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Posts tagged “Maxis”

Feature: Sims, Petz, Journals and Dreams

90s CD-ROM games still have a lot to teach us

Videogames were a presence throughout my childhood, thanks to my dad having a PC for work. When he didn’t need to use it, I was allowed to tinker and explore. The games built into the computer like Solitaire, SkiFree and Fuji Golf, as well as the CD-ROM games we got from stores like Office Max and Borders, quickly became second nature to me. Now, looking…

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Cats & Dogs rain down on The Sims 4

Pet lovers rejoice, because your cherished canine and feline friends can now scamper around in The Sims 4. The Cats & Dogs expansion launched on Friday, and allows you to create your own animal pals with an appearance and personality of your choice. I'm treating it as an exciting opportunity to bring my cat's bullying of me into the virtual realm. The inevitably adorable launch…

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The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs expansion to add cats, dogs

In the future, after The Brands take over, people bubbling with folksy charm will be required to say "It's raining the fourth Sims 4 expansion pack out there" when pointing out heavy rain. EA today announced that The Sims 4 [official site] will expand again with Cats & Dogs on November 10th, see. As you might guess, it will focus on our dearest furry friends…

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Imprison toddlers in ball pools with incoming Sims 4 toddler stuff pack (I assume)

The Sims 4's Toddler Stuff Pack (stuff packs being the tier of paid DLC that adds cosmetics and objects and things around a particular theme) is how I found out I have opinions about ball pool physics and ball pools as represented in games. I have frequented many a ball pool - sometimes even a ball lido - and I know that The Sims 4…

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This Sims 4 mystery house is almost certainly haunted

I've always wanted to visit the Winchester Mystery House, which Wikipedia describes as being renowned for "its architectural curiosities, and its lack of any master building plan". There's something about mis-matched and confused architecture that I found both exciting and faintly terrifying. It's at least in part because every house and apartment building I've ever lived in has lacked any architectural curiosities. Not even a…

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Feature: The Burbs

Have You Played… The Sims 2?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. The Sims [official site] are having a mid-life crisis. What started as an experimental house-building and life sim game has become something entirely different. The Sims 3 introduced experimentation of its own in the form of open world neighbourhoods, which met with mixed…

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Feature: Turning over a new lifeform

It’s Time For Spore 2

Trees that grow from seeds you plant? Easy. 18 quintillion planets? Whatever. If you want to talk about videogames' most ambitious endeavors, there's only one contender for the top spot. Spore, released in 2008, let players control a species they created from single cell organism all the way through to becoming space explorers. That included designing everything from the huts you lived in during the…

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Feature: When Will Wright and Sid Meier worked together

Have You Played… Sid Meier’s SimGolf?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. A collaboration between Maxis and Firaxis, Sid Meier's SimGolf oddly plays at times more like a Bullfrog 'Theme' game than like the other games from its two prestigious developers. You build a golf course, earning money with which to expand, and occasionally play…

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Feature: The best Sims game

Have You Played… The Sims 3?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. In some respects, if you've played one The Sims game you've played them all. They're all about building a house, populating it with people, making those people look like your friends, and making your friends kiss one another. It's just that The Sims…

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Labour Days And Tales Of Terror: The Sims 4 Patched

The Sims 4 [official site] has received a major patch and, true to form, the notes that accompany it are a delightful mix of the comic and the Weird. It's easy to imagine a Thomas Ligotti or Robert Aickman spinning some of the confusion within the code into individual tales of domestic horror. There are no garbled telephonic hauntings to match the unnerving dimensions of…

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Soren Johnson On Maxis: “One Of The Great PC Devs”

Until their functional closure yesterday, Maxis were "one of the great PC developers". From the seminal SimCity and adventurous SimAnt, to the breakthrough The Sims and absurdly ambitious Spore, the studio made two decades of strange, thoughtful, risky games. One of the people who helped was Soren Johnson, who joined the studio in 2007 to work on finishing Spore. I was talking to Johnson about…

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It’s A Sim: EA Closes Sims/SimCity Developer Maxis

Oh man, this is a sad day. Former staff today reported - later confirmed by EA - that the heart of Maxis, the studio behind The Sims & Sim City, is to be ripped out. While satellite studios in Redwood Shores, Salt Lake City, Helsinki and Melbourne remain, the Emeryville headquarters was Maxis as we knew it. It's had a chequered recent history, particularly with…

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Sims 4 Mac Out Now, Free For Sims 4 PC Owners

It seems ludicrous that a simulation of the middle-class lifestyle and the attendant pursuit of ever-more wealth and consumer goods isn't already available to owners of Macintosh computers, but there you go. In any case, The Sims 4 [official site] - but won't someone think of the pools? - is now out for OSX, and the good news is that if you already own it…

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Sim City 2000 Is 20 Years Old And Free

Last year's SimCity was, in the end, pretty average. Its launch and the outright bullshit that EA span around it was a disaster, but the game was simply a quite disappointing entry in a formerly brilliant series. And I'd argue it was never any more brilliant than in Sim City 2000. Which makes it splendid news that just now, Sim City 2000 is free!

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Heavy Petting: The Sims 4 Adds Pools

Swimming pools are an iconic murdermachine in The Sims, but one can also use them for swimming. I know, I'd almost forgotten too. Pools were absent from The Sims 4 at launch, but EA this week added them as part of their plan to patch in things one would expect in a Sims game. Enough grumbling, they're here now and lawks, what pools they are!…

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Paddling Ghoul: The Sims 4 Patching In Ghosts And Pools

Ghosts were missing from The Sims 4 at launch, but we all know that just because we haven't seen a ghost, that doesn't mean one's not there. Going invisible is sorta their 'thing'. Not seeing a ghost is almost proof that you have one. The Sims 4 definitely does now. Maxis made ghosts materialise with a ritual content patch yesterday, the first of three big…

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Feature: SimBitty

The Sims 4 review

Hurible badda flabber? Wibble durble booby. Fasherk! Yes, you don't need to speak Simlish to know The Sims 4 is now out and ready to let you spend your precious life ensuring little computer people have far sexier and more successful ones. Only now you can't drown them in your pool. Does the rest have what it takes to compensate for that shocking omission? Here's…

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Self-Replicating Babies: Sims 4 Patch Note Fun Begins

"Stopped vampires from pinning their crimes on babies and children." You don't need to play Dwarf Fortress to enjoy a changelog note like that. Simulations encouraging emergent gameplay lead to emergent bugs, weird and wonderful confluences of complexities. The Sims 4 might not have dwarves, vampires, goblins, kidnapping, or horseshoe crab people, but its zany take on everyday life evidently can still bring some fun…

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