The Sims Online


The Sims Online

Infobox VG
title = The Sims Online


developer = Maxis [ [http://pc.ign.com/objects/015/015970.html IGN: The Sims Online ] ] [ [http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/simsonline/index.html The Sims Online for PC - The Sims Online PC Game - The Sims Online Computer Game ] ]
publisher = Electronic Arts
designer =
series = "The Sims"
engine =
released = vgrelease|NA=December 17, 2002
discontinued = August 1,2008
genre = MMOG
modes = Multiplayer Online
ratings = ESRB: T (Teen)
OFLC: E (Exempt)
platforms = Microsoft Windows
Cycle = December 17, 2002-August 1, 2008
media = CD, Digital Download
requirements =
input =

"EA-Land" (formerly known as "The Sims Online") was a massively multiplayer online game variation on Maxis' highly popular computer game "The Sims". It was published by Electronic Arts and released on December 17 2002 for Microsoft Windows. In March 2007, EA announced that the product would be "re-branded" as "EA-Land" and major enhancements would be made. About a year later, Electronic Arts announced the game would shut down all activity on August 1st, 2008. On August 1st, the game came to a closure and the official blog went offline soon after.cite web|url=http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-9931757-1.html | title='EA Land' closing just weeks after debut | first=Daniel | last=Terdiman | publisher=Crave | accessdate=2008-08-22]

Overview

Name change and closure

When the product was re-branded as EA-Land, players were able to purchase properties, submit custom content, similar to Second Life. After stating that it would be rebranded and there would be many changes, it was then announced that it would be shut down weeks later. They referred to this day as the "EA Land Sunset." Maxis stated that the development team would be moving onto other projects. [cite web|url=http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/02/25/ea-turns-the-sims-online-into-free-ea-land-second-life-competitor/ | title=EA Turns The Sims Online Into Free EA-Land, Second Life Competitor | accessdate=2008-08-22|author=Duncan Riley|publisher=TechCrunch] cite web|url=http://support.ea.com/cgi-bin/ea.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=19639 | title=EA FAQ: What are the details of EA-Land's Sunset? | author=Electronic Arts | accessdate=2008-08-22]

In March 2007, an Electronic Arts employee Luc Barthelet stopped by the official forums after years of ignoring the game. Luc had left "The Sims Online" production team after the game went live and hadn't contributed to the game environment until March 2007. After returning to development of "The Sims Online", he assembled a team of seventeen people in order to continue development and updates to The Sims Online. Since the game has shut down, Luc has started his own company, and began developing a new MMO, codenamed "TirNua". cite web|url=http://www.tirnua.com/site/team/luc.php | title=TirNua developer bio for Luc Barthelet | publisher=Tirnua, Inc. | accessdate=2008-09-19]

Gameplay

Cities

Before the production cities closed, there were thirteen cities in which players resided. They were Mount Fuji, Calvin's Creek, Interhogan, East Jerome, Fancy Fields, Test Center, Blazing Falls, Alphaville, Dan's Grove, Jolly Pines, Dragon's Cove, Betaville, EA-Land and Test Center 3. Population sizes fluctuated, but for the most part Alphaville and Blazing Falls were the most populated towns with a big city feel. In contrast, cities such as Dan's Grove and Calvin's Creek had a more close-knit small-town feel. Mount Fuji was targeted at the Asian market, but it also had a small contingent of English-speaking citizens as well.

Four cities had special rules: Dragon's Cove was known as the "hardcore city," as there were a number of harder game objectives to consider when playing here. For example, a Sim would lose energy when traveling long distances, and the virtual costs for items were doubled. Betaville was a city that was created for the purpose of testing new features. A few of these features were the ability to create a family of up to four adult Sims, with adjustable free will levels; bills and a repo man; fires and firemen.

Along with the announcement to rename The Sims Online to EA-Land came a city merge. At this point, all of the existing cities were merged into one megacity known as EA-Land. Test Center 3 became the city in which new items were tested before going live into EA-Land for the greater community.

Skills

Skills were an important aspect of gameplay. They were necessary for getting more money from paying objectives, doing well in the offered career tracks, and occasionally were needed for special interactions with other players, such as serenading. Skill could be increased at a faster rate when multiple Sims work on the same skill simultaneously.

The game had six core skills
*Mechanical
*Cooking
*Charisma
*Body
*Creativity
*Logic

A skill level for any of these skills was determined by how many skill "points" a Sim has. These points range in number from 0 to 20.99.

In-game employment

There were four official jobs available in The Sims Online:
*Restaurant
*Robot Factory
*DJ
*DancingThe in-game jobs did not offer a large salary, causing many players to seek out other sources. Popular methods included opening item shops and offering services to users such as food and lodging.

While most Sims relied on group money objects for a living, there were still others who used non-interactive solo money objects. At many money houses in "The Sims Online", owners of houses in the money category would offer an additional bonus paid by the owner or a roommate of the house for any player who completed a certain amount of these solo money objects. This bonus was offered as a way of deriving even more profit for players, as well as attracting good business for money category houses.

Custom content

Recently, custom objects had been enabled within TSO, allowing players to upload .bmp and .jpgimages as well as .iff files. The uploadable furniture was tiled tables, chairs, and single tiled sculptures or decorations, as part of the TSO-E project, lead by Luc Barthelet.

One new feature was the creation of a new city called "Test Center 3" which acted as a testing ground for the updates to come. A major update to the game was user custom content. Luc was also interested in any user-submitted ideas on how they could maintain a stable economy to negate the gains players made illegitimately through exploits. [ [http://boards.stratics.com/php-bin/sims/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=tsogeneral&Number=647341&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1&what2=postlist] Luc Barthelet message board post]

Awards

*E3 2002 Game Critics Awards: Best Simulation Game

References

External links

*
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