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News Archive - July, 2004
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Thursday 1 July 2004
New Poll
Written at 12:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Have you met Don yet? If not, see an earlier newspost about him and view the clip, because this week's poll about it is about him. How do you feel about what he's done by being romantic? Let us know if it's totally your style, or if you don't think it's right at all, by voting on the right or at the latest poll page. Last week we asked you about the NPCs of The Sims 1. The Grim Reaper (17%) is the most popular, followed by the Butler and the Cake Dancer (11% each). Mrs Crumplebottom, Servo and the Maid are close at 9% and 8% of the 542 votes. For the entire list of results, go to the results page.
SimDay - Lots of Sims 1, Sims 2 and URBZ news
Written at 13:52 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This week's SimDay is quite big. The lots of info brings stuff for The Sims 1 (New download), The Sims 2 (Enhanced ShowCase and new trailer), and the URBZ (BBS, Screenshots and blog entry). Besides that, the chat tomorrow has been rescheduled to be at 2pm to 3pm PST, an hour earlier than normal. That means in the UK and Portugal it'll be held tomorrow at 10pm-11pm, while it's from 23.00 (11pm) to midnight in most of Europe.

The Sims 1
There's a new bedroom set available for download this week. The "Green Bedroom Set" was originally given away in a McDonald's Promotion (probably the LidRock Promotion CD). You can download this set now from Get Cool Stuff.

The Sims 2
According to Maxis, the features we've all been waiting for are here. You can now log in and download Sims from the Showcase, but you can also download the showcased Sims to the Body Shop now. Searching options have also been improved, all at the Body Shop Showcase. Further news is that a new The Sims 2 trailer has been posted on the video page. This is the extended version of the E3 trailer that's been released earlier. It highlights some of the main features of the game in over 2 minutes of film. Definitely worth watching if you're only slightly interested in the sequel.

Finally there's the URBZ. There are three new things to watch out for. First of all, you can now login to the site using your EA.Com account (login at the right top of the website). That enables you to view the brand new BBS which can be found on the website. Behind the Flash site, it's similar to the other BBSes, and you can access it directly at this page. It's not very active there yet at the moment, so get there and get talking. Besides this BBS, there's another load of screenshots for the URBZ as well. The 16 brand new shots and artworks should keep you gazing at the new graphics for a while. Finally Producer Scot Amos talks a bit about the progress of the game again in the latest blog entry. Biggest news from there is that Maxis has a major milestone today, the reaching of "First Playable" state. That means the game is now filled just enough to be playable. One of the major locations that's currently been done are the rooftops of 125th Street. Scot tells how amazing they look from within the game. Next week Maxis will give a little update about that, as well as some information about the next milestone. You can see it all on the URBZ Website.

Friday 2 July 2004
Sims 2 Scoop: New Wallpapers
Written at 14:39 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
The monthly Sims 2 Scoop Newsletter has been sent again, this time with some fresh items. Besides Maxis linking to old videos and tonight's chat with Maxis General Manager Neil Young, there's a broken link to four brand new Sims 2 wallpapers for on your desktop. We've been able to track it down though. All four wallpapers show the Sims 2 bunch in the background, with in the foreground one or two Sims being highlighted and the new logo. They come in four resolutions each. You can find them all at this page.

Saturday 3 July 2004
Urbz News and Screenshots
Written at 01:51 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As our affiliate SimsZone.de reports, Maxis has made the name "The Urbz" the final name for the new console Sims game. That means it's no longer a working title, but you'll see it in stores under that name. It's the first Sims game without "Sims" in the title, though the subtitle, "Sims in the City", is still there. The first name, "Urban Sims" won't be spread anymore. It's not been confirmed if the logo is final too or not. Furthermore, we have some brand new screenshots from the GBA version of the game for you. Watch and see how creating your Urb (Sim) works, what Darius has to tell you and what an urban basketball court looks like. Just click the thumbnails below for (slightly) bigger versions.
Create An Urb (1) Create An Urb (2) Create An Urb (3) Darius has something to say A Basketball court
Chat Transcripts
Written at 03:07 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The chat with Neil Young, the new General Manager of Maxis since March, was quite a success. It's over though, and many questions have been answered. A few interesting things are that the first expansion for The Sims 2 will be released early next year, and there are currently 5 designs for expansion packs, with one being released approximately every 6 months. When the game itself is released in September, you can get it in either a 4 CD(!) version, or all on one DVD. The current plan is that the DVD will be for pre-order customers only, which means it won't be available in regular stores. However, that's subject to change, and of course we hope it'll be a stayer. About the release date: as everybody knows it should be in stores 17 September almost worldwide, but it may be a little earlier in some countries, depending on their usual release days for games. The release date for the Mac version of The Sims 2 has not yet been announced, but there definitely will be a Mac version. MySim pages on the official site will be enhanced for The Sims 2. New tools to create custom content will also be released, but most likely only after the release of the game itself. Something that should definitely be highlighted is that in some way we can expect multiplayer options to come to The Sims 2 next year, which will probably mean in the second expansion pack. It's not sure how that will work out exactly, though it's said it won't be a "Persistant World" (PSW) like The Sims Online is. Unfortunately that's all there's being said about it, but we should get more info about that next year.

About the Urbz, there's the news that it's currently planned to be released 16 November. Very interesting was the news that Maxis is planning to make Sims games (possibly the URBZ) for PlayStation Portable (PSP) and the Nintendo Dual Screen (DS). Finally there's some talking about SimCity 5, which is supposed to "go back to its roots" and Will's upcoming game. We'll probably hear the first official word about that game early next year, or at least "after the holiday season". You can read the entire transcripts, with also some personal information about Neil Young, on the Sims 2 site or the Sims 1 site.
Lucy's Mail: Custom Content and the puck
Written at 04:51 by ChEeTaH - 5 comments.
Lucy has sent her weekly e-mail again, and this time she introduces Darren Futa, who talks about how custom content enters the Sims 2. In the new game, custom content will be much easier to find, as you can easily categorise it into several collections. You can give your collections a name and icon, and of course make as many as you like. Of course, as customisable as The Sims 2 will be, you can import custom icons for those collections. All custom content will be marked with a snowflake (as you can also see in the Body Shop), so you can easily distinct Maxis-made from user-made content. Also, you can download and install new content straight from within the game, so you can keep it running 24/7 and still get new stuff for your Sims. Although the information isn't really new since it was already talked about at The Sims 2 University, some of the graphics are. Darren doesn't mention the option to enlarge the catalog when buying stuff so you see more on each page, though that's probably still in the game. Finally there's also an extra artwork made for the 4th of July, which you can see below this bit (click the thumbnail to enlarge). The other graphics have been put between the text so you know what they're talking about exactly. The text can be found in the "Read More" bit or below.

Happy Independence Day
Read More!

Will and Lucy to talk about Sims
Written at 15:34 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
In a couple of days, on 7 July, Maxis co-founder Will Wright, who designed the Sims and SimCity, and Lucy Bradshaw, producer of The Sims 2, will hold presentations about the history of Sims and The Sims 2. The IGDA, Internation Game Developers Association, organised the event which will be held at the EA Campus in Redwood City, California. It'll start 7pm with "Refreshments and socialization". At 7.30, Lucy will have her say about the Sims 2 for 30 minutes. After a 10-minute break, Will Wright will present the "History of the Sims", followed by a Q&A session. A limited amount of seats is available, and the event is open only to EA employees and IGDA members. Those people can still sign up for a seat. See the IGDA website for more information.
More Urbz GBA Shots and Movies
Written at 20:41 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Games site IGN has posted 9 new screenshots and 5 new gameplay movies for the Urbz on the GBA. Although the movies are currently available to IGN Insiders only, everybody can see the screenshots, which are posted at the bottom of this post. If you're an Insider and want to see the videos, go to the video page. You can also find their list of screenshots on the screenshots index.

