The Sims 3 “Create-a-sim”

By Jim Rossignol on November 7th, 2008 at 1:07 pm.


The physiognomy-warping face sliders of the character creation screen are one of my favourite things about modern videogames. Needless to say, The Sims 3 does not disappoint in its capacity to inflate the cheeks or rotate the ears of our simulated caricatures. EA meanwhile are even more keen on getting across just how much you can do the same kind of fiddling with the personalities of your Sims. How you generate the persona will define the goals they have in “life” and give you various power ups as they achieve their ambitions. One of these, the trailer explains, is “Steel Bladder”. This means that your Sim will never have to use the toilet again. A lifetime of excreta pressurized into a small bladder? Your Sim had better not getting into any violent accidents…

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32 Comments »

  1. M_the_C says:

    Actual improvement or boring cash-in.

    Place you bets!

  2. Mike says:

    Let’s hope they include a Bloody Mess perk.

  3. SlappyBag says:

    That looks much more RPSish than God/Simulation game – I think its really interesting and may actually hold my interest.

  4. Kris says:

    The last half of the vid was most interesting. I wasn’t too excited about Sims 3 before but now I think I’m gonna love it!

  5. sockpuppetclock says:

    Create-a-sitcom?

  6. Dood says:

    Did anyone else notice Travis Bickle in the screenshot?

  7. LionsPhil says:

    Let’s hope they include a Bloody Mess perk.

    Hell yes.

  8. Rei Onryou says:

    The Sims: Now with gameplay!

  9. The Hammer says:

    Oooh. This looked interesting. Having only ever bothered Sims games, I might have to invest in this. It looks like the best one yet, and hearing the Character Creation music again was nifty.

  10. Buttons says:

    So, this looks just like Sims 2 except you have a slider for body shape instead of a binary choice, hair is SLIGHTLY more customisable, and going out is ‘seamless’ as opposed to separately loaded lots. Everything else was done in Sims 2, from the lifetime wants and unlockable rewards (like, sleeping less, bathing less etc.) to the number of life stages. Even the old animations are re-used too. What a crock. It’s certainly not the Sims to Sims 2 leap. It’s more like Sims 2 ‘Platinum edition’ with a bonus patch for Sim customisation and load times.

  11. Pags says:

    I’m gonna have to side with Buttons on this one, it just doesn’t seem like they’ve made any real leaps and bounds from the last game. Isn’t this the first Sims game without Will Wright at the helm? Or did I just make that up, I honestly cannot remember.

  12. Bobsy says:

    Yeah Pags, for the core games of Sims 1 and 2 Will Wright was very much at the helm, keeping it streamlined and fancy. We’ve seen what can happen without him.

    As for a bladder of steel, that sounds like wishful thinking. Sure, it can withstand higher pressures than fleshy bladder, but when it finally explodes, you’re not looking at the possibility of shrapnel. Living in a Sim household is dangerous enough as it is. What’s to stop a cruel god walling you in with seven of your compadres only to have Carl the Coffee Addict go off in a soggy yellow explosion and take the whole family out in one go?

    … holy shit, I would buy that game.

  13. Pags says:

    I knew it. Well, unless we have exploding steel bladders and other gruesome deaths (death by stink?), I can’t see myself buying this game. My favourite part of the Sims games was living out my inner-architect anyway, and they pretty much had that down pat with the second one.

  14. Psychopomp says:

    Bobby, you have a future in AWESOME.

  15. Tim E says:

    Actually, I think WW had very, very little to do with the Sims 2.

  16. Bobsy says:

    @Tim E: Well, I bow to your superior wisdom. But other than just relaxing with a big Sim-funded money hat I can’t imagine he was doing anything else during that period. He doesn’t do the SimCity games any more does he?

    @Psychopomp (assuming you were talking to me): It’s not just the future, baby. It’s the present.

  17. Pags says:

    If he wasn’t involved too heavily in Sims 2, then where’s the innovation this time around?

    Sorry if this post seems slightly combative, Tim, I’m just genuinely curious as to how the team has changed/stayed the same from the last two games.

  18. Tim E says:

    I don’t think it necessarily needs the innovation, it just needs to be good. At its heart, it’s a top down domestic strategy/RPG thing, but what most core gamers took away was that it’s a game about pissing into buckets and going to work. The problem the Sims series has had is that the micromanagement required simply to get the basics done is quite off-putting, and it doesn’t expose the fun stuff.

    The thing that gave me most heart was when I talked to some of the devs, and mentioned Dwarf Fortress, their faces lit up. They all love that game. The open world in the Sims 3 does more to expose that fun-stuff, but there’s also far more depth to the RPG-ness with inventories, and deeper career paths. Fundamentally, the Sims really could be an astonishing god game: fucking up and fixing people’s lives is /fun/. But they have to move past the pissing and cleaning.

