Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Series of Spore Vids from Gamereactor

Gamereactor has some sweet Spore presentation videos that show awesome details from the tribal and civ stages of the game. Click the following links to see Spore Gameplay Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3. Looks like there will be a part 4 if you come back another day. Enjoy!

Update: Here's a link to video #4!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

WOTLK Beta Keys for Addon Authors is giving away free Wrath of the Lich King beta keys to their active addon authors. Check it out & see if you qualify!

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World of Warcraft Death Knight PVP

Here's a little change-of-pace: a death knight pvp video from the Wrath of the Lich King beta.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Video: Will Wright at Comic-Con 2008

A very kind Spore-adorer posted up a video of Will Wright at Comic-Con on YouTube. It's a little muffled, but it's chock full of space stage footage, and an educational talk about humankind's very own first trips into space. Be warned, it's full of "sporelers" (spoilers, lawl)!

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Freebie Friday - The Sims 2 - Posters

Spore Kids Posters
Two super cute posters for your The Sims 2 kids rooms!

Made from the Spore Fansite Kit, these two awesome looking posters are sure to please any child sim. Click on the picture to go to Flickr and see a larger sized image.

The poster on the left (the short one) is made from the "Engineered Angst" Full Color Poster, and the one on the right (the tall one) is from "Civic Idol" by Adora Wall Arts wall hanging. Look for those two posters under decorative items in your game after you put these package files in your downloads folder. You should be able to choose these pictures instead of the originals.

You will need the CEP Color Enable Package for these items to appear in your game, but they should work in any The Sims 2 game.

You can download the Spore Kids Posters by clicking here.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Sims 3 First Look

Urban Online Entertainment was invited to a The Sims 3 fanday event, and one of their admins has posted about the experience online. Take a look! There's lots of cool info, such as:

"[Executive Producer] Ben Bell demonstrated to us a Sim he freshly created...and how his Sim could interact with its environment. As an example, he took his sim fishing. Ben noted that as your Sim gets better at fishing you could take them home, and place them into an aquarium and give them a name."

Here's also a great 1UP interview with Ben Bell where the 1UP community asks such pressing questions as, "Will sims finally get out of each other's way?" and "Can we still remove pool ladders to kill them?" Fun stuff!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Apartment Life Trailer

Here's a new video trailer for The Sims 2: Apartment Life. Lots of new animations and interactions are featured, as well as new lots and items. Enjoy!

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Spore Prototype: "Biome"

Another Spore prototype has been released by the Spore team; this one is called, "Biome."

"BIOME is a programmable cellular automata simulator that allows users to develop simple "SimCity-like" grid simulations."

All I did with my copy is make some pretty pictures. Maybe you can do more.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Spore E3 Review from Shacknews

In an effort to catch up with all the great reviews from E3, here's one from Shacknews:

"It was somewhere between ordering my army of blue-blooded Max Rebo soldiers to crush an enemy civilization, and conquering the galaxy from the comfort of a spaceship that resembled a four post bed, when I realized they had pulled it off. Spore is great."

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Spore Q & A

Joystiq has a lengthy Q & A about Spore that answers some questions from the cell phase up to the space phase. It's got such gems of info as this:

"Songs can be attached to specific cities and heard when you are near them."

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Will Wright at Comic-Con 2008

Looks like Will Wright will be at Comic-Con on Thursday, July 24 from 11:30-12:30. From the Comic-Con schedule page:

Will Wright will be making his first-ever appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con, where he will be talking about one of the most anticipated games of 2008 – Spore. He’ll also highlight the MashON SPORE Comic Book Creator, a unique interactive tool which makes it easy to bring your SPORE creature to life in a comic book story.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Spore Space Phase Predictions?

From Joystiq comes the knowledge that the space phase alone will probably take about 20 hours to finish and that it has one ending:

"No matter how your species lives its existence, it always ends the same way as you make your way to the center of the universe."
So, what's at the center of the universe?

Well, first of all, I thought we were going to the center of the galaxy in the game, not the center of the universe...but, ok, I guess since Spore has only 1 galaxy in it, it's supposed to be the same thing.

Here's a list of things me and my hubby put together of what's likely to be there:

Will Wright's head.
This one is my idea. Since, if you spin the galaxy in the Creature Creator, a giant Will Wright's head zooms out at you.

A bunch of bacteria. Spore starts with a little microbe or something falling to the home planet in a meteor. They came from somewhere, right? This is the one, I can feel it. Again, my idea.

A single atom. My SO says, "I figure it'll show the galaxy as a single atom and zoom out until it's another meteor splashing down on a planet like the way the game starts." In other words, it's an unending cycle of tiny to big--our galaxy was just an atom in a bigger creature in a bigger galaxy. He is a member of the M. Night Shyamalan school of twist endings, where they teach you to take the most evident ending, use it, and call it a twist. No frills, no chills. Following that train of thought, we come to...

