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News Archive - June, 2003
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Sunday 1 June 2003
New Donation Files
Written at 02:36 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
It's the first day of June, which means: new donation files. Those of 3 months ago, March, are now available for free between the rest of the downloads. If you donate this month, you'll be getting a unique LCD PC, 2 counters, a new dog house, and this room set by Jen:


Please donate to support us, we really need the money! Thank you very much.

 

Tuesday 3 June 2003
The Sims 2 interview
Written at 00:49 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
An interview with Margaret Ng, producer of The Sims 2.0, has appeared at FragLand. It's a video-interview that's a whopping 86 Mb big. Unfortunately that's too big for me to download right now with my 56k modem, so I can't give you many details. However, thanks to SimsZone.de I can tell you that it'll show some floating in the hot tub and some rain. There are also some ingame examples of how Sims will interact socially. The whole interview contains several in-game shots like these. You can get it from this page.
 
Two New Skins
Written at 19:26 by Steve - 0 comments.
I have just added two new skin submissions. Both are very good. The first is by Carrie B, and is a skin of Freddie Mercury. You can access it here.

The second is a very fetching skin made by The Star Knyght. This can be accessed here. For a list of all the skins we have available just goto the skins page.

I would like to thank both these creators for their submissions. If you would like to see your own work featured here, please read the submissions page before sending in your creations.
 

Wednesday 4 June 2003
ActionTrip reviews Superstar
Written at 00:28 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Another review of Superstar has appeared. Although there aren't as many as we've seen with other expansion packs (yet), they're still popping in every now and then. Here's a small bit of this new review at ActionTrip:
"Many may ask why there are so many Sims expansions, and why does Maxis keep producing them. The best answer would be something along the lines of: "They want more easy money", but regardless of that, I have to say that Superstar brings enough novelties into the serial to make the game fresh, interesting and likable both to serious fans and casual players alike. Apart from the new gadgets with which you can equip your humble abode, (exclusive plasma TVs and satellite dishes, etc.), now you can take some time to enjoy things like a professional massage, bathing in mud (yuck!) saunas, etc. you can also install the overly expensive Oxygen Bar for additional relaxation and impressing your neighbors and friends - vanity is a funny thing."
They also mention the scrolling which is 'jerky', and the outdated graphics and sounds. With a 77 out of 100 it's still pretty good. You can find the review here. For more links to reviews, click here.
 

Thursday 5 June 2003
Wright will make TV Show
Written at 00:19 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Yahoo! News reports that Will Wright has closed a deal with Fox Broadcasting to create a TV Series. Over the past year, Wright has been toying with the idea to create a new show. Although the show signed for doesn't look like it's going to be about The Sims (but more like robots or something else), we might see the game in a different show through a separate deal. Here's a bit Will says about the deal:
"I'd like to fast-forward into the future a bit and explore how machines and artificial intelligence will impact human beings and how robots will help us define ourselves. The trick is going to be to hook a mass audience with a new concept and then Trojan-horse these ideas into the show."
Earlier attempts by Wright to make a film of The Sims with help from Columbia TriStar Entertainment fell through, but there are now talks with a different company. Which we don't know, perhaps it's Fox as well. When Wright's show will be aired, what its name is and what it'll be like, is yet unknown. For more detailed information, click here.
 
New Poll
Written at 02:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last week we asked you which old games from Maxis you've played (or are still playing). You all voted a lot, and the results are in. The most votes were for SimCity Classic: 155 people of those who voted (266 people) picked that. Second is SimTower, which got 90 votes. Third game is SimFarm (71 votes), followed by SimAnd (66 votes), SimCopter (54 votes) and SimLife (45 votes). 75 of you said they played none of those games. This week, there's another new poll: we want to know how many stars your biggest star has. If you have any Sims in the Fame career (and you have Superstar) anyway. Let us know, you can vote on the right or on this page.
 

Friday 6 June 2003
SimDay
Written at 00:01 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This week's SimDay isn't much, which we're getting used to by now. Basically it's one link, but since that's not a lot at all, they added another link to GameSpot celebrating that Superstar made the #1 spot in the sales - as if that's such big news. The other link is to an article which contains an interview with Will Wright. Here's a quote from what Will has to say about The Sims Online:
"The whole point of it is that we need to give players control of the world. We're putting in a lot of community structures now where they can form larger organizations. And these social structures will evolve into governance. But the governance has to be evolved from the ground up, not from the top down. We can't just go in and say: 'Here's your government.' We need them every week to tell us: 'Now we need this. Now we need to vote.'"
The whole interview also discusses The Sims 2 and The Sims GBA. You can read it right here.
 
