The Siiims

By Alec Meer on March 19th, 2008 at 11:49 pm.

So happy. So perfect. Bastards.

Today is Sims-3-is-revealed-day. Which probably also means today is RPS-readers-complain-that-they-hate-
the-Sims-day, but I’m going to talk about it anyway. Don’t try to stop me.

Open world is the big thing, and with that comes less emphasis on the more monotous aspects of daily life, in favour of ever-changing social possibility. It’s the Sims as a freeform RPG. Or at least that’s the theory – and it’s certainly theory enough to reignite my long-dormant Sims enthusiasm.

The finest info-morsels can be found in PC Gamer’s preview, in which they talk at some length about peeing, plus a few interesting peeks at how a Sims game actually gets made, including discussion of where those oft-maligned expansion packs fit into the creative process.

Also, creative director Rod Humble says stuff like this: “The one thing that we don’t do is make the same game every year. Some people hate some of the things we do, but at least we don’t do the same thing every year. We really try to take risks.” I suspect he’s not talking about the expansion packs there. But I agree with him – The Sims 2 was a sizeable step forward, and this sounds like a huge one – introducing MMO-esque concepts, but with none of the peril of being called a noob by aggressive teenagers.

The official line is here, and there’s also a Sims 3 website, but it’s currently deaded.

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33 Comments »

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  1. Alex says:

    I wonder which wonderful recording artists will make Simlish versions of their wonderful songs for this edition.

  2. RichPowers says:

    Hopefully the graphics improve by launch. As it stands, the game looks like one of those hokey 3d simulations you see on the History Channel before the narrator says, “Thanks to the latest in cutting-edge 3d graphics, we can show you like never before…” Then everyone who hasn’t seen a game or 3d animation in 10 years is blown away :)

    Though I haven’t been addicted to The Sims since its first iteration, the prospect of a truly open world sounds exciting. Sorta a blend between SimTown/The Sims in a way.

  3. The_B says:

    The plain link/redirect is pretty much down at the moment, but bypassing that and using the more direct EA.com domain seems to be working for now.

  4. Catch.153 says:

    Frankly, I would like to see an option that turns off or tunes down the sexuality. Even though it’s already just “woohoo” in Sims 2, it gets pretty steamy. It’s be great if there were someway just to click and option and exclude that from the general gameplay. This would be a great way to accommodate players like myself who like the Sims concept but gets uncomfortable when watching other people passionately making out.

  5. Leeks! says:

    Now all I’m thinking of is how an aggressive teenager might call me a noob within a Sims-like context.

    “Christ, don’t you know you’re supposed to remove the doors and then the windows when you’re building a Murder House? Leaping Jesus, it’s been a noob parade since 2.3…”

  6. Janek says:

    High hopes! If they can nail the balance of OhGodNoTime vs having nothing to do, I have every confidence it’ll be a significant step forward, just like Sims 2 was to the original.

  7. Raziel_AxD says:

    As much as I somehow hate the Sims expansion pack flood, this could be something, maybe if they work heavy on the AI. Still, what did Rod Humble wanted to say with “…but at least we don’t do the same thing every year. We really try to take risks.”? Surely he wasn’t talking about the XPs… or the FIFA series… or the NFS series… maybe NBA? Ea sure DOES take risks with these, yup. And still again, I enjoyed the first two games, but damn that money run with the XPs… must be about all those risks EA is taking.

  8. Noc says:

    The point of that bit was that EA’s split the Sims development off from everything else, and left them to their own devices. So the Sims team isn’t complicit in EA’s milk-farming, and has the freedom to experiment properly.

    You find out these things if you actually read the article!

  9. q says:

    the chick with the cutout jeans is hot:)

  10. Raziel_AxD says:

    Ok, Noc, I haven’t actually read the whole article and maybe the Sims dev guys are “left to their own devices”, but are you sure EA isn’t milking the franchise? Don’t get me too wrong, I enjoyed the first two games (with no XPs) and there’s a good chance I’ll sink some days into this too, but when it comes about milking this franchise…

  11. The_B says:

    But when it also comes down to it, EA has many different development teams, and as well as the different main divisons which can have their own direction, it’s a little unfair to blanket them all under the “EA ANGRY COPORATE MONSTER” tag. Isn’t it?

  12. Pidesco says:

    I can understand how gamers may hate the extreme milking of The Sims by EA, but I really don’t see how gamers can complain about Sims’ core gameplay.

    It’s a very well designed game, with great, varied challenges, open ended gameplay, and a mellow learning curve. What’s not to love?

  13. Raziel_AxD says:

    Well, I really didn’t go that aggressive because I’m still proud with how Tiberium Wars came up. Not incredibly diverse when it comes to the factions gameplay (hope Kane’s Wrath will adress this in a major way) but EA LA really took care of it. Still, you can’t deny they’re doing some major milking when it comes to the sports series (ok, I can agree with some specific points when it comes up to one-game-a-year type for the sports series) and NFS could use 2 years between its iterations. And the XPs for the Sims games… those are some of the biggest examples for this. But after TW got my hopes a bit up for EA, the “ANGRY…” tag is now far away.

