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News Archive - February, 2003
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Saturday 1 February 2003
New donation file
Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As every month we bring you some new donation files that you can receive by donating money to The Sims Zone. So far there's only one for February, but we promise that more will be added soon. If you donate now, you will still be able to download the new files later too, so don't hesitate to donate!

Last month, in January that is, we exceeded our bandwidth limits of 20Gb with about 15Gb! That means we used 35Gb of traffic (i.e. in total, all people downloaded files, images etc. from this site making 35Gb of data going through the wires from The Sims Zone), which is a whole lot! This is a big increase, because we didn't cross our limits for traffic any time before. Because of this sudden increase, we need more and more money to keep this site running. If this keeps up and doesn't increase much, we'll be stuck with a bill of approximately 400 ($600) by March this year. We need that money to keep the site running for a year, and it will still not be enough probably. We currently have just about 100 in our account. That is why we REALLY NEED YOU TO HELP otherwise this site will either go pay or close down before you know it. At this moment we are not getting enough donations to keep the site running as it is, and the advertising doesn't help a whole lot either. If you like this site, then please donate something if possible. We don't care how much - anything from $1 to $1000 will do, it's your choice. If you wish to pay using a different payment method than PayPal, please contact us and we'll see what we can arrange for you. We cannot go on without your help, and that's serious. Help us, before we have to go pay or worse...
The Sims PS2 Reiv.. uhm Review
Written at 23:31 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We've found another review of The Sims at the PS2. It isn't too interesting though. It doesn't mention more than other reviews so far, doesn't have any screenshots and the spelling isn't too great either. It's from GenreGames, quite a small (non-professional I think) gaming site. They too find the game great, with a score of 9.1 out of 10. If you're interested in reading it, we won't stop you though: you can find it right here. For more (and better) reviews, visit our review index.
A few more TS GC/XB shots
Written at 23:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
A few more screenshots of The Sims at the GameCube and X-box have been found at GameSpot. Although the shots are quite similar and some even the same to the ToTheGame ones, they're not all the same. 3 out of the 4 screenshots for the GameCube are exactly the same, while of the X-box shots there are 2 different ones (the Create-A-Sim ones). For the GameSpot screenshots of the GameCube version, visit this page. The X-box shots are right here. Both versions are released 24 March in the US. Europe will have to wait until 28 March for the X-box version, or 4 April for the Gamecube one. How many days you still have to wait, can now be seen in our countdown: scroll a bit to the right-bottom, it's below the poll.

Sunday 2 February 2003
Donation files as promised
Written at 00:04 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As promised, we've added a few more donation files which you'll be able to download once you donate this month. These two are from Sumit: a set of lamps, and a new dollhouse in the form of a castle. If you want those files now, please donate, and help keeping this site alive. You can always preview the donation files, but you cannot download them unless you donate. Please keep that in mind.

Monday 3 February 2003
The Sims PS2 reviews
Written at 22:35 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Reviews of The Sims on the PS2 are popping up everywhere, and I've found some that I missed before. There's a rather new one at WirePlay (28 January), a slightly newer onw at Gamexc.com (29 January), an older one at PSX Nation (19 January) which is the same one as found at GameRankings found earlier. And there's one from Gamers.com, without a date so I don't know how old that is. Click the links to read the reviews, or visit our updated review index for more.
TSPS2 Interview (with more Superstar confirmation)
Written at 22:50 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Besides the reviews, there's also an interview about The Sims PS2 at a Dutch gaming site, Gamer.nl. The interview is in English, and it has one interesting answer to a nice question in it:
Gamer.nl: "What do you think about a Sim Celebrity?"
Mike Perry: "Hmmm, it would be pretty cool if you could make your Sim become a superstar, wouldnt it..."
That does make it sound a bit like a new expansion pack called SuperStar will be coming. Also, the gaming site ToTheGame has added The Sims: Superstar to their upcoming PC games list - and not the Rumoured one. That means it's very likely we can expect The Sims, and perhaps an announcement will follow this SimDay, i.e. next thursday. Anyway, for the whole interview with Mike Perry, the man behind The Sims at the PS2, visit this page.

