Friday, March 28, 2008

Freebie Friday - The Sims 2 - Spore Outfits

Spore clothes for The Sims 2

I took some of the content from the fansite kit in the previous post to create goodies for The Sims 2. Took me a lot longer than I thought, too, unfortunately, since I ended up redoing many of the shoes and recreating the womens shirt. But I hate leaving anything half done or looking icky, so there it is. It is available at The Sims Resource. I hope you like these outfits because, now that they're finished, I sure do!

Update: I've decided to host the Sims 2 Freebies on for download every week until they get permanently placed. That way, sites who host my work can approve them or whatever at their pace and you can get the content every Friday. Once they get a permanent home, I'll update the links here. This means that people who come to my site every Friday from now on will get them BEFORE everyone else. Hooray!

Thanks for waiting!
Click here for download!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Spore Fansite Kit Released--Or Is It?!

Spore logo

I wanted to make a bigger post today, mostly about Warcraft's 2.4 patch that was released yesterday, but I just didn't have the time. So, instead, I'll post about this Spore fansite kit hosted at I came to it by way of Spores Illustrated, and while no one can agree whether or not Maxis put it out, the content it contains is pretty sweet. GameVillage also has a download, but you have to register to get it.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot--I did manage to make this little widget today that shows you the days, minutes, and seconds left until Spore is available. Grab a copy for yourself.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Spore Magazine Article & Will Wright Interview

Spore Screenshot from the Spore Website

The Spore fansite posted that the British magazine Total PC Gaming has a huge and marvelous article on Spore which includes an interview with developer Thomas Vu. I wish I could score a copy for myself as the article's colorful design and illustrations are impressive, and it would make a great keepsake for any Spore fan.

Some of the highlights beyond the artwork include:

  • An overview of Spore's five phases.

  • Influences on Will Wright that affected the outcome of Spore.

  • Snippets of basic game play.

  • An interview with Thomas Vu, EA Producer.

Also, Hooked on Spore reports about a fascinating interview with Will Wright himself on Australian Broadcasting Corporation's "Good Game." He talks about Sim City and his inspirations for his games with the focus of the interview being on Spore.

After watching the show & reading the article, I felt as if I knew enough to pick up the game right now & start playing it. Oh, if only I could... Less than six months left and counting down!

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Freebie Friday - Sim City 4 - Petting Zoo

Alien Ann's Happy Petting Zoo

I guess these Freebie Fridays are becoming a regular thing. Which isn't bad, exactly. I'm getting to make content that I want to make for my games, and getting to share it with you! Isn't that a nice deal. So, this Freebie Friday is for one of my favorite games, Sim City 4. I bring you Alien Ann's Happy Petting Zoo .

This petting zoo is so incredibly happy that every animal in it is a shining beacon of health and wonder and every child leaves crying--because they don't want to go. It's a ploppable petting zoo (1x1 recreation lot), ideal for your rural sims. Comes complete with goat pen, barn o' fun, fluffy doggy, refreshment stand, and coin-op horse for the little sims. Lamp fixture and bushes will vary.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Oh-Em-Gee Sims 3?!

What's going on over at EA today?

Let's go find out!

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Smooth Move - MyMiniCity is Getting BIG

Smooth Move - MyMiniCity has been growing by leaps & bounds lately, thanks to everyone who has been stopping by. We're growing our industry now; industry began around the 50 population mark. The town has undergone quite a change--pay a visit to see how it's grown!

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Freebie Friday - The Sims 2 - Shamrock Undies - SimPE Updated

Shamrock Undies
For the upcoming holiday, I bring you Shamrock Undies for Adult Sims, a freebie from me to you once again hosted by the fine people at Mod the Sims 2.
Download it here.
Also, SimPE - The Sims 2 Package Editor has been updated for FreeTime. A brand new version, it's still in the alpha stage, but if you need to make changes in your game right now, you might want to give it a try. I unzombied my zombie sim with it. You can, too!

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

World of Warcraft Arenas: Are Hunters the True Forsaken?

Okay hunters, you all knew something was wrong. Normally the darlings of the battlegrounds--the class with the highest kills--you wondered why the heck couldn't your arena team rise above 1700 or 1800 (at least, if you didn't have a druid). Where were all the 2000+ ranked hunters? Well, now you know you weren't imagining things. The numbers show they're simply not there.

Last week in the Warlock Discussion Forum in a thread called Lifetap change reverted (self-explanatory), Kalgan (Tom Chilton, the lead game designer's nom de message board) dropped The Drama Bomb and the forums erupted with hunters screaming. Especially since the Vengeful Gladiator's Waraxe is getting nerfed in 2.4.

43.0%...50.2%...43.0%. What's that all about?

The only information Kalgan provided about the chart was this,

...a value of 100% means the class is represented as we'd expect, a value over 100% means the class is represented that much more often than we'd expect, a value below 100% means they're represented less than we'd want...

...and, yeah, hunters were listed as having 43...well, I don't have to repeat it. The chart was for 2200+ ranked teams, though among the 1850+ teams (2v2, 3v3, & 5v5, respectively), hunters fared no better: 50.2%...50.2%...50.2%. Ouch.

