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News Archive - January, 2006
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Wednesday 4 January 2006
International Outfits
Written at 15:44 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The official site has put three downloads in the spotlight again. This time these are three fan-made Sims: "African Dawn" by TracyMare from South Africa, "Øst- Telemark Raudtrøyebunad" by MissChrizty from Norway, and finally an outfit from Thailand by Srikwan01 called "Traditional Thai Luxurious Blue Dress". All files are now available from the official exchange and through the new intro splash at the frontpage. You need to have your copy of the Sims 2 registered to see that intro and to download the sims.
 
Open for Business Press Release [Update]
Written at 15:51 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Although the title has been known for a while, and the first screenshots have been posted as well, until now there hasn't been an official press release announcing Open for Business yet. Today EA sent out the press release announcing this third expansion pack for the Sims 2 on PC. Senior Producer Tim LeTourneau is quoted in the press release:
"The Sims 2 Open for Business is truly an innovative and fresh addition to the franchise. It allows players to build their own business from the ground up, exploring a whole new economic landscape while pursuing their dreams of commercial success. For years players have been asking for the ability to play with their Sims in a work environment. Now they will be able to do just that, unlocking not only their Sims business potential but their own as well. It's really a whole new way to play the game. Whether you're a clever tinkerer or a master craftsman, your dream store can become a virtual reality as your Sims world becomes open for business!"
The press release mentions several key features, like the possibilities to open up various shops, " from trendy clothing boutique to blooming floral shop, a bustling restaurant perhaps, or become a mogul with an original business of your own design." Your Sims will need to create and craft items to sell, and you can dress up your employees in wacky outfits to entertain customers. The expansion will be rated "T" for Teen by ESRB, just like the other Sims games. For more details, check out the full press release.

[Update 18:00] The European version of the press release is out now too. In that version the PEGI rating of 12+ is mentioned. That means the rating will, as expected, be the same as for the other expansion packs.
 
Sims 2 Mobile Trailer
Written at 19:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Although the mobile version of the Sims 2 is available already (through your carrier, e.g. Vodafone in Europe), EA has released a new trailer of the game. It's posted on IGN Wireless and can be streamed or downloaded from the media page. It's a one-minute trailer, that IGN posted twice (once with, once without thumbnail).
 
Open for Business Screenshots and Movie
Written at 21:47 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The official announcement earlier today marked the start of the usual flood of screenshots, movies and information about the new Sims 2 expansion pack, Open for Business. A few have been released before, but now Maxis has also released four screenshots and a video on the official site. The trailer shows the key features of everything that's possible, including many of the new objects. Between them is also a robot that looks like a remake of Servo, the robot-maid that was introduced in Livin' Large for the Sims 1 - we'll most likely find out more about that soon enough. In the background is a new remix of the Sims 2 tune, but naturally it's a matter of waiting to find out if that will be in the game too. There's a lot more to see in the movies, especially when it comes to all the objects. Watch it to see for yourself. Also check out the screenshots by clicking the thumbnails below.

The Sims 2 are Open for Business The Sims 2 are Open for Business The Sims 2 are Open for Business The Sims 2 are Open for Business
 

Thursday 5 January 2006
Open for Business: Ask Tim LeTourneau
Written at 22:07 by ChEeTaH - 21 comments.
Expansion pack 3 for the Sims 2, Open for Business, was announced yesterday. Similar to what we did with Nightlife, we'll be getting the opportunity to talk to Tim LeTourneau, senior producer of the expansion, about the game. He's going to tour through Europe again next week to show the expansion pack to fans and press, TSZ included. You can now send us your questions about the expansion pack by posting a comment to this post, or by sending an e-mail. We can't guarantee that all questions will be answered, but we'll do our best. You have until 11 January to submit your questions to us, so start asking!
 
Open for Business European Packshot
Written at 22:33 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Although the box artwork for Open for Business was already discovered in November, we now have the official pack shot for the expansion pack, as it will be in Europe. Although the Nightlife box still shows the old "EA Games" logo, the Christmas Party Pack already had the new logo saying just "EA". Open for Business will be the first full Sims expansion pack in Europe with that same new logo on it. We've reduced the size of the artwork to a resolution that's easier viewable, which you'll see when you click the thumbnail below.

The Sims 2 Open for Business
 

Friday 6 January 2006
UK Chat with Tim LeTourneau
Written at 18:42 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Tim LeTourneau starts touring through Europe on Monday, and naturally he'll be in the UK as well. Although there's no fan event this time, like there was with Nightlife, Tim LeTourneau will be joining a webchat this time. The chat will start next monday 9 January, at 7pm GMT (that'll be 8pm in most of Europe, 2pm CET or 11am PST). As fan of the game you'll be able to ask Tim questions about Open for Business, the third expansion pack for the Sims 2, yourself. More details can be found in the announcement. If you're unable to join the chat, feel free to submit us your questions until 11 January.
 

