The Sims 3 Updated Preview - Creating Content for The Sims 3

We take a look behind the scenes at how community content for The Sims 3 is being built for the series' online fan base.

One of the most highly anticipated PC games of the year is The Sims 3, the next game in the series that's all about creating little computer people and controlling their little computer lives, right down to the trips they make to the little computer potty. And every game in the series has always offered plenty of stuff to do right out of the box, from creating a family of sims, to leading virtual home lives, and using the games' design tools to build out a luxurious virtual home or an outdoor lot area, such as a bowling alley or a nightclub. But the Sims series, like pretty much all other long-running game series, owes a great deal of its longevity to its legions of loyal fans--especially the ones who take the time and effort to craft new items and characters for other players to download and rate on the "Exchange" community site.

GameSpot had the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes look at a community-focused event that the publisher refers to as "content creator camp"--an event in which some of the most devoted sims crafters in the world made their way to EA's Northern California campus to spend a very productive week behind the wheel of the game's updated design tools, building lots of different types of content that will be used to populate the Sims 3 Exchange site once the game ships later this year. These devoted fans were among the first people in the world outside of EA ever to get their hands on the actual Sims 3 game that week...and coincidentally, so were we. We'll take you through what we saw of the game's editing tools and the ins and outs of this community event, and will also be happy to share our exclusive hands-on impressions of the actual game tomorrow (Friday), so please come back tomorrow for them.

The Sims 3's design tools are here for when you absolutely, positively must create a witch overnight.

To create the content that will populate the Exchange site, EA's community team apparently handpicked about 30 different Sims fans from across the globe to help create new characters, homes, furniture objects, lots, and custom patterns. The Sims 3's new custom-pattern tool will let you design your own customized pattern, which you can then apply to pretty much anything in the game (including clothes, furniture, and house wallpaper), and with any kind of color tint you choose. You can then upload them on the Exchange site to share with other players. From what we understand, the game's diligent community is pretty stringent about policing objectionable player-created content, so any offensive or copyrighted material that tries to sneak through will probably get weeded out quickly.

Among other things, the game's updated character-creation tools will allow for much more nuanced and detailed characters because the game will now have a true gradient slider for skin tones to pick up more subtle skin-tone differences. It'll also have even more in-depth slider bars to let you adjust such things as the height of your characters' noses, the size of their eyes, and more hairstyles, fashion accessories, and clothing styles (including one-piece and two-piece ensembles, as well as the usual sleepwear and swimwear) than you can shake a stick at.

There are also color sliders for your characters' eyes and hair color (and you can actually create matted hair colors to make characters with tasteful, and not-so-tasteful, dye jobs in which the hair roots don't match the ends). Oh, and the game will also have a few offbeat skin colors, such as blue (in case you wanted to re-create the eccentric Blue Man Group performer troupe, or simply create a philandering sim and see how many blue children you can father around the neighborhood) and green. These are apparently quite popular for making vampire-looking characters among the Sims' fan community, which contains many goth players who are fans of black hair, black nail polish, and horror films. But given that The Sims 3 offers nongoth facial cosmetic and makeup options, including at least a few with pretty unicorns in face paint, it may be safe to assume that The Sims series also has a strong fan base among circus clowns.

Want a house by the lake? Why not just build a lake by your house?

Like with previous games in the series, The Sims 3's design tools will also let you create multistory houses that you can furnish with piles of new and different furniture. Likewise, you can build out multilevel 3D terrain (to create your own little backyard wooded hills), though if you're extremely creative, you'll be able to bend the rules a bit, such as making a "detached" house consisting of unconnected towers surrounding an open courtyard. Of course, you'll also be able to play with the game's outdoor "lots," the public common areas that we mentioned previously, should you feel that you can design a better gym or supermarket than what ships with the game. Even though the game will ship with only one town, it'll have dozens and dozens of outdoor lots to futz with, including a handful of secluded lots that aren't necessarily impossible to find, but will be out-of-the-way enough to make for relaxing secret fishing holes that your harried sims will want to escape to as they climb the game's expanded career ladder. That's the kind of thing we'll go into more detail about in our hands-on story coming up tomorrow, so please do come back for that. The Sims 3 is scheduled for release later this year.

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124 comments
luvbunny892
luvbunny892

it doesnt rlly matter this will still b wayyyy better than the sims 2

Joeywan
Joeywan

I don't understand how people are saying the graphics haven't improved. They seem to have changed tremendously. This game looks much better than the Sims 2 graphically. Maybe I'm just crazy. :/

Mr_Versipellis
Mr_Versipellis

I am genuinely finding it hard to see any graphic upgrade AT ALL. And notice, some of the bushes in the lakeside screen came STRAIGHT FROM The Sims 2!

Mr_Versipellis
Mr_Versipellis

Ah, you just know the Exchange will suck b-lls, and everyone will turn to Mod The Sims 3, or whatever fansites are created. Unless EA are characteristically obstinate about how the files are saved and accessed, making it impossible to do that. *Sigh*

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

The sims graphics should stay like this, we might be able to use are original expansion packs with it

pakhair
pakhair

I Love it of course I am going to buy it

bladez89
bladez89

the create sims tool is getting better..can't wait to create my friends into sims.

bladez89
bladez89

the create sims tool is getting better..can't wait to create my friends into sims.

Marcail27
Marcail27

While I would have liked something like the ability to have taller and shorter Sims, I suppose that is just impractical graphically. Other than that, I'm looking forward to the more subtle differences that can be made using the sliders.

