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News Archive - April, 2005
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Friday 1 April 2005
Strangerhood Episode 5
Written at 03:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The people of Rooster Teeth Productions have made another new episode of the Strangerhood. This fifth episode is 4 minutes and 37 seconds long, and bears the title "Things Misremembered." There's been a murder, and Nikki's dead. If you want to find out more about this, head into the archive where you can also download any previous episodes.
 
Massive College Drop-outs [Update]
Written at 11:38 by ChEeTaH - 5 comments.
Things are going bad at SimState University, La Fiesta Tech and Académie La Tour. It turns out that today many players of the Sims 2 University have seen a massive number of drop-outs of both NPCs and even playable Sims. Professors could not longer be reached at home for help or private lectures. Even students with a 4.0 GPA and top grades are dropping out, and it doesn't even matter if it's the end of a semester or not. They all autonomously pick up the phone and sign out, to be placed in the Sim Bin in the neighborhood - as adults. It's not entirely sure what is causing this problem, or if it affects every installation of the game. It might depend on the system configuration. Read on for more details...

[Update 11:45] We received the screenshot below from April Flores, which shows the situation. In the dialog that shows up, the "No" button is greyed out and clicking it has no effect, the same goes for the action icon at the top. April also said that this dialog would appear only for playable Sims, but you had to click Yes to be able to continue playing the game. Click the thumbnail to see the full version of the screenshot. We'll keep you updated with more.

[Update 2 April] As you can now read in another post, this news is fake. April fool!

Massive College Drop-outs
 
Read More!

April Fool?
Written at 20:15 by Andy - 3 comments.
... or is this starting on Friday, April 8th ?



YOU decide
 

Saturday 2 April 2005
Did we Fool you?
Written at 11:38 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
Exactly 24 hours, a worrying newspost appeared on this site. College students were reported to drop out by masses, and the post was even supported with a quote from Tim LeTourneau and a screenshot by April Flores. Well, to tell you the truth:

It was all fake.

April Flores was me, the screenshot is real, but the buttons were greyed out manually and of course the Sims were posed. The quotes aren't from Tim but were made up by us, and basically every bit of it was just us playing around a bit. It was April fool's day, and we decided to have a bit of fun as we do every year. If you believed the news: better luck next year. If you didn't: clever you. And if you didn't read it but still want to see what story we made up: read it. We had a laugh, we hope you had too. We will now continue our usual coverage, with real news as usual, for another year.
 

Tuesday 5 April 2005
April Fools Video
Written at 21:45 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
April Fools day has been past us for a few days, but there's still one thing about that day. GameSpy posted a video that shows the pranks of the Sims 2 University. In true April Fools style it shows you some buzzing, bubbling, excess water, and more. Check out the video for the details.
 
Sims 2 Mac Update
Written at 22:17 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Aspyr is working hard on the Mac version of the Sims 2. It's currently set for a release in June (12th according to Amazon), with a US ESRB rating of T for Teen, or a European PEGI rating of 12+ (compared to 7+ for the PC version, 12+ for University). You can already pre-order the game in our shop - both in Europe and the US.

If you want to check if the game will run on your system, Aspyr's new Game Agent tool will tell you if it meets the minimum requirements. It's a free utility that you can download from its details page.

With the game currently being in a closed beta test within Aspyr, several people are already playing the game. At Inside Mac Games Karen Hallor, Quality Assurance lead on the Sims 2, talks about the current status of the project. Included is the screenshot below. You can read her post for some more insight in the game's current development.

Thanks to SP Zone and WorldSims for the links.

The Sims 2 Mac
 
Spore also on XBox 2
Written at 22:25 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Over at Gaming Steve the webmaster has given some inside info regarding Spore. In a thread at his forum, he says Spore is in development for both PC and XBox 2, a next generation console. It's not sure if it's in development for the Playstation 3 either or not. He also says almost the entire Maxis team is working on it, but considering there are also two teams for Sims 2 expansions, that seems unlikely. Thanks to Planet Spore for the info.
 
Sims 2 Nightlife Announced
Written at 22:39 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The rumours for Sims 2 Nightlife have existed for over a month, and now EA has announced the expansion pack. Some of the features include a new downtown area, new dating gameplay, and a "new life goal focused on pleasure seeking." Sims can head out to town at night to go out, or to find true love. The new Pleasure Seeking aspiration which will make Sims want hot dates, long nights of dancing, or fine dining. The pack will include 125 new objects, among which a DJ booth, a poker table, and more items to make a new nightclub or VIP lounge. As with the previous pack, University, Tim LeTourneau is senior producer of Nightlife and we expect some e-mails from him again in the near future. Of course you'll need the Sims 2 to play the game, which will be out this fall.

In total there are 3 new screenshots and 4 artworks, which you can find below. All were posted at GameSpot, although one posted below is slightly larger as it comes directly from EA. Click the thumbnails to see the larger versions of the shots. Read the press release for more information about this second expansion pack.

