Posts Tagged ‘Maxis’

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 by adding cats. Dogs will be there too, desperate for attention as always. Folks will get to keep, customise, and train ’em and whatnot, and the expansion will also introduce a new vet job for players to run their own clinic. Observe: Read the rest of this entry »

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

Toddler Stuff Pack: The Sims 4

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 is eliding many a problem with ball pools.

For one it’s entirely possible to perform a ball pool bellyflop and significantly injure yourself but here it’s all fun and games. Actually, I’d say it’s harder to dive or jump into a ball pool and make it look like a fun experience than it is to do so and really hurt yourself. It’s also impossible to confine balls to the ball pool area. Oh, and there’s not a single frame of the trailer showing an adult having to clamber through a ball pool searching for and then hauling out their recalcitrant toddler. Further objections include the fact that you can’t keep adults out of a children’s ball pool and, somewhat relatedly, that I find it objectionable that EA seem to be taking a stand against a grown woman’s right to enjoy a ball pool.

They do manage to recapture an actual argument I had with my brother over who had the right to play with a plastic dinosaur, though. (My argument was: “I’m older and I want it more” and his was “but it is literally my toy dinosaur”). Read the rest of this entry »

This Sims 4 mystery house is almost certainly haunted

simchester

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 single doorway to nothing or secret chamber.

That’s why I want all of my Sims to live in this extravagant and convoluted masterpiece of erratic design built for The Sims 4 [official site]. They’d have a ball, right up until the point they realised the ballroom is probably haunted by its own design.

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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 response, and The Sims 4 is a lighter, happier take on the formula, stripping back on neighbourhood features to focus on the Sims themselves.

Looking back, The Sims 2 may have been the game that found the sweet spot, with enough complexity to make every life a little different and with characters that weren’t quite so removed from reality as the weird cartoons of later entries in the series.

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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 tribe stage, to the spaceships you used to careen around the galaxy near the game’s conclusion. Most importantly, it let you craft exactly what kind of weirdo you’d be taking to the stars, whether six-limbed, beady-eyed monstrosities or fleshky daleks or Homer Simpson, and then it populated your world with everyone else’s creations automatically, so that each planet was filled with delightful, handmade surprises.

Spore was a marvel. It’s crying out for a sequel.

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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 a few holes yourself.

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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 3 got the formula closest to perfection.

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Labour Days And Tales Of Terror: The Sims 4 Patched

weird tales of domestic horror

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 Your Tiny Hand is Frozen – none that have been discovered and purged, at least – but upon reading the entries below can anyone doubt that the suburbs that house our Sims have been infected with some uncanny disorder of the nerves?

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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 his new game Offworld Trading Company [official site] just a few hours after news of the closure broke and took the opportunity to ask him about his former employer, the studio’s closure, and the difficulties of working with big studios that have “a laundry list of requirements” for a game.

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

In memoriam

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 regard to the most recent SimCity, but without a doubt this was a legendary developer.

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

that's not a Mac, but hey, close enough

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 on PC you get the Mac version free.
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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

Who lives in a house like this?

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! I had never before considered the possibility of a house bulging with swimming pools like beautiful glass pustules.

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Paddling Ghoul: The Sims 4 Patching In Ghosts And Pools

The haunting squeal of an ethereal whoopee cushion.

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 free monthly content updates planned.

November’s patch will bring back swimming pools — dear murderous swimming pools! — while December’s update is set to add new career paths and rewards.

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Wot I Think: The Sims 4

The joke isn't that The Sims can play The Sims. It's that their copy has way, WAY more features...

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 Wot I Think…

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Self-Replicating Babies: Sims 4 Patch Note Fun Begins

Youths! Always the root of the problem.

“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 bugs to read about.

The game launches this week (today in North America, Thursday in Europe–grumble grumble) and a launch-day patch means wacky fun changelogs are already arriving. Fixed by this first update are issues with hibernating babies and a Reaper who’s just not that into you.

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Build-A-Youth: The Sims 4’s Character Creator Demo

That's what young people look like nowadays, isn't it?

No matter what’s removed or added or changed or bro-ised with The Sims 4, we can be fairly certain it’ll allow one thing: making goofy-looking folks. But lawks a lummy, Maxis have only gone and released that part for free! The ‘Create A Sim’ character creator has been yanked out of the full game to make a demo (or we can treat it as simply a cool toy for everyone to play with). Nab it from Origin. This came out last week, but we overlooked it in all the fuss and bother of Gamescom. Luckily, pulling silly faces is timeless.

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Going Up: SimCity Timed Demo Released

GREEN.

I dream of a city: dense, apartment blocks and tight terraces, lots of parks, even more trees, great public transport, by a river or lake with forest nearby. I skipped last year’s SimCity for obvious reasons but would like to build this dream in it, coo and aah as it bursts into an unconvincing simulation of life, then probably stop after, say, four hours.

Well gosh golly, as luck would have it that’s exactly how long the newly-released demo offers.

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