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News Archive - February, 2007
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Sunday 4 February 2007
NPD 2006 Report: Sims Sells Well
Written at 18:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The NPD Group, which provides retail information about the video games industry and others, has recently released the 2006 annual report for game sales in the US. Although no Sims title appears in the console top 10, the PC games list of ten contains five Sims titles. The base game scored high, being sold the most of all Sims games and being outsold only by World of Warcraft. Other than that the expansion packs Nightlife, Open for Business and Pets make an appearance in the list. The first stuff pack, Family Fun Stuff, has also done well in the past year and is on the eighth place in the list. The full PC sales list over 2006, by units sold, is as follows:
  1. World of Warcraft
  2. The Sims 2
  3. The Sims 2: Open For Business Expansion Pack
  4. Star Wars: Empire At War
  5. The Sims 2: Pets Expansion Pack
  6. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  7. Age of Empires III
  8. The Sims 2: Family Fun Stuff Expansion Pack
  9. Civilization IV
  10. The Sims 2: Nightlife Expansion Pack
 
COSMOgirl Pets Contest
Written at 18:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
In collaboration with Electronic Arts girl's magazine COSMOgirl has organized a competition where you can win the Sims 2 Pets Mobile, a pink Nintendo DS and the Sims 2 Pets for that DS or the PC. All you have to do to win is submit a picture of your pet through an online form. Any girl in the US or Canada (except Quebec) aged 13 to 25 is allowed to enter the sweepstakes contest. There are three categories to participate in: dogs, cats and other animals. Editors of the magazine will pick the 10 cutest entries in each category, which will be placed on the website. Visitors of the website can then vote which three pets in each category should make it to the third and final round. The editors will then again pick the three winners (one in each category) based on cuteness. If you win you'll get a pink RAZR phone with the Sims 2 Pets preloaded on it, as well as some prepaid minutes. You'll also get a pink Nintendo DS, and a Sims 2 Pets game for either the DS or the PC. If you still want to enter, you must hurry: the contest closes 5 February. See the contest page and the full rules for more details.
 
More Pets Bloopers
Written at 18:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Every expansion pack has its own issues during the development process. Odd things can happen when things don't work as they should, and for the Pets PC expansion pack that was no different. Late last year Maxis already revealed a few bloopers on the official site, and recently they've added two more pictures. You can see some big heads and a strange family tree, but there's also a short video showing some real good shoveling. Go to the bloopers page to see them all, including the previous Pets bloopers.
 
Life Stories Video
Written at 18:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
To promote the Sims Life Stories a trailer of the upcoming game has been revealed by EA. During two minutes the main features of the game are explained. Riley and Vince, the main characters in the two story mode stories, are introduced, and their background is given. There's also a brief look at the open ended classic mode in the game. Whether it's all about creating friends and going through life's greatest moments, or just about finding the right girl for a somewhat hopeless guy, Life Stories will give it to you according to the trailer. Simply go to the Life Stories page on the official The Sims Stories website to check out the video. QuickTime is required to play the trailer.
 

Monday 5 February 2007
Win Life Stories at Pogo UK
Written at 02:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
With Life Stories being released this month, EA UK is giving it some extra promotion at Pogo UK. In their Wheel of Prizes you have a chance to win the upcoming Sims Life Stories game by playing Sweet Tooth between 7 and 14 February. Five copies of the game will be given away, besides the Amazon vouchers, Club Pogo memberships and other (surprise) prizes. You can also enter in the Wheel of Prizes once a day to make a chance to win. Go to the Pogo community page and look for the Wheel of Prizes button for more information. Also check out the newspost on the official UK site.
 
Stories Podcast
Written at 02:01 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
After a long pause, the official site has published a new podcast, this time all about The Sims Stories. MaxoidDano of the web team talks to senior producer and head of the Sims studio Sam Player about the new product line. Sam explains that it's a new line of Sims games with stories in popular genres. Life Stories, the first game, has two romantic comedy stories. The stories are directed and basically consist of a series of (predefined) events that come up as you play. At the end of the story you can play the game in free form as you like it, making your own story. In the first story of Riley, Sam tells how at first the goals are fairly easy to complete, by just giving her a new dress to go out in. Later on you'll need to solve a relationship in a restaurant, an example of a more complicated goal. Custom content is disabled in the Stories products, as it's aimed at people new to the Sims. It works on lower quality computers, as well as laptops, but the exchange is too much for experienced users to fit in the Stories line. Some custom made objects (from EA) will be available through the Sims Stories site.

Sam also briefly goes through the first two stories. Riley is the first character you'll meet. She just moved to Four Corners with her Aunt after losing her job. She meets a great guy, but an old boyfriend comes back into her life. The story is all about finding her true love. Vincent, the other main character, has a successful career, he has the looks, but is unlucky in love. Several dates have to help him finding the right girl, though in the end he will have to make a choice between career and love. The reason to create Stories is that the Sims 2 is deep and intimidating. Stories is an invitation to the franchise. Sam also draws the analogy to a book store, with all the videogames you know on the shelves. They will cluster quite closely, and EA decided to "fill the rest of the store" with the genres for the stories - genres which are not touched by many games yet. The classic titles, the romantic triangle for example, are put in the first product. Although the games are laptop friendly they'll also work on PCs, of course, but with lower system specs and an easier installation. Sam also tells about his experience, and says he enjoyed the game despite coming from a hardcore gaming background. He hopes that Sims fans will recommend the game to people interested in the Sims. The podcast ends with what sounds like a radio commercial for the game. For complete details check out the podcasts page on the official site. For more information about the Stories games check out the Sims Stories website.
 