The Sims 2 Nightlife The Sims 2 Nightlife The Sims 2 Nightlife The Sims 2 Nightlife The Sims 2 Nightlife The Sims 2 Nightlife The Sims 2 Nightlife
 

Wednesday 6 April 2005
Nightlife Update - Art, Box, Interview and T-Mail
Written at 23:23 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
It's been announced just one day ago, but there's already quite lot of news about it: Nightlife, The Sims 2's second expansion pack. First of all, Maxis has made a landing page, which shows information of the expansion pack. On it you can find a logo, in colour, as well as some artworks. They're posted in their full size below, they're not thumbnails to click this time. The landing page also gives some info regarding new places: there will be mellow lounges, nightclubs, restaurants and even bowling alleys. Of course objects will to make these be included as well, for example a bowling lane or a DJ Booth. You can work with the latter to get a little bit extra money. Other objects include a photo booth, poker table and a karaoke machine, while new characters come in the shape of vampires and hot waiters. In total there will be 125 new objects and items in the pack, a few more than in University.

Other than that, there is an interview with Tim LeTourneau (Senior Producer) and Shannon Copur (Producer) at GameSpy. They talk about the similarities with Hot Date, but also the differences between the two packs. Some information from the interview has been posted above, for the rest read the interview. GameSpy has also posted a box shot, which you can see below (click the thumbnail to enlarge it).

Finally, we received an e-mail from Tim LeTourneau about this expansion pack. He'll be keeping us updated with news about the expansion pack like he's done with University, and Luc and Lucy did with The Sims 2 itself. You can read his words in the Read More part. Of course we'll keep you updated with the latest news about the pack in the future.

Thanks to XPDude and SP Zone for some of the links.

TS2 Nightlife Small Artwork TS2 Nightlife Small Artwork TS2 Nightlife Small Artwork TS2 Nightlife Small Artwork TS2 Nightlife Small Logo TS2 Nightlife Box Shot
 
Read More!


Thursday 7 April 2005
A Sim Brother 4 Preview
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.


Originally found as a fusion of "Big Brother" and "The Sims", it has now moved to "The Sims 2". Tonight, I look at the internet community phenomenon that is Sim Brother and look around the Sim Brother 4 house, here at The Sims Zone.

Tune in right here!
 
New Poll
Written at 02:00 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Thanks to the 425 people who gave directions in our last poll, we have found the way to Pleasantview. The vast majority, 61.4% (261 votes), says you just have to load up the game and then double click the picture. 14.6% Said "You don't," whereas 11.3% claims it's a matter of just walking on and on. 9.7% said something similar, with "First right, second left, and then just keep going." The final 3.1% advised to go to SimNation first, and then to ask for directions. Lost it? See the full results for more.

And this week, we want to know all about the new Nightlife pack. Does it sound too similar to The Sims 1 its third expansion pack Hot Date, or do you think this will be a lot better? Vote on the right, or on the latest poll page.
 
Nightlife Interview
Written at 21:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
After GameSpy, their colleagues at IGNPC has now also posted an interview about The Sims 2 Nightlife, the recently announced second expansion pack. Rod Humber and Tim LeTourneau talk about the expansion. Things that are being discussed are the features, a comparison with Hot Date, and how Nightlife is really to get telling community stories. Other than that, there is some talk about a DVD version of the packs, where size will be they key aspect for the decision to release a product on just CDs or DVDs as well. Many people still don't have DVD drives in their computer, and with the Sims 2 Maxis noticed many people could not use the DVD edition they bought as they didn't have a DVD drive. Tim also expects that in a course of two years we'll see "everything come out exclusively as DVD." For the entire 3-page interview, visit IGN.
 

Saturday 9 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - The First Day
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 2 comments.


New blood in the new house in the new dimension

Let the game begin!
 
SimDay
Written at 18:40 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
A little later than usual, this SimDay report. There are a few things on the official site since earlier this week. Of course there's the Nightlife Announcement and a link to the GameSpy interview. Other than that there are three things exclusive to the official site. The first is a new Nightlife theme for MySims Pages. To set yours to this new theme, go to the Modify Theme page. This is the ninth theme available for MySim pages, making them more and more varied. There are 4 new small artworks on those MySim pages from Nightlife. You can see them below.

Besides that, Maxis has opened a new BBS section. In the Challenges & Contests BBS you can discuss challenges like the Legacy Challenge, make up and showcase your own challenges or contests and more. And Maxis is already doing so, by holding another new contest. With the "Nightlife Styles" contest you can get your creation included in the expansion pack. Two outfits will win: one male and one female outfit. These will be included in the expansion, and the winners will win a pack signed by the Maxis team. These outfits must be created with the Body Shop, and you can submit up to three outfits. As usual you have to be at least 13 to enter, and you must live in the US or Canada. For more information see the contests page and the complete rules.

