Chat With MaxisProducer (aka. Cooper Buckingham) and Lead Tester Sean Hugunin

Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 22:30

Get your questions answered about Makin’ Magic game play and what it’s really like to be a game tester by reading the transcripts.

ChatMaster (Nov 13, 2003 6:00:15 PM)
Hello and welcome to today's chat with MaxisProducer (aka. Cooper Buckingham) and Lead Tester Sean Hugunin here at Maxis. Today we will be talking about Makin’ Magic game play and what it’s really like to be a game tester!

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:00:36 PM)

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:00:44 PM)
Hi all!

monkeybear_303 (Nov 13, 2003 6:01:11 PM)
on makin magic will you be able to interact with the giant?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:01:12 PM)
barely . . .

christy (Nov 13, 2003 6:02:57 PM)
hi.i have a do u get a four-leaf clover?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:02:57 PM)
You barter for them with fairy Mara. Go talk to her about bartering.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:03:07 PM)
How long does a tester spend playing the game per day?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:03:07 PM)
It really depends on where the project is, in the beginning we usually spend a typically 8 hour work day testing the game... during the "final" period we can spend up to 14 hours a day.

tweetybirdblaze (Nov 13, 2003 6:03:23 PM)
Are there any real secret spells and charms not just recipes?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:03:23 PM)
The secret recipes are spells . . .

joe_the_coffee_man (Nov 13, 2003 6:03:36 PM)
What exactly do you look for when testing a game?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:03:36 PM)
Bugz! ;o)

sim2l (Nov 13, 2003 6:03:42 PM)

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:03:55 PM)
i was wondering if there were any crystals after the purple and black ( the crystals that grow on your lot )

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:03:56 PM)
There are 7 crystals . . .

Zave (Nov 13, 2003 6:04:25 PM)
In the makin' magic, how do our sim children get a hold of magical ingredients?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:04:25 PM)
They get them at home, form objects at home. Like the toadstool chair, and the fairy toybox, and the dragon.

scooby_dooby_doo03 (Nov 13, 2003 6:04:56 PM)
What's the best part about testing a game, espically a game like the sims and it's expansions?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:04:56 PM)
Seeing the game evolve

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:05:54 PM)
is there really any 'secret' spells not in the spellbook?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:05:55 PM)
There are secret recipes, and a few spells specific to other expansion packs, as well as some uses of spells that you might not expect .

jk3cdavies (Nov 13, 2003 6:06:07 PM)
Is it true that tester work really odd hours and don't get to go home till about 3:00 AM

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:06:07 PM)
sometimes... my assistant lead for makin magic is currently working a 11pm to 10am shift on Bustin' Out.

chickadee17 (Nov 13, 2003 6:06:50 PM)
is there a specific number of times you have to do magic to make a crystal appear?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:06:50 PM)
Magic, luckily is magical! Depending on what type of magical environment you create, and how succesfull you are with magic, completely random sets of magical things may grow up on your lot.

kgalgano (Nov 13, 2003 6:07:13 PM)
Q for Sean -- When you test, do you use any user-made content in the game to better emulate the average customer's game and to enable your staff to spot potential problems?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:07:13 PM)
Not really... we are not responsible for user end content. But occasionally we have.

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:07:48 PM)
Only the lots that have been encorporated into "Old Town" fall into the zoning laws of SimCity, which then allow outside developers to build on them without actually owning the lot . . .

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:08:20 PM)
Do the gargoyles do anything special?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:08:20 PM)
Some obsessive, or fanatical, folks, seem to have a special interest in the gargoyles . . .

jk3cdavies (Nov 13, 2003 6:08:26 PM)
Do you get to play... I mean test the games from when they're first playable?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:08:26 PM)
Yes... we like to get in as soon as the game is in that playable state. At least to get familiar with things.

rascal (Nov 13, 2003 6:08:32 PM)
can you plant a bean stalk

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:08:32 PM)
nope, they grow of their jown accord.

ddc0185 (Nov 13, 2003 6:09:05 PM)
how do you become a game tester?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:09:05 PM)
Interview ~:o)

tomato365 (Nov 13, 2003 6:09:29 PM)
hi! I was wondering how many times you have to kiss the toad to get a prince/princess? Because my person literally kissed the toad ALL night and nothing happened ;(

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:09:29 PM)
You never know. It's a bit like the amount of licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop . . . the world may never know.

jk3cdavies (Nov 13, 2003 6:09:38 PM)
When testing games, do you people ever get to see the sun light?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:09:38 PM)
Hehehe... we have windows. We see sun from time to time.

