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News Archive - October, 2003
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Wednesday 1 October 2003
Day 40 - Being like the birds
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
The Freefall Zone is now available to the housemates to practice their manoeuvres. How did Graham and Ruud manage in their attempts in flying like birds?

This and more is all in here!

Thursday 2 October 2003
SimDay: More articles
Written at 22:33 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
It's SimDay again, which means new links from the official site. This week: a chat with Dr. Vu (about SimCity 4 (Deluxe) and the Rush Hour expansion pack), some links, and The Sims Double Deluxe download pack #3. To start with the last thing: the third and final download pack of Double Deluxe is now available in a package of 1.74 Mb. It contains, tables, fountains, wallpapers, and more. You need at least Vacation, Unleashed or Superstar to be able to use the objects. They're already included in The Sims Double Deluxe, in case you bought that. You can download it (and the previous 2 packs) from Get Cool Stuff at the official site...
Read More!

Friday 3 October 2003
Day 41 - Freefall or four fail?
Written at 20:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
It is the day of the Freefall Zone evaluation. Were the housemates successful in their task?

The result and more is all in here!
Day 42 - Four Men and a Forfeit
Written at 20:15 by Andy - 0 comments.
What have the four housemates done on their last complete day together in the Sim Brother house?

This news - and betting news from "Simbrokes" - is all in here!
'Improved' TSO version in retail soon
Written at 23:35 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Sims Online is in the news again: on the player website, players of TSO can read that at 28 October Maxis will release a new retail version of The Sims Online (which will have 3 instead of 2 cd's). All current players have downloaded the improvements over the time they've played, but buying the new package will be better for new players as they won't have to download all the updates to be able to play the game. A lot of new features have been added to the game since the release, and before the end of the month Maxis will have added service NPCs, jobs and pets to the game (so they promise). Other features, like clothing racks, death and secure trading, are already available. Of course current players will be asked to update even before the release so they can enjoy the new content very soon (some of it is already available in Test Center). If TSO is indeed released by the end of this month in Europe, then most likely it'll be the new 3-cd package. However, nothing has been confirmed about that yet (even the EU release date is officially not yet announced).
Even more Sims 2 screenshots
Written at 23:48 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Like several times before, SimsZone.de has proven to be an excellent source for screenshots and information. And again: they've posted 3 new screenshots of The Sims 2 from a German games magazine. Although the quality isn't very great, the images are nice to look at. The quality is much lower than the final game will be - older images show that. To see the screenshots, go to the homepage of SimsZone.de and scroll down a bit, or go to their Sims 2 screenshots section.

Saturday 4 October 2003
Day 43 - The Final Eviction
Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.

One of these two guys has an appointment to meet Will Wright tonight.

Find out who it is right here!

Tuesday 7 October 2003
New Sims 2 Media
Written at 00:01 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
With thanks to SimsZone.de (again), we can give you some new Sims 2 material. The first is another trailer, which shows some in-game material we've seen quite a few times before. There's a three-story house, with a party in it which results in a fight. There's some love and lightning in a hot tub and of course the Sims 2 and EA Games logos. We've mirrored the trailer and it's available in 2 versions: High quality (4.3 Mb) and Low Quality (1.1 Mb). In both cases you'll need QuickTime to watch it:

  • Click here to download the High Quality version
  • Click here to download the Low Quality version

    Warning! As webmaster, DO NOT link directly to these files, but upload them to your own server. Hot linking like that will result in the removal of these files from our servers.

    SimsZone.de also uploaded a few new screenshots and one concept of art. Go to their site, and visit the "Screenshots" page under "Die Sims 2". There you can find all the screenshots (newest at the bottom).

  • Wednesday 8 October 2003
    Makin' Magic goes Gold
    Written at 12:26 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    With just 2 weeks to go before Makin' Magic is released, the final expansion pack has gone gold (i.e. it's in production now). It will definitely be released on 28 October in the US, and a few days later (31 October) in Europe - just in time for halloween. If you want more info about this expansion pack, check out the Game Info page at the Official site. You can read more in this press release. You can find two new screenshots (one with a lot of snakes, another with some dressing up) at SimsZone.de. If you can't find them, look for "Hokus Pokus" on the right and scroll down to the screenshots.

    Friday 10 October 2003
    Sim Brother Catchup #1
    Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.

