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News Archive - February, 2004
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Sunday 1 February 2004
New at TSZ: Knowledge Section!
Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
You might've read about it already last week, when we said we were going to launch a new Knowledge feature at TSZ. After much hard work and testing, it's finally ready, and so we've just launched it. In this section, you can find all the help you need with the several Sims games. If you can't find your answer using the search options, simply post the question, and somebody else will answer it sooner or later. You don't have to keep coming back looking if there's an answer, as you will receive an e-mail automatically once a new answer has been posted to any of the questions you're subscribed to. The Knowledge database is there for everybody - you can always view questions and answers. If you want to post a question or answer, then make sure you are a registered member of The Sims Zone.

We've already filled up the space with some questions and answers, just so everybody can already find some help with the most frequently asked questions. Of course, you can always ask more - as many as you want. All the questions are posted in several categories, so you can quite easily find the answers to your questions. Even if you don't have a problem, you can always feel free to post both a question and answer, so you immediately help other people. We hope everybody will find this section helpful.

 
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New Sims 2 article
Written at 15:12 by ChEeTaH - 4 comments.
The website HowStuffWorks has recently posted an article about The Sims 2, and what we can expect in it. There isn't much new information in it, but if you're a bit lost in what all the features of The Sims 2 are, then this article might help. It's a quick overview of the most important (new) features that The Sims 2 will have. Here's a little quote:
"By building in tons of these pre-wired connections and giving the player hundreds of chances to create new situations for the sims, the game developers created a world that seems to carry on as if it was alive. At the conceptual level, "The Sims" is an elaborate machine built to react in expected and unexpected ways every time you give it new input."
For the whole article, spread over several pages, click here.
 

Monday 2 February 2004
Sims 2 Delay: Maxis Speaks
Written at 22:45 by ChEeTaH - 8 comments.
Luc Barthelet, General Manager of Maxis, has sent out a statement to several fansites about the recently announced delay of The Sims 2. Here's what he has to say:
"As you are all aware, The Sims 2 ship date has been moved to the latter half of 2004. We have heard from an enormous amount of you and your communications have been zealous. We fully understand your disappointment and frustration. The fact that you are all so passionate is both inspiring and encouraging to the production team and means we must be on the right track with the game.

"I can’t overstate the fact that it is a huge undertaking to produce the next generation of the #1 PC game of all time. As our most valued fans of the franchise, you all understand better than everyone else what those expectations are. As we said on the website, the bar has been set extremely high.

"This decision was an incredibly difficult one but the best for us to make. We have learned through past experience, that a game is ready when it is ready. In the coming months, we will be polishing the game in order to fulfill our ultimate product vision. We know you are excited about what you have seen to date but, let me tell you, the best is yet to come.

[...] "Finally, I wanted to take this time to thank you for all of your support. We have all been in this together from the beginning. We value all of your contributions and know that, together, we will make The Sims 2, the best game of all time."

Luc Barthelet
Besides all that, he also told us that last Saturday's screens show what the fans wanted to see the most. That's all from Luc for now, more coming soon.
 

Thursday 5 February 2004
Poll Results
Written at 01:06 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last week we've asked you how you felt about the delay of The Sims 2. As most people probably know, it's been pushed back to the second half of 2004. About 40% is "very angry". 25% prefers a good game rather than a buggy one, and another 16% rather plays a finished and nearly bugfree game. For the exact poll results, click here. This week we want to know how long you've been playing The Sims. Tell us by answering the question on the right or at this page. More results can be found in our poll archive.
 
SimDay
Written at 11:32 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This week's SimDay is quite nice again. To start off with Bustin' Out news: Maxis has posted three new movies which tell about a Sims' worst week. Check out Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at this page. They're all about 2 Mb in low res, or 9 Mb when you want the high quality versions. QuickTime Required. When it comes to The Sims, Maxis has posted a link to a recent thread of the day in their BBS. If you want to know how The Sims changed other players' lifes, or if you want to share your own story, go here. Maxis has also launched a new contest again, the "Great Dates and Dates to Hate" contest. If you can post your story about the lousiest or best date ever - real or fictious - in a family album at the exchange of the official site. You have until 14 February, Valentine's day, to submit your entry. As usual it's open to "residents of the 50 United States (except Colorado) and the District of Columbia and Canada, excluding Quebec." If you want to know what you have to do exactly, follow click here. For The Sims 2 news this SimDay, read on (click "Read More" if necessary).
 
