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Mar. 13th, 2008

Jonquil Whelan

Sims 3 Opinions and Sims 2 Story Site Recommendations

In my role as human newsfeeder, I bring you these snippets of tasty goodness.

Zazazu's Observations about Sims 3:

1. There's still peeing. Apparently, the pee is occuring in multiple shapes.
2. There are 11 voice actors.
3. Lots of the people who work on the project like Oblivion and D&D stuff. They're like us! WOW!
4. Rod Humble's a hardcore gamer, in addition to being hardcore creepy.
5. Sims can roam freely through town. They can even piss themselves at the gym.
6. You'll be able to see cars go by while playing a Sim, and neighbors doing daily tasks like cooking and painting.
7. Alarming, and I quote: "Matt is hungry. Click here to feed him." 2 points for anyone who can spot the typo after this quote in the article. Professional journalism these days  (Roll Eyes)
8. They say that you'll go to work with the Sim, but then kind of gloss over it and mention bringing work home with you. So I'm not sure that they truly mean shadowing a Sim at work.
9. "The next big change in The Sims: it has an inventory system." Um. We already have an inventory system, Sherlock.
10. Hair flows. There are more facial variation controls, including an "Asian-ness" slider.
11. Sims have buffs. Yeah, really. Kind of like with FreeTime, where we've noticed that Sims who have bad weeks have faster motive decay and good weeks the opposite.
12. No more 6 nice points. Now you choose from a set of personality traits. (6 total) They list possibilities like evil, playful, perfectionist,  paranoid. Because everyone's personality is set at the extreme, apparently. The connotations, they burn.
13. Forget stealing the newspaper: now you can steal park benches!
14. The pre-made neighborhoods we know and love will be there, including a new Pleasantville. I guess they had to do it, just don't let any of them be in the Sims3 equivalent of the simbin and clogging up my custom 'hoods.
15. No multiplayer. Good. Mine, mine, all mine! There will be an Exchange.
16. There will be expansions (duh).

Jade Eliot's Sims 2 Story Recommendations:

Well, these are the best Sims 2 Story Blogs that I know of:

The Broke Legacy: The FINEST legacy I have ever read. She makes Maxian hoods look interesting and fun to play - to me this is an amazing feat. She starts off with the Brokes, moves to Strangetown, then marries in some Veronavillians. She is at Gen 5 or 6 now, I think so plenty to read. It will take you a day or two to get through it all.

The Kingdom of Lothere: This is more like an intricate graphic novel then a Sims 2 blog. It started with the Royal Kingdom Challenge, but has since expanded into the deepest and richest storyline in the Sims 2 world, in my opinion. She has been at it for over two years and updates often, so it will take you a month to read it all - perhaps more.

Seasons of Change: Nicely done ongoing story set in Regency times. She does not update as much, so you won't get overwhelmed.

Simmerville: Wins the medal for the longest running Sims site. (Not a blog, but blogs did not exist when Simmerville started up, I think!) This is a Sims 2 Sims site that I have been reading for two years and STILL keep finding stuff I never saw before. A huge database driven site on an entire hood/subhoods that are many years old. Same hood since Sims 1 days!!

Strangetown, Here We Come: Her forte is characterization. Building on the characters and making their motivations and actions very real.

Windlebridge I *heart* Windlebridge! Ingeli is the bravest Simmer I know! She always makes me look at Thyme and think, "Why didn't I think of that, dangit?" Windlebridge is so intricate and she built the COOLEST castle, ever! It is separate lots, but all connected using LotShrinker (Mootilda's Lot Expander version that is in testing).

Wings of Steel: If you dig dark vampirey stuff, Mao's yer girl.

Worlds Apart: Hands down the BEST Sims 2 pictures - and some awesome writing to boot. Kara is a graphics queen. Drool over the pretty!

(JadeEliott's site:) The Isle of Thyme . Go read it. 'Nuff said. For more link love, hit the Pimpage.


Non-Sims related Humor:
The 10 Funniest Misleading Domain Names


Attn: Entrepreneurs


Everyone knows if you plan to operate a business today, you need a domain name. It is best to look at the domain name you want as other see it rather than just as you think it looks. Failing to do this may cause situations like the following (legitimate) companies who deal in humdrum, everyday products and services, yet clearly didn’t think through their domain names enough.

