« Greg Costikyan's Weblog | Main | Your Game Collection »

01/12/2003

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Bowler

I'm not terribly surprised. The expansions have been adding bugs to the game on a more frequent and persistant basis as each new patch/expansion came out, and with all of the pre-release hype, this game was doomed to not live up to the expectations.

Jake

Ahh I gave up on the Sims along time ago.

True Fantasy Live Online now that is exciting. one that ships I will never leave my house.

justin

True Fantasy Live Online - great name for a game, yes. Coming to the Xbox, first in Japan (where about 330,000 Xboxes have been sold). The money spent on development means its likely to be exported here, maybe with a different name. Gamers.com points out that the game is less structured than Phantasy Star - not all missions. IGN raises the question of player-to-player communication with a keyboardless, voice headset equipped Xbox.

How would the Sims Online do as a chat environment if people were stuck using headsets for voice chat? Voice chat only!

Bowler

I don't know. I have a hard enough time dealing with the kids singing into the mike when I'm playing Counter Strike and trying to tell my team where the bomb is.

I'm not sure I could deal 20 people all trying to "hook-up" on the same channel. Argh!

Tim

I think developers for PC games take the fact that their customers can download patches for granted. Perhaps it's too tempting to release a game on schedule, fitting in around the Christmas dates, rather than waiting until it's as complete as possible.

Maybe more extensive play testing before release can circumvent the need for users to download patches just to experience a game that doesn't crash constanly.

noah

The one similarity between solo sims players and everquest players is that they primarily play with the 'model' -- the rules, randomness, entities, and interactions built into the game itself. Sure you can chat with other players, but it's pretty limited and more for handling the other fictions of the game. These models can be complex and capable of unexpected, sometimes brilliant outcomes -- gta3 is a perfect example of this.

In contrast, in the sims you're not playing with a model -- you're playing with other players. This is great and fascinating and all, but people don't like being screwed with the way you might toy with some NPC. the sims has to provide a pretty rich and open ended set of interactions and environments for what is really the goal of the game: to interact with others. This interaction can be exploration, cooperation, competition, whatever...

I'm confident that the game designers will be able to make the game's forms and interactions sufficiently extensible and just twisted enough from reality to be fascinating to explore. if not, well, there's always 'fantasy forever all stars infinity land' or whatever the next interation is.

-noah

xtaichixninjax

i think i'd rather play ultima online. a friend told me that it would soon be similar to the sim due to the next expansion. allowing us to build custom homes.
we would also get to talk and interact with people and the world. i think we can get a player base economy too by starting businesses and hiring people.

Melodie


When did it become standard practice in the gaming industry to release half completed games? And did
the ones who developed this game ever play the original Sims?


This is not a true game and the advertising is extremely misleasing about the fact.

And how the word, city defined in the game is a freaking joke. A City means there are storefronts, there are actual areas to walk around.

A city isn't "teleporting" from house to house.

Having real jobs, isn't just pizza machining, or running dance clubs and charging an entrance fee.

And I can be somebody else in 3D Avatar/Skin chatrooms for for free.

This games is obviously geared for people who consider chatting a game but aren't internet savvy
enough to search out the fact there are places on the internet like worlds.chat, outerworlds.com, and even activewords.com where for a lesser price you can create your own virtual price for people to explore in.

I think EA is responsible for the changes in this game because this isn't the game I heard about two years ago. I read somewhere that they spent
million to develop this. All that money and its still an incomplete psuedo chat-game that offers extremely shallow challenges and encourages horribly crass, assinine behavior even in the adults that play it. And let me add that seeing the players trying to make a game of this is truly painful to watch.

merriya

Keep a close eye on Game Neverending (www.gameneverending.com). Whimsical, wonderful, no installation, intuitive process, great success with beta testers, most of whom were not classical gamers. Also see the site of the company that built it: www.ludicorp.com

