Break Out Your Spiced Rum and PJs: Andy Cohen Is Hosting…

first_imgHolidayCelebrityTVBreak Out Your Spiced Rum and PJs: Andy Cohen Is Hosting NBC’s New Year’s Eve Game NightCancel all pending plansBy Jessica P. Ogilvie – December 9, 2015530ShareEmailFacebookTwitterPinterestReddItPut down your glittered tiara and do not withdraw $500 because there is no need for you to go anywhere at all on New Year’s Eve. Andy Cohen will be hosting a live edition of NBC’s Hollywood Game Night on December 31, called—appropriately—New Year’s Eve Game Night With Andy Cohen, and that’s really all anyone has ever needed.NBC’s NYE show is usually hosted by Carson Daly, and Hollywood Game Night is usually hosted by Jane Lynch. Daly will join Cohen just before midnight, but Lynch will take the night off to do other things that are probably very awesome.Few details have been made public about the NYE show yet, but we do know that it will feature eight celebrities facing off in an epic battle of  minds (and likely drawing skills) and that Gwen Stefani will join up with Cohen and Daly towards the end of the evening, aka the end of the year.Cohen goes on at 10:00 p.m. TAGSJane LynchHollywood Game NightGwen StefaniGame NightCarson DalyAndy CohenNBCNew Year’s EvePrevious articleLos Angeles Is in the Midst of a Craft Beer Boom. Is a Bust on the Way?Next articleNewest Uber Service Adds Interesting Element: WalkingJessica P. Ogilvie RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORToo Early for Christmas Music on the Radio? L.A.’s All-Holiday Stations Don’t Think SoLL Cool J and KISS Will Help Nancy Davis Put the Fun in Fundraiser at This Year’s Race to Erase MS GalaL.A.’s Street Style Stars of Tomorrowlast_img read more

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14 large lizards worth $35K stolen from Punta Gorda reptile breeding facility

first_imgPunta Gorda man gets 16 years in prison for selling drugs June 14, 2021 AdvertisementTags: Punta Gordastolen lizardsTheft RELATEDTOPICS FOOTAGE: Casual candle thieves nab $1,200 in merchandise June 14, 2021 AdvertisementAccording to a Jesse’s Jungle Facebook post, cameras were pointed at the tegu cages at the time of the theft.“We have given a VERY short list of the names [to investigators] of every person who has been here since I moved in. If you return our animals by Friday may 21 st 2021 no charges will be filed,” the post read. Hardin reported the theft to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, which is now investigating the theft. FWC was also notified. Advertisement Punta Gorda ordinance bans bad words on signs, clothing & more June 15, 2021 FPL working with Punta Gorda to launch electric charging station pilot program June 16, 2021 Some of the reptiles measure up to 5-feet in length, like Hellboy, who is 56 inches long. Six of the tegus taken were females who are ready to lay eggs — one of them was stolen while she was in the middle of laying eggs, Hardin said. Jesse’s Jungle breeds reptiles in Punta Gorda, but Hardin works with partners all over the world. He said he has had some of the tegus for more than a decade, and his job at the facility is his livelihood. AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – Fourteen large lizards were stolen from a Punta Gorda reptile facility on Monday night, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The lizards, called tegus, were stolen between 11:15 p.m. – 11:35 p.m. and are worth around $35,000 combined, said Jesse Hardin, the owner of Jesse’s Jungle. Advertisement AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 commentslast_img read more

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Carlos Ghosn’s wife pleads to Donald Trump to help former Nissan exec’s case