Everyone in the galaxy is dead but you. This is my idea. Not one to lay a method aside that is making somebody tons of money, I've thunk up this. It's like the plot of The Sixth Sense, but only after flipping it on its head. I bet no one will see this one coming. "They blew it up, darn them!"--E for everyone, remember--"Darn them all to heck!" And the discovery will be a galactic-scale Statue of Liberty.

What do you think will be in the center of the galaxy/universe/game?

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Blog Update

Here's just a little post about blog-related stuff.

A big thank you to anyone who bought anything through the blog ads I used to show! My cat, Medicine Man, is doing a lot better and he's only on two meds now. The tip jar feels more simple and meaningful to me, so I put that up instead. Check it out if you like.

Smooth-Move almost has 300 pop! Thanks to everyone who visits Smooth-Move.

Monday, I'll continue to post more sim game blog entries. See you tomorrow!

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Freebie Friday - The Sims 2 - Spore Bedding

Brawby & Ifly Spore Bedding

Only 50 days left until Spore is released!

To celebrate, I've made bedding for The Sims 2 which features two of my favorite creatures from my own Sporepedia, Ifly & Brawby!

Works in any game that has the CEP Color Enable Package installed.

Download Brawby and Ifly Bedding here. You can also download Ifly and Brawby from my Sporepedia to use in your Creature Creator.

See you next week!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Spore at SETI Family Science Faire

From the Spore News Bulletin on the main page, Spore will be at the SETI Institute (San Fransisco Bay area) on Saturday, July 19, 2008, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. It's the Family Science Faire for kids aged 8-15 and it's full of "interactive activities"--stuff you get to touch and make work yourself!

Click this link for more info.

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Want More Spore Vids From E3?

Spore Screenshot lists many demos, trailers, and developer walkthroughs from E3 for Spore! September will be here before you know it--check out the videos so you're ready to play.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Spore E3 Gameplay Video

From GameSpot, we get a great glimpse of Spore demoed at E3!

It's got previously unseen footage of Spore, and the gameplay is explained in more detail. Spore keeps track of the activities you've done, and you earn traits at different stages in the game in the form of super powers! Watch it just to see the little creature clothes in tribal stage.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spore E3 Trailer

On YouTube there is a brand new video from E3 this year for Spore. I think it pretty much sums up the whole game.

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Screenshots & Video for The Sims 3

The Sims 3 - Artist
The Sims 3 website has new screenshots on the Create-a-Sim page and the screenshot page up for us to check out! Unless my eyes are tricking me, looks like we'll be able to fish and drive cars right off the bat. What other things can you pick out from them?

There's also a new video on the main page, featuring bunny slippers, crabby neighbors, jogging sims, and The Sims 3 neighborhood! Wow!

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Monday, July 14, 2008

The Sims 3 Preview - Toilet Slaves No More

Via Urban Online Entertainment forums comes wind of this giant, 4 page preview of The Sims 3 from 1UP. From the article:

"Sims still need to bathe, sleep, and eat, but the gauge presenting liters of urine versus free bladder space is hidden behind the curtain. 'We've added one-off mechanics like the buffs in World of WarCraft,' says Brown. 'Of course, you don't get poisoned by spiders, and you don't have armor or spells. In our case, if [your Sim's] out in the rain, he would have a debuff -- we call them moodlets -- that would just say that he's soaked now and he's miserable.'"

My hubby longs for a (to put it nicely) "recently pooped" buff in World of Warcraft--where, uh, toilets...get placed in the world and, well, you have to uh...poop to get a buff. Maybe I should stop explaining it. Anyway, looks like he might get such a thing in The Sims 3! Maybe he'll play it.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Freebie Friday - The Sims 2 - Autumn Fire Bedding

Autumn Fire Bedding

I know it's not autumn in the US. But I had this pretty screenshot from Lord of the Rings Online, so I made it into bedding! It should work in any version of The Sims 2 as long as the Color Enable Package is, well, enabled.

Download Autumn Fire bedding here.

Enjoy the weekend!

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

ParticleMan Prototype Download

Yesterday, the Spore Team released a fun prototype game for you to download! They explained that complex games like Spore are made by using prototypes that simulate small parts of the whole game. Because the Spore Team wanted to recreate gravity in Spore, ParticleMan was made to study how gravity works.

"ParticleMan simulates gravitational attraction between particles in a cloud. This system was used to study such gravitational dynamics as orbits, nebula formation, star formation and particle streams from sources like pulsars and black holes."
Follow this link for more information and to download. Try it and tell me if you like it!

