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News Archive - September, 2003
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Monday 1 September 2003
Day 17 - Enter the Tank
Written at 03:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
There is a new annexe to the Sim Brother garden. Is it there for fun or does it have another purpose?

Here's where you click to find out!
 

Tuesday 2 September 2003
Day 18 - The 2nd Nominations
Written at 04:00 by Andy - 0 comments.


Which two or more of these housemates are up for eviction?

It's all in here!
 
New Sims 2 video
Written at 17:28 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Gamers Hell has posted a 12 minute video of The Sims 2 a few days ago. It shows a lot of in-game footage, but unfortunately the quality - both sound and video - isn't too great. The in-game stuff is quite much like what we saw in the Fragland video interview. There's a lot of noise in the background from other games, like James Bond which can quite obviously be recognised at some point in the movie. We again see the hot-tub scene where a sim gets electrocuted by lightning. We also see some more of the create-a-sim and the genetics. The video has a voice-over from a Maxis Producer. Unfortunately, due to all the noise, it's not easy to understand all of it. It comes from the Game Convention held in Germany a while ago. You can download the video (68 Mb) from this page. It requires Windows Media Player 9 (or the WMP 9 Codecs).
 

Wednesday 3 September 2003
Day 19 - Royal Trumps
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
Until this moment, they were sleeping normally so what has happened to cause Oprah's repulsion?

Here's where you click to find out!
 

Thursday 4 September 2003
Day 20 - Swimming & Special Stuff
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
Will has taken his turn in the tank and is looking for a great result

His result and the rest of the day's events are right here!
 
SimDay
Written at 22:04 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
This SimDay comes with several things. So let's start: first of all, there's a Q&A about Makin' Magic (and Double Deluxe), which answers several questions asked on the BBS. It doesn't really reveal anything new, but for those interested here's the link. Talking about the BBS: Maxis has introduced the "Thread of the Day". Every day a topic will be picked by Maxis where their employees will be participating in. It's all at the official site's BBS. They also come with the news that the chat will no longer be on the official site, as the client will be unsupported by the manufacturer. They point to several other chatrooms on fansites, as well as the "Off-topic" board on the BBS. Finally, there are 2 links to articles. One we've already discussed earlier: the Developer's Diary for Bustin' Out. You can find it right here at GameSpot. The other article comes from Time Magazine, and is about The Sims 2. It's mainly about Will Wright "Reinventing The Sims". Nice to read, but it doesn't bring anything new about the game. Click here to read it.
 

Friday 5 September 2003
Day 21 - Surprises & Gambles
Written at 04:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
Will has got a lot he wants to get off his chest to Sim Brother about. What is it all about?

The answer and rest of the day's events are right here!
 

Saturday 6 September 2003
Day 22 - Eviction Night
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.


It's Eviction Night and one of these six is leaving the Sim Brother House

Find out the unlucky housemate right here!
 

Sunday 7 September 2003
Gamers Temple's Interview with Jonathan Knight
Written at 07:02 by Stash - 0 comments.
GamersTemple.com has posted a new interviewed "Makin' Magic" game designer Jonathan Knight. It tells us a lot about the game, like magic, dragons, magic town, roller coasters, creepy hollow, new characters, objects, and more. The interview is very nice, and must read for anyone interested in the game. The interivew is 4 pages long, and gives us great details of how the new objects and gameplay will work. To read the whole article click here.

GT: One of the new objects for the home is the Dragon Nest. Will players need Unleashed to hatch a pet dragon? How big will the dragon grow and will it set fire to everything?
JK: No, you do not need Unleashed to enjoy the pet dragon. Just buy the Dragon Nest (egg included) at Magic Town, bring it home, and take care of it. Depending on how well you care for the egg, different dragon personalities may emerge from the egg. Some personalities are more, well, fiery than others.

GT: Will Magic Town be a separate location similar to Downtown or Studio Town?
JK: A little bit of both. Like Downtown or Studio Town, it’s a new and fully customizable location. However, Magic Town is unique in two ways. First, you can either take the whole family there, or you can opt to just take a single Sim. And most importantly, Magic Town is the first location with additional residential lots, which can be earned through gameplay. Experienced magic Sims will be able to move into one of three brand new residential lots in the exclusive “Creepy Hollow” section of Magic Town.
 
