Normally I’m not a fan of being interviewed – why? Because I’m not an important person. I’m just a regular fan (wellllll….okay, a bit of a big fan) of the games – much like many of you are. But I’m not going to say no if someone asks, it would be rude and by default, I’m not a rude person.
So a few weeks back, French fansite RabiereAndCo reached out to me in hopes of an interview for their July 3rd edition of La Gazette. Only french readers will benefit from their newsletter, but luckily I saved the interview -as it is in English – to be posted here when I got the signal. I feel pretty darn bad to Tiffany whom had to translate my poor redneck writing into french. Hmmm…french rednecks, do they exist? Hehehe
First name: Judson
Where you live: Alabama, USA
Playing Sims since: 2000 (but long before that with SimCity)
Favorite sims Games: The Sims 1 Series & SimCity 2000
About the Sims:
What draws you to the game?
I’ve always been a fan of Simulation games, there’s nothing in particular, but I’d suppose it would have to be the freedom and the ability to customize whatever you want.
What is your player profile?
Judhudson – http://www.thesims3.com/mypage/judhudson
How do you play? What are your favorite activities? (e.g. building houses, decorating them, creating characters, making up stories, simply exploring the game…)
I don’t get much time to play the game anymore, but when I do (for The Sims 3) I general like to decorate, build houses/explore the game). Back during The Sims 1, I spent my time as an Object Creator and loved it!
How much time do you spend playing the game per week?
See above, I’m very limited to the amount of gaming time due to the many projects I have going on. I’d say generally 1-3 hours weekly.
If you could order EA to make you your “dream” add-on, what would it contain?
Am I limited to one? Personally, it’s a tough decision. I’d say a farmlife expansion for one, as I’m a country kind of guy…but I also love weather – particularly disasters. I would love to see weather elements return in The Sims 3 with disasters like severe weather, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, etc.
Can you describe your site?
Simprograms is now considered as an all-around news site for many folks. However, it does have it does have its unique parts – we host patches, programs, tutorials, list cheats and of course, general downloads.
What were your motivation and objectives when you created it?
The site started off back in 2000 as a personal site which hosted my programs for The Sims (SiMP3 Player and RoofEdit), along with a few tutorials I wrote and my custom content. It grew throughout the many years and patches were added, a huge library of programs and more.
How many daily (or weekly) visitors?
I don’t keep track of stats as I’m not one to brag/boast, but from what I can tell, daily visitors are anywhere from 13,000-20,000 (depending on news flow/content) and…I’d say roughly 70-100,000 a week – those are very rough estimates.
Did you expect such success?
Absolutely not, but you know what they say – if you keep at a hobby long enough, word of mouth gets out and helps you out in every which way possible 🙂
Without divulging all your secrets, what are your main sources of news? Are some more reliable than others? Do you have a mole (or several) at EA, feeding you the best exclusive info?
My main source of news used to be RSS feeds, but I have found that Twitter has been a great replacement. The Sims Community is pretty huge on Twitter and we all share news content together – hence why you see many references to other sites in the posts. As for people inside EA, well, I do have a number of EA contacts, but I don’t dare bother them or use their info for newsposts unless I’m granted permission. While some may view them as a source for news, I value their friendship instead and rather just talk with them. Main thing people have to remember about EA employees – while they have a blast working on the games, keep in mind it’s still a job and not many of them want to talk about it 100% of the time. They are also regular people and like to game and do other things. 🙂 This is pretty much why you don’t see the site (Simprograms) sending in game questions or setting up interviews – I’d rather much not bother them about their job. 🙂
How much time per week do you spend updating/administering your site?
Oh, god…All the time 🙂 It’s practically my homepage both at home and on my work computer.
Recently, you organize a drawing with a chance to win a Generation add-on disk. Will there be other actions of the same type in the future?
I hope so! I’d love to do as many giveaways as I possibly can! Only thing that holds me back is that since I recently moved out into a house of my own, most of my paycheck is going towards fixing the house and taking care of repairs. Once I settle in, I’ll be in a position to where I can finally be able to give away goodies/games!
For this occasion, you put a video of yourself on the website. I thought it was pretty good. Will there be a repeat? Will you exchange your keyboard for a camera again and propose more videocast news?
Well thank you! I’d like to, but I’m still a bit camera shy. I’d love to more than anything have another person to be able to carry along the video podcast – it would be so much more easier and less awkward. I feel extremely weird just talking to a webcam. If I could somehow speak to someone else, videos would be so much better.
