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A couple of things about the story progression PDF Print
Written by Paperpin Monday, 03 August 2009 18:52

On the official blog of Lyndsay Pearson, The Sims 3 executive producer, has been published a very interesting article about the story progression. How come some Sims disappear from the neighborhood? What happens if I disable the aging option?

The answers to all these questions are here below...

Hello Simmers!

You’ve had some questions regarding story progression in The Sims 3 and how it works, so we’re here to shed some light on some of the inner workings of this feature.

Story progression has two main goals in The Sims 3.

·         Maintain town stability.  (primary goal)

·         Make the neighboring Sims feel as if they have their own stories and are growing in the your world.  (secondary goal)

What does “maintain town stability” actually mean?  One of the new features in The Sims 3 is the open neighborhood.  Instead of having multiple “save games” in roughly the same neighborhood, the entire neighborhood is the game, and everything progresses at the same time.  However, there are many new challenges that we needed to overcome if those stories were to be believable.  All of your Sims neighbors would die without reproducing, causing an empty world, or there wouldn’t be enough children or single adults for your Sims to interact with.  These are gameplay reasons for the game attempting to manage the other Sims in the neighborhood.  Another challenge we took into consideration was game performance.  Our team has standards for what the average player would experience in this open neighborhood.  If there are too many Sims in the world, overall performance of the game would decline for several game machines. Therefore, the game attempts to manage the population in such a way to provide both a good performance for you as well as have enough interesting Sims for your Sims to interact with.

After all of that is taken care of, the game then tries to make the Sims more realistic.  It gives Sims interesting jobs, moves them around based on relationships (or randomly sometimes to stir things up), make them gain weight or become thinner.  These types of actions and the concept of story making always takes a backseat to providing your Sim family with the ideal backdrop for gameplay.

A couple of common questions:

1)      Why did some Sims disappear completely from my game?

If you move your created families of additional Sims into your neighborhoods the population increase may start to cause an overload.  When overpopulation starts to become a challenge, some households may completely leave a world.  Currently the game preserves Households that your Active Household knows (i.e. has relationships with). 

2)      Why when I change households do some Sims get moved around in career levels?

Story progression does occasionally have Sims get jobs, promoted/demoted, fired, quit, and retire, but this should be done in a more normal and slow fashion.  The larger corrections you see are due to career fixing.  Careers are more robust in The Sims 3 and require a boss and sometimes co-workers, so when your Sim gets a job it tries to find real living Sims in the world to promote or it might assign a neighbor Sim living in the world to be that Sim’s boss.  The game will try to find a Sim in the career and promote them, but if there aren’t any available, it will pick a random Sim to assign to that career.

3)      Can you explain the aging and story progression checkbox options?

This was done to give a little more freedom to you to choose how your game functions.  The aging check affects ALL Sims including your Sims and neighborhood Sims.  Story progression will still try to make interesting changes to the town makeup and management; it just doesn’t have to worry about most Sims dying of old age anymore.  If you continue to move in more Sims, the game will grow concerned about overpopulation as usual.  When story progression is turned off, the game will not try to cover the management and tweaking actions that occur outside of normal gameplay.  Neighboring Sims will still visit community lots, go to their jobs, and visit  your Sims.  They just won’t move in or out, or change jobs (except if careers need to be fixed for new Sims) or gain weight.  If you leave aging on and story progression off, eventually your Sim’s world will be empty of neighboring Sims.  Careers will still create “townies” (Sims that “live” in the world, but don’t live in a house) to fix Careers, but they will never move in. 

In future updates we will be improving the system to take into account your feedback and make the system more robust.  Keep an eye out!


The Sims 3 Development Team

Last Updated on Monday, 03 August 2009 19:07