Oprah's Post Eviction Interview
Written at 22:23 by Andy - 0 comments.
Oprah is out of the Sim Brother house

Find out what she had to say about her time in there!
 

Monday 8 September 2003
Day 23 - After Oprah
Written at 05:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
The housemates have spent their first day without Oprah being among their number.

Find out whether they managed without her and what surprise Sim Brother has for them!
 

Tuesday 9 September 2003
Day 24 - A New Task
Written at 01:30 by Andy - 0 comments.
It's Graham's first day as Head of House. How did the housemates take it?

The answers and word on the Weekly Task are right here!
 
Day 25 - Halfway Party and Nominations
Written at 03:00 by Andy - 0 comments.


It's halfway through the series and Sim Brother has given them a party.
It's also Nomination Day

Find out the unlucky housemates right here!
 

Thursday 11 September 2003
Day 26 - Operation Sim Brother
Written at 04:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
It is the Task Evaluation day. The housemates must do what revising they can in order to complete their missions succesfully.

Find out how they did right here!
 
SimDay
Written at 15:54 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This SimDay comes with a few things we've seen before. First of all, there's the Sims 2 system survey that was posted and hidden again on SimDay 3 July. The survey - completely automated - sends some information about your computer to Maxis anonymously. That way, they can adjust The Sims 2 to make it run on (most) computers The Sims players have. To take the survey, click here. Next there's the official Sims 2 trailer that shows the several generations that we've seen several times before too. You can download it in Mpeg format, 32 Mb, from this page. Next there's the Gamers' Temple Interview about Makin' Magic discussed by Stash earlier this week. That brings us to the final 2 links already. First, there's now an about page of The Sims Double Deluxe, which replaces the old Deluxe one. Just click here to see it. And finally, as Maxis promised last week, part 2 of the Q&A of Makin' Magic. It answers questions posted on the BBS about Makin' Magic. It's all right here. Last week's questions (and answers) are on this page. More SimDay again next week!
 

Friday 12 September 2003
Day 27 - Gourmet & Sport
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
George manages to impress the housemates with his culinary genius after the housemates experience the gift from Sim Brother. What did George cook and what was the gift?

It's all in here!
 
The Sims 2 Screens
Written at 20:58 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Fansite SimsZone.de has posted 4 new screenshots of The Sims 2. They show a man in quite a bit of details, and we're watching him cook, get up, and be robbed or something. Click "Screenshots" under "Die Sims 2" on SimsZone to see all the screenshots. Also, WorldSims has posted the system requirements as they are now (they may change). This is what comes from maxis:
  • 128 MB of RAM on Windows 98, 2000, or ME, 256MB of RAM on Windows XP
  • Graphics: GeForce or Radeon Series or better
  • CPU: 600 MHz (if you have one of the video cards above). Those who have less powerful cards will need a more powerful CPU (~1.5 GHz).
  • Monitor Resolution: 800x600 minimum, 1024x768 recommended.
No mention of free space on your hard drive there (I estimate about 1.5 Gb). Anyway, more RAM is probably recommended if you're going to expand the game a lot with downloads etc. That's all that's known so far, of course the exact system requirements will be on the box. The ones listed here may still change.
 

Saturday 13 September 2003
Day 28 - A Gentleman's Bet
Written at 00:27 by Andy - 0 comments.
Will and Ruud make a "gentleman's bet" among themselves to try and liven things up a little.

Find out all about it right here!
 
Day 29 - The Third Eviction
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.


One of these ladies is leaving tonight. Who have you decided should go?

The result and their last day is all right here!
 
Bustin' Out goes online on PS2
Written at 16:07 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
EA Games has announced several of its new games will be playable online on the PS2. These include The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Need for Speed Underground, Medal of Honor Rising Sun and... The Sims Bustin' Out. The last title is of course the one we're interested in. In an online game, two players can play cooperative online, use an "online trading system" (where players can exchange unlockable interactions and objects), and a matchmaker screen. Here's the bit from the press release:
"The Sims Bustin’ Out will feature two-player cooperative gameplay online, which lets players work their way through any of the game’s unique career paths. The game will also feature an online trading system that will allow players to swap unlockable social interactions such as Pull Finger and Moonwalk or objects like a Climbing Wall and DJ Booth. In addition to bestowing bragging rights, these wacky social interactions and highly coveted objects will also affect the gameplay. Online play will also feature a lobby where a matchmaker screen displays the astrological signs, genders, and personalities of other Sims, so that players can effectively choose their gaming partners. Since two Sims are better than one at getting the job done, online play will make it even easier to accomplish goals, satisfy motives, and get your Sims into trouble in The Sims Bustin’ Out."
The game (as well as the other 3) will also include support for USB headsets to chat hands-free. For all these features, an internet connection to your PS2 (using a network adapter) and a memory card are required. A broadband connection is required for hands-free chatting, and recommended for playing online. To read the whole press release, which includes details for the other games as well, click here.
 

