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Greetings From Don Laabs (AKA MaxoidDon)

donderdag, juni 15, 2006 - 23:00

"I know that you've been anxious for information lately. Rumors on the boards are like catnip to Sims fans, and many of you seem to be wondering if and when we will finally reveal the new expansion pack."

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Greetings From Don Laabs (AKA MaxoidDon)

Dear Sims2.com Community:

Greetings. This is Don Laabs (AKA MaxoidDon), Senior Producer on the Sims 2 PC team coming to you from beautiful Redwood Shores, California.

I know that you've been anxious for information lately. Rumors on the boards are like catnip to Sims fans, and many of you seem to be wondering if and when we will finally reveal the new expansion pack. We are quickly approaching the announcement of the next expansion pack, so we just need you to hold out a little while longer. The official announcement is slated to happen in several weeks, and when we go public with the theme, we also expect to provide details on all the cool new features. You will have plenty of information to chew on before the product hits the shelves.

While we're waiting for the announcement, there's a lot to talk about. There's been plenty of action from Maxoids lately, such as a couple of posts from Hunter (pic 1, pic 2, pic 3), a game secrets feature from Lyndsay, cool floor tiles from Shannon (pic 1, pic 2, pic 3), and blogs from a few Maxoids. As you can see, the team has been hard at work and having a blast working on the latest products.

In other news, we've been bumping into a lot of community members here in the Sims studio. Famed sims creator, HappyMoonBelly, joined us as a full-time employee in the video capture department and is now known as MaxoidMoonBelly. There are three new QA testers from the community. Lastly, Nick K., the Sims University contest winner, spent a month working in the Sims marketing department as his first place prize.

I'd like to use the rest of this letter to address some of the hot questions that have been popping up on the forums lately.

First up: patches. I'm happy to announce that the new patches for The Sims 2 Open for Business and The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff have been posted! You can get the patches here: http://thesims2.ea.com/update/index.php. These patches fix about 54 issues in Open for Business, and about 51 items in Family Fun Stuff. That doesn't add up to 105 total issues, because most the issues appear on both lists. My favorite bug fix description is "Bag of Poo will no longer break after installing The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff."

There have been a lot of questions lately about why the patches take so long and why they are necessary in the first place. As you longtime Sims fan know, the interwoven systems in Sims 2 games are mind-bogglingly complex. In addition, the success of Sims 2 has added to the problem in that every new product we make has to work with a higher and higher number of combinations of previous products.

This is intended as an explanation and not an excuse. When you buy a game, you are entitled to a bug-free experience. We are always working on improving your experience, and we have a lot of talented people attacking the problem.

A lot of you Simmers are curious about Stuff Packs. Yes, we are working on additional Stuff Packs. These will be officially announced at the appropriate time.

A lot of people ask "Why Stuff Packs? Can't we just download stuff?" It may be hard to believe, but there are millions of Sims products sold to people who don't have access to the same sites that you Web-savvy fans do. These web-silent Sims fans also really like additional official Sims content. The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff was the #1 selling PC game in each of the first three weeks of its release. Of course, many web-active Sims fans also like Stuff Packs, but we acknowledge that Stuff Packs are not for everyone.

"Whatever happened to Tim LeTourneau?" is a common question. I see Tim all of the time, so he's nearby. I can't tell you what he's working on in his new role as Executive Producer (congratulations, Tim), but I can tell you that he's still in the Sims division.

And, last, but not least, there is a burning question that causes friendships to be strained and marriages to be put in jeopardy: Is it "Live Mode" (intransitive verb, rhymes with give) or "Live mode" (adjective, rhymes with jive).

Both uses make sense and are correct, but if you want to know what we call it internally, it's "Live Mode" (rhymes with give), as in "the mode in which you live." For you fans of the "rhymes with jive" pronunciation, don't feel bad. All new employees start out using this version of Live Mode, until the peer pressure and ridicule cause them to get with the program.

And that's the way it is...

Don Laabs
Senior Producer
The Sims 2

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