74,266,635 visitors since 2 February 2002 

News Archive - January, 2004
Return to the News Archive.

Thursday 1 January 2004
Sims 2 Arts
Written at 20:11 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
The year starts off pretty well: our affiliate SimsZone.de has posted 2 more concepts of art of The Sims 2. The first one shows a pregnant woman, and then a woman with baby (the woman looks the same as the other one). The second one shows a toddler with a teddy. You can see them on the front page of SimsZone now, or in their screenshots section.

Friday 2 January 2004
(Old) Sims 2 Videos
Written at 23:48 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Today a couple of old videos were spotted again, which I noticed I'd never told about yet (oddly enough). Thanks to Hikikomori, fabtep and Robert at the SimsZone.de Forums for the tips. You can find them at a Japanese site, forgamer.net. Go to this page, then scroll down a lot, until you see three items directly below each other, each with a screenshot, posted at 5/17 (yes, that's 17 May 2003 :-D). Each item has one video, just click the link (the purple bit of text) in each item to download. They're 5.4, 8.7 and 15.7 Mb each. Note that the interface of CaSIE in the 5.4 Mb one (the lowest of the three) is very outdated. The interface has changed a lot since then. Recent screenshots show the new interface. You can find those in the news archive at this site, just have a search for it.

Sunday 4 January 2004
New: Maxis.Com
Written at 22:25 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Maxis has opened up a new company website not long ago. They used to have one until a couple of years ago, and now a brand new site is open. It gives some basic info (a timeline, jobs and a link to the EA Store), and it has links to the websites of several games Maxis made recently and in the past, since they were acquired by EA. That means you won't be able to find any official sites of old games like SimAnt, SimCopter etc., as there simply aren't any. Nevertheless, Maxis.com is a website that every fan should pay a visit to.
Bustin' Out Cheats Updated
Written at 23:45 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
The official site has been updated with some more cheats for Bustin' Out: All Socials can now be unlocked, as well as a Team Photo. I've also found some extra codes on several other sources. That means there are now a few alternative codes for the GameCube, and a money cheat for the PlayStation 2 (after a long wait by some of you). Not all of these codes have been confirmed yet, and posting a comment to this news item would be appreciated, so you can help others out. I don't have the game and I'm not able to help much, besides giving the info I post on this site. Here are some links where you can find help with the cheats:

The Cheats page
Previous news post (1)
Previous news post (2)
Previous news post (3)
Official Site's BBS
Cheats at official site

As I said, if you can give any help as well, that'd be appreciated a lot by many people. Please post a comment to this news item if you found more info about a cheat.

Tuesday 6 January 2004
New Bustin' Out Reviews
Written at 19:13 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
In the past week, several gaming sites have posted a review of The Sims Bustin' Out, either on the GBA, the consoles, or both. Here are links to the new GBA reviews:
  • GameSpy (Score: 4/5)
  • Gaming Age (Score: B)
  • WorthPlaying (Score: 7.5/10)
    And of course there are also new reviews for the PS2, GameCube and X-Box versions of the game:
  • GameNikki (PS2, Score: 8/10)
  • GameNikki (GameCube, Score: 8/10)
  • Game Revolution (PS2, GameCube, X-Box, Score: B)
  • GameZilla (X-Box, Score: 3.3/5)
  • GameZone (PS2, Score: 8.2/10)
  • Gaming Age (X-Box, Score: C+)
  • Microsoft X-Box World (X-Box, Score: 7/10)

    For more reviews of these games from other sites, including a quote and score, check out our review indexes. Click here for the GBA reviews, or right here for the reviews of the PS2, GameCube and X-Box versions. More review indexes can be found in the Extras section.

  • Wednesday 7 January 2004
    Thursday Chat with Will
    Written at 09:25 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The weekly chat on Thursday this time doesn't have much to do with The Sims, as it's only open to SimCity 4 product registered people. The previous chat with Will Wright wasn't open for those people because of some error, and Maxis is making up for that now. If you have SimCity 4, and want to join the chat, make sure you're there tomorrow, at 3pm PST, which is 11pm in the UK, and midnight in Europe, as usual. You can enter through the SimCity website.
    TS2 Designer Diary 6
    Written at 13:16 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Like other things get delayed, so was the sixth designer diary of The Sims 2 at GameSpot. Since Maxis announced that it would announce a new feature that we hadn't heard of before, people have been waiting for it. It's now been posted, so here's a quote:
    "Once we initially experienced it for ourselves, we felt we needed to take one more step for those players who really make storytelling the center of their play experience. It was for those players that we decided to completely blow away the old limits and introduced a new way of viewing the game: camera mode. In the camera mode, you can now travel all over the game environment as if you were a sim: run up and down stairs, get behind or under objects, and even get right up into the faces and see the expressions and emotions of the sims who are the stars of your stories."
    Besides that, you can also look through the eyes of your Sim, and experience what their lives are really like. You won't be able to select any objects whatsoever, but instead you can just follow your Sim. This part of the designer diary, written by Lucy Bradshaw, is mostly about the story-telling in The Sims 2, and mostly how it's been improved since The Sims 1. It's a must-read, click here to do so. There are also some newly posted screenshots.

