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News Archive - August, 2004
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Sunday 1 August 2004
Boring? Dull? Repetitive? The Sims? Try This
Written at 02:53 by Neil - 6 comments.
Are you fed up with your game at times? Whoever said that kids have to school at 9am-3pm simtime? Why can't they go to night school instead? Whoever decreed that text in the game has to be standard, uneditable and just plain dull? Why does the Buy music get annoying after the 15th play?

Well, be fed up no more because YOU can change all of this. Yes, customise your game in a way it has never been customised before. Music - easy. For real power, you have to dig deep into the guts of the game and here's how you do it. Click Here to read.

 

Tuesday 3 August 2004
New Files Section Launched
Written at 18:26 by ChEeTaH - 5 comments.
Hard work has been going on in the background the past few weeks to bring you something great and almost new. The files section has been rewritten almost from scratch, and many features have been added. First of all, there are nested sections, which means they are sorted better. Also, files may be placed in several sections at a time (more than just 2 as before), so you will definitely find the file you're looking for fairly easily. Add the new 'portal', sorting options, a far more powerful search than ever before here at The Sims Zone, and finally the previews on the overview pages, and it's all a lot better. None of the old functionality has gone lost, but everything has been improved greatly. In the next few weeks some administration might go on in the background, and so you might notice a few changes every now and then. That means you won't see the new "Requirements" fields in action for now, but sooner or later the files that require specific expansion packs or other custom content will show it separately (as long as the information has been provided to us).

If you find a bug or notice that something is wrong, please e-mail me and we'll get it fixed. Thank you.

 

Wednesday 4 August 2004
New House Added
Written at 17:35 by Carrie - 3 comments.
(Lot 65) Juniper Knoll

Hi everyone. I would like to introduce myself. My name is Carrie and I have returned as a designer here at TSZ. For my first new submission, I have designed a house called Juniper Knoll. It is located on lot 65 and requires all of the expansion packs.

Check the file out!
 
Sims 2 DVD Pack shots and screenshots
Written at 21:37 by ChEeTaH - 7 comments.
Several online shops have posted a new pack shot of the DVD edition of the Sims 2 on their sites. It's similar to the one seen before, but nevertheless interesting to watch - see the two shots below, click them to enlarge. Unfortunately a European release of the DVD is still unconfirmed. Furthermore, the same shops have also posted 3 new small screenshots. They too are similar to some screenshots that have been seen before, but are still worth a look. All the new graphics can be seen in larger versions by clicking the thumbnails below.

DVD Pack shot (1) DVD Pack shot (2) Screenshot (1) Screenshot (2) Screenshot (3)
 

Thursday 5 August 2004
New Poll
Written at 02:00 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Last week we held a poll about the colour of your Sims' rooms. After a week with 554 votes, it turns out Blue was the big winner with 23% of the votes. The rainbow (i.e. people who use many colours) got second with 18%. Furthermore White got 10% and red 9%. All the other options where in the minority. See the results page for the exact results.

As for this week, we go green. We want to know if your Sims do their gardening, or if they have it done by somebody. Let us know and vote on the right or on the latest poll page. For more polls, check out our poll archive. Enjoy!
 
Submission Added
Written at 02:02 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
We have added another submission today, by AngelRose. She's sent us a set of four paintings of animals. To get them, go to its download page. To AngelRose herself: unfortunately the e-mail you submitted the file with has never arrived, though the file was uploaded. Please contact me if anything needs changing, thank you.

 
URBZDay
Written at 21:46 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
This week's URBZDay brings a few new things again. First of all there's a link to a new preview at TeamXBox. Not much news is given in it, but it's worth a read. read the preview for the exact details. Next there is news about another focus group. You can earn $75 in 2 hours with chatting about the Sims on the consoles. The event will be held at 19 August. Visit the official site for details. Furthermore, now the GBA version of the URBZ is close to being finished already, and some more movies and screenshots can be found for it. The screenshots can be found below as well, just click the thumbnails to see the larger versions. Finally, there's the weekly blog. After two weeks of GBA talk, it's about the console version again this week. Scot Amos talks about the "Art Lock", the stage in which everything is in the game - all the locations, sims, basically all the artwork. Soon the Alpha stage will be hit as well, and the game is good on its way to be released in November. Everything can be found at the URBZ Website.

GBA Screenshot (1) GBA Screenshot (2) GBA Screenshot (3) GBA Screenshot (4) GBA Screenshot (5)
 
SimDay
Written at 21:57 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
As usual it's SimDay on thursday. This week there is a link to the ninth designer diary at GameSpot, and its screenshots have been posted as well. There's also a mention of the URBZ focus group, which we mentioned at URBZDay. A n interview on the official site's BBS is also highlighted. It's with TheSidDog, whose album Wasteland is highlighted as well this week. Read both Part I and Part II for the interview. Two other small things are a new poll on the official site, as well as a community update. Last but not least, there are two new NPCs to be downloaded. If you have SuperStar, go to the Get Cool Stuff / NPC section to download Bon Jovie (235 Kb) and Richie Sambora (230 Kb). That's all this week.
 
Sims 2 at GIGA.De
Written at 22:05 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
German TV Programme GIGA.DE will be broadcasting a bit about The Sims 2 tonight. Giga Games will be on from 9pm to 11pm GMT, 22.00 to midnight in most of Europe, or 1pm to 3pm PST. If the game would be shown was a bit unclear earlier today but it seems to be shown after all. It will be broadcasted on NBC Europe - at least in Germany - but also live on the internet. Info about The Sims 2 will be shown throughout the show, but the exact contents is (of course) yet unknown. Most people might want to watch the Livestream in about an hour for the show. Thanks to SimsZone for the news.
 

Friday 6 August 2004
Giga Games Screen captures [Update 3: 22:45 - and videos]
Written at 14:44 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
The Sims 2 was shown at Giga Games yesterday, and quite a bit of in-game material was found. Unfortunately the live stream wasn't of too great quality and it wasn't possible to record it from that properly. However, I do have 11 in-game shots for you though, from the first bits they showed. They are from selecting a neighborhood, a view of Veronaville, a family selected in the neighborhood (the green lines indicate where friends of the family live), a loading screen, and some in-game shots showing different panels at the bottom (personality, career, relationships and aspiration rewards). Another site, TheSims.de (unofficial), has also posted 12 shots from the same show, but all taken slightly later onwards. On those you can see a few general in-game shots, including the 'menu', but also the PIP (Picture-In-Picture), the "Online Job Finder", and more. The quality of all the shots isn't very high, but it's all there is (for now anyway). You can see all shots in the "Read More" bit (either shown below or follow the link to it), click the thumbnails for larger versions. Please do not leech (hot-link) to these pictures, but copy them to your own server or link to this article instead.

[Update 13:05] Affiliate SimsZone has also ust posted a bunch of shots from the same show. They're somewhat similar to the others, but slightly bigger. New from those shots are the descriptions of some of the Aspiration Reward objects. They screenshots have been added below as well. Another thing they tell about is about two of the aspiration rewards: the first one is a "Noodle Shooter" which will get your Sim in a good mood when they put this cap on. The "Thinking Cap" is another object, though it's not said what it does exactly.

[Update 2: 19:30] Spanish site SimsExpress has been able to capture the livestream properly. In two segments (one of 7 Mb, another of 14 Mb in .asf format). You can find them in the "Reportaje de Los Sims 2 en Giga Games" news post at their front page. The talking is in German, but the in-game images might be worth a look for everybody. Besides watching the images, there's also some in-game music to listen to.

[Update 3: 22:45] Another German site, inSims.de, has posted a video of 3 minutes and a half, containing a compilation of in-game pictures from the Giga Games broadcast. It's in DivX format, and it can be downloaded from its details page (26 Mb). Thanks to TCAM for the tip.
 
Read More!

