|01 May 01 Gamasutra Interview|
|An interview about the Sims has been posted by Gamasutra. It’s rather interesting, if you don’t mind the technicalities of game-design ((Gamasutra is, after all, a developer-centric site)). Lots of stuff about players of the Sims ((that means you)).
I was actually doing some simulations for the hell of it – some epidemiological simulations. It’s kind of interesting, if you take a virus and you just double the period of time that it’s contagious_rather than you being contagious for one week, you’re contagious for two weeks, its spread into the eventual population is totally non-linear. So, in fact the eventual spread of the virus could end up hitting five times more of the population than if it were half as contagious. There’s a tremendous leverage that you’ve got there. I think that games are somewhat like that, where if I play a game for one week, I’m going to spread it to so many friends; if I play it for two weeks, I’m going to spread it to a few more. That means that each of those people is going to spread it to a few more, and a few more, and so it’s compound.
|09 May 01 GameSpot Preview|
|GameSpot has put up a preview.|
But before he started turning his ideas into lines of code, Meier did something most designers are too proud to do: He sought the advice of others. And whom better to seek advice from for a micromanagement city-building strategy game than Maxis founder and creator of the Sim franchise, Will Wright.
|10 May 01 Official Site Launched|
|The TSO Official Site has been launched, you can find it at http://thesimsonline.ea.com/.|
Welcome to the Web site for The Sims Online, Will Wright’s massively multiplayer online version of The Sims that’s coming in 2002. We’ll be updating this site with all the newest info, links to press articles, budding fan sites, and quite possibly a few surprises, so check back soon.
|11 May 01 Sims @ E3|
|A list of PC games to be shown at E3 has been posted by GameSpot, and includes TSO, Simsville and Sid Meier’s SimGolf under EA’s banner.|
|12 May 01 Official Screenshots|
|Four screenshots have been released on the Official Site.|
|14 May 01 MSNBC Article|
|MSNBC has a new article highlighting TSO.|
Electronic Arts officials point out that it isn’t really possible to identify in advance players who will turn into bad seeds. “I would prefer to come out of the gate giving players the benefit of the doubt… than come out of the gate assuming that everyone has a dark side,” Mr. Wright says.Gosh, you would imagine EA has learned something from running that other online game for the past four years.
|16 May 01 Sid Meier’s SimGolf Announced|
|Read the Press Release.|
|18 May 01 IGN PC E3 Preview|
|Hot on the annoucement of SimGolf, IGN PC has posted their preview.|
|19 May 01 E3 Previews|
|E3 Previews from GameSpy and GameSpot.|
|20 May 01 GameSpy E3 Preview|
|GameSpy has posted their E3 Preview.|
|22 May 01 E3 Previews|
|TSO First Impressions from GameSpot.|
Visually, The Sims Online appears to use the same engine as the original Sims, but 64 new social interactions have been added. There are also eight different categories for sim interaction, each with sub-categories, giving your sim the ability to express more emotions.And another preview comes to us from GameSpy.
|23 May 01 Sims on the Charts|
|House Party has dropped off the top spot of best-selling games for the week ending 12 May, according to this GameSpot report. Myst III: Exile takes the top spot and the fifth spot with its Collectors Edition. The Sims is at #4, while Livin’ Large is at #7.|
Another report informs us that for the month of April, House Party is #1, with the Sims at #4, Livin’ Large at #5, Sim Theme Park at #7 and SC3K UL hanging on at #17.
|24 May 01 IGN E3 Awards|
|IGN PC has given SimGolf a Best of E3 award for Best PC Sports Game. TSO got runners-up spots for Best Online PC Game and PC Innovative Design.|
|26 May 01 Voodoo Extreme E3 Preview|
|Voodoo Extreme has posted their E3 Preview, along with this hint from Wright about what’s coming after TSO.|
Although The Sims Online is Wright’s main project for a while, he is already thinking about The Sims 2.0, which he says he will work more and more on once the design for Sims Online gets more set in stone. “We are such in the early stages right now, so I’m afraid anything I say is probably wrong,” he admitted, “but we are looking at how to take the storytelling aspects of the game, where people would actually create a story and make that much more dramatic and much more powerful; give them new tools. I’m really excited about it because I think its really going to be The Sims hitting its stride in the single player space.”
|29 May 01 60 Second Preview|
|Quarter to Three has written a preview based on the showing at E3.|
Tom’s Comments: I never got around to using IRC channels or AOL chat. The concept of random people chatting is weird enough. But I gotta say: setting up The Sims as a graphical interface for someone to ask someone else what she’s wearing is the cleverest way to not go broke since P.T. Barnum put a bunch of clowns and elephants in tent. You guys have fun, all several million or so of you who buy into this thing. I’ll be over here shooting aliens or something. Playing The Sims gave me the creeps. Playing The Sims online, with other people, would probably just make my skin crawl off my body.
|30 May 01 E3 Trailer|
|GameSpot has posted the Simsville trailer shown at E3. You can view it at GameSpot’s SimsVille media page. It’s not much to look at, more an animated screenshot than a trailer.|
|31 May 01 E3 Trailer|
|GameSpot has posted the TSO E3 Trailer, showing the whole setting up a casino to make some money thing. You can view it at GameSpot’s TSO media page.|
|10 June 01 We’re Live|
|Lil’ bit empty right now ((okay, okay, a lot of bits empty)), but we’ll be filling ’er up as we go along. Since you’re here, you’ll want to bookmark this page.|
Since we’re late to the party, we’ll be focusing mostly on news for Sims Online, Simsville and Sid Meier’s SimGolf. We’ll also be filling the site up with info on The Sims, so let us know what you’d like to see and we’ll be putting those up first.
|12 June 01 Wright to Speak at IGDA San Fran|
|The International Game Developers Association ((IGDA)) has announced a new chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area, with the first gathering of the new Chapter featuring a lecture on game design by Will Wright. You can read the entire press release here.|
|14 June 01 GameSpot Video Interview|
|GameSpot has put up a video interview, which you can get here.|
|18 June 01 IGN PC Interview|
|The dust has settled on E3, but news bits keep surfacing here and there, like this interview from IGN PC.
In an online community, there’s this kind of social economy between the community members. Some people have status because they make cool skins or that’s a good website that’s visited a lot, but there’s no real gameplay there. There is a lot of the same dynamics that we’re trying to take from the website into the game, but in a little more structured format.
|21 June 01 CGW Cover|
|The August issue of dead-tree mag Computer Gaming World will feature a Simsville cover and a look at Ville and TSO. It’ll be on newsstands 3rd July, or visit enews.com for a free-trial subscription.|