Another The Sims 2 Preview
Written at 00:14 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Gaming site GameShark has posted a preview of The Sims, with a little interview at the end. There are some screenshots with it as well, of which most were already spotted on 20 May. Besides mentioning the generations stuff and several other things, they also mention the new architectural possibilities of the game:
"The setup is still basically the same. You'll have a neighborhood in which you can choose a lot to build your house. Houses are a bit more complex now, with the ability to build above two levels, build on hills, set down foundations, and adjust angles for staircases between multi-leveled decks…pretty good stuff for Sims architecture junkies. The whole thing is topped off with a new graphical engine that puts the old Sims to shame. Deeply immersing graphics provide visual feedback in place of the attribute indicator bars of old. If your Sim is lazy, he'll get a little chubbier. If you want him to lose weight, a little time on the exercise equipment will trim him down. This is all accompanied by visual cues that literally show all of the attributes on screen."
The little interview (3 questions) tells us a community space is being considered, there might some time be an expansion that brings The Sims to their work, and the time compression may be fine-tuned a bit more so Sims don't spend 30 minutes doing their business. You can read the whole preview plus interview and see the screenshots right here. Thanks to The Sims Choice for the tip.
 
Superstar Review
Written at 01:42 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Some people like Superstar, others are completely annoyed with all the bugs and the slow scrolling and zooming that come with it (for free). The Gamers Temple also mentions these issues, but still give the game a score of 87%. Here's a little bit from their 2-page review:
"The entertainment career is a welcome addition to The Sims because players now finally have control over their sims at work. The amount of money that you bring home each day is entirely dependent on how well you do while at Studio Town. The dark side to this is that you can just as easily come home with your pockets empty. Starting out as an entertainer is quite challenging; the fame objects to which you'll initially have access won't earn you a lot of money. You'll need to play well just to have enough to cover the basic expenses such as food and your bills."
The whole review can be read here. Other reviews are in our review index.
 
Studio Town Open for Business
Written at 11:27 by Jendea - 0 comments.
"and... Action!" Studio Town has it's first additions with Breckenridge Studios - designed for the practical sim that needs to build funds as well as fame - and Mainstream Music. Mainstream Music has all the music objects plus a coffee shop, rec area and spa.

Click on the picture to check them both out.

 

Sunday 8 June 2003
More Superstar Reviews
Written at 01:32 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We've spotted another 2 reviews for Superstar. Both discuss the unresolved technical issues, the humour the game adds, how hard it is to become Superstar (including keeping those mood-bars green), the outdated graphics and more. What both editors find the most annoying issue is that some actions you give your Sim are just dropped and ignored. They're also waiting for The Sims 2. Which sites I'm talking about? This review from Gaming Horizon, and this one from IGN. The one from Gaming Horizon also discusses the annoying installation procedure, which asks for several CDs. They give the game a 7.4 out of 10 score, while IGN gives a 8.3 out of 10. You can find quotes of these reviews, and others, in our review index.
 
The Add-On Handler - Update coming soon!
Written at 19:01 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Recently I've been working on The Add-On Handler again. I expect a new version to be released in a few weeks' time. Besides adding support for Superstar, it'll also have a new function: FAR Objects. That will put your downloaded objects in one FAR-file, which speeds up the loading time of The Sims (especially if you have many downloaded objects). It can still take up to 2 or 3 weeks before that version's finished though, so I hope you can be that patient. Until then, you can use The Neighborhood Handler 4.10 (not earlier!) to install Studio Town areas. Fashion skins cannot be properly installed by one of my tools yet, but as said The Add-On Handler 0.2b will be able to do that. Currently, you can download version 0.1.2b (without Superstar support) from this page (Full version), or from this page (Upgrade version).
 
The Neighborhood Handler 4.10 Released
Written at 19:01 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
I've just released The Neighborhood Handler 4.10 - but not everybody can get it yet. For this week, only TNHH group members can get it now (sign up and you'll be able to download it now too!). The major new things are the 2 new functions: Rezoning, which will rezone an (Unleashed) neighborhood home to community area or vice versa without demolishing a building, and the Family Index feature. That one will basically list all the families in all your back-ups and neighborhoods, and show you their details and the details of every single Sim, which makes it very convenient for you to find a specific family or Sim. Besides that there are many bugfixes again, and the installation now also places an icon to the program on your Desktop. It's definately worth downloading, but you'll have to join the group first. More information can be found at the TNHH Website. If you don't want to join the group, then you'll have to wait one week before you can download this new version from The Sims Zone.
 