    Thursday 8 January 2004
    TS2: More confirmation for release
    Written at 00:32 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Although the date 19 March was mentioned some time ago, it still hasn't been confirmed as European release date for The Sims 2. But, after EA Germany removed the release date from their info page, EA Benelux (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg) has now given a list of release dates for several games that will be released in Europe the first quarter of 2004. Besides SimCity 4 Deluxe coming to Europe on 31 January (it hasn't been released yet), they also stated that The Sims 2 will be released 19 March. This is no guarantee that the game will be released then, but as it's been mentioned several times already it probably is the closest estimate so far. Note that the real release date is not definite until it's confirmed by Maxis. This news comes from the Dutch Gamer.nl. Note that the US release will probably be a bit earlier, probably about a week before the European release.
    SimCity 5 in the make
    Written at 00:38 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
    Although we don't usually focus on it, it is interesting to note that Maxis is working on a new SimCity. It hasn't been announced yet, but there is a job opening for Art Director. The game hasn't been announced yet though, and it's not sure when Maxis will do so. Personally, I don't expect a quick release, it'll probably be 2005 before SimCity 5 will meet the shelves. It might be announced this year, perhaps before the E3 in May, otherwise probably next year. It is indeed a long wait, but at least SimCity 4 isn't the final SimCity game yet. More information about the job can be found at the EA Jobs site.
    New Poll
    Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    We've just added a new weekly poll again. I skipped posting about it last week because of new year, so for the results for the poll "What game speed do you usually play at?" click here. In last week's poll, the first of the new year, we asked you how much you think you'll be playing The Sims in 2004, compared to 2003. We got very many votes, 348 in total. The most popular option was that The Sims 1 will be played less, but The Sims 2 a lot more instead, with 47.4% of the votes. A pretty close second is "Of course, if not more!" wit 40.8% of the votes. The other 3 options got less than 10% each. Click here for the exact results. If you want to know about the new poll: we're wondering what your favourite zoom level is, in which you play the Sims 1. Vote at the right or this page.
    SimDay [Update]
    Written at 16:12 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    This SimDay isn't a very big one, but it's something. It comes with some 'new' screenshots, which have been seen at other sites before. If you still want to see them at the official Sims 2 site, click here. Besides that there's some new info about GameSpot's Designer Diary. If you'd like to know more about that, click here. Finally, there's been a community update again, and for the second time in history The Sims Zone is mentioned in it. It's about the updated Neighborhood Handler and Add-on Handler. Those have been updated last month, adding Makin' Magic compatibility and new features.

    [Update 21:40] The official Sims 2 website has also posted an updated Sims 2 fansite kit with a lot of new material again. You can download that from this page. The Console section at the Sims 1 website has also been updated with new walkthroughs for Bustin' Out on the Consoles and the GBA. You can use these if you're stuck in the Bustin' Out mode of the game. That really is all this SimDay.
    Sims 2 Artwork, WW Interview
    Written at 16:32 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Our affiliate Sims Extremos has posted a new artwork at the last day of last year. It shows some generations with a green background, and you can see it here. They've also posted a small interview with Will Wright, with some interesting information about cancelled games (SimsVille and SimMars). It was posted prior to the GameSpot Designer diary, and says that The Sims being followed to their jobs is "probably" the secret feature that would be announced. We know differently now, as it's the camera features that were announced. You can read the entire interview right here.

    Friday 9 January 2004
    Will Wright Chat Transcript
    Written at 14:09 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Last night's chat with Will Wright, the brain behind SimCity and The Sims, was quite a success. It was open to SimCity 4 registered members only, as they weren't allowed in with the last chat event with Will. Many questions were asked, quite a lot of them have been answered. There aren't many Sims-related questions compared to the amount of SimCity questions, but there are quite some also about the other hobbies (and games) of Will Wright (Robotics and Raid on Bungeling Bay, for instance). If you're interested in reading the transcript, click here.

    Saturday 10 January 2004
    Sims 2 Preview + Screens
    Written at 00:54 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
    ActionTrip has posted a new preview of The Sims 2. It doesn't tell us anything new, yet it's an interesting read if you forgot some of the features of The Sims 2. Here's a small bit of the review:
    "Will Wright and his crew at Maxis haven't spent the last few years dishing out The Sims expansion packs for nothing. Okay, so they may have found an ingenious way to earn extra cash (albeit not exactly original - Ed.), but the long-lasting history of the series and its numerous incarnations instigated a huge worldwide feedback from a massive community of fans, which, naturally, gave the developers a good idea of what the average gamer truly desires to experience."
    The article itself may not be too interesting, but the three new screenshots that they posted with it make it worth checking out. Go here and check it out.
    Making Magic - Our Review
    Written at 01:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
    Are you still undecided as to whether to spend your money on buying this expansion or not?