Thursday 6 February 2003
Poll: High Grades are common
Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As every week we've held another poll, asking how well the children of your sims are doing at school. And, results are positive. 43.75% of the people (that's 56 out of the 128) told us that their kids are all getting the highest grades possible. The sim-kids of 18.75% (24) of the people who voted are doing well enough to stay at home. Only 4 people (3.13%) said their children stay away from school quite a bit and aren't doing too well. Even less, just 3 people (which is 2.34%) have all most of their children sent off to military school, and the last few will probably follow soone, while 9 people (7.03%) have illiterate sim-children, and they've all been sent to military school. A quite big number of 32 (25%) said they don't have children at all in their neighborhoods. Find the results of this poll and older ones in our poll archive.

This week our question is if there are many marriages in your neighborhoods. Although it's harder since Hot Date, it isn't impossible and we want to know how many love-gods we have amongst our visitors. All you have to do to let us know is voting on the right, or going to this page and voting there.

Friday 7 February 2003
New Windows
Written at 00:18 by Sumit - 0 comments.
Watch out Simcity, because the sims are getting nice oak windows! They are really cool and really country style. This ones for ya'll from down here in Texas. I hope it matches with all those walls that keep on being thrown at you expansion after expansion. All over here.

Late and tiny SimDay
Written at 16:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This simday has been very small and very late. There's one link to a preview of The Sims on GameCube at Nintendophiles. Before I'm going to quote that, there's also a link to a TSO press release about Valentine's day parties (over here) and the community update has been updated again. Now back to the preview:
"To bring the exact same game to consoles would naturally be a terrible idea, especially after two years after its release. That is why Maxis has added a few new goodies into the mix for a fresh new experience. The key mode in this game is the all new Get A Life mode where players live out their entire lives. You begin at home living with your mother and from there you try and establish a life. This is a mission base mode where you are required to fulfill objectives, as you progress you are faced with more difficult challenges. Basic challenges require you to get a job, make some money, meet new people, learn certain skills and move out of your parents home. Then eventually get married and make even more money."
As expected, it'll be the same as The Sims PS2 (and The Sims 2 on the PC will probably have similar new features too). For this game's official site, go here, and the TSGC preview is over here.

Saturday 8 February 2003
Another donation file
Written at 23:15 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Sumit has submitted another donation file to this site. If you donate any amount of money this month, you'll be able to download this door. It's a French Classic door that matches the French Classic Window (which is available for free). To make your sets complete, please donate and help us out. We really need the money. Thank you.

Sunday 9 February 2003
Ivy Kitchen Walls Set Added
Written at 05:50 by Jendea - 0 comments.
New wall and floor set: Ivy & Trellis, designed for kitchen and dining rooms. Check them out under Jendea or take a look at all the great walls available here.


Monday 10 February 2003
Hot-linking to downloads
Written at 01:18 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We've caught one site stealing a lot of our bandwidth by hot-linking to one of our downloads. Although it should be needless to say, this is NOT allowed. Such hot-linking (direct linking to a download at a different site, instead of pointing to the site) generates a lot of traffic to the sites linked to - in this case us. This specific download has cost us a lot of traffic in the past, but we have now taken measures to prevent files being downloaded from hot-linking sites. We are not mentioning the site in question yet, but we will do in case the link is not being removed, to warn webmasters of other fansites for this site. Also, you must always understand as webmaster that hot-linking is not allowed, especially if you don't get permission (which we never gave). Also, copying files to your own server and putting them on your site isn't allowed either, unless you have permission from the author or from this site. We'll be hunting for more sites linking like this regularly from now on, and taking measures against it. These sites are the reason sites like The Sims Zone get into financial trouble, and so that must be stopped.

