The Sims 3 Ambitions Q&A - Exclusive First Details

Associate producer Grant Rodiek shares the first details on the next Sims 3 expansion.

The Sims 3 was last year's award-winning sequel that gave you more power than ever to control the lives of little computer people. Now that the first expansion, World Adventures, has come and gone, the Sims 3 team is hard at work on the newly announced expansion, Ambitions. Ambitions will let you follow your sims into work in fully realized careers in which you take your sims step-by-step through their usual workday. Associate producer Grant Rodiek explains.

GameSpot: Give us an overview of The Sims 3 Ambitions.

Grant Rodiek: The Sims 3 Ambitions allows players to control their sims while they are at work in a variety of new careers. Instead of sending your sims off to work all day, The Sims 3 Ambitions lets you pick a career like firefighting, investigator, architect, ghost hunter, stylist, or doctor and then guide your sim to make choices and succeed (or fail) every step of the way. You can also make your sim a tattoo artist, sculptor, or inventor.

GS: Why go in this direction for the next expansion pack? Was in-depth career gameplay the most requested feature from the fans?

The next Sims 3 expansion will let you put out fires and open doors the hard way.

GR: Career gameplay is something we've wanted to do for a long time and it's something that our players consistently request. We always strive to do something new that hasn't been seen in The Sims before. We're especially excited about the fact that the in-depth careers really offer something for all types of players. Storytellers will love solving mysteries as an investigator or resolving the problems of the afterlife as a ghost hunter. The "gamers" will enjoy being the hero as a firefighter and saving civilians as the doctor. The team cannot wait to see what the builders and sim creators make with architect and stylist careers. There's a lot of depth and variety here for every type of sims player.

GS: Could you explain how the career-based gameplay will work? Will it be comparable, for instance, to the gameplay in Open for Business for The Sims 2?

GR: The focus of Open for Business was creating and managing a retail establishment. The Sims 3 Ambitions is more about your sim's personal venture. Each career presents a unique experience.

Firefighters need to develop relationships and maintain their equipment while at the firehouse. But as soon as that alarm rings, they need to get to the fire, clear rubble piles, carry out children, stop gas leaks, put out the flames, and be the hero. Your town may fall victim to small fires, huge infernos, and even earthquakes.

Stylists will be hired by neighbors to offer fashion advice and provide partial or complete makeovers. You can choose to make sims look really good or just terrible. It's a lot of power to put in the hands of our more-deviant players, but the ability to give the entire town a face-lift is fantastic. And profitable!

Investigators will have cases to solve by any means necessary. Investigators are great for our more-deviant players. For example, if you need information, you can bribe a sim, convince them to give your sim the information, or even beat them up. You can break into homes for clues or other nefarious purposes, like stealing their items for "evidence." Many cases have a lot of humor within them--some "sims noir"--so there will still be lots of laughs. There's a lot of variety--and these are just three of our careers!

GS: Tell us about inventing, sculpting, and tattooing--how will these new career skills work, and how will they let sims earn extra money? Will they, like the martial arts and nectar-making skills of World Adventures, let your sims earn enough to support themselves?

Who you gonna call?

GR: Inventing is a fantastically huge skill that is full of content. Crafty sims can gather scrap from the junkyard, broken objects, or even by blowing stuff up with their handy detonation packs. They can then use this scrap to invent excellent objects like the floor hygienator (provides hygiene to sims who walk over it), toys, widgets, a personal drilling device, a time machine, and even a personal robot.

These inventions (and other things) can be used to complete opportunities or be sold via the consignment store for a handy profit.

Sculptors can craft wondrous masterpieces in several mediums, including clay, wood, ice, or metal. This is a great way to customize your sim's home and earn a living.

Using the tattoo chair in-game (or at the local salon), your sims can tattoo their neighbors with both fantastic and questionable body art, for a price, of course.

GS: We understand that there will also be career paths that will let you affect the layout and appearance of your sims' neighborhoods. How will that work?

GR: Architects will be hired by neighborhood sims to remodel their homes. For example, expecting parents may hire your sim to build a new baby room for them, or a sim who has just learned to paint may contract your sim to create an art studio. Before long your talented sim will have had a hand in many, if not all, of the homes in the town. We have dozens of different jobs based on story progression and your neighbors' desires--it's a very exciting feature.

GS: Tell us about some of the other additions that the expansion will add. What new items, building options, and gameplay features will also be added?

GR: One of the features we're most proud of is adding the ability for players to add, remove, and modify lots in edit town. Create-a-World is still the most powerful tool available for players who want to create and modify worlds, but for players who just want some of the options, this is a great alternative. Players can also add neighborhood objects like signs, rocks, and other large structures.

