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?
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?
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?
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.