Tuesday 10 June 2003
Cheats (Console) & Hints updated
Written at 03:27 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last night we've been reorganising the extras a bit, making a separate "Game Help" section. In that section there's the (unfinished) career index, cheats, hints and more. Besides adding a few hints, we've also updated the cheats for the consoles versions of The Sims. The codes for the GameCube and X-Box versions are pretty much the same, but we added how to access the cheat menu on those consoles in the text. There's also one new cheat: "FISHY EYES". When you enter that, and change the camera view you'll get a first-person perspective. You can find the console cheats at this page. If you're looking for a list of cheats for the PC version, click here.
 
More Sims 2 info
Written at 03:48 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
A bit more than a week ago, there was some news at the official site of an issue of Computer Gaming World that had a special The Sims 2 feature in it. Many people are probably unable to get that for various reasons, but it looks like The Sim's Stash managed to get it. They combined information in the magazine with known details, and posted it all in a preview. For instance, we now know there will be 18 career tracks, with 10 jobs each. Besides that, teens and elders can get a job in one of the 7 career tracks for them, with 3 job levels each. There will also be 500 objects (compared to just 125 in The Sims 1 - without expansion packs of course), including some new ones and the familiar bunch (sofas, tables etc). They also say there will be no area to get out of the house in The Sims 2, but other sources (click here) say that option is still open. The preview of The Sims' Stash is definately a nice overview of all the features of The Sims 2. You can read it all right here.
 
Summer Rose Bedroom Set
Written at 22:26 by Jendea - 0 comments.
I added the Summer Rose Bedroom set today and also a "lightly" hacked version of the bed which is visitor enabled for use in downtown, community and studio lots.
You can check them both out in My section.
 

Wednesday 11 June 2003
New: rate our files!
Written at 00:14 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We've added a new function in the files section: rating files. Members can give files here at The Sims Zone a rating (1 to 10). If you as member voted, but changed your mind, you can re-cast your vote (and the old vote will be lost). The 25 files that you rate the highest are in a new list: the Best Rated Files. So members: log in and get voting!
 
New Superstar review
Written at 00:55 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
A new, rather short, review of Superstar has appeared again. Gaming Nexus didn't have a real in-depth look, and unlike others doesn't complain about the bugs in the game. However, there's one original idea in it:
"A change that should be implemented into future Sims expansion packs would be allowing the creator/player to purchase house items and placing them on angles. Symmetry gets extremely boring after awhile. Angles would allow the creator to build much more interesting houses and I think certain Sims would be happier too."
Probably not in an expansion pack, maybe in The Sims 2. Gaming Nexus also gives the game the highest rating so far, 9.0. You can read the review this page. All the Superstar reviews can be found in our review index.
 
More about Spellbound
Written at 13:09 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Bank of America Security Software Market Oulook 2003 has predicted one more expansion pack before the release of The Sims 2. The expansion would arrive in fall 2003. Although they report it as yet unnamed, Spellbound is most likely the name since that's what Amazon had up for pre-order late last month (they removed it now). The Bank of America doesn't state this is the very last expansion pack for The Sims 1, and as Will Wright said in an audio interview with GameSpy, we can still expect an 8th expansion after Spellbound. Will said they might be expanding The Sims 1 after The Sims 2 is out, because there will still be people playing the old game, and not everybody will have the system necessary for The Sims 2. Read a bit more (but not much) at IGN.
 

Thursday 12 June 2003
What pet do you like?
Written at 02:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We've got a new poll again, this time about Unleashed: what's your favourite pet you can buy in Unleashed. If you want to let us know, vote on the right or on this page. As for last week's poll: there are quite many superstars, 22% of the people who voted said their best Superstar had 5 stars. 25% doesn't have Superstar yet. All the other options (0-4.5 stars) received less votes (between 1 and 10%). An amazing 362 people voted in the poll, which is more than usual. For all the results, click here. Don't forget to vote this week!
 
TSO Interview
Written at 02:04 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Sims Online has been out for over 6 months now (in the US anyway), and apparantly some mobsters have appeared in the game. GameGossip mentioned it, and talked to Maxis about it. Kyle Brink has some nice things to say about it. Like this:
GaneGossip: "We suggest Neighborhood Watch. Or vigilante rule. Your reactions?
Kyle Brink: "Bo-ring! Come on, why limit yourself? Get creative. There are so many ways to respond to this sort of behavior.

