Friday Filler- EA Confidential – In Bob’s Own Words

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

I admit readily that I have not been remotely “normal” over the past couple of weeks.  We are in “Full Jake Immersion” mode, and there is nothing as wonderfully distracting than hanging out with your two-year-old-never-sits-still, grandson. Deb joined me after a week of dealing with her Dad’s hospice, and is the first to admit there is no better way to deal with the end of a life, than immersing oneself in the beginning stages of another.

And I also admit that my storytelling is easily taken off of the rails when writing during patches between laying rails, and running trains, and taking walks, and playing ball, and swimming (feet in a kiddie pool or backyard water slide), or endless snacks….well…you get it.

It occurred to me that most of the obfuscation in my tale, was simply me trying to tell you what “Bob” said, through my own filter.  And the the most efficient, and honest way to tell the rest of the story, is simply to use his own words (to the best of my recollection, through a haze of Lemon Drops consumed over hours of conversation).

So, that is what I am going to do.  Just let “Bob” take it from here...with a tad bit of my questions inserted to keep things on track…which reminds me…I need to find the other switch track so we can build that side spur on Jake’s layout…

There were three primary questions I had for “Bob,” regarding TSTO. And in the first five minutes, in an exasperated burst of pleading anger, he pretty much blew my mind, and rendered me mostly speechless (which as many of you know, is a very rare thing indeed).

Let’s recap what he revealed in that first bit of “You Don’t Understand ANYTHING!”

1. Things like “adding more land, Item Limits, and storage” are done on a different server than the “game logic server” that houses the information that reacts and stores a player’s moves, winnings, scores, etc.
2. Bob had been cut back to halftime, but it may have been of his own choosing.
3. EA killed TSTO (or tried to) and Bob and perhaps a couple of other key people are keeping it alive.

I knew most of number one. But, didn’t realize that there were entirely different management teams for both logic servers.

As far as the second part, I was not surprised by the fact that EA had cut their staffs way back on the the TSTO side of things, or that Bob was working only part time on the game.  What did surprise me, was that my insult that he was working part time as a food delivery driver was true, and that it freaked out “Bob” that I knew, was funny, weird, and shocking at the same time.

As far as number three? That’s the one that shut me up…and made me just sit there with the gap-mouth smirk on my face (we’ve covered my propensity to smirk before…so this should be of no surprise to anyone).

So…rather than prattle on again about what I am going to do (let “Bob” tell the story), I am just going to do it. It moves things along much faster, and you have all been very patient.

In Bob’s Own Words

“I don’t think you get it. I tried, but that part of the system, is on another server that I couldn’t access from my hideyhole, and besides, if I did try to get to that server, they might have figured out that the game was still alive, and I was still coming in, and that being cut back to half time was the only way the game survived!  YOU JUST DON’T GET IT!” (I admit that this bit was in my previous post, but it’s a great place to start).

”SLOW DOWN!” I yelled at “Bob” while tossing a Lemon Drop in his face. I realize I didn’t have to toss the lemon drop, and it was a waste of a perfectly wonderfully prepared drink (which brought a gasp from Greta (not her real name) who stood up and took my glass to refill it, as “Bob sputtered). But, with Tori’s tales being told, screaming almost always warrants a tossed beverage. Hence the tossed Lemon Drop.

“What the…you didn’t have to do that…I’m just trying to tell you that I have been risking everything to keep the game alive, and you have been nothing but a dick when it comes to writing about it, and complaining, and whining about Item Limits…WHICH I CAN’T CONTROL!!” he wailed, while wiping the remnants of the Lemon Drop from his face with this “Door Dash” tee shirt.

“Let him talk Dad!” Ali blurted from her corner of the room. “He really seems upset!”

”Yeah…he seems upset,” Ryan agreed, as he pulled Bob up into a chair, and cleaned a bit of the falafel off of his shoe.