first_img ‹ Previous Next › Trending Videos The wife of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is pleading to the U.S. president to help his case.According to Reuters, Carole Ghosn wants Donald Trump to speak with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the G20 summit about helping to prove her husband’s innocence.Carole has already called upon the French government to help as well. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. Nissan ex-chair Ghosn posts video blaming ‘backstabbing’ for his arrest COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS RELATED TAGSNissanNon-LuxuryNew VehiclesNon-Luxury See More Videos Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” advertisement “I’d like President Trump to speak to Prime Minister Abe about fair conditions, fair trial conditions and to let me speak to my husband and also to respect this presumption of innocence until proven guilty,” Carole Ghosn told the BBC. Carole Ghosn was born in Beirut, but has a U.S. passport.Carlos Ghosn is accused of financial misconduct charges but claims he was ousted as Nissan chairman by a boardroom coup. and that his former colleagues stabbed him in the back.According to Carole, she has not spoken to Carlos since he was re-arrested on April 4th.RELATED The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever The G20 summit will take place in Osaka on June 28 and 29. PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca Trending in Canada Nissan’s Ghosn arrested again in financial misconduct case“They told him one of the bail conditions, the restrictions, is he isn’t allowed to speak to me or talk to me, which I find inhumane,” she explained. “All of this could have been dealt with internally within the company. This didn’t need to go this far and on top of it my husband is innocent and time will prove the truth.” Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn leaves his lawyers’ offices after he was released earlier in the day from a detention centre after posting bail in Tokyo on March 6, 2019.  Kazuhiro Nogi / Getty Images last_img read more

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Arrest warrant issued in CU academic building theft case

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: Nov. 12, 2012 The University of Colorado Police Department has identified a suspect wanted for questioning in a pattern of recent wallet thefts at three university campuses: CU-Boulder, CU Anschutz Medical Campus and the Colorado School of Mines.Raymond Webster Hamilton, 26, of Denver, pawned an iPad just hours after it was stolen from a CU-Boulder Visual Arts Complex office on July 25, 2012. CU and Lakewood police obtained an arrest warrant related to that case for providing false information to a pawn broker. Hamilton is also wanted for questioning in a series of wallet and laptop thefts from CU-Boulder academic building offices last month.Hamilton is 5-feet, 11-inches tall and weighs approximately 185 pounds. If you know of Hamilton’s whereabouts or see him on campus, contact CU Police dispatch at 303-492-6666.“Students and employees should not allow their valuable items to go unattended,” said CU-Boulder Police Chief Joe Roy. “Doing so provides thieves a crime of opportunity.”The CU-Boulder Police Department reminds the campus community to keep lockers and offices secured when unattended. In common areas, such as dining facilities, libraries or the University Memorial Center, never leave laptops, mobile phones or other valuable items unattended – even if just stepping away for a few minutes.  For more crime prevention tips, see http://police.colorado.edu/crime-prevention-and-safety.For more information on Hamilton’s warrant and recent theft activity, see a UCPD news release at http://bit.ly/111212CUtheftwarrant.To get updates on crime alerts and other public safety information, see UCPD’s social media pages at www.twitter.com/CUBoulderPolice and www.facebook.com/CUBoulderPolice.last_img read more

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Local business blends coffee beans into bars