Riley's Diary Online
Written at 02:01 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
On the official Stories website a few things have changed to reflect the launch of the Sims Life Stories. When going to the website you'll be directed to a flash-heavy frontpage first, showing Riley's diary. The page introduces some of the characters in Life Stories, and also gives some insight in Riley's story. Vince is also introduced on one page. Besides that there are some hidden elements in the background which can be clicked to listen to Riley's voicemail, read her messages, check out her horoscope, and more. You can click through to the official site, which will open in a pop-up, so for that to work make sure you turn off any popup blockers. Check out the diary page for all the new stuff, or go directly to the basic site which contains information of the three upcoming Stories products.
 
Edenstyle Seasons Movies
Written at 02:01 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
In December 2006 Italian fansite EdenStyle checked out the Seasons expansion pack together with several other fansites (including TSZ). Besides their report on the event they've published a few new movies since then. There are videos about Plant Sims, the second some outside activities including skating and fishing. The official presentation by Hunter Howe held before any hands-on play time on the event has also been posted in two parts. All videos are a few minutes long. Go to the Seasons special page at EdenStyle to download them.
 
The Sims Stories Exclusive Preview
Written at 02:14 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Two months ago The Sims Zone got some time to look at both Seasons and Life Stories at EA's headquarters in Redwood City, California. Our exclusive Stories preview is now online and available for you to read. We dive into the details of Riley's and Vince's stories, and more specifically all the differences between the Sims 2 and the Sims Stories product line. From the lack of fears to the brand new hotkeys and laptop-friendliness, everything you need to know is packed in the two-page preview. So go and read the preview to find out if Life Stories is for you!

 

Thursday 8 February 2007
Seasons Graphics
Written at 01:13 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
During a little while several new graphics for the Sims 2 Seasons have appeared on the internet. First of all there's an artwork that appeared on the official Italian website. It shows four Sims, each in a specific season of the year, of course doing one of the fun activities for that season. Also new, from the official site, are five buddy icons that you can use in your IM program to show your friends you're a Sims 2 fan waiting for the fifth expansion pack. Finally the MySim icon has been found by Gugas1990 on the BBS. This icon will appear on your MySim page after installing and registering the expansion pack. You can find all the graphics below. Click the artwork thumbnail to see a large versions, and right-click the other icons to save them.

The Sims 2 Seasons Artwork The Sims 2 Seasons Buddy Icon 1 The Sims 2 Seasons Buddy Icon 2 The Sims 2 Seasons Buddy Icon 3 The Sims 2 Seasons Buddy Icon 4 The Sims 2 Seasons Buddy Icon 5 The Sims 2 Seasons MySim Has Icon The Sims 2 Seasons MySim Has Not Icon
 
Seasons Pre-order Gifts
Written at 01:13 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As usual with most expansion and stuff packs released for the Sim 2 on PC so far, there are some special pre-order gifts at selected shops. Pre-order the pack from there and you receive an exclusive download to plug into your game. For Seasons, which is being released later this month, you can receive a bathing suit or a raincoat to download. The EA Store and Amazon (including our shop) will give away the bathing suit, whereas you should go to EBGames or GameStop to receive the raincoat download. The EA Store also has a free shipping promotion to save shipping costs in the US. Once the game is out there will be two more downloads: a swingset and a garden trellis at Best Buy and Target respectively. For more information head on over to the pre-order page on the official site. In the UK only the Swing set is available as far as known now, through Game. If the other downloads will be available in the UK as well is not yet announced. Note that in other countries the downloads may not be available at all, or only at other (local) shops.
 
Ask Your Seasons Questions
Written at 01:14 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
If you have a question about the upcoming Seasons expansion pack for the PC, there is a chance you can get it answered by the team. On the official UK site you can post your question in a forum topic, which the UK web team will pass on to the developers of the expansion. When the questions will be answered is not said, but we'll let you know as they are. Note that you need to register on the forum (free) to be able to ask your question.
 
Seasons Producer Mail
Written at 01:15 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
A little while ago Senior Producer of the Sims 2 Sam Player sent out an e-mail giving an update on the status of Seasons, the upcoming fifth expansion pack for the Sims 2. These producer e-mails have been around since before The Sims 2 was released, and after skipping any for Pets they're back again. Sam mentions the fan event back in December last year, and he addresses the key features of the expansion pack. He names the possible heat strokes and freezing to death, as well as custom content features for the pack. Little touches make the game complete, including the pool upgrades, the new careers and the ability to set unique hairstyles for each outfit type. Leftovers get a quick mention too, as well as the recently posted trailer. Sam doesn't really mention anything completely new, though he does confirm the 27 February release date. Read on for the entire e-mail.
 
Read More!

2 New Stuff Packs in 2007
Written at 01:15 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last year EA introduced Stuff Packs for the Sims 2, small expansion packs with roughly 60 objects for a nice price. Aimed at the offline players of the Sims without all the downloads, but with the wish for extra content, these packs became popular additions to the arsenal of Sims games. After Family Fun, Glamour Life and Happy Holiday stuff there are probably two more stuff packs to be released this year. They've both been revealed by Spanish online shop Game.es as well as the Slovakian Dunaj. The first one is called "¡De Fiesta! Accesorios" (Spanish) or "Celebration Stuff" in English. The second pack is called "H&M Stuff," possibly after the popular Swedish clothing brand Hennez & Mauritz AB. The packs are planned to be released on 19 April and 21 June of this year respectively. No other stuff packs have been revealed yet, but they may be introduced later in the year. Check out the Spanish pre-orders for Celebration Stuff and H&M Stuff for more information, or go to the Sims listing at Dunaj. Thanks to SnootySims for the links.
 
