March 2001 News Archive

Saturday, March 31, 2001

[TheSims] Source: PC.IGN
PC.IGN Reviews HouseParty
by Ian @ 7:13 AM EST
"You can drink bubbles - which is always a plus -- but is this really a full featured add-on?"

The above is a quote from PC.IGN's HouseParty review, in which the game got a 7 out of 10. As you can see, the reviewer felt that HouseParty had too much in common with TheSims when it came to gameplay changes. He called HouseParty a "Livin' Large 2.5".

You can find the interview for yourself by clicking here.

Thursday, March 22, 2001

[MaxisEA] Source: SimzOnline
HouseParty Fan Event
by Ian @ 4:07 PM EST
The House Party party, held on March 17, seemed like a lot of fun. Now I regret that I didn't go, because I saw these pictures of the event:-). It looked like tons of fun. Click here to see the 13 pictures of the fan event.

Wednesday, March 21, 2001

[MaxisEA] Source: SimzOnline
Will Wright Interview
by Ian @ 6:03 AM EST
Will Wright has been interviewed at ABCnews.com, to tell about the success of The Sims. It's short, but has some interesting answers. "There's things that you can do on the computer that kind of expand your perceptions of reality and that you can go back and apply to reality," Will says. Click here to check out the interview.

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

[MaxisEA] Source: Simcity.com
Simcity.com Contest
by Ian @ 6:07 AM EST
"So your Sims have been through some tough times? Earthquakes ruined your city? Mother Nature been a harsh mistress or maybe you're just an evil Mayor? Everyone has a story to tell about their city. Each city goes through tough times and growing pains.

Now you can show the world what your Sims have been through in our SimCity 3000 Unlimited Snapshot Contest. Each story should be about a disaster that your city has lived through and include before and after shots of your city. Just upload your city with 30 snapshots or less and you could win the EA game of your choice and a Maxis prize package."


This description from Simcity.com is telling about the new " Simcity Unlimited Snapshot Contest". Use the snapshot feature in Simcity Unlimited. All snapshots must come with descriptions that are 148 characters or less, counting spaces. Only 30 pictures are allowed. Submissions that fail to follow these rules will be disqualified.

To enter this contest, upload your city to the city center (the pictures will be uploaded automatically). Send an e-mail to contest@maxis.com, with the title "Simcity 3000 Unlimited Snapshot Contest". Then include your city name, your name (real and account name), mailing address, e-mail address, and birth date. The contest starts March 20, 2001, and all entries are due by 11:59 p.m. PST, April 2, 2001. The contest winners will be announced on or about April 10, 2001.

You can read the rules of the contest and what the judges will judge by if you click here.

Monday, March 19, 2001

[TheSims] Source: BluePrint Website
BluePrint Compatibility Test Version Released!
by Ian @ 4:57 PM EST
Finally, at the official BluePrint site, you can download the blueprint compatibility test! After this, new updates of the BluePrint program will be updated on a weekly basis, fixing bugs, adding fuctions, and basically making the program the best as possible. Here are the features that this version of BluePrint has:

-Clone any object in the game to produce a new one
-Import 3D Studio meshes and combine them to create new objects
-Support for all major image formats including jpeg, bmp, pcx, tga and more
-Edit most properties for objects and save them back to the object
-Replace any or all sprites in an object
-Several "primitive" objects that can be used to create new objects
-Supports objects for The Sims, Living Large and House Party
-Fully customizable tools, toolbars and user interface


A huge, record-breaking news post can be found at the official BluePrint Site:-). This post gives all the features of BluePrint, a quick overview of Blueprint, as well as an explanation of what all the buttons do. It also includes "features in the works" and "known bugs". Also, please report any new bugs to Bil Simer.

You can download Blueprint by clicking here!

