The Sims Online was a game well before its time. It was a shame to see EA pull it from their servers back in August 2008, when it was re-branded earlier that year as EA Land. A number of fans still played the game when the doors closed, so it’s to no surprise there is interest to re-create the game and to introduce it on private servers. That’s the purpose of TSO Restoration. How does one reverse engineer EA’s platform? The answer to that (and many other questions – including the legal aspects of the game) can be read from the following interview conducted by The Alphaville Herald:
Urizenus: How does one do something like this, especially now that the original TSO is no more? Do you reverse engineer EA’s platform?
Ghost: Unfortunately, because the TSO servers are no longer online – we’re unable to gather any more packets. This means we’re no longer an “emulation” project. Everything except perhaps the art and graphics is being recreated by our team.
Urizenus: So you are building it from scratch. Will it be aesthetically identical to the tSO we remember?
Ghost: Yes, our goal of the project is to make it look and interact exactly as the original TSO.
Urizenus: So the same motives then. What about all the usual interactions? tickling, dancing etc?
Ghost: You will be able to do all of the interactions. In fact, there is no reason we can not have more than just the original interactions. Our team plans on not only providing the same TSO experience for free, but also adding improvements to the game. What is to stop us from supporting unicode with special characters? Why not raise the tile limit and have size nine or ten lots? These are just a few of the ideas our team has in making the game more enjoyable.
Urizenus: What about the possibility of having users provide custom content and custom animations?
Ghost: As we saw in EA-Land, the TSOClient definitely has the potential to support such endeavors. We will pursue such capabilities in the future. I can’t promise you that custom content will be in our first release though.