time you get to see a store clerk who prefers parties over work. Nevertheless that doesn't mean his business is unsuccessful. The ad hasn't been posted on the official site yet, but some other sites already do have it. You can find it at GameTrailers under the name "Web Party," or at GamersHell. Thanks to SP Zone and SimsZone for the links.
 

Thursday 23 February 2006
Open for Business Guide Details [Update]
Written at 00:46 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Publisher Prima Games is, as usual with Sims games, publishing a strategy guide for Open for Business. Details of the book have now been put online, and as with the other guides the details of the game are covered in-depth over 208 pages. Although not mentioned, it can be assumed that the book will be in full color, and will also include some essentials for the Sims 2, similar to the Nightlife guide. Some of the topics that will be covered in the book are:
  • The secrets of Talent Badges
  • What makes customers tick and how to use it against them!
  • New objects and socials cataloged for easy reference
  • How to get the most from employees to make your business pay!
  • Elevators and other build mode tools covered so you can make your showrooms sparkle
A cover image of the guide has not been made available yet. A few sample pages might also be given away at a later date, although there's no confirmation about that. You can find above details on Prima's product page, and you can pre-order it from our shop.

[Update 25 February, 14:30] The front cover of the book is now available, and as you can see the guide contains tables for The Sims 2, University and Nightlife. These are probably the essential tables listing objects and such, similar to those included in the Nightlife guide.
 

Saturday 25 February 2006
New OfB Screen
Written at 15:33 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The official Swedish site has posted a new screenshot of the Sims 2 Open for Business. This time you get to see a Sim playing with a toy robot. You can check out the screenshot by clicking the thumbnail below.

Open for Business Toy Robot
 
GameSpy: SimPrentice Part 3 and OfB Review
Written at 15:53 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Gaming site GameSpy has posted two new articles. The first one is the third part of the SimPrentice, in which GameSpy interviews Grubbs, a Sim trying to run a business. This time they cover buying a community lot, and building a salon there using the new building tools. There are also some details about hiring employees, including the talent badges. The robots are also mentioned. A Servo, the family pet robot, will come at a price of 3,000 simoleons when you create it. Finally there's a little note about a reviewer, who comes in to rate your business. For more details read The SimPrentice Part 3. Naturally it comes with several screenshots.

GameSpy has also had the privilege to post the first online review of the game. One of the first things they note is that Open for Business works best in combination with the earlier released expansion pack Nightlife, especially because that pack provides the objects necessary to create several kind of businesses. Another downside is that running a business is not as intuitive as the rest of the game, and that talent badges are put besides the skills, rather than adding to it. Also, you don't get to see the progress in getting the next badge for a certain talent. It's also unclear which existing skills help building up a talent faster.

The good thing is that there's a good balance. Starting a business is easy, but making it very successful is quite hard, a lot harder than say having a Dream Date in Nightlife. The amount of humour - pet bricks which can be taught tricks, or robots freestyling for tips - in the expansion also make it a lot of fun to play. It's quite deep, and feels almost like a whole new game. Altogether GameSpy gives the pack a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. It's a little sloppy in the implementation, but otherwise a very strong pack, especially when combined with Nightlife. Check out the review and watch the screenshots for more details.
 
Mascot Screens
Written at 16:14 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
When pre-ordering Open for Business at several stores (including our shop, US only) you can get a mascot kit as download. You will be able to download the files at the day of release, 1 March. To promote pre-ordering a little more, Maxis has released two new screenshots displaying what you'll get. There's a chicken mascot suit, and the Sim in it is a bit surprised, as well as a chicken sculpture to put outside your business. You can check the two screens by clicking the thumbnails below. If you want the download, order the game in our shop before 1 March (offer available for US orders only, see the official UK site for details about getting the mascot in the UK).

