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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#76 Old 30th Jul 2021 at 3:58 AM
*Hey, you, first time thread reader. This thread is a total anti-algorithm zone, it's reached out by those it has to be reached to, and, wow, 75 posts in a thread, LOTR isle of webscape edition, ain't got time for that, so intimidating words, where's the starting line?? Don't worry. Given this thread's continuous rotativity, it's worthy mentioning: If it is your first time reading this discussion, do not overwhelm yourself about the relatively huge post count! That's absolutely a matter of your own will, obviously; however, if you wish to explore our studies on its entirety, you may begin here and explore the rest afterwards (chronologically or not), as it still is going to be understandable & of easily follow, and you will not by no means be missing out anything.*

Bumpty bump! The making of The Sims Online [2002] told by an inactive GameSpot special (read ittttt) and several photos that our current time's internet almost unknowns, if not maybe through some potential encrypted image accumulating engines. Come on, the expectations on that game were high af, it's practically the gaming medium equivalent of Simone Biles!

The Sims Online department. Do note the 1998-1999's The Sims mockup picture, almost certainly designed by Mr. Eric Hedman, similar from those that @tacoman; kindly made us aware of a couple of months ago...

Programmers work on last-minute changes to The Sims Online.

A programmer is perplexed by some of the 3 million lines of code in the game.

To aid in analyzing why The Sims broke down the gender barrier, Maxis classified Sims players into four distinct psychological groups. At the company's Walnut Creek offices, large poster boards depict each group of players. First, there are the people-suck players--those who like to torture their sims. This category is represented by a picture of the MTV character Daria. Then there are the reality-TV watchers who like the voyeurism aspect of the game. The trophy-seekers are a group who just want to get as much money as possible. And finally, the dollhouse players just want to build something. For the design team on The Sims Online, the challenge was to build a game that would attract the subset of all these groups interested in socializing online.

Programmer at work

The Sims Online producer Virginia McArthur.

While looking at two recent fashion magazines for inspiration, three team members discuss which new character skins to add into the game.

Some of the key members of the Sims Online team gather for a group photo. (side note: come on, you know the name of at least 3 of these kewl guys)

Will Wright's offering you the red pill on December 17. Will you take it and enter the world of The Sims Online?

(Not new, but...) The Sims Online Beta Demonstration [2001]
The only thorough [non-trailer] recording of a playable demo of The Sims Online before it was launched to the masses
Contribution from a kind TSO enthusiast!

Thank you, people.

(so do you)
Mad Poster
#77 Old 30th Jul 2021 at 4:57 PM
I LOVE THIS STUFF! Background stuff is the BEST. Did you work there? This is so incredibly cool - all of it, not just this latest post. A million thanks for giving us a bit of an inside view.

You mentioned four distinct player types and then gave descriptions of three of them: the trophy seekers, the people suck players, and the dollhouse players. What is the fourth kind? I'm trying to figure out where I fit in. Also, the descriptions you gave help me to identify players I never really connected with - namly the trophy seekers or the people suck players.

Addicted to The Sims since 2000.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#78 Old 8th Aug 2021 at 10:09 AM Last edited by LUCPIX : 11th Aug 2021 at 7:53 PM.
Originally Posted by VerDeTerre
You mentioned four distinct player types and then gave descriptions of three of them: the trophy seekers, the people suck players, and the dollhouse players. What is the fourth kind? I'm trying to figure out where I fit in. Also, the descriptions you gave help me to identify players I never really connected with - namly the trophy seekers or the people suck players.