 

Sunday 10 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 2 - Their First Full Day
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
Yesterday, the housemates arrived in the house and started to get to know each other and their new surroundings. With a party to finish and their first full day, what has happened in the house today?

Find out right here!
 
5 Million Visitors
Written at 20:20 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
It's been a while since we launched, and in that time we've grown and become more popular. That's shown by our visitor statistics, that you can see at the right-top of pages at the Sims Zone. And since we've been counting our number of visitors since 2 February 2002, we have already had 5,000,000 - that's 5 Million! - visits to this site. The last million of these 5 took place in the past few months, meaning that our popularity has dramatically increased since the Sims 2 was released. Of course we are very pleased with reaching this milestone, and we hope that we'll at least double this number a few times in the future. For now, expect a few special things from our creators in the very near future. Thank you for helping us reaching this milestone!

Your The Sims Zone Team
 
NEW Objects
Written at 22:16 by Sumit - 0 comments.
Happy 5 Million!

My first brand new objects are here! I have also included an extra recolor for each one. The bed comes in 3 flavors, but you need the original Mod Bed to use the other 2. Enjoy and thanks for making The Sims Zone a wonderful place! :)

Check it all out here!

 
Sim Brother 4 - Cat's Eyes #1
Written at 23:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.

Sim Brother 4 is more this year. This time, expect a weekly extra editorial about the happenings in the house. Every Sunday the reports will be summarised and analysed, and then be talked about from a different perspective. In the "Cat's Eyes" series you can look at Sim Brother 4 with a different eye. The first issue, discussing what possibly is the most important day of the series, and the second day is up to be read now. And come back later tonight for the usual Sim Brother report too!

Read Cat's Eyes #1

 

Monday 11 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 3 - Unwitting Candidates
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
Settling into their new surroundings, Sim Brother shows that this is not going to be a picnic and on Sunday of all days. What surprise does Sim Brother have in store?

Find out right here!
 

Tuesday 12 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 4 - Power and Politics
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 3 comments.
It is time for the housemates to take sides. Sim Brother tells the candidates of their powers and they have to decide who is for them ... and who is against them.

Find out who they chose right here!
 
Nightlife at E3
Written at 14:02 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The E3 (Electonic Entertainment Expo) is closing in on us again, with just over a month to go now. Shwo areas at the biggest exposition for game developers and publishers in the world have been sold out much quicker than ever before, which makes this to be a promising edition. Especially for fans of Maxis, as Spore, Will Wright next game, has already been said to be at the E3. Besides that, IGN has revealed the second expansion pack for the Sims 2, Nightlife, will also be shown on the E3. It's not sure whether a new edition of the console game will be announced any time soon, to be shown at the E3, but unconfirmed rumours of the Urbz 2 do exist. IGN's list of games to be shown at E3 - games that have definitely been confirmed that is - can be seen at the Big E3 List 2005. That list is updated daily, so more games will be added in the near future, until the E3 starts at 17 May. The Conferences are from 17-19 May this year, while the actual expo is held from 18-20 May.
 

Wednesday 13 April 2005
Poll Results
Written at 00:40 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As you can see, we closed the last poll a little early last night. That was due to the first Sim Brother poll, that is now up. Still, 321 people voted over the weekend, and most people expect Nightlife to be similar but different enough from Hot Date. 116 People (36%) chose that option, over "It does sound similar" (27%) and "I bet it'll be exactly the same" (21%). Fourth was the option saying they sound quite different (5%), "Nightlife? Hot Date?" got 4%, exactly as many as "No way! They're completely different names!" "No, I bet it'll be entirely different" got the final 2.5% of the votes. See the results here and for the upcoming weeks, remember to vote for the Sim Brother polls. Currently you can vote who should be House President: Alyssa or John. You can vote once every 12 hours this time, so you can cast multiple votes, if you come back here regularly.
 
Sim Brother 4 - Day 5 - Aggressive Campaigning
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
Political campaigning has become active and two heartmates have a heart-to-heart to promote unity and talk about marmalade. Also, two different housemates have slept together in the double bed.

Find out what has been happening right here!
 

Thursday 14 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 6 - Getting Psychological
Written at 08:00 by Andy - 1 comment.
With the housemates wrapped up in political campaigning, let us look inside their minds, look and their chances and what they are really thinking from the point of view of our psychologist ... Dr.Phil.

Let's do it!
 

Friday 15 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 7 - The Candidates' Debate
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 1 comment.
SimDay
Written at 03:18 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
This week's Simday is a small one. There are links to the IGN interview about Nightlife, and two mailing lists: The Sim Insider and the Sims 2 Scoop. With these mailing lists you can stay up to date with the latest news on the Sims 2, and the Sims 2 Nightlife. Finally, iFilm has featured the Strangerhood. You can see the feature and rate the trailer and first episode of the show.