Create An Urb Thirsty? Create An Urb Sweet Smell Crystal All Up Ons B-Ball court Computer Crystall Ball
Lucy interviewed at Warcry
Written at 20:53 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Warcry News Network has posted an interview with Lucy Bradshaw about the Sims 2. Besides the Fame Aspiration track now being called "Popularity", Lucy doesn't tell us anything new about the gameplay itself. She does reveal a little bit of the way the Sims are animated in the new game though:
"We have a very talented group of animators who have created every single move that you see the Sims perform. Our animators will often video themselves or actors performing the actions that we want to make. They use this as reference, and often this is a process by which they try out different styles of acting a particular scene or interaction. These videos are really pretty funny to watch. But, like I said, these are then used as reference. Again, The Sims has some unique challenges. In the Sims, we do not predict the sequence of events. We need to make sure that the player is able to direct the Sim and that the Sims respond to the players instructions, so animations need to be broken down into elemental pieces that we then blend together to make them look fluid."
The biggest part of the interview is about the aspiration tracks and genetics, of which a lot has been said already in the past. If you need a little recap, read the interview. Part 2 of it is supposed to be posted at a later date.

Sunday 4 July 2004
No Competition for Sims 2 during Holiday Season
Written at 01:04 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This holiday season, analysts expect much competition in the gaming industry. EA is expected to lose 2-4 percent of its market share in the last quarter of this year, due to the heavy competition from other publishers who will release games like "GTA San Andreas" and "Halo 2", where EA has "Battlefield 2" and "GoldenEye" up for the hardcore gamers, all to be released around the same time. More games than ever before will be released in the last quarter of 2004, and the competition may cause underperformance to some extent, even for headline titles. Quality titles are coming out in practically every genre, except the people-simulation one. That means every game will have some competition, except The Sims 2. Read more about this at GamesIndustry.biz.

Thursday 8 July 2004
New Poll
Written at 02:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last week our poll was all about Don and his relations. We asked you if you thought it was right what Don did, and you responded a lot. 213 people voted, of which 38% don't know Don and the rest. Here are the results:
  1. 38.03% - Don? Sarah? Dina? Who are those people?
  2. 28.17% - I guess it's cool for a Sim to do, but it's no fun in real life.
  3. 12.68% - Totally my style!
  4. 9.39% - What?! He cheated?! The @$?%$!
  5. 7.51% - I don't care about it at all. They're just Sims!
  6. 4.23% - Not good, not good.
Our new poll is about the inferface for The Sims 2, which you may have seen in earlier screenshots, especially in those that came with Lucy's latest e-mail. Tell us what you think by voting on the right, or on the latest poll page. See the poll archive for more polls.
SimDay [Update]
Written at 15:08 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This week's SimDay is small compared to last week. There is a bit of news though. First of all, Maxis is still asking people to join the Focus Group 12 July, about The Sims on the consoles. See this page for more. Furthermore there's a Sims 2 piece about installing custom content to The Sims 2. It was included in Lucy's Email as well last Saturday, but you can now read it again on the official site. There's also a new preview of The Sims 2 by Yahoo! Games. It once again goes over all the new things like aspirations, genetics and graphics. Just read the preview for all the details.

On to the URBZ, Maxis has posted 8 shots of the game on the GBA. They've been seen here before though. Brand new are the 11 sketches that have been posted though. They show some objects and places in their very first stage of design. Finally, the blog this week is about the "First Playable" version that was talked about last week, but also about an upcoming annual event called "Camp EA". It will be held next week, 15 July, and Scot Amos will tell some more about it then. This is a bit of what he has to say about the game this week:
"On the game-side, we have three districts packed with new characters, new micro-game jobs, tons of new objects to play with, and stunning new social interactions with new in-game 'action cameras'; they make the game feel like you're in control of a living sitcom!"
You can find the screenshots, the sketches and of course the blog on the official URBZ Website.

[Update 18:25] By playing an online game, "Poppit!", between 20 and 30 July, you can win The Sims Mega Deluxe or any of the Sims expansion packs. You can find the game on EA Pogo. You need an EA.Com account to sign in.

Friday 9 July 2004
WarCry Interview Part 2
Written at 02:49 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
WarCry has posted part 2 of the interview with Lucy Bradshaw. Part 1 was posted last week. This time there's one little bit of news, namely how you can change the clothes, hairstyle, etc. of your Sim during gameplay: you just pick a mirror or visit a community store, and get a new outfit with that. Also, it's said that you won't be able to change the face of your Sim during their life, so no plastic surgery for your Sims:
"There are some reasonable limits set to the player customization of their Sims. For example, Bradshaw mentioned that, 'Their facial features are set at the time of creation, whether in Create A Sim or via a birth in the game.' Once these are set, there is no turning back, 'but you can choose new hairstyles, colors, accessories and clothing at any time in the game, by using any mirror in the game or by visiting a community store that sells clothing (or magazines, video games etc.) This is pretty important, since as your Sim grows up, you probably want to help them select styles that are fitting to them. Another fun thing in regards to a Sim growing up, is the use of the Design Tool, in the Build and Buy modes. You can outfit a child Sim's room in all pink and stuffed animals but when they become a teen, you can simply re-decorate and not have to buy all new furniture.'"
Furthermore there's some talk about The Body Shop and going through the life of your Sims. Just read the entire article for all the details. Thanks to David for the tip.
New Sims 2 Artworks
Written at 15:01 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
The french site The Sims 2 Creation has recently posted 6 new artworks of The Sims 2. Besides just Sims, there's a sketch of the Grim Reaper this time as well. You can find all 6 of them at the bottom of this post.

Two Teens A Group of Sims Grim Reaper Mother and Baby Group Frightened
New Sims 2 Details
Written at 16:26 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
There's more news from The Sims Creation besides the artworks. They've attended a press conference, from which they were able to get the following info:
  • You won't be able to see the houses next door when playing, but instead you will be looking at a lot of grass and sky.
  • There will be between 6 and 9 tools for each part of your sim’s face in Create-a-Sim (CAS)
  • There will be a lot of clothes in CAS, more than 50 for the normal clothes and more than 20 for the formal clothes.
  • Night starts at 7pm (19.00 in military time)
  • There will be an unlimited number of neighborhoods (each identified by a name instead of number)
  • Sims can follow more that one aspiration track because of the genetics. Babies will have the same aspirations as their parents.
  • When you choose a sim character traits in CAS they will act like that. For example, if your Sim has many personality points on 'clean', he will actually try to keep the house clean. On the contrary, if your Sim doesn't have those points, he will stick his finger in his ear and look what has come out of it! There are also many more animations for the other traits.
There is also some new information from an interview held recently with Nancy Philippine and Tim LeTourneau. They revealed that the (monster) PC used to capture the videos we see is equipped with a Pentium 4 2GHz processor, 1 Gb of RAM, and an ATI Radeon 9800 graphics card. Nevertheless the game will run on a much lower system (600 Mhz, 256 Mb RAM and a GeForce 2/3 is the minimum). It's also said that the DVD edition will probably out later than the 4 CD version. Since this interview was taken in France, this goes for Europe only. Maxis also tells us again that more tools for creating objects etc. will be released after the game itself. The well-known Rosebud cheat is also mentioned, but the real code won't be revealed until after the game's out. Concerning time, it will be about the same speed as in The Sims 1. However, actions take less time, e.g. a shower doesn't take an hour anymore. More about the gameplay is also said, for instance that when you marry an NPC, which is possible, the NPC will lose their job. Finally, they explain the possibility of having more than one family in the same lot a bit more: "It will not be possible to let several families live on the same lot, in the same house. It will be on the other hand possible for you to simulate two families in one.".

