More Promises Promises Promises Promises Promises….

by Alphaville Herald on 30/03/04 at 10:11 pm

Following are some more promises and declarations of the urgency of introducing custom content, and in general “putting as much creativity as possible in the player’s hands.” Indeed, there were even plans to allow custom content to be pulled into the game through the workbench (e.g. someone could skill at your place and get some custom object you designed instead of a gnome!). Be sure to archive these threads for future reference; these are little bits of history that may be wiped by EA.

Deep Max

[grrr when I posted this I accidently overwrote the previous post on this plus the ref to the April fools monkey-sims, so the discussion may be a little unclear. I patched in the deleted part up top. sorry all. --Uri]

JjJjJjJoe: Are players still able to make custom skins, etc. and have other players be able to see them?
Maxis_Tyrant: We won’t have the custom skin capability at launch, but as Chris [Trottier] mentioned earlier, adding custom content to the game is a top post-launch priority. We believe it is an integral part of The Sims experience.

TheSimsWorld: When will third party objects be able to be used in TSO? Will it come in an update for the game?
ArtBob: ha ha
ArtBob: no no killing :)
MaxisChris: so just get that out of your head right now! ;)
MaxisKyle: The Sims community is built around creating and exchanging user-created content. That’s great for a single-player game, because you can pick and choose what you want in your game.
MaxisKyle: However, in an online game, you’re not playing by yourself any more. We have to make sure that what one person brings into the game doesn’t ruin things for the other players.
MaxisKyle: You can see how tricky it is to do this right.
MaxisKyle: It’s important to us to get this into The Sims Online, but we want to do it right and that takes time. So don’t expect it right away, but we will find a way to do it.

Snake: How do you intend to keep the general “population” interested? Interactive events, etc?
MaxisChris: This is where we are very lucky. The Sims has an *incredibly talented and creative* fan base.
ArtBob: I’ll agree to that, Chris!
MaxisChris: our focus is *hugely* on the side of putting as much creativity as possible in the player’s hands
MaxisChris: so we’re spending far more time developing tools for you all to create entertaining environments for each other than we are on creating pre-scripted experiences
MaxisChris: the more flexible we can make those tools, the more diverse environments there are.
MaxisChris: you guys are our ace in the hole!

Kad: Maxis released design documents for “custom content”, what types of custom content has you considered developing for the programmers and non-artistic designers in the community? Some examples might be , Player-made CCG game decks, or even input-output system, where web-based cgi scripts could take your text and username, interpret it, and return text to you, could also be used for making message boards/dictionaries/the
MaxisChris Sounds like you should dig into some of the game components already in TSO…
MaxisChris For example, there is a deck of cards that you can customize completely…
MaxisChris balls, target. Lots of stuff to make your own games. My personal favorite is to run sitcom trivia talk shows using them. ;)
MaxisChris also, the cool thing about custom content is that although only a few people create it, everyone benefits! I couldn’t paint my way out of a box, but I love cruising content others have created. :)

TSO_Freak: how easy would it be to make custom objects when it becomes possible to publish them?
MaxisChris You could find out right away by visiting some of the existing sims fan sites, where the skins are being exchanged and talking to them.
MaxisChris The quick answer is, it’s pretty advanced to create new ones. Modifying existing ones, less so.
MaxisChris But again, the good news is that *everyone* benefits from the people who know how to do it. :)

JaZoNkRoLl: What is your favorite part of the game?
MaxisTigger My favorite part of TSO is helping players who are new to online gaming learn how to play. I also love rearranging my home and getting the community feedback. Plus I never looked so good in a bikini as I do in TSO
MaxisChris Attending player-run events, like open-mic night, poetry contests, weddings, etc.
MaxisGordon I like making money for my roommates to build a cooler house. I’m not much of a dollhouser but like them doing all the decoration.
MaxisPaul I like going in and seeing what effect the objects I’ve worked on has on people… I only had to sell my soul and 90 hours of my week to get this ‘preview’ of custom content :)
MaxisTigger lol

Kad: Just a clarification of my earlier question on non-artistic custom content. I use the content that is in the game. What I’m talking about is customizable objects you can sell. I was only using an example, the collectable card deck Decks, player makes them, sells them, others can compete with them, IE: YU-GI-OH decks you buy at your local gaming store, aStandard deck of cards, or even baseball cards.
MaxisChris Okay, so probably not going to have anything soon w/ the rarity of those games. However, one of the *early* designs for the customizable card deck supported players who had invested time in coming up w/ a brilliant set of Q’s…
MaxisChris to “clone” the deck and sell it to other players. The deck would track who the original creator was for authenticity’s sake… We won’t take this step with this object, though, until we see people doing really compelling things with the card deck…
MaxisChris So spread the word. Make amazing games. :)
MaxisChris Also, once we get secure trading, we’d like to support property trades. This will allow you to create an amazing property and then sell it (and the stuff on it) to another player. Consider it an “architect” career.