Sims 2 Requirements updated
Written at 21:41 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Maxis has updated the system requirements for the Sims 2. For people without a T&L graphics card, a 2.0 Ghz processor is now the minimum (instead of the previously stated 1.5 Ghz). There's also an exact list of supported graphics cards. The fresh specification can be found on this page or below:
If you have a T&L capable video card with at least 32 MB of video RAM then you need at least:
  • 600 MHz P3 processor or better
  • 256 MB RAM if Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 98 or Windows 2000
  • At least 3.5 GB of hard drive space
If you have a non-T&L capable video card (such as Intel Extreme Graphics or Radeon 7xxx Series) then you need at least:
  • 2.0 GHz processor or better
  • 256 MB RAM if Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 98, or Windows 2000
  • At least 3.5 GB of hard drive space
Supported video cards (and the more video memory the better):
  • ATI Radeon™ series (7000 or better)
    • 7000, 7200, 7500 (requires 2.0 GHz processor)
    • 8500, All-In-Wonder 8500
    • 9000, 9200, 9500, 9600, 9700, 9800
  • Nvidia® Quadro™ series
    • Quadro, Quadro2, Quadro4
  • Nvidia® Geforce series (GeForce2 and better)
    • GeForce2
    • GeForce3, 3 Ti
    • GeForce4, 4Ti, MX 420, 440
    • GeForce FX 5200, 5600, 5700, 5800, 5900, 5950
    • GeForce 6800
  • Intel® Extreme Graphics (requires 2.0 GHz processor)
    • 82845, 82865
 

Saturday 7 August 2004
URBZ Pack shot
Written at 02:23 by ChEeTaH - 4 comments.
Online store GameStop has published a pack shot of the URBZ on their site. Currently only the X-Box shot is available, and it's not been confirmed as definite yet - but it's likely to be. You can see the shot below.

The URBZ Case (X-Box)
 
Lucy's Mail: Party Time
Written at 14:27 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Lucy's mail has arrived again this week, and this week she's in a party mood. She says the team is going to "party like it's 2999" when the game goes final. In the game itself you'll be able to hold all different kinds of parties, from weddings to anniversaries or even birthdays. Since parties are all about social interactions, Lucy's advice is not to bring Sims who don't like each other to the party. Also, you must bring enough Sims to make a good party: "expect only modest social success if you include fewer than three guests at your party. As they say - two's company, three's a crowd, but four or more is a par-tay!" There will of course be objects which will help you throw a good party. Think of some food (buffet table probably), balloons and birthday or wedding cakes. One final piece of advice is to keep open fire to a minimum at your parties...

Included are 3 screenshots of the game, but also some snapshots of the best Sims from the Create-A-Lucy/Jonathan/Tim contest. All of them are shown below. Go to the "Read More" part for the entire e-mail.

Party Screenshots:
Party! (1) Party! (2) Party! (3)

Contest Winners:
Lucy from Contest (1) Lucy from Contest (2) Lucy from Contest (3) Jonathan from Contest (1) Jonathan from Contest (2) Tim from Contest (1) Tim from Contest (2)
 
Read More!

The Sims 2 UK Tour
Written at 19:26 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
That The Sims 2 launch will be big is no surprise. There will be several oppertunities to play the game early - at least in the UK. If you can go to London somewhere between 1 and 5 September, you can visit GameStars Live for 10 pounds. If you use "eagames" as password when booking your tickets, you'll even get 2 tickets for one. But EA will also show the game on several other locations when they tour through the country. These are the dates and locations to visit:
  • Victoria Centre, Nottingham: 6 - 8 August
  • Festival Place, Basingstoke: 13 - 15 August
  • Bullring, Birmingham: 20 - 22 August
  • Bluewater, Kent: 27 - 30 August
  • West Quay, Southampton: 10 - 12 September
  • Arndale, Manchester: 17 - 19 September
For more information visit the official Mall Tour page. EA in other European countries might also be going on tour. Check the official site for your country to see if there will be an event which you can visit.
 

Sunday 8 August 2004
New URBZ (Console) Trailer
Written at 02:08 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
IGN has posted a new trailer of the URBZ. It's a 2 minute video, with some old and new in-game material to look at. The beginning and end is the same as the 30-second trailer posted on URBZDay over a week ago. For non-Insiders there's an 11.6 Mb version available, in Windows Media Player format. IGN Insiders can get a 17.1 Mb QuickTime version as well. The video can be viewed and downloaded from the URBZ videos page.
 
Some new Sims 2 Details
Written at 15:15 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
I just stumbled upon a thread in the official BBS, in which Maxis gives a few details about the Sims 2. First of all, MaxisProducer states that some bugs with the Body Shop concerning lightning and graphics have been fixed. This will hopefully solve some problems with blurry or even black custom content on certain hardware combinations. He's still being unclear about the possibilities for your Sim families to have a second 'vacation' home. One thing that is now sure is that the thirst, mood and family motives are indeed taken out of the game. The motives are now the same as in the Sims 1. The new ones didn't add much to the game, and the wants and fears seemed more important to Maxis. Finally, MaxisProducer also tells us that the web team is working on a tutorial about how to import SimCity 4 neighborhoods to The Sims 2. The following is already being said about it though (which too, isn't extremely clear):
"1 SC4 grid tile = 1 Sims2 neighborhood grid tile = 10 Sims2 lot tiles. you should know that you can only use the smallest SC4 city size, from in the region map and you should confine your (Sims2 buildable lots area) roads to within the middle 1/2 of the SC4 city map."
The webteam is also busy building the new Sims 2 site, but the tutorial should arrive some time soon. It's just "not ready for prime time yet," according to MaxisLucky. We'll keep you posted.
 

Monday 9 August 2004
New Sims 2 Screenshots [Update]
Written at 14:22 by ChEeTaH - 13 comments.
Two other Sims Zones have posted some new screenshots of the Sims 2. The first one is our affiliate SimsZone Germany, which has reposted the screenshots from Giga Games, but this time in slightly better quality, thanks to a repeat of the show. Go to their Screenshot section and scroll down for the high quality screenshots.

Sims Zone Poland has posted a selection of brand new screenshots of the game. They show a part of Veronaville, but also quite a bit of unique in-game material. The schoolbus and the kids getting in are shown for example, but you can also see a toddler hanging over the toilet pot. You can also see toddler Beau just after he's grown up to be a child, and achieved the aspiration level of Diaper-Filler. Finally, there are a few party screenshots as well. You can see them all below, click the thumbnails for large versions.

[Update 10 August, 11:10] It seems that Sims Zone Poland will be posting new screenshots almost every day for the next few days. Today they've already posted 20 new screenshots on the page mentioned above. Instead of reporting about it every time, you'll have to keep checking their screenshots page for the new screenshots. Thanks to Piotr for telling this in the comments.

Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 1 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 2 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 3 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 4 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 5 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 6 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 7 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 8 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 9 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 10 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 11 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 12 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 13 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 14 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 15 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 16 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 17 Sims Zone Poland Screenshot 18
 
The Sims 2 Preview @ SimsZone.de
Written at 22:08 by ChEeTaH - 13 comments.
Our colleagues at SimsZone in Germany have been lucky to play a (test) version of the game. They got a copy from EA, and have posted the first parts of their preview today. For the first time ever, they tell something about the installation procedure. Instead of grabbing a coffee during the install, with the Sims 2 you can play a "Grow your Sims" mini game while waiting for the game to be copied to your hard drive (2.65Gb at least). The game starts off with a memory clone, in which you have to match some images. After that there's a trivia about the development of the Sims 2. After another memory game, you're presented with the results. According to SimsZone it does get boring after a while, but it's not needed for much longer and it's a nice addition to the otherwise boring installation.

When starting the game, their first impression says that everything's alive in the new game. Sims also move in a smoother way than before. It doesn't even come to its right in screenshots: "Whoever watches the game in action will not be surprised, but astonished." Controlling the game is easy, despite the large number of new features and improvements. The tutorials should familiarise you enough with the camera control, as it is something to get used to. For Sims 1 players there are 2 tutorials which highlight the changes since that game. That's about all SimsZone has to say until now, but they've promised more articles in the next few days.

Of course the preview is posted together with a bunch of screenshots of both the installation as in the game. You can check all of them out in their Sims 2 Preview special. Of course when new info arrives on their site, we'll let you know.
 

