Q&A: EA on The Sims 3

The Sims 3 associate producer chats about listening to the community, whether we'll see a demo, and more.

The Sims 3 is one of the most anticipated games of 2009 and marks the first fully-fledged game in the franchise not developed by Maxis. This time around, EA's flagship Redwood Shores studio has taken the reins, and despite seeing a delay just before its originally scheduled February 20 release, we're now less than two months away from shipping the finished product. With launch looming, GameSpot AU was lucky enough to chat to associate producer on The Sims 3, Grant Rodiek, about inviting some of the top Sims users to a sneak-peek, how the company plans to attract hardcore users to the fold, and find out what plan is for The Sims 3 post-release.

GameSpot AU: You invited some of the top community content makers for a sneak peek at the game not so long ago. What sort of feedback did they offer on the game?

Grant Rodiek: We received a lot of positive feedback from the Creators’ Camp. The creators were really excited over the new Create a Sim and Create a Style tools. Many of the creators spent hours using these tools creating life-like Avatars and houses. They were also very pleased with the small touches that have been added to the game such as new music and extra Build Mode functionality.

GS AU Why was The Sims 3 delayed?

GR: The Sims 3 June launch gives more time for tuning and polish, and the ability to launch the game on PC and Mac platforms simultaneously. This is a key EA franchise and title and it deserves a bigger bet on the best Sims game EA has made. These last few months will give us a little more time to tune, tweak and polish the game. Our players have been waiting for something awesome and that’s exactly what we intend to give them.

GS AU What factors decide your Sims’ lifetime dream?

GR: There is a large pool of lifetime wishes, which will be determined by the personality traits you choose. Depending on your trait combinations, the possibility of getting a different lifetime wish every time is very real. Players will get to pick from a handful of Lifetime Wishes based on the personality traits they choose from their Sims. It’s possible for you to have a different experience with every Sim you create. Whether you want your Sim to become an Evil Mastermind or Best-Selling Author, the game will give you the incentives to do so.

GS AU What advantages does the new Traits personality system have over the previous slider system of the other games?

GR: It’s like night and day. Sims 3 traits might affect how a Sim socialises with others, whether they are good at a skill or a job, how they animate and act, what choices they make, or even whether they shower with pants on or not. They impact the Wishes your Sim has, the Lifetime Wish you can choose, how Moodlets will affect your Sim. Basically, the personality sliders in The Sims 2 had only a superficial impact on your Sims. In The Sims 3 traits fundamentally impact everything.

GS AU Will we be seeing a character creation demo, similar to the demo for Spore, before The Sims 3 release?

GR: No, not exactly. But we do have some fun interactive experiences for fans such as the official Facebook page.

GS AU The Sims is often perceived by the gaming community as a casual gamer’s game. What are you doing with The Sims 3 to win back these gamers?

GR: This is a question we’ve asked ourselves constantly since day one. We took some of our favourite features from past Sims games and mixed them with an entirely new set of things like traits, the open world, and a whole slew of creative tools. In some cases we completely remade systems from scratch, like our social system. It’s definitely a new game with new experiences!

GS AU Are you able to run us through any expansion-pack ideas that we may see in the not too distant future?

GR: We always have a ton of ideas and things we’d like to add to our games. However, we’re focused 100 per cent on making The Sims 3 an incredible game so we’re not ready to talk about anything else yet.

GS AU Will we be seeing any more The Sims On Stage-esque projects?

GR: No plans at the moment, but never say never!

GS AU Grant Rodiek thanks for your time.

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Discussion

23 comments
fokis69
fokis69

some people are ridiculous if they say sims expansion packs arent worth it, they usually add tons of gameplay,items and areas, and you can really just purchase the ones you wants, and seriously if ur that cheap just wait for them to release in a duel pack...ppl complain too much when they shuld just be thankful devs. even spend the time and energy making thankless gamers post-release content

jar48
jar48

I hope you don't have to have a really good computer to play because i do not have the money to sped on a new computer.