Cat

After playing TSO since the Sept. beta days and up to yesterday. I am no longer a fan of TSO but of any Sims game.
My personal experience;
I wanted to know when band object that was on the box that I purchased was going to be added to the game? Where was the casino objects that I had seen prior to Christmas in commercials and in the videos on www.thesimsonline.com? All I ever recieved from Maxis employees on the message boards was "as soon as possiable, but we cannot give you a time frame as we don't even know when." So I called EA to cancell my subscription. I was tired of waiting for advertized content that never appeared in the game. I was tired of 6 mb patches that were "backend improvements" and only added more lag, more bugs and more game preformance problems. The EA rep assured me that these objects would be in the next patch in the next 1-2 days. I went back to the Maxis www.thesimsonline.com boards and posted this information. Aprox. 1 hour later Maxis employees stated that there was no way any new objects would be in the game in the next week. I wanted to know why I was being lied to just to keep my account active. The subscription is 9.99 per month after the game cost. I did not get a responce. I then posted that I wanted to know how to get a refund for this game I considered to be false advertized. I was not only banned from the boards but from the game it self. Its a nightmare to try and cancel the online subscription you are baited with free play time first then out right lied to about the upcoming content. They have removed freedom of speech from their own message boards and even if a post "appears to be rude" the players are banned from game play. The restrictions continue in the game to the point where it is safe for a 7 year old to play it. Although I would not recommend this game to anyone much less a child. I found the game play to be all work and no real play. When asked when I would be entertained with more content and things to do in the game. The responces in general were "make your own fun, entertain other players, you have a lack of imagination..." Oh please I buy a game to be "entertained" I do not buy a game to be treated horriably. I will never for as long as I live purchase another EA game. That is how bitter I am over this entire experience. This game is NOT what it is advertized. Maybe after the players purchase 4-5 expansion packs in addition to the $50.00 retail fee and the $9.99 monthly fee it may be. Unfortunatly people are leaving at a rapid rate, there is under 100 players on in any givin city at any givin time. That should be telling Maxis something, but the words of the players continues to fall on deaf ears. The majority of players log into the game so they can openly discuss their fustrations as it is not allowed anywhere else. Many have given up hope of this game improving. Another standard answer for the Maxis employees is to refer players to the "back stage area" to see updates and game progress. The last time I looked there was not an update from maxis since 11/27/2002 that is when the game was still in beta. Feb 1st will show Maxis once and for all how few players are realy left. At that time all old player information will be wiped and only those who have started to pay the $9.99 on Feb. 1st, 2003 will remain. Before that time a 1-3 months subscription was included in the purchase price depending on which version was purchased. This game is less than a chat room. Everytime I played a female avatar I was constantly hit on my some horny teen age boy. To include trying to "hot kiss, dip kiss, sweet kiss, hug..." to include an invitation to go to the "love bed" for some simulated sex. I got so tired of it I started playing as an old man. Well then every other player I ran into wanted to "slap, show, pile drive" that avatar. I have been insulted I have heard vulgarities that would make a pimp blush. I have witnessed players ganging up on and instulting other players. This is anything but a "game". This program is incomplete and the content is not there and is not even in the planning stages for at least 3-6 months. False Advertizing, you bet!

Melody

Cat,

While I am sorry you had to experience this, did you not read the countless complaints about this game in the rants & rave section before the game went gold?

Back when I playtested it and saw how shallow and tedious it was and when I questioned the gameplay, I was accused of being "uncreative".

The minute they added the "backstage" area I knew that was set up as a ruse to make us more complacent. And the more promises I heard, the more I realized that this game was not ready for release .

You aren't the first person I know that was banned and you probably won't be the last. They're running scared and they know any negative word of mouth will hurt the game.

Just consider your experience a lesson learned, and continue to make your voice heard by posting at any game oriented site that offers visitors the opportunity to post user reviews.

Maybe this experience will teach companies like EA to respect its customer base and not ship incomplete games.

Snoodmaster

I would merely like to say that I knew this game would suck for two very simple reasons. One, you have to pay!! Thats is why everquest presently is the bane of all serious, a.k.a. broke, gamers everywhere. Think about it, the average gamer is a young person in their teens or early twenties, do they seriously expect someone like that to want to pay $10 a month just for one game, even after paying for the game itself? Second, from all the reviews i read of the Sims Online, i got one basic message "for people who do not normally play games. Utilizing chat technology" In order words, it has no fun or entertaining aspects, its merely a veeeeeeeeery expensive chat with semi-decent graphics. And Third, EA has sucked, sucks now, and always will suck. They're so corporately greedy its not even funny. I swear they're almost as bad as microsoft. Fortunately, there's still battle.net, it ain't pretty and you most games can't have more than 8 players in a room, but its free and the players aren't uneducated retards who still think AOL is the shit.

That is all.

Vagaleena

Sims online was a big bust for me. I was totally addicted to the regular sims, however I find in order to ACHIEVE anything, it takes me hours upon hours of watching my sim study.

I bought the game because it looked like fun, not I am sad that I spent the money.

stuzzy

Unfortunately, EA owns what, like every game studio that exists now?

Battlefield 1942 rocks though..no problems.

This Sims online thing though is a perfect example of why I bought a ps2. No patches to download, no bugs ( for the most part) just good fun that works everytime. And I don't even have to buy a new video card.

easucks

Come join the NEW group we created to finally make EA listen ... We the people are tired paying good money for games that are just updated or slightly modified from the previous year !! Let's all join and make EA notice that we are not going to stand for it any longer!!
If you own an EA Game and have beefs about it or fine it's the same shit as last years version. Let us know !! Find that game you have in it's correct section (PC ,PS , PS2 , Xbox, NGC ,etc etc) and post your comments about that title why it sucks!!

Tell everyone about it let's make this site grow and make EA Notice!!

easucks

Come join the NEW group we created to finally make EA listen ... We the people are tired paying good money for games that are just updated or slightly modified from the previous year !! Let's all join and make EA notice that we are not going to stand for it any longer!!
If you own an EA Game and have beefs about it or fine it's the same shit as last years version. Let us know !! Find that game you have in it's correct section (PC ,PS , PS2 , Xbox, NGC ,etc etc) and post your comments about that title why it sucks!!

Tell everyone about it let's make this site grow and make EA Notice!!

smelly

wat the hell i jus wanna play the damn game...

