EA announces The Sims 2

From the press release:

EA Announces Plans For The Sims 2
The next generation of the #1 PC game of all time

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 5, 2003 - Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) today announced that The Sims™ 2, the next generation of the #1 PC game of all time, is in development at the company’s Walnut Creek-based Maxis™ studio. For the first time, players control their Sims over an entire lifetime. Every choice that is made has a relevant and dramatic effect on the life of a Sim. More life-like Sims, all-new gameplay, and the ground-breaking addition of genetics, with the DNA of Sims passed down through generations gives players a more vivid, realistic, and in-depth Sims experience. All of this takes place in a new amazingly life-like 3-D world. The Sims 2 will be unveiled to industry insiders on May 13th at the Electronic Entertainment Exposition in Los Angeles and is scheduled to ship in early 2004.

“The Sims, themselves, always have been the most interesting part of the game experience for me. Giving them DNA makes them even more life-like and increases the personal connection between players and their Sims,” said Will Wright, Chief Game Designer at EA’s Maxis Studio, “The strategy of playing Sims across a lifetime and experiencing their emergent traits and behaviors will give players a deeper and more realistic experience.”

Next Generation Simulation

Guiding your Sims through “Life’s Big Moments” takes on new importance, as players now get a “Life Score” to measure how well they are playing each individual Sim. The decisions that players make throughout the lifetime of their Sims now have an impact on their long-term success or failure. A choice made as a toddler has a direct effect on the teen and adult Sim they become. Will players be able to successfully lead their Sims through such important events as a first step, first crush, or marriage proposal, all while the clock is ticking?

Next Generation Sims

The Sims in The Sims 2 are more aware and responsive to both other Sims and their surroundings. Sims truly come to life expressing moods and feelings through more realistic body animations and for the first time facial animations. They form complex relationships and are able to distinguish between family and friends, platonic friendships and romantic love. Sims in The Sims 2 now have DNA. Passing along physical characteristics and traits to their offspring, Sims both resemble and behave like their ancestors. As in real life, the appearance of the Sims now changes over time. In addition to getting older, a Sim that spends too much time on the couch will develop a paunch and a Sim that works out will enjoy rock solid abs.

Next Generation Features

An entirely new 3-D engine makes the world of The Sims 2 more life-like and dynamic. The Sims 2 will also introduce an all-new “Create-A-Sim” feature. This allows you to customize the facial features of your Sim with a few simple clicks, to a level of detail never realized before. In The Sims 2, players are now able to build dwellings over two stories and have the ability to coordinate and customize the homes of their Sims to a new degree of design with all-new furniture, lighting and objects.

The Sims franchise celebrated its third anniversary in February 2003. The game skyrocketed to the top of the charts when it began shipping to stores and quickly became a universal gaming and cultural phenomenon. The Sims base product was the #1 seller in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Translated into 17 different languages, The Sims has inspired six expansion packs, five of which have all been top sellers. They include The Sims™ Livin’ Large, The Sims™ House Party, The Sims™ Hot Date, The Sims™ Vacation, The Sims™ Unleashed, and due out May 13, 2003, The Sims™ Superstar. Combined sales for the franchise have topped 24 million units life-to-date. For more information on The Sims franchise titles, visit http://www.thesims.com.

sounds cool. no really. They finally go 3d. now… can we see the sex?!?



I wonder if you’ll be able to put “your” Sim in an online environment with other Sims?

I’d rather see whether my Sim can play well with others online, rather then playing a Sim myself.

Your Power Pill

I wanna see my Sims get it the fuk on! Upclose and N-A-S-T-Y! That’s what I want to see.


Will Wright: “The Sims, themselves, always have been the most interesting part of the game experience for me.”

So why did they remove them from The Sims Online? Instead of a Sim you have an avatar.

That’s a good point… the whole “Little Computer People” fascination disappears, doesn’t it?

Well…Will Wright can play with his dolls all he wants as long as they make the house building cooler.