    To catch up on the weekend and what has been going on in and around the Sim Brother house, click on the following. More coming soon in preparation for the big night

    Graham's Eviction Special!
    The Hustings!
    Their Last Task Assignment!


    Saturday 11 October 2003
    Sim Brother - The Big Catchup
    Written at 00:24 by Andy - 0 comments.

    Click on these links or the pics above to find out what happened during this last week leading up to and following the Karaoke Concert and their sleepover guest

    Monday - Missing the Outside!
    Tuesday - Speculating!
    Wednesday - The Concert!
    Thursday - The Last Full Day!

    You can read these while staying tuned for tonight's final shows and evictions and to find out WHO is going to be the winner of Sim Brother III
    Written at 00:31 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    A bit later than usual (due to problems with my internet connection), but here's the SimDay post anyway. This week we've got a couple of links, another chat (that has been last night) with Luc Barthelet about "Sexy Sims and ?!?". Over 350 people joined the chat and the transcripts will be posted soon. There's also something about Makin' Magic going gold, which we discussed earlier. There are also several links to articles at other sites...
    Read More!

    Sim Brother - The Last Day
    Written at 01:00 by Andy - 0 comments.

    They're all coming out tonight. Find out what has happened today and who is coming out first.

    It's all in here!

    Please keep tuned for the revealing of the winner and interviews with all three of these guys
    Loads of Bustin' Out shots
    Written at 01:29 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The official UK site has been busy posting a lot of screenshots of The Sims Bustin' Out the past few days. There are new shots of the PS2/GC/XBox versions, and also a few of the GBA edition. The 2 new GBA shots can be found here. The other screenshots are split up on 2 pages. The latest batch of 8 pictures is right here, the other batch - another 8 shots of which 6 brand new ones - are on this page. Bustin' Out is expected to be released in December, just a bit more than a week before Christmas, on PlayStation2, GameCube and X-box, and a special edition on the GBA (which will be able to be linked with other GBAs or the GameCube version of the game). For now you'll have to enjoy the screenshots.
    In Third Place
    Written at 02:01 by Andy - 0 comments.
    And the Winner is ...
    Written at 02:25 by Andy - 0 comments.
    The Runner Up Interview
    Written at 04:02 by Andy - 0 comments.
    The Sim Brother Winner
    Written at 05:21 by Andy - 0 comments.

    Sunday 12 October 2003
    Makin' Magic screens
    Written at 02:03 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Our trusted news source SimsZone.de did it again: they posted 3 new concepts of art of Makin' Magic. They show a woman who looks like she's showing something (like the guys next to our ad at the top of this page), the design of some kind of cooking device to make strange potions like a witch, and a rollercoaster. You can check them out at SimsZone.de. They're at the front page now (scroll down a bit), but will forever be in the "Artworks" and "Konzeptzeichnungen" section on the "Hokus Pokus" page.
    The Sims 2 Update
    Written at 02:05 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    We have quite some Sims 2 news for you, directly from Maxis. First of all, the Sims 2 website is close to launch. It will have a special Community section. We've been given a sneek preview of the front page in development. If you want to see it, click here. We've also been told about a Sims 2 Preview CD that will be included with Makin' Magic only. On the cd you can see a lot of information like a making-of The Sims 2, and a lot of game info. There even is a 1 minute trailer for it, which you can see by clicking one of the following links:

  • High Quality (7.1 Mb)
  • Low Quality (1.8 Mb)

  • In both cases you'll need QuickTime to play it. Do NOT link directly to these files if you have your own site. The links won't work, plus we'll remove the files from our servers if this happens.

    But there's more inside (click "Read More" if it's there, else read on): screenshots, and the Create-A-Sim tool...
    Read More!

    Donations Files freed up
    Written at 22:58 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Because we're - unfortunately - unable to provide new monthly donation files for a while, we've decided to make all of them available for free. Donating is still possible, but you won't get any files anymore for as long as it takes. Please keep donating as it'll support us and the RGA. Thank you.

