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|04 January 02 The Sims: Vacation – Redeemer|
|Word has it that a new expansion is in development, called The Sims: Vacation. The expansion will let you take your Sims to various holidaying locations, including a beach, a mountain top and wilderness camping. Sims will be able to play beach volleyball, go snowboarding, fishing and hunting. Of course, there will be new objects, such as a snowman, sandcastle and carousel, as well as souvenir items to take home.|
|07 January 02 Hot Date Set for the Mac – Redeemer|
|Aspyr Media has announced that it will release Hot Date for Max OS X later this year.|
|08 January 02 AIAS Hall of Fame – Redeemer|
|The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) has announced that it will induct Wright into the Academy’s Hall of Fame at the 5th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards to be held on 28th February in Las Vegas.
“Will Wright is a visionary in the truest sense of the word, and the natural choice for this year’s award,” said Academy president Paul Provenzano. “In creating gaming experiences that are constructive, socially responsible, truly original, and totally entertaining, the wide appeal of Wright’s games have introduced people of all ages to the interactive art form, redefining the popular perception of the audience for games.”
Wright will also be taking part in the first annual D.I.C.E. Summit, which will be held in conjunction with the Awards. The pic is of Wright presenting the 2001 AIAS Game of the Year Award, which he had received in 2000 for The Sims.
Previous recipients of the Hall of Fame award include Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo, Sid Meier of Firaxis Games, Hironobu Sakaguchi of Square USA, and John Carmack of id Software. Each year, nominations are submitted by a Hall of Fame committee formed by the AIAS board of directors, and are then voted on by the entire board of directors to determine the winner.
|10 January 02 The Sims: Vacation Confirmed – Redeemer|
The Sims: Vacation has been confirmed by Maxis. Read the Press Release.|
Players can help their Sims escape the grind of their everyday lives by sending them to this new and fully customizable island destination that offers a snowy alpine setting, a Riviera-style beach and a forest campground. Beach volleyball, snowboarding, fishing or hunting for hidden treasure are just a few of the things that Sims can do at this unique resort location. All-new social interactions and over 120 new objects will have Sim vacationers entertained from dusk until dawn.
|10 January 02 SimGolf is Gold – Redeemer|
|Here’s the word from Firaxis.|
Sid Meier’s SimGolf has just gone gold! Available soon for PC, the game is scheduled for worldwide release the week of January 21. Beat your holiday blues by getting out and whacking the ball around on your very own customized golf course!
From legendary game designer Sid Meier and his team at Firaxis Games, Sid Meier’s SimGolf™, is a PC game that puts players in charge of their very own golf resort. As course designer, CEO and resident pro, the player is challenged to grow a business from a small, public pitch-and-putt to a five-star resort complete with world-class golf holes, professional tournaments and luxury accommodations.
|18 January 02 Most Wanted Games of 2002 – Redeemer|
|GameSpy’s Most Wanted Games of 2002 lists the Sims Online and Republic: The Revolution.|
|30 January 02 SimGolf Website Relaunch – Redeemer|
|EA has relaunched the Official Site now that the game is in stores. Instead of the single page there was previously, it now follows the Sims site format with Downloads and Exchange.|
|31 January 02 Online Worlds FanFest – nocturne|
|Pictures from the Online Worlds FanFest have been posted on uo.com. In addition to the Ultima Online dev team, notables present were writer Austen Andrews (who wrote the Technocrat War Trilogy, based on the cancelled UO2), Todd McFarlane (showing off his designs for UO:BR) and Will Wright (showing off TSO).|
|05 Feburary 02 5th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards – Redeemer|
|The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences has announced the finalists for the 5th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards. The Sims: Hot Date received a nomination for Innovation in Computer Gaming.|
|22 Feburary 02 GameSpot Preview – Redeemer|
|GameSpot previews TSO, along with six sparkling new screenshots.|
[The buddy list] is displayed through a branching web that can be expanded to include friends of friends and so on. “We want everyone in the game to be interconnected somehow,” Walton says jokingly. “You know, kind of like six degrees of separation with Kevin Bacon.” Each friend in your web will have his or her own profile window that contains that person’s interests, any lists that he or she appears on, where in the city that person currently is, where that person’s house is located, as well as other vital information. From here, you’ll be able to send that person a message as well.