Simbusiness24: IF Someone Were To Have A Custom Made Skin (when it’s possible) will we have to download it to the computer or does it work like a site?
MaxisPaul A site does download the content to your computer, or you wouldn’t be allowed to view it.
MaxisPaul Whether that content would persist after you’d gotten it will probably work like your web browser as well… you’d keep a certain amount of content, to save you from having to download it over and over
MaxisPaul But things you didn’t use often, would get deleted.
MaxisPaul Of course, the system isn’t in place yet, so we’ll tweak it to give you the best, fastest experience possible when it is.
MaxisPaul Hopefully that answers your technical concerns (I dunno if there are legal ones with the issue, but, I’m not a lawyer anyway :) )

MooseWare: What objects can we create with the workbench’s create interaction?
MaxisShannon: Right now you can create Gnomes and sell them.
MaxisShannon: But down the road you will be able to create custom objects and pull in your creations through the workbench. Once your Sims has crafted them in the game, they will appear in your inventory.

MattH: you mention new objects? could you elaberate more on that
petenic99: Lots of really cool stuff on the way!
petenic99: Casino Objects – Blackjack, Roulette, Slot Machines.
petenic99: Also a Spades Game.
petenic99: Clothing Racks will allow you to buy and sell outfits – Dressers will let you manage your wardrobe.
petenic99: Clothing Racks will also give you access to user-created custom content.

SassyBree: How do we use the skin files by Maxis in TSO to make different skins using the existing meshes, I know how to use the .far files in the original game, but I am clueless on how to use the .dat files.
petenic99: Custom Content is a really important part of the future of TSO! We’ll be providing an easy interface for players to create their own skins and submit them to the game.

gina_galapagos: Can you explain a bit how custom content will work? Will designs be reviewed by Maxis before they’re introduced to the game, or will the upload be instant?
MaxisChris: At the moment, we do not plan to review content before it’s put in the game.
MaxisChris: We will set groundrules for appropriate content, and it is a player’s responsibility to follow them. Like other terms of service, intentionally breaking these rules would be followed up on appropriately.
MaxisChris: As far as quality control (some skins might not be as finely rendered), our assumption is that players will be less likely to buy the ones of lower quality, so there will be fewer of them in the world.
MaxisChris: However, we do realize that this is a very tricky issue and are working with the community right now to determine the appropriate guidelines.
MaxisChris: If you have some ideas on the topic, please post them on the backstage threads. It would help a lot. :)

MooseWare: What is to prevent someone from creating a custom object and having it take away all your hunger, which would cause you to die?
petenic99: The key thing to understand is that custom objects will only have custom art – not custom behavior. It’s what we refer to as a “mimic

Frank_Weindel-Interhogan: When custom content comes, how long do you expect custom object art to load on a 56k connection?
MaxisGordon: Well it will take a while. My rule of thumb is 7 minutes a megabyte and Sims content is not small.
MaxisGordon: The beauty of custom content is it will load in background, and show you a “proxy” of the content until the real look is downloaded.

Billy_Bob: Hey gots a question here…..Do you guys have an estimate of when the new clothing racks are comming?
MaxisShannon: These objects will be coming out in the next several months. We will be working on them side by side with the custom content feature.

Valeria – •RapMonkey• Custom content is a big factor to making every house unique. When are you looking at implementing custom content? It is greatly needed because lately people seem to be getting tired of the same things in every house
MaxisGordon – Custom Content is a big priority for us. But it is also a huge system and we need to do it well. It will take a while for us to do, but it’s getting a lot of priority.

Valeria – *MooseWare* When will clothing racks and custom content be implemented, and will this be at the same time?
MaxisChris – Clothing racks will likely be in the game before custom content.
MaxisChris – So you will be able to change your skin into something else that was on the CD.
MaxisChris – As Gordon mentions, getting custom content into the game is a *huge* priority for this. We’re all chomping at the bit for that one. :)

7 Responses to “More Promises Promises Promises Promises Promises….”

  1. Scrambled1

    Mar 30th, 2004

    lol… Thats not going to be there for long!

    [stuff about monkey sims elided]


  2. Banshee

    Mar 31st, 2004

    That whole thread is hilariously funny now that the game has been out for a while, isn’t it? It’s also telling, to me at least, as to what happened. Look at what they said about expecting a huge target audience … wow they did crappy market research didn’t they? It also indicates that EA was indeed *expecting* a huge number of subscribers, and when that didn’t pan out they basically tried to cut their losses on TSO in a way that didn’t negatively impact The Sims brand. A series of poor decisions, it seems to me, but they probably don’t care very much once The Sims 2 comes out.


  3. Urizenus

    Mar 31st, 2004

    There used to be a discussion here of the Maxis April fools joke of turning all sims and pets into monkeys, but I’ve moved that to the comments of the new topic that discusses the same. (topic just above this one). Sorry for the confustion.

  4. Simon

    Apr 1st, 2004

    stratics WILL take them down now that the Herald found them

  5. Urizenus

    Apr 1st, 2004

    Not sure what your point is. Are you saying we shouldn’t have brought the documents to the attention of players? In any case, you are perhaps right that they will delete the documents now, so peeps should download these docs for their personal use and for posterity.

  6. Maria LaVeaux

    Apr 4th, 2004

    All old news, and Broken Promises

    I said it in another thread, and i will say it here, i don’t think the game will last past July without a Radical shift in Maxis’s Policies.


  7. Deep Max

    Apr 5th, 2004

    Well well, here is yet another link to a broken promise re custom content. This one is from an interview, dated Feb. 17, 2003, with Gordon Walton. Headline quote is

    “8. Will custom-made objects etc. from The Sims 1.0 (and expansions) be compatible with TSO?

    “While we are planning custom content, the items used for The Sims 1.0 will not be directly compatible with TSO. We will work on tools as part of custom content to allow players the ability to create content though.”

    Your link is

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