[...]Then there are the reality-TV watchers who like the voyeurism aspect of the game.[...] okay, now, are we missing something here???? are these kind of players consistently a thing these days? GOd, maybe my clique is just too well behaved and stiff with our building-wise, clean gameplay fashion and all that to even cogitate that watching two computer people during the frivolous act can be one's primary highlight in the context of why to play it! people gonna be people, for reals

Before getting access to this Maxis demographic study for the audience ratio increase benefits, one'd innocently bet that we somewhat could break down the stereotypes of what the average Sims players want into, let's say, a plumbob-shaped triforce that can be combined and integrate your individual experience as a Simmer in general, even outside the game: The builders, the destroyers and the, say, engineers? You know, the people that, at a certain point, realize that the game's vital purposes have more to do with the individual's capacity and freedom of engaging with the systems in order to give some use to several faculties of the whole brainbulding stuffs for the collective behavior, and how the open-ended early installments (and their respective developers) would always maintain an open-invitation for people to become smarter and limitlessly creative with their tools and everything. But, you know, it's all hybrid, you can be builder and a destroyer at the same, or different times! I'm not 100% a fan of the idea we can be so predictable via their lens!!

It's highly recommendable to read the full Sims Online saga here for more details. Loads of words! I personally haven't digested that all yet!

Originally Posted by VerDeTerre
Did you work there?

while they're building Sims and all? naaah I was only zero years old when everything was happening

I'll give myself the right of rebumping the thread as there are some Will-made concept arts for us to talk about and new old unused stuffz, but, now, ZZZ

(so do you)
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#79 Old 11th Aug 2021 at 7:52 PM Last edited by LUCPIX : 17th Sep 2021 at 7:32 AM.
Alright, plumbz, that's big.
It was a fab research as a whole; imagine learning all of the coolest things related to our past 3 years' finds, but... EVERYTHING AT ONCE.
For the thread newbies: don't even start your read off the post number one, as it is usually advised! If you enjoy what you see right here, then it's a safe bet you can resume the fun going backwards. Oh, and it's a galactic collab kind of thing, so join in if you wanna

The media published in this thread is exclusively dedicated to educational purposes. If someone, for any reason, would deem that an image appearing in this post violates the copyright, please inform us immediately and it will be our care to remove immediately the post accordingly.

[13-15 May 1999]Again: First off, let's gawp at another rare Sims booth @ E3 1999 shot. But that's because, at the time, not ALL the gaming giants could've predicted the immense impact that that non-violent dollhouse manipulator would eventually cause, right? (not undermining the merit from the other games, of course; Deus Ex is a masterpiece, so is *sighs in pleasure* Sonic Adventure) The booth's screen displaying loops of a unique version of the game's second trailer, ending with that (in most of you's opinion) hideous WordArt branding instead of the final one...
EDIT: Photo by Patrick J. Barret III !!!!

Previous Sims @ E3 finds...

(bibliography properly displayed at the photos' respective original posts)

Re-uploading Next-Generation 1999's The Sims article, as the former one had considerably lower dimensions. And some new previews

Next Generation Magazine - Issue 56 (Aug 1999)

Xtreme PC - Issue 21 (Jul 1999) [Spanish]

Xtreme PC - Issue 27 (Jan 2000) [Spanish]

Computer Gaming World - Issue 184 (November 1999)

@ed95; definitely will read the Xtreme PC ones @ its full glory, Yo Creo!

Video: The Sims' Unseen Design Notebooks - Revealing Gaming's History
"When Will Wright donated some of his design notebooks to ICHEG, I couldn’t wait to get a glimpse into his creative process. Examining this acquisition made me more aware of how fundamentally different his games are from those of many other designers. The notebooks—nine graph paper pads filled with sketches, doodles, thoughts, and code—document not only his development of SimCity 2000 (1993), SimCopter (1996), The Sims (2000), and Spore (2008) but also illustrate how he generates his ideas. Genius has often been compared to capturing lightning, and these notebooks show Wright bottling its energy."
- Jon-Paul Dyson
Vice President for Exhibits and Director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games

Obviously there is not a particular highlight on that tour on Will Wright's design notebook that we can pigeonhole as the biggest source of awe since I'm sure you'll find every single part of that very interesting but, for the sake of our previous content's contextualization, we should take note of...

What no doubt appears to be the first imaginations of what we frivolously name as the Black Brain UI; it had a short life -- the oldest snapshot of it dates of circa January-February 1999 (you know, when a weird blue circle still lived up above the Sims' heads instead of the plumbob) until March-April, when a brainless version of it took the place (which was, by the way, summarily changed to an early design of our known blue UI, the one seen at the E3 DEMO..).

