Welcome to The Sims 2! Part 33

Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 23:00

Hey, everyone,

Each week, I try and talk about a few of the amazing features found in The Sims 2, and most of the time I can relay this information to you in real world terms (e.g. Sims have wants, fears, and aspiration). However, we shouldn't forget that The Sims 2 team is stuffed to over-flowing with some serious, Grade-A brainiacs. This week, let's get a little geeky with one of our Directors of Software Development, Dave Gregory. I'm going to let him talk from here on out on some of the more engineering-centric features, all focused on something you all have a lot of experience with, Custom Content:

Thanks, Lucy. Hi there. My name's Dave, and I'd like to talk to you about some of the behind the scenes improvements that we've made to The Sims 2 based on our experiences and feedback on the first The Sims game and using custom content.

First off, when you tear open your new copy of The Sims 2 on September 17th, you may quickly discover that uploading and downloading objects has been integrated directly in the game. In plain terms, this means that you'll be able to browse and contribute to the myriad of community-created objects, skins, neighborhood ploppables, build mode patterns and more right from the comfort of the game.

Also, suppose you downloaded a Sim last week because you loved the dress that had been created for her, but this week, you see a new Sim that you simply must have, but this one is wearing the same dress (how embarrassing for them!). Well, when you go to download this new Sim, the game will automatically see that it already has this dress, and so, using what we call Minimal Transport, you will download only the Sim you want, without downloading the dress a second time. This will certainly be a benefit for users with slower connections, and it puts less strain on our poor, overworked servers.

Furthermore, many of you were exasperated with some of the hoops that the first Sims game made you jump through in order to bring content into the game. No more! Now, when you download new custom content for the game, it will be automatically detected and seamlessly loaded into the game without restarting the game. You'll also be able to easily manage and maintain this content from right within the game. No more nosing around in The Sims 2 file structure (unless, of course, that's your thing, in which case, feel free to snoop around)!

Finally, and perhaps, most importantly, The Sims 2 has been built from the ground up in anticipation of future content being created for the game. Some of our more seasoned The Sims players might have noticed that keeping a large menagerie of custom content can sometimes lead to problems with newer content writing over old content. In The Sims 2, this will never be the case. All conflicts are resolved locally during the download process.

So, will all this fancy-pants engineering lead to slower load times in the game? No. We’ve done our best to ensure that a copy of the game jammed to the gills with custom content will result in only a small increase in load times, so you should plan on going hog wild downloading custom content when you have the game.

Happy Simming!

Lucy & Dave

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