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Written by Paperpin Thursday, 14 February 2013 00:00
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ts3 ep9_logo_ENIt's finally Thursday, which means time for us to publish our reportage about The Sims 3 University Life!
First off, we'd like to thank EA Italy once again for inviting us and giving us this great chance to play the game and ask questions to producer Argus Hulin. We'd like to thank Liliana, Luciana, Marcella, Nicole and Laura for the awesome job they did to set up the event and organize everything, we really appreciated it for a number of reasons :)

The event took place at EA Italy in Milan, where together with Daniela, Giuseppe, Simone and Luca we played the game, enjoyed great food and much more!

Let's see in depth what we saw and learned about The Sims 3 University Life!

Please note: we are allowed to show up to 15 screenshots taken during the hands-on. We had two PCs to play the game on and we were divided into two groups - Daniela, Cristina and I (yes, two Danielas in the same room!) on one machine and Luca, Giuseppe and Simone on the other one. We took different screenshots so be sure to check out their reports as well. Also, we played the game in Italian. Every translation is made by me (paperpin).

Main Features

The Sims 3 University Life is the 9th EP for The Sims 3. With this expansion pack, your Sims will be able to go to the campus, attend classes and conferences and eventually get a degree. Of course, in between a lesson and a seminar, your Sims can get the most out of the campus life, party all night long and much more.

For those of you asking, the icon of the game is orange with a laurel wreath and the loading screen is orange too.


How it works

university10If you played The Sims 2 University, you're probably familiar with the university system of the Sims world. You can sign up to a faculty via computer or phone, but you must be a young adult or older. This means that your teens can't go to the university, while your young adults, adults and elders (yes!) can. Teens, however, can make a little entrance test and check if they're suitable for the university or not and get a scholarship. The test is based on their skills, school marks and traits.
I'm not sure if there are other ways to make the test, but we were playing in Sunset Valley with the Single Moms household when the llama mascot showed up in our residential lot and left a small package near the front door. The package contained a flag, a shirt and the test for the teen girl of the family.
The result of the test is immediately visible on the screen.


You can send one or more Sims from the same household to the campus - one family at time. This means that when you launch the game, you will be automatically redirected to the university neighborhood. You can't play with your residential lot and the time there is still. While at the campus, moreover, you can call your family/friends and invite them over.

The university neighborhood is a sub-neighborhood and works exactly like World Adventure locations. This means that Sims do not age when they're in the campus and they cannot have babies, get pregnant or marry while attending the university. They can die, tho.

Another thing you may want to know is that if you have The Sims 3 Seasons, yes, you'll have the weather in the university sub-neighborhood. And if you have The Sims 3 Pets, no, you can't have pets there. Anyhow, they said more information about the interaction between University Life and the other EPs will be available soon. For example, we know supernaturals can go to the university.

Going to the university is not mandatory, it's entirely up to you. But if you decide to take a degree in something, according to your final marks you'll get many benefits when applying for a job. For example, you can start 3 new exclusive careers: Artist, Videogame Developer, Sports Agent. You can even decide to apply for one of the ordinary jobs and start directly at level 4!
Also, by getting a degree you get a new slot for an extra trait!

The sub-hood is made up of several lots: there are dorms, a stadium, a couple of halls and the schools of arts, science and economy.



Your Sims can choose among 6 degree courses:
  • Technology (great for the military and law enforcement careers)
  • Communication
  • Economy (great for the business and criminal careers)
  • Science and Medicine ('nuff said)
  • Arts (great for the musical, cooking and cinema careers)
  • Physical Education
Each semester lasts one week and at the end of each semester you have to go back home. You can decide to sign up to another semester, for a maximum amount of 2 (= 14 Sim days). Each semester is organized as follows:
  • Monday: seminar
  • Tuesday: conference
  • Wednesday: seminar
  • Thursday: conference
  • Friday: exams
  • Saturday: you go home
Of course, you'll have to attend classes according to your degree course. The lots where classes are hold are rabbit holes. Seminar and conference lots are open and playable. You can even make a conference yourself.