"Personally, I choose to find entertainment in it. Sure, I could go for the standard "gang vs. gang" model. Or I could plant myself as a new member in one of these groups, then manipulate them into an internal civil war. Or I can ignore them entirely - set my property to use the "admit list" only, and rely on word of mouth to add people to my list. Nothing a wannabe crime lord hates more than being ignored. Except maybe being mocked, which is yet another angle I can take."
The whole interview isn't too long, but it's nice to read if you play The Sims Online. Click here for the full thing.
 
No E3 Award for The Sims 2
Written at 02:13 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The official E3 awards winners have been announced, but unfortunately The Sims 2 didn't win any. The game was nominated for both Best PC Game and Best Simulation Game. "Full Spectrum Warrior" won the award for Best Simulation, while Half-Life 2 won the Best PC Game award (and 8 other awards). We want to congratulate all the winners, but nevertheless we hoped The Sims 2 or Bustin' Out would win (in fact, EA won no awards at all). To check out the full list of winners, click here. The nominations are right here.
 
New Sims 2 Clip [Update]
Written at 03:03 by ChEeTaH - 7 comments.
EA has released another E3 trailer of The Sims 2. I've downloaded and watched it, and it's quite nice. First it shows a Sim in creation (not the actual interface though), then you see that guy with a girl on a couch, in their (messy) home. When trying to cuddle, the girl pushes him away. A few years later, so it seems, the same happend. But the third time, they get on to something. They marry, and the next scene shows a pregnant woman, with already two kids playing around. Then there are more kids swinging around. Kids grow up, become teens, and have wild parties. Thank god for the parents they graduate and can be kicked out of the house. The kids marry, get children too, and the first 2 Sims have become geezers. The clip is 1 minute 45 seconds long. You can download it in two versions: High resolution (320x240 pixels, 12 Mb) or Low Resolution (128x96 pixels, 3 Mb). Click right here for the high resolution version, or click this link for the low resolution version (both from 3D Gamers).

[Update 15 June 2003, 1:45] EA has apparantly removed the file from their FTP servers. The links have been updated to go through 3D Gamers.
 
Father's Day Sale!
Written at 03:34 by Sumit - 0 comments.
Wow what a sale 2 doors seem nice? Put papasim back to work with to hand dandy doors that'll apease to his delight.

 

Friday 13 June 2003
SimDay: New plant
Written at 02:25 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This week's SimDay brings a bit of strange news, usually not posted at the official site: a site (SimDandies) been closed down. It's a bit odd, as many sites closed down in the past and Maxis never posted about that... But anyway, in the rest of the news there's a new preview of The Sims 2 at GameGal. It's not too interesting, it doesn't bring any news, so if you want to read it just click here. Finally there's also a new plant available for download: the Cytherea Asilus Casses or Carnivorous Plant. It seems you have to feed it once every 24 hours (or let your Butler do it for you). Go to Get Cool Stuff to download it (292 Kb). That's it again this week.
 
New The Sims 2 Shots
Written at 02:44 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
UK Games has posted a little preview of The Sims 2, along with six new screenshots. They're quite interesting: one shows a hot tub (the least interesting of them all), a Sim getting some food out the fridge, a family in front of the TV (from a different angle than the 'known' one), a little decoration in 4 different ways, and a fight from 2 different angles. It also shows that instead of the mood crystal (of the selected Sim) going from green to red, it's apparantly possible to get it to be yellow (probably somewhere between green - good mood - and red - bad mood). They're definately worth checking out at this page. Thanks to SimsZone for the pointer.
 
Superstar Review (with more Spellbound confirmation)
Written at 02:54 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
The European site EuroGamer has posted a review of Superstar. It's one like we've seen many, but it reveals a small bit about Spellbound, which will probably be expansion 7:
"The sad thing is that Superstar stands up as one of the best expansions for The Sims, but as the latest in a series of six it's about as exciting as news of another Friday the 13th sequel. Although it's obvious that Maxis still has ideas (what with another expansion planned for the end of the year, and a true sequel thereafter), our patience is wearing thin, and even at £15 the cynical Superstar isn't glamorous enough to light up our lives. Buy it if you still play The Sims."
The review itself is not too great, especially one sentence that's a bit odd and proves of bad (or no) research done: they say "If you're an avid Sims follower, then you'll probably count The Sims Bustin' Out, Hot Date, House Party, Livin' It Up, On Holiday and Unleashed amongst the possessions dotted around your frequently rearranged, sick, urine and fly-covered abode". Besides it'd be more logical to put the expansion packs in the order of release, Bustin' Out isn't yet released (and won't be until 2004). The review isn't too in-depth, and could probably be the worst one so far. The rating is definately the lowest so far: the game scores just 5 out of 10. Click here to read the whole review, or here for more reviews.
 

