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News Archive - April, 2006
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Saturday 1 April 2006
Lots of Lots
Written at 02:02 by Jendea - 0 comments.

I've added five new lots today - three residental and two community lots for businesses. As some of you know, I like to play without the money cheat, so all these lots are good values (pretty cheap!) for the square footage. :)

I created the two community lots for my game as well and, consequently, they are admittedly and purposefully very simple. Both turned out to be easy start-ups for young sims, so I thought I would share them too.
Happy Simming!

You can find all 5 lots under my section:jendea.

Family Fun Stuff More Expensive [Update - April Fools]
Written at 13:59 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The first "Stuff" pack for the Sims 2, Family Fun Stuff, will be released later this month. Although previously it was said to be sold at a price of $20, EA has decided to increase the price. Packaging and shipping costs are the main reason. The so-called "Gold Master" CD, the very first CD containing the product which will then be copied to the pressed versions, was broken. The pack had already gone gold, yet unannounced by a press release from EA. This has made millions of already printed copies unusable. These copies cannot be sold anymore, and will be destroyed next week. A new, working version has been made yesterday and is in testing over the weekend. It's expected to be sent to the CD printing factories next week. Family Fun Stuff will be released in stores a week later, but a version at EA Downloader will be released at the given date of 13 April. Due to this misprint the pack will also be sold at a higher price than mentioned before for the first couple of weeks: $25 instead of $20. Availability of the product might also be lower than usual. The price will probably drop back to $20 when the next Stuff pack is released. That rumoured Glamour pack is expected late June. If nothing goes wrong with that, Glamour Stuff will probably start selling at $20.

April Fools!

[Update 2 April, 1:04] Did we kid you? The truth is that Family Fun Stuff will be released on time, in the week of 13 April, for the price of $20 (or roughly the equivalent in any other local currency). Although the game has probably gone gold by now, considering the short time to the release, this has not yet been announced or confirmed by EA. An EA Downloader version too has not yet been confirmed. All the details about that will be posted here as we get the news. Next year, keep in mind that the first of April is a day when we'll post something that's not entirely true...
Read More!

Tuesday 4 April 2006
Easter Downloads from Maxis
Written at 00:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
With easter coming along, Maxis has made a few holiday downloads again. An Easter Chick Hat and the Hippity Hoppity Bunny Suit are the first two of what possibly becomes a larger set of Spring downloads (whether it will is currently unknown). Both can be found on the Spring Downloads page. Below are a couple of screenshots and artworks from EA Europe showing the new items.

Easter Downloads Easter Downloads Easter Downloads Easter Downloads Easter Downloads Easter Downloads

Thursday 6 April 2006
Family Fun Stuff Producer Mail
Written at 02:07 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
We've had Luc-Mails (Luc Barthelet) and Lucy-Mails (Lucy Bradshaw) for the Sims 2, T-Mails (Tim LeTourneau) for University, Nightlife and Open for Business, H-Mails (Hunter Howe) for Open for Business as well, and this time we have an L-Mail for you about the Family Stuff Pack that will be out on PC later this month. Lyndsay Pearson, Associate Producer for the game, tells what a Stuff pack is, and how it's made. As example the toybox is used. She concludes with a few items that will be in the pack, as well as her own experience with it. Of course plenty of graphics are included, this time containing several sketches and artworks, as well as the odd screenshot. You can see them all below, as well as within the e-mail which is posted in the Read More part (see below). The last screenshot listed right below here wasn't directly included in the e-mail.
Initial Concept of an Underwater Bedroom Concept ideas for Different Beds Toybox Sketches More Underwater Ideas and Sketches Untextured Toybox Model Toybox Texture Map Final Toybox Final Bedroom Family Portrait More Concept ideas for Different Beds
Read More!