    Tuesday 14 October 2003
    10 New Bustin' Out shots
    Written at 10:31 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    GameSpot has posted 10 new screenshots of The Sims Bustin' Out (PS2, GameCube, X-Box). One of them shows a bar with a DJ Set, pool table and pinball machine. Another one shows some kind of gaming device, and there's one showing a problem with electricity... Then there's an gnome with a jetpack, and a couple of other screenshots. No pieces of art this time, just screenshots. Click here to see them all, including the old stuff.
    Chat transcript
    Written at 12:05 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Last Simday's chat about Sexy sims and more has been held, and the transcript has been posted. There are a few news things in it: "SACAS" (the Create a Sim tool, read more here) will be released next month. It will also be possible to import Sims 1 3D models (e.g. Meshes) to The Sims 2, and you can give Sims tattoos. The Newbies, the Goths, mr. Grim Reaper and the Alians will also be back, but the Tragic Clown has left the game. There will also be more romance and kisses (like the "Deep really meaningful long passionate memorable while you keep your hands busy" kiss, as Luc said), but also divorces and affairs. Weddings will take longer than in The Sims 1, and Sims of the same gender will also be able to get married. The limit of Sims in a family is 8 again, as before. Maxis will still decide whether to implement locks on the bathroom doors or not. Teens won't be able to play, but Adults will be - in full 3D. There will be a lot of options for custom content - you can put MP3s and videos in the game, and there will be "major" options to manage your custom content within the game. Finally, Sims will also pick their nose or scratch their butt. There are a lot of references to custom content in the chat, and there's a lot more than I listed here. To read all the questions and answers, click here.
    Even more BO shots
    Written at 12:18 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Even more new screenshots of Bustin' Out have been found at the official UK site. There are 5 that aren't at GameSpot. Those are 2 showing shots from the outside, two more that shows a new Sim being made, and a fight. To see them all, including the 10 that GameSpot posted, click here.
    Makin' Magic Preview
    Written at 12:27 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    IGN has posted a preview of the final expansion pack for The Sims 1: Makin' Magic. Along with some screenshots, it comes with some bits of new info:
    "But it's not all work and there are plenty of opportunities to have fun without getting your pointy hat all singed. The Haunted House rides are large roller coasters that can be assembled in a variety of ways -- well, whatever variety you can get from the nine main pieces that is -- and you can even create these rides on Vacation Island if you have that expansion pack. (There are other connections with previous expansions: Superstar's obsessed fan leaves black roses can be made in to fame-boosting charms, Unleashed's pets can transform into humans, etc.) You can also build your very own mini-golf courses. [...]

    "Magic Town also has a special fourth lot reserved for residents of Magic Town. That's right; if you have enough Magic Coins you can buy yourself a house here and never have to leave. The visuals here are very Addams Family-like with some really interesting touches. For instance, you won't have flowers in your yard. Instead you'll have large crystal structures and beanstalks stretching up the heavens."
    The whole preview is 2 pages long. Once the expansion pack's released, IGN will post a proper review of it. The release datum is still set at 28 October (US), or 31 October in Europe. You can find the full preview right here.
    Makin' Magic video
    Written at 12:49 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    As if we haven't gotten enough new material yet today, there's one more thing at the moment: a trailer of Makin' Magic. It's 1 minute 16 seconds long, and shows some in-game material, especially some of the new objects and of course the spells. EA Germany and Benelux have posted this video, but on the Dutch (Benelux) website you have to register to download it. Hence I'll give you the German link (the video is in English though): click here to download the High-res version (8 Mb). The low resolution version (just 2 Mb) can only be downloaded from the Dutch website, in the downloads section. As I said, you have to be registered to download it.