1. Take the site called ‘Who Represents‘ which finds the agent representing a celebrity. Their domain name… wait for it… is:
www.whorepresents.com

2. Experts Exchange is a knowledge base where programmers exchange advice and views at:
www.expertsexchange.com

3. Want to find a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at:
www.penisland.net

4. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at:
www.therapistfinder.com

5. Of course, there’s the Italian Power Generator company…
www.powergenitalia.com

6. And now, we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales:
www.molestationnursery.com

7. If you’re looking for computer software, there’s always:
www.ipanywhere.com

8. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website is:
www.cummingfirst.com

9. Then, of course, there’s these brainless art designers, and their whacky website:
www.speedofart.com

10. Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website at:
www.gotahoe.com


Funniest MP3 of the Week:


It's Jonathan Coulton's "Tom Cruise Crazy." ROFFLE!

You may recognize his name from the game Portal's end credits song sung by GLaDOS, "Still Alive."


Enjoy!

Mar. 11th, 2008

Jason Larson

Sims 3 Pictures and Information

Jordan Alexander shared some scans from UK magazine PC Gamer.

Snooty Sims is sharing pictures and discussing Sims 3, too.

Even Business Week is interested.

The biggest change to The Sims 3 is that it takes place in a wide-open, constantly changing neighborhood — a much bigger sandbox, if you will, and a much more complex simulation. The town and park you see on the cover image to the right (click to enlarge) exist in the same seamless space as your Sims’ household, and what you do outside your home now matters as much as what you do within. (Yes, previous expansion packs added out-and-about activities, but they were always separate sub-games. Here, everything’s completely integrated.) The game also sees a major shift in how Sims’ motives are handled: Individual meters indicating bladder and sleep-deprivation levels are replaced by a new system of discrete moods, the aim being to get players off the treadmill of fulfilling primal eat-sleep-pee-repeat requirements so they can focus more on, well, going out on the brand new town.

Interesting.

MATY is discussing it as well, so it is only a matter of time before Master Modder and Fat Obstreperous Jerk J M Pescado declares it is all "Lies & Propaganda" or acquires a working copy of Sims 3.

P.S. Sorry to be so quiet. Grad school has been SUPER BUSY the past few months.

Jan. 25th, 2008

Maxwell MemeCat

BEST. THING. EVER.



I laughed out loud.

http://thesimsresource.info/



Sorry for being so quiet. Real life has been super-busy. (Play the Sims 2? What's that? Oh, yeah, something fun I used to do.)

Hope all are well in Simland. Cheers!

Nov. 22nd, 2007

Jonquil Whelan

Give Thanks By Giving

New non-Sims game: Free Rice.

Can you beat my score? 860 grains of rice before I missed a word.

Final total: gave 10,000 grains of rice, earned level 50 Word Power score. W00t!

Feed the hungry, learn vocabulary words.

It's easy, and you help less-fortunate people be less hungry for a while.

Share the link in your blog; the more people who play, the more people can get fed. Plus, you boost your vocabulary power!
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Nov. 21st, 2007

Milla Harper

The Maxoid Tom Letters, part 2

MaxoidTom bumbled into MATY, was eager to please as a new puppy. Alas, the hornets were ANGRY. Computers were melting down, anti-virus programs were zorched, DVD/CD-r drives were acting up,  media burning software was screwing up, and it was all down to SecurROM, which had been installed with Bon Voyage but without user agreement.

He asked for and got feedback, but didn't necessarily like what he got.

Dear MaxoidTom:

Well, now I am even less motivated to install BV due to SecuROM and lag. Last thing I need is more computer problems. (Same thing with StarForce-protected games. I even have a StarForce Zorcher program and still don't want to knowingly install something that is known to cause problems, even if I have a "fix" on hand. It feels too much like knowingly drinking poison and hoping the antidote works as advertised afterwards.) Thank you for initiating a discussion with peers at EA.

I see the same complaints over and over.

* You ship with a heck of a lot of broken features. You fix them (sometimes) later. Then you ship a new EP/SP and break the fixed features yet again. Stop breaking crap you previously fixed. Do you not have a list of known borkages at hand when testing new EPs/SPs?

* Game makes it all too easily for users to do game-destroying things like attempt to move populated lots and add NPCs to the families that should never, ever be made playable, like Grim. Why have a "delete all characters" command if it does not, in fact, delete ALL characters? Sorry, 'all' means 'all', not 'most of,' and thus does not include bits of code detritus lingering around.

