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News Archive - June, 2006
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Wednesday 7 June 2006
The Sims 2 Mac Patched
Written at 23:25 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Publisher Aspyr has released a new patch for The Sims 2 on Mac, as well as one for both expansions out so far on Mac: University and Nightlife. The one for the main game fixes a bug on Intel Macs, which made all offspring of a couple have exactly the same facial features. For the expansion packs, the patches add Intel support and fix a random crash that can occur after the birth of a baby. The University patch fixes "terrain camera tracking" as well. You can download the Sims 2 Patch E, the University patch A or the Nightlife Patch A to update your game. A little more information can be found in a MacNN article. Thanks to Gibbie Sims for the heads up.
 
HomeCrafter Plus Updated
Written at 23:28 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Maxis has updated one of its tools to work better with the new expansion and stuff packs for the PC. HomeCrafter Plus, which allows you to create walls, floors and ground textures, is now compatible with all versions of the Sims 2, including all add-ons released so far. If you use the tool, it's best to update it, simply by installing the new version from the official site.
 
Community Manager, EP Update and Patches
Written at 23:36 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
On the BBS of the official site Hunter Howe (MaxoidHunter) has posted a message regarding the near future of the Sims 2 community. First of all, he mentions there's a new community manager. Since MaxoidKane left - rumours go she went to Spore - several members of the web team took over the job. Now MaxoidMel will be working for Maxis communicating to the fans. Other than that, Hunter says the next expansion (rumoured to be the Sims 2: Pets) is looking great, although he can't give more info for another few weeks. The official announcement will be made in a couple of weeks, when the pack is in "an awesome state" for Maxis to show it off to the fans. Finally, Hunter says two patches, for Open for Business and Family Fun Stuff, are nearing completion and are now at quality insurance. The patches should arrive soon. For all the precise details, read Hunter's message.
 

Thursday 8 June 2006
Glamour Stuff in August?
Written at 00:06 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Besides the Sims 2: Pets, there have been some rumours about a second Stuff pack. When the first stuff packs were spotted, Family Fun was the first, and Glamour Stuff the second. Although at first the glamour pack was expected this month, a Dutch online store, MusicStore is now listing the Glamour Stuff Pack with a release date of 15 August. This has not been confirmed by Maxis or EA though. Whether they will announce the pack along the next expansion (see earlier news) is unsure, but an official release date is not expected until the pack's official announcement. The Sims Zone will keep you up-to-date with the latest news about this pack, as always.
 

Monday 12 June 2006
Blogging Maxoids
Written at 20:13 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Blogging is a popular thing on the Internet, and now Maxoids have started doing it as well. On the official site there are six recently posted blogs from Maxoids - some longer than others. A few Sims 2 team members tell about their work, others just put up an anecdote or random story. First there's MaxisLittleL, who tells about the Design Pit, where the designers for the Sims 2 do their work. She also tells about how the design and production teams are able to socialise and discuss the game during work. Next is MaxoidDrea of the web team. She says what the web team does, and also recaps on an old easter egg on the site, made around the time when the Sims 2 was released. MaxoidKitty explains how she picks items to be featured, and gives a few hints and tips for your Sims and Lots on the exchange.

MaxoidWarlern has a story about a Llama herder, and MaxoidGromit isn't feeling too well. Finally MaxoidGrant tells about his job - making up catalog texts for objects in the game. He includes two texts as a sample, but also has a couple of names for objects in one of the upcoming products. For more blog updates in the future, check the MySim Pages index.
 

Tuesday 13 June 2006
Show the World How You Play
Written at 01:37 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
The Sims Played By campaign hasn't been updated for a while, not since February when it was for Open for Business. Probably for the upcoming expansion pack, and possibly console games as well, the advertising company for EA, W+K, is again looking for fans of the game to show how they play the game. To get in all you have to do is fill in a questionnaire, and submit some of your work. The questions in the questionnaire again hint towards the pets expansion, with questions like "If you could teach a pet any trick what would it be and why," and "Write a short story about a walrus, a toaster, two pounds of dog food and an umbrella." If you're lucky, you might be invited to EA to work on the next advertising campaign. For more details about entering, see the information page on the official site.
 
Exchange updates Coming Soon
Written at 01:46 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
One of the important parts of the official site is the exchange, where fans of the Sims 2 can share their creations - whether they are Sims, Lots, Walls, Floors, or other items. It's been quite a while since the last updates, but in his blog MaxoidDano has announced some updates will take place soon. Mainly the ratings will be adjusted - things are on schedule, but will still take a little time. In the future, you'll only be able to vote - positive only - once for every item. Downloads will count towards the score of an item as well. Once an item reaches a certain score, it'll get a bronze, silver and finally a gold cup award. Items featured on the official website will automatically get a "Gold Maxis Pick Trophy". Items with golden awards can be found through a new search category, and the award will also be displayed on a new pod on the creator's MySim page. More details about the new exchange can be found in Dano's blog posting.
 
Maxis Reveals TS2 Easter Eggs
Written at 01:53 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
According to a recent poll, fans want to know some secrets of the Sims 2. Maxis has fulfilled that wish, by posting a couple of "hidden" secrets, ranging from the Freezer Bunny and the Mean Sim to Kevin Gibson's Hair and Llamas. Maxis gives away some of the history behind these things - like how the Freezer Bunny is named so, because it appeared in a community lot fridge for the first time. For more of these inside secreats, check out the first secrets page.
 
