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 apartment life!

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PostSubject: apartment life!   Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:03 pm

Here is a link for Spell Tutorials! http://au.guides.ign.com/guides/14258472/page_9.html

Move your Sims into the close-quarters drama, humour, and excitement of apartment life!

Your Sims are moving into a brand-new apartment, and their lives will never be the same!

Adventure, fun, and drama await them as they meet new people and explore their new
neighbourhood. Will they take their kids to the local playground, mingle in coffee shops, or hit the park to learn from the breakdancers?

Close quarters mean new opportunities, move in with compatible roomies for a thriving social life, advance your career with the right social network, or find true love just down the hall.

Whether they live in artsy converted lofts, the ultimate studio bachelor pads, or luxury apartments with their own butler, your Sims will experience all of the excitement of apartment life!

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Last edited by Mortisha on Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:46 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: apartment life!   Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:04 pm

Your Sims are moving into a brand-new apartment, and their lives will never be the same! Adventure, fun, and drama await them as they meet new people and explore their new neighborhood. Will they take their kids to the local playground, mingle in coffee shops, or hit the park to learn from the breakdancers? Close quarters mean new opportunities-move in with compatible roomies for a thriving social life, advance your career with the right social network, or find true love just down the hall. Whether they live in artsy converted lofts, the ultimate studio bachelor pads, or luxury apartments with their own butler, your Sims will experience all of the excitement of apartment life!

- Move into the perfect apartment: a spacious loft, a cozy place for a young couple, or a multi-bedroom flat-share with friends.http://snootysims.com/apartmentlife/apartmentlife02.jpg

- Mingle with Sims from all-new social groups: stylish socialites, artsy bohemians, sports jocks, gadget-collecting techies, or edgy gearheads.

- Take advantage of apartment life: form social networks to make new friends, advance their careers, or look for love.

- Build your Sim's new reputation meter: with a good reputation, your Sim can find the right friends to help them achieve their goals!

- Control multiple households: will you make your Sims live in happy harmony or comical conflict?

http://snootysims.com/apartmentlife/apartmentlife06.jpg pirate

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PostSubject: Re: apartment life!   Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:30 pm

By Steve Bonham, The Sims Resource

On Friday, May 30th 2008, I was at EA headquarters in not so sunny Redwood Shores, California (for my lucky 7th visit), this time to preview Sims 2 Expansion Pack number 8! You probably already know this pack as Apartment Life, but I don't think the name will have really given you even half the idea of what this pack will bring to your game, so I'm guessing you are here to find out more!

I should warn you in advance that this is probably my most in depth EP preview ever, and as such includes many spoilers. If you are so excited about Apartment Life that you are looking for as much juicy info as you can, then read on. If you prefer to explore a new EP to find all the hidden treasures yourself, you might be as well to scan through the headers and skip to the conclusion at the end of the article.

Disclaimer stuff: As usual, this preview has been written based on an early Alpha build of the game, so some of the content I talk about might not even make it to the final version, or might be edited or enhanced. Many objects don't yet have their proper names or bios and some were still only placeholders, so will not be included.
Meet the Neighbors

Click to enlargeLet's start by taking a look at the new 'hood. Welcome to Belladonna Cove! Absolutely no point in showing you what it looks like right now because it will certainly change, but I can show you some of the new Lots and Plopables ('hood decorations) that you will see in AL.

First up is a celebration of the name of the hood, and someone you might recognise this statu which will tower over the hood for all to see. This is one of the more elegant items, the rest are pretty much scrap and rubbish. Literally. You see, Apartment Life conjures up the image of comfortable accommodation, but this pack has also been designed to accommodate those people that have wanted to build trailer parks and other low-grade areas. We will look into those in more detail later, but so that they fit in with their surrounding, you will now find Plopables such as alleyways and trash piles that can be used to really bring an area down.

And what of the residents of Belladonna Cove? Well, the story is still being created but the sample ones we saw suggest that there will be a wide variety of wacky families for you to interact with as usual.