“Bob” just stared at me…actually more through me…and started talking in a slow, monotone voice, that felt like it was being dripped from his frontal lobe, from a place that had been safely locked up for weeks and months.

“They killed the game last year. It was during that long break when you met Matt Groening, (See Post Here) and he made it clear that he didn’t really know what was going on with the game,” he murmured.

I could only make a face (for fear of my daughter’s wrath), and shake my head in disbelief.

“They didn’t fully kill it…they just stopped doing anything with it. They took all of the TSTO team and moved them back to the Sims team. We use a lot of the same building logic, and it’s not reliant on outside writers, and they had two HUGE SIMS releases to do…Sims StrangerVille and Island Living…and the money was drying up from TSTO.  So they just stopped doing anything for it. They planned on winding it down…but, Disney was offering up bunch of potential dough with the franchise, but EA got cut out, so they didn’t give a rip. So they just stopped doing anything…”

”I suspected as much…but, when you say it that way, it makes more sense.  I always forget that the Sims City franchise is from EA…and that…” I started, before Bob cut me off.

No Shirt Sherlock…it was around way before TSTO…duh. Anyway, I admit that I was kinda shocked to find out the “The Creator” didn’t actually know spit about the game that was based on his own show. But, your post about meeting him did give me the idea to reach out to a couple of the writers.  It was weird seeing all of those posts about the game just stopping…and then hearing that panel discussion at Comic-Con. Nerds.  Man…I hate nerds…they are so needy! But, I did like working on the game…the writing was always something different. Not just a bunch of shooting, or kicking, or throwing, or random building, or punching…or other dumb gamer stuff…”

”Yeah…I did think that was weird…and told a lot about corporate craziness, and how much money drives everything in the…” I started. There was a collective gran in the room, which caused me to stop.

”Not now, Dad,” Ali chided.  “Let him talk…we know how you feel about corporate greed. Sheesh.”

”Yeah…look…if you want to know the whole story, you have to shut up. Got it?” Bob said with a smirk (apparently, game programmers can smirk too). “So, because of your bit about Comic-Con…I knew which writers were friends of the game, and who was pretty much clueless. If you think about it, you know who I contacted…but, he was really specific about remaining anonymous, so I’m not going to say his name. But, he was really upset about the way EA was just ignoring the game, and asked if there was anything I could do about it.  AS IF!! But, then…just about then…they did a re-org of the whole team. And because I was one of the newer guys, I got my hours cut when the two Sims releases didn’t do what they wanted.  Freakin’ accountants run the world…”

”Yeah…accountants…run…”I started.

”DAD!!” Both Ali and Ryan yelled. Luckily for me, Greta handed me a replacement Lemon Drop, and I could sit back and listen, without the need to interject about my disdain for corporate accounting.

“Look…it’s been nuts since then. I was cut back to half time…and had to move back in with my parents…who made me pay rent…which is why I had to get this other job, while I figured out how I was going to keep the game going, without EA knowing about it…and how I was going to keep going in, and looking like I was working on one thing, while slipping new updates into the server…while getting stuff from the guy with the art, and the guy with the words…and…God…I’m just so tired.  It’s been over a year…a year…I’m so tired…and then you…and your whining…”

Greta (still not her real name) came out just in time, before Bob slumped into his chair weeping, with another tray of Lemon Drops, as well as another tray of assorted crackers, hummus, and a special tray of super-nachos, and a new glass for me (which was clearly NOT meant for throwing). Man…Greta knew how to entertain.

This was getting nuts…and I needed to hear the rest…but, we are now over 1500 words…WELL PAST the maximum reading limit of most gamers…even TSTO gamers.

So…regretfully, I must end this again.

But, I will assuage your anger a bit, with more pics and vids of what keeps me smiling through all of this insanity….  enjoy your “Jake Moment.”

This is the power of a happy two year old…Deb, Dad and his other grandpa!

Jake Loves to eat…loves to play…and is a never ending ball of energy!