Wednesday 11 August 2004
Sims become Toys [Update]
Written at 02:44 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
Besides the Sims 2, there's also the Urbz to be released later this year. And some slightly remarkable news has been announced about the last title today: Atomic Toys is going to make toys based on the characters in the GBA version of the Urbz. The first series of the toyline, called "Miniopolis Urbz" will be launched at the same day as the release of the GBA version. Toys based on the characters of the console version will be released later in the year, but before the holiday season. The availability of these toys is not mentioned, so it could be US only. For more information, read the press release. Meanwhile, the Urbz has also been officially added to the Nintendo DS launch lineup of EA, meaning it will be released simultaneously with the Nintendo DS platform. That will be November in North America and probably Japan (if the game's released there at all - I don't know), Europe and the rest of the world will have to wait until early 2005, as the DS system won't be out until then in those areas. The other versions of the game should be available in November worldwide.

[Update 22:25] There's a mini site available for the toys, which includes a photo with the toys on them. You can find it on this page, which also includes an interactive demo. Noticable is that one of the logos, previously used at TheUrbz.com is now seen there. TheUrbz.com now has the Atomic Toys logo on it.
 
New parts Sims 2 Review @ SimsZone
Written at 16:18 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Our affiliate SimsZone has posted two new parts of their review of the Sims 2 yesterday and today. Yesterday's part is about creating your family. You start by giving your family a last name, after which you can quickly start creating the Sims. That starts with a name (and biography) as well, as well as the basic characteristics. Pick your Sims' sex, age, body type and skin colour and you're ready to go a bit further. SimsZone also notes that all your Body Shop Sims were automatically imported upon installation, so you can also choose to use one of those.

For the rest of the details, including info about the neighborhoods, read on (and click Read More if necessary).
 
Read More!

Hot Date - How To Build Yours (Part 2) Online
Written at 22:56 by Neil - 1 comment.
Part two of my Hot Date editorial series is now online - see here! to check it out.

In this edition, learn how to build Marks & Spencer downtown (or at least, a very cut down version of it), make your own Angie's Den - within Sims limits of course (the ghost of Dirty Den is not included pronto) and even shove some gravel down and call it The Sims Blue Peter Garden (deceased George the tortoise complete with patronising speech from overpaid presenters not supplied).

Oh, and for anybody who doesn't get the references in this text - follow the Read More link).

 
Read More!


Thursday 12 August 2004
Comedic Sims movie
Written at 00:12 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
elRellano is a website which posts humouristic videos on many subjects. They have also made a Sims movie which will definitely get you laughing. If you're interested in seeing how Sims really feel about the cursor arrow trying to control them all the time... then check it out. Go to their videos page and download the Los Sims - OJO X OJO, Diente x Diente. It's just 6 Mb and you'll get almost 4 minutes of video. Warning: the movie is not to be taken seriously :-)
 
Urbz DS Interview
Written at 00:20 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Planet GameCube has posted an interview with Virginia McArthur. She's worked on the Sims Online and the Sims vacation before, and has been active on the Sims for consoles for two years. She's now the producer of The Urbz on the Nintendo DS. She talks a bit about the upcoming handheld game. She says the second screen of the DS will be used as XAM - the PDA for Urbz. The touch screen can of course also be used, for example to create your urb or to navigate through menus. Most GBA mini-games will also be moved to the touch screen to give it a unique feel, and some unique DS mini-games will also be included. Splicer Island is an exclusive location for the DS as well. Finally, players will be able to create and share paintings. It's also said he DS will probably not be able to interact with the GBA version, but instead Maxis focusses on DS to DS wireless connectivity, for wireless multiplayer mini-games, auctions and trading. Read the entire interview for some more in-depth details.
 
New Poll
Written at 02:00 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
It's been a week since we put up our previous poll, in which we asked you if your Sims water their plants. 427 people have voted, and most Sims pay to do the watering. 67% said their Sims have a gardener coming over every 3 days. 15% says their Sims water the plants and flowers themselves and they stay alive too. 10% of the Sims does the same, but their plants and flowers die for some reason after all. 5% are anti-green and don't have any plants, while 4% of the Sims doesn't water the plants at all - according to our poll anyway. See the results page for precise details.

As for this week, we want to know which (pre-made) family of The Sims 2 you'll most likely be playing the most. We have made a list of all the known families in the three neighbourhoods, and you can pick your favourite on the right or on the latest poll page.
 
SimDay: 3 New Screens [Update - And a contest]
Written at 21:12 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
This week's SimDay is extremely small. All that's new are 6 screenshots of the Sims 2, of which we posted 3 earlier this week together with Lucy's Mail. You can find them below. There's nothing else, unfortunately.

[Update 13 August, 15:00] A mention of a new sweepstakes contest, organised by Teen People and the Sims 2, has been added. People from the United States, between the age of 13 and 24, are elegible to enter. You can win a "trip for 2 to L.A. including: Airfare, hotel, dinner at a hip Hollywood hangout, and a shopping spree at one of Hollywood’s hottest boutiques," or one of ten copies of The Sims 2 together with a T-Shirt. See the contest page for details, and make sure to read the official rules.

Party (1) Party (2) Party (3)
 
UrbzDay
Written at 21:38 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
Somewhat bigger than SimDay, there are a few new things for the Urbz. The first thing to notice is that the new logo is now placed on the official website as well. Old news is the "new trailer" which has been posted at IGN earlier. The announcement that Sims become toys, posted here yesterday has also been put on the website. Furthermore there are fourteen new screenshots (see below), of which 5 show off the EyeToy capabilities of the PS2 version. Finally there's of course the weekly blog, by Scot Amos again. He talks about how close The Urbz on the consoles is getting to Alpha stage:
"Call the neighbors, wake the kids, it's almost ALPHA! That's right... just a few days away until The Urbz goes "ALPHA". Alpha, as I've stated before, is EVERYTHING in the game and you can play it all the way through. We're actually almost there now (ahead of schedule) but we have to really, honestly, thoroughly be able to play the thing from start to finish before we can be declared Alpha."
For the entire blog, see official Urbz website.

Screen 1 Screen 2 Screen 3 Screen 4 Screen 5 Screen 6 Screen 7 Screen 8 Screen 9

EyeToy Screen 1 EyeToy Screen 2 EyeToy Screen 3 EyeToy Screen 4 EyeToy Screen 5
 

Friday 13 August 2004
The Sims 2 to use On2's VP6.2 Video Codec
Written at 05:01 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Despite earlier messages saying The Sims 2 will save uncompressed AVI video files when creating a movie, it has turned out that EA has licensed On2's VP6.2 codec for use in The Sims 2. That means movies created from The Sims 2 will need that codec (a little sort of 'program' which media programs use to decode the video files) to be played. On2 claims that their codec provides better video quality than Windows Media 9, Real 9, or H.264. You can find the trailer of The Sims 2 on the VP6 samples page. It's very likely that the necessary files will be included with the Sims 2 when you install it, so there's not really a need to install the codec already. However, you can of course go ahead and get yourself ready to play Sims 2 movies in the future.
 
Alan Yu to fill A&R position at Maxis
Written at 17:14 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
WorldSims reports that Alan Yu will become director A&R (Arts & Repertoire) at Maxis. It's the first position of its kind within EA and even the gaming industry, but if successfull other EA studios will get a similar position. Yu's task will be to bring in talent from other studios or industries, like the movie or music industry, to Maxis, so new technology can be incorporated in the simulation games.
"Whether you're a musician or a filmmaker or a fiction or screenwriter, even if you don't realize it, you might be good for the video game industry," Yu said. "Today's games use Hollywood lighting techniques, camera angles and story elements to enhance the interactive entertainment experience," he said, "but people with those types of skills might not be aware of that fact."
The entire article comes from HollywoodReporter bus is available to subscribers only. You can read it right here on WorldSims as well.
 