"My Sims" on Wii and NDS
Written at 01:24 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
EA recently released their third quarter fiscal 2007 financial results, and with the usual conference call was organised. During this conference call EA announced that it wants to focus more on the Nintendo DS platform. A few games were confirmed in the process, mainly "My Sims" for the DS but also the Nintendo Wii. They are scheduled to be released in the next fiscal year, which runs from April 2007 to March 2008. It can be assumed that the DS version will be a clone of the Wii version, resembling the more cartoony style revealed in December. More information can be found in a GameSpot newspost.
 
Life Stories Screenshots
Written at 01:40 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
With the release of The Sims Life Stories publisher EA has released five new screenshots of the pack. They show some scenes from the game, although nothing groundbreaking or substantially new is shown. Nevertheless you might want to check them out. Click the thumbnails below to see the full large versions of the screenshots.

The Sims Life Stories The Sims Life Stories The Sims Life Stories The Sims Life Stories The Sims Life Stories
 
Pets Patch Released - Misc Patch News
Written at 02:12 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last week EA finished and released the full patch for the Sims 2 Pets. Following the Body Shop patch in December last year (which has now been retracted) this game solves gameplay issues as well as the Body Shop compatibility problems from the previous patch. There are two versions of the patch, one for the CD/DVD edition and another for the digital download (EA Link) version of the game. Make sure you get the right patch, as well as any previous patches for Expansion and Stuff packs you own to ensure proper functioning of your game. The patch fixes 39 issues, including the following. Go to the update page for the full list.
  • Fixed an issue where pointed-ear dogs would become corrupt when moved into a lot.
  • Custom college lots will no longer be deleted if no Sims are living on it.
  • Influencing Sims to fight another Sim will no longer cause non-werewolf Sims to turn into a werewolf.
  • "Barstool by Simulated Comfort" can now be used when 3 barstools are placed side-by-side.
  • Selling pets to other playable Sims now cause an exchange of Simoleans.
  • Sims can now return home after visiting the Secret Society lot.
  • Pet houses no longer move off tile after a Pet Woohoo.
  • Infants and Toddlers no longer appear in the "Invite Household" dialogue.
  • Sims can now correctly try for baby under the maximum Sim limit.
  • Cats no longer can become stuck in the litter box.
  • Turned on "HydroBot" and "SentryBot" are no longer deleted after installing The Sims 2 Pets.
  • Two or more teens will no longer refuse to go to school if there is no nanny or adult on the lot.
  • "Tropico Avian Sanctuary" and "FMCU 3000" objects can now be deleted if the last Sim dies on the lot.
  • Sims are now able to call the fire department on an owned community lot.
  • Awning can now be deleted from a saved lot.
  • Teens and Elders will no longer be promoted without meeting necessary requirements.
  • Customer NPCs now change into new outfits that they have purchased.
  • Pets Bodyshop is now compatible with older expansion packs.
When installing this patch the CD or DVD of Pets is required. Get the CD/DVD patch or the digital download patch to update your game. For more news about Sims 2 patches, read on.
 
Read More!

The Sims and Vista
Written at 05:19 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Windows XP's successor Vista has launched a little while ago. For EA a reason to put up a page about the compatibility of the Sims 2 with the new operating system. Since Vista is heavier the game will have some higher requirements and it might perform less well as on the same machine with Windows XP. There might also be some problems with Vista's compatibility with graphics cards. Some cards supported by the Sims 2 are not supported on Vista, which is mostly a drivers issue that the card manufacturers are working on. Besides that there are some issues with the Autorun requiring Administrator access, meaning you'll need to use the Game Explorer or the Start menu to launch the game. For Seasons it's explained that the start menu icons will only appear for the user installing the game (the administrator). New icons need to be added for every other (standard) user that needs to run the game. More details, including specific issues for specific graphics cards, can be found on the Vista Q&A Page on the official site. Thanks to SnootySims for the link.
 
Stories Website Relaunched
Written at 05:19 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The official website of The Sims Stories has been relaunched, reflecting the release of Life Stories. The full website has gone live with the welcome kit, Riley's diary, a support page, a newsletter to sign up to and of course basic game information combined with tips for the stories. Upcoming features for the website include message boards (a BBS), photobooks and blogs. Remarkable is that the official website is not hosted by EA, but by Yahoo!. The Sims portal is one of the first entertainment portals that Yahoo! is launching; Yahoo announced they are making small branded sites for video games and TV shows, piloted by the Wii portal since October.

The welcome kit you can download consists of three (separate) downloads to put in your game: a Drum Kit (from The Sims 2 University), a VocoPhonic Karaoke Machine (from The Sims 2 Nightlife) and a Club Cube (also from Nightlife). The links at the frontpage are not completely correct at the moment, though proceeding to the Downloads page will set things right. You need to register your game before you're able to actually get the files. The wallpapers from the same page can be downloaded by everybody. Check out the website at Sims.yahoo.com or www.thesimsstories.com for all the details. If you prefer a lighter website, with Riley's diary not in flash, you can also check out the renewed TheSimsStories.co.uk which has much of the same content, and no game registration is needed for the welcome kit downloads. Due to typos you may have a little more trouble downloading the largest wallpapers from that website though. Some other international websites have also already launched, others are bound to follow soon.
 