Sunday 8 January 2006
Holiday Party Pack Available until 15th [Update]
Written at 19:07 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Although the holidays are over, the Holiday Party Pack (or Christmas Party Pack) is still available. Not for much longer though, as the pack will be taken off the shelves as of 15 January, according to the official site. That means there's one week left to buy the pack. Although likely, the US Holiday Edition is not mentioned as going out of sale next week. The price of $15 hasn't changed.

[Update 14 January, 13:50] The pack will be available a little longer even, until 24 January. So if you still want to get it, you have a little more time to do so.
 
More Details about Open for Business Mascot
Written at 19:14 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We already got information about the mascot giveaway if you pre-order Open for Business from various shops. The official site has now published more details about this download. The mascot will be an outfit, and besides that you'll also get a life-size sculpture download to put outside your Sims store. The description below is from the official site:
"Pre-order your copy of The Sims 2 Open For Business today and get access to an exclusive Sims mascot outfit and accompanying life-size sculpture to display outside your Sims store! Give their business its own unique theme and mess with your Sims by dressing them as a wacky new mascot. The special mascot and sculpture display items are only available to those who reserve the game from their favorite retailers listed below. Get ready for your Sims bring home the big bucks in The Sims 2 Open For Business."
Instead of being available to the US only, it'll be available in various European countries as well. It's not yet sure whether it'll be available in the UK, and if so in which shops. You'll also get the downloads if you pre-order the pack from our PC shop (for now US only). You can also pre-order the strategy guide for extra hints and tips for the expansion pack.
 

Monday 9 January 2006
Open for Business Details from Chat [Update 2]
Written at 22:26 by ChEeTaH - 8 comments.
As we let you know last Friday, Tim LeTourneau would be joining a chat today to answer some questions about the upcoming expansion pack, Open for Business. The chat has now finished, and a full log will be posted tomorrow. The highlights are in the "Read more" part of this newspost. If your questions weren't answered, feel free to submit them to us. You have until Wednesday for that.

[Update 11 January, 23:30] Due to technical problems, the chat log of the chat has gone lost. We'll try to complete the information below with information gathered from affiliates and the official site. If there's an update here, it'll be marked as such. More information is likely to be given in a preview of Open for Business that will be posted on the Sims Zone later this week. For the information about the technical problems, check out the forum thread about it on the official UK site.

[Update 12 January, 0:55] The list was fairly complete, but a few things were missing. The list has now been completed with information from other sources. Thanks to those sources for the extra information. The new information is put through the list below, sorted more or less by topic.
 
Read More!


Thursday 12 January 2006
Open for Business Screenshots
Written at 07:37 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
On the official site Maxis has posted two new screenshots showing scenes from Open for Business. The first shows the water wiggler and a child playing with a kite, where the second one shows what's probably the toy bench. To see these screenshots, just click the thumbnails below.

Open for Business Open for Business
 

Friday 13 January 2006
New Lighting Object
Written at 08:32 by Jendea - 0 comments.



Hi everyone! I posted a new meshed object today:
A Stained Glass Shade Table Lamp (also included are three recolors: Dragonfly, Wisteria and Sunburst patterns).

Click on the picture to check it out or you can also find them under my section: jendea.

 

Saturday 14 January 2006
Brussels in Business [Update]
Written at 05:50 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Thursday Tim LeTourneau, Senior producer of the Sims 2 Open for Business, was in Brussels to show the game to fans and press. The Sims Zone was invited as well, and naturally we went to check out the upcoming expansion pack. Besides taking a lot of pictures, we also got a lot of information about the new expansion pack. Brand new information, that you won't find anywhere else yet. After much hard work, a preview has now been made. In it you can find over 70 pictures of the game, as well as all the information we received. It should answer a lot of questions you submitted, but not all. We'll still try to get an answer to those that we're still unsure about, so don't worry if your question didn't get answered in the preview. Nevertheless, find out more and read it!


[Update 15:00] Most of the pictures have been edited, so they are a bit brighter. They're still not great, but it should now be a bit easier to see some of the details. We'll soon post links to other sites with more (and better) pictures from the event.
 
Open for Business Graphics
Written at 16:30 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
It's not very uncommong for EA to release a lot of screenshots of the games they are creating. Open for Business, the upcoming expansion pack, is no exception there. Five screenshots have been found at the French site JeuxVideo.com. They show various shops in action, including some of the new objects. Besides that, EA has also posted a new artwork as well as the logo (without any backgrounds) of the expansion pack on their press site. You'll be able to see all the graphics by clicking the thumbnails below. Thanks to L'universims for discovering the screenshots.

