The Sims 3: Ambitions Q&A - Creative Careers

Get the first details on creative careers in the next chapter of The Sims 3.

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The Sims series, which lets you create and control a family of little computer people, has been around for 10 long years of laughter, kitchen fires, and potty breaks. The latest game in the series, The Sims 3, is about to get a little bigger with the Ambitions expansion pack, which will add in-depth career gameplay to the series for the very first time. In Ambitions, your sims will be able to aspire to new artistic careers, such as tattoo artist, architect, sculptor, and stylist. Associate producer Grant Rodiek explains.

Ambitions will offer a new set of creative careers.
Ambitions will offer a new set of creative careers.

GameSpot: We understand that the first career rollout for Ambitions will have four new career paths driven by the creativity of a player's sim. Give us an overview of them.

Grant Rodiek: With The Sims 3: Ambitions, we wanted to give players a variety of careers, let them choose what to do while on the job, and have those choices impact their game in a meaningful way. Today, we are focusing on careers that are inspired by creativity, including stylist, architectural designer, sculptor, and tattoo artist. Many Sims players never leave build mode or create-a-sim, and we wanted to combine the gameplay found in these creative toolsets with the storytelling and simulation aspects of the rest of the game. Careers range in size from the traditional 10-level progression full of rewards and uniforms to small-scale entrepreneurial ventures.

Architectural design is a powerful creative career path and one that can greatly impact your town. Sims throughout the neighborhood will call your architectural designer sim to do a huge assortment of design jobs, which may include the addition of a man cave, a book nook, a kitchen redesign, or an entire home makeover. It's also really cool how client jobs are driven by the clients themselves--and not some random cycle. Expecting parents will request a new baby room, sims with new roommates will ask for a new room for their "bro," and sims who love to paint will ask for an art studio. It's really powerful to see how your sim can impact the neighborhood around them.

Sculpting is one of our huge new skills that give players a lot of creativity and a quite a few simoleons while they're at it. When your sims have knowledge of several of our existing skills, including sculpting and inventing from Ambitions, they can register as being "self-employed." Sculptors can sculpt in quite a few media, including metal, clay, ice, wood, and even topiaries. When the sims aren't bumbling with a chainsaw or a blowtorch, they can create a wide array of sculptures--from the silly dancing gator to functional objects like a clay dining chair or even ice sculptures of their friends in cool poses.

Sims who own a tattoo chair (or pay a visit to the local salon) can offer tattoos to others for a small fee. Our new create-a-sim tattoo feature is incredibly deep. Players can start by changing the colors of every tattoo. However, those feeling a bit adventurous can layer up to five tattoos, which they can then individually scale, modify in color, or even modify in opacity. These creations can be saved and uploaded to The Sims 3 Exchange site to share with the community or applied to your sim's customers around your town.

Ambitions will let you finally become the ice sculptor you've always wanted to be.
Ambitions will let you finally become the ice sculptor you've always wanted to be.

Lastly, there is the stylist. The headquarters for these fashion-focused sims is the local salon, though later in the career, they are able to provide makeovers wherever their clients happen to be. Clients may request a new hairstyle, new outfit, just a little bit of makeup, or even a full personal makeover. To do this, you take the clients into create-a-sim to pick every detail to satisfy--or mortify--your client.

With all careers, we wanted to give the players a little bit of freedom to be great to their customers (or to be a bit of a jerk). For the stylist, rude behavior primarily manifests itself through horrendous makeup and being a tinge too aggressive with the clippers.

GS: How will the architectural designer career path differ from standard Build mode? How will this career path bring in actual simoleons? How do you advance? Do you start off designing bowling alleys and end up working on the Taj Mahal?

You'll be able to give your neighbors a new look as a stylist.
You'll be able to give your neighbors a new look as a stylist.

GR: We refer to the architectural design version of Build mode as "Renovation" mode. While in this mode, players are shown their client's requests, the budget, and any known traits that may impact the review. For example, clients who are bookworms may give you a higher review if you squeeze in a bookshelf under budget.

Each job will have different requirements. For example, a sim who wants a new "man cave" may request a big-screen TV, a bar, new sofa, and a foosball table. These are just the requirements though; if the budget is big enough, you can change a bit more outside the requirements or buy only the best things.

Your sims are paid for every job they complete, though they earn a bonus for getting really high reviews. Early in their careers, your sims may just be doing an exterior renovation, whereas later, clients may pay your sims top dollar for a complete home renovation.

GS: We understand that the sculpting career will let sculptors create usable, salable furniture, as well as statues of other sims. Will these two different types of sculptures require different types of practice? What kind of new social options and possibilities will the game offer now that sims can have their subjects pose for sculpting?

GR: Different media may cost different amounts or require different materials. For example, it helps to have an inventor in the house who owns a bit of junk so that your sculptor can use the junk to make a metal statue. Sims learn different media as they advance in the sculpting skill, and each one requires a bit of a learning curve. The topiary is a high-level sculpting medium, but that won't keep your sims from accidentally decapitating their leafy lawn ornaments from time to time.

Like in most parts of the game, friendship can open all sorts of doors. Your sim can usually ask a friend (or family members) to pose. Before long, you'll have a slowly melting ice sculpture collection.

GS: How does the tattoo artist career develop over time? Do you end up unlocking more elaborate tattoos as you advance? Any possibility for full-body or "sleeve" tattoos?

GR: The tattoo chair is an object your sim can use to earn a bit of side money; most of the creativity comes at the hands of the player picking the tattoos. All of them are unlocked from the start, so the only limiting factor is the player's creativity and the occasional "failure tattoo."

GS: What sort of new opportunities will pop up for players pursuing these careers? GR: We have new opportunities for both the inventing and sculpting skills. We also have a full set of new wishes to satisfy for your sims, lifetime wishes to strive for down the line, and, of course, quirky and useful lifetime rewards to make your sims more powerful and flexible.

GS: Tell us about some of the new lifetime wishes and rewards available to these professions.

GR: New wishes include home design hotshot, [with] the goal to earn a high number of "great" reviews as an architectural designer; descendant of da Vinci, [with] the goal to master sculpting, painting, and inventing skills; and super stylist, [with] the goal to reach the top of the stylist career.

New lifetime rewards include artisan crafter, which grants a bonus to [the] value of items made via sculpting and inventing, and career cash booster, which earns more money for jobs completed in one of the new professions.

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

You can get your customers a little ink as a tattoo artist.
You can get your customers a little ink as a tattoo artist.

GR: Ambitions pushes the game in new directions and provides a style of Sims experience that our community has always asked for. There's a lot of variety and depth in the tasks your sims can do that provide something for every style of Sims player. We can't wait to see the community's creativity soar with this expansion pack.

GS: Thanks, Grant.

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