    Thursday 16 October 2003
    New Poll
    Written at 09:51 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    It's Thursday again, and now Sim Brother is over we're back with the regular weekly polls. This week we want to know if you prefer Servo, the Livin' Large robot that serves your Sims, or the old Butler from Superstar, who lives to serve. Let us know, and vote on the right or on this page. The last poll, still about Sim Brother 3, didn't run a full week. However, quite a few of you voted. We asked you who you thought who'd win when Sim Brother started. Britney got the highest ranking: 26% (24 of 92 votes). She left early though, and the wniner was Ruud. He got 17 votes in this poll, which places him second with 18%. 12 people voted for the Graham, and with 13% he's third. The others followed later. Of course Kelly wasn't in this poll, as she wasn't in the series when it started, but came in later. If you want to read it all again because you forgot: visit Sim Brother 3. Of course we also still have Series 1 and Series 2 for you to read. For the rest of the results of last week's poll, click here.
    SimDay: nothing much
    Written at 20:50 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    It seems to be very busy at Maxis, as this week's SimDay was posted late, and isn't too big. There are 2 things about Bustin' Out: the official site now has a Bustin' Out section right here (or via the new "Console" section in the menu at the official site). It gives a bit of info, screenshots and that's about it. It's not great, but it's something. Some of the screenshots appear to be new, so head over there if you're interested. The second Bustin' Out thing is that there's going to be a chat tonight - like every week - with Virginia McArthur about Bustin' Out. The chat's at 3PM PST, 11PM BST (UK) or midnight CET (Europe). You can get there by going through this page. Finally there's a download for the owners of Vacation, Unleashed or Superstar: new TV commercials. It's audio only, which means only the sound of the TV will change. You can download it from Get Cool Stuff at the official site, for just 230 kb. That's all this week.
    Makin' Magic shots
    Written at 21:15 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Makin' Magic isn't even out and already there are a lot of screenshots floating around on the net. The Dutch website Down4Sims has posted 27(!) new screenshots of the latest expansion. However, their English section of the site hasn't been updated yet, so you'll have to get there through the Dutch section. Click the Dutch flag, and click "Klik hier" in the text after "27 Nieuwe screenshots van The Sims Abracadabra!!!". You'll immediately see the new screenshots, once they're loaded anyway. There are more screenshots from a Dutch site, the official one. Unfortunately you have to register to see them, and as most of you won't have a clue where to go, we've taken the opportunity to give them to you here (click "Read More" if they're not below).
    Read More!

    New Sims 2 Video
    Written at 22:25 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Fansite WorldSims has posted a new video of The Sims 2. However, it doesn't seem to be too interesting as it isn't more than a collection of screenshots put after each other like a slideshow, with some techno music in the background. There are 3 versions: one Low Resolution (3 Mb), High resolution (10 Mb) and "Ultra High Resolution" (112 Mb, and that's NOT a typo!). For most people the 10 Mb version should be good enough though, the "Ultra High" version looks sharper, but it takes a lot more space and time to download for a little bit more quality. If you want to see the screenshots in the quality as they were posted, search back in our news archive for all the mentions of Sims 2 screenshots and movies we've spotted. If you just want a quick overview of what The Sims 2 will look like without having to go to a ton of different sites, then this clip might be worth downloading. If you're interested, head over to WorldSims to download it.

    Monday 20 October 2003
    New Affiliate
    Written at 23:17 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Since today, we've affiliated with a German fansite with a similar name: SimsZone.de. They're a great source for information about The Sims, and even though it's in German it's valuable. Since they're one of the biggest fansites (probably the biggest in German), we're honoured to be affiliated with them. Be sure to pay them a visit once or twice... or more often.

    Tuesday 21 October 2003
    Chat Transcript
    Written at 09:38 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    The transcript of last week's chat with Virginia McArthur, producer of Bustin' Out on the GBA, has been posted. Some of the most interesting outcomes of this chat are: pets, weather (rain), and basements:
    "There are basements of some of the homes and locations, they generally have to be unlocked through game-play and have some hidden treasures in them when you get to them - for example you can find the map to the steam-tunnels in the basement of the clock tower."
    Also, Sims can't 'play', just hold hands on the couch. Less new is the information that you can control only one sim at a time, instead of whole families. Puking won't be in the game, and besides a maid, butler and other NPCs, there will be a Robot Monkey Maid. Other news is that on the GBA version, your Sim will never really die. Instead, when for instance they're being eaten by the Venus Fly Eating plant, your Sim will pass out and be taken to the hospital or their Uncle's home, depending on the level you're in. As for the "Create A Sim" features in this game: they're quite limited compared to The Sims on the consoles or The Sims 2. "You just get to choose from one Sim type and you get to choose gender, skin type, hair, shirt, pant and shoe color". Click here if you want to read the complete transcript. The next chat will be on Thursday, but Maxis hasn't announced with who yet.

    Wednesday 22 October 2003
    New: Official The Sims 2 website
    Written at 14:13 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The official website of The Sims 2 has been launched. We showed you a preview earlier. The site gives you links to fansites, screenshots, a few movies, news, and chat transcripts of chats that were held some time ago. There are no downloads whatsoever yet, and we'll have to wait for the first tools to be released. However, if you want some basic information, visit TheSims2.ea.com.

