Meet a Mega Maxoid!

Friday, July 2, 2004 - 23:00

Ever wonder what its like to be the General Manager of Maxis? Meet Maxis' Neil Young in the chat transcripts!

Read The Transcripts!

maxiskitty (Jul 2, 2004 5:02:30 PM)
Hello and Welcome to today's friday fun chat with Neil Young our new GM (that is general manager) here at Maxis. He is hanging out with us here in chat today to get to know you guys and answer any questions you guys might have about Maxis.

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:02:47 PM)
Hi everyone - I'm really happy to be hear and have the opportunity to answer questions.

glitterbell77 (Jul 2, 2004 5:04:15 PM)
how does it feel to be GM of maxis?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:04:15 PM)
It feels great, it's a great honor to be a part of the team. Luc's shoes were big to fill....and french too.

Juliunos (Jul 2, 2004 5:05:30 PM)
Do you speak french??

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:05:30 PM)
No, but I do speak English.

Guest (Jul 2, 2004 5:05:45 PM)
do you feel you are going to be a great addition to the maxis team?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:05:46 PM)
I hope so.

SuperSonic1(st) (Jul 2, 2004 5:07:35 PM)
How have you helped make The Sims 2?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:07:35 PM)
Well the Sims 2 has been in development for a while, but I work very closely w/Lucy to make sure that all of EA is really focused on the parts of the game & it's launch that we hope will make it successful

PMaster (Jul 2, 2004 5:07:54 PM)
How much hours do you work as a GM and what do you do as a GM?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:07:54 PM)
I work 20 hrs a day and I earn about $8.50 per hour

Fabian[] (Jul 2, 2004 5:09:08 PM)
According to Maxis September 17 is world release of Sims 2. But according to EA Germany the releasedate for Germany is September 16. Can you solve this contradiction?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:09:09 PM)
The worldwide (well most of the world) "in store" date is September 17th. It might be out a few days earlier in different places around the world.

Opalesence (Jul 2, 2004 5:09:22 PM)
Uhh... what's a GM?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:09:22 PM)
GM is General Manager

a_mashru88 (Jul 2, 2004 5:10:05 PM)
Neil, are u married? do u have kids?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:10:05 PM)
Yes I am married and I have 2 children.

Meg (Jul 2, 2004 5:10:26 PM)
If you were a Sim in sims 2, what kind of sim would you be? (ie romance, knowledge, etc)

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:10:26 PM)
I would be a romance sim.

straightXedge (Jul 2, 2004 5:10:47 PM)
i thought GM meant genettically modified?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:10:47 PM)
It does....Create-a-Sim is the sequel to Create-a-GM

soccerstar (Jul 2, 2004 5:11:52 PM)
what did u do before you were a GM

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:11:52 PM)
I ran the Lord of the Rings franchise for EA and I directed the last 2 games that we made. Before that I made an Online game called Majestic and before that I was the GM for Origin.

zen (Jul 2, 2004 5:12:54 PM)
have your children been able to play the game yet

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:12:54 PM)
Yes...well kind of...My Daughter has spent about 10 hrs in Create-a-Sim, she's only 5, so that's the coolest thing in the world to her

JulianVelasquez (Jul 2, 2004 5:13:41 PM)
How long do you plan to stay with maxis?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:13:41 PM)
Just until we achieve total world domination.

SuperSonic1(st) (Jul 2, 2004 5:14:19 PM)
Is it the law that all of your names start with Maxis in chat?

MaxisLucky (Jul 2, 2004 5:14:19 PM)
Yes. It is a law.

