What do you need help on? Cancel X
Did You Know? FAQ by HRahman
Version: 1.0 | Updated: 02/08/03
============================================================================== The Sims ~ Did You Know? FAQ ver.1.0 ============================================================================== author : Hafiz Rahman e-mail : email@example.com first started : 20 January 2003 last updated : 08 February 2003 ============================================================================== 0. Introduction ============================================================================== Uh, hi. I know most of you might have seen some Did You Know? (DYK?) FAQs in GameFAQs, like some of Lunar and other at Pop 'n Music (or something). This, unfortunately, has nothing to do with me nitpicking hard-to-notice stuff from the game, The Sims. In fact, all I provide here is just the list of the little EasterEgg found in the game, the Did You Know? window that tells you a little story about the folks behind the game. There's no real reason why I decided to assemble them up, but I do love it when I get to know more about the behind-the-scene of gaming. This, hopefully, will aid you guys who have the same interest as I do. The sort of you guys WHO find it easier to read from a FAQ than finding it on your own, I guess. There's no copyright here either, I only put up facts of the game, and as it is said, facts cannot be copyrighted. Euh. So if you want to slap this up on your page or whatever, do it as you wish. Thanks. ============================================================================== 1. The one and only meat of the FAQ ============================================================================== ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1.1. How to unlock the Did You Know? window ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ First and foremost, you have to play the game in a family through 100 Simdays and more. If you have a neighborhood with several families, you DO NOT NEED to have all of them playing 100 days, just have a single family and it will do. The window, of course, will only be available for the family with 100 days (i.e. while the others who haven't reach it won't). Not that it matters for you, right? Now the next part is to find it. DUH. First thing first. Exactly at the 100th day, you will get this question icon on the very upper-right corner of your screen (i.e. the one that used to be QuickTips and such). There will be a message from the Maxis folks, and you'll be prompted to decide whether to accept the Did You Know? window or not. You, obviously, will want to accept. You can have the text here, but not pictures. Now for the Did You Know? Window. It also appears as the Question mark icon on the upper-right corner of your screen by 10 AM every morning. If you missed a day, it will keep the unlocked information (i.e. it won't skip to the next person in the list). But just in case, you might want to keep an eye everytime you're playing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1.2. The List ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1.2.0. Did You Know? Congratulations! This house has been running for 100 days! You must really like this game. We are glad since we do too. If you like the game this much then you must be interested in knowing how it was made. Each day you continue to keep this family going a new "Did You Know?" box will appear until you know all about us.. If you are not interested then click "Don't Show This Again" but come on you want to know... you know you do! -OK- -Don't Show- 1.2.1. Will Wright - Game Designer Will first thought of "The Sims" shortly after the original SimCity. It took this long for technology to catch up with Will's vision. In Maxis Offices we have a mock-up design for the original idea of the Sims. Though the technology is far more advanced, the actual game does not vary much from this prototype. Will makes wicked excel sheets, and likes to zip around the Maxis offices on a bright red electric scooter. Fun Fact: Will purchased a couple of real pink flamingo lawn ornaments for the team so we could properly model both the complex 3D shape of the birds and the physics and emotional algorithms needed for kicking them. Image Description: Showing Will Wright (presumably in a thinking stance) in a Japanese room (wallpaper and flooring) with computer, train set, recliner, VR set and some decoration which name I fail to remember. 1.2.2. Kana Ryan - Producer Kana was the glue that held the Sims project together and moved things forward. Rarely seen without a Diet Coke (r) in hand, Kana is also known for her "Saga of Kana" which was a test house she used to mark progress in the game and to find the remaining bugs. It is rumored that Kana gained her production skills testing IBM workstation software in a previous life. Fun Fact: The wedding picture the Sims paint on the easel is her wedding picture. Image Description: Showing Kana Ryan, painting (her Creativity bar is slighty filled) in a room with decorative plant and the boombox. 