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Maxis Software

Maxis closure photo
Maxis closure

EA closes SimCity maker Maxis Emeryville


First SimCity (2013), now this
Mar 04
// Jordan Devore
Another studio with a storied legacy has fallen under Electronic Arts. The Emeryville offices of Maxis, the force behind simulation games like The Sims, SimCity, and Spore, shut down today. EA says it's "consolidating Maxis I...
Free SimCity 2000 photo
Free SimCity 2000

Sure, I'll take a free copy of SimCity 2000 on Origin


Don't even think about disabling disasters
Dec 09
// Jordan Devore
I never thought I'd have this many games attached to my Origin account, but here we are with yet another On the House offer from Electronic Arts I might as well claim. You know, just to have. SimCity 2000 is free (read: free to keep, not free to play for a limited time) so get on that. I think the last time I seriously played this was in, gosh, middle school? It's been a while.

Review: The Sims 4

Oct 02 // Chris Carter
The Sims 4 (PC)Developer: EA Maxis, The Sims StudioPublisher: EAReleased: September 2, 2014MSRP: $59.99Rig: Origin Millennium: Overclocked Intel Core i7 4770K Quad-Core (4.0GHz-4.7GHz), Dual 3GB NVIDIA GTX 780 Ti  The premise of The Sims 4 is basically the same as it always has been. By way of open-ended gameplay, players can create avatars and mess with their lives. The reason I've enjoyed past installments is because of the non-linear nature of the titles. If there was ever a "sandbox mode" in a Sims game I often played it more than the regular campaign. Character creation is much simpler this time around, which is mostly a good thing for newcomers. Progression is even easier to figure out, as each avatar can have an "aspiration," such as an eSport career. What I like about this system is that it's clear what your goals are and how to obtain them, making that "ding" feeling much more satisfying since there's no cryptic decoding and stat crunching involved. Of course you'll also want to grow your own empire within your household and aspire for more material goods -- a goal that's likely linked to your career. It's very fun to jump in, create some characters, choose goals, and watch those meters rise just like a regular old RPG. It's one of the most satisfying aspects of The Sims 4. Emotions are perhaps the biggest addition, and while I didn't find them all that intriguing, they allow you to connect with your creations more than ever before. In short, events can happen that adjust your mood, which your character will wear on their sleeve. Recent real-world innovations like the rise of smartphones are incorporated into the experience to help you boost your characters' spirits, and it's enjoyable to figure these out. To help get them out of undesirable spats, Sims also have a more natural way of speaking to each other, which is an improvement for those of you who prefer group interactions. Sadly, a lot of the long-standing issues with the series have carried over into The Sims 4, like the lack of direct control you often have over your creations. While it's great to have them do their own thing most of the time, sometimes the AI isn't smart enough to handle an important task that's right in front of their faces. If you attempt to queue up an action occasionally, it may not work or they might get utterly confused and just stop doing it altogether. The biggest problem however is the amount of regression that has been made since The Sims 3, which I would consider the pinnacle of the series. Big features that we've come to expect are gone, like the entire toddler stage, parking lots, pools, true neighborhood exploration elements (not just instances), and the inclusion of a real living world around your house. The lack of exploration is my top complaint, as the game is separated by lengthy loading screens and a distinct lack of cohesiveness. Instead of seamlessly walking out your door and into the great outdoors in an open world, you'll be greeted with constant instancing and tangentially linked zones that don't lend themselves well to a simulation game. This is a massive bummer for people like me whose favorite aspect of The Sims 3 was walking around with no real goal in mind. Every world I was a part of just felt so...isolated as well. There was no real neighborhood feel even though I crafted my own inhabitants. Everything was sort of "spotlighted" onto your central family and household, which is great in some ways, but disappointing when you consider how right the last game got it. Random events like burglaries also feel less frequent, or are completely scrapped in general (you guessed it, burglars are gone). There's also less clothing and building options, which is a shame, and I suspect more will be added eventually over the course of the game's lifetime with free and paid DLC (pools, costumes, ghosts, and more careers are confirmed). Still, it feels weird to essentially downgrade for a slightly better set of visuals and a few mechanics that aren't nearly as groundbreaking as each iteration was before it. The Sims 4 has room to grow, but right now you're better off continuing to play its predecessor. While certain features were axed in the name of progress, those features were a large reason why many have come to love the series in the first place.
The Sims 4 review photo
The game of life
As a growing gamer, Maxis was always one of my go-to developers at a young age. From the original SimCity, to SimAnt, to SimTower, the company was almost infallible in my eyes, and I ate up practically every simulation it had...