DpS (Jul 2, 2004 5:15:00 PM)
Isnt there anything *NEW* you want to tell us about the sims2?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:15:00 PM)
Yes...the first expansion pack should be released early in the new year.

me_myself_and_sim (Jul 2, 2004 5:15:39 PM)
Beside lucy who do you get along with?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:15:39 PM)
pretty much no-one else

homestarfan21 (Jul 2, 2004 5:16:09 PM)
so, neil, what's your favorite snack? ^-^

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:16:09 PM)
baked beans on toast. Is that a snack or a meal?

lattyware (Jul 2, 2004 5:17:06 PM)
How hard is it to get to a job like yours? I am 12 and really want to be a game designer/programmer. I allready make my own games - Could I get your job one day?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:17:06 PM)
You're doing exactly the right things to get my job. Sounds like you'll get there at a lot younger age than I did.

xxseraphimxx (Jul 2, 2004 5:17:20 PM)
What is the expansion going to be? Just a little hint... Please???

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:17:21 PM)
It'll be good.

voicesinhead (Jul 2, 2004 5:17:50 PM) had an article that announce that The Sims 2 would be changing its rating to M to add Threesomes and Orgies, is ts this true?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:17:50 PM)
No, not at all true.

_Coke_ (Jul 2, 2004 5:18:53 PM)
What will SimCity 5 be like?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:18:53 PM)
SImCity 5 will go back to it's roots. Think of it less of the 5th SimCity and more of The SimCity

Guest (Jul 2, 2004 5:19:35 PM)
Will Sims2 come out for gamecube at the same time as computer on Sep. 17 or will i have 2 wait

MaxisShorty (Jul 2, 2004 5:19:35 PM)
The Sims is planned exclusively for the PC, but you'll be able to pick up The Urbz: Sims in the City on the console of your choice this fall.

lattyware (Jul 2, 2004 5:19:48 PM)
Will the EP's be copies of old EP's? I know I for one would really like a new version of 'Unleashed' a favorite among the sims community!

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:19:48 PM)
They won't be copies, but we will listen to you guys about the things that you'd like to see and we'll try our best to address those things

bigzz4 (Jul 2, 2004 5:20:13 PM)
How many Cd's will the sims2 be?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:20:13 PM)
4 or you will be able to by it on 1 DVD (although the current plan for that is as a pre-order)

_Coke_ (Jul 2, 2004 5:20:58 PM)
Have you played The Urbz? any good?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:20:58 PM)
Yes, I have played the Urbz & Yes it is good and doing some really exciting new things with camera, control, pacing & metagame

mskgymnast (Jul 2, 2004 5:21:02 PM)
can babies die @ birth?

Domdncr (Jul 2, 2004 5:21:09 PM)
What's your zodiac sign?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:21:09 PM)

SCAD_Man (Jul 2, 2004 5:21:49 PM)
Are you still adding new features to The Sims 2 or are you just polishing every thing up for the release?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:21:49 PM)
We're polishing & tuning right now. I have Lucy locked away in a hermetically sealed chamber. Occasionally we let her out for a meeting

Utena (Jul 2, 2004 5:21:59 PM)
What do you mean "as a pre-order?"

MaxisShorty (Jul 2, 2004 5:21:59 PM)
Right now, you can go to your favorite games retailer and place your very own copy of Sims 2, thus assuring yourself a copy when it begins to fly off shelves

splashmo (Jul 2, 2004 5:22:23 PM)
Will the DVD edition be available at the same time?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:22:23 PM)
The current plan is that this will be for pre-order customers - Although that's subject to change

elmo (Jul 2, 2004 5:23:00 PM)
Whats your favorite Maxis Made family in the Sims 2?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:23:00 PM)
The Caliente Sisters are my favorite. Or at least that's who's house I always seem to find myself in!

Tinkerbelll (Jul 2, 2004 5:23:32 PM)
PLEASE ANSWER THIS QUESTION!! I am a die hard macintosh user and I realize that the sims2 is coming out for PC's only. Will a mac version of the sims2 come out? if so, when?!?!

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:23:32 PM)
I am a Mac user too! There will be a Mac version of Sims 2 - We haven't announced the release date yet.