    Thursday 23 October 2003
    Tomorrow's chat
    Written at 00:28 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    As usual a chat will be held on Thursday. This week the chat will be about Superstar and Makin' Magic, and guest of honour is Cooper "MaxisProducer" Buckingham. You'll be able to ask all the questions you have about these 2 expansion packs. As usual, the chat will be held at 3PM PST, which is 11pm in Britain and midnight in most of Europe. Once the transcript has been posted, we will let you know.
    New Poll
    Written at 09:39 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Last week we asked you if you prefer Servo from Livin' Large, or the Butler from Superstar. Human beings still win from the robots: the Butler got more than 54% of the votes. Here are the results:
  • Servo! He's free, and does enough: 15.34% (29)
  • They're both good, but I prefer Servo: 8.99% (17)
  • I like them both, but the Butler just a bit more. 11.64% (22)
  • The Butler! You don't have to switch him on, and does a lot more! 54.50% (103)
  • Servo? Butler? I don't have Livin' Large or Superstar... 9.52% (18)

  • This week we ask you if you've been to any of the Maxis chats at the official site recently. Let us know and vote on the right or click here.
    Written at 23:41 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    It's that time of the week again: SimDay. We've already posted about 2 items yesterday: the Sims 2 Website and the weekly chat. Then there are 2 links to articles. One is a hands-on preview of Makin' Magic at PC.IGN.Com. It's not the definite review yet, but it gives a pretty nice description of the new gameplay, like the way you start your magical career:
    "After installing the expansion, you'll find a strange box on the doorstep of your Sims' houses. When you open it, you'll discover Magico's Magical Starter Kit. It contains Version 2 of the Spell Book, a convenient hole in the ground portal, a wand recharger, some Magic Coins and a few other surprises that'll get you started on your road to home-brewed witchery."
    Many players probably want to know whether the bugs from Superstar have finally been fixed. Unfortunately it doesn't say so yet in this preview, but once the game's released 28 October we should know more about that. The other article is a Bustin' Out preview, which you can find right here at GamingNexus. In the "Read more" bit (or the next parapgraph), there's more about 2 download items, and 1 new contest.
    Read More!

    Friday 24 October 2003
    Chat Transcript
    Written at 18:07 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Maxis is early with the transcript this week, and it's already been posted. Besides general gamplay questions about Superstar and (mainly) Makin' Magic, there's also quite a lot about bugs in Superstar:
    "Actually, because of the way we build expansion packs, almost all expansion packs include changes to the previous ones, but we searched the BBS, and grilled all of our SimMasters to get us everything that the user community wasn't happy with, and we fixed and changed a LOT! Almost every issue reported to us we fixed. The list is too long to recite, but if you want to ask about something specifically, I'll be able to give you the thumbs up or thumbs down on it."
    There's no word about a patch for Superstar, for those who do have that and don't want to buy Makin' Magic. So far it seems Makin' Magic fixed the worst problems in Superstar (which was criticised a lot in nearly all the reviews), but we'll have to wait until the first reviews to see if there aren't new bugs. Some things that have been fixed are bartender Waylon, and the "Move Objects On" problem that caused Sims to disappear. As mentioned, there's also a lot of stuff in the transcript about gameplay items. There's nothing really completely new though, except for the fact that Cassandra Goth no longer has her glasses. Maxis got rid of them to prevent confusion of Makin' Magic and Harry Potter. More of that, and a lot of other things, can be read in the full transcript.
    MM Screenshot Round up
    Written at 18:47 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Recently a whole load of screenshots of Makin' Magic have been posted at different sites. First of all, GameSpot's posted 11 new shots today, including 3 concepts of art, showing a mummy, fairy, and what looks to be a pink elf of some sort. You can check them all out here. Then the Spanish site CiberNet has posted a bunch of shots from the game as well. I suggest just clicking here. More shots can be found at Sims Express, right here (scroll down a bit for a lot of screenshots). At the official UK site you can find several things. There's this page with several screenshots, all of which are on GameSpot as well. Other things you can find are the wallpaper that was released as SimDay item yesterday (with working links), and an avatar design contest. You have to be registered at that site to be able to download or enter them. Visit the UK Site for more info. If you want to enter the contest, you'll have to hurry as the contest ends 31 October. Finally, there's the Dutch Down4Sims which has posted several new screenshots too. These can be found right here. All their screenshots are spread over 3 pages. So far for all the Makin' Magic screenshots that have been posted recently. Stay tuned for more details, as usual.
    Bustin' Out Box shot and screenshots
    Written at 18:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    There's also some news about Bustin' Out. First of all, we have the box shot of the PlayStation 2 version (which is similar to the GameCube and X-Box versions). We're showing it below. If you want to see the GameCube one, check this page at EBGames, which has posted the shots. Then there are also some screenshots of the GameBoy Advance version of the game, which is quite different from the other versions. GameSpot has posted these, and you can find them right here. The 8 of them show a Sim diving in the water, mowing the lawn, in a boxing ring, on a scooter, working out, at a dock and in a shop (or something that looks like it).