Open for Business Open for Business Open for Business Open for Business Open for Business Open for Business Artwork Open for Business Logo
 
Open for Business Preview
Written at 16:46 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
When Tim LeTourneau was in the UK to present Open for Business to the press, website EuroGamer talked to him about the expansion pack as well. The result is a new preview, that gives a little bit of new information. For example, the three basic types of businesses are mentioned: pay-per-item, pay-per-service, and pay-per-time. Using stories from a demo, it also tells that one of the robots, probably hydro bot, was spraying water all over the place when it was broken. A cleaner but ran after it, cleaning up all the puddles. Things like conical roofing, awnings, split-level places and elevators are also briefly mentioned.

In the interview on the second page, which is more general about the Sims itself, Tim also mentions that Open for Business probably won't be available through EA Downloader, a service that EA introduced with the Holiday Party Pack. For more details, be sure to read the preview.
 
The SimPrentice - Open for Business Preview
Written at 16:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Like GameSpy did with the previous two expansion packs for the Sims 2, they have now started a series of articles called the SimPrentice. They talk to Grubbs, "a full-time slacker and part-time entrepreneur," who has set up his own salon in the Sims world, in his parents' garage. The article has several screenshots, including some of the interface. To see those, check out the screenshot gallery of GameSpy. Naturally for more details, you should read the interview.
 
OfB Presentation in Brussels Reports
Written at 17:21 by ChEeTaH - 5 comments.
As we posted earlier, Tim LeTourneau was in Brussels last thursday to promote Open for Business. Besides our own preview there are several other fansites who also had representatives over, and they have now posted pictures and/or reports from the presentation. Below you can find links to the reports posted so far. Note that some of the sites mentioned below are Dutch, and thus so are their reports - in that case, you'll almost always find the same information in our article. If more reports appear, we'll post them here.
 

Monday 16 January 2006
30 Open for Business Screenshots
Written at 00:45 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
After being in Brussels, Tim LeTourneau has also gone to Cologne, Germany, to show Open for Business there. Our affiliate SimsZone was there as well, and managed to take home 30 screenshots of the expansion pack. The screenshots show many parts of the game and its interface, and some of the possibilities of the objects. Check their screenshots index for all the screens.
 
T-Mail Screenshots
Written at 00:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We regularly receive e-mails from Tim LeTourneau, talking about the upcoming expansion pack. Usually they also come with screenshots, and the next one won't be any different to that. Although the e-mail itself is yet to be sent, the screenshots have already been uploaded. Shown are a bakery, the perks interface (with a wholesale perk selected, showing that you can buy items with discount if you run a business), an unhappy customer and a robot with strange teeth and an odd walk... If you want to see them, click the thumbnails below. Thanks to our affiliate SimsZone for spotting these graphics.

Open for Business Open for Business Open for Business Open for Business
 

Tuesday 17 January 2006
OfB Screenshot and German Previews
Written at 22:23 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We already mentioned 30 screenshots of Open for Business a few days ago, from our affiliate SimsZone. They have now posted a preview as well, with some new information. They tell that when any Sim, townie or playable, enters a business that you're running at that moment (as NPC), will not be affected in any way when they make a purchase or so. That means that even if you see a Sim that you created buying an item, that item will not appear in their inventory, nor will you see any change in their budget, when you go back and play with that Sim. Instead, visiting Sims more or less have an unlimited supply of cash to spend.

Other than that, German website SimTimes has also been to Cologne to visit the presentation of Tim LeTourneau. They too have posted a (German) preview, along with 25 screenshots of the upcoming expansion pack.
 
Unofficial Expansion: Sims 2 Spooked!
Written at 22:34 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Together with Maxis, several students of the University of Southern California have developed a mini-expansion pack for the Sims 2. This is reported by SimsOvernight. Carrying the title "Sims 2 Spooked" the pack contains 20 objects, designed and developed by students, from a Possessed Coffee Pot to a "Frank – the Do It Yourself Monster Kit". The students were given Edith, the tool Maxis uses to create objects and more for the Sims 2, as well as some other tools, to create the expansion pack. The group of 22 was also advised by several Maxoids during the development. It seems that the pack was already finished early last year, but it's only been discovered by Sims fans recently. SnootySims also reports that, coincidentally or not, the idea of the expansion pack was mentioned in an early survey that showed up on the official site last year.