Thursday 13 February 2003
Poll: Lots of love
Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Valentine's day is coming close, hence our poll of last week: "How many marriages have you arranged between your Sims?" And we love the results: 25 cupids (23%) voted, saying they arranged more than 25 marriages. Just 2 people (2%) said they arranged between 20 and 25 marriages, while one more (3%) told us they're quite a cupid still, with 15 to 20 marriages. 18 others (17%) had 10 to 15 weddings, while 11 others (10%) made 5 to 10 couples marry each other. The saddest part is yet to come: 30 people (28%) said they arranged less than 5 marriages. At least that got more votes than the last option, no marriages at all: that option got 20 votes, which is 18%. All 109 cupids and non-cupids are thanked for voting. We're going to continue a bit about love in our next poll... but then the negative side of it. Married couples tend to have a lot of fights (but make up often too), so we're asking you if you have big fights in your neighborhoods regularly. Vote at the right, or on this page. For more poll results, go through our archive.
The Sims Superstar - Confirmed!
Written at 18:45 by Matthew - 0 comments.
News comes in from Eurogamer that the much-rumoured Superstar expansion pack for The Sims has finally been confirmed. You can read more about it in this news article here, but for now, here's a quote:
'The latest destination to welcome The Sims is Studio Town, a customisable hotbed of TV and movie lots, spa locations, recording studios and fashion facilities. Players follow their Sims to work for the first time, so they can schmooze with their agents, network and name drop their way to stardom.

'A new cast of characters includes a fashion designer, record producer and movie director, who will offer career critique, while butlers, sushi chefs and even a masseuse will all be on 24 hour standby to fluff pillows and generally pamper the celebrity Sims.'

News articles on the pack are also available at Gamespot and GamesRadar. By the way, it's nice to be back. If only briefly. :)
The Sims Superstar - Pictures!
Written at 19:09 by Matthew - 3 comments.
Taken from the official press release, we now have the first screenshots of The Sims Superstar expansion pack! First, here's the logo:

Read on to see two actual gameplay shots.

Read More!

SimDay: Official Superstar Press Release
Written at 21:26 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As Matthew already mentioned, the 6th expansion pack (not including Deluxe) has been announced by Maxis. This announcement, in the form of a press release, has been put up as a SimDay announcement. Here's a snippet from it:
"For the first time ever, players can follow their Sims to work and witness their pursuit of fame and fortune firsthand. Fledgling Sims start by signing with an agent and shuttling to Studio Town, a new and fully customizable destination that offers television and movie lots, spa locations, recording studios and fabulous fashion facilities. Once there, Sims can schmooze, network and name drop their way to stardom in the movies, music or fashion. Will your Sim be a flash in the pan or a living legend? Players can now track the sizzle of their Sims with an all new fame score. [...]

"Sims can become a celeb or just live like one. Fabulous new objects like a skydiving simulator, satellite dish, and a new art and furniture collection can turn an ordinary Sims abode into a magnificent and decadent manse. Sims in need of a day of indulgence and pampering can also enjoy the new day spa, complete with mud treatments, steam baths, Sim massages and an oxygen bar. Domestic staff is also available for hire so manicured Sims won't chap their hands with the drudgeries of household maintenance."
Click "Read More" for more Superstar and SimDay news about The Sims celebrating its third birthday.
Read More!

Another TSPS2 review
Written at 21:39 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
No, there's no SuperStar news in this item. Instead it's about The Sims on the PlayStation 2. Yes, another review has appeared, at GamingWorld X:
"The Get a Life Mode ain't bad, but playing through the classic Sims Mode is where it's at. The replay value is near-limitless, and grabbing a second player makes it a game worth playing for months to come as you work cooperatively to improve the lives of your Sims. Even better is the ability to save a Sim to a memory card and truck it to a friend's place and insert them into any current household."
The total review can be found at this page. For more reviews of this game, check out our review index.