Dorms and roommates

When your Sims move to the university, they'll get a room in a dorm. There are three kinds of dorms: one for girls only, one for boys only and a mixed one. You can choose a room and customize it as you wish (by clicking on the door you can also make your room private or decide who can get in), exactly like The Sims 2 University. Your roommates and the other students aren't playable, you can only play the character(s) you decide to send to the campus.

If you don't like dorms, you can rent an apartment.
You can also decide to have roommates to live with and you can ask other Sims to be roommates, find a roommate on the newspaper/computer and even kick him/her out if you don't like them. You can also use your influence to convince other Sims to do things for you (like cleaning, preparing food and so on). 

At the entrance of each dorm there is a job board that works exactly like the mission board of World Adventures. Your Sims can get a job for a day, take part in a challenge and find a job according to their social group.

Social groups

Another new feature of The Sims 3 University Life is the introduction of social groups. This means that your Sims can socialize with other characters with their same interests and possibly traits and be part of a social group. There are three groups:
  • Rebels (purple)
  • Nerds (green)
  • Athletes (orange)
You can be part of one or more groups, it's up to you. You can also master in all the three groups, there is even a lifetime wish for that!
When you hover your cursor on a Sim, a colored square appears showing the group that Sim is part of.
I think this social group thing works a bit like the celebrity system. You can earn "points" by socializing with people from each group, make special interactions that characterize your group and so on. I think there are 10 levels of 'influence' for each group.
Also, if I'm not wrong, when you reach the top level of a group and graduate, you can get an additional extra slot for a new trait. This means that when you finish the university with high marks and a good social position, you'll end up with 7 traits!

You can check your current group situation with your smartphone. Sims mobile phone has been updated and it's now a full-touch device.


Of course, you can throw a party! With the limited edition of University Life, you'll get the exclusive statues of Parteus Maximus that allows you to set the theme of the party: formal, toga, masquerade, swimwear and pajama parties.

Abilities and skills

The Sims 3 University Life introduces three new skills: Street Art, Social Groups and Science.
There is a special street art kit that allows you to write tags or draw graffiti around the campus and place them on the street or walls. But be careful, as the police may catch you!
While I do not know much about the Social Group skill (other than guessing it'll help you socializing with the social groups via SMS, blogs, internet), the Science ability helps you with a number of things.
You can study and analyze collectibles and other items, analyze Sims, clone Sims, control people's mind and much more. Also, I do believe playing with the Science ability will help you finding something new and... green.


university12That's what I meant with 'new and green'! Yes, The Sims 3 University Life introduces PlantSims! If you played The Sims 2 Seasons, you'll know what I'm talking about.
PlantSims are special Sims with a deep connection with nature. A typical PlantSim has a green complexion, hair made of leaves and a nature-inspired outfit. university13 PS in The Sims 3 are more 'flexible', as you can customize the look of the character and you don't necessarily have to be green-skinned. There are leafy hairdos for both males and females (and it doesn't have to be necessarily green), a leafy beards for men and a special outfit for both. While these are available in CAS for everyone, unless you have The Sims 3 Supernatural, you won't be able to create a PlantSim directly from the Create a Sim.

PS don't have the Bladder and Hunger motives, but need to be hydrated constantly. They can talk to plants and trees, blow poisoned kisses, do the photosynthesis process and much more. We didn't really figure out HOW you become a PlantSim, I guess it's something related to the Science/Gardening ability but I'm not sure.
PlantSims have special interactions but we didn't had the chance to play with one of them or transform. We saw that when they walk, they leave some kind of flowery trail behind them.
You can cure a PlantSim and transform him into a normal Sim.