Saturday 10 February 2007
Maxis Rug Recolors
Written at 23:05 by Jendea - 0 comments.

new rug recolors So...I finally acquired a new laptop, and rediscovered my sims addiction. I'm starting out slow with some recolors; I posted some of two Maxis rugs (no mesh files required) today.
You can find all in my section:jendea

 

Sunday 11 February 2007
Play at Pogo to Win Life Stories
Written at 01:48 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
A couple of days ago we already reported that you can win Life Stories at Pogo UK. The American counterpart also has a Valentine's action through which you can win the same game. By playing the games Sweet Tooth or Hearts until 14 February (11:59pm PST) you can win a 14k Gold Floating Heart Pendant with Box Chain and Life Stories. There's just one prize of that set, but other than that EA is giving away 30 more copies of Life Stories. Winners will be determined by a random drawing, and they'll be notified by e-mail. Only people in the 50 United States (except Rhode Island) and Canada (except Quebec) and at least 13 years of age are eligible to enter. The promotion page has more information as well as the complete rules and conditions.
 
Maxoid January Blog Update
Written at 01:48 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
January has been a quiet month concerning blogs from Maxoids. Only MaxoidDrea has done some active blogging, telling about what the Web team has been up to lately. They went to Toys'R'Us during a lunch break to buy new toys: a semi-automatic Nerf gun, a "transformer Lego somethin' somethin'," a pink lava lamp and a 'Happy Bunny' Book. Drea also talks about MaxoidMel's new desk being toilet papered. Read MaxoidDrea's Blog for all the details.
 
Sims 2 Seasons Box Backside
Written at 01:49 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Pre-order packages of the Sims 2 Seasons have appeared in some countries already, including Brazil. Sims Fansite O Sim Br has posted a few pictures of the front and back of the box, as well as a calendar pre-order gift. The pictures from Milatx, member of the website, or somewhat unclear, but do give an impression of what the box will look like when the game is released at the end of this month. Check out O Sim Br for the pictures.
 
New Online Sims Game?
Written at 01:49 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Almost ever since the release of the failing The Sims Online in 2002 there have been various rumours of a new online version of the Sims. Even for the Sims 2 some multiplayer options were said to be seen in a second expansion pack for the game. Now there's new fuel for a Sims 2 Online rumour: there's a job posting for a lead game designer for an "all new online game for The Sims." The product is being developed by The Sims Division in Redwood Shores. Two of the requirements of the job also mention player-created content tools. This could be a hint towards custom content for the title, something which has been unavailable in the Sims Online even until now. When the game will be announced and when it'll be released is of course still unknown. We'll keep you updated when there's more to tell about this game.
 
Sims Shorts Winner Announced
Written at 02:02 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last year EA UK held a Sims Shorts competition in which you could win your Sims movie being shown throughout Vue cinemas in the UK for a month, as well as a cash prize of £1,000. EA has announced the competition's winner to be "Wild Christmas" by David Cresswell. The 2:30 minute movie is a romantic comedy with a festive twist: a "cheating man talks his way out of a sticky Christmas Eve situation involving a naked woman in a hot tub by using the family dog as an alibi." It won because, as comedian Ben Willbond, one of the judges, said it managed to tell a whole story in a very short time frame. He wanted to see more after it was over, which is the key for him. If you don't plan on going to see a film within the next few weeks - the winner is being shown until (around) 2 March - you can still grab it as download from SimsShorts.com. The movie which kicked off the competition, "When Romantic Things Happen for No Apparent Reason and Everyone is Happy at the End" by Mathew Horne and Ben Willbrond, can be downloaded from the same website.
 
EA Closes Japanese Studio
Written at 02:20 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Earlier this week gaming site 1Up heard that EA is shutting down it's Japanese development studio. The studio has so far only released Theme Park for the DS, which was a port that cost only a half year of development, and thus it doesn't have a "great track-record," says an EA employee. Things have gone better since the switch from Xbox 360 and PS3 to the Nintendo DS, but still the studio will be forced to close its doors. The closure was also confirmed and explained in more detail. The official statement from EA reads that game creation in Japan will continue, but with external developers under the EA Partners programme, rather than having an EA exclusive studio in the country. Since it seems "My Sims" (see recent confirmation) for the Wii and DS is being developed in Japan, due to the original Japanese announcement, it's uncertain how this closure affects development that title. The game is also not mentioned in the list of games being developed in Japan (Theme Park DS, SimCity DS and Dragon Zakura DS), but then again there are no confirmed details of where the Sims games are actually being developed (besides the Sims Division). Considering the recent confirmation of My Sims as a release for the upcoming fiscal year (April 2007 to March 2008) it's likely that it won't be harmed. SimCity for DS is also being continued at other studios. EA's publishing team in Japan will continue to market games in Japan.
 

Wednesday 14 February 2007
Life Stories to Mac
Written at 00:41 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Aspyr, which has developed The Sims Life Stories together with EA, has confirmed that the game will also be ported to Mac. The game will be the same as the PC version, bringing the first in a series of standalone Sims games to the other platform. Although a release date is not yet given, it is said that the game will be "coming soon." More information can be found at MacWorld
 
Seasons Pictures and Videos from Europe
Written at 00:43 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Sam Player is touring through Europe to show The Sims 2 Seasons to press and fans. From Spain the website Capital Sims has posted some videos and a few screenshots. Also from Spain come some videos on YouTube posted by user Noika86. More videos and screenshots come from SkySims, which has published a feature summary along with pictures and movies. French fansite Toto & Nono has interviewed Sam Player. The interview is in French though, but online translation tools can help you out making something of it. Another French fansite, Urbania Sims also has a preview of the event in Paris with several screenshots. There's also SimsForever Magazine with an article with several pictures. Finally, the official French site has also posted a preview of the new pack, along with several pictures and videos.The "Cliquez pour voir la vidéo throughout the article all point to different videos. Thanks to SnootySims and SimsZone for some of the links.
 