Saturday 15 February 2003
TSO delayed for Europe because it's doing bad
Written at 21:36 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
After the news that TSO hasn't been doing too great in the States, EA Europe has decided to delay the release of the game in Europe even more. On the game's page at ToTheGame, the UK/EU release has been set to 'TBA' (To Be Announced), while it was set to March before. The German site SimsZone.de has reported something similar, but with slightly more details. They contacted EA in Germany, and heard that The Sims Online was delayed until somewhere towards the end of this year(!). The plan is to get more people playing the game by making it possible to create new objects. That way, new objects (and more features) will be available when the game is released in Europe, hopefully bringing better results to EA. Currently, approximately 80,000 people registered for their 30 free days play time that come with the game, and about half of them has run out of free time, and are now paying a monthly fee. EA has now set their goal to 400,000 subscribers by December 2003. An article about all this as appeared at SunSpot, where some of the mentioned facts came from. More about that when you read on.
Read More!

Monday 17 February 2003
TSO Interview is here
Written at 23:44 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Back in December we got the opportunity to have an interview with people from The Sims Online about that game. We asked you to submit some questions, and we definitely noticed we did! From the questions we received, we selected the best ones and they've been asked. After some slight communication problems with Maxis, we now also have the answers to those questions. There are some interesting things in the interview, for instance that there will be pets in the game eventually - but not in the near future. Objects from The Sims 1.0 won't be compatible with TSO directly, but a utility would be required for that. According to Gordon Walton, Executive Producer of the game who answered all your questions, nobody called in sick some days to play the game either. At least he thinks not. There are 19 questions in total, and 19 answers too. Interested in reading it? It's right here, or in our Interviews section under Extras. There you can also find an old interview about The Sims with Patrick J. Barrett III, held when we were still known as TheSimsFusion.

[Update 18 February 23:00] Note that because these questions where asked before the release of the game, it was not possible to ask things about recent news, like the bad start the game has made. Perhaps we can get something about that in the future though.

Wednesday 19 February 2003
IGN previews The Sims for GameCube and X-Box
Written at 22:51 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
For the owners of a GameCube or X-Box there's some nice news. Previews for the game on both platforms have appeared at IGN. There's a video preview for IGN insiders, in which you can see the game in action (at this page). If you're not an insider, then it's still not all bad: you can read the preview. The preview is the same for both platforms, except for the first few paragraphs. It starts off comparing the console versions with the PC version of the game, and the second page is nearly completely occupied with information about the two-player modes. They're not comparing the game to the PS2 version, although they're probably (nearly) exactly the same. Along with the preview, there are 10 new QuickTime movies, 5 from the GameCube and 5 from the X-Box. To read the GameCube version of the preview, click here. Those who prefer the X-Box can check it out right here. The media page with the (old) screenshots and the movies are slightly different, but they both contain all 10 movies (and the 4 screenshots of the specific platform). If you prefer a GameCube flavour, visit this page, while the X-box version is behind this link. Have fun reading and watching.