Aliclare (Nov 13, 2003 6:10:00 PM)
MaxisHuggy I like your name :P very huggable lol.

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:10:00 PM)
Why thank you. ~:o)

mkysimsguy (Nov 13, 2003 6:10:20 PM)
How do cyrstals grow

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:10:21 PM)
Deep inside the planet and under a tremendous amount of heat and pressure, certain minerals condense and form compact "strings" which crystalize and become solid. Wink

SuperObsessedGurl (Nov 13, 2003 6:10:23 PM)
I saw when I was looking on the internet that there was a book about mm...what was it for??

kelbel (Nov 13, 2003 6:11:29 PM)
Where do i get the dimond dust and clown confetti?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:11:29 PM)
From vendors in magic town. Ingredients can be bought from them for magicoins, or traded with them for other ingredients, or the vendors may send you on a mission and give them to you as a reward. talk to todd about the confettie though.

kgalgano (Nov 13, 2003 6:12:23 PM)
Q for Sean-- What is the average turn-around time between when a verified bug report is submitted by the testers and the fix is coded into the final version? The game is re-tested at that point, right?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:12:23 PM)
Again, depends on the state of the project. Early on, Development knows there are lots of bugs. Resources are usually spent getting objects, interactions, etc in the game. Bug fixing usually occurs during Alpha when most of the content is in. Turn around time is pretty decent, at least with Maxis.

soccermeg (Nov 13, 2003 6:12:26 PM)
what is your favorate character in the game?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:12:26 PM)
Good old, Sonney, the tragic Clown. Have you met his long lost brother yet, or better yet, have you seen Sonney meet him . . .

Ringo_dog (Nov 13, 2003 6:13:08 PM)
What are the limits of the crystals? Like how many times can we use it or how long can we keep them?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:13:08 PM)
Abilities last forever, and crystals will teach any family members that want to learn.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:13:17 PM)
Do you like being a game tester and is it fun?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:13:17 PM)
Yes. Yes.... most of the time ;o)

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:13:33 PM)
What exactley are magicoins

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:13:33 PM)
Magical Coins.

Crazichi (Nov 13, 2003 6:13:50 PM)
do sims get sick on the roller coasters?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:13:50 PM)
some sims love em, some sims hate em . . .

jfade12345 (Nov 13, 2003 6:14:02 PM)
What will you do about the enchantable scarecrow bug?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:14:02 PM)
I will beg your forgiveness . . .

Bradster (Nov 13, 2003 6:14:47 PM)
Hello Maxis Producer, now that Makin Magic has been made and Sims 2 in on the way it is said that the Sims are not going to be joined by any more add on's as Makin Magic was the last, is this true?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:14:47 PM)
Alas, tis true. It would take an outpouring from the community of a size not yet seen on this planet to convince us that there should be another expansion pack. Wink

lonegun121 (Nov 13, 2003 6:15:39 PM)
I have a question about the rollercoaster. Will you be making a "s" curved track piece for it in the future? Because it's hard to line up the track sometimes.

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:15:39 PM)
There are downloads on the way . . . maybe. Wink

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:15:41 PM)
how long do u work for?

TreeJumper (Nov 13, 2003 6:15:43 PM)
Has testing games for a living made games more enjoyable than before, or less enjoyable due to the fact that you are playing them all the time?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:15:43 PM)
I found myself becoming more of a gamer when I got this job… since it's relevant. You talk about games with your co-workers, constantly thinking about games, etc.

BobbiJaye S2S (Nov 13, 2003 6:15:54 PM)
Did you test the first sim game?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:15:54 PM)

thesimsfan03 (Nov 13, 2003 6:16:14 PM)
can you do spells on pets?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:16:14 PM)
yes, you can, there is a very special one.

MaxisDano (Nov 13, 2003 6:17:00 PM)
Just to let you know, we're only answering questions about Makin' Magic and Testing. We will have another chat about The Sims 2 soon.

Bjdabomb24 (Nov 13, 2003 6:17:08 PM)
Was it fun testing mm

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:17:08 PM)
Very much so... my team was great and the production staff is top notch. The game itself is so different from the other EPs. It was quite refreshing.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:17:18 PM)
My friend bought Makin' Magic and told me that it was a lot of fun, but said the same about Superstar, which I found quite hard. Is there anything 'difficult' about Makin' Magic that would cause me to get as frustrated as with Superstar?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:17:18 PM)
We've left it so that some of the aspects of the game are challenging, and some are not. We've tried to strike a balance that lets the game be fun, and contiunue to be fun.