first_imgshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentKate CagleSenior ReporterSenior reporter for the Santa Monica Daily Pressview all posts“Little Wonders Grow”Whale Tail plate celebrates two decades of environmental fundraisingYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall11 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson21 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter21 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor21 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press21 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press21 hours ago HomeNewsLocal business blends coffee beans into bars Oct. 09, 2017 at 7:00 amNewsLocal business blends coffee beans into barsKate Cagle4 years agoNo tags  In a city that relies on a good buzz to keep up with work, workouts and fun, local entrepreneur Dan Medvene isn’t against the grind. He just wants to repackage it.In his view, it’s not the caffeine’s fault that there is a limit to how much coffee one Santa Monica resident can down in a day.“I love coffee but after the second cup, I started getting this acidic feeling,” Medvene explained from his office on Main Street. “I needed something else.”He certainly seems to be in good company.Those looking for an extra jolt beyond the first pot of coffee don’t have much trouble getting their fix these days. Despite health concerns surrounding energy drinks, the business is booming – reaching nearly $40 billion dollars worldwide in 2013. Some forecasters say it could reach $60 billion by 2021.Energy drinks sell a feeling – a fact usually reflected in over-the-top names like Red Bull, Monster, Full Throttle and RockStar.Medvene thinks he’s come up with a product that can go head to head with all of them: the Quantum Square.Instead of a feeling, the advertising and marketing for Quantum Squares sells the local lifestyle. On the website Venice Beach lifeguards and trainers sweat in the sand, palm trees waving in the background.“The main messaging for our product is that we want people to move whether it’s getting off their sofa or running or the stairs or surfing,” Medvene said. The former college tennis player says he got the idea for the product while working out. He decided to join the crowded mix of products offering the workout Holy Grail: satiety plus an energy rush minus the crash.Instead of heading into the kitchen, Medvene got on the phone and consulted with Venice-based registered dietitian and nutrition consultant LeeAnn Smith Weintraub. She helped formulate the right balance of micro and macro nutrients into one bar about the size of a coaster. Then Medvene went to a food scientist for the recipe.The result – a bar with a hefty list of ingredients you won’t find in a can of Red Bull: rolled oats, quinoa seeds, chia seeds, dried cherries and amaranth grain (in addition to the coffee, of course).Compared to a cup of coffee the squares are, well, a little dry.The company is small, with six employees working in the Santa Monica office. Medvene is selling the squares online and you can also find them in some local health food stores. A Santa Monica resident for the last five years, Medvene is betting his new product will be a hit with the gluten free – dairy free – soy free – non GMO crowd.And while the bars ship nationally, one percent of the profits go to local charities. Right now, the company is raising up to $25,000 for Heal the Bay. The website calls it “energy for good.”[email protected]last_img read more

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Playa Vista – Woman Sentenced for 2014 Hit-and-Run Fatal Crash in Playa Vista

first_imgHomeBriefsPlaya Vista – Woman Sentenced for 2014 Hit-and-Run Fatal Crash in Playa Vista May. 18, 2019 at 5:40 amBriefsCrimeNewsPlaya Vista – Woman Sentenced for 2014 Hit-and-Run Fatal Crash in Playa Vistanews2 years agoBrittnee Monique CrawfordCase SA092302Fatal CrashLAPDlincoln boulevardLMUlos angeles county district attorney’s officePaul Kevin GrovePlaya Vista A woman was sentenced this week to six years in state prison for the hit-and-run death of a 62-year-old man five years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.Brittnee Monique Crawford, 28, entered a no contest plea on April 2 to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.The defendant ran over and killed pedestrian Paul Kevin Grover near Lincoln Boulevard and LMU Drive in Playa Vista on Jan. 9, 2014, prosecutors said. Evidence left at the scene led to charges being filed two years later but Crawford was not located until early 2018.Case SA092302 was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.Submitted by Ricardo Santiago, District Attorney Public Information OfficerTags :Brittnee Monique CrawfordCase SA092302Fatal CrashLAPDlincoln boulevardLMUlos angeles county district attorney’s officePaul Kevin GrovePlaya Vistashare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentCitywide – SaMo Pride Announces Robust Calendar Of Family-friendly ProgrammingDistrict details efforts to curtail pesticide useYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall8 hours agoBriefsLos Angeles Sheriff’s deputy accused of destroying evidence of 2019 assaultAssociated Press12 hours agoBriefsCalifornia State Treasurer Fiona Ma to Speak at Online Santa Monica College Commencement Ceremony June 25Guest Author12 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson19 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter19 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor19 hours agolast_img read more

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Suri plays down China impact, teases Unicom deal

