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News Archive - March, 2003
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Wednesday 12 March 2003
New Donation File
Written at 00:58 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Sumit's submitted another donation file for this month: it's a set of lamps matching the loveseat modset that's also in the donation section this month. Please donate and then you can download both these sets. You can preview them here. Have fun!

 
Welcome Back! [News Update]
Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Welcome back to The Sims Zone! As you can see, we've totally changed... everything. There are search functions for the news, community news and the files. The files now also have two special categories: the 25 most popular, and the 25 newest files. Also, to protect us a bit more from getting tons of viruses each day, there is now an e-mail form, which you should use if you want to contact us. You can also send attachments (of up to 250Kb) using that form. We've been going through most of the content, and all links to pages that don't exist anymore should have been fixed. If you find a dead link in some old content, please e-mail me. Did I forget anything? Ah, yes, the design. We hope you like that too, it's taken us quite some time. The new system we're using is rather more reliable, and simply better. It allows us to make even more cool features in the future.

As we've been offline for over a week, you may have missed some news. A round-up of that news is inside...
 
Read More!

Kitty Skins
Written at 06:13 by Jendea - 0 comments.
My first "Welcome back to TSZ" download: cat skins for your Unleashed neighborhoods and adoption centers. You can browse under my section:here or click on the picture to go directly to the kitty skins.

 

Thursday 13 March 2003
SimDay: Superstar, Console and Brazil
Written at 19:27 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This week's SimDay are basically just a few links. First of all, there's a link to a small preview of the new Superstar expansion pack at Gamers.com. We already mentioned that when we returned. The other thing is an interview about The Sims on the consoles with Michael Perry:
"Yes, bringing The Sims to the console was a bit scary, because looking at The Sims on the PC, with its high-resolution 2D graphics and mouse-based interface, it was very hard to imagine how we could ever make it look good and play well on the console. We also knew that console gamers are smart game players who would not appreciate simply getting a straight port of the PC game. We decided right away that we wanted to make The Sims on the console much more than just a port."
There are 3 interesting pages to read if you're looking forward to the GameCube or X-Box version of The Sims. The interview also comes with 10 screenshots, 5 for the GameCube and the other 5 for the X-Box. You can find it all here. The last bit is about a new official site. This time, in Brazilian. It's similar to several European sites in design etc. Go here to see the Brazilian site. That's all again for the first SimDay after our relaunch. More next week.
 

Saturday 15 March 2003
Bug Fixes @ TSZ
Written at 20:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The new utility we're using to keep this site updated (programmed in-house) unfortunately still had some unnoticed bugs at the time of relaunch. We've found the following bugs, and those have been fixed:
  • Member registration didn't work due to a type in the code. You can now register again.
  • If you didn't login from the front page and chose to remember your login, it wouldn't automatically log you back in when entering TSZ, unless you went to the page where you logged in. That now works properly. It was a problem with cookies setting the wrong path.
  • The poll now works a bit better - this was the same problem as the logins problem, where cookies wouldn't be saved properly.
  • The layout of interviews caused some errors in a few browsers, which made it look ugly or the numbers wouldn't count up. The numbers are now coded differently, solving these problems.

    If you find other errors or bugs at this site, please e-mail me. I will then fix those bugs as soon as I can. Thank you.
     

  • Sunday 16 March 2003
    The Neighborhood Handler 4.01 Released
    Written at 00:54 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Due to the relaunch of this site, and still a lot of development going on behind the scenes at this site, The Neighborhood Handler's public release got delayed a bit, unfortunately. Members of the TNHH group could already download version 4.01 of the program, but now everybody can. If you don't have THE program to manage your neighborhoods with yet, or a version older than 3.7, you should download the full version. If you belong to the group that has version 3.7 or higher already, you'll have enough with the upgrade version. For a list of updates, not too big this time, check out the version history chapter in the manual. For more information about the program itself, visit its site. Have fun!
     
    Ivy Kitchen Set
    Written at 01:58 by Jendea - 0 comments.
    My first kitchen set! Counters, Island and Curtains were cloned from base objects from Secret Sims. This set also includes a stove, food processor, sink, window, rug, and a clock that works like a smoke alarm.
     

