May 2000

Network News | Friday, May 26, 2000 by Karl Zimmerman
SimGames.net is now a part of the Future Games Network, you might have noticed their button on the left side of this page. This should be a very good arrangement for both parties. This partnership will allow SimGames.net to grow to meet more of your needs and to serve more sites. The Future Games Network will be providing SimGames.net with additional advertising along with an advertising network. This also means that our banner code is finally ready! Member sites, please email me for your new banner code.

New SimGames.net Members | Tuesday, May 23, 2000 by Karl Zimmerman
SimGames.net would like to welcome three new members, Coaster's, CyberRail, and Theme World. All three of these sites are great and have wonderful content, or else they wouldn't be a part of the network.

Coaster's covers The Sims, still the top selling game, and was recently the featured site at thesims.com. CyberRail is a very informative site covering railroad games like Railroad Tycoon II and it also covers some real railroad information. Last, but not least, Theme World is a frequently updated site that covers Theme Park World and Tropico.

As you can tell, SimGames.net has been growing rapidly. This next weekend we hope to be adding another site or two, but there is still room for your site. Just email me with an application.

Firaxis Hires Three New Programmers | Tuesday, May 23, 2000 by Dustin Bainbridge
Firaxis Games today announced the addition of three programmers to the company as the company attempts to fill the holes left by Brian Reynolds and Tim Train.

Michael Breitkreutz, Soren Johnson and Jacob Solomon will hopefully bring even more knowledge of programming to the deeply talented and experienced teams at Firaxis.

Michael Breitkreutz is a veteran game programmer having spent the last six years as Lead Programmer at DreamForge Intertainment. He's been on the programming team of games such as Ravenloft: Stone Prophet, Chronomaster, Sanitarium and 101 Dalmatians: Escape From DeVil Manor.

Since 1994, Soren Johnson has been immersed in the study of computer programming and design at Stanford University where he recently received an AB in History with honors and a MS in Computer Science with a focus on Human-Computer Interaction. While at Stanford, he was an intern at Electronic Arts, where he worked as part of the programming team for Knockout Kings 2000 and 2001, for the PSX. Jacob Solomon is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he earned a BS in Computer Science while working as a Computer Graphics Teaching Assistant.

Firaxis has doubled their number of employees in the last year and recently expanded the size of their Hunt Valley offices, as they continue to grow to meet the needs of the production teams dedicated to each of their projects. "We're excited to have these new programmers on board," said Jeff Briggs, President and CEO of Firaxis Games. "Together they bring a great mix of experience, knowledge of state-of-the-art game programming techniques and plenty of exciting new ideas. Both the Dinosaur project and Civilization III will benefit from their talents."

source: Civilization III Civilopedia

Maxis wins big for The Sims and more! | Friday, May 12, 2000 by Kevin Stange
Patrick Buechner, of Maxis, just got back to me on a few questions I had about various things, and here are some of the things he had to say:

Regarding E3, "Hey Kevin, good to hear from you. We're actually here a E3 right now, showing off The Sims: Livin' Large and SimsVille. Will [Wright] and I just got back from the Interactive Achievement Awards where The Sims won three awards including Game of the Year...the highest honor."

Regarding SimMars, The Sims, and new titles (?), "SimMars is on hold and we do not have staff at Maxis currently working on the game. With the phenomenal success of The Sims, we've decided to move resources to support that franchise as well as other titles that we haven't even announced yet."

Regarding the Maxis name and logo, "As for as how the Maxis name will be represented on the box, we are still considering a number of options. The Maxis logo will certainly appear in games as in the past. We'll definitely have this figured out by the time we ship Livin' Large."

So things are going well for Maxis. Congrats to them on that Game of the Year award for The Sims, and keep up the good work. We'll keep you posted on developments in all of these areas.