    The Sims Bustin' Out Box shot (Playstation 2)
    The Sims 2 Designer Diary #4
    Written at 19:04 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    GameSpot has been active today, and besides posting Bustin' Out and Makin' Magic screenshots, they've also posted part 4 of the Designer Diary of The Sims 2. This time they tell us how objects are developed and how much detail is needed for them. There are two examples of dialogs during Brainstorm Sessions: one for Sims jumping and bouncing on a couch, and another one is about a toilet:
    "Believe it or not, we have to decide with each object whether or not we need it and what its purpose is. The toilet is kind of a no-brainer. Sims have this thing called a "bladder motive," and it's got to be taken care of. Now, anyone who has played The Sims knows that sims are perfectly happy using the floor, but I think we'd all prefer they didn't, so the toilet is an obvious choice."
    They also tell us why they decided that Sims can't juggle with babies. This part of the designer diaries is quite a bit different from the previous issues, as it's not one person talking but a 'regular' article, showing the work as it happens at Maxis. To read it, and I personally recommend doing so, click here. It comes with a few new screenshots as well.

    Saturday 25 October 2003
    Bustin' Out GBA: Preview, Screenshots and Trailer
    Written at 13:36 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    GameSpot has posted several new things of The Sims Bustin' Out on the GBA. First of all, there's a preview of the game. It's positive, and they compliment the new gameplay that's in the game. They also talk about the GameCube connectivity, as well as the option to link 2 GBAs together to play the game. GameSpot's also positive about the controls, graphics and the sound:
    "The graphics are extremely impressive. Maxis and Griptonite didn't even bother with a polygonal approach for the game and have, instead, relied on a sprite-based engine that satisfies with large characters, smooth animation, and detailed environments. The in-close character portrait graphics are quite nice and do a fine job of complementing the character animation. Both elements do an excellent job of retaining the trademark sims humor. You'll notice some subtle concessions made for the game's "E" rating. For instance, the pixelation effect used to hide your sim's unmentionables, when in the bathroom and shower in the PC and console games, has been replaced by a far friendlier newspaper and steam cloud, respectively."
    If you want to read the preview spread over 2 pages, click here. It comes with 5 new screenshots (of which 4 are posted twice) too. If you want to check those out without reading the preview, or if you want to see older screenshots, click here. Then finally, there's the first movie of the GBA version of Bustin' Out. 70 Seconds of moving images (MPEG) are packed in a 12 Mb zip. It shows how you create a Sim, how you control their life, how they talk to others, a Sim mowing the lawn, diving in the waterone on the scooter, and one in prison. It may be a big download to dial-up users, but it's good to others, and I must-see for those who are interested in the game. All you need is a free GameSpot Basic account to download it. It's right here.
    More MM Screenshots
    Written at 13:42 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    As if it never stops, GameSpot has posted even more screenshots of Makin' Magic. There are 8 new shots, one showing Magic Town with its 9 lots. There are 4 "regular" screenshots, 2 renders (of a skeloton maid and some gnomes with the Bustin' Out logo in the background), and 1 sketch. Fans should check them out, right here.

    Sunday 26 October 2003
    Sims 2 Screenshots
    Written at 13:17 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    We have some new graphics of The Sims 2 for you, directly from Maxis. It's fashion time so it seems, as two of them are from SACAS (Stand Alone Create A Sim tool - Maxis is still looking for a new name for that. E-mail me if you have one and I'll forward it). Two others show off different Sims (male and female) in different outfits. The SACAS ones look similar but are slightly different. Finally, there's a (huge) film strip. It shows what happens when a shy Sim and an outgoing Sim compete for their first kiss with the boy from next door. Click the images below to see the bigger versions. Note that the filmstrip is 2 Mb, and may take quite a while to load.