Monday 10 April 2006
Family Fun Stuff already Received
Written at 00:38 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
It's not the first time that some people get a Sims expansion pack almost a week before the official release. Just before the weekend, raye1forTS2 (from Switzerland) opened a thread on the official BBS in which she announces that she's already received a copy of the Family Fun Stuff pack, which is to be released next week. Several screenshots of the pack are posted in her Yahoo! Album. Read the thread for more information. Thanks to SnootySims and SimsZone for the links.
Official BBS Spammed [Update]
Written at 00:45 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Regular visitors of the official site's BBS (forums) may notice some downtime today. The reason is that the boards have been "hacked" and were being spammed by an automated robot friday night. Maxis is cleaning up the boards and has thus decided to take the BBS offline until the boards have been cleaned up. When it's brought back, Maxis requests not to post anything off-topic to make it easier to keep the forums spam-free. The Sims 1 BBS is still available, though messages about the downtime of the Sims 2 boards should not be posted there. Maxis has no estimate for when the boards will be back online. Read on for the message the web team sent out as private message to all members of the Sims 2 site.

[Update 11 April 12:47] The BBS is now back up again. Maxis will keep an eye on them to ensure they remain clean and useful.
Read More!

Friday 14 April 2006
Family Fun Stuff Released!
Written at 04:41 by Andy - 0 comments.
The latest booster pack for The Sims 2 is now out!

With plenty of themed objects, new outfits and some gameplay revisions, this has something that will appeal to your most discerning sim.

We will be reviewing this shortly so watch this space.
The Sims 2 Open For Business - Open All Hours or Closing Down? - Part 5
Written at 08:02 by Andy - 0 comments.

Just over a month ago, we began our review of "Open For Business" but due to my moving house, I was without an internet connection for almost 3 weeks. For those who are still on tenterhooks to find out what else there is to find, the wait is over.

"Martha's Kitchen" is now open for business. Find out about the mechanics of running a bakery and whether she could indeed make a profit from her unorthodox cooking.

With also sections on running restaurants, here's hoping you will feel you have got value for money from this fifth part of our indepth review.

You can find it right here.


Saturday 15 April 2006
Family Fun Stuff Mini-game
Written at 02:35 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
To celebrate the release of the Family Fun Stuff Pack, Maxis has created a new mini-game on their website. In the game you have to decorate a room using the new family fun items. There's no competition whatsoever, but it can kill some time. All you need to play the game is a web browser, and Flash 8. Play the Room Creator to get a little taste of he pack.
Family Fun Stuff Bonus Download
Written at 02:45 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Exclusive Summer Dress Download For those who don't have the Family Fun Stuff pack yet, there is an option to get it along with an exclusive download. It's been available in some European countries (not the UK) with selected pre-orders, and now - while supplies last - you can get the summer dress shown on the left by purchasing the pack at a local Target store. EA UK has not announced any plans to make the download available in the United Kingdom.
Family Fun Stuff Bug
Written at 02:55 by ChEeTaH - 6 comments.
Family Fun Stuff Icon on Exchange More Family Fun Stuff news, this time specifically for owners of the pack. Not only will they see the icon on the left on their MySims page on the official site, they will also experience a bug with the new clothes. When you use one of the new outfits in Create-A-Sim mode, to dress your Sim, the selected outfit will disappear from the game after restarting it. The Sim (or Sims) will still be wearing the clothes. The outfit will not only disappear from CAS, but also from community lot purchases. The only work-around so far is to give Sims the Family Fun Stuff clothes through purchase on a community lot rather than through CAS. This way, the bug won't occur. If you backed up your user data (neighborhoods, downloads, etc) before installing the Stuff Pack, you can uninstall and reinstall the pack to get the outfits back, but this will mean you lose your progress made since the pack was installed. Maxis is working on a patch, which should solve the problem soon. When exactly the patch will be released is unclear. For more information see MaxoidKane's post on the official BBS. Thanks to SnootySims and Hiki for the tips.