SiMan - Sims Extremos (Nov 13, 2003 6:17:35 PM)
did you found many bugs testing the game?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:17:35 PM)

jmbarnas (Nov 13, 2003 6:17:53 PM)
I UN-Installed I Cleared THE Registry. And I Totally And Completely Removed All Things Simmy From My Computer. Then I RE-Installed And Now I m Missing Everything From UL And Sometimes When I Click On The House I Want To Play In It Goes Black And Dumps Me Onto My Desktop. And I Paid Special Attention... I Know For A Fact That I Did Install UL. I Never Had Any Problems Before MM. Why Is This Happening Now? Is It MM That Is Causing All These Problems? I mailed tech support but it didn’t help

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:17:53 PM)
Will you post to the BBS, in the MM section, and address the post to me, please. I'll help you out after the chat.

Ringo_dog (Nov 13, 2003 6:18:23 PM)
What is the point of the enchanted fridge? Besides from starving my Sims...

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:18:23 PM)
It's funny, and silly, and giggly, just like the rest of the sims world . . . :D

MagicGnome (Nov 13, 2003 6:18:55 PM)
Whos Idea was it to make The Sims Making Magic,and how long did it take to make it?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:18:55 PM)
Lyndsay, an assistant Lead tester for Superstar came up with the initial game design. It took roughly six months to develope, while we were wrapping up Superstar.

SiMan - Sims Extremos (Nov 13, 2003 6:19:07 PM)
There are spells specific for house party or LL?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:19:07 PM)
Not exactly. But there are some aspects that become available, if that makes anysense. ;P

kelbel (Nov 13, 2003 6:19:54 PM)
why do ya testers work such weird hours

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:19:54 PM)
Tight deadlines. High demand for the product to be put out sooner, rather than later.

Crazichi (Nov 13, 2003 6:20:15 PM)
is huggy your real name?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:20:15 PM)
No... just a nick.

labtop2488 (Nov 13, 2003 6:20:27 PM)
can you you keep the dragon from eating the garden?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:20:27 PM)
Some dragons have minds of their own, some are better behaved, depends on inclination and dragon color. Dragon treats help.

Lespad (Nov 13, 2003 6:21:03 PM)
Is there gonna be any patch to bugs that were supossed to be fixed with MM and that haven't benn fixed? For example the bug with bartender Waylon.

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:21:03 PM)
We like Waylon with no body.

Simboy (Nov 13, 2003 6:21:21 PM)
is there any way to bring a dead sim back to life

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:21:21 PM)
Pleading with the grim reaper will have some effect, and then there is a woman in old town rumoured to be able to revive zombies.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:21:51 PM)
is there any new pets in makin magic?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:21:51 PM)
There is one, it's what we like to call, a . . . DRAGON!!!! Mwahahahaahhaha

Crazichi (Nov 13, 2003 6:21:57 PM)
what do you have to major in in college to be a game tester?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:21:57 PM)
I received my degree in Fine Art... but the job does not require a college degree.

simoleons117 (Nov 13, 2003 6:22:46 PM)
When I installed Makin' Magic, my sim lost all her interests (except for the ones on the second page of interests). Is there any way to get them back? (I don't have Hot Date.)

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:22:46 PM)
They didn't go far. We aren't sure why this happens, but they are still there. Just go to an away lot, and then come backm and they will be back.

simsfan1 (Nov 13, 2003 6:22:58 PM)
Sean: do any testers play the sims on their free time?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:22:58 PM)
LOLz... actually, Laura Skinner is about the biggest Sim junkie there is. Yes... she did play the sims at home after we finished the work day.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:23:13 PM)
Did you want to be a game tester when you where a child?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:23:14 PM)
Maybe, but I can't remember.

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:23:36 PM)
Beanstalks go where they will. Some grow, some don't, some reach for the skies, others start to shrink. There's no prediciting objects that grow magically . . .

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:23:59 PM)
Do you work in the maxis building in Redwood Shores or somewhere else?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:23:59 PM)
We are located in Walnut Creek, in the mighty Maxis building , , ,

jfade12345 (Nov 13, 2003 6:24:17 PM)
Do you ever have outside people who don't work for Maxis come in to play test games just to get reviews for it and other bug reports you may have missed?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:24:17 PM)
We had some people look at the game who don't officially work for Maxis. We call them the Sim masters.