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Friday 6 February 2004
More Sims Songs for Download
Written at 12:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Company Rednote Audio has posted several Sims songs from Bustin' Out. They made music for the game and you can now download the songs from their website. There is one DJ clip, with video, where you see some dancing Sims. The other 5 are all MP3 tracks. You'll need QuickTime to play the video or the tracks. The MP3s also play in your browser using the QuickTime plugin. You can find the tracks by going to Rednote, then choose "What We've Done" and there you'll see the Bustin' Out logos. Click them to play the media items.
 
Another Sims 2 Preview
Written at 13:13 by ChEeTaH - 5 comments.
Gigex has posted a preview of The Sims 2. It's not very interesting, and the facts aren't completely true as they say the game's been delayed until 2005 (while it will come out this year, 2004). It also doesn't come with any real news, but it's a nice read if you're bored for a little while. If you want to check it out, click here.
 

Sunday 8 February 2004
New Filmstrip
Written at 22:11 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We can once again show you new graphics from The Sims 2. This time another film strip: some action in the changing booth. There's not much else to say about it, except that you have to click the thumbnail below to see the full filmstrip.

Some action while shopping...
 

Monday 9 February 2004
Sims News of the Future
Written at 18:14 by ChEeTaH - 7 comments.
Everybody knows (or should know) that The Sims 2 has been delayed until the second half of this year. That can cause strange stories when the press is in a silly mood. GameSpot is playing with this recent news and has posted a feature containing (fake) news of the future. In an article dated 24 September 2005, GameSpot reveals details of another expansion pack for The Sims, the fourth after the first delay of The Sims 2: Playin' Sims. Expansions 8, 9 and 10 would be "Mowin' Lawns", "Doin' Taxes" and "Retirement Home". In Playin' Sims, Sims can sit behind their computers and play a game called "The Verts", a simulation game, to keep their moods up. They will have to buy expansion packs regularly to keep up-to-date. Sounds familiar? Anyway, read the whole article here. For more news from the future about other games, click here.
 
Bustin' Out Game Guide
Written at 18:21 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Games site Gamespot has posted a huge game guide of The Sims Bustin' Out on the consoles. It's a complete guide which discusses many aspects of the game, from creating Sims to their homes, careers and relations. There's also a special section completely about the Bustin' Out mode which gives information about all the locations. Finally they've also included the cheats. Spread over 34 pages in total, this is a very useful guide. GameSpot Basic members will be able to read it online, but complete members can in addition download the guide in PDF format, suitable for printing. That way you can have the guide right next to you while playing the game. You can read it all at this page. It's free to sign up for GameSpot Basic, note that this guide is not for the GBA version.
 

Tuesday 10 February 2004
Official site gets new Layout
Written at 18:43 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Maxis has updated the layout of the official site. To be specific, it now uses slightly different navigation. The Bustin' Out section was hidden behind a "Console" button until now: you can now easily access all pages of Bustin' Out directly fromt the menu, no matter on which page you are. The graphics have also been updated, and you can now see in which section you are as the item in the menu is highlighted. If you want to see it, go to the official site.
 
Sims 2 Mini-game
Written at 23:32 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Fansite Snooty Sims has ordered the McDonald's Prevew CD from eBay, and posted some of its content online. There's a screenshot which you can see below, and Snooty has also posted the mini-game as download. Due to legal reasons (there are no clear rules about posting it) we won't post it. However, you can download it from this page. Enjoy it, and the screenshot below.

 

Wednesday 11 February 2004
Chat with Luc
Written at 16:41 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Last week's chat was about the SimCity 4 BAT, and you can read the transcripts at this page. But Maxis is already preparing the next chat for this thursday. It will be about The Sims 2 again - Luc Barthelet will once again join the chatroom to talk about the upcoming sequel. All your questions can be send, but keep in mind that it may not be answered as there will probably be very many visitors again. The chat is at the "American" time again, at 3pm PST (11pm in Britain, midnight in Europe). There's room for 'only' 500 people, and it has been that busy before. So make sure you get there in time, the room will open about 10-15 minutes before the chat itself. You can enter through the official Sims 2 site.
 

Thursday 12 February 2004
Maxis on the Move
Written at 01:05 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Maxis is on the move. The company that's been based in Walnut Creek (California) for years is moving to Redwood Shores, near EA's headquarters. Luc Barthelet has told that in an e-mail to the community. The main reason given is that space in the current office is getting scarcer by the month, and they simply need more. The new location "comes with a whole host of benefits for our staff, such as an on-site gym, cafeterias, a movie theatre, and most importantly – space to work and grow." Now let's hope the teams don't spend too much time in the cageterias or movie theatre, but Luc Barthelet guarantees that this won't affect the release dates of their games. However some sceptics might say that the release dates have been put back already some time ago... No matter what the real reason is though, you can join Luc on a "farewell tour" at this page. Fans can also check out an older tour from the SimCity 3000 Unlimited website, which is right here.
 