    Perhaps our detailed review will help you make up your mind about this last expansion.

    Check it out right right here!
    Layout Changes
    Written at 23:28 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    We've fixed and changed a couple of things in the design of this site. It now works better with low screen resolutions - mainly the headlines are less wide when you use a low screen resolution. We've also changed the menu captions a small bit. If you posted a comment, the edit/remove text is not hidden away anymore when using Internet Explorer. The Community Updates section has also gone through some small changes, which fixes issues in at least Mozilla and Internet Explorer. Besides that there's one more change in the same section. You used to be able to edit a post until 6 hours after the initial post. This has been extended to 12 hours, but now you can't remove it after that period anymore as well, unless you ask us to do so. The limit of 3 items per week still stands, to prevent spamming and to allow other sites to show themselves just as much. We encourage everybody with a Sims fansite (given in their profile) to post their site updates, by going here. Of course big or special news about your fansite can always be submitted. We hope the design fixes will make it easier and nicer for you to browse The Sims Zone.

    Sunday 11 January 2004
    New Sims 2 Video
    Written at 02:31 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    A new gameplay video of The Sims 2 has appeared on the net. This time it's a big (19 Mb) and impressive one. But even though it's big, it's a must-see, especially if you want to know how spectacular being abducted by aliens is in The Sims 2, or for the camera views, or even if you just like the UFO's from SimCity. It's all in one file. If you're ready for this, right click here and save it. Then use QuickTime to watch it.
    TheSims3.com, SimCity5.com registered [Update 2]
    Written at 14:59 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    The Sims 2 isn't out yet, but it looks like there are already plans for The Sims 3. Work on The Sims 2 was started shortly after The Sims 1 was released, and if Maxis does that again, that'd mean they'll start on The Sims 3 soon. A third version of the game can be expected now EA registered a new website domain, thesims3.com, until at least 2006. There's no website whatsoever there yet, but it looks like EA is just making sure that nobody else is able to register the domain before them. Of course nothing can be confirmed of The Sims 2 can be confirmed yet, as Maxis will first release The Sims 2, and then a bunch of expansions, before even announcing The Sims 3. Nevertheless it can be considered quite likely that a third game in the series will come some time, as it's a very popular game and people will still be missing some things in The Sims 2 for sure (even though it's a lot better than The Sims 1). We'll keep you updated as usual.

    [Update 14:55] It turns out that EA even registered thesims4.com until thesims10.com. That would mean The Sims 3 isn't as definite as stated above, but EA is doing this just to protect their trademark, preventing others to capture those domains. Thanks to Tiger for that tip. Some of the domain records also point to ClubSim.net, which is currently the same as the front page of TheSims.com. If Maxis is ever going to do something else with that domain is not yet known, but that might happen in the future...

    [Update 20:55] There are even more domains that EA registered recently. SimCity5.com to SimCity9.com have also been taken by Electronic Arts. These domains are also taken for the next couple of years. These domains also do not point to a website yet, but perhaps they will soon.
    Psychology of The Sims
    Written at 16:30 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    That Will's games aren't used just for fun, was already known. A new article was now published, which gives an example of how The Sims can be used to make people see how they really live their own lives, and why it's (sometimes) such a mess. Here's a little quote:
    "Maybe that's because playing The Sims is almost exactly like coping with everyday suburban life. To begin, you build a home, choosing details down to the pattern of tiles on the kitchen floor and the shape of the backyard pool. Then you help your Sims along as they stumble along through existence."
    If you're interested, click here for the whole article. Another old article (from 2001) also has some information on psychology and games, which you can find right here.
    Coming soon: RugOMatic
    Written at 16:40 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    On his personal site, Dan Hopkins, creator of Transmogrifier, has announced a few more projects besides just Transmogrifier 2. He's also developing an add-on called "RugOMatic", which will allow you to create rugs from any picture you import. It's a lot easier than using T-mog. All you'll have to do is drag-and-drop an image or some text and it's all done. Another plugin he's creating is "ShowAndTell":
    "ShowAndTell" is an ActiveX control for displaying a live preview of a Sims object file on a web page (or wherever you can plug in an ActiveX control). You can change the rotation and zoom of the object, and it shows you the name, price and description. It also lets you change the background color and turn off the grid, to match your web page.
    For more information, visit Don Hopkins' sites RadiOMatic BlogUTron (his personal site) and Transmogrifier.
    Sims 2 Camera Info
    Written at 22:13 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Hot from the press, we just received some more in-depth details of the camera options and camera mode in The Sims 2 from Maxis. The "Cameraman mode" is brand new, and you have complete freedom when it comes to rotating, zooming and scrolling the camera around through the 3D area. You can also move around as if you were a Sim, and really be in the middle of all the action. It's more detailed than ever, and you have more freedom than ever. There will also be a Movie Recorder. Using that, you can create your own soap opera, sitcom, or whatever you like. All you have to do is pressing "v" in-game to start creating an AVI video. You can use a complete video control panel, which will allow you to optimize the settings for the movie recorder. That way, you can get the best quality footage from your Sims' homes. Although not explicitely mentioned, the earlier video shows how well these two features can be combined and how they result in something never seen before with The Sims. These features make story-telling a lot better in The Sims 2. Of course, the photo album options are also still available, but those too have been much improved. For an example of that, go to this previous news post.

