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MaxoidSam Blog and Producer E-mail
The person carrying the Senior Producer title for Sims 2 PC Expansion Packs is - after Don Laabs, who covered the position for Pets - has changed again. Sam Player (MaxoidSam) has recently announced himself as the new senior producer. Don Laabs is, like Tim LeTourneau, moving on to another, still secret, project within the Sims Division (Maxis) at EA. Sam Player has been working at EA for various other games like the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise and From Russia With Love. MaxoidSam has introduced himself through his blog, in which he tells that in the future official downloads from the official site will be included in expansion packs and stuff packs. Hidden items from Glamour Life Stuff will also be made available as download on the official site in a matter of weeks. Those downloads will be included in future expansion packs too.

In an e-mail sent to various fansites MaxoidSam tells about his tour through Europe, together with Hunter Howe for the PC team and Ben Bell and Charles Normann for the consoles. Scheduled time with fans from various countries, 1 hour everywhere, turned out to take almost twice as long in almost every case. A special anecdote about flights is also made. Read on for all the details from Sam, as you can find the full e-mail in the Read More part of this mail. The rest is in his October blog.

"This is MaxoidSam here. Sam Player. Yes, that is my real name. No, my parents don't hate me. There's been lots of Players before me. I'm told the Players originated in England somewhere way back when. Or maybe that's just what they told me so I'd stop asking. Anyway, it's a cool name that invites lots of jokes that I've heard a lot. But somehow they never get old...

"Anyway, I'm new to The Sims 2 PC team. I'm a Senior Producer. Which basically means I do the same thing that the other producers do, but I've been doing it longer. Or it means I'm old. Either way, after a bunch of years making golf games and 3rd person action games, it's great to be working on a title as cool as The Sims 2, with players that support the game so passionately and help each other to enjoy it so much.

"So enough babble about me...let me tell you what's been happening around here at EA headquarters in Redwood City, California. Obviously there's a little game called The Sims 2 Pets that's coming out soon (only 2 more weeks!) that we're all pretty excited about. We've been done with it for a few weeks, so the wait now is just for the little hamsters in the CD making machines to run a little faster so the games can all get manufactured and shipped out to you guys. We can't wait for you to tell us what you think about it!

"A couple weeks ago we sent out a couple traveling parties to demo the game to media in Europe. I went to our EA offices in Spain, Italy and France, while Hunter Howe (MaxoidHunter) went to preach The Sims 2 Pets PC gospel in Russia, Poland, Sweden and the UK. As this is the first time we've had a multi-platform theme for launch on The Sims 2, we each had one of our counterparts from the console platforms with us. Senior Producer Ben Bell was with me, showing off the PS2, Gamecube, NDS, GBA and PSP platforms, while Charles Normann traveled with Hunter to do the same. In case that's too confusing, here's the short version: lots of The Sims 2 Pets games, in lots of different places, really really fast.

"While showing the game to the press was nice, what was really special was getting to meet with Sims 2 players from the various countries. While it's fun to correspond with fans over bulletin board postings and blogs, it's really fun to actually play the game with you all. And all the Europeans we met were fantastic. Super enthusiastic, full of suggestions, and LOVING the game. Each day we had about an hour scheduled so show the fans the game, and those demos each time went nearly twice as long. In Spain we actually had to sprint out of the EA Madrid office to make our flight because the demos went too long!

"So one thing we got very familiar with was airport security lines. Take your shoes off here...laptop out of the bag...only one carry-on, sir...with a new country every day you learn the drill. Although sometimes the luggage checking wasn't limited to just the airport staff. On one flight, there was this older gentleman passenger who was, shall we say, "upset" at the size of Ben's carry-on luggage. Now we had showed the check-in folks at the counter our bags and they told us to just carry them on. But this guy knew better. Maybe he was a retired flight attendant or something.

"Anyway, this guy is making a big fuss over it to no one in particular, and loudly lobbing what we assumed to be insults in Ben's direction in his native tongue. Ben was polite about it and just tried to ignore him, but then the man GRABBED BEN'S BAG and tried to prevent him from carrying it on to the plane!

"So he was probably about 30 years older than us, so an altercation would not have been in anyone's best interest (can you imagine the phone call home, "Uh, yeah hi...we missed the rest of our demo tour because we got thrown in Airport Jail...").

"So aside from that Mr. Welcome Wagon, we did enjoy each country we visited. It was a great trip for us and an even better one for The Sims.

"I'm obviously looking forward to the release of The Sims 2 Pets next week. I'll get a blog going in the near future, and can't wait to hear about what you all think about the game."

Happy posting!

Written at 00:59 on Wednesday, 18 October 2006 by ChEeTaH.

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