    Monday 17 March 2003
    St. Patrick's Day Joy
    Written at 18:04 by Sumit - 0 comments.
    We do love Potpourri! It can smell good, be in variety, or just be a couple of nice ole' walls every sim has gotta have! Lets celebrate St. Patricks day with a golden pot of walls to brighten up your home and brighten up your everyday lives!



    Here ye! Here ye! Lets bring some joy this St. Patrick's day! Today I feature an object of interest, an object of gold. This sculpture will make any home more rich and more royal. Neighboring sims will look in envy and you shall live well, knowing a bit of Irish will lighten up your home every day. Happy St. Patricks Day!

     

    Tuesday 18 March 2003
    GameSpot Superstar Q&A
    Written at 23:10 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Gamespot has posted an interview with Jonathan Knight about the upcoming Superstar, along with 10 new screenshots. They talk about some of the new features in the game, like how Sims become Superstars, what the Studio Town is like, how some things work. Here's a quote about some objects that will be seen:
    "There's a giant scuba tank that's the size of a large living room, for your swimming pleasure. And there's a skydiving simulator for a little backyard fun. We've also made a satellite dish for the home, which adds all-new channels to your TV. And there's tons of new art and sculpture, and even a new pool table, to help you make the ultimate crib."
    Also, another expansion pack after this isn't ruled out, but also not mentioned directly:
    "To be honest, it's not a challenge to keep the ideas coming--we never seem to run out of new ideas for The Sims. The challenge is zeroing in on what we think will be the most compelling, and having the discipline to say, 'Nope, this is what we're making this month, so let's just make sure it's as great as it can be, and save those other ideas for the next pack.'"
    If there's going to be another expansion pack after this - and it is possible knowing how Maxis/EA milks out The Sims as far as it goes - that'll mean The Sims 2 will be at least a year away from now. Otherwise, we might just be able to see it before the end of the year, or early next year. We don't know, but we'll tell you as soon as we do. Anyway, to check out the interview, click here. For the 10 pictures, which include some sketches and concepts of art, check out this page.
     

    Wednesday 19 March 2003
    Another TSPS2 review
    Written at 00:09 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Although the game was released in January, reviews are still popping up of The Sims at the PS2. Although they are in much smaller numbers, we're still watching out for them and adding them to our review index. And one review was found again today, from Ferrago.co.uk:
    "To compare this game with any other is not possible, it has definitely cornered the market as the ultimate of simulation games. Nothing comes near to it and with the addition of the two impressive new modes one can’t help thinking it is only furthering the distance from its rivals."
    The game is marked with 85%. For the whole story, click here.
     

    Thursday 20 March 2003
    New poll
    Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The old poll ran a bit longer than initially planned, due to the changes that were going on here. We thought we'd give you an extra week to vote, and so you did: there were 292 votes on the question: "Will you be getting the Sims Superstar expansion?". Most of them, 178 people (61%), voted that they need a complete The Sims collection. 49 People (17%) will probably buy it, but only when they know it's really worth it. 26 others (9%) might buy it, but they are not sure of it yet. 4%, 13 people, won't buy it unless it's really good. 11 people (4%) are waiting for a sequel, like The Sims 2, rather than another expansion. Then there were 8 people (2%) who don't buy anything from Maxis or EA anymore at all, and 7 people (2%) who are tired of The Sims and won't buy Superstar either. For a complete overview of these results, go here. For the new poll, which is about this design, vote on the right or on this page. This one will stay up for exactly one week.
     