Rachel

I am a big fan of the sims games and have been playing them for just over 2 years now. But I am really disappointed with the sims online, well the customer service anyway. I ordered a play test disc as soon as I could but I couldn't make it install on my computer. I tried the suggestion in the faq's, but it didn't work. I e-mailed them but I never got a reply! So I wasted 7.99 on a game I never got to play. I live in England and have recently discovered that the sims online will not be released here till October. The release date has now been pushed forward more than a year. I think it's safe to say this is one sims game I won't buy.

anonymous

Yup, sapped out all the fun of the game. I was so disappointed with sweat-shop chat AKA The Sims Online. It's extremely slow and the rewards thus far are few, I want $150 for my wasted time and to comfort my shattered ego.

Adam

I highly suggest that you sign up for the closed beta of Second Life. (Mention that you think intelligently about online communities and you have a good shot of getting in.) It's an absolute revolution.

Shadow

When does sims online come out? october the what??

Shadow

i played the play test on sims online and now i got to wait till october! i cant rebothered to wait i want to play it now infact am gunna fly to america just so that i can play it early cos i cant wait damnt it!!!!!! i'll kill everyone just to play it!!!!!!!!

TSOsux

I was an early beta tester for The Sims Online.

The further into the test it got, and the closer to the game's release date (which IIRC was moved up at least once) the more the beta testers tried to warn Maxis their game was just not ready. Their only response was to hire a couple of smarmy uber-perky hosts for the message board and not to give the testers any real feedback or changes.

Then when the game was about to be released and the public would have been able to access the boards -- the moderators erased every single thread that had anything negative to say about the game. That was almost ALL of the threads. Only positive posts were allowed ! How is that for controlling ?!

The same things the testers warned about, that made the game unenjoyable and not worth paying for, are the same things in the Amazon reviews and which I heard people say in person also, as I was in a game shop and some people were trying to get their money back for TSO. They hated it. They also said the guy they phoned on the tech line tried desperately to get them to stay as subscribers -- offering extra months for free, etc.

Instead of talking down to their beta testers, and basically using them to test peak game hours, Maxis/EA should have listened to them. It might have saved them some money in the long run. TSO was very poorly thought out. And testers had some really good ideas that would not have required entirely retooling the game. But if anything Maxis/EA usually did the opposite what testers recommended. Many people simply gave up and left the test.

I stuck it out til the end, when I made it my mission to give away the money I'd earned in the game thus far. By then, the focus was on getting rich and sticking it to your fellow players -- Maxis had made it impossible to build or decorate without having tons of money in the game, and to earn money you had to spend all your time studying or gaining skills (which then decayed at a rapid rate -- brilliant -- NOT) and then working to earn money. The wages got smaller and the prices higher as the game wore on week by week. Idiotic.

People don't want to PAY to watch their sim read a book and then work at some stupid task in order to gain 'money' which won't buy much and that's if the server doesn't go offline and the object doesn't disappear. You can't even walk down the sidewalk -- you just teleport from house to house. I could not think of even one thing to recommend about this game. Even before the game went on sale, people were mostly making X rated houses since they got the most money for the least work that way. The game had made it impossible to run a small business cos you could not afford to keep things running without going somewhere to earn money. This game made no sense. Then Will Wright had the gall to say the players were making it all about money -- when the only other alternative was using up all of your real life free time to, let's say, write an original play to put on in the game... Wait that wouldnt' work either because only a few people could come to see it.

Um, MAxis -- for that much work I want to be paid in real life in real money. A game is supposed to be FUN. I wonder what the numbers are now ? How many people are playing this game ? Some hung in there just hoping it would change -- but I saw no signs of that. The game was shipped with later material that was not activated -- meaning that gamers would have to pay out the nose for things they'd need to make it more fun -- then pay out the nose again in the game.

Just use a free chat space, and if you like The Sims play the offline version. If you want a REAL online community with avatarrs, try www.lindenlabs.com "Second Life". YOu can even make your own objects to sell and players set the prices. It's everything TSO wishes it were. It's still in beta.

peter huynh

i want to play the sims

Robyn

I'd like to say more, but i'm tired :)

I too was a beta-tester for TSO and long time player of the sims games - i admit i have all the expansions, including superstar, and i love them. But the one word i would use for the sims online is "creepy".

I dont want to be picked up by avatars... and i dont want to sit for a million hours to build up my skills and watch my sim sleep. Not to mention the arm and leg that it costs to play. I live in Canada, so the conversion to USD was just crazy, and then there were all the above problems with the 'behind the scenes' web-pages... no feedback, no support, and more bugs than an ant farm, with HUGE continuous 'updates' that made no improvement, just restrictions. U found a way to make money, the next day that was 'recalculated' (as any tester remembers with the pinatas (sorry i cant spell)) I was suprememly dissapointed with TSO. Not to mention the deletion of all the playing environments a week before the game went live, which was irritating as there was reassurance that we could all keep our characters... characters yes, but not all the houses we spent so long building. Two thumbs down for me... if i wanted to chat, i'd be on IRC.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Subscribe to the mailing list!

* indicates required