73,813,143 visitors since 2 February 2002 

I'm back again, as promised, and it's time to do a big news update again. Stash has already given you some of the latest, but to keep you completely up-to-date, here's a round-up of all the news that's not been posted here yet of the past week - including the most recent stuff. Relax and enjoy it, just click "Read More" if necessary (i.e. if it shows up) to see this complete post...

Sims 2 Media
Quite a few new things of The Sims 2 have popped up the past week. First of all, some graphics straight from Maxis. There are the four already posted about before. This time, however, you can also enjoy them on this site. There's also a new filmstrip. Just click the thumbnails below to see the big versions.

Screenshot 1 Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3 Screenshot 4

Furthermore, there's a new MP3 song, which you might've heard in a certain movie before. If you want to enjoy the full song you can now do so, by clicking here. It's 3.6 Mb in MP3 format. There's also a new video in the latest Scoop mailing list. Those who haven't seen it yet, can click here to enjoy it after all. It requires QuickTime. It shows the romance in some recent screenshots, but now it's moving for 46 seconds too.

As if that's not enough stuff, there are 2 more screenshots of The Sims 2. One is from the April issue of GamePro Magazine, the other was spotted on a french fansite. Both can be seen at Snooty Sims.

Artificial Intelligence Article
That The Sims is full of artificial intelligence is not hard to find out. The mood of a Sim depends on their actions etcetera. Popular Science has posted an article about the AI in games, focusing on The Sims 2 and Fable (a game by Peter Molyneux, the guy behind games like Theme Park, Populous, Dungeon Keeper and Black & White to name a few). You can read the whole article on this page.

Even more Sims 2 Info
Besides all the media, we've also received some more information about The Sims 2 from Maxis. First of all, Luc Barthelet told us that they're "crafting a series of new objects and design tools that allow customization of individual objects." That way, players are supposed to be able to customise their interiors entirely. The four screenshots above show that. Luc also mentioned music, and that there will be several genres including R&B, Salsa, Bluegrass and Heavy Metal in the game. As we know, you can also drop your own MP3 files, or shortcuts to them, into the game. That way you can also customise the music during the game and have it all your way.

Not all of this week's SimDay was mentioned yet. Look here for some information about KillerSims, Bustin' Out MP3s, and "new" Sims 2 Screenshots. Other stuff last SimDay was a "match" between The Sims and SimCity 2000. The voting has stopped already, and SimCity won. You can see all about it at this page at GameSpy. New is also a new 14-day trial of The Sims Online. It's a trial of the improved version, which means you just save a lot of downloading updates compared to the old trial version. You can get it from this page at FilePlanet. It's 1.2 Gb(!), so it will take a while to download. You can also choose to buy it on a 3-CD set, or a single DVD. And do you remember the Great Dates and Dates to Hate contest? It's ended, and Maxis has announced the winners. For those winners and the runners-up, click here. Congratulations! Then for those living in Encino, CA, USA, owning The Sims or The Sims Bustin' Out on the consoles: there's a happening at 4 March 2004. For 90 minutes you can participate in a focus group, plus you'll earn a nice $75. More information is on this page.

Finally there was the chat with Bob King and Dave Patch. It's long over, and although the official Sims 2 Website is lacking the update, the other official site has it online. A lot of information on what Art Directors do, and how many polygons Sims in The Sims 2 have, as well as a ton more, can all be read right here. Here are some quotes:
pavlov_dog: "do you plan your designs on paper first or do everything on computer"
MaxisDave: "Drawings and photos are key to the designing the sims, the objust, everything"
Craizy_Daizy: "I have heard there will be elves in the game. Is that true?"
MaxisDave: "With our new Create a Face, and CaSie, we have elves...and you can make just about anything else."
Trixie: "Will there be some women's outfits that are NOT 'mrs. crumplebottom' OR "hey baby, how much do you charge per hour""
MaxisDave: "Yes we do have J.Crew and Gap-ish clothing"
micl2u: "People that are learning Maya PLE , will they be able to import directly into the game or will they need Maya 5?"
MaxisDave: "We are working on tools to get custome meshes into the game...cna't tell you until we build the tool. But the BAT does use the Max teaching version"
Schweighsr: "Can you tell us the formats for walls and floors [so I can get a head start on making some]? Are they still .BMPs? How many pixels high and wide?"
MaxisDave: "Walls: tga's same dimentions as SIms1, the floors need to be base 2, and square, but they can be any size your system can handle...we are using 512x512 mostly"
chicagokid2009: "question! is it hard to be an artist in the gaming world with the constant pressure of having to make a game with better and better graphics? i mean, there is so much competition for who can make the best grahpics for a game in the industry."
MaxisBob: "I'd say 'challenging' would be a better term. Newere and fresher techniques are happening all the time, and we're trying to stay ahead of them *and* produce a game at the same time."
VictorianBunny: "I love the sims because it doesn't have any violence. How hard is it to find a job making a non-violent game that is not a childrens game in the industry today."
MaxisBob: "I haven't been job hunting for quite some time, but I would inmagine that the 'non-violent, non-children's' game market would be pretty small. We're really proud of our non-violence."
lltytgbr_: "can you tell us what animation you were working on before you came to this chat??"
MaxisBob: "I wasn't working on any animation today.... currently, I am working on next generation Sims stuff.... stuff you guys won't see until a couple Christmases from now"
Fox_Tails: "Christmases from now?!?!!? I'm sad and mad now....does it mean the game won't be released until a couple of years or what??"
MaxisMojo: "No no.... Bob has been working on something else not Sims2 related."
New Poll
As you may already have noticed, we also have a new poll up again since Thursday morning. You should let us know how long the life of a Sims 2 Sim should be. You can vote on the right or at this page. As for our previous poll, the "Follow Sims to work" option was the most popular of the 851 votes. It got 31.49%, while the runner-up, "Driving Cars" got almost 19%. That one was closely followd by "Weather" (almost 17%) and "Anything, as long as it's good" (16%). The results of the other options, as well as all the exact results, can be found right here.

That's all for this news update. I want to thank our affiliate SimsZone and Snooty Sims for their news archives of the past week. As usual, keep visiting this site for all the latest Sims news!
Written at 18:03 on Sunday, 29 February 2004 by ChEeTaH.

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