1.2.3. Jeff Charvat - Development Director Came to us late in the project to lead the programmers to Alpha and Final. He inherited our somewhat brutal schedule as well as our notorious game database. Likes to assign bugs with a smile. Jeff and Claire worked on another non-Maxis game together long ago, but would not let us print the title here for some reason. Fun Fact: At E3 we showed off our first career suit, an astronaut suit. Shortly thereafter we stole Jeff from the "SimMars" team. By the end of the project we had also, um, borrowed a programmer and two artists from "SimMars". A little SimForeshadowing? Image Description: Jeff Charvat is pointing his arm to the TV he's currently watching, in a room where there also lies a PC, floor lamp and a painting is on the wall. 1.2.4. Charles London - Art Director Charles led an ever growing art team that began with just him and grew to three artists, three animators, and a contracted company. He is responsible for designing and drawing the game's interface as well as the whole look of "The Sims". Charles is worshipped by some for his work on PC classics such as Panzer General and Allied General. We love him because he brings us chocolate marbled bread from his favorite deli. Fun Fact: How many interfaces has "The Sims" had? Even we don't know. As we tried to achieve both graphically outstanding AND functional interface, many were tried. Each time a new feature was added, Charles had to redesign the interface. Image Description: Charles London is sitting, gazing at some sort of mini-screen displaying The Sims game interface (i.e. the thing he himself created). 1.2.5. James (Jamie) Doornbos - Programmer Besides writing the majority of the actual game code, Jamie wrote the "tree" language that is used to code the objects in "The Sims". Because this "tree" code resides in the actual objects and the Sims run the code from the objects, the game is incredibly expandable. This is why you can just drop objects into the game from the Web or create them in HomeMaster. A.K.A. "Jamers." Fun Fact: Jamie originally was the only tree programmer as well as the game programmer. It took four objects programmers to complete the objects shipped with "The Sims." Some of Jamie's original objects still exist in the game such as the Pool Table and the Fire. Image Description: Some sort of programming software showing the game's "tree" code (too little to read, though), while the mini-screen at the corner shows Jamie, apparently doing a little work-out. 1.2.6. Patrick Buechner - Director of Marketing Patrick is responsible for getting us all that early press. We were really impressed when he got "The Sims" in U.S. News & World Report. Little did we know that it was just the beginning of all the press we would get thanks to him. He was largely responsible for keeping the momentum and excitement going. Fun Fact: Patrick can usually be found watching Will Wright demonstrate the game to various reporters and reviewers. Image Description: Patrick is playing games in a room with the paper, another garbage newspaper on the floor, the Tragic Clown painting and an alarm clock. 1.2.7. Chris Trottier - Associate Producer Chris has done a little of almost everything on "The Sims." Most notably heading the tuning team to get us from Alpha fo Final. Though not exactly her job, she is also known as the best bug hunter in the game. Very few people in the team know the entire game as well as she does. We call her "The Database Goddess." Fun Fact: "The Sims" wasn't always the title. At various times the game was known as "Project X," The Dollhouse Simulator," "Tactical Domestic Simulator," and others. The meeting room for "The Sims" team at Maxis is called "The Doll House". Image Description: She is playing with the dollhouse, with cans of beans lying on the floor, along with the toybox and aquarium. 1.2.8. Luc Barthelet - General Manager of Maxis Luc believed in the game through its development when even some of the team members questioned it. Luc built most of the early support for the game by establishing "The Sims Neighborhood Watch." Luc is a card carrying member of the Fancy French Shirt Society. Fun Fact: Luc would stop by each team member's work area and ask "What's new and cool?" each day. This one-on-one interaction made each team member feel important to the entire project. Image Description: Luc is playing with the VR set, in some sort of office room with PC and that expensive floor lamp. A fountain is shown outside, through the window. 1.2.9. Patrick J. Barrett III - Object programmer Patrick is responsible for the majority of the object programming. Between Patrick pushing the "tree" programming to its limits and Jamie increasing the strength of the "tree" programming language, all the game play takes place. Patrick's first game was made in 1982, but he won't say how many years he has been in the industry. Fun Fact: Eating was a lonely experience in "The Sims" and used to look funny. Patrick was told that was how it had to be with the constraints of the sim. He found this unacceptable and made it so the Sims place their plates in front of them, pull in their chairs, and can talk to each other while eating. The designers when crazy with this using it as an example to make the interactions more rewarding.. Image Description: Shown working on the computer, with newspaper, a desk phone and opened chocolate box nearby. It appears that the PC is broken is on repair... 