Guest (Jul 2, 2004 5:23:55 PM)
When is the exact date for the urbz sims in the city to be announced?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:23:55 PM)
The current plan is for it to release on November 16th

Guest (Jul 2, 2004 5:24:10 PM)
Do you feed Lucy?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:24:10 PM)
We have people to do that

MONS PANTS (Jul 2, 2004 5:24:46 PM)
Is each neighborhood a little bit different?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:24:46 PM)
Yes, each neighbourhood is dramatically different

cory (Jul 2, 2004 5:26:02 PM)
What game do you like better "urbz or the sims 2"???

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:26:02 PM)
Aww..come on, that's not fair. I like them both for different reasons.

Dee (Jul 2, 2004 5:26:21 PM)
What version of SImCity is used to make neighborhoods? will later versions be compatible?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:26:21 PM)
You can make the neighbourhood landscapes with SC4.

Guest (Jul 2, 2004 5:26:49 PM)
where is the maxis H.Q

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:26:49 PM)
Maxis has a studio in Redwood City, CA and another in Walnut Creek, CA

_Coke_ (Jul 2, 2004 5:26:55 PM)
Will we have our own Sims2page? (Like our SimPages?)

MaxisLucky (Jul 2, 2004 5:26:55 PM)
Yes - we are working on improving the MySim pages for

JesusFreak (Jul 2, 2004 5:27:32 PM)
Will you guys be starting a The Sims 3 once The Sims 2 is finished?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:27:32 PM)
Yes, we're already thinking about Sims 3.....

Coldmenace (Jul 2, 2004 5:29:51 PM)
PLEASE ANSWER!!! Will the Sims 2 have Portuguese Language?

MaxisLucky (Jul 2, 2004 5:29:51 PM)
We are planning on releasing in Portuguese....

soccergirl4EvA93 (Jul 2, 2004 5:30:03 PM)
What other projects is the Maxis team working on?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:30:03 PM)
We're working on Urbz which is a new people simulator for consoles. Will is working on a new, top secret thing that will blow your mind & we're working on our design for SimCity.

kailove (Jul 2, 2004 5:30:31 PM)
What is the rating for the Urbz game?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:30:32 PM)
Urbz is T for Teen

Mathilde (Jul 2, 2004 5:31:06 PM)
Neil, what are you currently working on exacly?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:31:06 PM)
I'm working on figuring out how to sequel Maxis. Take all the great features and make them even better and then add some new ones!

Guest (Jul 2, 2004 5:31:29 PM)
What is URBZ?

MaxisLucky (Jul 2, 2004 5:31:29 PM)

Gabe (Jul 2, 2004 5:32:04 PM)
ANSWER PLEASE! Will there be a video when you start the game (like in TS1)?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:32:04 PM)
If you mean an intro video, then yes. If you mean tutorial then no, there are tutorials in the game itself.

JesusFreak (Jul 2, 2004 5:32:46 PM)
When will Will Wright release info on his top secret "thing" ? They said 2004 was when he would tell us, is he planning to tell us soon within months?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:32:46 PM)
I don't think we'll announce this until after the holiday season

HollywoodCeleb (Jul 2, 2004 5:33:12 PM)
Are you the Neil Young who wrote the song Heart of Gold?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:33:12 PM)

Jeter (Jul 2, 2004 5:34:12 PM)
PLEASE ANSWER!!!!!! is being a GM exhausting? are you at work more then at home?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:34:12 PM)
Home? What's that? We merged home & work a long time ago ;o)

Answer (Jul 2, 2004 5:34:36 PM)
Neil how old are you?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:34:36 PM)

_Coke_ (Jul 2, 2004 5:36:43 PM)
Are you open to any System Requirements questions for Sims2?

MaxisLucky (Jul 2, 2004 5:36:43 PM)
The system requirements are on If you have questions, please post them to the BBS. Thanks.

tashascool (Jul 2, 2004 5:37:35 PM)
What is your favorite feature in The Sims 2? And in Urbz?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:37:35 PM)
Favorite feature in Sims2 is the Wants & Fears - totally changes the dimensionality of the game experience. On the Urbz, I love the way it looks & sounds it's got a new pace to the play and having the ability to move off of the lots an intro districts is very cool.