first_img Xiaomi smartphone surge bears fruits Outgoing Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri (pictured) defended its progress selling 5G kit, pointing to an expected deal with China Unicom covering supply of part of its core next-generation network in an apparent attempt to take emphasis away from missing other lucrative deals in the market.In the company’s Q1 earnings call, Suri said he was “quite optimistic” on winning a part of China Unicom’s 5G core contract. Contrary to media reports, it is yet to receive official notification on the deal.He added the company was taking a “prudent approach” to pursuit of market share in the country and had focused its 5G RAN products on features required globally, targeting “markets with better economics and avoid[ing] specific local requirements”.He went even further on a call with media, and is reported to have told journalists that “a return to 5G radio at some point in the future is not out of the question but our approach has consistently been prudent.”Suri claimed the vendor would “remain a meaningful player in China” given its 4G installed base and prospects related to 5G with operators in areas including fixed, IP routing and optical networks. It also plans to pursue opportunities with large enterprises in the country.The comments come after a double blow in the region, as it missed out on China Mobile’s massive 5G tender and the suppliers list for a joint deployment by China Telecom and China Unicom of a standalone RAN. Both of these were announced after the close of the quarter.During Q1, net sales in China dipped 29 per cent year-on-year, and made up 6 per cent of the company’s total compared with 9 per cent in Q1 2019 (for more analysis on Nokia’s China challenges, see this blog).Nokia added 5G momentum was continuing, with 70 commercial deals signed by today (30 April) and 21 live networks. Stripping China out of figures, it expects to maintain its 2019 market share of 27 per cent of the 4G and 5G radio market.Across its network and software businesses, Nokia added “pursuing market share in China presents significant profitability challenges and the region has some unique market dynamics”.Covid-19 costsAcross its business, Nokia booked a Q1 loss of €100 million compared with a €442 million loss in Q1 2019. Net sales fell 2 per cent to €4.9 billion.Removing one-off items, restructuring charges, impairments and continued costs related to the integration of Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia said it would have made a net profit of €33 million.Issues related to Covid-19 (coronavirus) cost it around €200 million in sales, largely attributed to supply chain problems.It expects a greater impact from the pandemic in the current quarter and stood by a prediction H2 would be the strongest period of 2020.In addition to negative headlines about its performance in China, so far in 2020 Nokia faced questions on the future direction of the company with reports of potential asset sales and the announcement Suri would be replaced at the helm at the start of September. Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back Telkomsel turns on 5G in major cities Previous ArticleMillicom faces Telefonica backlash over Costa Rica dealNext ArticleOoredoo straps in for rocky 2020 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 30 APR 2020 Related 5GChinaNokiaQ1 earnings Chris Donkin center_img Author Tags Home Suri plays down China impact, teases Unicom deal Asia Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved… Read more Mobile Mix: Buzzing for Barcelonalast_img read more

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Safaricom, Visa strike m-Pesa digital development deal

first_img KenyaM-PESASafaricomVisa Safaricom revealed a tie-up with global transaction giant Visa on developing digital payment services for the operator’s m-Pesa platform and expanding e-commerce options for merchants.In a statement, the companies said the move would “seek to eliminate barriers to global commerce and offer an expanded set of mobile e-commerce capabilities to merchants and consumers by enabling secure and convenient cashless payment solutions”.The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is said to cover products aimed at the operator’s 24 million m-Pesa customers, 173,000 merchants in Kenya and more than 61 million merchant locations across Visa’s global network.Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa pointed to potential opportunities for its customers around global e-commerce, though further detail on the scope of the products set to be developed was not disclosed.Visa East Africa VP Corine Mbiaketcha added: “We envision that our combined efforts in enabling seamless and interoperable financial services and products will eventually drive much desired financial inclusion in our communities.”The move comes less than a month after Safaricom took joint control of the m-Pesa IP and brand alongside Vodacom, having bought the asset from affiliate Vodafone. Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back Vodafone, Safaricom beat MTN to Ethiopia licence Tags Money AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 30 APR 2020 Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved… Read more Safaricom holds Amazon talks on mobile money movecenter_img Previous ArticleCosts, Covid-19 contribute to Twitter loss in Q1Next ArticleApple profit falls on hardware hit Related Chris Donkin Home Safaricom, Visa strike m-Pesa digital development deal Author Safaricom negocia el uso de m-Pesa como medio de pago en Amazonlast_img read more