~*Vane*~ (Nov 13, 2003 6:24:47 PM)
Do you plan your answers ahead of time? You guys always have the smartest answers. LOL.

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:24:47 PM)
What, you didn't think we were smart!? We're like really really smart, and stuff . . . WOOHOO!

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:25:04 PM)
My dragon keeps saying its hungry. How do i feed it

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:25:05 PM)
dragon treats!

Zave (Nov 13, 2003 6:25:25 PM)
Do you ever see green or red diamonds spinning above your heads after a long day of testing?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:25:25 PM)
I once saw Huggy kick a lawn gnome onthe way out . . .

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:26:17 PM)
Can you mary a NPC from magi town or do you just buy things from them?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:26:17 PM)
You want to marry Vicki Vampiress!? I just asked her, and she said "no", sorry.

pepsiman (Nov 13, 2003 6:26:51 PM)
Will you be fixing the new bookcase object you have for download that stores vegies and stuff, cuz a few people been having problems with it,?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:26:51 PM)
It works fantastic! Except for storing carrots, because carrots are very very complex vegetables.

ideaspy (Nov 13, 2003 6:26:51 PM)
Hi, sean. Do you need programming skills to be a tester ? Do the tests are planned or do you luckily find the bugs with a lot of playing ? Do testers drink more coffee than programmers ?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:26:51 PM)
Not necessarily... we have QA members who have degrees in computer science and have actually worked as programmers, but it's not required. We work off test plans and creative (Free) test as well. All Maxoids live on coffee.

Stash (Nov 13, 2003 6:27:38 PM)
HELLO! What can you do with the Banana of Doom?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:27:38 PM)
HELLO to you too! You can talk to it, and it will not talk back, or you can deliver it to the person that the NPC asked you to deliver it to. Happy

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:28:09 PM)
ive tried and tried and cant get the spell that turns ur pets into humans. do u know whats wrong?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:28:09 PM)
Have you added the correct three ingredients to the Wand CHarger, and then clicked charge?

Doren (Nov 13, 2003 6:28:31 PM)
How to you get rid of Molly o' Wisp when she is destroying your home?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:28:31 PM)
Run and hide, she's mean, and does not like very many people.

Selphie590 (Nov 13, 2003 6:28:55 PM)
what was your favorite thing about testing mm?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:28:55 PM)
Two things.... 1. Working with my team of testers. Such a great group of hardworking and dedicated individuals. 2. Working with production. The team was a fine tuned machine at this point (7th EP) and it was awesome to work with a group in such a flow.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:29:31 PM)
Why did you pick this job?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:29:31 PM)
I loved the Sims and believe in the Maxis product.

Stash (Nov 13, 2003 6:29:38 PM)
what type of education/background do you need to be a gametester?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:29:38 PM)
It takes all types. Huggy has a PHD in macrobiotics . . .

chargersis1 (Nov 13, 2003 6:30:21 PM)
this is a stuip ? but how do u come up with so many great sims games?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:30:21 PM)
what is a stuip? There are lots of brilliant people working on coming up with great games all the time over here at Maxis and EA.

simmy (Nov 13, 2003 6:30:56 PM)
how did u get your job as a game tester? I'd like to be one some day

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:30:56 PM)
After I finished school I got a job at EA. A friend of mine knew someone in the QA department at EA and I emailed him several times until I got an interview.

Reject (Nov 13, 2003 6:31:12 PM)
One of my sims family had a bonehilda but she froze right in front of the dishwasher, is they maybe a game overload or somwthing becasue i had to make my sims move house so they could get rid of the froxen maid.

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:31:12 PM)
Are you sure she's not just pretending to be frozen? SHe does that some times, but alas, sometimes she gets really confused and just has to be deleted with move objects on . . . sorry

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:31:38 PM)
when is the sims 2 coming out?

MaxisLucky (Nov 13, 2003 6:31:38 PM)
This chat is about Makin' Magic. We'll have a The Sims 2 chat again soon. Please hold your questions about The Sims 2 for another day.

Farley (Nov 13, 2003 6:31:56 PM)
How do you know where to start when testing a game? Just start playing and see what turns up?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:31:56 PM)
Sometimes... again in the beginning, things aren't fully functional so that can often dictate where we start looking.