The Sims 4 photo
The Sims 4

The Sims 4 'Weirder' series tells the story of an incredibly not weird man


And Amber...It's Amber
Aug 07
// Brett Makedonski
EA made a video series called "Weirder Stories" to showcase the wacky lives of some theoretical citizens in the upcoming The Sims 4, and then literally made the most dull character it could. Cribbing from Dos Equis' "Most In...
The Sims photo
The Sims

Yep, The Sims 4 will support mods


You'd certainly hope so
Aug 04
// Jordan Devore
The Sims 4 won't "include every single feature and piece of content we added to The Sims 3 over the last five years," according to its developers, but modding? Yeah, that's not going anywhere. Sims VIP has recapped details ou...

The Sims 4: Aspirations and emotional traits systems shown

Jun 10 // Dale North
[embed]275865:54327:0[/embed] Aspirations are long-term goals for a Sim. When you build your character you'll pick from a selection to start along the path of one of these aspirations, which gives your Sim different goals to complete. You can make your sim athletic or knowledgeable, among others. I saw a demonstration where one Sim was set to become a computer whiz.  Traits come with these aspirations; these abilities and tendencies give your Sim more depth. For example, the "quick learner" trait can help your Sim build skills faster. So while the aspiration gives your Sim its overall goal, the traits under it have an effect on the Sim's overall personality.  Emotional traits could have your Sim being cranky all the time, and lifestyle traits could make it snobby. Maxis explained that these trait choices will even have an impact on how your Sim moves and feels. All of this plays into interactions with other Sims. A Sim's emotional state is affected by chosen interactions, the environment, and those previously mentioned traits. For example, being happy could lead to giving another Sim a heartfelt compliment. If they hit it of, a music-loving trait could have them talking about new albums. Traits can even have Sims building skills faster. That same music lover could pick up piano playing faster than normal, for example. And while we're on relationships, for the first time there's a new relationship track for The Sims 4, giving each a friendship track and a romantic track. This can bring about some interesting situations. I saw an example where a Sim wasn't exactly friends with another, but did have have romantic interests. They were like enemies with benefits. 
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Preview
We've seen some of the key features of The Sims 4 since its announcement around this time last year.. We know, for example, how easy it is to create your character, and we've seen how they've overhauled the game's build mode. But Maxis has only briefly touched on how you'll create and develop your character's goals and emotions. We saw a bit more of how that works at a recent pre-E3 briefing.

SimCity offline photo
SimCity offline

SimCity can finally be played offline


One year later
Mar 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Update 10 is available today for SimCity, meaning you can finally play the game offline. Without an Internet connection. By yourself. Like every single past Sim City game ever. EA has an FAQ on what you can expect, such as ho...
Fixing SimCity photo
Here's why
In a blog post, SimCity single-player mode lead engineer Simon Fox has written about the lengthy process required to properly move away from multiplayer. "By the time we're finished we will have spent over six and a half mont...

Offline SimCity photo
Offline SimCity

SimCity will finally be playable offline


A forthcoming update will remove the requirement to be online for single-player
Jan 13
// Alasdair Duncan
What a difference 48 hours makes. On Saturday we talked about how Maxis was introducing modding to SimCity but were leaving some fairly restrictive rules in place to preserve the integrity of the multiplayer side. Today howev...
SimCity photo
SimCity

You can now mod SimCity but only so far


If you want to get truly crazy with Maxis' flawed city builder you may be out of luck
Jan 11
// Alasdair Duncan
We've said it plenty of times before but mods for PC games are great. Mod support is something I look for in games but it was no surprise that SimCity didn't allow mods. With the game being online all the time I assumed that ...
SimCity photo
SimCity

