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Tuesday, March 20, 2001

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The Sims Creator Q&A, Online Details
10:18 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A couple of recent features have been posted in the more 'mainstream' media about Will Wright and his amazingly-popular creation, The Sims. An article at The Standard looks at the extreme popularity of this unique game and the incredible amount of user-made content available for The Sims on the web. Two interesting paragraphs at the end of the piece offer a glimpse of the Sims Online, a multiplayer version to be released next year. Here's an excerpt:

The Sims Online, a persistent virtual world scheduled to launch next year, leverages community interaction on an unprecedented level by allowing characters to sell each other SimGoods and SimServices for in-game money. In its early stage of development, the obvious professions seem to be architecture and exotic dancing. Naked skins are freely available on the Web; a jukebox animates them, and a turnstile allows you to charge admission. It's amazing how these simple elements combine.

More subtly, the Sims Online will allow players to bookmark retail objects. For instance, if you see a cool chair at someone's house, you bookmark it. If you buy the chair, a commission flows back to the person from whom you bookmarked it, and the person from whom they bookmarked it, as well as the creator of that object. This motivates people to buy expensive stuff and throw parties. It also makes it economically attractive to buy one of every chair in the Sim universe and open a Chairs "R" Us showroom. Imagine a world where you could earn an Amazon-style affiliate commission for every product on your homepage -- it makes retail into a massively multiplayer game.

You can images how the possibilities for such a title could be even more popular than the current incarnation of The Sims. It's too early to be speculating on a Mac port of future Sims titles, but we're hoping the success of the originals will help convince Aspyr Media to do so.

In other Sims news, CNET's News.com has interviewed Will Wright, the creator of Maxis and the entire Sims empire of games. In the article, he discusses why the game is so popular, the gender breakdown of its players, and how they plan to harness the user-participation in future games. He also gives a quick explanation of how Sims 2 will differ from Sims Online:

Will the online version be "The Sims 2," or is there another product in the works?

"Sims 2" is a completely different thing. We're experimenting a lot with that right now. I mean, there are so many directions it could go. I can't really give you a comprehensive answer about what it will be, but I think it is going to focus much more on the story aspects.

We're going to try to find ways to make the game more open-ended but at the same time make the stories that we're coming out with much more dramatic.

Wright talks more about Sims topics in general, so be sure to read through the rest of the interview. For fans of the current title, we're still trying to pin down whether a Mac version of the second Sims add-on pack "House Party" will be released; we'll let you know what we discover.

Will Wright Interview at CNET
The Sims Article at The Standard
Aspyr Media
Westlake Interactive
The Sims: Livin' Large

Other Mac Games News for Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Gridz, Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab Updates5:46 PM
IMG Earns Macworld Web Award1:30 PM
Monkey Island Gold, Alice Update from Aspyr12:54 PM
• The Sims Creator Q&A, Online Details10:18 AM
Tribe 2 is Gold... For PC10:06 AM
Tropico Preview, Interview9:49 AM
GameSpy Previews World War II Online9:43 AM
To Doom... Or Not to Doom?9:19 AM
New Downloads from Kid's Domain9:13 AM
Red Faction Movies Released9:05 AM
Geforce2 MX Drivers Updated8:52 AM
Target Korea 60 Days from Beta8:52 AM
Rune: Halls of Valhalla for Mac Confirmed!8:33 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, March 20, 2001 on one page

Mac Games News for Monday, March 19, 2001

Confuware Reveals "Horrific Resolution"4:02 PM
Clan Lord Goes Carbon3:55 PM
"April Fewlz" Myth II FFA Tourney10:10 AM
Marathon: Rubicon Released9:26 AM
Preview of Tropico9:10 AM
Austerlitz 1805 Available8:57 AM
Master of Orion 3 Developer Diary8:53 AM
Rune: Halls of Valhalla Details8:53 AM
New Game Company "Sphidia" Emerges8:42 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, March 19, 2001 on one page

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