Jedi Marisa (Nov 13, 2003 6:32:02 PM)
What new things have you added to MM? I am not sure about buying, can you persuade me with some neat stuff in MM?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:32:02 PM)
What do you like. Whatever it is, we got it. lol. Bakin objects, nectar pressing, home harvesting, mighty mighty magical things, great carnival rides and themes.

simfan867 (Nov 13, 2003 6:32:34 PM)
What about some celebrity witchy skins?? Gllinda the good witch, Samantha from bewitched, Sabrina the teenage...etc

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:32:34 PM)
Could you ask them to give us a call? We'd love to do some skins of them, thanks!

kelbel (Nov 13, 2003 6:33:01 PM)
how come my butler wont make meals from the pantry?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:33:01 PM)
He doesn't like the new tuscan fridge, apparently he has something against tuscany, or so I'm told.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:33:29 PM)
Does MM remove any objests from the game? Like hot date removed the gold walpaper...

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:33:29 PM)
No. We never remove any objects, unless they weren't supposed to be lthere to begin with.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:33:35 PM)
why would maxis intentionally release a game to the general public knowing it has bugs

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:33:35 PM)
All games have bugs, not just Maxis products. Again, we have to meet deadlines in order to stay in business.

nannie1963 (Nov 13, 2003 6:33:57 PM)
please answer yes or no the spaces in the recipe book and spell book have missing spaces should they all be full

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:33:57 PM)
no. not neccesarily.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:34:34 PM)
is it possible to dodge the mystry man when he's trying to get you for doing magic infront of regular people?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:34:34 PM)
He's fast, but you can do it. I've done it. I've seen Bella do it.

Merlin -S2S (Nov 13, 2003 6:34:34 PM)
Did you find any bugs in MM that were hard to rectify, if so, which bug/s were they?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:34:34 PM)
Yes... some during the 11th hour. Too many to remember. One had to do with rezoning lots.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:34:55 PM)
do you have the henry patter ,or whatever the harry potter parody skins are called, skins built in with mm cuz it IS magic, you know?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:34:55 PM)
um, huh? Happy

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:35:21 PM)
I have been having problems with going out of the house. When ever I try to go out to the studio, on a date, etc., it dumps me onto the desktop. Please help me as I have already e-mailed the help section and they have not replied.

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:35:21 PM)
Please post to the BBS, and we can talk about it there, I'll get it fixed for you, promise.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:35:37 PM)
Once you move into magic town, do you have to pay for everything, such as bills, with magicoins??

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:35:38 PM)

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:36:00 PM)
I have been having problems with going out of the house. When ever I try to go out to the studio, on a date, etc., it dumps me onto the desktop. Please help me as I have already e-mailed the help section and they have not replied.

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:36:00 PM)
Are you the same guest as above?

tweetybirdblaze (Nov 13, 2003 6:36:46 PM)
Do any of you ever get frustrated with your jobs? Even though you enjoy them very much.

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:36:46 PM)
Yes, but it's all relative. The hours can be very taxing. What gets you through it all is working with great people. (Cheesy... i know). :o)

frieza88 (Nov 13, 2003 6:36:49 PM)
Why does Drew carry always show up as a ghost at the goth house?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:36:49 PM)
The Goths are very strange family, no one really knows why things happen the way they do on their lot. Way until you see Sims Bustin Out. So much more will be revealed about them . . .

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:37:08 PM)
can you climb the beanstalks?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:37:08 PM)
Maybe Happy

simfan867 (Nov 13, 2003 6:37:19 PM)
Do any of the kissable toads turn into princessess?? I find it a bit sexist that I can only get a prince. I mean really..who needs that many princes.

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:37:19 PM)
Who ever heard of a toad turning into a princess!? Why that's just not natural! Happy

lovely (Nov 13, 2003 6:38:01 PM)
hi are they going makin magic for mac computer and can yall pls have the sims 2 and the simsonline for mac to cuz i love the sims

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:38:01 PM)
Makin Magic will be out for the Mac, soon, I'm sorry that's all I know.

Ringo_dog (Nov 13, 2003 6:38:09 PM)
What was the biggest challenge you faced while testing MM?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:38:09 PM)
Keeping the team motivated. Making sure all areas of the game were well covered.

starlitenight (Nov 13, 2003 6:38:32 PM)
how many times must you groom a dragon to get dragon scales?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:38:32 PM)
sometimes, once, sometimes more, sometimes more.