Click to enlargeSome new Lots are thrown in as usual which include 2 Secret Lots (more later), some great Community Lots such as the Library, new Coffee Shops and Grocery Stores and lots of Parks, all designed to suit a range of classes of society. Some great new residential homes are a result of the new build mode features that we will see soon, but one Lot of note which must be seen by all is the reproduction of San Francisco's very own Painted Ladies. A different family can live in each of the identical houses. Gorgeous, no? We all loved the illusion of being built on a hill!
Now you've met them, it's time to interact!

Click to enlargeWith AL, your Sims will be spending much more time with others, so it's right that we be given some new ways to interact with them. New to this pack is the ability to share gestures with other Sims, including High Five, Earthy Hug, Fake Out, Kiss Kiss Darling and Tough Handshake. Kids can torment each other with hilarious animations and all ages of Sim can now dance the Classic Dance (until one steps on the toes of the other). Sims can play alone with the new Jump Rope (Skipping Rope) and toddlers have a new toddler on toddler interaction of Huddle. Maximum cuteness guaranteed!

This might be a nice time to mention a new behaviour too, although it's not an interaction as such. Very low aspiration Fortune Sims will often be seen whipping out a pot and begging from other Sims for their spare change. It's pathetic, but I've long been a fan of Schadenfreude (gaining delight in someone else's misfortune), so it made me smile :-)
Apartment Life (er.. this IS where the EP gets its name)

I guess we should get on to the idea of what this EP is all about. Although the name suggests living in an apartment, the flexibility of the game (as always) allows you to use your own imagination to take your Sims wherever you want to take them. I have already used the example of Trailer Parks but you can use any situation where you want multiple families to share a Lot without them having to merge, like the Painted Ladies Townhouses, or sheds in a park if your Sims are uber poor!

Click to enlargeYou can have up to 4 families living on a single Lot, although you can build more apartments/accommodations than that, allowing for NPC's to move in around you. If you have a block of 6 bedsits, after you move in, other Sims will take the rooms around you. You can visit them, build relationships with them and even complain about them, but you can't control them.

In fact, you will only ever control one family when you are on a Lot (you choose which one when you load it up, as can be seen from the family selector screen here). Your other families will be around so you can build relationships with them still, but you can't control them.

Click to enlargeThe process for renting an apartment is very much the same way that you choose a room at a hotel in Bon Voyage, so may well be familiar to you. On entering the Lot for the first time you can click on the apartment doors and see what the rent will be for claiming it. Once you claim your chosen accommodation, a week of rent is pre-paid and your Sims move in to their new digs. The landlord will make a timely appearance to welcome you and let you know to call him should you have any problems or repairs that need attention. You see, one of the luxuries of having a landlord is that he will take care of broken items, so you don't have to. He calls regularly and checks out all the accommodations on his Lot.

Build Mode is disabled in rented accommodation so you can't go ripping out walls or adding extra rooms, but you can change the décor so wallpaper and floors are about your limit. You can of course buy as much as you can cram into your own space. Now would be a great time to show you some of the fantastic new objects that have been introduced which are 'shared accommodation' friendly.

The Murphy Bed is a space saving delight which folds up against the wall when not being used. The Trash Chute saves you having to take your trash all the way downstairs if you are in a high-rise block, and the new mailbox has a 'pigeon hole' for each of the residents, and a note box for the landlord.

Click to enlarge Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
The Murphy Bed, Trash Chute and Apartment Mail Box


You can offset the cost of renting a large, maybe even multi story apartment by taking on a roommate. Advertise in the local paper or search online for a perfect partner to move in and help with the rent. They won't bring any new objects (you have to provide the furnishings) but they will help with relationship scores and chores around the house.

Pick one that's got high scores in cooking and cleaning and they can be a great help! You don't have any control over your roommate but you can see their satisfaction in the roomie satisfaction screen in their bio, shown here.

I mentioned earlier about complaining about apartment neighbors. This can be a result of noise coming from next door (your Sims have an interaction to bang on the wall when noise occurs), or if they are particularly smelly, leaving rubbish lying around. I'm yet to resort to this, but I'll post more info and screens when I see it.