Psychology and The Sims
Written at 17:27 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
There have been several articles in the past about the Sims and its relationship with psychology. There's another one that's been found recently. "Suburban Rhapsody" talks about how people use the Sims to simulate their own lives, or to express themselves. The Sims is very much like real life, and certain elements of the simulation are made after real life. The article also tells some bits of Will Wright, and where he got his ideas for the Sims from. Wright has used several books about psychology to make the simulation. "His games may be mass-market hits, but they're based on some very brainy theories about behavior, economics, and human psychology." If you're interested in reading all of it, then visit this page at the San Antonio Current. Thanks to WorldSims for the tip.
 
New Sims 2 Info
Written at 22:38 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
The information flood of the Sims 2 continues to flow. First of all, there is SimsZone Poland, which has posted a major load of new screenshots of The Sims 2. They have over 110 screenshots on their screenshots page. Those screenshots aren't taken with extremely high quality settings, which is why they might not look as good as Maxis screenshots. Depending on your hardware, it may look somewhat like that instead of what Maxis shows us all the time. A good graphics card will always help.

Our German colleagues at SimsZone have posted a new part of their huge review. This time they explain the build and buy modes. News is that instead of just 3 floors, it apparantly is possible to have up to 5 floors for a house, plus an attic. You have to keep in mind that the foundation does count as a floor though, so usually you'll end up with a maximum of 4 floors plus attic (which Sims can get on to as well). Put in another way: there are 6 levels on which you can build. A roof is one of them, and the foundation also counts as one floor (and thus occupies one level). You can even make a special roof-top with objects on it, by putting the roof below the highest level, and then adding a floor on top of the roof.

But not everything is as great as it may seem to be. SimsZone has said to be disappointed with the amount of content in the game. They've mentioned it before for Skins. There are some hideous ones, but the amount is not too high either. Custom skins can solve that problem, and with the Body Shop being out there's quite a lot of them already. However, something similar goes for walls, floors and roofs. A lot of the content seems to come straight from the Sims 1, and hasn't been altered much. From the screenshots, you can also see just 8 roof textures - which is all there is. As there's no tool similar to HomeCrafter available yet, nor something to create objects, fans might be disappointed by the lack of (decoration) options.

To read most highlights on the building and buying options (in English of course), click Read More (or read on below). To read the German article about the build or buy modes, or to see the screenshots for it, please visit SimsZone. English translations (without the screenshots) can be found in the official BBS (here, here and here). In the article of the buy mode there are also two sample movies made with The Sims 2. They require the VP6 Codec to be played (see also earlier news).
 
Read More!


Saturday 14 August 2004
Urbz Screens
Written at 00:08 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Games site WorthPlaying has published a bunch of new screenshots (of both the handheld and Console versions) and artworks of the Urbz. The artworks show a family of punks, namely a Dorky guy, a Goth, the group together, "HellaScary", a Leader and the Ugly. The 4 GBA shots show some spooky stuff, and the 2 console shots just show some more in-game stuff. You can see them all below (click the thumbnails to enlarge).

Handheld Screenshot (1) Handheld Screenshot (2) Handheld Screenshot (3) Handheld Screenshot (4)

Console Screenshot (1) Console Screenshot (2)

Punk Artwork (Dorky) Punk Artwork (Goth) Punk Artwork (Group) Punk Artwork (Hellascary) Punk Artwork (Leader) Punk Artwork (Ugly)
 
Lucy's Mail: New Video
Written at 15:21 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Yesterday was Friday the 13th, and that's what this week's e-mail from Lucy is all about. Her advice for the next Friday the 13th is to sit at your computer, and let your Sims have it - for the sake of fun. She explains you can do whatever you like with the Sims 2 to give them a bad day, and it's shown through a new gameplay movie.
"There are nearly unlimited ways for you to engineer, or simply suffer through, a terrifically horrible day for your Sims, from a series of minor inconveniences to indulging in their fears. Your bad day can involve minor offenses, like an embarrassing body odor problem at a dignified social gathering, or major bummers the like of which you can see in today's special link."
The movie is about 90 seconds long, and can be downloaded from the following links: Read on for the entire e-mail from Lucy.
 
Read More!

New Sims 2 Video
Written at 15:44 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Besides the video Lucy sent us, another new one has popped up over at IGN. It shows the Grunts and the Smiths, and especially how General Grunt doesn't really like the other family in town. The video of 17.1 Mb can be downloaded from IGN's videos page, and Insiders can even get high quality QuickTime versions of 24.5 Mb or 62 Mb.

An article has been posted along with the video, in which IGN tells that the game is very close to Gold status now, at which point the game goes into mass production. Lucy Bradshaw, producer of the Sims 2, tells a bit about the development process. She says there is now a team of 120 people working to finish the game, while there were just about 10 at the beginning. The entire development has been fun, especially with bugs like headless Sims giving birth to a body-less baby, or toddlers doing a "Hey There" move. Lucy also tells how you can make the aging of your Sim a big happening or just something small. A few more general features which have been discussed to a great extend before are also mentioned. Read the complete article for that.
 

Sunday 15 August 2004
The Sims 2 Screens and Info [Update]
Written at 15:55 by ChEeTaH - 4 comments.
The past couple of days have been very busy, as news and screenshots kept flooding in. Today's no exception. First of all there are 15 new screenshots (click thumbnails below to enlarge), of which 5 from SimsZone Poland and 10 from the Spanish Terra.es, which were found by SimsExpress. As for info, our affiliate SimsZone has held a chat of over 4.5 hours yesterday. The transcript has been posted. You can read the most important highlights in the read more part of this article.

[Update 14:10] SimsZone Poland has posted a 3 Mb movie as well. It can be downloaded from their front page, in the "Film prosto z gry TheSims2" post (click the "[ Pobierz film - 3,001MB ]" link). It requires the VP6 codec to play. Thanks to SP Zone for the link.

Sims Zone Poland 1 Sims Zone Poland 2 Sims Zone Poland 3 Sims Zone Poland 4 Sims Zone Poland 5

Terra.es Screenshot 1 Terra.es Screenshot 2 Terra.es Screenshot 3 Terra.es Screenshot 4 Terra.es Screenshot 5 Terra.es Screenshot 6 Terra.es Screenshot 7 Terra.es Screenshot 8 Terra.es Screenshot 9 Terra.es Screenshot 10
 
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Monday 16 August 2004
SimsZone Sims 2 Review part 7/8
Written at 19:49 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
Our affiliate SimsZone has posted 2 more articles about the Sims 2. This time they're discussing the collections and community lots. As usual there are some screenshots as well. For info from other parts of their review, please click the following links: Part 1/2 (Installation, First Impressions), Part 3/4 (Create a Sim, Neighborhoods), Part 5/6 (Build and Buy mode). For info about yesterday and today's articles, please read on. See the Sims 2 Review Index at SimsZone for all the original articles and the screenshots.
 
Read More!


Tuesday 17 August 2004
Chat with Lucy Bradshaw
Written at 14:26 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
There hasn't been an official chat for quite a while anymore, but one is coming up again soon. next Thursday (19 August) Lucy Bradshaw, Executive Producer, will answer your questions about the Sims 2 and what it's like working on it. As usual, the chat will be held at 3pm PST (that's 11pm in the UK and Portugal, midnight in most of Europe). You can join the chat when the room opens, usually approximately 10 minutes before the start, at the chat page, where older chat transcripts can also be read.
 