Sunday 14 September 2003
New screenshot(s) Sims 2
Written at 00:23 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
The german SimsZone.de has posted another exclusive shot of The Sims 2 (after several new shots yesterday). Actually, it's 7 screenshots in one. It shows 7 screenshots on a 'film strip', showing some Sims getting up, showering/washing and having breakfast. These show quite nicely how detailed the graphics of The Sims 2 are. The screenshots aren't in the right order (by time). The image is 1.2 Mb. To see it, you'll have to visit SimsZone.de. You can find it in screenshots under "Die Sims 2" (scroll to the very bottom of the page), or on their front page for now. Here's a little thumbnail:

 

Tuesday 16 September 2003
Maggie's Eviction Night Special
Written at 00:30 by Andy - 0 comments.


Maggie is out of the door but what did she have to say to Will ... and Avid?

It's all in here!
 

Thursday 18 September 2003
Sim Brother Catchup - Days 30-33
Written at 00:00 by Andy - 0 comments.


With this Sim Brother Catchup, you can find out everything that has been going on since Maggie walked out of the door.
Click below or on the pictures to reach the appropriate report.

Click here for the Weekend and the Task!
Monday brought the Nominations!
Tuesday is right here with Gentleman's Bet Winner!
 
Another Week, Another SimDay
Written at 21:46 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This week's SimDay brings some nice and some old stuff. First of all there are links to two articles, one we've discussed earlier about Bustin' Out going online on the PS2, and the other one is a preview of The Sims 2. It's from Yahoo! this time, and you can find it right here. Under Get Cool Stuff at the official site, you can download the first set of The Sims Double Deluxe (to be released very soon). There will be 2 more sets coming in the next week. Those three together are all the extras of The Sims Double Deluxe that didn't come with earlier versions (so Sims Creator won't be a download, unfortunately). Finally there's info about a chat at 3pm PST today (which is 11pm in the UK, or midnight CET). It's about having a website and the hosting of fansites. The chat will be held in the chatroom at the official site that's been closed last week (but will be reopened temporarily). You can find the link to the chat at this page. Maxis General Manager Luc Barthelet will answer the submitted questions. That's all from the official site this week.
 

Friday 19 September 2003
Chat Transcript available
Written at 13:40 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Yesterday Maxis announced a chat about web hosting on Maxis' servers. The chat was held and a transcript has been posted. It has some interesting things: the hosting features will contain unlimited hosting and webspace. It might also be possible to use a database (Oracle), and scripting (Perl, PHP) will quite likely be available too. The main catch is that the website has to be about one of the Maxis games (e.g. the Sims, SimCity, etc. etc.). Although it wasn't meant for it, the chat also answered questions about The Sims 2, e.g. that there won't be a demo. All that you will be able to download this year will be tools to create custom content. Back to the hosting: it will become available between now and Christmas. There will be another chat with Luc Barthelet around some time next week. To read the whole transcript (which answers many more questions), click here.
 

Sunday 21 September 2003
Screenshot update
Written at 18:43 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Several new screenshots have been posted recently, including quite a few from Bustin' Out on the GBA. But first 2 screenshots of Makin' Magic: they're rather small, but not too bad. They're from EAGames.com, and you can find them on the Makin' Magic page. More screenshots come from the official UK site of The Sims. These are 3 shots of Bustin' Out on the GBA. You can see those new ones, and of course several older pics, at this page. Finally, IGN has posted an interview with Virginia McArthur from Maxis. Here's a snippet about making money:
"There is also a whole new way to earn money on the GBA: you can play mini-games! Your Sim can visit several mini-game locations, where you can play games to earn Simoleons. Depending on the skills of your Sims and the number of their friends, you make even more Simoleons each time you play the games."
They also talk about a GBA-to-GBA connection, which will be included as well as the GBA-to-GameCube connection feature. Connecting two GBA's will unlock the "Paradise Island" location, which can become a second home for your Sim. Trading items with other Sims or even an "auction" system will also be available. All that new info comes with 2 screenshots, which are here. The interview itself, divided over 2 pages, is right here.
 