Saturday, March 17, 2001

[(default)] Source: SimFreaks
SimFreaks Dog
by Ian @ 6:09 AM EST
Over at SimFreaks.com, you can find a new dog. "Max The Dog" is a a reddish-brown dog. The download also comes with a food bowl, and a puddle that your sim will have to clean up:-). You can find this download and other animal downloads here.
[(default)] Source: SimEden.com
BluePrint Updates
by Ian @ 6:00 AM EST
This weekend, Bil Simser is releasing a "compatibility test version" of Blueprint to the public, which purpose is to make sure that everybody can run it. It will not be bug-free. Secondly, Bil Simser is also sending a copy of the final program to some testers.

Here is a quote from the Blueprint Site about what this compatibility test version can do:

"What can you do with this compatibility test version? Plenty. It imports pretty much any 3DS file and you don't have to play Track'n'Field (for all you arcade enthusiasts) with your mouse to get something on the screen. You can edit object properties to your hearts content. You can create new 3D objects with blueprint's (primitive) modelling tools, no 3DS file required. And you can export the sprite images of the 3D objects to bitmap files. What can't you do with this version? A few things. No multi-tile, no animations, no menu/sound/etc. editing and the sprites are not inserted into the objects."

All that Bil Simser asks is that when you finish using the compatibility test version, you report any bugs in the bug report forum. Leave information about your video/hardware setup, too. The final version of Blueprint will be out in one or two weeks. You can find the BluePrint site here.

Friday, March 16, 2001

[TheSims] Source: SimEden
House Party is on its way!
by Rand Huck @ 2:59 PM EST
House Party is officially ready for production and shipment, which means it will be on store shelves around early April. The retail price will be $30.

House Party is a new expansion pack for The Sims, which will focus on new ways to have a nice gathering with your fellow neighbors, from hiring caterers and cooks, to installing all kinds of new objects.
[(default)] Source: Sim Heaven
Sim Heaven Returns
by Kevin Stange @ 2:49 PM EST
Welcome back to Sim Heaven, which recently went offline due to DNS problems related to their domain's expiration. Apparently, their domain had been mistakenly transfered to a different owner, so they had to wait for it to fully expire before registering it again. UBC_Wiskatos has resolved the problems and the site is now back up and running.
[TheSims] Source: Sim Eden
The Sims gets two awards from Computer Gaming World
by Rand Huck @ 2:48 PM EST
Computer Gaming World labeled The Sims being the "2001 Game of the Year" and "Special Achievement for Best Story". The later award is for the infinately possible stories that the users have come up with, and uploaded into TheSims.ea.com. You can find the awards in their April issue.
[TheSims] Source: SimEden.com
The Sims Television Series?
by Kevin Stange @ 2:27 PM EST
A cable company is reportedly working with Maxis and Electronic Arts to develop a TV series based on The Sims Online. Pet Fly Productions and Columbia Tri Star Television are planning to feature a live-action (no animation) TV series with a 1950s theme, designed to help promote The Sims Online, which is expected to be completed sometime in early 2002.

Meanwhile, in the nearer future, Drew Carey, who is supposedly a big fan of The Sims, will be placed into the game with his co-stars in a two minute sequence to be shown during his March 28th episode of "The Drew Carey Show" on ABC. Maxis has designed this segment in response to several comments Carey made about The Sims in his season premiere.

The Drew Carey show airs Wednesdays at 9 PM (8 PM Central) on ABC. Check your local listings for non-US locations.

Thursday, March 15, 2001

[(default)] Source: The SimForce
Andrea Weber Interview
by Ian @ 5:55 AM EST
We are going to be doing an interview with Andrea Weber, community manager for The Sims. She also knows quite a bit about House Party, so that is the main reason we are interviewing her. We are asking you to send any questions you may have about her job, or House Party to us.

Stephen, the webmaster of Simply Simsville, is asking for interview questions for an Andrew Weber interview about Housse Party. You can submit your question here. If your question is used, you will be credited appropriately.