Click to enlargeLater on you will see how having the Pets EP will add a new dimension, but just in case you don't, you might like to take advantage of the new apartment friendly dogs that live in a suitable pen. These little 'lap dogs' need to be fed, cleaned and played with but will give back love, affection and fun to anyone where space or access to a yard is limited. A nice touch, and some great animations for the interactions. And no Pets EP required! Currently there are 4 varieties to adopt, all of which you can name when you choose them.
Social Change

Click to enlarge Here's some info I found in the Sim Encyclopaedia that might interest the serious relationship builders in the game!

Sims can now develop reputations based on how they interact with the other members of the neighbourhood. The way you choose to socialize can have a drastic effect on how other Sims view you. For example, depending on your Sims reputation, he or she may receive a slight relationship boost or penalty upon meeting someone new. Performing friendly socials will increase reputation, while unfriendly socials will lower reputation. You can view your Sims' reputation in their personality panel.

There are new Social Groups in AL. Each group has some identifiable characteristics like a greeting and a unique story interest. They tend to dress a certain way too. You may find that the Sims from a certain social group can be found in greater numbers in certain areas of town. Learning how to greet them and what their interests are can increase your Sim's pool of friends.

OK, sharing a Lot and socials/relationships are great and I could go on about it for ages, but lets move on to some other exciting stuff...
Continued on Page 2 >>

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PostSubject: Re: apartment life!   Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:31 pm

Building... So much building!

Click to enlarge My first impression of this EP after exploring what's new, was that this pack is going to be particularly appealing to those players who love to build. Sure, other packs have added things like half height walls and floor edgings, but this pack adds more than any other.

First up is that long awaiting and much begged for return to Simsville of spiral staircases. And they look fantastic! Fully functional for Sims, Pets and the Supernatural, spiral staircases are more compact than standard types. This build had 3 styles, each with 3 color variants. These were Glass, Wooden and Marble. They take just 2x2 tiles and can be stacked directly above each other to span several floors. This screenshot shows some examples but sadly does the animation no justice, so I will post some video soon.

Click to enlargeNext up on the satisfied wish list were real built in wardrobes! These can be built into a 2x1 space and come complete with sliding glass mirrored doors. All the functions of a standard armoire with far more satisfaction! There is one for male one for female clothes and come in a variety of wood frames. Sims can also Gussy Up here thanks to the mirror, so space saving and cost effective!

Also included for those lower level Lots in their trailers, there are some new floor standing 'open' clothes racks. Both can be seen here, placed by the way, next to a new four poster bed!


Lets move outside now and take a sniff at some new exterior features. In this picture you can see some of the new doors and windows but more importantly, the new decorative roof. I used the green leaded effect here but you can place them with a variety of styles including tiles and slate. Inward and outward corners allow you to use them on any house shape.

Click to enlarge I also added some of the new Cornice around the top of the wall. These come in several styles and colors and can be used around the outside of a building like this, or (as explained next) indoors as coving around the walls.

Excuse the lack of imagination in this shot. It would look great with the stone edged walls that came with another EP, but right now I'm playing without them installed and with without the luxury of time :-(
Still, you will have time and the tools to make a much better job soon!
Things are looking up!

Click to enlargeSo you probably heard already that Ceilings are included in this pack. If not, you know now! Screenshot and video makers have been complaining for years that the lack of interior ceilings in their game make camera positioning very restrictive if you don't want to see content from floors above, or a vast blue sky. Their prayers have been answered here, as you can now place a ceiling on any area that you have floor tiles above. You can even place any floor tile on the ceilings to decorate them!

In this current build of the game you can only choose 1 pattern for an entire roof, but the plan is to allow you (like with floors) to have a different pattern in each room. It should be in the final release. They also plan to use multiple tiles so that you can use Homecrafter to create things like roof art to make your very own Sistine Chapel!
Ducting, Venting, Heating, Cooling.

A totally new set of objects come from EA to fill a void of detail that has, to date, been covered by the custom content community only. Something every budding conversion/renovation Sim has been crying out for! As well as those mentioned in the header above we also have some groovy transversal support beams to add a real industrial feel to things.

