The Sims 3 Ambitions: fact sheet and producer interview Print
Written by Paperpin Tuesday, 16 March 2010 13:20
It's not a secret anymore, as the official announcement was made last week: The Sims 3's next expansion pack is "Ambitions", an EP entirely dedicated to careers that will realize a lot of players' dreams. For the first time ever, in fact, it will be possibile to follow our Sims at work and help them making decision.

After the jump you can find the official EA fact sheet, an exclusive interview to producer Grant Rodiek and a couple of our staff's considerations. Enjoy!



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As the second expansion pack to The Sims™ 3, the best-selling PC game of 2009*, The Sims 3 Ambitions allows you to pursue a variety of exciting paths and careers in your Sims’ lives that in turn affect your overall gameplay experience and neighborhood. While on the job, you have direct control over your Sims’ work and can choose how they spend their days. Decide whether your Sim will be the brave town hero or cause loads of mischief among their neighbors. Make your Sim save the day as a brave firefighter, change the town as a leading architect, or live on the edge as a ghost hunter. Choose the path of a stylist and explore the new tattoo system to make over your Sim neighbors in fashionable or catastrophic ways.

Will your Sim find success as a billionaire high-tech inventor or eke out a living as a bumbling mad scientist? Will they uncover secrets as a private investigator by dusting for prints or will they rough up suspects for information? For the first time, you are in charge of how your Sims’ career progresses and you decide if they will work for good or evil, pursue creative endeavors or technical affairs, climb to the top quickly, or be a slacker. The future of a Sims’ success or failure is entirely in your hands.

Features

  • VARIETY: Be a hero or mess with the neighbors as a firefighter, private investigator, doctor, ghost hunter and more!
  • CONTROL: For the first time ever, you control your Sims’ actions and interactions while they’re on the job.
  • IMPACT: Your Sims’ on-the-job choices now change their town and affect other Sims. Modify the town’s structure as an architect or set neighborhood fashions as a stylist.
  • NEW ACTIVITIES: Master the arts of inventing, sculpting and tattooing using your skills to earn Simoleons and advance your lifetime happiness.
  • BONUS CONTENT: Register your game to get access to exclusive online content such as private eye cases, hairs, widgets for the inventing bench and sculptures to create with the sculpting station.



Associate producer Grant Rodiek shares the first details on the next Sims 3 expansion.
(original article here)

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

Grant Rodiek (GR): 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.


Also, on the official English forum, SimGuruLyndsay answered an interesting question about the possibility to use other Sims while following our character at work:

Several of the active jobs have been designed to allow your Sim to still progress while you’re busy with a different Sim elsewhere. For example, a Private Investigator can do low level police work or stakeouts while he isn’t working on an active case. The Firefighter is not always fighting fires so there are times where you can let him hang out and socialize at the Fire Station or work out when you aren’t controlling him. Both the Stylist and Architectural Design jobs will take you into a mode that will pause the game, but if you don’t want to do that you can still have your Sim research their field on the drafting table. Every career has responsibilities and its own active jobs. Each active job will require your full attention, but there are still options that allow your Sim to progress and level up while not controlling them. The most efficient progression will be with you controlling them but the balance is up to you. Similar to how World Adventures worked, it will be a challenge to control more than one Sim with multiple active jobs but we’ve offered many other avenues to help make it easier, and it can be done.




A couple of considerations


The announcement of this expansion pack has quite surprised us, as World Adventures was released a little ago (November 2009) and also because Ambitions is scheduled for the beginning of June, and it's quite a long time. In short, we don't want this hype about the next EP to fuel players' expectations and then disappoint them.

Of course, the ability to follow our Sims at work it's something a lot of people always wanted. But as we said in the past, the lack of weather, seasons and pets is still very felt. EA is obviously trying to create something new and not to repeat itself, but after years spent playing with animals, rain, cold and snow, The Sims 3 still looks too empty.

We do wish that the new possibilities introduced by the new careers will be various and interesting, but the fact the game is based on the same adventures/opportunity system of World Adventures keeps us very down to Earth (for example, in many travelling opportunities, the subject changes but the procedure to follow is always the same). Also, and this is for the less experienced and concerned players, the ability to follow Sims at work only applies to the new careers, not to the existing ones. Moreover, Open for Business and FreeTime's echoes are quite evident for several features (such as the sculpting or tattooing abilities), but we still hope that the new interactions introduced will be revolutionary (for example, if we could have plastic surgery for all the Townies, it would be a God's gift!).

Also, as SimProgram's JudHudson underlined, we're totally curious to see if there will be earthquakes and, if so, how they will be organized. Being an actual matter (and I'd say also a delicate one, given the latest events), we'd really like to know if they will be introduced in the game or if it will remain a producer's dream.

Anyhow, once again EA surprises us and throws a "tempting bait"... yet we're waiting to have it in our hands before making any plans!
Last Updated on Monday, 09 August 2010 15:54