Other than that, there's a new ShiShi Frou Frou Fu Lion by MaxoidMonkey. It's an ancient, Chinese statue, that you can put in your game for decoration. The April Fool's scissors have also been reuploaded, but it's unsure if anything has changed. There's also a new poll on the official site, and members got an e-mail announcing a spring cleaning on the exchange. Maxis is preparing to clean out the database again, and you are asked to help by cleaning up your own MySim page. That means you should clean up your guestbook, and delete double or unwanted uploads from the exchange.

[Update 19:50] With thanks to Martin, we've updated the links to the mailing lists.
 

Saturday 16 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 8 - The President Is ...
Written at 03:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
The polls have closed and the wait has been anxious with only a couple of points between the candidates for House President. Who won?

You decided!
 

Sunday 17 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 9 - Uneasy Lies The Head
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
It is President John's first day ... but what is the price of defeat for the losers?

You can find out in here!
 
Sim Brother 4 - Cat's Eyes #2
Written at 23:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.

If you've followed Sim Brother again this week, you'll know that it was a political one. Marmalade, the new house president, and a new Sim Brother voice have played a big role in the past few days. Your vote helped Sim Brother decide who won these elections. To see what happened the past week, from a different perspective, check out the unique analysis in Cat's Eyes.

Read Cat's Eyes #2

 

Monday 18 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 10 - Dissent & Homecooking
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
There is dissent in the house today, plus a new cook in the kitchen. Has the house become a hot bed of revolution or have the housemates all got food poisoning?

It is all in today's report!
 

Tuesday 19 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 11 - The Double Whammy
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.

With this, a new task and two cautions issued by Sim Brother, it has been one very busy day in the Sim Brother house.

You can find out everything what has happened right here!!
 
The Sims 2 Heads to Consoles
Written at 14:25 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
After the Sims, Bustin' Out and the Urbz, Maxis is developing a new edition of the Sims franchise for consoles and handhelds. After the PC version sold over 4.5 million copies, the Sims 2 will make its transfer to the other systems later this year. The game is in development for the current generation consoles (Playstation 2, XBox, GameCube), handhelds (GBA, Nintendo DS and Playstation Portable), and even mobile phones. As with the previous versions, the console edition will differ quite a lot from the handheld ones. An official announcement is yet to be released, but IGN already has the scoop.

Compared to previous verions on the GBA, The Sims 2 won't be too much different from Bustin' Out of the Urbz. Gameplay will be very similar: mission-based, but of course with new graphics. On the GBA it will be possible to trade unlocked episodes by connecting two GBAs to each other. GBA-GameCube connectivity will most likely not be brought back. A small interview with Maxis regarding this version can be found at IGN.

The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS will be 3D, and features like the touch screen will be used. Dual link between the DS and GBA editions are not yet definite. More of that can be seen at another interview. It's not unlikely the PSP version will be similar to the DS version rather than the GBA version, though not much information about that has been given.

The console version will feature graphics similar to the PC version, as well as some of the assets. Just copying it entirely to the consoles is not possible, so the console version will differ from the PC. Characters will have developed slightly further, e.g. you can find an alien abductor in Strangetown. The console will feature 60 characters, 35 of which are from the Sims 2 and University, and the remaining 25 are unique to the console editions.

A major feature is the Direct Control you can have over your Sims, controlling them directly through a third-person view. As soon as you get near enough to an object, you'll be able to have your Sim interact with it. Other than that, you don't have to wait for the game to figure out the path - you'll be able to determine it yourself. Customization will be possible through CAS, but creating objects (to which extend is not mentioned) will also be possible. A two-player split screen will be back again as well.

The food system will be new as well. Rather than just getting a fridge that has all meals, you'll have several ingredients which you can combine the way you like. Some ingredients will have to be bought, others have to be harvested. There will also be some potions, which can be combined and create many different effects. Motives will be limited to six, but will also play a secondary role in the game. The primary objective is to get in the game, and explore it. The new social system is one thing to explore. Sims will show how they feel about another, through the way they stand.

Finally, just as with the Urbz, the PS2 version will have EyeToy and HDD support, whereas the XBox will feature hi-res HDTV graphics. The GameCube will get some extra content on it. A lot more can be found in the interview IGN held with Scot Amos.

This title most likely renders the Urbz 2 rumours to be false. More of the Sims 2 will be shown at the E3 next month. For now there are already some screenshots which you can see below - three from the GBA version, three from the Nintendo DS and one screenshot and two artworks of the big consoles' version. Click the thumbnails below to see larger versions of all of them.