    Monday 12 January 2004
    Bustin' Out on N-Gage
    Written at 22:04 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Now Bustin' Out has been released on Consoles and GBA, it's time to look forward again. With mobile phones becoming a new platform for gaming more and more, EA makes the logical step to bring The Sims to your phone. The Nokia N-Gage to be precise. This has been announced in a press release by Nokia. Players will be able to share objects using BlueTooth Wireless technology, and it will come with an "Exclusive N-Gage Arena". Besides that the game will have exclusive objects and mini-games. For more information, click here for Nokia's press release, or here for more information about N-Gage.
    Donate and test a new Feature!
    Written at 22:45 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    Behind the scenes, we're currently working hard on a new feature which will be launched in a couple of weeks. However, it is still a secret, and it won't be announced what it is yet. However, you have the opportunity to test this new feature, if you donate. If you donate for two months (i.e. $5 or more), you will get the December donation gift, as well as the opportunity to test the hidden section. Remember: You need to donate $5 or more to be allowed to enter. After you donated, we will send you an e-mail within 24 hours with the details on what the feature is, and how you can test it. As it's still in development, you will be requested to provde feedback and report any bugs. This thing will not be launched yet for another 2 weeks (approximately). If you want to test it, donate to TSZ and help us pay our bills, support the RGA, and also help us testing this brand new section. Thank you!

    Wednesday 14 January 2004
    TSO enters Real-Life Exhibition
    Written at 20:02 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    EA has announced that the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) The Sims Online will be shown at the "Bang the Machine: Computer Gaming Art and Artifacts" exhibit. It's a new exhibition about the history of computer games and their influence, as well as the "extraordinary relationship between interactive computer games and contemporary art". The exhibition in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in downtown San Francisco is held from 16 January until 4 April. EA will be hosting an event with Will Wright as guest speaker next friday, 16 January, from 6.30pm to 8.00pm. Sims fans will be able to get a 50% discount on the $12 entry fee, only on the opening night. The art center will be recreated in the online game, and the look of the game will be made physically in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. For more information, click this link.
    Bustin' Out chat tomorrow
    Written at 20:06 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
    Tomorrow it'll be thursday again, and now Maxis' holidays are over, that means weekly chats again. Last week's one was held only at the SimCity website, but this week it'll be about The Sims again. The Sims Bustin' Out to be precise. If you have any questions that producers Virginia McArthur and Scot Amos or Game Design Director Mike Perry should answer, then make sure to be in the chat tomorrow at 3pm PST, 11pm in Britain or midnight in Europe. If you have to miss it, be sure to check back after the chat for the transcript. You can enter it from this page.

