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News Archive - June, 2002
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Sunday 2 June 2002
New Vacation Lot
Written at 19:38 by William - 0 comments.
For a fun day in the sun stop by the Palm Court Resort. The first Sim to arrive will receive one free picnic lunch.

Monday 3 June 2002
Hot Date (Mac) Delayed
Written at 00:13 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Slightly bad news for all The Sims fans with a Macintosh: Hot Date has been postponed until later this month. At Aspyr, the ones who are making Hot Date for the Mac, it says Hot Date is in the Final Candidate stage, and is scheduled for release in June 2002. After Final Candidate, the game will go into Gold Master stage after which it will be released. Visit Aspyr for more information.
Pre-order Sims Unleashed and Sims Deluxe
Written at 00:23 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Rumours of a fifth expansion pack for The Sims are getting stronger. We already reported earlier that The Sims Unleashed could be coming. Although there's no word from EA or Maxis yet, you can already pre-order this expansion pack here at EB-Games. As Vacation could be pre-ordered before an official statement too, it could be very possible that this new expansion pack is actually coming. From the name it's not very clear what it'll be about, and no information is known yet too. As it looks now, it seems it'll be released as early as 17 September, 2002 (not 15 October as said before). Once there's more information, it'll be posted here.

[Update 23:10] Another Sims-package that can be pre-ordered at EB-Games is Sims Deluxe. About as much is known about that as The Sims Unleashed: only the price ($49.95) and the release date (17 September 2002). Rumours go - but nothing's confirmed - that it'll be a DVD with The Sims and several or all expansion packs on it. You can pre-order that at this page.

Wednesday 5 June 2002
Goodbye & Hello
Written at 03:58 by Andy - 0 comments.
Sadly, Mike has had to leave us due to other commitments. Hopefully, we will still see some contributions from him from time to time. Thanks for your hard work, Mike. We wish you well and hope to hear from you again soon.

Fortunately, there is a new realtor in town.

Jen has replaced Mike's position as Lot Designer and I can assure you that there will be quality work coming from her shortly. Whether it is in your neighborhood, downtown or on your vacation island, she has something for your needs.

Combined with William's excellent designs, you won't need to any other site to fill those vacant lots.

Stay tuned.
Written at 20:25 by Jendea - 2 comments.
Hi, I'm Jen, the new lot designer. I just wanted to wave "hello" to everyone and thank Andy for the great introduction. I'm really excited to be added to the team - I've already found lots of creative inspiration among the downloads available here and look forward to working with this talented group!
I've just added my first lots: The Hartford House and Uptown Center. Let me know whatcha think! :)

Thursday 6 June 2002
Hot Date Mac gone Gold
Written at 00:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The waiting is nearly over: soon more people will be able to play Hot Date too. That is because Hot Date for the macintosh has gone gold, and is now being duplicated. That means you can buy it soon. Here are the system specifications once again:
  • Mac OS 8.6, 9, 10 or later
  • 128 MB built-in memory (Virtual Memory may be necessary on machines with less than 192 MB Physical Memory)
  • G3 processor with 233 MHz or faster (333 Mhz recommended)
  • ATI Rage Pro, NVidia GeForce 2
  • 4 MB video memory
  • 600 MB storage space
  • 8x CD-ROM drive

    If you want to pre-order at Aspyr, then click here. For more information, including international distributors, visit Aspyr's site.
  • Another poll...
    Written at 02:10 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    It's thursday again, which means a new poll at The Sims Zone. This week it's a bit new: you can select more than one item, and so vote several items at once. This week we want to know what upcoming Sim-Games (except Sims Deluxe, as that's probably nothing really new) you will buy. You can choose between The Sims Unleashed (new expansion pack), The Sims 2 (sequel), The Sims Online, The Sims Hands On (PS2), SimCity 4 and SimUniverse - the game that's only in Will Wright's head and maybe on a few Maxis computers yet. Vote on the right or on this page. To see the last poll results, which was about why SimGolf was delayed in Europe, can be found here.
    SimDay Report: International Sites
    Written at 20:44 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    This weeks' SimDay is yet another small one: there are now international sites of The Sims (again). They used to have the official site translated into several languages before, but removed those because those sites were never up-to-date. There are sites for several (but not all) European and Asian countries. To go to the links of them all, visit this page.