Sim Brother Catchup - Days 34-37
Written at 18:44 by Andy - 0 comments.


With this Sim Brother Catchup, you can find out everything that has been going on since Ruud and Kelly had their first "snog".
Click below or on the pictures to reach the appropriate report.

Click here for the Art Exhibition!
Here is the Last Man Standing!
See the unwanted company in the House!
Find out who the 4th Evictee is!
 

Wednesday 24 September 2003
Double Deluxe ships
Written at 17:35 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Sims Double Deluxe has been shipped. This is the second repackaging of The Sims (collectors edition not included), and it has The Sims, Livin' Large, House Party, The Sims Creator and several other extras in one pack. It shipped yesterday and should be in stores today or otherwise very soon in the US, and Europe will get it before the end of the week too. Double Deluxe costs $50, but you don't have to buy it if you already have The Sims and the two expansion packs (or The Sims Deluxe and House Party): the extras will be made available for download for free on the official site. That doesn't include The Sims Creator though. For the press release about the shipping of the game, click here.
 
Chat with JK
Written at 17:41 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Maxis will be hosting a chat about Makin' Magic with Maxis Producer Jonathan Knight (no, not J.K. Rowling). Tomorrow you can get your questions about Makin' Magic answered by him. The chat will be held at 3PM PST, which is 11pm in the UK or midnight CET. You can enter the chat from this page. Once the transcript has been posted we'll let you know.
 
The Sims 2 Diary #3
Written at 17:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
GameSpot has posted the third edition of the designer diary of The Sims 2. This time VP PC Development Lucy Bradshaw and Creative Director Charles London. They mainly talk about moods. They talk about how Sims now do not 'live in the moment', but you can see their emotions constantly. Examples are shown of a happy, a depressed, a shy and an outgoing Sim. This diary is somewhat special: it comes with a few clips. They also talk about "memories" of the Sims. Here's an example of how that works:
"[...] Not only will a sim remember if he or she was jilted by a lover, but another sim who witnesses the event will also remember it, and will be able to share it with their friends. After the breakup, the jilted sim might still be reeling from heartbreak. A friend who "heard it through the grapevine" can lessen the pain with a simple pat on the back. However, salt can also be poured on the sim's wound when he or she sees his or her old flame with a new love. It's this type of context that introduces surprises, crazy successes, and failures to the game--along with a dynamic new strategy."
You can read the whole article right here. Along with that, they've posted 4 short clips showing the moody Sims in motion. Those can be found at the media page. You need at least a (free) GameSpot Basic account to download the clips. Together (High-res QuickTime versions) they're about 5 Mb, with more than half of it taken up by the Shy animation (2.9 Mb). There are also MPEG versions, which can be played by most regular media players (so you don't need QuickTime). Although those are smaller and thus faster to download, the quality is poorer compared to the QuickTime versions.
 

Thursday 25 September 2003
SimDay
Written at 10:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Just like many other SimDays, this one has a few links to articles again. However, we've discussed them all already. This week there are 2: the Bustin' Out (GBA) interview with Virginia McArthur at IGN, and the third designer diary at GameSpot. Besides that, there's (still) the news about the chat tonight with Jonathan Knight. There's also something we expected: the second Double Deluxe Object pack. That's the second download with new objects from Double Deluxe. You can get it from Get Cool Stuff, where you can also get the first pack that was released last week. The new pack contains 8 objects including African and Asian house objects. Finally, there's something more about Fansites: There was a chat last week about Maxis hosting fansites. Now there's something that's just for the links: Webmasters have to re-add their site to the list. However, now you'll have more control over the link, plus you can add a description to it. You need to be product registered and logged in to be able to add your site. For a list of fansites, or to submit yours to the official site, click here.
 