Making Paintings Easier in new EP
Written at 02:15 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Although the new expansion - which is very likely to be about pets - is not yet officially announced, Maxis is able to give away a little sneak peak of a new feature of the pack. After last week's message, MaxoidHunter has now posted info about one of the features along with three screenshots on the BBS. It's all about custom paintings - although this is already possible, in a "very roundabout" way - Maxis has decided to design an interface to facilitate custom paintings. In the next EP you can choose Sims to create a painting of a picture stored in a special folder in the Sims 2 directory. Your Sim will still need enough creative skills to be able to paint such a still life. The interface also allows you to stretch the image to fit, to crop it or to make it fill the canvas. Read the BBS post for more details, and check out the screenshots below as well.

Custom Paintings Sneak Preview Custom Paintings Sneak Preview Custom Paintings Sneak Preview
 

Friday 16 June 2006
EP4 Sneak Preview: Rotating Floor Tiles
Written at 16:12 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Like MaxoidHunter revealed earlier, the new expansion pack for the Sims 2 will make it easier to make custom paintings. Now MaxoidShannon, producer on the Sims 2 games, has another sneak preview for one of the features of the new expansion pack: rotating floor tiles. You will be able to easily rotate floor tiles by using the < and > buttons. This allows for more custom designs to be made, especially with patterns covering more than one tile. Along with the BBS message, there are three screenshots which you can see below. They show several floor patterns, all made with just one floor pattern (texture).
Rotating Tiles Sneak Preview Rotating Tiles Sneak Preview Rotating Tiles Sneak Preview
 
Don Laabs talks to Community
Written at 16:26 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
It's been a while since Don Laabs got the job of Senior Producer for PC expansion packs of the Sims 2. Thursday he posted a letter on the official site, in which he talks about several topics the community has been talking about lately. First of all he mentions the next expansion pack will be revealed through an official announcement in several weeks. Meanwhile there have been a few sneak peeks (from Hunter and Shannon) of features in the new EP. In other news, he also announces that sims creator HappyMoonBelly has joined Maxis in the video capture department as full-time employee. There are also three new QA testers from the community, and Nick K. (Limbo1n), who won the USC / Sims 2 University Contest last year has been an intern for Maxis for about a month. He spent his time at the marketing department.

The second half of the letter is about hot topics on the forums. First of all he announces patches for Open for Business and Family Fun Stuff have arrived - more about that here later. Don also explains why making a patch takes so long - the Sims 2 is a very complex game, and everything needs to be tested in a high number of configurations, a number which is increasing with every product. Don also talks about Stuff packs - more will be released in the future. They're not available as downloads, to make people who don't visit the websites (official or fansites) get some extra items for their games anyway. Maxis acknowledges that they're not for everyone. When it comes to Tim LeTourneau, Don tells he's become Executive Producer, but he can't say whatfor yet. Finally, he explains how it should be "Live Mode" ("intransitive verb, rhymes with give") and not "Live mode" ("adjective, rhymes with jive"). For the complete explanations, details, etc, read Don's Letter.
 
Open for Business and Family Fun Patches [Update]
Written at 16:57 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
After several weeks of making and testing, Maxis has released two new patches for Open for Business and Family Fun Stuff. For Open for Business there are 54 solved issues, the Family Fun Stuff patch fixes 51. In total, 50 of these problems are fixed in both patches. Both patches are around 27Mb large. If you have Family Fun Stuff, you only need the Family Fun Stuff Patch, otherwise, if you have Open for Business get the Open for Business Patch. As said, the Family Fun Stuff patch also includes the one for Open for Business. On the download pages you can find the full list of fixes. For Family Fun Stuff the third fix is new in this second patch, the first two fixes were also in the first patch, which is included in this one. For Open for Business, everything from "Families can no longer be combined when two separate families travel to the same community lot" is new since the previous patch. You can find a summarised list of the most important fixes in the rest of this newspost.

[Update 20 June, 17:30] Unlike what's said above, you do need both patches, if you have both Open for Business and Family Fun installed. The order in which you install the patches does not matter. For more information, see this BBS post by Community Manager MaxoidMel on the official site.
 
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Monday 26 June 2006
Family Fun on EA Downloader
Written at 19:08 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As announced late May, the Family Fun Stuff pack would be available on EA Downloader, EA's service where you can buy games and then download them, saving a trip to the store or waiting for the mail. With a bit of a delay the game now is available for purchase there. For the usual retail price of $19.99 or 14.99 you can now buy and download the game. See the American or British product info pages for more details. People in other regions of the world can click either link, and choose their location at the right-top of the website.
 
Open for Business coming to Mac
Written at 19:20 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
A little while ago publisher Aspyr announced that the third expansion pack for the Sims 2 will be released on Mac as well. Open for Business will be the same as the PC version of the expansion pack, except for the platform it runs on. As always, The Sims 2 for Mac is required for the expansion. The pack is currently in early development and thus the release date might still change. The price is set at $34.99, according to MacWorld. Pre-orders will soon be taken. Of course The Sims Zone will keep you up-to-date with the release information of the pack.
 

Friday 30 June 2006
New Themes decorate MySim Pages
Written at 00:12 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
On the official site Maxis has created two new themes for MySim pages. If you want to redecorate your MySim page, login and go to modify the theme. The first theme is based around Family Fun, with a lot of yellow and orange as the main colours. The Pleasantville theme has green and blue as the main colours, featuring some of the famous Pleasantview sims on the headers of the various pods.
 
"Sims Played By" deadline at 5 July
Written at 00:26 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We recently reported about EA looking for fans for their new Sims Played By commercials. W+K, the advertising company organising the campaign, has set a deadline for applicants. You have until July 5th, next week Wednesday, to submit a story and information of yourself, if you wish to apply for the campaign. If you're selected, you get to play the upcoming Sims games for a week at the EA headquarters in Redwood City (near San Francisco, California). After that W+K will review all entries and select players to contact. They will be asked for additional information and creative work. Fill in the questionnaire within a week to make a chance to be in the campaign.