Sunday 16 April 2006
Commercial Contest Winners
Written at 22:28 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Several weeks ago Maxis launched a contest in which members of the official site were asked to create a commercial for a business from Open for Business. Winners could receive a brand new nVidia PC, or a video card by the same company. The winners have now been revealed, with pancaketitz8's commercial for WWBTC being the grand prize winner. Second prize winners, the video cards, go to booey4864 (Nutty Ned), m1tchm (Macabre Mart) and Ninhead1011 (Big Jon's). There are also 6 honorable mentions, picked from over 100 entries in total. All videos can be downloaded from the winners page.
Sims 2 Freecell on Pogo
Written at 22:35 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Not everybody has the Sims 2 or Family Fun Stuff yet, and for those people there's now a chance to win both on EA Pogo, the online gaming site. You can find a Payday Freecell game in the Card & Board games section there. You can play for free, and if you do so before 24 April you might just win one of the 20 packs of the Sims 2 and the Family Fun Stuff pack. Only residents of the United States (except Rhode Island) and Canada (except Quebec) are allowed to enter, provided that they're 13 years or older. The complete rules can be found on the sweepstake rules page.
Unofficial Patch for FFS Bug
Written at 22:40 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The bug reported about yesterday, in Family Fun Stuff, has already been fixed by the community. Although it will make the Family Fun icon disappear on the clothes provided by the pack, it does prevent them from being deleted after you use them. PatchesSim2 has provided the patch on ModTheSims2. Meanwhile an official patch for the pack is still underway. Thanks to Babbelsim and Hiki from the official Dutch site for providing the link.
MaxoidKane leaving Sims 2 community
Written at 22:47 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
One of the Maxoids appearing in public for the Sims 2 - on the Internet anyway - quite a lot is MaxoidKane. Last week she announced that will no longer be the case, as she will be moving to another team at EA, to "explore new breakfast treats and new games." Other Maxis Web team members will be taking over the task, namely MaxoidDrea, MaxoidMojo, MaxoidDano and MaxoidKitty. The new position of MaxoidKane is unknown, but several Sims 2 team members have already left to the Spore team before and she might just be another one. For more information check out the BBS Post announcing her leaving. Thanks to Hiki for the link.

Tuesday 18 April 2006
10 Million Milestone
Written at 17:52 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Sims Zone keeps growing. The proof of that is the increasing number of daily visitors. In November 2001 we started with only a few visitors every day, first increasing to hundreds, then just over a thousand, later roughly 5,000 every day and with the release of the Sims 2 that number seemed to double again. Now we're getting almost 20 thousand unique visitors every day. All those visitors added up count to 10 Million visitors in total, since we started counting them at 2 February 2002. A great milestone, for a site that started off small. We've continued to keep you up-to-date with all the latest Sims news, providing some files and entertainment along the way as well. It's paid off, obviously, as we continue to grow. Thanks to all the 10 Million of you visiting us in the past and present, and keep visiting us to stay up to date with all the latest Sims news, with the big E3 expo event just a few weeks away!

Thanks for visiting us, from the entire Sims Zone Team!
Hastings House
Written at 18:49 by Andy - 0 comments.

Hastings House

To begin our celebrations of reaching this 10,000,000 hits milestone, this is one of several downloads that will be coming your way over the next few days. Thankyou to all of our viewers and supporters who have helped make this site what it is today.

I hope you like it.


Wednesday 19 April 2006
Desert Oasis
Written at 05:50 by Jendea - 0 comments.

Hi All!
I just posted the Desert Oasis Community Lot with matching walls, floors and terrains.

You can find these under my section:jendea

Happy 10,000,000 visitors, TSZ (Wow - that's alotta zeros)!


Wednesday 26 April 2006
EA Settles in Overtime Lawsuit for Engineers
Written at 00:31 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Back in October of last year EA settled in a class action lawsuit about overtime compensation for Computer Graphics artists. Developers and employees of EA, including at least Sims 2 and the Urbz team members, were not paid for overtime they had to work to get a product finished in time. Now a similar case, filed by computer programmers (engineers) has also been settled. EA will make a payment of $14.9 million, which will need to cover all claims as well as attorney fees, incentive payments and administrative costs of the settlement. Any money that remains unclaimed will go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and it will also be used to establish scholarships at five universities (Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Georgia Tech, Stanford University, and Morehouse/Spelman College) for female and under-represented minority students interested in studying interactive entertainment. EA doesn't expect the settlement will financially impact the fiscal fourth quarter 2006 by much. More information is to be found in the full press release.
Family Fun Stuff Patch Arrived
Written at 00:40 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
We recently reported about one specific bug in Family Fun Stuff, and as posted in a BBS thread there are many others as well (although missing custom content is easily fixed by enabling it and restarting the game). Nevertheless Maxis has fixed two main problems with a new patch. Family Fun Stuff content will no longer disappear from the game after usage. The other problem that's been solved is an object error when both the helicopter and the nanny car arrived at the same time. Even though these are just two changes, the patch takes 26 Mb of disk space for the download. You can get it from the update page.