* Suggestions that you make available a list of "This Is A Bad Idea" issues are sound, though it would be much better if it wasn't quite so easy to break the game by using the tools / characters that come factory standard. When publishing fixes, don't try to blame the users for stumbling across something your coders made possible without third party add-ons. "Why would you do that?" is a piss-poor response, as there will always be gamers who like trying everything their games make possible. Why did YOU make it possible for it to be done (without hacks or mods) in the first place?

* New game EPs/SPs ship with game-killing borks that the user did not cause. Example: at one point, if a Count or Countess decided to bite Mrs Crumplebottom, Bad Things happened. Why was this possible in the first place? Then there was that fun game-breaking issue of portals getting deleted for no (immediately) apparent reason. Nice one.




ETA: EA folks and Maxoids have been given exhaustive lists of paysites many, many times. EA Legal is supposedly breathing fire over it. Then Maxoids link to The Sims Resouce and interview TSR employees. All that money they are raking in would be better spent on EA items, wouldn't you think? There's only so much cash per customer that they can fritter away on their Sims hobby. I happen to think EA should be th eonly company profiting from EA's IP and tools and games. NOT paysites which defy the EULA and try to squelch freesites out of existence. It's the freesites that make you, indirectly, more money. Downloaders can afford to pay legitimate EA content with their spending money instead of unsupported, poor quality crap that was made with free tools and EA code. See the link in the newsbox (the "attention K*Mart shoppers" box in the upper right corner) if you really want to get yet another list of copyright and IP thieves making bucks off EA's and your hard work that YOU will never see one penny of.

If you had the chance to talk to the powers that be at EA, what would YOU say?

Nov. 20th, 2007

Maxwell MemeCat

The Maxoid Tom Letters, part 1

I could have sworn I'd posted these earlier. MaxoidTom visited MATY and wanted to know why everyone was so pissed off about SecuROM being bundled in with Bon Voyage. He then asked for feedback, and got it in spades. He never knew what hit him!

Dear MaxoidTom:

On a non-game-construction / bug front, some of us are also weary of Maxoids and EA Legal giving mixed messages about the paysite problem.

If the EULAs all state that no one can make a buck off of EA's IP but EA, which is what "noncommercial use" appears to refer to, as EA Legal has verified on many occasions, then linking to paysites on the Sims website is a mixed message.

Either it is cool by EA for users to leech off of other users and sell content that requires the game system from EA to work, or it's not. Obviously, it is not in EA's best interest to have users buying unsupported custom content rather than SPs and EPs. With a finite amount of money out there that can be spent on a hobby like the Sims, the wise business practice would seem to be to actually enforce the EULA and level the playing field for customers of EA who can't or won't pay for non-EA content. Given that a primary draw to the game is the customizability of it via CC, freesites are your biggest income generators, and you don't have to pay these folks to make your game even more fun and interesting.

It would behoove EA and Maxis to get their party lines straight and determine whether the legalese in the EULA is worth protecting or not. It's your property and your choice, but seems like it would open up a huge can of worms to allow the defiance of the EULA to continue unchallenged.

As for bugs, how and why does it keep happening that every single product is shipped with a major flaw of some sort? Why on earth would a patch break a previously-repaired issue? Most of us here on this forum play CC-free and hack- and mod-free games when new EPs/SPs are out. Therefore the only code /objects present are all EAxiod things, and inevitably stuff is borked. As has been said here, we like a lot of things about the games, but it is not unreasonable for us to expect to receive a product that works out of the box. We'd prefer more testing and bug-fixing and a delayed launch to getting yet another borkinated game issue (or ten) every six months. You do more right than wrong as far as making the game appealing; it is the actual functionality of the game that seems to have issues. Note that most of us thought Seasons was a strong EP, with few technical issues. Conversely, Pets was a mess, just like Unleashed was. If you have the time to hunt through the archives back to where Seasons was discussed, you'll see that credit is given when it is due, and most folks rate Seasons as the best and "sturdiest" EP, even though it did require patching and tweaking. The level of borkination was far less troublesome than previous borkinations.



Just some thoughts.


Do you agree? DIsagree? Let me know.

Oct. 18th, 2007

Maxwell MemeCat

My 4shared Site Is Back Up

My apologies to anyone inconvenienced by my 4shared filesharing site being down for a week. I got busy with midterms and didn't log in often enough, it expired (ZOMG! Hate when that happens!), and had to re-upload all the data.