1.2.10. Eric "BoBo" Bowman - Programmer Eric was the graphics guru on "The Sims." In charge of the graphical system programming, he made everything you see possible. Though maybe not a great programming achievement in code, one of his best effects is the fading roof on the neighborhood screen. The roofs fade away so you can see inside the houses. By the way, besides coding the fading roofs, he also came up with the idea. He is famous on the team for "Wouldn't it be really neat if.... Now what if I told you it is already done." Fun Fact: People run up to him on the street and offer him wads of cash for his stylin' Datsun 280Z. Image Description: The Neighborhood screen, with a mini-screen showing the fading roof and another with Eric in the Hot Tub. 1.2.11. Don Hopkins - Programmer Don wrote the animation engine in the game. His code is what makes the Sims look so lifelike when running hundreds of animations. Don also ported the editor for the "tree" programming from the Mac to Windows. Fun Fact: Sean said that Don reminded him of Santa Claus. Don has been known to dance horizontally on the floor with his shirt stuffed with hot air balloons. It is rumored he used to work at Sun Microsystems on some super secret project. Image Description: Simply shown reading, sitting on the green sofa near the kiddie end table with a table lamp on it. 1.2.12. Trevor Perrin - Object Programmer Trevor came to us near the end of the project. Without him many of the last coded objects would have been cut from the game such as the Basketball Court. He also adopted the Installer to "The Sims". Fun Fact: Some of his objects were reassigned to Patrick so that Trevor could work on the installation. Instead, Trevor stayed until late at night to work on them. Image Description: Shown playing basketball outside, with a pale-green mood crystal over the head. 1.2.13. Alex Zvenigorodsky - Programmer Stolen from "SimMars," Alex came to us first to help with some object programming then wrote the file system used in "The Sims" to combine all the files into single files. He also wrote "SLANG" the tool used to translate "The Sims" into the many languages it ships with. Fun Fact: While on the "SimMars" team, Alex helped Jami Becker make the chess table so that it uses real moves. When the Sims play chess against one another they actually play different stages of a real game. Image Description: Simply playing chess against himself. 1.2.14. Robi Kauker & Kent Jolly - Sound Engineers They are responsible for the sound effects and voices in "The Sims". You can thank these two for the hilarious TV channels and commercials. Unfortunately, we had to cut "VOX_choke_heimlich" and "VOX_throwup" sounds from the game. Maybe that was fortunate actually... Fun Fact: The singer of some of the "Rock" songs claims, "I sing nonsense words anyway...so it wasn't that hard to sing Sims lyrics." Some of the country music on the stereo was from "Streets of SimCity" but has been remastered to sound more Sims like. Image Description: Two computers, two different audio sets, somebody is playing the piano while the other is apparently dancing (can't really tell who's who). 1.2.15. Eric "Chin" Chin - Graphic Artist Eric made all the people in the game and their clothing. He also made the mock-up of the neighborhood screen as well as numerous art works for magazines showcasing "The Sims." Only Eric knows what a naked Sim looks like. Some of us prefer it that way. Fun Fact: All told we had three Eric's on the team. Hence, each also had a nickname so we could tell them apart. Image Description: A quick snapshot seconds before the guy change clothes. 1.2.16. Eric "Irk" Hedman - Animator Yet another Eric. This Eric made a large portion of our animations which give the Sims their realistic look and emotion. A snappy dresser and Swing dance aficionado, he also displays a keen interest in inflatable office furniture and wrestling masks. Don't ask him about video games starring sloths. Fun Fact: When one of our programmers was hired, he thought all our animations were motion captured due to the high quality. As it turns out, we tried that and it didn't look as good as Eric's! Image Description: Euh, brushing teeth? 1.2.17. Jami Becker - Artist Jami produced a large portion of the object graphics. Some of her work includes the aquarium and the animated phones. She also produced the infamous "SimSafari" Zebra Couch that, despite what Will may claim, is not the zebra from SimSafari. Actually, no SimCreatures were injured or hurt while making "The Sims." Fun Fact: Though spelled differently Jamie and Jami sound alike. This caused Patrick who had to work with both to call them "Programmer Jamie" and "Graphic Jami." Image Description: Jami is apparently feeding the fish in the aquarium. 1.2.18. Michael "Mike" Lawson - Product Analyst Mike is a man of all trades. He worked on testing, tuning, maintained the test neighborhoods, mnned the SimWatch web cam, and more numerous tasks that can be named. Mike claims he is a "survivor" of the Streets of Sim City testing process. He is also the youngest member of the team. Fun Fact: His band performed the music in the Electronic Arts game "MotoRacer 2." Image Description: Mike is playing with the VR set. 1.2.19. Melissa Bachman-Wood - Assistant Producer Melissa was instrumental in specifying how the objects in the game would look and leading the massive testing effort, often commuting 100+ miles a day between Maxis and EA. Melissa proudly displays a sign reading, "I wasn't hired for my demeanor." above her desk. Fun Fact: Every object in the game was a group effort requiring an object designer, an object programmer, an animation artist, an object artist, a writer, a sound designer and a sound programmer. Oh, and lots of testers. Image Description: Melissa is shown taking quick nap on the recliner. 1.2.20. Tim LeTourneau - Associate Producer & Chris Baena - Assistant Producer Tim and Chris came on board to handle the localization of "The Sims" into many languages and to help with the development and testing of our free SimShow and HomeMaster tools. Both started in testing and Customer Support at EA. Chris is still the only Maxis employee with a a handlebar mustache. Fun Fact: Though the catalog text was written by Sean and the other text by Roxy, Tim had to adjust the language of the text as well as maintain the text database for the entire game. This help system you are reading now was added just two weeks before the deadline for localizations and contains almost a third of the text in the game! Now maybe Tim will be able to go home at night. Maybe... Image Description: Both are having a game of chess, Chris takes it as a social interaction while Tim is getting his Logic bar filled. 