    SACAS Image 1 SACAS Image 2 Fashion Female
    Fashion Male
    Film Strip (Warning: 2 Mb!)

    Also, our affiliate SimsZone.de has posted 3 screenshots from a German magazine. The quality isn't great because the pictures are scanned. You can find them on the front page ("Die Sims 2: Drei weitere Bilder"), or in their screenshots index under "Die Sims 2" at the right.

    Wednesday 29 October 2003
    We're back again
    Written at 11:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Yes, it's true. The Sims Zone is back again. Now we're on a new server we also don't have the problems with the mailservers anymore. Hence you can now contact us again through the e-mail form, and you can also register as member again. We know some of you experienced some complete downtime earlier today, when the old server was taken down. We apologise for that, and the downtime in general because we had to move to a new server. Please also note that it might still take a little while for us to get settled completely again, and so a few little things might not be working properly for a few days. As far as I know at the moment, most of the site should be working properly though.

    Note that if you tried to contact us recently and you still didn't get a response, that might be because of the problems. Please send your e-mail again, and be patient. As some things still have to be set up it might take a little longer than usual to reply to all the e-mails. We'll do our best though.
    Sims 2: Improved Screenshots
    Written at 12:59 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Last Sunday we reported that SimsZone.de had posted some screenshots of The Sims 2 from a German game magazine (PC Action). Those screenshots have now been put online in their original versions, along with the preview they were in. The preview is short (and in German), but that doesn't take away the pleasure of watching those screenies. Click here for the three of them.
    Makin' Magic released
    Written at 13:25 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Yesterday Makin' Magic was released in the US, and Europe will follow on Friday. Many of you might already be playing the game, and as usual the new exchange is up as well. You can now download and upload your Magic Town areas on the official site. Click here to go to the exchange. With the release, this chat of course couldn't be about anything else but Makin' Magic. Jenna Chalmers (Designer) and Jonathan Knight (Producer) will be the guests of honour tomorrow night at 3pm PST (11pm in the UK, midnight in Europe). Click here tomorrow night to find a link to the chatroom. Of course the first reviews have also popped up already. GameSpot gives it a 8.3 out of 10 without much criticism. Only the graphics are noticed as being outdated - still. However, the (quite short) review might be the most interesting for the massive amount of screenshots it's been posted with over 30 screenshots(!) To read the review, click here. For the screenshots, click here. WorthPlaying hasn't posted a review yet, but it has added a few screenshots, which you can find here. They've also posted 2 new trailers. To download those, 7.5 and 8 mb, go here. The Makin' Magic review index at The Sims Zone will soon be launched, and there you'll be able to find more reviews of the game, as usual. Stay tuned.

    Thursday 30 October 2003
    New Poll
    Written at 13:46 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    We've added a new poll again: this time we want to know if you'll be getting Bustin' Out on one of the consoles, and if so which one. You can vote on the right, or at this page. Last week we asked you if you've visited any of the Maxis chats that have been held weekly since September. Because we've been offline a couple of days there were less votes than normal (just 67). Here are the results:
  • Yes, all of them! 20.90% (14)
  • A couple, but I missed a few. 2.99% (2)
  • I was there about half of the times. 1.49% (1)
  • I've only been to a few. 10.45% (7)
  • None at all. I couldn't make it. 64.18% (43)
    Written at 23:24 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    It's SimDay again, and this week there's quite a lot about Makin' Magic in it. First of all, there's the chat, the exchange and the GameSpot review we wrote about earlier. To make it complete, there's also a press release about the shipping of Makin' Magic, right here. Next is the second review, from IGN. They're very positive like GameSpot and rate it 8.2 out of 10. There are a few sidenotes though, for instance that they find "the magical nature of the expansion charming but incompatible with the basic concept of the series" and that the scrolling around is still a bit jerky. No word about annoying bugs like in Superstar though. You can read it right here, of course with some screenshots. Now about the other the Sims games: Maxis has posted a sneak preview of the Sims 2 Preview CD that comes with Makin' Magic. A preview of a preview that we've posted some time ago. You can now download it from this page at the official Sims 2 site. Next there's an interview about Bustin' Out with Mike Perry, producer of the game. There's nothing real new in it. If you're interested though, go here. Finally, there's a new download for Superstar, which will bring Sarah McLachlan to Studio Town. If you have Superstar, you can get it right here. That's all again for this week.