Sims 3 Development Confirmed Again
Written at 00:43 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We already reported that Sam Player has been touring through Europe to show the Sims 2 Seasons to press and fansites. After the presentation in Spain he confirmed something about another game: The Sims 3. While there will be several more expansions for the Sims 2, the sequel is in development already. A release date has not yet been announced and is still far away. Earlier confirmation in November last year already taught us that the game will not ship until EA's fiscal 2009, meaning somewhere in between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009. Even that timespan is still not much more than a guess, as there can always be unexpected delays. Thanks to CapitalSims for picking up the news.
 
Seasons Guide info
Written at 00:46 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Prima Games has recently published some information about the upcoming strategy guide for the Sims 2 Seasons on their website. As usual Prima publishes the official strategy guide (written by Greg Kramer, like previous Sims 2 guides), and this one will count 240 pages. Some of the topics covered are the new objects and social activities of the pcak, as well as all the possible potions that you can make using the new gardening system. The gardening and fishing talents are also discussed, and the guide will help you master both. The expansion also comes with six new careers, and the guide will explain which they are and how to make sure your Sims will get that promotion. Last but not least the book will tell you all about the different aspects of all seasons. You can pre-order the guide from our shop now, so you'll get it delivered to your doormat as soon as it ships the 27th of this month. For more details check out the information page.
 
January Showcase
Written at 00:47 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last month we told you about a new showcase on the official site. Since January was Blood Donor month Maxis asked to upload your unique Sims and Lots to the exchange, all having to do with vampires or goths. A total number of 16 downloads made it to the spotlight, of which there are 8 sims, 7 lots and 1 pet. All these creations are to be found on the January Showcase page, where you can also download them from. Note that some of the creations may contain custom content.
 
Seasons Chat
Written at 00:47 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Developers for the Sims 2 are often very eager to answer many questions from fans about upcoming expansion packs and products. One of the chances at least some of them will get is next Thursday, when there's a chat about the fifth Sims 2 expansion pack, Seasons. The chat will start at 2:30pm PST (5:30pm EST, 10:30pm GMT, 23:30 CET) at the official site's chat page. There you can also find older chat transcripts, and in case you can't make it to the Seasons chat you'll be able to see what was asked and answered from the same page after the chat.
 
Seasons Designer Walkthrough Video
Written at 00:47 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Hunter Howe, one of the designers for the Sims 2 Seasons, is starring in a new walkthrough video for the upcoming expansion pack. During 7:30 minutes he talks through the four seasons of the year, starting with spring. The first thing you'll see is rain. It'll rain more in spring and in winter it'll snow more, so it depends on the season how often certain weather appears. Next he shows how to give a gift, one of the small new family activities. Catching butterflies is another of those spring activities, just like fishing. Gardening is one of the biggest things in the pack, and Howe shows orchard trees as well as a greenhouse. The latter are slightly more intensive to tend, but more rewarding. Planting some eggplants is explained. It depends on the season when you can harvest the food. Sims with a good gardening talent may be able to talk to and communicate with plants, making them grow better. Next up is summer, which is all about having fun. The pool upgrades are shown: the curves, shading and reflections, new pool games like Marco Polo, the slide and painting the walls and floors of the pool. Hunter also explains how seasons help in certain things: summer makes building relationships easier, during fall it's better to do skill building. In fall the leafs have fallen off the trees, and it's time to do some harvesting. Sims will have warmer clothes to make sure they don't get cold during this season. The lighting in the pack is enhanced so each season gets its own look. Back to harvesting, the orchard trees will generally have food in fall by themselves, but tending them generates better fruit. Good food can have positive side-effects, like curing colds. Finally Hunter goes to winter, showing the new cursor which uncovers anything under the snow. There are some new activities using the snow, like building a snowman, creating a snow angel or throwing snowballs. The last one is a group activity to which an entire community lot can join in. Hunter also explains that if you like you can create a neighborhood that is in winter all year round. At the end of the movie Hunter shows the wishing well, a new reward object, which can have very surprising side-effects if you wish too often. He doesn't go into any details though.

To see the video head on over to the Seasons videos page. If you prefer to download a very high quality version of the video, then the official German site has a newspost linking to a 317Mb large edition of the same video.
 
SingShot Media joining Sims Division
Written at 01:43 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Electronic Arts announced Tuesday that they acquired SingShot Media, an online karaoke community based in San Francisco. Their platform allows users to record karaoke videos of famous songs and share them with the world or compete with others in contests. CEO Ranah Edelin and CTO Niranjan Nagar will enter Electronic Arts in the roles of Vice President. SingShot was launched in February 2006 and they've built a team and technology "focused on establishing and maintaining live communities." Nancy Smith, Executive Vice President and Group General Manager at EA is quoted saying the SingShot team consists of true experts in developing user-generated communities through music. Although all of this doesn't have much to do with the Sims yet, the press release says that the five person team of SingShot will join the Sims Division. What their task will be is not completely clear and not mentioned, but it'll most likely have to do with music and the Sims 2 community. Once we have more news about this, we'll let you know.
 

