Eurogamervization: Sims 3 Interview/Hands-On

By Kieron Gillen on March 13th, 2009 at 12:20 pm.

They do not fear the land shark.

Tom “Tom Bramwell” Bramwell sends me to play the Sims 3 and chat to assistant producer MJ Chun. Where I start like this…

“It’s a moment of strange and joyous freedom. I’ve created my two Sims, the lovely married couple of John Walker (lazy, slobbish, neurotic – and in the game!) and She-Hulk (athletic, flirtatious and a kleptomaniac – guaranteeing me outrage from Shulkie fans for my out-of-character characterisation). They’re in their house. All is well. It’s The Sims.

And then, with a scroll and a click, I send She-Hulk running across the road to start seducing the neighbours, while John watches helplessly.”


Write what you know
. We should be getting some Sims 3 preview code soon, which we’re planning to do some fun stuff with. Unless we forget.

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23 Comments »

  1. MacBeth says:

    I guess we can tie this in to my incipient sociopathy as diagnosed in the Sunday Papers thread about someone’s wedding, but I read that whole article about how I could play it and still found no reason why I would want to…

    Put me in the pile marked ‘Just Don’t Get It’. I can see why you might want to play an MMO – though I don’t, because I fear the timesink it would inevitably be – you/your avatar can do cool, fantastical things in fabulous places. Can’t see why you would want to play at having a normal life in normal places. Perhaps if you don’t have one already…*

    Anyway, clearly lots of people *do* want to play, so my view is pretty much irrelevant. Still, there it is.

    *Obviously a joke

  2. Kieron Gillen says:

    You can’t sleep with all your neighbours in real life. Or rather, you can, but the fall out is worse.

    KG

  3. MacBeth says:

    Also, at the end of the article, Chun says:

    “You live your life, generally, saying, ‘I want to be in a good mood.’ Unless you’re a loner, at which point… you really don’t. But you can be a loner if you want to.”

    Erm… does she really think loners don’t want to be in a good mood? Quite a big cross-over between gamers and loners, I would say. And gamers game to be in a good mood, surely…

  4. Vandelay says:

    I’ve never been really that enthralled by The Sims. They usually end up being quite a chore to play and constantly worrying about the mundane aspects of the game can make things rather dull, ranging from needing to go to toilet to having to find a job and making sure you meet all the attributes required for promotions, etc.

    Having said that, I can always see something that could be enjoyable if they got it right. What this game really needs to be is an interactive soap opera. I really bad, cheesy, Neighbours style interactive soap opera. Some of the things discussed in that article seem to be pointing in the right direction.

    I think the aspect that they really need to get right though is the level of independents each of the Sims have. I think the level of control the player actually has should be limited to some extent. You make a few actions and witness the fallout. If you have complete control then it would just end up a mess within the first 30 mins of play (at least that is what usually happens to me when I’ve previously played other iterations, which is then followed by me playing more “seriously” and getting bored soon after.)

  5. Dan Lawrence says:

    There is a loner and there is a loner, I’m thinking Will Smith going slowly crazy in ‘I Am Legend’.

    Anyway, I’m super excited about this! For whatever reason Sims 2 didn’t grab me as much as original The Sims but this new one sounds like a real evolution of the great concept. My main excitement comes from the descriptions of the character trait system, it sounds like it has a real influence on the personalities of the sims compared to the boring sliders in the earlier games. What was that talk about a conversation options as well? Is there actual text instead of simlish & pictures or just more complicated pictoral representations of chatter? Also, I love that they are deliberately catering to the people who played ‘against’ the game in the earlier titles with the ‘evil’ trait.

  6. Kieron Gillen says:

    It’s still Simlish with pictorial stuff, but in the interaction options there’s a lot more stuff with “names” in. For example, choosing to gossip specifically about something or someone, talk about the house or – to use the example from the piece – tell someone your neurotic fantasy about them being descended from Llama.

    KG

  7. ChaosSmurf says:

    So, they unblurred the sex for us teenagers yet? Because you know there’s a market out there for John Walker/Shulkie Rule 34.

  8. mandrill says:

    Meh, more Sims for EA to milk, I’m surprised that the world is not thoroughly bored with it by now.

  9. The Ironic Review says:

    I’m not only not bored of it but DEEPLY ENVIOUS of Keiron and his preview code.

  10. Larington says:

    I might actually get this one, a game that takes a personality approach to character inter-interaction somewhat appeals to me. The other sims games I never even considered purchasing.

  11. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    One of our favourites is ‘Never Nude’. The Sim will never ever be totally nude.

    Cut-offs?

    This is sounding more like my kind Sims game, finally getting rid of the need to wake your Sims up at 2am to whizz them round their morning routine in an unnaturally optimised house and leaving more time to dick around with the social side. As much fun as I had with The Sims, the drudgery slowly put me off the game and put paid to any thought of picking up expansions or even the first sequel.

  12. Tworak says:

    Kieron gets all the good stuff.