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Some Jobs Now In Demand Due To Pandemic, Survey Shows

first_img4:29 | Play story Add to My ListIn My List The Atlanta-based staffing firm Randstad released a recent survey looking at the COVID-19-influenced labor market. Despite record numbers of unemployment nationwide, Randstad Senior Vice President Jennifer Seith said it’s becoming hard to fill some new positions driven by the pandemic.She told “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress that nonexistent jobs, or ones that weren’t in demand before, are now highly sought-after.“So contact tracers, medical screeners obviously have come into demand. Those were jobs that didn’t exist a few months ago,” Seith said.“We’re also seeing a massive increase for demand in loan processors and underwriters, in finance and accounting jobs. Then you really get into the manufacturing and logistics. As you can imagine, people who are working from home, shopping from home, there’s a lot more need for delivery.”She said one of the most interesting results to come out of the pandemic is that there’s not enough of an applicant pool to meet that demand. She believes that is directly related to the federal CARES Act and stimulus packages and unemployment benefits households have relied on for months.“We’ve seen a dramatic drop in people applying for lower-wage and blue-collar positions,” she said.Seith noted despite many open positions in the job market, one of the biggest barriers is child care, and parents becoming overwhelmed during the pandemic. Randstad data reveals that many are grappling with whether or not they should think about bouncing back into the job market right away.“Any of us who are parents understand we’re all trying to figure out what normal looks like,” Seith said, adding that after the pandemic the market will face a surge of millions of new applicants. Share For Whom The Bell Rings Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility Related Stories New Doctors In India Are Starting Off Seeing The Worst. It’s Taking A Tolllast_img read more

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The joyful representation of The Sims