Thursday 15 February 2007
Seasons Clear Back Shot
Written at 18:03 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We already told you about the backside of the Seasons box was published on a Brazilian fansite, now online shop Tesco has posted a sharper version of the same thing. It shows the four seasons and highlights a few new objects in the fifth expansion pack. Click the thumbnail below to see a slightly larger version. Thanks to BBS user callum11skyes and SimsZone for the links.

The Sims 2 Seasons Box Backside (Source: Tesco)
 
Seasons System Requirements
Written at 18:06 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Those who have even the slightest idea of what the upcoming expansion for the Sims 2, Seasons, is about, will know that it's quite graphics intensive. Because of this the game will require more of your system, and so the pack may not work well on some older PCs, even if the Sims 2 itself runs without problems. Rather than having enough with a 800Mhz or 1 Ghz processor (for the base game and previous expansions), it requires at least 1300 Mhz (just like Pets). Without a T&L capable graphics card you'll nAlthough 256 Mb of RAM will still suffice as a minimum, at least 512 Mb RAM is recommended if you're running either Vista or if you have some other expansions installed as well. The pack requires an additional 1.5 Gb of hard disk space, common for most expansions. Another difference with the Sims 2 is that, ATI Radeon 7x00 graphics cards are no longer supported. You need at least a Radeon 9600 or GeForce 6200 or better if you run Vista. Some other cards are now supported though, including the S3 GammaChrome, S18 Pro and the S18 Ultra Intel(R) Extreme Graphics 82865, 82915 and above. The last ones will require a fast processor though.

See the requirements page for all the details, and check that you meet at least the minimum requirements before trying to install or play the new expansion pack. Thanks to SimsNetwork for the news tip.
 
Valentine's Community Showcase
Written at 18:06 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last month Maxis published a Blood Donor Showcase, and this month there's another one: yesterday was Valentine's day, and so Maxis asks you to upload "Perfect Date" downloads to the exchange. If you've created a Lot, Sim, Video or Story in this theme, upload it to the exchange and make sure you put "Perfect Date Showcase" in the description. That way Maxis will be able to find your item, and you might make it to the spotlight after the end of the month. The web team will pick various items and highlight them. For more information and instructions check out the Showcase page.
 

Friday 16 February 2007
The Sims Life Stories: Our Review
Written at 03:59 by Andy - 4 comments.

Last week, The Sims Life Stories was released.

Following on from ChEeTaH's preview of it earlier in the month, this is our official critical review of this new sim game.

Check the review out!

 

Wednesday 21 February 2007
History of EA
Written at 00:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Gaming site GamaSutra has published a feature about the history of Electronic Arts, publisher of the Sims series. It starts off with Trip Hawkins' ideas from the '70s and the actual launch in 1982, 25 years ago, and the move to Redwood City (from San Mateo) in 1998. The necessary new strategy after the "crash" when consumers lost interest in Atari's machine (VCS/2600) in 1983. After the eighties the article describes some of the acquisitions made in the previous decade. This includes the purchase of Maxis and the release of the Sims in 2000. The game is discussed with some more details later in the article, with Frank Gribeau telling how it appealed to many women - even though that was not the original intent. The concept of Hot Date was made when EA realized so many teenage girls were playing the Sims games. The entire special covers 7 pages, of which pages 3 and 6 are probably of most interest to Sims fans. Read the complete feature for more details.
 
Celebration Stuff Pre-order Bonus
Written at 00:58 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Sims 2 Celebration Stuff Bonus Although Celebration Stuff is not yet announced, online shop GameStop has already revealed a bonus offering that comes with pre-ordering the pack. It's a blue celebration dress that you can plug into your game after you have the stuff pack. Check the (small) image on the left for a little preview. Of course we'll keep you updated if there's more news about this upcoming stuff pack.
 
MySims Information
Written at 00:59 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Besides the few little rumours regarding MySims for the Nintendo Wii and DS, not much actual information has been published yet. The first magazine to mention any details of the new game is the Official Nintendo Magazine (UK). Website ComputerAndVideoGames reports about the revelations. For the characters, although it looks simple, you can tweak individual facial features and add tattoos as you wish. The focus has shifted from running a house to running a little town though, as you'll need to run around the little town, meeting people, and increase the amount of residents that way. A relationships menu will help you figure out who likes you and who doesn't. The catalogue has also been replaced: you can now build chairs and tables from scratch, and houses can be build in an equally flexible way. "Essence" is a new feature with which you can decorate your furniture or plant seeds for flowers. Apparantly Sims you who hate your town will be sent off to a Volcano area not shown in any previous screenshots so far. On the Wii there will be 80 characters in MySims, the DS version will have 30. The game is expected to be released this autumn. For more details see CVG's article. Thanks to SimsZone for the link.
 
Seasons Movie
Written at 00:59 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
German gaming website Cynamite has published a video of Seasons. The video takes you through the fall season with thunderstorms, plenty of rain and some gardening. Check out the video for some more details. Thanks to SimTimes for finding it.
 