TS2 System Requirements Updated
Written at 14:45 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
As the release of the Sims 2 is getting closer, the system requirements are going to be closer to the real thing as well. Maxis has updated the system requirements on their site, and now they say an 800 Mhz processor is the minimum, whereas previously 'just' 600 Mhz was said to be required. As for graphics cards, a little has changed as well. It's no longer said that the Radeon 7xxx series need at least a 2.0 Ghz computer, and the Radeon VE series is now supported as well (which does require a 2.0 Ghz or faster processor). The latest Radeon cards, the X300, X600 and X800 have also been added to the list. Finally, the Intel Extreme Graphics 82915 card is now also supported, but as it doesn't have T&L that does also require a 2.0 Ghz processor. As always, the better the hardware, the better the game will run and look. That makes the entire list look as follows:
If you have a T&L capable video card with at least 32 MB of video RAM then you need at least:
  • 800 MHz P3 processor or better
  • 256 MB RAM if Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 98 or Windows 2000
  • At least 3.5 GB of hard drive space
If you have a non-T&L capable video card (such as Intel Extreme Graphics or Radeon VE Series) then you need at least:
  • 2.0 GHz processor or better
  • 256 MB RAM if Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 98, or Windows 2000
  • At least 3.5 GB of hard drive space
Supported video cards (and the more video memory the better):
  • ATI Radeon™ series (7000 or better)
    • Radeon VE series (Non-T&L - requires 2.0 GHz processor)
    • 7000, 7200, 7500
    • 8500, All-In-Wonder 8500
    • 9000, 9200, 9500, 9600, 9700, 9800
  • Nvidia® Quadro™ series
    • Quadro, Quadro2, Quadro4
  • Nvidia® Geforce series (GeForce2 and better)
    • GeForce2
    • GeForce3, 3 Ti
    • GeForce4, 4Ti, MX 420, 440
    • GeForce FX 5200, 5600, 5700, 5800, 5900, 5950
    • GeForce 6800
  • Intel® Extreme Graphics (Non-T&L - requires 2.0 GHz processor)
    • 82845, 82865, 82915
 
Urbz Box Shots and GBA rating
Written at 16:39 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
We already showed you the Urbz box shot for the X-Box version a while ago, but now EA has published shots for the PS2, GameCube and GBA version as well. This makes it more likely that the graphics are official. Still, it shows a "Rating Pending" ESRB logo, which indicates that it's not completely the final box shots, except for the GBA version. The GBA version, which as known is almost finished already, will be rated "E for Everyone" in the US, and the box already has an "Official Nintendo Seal" graphic on it as well. The Nintendo Seal can also be found on the GameCube box though. Below are all the box shots that are currently available, including some shots taken from the left and right, as well as the front. Click the thumbnails for larger versions. There are no graphics for the Prima strategy guide yet, nor is there a shot for the X-Box version taken from the left.

The Urbz GBA Box Shot (Front) The Urbz GameCube Box Shot (Front) The Urbz GameCube Box Shot (Left) The Urbz GameCube Box Shot (Right) The Urbz PlayStation2 Box Shot (Front) The Urbz PlayStation2 Box Shot (Left) The Urbz PlayStation2 Box Shot (Right) The Urbz X-Box Box Shot (Front) The Urbz X-Box Box Shot (Right)
 
The Sims Zone opens Shop
Written at 19:33 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
We have just launched a new shop, in association with both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. So whether you're in Europe or in the US, you can buy all your Sims games through The Sims Zone now. With that, you'll get your product in a cheap and reliable way thanks to Amazon, and you'll help The Sims Zone as well, so we can pay our bills. Currently the shop offers The Sims (PC) Games, The Sims (Mac) Games, The Sims (Console) Games, The Sims Strategy Guides and Other Sim Games. You can see a random product from our shop on the right hand side of every page, from which you can enter the shop. The shop is located at http://shop.thesimszone.co.uk, for questions about the shop, or product suggestions, feel free to e-mail us.

 
New House Added
Written at 20:28 by Carrie - 2 comments.

I have added a new house today. It's called The Colonial and is located on lot 67. Inside, there is a kitchen, 4 bathrooms, 7 bedrooms and 4 family/entertainment rooms. There is also a porch off the back section of the house. The Livin' Large, House Party, Hot Date, Vacation, Unleashed expansion packs are required.

Check the file out!
 

Wednesday 18 August 2004
New Sims 2 Screenshot and Video
Written at 15:26 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Affiliate SimsExtremos has sent us a screenshot of The Sims 2 from EA Spain. It shows how you can mix genes to create a child of 2 Sims using the in-game Create A Sim/Family. You can click the thumbnail below to see the large version. Furthermore, another affiliate, SimsZone, has news about a video preview at 4Players.de. Although the full version is available to subscribers only, but everybody can see 1:36 minutes of it in streaming format. Go to this page to see it.

Mix some Genes
 
Sims 2 Ad
Written at 22:45 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
American magazine "Jane" has published an ad for the Sims 2. The images have been scanned from the magazine and you have to put the two below together to see the complete ad. It's in a style similar to one posted about 3 weeks ago (see older news). Thanks to the Dutch SP Zone for these images.

Sims 2 Ad (Left) Sims 2 Ad (Right)
 
SimsZone Sims 2 Review Update
Written at 23:55 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
It's been said here several times before: our German affiliate SimsZone got a preview version of the Sims 2, and they're posting a review about it. New articles are posted nearly every day, and yesterday and today were no exception. Yesterday it was all about the everyday life of the Sims in the sequel, while today it was all about friends and family. As usual there's a bunch of screenshots to see, but with today's articles there are also 2 more movies taken with the Sims 2. As before, they need the free VP6 codec to be played. You can see all articles from the review TOC, where yesterday's article is behind the "Der Alltag – Zeit und Bedürfnisse" link, and today's article is linked to using the "Freunde und Familie link - of course both in German. Read on for the highlights from both articles (in English).
 
Read More!


Thursday 19 August 2004
New Poll
Written at 16:14 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Last week's poll was quite popular, with 748 votes. We asked you which default Sims 2 families you're most likely to play the most. By far the most people have said to create their own families: 49%. About 19% will play all of them, or is yet undecided. The most popular family is the Goth family, with 8%, followed by the Newbies (assuming they'll be in the game) at 5%. The Baxters and the Smiths got 4.5% and 4% each. For the exact results with all (known) families, visit the results page.

This week the poll is about the Urbz, specifically the console version: which character that has been announced in the "Crew" section at the official site do you like the most? Vote on the right, or on the latest poll page.
 
UrbzDay
Written at 16:35 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
This thursday comes, as usual, with some new information of the Urbz, from the official website. The weekly blog is slightly different than other weeks, as it's not Scot Amos (Producer Console version) or Virigina McArthur (GBA Producer), but a certain Craig (Web Developer) who wrote it. He tells his story on how this week's blog was born - but don't take everything in it too seriously. Furthermore there is some GBA stuff, though it's not really new. There are 4 screenshots which have been published by WorthPlaying before, and the same is with the 2 new movies which were published as a set of 5 earlier as well. There are also some brand new "Punk" screenshots of the Console version, which you can see completely by clicking the thumbnails below. That's all for the Urbz this week.

Punks (1) Punks (2) Punks (3) Punks (4) Punks (5) Punks (6)
 

Friday 20 August 2004
Chat Transcript: Numbers and Figures
Written at 15:21 by ChEeTaH - 15 comments.
The chat last night was quite a success, despite Lucy not being there. In her place was the Tuning team. MaxisKevin, MaxisHunter, MaxisDestry and MaxisDoctorVu answered many questions. The transcripts have been posted, but if you're too lazy to read that here are some highlights:
  • Sims don't have to be married to get a baby
  • Sims will not leave the lot when giving birth to a baby
  • Sims can't die from sickness or fire until they're Teens
  • Although twins are still a possibility, triplets have been taken out
  • Any NPC (including the burglar) can be married, but the NPC will be replaced by another one
  • The lifetime of a Sim ranges from 70 to 90 days. This is split up as follows: Baby: 3 days; Toddler: 4 days; Children: 8 days; Teens: 15 days; Adults: 29 days; Elders: 11-31 days. The life of a Sim can be extended by using the Elexir of Life which makes the Sim approximately 7-8 days younger, but they won't go back to the previous life stage
  • All young Sims have the Grow Up aspiration (which includes learning to walk, talk, etc), as soon as a Sim grows up to Teen you get to choose their Aspiration track (Fame, Family, Fortune, Knowledge, Romance)
  • The wants and fears have the chance of being rotated on a daily basis
  • You can lock a want (or fear) by right-clicking it, if you want to focus on it
  • One aspiration reward is the SimVac object, which sucks skill points from other Sims
  • To change the appearance of a Sim, simply use the mirror
  • There will be 10 careers with 10 levels each
  • In Private school Children/Teens can gain skills from chance cards
  • Sims in Private school might have an advantage in their career
  • Sims can start gaining skills points as soon as they're toddlers
  • Skills do not decay
  • The autonomy of Sims has been much improved making them smarter. To make them stupid again, you can just turn off autonomy. Sims can take care of their moods better now, but still not perfectly efficiently.
  • Instead of being sent to Military school, children with bad grades at school will be taken away by the Social worker. They might appear in the game again though, if by chance they're adopted by another family in the neighborhood.
  • You can build 5 floors without, or 4 floors with a foundation (and you can put a roof on top of that)
  • Teens can walk away from home and be brought back by the cops, but they won't end up in jail whatsoever
  • There will be 6 or 7 different gnome designs
  • And about 16 cinematic cut scenes
  • When chatting on the Sim-computer, you can see who else from the neighborhood is online and chat to them
  • Maxis will try to hold more chats until the release of the game, as well as some after the release
Of course more questions have been answered, but you have to read the transcript for those.
 