Open for Business Mascot Screenshot Open for Business Mascot Screenshot
 
OfB Information from Strategy Guide
Written at 19:07 by ChEeTaH - 4 comments.
It's not uncommon that Prima's strategy guides for the Sims games are packed with little details for the games. The guide for Open for Business is no exception. A few people have already received the guide and are posting information out of it on the internet. Three of them are rosierealea (thanks to SnootySims for the link), Mmmyrs2 (thanks to Hiki for the link) and vibrateforyou. Altogether there's a lot of new information about the expansion pack in the guide, including cheats, new interactions, many details of robots and specifically Servo, and much more. Read on for the new details that have been posted. Beware for spoilers!
 
Read More!

Family Fun Stuff Pack Confirmed
Written at 19:25 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Some people are already getting their copies of Open for Business. Especially in Switzerland and Austria the pack has already been released. Where University and Nightlife came with an announcement of the next expansion pack, that's not the case with Open for Business. Rather than looking 6 months ahead, it's just 2 months this time, with the announcement of the Family Fun Stuff pack. The Fun Stuff pack, which will cost roughly $20, has been spotted several times before, earlier this month, together with a Glamour Stuff pack (which is not announced now). Rather than being a full expansion pack, a Stuff pack will only contain several objects, clothing, déco items and accessories for Sims. This pack will have, as the name says, a family theme. There will be Fantasy and Underwater sets for children's bedrooms, upscale Nautical furnishings for the family room and adventurous costumes for kids, matching outfits for group outings with the family. In total there will be 60 items, including castle beds, sun dresses and tropical wall hangings. Family Fun is said to be released in April, and although most shops have now removed their entries, rumours from dates posted there suggest it'll be late April. It's not yet sure when Maxis will officially announce the pack, if it'll be available through EA Downloader introduced last year, and when pre-orders will start to be taken - but as always we'll keep you updated with that information. The ad on the Open for Business can be seen by clicking the thumbnail below. Thanks to SimTimes (German) for posting the images.

Coming April 2006: The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff
 
Sims on Next Gen Consoles?
Written at 23:31 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last year the Sims 2 was released on the PlayStation 2, XBox and GameCube. Following the release schedule for consoles of the past couple of years, a new game can be expected near the end of this year. GameSpot has now posted something in their Rumour Control section, about the Sims moving to the next generation of consoles; specifically the PlayStation 3, and possibly also the XBox 360 and maybe Nintendo's revolution. Rumours were fueled by a job opening for a future Sims project, for a PS3 (PlayStation 3) engineer. The PS3 was singled out though, there were no openings for XBox 360 or Revolution engineers. Even though development costs for the next generation consoles are generally high, and the Sims hasn't been doing as well as EA had hoped for, so-called "microtransactions" might be what will help EA make a bigger profit; sell extra downloads for a small fee. Nothing has been confirmed yet, and EA is not commenting on the rumours, but GameSpot deems it likely that the Sims will indeed make a move to the next generation. More details can be found in GameSpot's article.
 

Tuesday 28 February 2006
Unofficial OfB Screens and Videos
Written at 02:15 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Besides magazines and gaming websites, some fans of the Sims have already received their copy of the third expansion pack for the Sims 2 on PC, Open for Business. That means some people are already posting new screenshots of the game on forums or elsewhere. The German gaming site Krawall has posted 35 screenshots, and the DVD included with the Dutch gaming magazine PC Gameplay also had several screenshots of the pack on it. Fansite The Hub has posted them on their forums. On the forums of our affiliate SimsZone Mirena68 and Azazel13 have posted some screenshots throughout the thread. But with the expansion already being released in Switzerland and Austria last week, there are more German sites with screenshots from users. Undisturbed.de has posted many screenshots in their forums, and fansite SimTimes has put a couple of screens together in one topic. In the start post of that topic, you'll also find two links to videos SimTimes made, as well as another video from raye1forTS2 on the official site's BBS.

The game will be available worldwide this week, and more screens and videos are bound to turn up on many websites. New shots may be posted on links given above, or on many other forums. We won't be able to report on all of them, but naturally we will keep you updated with new reviews that will appear soon as well.