    Friday 7 June 2002
    And the nominees are...
    Written at 01:24 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The Sims Online has been nominated in the categories "Best of Show", "Best Original Game" and "Best Simulation Game" in the "Best of E3 2002 awards". These are the official awards for the E3 that was in the last week of may. The Sims Online, The Sims Hands On (PS2) and many other upcoming games were shown there, and now there are awards to determine the best games on the E3. Winners will be announced on 18 June on www.e3awards.com. All the nominees can be found on this page on that site. Check back there or here on 18 June to see if The Sims Online has won anything...

    Saturday 8 June 2002
    More Houses
    Written at 02:20 by Jendea - 0 comments.
    Two more houses available today, Malibu Vista and Maple Drive.
    My next addition (still in the works) will be a mall for downtown - posting soon!
    New affiliate
    Written at 02:27 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    As of today, we've affiliated with Sim Gateway. This is another Sims Site, with all great stuff including downloads - of course. All I can say about it: pay them a visit!
    The Neighborhood Handler 3.8 coming!
    Written at 14:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Coming soon to The Sims Zone: The Neighborhood Handler 3.8! I've been working on it again lately, and improved quite a few things, fixed bugs, and I'm now getting it ready for its release. It will still be a little while before it's all ready for the release, as there is still some work to be done for it. A lot has already been done though, and so I think I can release the program to the tnhh group in about a week. Another week later, it'll be released here. If you want to join the group for free, and so get the new version earlier than anyone else, visit the Neighborhood Handler Site.
    Read More!

    TSO Best Online Game at E3
    Written at 22:27 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    At GameSpy an article has been posted about the MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games): the awards for the best Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG). The Sims Online has won this award. It was chosen as winner because it has a 'socially based rewards system'. It's also good that the playig environment is created by the users, and is not pre-defined as many other online games. However it is yet too early to call it a success:
    "Maybe it's too early to start calling The Sims Online a hit. The final product might fall short of the potential -- with online games you never know until people start playing. But regardless of how it does, The Sims Online is a watershed product whose impact will be felt in the online gaming scene for years to come. Raise a glass to the genius of Will Wright, then buckle yourself in for one hell of a ride."
    The whole article with all results of the awards can be read at this page.

    Sunday 9 June 2002
    SimmingItUp Problems
    Written at 04:05 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Our affiliate SimmingItUp has been having several problems recently, making the site completely inaccessible. Because the webmaster isn't sure when the site will be back, we've decided to remove the link in the affiliates section until SimmingItUp is back. SimmingItUp apologizes for any inconvenience caused by their downtime.
    New Downtown Lot Added
    Written at 09:37 by Jendea - 0 comments.
    Middleton Mall has just been added to the downtown section. I love malls for downtown because they have lots of seperated areas to mix and mingle, plus a bit of everything.
    My First House
    Written at 21:20 by William - 0 comments.
    I have for you today my first house lot. Are your Sims getting tired of the noise of city life? If so, we have the place for you. A Mountain Home on lot one. Country living, but still only a phone call away from downtown.
    New PS2 Shots
    Written at 23:29 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    PS2.IGN has posted a great number of 17 screenshots of The Sims on the PlayStation 2 after visiting EA. Along with them, there's an article:
    "The biggest chance in the game is the way you interact with the characters. The UI (User Interface) is quite easy, and just as intuitive as the Sim Theme Park and perhaps even a little easier to use. By using the controller's analog pads to direct the characters and make things happen, players can customize all sorts of cool things, such as interchanging clothes with other characters, including hats and such, and players can even customize their furniture, too."
    To see all 17 screenshots, click here. For the article, click here.

    Monday 10 June 2002
    A Little Something For Your Unfairly Treated Sims
    Written at 17:58 by TJ - 1 comment.
    I've just added another object. It's the Sim On Strike Sign. More yard signs will be coming, so stay tuned.

    Tuesday 11 June 2002
    Tired of those drab looking floors?
    Written at 02:00 by Andy - 0 comments.
    Your worries will soon be over.

    Mark is our newest Floor Designer and will be coming up with carpets, tiling, paving, decking and other flooring for all of your Sim's needs.

    His first sets will be coming to this site soon.