Seasons Chat Transcript
Written at 00:59 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Last week EA's Sims Division organized a chat with some developers of the Sims 2 Seasons. During the 45-minute chat a few new details were revealed, like that Sims can be struck by lightning anywhere outside. The length of seasons has also been set to 5 days per seasons, and the sub-neighborhoods will have the same seasons as the main neighborhood. Any transitions between seasons will be gradual, so a summer to winter change will have a short period in which it gets colder, but where it doesn't snow yet. Each house will experience its very own cycle, so when leaving a lot in Winter and playing anohter through to Summer, it will still be Winter in the first lot. If you don't like the seasons, just set the neighborhood setting to all Summer, or all Spring if you like a little bit of rain. Kids will have to go to school all year no matter what, though a Snow day may give them a day off.

For Vampire-Plant-Sims there will be a sun-lamp that won't burn them up but will keep them awake inside too. Other new creatures include fish from ponds, which will automatically appear in large enough ponds. They can be fed to pets if you like. Talking about pets, they will not experience the temperature differences like Sims do. New are also the fireflies, which you can use as lights inside your home. A cheat will allow you to keep them alive forever. Another creature is the Pengiun, which will be attracted to fish which he'll eat from the ground. Snowmen are also an attraction for the penguin, and if you can catch him you can pet the penguin on the head.

Older expansions will also support Seasons. You can sell vegetables and other food with Open for Business, and the University majors will support the new careers as well. The TV will have a new weather station, and the radio will play Jam Band and New Age tunes now as well. Existing Sims will get some default outer wear clothing, but additional sets can be purchased on the community lots.

For more details check out the full chat transcript
 

Friday 23 February 2007
Seasons Out in Switzerland - Stuff Pack Confirmed
Written at 21:33 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As seen several times before, the Seasons expansion pack has been released about a week early in Switzerland. Mirena68 has submitted some pictures to our affiliate SimsZone showing the flyer that comes in the box. Just like with Open for Business there's no announcement for the next expansion pack, but the upcoming stuff pack is revealed. Celebration Stuff is an "all-new collection of furniture, party fashions and décor items you can dress your Sims in dazzling wedding attire, decorate for the ultimate fiesta or host an elegant evening event." Three items are already displayed on the flyer: a barbecue, wedding dress, a garden chair (with balloons) and a parasol. You can view the two images of the flyer below.

With the release of the pack the same visitor has submitted a story and screenshots of Seasons with her experiences (in German). You can find the information in a Game Experiences thread. Another German fansite, Blacky's Sims2 Zoo has two threads in their forum, one with the new clothing and another one with more screenshots. On the official site member 'raye1forTS2' has opened up a thread with some screenshots as well. More information about the pack comes from another BBS user, 'rosierealea', who has already received the Prima guide. Lots of inside information (including interactions and the new careers) is available in her information thread.
The Sims 2 Seasons Flyer The Sims 2 Seasons Flyer
 
Celebration Stuff Pre-Order and Box
Written at 21:39 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
With the confirmation of Celebration Stuff there's some more news about this fourth stuff pack. Online shop Amazon has published the front box art of the pack. Although the pre-order page is now taken offline again, the picture is already roaming on the internet on several fansites. With thanks to the Polish SimPassion and SimsNetwork you can check out the image below.
The Sims 2 Celebration Stuff
 

Saturday 24 February 2007
Plate Glass Windows
Written at 01:14 by Jendea - 3 comments.

I just posted three windows mainly made for lot builders. They are super cheap and ok to package. Great for viewing your soon-to-be changing seasons!

Check them out by clicking on the picture or you can find them in my section under jendea

 

Monday 26 February 2007
Oscar Showcase - Closing Today!
Written at 18:39 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Saw the Oscars yesterday? For creators there's a new unique chance to get their outfits showcased: Maxis is organizing a special Oscars showcase next week, in which fan-made replications of celebrities at the oscars will be shown. Last year a similar showcase was picked up by USA Today. This year all Sims with "Oscar 2007" in the description may be highlighted next week. The Maxis web team will pick the most amazing submissions. The creations have to resemble the outfits worn during the oscars as good as possible, and the contest closes today (!) at 5:00pm PST (1:00am Tuesday GMT, 2:00am Tuesday in most of Europe). Read below for the personal message everybody received on the official site, and check the BBS thread for more information too.
 
Read More!

Seasons Commercials Online
Written at 18:43 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As with every Sims 2 expansion pack, new commercials are being made to promote the release. As usual these are fan-made videos, showing how they play the Sims. Three new videos have been made for the Sims 2 Seasons, and all three can be found at SimsPlayedBy.com. They show a scene in fall, playing with the weather machine, and a snowman taking revenge. Check out the campaign's website for the three new and all old videos. There's also a Behind the Scenes look for the Pets campaign that we haven't mentioned before, available on the same website.
 
Life Stories Exhibition
Written at 19:20 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Celebrating the launch of The Sims Life Stories the game will be exhibited for two weeks in an exhibition based around the art of the teen advice story. The exhibition will feature 1950s and 1960s illustrations and photo stories in teen magazines from the 1970s and 1980s, until the "virtual era and The Sims" in the last decade. Works from legendary magazines including Romeo (1957-1974), Jackie (1964-1993), Blue Jeans (1977-1991) and Patches (1979-1989) will be featured, as well as present day examples of "teen conundrums from the newly issued game, The Sims Life Stories." From the press release:

"The Sims Life Stories Exhibition is a world first project and has been created following unprecedented access into the world of teen magazines. The exhibition will be split into five broad themes and will compare and contrast the advice, the fashion, the people and the issues faced by teenagers through the decades. The real topics of discussion and debate that have graced common rooms, park benches and bedrooms throughout the UK for the last few decades will be presented to the public this March."