1.2.21. Sean Baity - Assistant Producer Chief of the SimWatch, Sean also was in charge of the sound effects and catalog text in the game. It is amazing that Sean and Claire can still hear anymore after hours upon hours of listening to all the sounds in the game and verifying that they worked. Sean was a lead tester at EA for three years at EA before coming to Maxis. Fun Fact: Leading the SimWatch group also required Sean to come up with new weekly downloadables from our Web Site including a Desktop Theme, Chatter Box and the Mini Aquarium. Image Description: In the same sort of stance with Will Wright, Sean is standing in the middle of a real messy room with broken PC, dirty aquarium, junks, dead plants, a gift cake on the floor. There's also another PC and a glimpse of audio set nearby. 1.2.22. Paul Wilkinson - Programmer Paul is responsible for the Sound System used in the Sims. Sims say different things depending on their age, sex, mood and skill. That is all Paul. You may have heard his work in a little game called SimCity 3000. Paul started at Distinctive Software before it became EA Canada. Even though he is Canadian, we still enjoy working with him. Fun Fact: Paul ends his email with the note "PEACE OUT" Image Description: Paul is shown repairing the computer, while a boombox, desk phone, lamps, decor plants and the Tragic Clown painting are found around. 1.2.23. Roxy Wolosenko - Designer Roxy was one of three designers on the game along with Claire and Will. She wrote all the dialogs on the phone as well as the catalog descriptions used in Build Mode. It was her idea to have social interactions in the game. Fun Fact: Roxy was a producer on Maxis children's software before working on the Sims. Image Description: Roxy in a little gardening session. 1.2.24. Claire Curtain - Designer Though a majority of the design of the game came from Will Wright, Roxy and Claire picked up the other tasks such as documenting the design. Claire found the voice actors and directed recording sessions. Claire also specified every sound in the game and there are a lot of them! Together with Sean she made sure "The Sims" has a lot of sound in very interesting places. Fun Fact: Claire is also from the former Kids Group working on titles such as SimTown. Image Description: Claire is sitting in a room with an audio set. 1.2.25. Bob King - Animator & B.J. West - Graphic Artist Another couple of Martians we abducted. Bob and B.J. helped with the nearly impossible task of getting every animation and object done in time and on schedule. The Sims team had originally hoped to include 100 objects with the game. With the help of others such as B.J. we were able to ship with over 200. Bob is still the only Maxis employee with a Delorean. Fun Fact: "The Sims" has over 1,400 animations. Image Description: Truth be told, the artists are in a messy room with rotten pizza, the easel and again, someone's is playing with the computer and a skill bar is shown...while the other is simply applausing the guy with the computer. 1.2.26. The Sims Testing Team Guided by Jamil, Gabe and Etienne, finding well over 4,000 bugs was the job of this intrepid team. (Only a minimum of duplicates) Working under the motto "(Quis simulatiet ipsos simulates?)" they made sure to find as many problems as possible, so you wouldn't have to. Fun Fact: The Sims has had 20 different full-time testers since the first build back in July. As with any game, "The Sims" would not be here without their hard work. Image Description: The most obvious image you could get from full-time testers; a room filled with computers, some people are in heavy need of rest while somebody is extremely lying on the floor, apparently due to the empty energy bar. 1.2.27. Jim Mackraz - Former Development Director Jim left us shortly after E3 to join an Internet start-up. Jim affected the game in too many ways to mention. Fun Fact: The Foosball table in the Maxis Multi-Purpose Room is named in memory of Jim. It is rumored when you walk by that you can still hear him playing, but usually it is just Paul and the sound team. Image Description: Jim is inside the Hot Tub with two other neighbors, talking to each other. 1.2.28 (a.k.a. Worthless Junk) Hafiz Rahman - FAQ Author This DYK? does not appear in the game, duh, this is just your author taking the little time to basically embarass himself in front of the public. Fun Fact: He actually PrintScreen every single DYK? window and then converted them into GIF images so it can be easier for him to work on the FAQ. No further information known about since when he has been doing worthless stuff like that. ============================================================================== 2. Credits ============================================================================== Allah SWT, for everything. CJayC, for hopefully posting this up. Or, for posting this up if he really do (which he should already did, if you actually read THIS). Dan Simpson, the author of The Sims FAQ, from which I found the whereabouts of the Did You Know? feature, and for only listing Will Wright's DYK? so I have a chance to assemble the rest. Thanks to The Sims, for literally teaching me how to manage time. Finally, thanks to Do As Infinity, for Oasis and some others. Fin.