SimCity going futuristic in Cities of Tomorrow expansion


Scrub that dirty, filthy air
Nov 07
// Conrad Zimmerman
SimCity is due to receive its first major content expansion next week with the release of Cities of Tomorrow, which introduces a host of new building types like drone factories and air scrubbers. Check out the latest tr...
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Hey look, SimCity is getting future cities


Hello? Anyone still reading this? ... Hello?
Oct 15
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Are you still playing SimCity?! Anyone? Uhhh, well hey if you somehow still are there's going to be new content launching on November 12 in the form of Cities of Tomorrow. As you can guess by that name, you're going to get buildings that are going to look all future like. Sigh. This game had such potential. Maybe I'll give it another shot when this update is released. Maybe.
SimCity photo
SimCity

SimCity team looking into offline mode


Bigger cities, however, are definitely not happening
Oct 04
// Jordan Devore
An offline mode for SimCity isn't outside the realm of possibility. Especially not in a world where Blizzard plans to take out its auction houses in Diablo III. (I'm still shocked that's going through.) "Right now we have a t...
SimCity mod support photo
SimCity mod support

Maxis talking to fans about mod support for SimCity


Do they really need to ask?
Oct 02
// Joshua Derocher
Maxis has started a discussion on its forums about possibly allowing user-generated content in SimCity. This is something everyone was screaming for when the game came out, since previous titles were mod friendly. No official...
Sim City photo
Sim City

Cities of Tomorrow is your first big Sim City expansion


Y'all are still playing Sim City, right?
Sep 19
// Alasdair Duncan
SimCity had one of the worst launches of any game in the last few years but EA and Maxis are carrying on with plans to grow the core game with a big new expansion entitled Cities of Tomorrow which will arrive in November thi...
SimCity photo
SimCity

SimCity for Mac launches on August 29


Let's try this again
Aug 05
// Jordan Devore
After being hit with a not insignificant delay, the Mac version of SimCity should be ready for release at the tail end of this month. At least, Maxis and Electronic Arts have announced an August 29 launch -- let's hope t...
SimCity photo
SimCity

SimCity feedback led to an offline The Sims 4


EA is 'making changes to the business practices that gamers clearly donít like'
Jul 24
// Jordan Devore
The disastrous launch of SimCity is over and done with. Emerging from the wreckage with two million sales and counting, Electronic Arts is considering allowing the game to be played offline like many of us originally wanted. ...
SimCity photo
SimCity

Developers leave Maxis to form new sim-focused studio


Jellygrade is a fun name
Jul 16
// Jordan Devore
A few notable developers who worked on SimCity have left Maxis Software to form a studio of their own with the intent to continue making simulation games. The studio, Jellgrade, has been formed by creative/art director Ocean ...
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EA considers previously impossible offline SimCity


Survey asks if customers would like it (no sh*t)
Jul 05
// Jim Sterling
According to a customer survey being sent to SimCity players and posted on Reddit, Electronic Arts is thinking about adding an offline mode to the recently released game -- a mode EA said couldn't be done because of reasons. ...
Darkspore DRM debacle photo
Darkspore DRM debacle

Server bugs make Darkspore unplayable, still up on Origin


DRM strikes again
Jul 01
// Steven Hansen
[UPDATE:] EA responded to a Kotaku inquiry about Darkspore thusly: Maxis continues to support Darkspore and its servers. We recently resolved a problem where players were having issues connecting to the game. The post in q...
SimCity Mac photo
SimCity Mac

Mac version of SimCity pushed back until August


Update 5 brings more bugfixes
Jun 06
// Joshua Derocher
Sad news Mac gamers: you'll have to wait another few months before you can get your hands on SimCity. The release has been pushed back until August, since Maxis has decided that it is "not ready for primetime yet." With the t...
Sims 3: Dragon Valley photo
Sims 3: Dragon Valley

The Sims 3: Dragon Valley lets you play with baby dragons


It's like The Sims Medieval, but not
Jun 03
// Joshua Derocher
The Sims 3: Dragon Valley is a new medieval-themed world available from The Sims 3 Store. A family has moved into town and they brought some baby dragons with them. There is a story between two quarreling families trying to ...
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Wolfenstein's New Order, EA Wars & Presidential Nad-Kicks