For the complete interview in French, check the articles section at The Sims 2 Creation. For those who aren't so great at French (like me), read the interview at SnootySims, who translated the interview with permission from The Sims 2 Creation. Thanks to both sites for the info.
The Sims 2 European Rating
Written at 16:49 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
The PEGI, Pan-European Game Information, has published the rating for The Sims 2 in Europe. It's been rated for ages 7+ (6+ in Portugal) with violence ("Game contains descriptions of violence"). The rating for the US, done by the ESRB, has not yet been confirmed there officially, though Maxis has repeatedly stated it will be rated Teen (ages 13+). See the PEGI website for more information about the European rating.
URBZ (GBA) Video
Written at 16:57 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
EA Germany has published a new gameplay video of The URBZ on the GBA. It's a trailer, with some English texts, that takes you through the new features of the game in about 90 seconds. You can also see some mini-games in action, and of course pieces of the new areas. You can download the video from this page ("Die Urbz - GBA-Video", 10.4 Mb). QuickTime required.
Sims 2 Videos
Written at 17:17 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
There are two videos about The Sims 2 for you to enjoy. The first one has been spotted before at IGN, as it's the complete video of Don and friends, with commentary by Tim LeTourneau. This time it comes in high quality though, as a zipped file of over 130 Mb. A broadband is highly recommended. See this page at the UK Site to get it, it's called "Producer Walkthrough". You need to login to be able to download it.

In the second movie, General Manager of Maxis Neil Young tells you why you should buy The Sims 2. He starts off in Swedish, but as Neil doesn't turn out to be too great at it he continues in English. It's been posted by EA Sweden (hence the Swedish) and you can click here and scroll down to the "Videoklipp" section to get it. Click Neil's picture to download the Quicktime video (14 Mb). Currently that's the second video on the page. Enjoy.

Saturday 10 July 2004
Lucy's Mail: Ghost Stories
Written at 04:14 by ChEeTaH - 5 comments.
Are you sitting? Good, because this week Lucy's e-mail might be slightly scary. It's all about ghosts this time. She tells us that ghosts in The Sims 2 are a virtual reality, and Sims will react to them in their own way. If your Sim has the Knowledge aspiration track, they might be interested in meeting a ghost or two. Other Sims might be scared - sometimes literally to death. Just like in The Sims 1, ghosts will appear near gravestones. Look out for them and get scared, once the game is out anyway. Included are the three screenshots below, which show off those ghosts. Read More to read Lucy's entire e-mail.

What's that walking there? Look! Behind you! Transparent Party
Read More!

More Sims 2 Screens
Written at 20:26 by ChEeTaH - 5 comments.
Two new screenshots of The Sims 2 have popped up again. This time they're from IGN. One shows a money tree, or something like that. At least it's money growing from a tree, and it looks like it's a brand new object. The other one is a screenshot which is similar to quite a few we've seen before - a hug. This time in a nightly scene though, and with the new logo at the right bottom corner. Click the thumbnails to see the large versions of the screenshots.

A Money Tree? Huggin' at Night

Sunday 11 July 2004
More Sims 2 Screenshots and DVD/Bonus CD Info [Update]
Written at 17:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
EA has revealed a new batch of screenshots and graphics, of which two screenshots were already posted yesterday. The new ones, a rich girl, a popular guy, and another shot of the money tree, are shown below (click the thumbnails to enlarge). There's also the final version of the box shot. It's been shown before, but this time it's also from the side. There has been some confusion in forums about whether this would be the final version or not, but it looks like it is.

On other news, GameSpot gives a few more details on the DVD edition. The DVD will feature some "Expert Interviews," which include tips and tricks on playing the game, the "Filmmaking 101" which gives all the info you need on creating a film starring your Sims, some in-game movies, and a few outtakes, which show some hilarious bugs that have been in the game during the development. Furthermore, an extra CD will be included if you pre-order the game from EB-Games. That CD, which will ship with both the CD and DVD versions of the game, will have some more interviews about making the game (including Will Wright) as well as interviews about the new features of the game. At The Sims 2 University some interviews were held with some of the webmasters as well, which will be included too (unfortunately I won't be on it as I more or less forgot to get myself interviewed during the day :-( ). Furthermore, some graphics and goodies, the fansite pack, several 'sizzle' movies and mini-games will also be on the bonus CD. Currently it's still unconfirmed if the DVD and bonus CD will be available in Europe as well.

[Update 21:00] I forgot to post two shots that were new as well. One shows Don and Sarah when they decided to get married, the other the grim reaper in action. Enjoy them below.

Don and Sarah Engaged He's come to get him Rich Sim Girl Look at him! A full-grown money tree

Monday 12 July 2004
54(!) New Sims 2 Screenshots
Written at 00:08 by ChEeTaH - 8 comments.
A Taiwainese site, GameBase.com.tw has posted 54 new screenshots of The Sims 2. They're all in-game shots, and show stuff like the loading screen, the importing and selecting of a neighborhood, the interface for creating photo albums or movies, but they're mostly shots taken while playing the game. Although the quality isn't great, you might also finally be able to recognise the sizes of a house. They seem to be either 3x2 (with the road on the long side), 3x3, 3x4 or 4x3, 3x5 or 5x3, 5x5, 5x7 or 7x5 and 7x7 (Don't pin me down on that, it's hard to see!). You can also see there's an interface for placing props on the neighborhood, something which was still questioned at The Sims 2 University but hasn't really been mentioned since. Click here to see all screenshots. Click the Sims 2 logo on that page, to see the first screenshot. Click the orange text at the right bottom each time to skip to the next picture.

Tuesday 13 July 2004
Sims 2 DVD for Europe Update
Written at 00:05 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
It's almost common knowledge that The Sims 2 will be released on DVD as well in the US. However, it's never been confirmed if that DVD will be released in Europe as well or not. EA UK has told us that "A UK release of the DVD special edition is being looked at but we don't have any confirmed information on a possible European release for it right now." Currently there's a poll running at The Sims UK (official site), asking if you have a DVD drive in your computer. With currently over 80% saying they do, it's not unlikely that the DVD will come to Europe as well. However, as EA said, there's no definite release date yet. Hence it's also possible that the DVD edition will be released later than the CD version of the game (if at all, that is). As usual we'll keep you updated on this, and we'll let you know as soon as EA has made a final decision.
New URBZ Screenshots
Written at 16:35 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
EA has made a batch of 5 new hi-res screenshots of the URBZ on the consoles available for you to see. Shown are a Sim busting a move, a fighting cage (twice), "Chug A Lug" (probably a mini-game), and a hover board. Go urban, and click the thumbnails below to see the complete screenshots.

Bust A Move Fighting Cage (1) Fighting Cage (2) Chug a Lug Hover Board
Sims 2 DVD will be released in Europe [Update - perhaps not?]
Written at 19:26 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Although we got a semi-confirmation yesterday, stating that a European release of the DVD edition of The Sims 2 wasn't definite yet, Computer and VideoGames posted an article shortly after I received the e-mail from EA. They're saying that EA has confirmed to them the DVD definitely be released in Europe. The same site has been a reliable source before, as they've been (almost) right when giving away the release date for The Body Shop and The Sims 2 back in March, before any official announcements were made. I haven't had any definite confirmation from EA yet. An exact release date is still unknown at this point, so it could be the same date as for the CD edition, but it could also be later. Read CVG's entire article for a bit more details. We'll keep you updated as usual.