New Poll
Written at 01:12 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
In our last poll we found out that most of our visitors have been playing The Sims from the beginning in February 2000. Out of the 589 people who voted, there were 173 who picked that option. 125 people started between March 2000 and the start of 2001, and 100 started playing the game some time in 2001. There are less votes for the others: 73 for 2002, and 63 people said they started playing in 2003. Finally, 55 people, nearly 10%, said they only just started or will soon. For the precise results, with all percentages, click here. Now we know how long our visitors have been playing the Sims, it's time to get to know how old your oldest Sim is. Do you still play with your Sims that you created when you started playing, or did you only just reset the neighborhood and started all over again? Let us know and vote on the right, or at this page!
 
Sims 2 Interview
Written at 01:18 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Producer Tim LeTourneau sat down with HomeLan Fed to give an interview about The Sims 2. The questions are pretty standard and although the interview doesn't provide any new info, it is probably worth reading it if you're a big fan of The Sims 2. For instance, if you want to know how much Will Wright, the brain behind the game, still does for The Sims 2, then you'll get to know this: "Will Wright is present in everything that we work on at Maxis. Each of our games are built on concepts and mechanisms that Will has created and imagined. We are fortunate to have him share his ideas in each development process and we enjoy working with him." For the complete interview, click here.
 
SimDay
Written at 15:15 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
It's thursday again, which means it's SimDay. Maxis has provided several links again, of which one is to the Thread of the Day from the BBS of 4 February. What would you put as main headline in the daily Sims 2 newspaper? Read all about it, and contribute, here. They've also uploaded last weekend's filmstrip to the official site, and there's some news about the Great Dates and Dates to Hate contest. Maxis has already received many entries but some of them didn't inlcude an URL to the story. For more details about the contest, and a little tutorial on how to copy and past the URL, click here. Finally there are 4 new tracks from Bustin' Out, added to the previous 18. You can download all 22 tracks from this page. Remember there's a chat with Luc tonight, so make sure to be there in time.
 
Some more info about Maxis' move
Written at 15:34 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
A little bit of more information about the move of Maxis from Walnut Creek to the EA Redwood Shores headquarters has been published by GameSpot. The main new info is that most of the 300 staff members, including the management team, will move to the EA Headquarters, in recently completed studio facilities. The newest building at the campus, now about 2 years old, will be used by Maxis. The move is one that's part of an overall shifting of locations, so studios can make better use of the facilities at those locations. Will Wright himself will stay in Walnut Creek with a dedicated team to work on his next project, of which all but a possible - but unconfirmed - name has been rumoured (SimUniverse). He will also still be involved with the Sim-games. It's not yet known if Will will move to Redwood City as well or not. You can read the entire GameSpot article at this page.
 

Friday 13 February 2004
News from Chat
Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
Luc's just had his chat, and there's quite some interesting news again. The major thing is probably that there will most likely not be any weather in the game, unlike stated at the E3. According to Luc it's not as important as "making the Sims smarter". It was first mentioned as a big feature when the game was presented at the E3 in 2003, but Maxis never really mentioned it anymore since then. Now it looks like it probably won't be possible to get Sims struck by lightning after all. The reason Luc gave that the feature was removed was because it was raining inside as well, which was "stupid". When somebody asked if they've completely given up on the rain already, Luc said "never surrender!" There are already discussions being held about it right here and over here on the BBS, where you can participate as well. TSZ members can also post their comments to this news item to share their opinions. But there's also some good news...
 
Read More!

Chat Transcript
Written at 13:15 by ChEeTaH - 5 comments.
Maxis has posted the chat transcript, of which we already gave you some information. Some information that I didn't give you yesterday (because I missed some parts of the chat myself) is that Maxis has delayed The Sims 2 because they were adding more features, mainly in the neighborhood. The cooking skills of teens usually won't be great. Maxis will also release a tool similar to HomeCrafter. They already use that for designing now, and might release it once the bugs have been taken out. There's a lot more to read though, with many previously answered questions. You can find the complete transcript right here.
 
Valentine Message from Maxis
Written at 20:31 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Maxis has sent us a graphic with some Sims from TS2 on it, wishing everybody a happy Valentine's day tomorrow. We from TSZ wish you the same. Make sure you check out the graphic by clicking the thumbnail below:

Happy Valentine's Day!
 