first_img 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now. The joyful representation of The SimsEA Maxis senior producer Michael Duke on creating studio longevity, improving representation, and building a lasting franchiseRebekah ValentineSenior Staff WriterFriday 23rd August 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleEA MaxisJust like The Sims itself, my chat with EA Maxis senior producer Michael Duke was full of silly, surprising stories.He told me about how he used the game’s customizable buildings and houses to connect with his wife over interior decorating — something he normally finds inaccessible. I shared how seducing the Grim Reaper on senior night at a club helped me feel more stable after a major life upheaval. He offered the tale of some developers who cheekily programmed an automatically flushing toilet to sometimes obnoxiously flush while your Sim was still sitting on it. Highly relatable.Duke says he loves swapping these kinds of stories about a series he’s worked on for 13 years, starting as a gameplay engineer on The Sims 3 and sticking with the game through four expansion packs before moving to The Sims 4 team and a production track just a few years ago. Personal, emergent narratives like these are a major factor in the long life of the franchise, and the player response to them is, he says, part of what makes working on The Sims stay fun over a long period of time.Despite what sounds like a hefty tenure, Duke says he considers himself more of a “mid-term retention” in a studio that values keeping its talent for the long haul. It’s a challenging goal in an industry currently in the midst of some harsh self-reflection on issues such as crunch, toxic workplace culture, and high turnover.Michael Duke, EA MaxisAnd it’s a goal that Duke acknowledges can be especially tricky for a studio like Maxis, which has a fanbase that likes frequent, detailed updates, and has thus far put out nearly 30 pieces of DLC content for The Sims 4. With each new piece of DLC, Duke says, the QA process especially grows more rigorous, as every new system added to the game must be tested to function with every other pre-existing system, and the likelihood of issues slipping through the cracks increases.But Duke says Maxis has historically been keenly aware of the perils of crunch culture, and continues to do its best to combat these issues as they arise.”Something I’m very proud of in Maxis is how much we work at trying to avoid [crunch],” he says. “It’s been a value in this studio for quite a while, and in some regards I think we were pushing forward early on. I won’t imply we never [crunch], but frankly it is very rare.”What we try and set out to do is make sure we have a space where if people are passionate about something or there’s something they just really want to get in, we want to have that space for them to work late one night and get it done and support that effort. We also don’t want our employees to be here late every night, all week. We see that manifest in bad ways in the long run.”We value the long tenure of employees. Those of us who are here just love being here, and our focus on quality of life and avoiding things like crunch is a big part of what makes retention possible in this studio. It’s a very high priority for us.”The Sims, though grounded in reality, frequently includes encounters with the extraordinary, such as the introduction of mermaids in a recent expansionDuke adds that there are also elements that make avoiding crunch easier for a studio like Maxis. One of those is the vocal community surrounding The Sims 4, which is quick to spot and report issues that QA might miss so that the team can fix them promptly. Another is that, after running a game like The Sims 4 for nearly five years, the team only improves at understanding the kinds of work and time commitments required for each new update, making it easier to plan ahead and manage their schedules.”What’s great about doing expansion pack after expansion pack is we can learn from the lessons,” Duke says. “The first expansion pack we did was not perfect, and we had some challenges where we had to work a little more. But at this point we understand the size and the scope and the effort involved, so we’re a lot better at actually building out schedules that mean our employees are always going to have their weekends and work normal work lengths. That’s been super valuable to making sure the experience stays in the studio.””When I sit down with my teams and we talk about what else we want to add to this game, we can still fill whiteboards with things we want to do” The Sims 4 turns five in September, and though we didn’t delve into specifics of what the team has planned for a hypothetical ‘Sims 5″ or similar, Duke’s impression is that it may still be a while yet before we see a new major entry. Even though five years is the longest gap we’ve seen between two numbered Sims titles, Duke says he still has ideas for content they can add to keep players busy for several more years at least.”We talk a lot about a three-year view,” he says. “What are we doing over the next few years? What do we have planned? When I sit down with my design and production teams and we talk about what else we want to add to this game, we can still fill whiteboards with concepts and things we want to do. I look at that and go, ‘Okay, we have plenty left to explore and add.’ My technical directors are terrified when I tell them I want to build DLC for five more years. But if our audience is there and our community is asking for more, we certainly have the ideas.”We’re still drawing more players than we’ve ever had, year-over-year, and the game is continuing to perform and players are coming in and loving it. For us, it’s exciting that we’re not heading into the next iteration right now. Instead, we’re talking about what we’ve never done, and themes no one has ever thought about. It’s inspiring, from a creative standpoint.”As the namesake of an entire genre (and one that’s constantly growing with new games and expansions), The Sims series encompasses a lot of what people like in simulation games broadly, which Duke identifies as the ability to experience the extraordinary within the ordinary. It’s something he acknowledges is tricky to explain to people who have never played a sim game before, and might not understand the entertainment value in a game where you can, say, take out the trash. But he adds that once you’ve played The Sims once, you’re in on the “secret.”At launch, one major criticism of the game was its lack of options for interacting with very young children. EA Maxis addressed this issue in a free update shortly after release”One of the values we take as a design and production team is ‘Surprise and delight,'” he continues. “The reason you hopefully watch your Sim take out the trash is, occasionally, something you didn’t expect is going to happen. And what we talk about is that the unexpected needs to happen far more regularly in our simulation than it actually occurs in