Thursday 20 February 2003
Romantic Valentine's Day Online
Written at 00:13 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last 14 February, Valentine's Day, was a lovely day in The Sims Online. Over 1 million romantic gestures, including hugging, kisses, dances and marriage proposals, were made by players all over the world. The new love tub, love seats and wedding related objects were also bought a lot. That are a lot of simoleans spent on love. All this info comes from a press release from EA Games, in which there are also two stories about players (and their Sims) sharing love that day. If you want to read those, simply visit this page for the whole press release.
Not a lot of fights in Sim families
Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last week we asked you if you often have big fights taking place in your Sims neighbourhoods. 139 people voted, and just 11 people (8%) said Sims fight all the time. There were 6 times as many people on the opposite side (66, 47%), they said they haven't seen a fight like that yet because their Sims love each other. 43 people (31%) have fights in their neighbourhoods every now and then but don't find it a big deal. "Not too often, but quite regularly though" got 16 votes (12%). One fight every few days received 2 of the 139 votes (1%) and there was just 1 vote (1%) for one fight a day ("is that often?"). See the results (with percentages that are a bit more precise) at this page. This week we want to know (again) how old you are. We asked this already in our second poll at this site, but we want to know if things changed much or not. Vote on the right, or at this page. You can see the results of older polls in our poll archive.
SimDay: new Drinks machine
Written at 23:44 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This SimDay has 1 interesting thing, and 1 thing we already mentioned yesterday. The thing we mentioned was the Valentine's day press release about the love that was shared in TSO. The other thing is a new object from Maxis. An object that sells disastrous drinks:
"Turn disasters into blessings with brand new Disaster Fizz carbonated drinks. SimCity disasters have never been as tasteful as they are when enjoying one for breakfast or a light lunch. A close look at the ingredients reveals such items as Tornado Essence and Molten Volcanic Rock Powder, which are sure to kick your day into high gear. Already approved by the SimCity Bureau of Food and Drink these vendors can already be found wherever drinks are sold."
Says it all, doesn't it? The download is 1.37 Mb big, and you only need to have The Sims with one expansion pack (it doesn't matter which one), or The Sims Deluxe. You can download it from the Get Cool Stuff page at the official site. That's all for today.

Saturday 22 February 2003
The Sims PS2 at GameOver
Written at 00:26 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As if there aren't enough yet, there's another review about The Sims on the PlayStation2:
"The first time you start up The Sims, your only option is the Get A Life mode. This rich and deep mode of play begins in a dream sequence as you are living life in an enormous mansion with all sorts of wonderful and expensive things around you. But as soon as your dream girl or guy walks in, you wake up to realize that you actually live in a tiny house, with your mom no less. To make matters worse, the TV is on the fritz, your mom doesnt know how to cook, and the chump change in your pocket isnt nearly enough to move out on your own. This first stage of the game has three objectives: fix the TV, learn to cook, and swindle (the game says borrow) -- whoa, d??vu -- 800 bucks from mom to move out. Once you move out, the set of objectives will change to other things like getting a roommate, getting promoted in whatever occupation youve chosen, and so forth. This brings the immersion to a whole other level: a Sims game that you can actually beat, now thats what Im talking about."
As expected the game is rated good, and it got away with 87%. For the full review (with some screenshots), have a look here. For other reviews, check out the review index.

Tuesday 25 February 2003
Big changes coming soon to TSZ
Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Next month we will be changing around some things over here. We've been working hard to reprogram the whole site, and all of that is nearly finished. That will mean we'll be moving over to one server (instead of 2, which is our current solution), plus there will be a lot of improvements. What do you think of searching the news or file archives? Or do you want to see what files are the most popular ones on this site? Oh wait, you want a whole new design? We've been keeping it secret for quite a while, but I'm glad to announce that all of the mentioned things will be coming very soon. We'll be using PHP instead of ASP (two different programming languages for the web). PHP is a bit faster and more reliable. The new design looks very good too, so you'll have to look forward to it.

Because of these changes, we'll be taking the site offline for about a week starting early March, so we can move and install the necessary files, and remove dead links in our archive. The donation section and the donation files will remain available, but regular files, the news, and all the rest will be taken offline until after the move. We're planning on starting the move at 1 March, but that may be delayed a couple of days. There is still some development going on behind the scenes which has to be finished before that. When the site's offline, you will already be able to see a small preview of the new design too. We'll continue updating until the site is actually taken offline, so keep coming back to this place. If you like this site now, you'll love it later!