    Stay tuned.
    New TSO Preview
    Written at 12:25 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    GamePen has posted a preview of The Sims Online at the E3. It describes how the stand at the E3 was set up, and of course also the game:
    "The first thing I noticed was just how similar the game was to Sims 1.0. The interface remains virtually unchanged, although there are some new items that will let you gauge your popularity and standing in the world. You'll start out in the game world with just enough money to buy some land and approximately three household items. Afterwards, you'll have to work for everything that you own and move up the social ladder."
    To read the whole preview (2 pages), check out this page.
    TSO Update
    Written at 23:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The official TSO site has been updated once again. This June update includes articles on how you earn money in TSO, the social interactions, and the current beta stage the game is in. It also has links to several recent previews and articles, including the awards TSO has won or might win. As always, there's one article by Will Wright - this time it's the social article "Who's Who in The Sims Online". To find it all, visit the official TSO site.

    Wednesday 12 June 2002
    Message from Mark
    Written at 22:41 by Mark - 1 comment.
    Hello Sims surfers, Mark here... I have added a new set of floors/walls to the archive, they're worth checking out. This is the first item of my debut package, but there's more to come over the weekend! You can download the set here.

    Thursday 13 June 2002
    Hot Date (Mac) Released
    Written at 01:55 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Finally Hot Date has been released for the Mac. This third expansion pack was released in November on the PC, and now made its transfer to the Mac. You can now buy the mac version at Aspyr. Details if Vacation will make its move to the Mac are yet unknown, as well as details of expansion packs for the Linux version by TransGaming. If you're not sure if you should get Hot Date or not, then why not read our PC Review of Hot Date?
    Do your Sims earn a lot?
    Written at 02:08 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    In this week's poll we ask you how much the sims with the best salary earns. Simple question, so tell us what it is on the right or on this page. As for the old poll: 126 people voted, and on average everybody will buy 2 upcoming Maxis games. The most popular is The Sims Unleashed with 61 votes, and runner-up is The Sims 2 with 59 votes. The Sims Hands On (PS2), SimCity 4 and SimUniverse are the least popular with 29, 29 and 30 votes. TSO is in the middle with 49 votes. All results, and the results of older polls, can be found in poll archive.
    SimDay Report: More E3
    Written at 11:21 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    In this week's SimDay there isn't a lot of new stuff: just more links to E3 articles about The Sims Online or The Sims on PS2. For instance, an article at The Gamer's Temple about The Sims (PS2):
    "Probably the biggest aspect of The Sims, though, is the interactions of the various Sims with each other. Sims are social animals, and need friends to be happy. Sims love meeting new Sims, forging friendships, going on dates, and, of course, parties. A wide circle of friends leads to a happy Sim who does well at home and at work. If your Sim has a very good relationship with another Sim, they can be married and even have children."
    You can find a link to that article, and all others over here.
    Vote for us @ World Sims
    Written at 23:43 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    You can now vote for us (again) at World Sims Top Sites List. They've fixed some things on it, and so the button has been put back. Please click on the button above, or the button on the right under affiliates. Also keep voting for us at KillerSims please!

    Saturday 15 June 2002
    Another milestone!
    Written at 16:42 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    We've reached another visitors milestone! We've had the 100,000 and 250,000 visitors milestones before, and now we've doubled the last one: 500,000 visitors have been here since 2 February 2002. We are very proud of this amount of visitors, and are now waiting to reach the big million. And after that? 2.5 million? Of course, we'll continue our efforts here and keep you up-to-date with everything happing in The Sims-world. Besides that, we'll also keep providing new stuff for in your game all the time. Thank you, all the 500,000 of you, for visiting The Sims Zone, and come back again soon!

    Sunday 16 June 2002
    Two new starter homes added.
    Written at 08:02 by Jendea - 0 comments.
    I've added two new starter homes Hilltop Starter and Southbeach Starter , both are furnished and under $20,000. Enjoy. :)
    The Neighborhood Handler 3.8 ready
    Written at 14:41 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The Neighborhoood Handler 3.8 - another new version - is now ready and has been released. Not to everybody though: only for Group members. You can still register there and get the latest version now. Otherwise, you'll have to wait another week before you can download it here or anywhere else. This new version has several upgrades when it comes to previewing, but also a few bugfixes...
    Read More!