    Thursday 15 January 2004
    New Poll
    Written at 01:13 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    We've added a new poll again, this time one which may be a bit difficult to answer for you... Unless you know your Sims really well. What's your Sims' favourite food, i.e. what's on that plate they always take? Vote on the right or at this page. Last week, when we asked you what your favourite zoom level is when playing The Sims, we got a massive amount of votes: 705 in total. The closest 2 zoom levels appear to be the most popular, with 55% and 40% each. Just 3% of the people usually zoom out all the way. Finally, there were 12 peopel (2%) who didn't know what it's all about. For the exact results click here.
    Sims 2 Release Date update
    Written at 01:26 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    There's news about the release date of The Sims 2 again. The webmaster of the official Dutch website has written a post in the forums, saying the game definitely will not be released at 19 March 2004 (in Europe). According to him, we should expect it late spring, rather than the very early spring which starts shortly after 19 March. So for now, it's probably the wisest to stick to spring 2004 as release date, until Maxis has provided an official date. The "mayor", as the webmaster calls himself, stated that The Sims 2 is not yet finished and that Maxis and EA want to release "one of the most entertaining games ever". With an early release things would be missing, and everybody would be disappointed as well. Dutch viewers should log in at the Dutch site and then follow this link to see the thread, with the mayor's post in it. Thanks to Hikikimori for the tip.
    Sims Topped Holiday Sales
    Written at 13:15 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    The Sims has topped in the charts of the holiday sales, just before christmas last year. In the week of 21-27 December 2003, there are 5 Sims titles in the top 10 in the NPD Chart of best selling PC games. Makin' Magic is at the first place, Deluxe on #4, closely followed by Double Deluxe on the fifth place. Sixth is Superstar, and The Sims Vacation closes the chart on the 10th place. Makin' Magic has given away the first place now though - the first week in January (28 December 2003 - 3 January 2004) it was second, with The Sims Deluxe third. Double Deluxe stayed at place five, and Superstar dropped to 7. Vacation has dropped from the chart, but in its place are Unleashed and Hot Date on places 8 and 9. More information is at GameSpot.
    Written at 13:29 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    This week's SimDay is again bigger than it seems from the first look of it. First of all there's information about tonight's chat, and Action Trip's Preview of The Sims 2. There's more Bustin' Out stuff too this week. First of all, you can find six MP3 files from Bustin' Out, which you can download and play on your PC. You can download those from this page. Maxis has also compiled a list of reviews of Gaming Sites which have reviewed Bustin' Out. You can find that right here. Finally there's some Sims 2 content, starting off with a couple of screenshots. Some older screens have been compiled to a story by somebody called SidDog. It's quite interesting (and long), but worth checking out. Click right here to open the photo album. Note that pop-up blockers might prevent you from watching the album, so disable any of such programs if you want to see it. That's all there's to enjoy this week. Remember to chat tonight if you have questions about Bustin' Out.

    Friday 16 January 2004
    Chat Transcripts
    Written at 08:59 by ChEeTaH - 9 comments.
    The chat from the official site is over for about 8 hours now, and Maxis has already posted the transcript of it. There were many questions and answers as usual, for instance about the recently announced N-Gage version of Bustin' Out:
    "SimsBustinOutRoks: N GAGE: Will it be like GBA version?"
    "Yes, it will have the same gameplay only with new objects and more mini-games via a cell phone you will have in-game. You will also be able to use the BlueTooth technology to hook up to other players for trading."
    "Guest: what was the funnest thing to make in Bustin Out?"
    "MaxisScotchmo: The social interactions we're really humorous to make. We shot footage of our animators acting them out for reference. Remember this when watching "pull finger"!"
    Of course that are only 2 of all the questions, and there's a lot more to read. Click here to read it all.

    Monday 19 January 2004
    Sims 2 FAQ
    Written at 23:38 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
    On the BBS, Maxis has asked the viewers if they had any questions about The Sims 2 which they wanted an answer to. Maxis has done what they promised, and answered the 10 most popular questions this week. These range from the amount of floors, sleepovers, careers, death, and moving out. Maxis also sent the information that the last video, with the Sim being abducted by aliens, was captured as the game was playing. "We have made a lot of good progress with the in game video tools and cameras. I hope you enjoyed the last video, there will be plenty more," according to Luc Barthelet. Back to the FAQ: As it's a lot of text, you'll have to click the Read More link (or just read on) to see all the questions.
    Read More!

    Tuesday 20 January 2004
    New Create A Sim Pics
    Written at 20:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    In a preview of (at least) over a month old, Snooty Sims found 2 new pics of CAS (in-game) or CaSIE of The Sims 2. The preview itself is a bit hard to read, as it's in Czech. The images seem to be quite old, since they look similar to what was seen during the E3 last year. Nevertheless they're worth checking out. They show how varied the children of 2 Sims can be. You can find them at this page.

    Wednesday 21 January 2004
    Luc Chats about Sims 2
    Written at 11:58 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Maxis has announced who'll be in tomorrow's chat. And as many wanted, it's with Luc Barthelet this time, which means you'll be able to ask your Sims 2 questions in the chat, but if you want you should also be able to ask him personal questions. In French or English doesn't really matter, although the main language will be English. Make sure you're there at 3pm PST (which is 11pm GMT and midnight in most of Europe). Go to the official site for the link to the chatroom, when it opens about 10 minutes before the start of the chat.
    2 New Sims 2 Screens
    Written at 22:32 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
    There are 2 new Sims 2 screenshots from the Sims 2 Scoop mailing list that all subscribers have received earlier today. These screenshots show two objects that you can earn if you get up high in specific career tracks. That means that there is a little bit of the console "Get A Life" mode left in The Sims 2, namely trying to climb up in the career ladder to unlock those hidden objects. Be sure to check out those screens by clicking the thumbnails below.

    Earn new objects by working on your career! (1) Earn new objects by working on your career! (2)
    Even more screens
    Written at 23:37 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    After the screenshots from the Sims 2 newsletter, even more screenshots have appeared on the web. This time they come from a French fansite, The Sims 2 Creation. They seem to be captured from a TV programme, and the quality isn't too great. If you're a fan you should check them out though, you'll see some neighborhood and CaSIE screenshots. Finally there are 2 loading screens pictures. To check them out, go to this page.