The Sims 2 GBA CAS (1) The Sims 2 GBA CAS (2) The Sims 2 GBA Game (1)
The Sims 2 DS Screen (1) The Sims 2 DS Screen (2) The Sims 2 DS Screen (3)
The Sims 2 Console Screen The Sims 2 Console Artwork (1) The Sims 2 Console Artwork (2)
 
The Sims 2 @ Consoles Announced
Written at 23:50 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
After the articles earlier today, EA has officially announced the Sims 2 for the consoles. The earlier mentioned direct control, as well as wants and fears, fully customizable content and the storylines for the handheld versions (including PSP, from the looks of it). Real new information hasn't been given, though you can read the press release for more info. Also see our previous newspost for a lot more details.
 

Wednesday 20 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 12 - Presidential Pressure
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
It is the day after the housemates have found out that they are all up for eviction. How are they going to handle their day and will President John find some of his supporters do not take his eccentric action very kindly?

It's all in here!!
 

Thursday 21 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 13 - Inside Tracks
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 3 comments.
With Martha telling Sim Brother what she wants to start to move towards perfection, to Condoleezza telling President John what she thinks of his decisions and Steve cooking a new meal, it's a busy day in the Sim Brother house.

Also, with Dr.Phil's weekly profile on the housemates and Zoltan's subtle hints on the voting, what more can you want?

It's all in here!!
 
New Nightlife Screens
Written at 13:36 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Maxis has sent out a new scoop e-mail of the Sims 2, which is all about Nightlife. There isn't anything new in it, except for two screens which have been posted on the official site. Both can be found below, just click the thumbnails to see the big versions. Thanks to XPDude for the tip as well.

Nightlife Nightlife
 
First Look at The Sims 2 GBA/DS [Update]
Written at 14:20 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Virginia McArthur, producer of the handheld versions of the Sims 2, has sat down with GameSpot and given a video interview which the gaming site has now posted. In it, some information regarding the GameBoy Advance (GBA) and Dual Screen (DS) versions is given. Both games will be set in Strangetown, although at different places there. The GBA version plays at the set of a TV show, where you have to complete 20 episodes. The player is the star of the show, and by fulfilling your needs and satisfying the aspiration (which can change in every episode) you can get high ratings from the Goths. If the rating is high enough, you can unlock new objects and episodes. The game is less linear than its predecessors as you can complete the levels in any order you like. You can also trade unlocked items with other players using GBA-GBA connectivity, so you don't have to uinlock everything yourself.

The DS version is very different, in that it's completely 3D and instead of at a TV show set, it's located in a two-room hotel. Your goal is to manage that hotel, and to make all visitors happy. There will also be three bosses refusing to leave the hotel, until they are completely satisfied. You are given a lot of freedom, and thus you can expand the hotel with new rooms including lounges and art galleries. Paintings for the art gallery can be played in the touch screen, whereas music that plays in the lounges can be recorded using the built-in microphone of the DS. You can also play that music in any other hotel room, and so drive your residents mad. As with the GBA versions, items can be traded.

Both titles will not be as linear as previous versions. There is an underlying storyline, but you're totally free as to whether you follow it, or just go out and socialise. Gamespot has promised some more information regarding the version for the big consoles for later this week. For now you can check out the preview, to which a video is attached. That video can be watched for free with a GameSpot Basic account. The screens below were also posted, one for the GBA and three (quite low quality ones) for the DS.

[Update 22 April, 22:40] As you can see below, the DS images have been reuploaded by Gamespot and now they're in good quality. We've replaced them here too. Thanks to Fabian for the tip.

The Sims 2 @ GBA
The Sims 2 @ NDS The Sims 2 @ NDS The Sims 2 @ NDS
 

Friday 22 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 14 - Of Asterisms, Galaxies and Constellations
Written at 05:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
Today is the weekly task. The housemates have been working all week towards it but have they worked hard enough to pass this astronomical task?

The answers are in the stars and can be found right here!!
 
Nightlife Screen
Written at 23:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
After yesterday's screenshots of Nightlife, the second expansion pack for the Sims 2 on the PC, a new one has appeared again. It's included in the Dutch Sims 2 Screensaver. You can spot the DJ below. Thanks to SP Zone for the find.

Nightlife DJ
 

Saturday 23 April 2005
The Sims 2 for Console Looked at
Written at 00:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Yesterday there was an interview with Virginia McArthur about the Sims 2 on the GBA and DS. Today, GameSpot is continuing their coverage, by posting a new article about the Sims 2 on the big consoles - PlayStation 2, XBox and GameCube. In a video interview with producer Scott Amos, he talks about the aspiration and the new food systems in the console version of the game. It's also said that the game will feature a more rich Create-A-Sim mode than on the PC, with options to morph shape the face and body, but also to create new clothes by unlocking items, and combining them in the create-a-fashion mode. As for the food, you have 60 ingredients of which you can combine up to 4 at a time. These will create your own power ups, as the food will affect moods or other things. The aspiration you pick at the start determines a bit in which way the story will develop, though - quite like the Sims Bustin' Out - you can go in whatever order you like. As mentioned earlier as well, you can play the game with two players in split-screen mode, and so play the game side-by-side. Direct control works there too.