The Counter Galore
Written at 21:07 by Sumit - 4 comments.
As Sims from Paris ship of their batch of counters from Paris, we wait in anticipation with the frequent yells of "Oh LaLa!". Straight from Paris, we have the the grand and eloquent batch of counters, with style beyond recognition. Come all to take your pic, the tiled counters are here. Check it all out here!

 

Sunday 15 February 2004
TSZ Improved!
Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
It's been only two weeks since we launched the Knowledge Database, and we've already added some major improvements. The biggest is the new rating of answers. Members can now say how helpful an answer is by giving it a score from 1 to 5. This will help others to see what the most accurate answer to a specific question is. Also, the questions in a section are now listed in tables, and you can see immediately when it's been posted, how many answers there are, and how many times a question has been viewed already. Another new feature is that you can now sort the lists any way you want: on the text of the question, when it was posted, the amount of answers, the date of the latest answer or the amount of views (default). And all that can be done both ascending and descending. Your setting will be stored using a "cookie" so it will stick the the item you chose last for sorting the lists. The same functionality has been added to the Files section. But: that section has undergone some other improvements as well! There now is the "DLs/Day" information in the table, or Downloads per Day. It shows the average amount of downloads every day. The "Most Popular" list is now using that data to determine which files are the most popular. It is now also possible for members to post their comments about specific files, just like you'd post comments to the news or community news. Finally, we've added an RSS Feed for the files section as well, so you can quickly see what's new at TSZ without visiting it!

As if those improvements to both the Knowledge and Files sections aren't enough, some general bugs have been fixed at TSZ as well. "New" items on the front page won't be marked as new for (6 hours) too long anymore. We've also improved the Sidebar, where you can now also check out the latest questions from the knowledge database. Some bugs there have been fixed as well. Finally there are some other minor bug fixes throughout the site.

We hope you'll enjoy the new and improved features here at TSZ. Of course none of the old functionality has gone lost. Instead we've only made a ton of improvements, which should make your experience here a lot better. Of course if you ever have any suggestions for improvements, let us know!
 
5 new Sims 2 shots
Written at 23:52 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Gamers Hell has posted 5 screenshots of The Sims 2. They show some outdoor kissing, indoor golfing (twice), frustrations and something that looks a bit like a party - for the female sim anyway. As usual they are of the same high quality we're used to from screenshots of the upcoming sequel. Check out the love and hate at this page.
 

Monday 16 February 2004
Maxis' Move followed by Rumours
Written at 13:15 by ChEeTaH - 5 comments.
The relocation of the studios of Maxis has made some people worried. It's rumoured that the move could cause (or has caused) delays of The Sims 2. Besides the extra commute time for employees of about 2 hours, some of those 300 employees have been laid off. The reason is that there were already people at the new location (where EA was already based) filling their positions. There are also rumours that one of those who was laid off, was the lead designer of The Sims 2. EA has not commented about the suspicions yet. This information has been published by PC Zone UK. Click here for the entire article.

Please note that some of the things mentioned are only rumours and can in no way be considered definitely true.
 

Tuesday 17 February 2004
Slice City in the News
Written at 13:05 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
Sims fansite SimSlice has made news. Their "Slice City", which brings SimCity to The Sims, attracted Wired, and they've written an article entirely about the download. Here's a snippet:
"Now the series has come full circle. The plug-in from Simslice, called Slice City, lets the Sims in the game play a video game in which they create mini cities. So, along with the many things that Sims can be instructed to do -- such as going to work, playing guitar, cooking, socializing and dating -- they can blow endless hours creating small urban environments."
For the complete article, which also contains some quotes from Steve Alvey, a designer at SimSlice, click here. For Slice City, click here.
 

Thursday 19 February 2004
New Poll
Written at 01:21 by ChEeTaH - 6 comments.
It's thursday morning, which means we have a new poll for you again. Last week we asked if you have any really old, or even ancient, Sims. If you're interested in checking the final results of that poll, click here. This week's poll is about The Sims 2 again. As we all know, a lot of features are being added. But there are also many which will not make the game. We've listed a couple of those features, and now want to know which one of those you want to see in the game the most. That could be in an expansion pack too. Let us know and vote at the right, or on this page.
 
