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What's New in The Sims 2

The Sims 2 Stories
Life cycles
Get into the scene
Lighting and graphics
Building better buildings
System requirements
Testing Cheats

New Challenges for Artists

Everything is 3D
Tools for artists

The Sims 2 on the Net


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Artists' Tools in The Sims 2

The Sims 2 Body Shop

Basic skinning will be easier in The Sims. On March 23, 2004, Maxis announced that they plan to release The Sims 2 Body Shop in May 2004, ahead of the release of the full game. Click on the title to read more about it.

Many of the SimsHost sites already offer downloadable skins for The Sims 2. See the SimsHost Chronicle for announcements.

Adobe Photoshop

The workhorse of 2D graphics artists around the world. Almost essential for webcraft as well as for creating skins and objects for The Sims.

Paint Shop Pro

A low-cost graphics program that offers many of the features of Adobe Photoshop. Many Sims artists use Paint Shop Pro to create things for The Sims.


Milkshape is a low-cost 3D surface modeler, available only for Windows. You can't used it to create things for The Sims 2 but it's a great way to learn to do 3D modeling, and you can use it to create objects for The Sims. The gurus at Alias (see Maya, below) tell us that many 3D artists got their start with Milkshape.

Maya Update July 31, 2004

Maxis art director Dave Patch says that they now use Maya® 3D from Alias to create the sims, instead of 3ds max (see below), and that Maya is required to make objects for The Sims 2.

On the other hand, on April 19, MaxisDarren told one group of artists, "When we get to working on enabling custom content models, the plan is to export them in a common 3D file format that can be used by most 3D tools. It certainly won't be exclusive to Maya or 3D Studio Max."

On the third hand, Alias is interested in creating a special version of Maya for The Sims 2 fan artists, so something wonderful just might happen!

3D Studio Max

Discreet 3ds max is another very powerful application used by many video game artists to create 3D content for video games. Artists at Maxis used 3DS Max for most of the stuff for The Sims but they tell us they are switching to Maya for The Sims 2.


Poser is a standard tool for graphics artists, used to create and pose human figures for static art. It also has animation tools. We don't yet know whether you will be able to import Poser people into The Sims 2.

Walls & Floors

This page contains the basic specifications for walls and floors in The Sims 2. You can use any graphics program to create the source artwork.