  14. Ohle says:

    I played waaaaay too much Sims and Sims 2 — though I did quit playing around the third or fourth expansion in both cases — and really can’t wait for this. I really hope they have a ton of house parts/wallpapers/etc. right out of the box; creating the house was one of my favorite parts of the game, but there really weren’t enough options initially. Though I suppose that’s why they have so many expansions. Hmm.

  15. Jay says:

    Am I the only one who sees similarities with the defunct Simsville?

  16. DigitalSignalX says:

    Am I the only one finding an article about Hentai games and Sims 3 coming within 24 hours of each other symbolic?

  17. The_B says:

    Jay: Personally, I think Simsville’s concept was a pretty good one, and yes similar to this, but I think the timing for it was all wrong. It was quite literally too far ahead for it’s time.

    Seven years later however, and the I think the circumstances of the gamer market is in a far better position to be receptical to the concepts.

  18. Poddagoblin says:

    I hope that’s a Gobliiins reference I spy!

  19. MaW says:

    As long as they no longer take three in-game hours to go to the toilet. In Sims 2 I had to send my Sims to bed at about 9pm in order for them to get well-rested enough before getting up early to go to the loo before work so that they didn’t come back both bursting for the toilet (apparently there are no toilets at work) or collapsing on the street with exhaustion the moment they get out of their commuter helicopter.

    And if they get rid of the mechanic that only lets you get promoted if you have x number of friends… what have friends got to do with job performance? Why can’t my Sims be successful introverts like me?

  20. Butler` says:

    Well I’m just going to go all out and say it.

    I like The Sims.

  21. Mr Wonderstuff says:

    I have never played it. Ever. But this sound intriguing…hmmm.

  22. Alec Meer says:

    Pod – didn’t think anyone would get that…
    I keep mulling over a Gobliins 2 retrospective, but I’m a little afraid I’ll find I don’t like it anymore. Memories are precious’n’all.

  23. Kennel says:

    After Dwarf Fortress I find it quite unacceptable that Sims can’t die suddenly as a result of goblin ambush or lava accident.

  24. Aquarion says:

    Kennel: Sims: Dwaven Fortress Fun will be released in 2010

    Oh gods. 2010 is a real date now. FutureFear.

    I quite like the more stylized graphics of The Sims and the aim of keeping to a sane spec. Sims has never been for people who keep up with the latest graphics cards.

    The thing that upsets me a bit is that the entire name “Maxis” has completely gone from the site. Doomed to never make anything but The Sims games now :(

  25. kadayi says:

    I’m quite hyped about what they are upto. I think the traits idea is a real step up. Despite appearances it’s clear from what informations available it’s going to be much more than a graphical upgrade. My concerns lie in how demanding the game is going to be in terms of processor power, if it’s going to be running the AI of a few hundred Sims concurrently.

  26. James G says:

    I’ve noticed that although a lot of people seem to compare Zack and Wiki on the Wii (sorry) to Monkey Island, it actually seems to have far more in common with the Gobliiins series of games. I suppose its the pirates that confuse people, that and the fact that Monkey Island is undoubtedly the better known.

    (sorry for continuing the Gobliiins hyjack)

  27. Frosty840 says:

    Eeeh. So long as they tweak the clock some more so that it now only takes an hour to go to the loo (As opposed to two hours in Sims 2, as opposed to four hours in The Sims), a lot of people will be satisfied.

  28. Dean says:

    I get a little annoyed by all The Sims criticism, I mean yes they’re milking it for all it’s worth – but the first game was hyped massively, recieved pretty good reviews and like many people I bought it on release and played non-stop for a week and then got bored. A lot of the reviews said the same thing: good concept but just not enough to do.

    7 expansions later and you can have pets, go on dates, holidays, throw parties, become celebrities and..err.. be witches. Of course, it took 3.5 years for those to all come out, and they were drip-fed. I never played a single one as I was bored and uninstalled it by the time the first one was released. But I maintain that, had the original Sims game been released with all the expansion content at launch, it’d been getting 90% scores and ‘best game every’ accolades and all sorts. Probably why it still sells today.
    Of course, for all the real PC gamers amongst, we were bored of the first one quite quickly and that coloured everything else.

  29. Kadayi says:

    If you play a game on PC you are by definition a PC gamer. I don’t think there’s any more credibility in terms of input as the true voice of gaming between someone who sinks 30 hours a week into Counter strike, Vs 30 hours of World of Warcraft Vs 30 hours of sims 2. (I’m a far more avid Clan CS player than I am a Sims 2 player if the truth be known).

    I’ve bought all the Sims 2 expansions principally because I’ve wanted to see what they add to the game play, and although some of the additions haven’t been mind bending I wouldn’t say I rue buying them. Computer games are in terms of cost Vs pleasure derived in hours occupied, pretty good value for money compared to most other media, especially at the simulation/RPG end of the market (less so the FPS end save for MP).

    The Sims is not a game experience that caters towards the goal orientated gamer, despite it’s outward appearances. Getting your Sims to fulfill their lifetime aspirations may appear to be the ‘goal’ but it’s how you go about it, and the situations that arise that is the actual game experience. It’s all about the play, not about the winning.