Click to enlarge Another cross EP feature is heating and cooling, and the vents and radiator that you see in this image will actually provide benefits to Sims if you have the Seasons EP installed. For example, cold Sims will warm themselves on the radiators.

There is a huge range of straight, curved, T and cross junctions for the venting to run them any way you like. The pipe work has a good mix of choices too, and of course, low level, high level and even floor mounted vents.

So that's covers some build mode stuff. Now, on to something I don't think many have been expecting from this pack, but has been in much demand since Sims 1..

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PostSubject: Re: apartment life!   Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:32 pm

By Steve Bonham, The Sims Resource
It's a Magical World!

Click to enlarge Makin' Magic was one of the most popular EP's for Sims 1 and players have been hoping to bring a little bit of magic into their Sims 2 game since launch. Every EP has its own creature or special character and so ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, let me introduce you to... Witches!

At last... We have Witches in the game! Learn and cast spells, make potions, craft exclusive items and fly around on broomsticks until the 'Ground Flairs Cow Sculptures' come home!

Witches (both male and female, no Wizards here), can be anywhere in the scale of alignment between good, neutral and evil. If they really work at it they can become atrociously evil! Each stage gives them a different outfit, as seen here. Good witches have white robes, neutral have brown and evil have black. If a Witch becomes atrociously evil they also turn green.

A witches alignment determines which spells they can learn and cast, which potions and reagents they can make, and which type of items they can craft. The craftable items are a throne, floor light, wall light and ceiling light, which can be used to decorate the Witches magical room where they will also place their cauldron and spell book (also color determined by their alignment).

Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
You can see here 2 rooms, on the left decorated with good magic and on the right, evil!


Click to enlarge To be able to cast spells, Witches need to possess particular reagents of varying quantities. You can use the Spell Book to check Witches abilities, which also shows which spells and craftables are known about, and the required items to cast or create them. In this image you can see the Magic Spell Book UI. You can see a list of Spells, the Magic Skill and the Alignment (although the alignment UI is not working in this build).

Reagents are a mixture of weird and wonderful magical items including Enchanted Essence of Cur Tails, Magic Dust, Dragon Scales, Eye of Newt, Vipers Essence, Crystallized Moonbeams, Sun Gem's and Essence of Light. These can be created in a cauldron or purchased from NPC Witches when you bump into them, or at the 2 secret Witches Community Lots (one for good and one for evil alignments).

Click to enlarge As well as using reagents they can be placed on the new shelves that come with AL, or on any other surface. Here you can see a selection of them stacked neatly on 3 levels of shelving.

Casting spells can be great fun, but can of course have negative backlash if done wrong. Spells can be cast on other Sims, objects and even on yourself. Many of the animations are hilarious as you can probably imagine if you have a read through some of these example spells (these will be temporary names so expect them to change in final version). There will be around 30 spells in all:




Good Spells:

Banish Death: Click on a dead Sim or Death himself to bring a Sim back to life.
Aura of Niceness: Makes the world a better place to live.
De-Fuego: Instantly extinguish a fire.
Bugs of Ambiance: Summon butterflies of fireflies, depending on the time of day.
Make Agreeable: Cast this spell of a Sim to make them accept the next five socials.
Waves of Happy: All Sims in the area get a boost to their happiness (great for parties)
You Can Has Cheezburger: Spawn a tray of food, varies depending on the time of day.
Neutral Spells:

Make Fit: Instant fitness for the target Sim.
Make Fat: Opposite of Make Fit ;-)
Mighty Cluck of the Beyond: Posses the target Sim to perform chicken moves.
Leave'spolsion: Clear all the leaves from a Lot.
Puddle Evaporator: Clear rain, mess and pee puddles from your Lot.
Evis Spells:

Resurrect Zombie: Bring any Sim who's tombstone is on the Lot, back to life as the walking dead.
Bees!: cast a spell on someone to have them chased by bees.
Mist of Plague: Force a Sim to throw up.
Fuego: Cast a fireball to start an object blazing.

I will try to post some video of spells being cast soon after this article goes live, so check back soon.