Azuki
Azuki

Fat and muscle sliders aren't good enough, people want to be able to make freaks, weirdos or just plain unrealistically proportioned sims. In sims 2 you had to go to all kinds of obscure fan sites in order to get things that should and could have been in the game by default. Why we still aren't getting that in sims 3 I just don't understand. I want to make a stick woman with boobs bigger than her head and call her balloony mc-jugs or a man so fat that his feet have trouble touching the ground. It would be hilarious and awesome. Hopefully the fan community will deliver on these things, since EA are clearly incapable of doing so.

Chris_62
Chris_62

The new thing that you can create anyone that you know is really cool.

ShadowXStorm
ShadowXStorm

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ottumatic
ottumatic

@dinhd101 Or just some specific body parts to increase their sexual appeal tremendously...

dinhd101
dinhd101

Vorcoth, what are you talking about? You have TWO sliders to adjust fat and muscle already. What more do you want? Adjustable fingers? Longer arms? Really...

PizzaChains
PizzaChains

from what i read on the sims 3 site you can modify thier bodies

Vorcoth
Vorcoth

Looks like the same reason I disliked Sims 2 will be back in Sims 3 - no body modification. Just like Oblivion. Manipulating your avatar's head is all well and good, but why stop there? That's just lazy programming, especially in this day and age

Sephiroth36
Sephiroth36

That looks pretty neat, and FYI, Maxis is still there, just that EA bought the franchise, not the company. Now the only thing maxis still holds is spore. As they sold Sim City in which i think it was a mistake, and second was the Sims Franchise as for the looks of it this one might stand pretty good.

thebanewolf
thebanewolf

loler's Games you may like... 7 Sins Sexy Beach 3 single: triple trouble Sexy Beach 2 :D

noxboxlive
noxboxlive

looks really good i havnt played a game since the sims 1

Sky_Stifler
Sky_Stifler

Looks great, First day when it comes out I'm buying it =)

cru3
cru3

Sims expansions do add a lot to the vanilla game. The stuff packs, not so much. Saying the expansions don't change anything is pretty ignorant.

jjj13
jjj13

They really should make one and come out with real expansions that really change a lot of aspects to the game.

TheYoshster
TheYoshster

Awesome! I've always loved The SIms, and It's so awesome to see another sequel

ldonyo
ldonyo

Why in God's name are they making another one of these?

alfa18
alfa18

Looks great i'd like to have a good PC to play it when it comes. But I do feel that graphics are close to the sims 2 ones. Anyway what will make this game great will be the improved social interactions and the new AI!

Laksamanama
Laksamanama

hope i get a new computer by the time this comes around

smartplayer57
smartplayer57

I'm very much looking forward to this game. I loved playing The Sims 2, I actually ended up getting all the expansions for it. I hope people will continue to make their own stuff. It's great when your sim owns a $3,000 dollar Alienware or a wonderful fancy sports car that I just wish I owned.

flameducky
flameducky

Andrew Park must of taken his PC back into 1969 with a time machine. Internet didn't even exist back then.

flameducky
flameducky

And no Wii for me please. Just PS3. I don't believe the 360 has access to keyboard and mouse. Does it? Reply please.

flameducky
flameducky

Dude, why would we wait until 2010?

Syrkille
Syrkille

will it really take so much on the pc specs? The sims that were released before didn't take alot?

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

@ClassicPlayer I doubt it'll be coming to the Wii. Graphics look a bit too strong, even stronger than Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. But it should be coming to 360 and PS3 though. Wii owners haven't got a grown-up sims since Sims 2: Castaway and most of Wii Sims games are now MySims.

ClassicPlayer
ClassicPlayer

If I had a good PC I'd buy this, but I don't. Mind you EA released their previous Sims on home consoles like PS2, XBOX, GameCube, so perhaps PS3, 360 and Wii 2010?

TheGunKnight
TheGunKnight

By the way, kudos on that exact representation of my sister's ego, unknown guy who made the witch in the image above.

TheGunKnight
TheGunKnight

EA needs to look for the right track to cover its losses (did you REALLY buy Mirror's Edge?), and The Sims 3 looks like a great solution.

PolskaKing
PolskaKing

I might get it. if I had a current PC though

danjammer69
danjammer69

My kids are going to go nuts over this. I spend thousands on PS3 and PC games, yet the SIMS is the only thing that keeps them coming back each and every time. Going to have to be a day one purchase for me.

iH4cK
iH4cK

I can't wait to play this game! By the way for those of you who don't know, as I see in comments. Maxis is no more. Maxis was accuatlly bought by EA before even Sims 2 was made and in was merged into EA Redwood studios. Thats why no Maxis logos are on the boxes of Sims 2 etc. Basiclly Maxis is just a team working for EA, thats why the logo still apears are the beginning of the games.

JeffreyCor
JeffreyCor

I notice that too! "By Andrew Park, GameSpotPosted Dec 31, 1969 4:00 pm PT " this is really OLD NEWS!! LOL

BenBenBen93
BenBenBen93

By Andrew Park, GameSpotPosted Jan 1, 1970 12:00 am GMT lol it 39 years for me and new years day woow

superstormj
superstormj

By Andrew Park, GameSpotPosted Dec 31, 1969 4:00 pm PT What's with this being posted 40 YEARS AGO? December 31, 1969? LOLFest...

armalik143
armalik143

I hope they also release this game on a console...psp or ps2

eiadrtr
eiadrtr

caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant wait for it

FarmFreshDX
FarmFreshDX

Like always, there are big expectations for the series with the best selling CD games of all time.

auron_16
auron_16

this game looks pretty good. i hope they announce a console version.