    Wednesday 19 June 2002
    Give your love a rose
    Written at 00:09 by Ryan - 0 comments.
    If you think a sim should give his or her love a present, different than usual, then why not a yellow rose? This new set of yellow roses can now be dowloaded from here. A great gift for any sim!
    TSO Best Simulation Game
    Written at 21:46 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The Sims Online has been given the award for the best Simulation game of the E3 awards. It was also a runner-up in the category "Best Online Multiplayer". This in the official E3 awards which we mentioned here. The game was nominated in 3 categories: "Best of Show", "Best Original Game" and "Best Simulation Game". This is a bit of what they had to say about TSO:
    "Is Will Wright a genius? Or is he just the one-man advance team for an alien race, sapping our energies with games that gleefully absorb more and more of our time, until we're helpless to resist their ruthless march toward galactic rule? There's evidence for both in The Sims Online, which takes the sitcom ingenuity of The Sims and turns it into a reality TV soap opera."
    Read all the results of the awards here.
    The Sims and SimGolf in NY Times
    Written at 21:51 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The New York Times had featured The Sims and SimGolf recently. This newspaper describes what the games are like and what's so fun to play - including playing it the bad way:
    "While you may choose to make the goal of the game acquiring money or making friends, all that is really expected is that you keep your characters alive, and even that is optional. In fact, the game is a lot of fun to play badly. I remember when I moved five people into a one-bedroom house. Without enough beds, characters slept standing up or simply collapsed. The ever-occupied bathroom meant that no one could ever bathe, and garbage piled up everywhere. Finally everyone was too depressed to go to work, the money ran out and they all starved to death."
    There's nothing really new there for the fans of The Sims, but it's still a nice read. Currently SimGolf is set to be released late June or early July still in this year in Europe. But as we know it's been delayed quite a couple of times, and you never know what will happen when it comes near to the actual date. The official SimGolf website has posted the article, which you can find exactly here.

    Thursday 20 June 2002
    Sims earn a lot
    Written at 02:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Our research has given us some proof that Sims are generally quite rich: most earn over 1000 per day of work. This we can conclude from last week's poll that was held on this site. Of the 168 people who voted, 72 said that their most-earning sim earns over 1000 per day. With 32 votes, earnings between 250 and 500 is second in line, followed by 500 to 750 per day (27 votes). Only 5 of the players who voted have poor Sims (or they use cheats): their richest Sim earn 100 or less a day. The full report can be read here.

    This week we are wondering how many neighbourhoods you still actively play. Please tell us by voting on the right or on this page.
    SimDay Report: Boring again
    Written at 20:59 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Another boring SimDay this week, probably not even worth a report. All there is is a community update, and the news that TSO won an award. All about that can be found in yesterday's news item. Many people want something more for SimDay, and we are waiting for better days. As I mentioned earlier: back at TheSimsFusion there was a series of articles written by Andy about the SimDays back then, in February and March 2001. You can read Part I, Part II and Part III in the Editorials Archive.

    Friday 21 June 2002
    New Mosaic Floors and Walls
    Written at 03:59 by Sumit - 0 comments.
    Here's some mosaic floors and walls that no sim can live without. They look so real and great in the game. Coming soon is the downtown riverwalk made with these floors and walls plus more! Get it all here.
    Hollwood Hills mansion for sale...
    Written at 06:17 by Jendea - 4 comments.
    So your Sims have made the big time: ride to work in a limo and shop on Rodeo Drive? How about a mansion in the hills with lots of entertainment space to match their new career:


    Saturday 22 June 2002
    New TSO Trailer
    Written at 02:03 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    There's another new video of The Sims Online. This new trailer shows - of course - The Sims Online, and it can be downloaded from the official site. It requires FilePlanet seems to have sound effects. It'll take a while to download though, as the file is 23.5 Mb big. If you have registered there, then you can get the trailer here. As you probably know, The Sims Online might not be released in parts of Europe. However, the US release has been set back a bit to 19 November this year. SimCity 4 will be out a bit earlier too: 15 November in Europe, a week earlier in the US (probably). Although these games are coming earlier than said before, we Europeans are still waiting for SimGolf to be released...
    Another Sign For Your Sims
    Written at 18:08 by TJ - 3 comments.
    I've added another sign. This one is the Gnomes For Sale Sign. Are your Sims having problems selling their gnomes? Then stick one of these in their yard.

    Sunday 23 June 2002
    The Neighborhood Handler 3.8 here!
    Written at 16:03 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    Those who have not registered to the TNHH group can now also get version 3.8 of The Neighborhood Handler. This new version was released to the group a week ago, and now everybody can work with this improved version. There are many fixes when it comes to previews of houses, areas and families. Indeed, families are now also previewed, including family member names, picture and biography. I don't think there will be another 3.x version for The Neighborhood Handler. The next version will be 4.0, and I've got quite a few changes in my mind for that. You can download the latest TNHH version from this page.
    Read More!

    Tuesday 25 June 2002
    Sim Brother Around The Net
    Written at 04:46 by Andy - 0 comments.