    Friday 31 October 2003
    Halloween Beginnings
    Written at 06:37 by Sumit - 0 comments.
    To start ya'll off this Halloween, we've got ya a Hacked Ghost sculpture to decorate your yard with! Watch your sims act so very strange at the interaction with this ghost, its almost as if this Ghost is just to wierd for the neighborhood.

    Well the only hack is that sims will act so very strange with it, coming on to it and getting scared or even scaring the poor little ghost when they've got the chance. Check it out here!

    Chat Transcript
    Written at 19:44 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Last night's chat about Makin' Magic was visited by quite many people, and a lot of questions have been answered by Jonathan Knight and Jenna Chalmers. The transcript has now been posted. Most of the questions were about gameplay, for instance what you need for specific spells, or how you can achieve certain goals. We now know there are easter eggs in Makin' Magic, and crystals, flowers and beanstalks grow faster if you live on a Magic Town area. They also tell where they got their inspiration from: Bewitched, Addams Family, and classic stuff like Houdini and old time Snake Oil Salesman. The answer to the question if there's a Will Wright NPC was "maybe", which sounds interesting. The secret of lot 99 is "BEANSTALK!" according to Jonathan Knight... If you want to know more about gardening gnomes, a skeleton that cleans the house, invisible Sims, dragons toasting your house, magical toads, and more, then read the transcript of the chat. It's quite long, but a must-read if you want to know more about the gameplay of Makin' Magic. Click here to load it.
    Bustin' Out Screenshots
    Written at 20:04 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    There are 2 sites with new screenshots of Bustin' Out. The first one is our affiliate SimsZone.de which has posted a special about the game after visiting a PR event in Germany. The special is in German, but the screenshots (for both the PS2/GameCube/X-Box versions as well as the GBA version) are nice enough to post a link. You can find the special right here. Click on the several "Weiterlesen" links to read and see more. Then there are several screenshots coming from GameSpot. First of all there are 5 GBA shots. A few of them seem to show some mini-games. You can check them out at this page. There are also 5 new ones for the other consoles' versions. One shows a car, another a happy Sim (because a kiss was 'dreamy'), some Sims working out and dancing, and finally a Sim in bathing suit in some kind of machine... It's all right here.
    The Handlers and Makin' Magic
    Written at 21:30 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Now Makin' Magic is out it's time to update my The Neighborhood Handler and The Add-on Handler as well. I'm working on both, but because my time is quite limited I'm not able to finish it very soon. I'm working on a new feature in The Add-on Handler, which will take quite some time. The Neighborhood Handler probably won't contain any new features, except for the Makin' Magic compatibility. However, both programs will have some major changes when it comes to installation and the DLLs. I've switched from the regular InstallShield to the open-source NSIS, which is used by WinAmp and very many other applications. This new installation makes the download file a bit smaller than with InstallShield. That's necessary, as the new DLL files take up more space than before. Because of an upgrade of my programming software, you will have to redownload the DLL files once the programs are released - otherwise you won't be able to run the programs. They will be released together with the tools. A final change is that I've included all necessary DLLs into both programs. Before, the Add-On Handler (TAOH) didn't require all of the Neighborhood Handler's (TNHH) DLLs. If you installed TAOH before TNHH, you'd still need the full version of TNHH to get the few DLLs not needed by TAOH. It did work properly the other way around though.

    I cannot say when exactly I'll be releasing the new versions of both programs. It'll take at least a few weeks, I'm estimating about a month. Stay tuned for more.
    Halloween Extravaganza
    Written at 22:02 by Sumit - 0 comments.
    Yes, more Hacks and a window too. Have a great Halloween guys, and thanks for the great support. Expect more things soon, including a nice Thanksgiving update, on the proper time. So sim kidos keep it safe while ya'll go treating and simteens keep from getting caught on your tricks today. So Happy Halloween and all have a very merry Thanksgiving.

    A Witch Lawn Ornament (Hacked Animations)

    A Ghost Lawn Ornament (Hacked Animation)

    A Window decorated with Halloween stickers