Brainless UI (prob the last version before E3)

UI as it was used @ E3 1999. Note how finished the game looked to be nearly 1 year before it was commercially available

Among several digressions... customized mouse pointer ideas. Although they no longer can be found within the final game's cursors bank, the raw beta Sim-hovering cursor was featured as part of an official Windows theme, several months before the game's actual launch, and can be carefreely put in game

The used version, for comparison. Which one do you like best?

Neighborhood layout ideas: Polished into various full-of-corners stratifications until it became the blander-but-efficient version with the symmetrical roads.

Consistent to the concept arts once displayed at the GameOn! exposition. (2002) What appear to be the Happy Acres billboards from the wacky Steering Committee DEMO can be seen there...

EDIT: Photo by Patrick J. Barret III !!!!
And, before we leave... MultiWillWrightDude at the "sloppy room" portion from the wonderful E3 1999's Sims booth, fully contrastive to the "heavenly residential paradise", with the Toy Story clouds, fences and full-of-whimsy hedge, showing people the amazing journey of Michael Ryan, from being a waste of universe to having a wonderful baby with some gal from the hood's biggest lot. and becoming the first Sim to land on Mars, prob.

Enough is too much. So long, folks. More fun things soon

(so do you)
Test Subject
17th Aug 2021 at 10:29 AM
This message has been deleted by GingerxNinjax.
Test Subject
#80 Old 19th Aug 2021 at 7:21 AM Last edited by tacoman : 19th Aug 2021 at 7:34 AM.
Okay so I just found these photos, I don't believe they have been uploaded here as of yet. But it's super interesting. I hope the beta skins and the rest of the furniture can resurface one day. I'd love to get my hands on it! the photos are quite small so click on them to get a better look. (Not sure how to upload them so that they are larger)
Test Subject
4th Sep 2021 at 9:37 AM
This message has been deleted by GingerxNinjax.
Test Subject
#81 Old 4th Sep 2021 at 10:53 AM
Originally Posted by GingerxNinjax
That soccer ball looks amazing! I wish there was an alternative link to download this as it is no longer available, and i would really like to try this!

Here you go :

Also updated the link in the original post
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#82 Old 16th Sep 2021 at 8:05 PM Last edited by LUCPIX : 3rd Oct 2021 at 5:03 PM.
(Cool concept arts and unused stuff finds after the "RE:" right below!) For this thread's first time readers: Our commitment is in the acknowledgement of The Sims' thorough and inspiring development history, period! Even if it's a super threateningly lenghty thread, you can start your read (that, if you fancy doing so, of course) off the 79th post, maybe the 40th or the third one... or you can start reading from here; the order doesn't matter too much, as long as you're enjoying yourself etc.)

Originally Posted by tacoman
Okay so I just found these photos, I don't believe they have been uploaded here as of yet. But it's super interesting. I hope the beta skins and the rest of the furniture can resurface one day. I'd love to get my hands on it! the photos are quite small so click on them to get a better look. (Not sure how to upload them so that they are larger)

Hi, @tacoman; , that's a good recall! This build in particular had its space here in our thread for an X period of time, a couple of years ago!
- These screenshots were, in actuality, frames from this comprehensive demonstrative video of a 1998 (!!) build of The Sims, known as The Sims Steering Committee DEMO, played and commented by this funny bloke Don Hopkins. It's on air! Over forty minutes of solid pre-release experience galore! Go watch it, boy, it's a blast! (well, if you haven't)
- As its name explicites, this particular edition was compiled under the context of selling the awe of the game's concept to EA, kind of as a way of explaining to the folks that would provide Maxis the financial, moral and whatnot funds why the game mattered so much to the point it deserved support and progress. Since we're here, on this thread, on this website, doing the things we are doing and talking about the things we are talking about, it's not hard to imagine EA's final take on it back then (pause for some butterfly-effect-esque pondering)
- Here's the curious thing. Before the publication of the previously-mentioned 1998-DEMO-gameplay video on YB, two-year-and-something ago, the only 2 pieces of information that you could be acknowledged about that specific build were these 2 very elusive and small screenshots that'd normally blow one's mind given how paradoxically overdetailed, finished and passive aggressive they are, almost making you to believe that the game's beta-ish environment was even richer and, in a certain way, finished than the final game (which, nowadays, we know it's not true at all lol)...

