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Tools for Sims 2 Fan Artists


Maya, from Alias.  Click on the image to visit their web site.

Maya is a full-featured tool used by professional artists to produce 3D worlds for computer games, movies, and fine art. It is available for both the Windows XP Professional and Mac OS X operating systems.

The complete version of Maya is very pricey. Except for the fortunate few who happen to have Maya for other production work, fan artists just couldn't afford it. We could conceivably purchase it and pass the cost on to SimsHost subscribers, but the cost of your subscription would increase quite dramatically and the financial risk would be very high.

Now, we have some potentially good news. Alias is quite aware that it would not be cost-effective for Sims fan artists to purchase full-blast Maya just to make objects for The Sims 2. We at SimsHost have been working with Alias to help define what would need to be done to create a special version of Maya Personal Learning Edition that fan artists can use with The Sims 2.

Maya PLE from Alias.  Click on the image to visit the Alias site.

Maya Personal Learning Edition is a full-featured version of Maya Complete, available completely free of charge. The only difference is that it adds a watermark to the files it creates so that they can only be used with Maya PLE.

Alias might be able to create a special version of Maya PLE that fan artists can use to create objects for The Sims 2. Things created with this version of Maya PLE would work only with The Sims 2 so the fan artists would be able to make things, Electronic Arts would enjoy the same environment of fan support that they have with The Sims, and Alias continues to protect their software copyrights.

The only question is whether it is cost-effective for Alias and for Electronic Arts to invest in the manpower required to modify their software. This is a major business decision for them. In addition to the software development cost, Electronic Arts would have to deal with the question of having to cope with potentially defective fan-created objects. We are not affiliated with either company, but it sure sounds to us like a wise business move!

We don't yet know how this will turn out, but we are hopeful. Stay tuned to The Sims 2 at SimsHost for more news!

Images used in this essay provided courtesy of Alias.

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