The game is set to be released in fall 2005, along with the handheld versions. Tomorrow GameSpot will cover the PSP edition of the game. For now, there are two new artworks and a sketch from the console version to be admired by clicking the thumbnails below. You can read GameSpot's preview or see the video for more details.

The Sims 2 Console Artwork The Sims 2 Console Artwork The Sims 2 Console Sketch
 
Sim Brother 4 - Day 15 - Eviction Night
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 1 comment.



Tonight, one of these eight housemates is going to be taken out of the picture and by evicted from the Sim Brother House.

Voting has now closed and you have chosen which one of these eight it is going to be.

Eviction Night is right here!!

 
Sim Brother 4 - Bjork's Eviction Night Special
Written at 02:30 by Andy - 0 comments.
You have evicted Bjork from the Sim Brother house. See what she had to say to Will about her experiences in the house.

It's all here!
 

Sunday 24 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 16 - No Time To Mourn
Written at 05:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
Bjork has left the Sim Brother House. Eight have become seven. How will the remaining housemates handle losing her? Also, can Sim Brother help put their mind off things?

The answers are in here!
 
The Sims 2 @ PSP Info
Written at 14:24 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Sims 2 for PSP is, besides several other console versions, also in development. After discussing the other versions (except for mobile phones) GameSpot has also posted a preview of the Sims 2 for PSP. Virginia McArthur talks about the game (again) in a video interview, which is summarised by GameSpot. She tells that the game will be set in Strangetown, like the other handheld counterparts. However, the story is quite different. You'll start off with a Sim whose car has broken down near Strangetown. After socialising a bit with a mechanic, Oscar, he fixes your car while you're in a curio shop. There, with a set of tarot cards, your goals and aspirations will be determined. You can of course go back and do it again if you don't like the outcome. A little bit of what happened to Bella Goth in the PC game will also be unveiled. You'll move into her house (that she leaves), but the house will have to be fixed up a lot despite the maid's attention. When you get back, everything is gone - the car and the garage... That's where the game really starts.

You can go to five different neighborhoods with a map, where you'll need to socialise. There will be characters from the PC version but also some new and unique ones in the neighborhood. You can throw party and so invite some Sims to move in and become roommates. As possible on the PC, you'll be able to customise those Sims to your likings. Two players of the PSP version can also join the game over the wireless capabilities, and socialise to get extra points. You can also copy characters over this way, and trade objects and such. Audio capabilities will also be used to the max, using all Simlish features from the PC and a brand new soundtrack.

Read the preview for more information, or see the video interview to get the word from Virginia straight away. You can also check out the first three screenshots below.

The Sims 2 @ PSP The Sims 2 @ PSP The Sims 2 @ PSP
 
Mac Developer Journals and Trailer
Written at 14:47 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
During the past few weeks, a developer of Aspyr working on the Sims 2 for Mac has posted developer jounals at Inside Mac Games. We already mentioned the first issue, but by now three more have been posted. In the second one Karen Halloran tells about the aspiration system and careers, whereas the third journal mentions music and trying to break the game. In the last issue, posted last friday, mentions doughnuts and a trailer. All in all, considering what we know of the PC game, there isn't too much information about the game. If you're into reading the articles, go to the developer journals page. Two screenshots that were included in the journals can be seen below. There are more photos in the journals themselves, but not of the game.

The mentioned trailer also seems to have been posted already, by Apple themselves. You can view the trailer over there.

The Sims 2 @ Mac The Sims 2 @ Mac
 
Will Wright to speak at E3
Written at 14:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is starting again in about three weeks, at 17 May. The biggest exposition of computer and video games will be a good one for Maxis fans this year, with The Sims 2 for consoles and handhelds, The Sims 2 Nightlife for the PC and Spore for PC and possibly Xbox 2 being shown. Besides that, Will Wright, designer of the original Sims game and now Spore, will be speaking at the "The path to creating AAA games: How successful designers learn from experience, or decide to break from it" workshop. The panel will discuss if developers learn from previously made games, and if they get inspired by them. Learning from mistakes will also be a topic. The moderator will ask the guests, including Wright, how the previous game influenced the game they've most recently completed or are working on now. To quote the exact description:
"In what ways do designers draw on their previous games for lessons and inspiration? Is the muse that contributes to the game design process wholly new for each game or does it tap a well of ever-increasing knowledge and experience? And what's to be learned from mistakes and games that underwhelmed and sold poorly? This session will ask a panel of experienced developers how they learn and build on their game design experience. We'll ask them to specifically address how their most-recently completed project (or one they are working on now) was influenced by the game that preceded it. If there are rules and conventions to follow in creating games, where do they come from? Is past experience a viable resource or is it best to start new projects with a clean slate?"
Carly Staehlin will host the workshop, and other guests are Mark Firor (Mythic Entertainment), Todd Howard (Bethesda Softworks: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion), Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Q Entertainment: Meteos, Lumines) and Tim Willits (ID Software: Doom 3). It's quite likely Wright will be speaking about Spore, although that is not specifically mentioned. For more information also see the E3 workshop list. Thanks to WorldSims for the tip.
 