    Thursday 22 January 2004
    New Poll
    Written at 10:21 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    We've added a new poll again last night, this time asking you if your Sims ever get abducted by aliens because they were looking through the telescope in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are already nearly 50 votes at the time of writing, and if you haven't done so already you can join them. Vote at the right or at this page. The old poll was about the favourite food of your Sims. Even though they eat the same meal every time, we never really knew what was on those plates. You gave us your thoughts, and Hamburgers/Junkfood is the most popular food in SimCity. Pasta is a close second, closely followed by steak. Vegetables and Other food ended up on the same spot right behind the steak. Pancakes, Fish 'n Chips and Egg with Bacon got the remaining of the 435 votes. See the exact results at this page.
    Written at 10:34 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    It's another SimDay, which means there's Sim News again. Let's start off with 6 new Bustin' Out MP3s. Maxis already released 6 songs on MP3 from Bustin' Out last week, and this week they've added another 6. You can find them by following this link. More Bustin' Out news: the fansite contest winners have been announced. Maxis picked 5 Bustin' Out fansites, which have now won and will be contacted by email. Congratulations! The winners can be found at this page. When it comes to The Sims 2, there isn't much new this week. First of all, remember there's a chat tonight with Luc Barthelet. Maxis has also posted an interview with ManagerJosh from our affiliate WorldSims. If you're ready to read what makes him "scream and faint", then follow this link to the interview. Finally, Maxis has updated their Sims 2 FAQ. They've added the questions Luc Barthelet sent to a select group of fansite webmasters last monday. Nothing else has really changed. That's all for this week again.

    Friday 23 January 2004
    Chat Transcript
    Written at 16:50 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Last night there was the chat with the famous Luc Barthelet about The Sims 2. There were over 500 people in the chat, and due to some technical problems the chat lasted 15 minutes longer than usual too. Unfortunately a lot of people were unable to enter the chat after a while, but over 400 people remained there asking a lot of questions. Even though it was asked a lot, Maxis refrained from answering any questions about release dates of CaSIE or The Sims 2. The remaining questions did leave quite some nice info, of which most was already known or could be guessed. Here are a few of the answers:
    "reanimation: will there be bigger resoltuions in the sims 2 ...like 1280x1024"
    "Luc Barthelet: Yes"
    "bookworm28: Can old people die at different times? Because it would be kind of annoying if all your grandparents died exactly at the same time."
    "LB: I agree"
    "keymasterkel: In CAS, can you create a "child" (i.e. customize a sim how you want it) and then add the parent AFTER that sim is created? Or must you always create parents first in CAS mode?"
    "LB: If you want to use the DNA you need to create the parent first. if you do it the other way they are adopted."
    "MaSMeL: in cameraman mode, can a sim still interact with objects or is it purely for cinematics?"
    "LB: it is meant to be purely cinematic. but you can switch back and force using tab"
    "simsmaster88: Will there be like a meter that tells you how far along in each stage each sim is?"
    "LB: yes"
    "Godziller101: Can you make something like home movies, that your sims can watch on their tv? Using the cameraman mode, of course."
    "LB: I like that idea. The TVs will play any AVI. so you can make movies for your sims"
    "zockedi: Will a jealous sim who comes to a wedding beable to cause a scene and interrrupt the wedding? Can a sim get cold feet and change his mind after getting engaged?"
    "LB: YES"
    "simmy2sky: What else can be done with the couch besides nap and sit, come on Luc tell US!!"
    "LB: make out?"
    "zockedi: If you create identical twins and give them the same personalities, but give them totally different life experiences, will their personalities end up dramatically different?"
    "LB: yes. they will have lifes and that will drive them to be different sims"
    Some hidden info, which was sent in a private message and has been published at the BBS (this thread), is that Maxis is working on an exchange which will work for Europeans as well. Of course all this info is only a small selection, and there's a whole lot more to be read. You can do so by clicking here. On another note: many people from Europe have been asking for a more convenient time for the chats, as currently they're being held at midnight. Maxis has not yet responded to that though, but of course we'll keep you updated about all the official chats.