The Destructoid Show eats pizza and stays up late
May 07
// Max Scoville
Today's Destructoid Show is here to tell you all the worst news about video games. And also some good news, too, I guess. Wolfenstein: The New Order has been announced, and it has robots. Disney has handed over the Star Wars...
SimCity photo
SimCity

Maxis details SimCity's upcoming 3.0 patch


Looking to fix a majority of the road issues
May 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Maxis has revealed what SimCity players can expect out of the upcoming 3.0 patch. A majority of the update will focus on the road system, such as traffic, transit, vehicles, and so on. Air pollution, trading, and data layer i...
SimCity photo
SimCity

Will Wright: SimCity's server issues were 'inexcusable'


'I kind of did predict there'd be a big backlash about the DRM stuff.'
May 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Game Industry International caught up with legendary designer Will Wright who shared his thoughts on the train wreck of a launch SimCity suffered with all of the server issues players experienced when trying to play the game....
The Sims 4 photo
Yes, it's playable offline
In a short, rather bland announcement, Maxis has announced its next project: The Sims 4. It's due out on Windows and Mac next year, and that's about all we know at this time. I mean, it is The Sims -- not like folks need much...

SimCity photo
SimCity

SimCity's 2.0 update adds more bugs than it fixes


There's just too much poop everywhere
Apr 25
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The SimCity 2.0 patch was released this week and has fixed some of the issues people were experiencing. Unfortunately the patch has also spawned a ton of new issues, most of which you can learn about in this ever growing Red...

Review: The Sims 3: University Life

Apr 24 // Joshua Derocher
The Sims 3: University Life (Mac, PC [reviewed]Developer: EA MaxisPublisher: Electronic ArtsReleased: March 5, 2013 (NA) / March 8, 2013 (EU)MSRP: $39.99   Any Sim that is a young adult or older can decide to go to college, and if they decide to go they will be transported out of the game's main town into a separate town where the college exists. Once in the new college town area, Sims can either live in dorms, get their own apartment, or join a sorority or frat house. Living in close quarters with lots of other Sims can be a major pain, just like in real life, and now Sims can annoy their roommates to clean up after themselves. The actual classes and studying function almost identical to current jobs and schooling that Sims can do in the regular game. Once a Sim earns enough credits to get a degree, they will be able to start out in their chosen career with a higher salary. [embed]252210:48290:0[/embed] The most interesting addition is the introduction of social groups with the Jocks, Rebels, and Nerds. Jocks are sport-loving frat boys, Nerds are book lovers who enjoy reading comics, and Rebels are a weird hybrid of punk and hipster. Sims can gain popularity with these groups in order to make more friends and open up new career choices such as Sports Agent, Art Appraiser, or Video Game Developer.   There are a handful of new personality traits, my favorite being "Avante Garde" since it's basically the hipster trait. Now your Sims can accuse their friends of selling out, drink organic beverages, flirt with the local Barista, complain about the mainstream, or enthuse about an obscure band. I love The Sims franchise, and this is a fun expansion, but it doesn't feel like it's worth $40 to me. I would think about spending $20 on it, but the cost of The Sims 3 has just gotten way out of hand. EA is really pushing the boundaries of reality if they are expecting fans of the game to continue to buy every expansion that comes out, especially when the expansions mostly contain stuff from earlier versions of the game. University Life is decent on its own as an expansion, but when you stack it up against the other eight for The Sims 3 it really doesn't jump out as being that special. It's better than Seasons, but it's not game-changing. If anything, this just serves as a sign that the series is getting long in the tooth, and EA needs to think about releasing a complete edition to make all of this stuff more accessible to more players.
Sims 3: University Life photo
Care for a game of juice pong?
The Sims 3: University Life is expansion pack number nine for The Sims 3, and it's essentially a re-hash of the University expansion for The Sims 2. If you decided today you wanted to start playing The Sim...

SimShady photo
SimShady

Upcoming SimCity patch will address top requested fixes


Servers will be down during this April 22, 1 PM PST update
Apr 19
// Allistair Pinsof
On April 22, SimCity will continue its arduous trek to becoming a game worthy of its name. The Update 2.0 patch will address "a number of top-requested bug fixes and improvements," according to developer Maxis. Along with som...






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