[Update 18:50] The DVD edition has just been officially announced with a press release. That press release contradicts what's said above: "This is the first DVD release in the highly successful The Sims franchise and initially will only be available through pre-orders at major retailers. This DVD will be available in North America only at the same price as the CD-ROM version." This makes the situation only more confusing, but we'll keep you updated on this matter as news flows in.

Wednesday 14 July 2004
More Urbz Material
Written at 01:28 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
IGN has posted some new material of the Urbz on the consoles. This time there's a 'story' in which a couple of the girls in the game tell about the district they live in. Jayde introduces them:
"Hey there! My name is Jayde and I'd like to introduce you to a few urban friends of mine -- Lil'Bit, Toots Sweet and Ally Stile. Now, we know you've been ogling well-endowed game ladies since the dawn of an 8-bit time, but we're pretty sure you haven't met honeys like us...until now anyway."
Along with the article, there are a few new exclusive screenshots and artworks. Be sure to check it out - both guys and ladies.

Thursday 15 July 2004
New Poll
Written at 02:00 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
The results of our old poll are in, as it's finished to make way for a new one. 268 people commented on the interface of The Sims 2, and the majority, 65%, says it's looking great. 21% says it's looking good, yet familiar. About 10% said they don't care - as long as it works. The other options weren't very popular, and got just 1, 5 or 6 votes. For more details, check the complete results.

This week's poll is also about The Sims 2. While the status of a release of the DVD edition, with several extras including a "Filmmaking 101" and 60 minutes of interviews, tips and tricks, outside the USA is still vague, a lot of discussion has broken out on forums since yesterday's press release, stating it'll be released in "North America only for the same price as the CD version". Besides the discussion in several major forums (on both official sites as fansites), there's even a petition that you can sign if you want the DVD version to be released in Europe as well. The poll jumps in on this matter, and you can let us know now if the DVD version should be released outside the USA as well. Vote on the right or at the latest poll page.
Written at 15:48 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
It's a rather small SimDay this week, as Maxis is probably getting read for Camp EA. This year it's called "Hot Summer Nights" though, according to Scot Amos' blog on the URBZ website. He tells that Maxis will show the URBZ to the press. Three of the new districts will be shown: "Tar Beach" (the rooftop environment on 125th Street), the city outskirts of "Gasoline Row" and the "stunning underground city-hub of Central Station". The Action Cameras are something to look forward to this weekend, when the gaming sites put up their info. Scot is very excited about them, and says they've got to "be seen to be believed". Furthermore, the URBZ Website has a link to IGN's Feature in the Buzz section, as well as a few brand new character descriptions. Meet the lady urbz of the game: Lil Bit, Alley Stile and Toot Sweet. You can also still watch and read about the other Urbz, of course. That, and the weekly blog, can be found on the Urbz website.

As for The Sims 2, there's one link to a new article about Women and video games at Equipped for Success. With 50% of the Sims players being female, the game is of course mentioned in the article. Lucy Bradshaw talks a bit about Maxis and the success of The Sims amongst the female gamers:
"Lucy Bradshaw, vice president and executive producer, said that women involved early in "The Sims" production process "brought a lot of rounding out" including, she said, an insistence by one female member during the early design process that the kids portrayed in "The Sims" not act like "deadweight."
You can read the entire article for more women and games. Furthermore this Simday brings screenshots we already posted last weekend, and the press release of the DVD edition of the Sims 2. That's all for this week.
Urbz comes to Nintendo DS
Written at 16:27 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
EA has just announced that The URBZ will come not only to the consoles and the GBA, but also on a third Nintendo platform: the Nintendo DS (Dual-Screen), a handheld console with two screens, which will be released on 29 November for about $200. Special features are wireless multiplay mode, touch-screen input, and some special features not available in any of the other versions of the game. There will be 24 objects, 5 mini-games, 7 characters and 8 pet species in the game. The pet species can be made using a special in-game 'gene manipulator.' That means you can create your own pet, besides just creating a Sim, for the first time. The story behind the game is as follows:
"Daddy Bigbucks is trying to take over the city of Miniopolis and keep Splicer Island a secret. It is up to you to uncover the truth by training your pet, increasing your reputation and keeping your crew on Splicer Island happy."
The gameplay will probably be similar to the GBA version of the game. Just like with the GBA version, Griptonite Games will be developing the game. The game will be released in November as well (like all other versions of the URBZ), under the EA Games brand. The precise release date is yet unknown, though since the platform won't be out until 29 November it's likely that the game will be released then as well. Once an exact date is known, we'll let you know. The URBZ is the first EA game that's announced for the new handheld platform, which was first shown to the public at the E3 2004. It's currently not known if the game will also make it to Sony's PSP (PlayStation Portable), though we'll of course let you know as soon as more information about that arrives. More information about the URBZ can be found at UrbzSims.com (which currently doesn't mention the DS version yet, but the 'Handheld' information probably applies). The press release can be read by clicking here.
Triple Deluxe Trailer
Written at 21:34 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
It's been out for almost a month now, but a new trailer has appeared today. At GameTrailers this trailer is now available for download. It's based on the original intro video of The Sims (with the gable-end roofs), and shows some in-game material as well. To see it, click here. Windows Media Player 9 or QuickTime required. Thanks to James Magenta for the tip.

Friday 16 July 2004
12 New Sims 2 Wallpapers
Written at 01:33 by ChEeTaH - 4 comments.
The bonus cd, that comes with pre-orders from several shops in the US, is already being sold for $10 at some stores (with a $10 rebate when you buy the game). On this CD there is material like some videos and interviews (with some webmasters from The Sims 2 University, professional testers, Will Wright, Lucy Bradshaw and other Maxoids), two mini-games (Family Tree, which already came with a McDonald's CD in January, and the Hot Lips game, in which you have to select a Sim, three Sims from the opposite gender, and then see how well the Sim kisses), a bunch of old screenshots, a timeline of the Maxis history, and also 12 new wallpapers. For those who have the CD: only 6 of them, with the new logo, show up in the menu, the other 6 can only be accessed through Windows Explorer (My Computer). The probable reason the second set was 'hidden', is that they have the old logo. Hence it may seem there are some doubles between them, but they have a different logo, so you can pick your favourite. Unfortunately we can't post any of the other things as they are locked in one huge file (we can't afford the bandwidth that would generate), and there's nothing saying it's permitted to post the files. However, the wallpapers can be posted freely on fansites, so they're here. Click the Read More bit (or just scroll down a bit) to see the wallpapers, and click your favourite resolution to download them (either 800x600 or 1024x768, other sizes aren't available).

Thanks go out to our own Sumit for providing the wallpapers.
Read More!

Sims 2 Previews
Written at 15:02 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
As URBZ producer Scot Amos told us last SimDay, EA's annual Hot Summer Nights event is taking place this week. It has started off, and several gaming sites sites are posting their previews of all the upcoming EA games. There are already 4 new previews of The Sims 2 online, at GameSpot, IGN, GameSpy and 1Up. There's a lot of repeat info in the previews, but there is some new stuff. For instance, we're being told of Gold and Platinum aspiration statuses. If your Sim does really well on the aspiration track, they can gain points and get extra objects or social possibilities with them. You can also choose to get the "elixir of life," which will extend the life of your Sim, or other "Aspiration Awards" like the money tree or the love tub. In platinum mode, little setbacks won't hurt your Sim. Sims will also get a rank in their aspiration track, e.g. "Hormonal Hurricane" or "Towering Tycoon." And if your Sim isn't doing very well on the aspiration track, expect a lot of trouble from them. Angry teens can actually swing on refrigerator doors...