    I’ve written a bit more about it here: http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=184484

  19. Pags says:

    I don’t know, I guess our perceptions of the Sims game differ. While admittedly the biggest ‘game’ part I had the most fun with actually didn’t involve the Sims themselves at all, I do see the Sims as being important because it’s a singularity amongst gaming. Yes, there are RPG elements, yes there are strategy elements, but those parts of the game have never dictated what the rest of it needed to be. Hearing about inclusions like inventories just shows me that they’re willing to conform to traditional game concepts which is never what the Sims games have been about.

    I do agree that the micro-management could be a pain if you just wanted to play the game in a certain way, but by giving the player that kind of control you let them play the way they want to.

    Nice to hear they’re Dwarf Fortress fans though; unfortunately, being fans of a game doesn’t necessarily mean the quality of those games will follow through. I might like the Beach Boys, but I’m never going to make Pet Sounds.

  20. Pags says:

    ps. I remember reading that preview in PCG a while ago. Twas a nice article, and it did briefly make me excited for the game. Sadly you have the knack of making games seem way more awesome than they really are. I sometimes wish I could like games as much as you do :(

  21. Heliocentric says:

    You know. If they made it easy to mod the sims it’d be so much more interesting.

    Picturing a submarine crew mod where you need to stop your radar operator having a break down.

    Or alternatively a zombie apocolypse sims where you need to forage in the houses for food and build barricades.

    I’m not suggesting anything a mod team couldn’t knock out with the tools maxis (my mobile predicted nazis) keep internal.

    Thats the reason i can’t care about sims already designed content is being set aside for expansion packs.

    The game isn’t out yet and the pets and the elevators etc are being reserved for expansions.

  22. EyeMessiah says:

    That’s why boomer explode.

  23. Kadayi says:

    Tim is absolutely correct WW did not have that much involvement with Sims 2 (it’s a common misconception), the lead on it was Rod Humble, who is also the lead on Sims 3. Wright had already moved onto toying with the idea of Spore by then.

    Personally I’ve warmed to the idea of the open world approach they are taking and the traits idea seems a lot more flexible compared to the rather strict and predictable personality types in the Sims 2. However despite the glamour I kind of wish they’d really upped the ante on the character creation. Sure they look a lot better than in Sims 2, but if you compare it to the APB character creation system (as demonstrated in the RPS link below), it comes off second rate…

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/06/12/apb-the-fashion-parade/

    Sure there’s an argument that the Sims 3 isn’t aiming for strict realism, but if the character creation system of an upcoming MMO can be that detailed, why not push the envelope a bit more in terms of flexibility.

  24. Kommissar Nicko says:

    I think in order to fully appreciate what’s going on in Sims 3, you have to have liked Sims 2. I’ve noticed that RPS readers as a collective aren’t too keen on the Sims; I on the other hand liked Sims 2 a lot, but always found the technical limitations of it to be stifling. Sims 3 stands to remove a lot of those limitations, as well as add depth to the game itself, which sound like a great idea.

    Above all that, however, I noticed that in their little demo-town there are a lot of more interesting architectural styles. The default buildings in Sims 2 were very uninspired to be honest, but these show some real flair, which makes me think there will be more to work with as far as building the Barbie Dream House. Rather, in my case, the Barbie Block House–my ideal Sims town has always looked a little bit like Stalingrad.

    Needless to say, I’m probably going to get this.

  25. Xyzzy says:

    Woohoo, Now I can make my Sims properly obese, instead of mildly plump. Yay!

  26. Tims says:

    Woo. I want to make a bunch of moody teens that throw parties in the graveyard.

  27. Moonracer says:

    If they manage to remove the tedium of micromanaging and the AI is good enough that you could let the game run by itself for two hours without you sims dying then I may have to pick it up at some point. Maybe after it comes packaged with the first expansion pack six month later.

    Interestingly, the Sims 3 seems to have a lot of elements from the Sims 2 expansion packs. Cars, businesses, cell phones, instruments are a few I’ve noticed. I remember Sims 2 was essentially a bare bones Sims 1.

  28. Rawr McJeanie says:

    This
    Is
    Fucking
    SICK!!!

    (IN THE GOOD WAY!!)

    GO SIMS 3

  29. misinterpretation says:

    holy sh*t what’s travis bickle doing there?! haha that’s cool

  30. TNTROB says:

    The game focuses on creativity and how in and of going he and out in the sims 2 Just to try and start a relationship with another sim. The open world lets you get that sim. It also shows the sims in an who new light. Putting them in a perspective. The game is suppose to realistic but giving you creative and artistic gameplay.

  31. Hitnrunguy says:

    I too believe this is not a big leap, it’s just an improv to the sims 2. Which was, by the way, a HUMONGO leap.And with the whole RPGish thing, I don’t like it. Because the Sims I know is a God/Simulator, not an RPG game. I’m not going to pay 50 bucks for this, sorry, I’m just not.

  32. lol says:

    i think they should make the time during the day and night longer. its takes them hours to go for a piss