Saturday 21 August 2004
Lucy's Mail: Bloopers
Written at 15:25 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
This week's mail from Lucy is full of bloopers. During the development of the Sims 2, there have been many bugs (which won't be in the final version). And besides the ones causing severe headaches and costing a lot of coffee and aspirins, there are the fun ones. The last group of course raises a few laughs, and thanks to Lucy you can now laugh along as well. Included are several screenshots, and a 3.7 Mb AVI movie (7 seconds) to show some bloopers which occured during the development. To download the movie, click here. For the screenshots, see inside (the read more part).
 
Read More!

Urbz DS Previews and Screens
Written at 15:39 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Besides coming to the consoles and the GBA, the Urbz will also be one of the titles that will be released at the same time as Nintendo's new handheld, the DS. Two previews of the Urbz for the DS have been written and posted, one on Nintendojo and the other one on Cubed-3. Real news isn't mentioned, but there are two new screenshots to stare at. The conclusion between the sites differ slightly, as Cubed3 isn't extremely positive. They say the DS version uses the features of the new platform in a nice way, but it's all a bit gimmicky and not very different from the GBA version. Nintendojo is more excited to actually play the game. Read the previews from Nintendojo or Cubed3. Click the thumbnails below to see the larger versions of the screenshots.

The Urbz (DS) The Urbz (DS) The Urbz (DS)
 

Sunday 22 August 2004
Sims 2 Previews & Lots of Screenshots [Update]
Written at 16:49 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
A Portuguese website, PTgamers, had published a massive amount of 589 screenshots of the Sims 2 along with a preview. The screenshots are in English, but for unknown reasons they've been taken offline now (at least you can't access them without tricks anymore). Nevertheless they can be found in this thread on the forums of the (Dutch) SP Zone.

To see all screenshots (very slow!) from the original site - start with http://www.ptgamers.com/fotos/50917.jpg and increase the number by one each time to see the next shot.

Furthermore our colleagues of SimsZone are visiting the Games Convention in Leipzig (Germany). They've written a part of the Sims 2 in their GC 2004 special. They don't give much new info about the game though (unlike their review), but there are some details of the filmmaking feature in it. They've seen a video which will be published soon, but the main info is that it takes a lot of work to record the video stories that we've seen. Every scene is recorded multiple times from different angles. It will take time to get the hang of recording top movies, and once everything is taped you will still have to paste everything together using a movie editor - which will take some patience. Finally SimsZone also tells us that there of course will be more SimDays with downloads, and that the exchange will play an important role in the future. See their Sims 2 GC page for some pictures. There's also an article about Jeanette Biedermann, a German celeb who is promoting the Sims 2 in Germany, with some pictures.

[Update 18:00] SimsZone has reported that some of their members found this site which has copied all the new screenshots from PTGamers. It's a faster site which still has everything available. Thanks to The Sims 2 Junkbox for hosting the images.
 
Urbz Previews
Written at 17:03 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Two more previews of the Urbz have popped up on the net. The first one comes from the Games Convention in Germany, which our affiliate SimsZone is visiting. They've posted a preview (with pictures) of the game. Much news isn't brought in from them, though they do note that the Urbz won't be able to own their own crib in the game. Instead, you can buy one - or more - of 21 rooms available in the city. For the entire article - in German - and some pictures taken of the game on the X-Box, click here.

The other preview comes from Computer and Video Games (CVG). They don't give any news as well, but they don't seem to be very positive either. The conclusion is that the Sims will never be cool, and the Urbz won't change that - "it's trying too hard". See the entire preview for their full opinion. Two screenshots which are included with the preview can be found below - click the thumbnails to enlarge.

Urbz (1) Urbz (2)
 
First Sims 2 Commercial
Written at 21:30 by ChEeTaH - 9 comments.
The first Sims 2 commercial has been spotted on VH1 in the USA. JDB5001 in the TSR Forums has recorded the clip and put it online. It's 810 Kb and in Windows Media format. It's been mirrored on our servers: click here to download it (please do not leech/hot-link!). It isn't in the same style as the magazine ads seen before, but it shows mostly in-game material instead. The entire clip is 28 seconds. Enjoy it.
 

Monday 23 August 2004
The Sims 2 Movie and Screenshots
Written at 01:10 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
German unofficial fansite thesims.de has been to the Games Convention in Germany too, and they've posted a special with screenshots and a video. The video, 22 Mb, shows a fire being extinguished by 2 firemen. That's something that hasn't been seen before (except in some screenshots). See their GC Special page for the download, as well as some screenshots and photos. Some more pictures can be seen at their first newspost and second newspost from the Games Convention. The quality of all the media isn't great as the shots are taken from a PC screen with a camera, but it's worth looking at.
 
Mark Mothersbaugh Composes for Sims 2
Written at 17:32 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Mark Mothersbaugh EA has announced that Mark Mothersbaugh, recently honored with the BMI music award for Outstanding Career Achievement, is the composer of the theme music for the Sims 2. Mothersbaugh has scored, composed or directed music for several films in the past, like Envy (2004), Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004), Rugrats Go Wild (2003), Thirteen (2002), The Royal Tennenbaums (2001), Rushmore (1999) and Happy Gilmore (1996). The Sims 2 will now carry his music as well, which Mark says is "just another vehicle to express my creativity and allow my fans to enjoy my music."

Besides just the theme tune, Mark's music will also be heard in other areas of the game, including the Create-A-Sim area, and the build and buy modes. For more information, read the press release from EA.
 
More from Games Convention
Written at 17:38 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
German fansite TheSims.de has posted more material from the Games Convention held last weekend, following yesterday's media. Today they have a few more pictures to look at, as well as another 28 Mb video. The video shows some general in-game material, as well as the screen in which you can choose to move out one or more Sims. The complete movie takes 80 seconds, and can be downloaded from their news post.
 
GameSpy Sims 2 Feature - Sims 2 Gone Gold? [Update]
Written at 17:38 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
With less than 4 weeks to the release, the hype of the Sims 2 has really broken loose. (P)reviews, screenshots and media are popping up all over the place - on both the internet and written press - and GameSpy is no exception. They've posted two articles about the game - a Preview and a humour story - so far, but that's not all. There will be an interview with Will Wright tomorrow as well. For all the links see their Sims 2 landing site.

The preview is pretty in-depth with its 5 pages, and it does contain some spoilers as well. The editor is very impressed with the immense level of detail in the game. Imagine some Sim has left the cordless phone lying around somewhere, while another one wants to make a call. They'd press a button on the base station, and walk to the room where the phone was making a noise. Other samples of detail are that you can actually see the Sims play their chess (they move their pieces) or video games. The cutscenes, highlighting special moments in your Sims' lives, bring you really up close and personal with your Sims as well:
"Special moments in your Sims' lives are highlighted with (for lack of a better term) "cutscenes," where the camera swivels around to capture the magic - such as in my childbirth example above. All of these moments are appropriately big and bold, as if you're seeing it through your Sims' eyes. When one of my teenage Sims had her first kiss, she floated up in the air surrounded by hearts and twittering birds."
Furthermore the preview mentions "Woo Hoo" and fights. You should read the entire preview for more. In the other article, called "Spy Eyes for the Sim Guys", we meet Eugene Marfit, a "cheese-guzzling cellulisaurous" (or just a Sim in bad shape). Read and see how his life is changed by GameSpy, in the complete article.