Cat's Eyes #3
Written at 23:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.

Another week has passed. A week in which Sim Brother evicted Bjork, and issued two warnings when Steve and Bjork tried to get a glimpse of the world outside Sim Brother. For a look through another telescope at the fourth series of Sim Brother at the Sims Zone, you should read the new Cat's Eyes. Edition 3 is now up for you to read.

Read Cat's Eyes #3

 

Monday 25 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 17 - Last Man Standing
Written at 03:30 by Andy - 1 comment.
With three housemates remaining in the Last Man Standing, which of them will win the covetted immunity? And will Tiger find himself as an automatic nomination instead of the secret betrayer?

Check it out!
 

Tuesday 26 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day18 - Nominations, Creativity & Karaoke
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
It's Nomination Day.

With Tiger an automatic nomination due to his own gamble backfiring, who else did the housemates nominate for eviction and why?

Also, what new task has Sim Brother given the housemates and is there anything else that might be in store?

It's all in here.
 
New Sims 2 Movie Contest
Written at 02:42 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
EA has organised a new movie contest for fans of the Sims 2, and it's a big one. They encourage people to make short movies using the ingame tools of the Sims 2. The competition is held together with the USC School of Cinema-Television. You have to create a clip featuring the day of a life of a student. The prize is a big one - you can win $5,000 (yes, 5 grand), or a four-week associate intern position at Maxis. There's only one of these to give away. Runners-up can win either an nVidia powered computer without monitor, or one of three nVidia graphics card (GeForce 6600GT). The last three will be the ones who are best in either the Comedy, Drama or Documentary genres.

If you're planning to join in, first it's wise to make sure that you're in the US or Canada. You also have to be at least 13 to be allowed to participate, and at least 18 for the associate position. The judges will decide on Story, Character Development, Art Direction, Originality and Music, each of which counts for 20% of the result. You need to have both the Sims 2 and the Sims 2 University according to the rules. You have until midnight at 30 May (PST) to submit your entry. You can read the full set of rules, and some tips. The winners will be announced after the contest ends. Good luck if you're participating!
 
UK SMS Contest
Written at 02:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
After EA US started a big competition, EA UK has launched a smaller one. In an SMS competition you have to invite friends to send a message to EA at the standard rate. By getting as many as possible people joining your dorm, you can win a set containing a 3G mobile phone, a portable DVD player and a copy of the Sims 2 University. Two of those (a sorority and fraternity) will win, The second place winners in both groups will win a mobile phone, a portable DVD player and a copy of the Sims 2 University. Besides that, the 8 runners up from both group will each receive a copy of the first expansion pack as well. By entering you do allow EA to send you more txt messages, which can be stopped by txting STOP to 60022. For more information see the contest page and make sure you read the rules too. They state the competition is only open to UK residents of 13 years and older with a valid UK mobile phone.
 
New TS2 PSP Screen
Written at 23:21 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
EA has published a new screenshot of the Sims 2 on PlayStation Portable. You can check it out by clicking the thumbnail below. It shows the Dead Tree Hub location Virginia McArthur talked about in the GameSpot video about the game.

The Dead Tree Hub
 

Wednesday 27 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 19 - Household Health Problems
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
With a strange stomach big, it is also compounded by someone claiming to have seen an intruder in the Sim Brother compound. Or does someone have a very vivid imagination?

It's all in here!
 

Thursday 28 April 2005
Sim Brother 4 - Day 20 - Of Bunnies, Muscles & Omelettes
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
  • Is Condoleezza insane?
  • Is Arnie really a "nancy boy"?
  • Who do the bookies think may be going?
  • What else does Dr. Phil have to say about it all?

    It's all in here.
  •  
    Sims 2 on Mobile Announcement
    Written at 14:58 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Yesterday EA announced several titles which would be released on mobile phones. As said in the console announcement, the Sims 2 is one of those games. Other games are Madden NFL 2006, Need for Speed Underground 2, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2006, FIFA Football 2006, Poppit!, Turbo 21 and Tri Peaks Solitaire. These eight games will be shown and be playable at the E3 in LA, at the expo which is from 18 to 20 May. They seem to be in development by EA Mobile, a fairly new division of EA. There are twelve other titles to be released in 2005/2006 as well. For more info read the press release, and enjoy the Sims 2 screenshot below.