SimSim (Nov 13, 2003 6:38:43 PM)
What controls the color of your dragon?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:38:43 PM)
their upbringing

Stash (Nov 13, 2003 6:38:52 PM)
I unable to enter the chat last week, because it was "full"...why didn't you get a bigger chat server?

MaxisLucky (Nov 13, 2003 6:38:52 PM)
We're working on it.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:39:10 PM)
What was the biggest problem working on Makin Magic

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:39:10 PM)
To be honest, this was the smoothest project I've been on.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:39:21 PM)
how come my people cant talk to each other? i go to click on one of them and it says no actions available

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:39:21 PM)
My first guess would be that you have a custom patch installed. Check your gamedata/global folder and make sure the only file in it is global.far

Hu_Moose3 (Nov 13, 2003 6:39:58 PM)
What is your daily life like?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:39:58 PM)
Wake up, Work on Sims, Eat, Sleep, repeat cycle

Kdawg (Nov 13, 2003 6:39:58 PM)
Uhh, should I post this on the BBS, I can't enchant gnomes.

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:39:58 PM)
It has been ansered on the BBS, it seems to be because of a hacked gnome workbench is most cases.

Selphie590 (Nov 13, 2003 6:40:25 PM)
how come when I put my Makin Magic CD in it will not load?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:40:25 PM)
Do you have autorun turned off? Try going to "my computer" and double clicking the CD icon.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:40:36 PM)
What has been your favorite EP to test?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:40:36 PM)
Makin' Magic. Great team. Unleashed was probably the most difficult as we didn't get much time to test.

starlitenight (Nov 13, 2003 6:40:59 PM)
Are there any secrets to the tombstone puzzle?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:40:59 PM)
only the knowledge that it is very hard! it will help you solve it as it gets more and more frustrated with your Sims though. Happy

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:41:44 PM)
Are Sim Ghosts supposed to get jealous? I just had a Sim die in the very recent present and he came out at night while his widow was kissing a new flame the day after her husband died, and I definitely heard the jealous music!

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:41:44 PM)
um, yes, I mean, probably . . . no, oh well , , ,

gamegirl815 (Nov 13, 2003 6:42:21 PM)
is being a game tester hard work?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:42:21 PM)
It can be... it's not as glamorous as one would think. Again, the demand on time can be taxing, there are deadlines to meet and with that comes pressure. Looking at the same game for 3 months straight is a bit rough at times. But at the end of the day, it's very rewarding.

Ryujight (Nov 13, 2003 6:43:29 PM)
Cooper: How does the "Make Cakes" charm that kids make always backfire or do you not know?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:43:29 PM)
Oh, i know. My only explanation is that I should have named it "make toads"

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:43:56 PM)
How big is the team of testers?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:43:57 PM)
For Makin' Magic we had roughly 22 guys. It varies from project to project.

EvilPrincess98 (Nov 13, 2003 6:44:28 PM)
So you can really use the ovens in MM?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:44:28 PM)
Yes to bake things. you add ingredients and the oven does the rest!

Tuxbaby (Nov 13, 2003 6:44:44 PM)
Was anything left out of the expansion that you wished had been put in, but couldn't either due to deadlines or some other constraint?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:44:44 PM)

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:45:11 PM)
how many months or weeks to test mm?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:45:11 PM)
I start the project roughly 4 months before we finished. My team escalated from that point on. I would say we spent 2 months of solid testing on MM.

BobbiJaye S2S (Nov 13, 2003 6:46:00 PM)
Do games change much during the testing period?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:46:00 PM)

abarbieangel (Nov 13, 2003 6:46:05 PM)
OK im trying this for the 4th time: Hello! What is the normal hours for a tester?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:46:05 PM)
Depends on what phase of development the game is in, and how worried we all are about the state that it's in. Huggy and I went 4 weeks working 18 hours a day without a day off on Unleahsed . . .

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:46:23 PM)
How do i get the pixie dust besides Mara? I dont have that option anymore!

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:46:23 PM)
You need magicoins to get the option to buy from vendors.

KatCat (Nov 13, 2003 6:46:53 PM)
Sorry, arrived late. Are the mailbox and Waylan bugs going to be fixed? (They're the only ones I have come across.)

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:46:53 PM)
I don't see a mailbox bug, but alas, for now, Waylon is here to stay . . . sorry.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:47:06 PM)
how many spells or charms do you have to do for toadstools to grow on your lot?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:47:06 PM)
Just sit on a toadstool chair!