Five subjects will be explored: friendship, love, appearance and fashion, school to jobs and finally family. Admission to the exhibition is free, and it'll be held at Proud Galleries (5 Buckingham Street, London, WC2N 6BP) from 1 March to 14 March. It's open from 11am to 6pm. For more information check out the newspost on the official UK site, as well as the press release in the "Read More" section of the newspost you're reading now.
 
Read More!


Tuesday 27 February 2007
The Sims on iPod / iPhone
Written at 00:39 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
In a recent announcement EA revealed that they will be developing games for Apple's iPod and iPhone. The goal is to have gamers on every platform, from PC to their consoles in the living room, and on the road on a handheld or phone. EA (Mobile) Games have already been on sale through Apple's iTunes, and although no exact figures are given, it is a tremendous success, according to Javier Ferreira, vice president of publishing for EA Mobile. Although details are still scarce, one of the games mentioned to be taken to Apple's gadgets is the Sims. Ferreira: "The more devices that people can play on, the better. You'll see people play The Sims on the Xbox, the PC, their iPod and then the mobile phone." Some more details about the EA/Apple collaboration check out the full article at GamesIndustry.biz. Thanks to TheSims2.co.za for finding it. As soon as we have more details about the Sims on iPod and/or iPhone, we'll let you know.
 
Seasons Chat Tuesday
Written at 00:39 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
After the chat almost two weeks ago (see the transcript) there will be another chat about Seasons tomorrow. This time it will be focused on European fans, as it'll be held on the official UK Sims site. Starting at 7pm GMT (20:00 in most of Europe, 2pm EST, 1pm CST, 11am PST). Hunter and Lyndsay from the expansion pack developers will attend the chat and answer questions any fan in the chat has. Go to the UK Site tomorrow to find the chatroom.
 
MySims (Wii) Mag Scans
Written at 00:45 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Nintendo Power is one of a few magazines which got an exclusive first look at MySims for the Wii. Fansite SnootySims obtained scans of the article from the magazine. Over 7 pages there are mostly graphics to watch, but part of the text can also be read. The magazine talked to designer Robin Hunicke and executive producer Tim LeTourneau (also known from his role as senior producer for the first three Sims 2 expansion packs), art director Terry Smith and producer Shannon Copur, all of the MySims team. For more details about what the game will be about, read more. For the graphics, check out the scans below.
MySims for Wii - Nintendo Power Magazine MySims for Wii - Nintendo Power Magazine MySims for Wii - Nintendo Power Magazine MySims for Wii - Nintendo Power Magazine MySims for Wii - Nintendo Power Magazine MySims for Wii - Nintendo Power Magazine MySims for Wii - Nintendo Power Magazine
 
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MySims Announced
Written at 01:11 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
After rumours and a Japanese presentation, there is now more official confirmation regarding a Sims title for Nintendo's Wii: MySims will be available for both the Wii and the DS later this year. According to the press release announcing the title the game will deliver the "creativity, customization and classic open-ended gameplay that has enchanged Sims players worldwide." After creating your own toy-like Sim, reflecting your personal style and attitudes, dressing them up with pig-tails and baseball caps to dreadlocks and Mohawks, you start unlocking new clothing hairstyles, accessories and more. That's just for the characters - you start off in a "delightful but disorganized town" where it'll be your task to get things reorganized and make the town more dynamic. You can design furniture, appliances, new homes and businesses using a selection of building blocks. Some of the characters you'll meet are Mayor Rosalyn P. Marshall, hotel Bellhop Buddy, Gino Delicioso the Italian Chef and Ocean Breeze, who wants to set up his own Yoga studio. You can make Gino an oven, or put a roof on Buddy's hotel - all these tasks will help the town grow. Executive producer Tim LeTourneau says the goal of MySims is to "provide a creative play experience like never before on a video game system. By giving players the tools to create literally any kind of world they want in MySims, we're reinforcing the idea that the players create the magic. Will the town support a plethora of spooky, mysterious townsfolk - or buzz with the laughter and smiles of fun-loving Sims? It's your call! In MySims, what players make... makes all the difference!" MySims is the first in a new line of Sims products, developed by the Sims Division, for both Nintendo Wii and DS. More information, including an English version of the trailer seen in Japanese before, can be found at MySims.com. There are three new screenshots as well, which you can see below. For more details read the press release and the previous newspost here at TSZ.

MySims (Wii) MySims (Wii) MySims (Wii)
 

Wednesday 28 February 2007
MySims: Official Nintendo Magazine Scans
Written at 03:12 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Fansite and affiliate SimsNetwork has received scans of next month's Official Nintendo Magazine UK (ONM). Like we reported earlier, this magazine has a feature about the recently announced MySims. The scans, which you can find below, reveal some new information about the Wii version of the game. They comment that recent installments of the Sims series have seen slipping review scores, but that, inspired by Nintendo's innovation, EA has seen what's possible with Nintendo's latest platforms. See the scans below, or read on for details from the preview.

Preview MySims (Wii) - Source: Official Nintendo Magazine UK Preview MySims (Wii) - Source: Official Nintendo Magazine UK Preview MySims (Wii) - Source: Official Nintendo Magazine UK Preview MySims (Wii) - Source: Official Nintendo Magazine UK Preview MySims (Wii) - Source: Official Nintendo Magazine UK Preview MySims (Wii) - Source: Official Nintendo Magazine UK Preview MySims (Wii) - Source: Official Nintendo Magazine UK Preview MySims (Wii) - Source: Official Nintendo Magazine UK
 
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