    And maaan those chicks are hawwwwt. I’m all boned up over here.

  13. pilouuuu says:

    This game is going to be really good.

    The Sims is really unique in terms that it’s a complete sandbox simulator: you’re free to play it in anyway you want. Even if in this version they moved more towards RPG playing with goals, missions, buffs, etc, which is also nice because it’s optional. So in one family you may play to obtain goals like max skills or top of the career and in another you may just concentrate in disfunctional family relationships.

    I’m really glad they minimized the importance of needs, because it kept you from doing the fun stuff. If you went to a community lot in TS2 you had to call for the cab, wait for it, wait for a loading screen, greet some townie, start playing snooker with him and… oops my sim needs to go to the bathroom. Then my sims starts playing football and later, oops I’m hungry. After that my sim only wanted to sleep so I had to go home.

    Thankfully that kind of experience won’t be a part of The Sims 3, so after all The Sims 2 will be completely forgotten and the update would make much sense.

  14. SlappyBag says:

    I really the way they are going about all this, it seems much more refined and has a better vision then the other seems which as you said, to an extent were just pee simulators.

    I’ve aljoyed all the sims but never been able to play them for any extended period of time, this one might change it. =)

  15. SlappyBag says:

    My god I need to proof read.

  16. Rei Onryou says:

    It’s amazing how one cited paragraph can change my whole opinion of The Sims 3. I’m now actually willing to read a whole article about the game! Now that’s a turnaround.

  17. SteveHatesYou says:

    I’m quite hopeful for this one. I always liked The Sims as a concept, but I was annoyed by having to constantly manage those dozen or so meters to keep my sim happy. I don’t want to micromanage bowel movements, I want to play with dolls. And make them have sex with each other. While the house burns down and the neighbor drowns in the pool.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to a version that’s focused more on the play aspect and less on the work.

  18. pilouuuu says:

    It’s also nice that Richard Evans is responsible for the AI of this one. He is the guy responsible for the pet of Black & White’s AI, so maybe this time sims will be much more smarter than they were in previous versions.

  19. roBurky says:

    I’m looking forward to this.

  20. Kadayi says:

    @Kieron

    I’m deeply envious. Albeit you didn’t cover it in the article what’s your take on the playability factor of having multiple Sims given the gameworld is on the move perpetually? Do you think you could run 4 – 5 Sims comfortably, or do you think that would be pushing it? Also how does the game treat aging Vs the second game?

    Also why is it whenever there’s a Sims thread, people invariably feel the need to post that they don’t get it? What’s the fascination there? Personally I’m not a big RTS man, yet I’ve never yet felt the urge to crash a Sins of the Solar Empire thread to unburden to the world about my lack of attraction to the genre (like anyone cares). Not having a dig, just more finding it kind of strange that the subject of the Sims always seems to bring this urge out in people.

    @pilouuuu

    I’d say the Sims in Sims 2 were pretty smart tbh (far more so that the creatures in B&W), given the sheer amount of memory and motivations they each carried with them. The downside to Sims 2 was the limited range of personalities and the rigidity of each ones goals. Seems to me the move to mixing personality traits is the really big step with this iteration, more so than the move outside.

  21. Sagan says:

    I want a personality trait “Not ever Jealous”, so I can finally realize my dream-household of 1 guy with 4 girls.

    Also they should license their Sims-AI to RPG developers, so that we finally get NPCs in games that have more complex lives than the “Walk around randomly at day and sleep at night” dudes that populate today’s RPGs.

  22. Kadayi says:

    “Also they should license their Sims-AI to RPG developers, so that we finally get NPCs in games that have more complex lives than the “Walk around randomly at day and sleep at night” dudes that populate today’s RPGs.”

    This.

    RPS linked to an article in the Sunday papers a while back about AI in games and the complete lack of mention by the writers of the article about Sims AI was kind of mind boggling to me tbh. More game developers should pay attention to what Maxis are upto when it comes to creating AI for sure.

  23. pilouuuu says:

    Sagan:

    I completely agree. The simulation of living creatures in The Sims is an amazing one. I would love it to be mixed with other genres. Oblivion could have been a good game if it had TS2 AI instead of the Radiant one.

    I would love an RPG where personality, relationships and memories are so complex as TS2 or TS3.

    Plus the Sims 2 Open for Business is an amazing simulator within the simulator in which you can run any kind of business. TS2 Seasons has a quite good seasonal simulation.

    What if Elder Scrolls 5 or Fallout 5 had such freedom as TS, seasons which affect the player’s mood and environment?

    What about relationships with NPC like frienship, love interests, familiar ones in which we have different dialogue options and interactions according to it?

    What if NPC characters would act according to their needs and interests?

    What if we could play the fictional game just building objects and selling them?

    The Sims would definitely be an amazing basis for an RPG engine and for most games that need to portray human behavior in a more realistic game.

    That doesn’t seem like something you would expect from a casual, non hardcore game, really?

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