Incidentally, don't go posting those numbers on the Warcraft forums repeatedly. Posters who did that last weekend were banned, and I wasn't around to see the carnage. I do know that Megatf, the only consistently 2200+ ranked hunter I know of, was permabanned from the forums and his sticky thread on how to pvp as a hunter was removed. Afaik, his character is active, but whether or not he'll compete in the arena tourney is anyone's guess.

Hunters are not a weak class. But in the fishbowl arena, the hunter can't always play as a ranged class. There's the biggest problem. And the fact that hunters don't have the melee to compete with a melee class of equal gear makes it very easy for them to get crowd controlled (CC'd) and beaten to death. They're also not a burst damage class. Hunter damage is meant to be meted out over time, using autoshot in between a special shot. Hunter CC is good in a 1v1 situation and grows poorer the more enemies there are (you won't ever see a hunter freezing 5 people in place like a mage). They're getting to be as complicated to play as warlocks used to be a couple of years ago. The more complicated a class, the less people will choose to play it. And the harder it will be for just anyone playing it to do well.

In the hunter forums it's generally assumed that if you're going to do well in arenas, you would choose MM (marksman). Recently, because I do 5's, I was thinking of trying out survival for better CC, but I could find no real evidence that it's a good way to go, for several reasons: 1.) People aren't flocking to do it, so the general consensus is it's not any improvement for pvp, 2.) I can't find any survival hunters in a high ranked team, 3.) looking at the tree, I see a 31 point dispellable CC (wyvern sting) and a 41 point talent (readiness) that seems more like a pve talent. In fact, 4.) I most often read survival discussed as a good pve tree, not a pvp one. Seeing as paladins, druids, and shaman can dispel wyvern sting, none of this seems like any big surprise. So I guess, for now, mana draining as MM will have to continue to be my purpose (like it is for just about every other hunter).

If anyone remembers how bad warlocks used to be, they'll also remember just how long it took Blizzard to improve them. Doubtful that any real changes will be made to "fix" hunters for season 4, but possibly by season 5 (provided that Blizzard wants to continue with the whole arena system). In that case, you're looking at six months to a year, so changes could be in conjunction with WotLK xpac.

So what will I be doing? Leveling my old druid and gearing up my even older priest. Still doing the weekly arenas on my hunter for the points, of course, and just keep on keepin' on. After all, what else is a "scrub blood elf hunter" supposed to do?

And now for something completely different.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Paladin's Place

Paladin's Cantina Bot

No, it's not a kid's show--it's a GREAT place to get spiffy free content for The Sims 2. The URL is because of a remarkable program he'd made for The Sims that lets you easily change skins and bodies. Now it's chock full of fantastically useful tchotchkes for the Sims 2, my personal favorites being the robots and shelves.

BUT, the best thing he has up right now is his Predestined Hobby Adjuster (look under Sims 2> Objects> Other Objects), which lets you change a sim's favorite hobby with a few clicks. As far as I know, sims can still get a lot out of ANY hobby, whether it's the one they're suited for or not. But this might make it easier to max out that hobby enthusiasm.

(You also might want to check out Paladin's "Bigfoot in a Box". Yes, you. No, I'm not judging. Just sayin'.)

Paladin's Attack Bot
It's not what you think. Those are rainbows.

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Freebie Friday - The Sims 2 - Cuddly Pajamas

I thought it might be nice to give out some free content now and then. What better day to do that than a Friday, especially when trying to make a cheesy rhyme (one that has never been made ever before, right)? One of my favorite sites for free content is Mod the Sims 2, so I signed up for an account and submitted some skins. Here they are for you to share and enjoy:

Cuddly Pajamas!

Cuddly pajamas for your young adult, adult, and pregnant--normal, fit or fat--female sims!
Click here to download.

Also, the armpit town of Smooth Move is growing impressively fast. Stop by to see it in its infancy if you haven't already before it gets so big it's unrecognizable and starts to get rowdy staying out all night with the other towns.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

New Headers!

Just a note to say where I got my snazzy new headers for my blogs (this one and my writing site): this wonderful contest of free header designs from Smash Magazine. There are so many great ones it was hard to decide which to pick. I ended up choosing ones that seemed to fit the themes best. But I'll probably end up trying most of them out!

Check it out. Maybe you'll see something you'll like.

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Not Enough Free Time (Part 2)

Oh, the hobbies! Hobbies to make things, hobbies to break things, hobbies to get more skills! Hobbies to share things, hobbies to wear things, hobbies to pay them bills!

Sewing drapes & clothes in the game seemed really cool to me, so I worked hard on getting Vampira here enough badges to make clothes. She got up to her silver talent badge and has enough enthusiasm for sewing that she gets "in the zone"--a white glow that keeps her focused on her task by slowing her needs decay. As you can see, she learned to make this sexy dress. When you unlock the "custom clothes" ability on the sewing machine (by getting a silver badge), it lets you choose to make something from your custom clothing sets. After you make the clothes, they're in your inventory, and you can set them out and sell them in your OFB (Open for Business) shop or click on them & add them to your wardrobe, like Contessa Kana did. Stupendous!