In this thread's very first posts, when the video wasn't there yet, and when we had a mediocre beta know-how in terms of knowing the context behind our finds, an assumption was made on the origins of these screenshots, correctly mentioning that they were 1998 screenshots! And we were, well, blessed enough to experience the enlightening gameplay video less than *3 months* after the solidification of this thread as a place of consistent information symbiosis, the first fresh information about that build, 21 years after its development. Oh, man, talk about star alignment!
- These screenshots, as we know these days, illustrate a pre-The Sims speech written by MultiWillWrightDude himself, which can be read HERE("Build, Buy and Live") that was somehow publicly presented at a conference named Doors of Perception 5 PLAY back in ca. Late 1998/Late 1999.
* Mixed with an eloquent The Sims demonstration, Will also, in short, pursued the relations of ludic experiences in the context of creativity, both in the physical and technological panoramas, and why it matters;
* One key point of his message expresses the plain thought that "kids love failure" which is, indeed, compatible with most of Maxis' games philosophy of not containing a pre-determined taming state of irreversible failure and the commitment of developing tools that, in some extent hold themselves accountable for the individual's intellectual growth and learning;
* By analyzing some of his now-archived database of written and drawn concepts, we can also observe similar points exercised and somewhat arranged in his 90's notebook, most likely a pre-conference rehearsal, preserved by the International Center for the History of Electronic Games.

Now to this month's "Justice to Mister Sigmund Silver" edition...


As we know now, before taking its definitive glory as a prop that would have its shape dramatically changed multiple times before becoming the acclaimed spinning mood-ring-ish diamond, (you know, "props" are any of those non-character 3D objects from The Sims that generally operate as a visual interface between the actual Sim and the object they're interacting with, as in when they use one of the minibars and a 3D cup appears in their hand and they drink its content; the 3D bottle is a prop). the "plumbob" was, in fact, a bidimensional sprite as much as the conversation and food-begging icons are. What appears to be one of its oldest attempts, GameData/Sprites.IFF/SPR2/"Head dots", #2001, still is in the final build, although, obviously, nothing, during the clean, regular, "intended" gameplay contains lines to call it at all. It's notably seen on the 1998 DEMO (and animated!) until what is believed to be the January 1999 (definitely not post-February 1999) build. After that, a spinning, slow 3D yellow-ish arrow took its place


The first version of (the post-release) The Sims website contained a little page dedicated to some of the game's concept arts. The WaybackMachine came in extremely handy when it comes to the recovery of its... thumbnails

But — guess what — we have got extra HQ equivalents of some of these in our sleeves (or, more realistically, our media archives)

Possibly the most known one, since it's a fair circulation around the interwebs, even if mostly out of full context. As your typical concept art, It does imagine the game as the utopian world of dynamic heights, possibilities and perspectives...

Ideas for Edith. Edith is, legend has it, the very first character ever created for The Sims, possibly the victim of many of those early experiments with toilets of all sorts. To the point that the confidential SimAntics resources manager was, in fact, named after her.

Adult-to-adult backrub animations, the potential feedbacks, the animation file names...

And, WOAH!, Maxoids demonstrating SimsVille, apparently?

*Most (if not all) of these arts may have been drawn by Eric "Irk" Hedman, the dope creative mind behind all of the previously-discussed conceptual adventures


Characters from the 1999 E3 DEMO, describing the amazing journey of a previously-sloppy bachelor working his way to the (Honey)moon. Even if, taking the mood arrow into consideration, it's taken a few months before May 1999


This thread has been quoted as a To-Do reference in The Sims' pre-release page. Dope! We certainly do not have control over who on Earth reads these wacky things we do. You'll have my full support in the next couple of days. Guess we have more than enough resources to, about bloody time, contextualize the journey of this Doll House game as a way of making it into something more substantial than just a whole bunch of thread posts!