Furthermore, there's some more talk about the three neighborhoods that ship with the game. Pleasantview is where Mortimer Goth has left off to. Bella has left him in a mysterious way (Luc Barthelet... perhaps?). Cassandra got a little brother Alexander shortly before her disappearance. Pleasantview is probably most likely somewhat similar to the current neighborhood in The Sims 1. Strangeland, on the other hand, is a bit like Area 51. It's a desert, with a UFO crash site. General Grunt and his two sons, Tank and Buzz, live in that neighborhood. Grunt, someone in the military, stays up late a lot to look through his telescope, suspicious as he is. He's not too keen with the Smith's, his neighbours. Pollination Technician 9 Smith has a blue-green skin and wants to settle down in the area with his wife and two children. The third neighborhood, Veronaville, is one that's divided into two by a river. In a Romeo and Juliet setting, there's something going on between a Capp and a Monty, whose families live on either side of the family. It's up to you to develop these stories further. The options to customise the hoods are also mentioned, and the 'ploppables' can now be put in the hood. There's even an enormous sunken stone head, which looks a lot like Sims creator Will Wright.

GameSpy also reveals some info about ghosts, which will be better than ever before. For instance, if your Sim was drowned, their ghost skin will be a bit blue and leaving puddles all over the place. If they burnt up in flames though, the gloom will be red, and the ghost might start a fire. Hungry ghosts empty the fridge, while the restless can haunt objects.

Of all previews, the GameSpy one is the longest and also gives most information. It's a definite must-read. IGN promises an interview with Lucy Bradshaw later. 1Up basically only mentions some bits of the screenshots, but it's not the most interesting preview. Click the links below to read the previews.
URBZ (Consoles) Buzz
Written at 18:51 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
There are a couple of new previews of the URBZ available on GameSpot and IGN. To start off with the console (PS2, GameCube, X-Box) version, there are two previews. They tell us the names of all 9 districts: Kicktail Park, Neon East, South Side Bridge, Gasoline Row, 125th Street, Cozmo Park, Diamond Heights, Central Station, and The Foundry, as well as that you need to dress in the style of each district to be cool. Also, each area has its own job which has 3 levels. On 125th Street, that's taming and selling ferrets. Your Urb will also have to develop three skills, mental, physical, and creative, to get better at the jobs. Machines can also evolve to a third level, for example an exercise machine with pedals. In level 2 it'll get a propellor, after which it turns into "a weird time machine ... with pedals."

The Power Social, which will help your Sim getting some better rep, feature also gets its first mention. You have to nail a meter and get the best results, similar to the game "Hot Shots Golf." But you don't necessarily have to be good to build a rep. IGN gives an example: kick a couple of bikes, and the bikers won't like you. The outsiders however, will get more respect for your Urb. Both previews also mention the new camera in the game, which allows you to get up close and personal with your creation. Creating your Urb is more detailed than ever before. Using a new morphing technique you can scale body parts, instead of just selecting them (but within limits).

As for special features, the URBZ will feature EyeToy support on the PS2. This, as mentioned before, will allow you to import pictures you make with EyeToy into the game, which will then appear there. On the GameCube and X-Box, this feature is simulated, as you can make pics of your Urb in-game, which will show up instead. The GameCube version will have some extra items to enjoy, while the X-Box will, as with the URBZ' predecessor Bustin' Out, support HDTV, i.e. high quality graphics.

Currently it's said the framerate of the game isn't very stable, but that's one thing Maxis will still be working on. You can read both previews by clicking the following links: Read the GameSpot Preview or the IGN Preview.
URBZ (Handheld) Previews and more
Written at 20:05 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Besides the previews for the console version of the URBZ, there's also some material for the Handhelds: the Nintendo GBA and Dual-Screen (DS). The most info comes for the latter platform. There are a few screenshots and artworks, as well as a developer interview with Sinjin Baijn, Executive Producer, of well over 4 mins long, all at GameSpot. Sinjin talks a bit about the exclusive features of the game, but doesn't go into any details yet. All he really says is that the new technology allows Griptonite (the developer) to add a bunch of new mini-games and features. The way information is presented to the user is also much improved due to the two screens, and so you can check into inventory for example, without having to go more or less out of the game. He also says to expect the game on the Nintendo DS launch date, which according to GamesIndustry.biz will be 11 November in the US. The URBZ will be one of the 5 to 6 launch titles of the new platform. If you rather want to see just text instead of listening to Sinjin, about the same information is in the GameSpot Preview.

As for the GBA, there are some details about the mini-games. There will be 8 of them (both single- and multiplayer), and six have a name already: Squeegee Clean, Street Hoops, Dr. Max Stat!, Comic Explosion, Moo Goo Monkey and Soul Music. In multiplayer mode you can play the games with up to four other people. GameSpot also describes a few games in detail, so visit them for more. The game's nearing completion, and will be released in November, along with all the other versions of the Urbz. Check out both the GameSpot Preview and the IGN GBA Preview for more.

Saturday 17 July 2004
More from EA's Hot Summer Nights [Update]
Written at 02:13 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Information from EA's Hot Summer Nights event (previously known as Camp EA) is popping up all over the internet. First of all there's a Sims 2 gameplay movie posted on both IGN and GameSpot. It shows stuff like a carpool (either a cool sports car or the helicopter), but also some romance, cooking, Don growing up, a fire (one of the first times that's visible), a Sim being abducted, and even a beggar and a teenager being brought home by the cops. There's a lot more in it too, and a must-see. GameSpot has also posted a 3 minute developer interview with Lucy Bradshaw who talks about the game. You see snippets of the other video during the interview too. She tells the game went Alpha (feature-complete) shortly after the E3, the event at which Maxis focussed on the Aspirations. After that they started really polishing the game, adding content and neighborhoods, etc. She also tells more about what has been mentioned in the previews again. As for the Movie making, she repeats movies will be saved as uncompressed AVI files, which will get big very quickly. She also mentioned the DVD version again. You can download it from this page.

As for the URBZ, one more preview has popped up at GameInformer.com. It doesn't mention much news when you've read the other previews though. Nevertheless, for those who want to see it, just read the GameInformer Preview. More interesting are the new gameplay movie and developer interview with Executive Producer Sinjin Bain (this time about the console version). Most noticable is probably the new logo on the right bottom corner in the gameplay movie. It's unsure whether this will be the new logo of the game or not. The gameplay movie shows a lot of fighting and urban life. The interview shows, just like the Sims 2 one, clips from the gameplay movie. Sinjin also repeats a lot of what's been said in the previews. For example, he mentions the different cultures and how your clothing affects the rep in a district. Jobs will also unlock the power social interactions. For that, and some urban rooftop Golf, dancing in front of a musical truck, and a lot more in-game material, check out the GameSpot Media Page.

[Update 17 July 1:55] A bunch of other gameplay movies of The Sims 2 have appeared. Besides the movie mentioned above, there are 8 new short movies, all showing Sims 2 gameplay. The movies are titled "The Mothership returns", "Tubbing it", "Picking fights", "Starting to lose it", "Alien loving", "Going to work", "Meet the neighbors" and "Stargazing, course-running". They all come in low quality Windows Media (around 3Mb each) and QuickTime (about 6 Mb each), and in high quality Quicktime (about 15-17Mb each) format. The QuickTime formats are available to Insiders only though. You can view them from this page (click the "Next" button for the last set and older videos).
The Sims - How do you play yours? (Part 3)
Written at 02:54 by Andy - 0 comments.
Pssst !!

Yes, you.

Do you want to know how to get some free money, max your sim's motives just before the carpool arrives, give him more land and other things and you don't think your conscience will be bothered?