2 week of lockdown was rewarded with  a day at the shore! Lots of social distancing…but, loads of fun!


42 responses to “Friday Filler- EA Confidential – In Bob’s Own Words

  1. Fast forward to the End, if there’s not going to be any big changes to the format or item limits then we’re the off button 💣💣

  2. Did you ask EABob if all the doppelgangers were just to get under your skin?

    I recall commenting on somethings here, a remote reference and them that would appear in the next event. Was EA Bob borrowing from our posts?

  3. 2 questions you don’t need to answer:

    Did you ask “Bob” about the event a few weeks back where all the values were crazy? (and I couldn’t even finish the event)… Did he raise the requirements of that event in annoyance, to punish us? 😜

    Does “Bob” pick how much donuts things are worth, like the God Gil deal being 🍩777?

    Thanks for story time. 💌

    • He makes the decisions that are in his control…and most of those things are. Not sure what parameters he sets, or why. It is part of the “Mystery of Bob.”

  4. 😬outstanding😈stuff😬

    …my previous ‘Corporate’ comparison seems quite on target… ‘It was pretty fun fun’👌
    …Yet TSTO apparently still continues!!!😉

  5. It would be nice if the game is coming to an end soon that they afford us at least the opportunity to download our worlds onto our respective devices.
    Is that an impossible ask?

  6. Why do you bother reading this if you’re just gonna complain? Come on….isnt there enough bitching going on outside of a fun forum like this? Lighten up. I cant take more negativity.
    To quote Patric……Sheesh.

  7. Why do you bother reading this if you’re just gonna complain? Come on….isnt there enough bitching going on outside of a fun forum like this? Lighten up. I cant take more negativity.
    To quote Patric……Sheesh.

    • I love Patrics posts they are so varied and well written and he often comes across as clever and certainly very insightful, almost Yoda like at times, but I must admit that the description of his encounter with “Bob” left a wee bit of a bad taste in my mouth. If it was just an embelishment then fair enough but if true, on this one point only I’d say Patric was being a bit of a jerk. Then again perhaps it was almost justifiable and it wont deter me from reading the rest of the tale!

  8. TSTO isn’t the only Game App that utilizes more than one Network Server (Ubisoft – which was partially owned by Electronic Arts – does the same thing, too) for Origin Accounts, Game Logic, etc (this is the same excuse, just a confirmation via another EA Staff!)

    We’re talking about EA – the same EA at the center of controversies involving:

    _acquisitions of companies _anti-consumer practices _anti-competition lawsuits

    and the same EA that “focuses on profit while neglecting the customers altogether” (it appears we should also add “doesn’t care about dedicated personnel!”)

    Maybe EA Bob is tired of the toxic environment within the Game Industry (maybe he’s ready to move on to someplace else! I actually felt sorry for EA Bob after reading this!) It’s true that EA is putting most of it’s Staff on the next new profitable Games:

    _Madden NFL 21
    _UFC 4
    _Star Wars: Squadrons
    _FIFA 21
    _SIMS (all 5 of them!)

    and neglecting it’s other Licensed Games that are probably coming to an end (even if The Simpsons has another Season coming soon!)

    I see this as further proof that the relationship between Fox / Disney and Electronic Arts is going to an end (and why every Tapper shouldn’t spend real 💸 in the Game App!) Yes, this means TSTO will cease …. but I know Team Disney Burbank, it’ll be replaced by something dumb – like Bart Runner for a $4.99 download (and you’ll pay 💸 for anything extra!)

