Info on Tom.

Hi guys,

I’m away for two weeks. Please don’t send email unless it’s VERY important. I can’t check while away and don’t want to get back with a full Inbox.

Tom.

P.S. I DO take my research with me 🙂 some SLOT resources (a lot of dumps) and some SimAntics things. I remember last year, I took dumps of the BHAV resources in CarPortal.iff with me. Today, I’ve got disassembled dumps with me of the same file 🙂 I love progress :-P.

Quick update of things to come…

Hi guys,

I know it’s been awhile but I’ve been very busy with a lot of behind-the-scenes blueprint stuff. I’ll have a major announcement later this week or early next with regards to bluerpint, the next release and other good stuff. Sorry to keep you waiting 😉

Update

I’ve fixed things a bit. Turned out the updated driver made my PC crash. I’ve restored a checkpoint from a few days ago and tried it again. Installed a new modem and now I’m online with 50Kbps instead of 28. I’ve fixed MSN by deleting the cache in the registry (by renaming the ListCache key to something else).

That means I can go back to programming… although my sister really likes to play StarCraft over the new network and I’m the only one here who knows how to play that game. (I’m sometimes at battle.net under the ID mazelord2000)

Tom.

Update

Let’s keep you informed of what’s going on… I’ve been busy last week setting up a network and in the process something went wrong with the drivers. Currently I’m having serious problems with Windows XP and this post is sent from another computer, actually. I can’t use my modem (XP blue screen : 0x0000008E for those interested) and my network isn’t functioning well either. I’ve been busy with this for several days already…

Another problem is that MSN Messenger hangs while logging in, probably due to some problem with the contact I have. For some reason it goes in an endless loop and eats my CPU. Basically this means I’m not available on MSN anymore and I haven’t been for some weeks either, because of this.

Greets (in absence),

Tom.

Last update for this silly adventure

Okay, just called ebgames.com and they’ve removed the fantasy “preview” for the real expansion pack coming out. Of course, they still allow user previews to be posted. I’m not quite sure how someone can post a preview for something that isn’t out yet, but hey if that’s their business model and it works, so be it. Anyways, there’s some facts you can come back to here (even if they are hard to find).

Thank the heavens I didn’t call it “The Sims: Unlimited Adventures Unleashed” or we’d REALLY be in trouble….

We now return you to your normally scheduled chaos.

Setting the record straight, finally…

Hi guys,

Okay, as the day has carried on more and more weirdness happens. I’m doing this posting a few minutes after I got off the phone to Will (Wright) as he’s explained a couple of things and now I’m a lot less confused than previously.

First a bit of a timeline. Back in April I posted (as an April fools joke) an expansion pack called “The Sims:Unlimited Adventures”. This was a fantasy expansion pack that had a whack of stuff that basically would never be done in an expansion pack (multi-story homes, Edith, etc.). It was an April Fools joke and rebutted the next day and all was well. No harm, no foul.

Skip ahead to a few months later (today). There are rumours floating around about an expansion pack called “The Sims:Unleashed”. A user preview posted on ebgames.com is basically a lift from my April fools post talking about all the wild and weird things the new expansion pack is going to include. Now a few game news sites (Gamespot, Games Domain, etc.) pick up on the preview and make their announcements (who wouldn’t given the fanciful qualities of the expansion pack as I explained them).

Skip ahead to a few hours later and I’m on the phone to Will to figure out what’s going on. Yes, they are releasing an “official” expansion pack called “The Sims: Unleashed”. No, they haven’t put out any information about what it contains, price or availability and it certainly won’t be anything like what my brain came up with those many months ago.

To further complicate the issue, Maxis is coming out with a bundle pack of The Sims and Living Large (much like the Warcraft Battle Chest and those kind of things, packaging the expansion packs with the original game). This is tentatively called The Sims Unlimited. More name confusion.

So in a nutshell, the user preview posted on ebgames.com (from a yet to be named individual) was in response to a real expansion pack called The Sims Unleashed, but contained the description I posted (somewhat modified) about the fantasy expansion pack called The Sims: Unlimited Adventures.

So:

1. There IS an expansion pack called The Sims Unleashed coming out

2. There IS NO details about that expansion pack released yet

3. There IS NO such thing as The Sims: Unlimited Adventures or any expansion pack that offers Edith, an SDK or any of the other wacky things I described.

EB Games did post correct information about the expansion pack (being called what it was) however it was the user who posted the preview that is causing all this bru-ha-ha. The game news sites (Gamespot, etc.) are picking up on the user preview as well as the real news of the expansion pack.

Clear as mud now?

