Wednesday, July 30, 2008

you can be a freelance designer too!

On Project Runway this season it seems almost all of the contestants have the lofty job title of "Freelance Designer". Thanks to the wonders of the Sims 2 Body Shop, anyone with a PC and a Sims game can be one too. When I find myself with free time I enjoy using Adobe Photoshop to make new outfits for the Sims. Some of the clothes that come with the base game are pretty fugs; luckily there are great sites like The Sims Resource and others out there with tons of downloadable community-made clothes, furniture and even customized Sims. TSR in particular fosters a great community of artists and rewards creators with a point system that can cash in for subscriber credits, exclusive items for the game and other incentives.
I find it hard to come up with interesting original ideas sometimes when it comes to clothing designs, so my favorite strategy is to browse cute designs in online clothing stores, match them up with a mesh ("skeleton" of a Sim outfit) and recolor the "alpha" ("skin" of the outfit) using inspiration from the actual designs. In the last few days I just made and published a set of cute strapless dresses, and earlier in the summer I had fun making J. Crew bikinis and swimwear. I also find it super fun using game hacks (again, community-made) to pose my Sims like real models and take beautiful preview shots. I think a lot of people recognize the "playing" aspect of the Sims 2, but not too many appreciate the "creating" aspects.

very cool sims 2: apartment life trailer on official site

Click here to view the video trailer for the new Sims 2 Expansion Pack, Apartment Life, releasing in August. Click here to learn more about the upcoming EP.

I love the character development even in a 1 1/2 minute long trailer. LOVE the sports fan face paint and body paint... that's a new look we haven't seen yet in any other EP. I've got my copy reserved with $5 down... seems weird to pre-order PC games and especially the Sims, but when Free Time came out I picked up the single available one; all the others there were preordered reserved copies. I found that weird but at the same time I have to feed my Sims 2 addiction and must buy any new EPs and even Stuff Packs the day they are released (dork). Anyway I hope EA Games hasn't included as many bugs and effed-up functions in this EP as came with Free Time... it would sure be nice to not have to wait around for a patch to fix all the crash-causing issues with this one. EA needs to make sure it treats the Sims with the care and attention it needs... after all it is the top selling PC game franchise and ranks below only a few big names overall like Mario, Pokemon and Madden NFL.
I also reserved EA's big non-sports title of the year Spore, which I had long since figured I'd need a reserve for, what with all the hype surrounding its long-anticipated release this September. Sadly I missed out on a sweet deal the EB games in my mall had going a few weeks ago where they were giving away the Spore Creature Creator preview disc for free if you traded in two Wii games. I was pretty bummed when we went to get Mario Galaxy this weekend and they had ended the promotion. You snooze, you lose, I guess!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

surfing on a ray is, in fact, pretty sweet

Over the weekend my boyfriend and I gathered up Madden 08 for the Wii, Madden 07 for Gamecube, Wii Play, and Rayman: Raving Rabbids and headed over to Gamestop, where we traded in our old games for... Super Mario Galaxy! And it was totally worth it - this game really is pretty much the best game ever for the Wii. It uses the Wii controls in the best way - simple motions that don't overshadow the general control of the toggle and the buttons. Basically you just shake the Wii-mote to spin, ride on vines and do other stuff. Also, you steer a surfing ray with the leaning motions, and that is pretty cool! Definitely worth my trade-ins.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

no really, girls like video games, too

“Her older brothers got her into Grand Theft Auto... but all she likes to do is drive around and listen to the radio stations. She doesn’t even really care about the shooting and killing.” -the mom of a little girl gamer, quoted in the New York Times yesterday
Hey kid: I don't care about the shooting and killing either. Well, unless I'm playing a throwback game of GoldenEye 007... The point is, girls like video games too. Well, not all girls, but then not all guys like video games. Anyway, I'm a girl and I think video games are the shiz. That's why I have created this blog, the paranoid emdroid - as a space for me to express the various opinions, criticisms, lauds and boos of various video games running through my head on a daily basis. I'm currently riding out a summer job but can't wait to pencil in some serious gaming time as I put my feet up this fall.

I love games on any console but personally favor PC games (especially older ones) and Wii games. My ultimate favorite games are the Gabriel Knight trilogy. I also have a soft spot for historic city building games, especially the Sierra line. In the recent past I have kept myself busy with the Sims 2, a game with depths you have to play to understand. I'm currently stymied on Zelda: Twilight Princess due to time constraints but manage to devote several hours a week to the ridiculous fun that is Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii. So, that is just a sample of the kinds of games I may write about here. I also like to keep myself tuned in to interesting news from the gaming industry and may feel like commenting on bits and pieces of that as well.

Stay tuned for future posts on the Sims, Wii games and more here at the paranoid emdroid.