    The Sims 2 @ Mobile
     
    GameSpot on TS2 Mobile
    Written at 15:12 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    After the announcement games site GameSpot has had a first look at the Sims 2 on mobiles. It mentions some features, like the SimQ, a meter which shows how well you are doing in the game. You have to complete mini-goals to improve your SimQ. The game will be mobile-oriented, allowing short sessions of 3-5 minutes, rather than having to take hours to accomplish something. It will feature a complete Create-A-Sim mode, and it even allows you to import a character from the PC version by uploading a Sim to a special WAP site. Copying Sims over through SMS is another possibility, but you'll also be able to just get into your phone's phonebook at any time in the game, and send your friends short messages. Of course there is also some decoration to be done. The game will be released in three versions, a 64Kb one for lightweight phones, and two heavier 128Kb and 178Kb versions. The latter will feature a bigger and richer world. For more information see the preview. The two screenshots below are new as well (do click the thumbnails to see slightly larger versions in this case).

    The Sims 2 Mobile The Sims 2 Mobile CAS
     
    Nightlife T-Mail
    Written at 15:22 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    Tim LeTourneau, producer of the Sims 2 expansion packs, has sent out another e-mail with an update on The Sims 2 Nightlife, the second expansion pack that's due this fall. This time he tells that the team is gearing up for E3, where the expansion will be shown to visitors. He also says how much the team thinks about the community when developing an expansion pack, implementing features that may not be in for a mainstream announcement, but that fans do want. For instance, there will be half-height walls, and new counter-island corners. Animated lights are "pretty amazing too", as you can rotate them and create different patterns. Besides that, the game will now allow diagonal and L-shaped pools without using cheats. All can be seen on the included screenshots, for which you'll have to click the thumbnails for larger versions. Read on for Tim's exact words.

    TS2 Nightlife Screen TS2 Nightlife Screen
     
    Read More!


    Friday 29 April 2005
    Sim Brother 4 - Day 21 - Bring Out Your Van Gogh
    Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
    It's time for the housemates to put what they have learnt to the test, applying all of their different skills and techniques.

    How will they get on?

    The answer is right here.
     

    Saturday 30 April 2005
    Sim Brother 4 - Day 22 - Eviction Night Revisited
    Written at 02:00 by Andy - 2 comments.


    Tonight, your votes are taking someone else out of this picture and they are going to be leaving the Sim Brother House.

    Voting has now closed. You have chosen which one of these seven it is going to be. It's eviction night.

    It's all in here!!

     
    Arnold's Eviction Night Special
    Written at 02:15 by Andy - 0 comments.

    Tonight, you have evicted Arnold from the Sim Brother house. It's time to go to the studio to see what he had to say to Will Wright about his time in the house, how he got on with the the housemates and what he is going to do next.

    The answer is right here.

     
     
    Belated Simday
    Written at 22:27 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    A slightly late report about last Thursday, as usual Simday on the official site. Maxis has improved their site a little bit again, by improving the search possibilities for lots. You can search on lots whether they have Custom Content, on Lot Size, Number of Floors, and Lot Value now, giving you a bigger chance of getting what you want. Other than that, there are some links we mentioned earlier, namely the GameSpot articles about The Sims 2 on console and mobile phones. New is also the intro, which now promoted the recently launched movie contest.

    As for the Sims 2 on consoles, handhelds and mobile phones, Maxis has posted new information pages. There are pages for all platforms the game will be out on later this year: Playstation 2, XBox, GameCube, GBA, DS, PSP and Phones. There is just one bit of information from these pages so far, which is about the GBA version:
    "Between episodes participate in all new unique mini-games such as car and soda commercials. How well you do helps determine how good your ratings are."
    Other than that, the following small artworks were posted:
    The Sims 2 @ Console Artwork The Sims 2 @ Console Artwork
    The Sims 2 @ Phone Artwork The Sims 2 @ Phone Artwork The Sims 2 @ Phone Artwork The Sims 2 @ Phone Artwork The Sims 2 @ Phone Artwork The Sims 2 @ Phone Artwork The Sims 2 @ Phone Artwork
     
    Sims 2 Mac Update
    Written at 22:40 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Yesterday Aspyr, creator of the Sims 2 on Mac, has posted a new developer journal entry at Inside Mac Games. This time it's all about the music in the game, which gets stuck in your head easily. Karen Halloran talks about Mark Mothersbaugh's music, and his band DEVO. Two screenshots are included, you can see them below.

    Other than that, Aspyr has issued a press release in which it talks about features of Mac OS X Tiger, the latest release of Mac OS, that the Sims 2 will support. The game will make use of the improved OpenGL libraries, and the new .Mac services will also be supported. Families can be shared over the .Mac iDisk as well. The game is expected in June.

    The Sims 2 @ Mac The Sims 2 @ Mac
     
    Strangerhood Episode 6
    Written at 22:54 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The guys of Rooster Teeth Productions have done it again - they've made a new episode for the Strangerhood, their sitcom series made with the Sims 2. This sixth episode, "Idol Desperation" clocks about 5 minutes, and can be found in various formats on the video archive. Download it to find out what happened to the Strangerhood characters after Nikki died...