The third part of the HDYPY series will help you out. Just click here but don't tell anyone I told you. Okay?
Bonus CD in Scandanavia
Written at 04:30 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
TheSims.se has posted info about a new "Garantipaketet" (some kind of Super-Package) for people in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. If you order it, you will get special VIP-access to TheSims.se, a CD with the Body Shop, and what seems to be the Bonus CD where we posted the wallpapers from. It's unsure if this package will make it to other parts of Europe as well or not. This pack is very similar to the US bonus CD that's already being sold there. If you buy the Swedish package, you pay a bit for the CD when you get it, but you will get a discount when purchasing the game when it hits the stores. For more information (in Swedish), click here.
Lucy's Mail
Written at 14:20 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Even though the Hot Summer Nights at EA took place last Thursday, Lucy has still managed to write half an e-mail. The rest has been written by Jonathan Knight and Tim LeTourneau this time. She tells a bit about the event and what she's been doing, although "the day gets a little blurry towards the end". Her notes helped her out. Included are also 7 photos taken during the day, which you can see below. Read more for the complete e-mail, which also mentions a contest...

Hot Summer Nights (1) Hot Summer Nights (2) Hot Summer Nights (3) Hot Summer Nights (4) Hot Summer Nights (5) Hot Summer Nights (6) Hot Summer Nights (7)
Read More!

Sunday 18 July 2004
URBZ Previews
Written at 20:54 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Two previews of the URBZ have been spotted again. One from Cubed3 is already a bit old, but was never mentioned here before. It mentions the basic new features - the city, new graphics, improved gameplay - but nothing that hasn't been told before. If you're interested, just read the preview for the details. More interesting is the preview from GameSpy, which is new and comes from EA's Hot Summer Nights event last week. It even gives a little bit of new info: some of the larger objects apparantly award you with special camera angles. Like other previews, this one is also positive about the new graphics. Check the complete preview if you need to know more.

Monday 19 July 2004
Getting Mean Green
Written at 06:33 by Sumit - 0 comments.
How could I resist to remember when I first arrived at this site, I was saving the people from the hideous lime green couch. But times change, and it is time to celebrate all that is green, lime green that is. This stunning set throws off the boundaries of strap shirts and gold necklaces. This is mod at its greatest. The stunning colorful necklace was handmade by Mrs.Crumbblebottom's Preschool class during a lesson on cutting our circles from construction paper. Each piece was individually crafted to its greatest. P.S. If you haven't noticed, I tend to like the color green. :)

Check it all out here!

Sims 2 Preview
Written at 16:41 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
GameInformer.com has posted a new preview from The Sims 2. They've also visited the Hot Summer Nights event last week, and their thoughts about the game are very positive. The preview starts with a bit about the neighborhoods. It's once again mentioned that the families in the neighborhoods all have their own storyline and are somehow connected. The aspirations are also mentioned. The mood of your Sim will be defined not only by their motives (hunger, bladder, etc.), but also by how well they do in the aspiration track. News is that Maxis has worked with a massive number of 19,000 different skins so far, but the actual number that will ship with the game is still unknown. The conclusion is that it's a big game and they've only shown the tip of the iceberg at the Hot Summer Nights event. Read the complete preview for more.
URBZ (GBA) Gameplay Movie
Written at 16:51 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
GameSpot has posted a new gameplay movie of the GBA version of the URBZ a few days ago. In 2 minutes you're taken through several parts of the gameplay. Some mini games are shown, as well as creating your urb and some other parts of the game. Not all of it is new, as some snippets have already appeared in previous clips. You need a free GameSpot Basic account to be able to download it. You can get it from the media page.

Thursday 22 July 2004
New Poll
Written at 02:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The status of a European release of the Sims 2 DVD edition is still quite unsure. Hence we held a poll last week in which we asked if EA should release the DVD outside North America too. The majority, 45% has voted for an absolute yes. An addition 15.5% said they'd just get the CD version if they didn't, but they prefer a DVD version. 10% said the DVD would be nice, but not necessary. Just 2% said not to release it since nobody wants it anyway, while 4% said no because they don't have a DVD drive in their computer. 17% of the people said they don't care as they can get it no matter what (they're in North America). And finally, just 6% said they don't care at all or don't know what the DVD version is about. When adding it up it comes down to about 71% saying yes, 6% saying no, and 23% doesn't care. 348 votes where issued within the past week. For the exact results, go to the results page.

This week we're doing a top 10. Let us know how you are going to spend the next two months (approximately) until the Sims 2 is released. We've put up 10 choices (including an 'Other' if none matches what you'll be doing), as well as the usual two for those who aren't waiting for the Sims 2 or who don't know what it is. So get voting, on the right or at the latest poll page.
Written at 03:09 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
From this week onwards, we'll keep the SimDays for The Sims PC games separate from the SimDays for the console version - the URBZ. Hence this is the first URBZDay news post. And this week, there isn't very much new. To start off with the old news, there are 5 screenshots which we posted last week. There are also 3 gameplay movies of the GBA version. They were posted at GameSpot already late June, as part of longer gameplay movies. New in them is the new Urbz logo though. It's been spotted before in the Hot Summer Nights gameplay movies, but this makes it even more likely that the final logo will be different from what we've seen so far. It's not been confirmed by EA yet though. New is that Maxis is again holding a focus group about the Sims on the consoles. This time about the GBA version though. If you're a GBA player and live in the area of Redwood City, California, you can participate in the focus group. You'll be discussing the game with other fans. If you qualify you'll get 2 EA GBA games in return. See the Urbz website for more. Finally there's the weekly blog. This time that too is about the GBA version. Cheryl, assistant producer of the game, tells the GBA version has reached alpha stage already, and they're now getting rid of the bugs in the game. She mentions a few odd things that have occured in the game so far - and they raised a few laughs at the team. For the gameplay movies, screenshots, the focus group and the blog, visit the Urbz website.
Written at 14:37 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This week's SimDay doesn't bring much real news, just like the URBZDay. First of all there are links to three previews of the Sims 2, which we've told you about last week. Maxis has also posted the pictures of the Hot Summer Nights event. The same pictures were included in the latest E-mail from Lucy Bradshaw. To watch them again, click here. Finally there's a chance to win The Sims Mega Deluxe or Sims expansion packs by playing Poppit. That has been up on the official site for a while already, and we also mentioned it 2 weeks ago. For more information, visit the official site.
Staff News
Written at 21:50 by Andy - 3 comments.
It is with sadness we must announce that Jen, who is one of the most talented designers this site has ever had the fortune to have working with us, has had to leave us due to responsibilities in the offline world. All of her contributions are still here to be downloaded and enjoyed and more of her work can be found at her own website. We wish her well and hope we have not seen the last of her.

It is not all bad news. We would like to welcome Neil to the team. His primary responsibility is moderating our Knowledge Database and he has already added a special section on NPCs which can be found here.

For those of you with some talent in creating things for "The Sims" and are even creating skins with Bodyshop for "The Sims 2", we do have vacancies on the site for designers in all fields. Please email me with your applications and attaching samples of your work.
Hot Date - How Do You Build Yours? (Part 1)
Written at 23:33 by Neil - 0 comments.
Hey all,

Have you ever wanted to reinvigorate lot 23, the default empty lot downtown in the Hot Date expansion pack but have no idea how to go about it properly?

Well, fret no more. Click here to read all about it. This first article of three shows you just how easy it is to start a restaurant and bar by placing a few tables and stuff around. Watch as I regenerate lot 23 from grass to beauty and pick up some other general tips as well.


Friday 23 July 2004
The URBZ new Logo revealed
Written at 15:04 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
EA has revealed a 'new' logo of the URBZ. It's appeared before in a few gameplay movies (since last week's Hot Summer Nights event). The logo is now also available as high-resolution image, and of course we have it. The official site still carries the old logo, but that will probably be updated sooner or later too. Check out the new logo below.

