Sims Online House of Commons Chat Logs

Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 23:00

For those of you that missed the chat event with the Sims Online team at yesterday, you can review the logs at the website. Thank you to all of you that showed up!

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Log of First Sims Online House of Commons, June 26, 2002

Valeria: Welcome to the First The Sims Online House of Commons Chat!
Valeria: This chat will be in a moderated format. To ask a question of the Maxis Staff, please /msg or /query the question takers that will be listed in the topic of the channel. These question takers will then present the questions to the Maxis development/community/programming team here with us this evening.
Valeria: Our question takers are: Brannoc, Kiir and Magellan. They are easily recognizable by the [QT] in front of their names.
Valeria: I will be your moderator tonight. I will post your question into the House of Commons chat channel and the team will answer those that they can.
Valeria: Please remember that your question may have been asked previously or may not be able to be answered in a public forum. Please do not message or query myself or anyone from Maxis, these questions will be ignored.
Valeria: While we are waiting for questions, let's give our guests a chance to briefly introduce themselves.

MaxisKyle: I'm Kyle Brink, a producer on The Sims Online Live Team. I'm focused on the community, the web site, and customer relations. I was part of the House Party team, and I used to run
MaxisKyle: Like many people, I can't actually tell you why I play The Sims. And being a guy, I insist that it's "a simulator" and not "a dollhouse." Wink But one thing I do know: it's going to be a lot more fun when you know that every Sim you meet is a real person.
SimPiglet: I'm Chris Trottier, designer.
MaxisJenna: Hey, I'm Jenna Chalmers, designer. Wink
PolarBearOnIce16: Hi, my name is Shannon Copur, I'm a producer on the content team and also the Tuning Producer.
Maxis_Tyrant: I'm Gordon "Tyrant" Walton, Executive Producer on The Sims Online. Which means everyone on the team tells me what to do!

Zhackdahar[Z]: Will there be a open beta test?
MaxisKyle: Yes!
MaxisKyle: Okay, I'll be a little more specific.
MaxisKyle: We will conduct a closed beta until we're satisfied with certain quality measures, followed by an open beta.

Motelk: Will Non-Maxis objects be compatible with Sims Online?
SimPiglet: Can't support non-Maxis objects at launch. But supporting them post-launch is one of our top priorities.

Motelk: How much will Sims Online cost per month?
Maxis_Tyrant: We have not finalized this yet. It will be consistent with other massively multiplayer online games.

DealerofFate: alright, my question is: In the video, a thief was shown sneaking into a house, will crime still be in the game?
MaxisJenna: Heh. We expect all kind of role-playing in The Sims Online! But griefing from thievery is not allowed.

SimsGalore: A Question i want Asked: can someone be a fireman or policeman?
PolarBearOnIce16: We have many skins what you can choose from and those two are included.

BeBadd: Tyrant, if your opinion, what makes this game different then other Mass Multi Player Games you have worked on?
Maxis_Tyrant: There are lots of reasons this game is different
Maxis_Tyrant: Our level of customization, the familiarity of the world
Maxis_Tyrant: The people who play The Sims represent a much larger audience than core gamers
Maxis_Tyrant: So that means this game has the potential to reach a much larger audience than anything out to date.

LokieEI|VindicatorSS: How large is the size of the world going to be?
MaxisKyle: We expect each city to be in the tens of thousands - perhaps as large as 50,000.
MaxisJenna: Around 50,000 per city
MaxisKyle: We will tune the exact size to maximize performance.
MaxisKyle: Cities will be as large as good game play will allow.

CandiP: what kind of career tracks will be in Sims Online?
SimPiglet: Okay, now we're talking my language...
SimPiglet: First off, everyone has the potential to buy their own property...
SimPiglet: and create whatever they want on it...
SimPiglet: that may be a restaurant, store, club...
SimPiglet: so in a way, it's like sims entrepreneur online.
SimPiglet: but before you can build that place, you need to make money.
SimPiglet: the short story is that you make money at job objects...
SimPiglet: takes multiple people to run job objects...
SimPiglet: different people specialize in different skills...
SimPiglet: and solve puzzles together to make money. kind of a bootstrap into buying stuff to run business.

Guest1: if a player controls the time of day on the lot wont that screw up someone try to plan a party a specific time?
PolarBearOnIce16: You can't control the time of day in The Sims Online.

JjJjJjJoe: What are some new features/actions in The Sims Online?
PolarBearOnIce16: We have many new features in The Sims Online...Where do I start...
PolarBearOnIce16: You can send messages that will instantly be sent to your friends.
PolarBearOnIce16: You can send email to your friends.
PolarBearOnIce16: You can become roommates with other people and create many different environments.
PolarBearOnIce16: I could go on, but I'll leave you wanting more. Happy

Blue_Seed_Fan: ok, I was watching an interview on tech tv from Will Wright, he said there were components in "The Sims Online," that kinda allowed you to make mini-games within the game. How will these objects work?
MaxisJenna: Woohoo! my favorite objects!
MaxisJenna: these are individual objects in the catalog to create your own games
MaxisJenna: Objects like "dice" and "card decks" and "scoreboards"
MaxisJenna: and many many more
MaxisJenna: i'm currently using them to run a "Trivia" contest in my lot
MaxisJenna: but i've also built a backgammon board, mazes, and a miniature golf type game
MaxisJenna: the idea is to give the player flexibility to create their own designs
SimPiglet: Her mazes are hard! They make my brain hurt.