HollywoodCeleb (Jul 2, 2004 5:37:51 PM)
Wait a minute if your thirty four, you couldn't have wrote Heart of Gold. It came out in 1972 didn't it?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:37:51 PM)
I was prodigious as a child.

beefy_the_llama (Jul 2, 2004 5:39:06 PM)
Is it complicated designing a game?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:39:06 PM)
Yes beefy, it's very complicated - but also really, really fun

Meg (Jul 2, 2004 5:39:19 PM)
Are you still prodigious?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:39:19 PM)
I've slowed.

*Tired* (Jul 2, 2004 5:39:33 PM)
Why is it's name The URBZ? I get really confused about that. IS IT a Sim-game???? :S

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:39:33 PM)
Yes, it has Sims Inside.

Guest (Jul 2, 2004 5:40:02 PM)
girl gamers scare me

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:40:03 PM)
I'll tell Lucy

pinkY891 (Jul 2, 2004 5:40:11 PM)
I've never heard of URBZ...what is it?

MaxisLucky (Jul 2, 2004 5:40:11 PM)

MiniMartMan (Jul 2, 2004 5:40:27 PM)
what is your favorite old skool maxis game

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:40:27 PM)

Drew (Jul 2, 2004 5:40:53 PM)
What's your worst fear?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:40:53 PM)
In the Sims 2 or real life?

christy (Jul 2, 2004 5:41:53 PM)
where is lucy

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:41:53 PM)
we've locked her up in a room to finish tuning Sims2

bigzz4 (Jul 2, 2004 5:42:17 PM)
what is your degree in?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:42:17 PM)
I don't have a degree

JesusFreak (Jul 2, 2004 5:44:34 PM)
Niel, are you guys ever planning to make The SIms Online 2?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:44:34 PM)
I think that all of our games in the future will have some elements of Online, including The Sims. So in that regard, then yes - but not in the way that you'd associate with TSO. It's unlikely to be a PSW.

BigBoi7 (Jul 2, 2004 5:45:59 PM)
Alright.....I know there's been this sort of big hype on releasing the game for September 17th, and I was wondering if thats like a pretty much positively sure date because don't you think it's possible you could lose interest of people thinking about buying the game...I know I personally can wait or whatever...but like if the game is delayed for whatever reason...couldnt it have a negative effect from the fans?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:45:59 PM)
September 17th is the date. There are no plans to change that - The game is great, it's ready we just need to do the last tuning, polish & bug fixing and it'll be ready for you all.

WhiskersIsMyCat (Jul 2, 2004 5:46:02 PM)
What's a PSW?

maxiskitty (Jul 2, 2004 5:46:02 PM)
Persistant world.. like the Sims Online or Ultima Online

SimsFanaticLUVYA (Jul 2, 2004 5:46:29 PM)

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:46:29 PM)
Happy birthday!

seansgirlkemi (Jul 2, 2004 5:47:34 PM)
What was your dream job when you were younger

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:47:34 PM)
Pre 11 yrs. old I though astronaut would have been cool - England didn't have a space program, so when I was old enough to realize that wasn't going to work, I got into games.

Unknown Sheep (Jul 2, 2004 5:47:47 PM)
What will you do after the chat?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:47:47 PM)
Prepare for the Maxis company meeting.

kailove (Jul 2, 2004 5:48:11 PM)
How long does it take a game to hit stores after it has "gone gold"?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:48:11 PM)
Usually about 30 days.

girl_17 (Jul 2, 2004 5:50:02 PM)
Do the designers for Sims 2 have a fine arts background?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:50:02 PM)
Some do. To be a great game designer, you need a unique blend of skills and being creative is definately one of those things

Coldmenace (Jul 2, 2004 5:50:20 PM)
if youre english what do you think about the Euro 2004 game?? PORTUGAL VS ENGLAND???