The updated URBZ logo
Written at 17:51 by Steve - 0 comments.
I have just added the latest submissions to the site. To start we have a lovely (although slightly insane) roof design, which I personally love. Download this here, or click here for more roofs.

For those of you out there who own The Sims Vacation, we now have a blue version of the Lovebed available. This re-coloured object has been kindly provided to us by Buciaer. Download the file here.

A treat for all of you Livin' Large owners. Fancy a mansion? Well I have one right here for you. Thanks to Alex for this. A second house, also added is a very large, partly furnished mansion. You can download this here. (Please note this house requires all expansion packs).

If you want to submit a file to The Sims Zone then please goto the submissions page. Please follow the instructions there and send your file to us. Remember, if a file is too large to send us using the site, just give me an e-mail and I will give you further instructions what to do.

IMPORTANT: Due to the server move back in March, please could anyone who has submitted me files, that have not yet been added please re-send me these files. We will get them added ASAP. Unfortunately some submissions from before the move have gone lost. We are very sorry for any problems, or missed sumbissions due to the move, but hope you will keep submitting.

Saturday 24 July 2004
Lucy's Mail: SimLish
Written at 06:31 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
This week's mail from Lucy is partially done by Robi Kauker (Audio Lead) and Claire Curtin (Game Designer). They tell there's a huge amount of samples from the various voice actors made, 40,620 to be precise, which are being worked with by at least 6 Maxoids. Included where two pictures (Robi and Claire), as well as a few samples of the SimLish. Click the links to download them. See the Read More part for the entire e-mail, which gives a lot more details about how SimLish is recorded.

Sample 1 (312 Kb)
Sample 2 (196 Kb)
Sample 3 (172 Kb)
Sample 4 (1.1 Mb)
Sample 5 (1.0 Mb)
Sample 6 (743 Kb)

Claire Curtin Robi Kauker
Read More!

Monday 26 July 2004
"The Lucy" Fashion Rage
Written at 07:11 by Sumit - 0 comments.
From ages of stardom to the rise of "the NU", all of simkind has noted the greatness of the vintage actress Lucy Sim. Raging from the busy city of Simcity, she can now leave of piece in your home. This great outfit was featured on the hit television series "I Know What You Did Last Week...Work", but with the change of seasons..work is no longer a defenite answer. So take this outift home, you won't regret it. On the side note, I found some "able to do" requests and will get to them ASAP. So more Sims 1 objects coming your way.

Check it all out here!


Tuesday 27 July 2004
5 New URBZ (GBA) Trailers
Written at 05:04 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Gaming site WorthPlaying has posted 5 brand new trailers of the URBZ on the GBA last sunday. In one 15 Mb zip file, there are 5 small MPG trailers. The shown scenes aren't completely new, as they once again show some of the mini-games. However, they're more or less introducted now as well. To download the file, click here.
Sims 2 Screenshots Translated [Update]
Written at 05:11 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
About 2 weeks ago, the Taiwainese website GameBase.com.tw, posted 54 new screenshots of the Sims 2. Though the meaning of the text has been unknown so far, user 'pepperonicheese' has posted a translation of the texts in the Sims UK (official site) forums (see this thread). If you want to see the pictures and their translations together, go to this page on SnootySims. They've posted the pictures along with their translations. Noticable is that the motives haven't changed after all - it was said there would be separate family/friends motives instead of social a long time back, but there's no sign of that now. You can also see some of the social interactions from the menu. Be sure to have a look if you want to know what the pictures are saying.

[Update 28 July, 20:50] Some more option images have been translated in the forums. You will be able to set the volume for music, voices, sound effects and ambience sounds separately. A picture-in-picture will be there as well, and you can turn it on or off (or like in the Sims 1, make it static or live). In the movies screen you can choose the size quality (just like with photo albums), whether to record sound, and the maximum duration. Other options are pretty much the same as for The Sims 1. See the forums thread for exact details. Thanks to David Pendray for the tip.

Wednesday 28 July 2004
Sims 2 as Game of Summer 2004
Written at 03:48 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
IGN has compiled a list of games which can act as an excuse to stay inside the house this summer. There are a dozen games listed in alphabetical order, and IGN says they're the best to look forward to the next few months. The Sims 2 is one of the games listed. It's nothing more than a mention of the main features of the game, and no news is given. To read what they have to say about TS2, go to page 5 of the entire article.
Sims 2 in Magazines
Written at 22:43 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Several gaming magazines have a preview of The Sims 2 this month. Three of them are the German PC Games and GameStar, and the French PC Jeux. Some news comes from these magazines. The info has been summarised in the Read More part. Click below for some screenshots from the magazines, as well as an advert featuring some real people. Thanks to our affiliates SimsZone and the French The Sims 2 Creation for the info and pictures.

Create A Sim In-Game Shot Interface Description (in French) Sims 2 Advert picture
Read More!

Thursday 29 July 2004
The Sims - What Not To Do And What Happens When You Do
Written at 02:03 by Neil - 0 comments.
A new Extra for you: The Sims - What Not To Do And Why Not To Do It. You may well ask why by default (ie, no move_objects cheat) the mailbox and the trashcan are defined as being "out of bounds". It's because they are key elements to the game. How key? You'll see. I sacrified the family at number 8 Sim Lane in my game to live without a trashcan and a mailbox for a few days. Such was the "damage" caused, if they could have committed suicide I reckon they would have.

This article also talks about the portals as well, another key element to the game, especailly for social and career motives. Click here to read the Extra.

New Poll
Written at 15:31 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Last week we asked you to help us make a top-ten of how you spend your time until the Sims 2 release in September. The results are in, and here they are:

10. "I play with real-life dolls. Gotta love Barbie and Ken!"
9. "Nothing at all. I just sit and wait for the game to arrive."
8. "Something other than the options mentioned above."
7. "I'm asleep most of the time, I just wake up once every few days to get the latest news and a bit of food."
6. "I go to work/school every single day and just fill up my schedule with things to do."
5. "I hit the refresh button on this or other fansites all the time, to see if there's any news."
4. "I talk about it on forums, in real life, and just can't stop thinking about it. It drives me (and my family) mad!"
3. "I mess around with the Body Shop, creating Sims which will become alive 17 September."
2. "I stare at the screenshots, videos and other stuff over and over and over again. I can't get enough of it!"
1. "I play The Sims 1."