    Saturday 24 January 2004
    New Sims 2 shots
    Written at 19:20 by ChEeTaH - 6 comments.
    Maxis has sent around three new screenshots of The Sims 2, this time showing three different decor collections which you can decorate your Sims 2 houses with. They are Asian, Modern and Moroccan. Click the thumbnails below to see the images in their full glory. Here's what Luc Barthelet has to say about the collection feature, which we already mentioned in our The Sims 2 University Special:
    "In The Sims 2, decorating reaches new heights of style and sophistication. You will be now be able to choose objects for your Sims' environment from a dozen new d├ęcor styles. The game will include a variety of themed style collections that include Asian, Modern and Moroccan. The collections will include furniture, accessories, and wall and floor treatments from each specific theme. Players will also be able to add, delete, or create new objects within these collections or create an entirely new collection. We imagine that players will enjoy creating and sharing their own decor collections with one another. Who needs those home decorating shows when you have The Sims 2?"
    Asian Decoration Modern Decoration Moroccon Decoration

    Sunday 25 January 2004
    SimCity 5 speculation
    Written at 17:33 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    IGN reports that recent speculations about SimCity 5 being in development should not be taken seriously. On French television, Maxis general manager Luc Barthelet said that SimCity 5 is currently in development. However, when Maxis called IGN Maxis stated that they "are focused on shipping The Sims 2 at this time. [...] To read anything into Luc Barthelet's comments is incorrect. [...] Any speculation as to SimCity 5 is premature". According to Luc in last thursday's chat, he also got "into real trouble." for saying that SC5 was being developed. As there's often some truth in rumours, and the job opening for the "Next Generation" of SimCity, it seems likely that SimCity 5 is in the works and that Maxis is trying to cover up at the moment. In the past Maxis also denied some Sims expansion packs when there were rumours about them because of pre-order options, especially Superstar and Makin' Magic. Of course it isn't definite yet until EA releases a press release about it, but to many people it seems likely that SimCity 5 will come to your PC in probably a couple of years. We'll keep you updated.
    New feature at TSZ
    Written at 18:36 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    As frequent visitors of The Sims Zone know, we've been preparing a new feature in the past weeks, even months. After a lot of planning, programming, designing, testing and bug fixing, it's nearly finished. We're currently in the final stage, and there are only a few more things to work on before we will launch the TSZ Knowledge Database! The Knowledge section will be the place to look for help with The Sims. If you're a registered member, you will be able to ask your questions in this knowledge database. But: you will also be able to answer questions. Members will help other members, who are helped by other members again. It works similar to forums, except that it's more question-answer based. With powerful search features you should be able to find the answer to your question quite easily. And if you don't? Post your question, and as soon as someone answers your question you will receive an e-mail in your inbox. If you want to see it for yourself, come back next week when we launch it!

    The January donation gift, which was testing this feature, is now not available anymore. Instead we've added two new donation files again, which will be the gift for february. Donate now and get that Floral Collection and that Funkilicious Love Bed right away!

    Tuesday 27 January 2004
    Sims 2 Preview disc at McDonalds [Update]
    Written at 13:33 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    If you live in the USA and stopy by at the McDonalds to eat, you can also get a new preview disc of The Sims 2 by LidRock. The CD contains a sneak preview of The Sims, some exclusive items for The Sims, a Sims Pinball game, the Desktop Gnome (from Makin' Magic), and, exclusive to the cd, a cheat code for Bustin' Out on the PS2 and an all-new Sims 2 mini-game. It's available since yesterday, for a limited time only. For more information, click here.

    [Update 21.30] As The Sims Resource 2 reports, the CD's will only be sold in participating McDonald's in the Atlanta area. You might also be able to find some at eBay. Meanwhile, with thanks to Hikikomori, you can download the Sims pinball game at this page. Perhaps the other exclusives will be made available as download as well later.
    The Sims 2 one of Most Anticipated
    Written at 22:05 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    The Sims 2 is one of the most anticipated PC games, at least according to IGN. Being so different from other games, the games press laughed when the concept was first described to them. Now, Maxis is "having the last laugh" as it became the best selling PC game of all times. IGN has posted a list of the 35 most anticipated PC games of 2004, and other sections of IGN have also posted their most anticipated. For the whole article (divided over 6 pages) click here. If you want to go to page 5, which has the bit about The Sims 2 on it, immediately, just click here.
    Weekly Chat Info
    Written at 22:10 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    This week's chat is going to be a little bit different from the usual chats. Instead of being held at the official site, this time it will be held at the recently launched TheSimsChat. The time is also different from usual: instead of 3pm, it's on a more convenient time for Europeans this time, at 11am PST. That makes it 4 hours earlier, so it's 7pm in Britain, or 8pm in most of Europe. The rest is still similar: it'll be a moderated chat with guest speakers from Maxis. This thursday: MaxisLucky, MaxisKitty and MaxisMojo. Join them at TheSimsChat.