The tattoo system is an incredibly powerful new creative tool for our players. Players can apply multiple tattoos in up to five layers, scale them, change the colors, and even modify opacity. Players can also upload and share these tattoos on the exchange, giving our community yet another creative outlet.

Build mode will see the addition of the ability to modify the pitch of individual roof sections, which is incredibly useful for aspiring architects. We're also adding a multistory column tool for added home variety.

Finally, we always try to add some fun new objects for sims to play with while not working or studying. Sims will love motorcycles, the trampoline, and more.

GS: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about The Sims 3 Ambitions?

You'll even be able to invent robots.

GR: We're really excited to make this game, and we cannot wait to give it to players. It's an entirely new sims experience that perfectly complements the open world, personality traits, and creative tools from The Sims 3.

GS: Thanks, Grant.

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86 comments
_I_oblivion_I_
_I_oblivion_I_

i just got the expansion pack, and i think i already found a bug: i can't use the skill objects, and the only selection of books at the bookstore is the regular ones, not any skill or cooking ones. SOMEONE HELP ME. >.

smoothyplum26
smoothyplum26

I'm going to get this and I think it will be cool but I'm really hoping for hot tubs. Sims 3 needs these, pianos would be nice to.

ethan89l
ethan89l

The Sims 3 Ambitions seems pretty cool. I don't know yet because I haven't played it yet. Oh and I wanted to say something to psyckorious, I think I understand what you mean, but trust me, EA, is not reading what you said. Because A, you're pretty much hating on them, and B, they have fixed most of their glitches and bugs. I'm not experiencing many problems, the only problem I have is sometimes the sound hiccups and has to catch up and it's kind of humorous when it does, but annoying at the same time. Sims 3 experienced the same thing every rushed game does, extreme bugging and glitching problems. Think back to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. That game kicked major butt, but it crashed on me so many times, and screwed up my saved games so many times I gave up on it. Even when the patches finally released I lost interest and moved on to another game. So, what you said is true, but it also did not make any sense in terms of hating on EA for being imperfect. If you expected them to release The Sims 3 with zero glitches and zero problems, then you obviously don't know how the gaming world works......

Ceraby
Ceraby

All those jobs sound like fun. When I get the pack, I'm tryin' them all =D

Techiemaster
Techiemaster

To those people wondering what will happen to current jobs: I'm almost 100% sure that the current jobs are still there, as they are. The new careers are optional paths if you want more personable gameplay. I really wanted this at first, now I hear motorcycles... now I need this lol. I hope a pet expansion is coming next. I also enjoyed 2's open for business and university packs.

nitto1320i
nitto1320i

what good is the architect without spiral stairs.. lol

psyckorious
psyckorious

I would like to add in final thought that I felt very disappointed in how EA decided to make it so that you have to jump through hoops to do the one thing I loved doing in the sims 2 which is switching between households and building up each one's story. I loved taking each sim through their own life and path before joining them at the alter. But now you spend all that time creating the sim, making them look just the way you want, and drop them into a house. From that point on the only interactions between that new sim and your current household is through the sims themselves. If you ever want that new sim to have a certain career or house you either have to switch your current household, which completely puts the soon to be ex current household out of your hands and control, or marry them with into your current household. Nothing like revisiting that ex household once you've set up New sim A to be the perfect wife/husband/friend to find out that Ex household sim has moved on and had a baby. In my opinion EA you're expanding, your making lots of profits, and you claim that this is all about your customers, but in the end, your bottom line isn't us. The best Sims game I ever played was one where EA had nothing to do with it.

psyckorious
psyckorious

Ambitions to me is well, pretty ambitious given that all the bugs and complications from world adventures have yet to see proper repairs. When will EA finally wake up and realize that what we want as gamers above and beyond everything else is a good quality gaming experience with a solid game that we can depend on to work the way it should every time we use it. And that if games do have problems that we can trust in the ALL powerful EA to be prompt and fix them so our tiny insignificant sim lives can carry on. I hope EA is reading this because I uninstalled Sims 3 and WA after all of the issues and time I spent having to go through fixing the problems that they should have as well as rigorously scanning and testing custom content for a game that its creators boasted would be "all about" user created custom content.

Supramundane-
Supramundane-

I seriously can't wait for this expansion. :D

Sinnygo
Sinnygo

Me and my sister were soooo hoping it would be pets and animals....but i guess this is ok too. I just hope pets will be next.

tOrchie
tOrchie

This is something that should've been included with the base game. Seriously, they want you to cough up another forty bucks for this? I've had it with EA and this franchise. I'll wait until they sell the entire game as a giant twenty dollar package deal.