Well, gosh, who couldn’t see this sequel appearing at some point, eh?

Originally Will had told me they planned to open the API up for people to create their own objects and modifications for the game. This never ended up being published.

I wonder if it was because:

  1. EA feared it would bite into lucrative expansion sales, or
  2. EA feared people would be creating dungeons, sex toys, and other lascivious mods to satisfy the whims of benj.

I’m calling Vivid Interactive right now…


I was just thinking the other day, if The Sims were 3D, this thing would really fly off the shelves.


Ok, so they are making it 3D and throwing a dash of Creatures in it. Sims will be born, have kids, and die. In fact I wouldn’t be overly surprised if Creature Labs is involved. however I think some other things need to be added as well…

  1. Fix time scale. Takes way to long to pee and other activities.
  2. Make the interface more friendly (ei changing clothes should be easier)
  3. Follow the sim from home, to work, to shop, to other sim houses,
  4. release API so users can mod their Sims or make the tools to customize The Sims more available.
  5. “borrow” from animal crossing and allow for the change of seasons and other special events. (infact a general heavy borrowing from Animal Crossing would be a good thing IMHO)
  6. Allow for more adult behavor. Nothing vulgar, but make drinking, smoking, and sex a bit more hmmmmm “real”? Nothing beyond a night time soap I imagine but more than what the Sims currently do. (I personally wouldn’t mind “Sim Sex Party” but I imagine that isn’t what EA wants…)
  7. Let the effects of the above effect the Sims. if they party all the time, they will become out of shape and sick.
  8. Increase the AI of the Sims. A large family should needed to be baby sat. Maybe just the household leader and direct control could be taken if desired.
  9. Expansion packs should be more tool kit like. Really adding to the game. Hot Date, while an interesting concept, felt more like a mini game instead of adding to the Sims.
  10. No 8 sim limit.

Anyone think of others?

EA has a horrendous record of doing ANYTHING that encourages player made content and/or community activities that they can’t exploit for monetary gain within a fiscal quarter.

This sounds somewhat more interesting than the Sims but if I still have to tell people when to pee then count me out.

I’m VERY curious about the percentage of Sims players that enjoyed the game for its micromanaging people aspects and the percentage that enjoyed it for its build cool houses and put cool stuff in them aspect.

I would hate to see The Sims 2 really screw up the architecture element either by not improving it or by crippling it or removing it as a majore gameplay theme. That would be a “The Sims” that I would have no interest in.

Unlike most people, I’m not going to sit here and say that I have some completely unsubstantiated “feeling” that a lot of people played this because of the architectural elements…I don’t have the faintest frigging idea. But I will say that I hope Maxis knows the answer to this question… for their own good.

The history of video games has a number of examples of arrogant designers that were sure that everybody else loved the game because of feature X and were disastrously wrong.

For instance: (with problem feature)

The later Kings Quest games (cartoony characters)

Gabriel Knight 3 (stupid puzzles)

Later Wing Commander games (cinematics…who f-ing cares if Mark Hamil is in my game?)

Ultima 8/9 (parties, magic system)

TA: Kingdoms (gameplay over graphics, performance)

Unreal II (actual gameplay)

MOO 3 (spreadsheets)

Civ 3 (addictiveness, fun)

Heck, even TSO suffers from this problem. Will Wright obviously doesn’t have a crystal ball. Just because he likes to play with dolls doesn’t mean that everybody that plays his game does too.

I’m sure you guys can come up with other examples of sequel failures as well as games that succeeded because of something other than the primary focus of the game.

Pretty much the only joy I got out of the Sims was cheating to give myself a ton of money and then building houses. Even when I turned the autonomy all the way up so I wouldn’t have to tell them when to pee I just wasn’t too interested in the people. Just building cool stuff.

No way! That’s the best part.


“Hey Derek! Go pee!”


This is exactly what I did. You bake AND you know the right way to play the Sims! :D

I’m still wondering what “benj” means.