Saturday 27 September 2003
Chat Transcript
Written at 14:20 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Contrary to what the original SimDay post said, last thursday's chat wasn't with Jonathan Knight but with Jenna Chalmers instead. She's one of the designers on Makin' Magic. Here are a few quotes from Jenna, about Rollercoasters, living in Magic town, spells for kids, a spell to get money, and careers:
"We wanted to give you pieces to play with...so that you could build your own rollercoaster. You will have various track pieces....and also larger "ride" pieces."
"Magic Town has three residential lots. In order to move there, it will cost you simoleons and magicoins. You earn magicoins by performing magic in magic town."
"There is a spell where the kids can send a "clone" to school in their place, which i guess means they could stay home and study :-)"
"Of course! Rain of Riches will create tresure on your lot that you can sell or enjoy of course, if it backfires you get.... Rain."
"Magic does not replace your career...but since you can create money, you may not be interested in going to work any longer. Like the kids, you can send a clone to work in your place. Even though you don't *need* a job, you will still want to work on those skills, especially logic, mechanical, and cooking."
There's a lot more about specific spells, the dangerous animals (dragons, snakes), content of the pack, and more. There will be chats every thursday at the same time (3PM PST, which is 11pm in the UK, and midnight in most of Western Europe). The next guest is yet unknown though. For the chat transcript from last thursday, click here. It's quite a long chat, but worth the read if you're interested in Makin' Magic.
 
New at TSZ: RSS Feeds
Written at 23:53 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As promised I've added a new feature to The Sims Zone: RSS Feeds. It took us a while to get it right, but it seems to be working fine now. These feeds (also known as RDF feeds) allow you to quickly get the latest headlines from The Sims Zone without having to visit this site. All you have to get is an RSS reader like FeedDemon or FeedReader, and add the proper urls to the reader. Then the reader will keep you up-to-date immediately. We currently have two feeds, one for the latest news and one for the community news. If you're already familiar with RSS, you can use these urls (note: these are NOT meant to be viewed by your web browser!):

These RSS feeds are valid!
  • News: http://www.thesimszone.co.uk/rss/news.rss (Validate)
  • Community News: http://www.thesimszone.co.uk/rss/cnews.rss (Validate)

  • If you want to know more about RSS and our feeds, then visit our RSS page. There you can find a lot more detailed information about how to use these feeds. You can always access that page by clicking the "RSS" buttons under News and Community News. Please post your comments and give us feedback about it. If you want to see the latest headlines and more in the side panel of your browser without having to visit The Sims Zone, you can still get our TSZ Sidebar.
     

    Sunday 28 September 2003
    Sim Brother - Kelly's Out !
    Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
    Find out what Kelly had to say to Will about her time in the house, if you can understand it through the swearing.

    It's all in here, plus the mystery of where SB3 went is revealed!
     
    New Sims 2 Screens
    Written at 22:21 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Yet again, SimsZone.de has posted a few new screenshots of The Sims 2. One is a film strip which contains several (including old) screenshots. There's a second one which shows the Create-A-Sim screen screen in the game (which isn't the separate program that will be released before the game's released). Although the shots are pretty big, they're both nice to see. Visit SimsZone.de where you can find the screenshots at the front page. For those shots and more, visit their screenshot index. The film-strip can be found under "Filmstreifen", the other one is between the rest of the screenshots.
     

    Monday 29 September 2003
    Day 38 - Four Men Alone
    Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.


    Now there are just four guys left, how are they going to spend their first day without female company?


    It's all in here!
     

    Tuesday 30 September 2003
    New Makin' Magic Shots
    Written at 23:33 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    GameSpot has posted 8 new screenshots of Makin' Magic. 2 of them are renders (one of them is shown below), the rest are regular shots. To see GameSpot's screenshots, including the older ones they posted, click here.

    Gnome Makin' Magic
     

    Wednesday 1 October 2003
    Bustin' Out Clip
    Written at 00:01 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    "The Sims are Bustin' Out of the House" is how a new movie of Bustin' Out starts. It's a trailer which shows many of the new features, objects and interactions in about 1 minute. It has some images we've seen in earlier movies, but also quite a few brand new things. The game will be released 16 December in the US, and 3 days later in Europe, on PS2, GameCube, GBA and X-Box. The PS2 version will have online support, while the GameCube and GBA versions will have connectivity options between each other which will allow exchanging objects and interactions. To download the trailer, which is close to 6 Mb, click here. Thanks to WorthPlaying for releasing it. You'll need QuickTime to play the video, after extracting it with WinZip or a similar program.