SimDay
Written at 13:25 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
It's quiet this week at Maxis. After hardly a SimCity Day, there's not much of a SimDay either. There's a link to last week's Homeland Interview with Tim LeTourneau. Some (old) screenshots have also been added at TheSims2.com. MaxisKitty, community manager of TheSims.com, has also posted a guide in how she picks the "Maxis Pick" every week. You can read all about that by following this link. Then there's a post at the official site about a review of Bustin' Out at playboy.com. To read all about it, click here. Finally there's the news that there won't be a chat this week. Maxis has decided to change it to a chat every other week instead of one per week. The next chat will be held next week thursday at 3PM PST (11pm GMT or midnight in most of Europe). That's all again for this SimDay.
 
2 Sims 2 screens
Written at 14:00 by ChEeTaH - 7 comments.
Maxis has made 2 new screenshots of The Sims 2 and published. They're a follow-up to one of the screenshots in a recent set of shots. Click the thumbnails below to see them for yourself.

Image 1 Image 2
 

Friday 20 February 2004
Away for a Week
Written at 14:14 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
It's time for a little break for me, which means I'll be away from the site for about a week. Meanwhile the rest of the team will keep this site up-to-date as usual until I return. Please remember I probably am not able to reply to e-mails while I'm gone, so you might have to wait a few days if you e-mail me. Please be patient, and see you again at 29 February!
 

Sunday 22 February 2004
Four New TS2 Screenshots
Written at 05:40 by Stash - 2 comments.
Our affiliate SimsZone.de has posted 4 new official screenshots from The Sims 2. The first one shows another sim giving a back rub. The second one shows a bathroom, and in the mirror you can see a Sim in the bath tub. The third one shows a male cooking for a female Sim. The fourth screen shot shows a male Sim painting a female on a sofa. You can see them on the front page of SimsZone now, or in their screenshots section.
 

Thursday 26 February 2004
SimDay
Written at 22:03 by Stash - 0 comments.
This week's SimDay is quite simple again. The first announcement is that KillerSims.com is celebrating 4 years online. To celebrate KillerSims created KSIMS-TV, a TV project that allows broadcasting live from Sim City. Maxis also released three "new" screenshots from The Sims 2. In the "Bustin' Out" section, Maxis released five new MP3 song downloads to their collection. This brings the MP3 count in the Bustin' Out collection up to 27! And lastly, this weeks Maxis is hosting a chat with Maxis Art Directors Bob King and Dave Patch. They will be talking about what it is like to be a Maxis artist and work with Sims on Thursday at 3PM PST (11pm GMT or midnight in most of Europe). That's all for this SimDay.
 
Bustin' Out on N-Gage Update
Written at 22:33 by Stash - 0 comments.
It was announced in January that The Sims: Bustin Out would be coming to the Nokia N-Gage. Well after a month we have some new news on the game. The gameplay will be similar to the GameBoy Advanced version. Yet the N-Gage version will have exclusive mini-games to advance your career and earn Simoleans. Plus you can now upload your score to the N-Gage Arena to challenge another player, and you can also unlock a new location and earn special objects with help from others using Bluetooth wireless technology. Nokia has just launched a game information page on their website. It is full of game information as well as new movies with footage from the game! Also the game's release has been more defined to the second quarter of 2004. Although there's no set release date, expect the game between April and July 2004.
 

Sunday 29 February 2004
Newsflash!
Written at 18:03 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
I'm back again, as promised, and it's time to do a big news update again. Stash has already given you some of the latest, but to keep you completely up-to-date, here's a round-up of all the news that's not been posted here yet of the past week - including the most recent stuff. Relax and enjoy it, just click "Read More" if necessary (i.e. if it shows up) to see this complete post...
 
Read More!

Makin' Magic (Mac) released [Update]
Written at 18:30 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Sims Fans with a Macintosh can now also enjoy some Magic. Aspyr has released Makin' Magic for the Mac last week. Although the Aspyr website is currently not working properly, you can buy the game from Amazon and other stores. This also means the whole Sims series has now been made for Macintosh as well as Windows (with the exception of the Deluxe editions and the Create A Sim tool). As usual, you'll need the original game to play Makin' Magic. For more information, visit Aspyr.

[Update 20:15] The Aspyr website is working again. Here are the system requirements for the game:
  • Mac OS 9.2.2 or Mac OS X version 10.1 or later
  • PowerPC G3 or better, 500 MHz or faster (600 MHz recommended)
  • 192 MB RAM (additional 128MB for OS X)
  • 1.3 GB free disk space
  • 4MB of VRAM (8MB recommended)
  • Quicktime 4.1.2 or later
You can also order the game directly from Aspyr right here. More details about the product itself are on this page.