real life.”If I take my garbage out every week for the next ten years, maybe once in those ten years something interesting will happen when I get out to the garbage can — like I’ll open it and a raccoon will pop out. In the game, we need that surprise moment or story to appear more like one in every seven or ten times. That is the magic of bringing the mundane to life a little bit more. “Our goal in this emergent design system is that even as you’re doing normal, everyday things, something else goes by that turns it into a story or triggers a story moment for you that you can now build on as a player. And they’re opt-in offers. If you don’t want your story to be about that fire truck that went by, it passed and you don’t care.””If I take my garbage out every week, maybe once in ten years something interesting will happen. In the game, we need that surprise moment to appear one in every seven or ten times” But key to selling the extraordinary to players, Duke says, is ensuring that at a fundamental level, players can be whoever they want to be. And The Sims has a better history than most games of allowing for that. Since the very first game, launched in 2000, The Sims has featured same-sex relationships and had a (for the time) solid range of racial diversity. It has only improved from there. The most recent iteration includes numerous appearance customization options, as well as gender identity choices broken down by clothing style, voice, physical frame, bathroom use, and pregnancy. Every one of these can be customized.Duke is proud of how far the series has come, but is firm that Maxis and The Sims are far from done.”Diversity and inclusion are things we care a lot about and there’s always work to be done, and I feel the same way about our game,” he says. “We’re not there yet. But we’re going to keep taking steps and I want to keep taking even more steps to be inclusive. Our goal is that every player in the world can come into this game and create themselves and create their friends and have a chance to explore their stories — whatever that looks like — and that story can be fantastical or mundane. We just want that place where we can all identify and find ourselves. “I can think of lots of things we don’t have covered; some are technical hurdles, some are a matter of time. One of the biggest challenges we run into as we try to do more things for diversity and inclusion is making sure we handle it in an appropriate way. I don’t want to add something like it’s a joke or humorous. I want to make sure we do it in a very respectful way and a very representative way. “When we did support for non-binary gender, we had a lot of conversations with GLAAD about the right way to represent that. How do we do it in a way that feels inclusive and welcoming and not dictating our viewpoint? It’s not about what we believe. It’s about encompassing how our players want to tell their story.The Sims 4 includes numerous ways to customize your sim, from choosing gender presentation to click-and-drag adjustable body types to numerous skin, hair, and clothing options”And it’s a very hard thing. More recently, we added a bunch of Pride flags to the game, and we did a lot of research and worked with the It Gets Better Project, but when it came out our community let us know that they thought we missed the mark. We got a lot of pushback over not including a lesbian Pride flag. We thought we had done the homework, but what we heard from our community was that no, that doesn’t cut it. Our lesbian players didn’t feel adequately represented.”I don’t want to add [representation] like it’s a joke or humorous. I want to make sure we do it in a very respectful way” “So we moved quickly to try and add one, but what we discovered was there isn’t a clear consensus on the lesbian pride flag. There’s actually a lot of debate. So we found ourselves asking, ‘What’s the right one?’ The last thing I want to do is choose one and alienate half of this audience I’m trying to make it right with. So we ended up adding three from our research that felt inclusive. And we spoke not only with our partner, but also with our internal group at EA, our employee resource groups. Our goal was to make sure no matter who you were or what your viewpoint on the subject, one of those felt right to you.”That’s how we ended up solving it, but it just demonstrates how difficult it can be to do this in a way that feels inclusive and welcoming. A lot of care goes into these, and it’s the reason we can’t add everything at once. And that may be part of why we don’t see a lot of people doing this, because it’s not easy.”Throughout our discussion, Duke is constantly looking forward — future DLC, future games, future improvements to representation. When I ask him directly where he sees The Sims (which is getting on 20 years as a franchise) in another decade, he cheerfully and immediately replies, “A billion players!”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Though it seems like an obvious response for anyone creating a lasting IP like The Sims, Duke’s reason for that desire is more heartfelt.”Frankly, I think everyone’s life would be better if they had the opportunity to spend some time in The Sims,” he says. “It’s a special place, and I think you learn something about who you are and a lot about other people and other stories. And as we keep working to be better at diversity and inclusion and more representative of the whole world, I think it becomes a more powerful thing for us to have an understanding of who else is out there in the world and their stories. I want that. I want to see us grow the reach and spread the joy to more people.”I want to put my effort into something that puts joy into the world. And when I look at this product and what we do and the way it influences people’s lives, it makes people happy. Putting effort into something that creates that impact is really rewarding. So when we hear from our players about the time it helped them in a tough spot in high school, or a time they felt bullied in middle school and played it out and it gave them the strength to deal with that issue or love themselves, those sorts of stories make it feel like we make more than a game. We make something that has a bigger impact than just a moment in time of entertainment. That drives all of us.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesCatharina Lavers Mallet takes over as Maxis bossJoe Nickolls steps down to spend more time with his familyBy Christopher Dring 18 days agoEA partners with TBS for four-episode The Sims reality showThe Sims Spark’d will see 12 community personalities compete in creative in-game design challengesBy Rebekah Valentine 10 months agoLatest comments (1)Chaton Pute team lead, Oasis GamesA year ago Interesting article, thank you.I would be very curious to know his opinion about mods and the communities around themHis game lived that long thanks to a big number of mods and specially the ones for adultslast_img read more

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