    Might as well farm 🍩’s , splurge on Content from the Mystery Box, redo my Springfield (only Tap 2 to 3 times a week!), enjoy what’s left of TSTO and thank Patric for the Intel (you kinda did a lot of detective work here!) …. “to be continued next week” can be dedicated 💯 to footage of the grandkid having fun (aka things that make one happy to see during a pandemic!) 😀👌🏻

  9. There is a new update for iOS . The summer games 2020.

  10. How many more chapters will there be in this story Patric? Thanks.

  11. Lemon drop grog recipe please!

  12. Should we set up a GoFundMe for “Bob”? Or do we need to wait for the end of the story?

    • I think you will find that “Bob” is just fine. No worries. If I was concerned,I would have done so long ago.

      • ReaganJellyBeansChimp

        I was also willing to donate to EA Bob for his year’s worth of work on this game we love! Would it be more effective if we all bought a box or two of Game donuts during the same week to send a message to EA? If they suddenly get an influx of cash for this particular game, what may they do?

        • As you will find out in the next installment, “an influx of cash” would have to be huge…and still not likely to get their attention.

  13. Well…yes…there does seem to be a “jerk” in the room. If I had a Lemon Drop right now, you’d feel my “cranky wrath.”

    Here’s a solution. Please. Stop. Reading. My Posts. Or have someone with a nice soothing voice read them to you.

    For anyone who would like to reply to “Andrew” personally…

    Turns out…he (they?) has a lot of opinions about many things of importance!

  14. Richard Hanlon

    Soooo dose this mean the end is near for Springfield. I hope that not true. There so many other Character that I wold pay to in Springfield. If they were worry about money. Hell Sim’s is no near as fun as the Simpsons. Thank you for the information

  15. MangoFusion01

    Safe travels.

  16. MangoFusion01

    Given how early this got posted I am guessing you are still on the east coast.

    Haven’t read the post, but I have heard rave review (singular) about it.

    • LOL! Yes…a raving review may be closer. But, yes…still on the East Coast until Wednesday. I am just going to assume that “Bob” will hold off on a new update, until I get back one.

      • MangoFusion01

        Ok, finally got around to reading it and I must say I am disappointed. In response to one of my prior posts (thread before this one) you mention the importance of the details. Well I am noticing one important detail that I am thirsting for. You keep mentioning these dang lemon drops, but where in the blazes is the recipe for them? Sheesh!

        • Ask and ye shall receive!

          2 ounces vodka.
          1 ounce simple syrup.
          1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice about half a lemon. strained to remove seeds and pulp.
          extra lemon for garnish and rimming the glass.
          sugar for garnishing the glass (rubbed around the rim after dipping in lemon juice)

          • MangoFusion01

            Awesome. Ok, next question who makes it best? Greta, not her real name, or someone else.


            • My daughter, Ali makes a killer Lemon Drop…but part of it, is that she never scrimps on the Vodka. But the fact is…… favorite is served at my golf club. There is nothing like a Lemon Drop on a warm summer’s day, after a round of golf. Perfect.

          • Helloooooooo weekend boozing! WOO HOO….to alcohol…….🍹🍸🍷

  17. Cliffhanger…ugh! You and your word count…sheesh! 🙄 Just when it was getting exciting. This reads like an old episode of Batman. Will EA Bob stop crying long enough to finish? Will Patric stop interrupting EA Bob every five minutes? Tune in next week…same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel. Have a great day everyone!

    • I love that analogy. Can you imagine if I had released it all in one huge bunch of posts…like Netflix? There would be sooooo many people spoiling the suspense! But, Ipromise…next week, it will all start to make sense from a corporate level.

    • I recall one episode where robin the boy blunder was facing certain death and as the villain discarded their candy wrapper, the only thing that he could think of saying was “litter bug”.

      Great stuff. Thanx for the walk down memory lane.

      • Ha! Great stories are best with the right spice of detail.

        • MangoFusion01

          You gotta know whether the got liquid or powdered soap, whether they got hit water or not, ’cause if you do your job when you tell your story, everybody should believe it.

        • I know this is wrong place to post, but it’s latest blog for today July 24. Just got a TSTO update and 30 free donuts celebrating anniversary. Also mini game started and you need Quimby for 60 minutes

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