There are new Sims files there, some radio show request files (new), and some old ones, and I think it is much better organized.

britpoptarts.4shared.com

If you ever lose but need the SecuROM malware removal instructions from MATY's Zazazu and Venusy, they are available there as well.

Oct. 8th, 2007

Olivia Benson

Oh, Furbsnizzle!! SecuROM Ate My Computer's Innards! My Game Is FUBAR! What NOW?

If you wandered into the EA Sims 2 BBS lately (why?!), you may or may not have seen a bajillion posts with ALLCAPS and lots of exclamation marks bemoaning the fact that Sony's crappy copy protection program, SecuROM, was installed with Bon Voyage. Actually, H&M, Celebrations, Sims 2 Deluxe and (I believe) Pet Stories also had SecuROM, but SecuROM was hiding, lurking, sneaking around minding its own business until Bon Voyage.

And that's a problem, because you did not agree to install SecuROM when you installed your game.

Or, you may NOT see those posts, because non-Maxis BBS moderators as well as Maxoids are scrambling to cover EA's butt, and are deleting threads and banning forum posters let and right.

And that's been a problem, because people are worried and asking for help and are getting the run-around or being censored and silenced.

SecuROM has prevented Sims players from using LEGAL software on their machines, mainly anti-virus programs and CD/DVD functions. This is unacceptable. Even more fun, SecuROM behaves like a rootkit, and doesn't want to be removed. EA is waffling about the problem (no surprise there). Maxis, now owned by EA, has to wait for EA to make a statement and actually DO something about the problem. Sony, perpetrators of SecuROM, are already being sued into oblivion due to a prior shitty rootkit issue, and they are pretending that they know nothing 'bout no SecuROM problems and are again blaming a third party vendor.

NOTE: Uninstalling games with SecuROM can cause other games to stop working, including non-Sims games. Bioshock players have had similar SecuROM problems.

Enough is enough.



* We at Sims 2 Snapshots do not endorse actual piracy. That is naughty, bad and wrong. However, if you have purchased a legal copy of a software title and wish to avoid SecuROM and other issues (such as games "phoning home" without your permission via the Internet, or conflicting with your anti-virus software or CD burner), and if you wish to make one legal backup copy of your legally purchased software, you can try the following steps (also from MATY):



WARNING: I'm only moderately technical, but have not had time to play the BV EP, much less install it and then deal with SecuROM removal hassles and making a no-cd link. If you are intimidated by these instructions, get a geeky buddy to help you. I can't walk anyone through it until I do it myself, and I'd probably just parrot the instructions above back to you anyway.

NOTE: I offer you these guidelines only to those customers of EA who are having serious SecuROM-related issues and to customers with legal copies of the Bon Voyage EP (and other effected EPs) who do not plan to abuse the information to bypass EA's copyrights. If you already have a legal copy of the BV EP and are not able to play it thanks to SecuROM, however, this advice may keep you from having to return your legally purchased game, and returning the game would mean less money for EA. If you plan on playing the EP, this will help you do so without dealing with damage to your other legal software.

Hope this helps.

P.S. Some Sims players are considering a class action lawsuit, thanks to the time and money they have had to spend fixing the damage SecuROM has wrought upon their machines. If you are interested, keep on the lookout for more information on that.

** Colorful expletives courtesy of Weebl and Bob.

Oct. 7th, 2007

Milla Harper

Understanding How "Jealousy" Works in Sims 2

A typical Simmy day in SimWorld:

Simary: I GREET YOU.
Simyrtle: I GREET YOU. GREEN PLUS, GREEN PLUS, GREEN SMILEY FACES.
Simary: GREEN PLUS, GREEN PLUS, GREEN SMILEY FACES. ALIEN HEAD.
Simyrtle: ALIEN HEAD. GREEN PLUS, GREEN PLUS.
Simary: GREEN PLUS, GREEN PLUS. BOWL OF GRUEL.
Simyrtle: BOWL OF GRUEL. RED MINUS.
Simary: RED MINUS, huh? Okay. Um, what about TELEVISION?
Simyrtle: TELEVISION, w00t. GREEN PLUS.
Simary: GREEN PLUS. YOUR HUSBAND.
Simyrtle: MY HUSBAND. GREEN PLUS, GREEN...wait, what about my husband?
Simary: GREEN PLUS. What? Oh. TOWN FLOOZY. YOUR HUSBAND.
Simyrtle: MY HUSBAND and TOWN FLOOZY? RED MINUS! RED MINUS! Where?
Simary: Over there. YOUR HUSBAND. TOWN FLOOZY. RED LIPS. GOSSIP, GOSSIP, BADMOUTH.