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Monday, July 7, 2008

The Sims 2 Store Disaster

The Sims 2 Store launched last week, and you get 6 free items for registering. Most of the items in the store are from stuff packs & expansions. You'll need the EA Download Manager (so you need XP installed) to use the store, and if you don't have the new FreeTime patch installed that allows you to use the store, it will download & install it for you in the form of The Sims 2 Store Edition. For some people, having SecuROM sneakily installed like this (all The Sims 2 patches now have it) is upsetting. Not to mention that many simmers object to 3rd party pay sites, and feel as if Maxis is just going along with the pay site business plan. But it gets better.

500 SimPoints (would have been cuter if we were buying simoleons, right?) is $5, and that's the smallest amount you can buy. Most items are 100 SimPoints, so here's where the fun begins. An eager simmer added up everything in the store--to the tune of $1322.75. The irony is that the huge pay sites only charge $5-10 a month and give you access to thousands of NEW items--items NOT from any previously released stuff pack.

The new The Sims 2 Store content alone comes to $80. Some people have actually paid $80 for all the new content (about 80 items) and are having problems with the download and installation. Some of the new objects don't seem to be properly made. It also appears that you can't recolor the new objects. And will the objects be made available now (for money, in this case) and then be included in future stuff packs, as has happened before? Will we no longer get free items from Maxis? Check out this thread for more unanswered questions about the store.

Tip: If you really want these items, you can save hundreds of dollars just by buying the stuff packs they come in.

I'm afraid (really afraid) that micro-transactions like The Sims 2 Store are here to stay. But, personally, when things like this happen, so far removed from what actual players want from their games, it makes me feel as if EA decision makers don't even play their games or become members of their own communities--and don't even care. The store has a feedback link (shown only after you log in), so if you have any strong feelings about the store, you can make them known.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Freebie Friday - The Sims 2 - Stars-N-Stripes Bedding

Are you ready to have a great weekend? I sure am!
No matter what you choose to do this weekend, your sims can be sleeping in style in this patriotic-themed bedding!

Stars-N-Stripes Bedding

Good for single or double beds in any The Sims 2 game.
Download Stars-n-stripes bedding here.
Have a safe & happy 4th!

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Best Spore Creature Challenge

Browsing around, I found this really cool site called It's like but with creatures, not kittens. Two creatures are shown side by side and you choose the best one. The creatures get rated based on how many times they "win."

Looks like a lot of fun! I don't have any creatures up there, but maybe I'll see if I can submit some.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Blizzard's "Authenticator" to Protect World of Warcraft Accounts

Looks like Blizzard is selling an "Authenticator" to keep bad guys from logging your keys! Well, not really. It doesn't actually stop keyloggers from getting onto your computer, however, it just provides another level of security in the form of a second random password.

The Authenticator is a keyfob which generates random digits when its button is pressed. Once the Authenticator is linked to your account, you log in by entering this number along with your password, and you'll press the button for a new number every time you log in. The Authenticator is tied to the account permanently, and must be used every time. It seems kind of excessive to me, but then again, I play at home and am the only user of my computer. I can see how it can be useful to some people.

If you don't want to go the Authenticator route, what are some things you can do to keep your account secure?

  1. Don't share accounts. With anyone.
  2. Don't give out your password. If you must share an account with a relative or friend, type in the password yourself.
  3. Change or rotate your passwords frequently (once a week).
  4. If you use addons, don't accept addon files from your friends. Download them directly from the source.
  5. Scan your computer regularly for viruses. Don't be passive in your virus protection. Firewalls are great and so is virus protection software, but scan your computer regularly using software like Ad Aware or Trend Micro's online virus scanner HouseCall. They're free and they work well.
  6. Surf the web with a program like NoScript installed in your browser. NoScript will block Javascript and Flash from websites as you browse. You can easily allow sites which have Flash movies you want to view or Javascript that needs to run.
If you think you already have a keylogger, might be able to help you.

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Project "Hydra" For Reals?

Some time ago, I brought up Project "Hydra", Blizzard's code name for their (rumored) super-secret new project. Turns out that the rumors are true--Shacknews reports that, during Blizzard's Worldwide Invitational:

"[Blizzard VP Rob] Pardo affirmed that Blizzard's recent job listings for an 'unannounced next-gen MMO' were not related to Diablo III. The company had previously stated that the project was not a World of Warcraft expansion either."

So, what is it? Who knows. But at least we know it's real.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Videos of Will Wright at the San Fran Apple Event

Will Wright spoke at an Apple Store in San Francisco a couple of Saturdays ago, and two YouTubers were kind enough to record what they could of the event. Check out this video and this one for a glimpse of what we'll get to play in September.

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