The insanity continues…

In the immortal words of our favorite Jedi, “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed…”

Just did a quick search on Google on both websites and newsgroups regarding the whole Sims Unleashed business. Seems my 6 month old joke is floating around everywhere and taken seriously on several fronts.

From GameSpot:

Online retailer EB Games has leaked word of a new product related to The Sims, Electronic Arts’ best-selling virtual-life game. According to a post on the retailer’s upcoming games calendar, The Sims: Unleashed will be released by EA’s Maxis studio in August for a retail price of $29.99. No other information about the product is known, but it is most likely a new expansion pack for The Sims. Sources at Maxis declined to comment on the listing.

Declined to comment. LOL. Maxis staff is asking each other right now, “Did you do this, did you, did you…”

Someone on Gothic Sims said:

I know will wright, he is keeping it confidential until around september. Which means i might be able to get exclusive info about it, you will just have to wait…

Uh uh. Gotta be careful dropping those names and pretending you know something. These things will (not Will) come back to bite ya!

Games Domain says:

US Online retailer ebgames.com has updated its website with an unexpected Sims expansion, titled The Sims Unleashed.

Electronic Arts confirmed to us that it would be released, with a planned UK release date of October 2002 (US date is August), but couldn’t reveal any further details on the title as yet. We’ll bring you more on the ever-expanding franchise as and when we get it.

EA Confirmed this??!! How nice of EA to make an expansion pack based on my April Fools joke. Guess I should really post a whammy for next year. Man, what are these people smoking??

EBUK had this:

The Sims Unleashed

ETA : 04/10/2002

Pre-order now and earn Double Reward Points! Click for more details.

No product description, but hey, get double reward points for a non-existant product! I’m also amused that almost every “preview” of the “product” (and I’m using these terms VERY loosely) changes the release date each time.

I must say I’m flattered, however I had nothing to do with any of this (plausible deniabilty) except the original post months ago as an April fools joke (and a posting in a forum a long time ago on a website far, far away). However, I claim full rights for any profits made from this (okay, not really but I gotta milk this for all it’s worth).

The Sims Unleashed… NOT!

You just never know where people will take something you write and carry it to the end. Found this through a post in the last news comments:

http://www.ebgames.com/ebx/editorial/reviews/reviews.asp?pf_id=224007𝕡_id=224007

This is a “User Preview” of an expansion pack for The Sims. Looks pretty good. Lots of great features and everything that you would want for in an expansion pack. Trouble is, it’s 100% completely and utterly make believe. I know because I made it up.

It months ago (on The Sims Resource forums I believe) in response to a fun thread we were having about expansion packs we’d like to see. How it ended up on ebgames.com I’ll never know. I have heard rumours of another expansion pack, but I’ve been so involved in some other blueprint work (which I’ll get to later this week) that I haven’t really been paying attention to what that might be or what they’re including, but it’s certainly not my “Sims Unleashed” expansion pack. For that, you’ll need to take a few valium, down a wine cooler or two and pretend you’re making love to Brad Pitt (or Jennifer Lopez, whatever your preference is).

Seeya later!

My god. It’s full of idiots.

Okay, the last few weeks have seen a fury on the internet with what’s known as The Phantom Edit. This is a digitized version of The Phantom Menace (Star Wars Episode I) that someone has taken, created an MPG version, edited out all the stupid parts (mostly Jar Jar and Anakin yelling “Yippee” all the time) then re-distributed it. There were rumors that Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, etc.) had created it and the rumours continue.

Well, I hunted down a copy and took a look (hey, I’m curious!). After a day of downloading with my trusty cable modem, I got the files (two MPG files 500+ megabytes each) and watched it last night. It was ok. In fact I tip my hand (or is it hat) to the person who created it. It’s faster paced, more action based, makes the characters more acceptable and overall I think a better version than the one Lucas released.

After seeing an interview with Lucas about it on Access Hollywood, he didn’t outright say distributing the film was a problem but he certainly doesn’t want people making money off it (can you blame him?). Well, guess what’s on eBay right now? The Phantom Edit on video tape. Guess what the price is up to?? $91.00 US. My god. What kind of idiot would pay almost $100 for something you can download off the internet. True, maybe they don’t have a fast connection or the skills to go looking for it (took me about 10 minutes with a quick search on Yahoo). But would you be willing to pay almost $100 bucks for something like this? I mean, it’s digitized from the original and shrunk down to 320×240 (about 1/10 the original resolution) so it’s typical internet video quality. Good to look at in a small window on your desktop, crappy to look at on a 27″ television. Where is some peoples heads these days?