    If you would like to know how other sites have done their versions of "Sim Brother", which site will be starting a series shortly and where there is a series running right now ...

    It's all in here!

    Thursday 27 June 2002
    New poll again
    Written at 02:15 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Like every early thursday morning, we change the poll at this site. This week's poll is: What's the best in The Sims? Do you like to build houses or areas, furnish them, running or ruining the lifes of sims, or maybe even killing them? Or are you just a downloader and do you spend more time downloading than playing the game? Or maybe you're one of the artists who likes to just make and design extras? Have your say on the right or on this page. As for last week's poll: most people play 2 or 3 neighbourhoods regularly. 43 of 100 voted that. 33% voted that they play only 1 hood regularly. Strange enough, 4 people said they don't play any hood. However, 8 people are very active and play more than 15 neighbourhoods - or at least they say they do. 6% plays 4 or 5 hoods, while 5 people said they play between 6 and 10 neighbourhoods regularly. We wish everyone fun (not) playing so many neighborhoods, and ask you all to vote again this week on the right or here.
    Vacation for Mac
    Written at 02:25 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
    After The Sims, Livin' Large, House Party and (recently) Hot Date have been ported to the mac, the next logical step is Vacation. Again, Aspyr Media will be making this Mac version of this fourth expansion pack. Currently it's in Beta stage, and yet far from finished. No release date is known yet, and it might still take a couple of months. In fact, The Sims Unleashed - most likely the fifth expansion - might be released on the PC before Vacation hits the Macintosh. If you're interested in getting The Sims on the Mac, then visit Aspyr Media.
    TSO Chat in 90 minutes
    Written at 02:30 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The news might be a bit late, but not too late: there will be a chat session at Stratics Chat in about 90 minutes (6:00 PM PST, 2:00 AM GMT). This chat session will be about The Sims Online. Part of the TSO team will be chatting there (Will Wright won't be there). This first ever "Sims Online House of Commons Chat" seems to be one of a series of chat sessions held at different places. More information is here (including the IRC Servers and Channels it's held at). You can enter the Java Chat client here if you're not familiar with IRC.
    Two Firsts for me: Vacation Lot and Themed Pack
    Written at 02:32 by Jendea - 0 comments.
    I'm breaking into new territory today with my first attempt at a co-ordinated roof, wall and floor pack: the Rose Pack. To celebrate, I've added the Rose Cottage Bed & Breakfast Inn that uses the themed pack, also my first vacation lot offering for TSZ! The Rose Cottage is oriented towards a romantic getaway or honeymoon - enjoy!
    'New' SV loading speed fix
    Written at 04:01 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
    It seems another fix to speed up the loading of Vacation has been discovered. It has to do with making files marked as Read-Only. This fix has been going around in the community for a while now, but I only heard about it just now for the first time. Here is how to do it:
  • With Explorer, go to C:\Program Files\Maxis (or the folder 'above' the Sims' folder where you installed it)
  • Select the folder of The Sims
  • Now click File at the top (the menu) and click Properties
  • Now if the read-only box is checked, uncheck it and re-check it. If it's not checked, simply put a check for it.
  • Click the OK button, and apply the changes to all files and subdirectories.

    Reports go that this speeds up the loading a huge lot, and it's worth a try. If you get trouble saving houses, then you can use The Neighborhood Handler to 'repair' the neighborhood. However, it should cause no problems as far as I know.
  • Stratics Chat Transcript
    Written at 23:29 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Of the chat held last night at Stratics about The Sims Online, a transcript has been posted. The first official "House of Commons" chat pulled about 100 visitors, and the log can be found at this page. It answers quite a couple of interesting questions, like this one:
    "Are players still able to make custom skins, etc. and have other players be able to see them?"
    "We won't have the custom skin capability at launch, but as Chris mentioned earlier, adding custom content to the game is a top post-launch priority. We believe it is an integral part of The Sims experience."
    When and where the next official chat will be held is unknown, but we'll tell you about it once we know it. More information about The Sims Online can be found at the official TSO site.

    Friday 28 June 2002
    Skins - Famous & Infamous
    Written at 21:25 by Andy - 2 comments.
    My downloads are like buses. Nothing comes for a while and then three come at once. Well, here they are and I hope the wait was worth it.

    President Josiah Bartlet from "The West Wing" will be followed by his first lady and staff.

    If you wonder whatever happened to Paul & Helen from "Big Brother (UK) 2001", why not move them into your neighborhood?

    These skins are available here.