[Update 15:45] The GameSpy homepage has a mention saying that the game has apparantly gone gold. This has not been officially confirmed yet, but of course we'll keep you updated.
 
Sims 2 Gone Gold [Update]
Written at 23:33 by ChEeTaH - 9 comments.
The rumour started earlier today, but it has now been confirmed: The Sims 2 has gone gold. That means it's now officially finished, and the CDs and manuals are being pressed and boxed. This has been confirmed by Maxis in this thread in the BBS:
"Gamespy's got their facts straight - The Sims 2 is now final and off to manufacturing.

"The team is tired but happy, and they can't wait until the game is in your hot little hands. I spent a good chunk of the weekend playing and it's way fun."

-MaxisLucky
That means there's practically nothing in the way of the 17 September release date now. That's when the game will be in stores. Unfortunately there is still no confirmation about a European release of the DVD edition, though it's become unlikely. Of course, you can order the game from our shop now, with which you'll support us.

[Update 21:55] A news post about this has been made at the official site as well now. See the gold news for that.
 

Tuesday 24 August 2004
Will Wright Interview
Written at 03:34 by ChEeTaH - 4 comments.
After the preview and story from GameSpy yesterday, they've now posted an interview with Will Wright, as promised. In it, they discuss the magic of the Sims 1, and how they sat down to start with the sequel. According to Wright, the 3D camera was one of the riskiest aspect, as the transition had to be smooth. About the balance of wants/fears and the mood, it's said making the wants/fears was pretty easy as they're static events. In return you could have hundreds of wants and fears, opposed to just 8 mood bars which are calculated by algorithm. The hardest work has been put in polishing and balancing the game, especially the wants and fears, but also the camera controls. Finally, Will says he loves the build and create a sim modes, with the build mode even being the "best home-design software on the market from a usability / graphic rendering point of view." The entire interview of course has more in it, and although there aren't as juicy details in it as some other interviews, fans will of course have to read the 3 pages. Go to the interview to find out more.
 
Sims 2 Screens
Written at 16:35 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
After the Sims 2 went gold yesterday, many sites picked up the news, including SlashDot, GamesIndustry.biz, IGN, GameSpot and many more sites. From GameSpot also come the two screenshots below, which they added last night. Furthermore, there has been a German preview which I missed a while ago. Although the text itself is in German, the screenshots can still be watched and understood from their preview. The GameSpot shots are below, click the thumbnails to see the large versions.

Sims gone Gold at GameSpot (1) Sims gone Gold at GameSpot (2)
 

Wednesday 25 August 2004
More Sims 2 Stuff
Written at 01:54 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
More the Sims 2 stuff has appeared today. First of all there's a Portuguese preview with screenshots at G4mers. The review is split up over 8 pages, and although I don't understand it, they must be positive as they rate the game a 91/100. Their screenshot gallery contains 22 pages of screenshots - take a look if you haven't seen enough yet. Besides that, the Aspiration trailer (see this news) has been posted again. This time it's in higher quality though, and the sides have been cut off. The actual video isn't much different from before. The new trailer comes in two slightly different versions (with just a different beginning and ending). Click here for an 18.6 Mb version, or right here for the 14.8 Mb one. Thanks to Piotr and SimsZone for finding the links.
 
The Sims - How do you play yours? (Part 5)
Written at 03:25 by Andy - 1 comment.
The Final Cut

In the past four articles, you have found many different ways on how to play this game. In this last article in this series, you can find the way it is played by some people who may never even see a car pool, let alone find a way to avoid it.

You will find it all in here!
 

Thursday 26 August 2004
New Poll
Written at 02:00 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
It was exactly a week ago when we asked you the question who your favourite character of the Urbz on the consoles is. 59% of you said you're not interested in the Urbz, and 15% doesn't know what we were talking about. That leaves just about 26% for the rest of the choices, and results are pretty close. Jayde, the first character that was presented for the game, got 26 of the 229 votes, which is about 11%. Second is Mazuiko Jackson with 8 votes (3.5%), Lil Bit got 6 votes (2.6%) and Tiny, Skid Mark, Toot Sweet and Alley Stile are tied on the last place with 5 votes each (2.2%). See the results page for exact results.

This week we have a new poll for you. In the past months Andy has written a series of articles, called "The Sims: How do you play Yours?" If you haven't read them yet, visit our editorials section. After that answer the question for you: how do you play the Sims? Pick your favourite style and vote on the right, or on the latest poll page. See our poll archive for all previous polls and their results.
 
UrbzDay
Written at 16:28 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
It's thursday which means Urbzday again. The main news this week is that the Urbz team has achieved a major milestone: the game is now Alpha, and all the tuning and testing of the game has begun. MAXISean tells all about it in his blog this week:
"We are all super busy putting the polishing touches on The Urbz now: tuning, debugging, last minute fixes and such. All the new clothing is finally in the game and our Create an Urbz in-game stores are cooler than ever. The most massive improvements to the game this year are the new camera sweeps and angles. I started up the game at Darius' Penthouse and the camera flew in helicopter-style, the screen letterboxed and a message typed out on screen about the time and location. Felt just like an action movie! Action is what it is all about too as our new suped-up plumb bob is bouncier and more fun to use than ever too."
Furthermore there is some stuff about the Black Eyed Peas. As known, the hip-hop band will be making some music for the Urbz. A bunch of songs have now been recorded in SimLish. There will even be 9 songs in SimLish on their new album "Monkey Business", according to an article at MTV.com. There are also 8 screenshots of the Black Eyed Peas as characters in the game, which you can see below. The blog can be found on the official website.

Black Eyed Peas as Urbz (1) Black Eyed Peas as Urbz (2) Black Eyed Peas as Urbz (3) Black Eyed Peas as Urbz (4) Black Eyed Peas as Urbz (5) Black Eyed Peas as Urbz (6) Black Eyed Peas as Urbz (7) Black Eyed Peas as Urbz (8)
 
SimDay: New Video
Written at 16:35 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
This week's SimDay comes with nothing but a video. Links to the Gamespy Feature and the news about the Sims gone gold have been posted earlier this week. The video is a preview of the Sims 2 DVD edition, of which a worldwide release still hasn't been confirmed by EA. Nevertheless there's the option to pre-order it in the US, and of course that means there has to be some PR for it. In 90 seconds some bits of the interviews with several Maxis icons are shown. Tim LeTourneau also explains how the blooper video was created. Apparantly they just tried to make Sims juggle with objects in the environment, and they happened to (ab)use a baby for it. The video also contains a few snippets of previously unseen in-game material. You can view and download it from the official videos page.
 

Friday 27 August 2004
Games Radar Sims 2 Review
Written at 14:51 by ChEeTaH - 6 comments.
Online games magazine GamesRadar has reviewed the Sims 2 recently. As GamesRadar is part of MSN, it's not very odd that they assume the chat system Sims use, is actually MSN:
"A Sim's handful of immediate goals need to be addressed each and every day if they're going to feel successful. This might be as simple as having a chat with someone on MSN or having a couch bought for them. It might be a grander, more difficult endeavour, such as having an affair with a local beauty, or bringing home enough cash to afford some of the dazzling consumer luxuries (flatscreen TV, four-poster bed) that make a Sim's house a luxurious home."
Furthermore there isn't much news in the review. It does come with 6 screenshots though (of which the first doesn't show up in the gallery). For the interested, there's of course also the actual review, in which GamesRadar rates the game 8 out of 10.
 
Black Eyed Peas in Urbz Press Release
Written at 15:42 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
EA has issued a press release about the Black Eyed Peas making the music for the upcoming console game the Urbz. This was already revealed at 24 June, and some screenshots popped up last Urbzday, but it's now completely official. Although there isn't much news about this "extraordinary collaboration." As said before, nine tracks of the upcoming Black Eyed Peas album "Monkey Business" will be recorded in SimLish. According to the press release, the band went back in the studio to re-record those songs in another language, specifically for a game. The Urbz itself will feature exclusive versions of those tracks. If you're interested in more about this, read the press release.
 

