In 2001 Maxis began development of a successor to The Sims, due to the massive success of the game. The game had 2 development versions. Not many people know, but according to many users on “Mod The Sims” forums, almost all the games development data was lost during a small office server room fire, that resulted in most of the game being developed again from scratch (In addition to this, Maxis also at the time revealed that source codes for many other titles were also lost, such as the console games for example). Many things that were planned were cut due to that reason, such as weather in the base game, and scenarios (an early trailer actually shows that during a storm, the power can go out and you must fix it by pulling a breaker). Additionally, the beta basements were originally intended, but lost during the re-development.
The graphics in the original version look more like graphics seen in “The Urbz” and “The Sims Bustin Out”, which makes it possible the early version may of been using the same engine as those 2 titles, as they were pretty advanced for being console games.
Although the game went into redevelopment, alot of features from the lost build was restored, such as most of the furniture shown in the images and videos of the lost build, music and sounds. Additionally, Weather features like rain, was present in the lost build, but not in the final build. This feature was later restored in The Sims 2 Seasons.
The game was initially confirmed to release in early 2004. But due to the redevelopment the date was delayed until September 2004, which ea called “Final Touches”.
Images of the beta can be seen here:
In the video below, many things are noted to be different. Music from “The Sims Bustin Out” is present, character voices are completely different, and a few other interesting things are shown. Also, a more in depth create a sim was present, that even allowed you to fully and 3D rotate sims heads.