You’re not the only one to post on Simprograms, other people work with you. How many are there? Can you tell us more about your team? How do you split the work?
I have an awesome staff. Off of the top of my head, they are ManagerJosh (he’s our tech guy and hosts our site and will fix any tech issues that pop up), Frankie, Luke S., Spon1player, Simillion and TheBlackScorpion. They all have been a huge, huge, help. Some may post more then others. Reason why is that I gave them one rule and that is: Don’t let the site get in the way of your real life. The site is a hobby, real life is more important. Never think that you have to be forced to update, do so on your own time. It worked out quite well!
Honest question: does EA give you money to advertize the game? If so, can you give them my bank account too?
I wish! I purchase all of games in store or online. It’d be great if they (EA) could somehow work with the community over the fact that they could give those who advertise their products free games, but our EA in the US does jack squat. From what I can tell, other EA’s in various regions do have special programs/deals – I’d highly recommend contacting your local EA office to see if you can work something out with them.
In a news back in February, you announced that the EA store “gave” 16000 simspoints for “only” 160 dollars. You then encouraged your readers who had too much money to make a donation to you. Did it actually work? Did you receive something. Should I try?
LOL, nope – no luck there. That was just a joke and even if someone did offer, I wouldn’t accept it. I just don’t have the heart to make a financial gain with the site – it’s a hobby, I have a job to make money 😛
About the Sims community:
What are your 5 favorite Sims websites?
Favorites? I’m not really into favoritism. Going off what I often source the most on the site, some would say SimsVIP, Infinite Sims, Sims Nieuws, SimTimes and SimFans…but I don’t view them as favorites – just friends that also do a great job in getting the news out there. I like them all, and always welcome anyone to launch a fansite of their own if they have a passion for the game.
How do you feel about the community in general?
Love it! It’s the best part of The Sims and is what makes the game as popular as it is. There are so many different sections of the community – you have your news sites, you content creators, the general fans. I try to do my best to keep tabs on them all, every single person is important and deserves to be heard. This is one thing that bugs me about our Sims community managers. Some of the Sims 3 team have made their way onto Twitter and have started to communicate with the fans – for that, I have to say thanks and give them an applause for stepping out and communicating with the fans directly. But it seems like the CM’s themselves (the ones that run the official Sims 3 Twitter/Facebook account) don’t really do that good of a job. I understand that they have a crazy amount of followers, but I know they could work on improving their relationship with us.
Have you direct contacts/partnerships with other fansites? If so, which ones?
In my opinion, I view all of the fansites as being equal – I don’t hold one above the other or have a direct contact line with any particular ones. Most of the chatting takes place over Twitter, and sometimes email – but whatever emails I get (and sometimes I do admit I lose a few thanks to the crappy email service I have), I do my best to respond to each and every one!
Have you ever had a conflict with another site? If so, which one? How did it end?
One thing I hate is drama, so I don’t get involved. I don’t ever recall having any issues with sites – I had in the past back during The Sims 1, but I can’t hardly remember what it was about.
On the internet, sites, blogs and forums dedicated to sims are legion and there is no real defined code or explicit rules, eventually everyone does just what he wants. How do you feel about sites/blogs/forum posts that publish news or offer downloads without crediting the source, claiming that ” Why bother? it’s just a game after all, no big deal”?
While many do get upset, I look at it this way, there are just way too many other things that are more important about than caring where news came from. We as a staff make certain do to our best to source where our news/content comes from in order to be respectful, but in terms of someone not sourcing us? Let’s just say I don’t lose any sleep over it. 🙂
What’s your current work? Any career plan?
I work for NASA as a drawing digitizer – I basically draw components and parts for valves, regulators and pumps that NASA uses in their systems to flow Gas, Liquid Nitrogen, Hydrogen and all of that fun stuff. It’s practically my career and pays great – just not the most interesting job in the world – and no, I don’t get to see all of the cool space/NASA stuff 😉
Besides the Sims, what are your other centre of interest?
I have way too many other hobbies, I don’t even know where to begin. Ummm, I’m a well-rounded geek of all sorts. I love Ghostbusters, and build a proton pack and cos-play as one for events/charity organizations. I’m a Doctor Who fan and I’m currently working on a 10th Doctor outfit as well as constructing a TARDIS in the backyard to use as a shed, I love the old show called ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ and I own a General Lee and Cop Car replica…I’m also a country kind of guy and own (and raised) 3 mules.