    Wednesday 28 January 2004
    The Sims 2 Delayed
    Written at 11:52 by ChEeTaH - 29 comments.
    Yesterday EA announced their financial results over the third quarter of fiscal 2004, which ended 31 December 2003. In the full press release there's also a bit of outlook on the fiscal 2005. This is what we can read about The Sims 2:
    "We expect that The Sims(TM) 2.0 and Medal of Honor Pacific Assault(TM) will ship in fiscal 2005."
    GameSpot reports that it won't even be the second or third quarter of fiscal 2005 until we see the release of the two games. That has also been confirmed by the official site, which now states that The Sims 2 will be released in the "later half of '04" in a news update. If so, that'd mean the game would be released between July and December 2004. Such a delay would be necessary to polish up the games, although it's probably also a strategic move to boost the fiscal 2005 sales. More information can be found at this page (Press release), this page (News Update), this page (IGN) and finally this page (GameSpot).

    Finally there's a bit of news about Bustin' Out in the same press release: it's said that that game is one of the big games which performed well during the holiday sales, as the results of the third quarter of fiscal 2004 were driven by that as well as several other games. Of course we'll keep you updated about the Sims 2 release date.

    Thursday 29 January 2004
    New Poll
    Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    It's time for a new weekly poll again. But first, past week's results. We got a lot of answers to the question if your Sims get abducted by aliens often. 802 people (!) voted, and the results are somewhat surprising. Over 50% doesn't know how it can happen. For those people: buy a telescope, and let your Sims look through it at night. If you're lucky (or not, depending on how you think of it) your Sim will be abducted. Here are all results:
    • It happens all the time! - 7.98% (64)
    • Some of them, yes - 12.09% (97)
    • Rarely, but it happened a few times - 23.69% (190)
    • Never, I protect my Sims against that - 3.99% (32)
    • Alien abduction? How? - 52.24% (419)
    This week we wonder how you feel about today's news that The Sims 2 has been delayed until the second half of 2004. You can vote on the right, or by going to this page. For more results of old polls, take a peek in our poll archive.
    Written at 10:35 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
    This week's SimDay is more of the same really. That doesn't make it less nice though. First of all, there are 6 more MP3 files of Bustin' Out. These tunes, and the 12 from the past two weeks, can be downloaded from this page. Secondly, The Sims has been voted in the top 10 family games of 2003 at Daytrum:
    "For those who like to meddle and micro-manage the lives of tiny, virtual people in a strategy game, there's Electronic Arts' The Sims. In the best version yet for the consoles, The Sims Bustin' Out lets players take their Sims out of the house and into new locations to play and work and interact with new characters. On the PC, The Sims Double Deluxe bundles the original The Sims game with the fun Livin' Large and House Party expansion packs to add more features, objects and places. And if you want to add some magic to your sim experience, there's the latest add-on, The Sims Makin' Magic, which gives sims magical powers."
    You can read the whole article right here. Then there's The Sims 2 stuff: there are 3 screenshots, which have been posted here last weekend. You can now find them at the official site too. Finally there's a new interview with a webmaster again. This time it's my turn, so if you're one of the few who wants to know what games I play, what I think of The Sims 2 and EA and more, then enjoy the read. Remember to join the chat tonight at 11am (7pm in the UK, 8pm in Europe) tonight.
    News from chat
    Written at 20:59 by ChEeTaH - 9 comments.
    The chat was at a convenient time for me today, and the Maxoids did give some more information about the delays of The Sims 2 and CaSIE. Here's what MaxisLucky said about CaSIE:
    "We are planning on releasing CaSIE, but something to understand is that Sims created with CaSIE need to work with the game, and since the Sims portion of the game isn't done, we can't release CaSIE yet. We don't want to give you a tool that creates Sims that won't eventually work in the game. Once its is released we are so excited to see what you guys come up with."
    It's not yet sure if the delay causes any changes to the system requirements. Other news is that once TS2 is released, there probably won't be any more Sims 1.x SimDay events, and until then there won't be very many Maxis objects for TS1 anymore, as they. Basically The Sims 1 is slowly dying, but of course The Sims 2 will take over and there will be a lot of new features there. Of course the Sims 2 website will be updated weekly with new info, screenshots, etc., even with the release date being so far away. Weekly chat times will from now on be alternated, so everybody can join some chats. As MaxisKitty said, it's because then more European people get a chance to join the chat. Currently the Maxis Website hosting will still take some time, as Maxis is "still jumping through some hoops to get it set up". Of course, TS1 fansites will be hosted as well. The transcript will be posted at The Sims Chat soon, and there you'll be able to read even more questions and answers.

    [Update 20:45] TSC posted the transcript quicker than I expected. You can find it right here.

    Saturday 31 January 2004
    New Sims 2 Screens
    Written at 18:35 by ChEeTaH - 10 comments.
    Even though the game's been delayed quite a bit, Maxis is still releasing new screenshots. Today we can show you another 4 brand new ones, which show what you will be able to do with the game once it's finished. There is a house and a huge mansion, some kind of lab experiment, and a business party. Simply click the thumbnails below to see the shots in their full size.

    A Sims 2 HouseA Sims 2 MansionSome kind of experiment going onA Business party