Wednesday, March 14, 2001

[MaxisEA] Source: The SimForce
New Simcity.com Landmark
by Ian @ 5:55 PM EST
A new Unlimited landmark released at Simcity.com is the first one in about 5 weeks. "The Eschenheimer Turm" is one of the few remaining midevil defense structures located in Germany. The landmark page can be found here.
[MaxisEA] Source: The SimForce
HouseParty Updates
by Ian @ 5:06 PM EST
The promo website for The Sims HouseParty has been released. This page has an overview of this game, plus you can download a DJ skin that comes from the actual HouseParty game. For those of you that don't know, House Party is basically The Sims, but the main focus of it is to party (duh). You can buy this T-rated game here for $29.95. HouseParty will be released this month
[(default)] Source: The SimForce
SimcityHQ Gets A New Design
by Ian @ 4:53 PM EST
Following SimzOnline.com and SimEden.com, The SimGamer's HeadQuarters got a new design, made by PHP Nuke. PHP Nuke allows many great interacitve features.

Tuesday, March 13, 2001

[(default)] Source: The SimForce
SimEden.com Gets A New Design
by Ian @ 8:58 PM EST
SimEden.com, one of the first sim-sites out there, has changed its design for the better. Using PHP Nuke, SimEden now has a great new interactive design. You can check it out here.
[(default)] Source: SimGames.net
SimGames.net turns 1!
by Kevin Stange @ 2:16 PM EST
SimGames.net, which first officially announced its launch on March 5, 2000, is now 1 year old. Hopefully, members will enjoy many years of great hosting services.
[(default)] Source: Sim-Heaven
Sim Heaven to Return Soon
by Kevin Stange @ 2:12 PM EST
According to UBC_Wiskatos of Sim Heaven, an affiliate of The SimPage, the site has been down due to a DNS problem, and will probably be back up within a few days. We'll keep you posted on how things are going for them.

Monday, March 12, 2001

[TheSims] Source: PC Data
PC Data for 2/18
by Kevin Stange @ 1:27 PM EST
With the latest PC Data sales data, The Sims remains firmly planted in the top two slots. I have to wonder how much longer people can be continuously buying more copies of The Sims than any other computer game on the market. Here's the latest list for the week of 2/18 through 2/24:

1. The Sims
2. The Sims Livin Large Expansion Pack
3. Sierra Sports: NASCAR Racing 4
4. MP Roller Coaster Tycoon
5. Diablo 2
6. Icewind Dale: Heart Of Winter Expansion Pack
7. Hoyle Casino 2001
8. Microsoft Age Of Empires II: Age of Kings
9. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
10. MP Roller Coaster Tycoon Loopy Landscapes

Sunday, March 11, 2001

[TheSims] Source: Sim Games Network
House Party Expansion Goes Gold
by Kevin Stange @ 1:47 PM EST
Gone Gold, a web site specializing in reporting about new game releases, has reported that the House Party expansion has gone gold. This means that the game is done, and it's just being prepared to ship. The game is likely now being produced in massive numbers to be shipped out as soon as possible.

The current estimated shipping date is March 28th. We'll keep an eye out for any further news.

If you haven't ordered the game yet, you can still preorder now. Those who preorder often receive the game a day or two before it hits stores. Click here to get your copy!
[SimCity4] Source: The SimForce
Simcity 4000 Production Underway
by Ian @ 6:04 AM EST
A regular at the SC3000.COM Forums has posted quite an interesting post, which you can find here.

Joseph Knight of Maxis has been quoted saying "We are well into development of the next version of SimCity, so we don't any
resources left for creating new assets for 3000. That was one of the main reasons for BA+/SC3URK - to let the players keep fresh content coming!"

However, don't get too excited. Another forumer makes some points:

1) A game of that size is at least two years from conception to shipping provided they don't use the Sc3k code base
2) So, we'll say late 2002 at the earliest
3) Development is obviously in a very early stage of development or there would be an official announcement - or even a public hint, like with Sc3k
[(default)] Source: The SimForce
SimSearch.com Auctioned Off
by Ian @ 5:55 AM EST
SimSearch.com, an unofficial Maxis search engine, has been auctioned at eBay! The bid price reached over $300, but the reserve price was not met, so SimSearch was not sold. Instead, the Ziink Media Group, lead by Divyesh Lavingia (webmaster of ProjectSims.com), has acquired SimSearch.com. The current plans of the Ziink Media Group is to use SimSearch.com as part of a project called Sims Lounge.