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:50:20 PM)

phoenixsp (Jul 2, 2004 5:51:19 PM)
PLEASE ANWSER Are you planning on releasing any further tools for The Sims 2 like an object creator?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:51:19 PM)
Yes we will release tools in the future for Sims 2, but probably not ahead of the release of the main software.

simsfreak51 (Jul 2, 2004 5:51:37 PM)
how much longer in the chat?

MaxisLucky (Jul 2, 2004 5:51:37 PM)
We have about 10 more minutes of our chat with Maxis General Manager Neil Young.

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:51:38 PM)
Lucy just came to my cube! I need to lock her back up

MatthewGreene (Jul 2, 2004 5:52:00 PM)
Do you plan on creating any Sims games for the upcoming DS or PSP?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:52:00 PM)
Yes, we do.

seansgirlkemi (Jul 2, 2004 5:53:00 PM)
About how many people have been working on the Sims2

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:53:00 PM)
A lot.

TheSidDog (Jul 2, 2004 5:53:20 PM)
Where do you see The Sims in twenty years?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:53:20 PM)
They play you....

Jenny Sim (Jul 2, 2004 5:53:42 PM)
When will this chat be posted?

MaxisLucky (Jul 2, 2004 5:53:42 PM)
We'll get the transcripts up as soon as we can after the chat today....

Sabeltan (Jul 2, 2004 5:54:21 PM)
Lucy!! Thank god, maybe you could answer because some other people refuse. How big will our sims 2 lots be in Simcity 4 squares? We need to know so we can start planning our road layouts. P.S. We miss you and had hoped you'd be doing more chats!

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:54:21 PM)
She says she'll answer on the BBS

verejoma (Jul 2, 2004 5:56:10 PM)
how many expansion packs are you guys planning on releasing?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:56:10 PM)
We currently have an outline for about 5 designs. The goal is a couple each year beginning in the first qtr. next year.

loverofchocolate (Jul 2, 2004 5:56:38 PM)
Hey neil do you like chocolate?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:56:38 PM)
I like dark chocolate.

*leagally brunette* (Jul 2, 2004 5:56:58 PM)
how many hours a day do you guys work on the sims 2?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:56:58 PM)
We are working around the clock right now.

alexmas (Jul 2, 2004 5:57:33 PM)
Is Lucky and Kitty their real names??

MaxisLucky (Jul 2, 2004 5:57:33 PM)

SiMcHiCa (Jul 2, 2004 5:58:06 PM)
i've always been confused about MaxisKitty. i always here that she's a robot? whats this all about?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:58:06 PM)
She's one of our bot moderators - If you ask her questions, you'll often get the same answer.

maxiskitty (Jul 2, 2004 5:58:28 PM)
error does not compute error error

maxiskitty (Jul 2, 2004 5:58:32 PM)

nomel (Jul 2, 2004 5:59:17 PM)
why did you guys choose september 17th?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:59:17 PM)
We knew that we'd get it done right by then.

lltytgbr (Jul 2, 2004 5:59:33 PM)
do you think the game 'Singles' suck?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 5:59:33 PM)
Yes - It totally sucks

Guest (Jul 2, 2004 6:02:53 PM)
The Sims 2 BBS- Do you have anything *NEW* for us about The Sims 2?

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 6:02:53 PM)
Well with regards to Sims 2, we're on track, the game looks great. It will come out on September 17th. As for medium term expect big things from the marketplace in the first 12 months after it releases & look for multiplayer later next year.

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 6:03:56 PM)
Thanks for attending today, I'm looking forward to more chats in the future. Thank you for all your support. We love you guys.

MaxisNeil (Jul 2, 2004 6:04:07 PM)
We've got to wrap it up now

maxiskitty (Jul 2, 2004 6:04:14 PM)
That wraps up todays chat with Neil Young, looks for a Sims 2 specific chat in the future!

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