Alex41790
Alex41790

Can't wait for this to finally come out. Please make it good enough so you don't have to also release 12 expansion packs to get all the content. Just make one game that can do it all

wigo88
wigo88

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

Ive been a big sim fan since day one..My wife is just as addictive to it..She plays the sims more..Myself i love to build the houses for her...The color coding addition, to every thing is what makes this different also..The traits seam interesting also..Well see how it goes...Ive got a big enough hd not to delete the sims2 yet for my wife..This way she can grow into the game an not delete her old sims..Ive pre paid an almost have it bought already for a few months already.. They pushed it back people cried..Myself i was ok with it..For years now every one has called ea the evil company...Well for once they done the right thing..Pushed it back polished some bugs im happy they took the time, to listen to there fans..They did the same with dragon age an godfather 2..Had nps with godfother was fun game.. Im sure dragon age will just be as polished when its released..Ea is finaly doin the right thing..

endocrine
endocrine

Mike, thats what associate producers are for. You cannot expect the man making all the money is going to be out talking to small online communities, especially so close to release. He's probably out there making sure their ad campaign, their mass production, and everything else that needs to get done has the money to get it done.

Mikethechimp
Mikethechimp

An EA associate producer doing the interviews, again? Not a good sign.

cyborg100000
cyborg100000

I'll definetly be buying this game but the expansions I'm not paying for, not worth £20 for miniscule new content I'd really expect in a free patch upgrade.

nicolelux
nicolelux

nice little facts im am a 24 year old female that doesn't go a day without playing my sims. im not a geek or a nerd but damn i can spend hours building my houses. Im looking forwards to sims 3 but they sure talk about the sims personalities and not to much about the building aspect hope its good... ROCK ON sims!

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

a console version would be interesting, i know the other ones hasn't been as good as the pc and i doubt it ever will but i still like them

byrom23
byrom23

I agree with xxLordDavidxx. If anything the expansion packs should be a FREE download or maybe $9.99 instead of $29.99.

xxLordDavidxx
xxLordDavidxx

As long as EA don't release 100 billion expansions that they expect us to shell out hundreds of pounds for. I'll be pleased with the outcome. The game itself is great, I just wish they wouldn't rip us off by releasing some "oh so great" pets expansion for Sims 3 which is probally the most predicatable thing they could do.

krazilec
krazilec

Everybody is like "Boo Sims, that's for little kiddies" and stuff like that. But may I say that me, a 21 sane adult, I find it quite entertaining. WE WANT SIMS!! As much as I can fit in my 120 Gb HDD.

Sikok93453
Sikok93453

If the Sims 3 doesn't ship with out-of-the-box pets I swear I will never buy another EA product ever. I may download it but I wont ever support EA with funding ever again.

LokiHero
LokiHero

"We always have a ton of ideas and things we’d like to add to our games. However, we’re focused 100 per cent on making The Sims 3 an incredible game so we’re not ready to talk about anything else yet." Meaning, "We have about two or three ideas for coming expansions packs, at least one of them is genuinely solid and partway through creative production now." Come on, it's EA, they're not fooling anyone. Still, I'm pretty excited. As dubious as I was a few months ago about the traits system and its, what I thought was, high chance of being just a dumb gimmick, I've been converted to seeing it as a definitely interesting direction for the franchise. I'm equally excited they didn't make the Spore "mistake" about feeling afraid to bump a release further down the calendar.

WiredDreemz
WiredDreemz

Well I'm definitely looking forward to this one. I'm most probably gonna pre-order on payday.

matt-astr
matt-astr

Lozvil --- Sytem Requirements Lab will tell you if you can run it. www.systemrequirementslab.com

lozvil
lozvil

What is the System Requirements for The Sims 3? Does anybody know?

sakaiXxX
sakaiXxX

great...another sims......

BoomWav
BoomWav

There's nothing new in that QA. I hope they'll make a huge advertising clash in May. I've already pre-ordered the Collector Edition.

matt-astr
matt-astr

This game will most definitely rule.

nurse_tsunami
nurse_tsunami

I wish this interview had been longer, there isn't much new info here. I am curious about the amount of items that will be available to furnish the house/yard. I find it annoying that in the past to get any amount of items you had to purchase separate expansions. I hope there is a good selection from the get-go. I can't wait!

Kiazen
Kiazen

This game will most definitely suck.