Many of the hobbies seem like they will be profitable enough to make businesses out of them, if you have OFB. Although I'm not sure how much time I want to spend making drapes. A car lot for a tinkerer might be cool, though. I'll have to give that a shot next. Overall, this xpac seems focused on one main thing: slower decay of needs & friendships, two things that seem to aggravate most players when they want their sims to actually do something other than use the toilet (Yeah, I know The Sims was originally "The Toilet Game." That doesn't mean that's all I want them to do). The Best Friends Forever (BFF) feature, like "The Zone," keeps good friendships from decaying so you don't have to spend as much time on them. I'm not sure if this makes the game more or less realistic--do you spend less time with your true friends, or more time? Hmm...

Anyway, something I didn't mention the last time was that the head of the tinkerer's club, Mr. Humble, appears on your lots to give you a special gift. There are screenshots of this gift in my flickr slideshow for FreeTime--view them, if you dare!

Aside from the new items that are included in FreeTime (which I really enjoy, as I love new items), there are also some new features, like being able to modify the terrain of your neighborhood. They also added Advanced Neighborhood Options (a little house symbol with dots under it that appears middle-screen-ish on your neighborhood screen) that lets you connect neighborhoods from other xpacs. I haven't yet tried either of these features, but they sound pretty good on the surface. Still longing for the day when I can have a text search option for game items. Ah, well. Maybe they'll have it in The Sims 3.

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Not Enough FreeTime (Part 1)

Years ago, when The Sims was still new, I made a sweet house in the game and filled it with sims. Then I put it on fast forward and let it run overnight. Just to see how they would survive. If you guessed "not well," you were right. I'm still not even sure what happened to some of them as their bodies were never found.

Since then, I've learned to be a lot kinder to my sims. I've come to realize that The Sims (in all its many forms) is a game you play, not an antfarm. If you keep that in mind, you can get a lot of enjoyment from The Sims. If you don't, you are destined to be disappointed. FreeTime packs a lot of enjoyment into $29.95 with just a little disappointment. It gives your sims more variety in their wants and interests, which makes it seem like they are thinking more for themselves. You still have to guide them along to satisfy their wants, but they want more and different things.

(Incidentally, since that FreeTime link above talks about EA's direct download of the game, I'd like to say that there are two things about the direct download not mentioned up front: The first is that you have to have XP or better to download it, and the second is that once the xpac you downloaded is installed, you have to be connected to the internet every time you start up The Sims 2 in order to play.)

Now, because I'm sure I'll probably miss something, I'd like to point out that there's a really good Prima Guide for FreeTime available. And you can read 13 pages of it for free online! Not too shabby. They list the new careers, objects, cheats, all that good stuff in detail. (By the way, I don't make any money from any of the links in this post. Any links are to things I sincerely find helpful.) If you're into free stuff, you can sign up on The Sims 2 message board and ask questions there, at a vibrant and helpful community.

Some of the new things in this pack that I really enjoy are the "Lifetime Aspiration scoring system" and the Secondary Aspirations. Basically you get different points now (in addition to the points you got before for aspiration rewards, like the money tree and such) but these are called "aspiration benefit points." They can give your sims new abilities like sleeping less or eating more or not having to empty their bladders as much. Fun! They can also negotiate for more pay or plead with the social worker if they have the points for it. What I did was take my family with the man-eating plant and give the husband the ability to attract more people to their house. I think if you guessed what would happen to my sims at the beginning this post, you can guess where I am going with this one. If you can't, just imagine that the guests grabbed for the cake and got it! Mmm, cake!
Don't do it! The cake is a lie!

The hobby system is a great way to liven up the old skill ups that sims had to do to grow in their jobs. Now when they read a book, watch tv, or play, they're growing enthusiasm for their hobbies, which is fun. As they grow in enthusiasm in a hobby, they can go to secret lots, unlock new abilities, and even make new things for themselves or others. My only complaint is that right now, every time a sim gains some enthusiasm, they get a phone call from the leader of the hobby club, telling them something useless, like, "I see you gained some enthusiasm!" This==Phone ringing, ringing, ringing! Phone BAD! Hopefully this will change in a patch. Though, right now, you can just throw out your phones. Easy fix.

Some other nice things that are included are songs like "Pocket Full Of Sunshine" by Natasha Bedingfield, which sounds in Simlish (which sounds like mumbling) like, "Ooo, get a pocket get a pocket full of sunshee." I once had a pocket full of sunshee. But it got really soggy and the smell never came out. From now on, I carry my sunshee in the box it comes in. Charlotte Martin's "Keep Me in Your Pocket" is on the playlist, too, which makes for a whole lot of pockets and not much sunshee to go around. Truthfully, I seem to prefer the simlish versions to most of the real versions--the singers seem to put more oomf into them or something because there's no real meaning to get in the way--you place whatever meaning you want on each made-up word. What if real words were like that? We'd all be talking like the poem Jabberwocky. It would be so cool. But probably not much would get done.

(To Be Continued...)

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