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 mentioned earlier, adding custom content
Maxis_Tyrant: to the game is a top post-launch priority.
Maxis_Tyrant: We believe it is an integral part of The Sims experience.

Iocus: Question "How will you deal with disruptive players?"
Maxis_Tyrant: Harshly
MaxisKyle: We will jealously protect our users from disruption and harassment by other players.
MaxisKyle: The Sims community is our family, and we intend to defend it as such.
MaxisKyle: If you get your fun from tormenting others human beings, play elsewhere.

CandiP: will there be weddings in the Sims Online unlike in the regular sims game?
Maxis_Tyrant: What he said. Happy
SimPiglet: Let's just say we spent a lot of time on weddings... Wink
SimPiglet: We've got wedding furniture...
SimPiglet: wedding outfits...
MaxisJenna: Wedding flowers
SimPiglet: wedding accessories...
MaxisJenna: wedding chairs
SimPiglet: I've been married easily a hundred times so far! Wink
MaxisJenna: wedding officiate clothes
SimPiglet: bridesmaids dresses!
MaxisJenna: wedding cake
SimPiglet: plus lots of new kissing. Wink
MaxisJenna: and plenty of role-playing to boot!

Uleria33: How much privacy screening is available, and how will it be implemented? Will there be a way to have private chat rooms within the online world?
MaxisKyle: First of all, The Sims Online gives the owners of a lot a great deal of control over what happens there.
MaxisKyle: If someone is at your place, and you don't want him or her there, you can kick that user out
MaxisKyle: and prevent him or her from returning.
MaxisKyle: In essence, your home is your castle.
MaxisKyle: You can also make it so that only your friends can visit
MaxisKyle: making your lot a private, by-invitation-only destination.
MaxisKyle: Thus, your whole lot can be private.
MaxisKyle: Of course, there is also the private messaging mentioned earlier as well.
MaxisKyle: And you can ignore troublesome users too.

alicecooper91: In the screenshots, it shows the sims with word bubbles. Do you type in what they say?
PolarBearOnIce16: Yes, those are chat balloons. You type in what you would like to say and they appear in those chat balloons above your head for anyone on the property to see.

Arain: will a player be able to move to another city?
MaxisJenna: You can have 3 characters in three different cities
MaxisJenna: but you cannot move a character from one city to another

attriel: does the game support multi-cultural (such as, say, indian weddings or is it all fairly homogenized and non-denominationally PC)?
MaxisJenna: Yup. you have a lot of different options.
MaxisJenna: you can dress the set in all kinds of different ways, beach wedding, formal wedding, whatever
MaxisJenna: AND the "wedding costume trunk" had different ethnic styles as well for bride and groom Happy

Arain: my wife would love this game, but she could not handle a sharp learning curve... how is this handled?
SimPiglet: first off, most sims players are not traditional gamers, so making the game accessible for people who don't typically play games is always on our mind.
SimPiglet: The Sims is an interesting case study. First group who played it were gamers...
SimPiglet: they recommended it to their girlfriends...
SimPiglet: and those are the people still playing it (among others).
SimPiglet: Some of our most hard core sims fans don't play other games.
SimPiglet: Send your wife on in. We'll look out for her. Wink

Iocus: question "Will you protect players from grief players through the in-game system and mechanics, or actual people having to deal with them."
Maxis_Tyrant: Almost all of this will be done by players with the tools we give them.
Maxis_Tyrant: You basically moderate your own experience. Want profanity filtering? Turn it on.
Maxis_Tyrant: Don't like someone, place them on ignore status.
Maxis_Tyrant: Don't want someone on your property, ban them from it.
Maxis_Tyrant: If someone is harassing you and you have used the tools available to you, we will have people to help you.
Maxis_Tyrant: There is more than this, but you get the idea I hope.

Uleria33: Is it all player-controlled lots, or will there be "common" areas provided also?
SimPiglet: Good question. The short answer is: it's your world; go to town!
SimPiglet: I love the idea of this being an exclusively player-created world. At a certain point, it doesn't belong to us any more. It becomes what the players want it to become.
SimPiglet: I'm not too worried about big needs going unfilled either. If there's a need for a gathering place, someone will fill it. We are hugely incentivizing players to provide places that are of use to other players.

Iocus: Question "What do you expect players to do when none of their friends are on?"
MaxisJenna: Make new friends!
Maxis_Tyrant: Make new friends!
SimPiglet: We'll be your friend. Wink
MaxisJenna: there will be lots of ways to meet new people Happy
MaxisKyle: Okay, a longer answer: There will be tens of thousands of other Sims players online. That's the beauty of it -- there's always someone to play with!
PolarBearOnIce16: We'll play with you!
SimPiglet: And we'll give you lots of ice-breaking activities so you don't have to feel like the dork at the party who doesn't know anyone.

Iocus: Question "When you ignore someone.. do they just disappear completely? You can't see their animations or anything.."
PolarBearOnIce16: When you ignore someone their chat becomes invisible and they can't do any social interactions with you.
PolarBearOnIce16: You will still be able to see them.

EBGuy: Will you now be able to follow your sims to work?
MaxisJenna: Follow them!? You are them!
MaxisJenna: you Follow them EVERYWHERE! Happy
MaxisJenna: but remember, work is different in The Sims Online
MaxisJenna: no carpool is showing up to give you a free ride

Valeria: That does it for this HoC. I would like to thank everyone for coming tonight.
Valeria: And I would like to especially thank our Maxis guests
Valeria: for taking time to be with us tonight.
MaxisKyle: Remember: The Sims are real in The Sims Online!
Valeria: Thanks again for coming!


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