The other 2 options (Waiting for the URBZ or not having a clue what The Sims 2 is about) got a minor amount of votes, just 1% and 4%. See the results page for exact details of the results. This week we have a question about your game again. We're wondering what's your favourite colour for decorating rooms in. Vote on the right or on the latest poll page.
Written at 15:34 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This week's URBZDay brings quite a bit of new stuff again. First of all there's a short E3 trailer of 30 seconds. It's 3MB in High-res, and you need QuickTime to play it. Another little new thing is a Graffiti tag, with which you can send a message to your friends - URBZ style. 3 New GBA characters are introduced as well this week. You can meet Roxanna (Roxie), Polly and Ewan, and of course you can also still read about Darius and Crystal. Finally there's a new blog again, this week by Darby McDevitt, an Urbz GBA Writer:
"...Now this is an interesting spot to be in: dumped head-first into the Bayou's boggy waters. This is possibly the worst I've seen or smelled in years and, gee whiz, I stink. Ah, but I'm not hurt. That's a relief, of course. My situation could have been worse, I could have been snapped up by a gator. Or been thrown into the lion's den at the carnival in Glasstown."
All of that, together with the old stuff, can be found on the URBZ Website.
Written at 15:41 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
This week's SimDay is again fairly small. There's a bit about SimLish, but we've shown you that before as it's from Lucy's Mail. If you want to read it on the official site, click here. Some old wallpapers have also been reposted. They were from the Scoop newsletter, and can be viewed again on the Goodies page. That leaves one new thing this SimDay, and that's some Album Awards. Voting has ended already and the results should be in soon. See the BBS Thread for more information. That's all this week, perhaps there will be more next week.
URBZ Preview
Written at 15:49 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
GameSpot has posted a new preview of the URBZ. It's a bit different from the usual stuff; it's in the form of a visitor's guide, so you know where to go and who you can meet, amongst other things. So far just the three shown districts, 125th Street, Gasonline Row and Central Station are explained. There's also an introduction page, where the next bit is from:
"Don't let yourself be spotted as an outsider--learn the moves and use 'em right to win the night. Staring up at the skyscrapers like you've never seen the city before will brand you as a tourist. But knowing the right greeting or how to jive with the folks in your local district makes all the difference between getting access and getting locked out."
So for the ins and outs of the three districts, go to the URBZ City Guide.
Sims 2 Designer Diary 9
Written at 16:05 by ChEeTaH - 4 comments.
A ninth designer diary has been published at GameSpot. This time Lucy Bradshaw tells about the final stage the Sims 2 development is in. It's "Crunch Time" and the team is working hard (day and night) to get things finished on time. A huge wall filled with post-it notes of tasks that have to be done. The finished tasks get a big red "DONE" stamp on them. Currently many things have been done, but they're still fixing bugs and tuning the game. The developers are having a good time though, and laugh at their favourite bugs (which you'll be able to see when you get the DVD version, but also in next month's diary). She also says new players, who haven't played the Sims 2 yet, are involved to play the game, so Maxis gets their first impressions.

Page 2 is all about Strangetown (one of three neighborhoods the game will ship with) and the families living there: the Curious, the Smiths and the Grunts. Each of these families is described a bit, plus Lucy says a little bit about Strangetown in general:
"The sparks fly in this neighborhood with all of the alien abductions, the other neighbors butting in, and lots of interesting family connections. Like I said, you can move your own family in and make Strangetown your own, or play one of ours for a bit. You'll have fun with the extreme situations your sims can get into."
Included are a bunch of screenshots of StrangeLand as well, including a neighborhood overview but also some shots of the different families. First read the designer's diary, and then check out the 9 screenshots.

Friday 30 July 2004
The Sims - How do you play yours? (Part 4)
Written at 22:45 by Andy - 0 comments.

Do not adjust your set. Mortimer Goth is really in another woman's arms. Stay tuned to find out what happened in this week's gripping part of "The Sims - How do you play yours?"
It's all in here

Saturday 31 July 2004
Sims 2 Videos
Written at 01:59 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Two new videos of The Sims 2 have appeared on the net. The first one is a Japanese one, and is a trailer of the game - in Japanese. And although it's hard to understand what's said, it contains a bit of new gameplay material (as well as some old trailer images). You can find that video, 23 Mb for 4 minutes of video from here, or get the low quality version (6 Mb) right here.

The other video is not entirely new. Part of it was published earlier at ITavisen.no. This time however, it's the original video (2 minutes). It goes through the different aspiration tracks. If you want to see it, just go here. It's about 3 Mb big, QuickTime required.
Lucy's Mail: Body Shop Improvements
Written at 05:19 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Recently there have been discussions in several forums about custom content made using the Body Shop being 'stolen' (regularly parts or Sims are not or wrongly credited). Maxis is going to improve things for artists on that matter, mainly through an upgrade of the Body Shop which will be released together with the game. The upgraded version will support longer tooltips (40 characters instead of 16 - still not very long in my opinion). On the exchange (ShowCase), the separate custom parts of a Sim will be mentioned and credit will be given to the original author - at least the first person to upload the part unmodified to the ShowCase. Finally there will be updates just for the Body Shop and not so much for the Exchange, which will make it a more powerful tool. Expect a free camera mode, as well as the ability to change the background picture of the Body Shop (make it white if you want) in the next version of the Body Shop.

Since creators often aren't happy to see their creations taken by somebody else without the credit given back, it's always wise to give credit to those who made content you upload. Don't copy Sims to the ShowCase directly, or upload Sims from websites there, as in many cases the artists might not like that. The solutions provided by Maxis in the future will definitely be a step forward.

Attached to Lucy's mail were also three screenshots with a theft theme. The fourth picture shows the new exchange, but also what seems to be the design of the new official Sims 2 website (though that's unconfirmed). You can click the thumbnails below to see them in large. Go to the Read More part for the entire mail, which includes some more details about the upcoming improvements.

Theft (1) Theft (2) Theft (3) The future Sims 2 Exchange
Read More!

Sims 2 Website Frontpage and Screenshots [Update]
Written at 21:16 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
A new subsite of the official Sims 2 one has been found which looks like a new frontpage for the website. It's a flash site with links to the pre-order page, screenshots, videos and the showcase. The main thing on the page are 5 Sims, one for each aspiration track. You can see their thoughts when hovering the mouse over them. Although it's not mentioned at the ESRB Website yet, the rating is already said to be T for Teen (13+). So have a look at The Sims 2 DLand (as it's called) if you want to know more.

Furthermore there are some new screenshots. One comes from the Danish site, and looks similar to an old one. It's a shot of a garden, but this time in a different angle. Then there are two from this month's Scoop newsletter. Although I haven't received it yet, SimsZone says there's nothing really new in it except those screenshots. It's said that Johnny's love Ophelia causes problems with him playing video games. The last two are from The Sims 2 Creation. The first is a scan from a magazine, the other is an artwork created by them from the official Sims 2 website intro. Click the thumbnails below to see them. Thanks to SimsZone, SnootySims and The Sims 2 Creation for all the news and screenshots.

[Update 2 August 21:00] With thanks to Fabian from SimsZone, I can clear up the bit about the Smiths in the newsletter a bit. This is what is said about the screenshots exactly:
"Johnny Smith's life aspiration is popularity, but he is faced with one of his fears when rejected by his heartthrob Ophelia. See if Johnny Smith is able to overcome his fear and unlock love- so long as his desire to play videogames doesn't get in the way. Will Johnny ultimately get what he wants?"
Another slightly new thing that is on the side of the newsletter, is a tip from Prima (they make the 'official' strategy guides for the Sims games):
"Popularity and Romance Aspiration Sims make great roommates because of their different but similarly-met goals. A popularity Sim wants friends, a Romance Sim wants lovers. One third-party Sim can, with no jealousy, be Romance's lover and Popularity's friend."
Garden Johnny and Co Johnny and Girlfriend Create A Sim Sims 2 Website Intro Artwork
New Body Shop Submission
Written at 21:36 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
FaithK has sent us a new submission for the Body Shop. It's a tropical bikini for the female Sims. If you want to see and download it, check out the Beach Swim Suit. If you have a submission for us to be posted, send us an e-mail. Include at least the following information:
  1. The Display name for the file
  2. A description of the contents of the file
  3. Your name (as it should appear along with the submission)
  4. Optional, your e-mail address to be posted along with the name (note: NOT spam-proof!)
  5. Your website URL + Name (if any)
  6. A preview picture (preferrably in JPG format)
  7. The file itself
If possible, pack the information in a readme file together with the preview picture and the file itself in a Zip file. If you don't know how to do that, or if the file is too big to be sent through the form, just e-mail us and we'll get back to you. After that you can send the files as normal attachments. For Body Shop files, pack the file with the Sims2 Packer if you can. Sending us a plain .package file might take a little longer to be posted. Keep submitting files like FaithK did, as we're happy to see them on this site!