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Posts tagged “Maxis”

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 a…

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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 3…

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

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…

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Going Up: SimCity Timed Demo Released

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…

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Get A Life: The Sims 2 Ultimate Edition Is Free

Free! It's free! The Sims 2 is free! I don't really know what more to say. The Sims 2 is free on Origin. You'll get all its expansions and add-on packs too. For free. Because it's free. It's all free.I mean, the technical explanation is that EA have retired support for The Sims 2 and as a parting gift gave everyone who owned it on…

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Peeved Push Ups And Premium Memberships: The Sims 4

The word "bro" is tossed around a lot nowadays, but I can't say I've ever met one of these curious beings. I'm choosing to treat a new The Sims 4 trailer as a documentary, 20 minutes teaching me about two bros who work out, bro out, party down, and die of laughter after their Kim Jong-un-lookalike housemate wees himself during a cupcake fire. What a…

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The Kerbal Sims Program: The Sims 4

I'm writing this because I care. For a while now, The Sims 4 has been showing signs that it might be on the verge of a nervous breakdown, the sort that would end with it covered in its own waste fluids in the middle of an executive meeting, babbling about the Keen rocketship that it's building using old tin cans. We're told that this game…

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Is A Sims Game Without Pools Even A Sims Game At All?

The answer is, of course, "Yes, obviously," but The Sims' triumphant return to our lives (well, technically non-lives with The Sims ruling them) might be a slightly bittersweet one. The Sims 4 is bringing all sorts of new building, customization, and socialization features, but it's losing some classics. Remember swimming pools? Of course you do, you SimSadist, you ladder-deleting devil. Well, they won't be available,…

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