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:47:09 PM)
i don't like magic so much.Do u think i 'll still like MM?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:47:09 PM)
Very much so... the gameplay is really fun / amusing and if you love the other EPs, you'll love MM.

frieza88 (Nov 13, 2003 6:47:41 PM)
Cassandra went evil, and killed the family dog, can you revive animals?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:47:41 PM)
How did Cassandra kill the family dog . . . I've always suspected that girl of ill doing!

Jedi Marisa (Nov 13, 2003 6:48:20 PM)
Do you guys actually post in the BBS?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:48:20 PM)
Haven't you seen me posting on the BBS! I posted almost 600 hundred responses last week. *sniff* apparently all to no avail.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:48:47 PM)
Whose idea was it to put Will Wright at the top of the beanstalk?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:48:47 PM)
Mighty Producer JG Knight, the bossman! lol

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:48:59 PM)
Whats the deal with the Goth family? Are they Maxis's favorite family??

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:48:59 PM)
Of course!

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:49:20 PM)
Who thought of the idea of mm?

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:49:20 PM)
I REALLY want the goth house back with the family!!! Can you put it up for download or something, with all it's natural kookieness?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:49:20 PM)
Lyndsay McGaw... a producer.

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:49:20 PM)
I see it on the exchange right now!!!

dawg384 (Nov 13, 2003 6:49:35 PM)
when you accidentally turn someone into a frog can you turn them back!??

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:49:35 PM)
They'll come back unless something eats them.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:49:46 PM)
is it possible to fill all thespaces in the recipe book and spell book.

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:49:46 PM)

Stash (Nov 13, 2003 6:49:47 PM)
What will next weeks chat be about?

MaxisLucky (Nov 13, 2003 6:49:47 PM)
We're not sure yet - checkt the site early next week for details.

Simaholic337 (Nov 13, 2003 6:50:49 PM)
Hi ya! I have two questions.. How come when my lawn gnome is enchanted, he stays enchanted for about two seconds then just dissapears? Also i'm also having problems with hatching of dragons. 4 sim day have passed and my dragon hasn't hatched. Will there be a patch for these problems? thanks a lot!!!! Making magic is an excellent game!

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:50:49 PM)
These aren't a problem in the game. You might have some hacked objects or patches installed, or your installation might have dropped a file due to CD write speed. Try reinstalling Makin Magic after you remove any hacked files, and lemme know on the BBS how it goes.

Merve (Nov 13, 2003 6:51:31 PM)
when u tested mm did maxis people have to tell you everything befroe you played the game or did you get suprised?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:51:31 PM)
No... we receive design docs and I would attend design meetings. Production wants the game to be tested thoroughly so it's in their best interest to keep us abreast of all design issues.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:51:59 PM)
Can i wake the giant will wright, maxisproducer?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:51:59 PM)
I hear Will is very grumpy if he's awaken, he likes to day dream, that's how he comes up with great game ideas!

maike_2003 (Nov 13, 2003 6:52:56 PM)
how long do you work a day?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:52:56 PM)
Varies from time to time. The longest day I've pulled was 22 hours.

maike_2003 (Nov 13, 2003 6:53:44 PM)
what do you do as the producer?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:53:44 PM)
Producers are a very strange breed in the video game world. We do lots of different things. Some producers are in charge of games on the whole, and some are managers, and people that interface with everyone one the team. And some of us just do things that aren't getting done, or are part of design teams, or sound teams, or writing. Lots of stuff!

PerfectPet234 (Nov 13, 2003 6:54:05 PM)
Do different expansions affect MM possibilities?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:54:05 PM)

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:54:31 PM)
what do you feed the dragons?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:54:31 PM)
Dragon treats, they'll find other stuff to tide them over on their own . . . let's hope it's not you!!!

BobbiJaye S2S (Nov 13, 2003 6:54:42 PM)
Do other team members get mad at you when you have to report bug after bug after bug? Thanks Happy

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:54:42 PM)
Not mad at a tester... maybe just frustrated that their bugs are not getting fixed. Our job is to help development out by finding the things they need to fix. I think we have a good rapport with development here at Maxis.

MaxisMojo (Nov 13, 2003 6:54:55 PM)
We're at our last 5 minutes.

Peach (Nov 13, 2003 6:55:29 PM)
Why does the lawn gnome always swim in the nector presser?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:55:29 PM)
Wouldn't you if you could!? Those gnomes, i tell ya, they are nuts. And the amount of damage that stagerring nectar swimming gnomes have caused around the office staggering itself!