Australians
Australians

sweet no may rabbite holes and i can finnaly see my sim when his a astronaut doing all of that stuff

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

too bad there aren't a few other jobs added, i would like to see journalist, maybe astronaut, that would be cool, as well as athlete and maybe rock star, pop star, a actor would be cool, but... i will probably get this... hopefully other careers will be added later...

Adema83
Adema83

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

kelly44
kelly44

For people wondering about the trampoline thing and such. "Finally, we always try to add some fun new objects for sims to play with while not working or studying. Sims will love motorcycles, the trampoline, and more." Is near the bottom of the article

rpgguide
rpgguide

As several posters have pointed out it appears the game is moving more towards the solo sim RPG model than the Sims 2 big family model. I know when I play a big family I'm glad to send one to work and get them out of the way for a bit. But as more and more things are added for a sim to do the more sims you have the more you will miss out on. Also what happens to my sims at home when I follow one to work?

JeffreyCor
JeffreyCor

sure taking your sim to work can be fun, like going on an adventure in the first EP, but if you have a large family all with jobs that means jumping all over town to control every sim in their job. That wouldn't be much fun at all.

IgorSteinberg
IgorSteinberg

I just love the new ideas of The Sims 3. It is so good that they decided not to repeat the mistakes of The Sims 2, which was a boring and too realistic game. The Sims 3 is really a fun GAME, and that is a real success for EA.

SegundoGame
SegundoGame

OK guys..new expansion means new bugs, new bugs means old headaches. Wake up EA, FIX the bugs FIRST, release expansions LATER!

GreenC4T
GreenC4T

It sounds really good! I skipped on World Adventures, but this one I'm definately getting!

CrashOV
CrashOV

I just wonder how they are going to handle multiple people having to work at the same time from the same household.

sumoslug
sumoslug

I want to be able to be a dictator, who gets to run through the little sims neighborhood, blowing apart neighbor's houses and mowing down trees! Maybe as part of the criminal career path? Now THAT would be a job i'd be interested in.

Unetteh
Unetteh

2 down, 500 more to go.

FrumpyShakes
FrumpyShakes

I'm going to have to demand that the final boss or whatever for the ghost hunter profession be a showdown with the stay puff marshmallow man on top of a skyscraper in New York. I mean this is 2010, we can expect that level of production value in a sims game, right?

CHOCALATESUNDAE
CHOCALATESUNDAE

Cool. Cant wait to be a detective, ghost hunter, and a tatoo artist.

TXMostWanted
TXMostWanted

Tattoo artist?! HELLZ YEA now my Sims can look badass...I just hope this EP gives way more to do on community lots now. They're still boring to me :-/

Thundergrave
Thundergrave

I'm with EndoftheworldX. What will they do with old careers.

EndoftheworldX
EndoftheworldX

Sounds interesting, although I wonder how they're gonna make it work with the previous careers? They could either rebuild them to fit with this new idea, or simply leave them as the "boring" jobs. I unfortunately have a hunch it'll be the latter. Regardless, definitely an interesting expansion, looks a lot more exciting than WA.

nitto1320i
nitto1320i

i sure hope there are spiral stairs this time... :(

GianisPaok4
GianisPaok4

Not 2 months untill the first expansion and there it comes the second!!!hehe what elese??? :P leeeets see

FiFa_kirikiki
FiFa_kirikiki

This looks amazing!!! haha really fun and funny. @iluvgames32 I choose detective as well.

TRBO_RAD
TRBO_RAD

hahaha....at first i thought this whole aspect seemes soo dumb but now im excited, i cannot wait to be a stylist and make sims look crazy...BUT i hope this game is complete and doesn't have the 1,000 glitches the other expansions have had soo far. I hope this patches my game up for good???

Dingobo
Dingobo

This does seem to put a lot of features in that I have missed since Sims 2

quijeros
quijeros

I've always wanted career gameplay, so I'm excited for this one.

xxxnax
xxxnax

look good but????

badman11226
badman11226

man i wish would add being superstar athlete have like a little fifa going on in the game.

swmeek
swmeek

at least Gizmo doesn't look as dumb as it did in Sims 2. Hopefully we can customize our robots in a few ways! Where did it mention trampolines?

reneetruss
reneetruss

Fashion designer or fashion stylist? I doubt they will allow us to design clothes.

sztt
sztt

looks like crap

SaintsRow2Lover
SaintsRow2Lover

a trampoline and a Fashion Designer oh my god yaay I have been waiting for that to be a career and yaaaaay we get a salon and we can now see into rabbit holes such as the spa maybe we get hot tubs too I cant wait

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

sounds cool, thanks for the interview guys, actually working at your sims job is a cool idea... just when i thought i was out of the sims...

Topdawg290
Topdawg290

so i guess we'll have to quit our old "high paying" jobs to have this experience? i hope its worth it (money-wise). really looking forward to this expansion though.