Simichael (some distance away, harassing a Townie): RED LIPS. You and me, baby.
Simtownie: RED LIPS? RED MINUS. Are you coming on to me? DO NOT WANT. Go away. See, I am waving my hands at you and shaking my head.  RED MINUS, RED MINUS.
Simichael: RED MINUS? Oh come on, Townie. WOOHOO.
Simtownie: WOOHOO, no. RED MINUS! RED MINUS! Cut it out. DO NOT WANT! Now I am slapping you.
Simichael: STARS AROUND HEAD. RED MINUS RED MINUS. Look, I'm a Romance Sim. This is what I do. Now LIKE me, darn it.

Simyrtle (trots over, expresses wrathful vengeance): DAGGER THROUGH HEART, RED MINUS, RED MINUS. I am quite perturbed.

We interrupt this scenario to ask what a logical AI system would do. Would it:

A. Have Simyrtle FURIOUS with Simichael, who initiated the FLIRT?
B. Have Simyrtle SLAP Simtownie, who resisted Simichael's FLIRT?
C. Have Simyrtle get FURIOUS with Simary for GOSSIPing?


The answer of course, in SimWorld, is that the cheated-on Sim attacks the stranger regardless of whether the woo that was pitched was desired or reciprocated.

Say what?

We won't get into the APOLOGIZE interaction oddness, where the offended and wronged Sim is often the one to issue an apology to the Sim who did him wrong.

Simyrtle (after the inevitable fighting and drama): I AM, LIKE, WAI SORRY U CHEATED ON ME AND THEN SLAPPED ME. I APOLOGIZE.

Roffle!

[reposted from MATY]
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Sep. 14th, 2007

Milla Harper

SIM STORY: The Rockers Arrive in Pleasantview

Nelson Laugh Award: First, a comment from me.After all the disinformation TSR and some paysiters tried to promote about EA changing the EULA for Bon Voyage to allow commercial profit off EA's property, it turns out that the EULA is exactly the same as it ever was. What a surprise. Also, Nelson is, of course, the big bully from The Simpsons. Join me in saying "HA ha!"

News: You Guys All Suck, I'm Out Of Here: Big drama at pc-sims / Sims Mod Board. Apparently there was some infighting and Katy, my fave modder there, flounced off and took all her toys and went home, going so far as to remove items at MTS2 that she'd shared there. It's a shame. Discussion of the situation can be found at PMBD. The overall reaction seems to be that it is a sad thing, but the flouncing and dramatic announcements and sudden need for lots of money to keep the site afloat and lots of support staff with endless free time to spend at SMB and other things have inspired a lot of discussion.

News: The Eighteen Faces of Eve: Simmer Jan, who goes by more names than Sybil, is opening and closing Yahoo Groups at a dizzying rate. Giving you a list of all her identities and group names would take too much time and effort on my part. Refugees from her groups have found PMBD and shared some interesting gossip, and you can get information about her many names / groups / misbehaviors there. Jan's been assuming new identities, stirring shit, creating drama and freaking out (she even "died" at one point) since Sims 1. No fandom is free of freaks. *insert resigned sigh here*

Appeal for Positive Vibes: madamehecubus , one of the head pirates at PMBD, has been suffering from debilitating back pain for some time. She will be going into surgery soon to get the problem resolved (we hope), and if you can spare some good thoughts, they certainly could not hurt.

And now, on with the show. Pictures! Whee!

This is the Rocker family.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Top row (L-R):
Squinty Noel Gallagher, a newly Goth-dyed Mark Hamilton, the sprightly Rick MacMurray, Charlotte Hatherley (she may have left Ash in real life, but can't escape being part of another boy's club in The Sims), Tim Wheeler (not to scale).
Bottom row (L-R): Stroppy Liam Gallagher, suave Jarvis Cocker.

Two Sims start to fight right off the bat. Two Sims immediately try to get jiggy in the hot tub. Place your bets on who does what.



If you want to play with the Rockers, you can grab their Sim files at britpoptarts.4shared.com for free.

By the way, Ash have new songs out. Seek an ye shall find.

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Milla Harper

March 2008

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