Over at Redwood Shores in California, Electronic Art Sims Division recently held a promotional fan event about The Sims 3 for some of major fansites in the TS2 community.
Although we were not able to be present, Josh from Worldsims, which is one of our affiliate sites, was there and ran a quick "live blogging session" outlining some of the first features that they had found out and allowing questions from those in on the chat, which included me, ChEeTaH and Rosana from here at TSZ.
It was pointed out that the game is in the early stages of development and there are many months of development ahead. Although some things have been finalised, there is a lot that is not and a lot more work is needed.
ChEeTaH asked which quarter of 2009 it would be released but all we were told was that it would be in 2009.
Where possible, I will quote the interview directly although I have moved areas of text around for the purpose of clarity. This is what we managed to find out.
The Sims Themselves
"You'll be amazed at what you can do with [Create A Sim] as the CAS system is simply amazing! You can adjust the depth of the chins - how big, how small - and customize the nose entirely.
"Heads have different shapes now. They have a bunch of preset shapes for us to choose, no more perfect oval and a variety of heights.
"Oh ladies, you'll love this. They are breaking the hair area into 4 different segments - roots, base, tips, and highlights. Each can have a different colour (or you can even pick a colour of your choice using a palette system).
"Looking at the body stuff - wow - you can customize how much muscle your sims have or how fat they are. It's amazing, and even over time you can change your sims' bodyshape, either making them overeat or making them work out a lot.
"The amount of customization and details are simply ASTOUNDING. There are tons of neat accessories for your Sim. This include:
Shoes (yes SHOES), stockings, socks, gloves, rings
"We can even customize the voice through adjusting pitches and the voice samples they provide. You can even set forth favorite music and food and MAYBE (just maybe) even a favorite color.
"However, the developers did hint though that they may very well take this out because they could not find a purpose for it. Also, they said astrology signs may go away as well though they may keep it. It's still uncertain.
"There is extended lifespan for Young Adults [as] the default life span has shifted more towards young adults [than more middle aged adults]."
Traits, Interactions, Transportation, Weather & Careers
"Aspirations, wants, needs, and attractions are no longer part of The Sims as they've been replaced in favor of a new system called traits. Traits are a mixture of things from skills, to behaviors, to morals to something topical.
"Some of the traits are ...
"Anti-tv, schmoozer, party animal, unflirty, rude, lucky, evil, friendly, mean spirited
"Toddlers can have two traits, children have 3 traits, teens have 4 and young aduilts and adults have 5.
"In essence, traits replaces wants, needs and aspirations. They determine personality and the type of character that person is. What [EA] are trying to do is create a system where each of our Sims are totally unique, as unique as a snowflake."
I'm interjecting here to voice my opinion. I can see traits replacing wants, fears and aspirations but not needs. As I see it, the fact that someone may be a party animal, lucky or mean spirited does not mean that they do not have to eat, sleep and go to the toilet. Back to Josh.
"You're able to start conversations with multiple people now and more importantly you can actually learn things about the sims you are talking to, [such as if] they have a passion for death, but you can also learn about how things like if the sim you were talking to thinks you are funny or they think you're flirty.
"Cars are present but for a lot of the stuff such as custom content, businesses, and so forth was "we can't comment about it right now"."
Rosana asked Maybe I've missed this, I'm unsure. But will there be weather in the default Sims 3 game? Like rain, snow, sunnier weather...?
"EA's response... No comment."
I asked What are the default careers?
"No comment yet, [although] we saw some interesting careers, like science center career and the rock star career"
Interface & Object Rotation
"The new interface was a surprise as they've made it a visual based interface so you can see where each item belongs.
"Let's say you have a chair, a table and a lamp. You'd visually see the lamp sitting on the GUI, and the lamp is on the table with the chair beside the table. It's awesome."
What's the most exciting thing you've seen today? What features did you see today that you weren't expecting to find?
"The biggest shock to me... 360 degree positioning of objects. We're no longer restricted to a grid [and] that means a couch could be lined up to your hearts content.
[Aligning objects] is as simple as it is for The Sims 2"
Will we be able to build better houses?
"You bet! We have one of the top TS2 house builders here at EA right now and she was in awe and couldn't stop smiling"
Can we expect ALL the house features from TS2 to be in TS3? Ceilings, all the roofs, foundations and so on...?
"Things are still underdevelopment and they haven't even finished roofs yet.
They've really stepped up the architecture tools in The Sims 3 thus far. They've showed us adjustable width stairs and rotunda styled roofs.
"I was even shocked at what we could do in terms of flora. It isn't simply restricted to positioning one plant or flower in an area. It's a lot denser and wow - plants on paths - it was SIMPLY AMAZING"
I would like to thank Josh from Worldsims for hosting this live blogging session and giving us a heads-up of what to expect and to those who asked the questions and we able to focus on certain areas.
Josh was able to put some promotional pictures about the event
here on one of his sites..
Steve from The Sims Resource was also at the event and has also posted his own review of what he found. Click
to check out his article.
As has already been pointed out, this is still at a very early stage in development so things can change before the release as we know they did with TS2, but if most of what there is so far stays, it looks like we have a good thing to look forward to.
So there we have it. The Sims 3 looks as though it is well underway and the first reports seem to indicate that it looks very good indeed.
Keep watching this space to find out what else we can find out TS3 and how other sites found it.
Written at 16:02 on Friday 1 August 2008 by