We won't be adding real new features yet, except for those mentioned above. There are some more slight changes but nothing real big. However, we already have plans for features we'll be launching in the near and distant future. Those will be kept secret until we're closer to the launch date of a specific feature. If you're interested, just keep visiting.
Superstar Interview @ Gamers Temple
Written at 23:38 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
The Gamers Temple has posted an interview about the upcoming sixth expansion pack for The Sims: Superstar. They talked with Jonathan Knight, executive producer of the expansion, about that:
"In some ways, Studio Town works a lot like Downtown. You take a single Sim there, you can shop, you can meet other Sims there, and of course you can completely bulldoze it and rebuild in your own image. But Studio Town is also very different, because it is a place where your Sim can work meaning, they earn lots of money there, and they also earn fame."
So instead of just spending money, your sims can also start earning money away from home. Jonathan also says that time will be frozen back home when you're in Studio Town, like with every other area so far. Sims will have to quit their day job to become a celebrity. There will be stalkers and autograph hounds following celebrities everywhere. Also take a look at this quote:
"We didn't talk too much about characters. In addition to the Butler and the Obsessed Fan, this expansion pack introduces loads of new characters with unique voices and behaviors, including the TV and Movie Directors, the Record Producer, the Fashion Designer, the Choreographer, the Award Presenter, the Paparazzo, the Masseuse & Masseur, and the Sushi Chef."
You can find the whole interview at this page. Although this expansion pack doesn't seem to be as big as Unleashed was, and there are probably going to be quite some TSO objects in it, it's already rather popular amongst the community. However, there are also enough people who rather see a sequel than another expansion pack. You can post your comments about that in this news item (or any other one about Superstar) if you want.

Thursday 27 February 2003
New superstar poll
Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The past week many of you told us how old you are. The poll got an amazing 295 votes, which is more than the regular poll gets in just one week. The results are quite clear: most of our visitors are between 13 and 17 years old (114 votes, 39%). 18 to 25 year olds follow with 78 votes (26%), and after that come the 26 to 35 year olds (41 votes, 14%). The real young people of 12 years or younger make 9% of our visitors (28 votes), closely followed by people between 36 and 50 years of age (20 votes, 7%). The silly people, or those who don't want to reveal their age, are sixth with 11 votes (4%). They said they don't know how old they are. Finally there are the 51 to 65 year olds (2 votes, 0.68%) and those older than 65 (1 vote, 0.34%). These results are not too different from the results we got in our second poll, but it's not exactly the same. This week, and until the thursday after the relaunch of this site, we want to know if you'll be buying the upcoming Superstar expansion pack. Tell us, by voting on the right or by going to this page.
Another PS2 review
Written at 23:02 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We've spotted another review of The Sims at the PS2, and this time a rather long one too. They discuss quite some aspects of the game: the single and two player modes, the differences with the PC version, the graphics, and the annoying things:
"For example, players can issue of list of activities for the sims, but sometimes the characters get distracted or simply forget, what they are to do and stand in the middle of the room instead. Often, the sims will pause before following any kind of order, which is irritating if someone is knocking at the door or the telephone is ringing. "
The score Boomtown (the reviewing site) gives the game is a 7 out of 10. It's well worth reading if you're interested in the console version of The Sims, so go to this page and enjoy yourself. Check out our review index for more reviews of The Sims for PS2.
The Sims (X-Box) previewed
Written at 23:09 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
"With the new version of The Sims there is of course new criteria in which they have added to your gaming experience. One of them involves having complete control over camera angles and zooming in and out. With the analog stick you will be able to turn the camera to any angle that you desire. Or you could simply amuse yourself and try to make your head go crazy while you spin around in circles! Either option is up to you. Maxis and EA Games have also added the feature of changing your characters appearance at any point in the game, something that you could not do in the PC versions. Probably the biggest thrill in the Xbox version, which will probably draw a lot of PC lovers attention, will be the monkey butler (Major Domo) completely packed with the Tuxedo that every butler wishes he/she had."
That's part of the review of The Sims on the X-box console at Fronzenzero.com. They don't tell too much we didn't already know from the PS2 version. It's still a nice read though, so get on reading here.