Saturday 28 August 2004
August Sims 2 Scoop
Written at 01:24 by ChEeTaH - 4 comments.
The monthly scoop has been sent out again. Besides there being links to the latest chat transcript and the dvd trailer, there is also a small piece about the Sims 2 going gold. More interesting however, is a little piece about the Monty's and the Capps, from Veronaville:
"There's plenty going on in The Sims 2 neighborhoods! Take Veronaville and its feuding families, for instance...

"The Monty's and the Capp's aren't on the best terms, so the Summerdreams have thrown a party to ease tensions between the two families. A party may not be the best place to settle an argument, however. Will Mercutio be able to control his unruly behavior and allow the party to continue, or will the whole evening become a disaster?"
Included with the email are also the 6 screenshots below. Click the thumbnails to see the large versions. Older scoop screenshots can be found on the Scoop Screenshots page.

Mercutio's in trouble Mercutio messed up Look at the Ladies Feeling Rich? Money, Money, Money... Hacking is bad!
 
Urbz Screenshot
Written at 01:31 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Spanish fansite SimsExtremos has posted a new in-game screenshot of the Urbz on the consoles. Just take a look for yourself, by clicking the thumbnail below.

Where does that music come from?
 
Lucy's Mail: Music
Written at 04:00 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
This week mail from Lucy is all about the music in the Sims 2. It's mainly a follow-up to news that came in earlier this week, namely that Mark Mothersbaugh has composed the theme tune for the Sims 2. Lucy quickly takes us through Mark's portfolio, starting with Devo in the 70s and ending with the Sims 2. The music that will be played when viewing the credits has also been revealed, as Lucy made it available for download. The 937 Kb file can be download from this link. Listen to it, and you'll agree with Lucy that it's happy and bouncy. In a PS, Lucy also quickly tells about the Black Eyed Peas who will make their appearance in the Urbz. That too was told of before, with a press release yesterday. See the Read More part (or below) for the entire mail.
 
Read More!

Hot Date - How To Build Yours Part 3
Written at 14:36 by Neil - 4 comments.
In what is probably going to be my last Sims 1 extra/editorial before The Sims 2 comes out, I present for your enjoyment, Part 3 of my Hot Date - How To Build Yours series. Please click here to read it and learn about decorating the outside of a downtown lot, blocking areas off and generally turning a bare area into a furnished area. Batteries not included. :)
 

Sunday 29 August 2004
Sims 2 System Requirements Minor Change
Written at 02:18 by ChEeTaH - 4 comments.
There recently have been several changes in the system requirements of the Sims 2. There has been one more minor change, which affects owners of a Radeon 7000 graphics card. Because that card has been put back to require a 2.0 Ghz processor. The Radeon 7200 and Radeon 7500 are still listed as T&L cards, and will run with 'just' 800 Mhz. You can find the complete system requirements on the system specs page, or in our knowledge base.
 
Knowledge Upgrades
Written at 04:29 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
After the relaunch of the Files section, we have now upgraded the knowledge section. Besides some bug fixes, there are a couple of major upgrades:
  • The question lists are now spread over pages, giving you a better overview.
  • The search is now also located at the top of the pages.
  • The search itself has been much enhanced, and is far more powerful. It's now similar as the Files search since that's been upgraded. More details of the results are displayed now as well.
  • When a question is moved to a different section, that will now be shown as such in the old category for 14 days. After that it'll disappear from the old section.
  • Questions can be merged. This can only be done by TSZ staff, but merged questions will be marked as such, in a similar fashion as moved question. Questions merged into another one will be marked as merged for 2 weeks, after which they'll disappear. Old links will continue to work though, without problems.
  • Questions can be stickied. This too can only be done by TSZ staff members. Sticky questions will appear at the top of the lists in regular sections (not the special sections like "Latest Questions" etc), no matter how you sort the questions. You'll only see them on the first page though.
  • Finally, there are some minor changes and improvements in the layout and data presentation.
A few small things have been fixed throughout the site as well, mainly that if you login through a subdomain (e.g. knowledge.thesimszone.co.uk) the login will be used on all subdomains of the site. That means you should have less trouble with that.

Currently the knowledge database contains 1400 questions, and over 3800 answers. It's THE place to find an answer to any Sims related question you have. Of course members can post and answer questions. If you haven't seen it yet, make sure you head over to the knowledge section to check it out. If you have any bugs to report, please e-mail me.

 
UrbzDay Part 2
Written at 18:02 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
After telling you all about this week's urbzday, a few more things regardng the Black Eyed Peas have been posted on the official website. The press release is there, but there's also a new movie featuring the Black Eyed Peas. It comes in two modes, high (4.1 Mb) and low (1.1 Mb) resolution. QuickTime is required. Furthermore, the Black Eyed Peas members have been added to the Urbz crew section. The movie is in the Flix section, the character descriptions in the Crew section, all on the official urbz site.
 

Monday 30 August 2004
Sims 2 Reviews and Screenshots update
Written at 01:13 by ChEeTaH - 31 comments.
Several reviews and screenshots of the Sims 2 have been posted again. First of all there's the German thesims.de, which has posted some more shots from the Games Convention, held in Germany a while back. You can find the shots in this newspost and this newspost. The British The Sims 2 Website has also been able to see the game. They've been to Bluewater, Kent, where EA was as part of the Sims 2 UK Tour. To read the impressions of The Sims 2 Website, visit their Sims 2 Preview page. There's also a new German review at Gamers.at. In 2 pages they discuss the game, and rank it as "Very Good". The third page contains some new screenshots, which makes it interesting for English readers too. Click here to read it, and follow the "Seite" links at the bottom for the other pages.

And finally, our affiliate SimsZone has posted 2 more parts of their huge review. One article, about the aspirations, wants and fears, was posted earlier this week. Today they've also added pregnancy and babies to the list. To see the screenshots, go to their review special. For the information from the review, in English, read on.
 
Read More!


Tuesday 31 August 2004
WorthPlaying features Urbz
Written at 01:47 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Games site WorthPlaying has posted a few things about the Urbz today. First of all, there are the 5 screenshots you can see below. But if you prefer moving pictures, there's also a grand trailer of 29 Mb. In 17 minutes you're taken through the game. See some Urb-creating giong on, as well as in-game material from 125th Street, Gasoline Row and Central Station. You also see several mini-games in action. One of the developers is your guide as voice-over. If you want to see the video, click here (it's called the "Walkthrough Trailer"). For the full size screenshots, click the thumbnails below.

Urbz (1) Urbz (2) Urbz (3) Urbz (4) Urbz (5)
 
Sims 2 Update
Written at 22:33 by ChEeTaH - 6 comments.
News about the Sims 2 keeps popping up every day, now it's almost released. There are just 17 days left until it's been released world-wide, which means a mass-load of reviews is bound to be written as well. For now it's still mostly previews though, of which one comes from IGN. The two-page article tells about the first week of Dan, Steve, Tom, Tal, and Jimmy living together in a house in StrangeTown. It's the first of a series of articles, which gives you an insight of what can be done with the Sims 2, without just listing the features. Interested in seeing (and reading) what a mess they made of it? Then read the article, or just watch the screenshots. Talking about screenshots, The Sims 2 Resource has posted 11 new screenshots of the game in their gallery for your viewing pleasure. If that's not enough and you want your computer to show the Sims 2 even when you're away from it from a chosen amount of minutes, then download this Japanese Screensaver. Click the link and then OK to download it (1.5 Mb), and then install it.

Last but not least, there's a show coming up on MTV in September, called Video Mods. It airs every other Saturday from 18 September onwards, at 6.30 pm PST (which is 9.30 pm EST) on MTV2. You will be able to listen to music while watching video games. And that's where the Sims 2 comes in; it's featured in a music video called "Stacey's Mom" by the Fountains of Wayne. Read more about that on the show's about page.