And this quote shows that the writer has never played an MMPOG. Ahh, to be young and naive again…
Realistically, you’ll probably never run into problematic sims, especially considering that the game is meant to get likeminded people together – there’s safety in numbers… not that there’s any danger in the game.
|24 Feburary 02 Flashbacks for Free – nocturne|
|GameSpot has just posted a feature – Flashbacks for Free – dealing with the “abandonware” phenomenon. Abandonware is the term some people use to describe old, usually classic games that are no longer availiable, which can be found for download from such abandonware sites. It’s an interesting read, if long (9 pages), and talks to publishers, developers – Richard Garriott, Tim Schafer, Al Lowe, Will Wright, and Chris Taylor – and everyone else concerned.
“From a true legal sense, my belief is that ‘abandonware’ does infringe on the copyright holders’ legal protection…if they care,” says Richard Garriott, the creator of the classic Ultima role-playing series.
“Electronic Arts, for example, does care about early Ultimas, as they don’t want to lose protection on current Ultimas,” says Garriott. “Truly ‘abandoned’ properties are less worrisome. That being said, personally, I think that sites that support these old games are a good thing for both consumers and copyright owners.” He explains: “If the options are (a) having a game be lost forever and (b) having it available on one of these sites, I’d want it to be available. That being said, I believe a game is ‘abandoned’ only long after it is out of print. And just because a book is out of print does not give me rights to print some for my friends.”
|02 March 02 5th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards – Redeemer|
|The results are in! Specifically, the results of the 5th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards given out by the The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Top honours go to Bungie’ XBox game, Halo: Combat Evolved, with four Awards. Black & White took home two Awards, including Innovation in Computer Gaming and Computer Game of the Year. Tropico won an award for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Composition. Also at the Awards, Will Wright was inducted into the Academy Hall of Fame.|
|06 March 02 Vacation Pics – nocturne|
|We’ve added a few shots from the expansion to a new Vacation Gallery.|
|08 March 02 GameSpy :: 30 Most Influential People in Gaming – nocturne|
|Will Wright comes in at fourth place in GameSpy’s 30 Most Influential People in Gaming.|
We’re not sure if it was some kind of forward-thinking vision – or if it was simply divine inspiration – but Will Wright made gaming history when he started to think of video games as “toys” rather than “win-or-lose” affairs.
Other notables include Richard Garriott (The Ultima Collection) and Peter Molyneux (Black & White, Dungeon Keeper), with Shigeru Miyamoto topping the list.
|13 March 02 The Sims: Vacation Gold – nocturne|
|21 March 02 MSNBC Article – nocturne|
|Will Wright is featured in an article on MSNBC.|
“I first came up with the idea for The Sims in 1992 or 1993,” says Wright. “In 1993, I built a version of The Sims on the Mac in which I could have a guy walk around, build a house, and interact with objects. We did a focus group in 1993 in which we tested four game ideas; and of the ideas we tested, The Sims was the one that everybody universally hated.”
|28 March 02 CNNmoney Article – nocturne|
|Hot on the heels of Vacation reaching the stores and The Sims displacing Myst as the Best-Selling Game of All Time, CNNmoney is reporting that The Sims 2 is currently being developed.|
Also in the works is a stand-alone single-player sequel to “The Sims,” which EA indicated will be announced later this year. Wright’s involvement in the game is limited at this time, but he promises a new player interface, new graphics and a new artificial intelligence powering the Sims.
“They’ll be more expressive, more interesting and more lifelike, but they’ll still have that funny, open-ended, chaotic atmosphere like you see in the first game,” Wright said.
|12 April 02 Sims Vacation Sweepstakes – nocturne|
|Fresh from the Press Machine – EA and Amazon.com is holding a contest to win a week-long, all-inclusive family vacation to Jamaica. You have to be within the US to participate. Entry and rules.|