    The Pink Bunny Returns
    Written at 02:21 by Sumit - 0 comments.
    A whole Pink Bunny collection and a special treat! A whole Temple complex dedicated to the benevolent Pink Bunny. Also a new object worth awhile! A 2 story column to make sure you get that Roman feel. Lets not forget about the gigantic statue to Pink Bunny. Also gaurdian soldier statues which ever so look great. Don't be left out of this magical moment and download this temple now!
    *Note: other objects released are already included in the temple zip so you dont have to double download*

     
    SimDay: Superstar section and an award
    Written at 22:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The Sims Online has won an award: Most Innovative Game of the year 2002. The website Game Industry has been giving out several awards, including this one:
    "It is a simple formula on paper. Take one of the best-selling game lines of all time, and bring it into the online arena. But Maxis had to re-tool everything to keep the emphasis on player interaction. Everything in The Sims Online is better when you share. You make more money, satisfy needs more quickly and generally have more fun. The game is designed so it pays to be nice as well, so it is really the first online world where people from all walks of life and experience levels can have a fun and rewarding game experience."
    Besides that, the official site has launched a new "About Superstar" section this simday. If you want to see the 11 screenshots (of which 2 are new ones) that have appeared so far, want to read more about the expansion and its features, or see the FAQ ("In-depth info") about Superstar, simply visit this page. It's all there. That's all again this Simday.
     
    Killing Sims Howto
    Written at 23:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    If you like to be evil to your Sims every now and then, or just want to get rid of them, then TechTV has something nice for you. They've listed a few methods on how you can kill an entire neighborhood. There's also a video attached with the article, which probably is the part they aired last week. Unfortunately I'm unable to view the video though, so you'll have to check yourself (it's in Windows Media format, both in 56kbps for dialup users and 165kbps for broadband). For the whole article, follow this link.
     

    Friday 21 March 2003
    The Sims at Gamecube and XBox goes Gold
    Written at 23:01 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    24 March, which is only a few days away, The Sims for the GameCube and XBox consoles will be released. It's gone gold, which means the discs are being printed, boxed together and they will soon be on the shelves in your local store. Or, if you pre-ordered, you will find it in your mailbox soon. The game is rated "T" (Teen), and will be available for $49,95:
    "Players can create and control their Sims on these upcoming platforms with new level-based gameplay and stunning 3D graphics. Customize your Sims' personality and appearance then move them into the neighborhood. Get a job, make friends, and advance through their career and life's big moments. Unlock unique new objects and more extravagant houses along the way. Meet, flirt, and fight with a neighborhood full of wild characters. You can also play The Sims with or against each other in challenging two-player games."
    You can read EA's complete press release, which is not very much more than the above, at this page. For a lot of screenshots, of which several added only 1 week ago, visit Gamespot's pages for the GameCube or the X-Box.
     

    Saturday 22 March 2003
    Guy's Skins and Heads
    Written at 08:33 by Jendea - 1 comment.
    I finally made some clothes for the guys -lol! A jeans set and a pants set in all three skin tones, plus lots of heads. You can check them out under My section or under Skins
     

    Tuesday 25 March 2003
    Another (important) bugfix at TSZ - Members area
    Written at 14:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    We've fixed another bug in the members area. The accounts of those who haven't logged in after the time I'm writing this, but registered before the relaunch, should login in again at least once after this item's been posted. The account have not yet been deleted due to another bug, which wouldn't free up accounts after 48 hours. That bug has been fixed, but to give people who already registered and logged in properly some extra time, we won't be putting the fixed code online yet for the next week. That means no accounts will not be deleted for the next 7 days, even if you don't login within 48 hours after registering. Starting next week tuesday that will be fixed as well, so if you still didn't login (again) by then, your account will be deleted.

    Accounts that have been registered and verified before our relaunch are not affected by this bug. Members who registered themselves after that, have to login again at least once within the next week to keep their accounts. Otherwise, those will be deleted. After that, you'll have to register again (you can use the same username as before then, as it'll be freed). We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused by this.
     
    The Sims GameCube and X-Box released
    Written at 23:03 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The Sims has been released for two console platforms: Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's X-Box in the USA yesterday. Europeans still have to wait 3 (X-Box) to 10 (GameCube) days. We'll soon be adding two more of our well-known review indexes as soon as we find reviews. To see the press release about the shipment of these games, visit this page on the official site. For the site of the consoles version of the Sims, visit TheSimsConsole.com. As these versions are similar to the PlayStation2 version, you may already find some reviews in our The Sims PS2 Review index. Thanks to A. Fussy for the reminder.
     