For more information about this mini expansion, see the news page, and their project page where you can find movies, a guide to Edith (with complete wiki about the tool), and a original gameplay concepts and ideas, as well as a full handbook explaining the different items in the game. Whether the expansion pack is available to the public is not clear at this moment.
 
System Requirements OfB
Written at 22:44 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Maxis has revealed the system requirements for Open for Business. Similar to Nightlife, this expansion pack will require a processor with a clock speed of 1000 Mhz (1 GHz) or higher (2.4 Ghz if you don't have a T&L capable graphics card). This is more than the original game, which requires 800 Mhz. Besides that, you'll also need an extra 1.5 Gb of disk space. During installation the program will probably need a little more to be free, for temporary files as well. Another change compared to the original (but not since Nightlife), is that the ATi Radeon 7000 series are no longer supported - an ATi Radeon 8500 is the bare minimum for ATi's range of graphics cards. For more detials see the official System Requirements page and our knowledge base article.
 

Wednesday 18 January 2006
OfB Chat Thursday
Written at 00:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Open for Business is coming soon, and the team of people working on it is ready to answer your questions about the expansion pack. Next Thursday, 19 Jauary, there will be a developer chat in which you can ask anything you have to ask the Maxoids. Who exactly will be answering the questions is not yet mentioned, but you'll find out if you join at 3pm PST (11pm GMT, midnight in most of Europe). The chatroom will open shortly before the chat starts.
 
H-Mail instead of T-Mail
Written at 00:21 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Usually Tim Letourneau sends out e-mails regarding the upcoming expansion packs for the Sims 2. However, as he's in Europe, Hunter Howe has sent the community an e-mail this time. He is one of the designers of the expansion packs, and leads all the tuning and tweaking. He spoke about some constants in the last T-mail, and this time it's mostly about the business perks. He says how happy customers give you customer loyalty stars, which results in a higher business ranking, which in turn gives you points to spend on perks. He mentions a few; "Rally Forth" allows your Sim to boost the motives of the employees and other Sims nearby, but can also have disastrous consequences. The "Power Network" perk allows your Sim to "meet" everybody that another Sim knows. The relationship score will instantly be at 15/15, as a bonus. The third perk, "Convincing Personality" will boost the effectiveness of your Sims' sales techniques. Buy bars of recipients of sales socials will be filled 30% more than normal. Finally, the "Head for Numbers" perk allows your Sim to call anyone on the phone, whether your Sim knows them or not.

Besides all that, he also tells how you can makeover townies, giving them a new appearance and clothes. Along with the e-mail came the four screenshots that were already discovered this weekend. If you wish to see those again, just click the thumbnails in the e-mail, which is to be found in the Read More part of this newspost.
 
Read More!


Thursday 19 January 2006
New OfB Screenshots
Written at 13:43 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
SnootySims has found 6 new screenshots of Open for Business from the official Italian site. Although some of the scenes displayed in these shots may look familiar, they're probably cut-outs of earlier screenshots. You can check out all pictures by clicking the thumbnails below.

The Sims 2 Open for Business The Sims 2 Open for Business The Sims 2 Open for Business The Sims 2 Open for Business The Sims 2 Open for Business The Sims 2 Open for Business
 
OfB "Classified Ads"
Written at 21:08 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Before Nightlife was released, Maxis put horoscopes on the official site every month. This time, for Open for Business, they're posting "classified ads." They reveal a bit of information about the game, like this one says there might be evil clowns in box toys... For more details check out the classified ads page.
 
Official Site improves Avatars
Written at 22:13 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Those who visit the official site a lot, probably know that you can set your own avatar if you're logged in. This little Create-A-Sim tool has been slightly improved: Maxis has added several items inspired by Nightlife to it. You'll find a new top hat, pearl necklace, cat eye glasses, raver goggles, and a tuxedo when creating or changing your Sim. If you want to see what the new items look like, go and edit your avatar.
 

Friday 20 January 2006
OfB Details from Chat
Written at 02:43 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
There was a chat this thursday, and during the 40 minutes it lasted several Maxoids answered a lot of questions regarding Open for Business, the upcoming third expansion pack for the Sims 2. The chat has resulted in some new information being given. A list with the new (or more detailed than before) information from the chat is in the read more part of this post. Check the full log for all the questions and answers.
 
Read More!

Survey Details
Written at 14:06 by ChEeTaH - 5 comments.
Yesterday Maxis had a new survey on their website, asking about new features in future expansion packs. Besides that, it also mentioned "The Sims 2 Stuff" packs, which used to be known as Booster or Shopping packs. Recurring topics in the topic are pets, gardening, farming, but there is also a multitude of building options. All the precise details of the survey have been posted on the Sims usenet newsgroup, by Guardian Pegasus. They can be found through Google Groups, but for your convenience we've also posted the details in the read more part below.
 