There are many, many new items in CAS. Due to our limit of 15 pictures, we cannot show you the new items, but there are new hairdos, outfits, accessories etc.
There are also new traits:
  • Socially Awkward (incompatible with Carismatic)
  • Avant Garde
  • Irresistible
And lifetime wishes (translations made by me):
  • Reach the maximum level of influence in each social group (ditto :P)
  • Blog artist (reach level 10 in the Social Groups ability and create a 5-stars blog)
  • Master of street art (reach level 10 in the Street Art ability and create 7 pieces of art)
  • Master of degrees (get 3 degrees)
  • Perfect student (get a degree with all high marks)
  • Scientific specialist (reach level 10 in the Science ability and level 10 in the scientific, business or medical career)

New objects and interactions

Like the previous paragraph, we won't show you the new objects because of the 15 screenshots limit we were given. But rest assured that there are plenty of new items to furnish your homes and dorms, and some of them can be definitely dangerous!
There are two new types of death related to the Murphy bed and the vending machines: you can get stuck in the bed and die or the vending machine can fall over you and kill you. Interesting, huh?
The other new type of death is by ranting! Yes, your Sims can make a protest for something and... die for ranting too much! It's definitely one of the things I will try as soon as I get the expansion pack!
We don't know the ghost color for these new deaths, producer Argus Hulin didn't remember that.

Also, University Life introduces two features from previous EPs. I'm talking about the laundry system (there are washing machines and dryers at the campus) and the photographic skill from World Adventures.

Another thing you may want to know is that there are many new seeds, mainly for herbs that you can use for the Science ability:
  • Buzzberry
  • Basil
  • Bumbleleaf
  • Chamomile
  • Cinnamon
  • Red Berry Bean
  • Cortado Bean
  • Kona Bean
  • Maui Beam
  • Midnight Bean
  • SweetGrass
  • Greenleaf
  • Ginseng
  • Lavender
  • Licorice
  • Wonderpetal
  • Peppermint
There is also a new gnome! Who knows what powes it has.. maybe he can help our Sims studying, just like the Magic Gnome used to complete inventions during the night!


Questions and answers

EA TheSims3_Headshot_ArgusHulinWe received some questions and asked them to producer Argus Hulin, who was Skype-connected and made himself available to answer us.

1) Are there new meals?
Yes! There are new quick meals, great for the campus life, like yogurt or 

2) Do Sims age as usual when they are at the university?
No. Sims do not age while at the campus. After their graduation, they get back home and keep living their life in the same life state they had when they left for the campus.

3) What are the new types of deaths and ghosts?
There are three new types of death: by Murphy bed, by vending machine and by ranting. No further information about the new ghosts were given.

4) Is there a new woohoo spot?
Yes, Sims can now woohoo in the Murphy bed.

5) Can you create a custom university sub-hood?
Not really. You can edit the existing sub-hood just like you'd edit Sunset Valley. You can move and edit lots, but you can't create a new neighborhood.

6) Can you tell us something more about the job board?
The job board is a simple way for Sims to make money for the day. It works just like the mission board of World Adventures.

And here there are some screenshots we took during the event (thanks Daniela for them!):

university2 university3 university4 university5 university6 university7 university8 university9

Special Preview: Paradise Island

To our great surprise, we were shown a little demo of The Sims 3 Paradise Island (the 10th EP for The Sims 3, coming out on June 2013)! Producer Graham Nardone sent a little video to give us a quick look at the new houseboat that will be introduced in the game.
It was a pre-alpha version and the video was very short, but we're sure many of you will love the new houseboats! You'll be able to build and live not just on the beach, but directly in the water!
The houseboat can be docked on the shoreline or used to sail the sea. In this case, your friends or services will reach you with a special motorboat. It's a house full of every comfort, but it's just, well, in the water!

We don't know if there will be a new neighborhood or how these house can be purchased, the video was just showing how the houseboat looks.
But we can confirm that there will be mermaids! We didn't see them in action but everyone at EA told us that they're confirmed!

There's a lot of things to discover about The Sims 3 Paradise Island, so be sure to keep in touch with us in the following weeks!

Credits and acknowledgements

We'd like to thank again EA Italy and producer Argus Hulin for the chances they gave us. We'd also like to thank Daniela, Giuseppe, Simone and Luca for the great day we spent together - we hope to see you again soon guys!

presentazioneuniversity 01 presentazioneuniversity 02 presentazioneuniversity 03 presentazioneuniversity 04 presentazioneuniversity 05 presentazioneuniversity 06 presentazioneuniversity 07 presentazioneuniversity 08

And oh, before I forget, Cristina and I would like to introduce you our new friend ;)

presentazioneuniversity 09

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 February 2013 17:19