    Wednesday 26 March 2003
    Estate House and Windows
    Written at 21:13 by Jendea - 0 comments.
    For the sims in the computer related career track who's stock options have paid off...
    The Redmond Plateau Estate.
    I also added the black window and door set used in this house.
    You can download them all from my section: Jendea

    Be sure to pick up Andy's Hunter Green Toyota SUV too (pictured in the drive).
     

    Thursday 27 March 2003
    First The Sims (GameCube) review
    Written at 00:53 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The first (and rather short) review of The Sims for the GameCube has been spotted: Gamers.com has posted it, and given the game a 9 out of 10 score:
    "In case you missed my review in EGM #163 of the virtually identical PS2 version of The Sims, I'll admit here that this game turns me into a sex-crazed flirt eager to get friendly with all the fine Sims (of either sex) within spitting distance, and the virtual soap operas I inevitably create keep me totally hooked. That all probably sounds bizarre, hard to imagine, and potentially scary or sad, but trust me, it happens--even the sensible Demian was hosting keggers (see below). The fun Get a Life mode teaches you how to take care of your Sims in manageable doses, and you're rewarded every time you accomplish something."
    You can read the entire review here. We've also opened up a new review index for The Sims on the GameCube and X-Box consoles. It's still a bit empty, but it'll be filling up itself the coming weeks.
     
    New Poll
    Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    We've added a new poll again this week. With all the discussions about Superstar being one expansion pack too many, we wonder if you'd rather see that or The Sims 2... or neither of them. You can vote here, or on the right. As for last week's poll, about our new design: most of you, nearly 50% never saw the old design, but the most of the rest of the people like it. So we're going to keep it. For the exact poll results, have a look at this page. Visit our archive for even more (older) poll results.
     
    Lame SimDay
    Written at 20:09 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    This week's SimDay is pretty lame. There's just one link to several screenshots of SuperStar, including 5 concepts of art (sketches). And since those are already 10 days old, we've already reported about that quite a while ago. It was included with a "Q&A" about SuperStar. If you want to see the screenshots, have a look right here. We hope there'll be more next week.
     
    The Sims X-Box Reviewed
    Written at 23:14 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The second review for The Sims on the GameCube and X-Box has appeared. This time, however, it's Gaming Nexus reviewing the X-Box edition. Besides calling the original The Sims 4 year olds (while it's just 3 years and a month old now), the review is okay. They're quite positive on the 3 pages, but have some criticism too. For instance, they'd rather see some X-Box exclusives rather than a port of the PS2 version with better graphics:
    "In comparison to the previously released PS2 versions, they're virtually identical. With the exception of the varied controller layout and some sharper textures, the games are identical. Then again the PS2 game wasn't really too bad of a game so this is more of a plus than it is a minus. I would have liked to see some Xbox exclusives though."
    They rate it 8.6 out of 10, which is still good. For the whole review, go here. For the other review (and more reviews in the future), check out our review index.
     
    The Sims GameCube and X-Box reviews
    Written at 23:59 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    GameSpot has posted their review of The Sims on the GameCube and X-Box, in flavours for both platforms. Here's a snippet:
    "In addition to the standard play mode and the "get a life" mode, The Sims has two different multiplayer modes that let players play cooperatively and competitively. The competitive multiplayer is pretty simplistic and not terribly entertaining--it plays out on a split screen and challenges opposing players to do things like pick up trash faster than each other or cook faster than each other. The cooperative multiplayer is more interesting, since it lets two players play a standard game of The Sims together. It's possible that serious fans of The Sims might try to play a co-op game and skillfully and efficiently split jobs and housework between them. However, it's much easier to visualize the game's co-op mode as a compromise for real-life couples who have argued about spending time together as opposed to spending time playing video games."
    Both reviews are identical, except for the platform's name it mentions (either GameCube or X-Box). For the GameCube flavoured version, click here. If you'd rather see the X-Box look, visit this page. Finally, for our review index with more reviews of this game, click here.