LearysBrain (Nov 13, 2003 6:56:33 PM)
I'm really disappointed the Butler won't use the Skeleton Maid. I want to use the Skeleton Maid--as she is "creepy cool"--but he'll just call-in reinforcements instead. Any way of getting him to use her?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:56:33 PM)
He is a bit put off by Bonehilda.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:57:04 PM)
Do any of you play The Sims at home during personal time?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:57:04 PM)
No... I'm too hooked on Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:57:21 PM)
Is there a limit to how many MagiCoins you can 9,999 or something?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:57:21 PM)

robwill80 (Nov 13, 2003 6:57:41 PM)
Hello! Can you answer this please? Are there any more plans for object downloads for The Sims 1?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:57:41 PM)
Top secret! Sorry :(

simfan867 (Nov 13, 2003 6:57:51 PM)
Do you have to have a special monitor to work on? I know my eyes go buggy after an hour or so. How do you keep from completely losing your eyesight?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:57:51 PM)
Personally, I play by using the force . . .

delinquent201 (Nov 13, 2003 6:58:08 PM)
are there any spells that are specifically for pets like you always keep their bowl full or something

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:58:08 PM)
there is one quite special spell for your pets.

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 6:58:21 PM)
How do kids get toadstools for spells? I've read in BBS that they have to sit on a lot of toadstool chairs, but i did it and it didn't work. Is this true?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:58:21 PM)
It's true

ddc0185 (Nov 13, 2003 6:58:45 PM)
Did you have only "guys" or women too?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:58:45 PM)
There are quite a lot of woman that work at Maxis, look at the game credits.

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:59:13 PM)
Special versions of builds and programs and all that good stuff. Happy

MaxisMojo (Nov 13, 2003 6:59:17 PM)
We're on our last minute! 2 more questions from our guests!

Starlightbright (Nov 13, 2003 6:59:27 PM)
What is the point of baking cakes?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 6:59:27 PM)
To have your cake and eat it too!

QueenKamsiha (Nov 13, 2003 6:59:57 PM)
OBJECTS! I need more objects! Can you please make a cd with just more objects on it?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 6:59:57 PM)
You need more?!?! MM had soooooo many!

LearysBrain (Nov 13, 2003 7:00:02 PM)
In The Sims SuperStar, you had to work at various skills to become a SuperStar. In Makin' Magic, what makes you good at performing magic? Is it just the Cooking and Mechanical skills, or is there something further?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 7:00:02 PM)
Lots of skills come into play with makin magic and with performing away from home, logically speaking . . .

MaxisMojo (Nov 13, 2003 7:00:17 PM)
That concludes our chat today with MaxisProducer (aka. Cooper Buckingham) and Lead Tester Sean Hugunin. Thanks for attending! Be sure to check later for the transcripts of today's chat.

MaxisMojo (Nov 13, 2003 7:00:24 PM)
Thanks everybody!

jlaustin86 (Nov 13, 2003 7:00:29 PM)
Will there be a patch to fix the unenchantable scarecrow? I tried to fix it myself but all I got out of it was a game that kept crashing.

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 7:00:29 PM)
. . . but the rest of the game is still really really awesome though, right!?

MaxisDano (Nov 13, 2003 7:00:52 PM)
Thanks for coming everyone!

Simaholic337 (Nov 13, 2003 7:01:00 PM)
How come with the beauty and the beast charm, the beauty part never works for me. Is there any secret?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 7:01:00 PM)
The spell description seems to suggest that you mind need to cast it in private. . .

MaxisLucky (Nov 13, 2003 7:01:00 PM)
Thanks everyone!

Mattlovesthesims (Nov 13, 2003 7:01:02 PM)
has anyone gone ill or fainted, or anything else dramatic from the lake of sleep and from starring at the screen so long?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 7:01:02 PM)
Sick, yes... I remember during Unleashed I missed close to a week because due to bouts of lightheadedness

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 7:01:13 PM)
Thanks all, happy simming!

Guest (Nov 13, 2003 7:01:28 PM)
What is the square-root of 12742?

maxisproducer (Nov 13, 2003 7:01:28 PM)
Bella GOth?

MaxisHuggy (Nov 13, 2003 7:02:11 PM)
Thank you all so much! Huggy had a great time answering as many questions as I could. Thanks again... hopefully we can do this again real soon.


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