Sunday 15 June 2003
TNHH 4.10 Public release
Written at 23:47 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Everybody, including those who aren't member of the TNHH Group, can now download The Neighborhood Handler version 4.10. This new version adds support for Superstar, and it has 2 new fucntions: rezone an Unleashed neighborhood (without demolishing buildings), and the family index. For more information, visit the website, and for screenshots and even more information check out the manual. To learn more about the new version, you might want to read last week's post. To download this new version, check out the utilities section.
 

Tuesday 17 June 2003
File Rating removed
Written at 00:39 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We've decided to remove our file rating feature again because of several reasons (basically it didn't work out as we expected). However, we'll still be looking into other options to let you post your opinion about a file on this site, probably through a comments option (similar to what's found in the news sections). I can't guarantee anything yet though, news might (probably will) follow sooner or later.
 
New E3 Sims 2 Video
Written at 23:40 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Norwegian site Itavisen has posted a review together with a video. Although I don't completely understand the review (because it's Norwegian), it just seems to list the features we already know. Nothing to interesting there. However, the video is interesting, as it shows some more E3 footage. It shows a lot of kissing and some playing in a hot tub, including the Sim that gets fried in the tub by lightning. To play the video, you need Windows Media Player 9. You can find the link to the video near the bottom of the review, behind a link that says "HER"). The review can be checked out right here.
 

Thursday 19 June 2003
New poll
Written at 02:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last week we asked what your fave pet from Unleashed was, and you did let us know. A whole lot of people, 363 in total, voted in the poll. The Dogs are by far the most popular with 48% of the votes! Cats follow the dogs with 26% of the votes. Then there were 63 who didn't have Unleashed (17%). The rest of you voted for the other animals (Goldfish, Parrot, Bitd, Turtle and Iguana - 1-2% each). Click here for all the results. As for the new poll: we want to know if you're looking forward to seeing a third series of Sim Brother here at The Sims Zone. To remember what it was again, you can read the first 2 series right here. Let us know, and vote in the poll at the right or on this page.
 
Lame Simday... again
Written at 22:19 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This week just 2 links to other sites from the official site. The first one is a link to this preview of Superstar at TechTV. It's not too interesting though, the mention what we've read before once again. For the other reviews, click here to go to our review index. The other link is to this article at USAToday. The article talks about transforming celebrities into animated characters in video games. Of course Superstar is also mentioned:
"Celebs in the neighborhood. Aguilera and Avril Lavigne are the newest guests knocking at the door in the new The Sims Superstar games. Jon Bon Jovi is being developed for an upcoming Sims character. Freddie Prinze Jr. and Trebek are in the discussion phase."
That, and a community update, is all for this week. Perhaps a decent simday next week... or not.
 

Monday 23 June 2003
New version of The Add-On Handler [Update]
Written at 01:22 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Only just done and uploaded: The Add-On Handler 0.2b. This version adds support for Superstar (and so can install High Fashion skins and Studio Town areas), as well as a new function: FAR Objects. That will put any custom objects you installed in one new FAR file (and back-up the IFF files somewhere else). That will speed up the loading time of The Sims quite a bit to a lot depending on how many installed objects you have. You can download the new version from the Utilities files section. People who already have the program (or The Neighborhood Handler) can download the upgrade version, others should get the full version. Enjoy it!

[Update 24 June, 0:00] Something went wrong when updating the database. It showed the file of the full version was temporary unavailable, that problem has been fixed and the full version is now also available for download.
 

Thursday 26 June 2003
New poll: How often do your Sims move?
Written at 02:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last week we were wondering if you'd like to see Sim Brother 3. Of the 190 people who voted, 32% can't wait. Those who don't know what Sim Brother is were with more though: 54%. That leaves just 14% for the other 3 options. 5% don't want SB3, 6% doesn't really care, and 3% does want it but can wait another while for it. This week's poll is about your Sims moving homes. We want to know how long your families usually stay in one home. You can vote at the right of each page, or at this page. Thank you for your votes.
 

Friday 27 June 2003
Simday: Make-A-Celeb tool
Written at 02:11 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This SimDay comes with a nice tool, similar to the Make-a-Date tool. In fact it's the same, except that it makes celebrities (like the SomeBodies), and you can also set their star level. However, I've tried it out a bit and it's far from perfect. The preview skin doesn't always look right, and it seems to catch a lot of Randy's when importing Sims using non-English versions. You can download the 3 Mb big file from this page. Along with this tool comes a Celebrity Exchange, where you can upload and download user-made celebs. You can find that right here at the official site.