Read More!


Tuesday 24 January 2006
Interview with Tim LeTourneau
Written at 00:31 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Recently Tim LeTourneau was in Europe to promote the Sims 2 Open for Business. While in Germany, the German official site held an interview with Tim about the expansion pack. In it Tim talks about how the team got the idea for the expansion pack, as well as some gameplay elements of the expansion pack. SnootySims has translated the interview, which you can now read in English.
 
French Sims Magazine
Written at 00:51 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
That the Sims 2 is popular in France was already proved when the game got its own stamp. Now the Sims 2 is also getting a magazine in France, which is for sale for 7.50 Euros. Besides the magazine itself, which contains articles with tips for the PC game, information about the Consoles and Handheld versions, a history of the Sims, stories, and more, you also get an extra DVD. The DVD contains 500+ objects, patches, videos and tools for the Sims 2 on PC. A new copy of the magazine will be distributed every quarter, although it will only be available in France. For more details, check out the French newspage. Below you can see the cover of the first issue.

The Sims 2 Magazine in France
 
Sims 3 Rumours [Update]
Written at 00:57 by ChEeTaH - 5 comments.
It's no surprise that, after Maxis started working on the Sims 2 fairly soon after the Sims 1 was finished, that they're now working on the Sims 3 for PC already. Sims2Network disovered that the clients page of Feng Zhu Design showed Maxis as one of the clients for the company before. The project that was mentioned with it, was "Sims 3". Unsure is whether this is already for the PC version of the game, or rather the next Sims title for consoles, but time will have to tell.

[Update 26 January, 20:45] In an article at IGN another company, Gamma Ray Studios also had Maxis listed for a Sims 3 title. An EA spokesperson also told IGN that although fans can't get enough of the franchise, and that EA is always looking for new ideas for the Sims, any speculation is premature until an announcement is made by EA. IGN also says the work the two mentioned companies do is usually done during early stages of development, which means the Sims 3 is still years away.
 
Nightlife Coming to Mac in March
Written at 01:04 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
MacWorld brings a new report, in which they say Nightlife has been announced for Mac. The developer, Aspyr, is porting the PC version of the expansion pack to the Mac platform. The game itself won't be much (if any) different from the PC version. Although University was released in December, and 6 months earlier the Sims 2 itself came out on Mac, Aspyr is taking considerably less time to transfer this expansion pack over. Currently in early development, it's slated for release in March of this year. Precise details are yet unknown. Thansk to SnootySims for spotting the article.
 

Friday 27 January 2006
Mountain Cabin Build Items
Written at 20:37 by Jendea - 0 comments.

New build items posted today: Two new windows and a column with a rustic or "mountain cabin" theme. The single story window has the diagonal mesh included and both have a recolor in white also. Enjoy!

You can find them all under Sims2: objects or my section:jendea

 

Saturday 28 January 2006
New Artworks
Written at 00:57 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Recently the arsenal of Open for Business graphics was expanded by three artworks, found by L'Universims at Europe2.fr. The brand new artworks show three shopkeepers making their own business. They may look somewhat familiar, from small icons, but they haven't appeared as full artworks before yet. You can check them out by clicking the thumbnails below.

Open for Business Open for Business Open for Business
 
OfB Previews
Written at 14:08 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
In the past week three new previews of Open for Business were posted. Naturally that has resulted in bits of new information about the expansion pack, as well as screenshots and videos. GameSpot, IGN and 1Up have taken a look at the game and give their first impressions. Read on for the exact details from these previews.
 
Read More!

EA Decided against Product Placement in OfB
Written at 14:21 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Although it was apparantly considered, BusinessWeek reports that there will not be any product placement - i.e. advertising - in the Sims 2 Open for Business. Because the Sims is a fantasy world, ad and design staffs working on the expansion, decided to not put real-life brands in the Sims world. This despite McDonalds and Intel making an appearance in The Sims Online, and later as download for the Sims 1, as well as an Alienware Computer download from the Sims 2 Exchange. EA was already working on placing some brands in the storylines for Open for Business, but those have now been removed. The full article discusses product placement in other games as well.
 
Open for Business Wallpaper
Written at 14:30 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
On the official site, which recently got a new intro to promote Open for Business, a new wallpaper of the expansion pack has been posted. As usual it comes in four resolutions, 1680x1050, 1280x1024, 1024x768 and 800x600, suitable for any computer desktop. To put it on your computer's background, go to the official Wallpaper page. You can see a small example below.

Open for Business Wallpaper