Saturday, March 10, 2001

[SimsVille] Source: Project Sims
SimsVille Release Pushed Back
by Kevin Stange @ 9:43 PM EST
Project Sims reports that the release date of SimsVille, as confirmed by Maxis representatives, has been pushed back to 2002. They received the following in a recent message from Maxis:
Yes, SimsVille is now scheduled for an early 2002 release. We will be showing it at both our fan event in San Francisco on March 17 and at E3 in May. We'll have some new screenshots posted after the fan party, so everyone who has been waiting can take a look at where we are.
[(default)] Source: The SimForce
The New SimzOnline
by Ian @ 6:54 AM EST
Thanks to the PHP Nuke software package, SimzOnline.com just got a new, interactive makeover. The old content isn't up right now, but it will be up shortly, and Jerm is going to add a new forum and a download manager.

Be sure to go to SimzOnline.com and see the great new interactive features. You can register an account, which will give you many more interactive features, too!
[TheSims] Source: Gamespot
House Party Q&A With Tim LeTourneau
by TravisHasley @ 6:36 AM EST
Gamespot.com interviews Maxis producer, Tim LeTourneau. Read what he has to say about House Party's many features such as new characters, disasters, objects, and the introduction of party outfits that can let you experience your own type of "Animal House". Toga, toga, toga!!

Thursday, March 8, 2001

[MaxisEA] Source: TheSimForce
TheSims.com Updates
by Ian @ 3:22 PM EST
More House Party screenshots were released today at TheSims.com. So far you can find 24 House Party pictures.

Today, at 7 PM EST (sorry for late notice), you can chat the the artist/animation team of The Sims.

Wednesday, March 7, 2001

[TheSims] Source: PC Data
"PC Data, 2/11
by Kevin Stange @ 11:07 AM EST
The Sims is as consistent as ever as it holds onto the top two positions in the PC Data sales for the week of 2/11 through 2/17, though SimCoaster has dropped off the bottom of the list. I'm particularly curious to see how House Party will stack up against Livin' Large, The Sims, and the rest of list, when it is released in the near future. Anyway, here's how the sales ranking fell into place:

1 The Sims
2 The Sims Livin Large Expansion Pack
3 MP Roller Coaster Tycoon
4 Sierra Sports: NASCAR Racing 4
5 Hoyle Casino 2001
6 Diablo 2
7 Microsoft Age Of Empires II: Age of Kings
8 MP Roller Coaster Tycoon Loopy Landscapes
9 NBA Live 2001
10 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2

Tuesday, March 6, 2001

[(default)] Source: The SimForce
HomeSims.com Back Online
by Ian @ 5:56 AM EST
HomeSims.com has come back online, after being shut down by their host with no warning. During the downtime, they've made some new objects and paintings, so the staff evidently is a devoted team.

Homesims thanks SimzOnline.com and SimHeaven.com, who notified loyal simmers of the dowtime, when Homesims could not.

Saturday, March 3, 2001

[(default)] Source: The SimForce
Making Theives Think Twice...
by Ian @ 6:45 AM EST
A new group trying to stop theft of objects on sim-websites allows you to report any sites that have stolen stuff from other websites. You can get to their "group" (a yahoo group) by clicking here.

Hopefully the "Sim Webmaster Association" will do some good for the sim community.

Bil Simser also posted a little something on theft of material on his website. The news post was posted on February 27, so you'll have to scroll down a little bit. Here's a quote from the news post:

"What can you do about all this? Do you care? Does it affect you? For the artisians that pour their bytes, skills and techniques into their work, it means a lot. Protecting your work on the internet is no different than protecting it in the real world."