Lastly, as I mentioned earlier about the Pets EP. If you have this installed your Witch can have a 'feline familiars' as a magical Pet. I had trouble with this in the current build but hope to have screens and more info for you seen.
Child's Play.

Click to enlarge The kids get a look in with Apartment Life too! A whole new playground set provides new entertainment for toddlers and children. The huge Jungle Gym allows Sims to climb up, look around and then slide down the pole, while the monkey bars let them burn off some energy swinging and dangling.

The slide is now not just for pools, and the roundabout ride will keep any kid happy spinning around and 'round until the point that nausea sets in. Then stand back!

The Bouncing Bork Spring Rider is for toddlers only and can be put on the ride by an adult. All rides can be owned on a residential Lot, or found in the new community parks.
Adults Play.

Click to enlarge The kids don't get all the fun though. There are some great new attractions for adults too, including the welcome return of the Pool Table which allows Sims to perform trick shots to woo the crowd. A new Open Mic allows Sims to sing, recite poetry or perform stand-up comedy.

Another great addition is the huge new home cinema screen which is 3 tiles wide. Significant of course, because you can now put a 3 seat sofa in front of large screen TV! All can be seen in this picture of the family gathering in the den.

Click to enlarge While venturing out your Sims are also likely to come across a couple of other great characters. The Human Statue parks himself on a box, moving only when he gets an itch or a fly lands on his nose(??), unless you stare at him for too long, then he's likely to jump at you!

The Homies in the 'hood can often be found on flat cardboard boxes in front of a boom box, drawing crowds with the break dancing skilz. Offer him a few simoleans and he will teach your Sim to break-dance too, a skill that they can improve on to wow the onlookers who can't resist the mesmerizing beat and your Sim flailing around like a whirling Dervish!
Self Study.

I found some more info about the new study options from bookcases in the encyclopaedia. There are 5 new study topics which Sims can work on at home from the bookcase.

Fire Prevention will make Sims better at extinguishing fires on their own, as well as being slightly less panicky when a fire erupts in the first place.

Anger Management will give them the edge when something occurs that would usually make them furious, as well as help calm them down once they are furious.

Lifelong Happiness will help Sims keep their aspirations higher for longer!

Physiology will teach Sims more about how their bodies work, making building body skill and keeping their figure easier.

Couple Counselling will gibe Sims a new interaction: "Repair relationship with…" which they can use to help heal relationships between married or dating Sims who might be going through a rough patch.
Anything else then?

I did say there was a lot to this pack didn't I? I bet after all that you almost forgot about Apartments? Well yes, of course there is more. How about Witches flying on broomsticks, that's great to see! Oh, and the huge new aquarium, the new computer, the new plopables, jump ropes, awnings, up/down wall positioning (you can move all wall decorations up and down to any position now, and even place 2 items on the same wall)...

Tell you what, have a look at these screens for now and I'll keep adding more with some descriptive info as I finish processing all my screens, so check back soon. I will also add more video as time permits.

Click to enlarge Click to enlarge

For now though, that's it. A mammoth preview of some 4,000 words and still going. It's fair to say I think, that this pack has gone further than most ever imagined it would from the name, I think you will agree. There is something here for everyone, but I hope this preview helps you make an informed decision as to whether Apartment Life is for you (or Magic, or Build Stuff).

We don't yet know if this is the last EP for Sims 2. If not, then great. If it is, I'd say EA went out with a bang on this product :-)

You can see many more TSR Exclusive Screens by following the link below. Also, be sure to check out the Videos http://www.thesimsresource.com/article/apartmentlife4 http://thesims2.ea.com/about/ep8_screenshots.php (more added soon).

My thanks as always to the team at EA for the opportunity and information, and to Tug and my Sims Community colleagues who attended, making the day informative and enjoyable once again.

/Steve

Links: Enlarged Article Images & other http://www.thesimsresource.com/screenshots/list.php?postedByMemberID=1525 http://www.thesimsresource.com/screenshots/gallery.php http://thesims2.ea.com/about/ep8_screenshots.php

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