Thank you very much

(so do you)
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#83 Old 29th Sep 2021 at 1:12 AM
Quick update. First time readers: Thanks for coming!

"Copyright (C) 1999 Maxis - Electronic Arts"

Some interesting things about... uh... *raises notepad* Hyper... HomeMaster.. 5000dx? That's it
First off, you can download it here from my personal cache of 1999 programs:
Remember: HomeMaster was originally a pre-release tool, built by the developers for trial and previewing purposes! It won't demand you some kind of The Sims synchronization in order to function at its best!

SO! Another fabulous The Sims program created back in the days of an Alpha, TBD The Sims, so the pre-release Simmers could have something to sharp their building nails on, AND eventually enjoy their Simming Day 1 with 3298 new walls, floors made by their own hands! Yes, it *looks* like the good old HomeMaster that we always had in our computers (in fact, it is its former counterpart), but it lets you generate wall paintings, too! However, it not only lacks the general intricateness and multiple choices from Art Studio, but it also, by being made in the Alpha times, generates paintings whose animation lists demand cmx animation files that our local (and final) Sims 1 do not always have, making it an undesirable option these days, except if it's for the sake of observation, etc.

No visual creativity tool is complete without demo pictures. In this case, Maxoid portrait demos! JPGs of, respectively, "Bobo" (Eric Bowman? Oh, crap, I missed the class), "Don" (Don Hopkins), "Jamie" (Jamie Doornbos), "Jeff" (Jeff Charvat) and "Patrick" (Patrick Barrett). Uh, nothing stops you from using these pictures as walls and floors, though!
That beautiful tool was published online in September 1999, in a time when the game already had the supercool final UI scheme...

Now, uh. What happens if we infiltrate the program's executable resources?

EXIT1.BMP and EXIT2.BMP. They are not directly used in the tool, but we can both agree that this is how the Alpha neighborhood screen's "Exit" button looked like.

A former version of the homonymous object thumbnail .BMP from the retail build, which is, obviously, the classic light blue. In fact, the color change is the quintessential definition of a last minute decision, as it was basically the beta-ish element that has survived throughout The Sims' development the most.

Higher resolution of a fairly common Alpha screenshot. Do note the (now) easy-to-read household's last name (Coolies), next to the friend counter, and inconsistently pictured thumbnails!

April 1999, Lisa and the stuck Group Meal platter.

(so do you)
#84 Old 14th Oct 2021 at 4:51 PM
Nice thread, thank you LUCPIX
Regards Vic ^_^

Here you can see more of my creations and conversions for sims 3. ;) I`ll glad to see your comments in.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#85 Old 23rd Oct 2021 at 8:59 PM
Hey. The random silent gridlock wasn't unnoticed! You may be a TCRF passerby, one of those fab Sims-2-beta people from the Russian forums that also made cool contribs. to the "Sims 2" portion of betas and, now, develops also a keenness on the first installment. Maybe one of those multiple trivia-based The Sims YouTube accounts mentioned our messy place in their videos and took advantage of some (rare) kindness of telling with exact precision where they got those stuffs from. Or, God knows, ""; in a more random and improbable shot, you're even a sobbing-in-nostalgia Maxoid! It doesn't matter too much, the important thing is that you'll have lotsa fun here, especially because it's, obviously, your cup of tea. The reading order isn't important, either. Bear in mind that, if you see 90% of the things you see here elsewhere that won't mention where they got the kewl knowledge from, you'll now know their sources! Enough is too much


This week: The 30th anniversary of the firestorm tragedy that was the catalyst of The Sims earliest insights — Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm of 1991. This article shows Will's experience on it.

First, baby steps on the conversion of our past three years' lessons and finds into something substantial enough to be part of The Sims' pre-release page @ TCRF! Obviously, it is subject to multiple changes from fellow wiki ninjas! The most important thing, however, is to remain as transparent, comprehensive and fun-to-read as possible. This game deserves it.

If I "was" you, I'd check what they are doing in Sims 2's prerelease page, too

One more thing: DEBUGGING IS FUN! We can talk about it later

(so do you)
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