Thanks to: Patrick Buechner, PR Director at Maxis
News report provided by The SimPage

E3 Pics @ SimEden.com | Thursday, May 11, 2000 by Adam Steinbaugh
SimEden.com is fortunate enough to have a representative at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California as we speak. He's Yoru Hikage, the webmaster of TheCitadel.net and he's already snapped a few pictures of Maxis' complex at E3. Currently, the site has pics of the "SimsVille" setup as well as a SimsVille screen shot (the first on the net?). The screens look awesome and more should be coming in by noon Friday. A video will also be on the site shortly. So, check it all out at SimEden.com.

Interview with Brian Reynolds | Wednesday, May 10, 2000 by Dustin Bainbridge
Just recently, I had the opportunity to conduct an interview with one of the finest game designers on the planet, Brian Reynolds. In this interview, Brian and I discuss what's ahead for his new company, Big Huge Games, and what we will see from them in the future. This interview was very informative, and answered a lot of questions I had regarding this newly found company. Read the interview.

Related Links: Civilization III Civilopedia

The SimPage Needs Reporters | Wednesday, May 10, 2000 by Kevin Stange
The SimPage is looking for two or three more news reporters to help keep our news up-to-date. We need people that can speak and write clear English and have the free time to post news several times per week. Familiarity with NewsPro is a big plus, too, but it's not required. If you'd like to volunteer your time to help us out, please contact news@simpage.net.

Note, see SimEden.com's post below for additional opportunties to work at their site in a variety of positions.

SimEden.com Searching for Staff | Tuesday, May 9, 2000 by Adam Steinbaugh
SimGames.net member site SimEden.com is searching for a few good Simfans to join their news/editorial and primarily strategy/articles staff. If you're interested in a volunteer position, feel free to send adam@simeden.com an email. Check out SimEden.com for more details.

Introducing SimsVille | Monday, May 8, 2000 by Kevin Stange
Perhaps we've finally found the reason for halting production on SimMars. Maxis has been keeping really quiet about their activies over the past couple weeks, but finally today, their silence has broken, and what a way to break it!

Maxis announced that they are now in production of a new SimGame called SimsVille. For all intents and purposes, the game combines the ultimate city simulator of SimCity 3000 with the remarkable people simulator known as The Sims. Basically, the player is placed in charge of a town (this is the SimCity end). However, inside that little town, the player gets to control individual homes within that town (The Sims portion). It also goes a step further to allow you to deal with the town's shops and businesses, as well. According to the official website, the game is targeted for release in 2001. If this game lives up to its amazing potential, SimMars can wait!!

We've already got our SimsVille section up and running at The SimPage, but I'm still in the information collection phase. There's not much there yet, but keep watching that space for more content soon! Click here!

Thanks to: SimEden.com

Unlimited Release Date Announced | Monday, May 8, 2000 by Kevin Stange
Maxis officially announced today that SimCity 3000 Unlimited, the enhanced version of SimCity 3000 is set to be released on May 18, 2000! Additionally, the company announced plans to redesign SimCity.com. I'm looking forward to both events.

Thanks to: The SimGamers' Headquarters

New Features | Sunday, May 7, 2000 by Karl Zimmerman
I have just implemented a very nice new feature to SimGames.net, our new web based email. This is a very nice program, and it is easily equal to, or better than, all free email providers. Our program provides a wide array of features that I am sure you will enjoy. You can sign-up by clicking here. I have also just implemented the kTalk feature so you will now be able to respond to all of our headlines!

Also, SimGames.net and SimSearch.com will soon be teaming up to bring you a new and improved SimSearch along with many new fun and interesting features.

One more thing to all of our member sites, if you have some news on your site that you feal should be here, or if there is going to be a big event on your site, just contact me or one of the other news people and we will be happy to put the news up here.

Save SimMars Petition | Sunday, May 7, 2000 by Kevin Stange
On the news that SimMars has been placed on "indefinite hold" by Maxis/EA, a petition has been started to encourage Maxis to resume work on the project. If you are one of the many fans looking forward to the game's release, you may want to jump over to the sign and "sign" it. Click here to visit the Save SimMars Petition.