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It is almost like magic: Freshly announced we can offer you the first interview to the Sims 3-expansion World Adventures. We asked producer Lyndsay Pearson about the content of the expansion, the Sims and autonomous AI as well as the significance of the community to the franchise.
4Players: The expansion packs for The Sims 2 were always themed. What will be the theme for the first Sims 3-expansion? And will it be just available for download or also as a boxed version?
Lyndsay Pearson: We're happy to announce that the first expansion pack will be The Sims 3 World Adventures - it's all about taking your Sims on the adventure of their lives! Your Sims will soon be able to explore real-world inspired locations from around the globe. Explore ancient tombs in the pyramids of Egypt, master martial arts in the China, and discover rich culture and famous landmarks in France. You will be able to purchase The Sims 3 World Adventures at retail stores or as a digital download.
4Players: Will the players finally be able to watch their Sims at work - maybe even incorporated with some mini-games like in the console versions of The Sims 2?
Lyndsay Pearson: We´ ve been asked a lot about watching Sims go to work and there's certainly something interesting in there. The first expansion pack focuses on expanding the new gameplay experiences introduced in The Sims 3 such as
The first expansion to The Sims 3 leads you to Egypt as well as other real-world inspired locations.
opportunities, collecting, discovery, and exploration. We think letting your Sims do something really daring and exotic is a natural complement to their more normal lives back home.
4Players: Will the community eventually be able to create their own 3D-models instead of "just" putting new textures on the given polygons?
Lyndsay Pearson: We really respect and appreciate our community's endless creativity. Right now we're focused on creating a rich expansion pack experience at this time, but stay tuned for further announcements.
4Players: What do you think about the contributions and the feedback of the community?
Lyndsay Pearson: We have a very creative and inspired community and appreciate the feedback they share with us. Some go so far as to actually make and share their own content, but even the most casual of fans makes the Sims community what it is. Whether sharing their creations or their ideas there is plenty of inspiration to be had. The development team really enjoys browsing the official website to view their creations and reading the feedback from the fans.
4Players: What will the future hold for The Sims 3? Will it be going the way of its predecessor with an almost unbelievable amount of expansion and "stuff" packs? Or will you rely more on the community?
Lyndsay Pearson: We are always looking for ways to expand and develop The Sims 3 experience. Our first expansion pack, The Sims 3 store, TheSims3.com and our exchange expand The Sims 3 experience with additional content. We continue to be focused on delivering a rich and compelling game for our players.
4Players: Will there eventually be a "true" online component like in Animal Crossing or Cities XL, where you can at least visit a friends' city?
Lyndsay Pearson: There are currently no plans at this time for this.
4Players: Will there be a point where we can expect a storyline in The Sims that you can (respectively have to) follow? The late Sims Stories seemed to be on a good way - with all their limitations. But now with the enhanced world of The Sims 3 it seems to be worth thinking about getting some of those elements of "pre-scripted drama" as an additional tool into The Sims 3.
Lyndsay Pearson: World Adventures adds an element to our fiction that is very close to following a storyline. Your Sim could be part of an adventure that may require him to help thwart an evil mega-corporation that is stealing priceless treasures or to help revive a famous historic landmark. The Sims 3 is still focused on giving players tools to tell their own stories and we will continue to offer help and nudges along the way.
4Players: Will there eventually be an adaptive AI that can reproduce certain recurring procedures or learn from mistakes like setting the stove on fire four or five times in a row?
Lyndsay Pearson: The notion of Sims learning for themselves is an interesting one. We have toyed with idea before, but ultimately we still want the Sims to be a game you have to continually interact with, if your Sims are too smart, what fun is it
"Your Sim could be part of an adventure that may require him to help thwart an evil mega-corporation that is stealing priceless treasures..."
to take care of them or help them? Or mess with them for that matter. A lot of fun comes from the unexpected surprise of your stove catching fire even though you're an expert cook or catching a rare magic gnome the first time you try to fish. If we make the Sims to autonomous or too smart, some of that magic will be lost.
4Players: A more general question: In times where not only the pc market is struggling there are a few software-lighthouses that stand strong against the test of time - the Sims-series being one of them. Where do you think lies the secret of the success?
Lyndsay Pearson: When it comes down to it, our games offer something for everyone! The Sims games have always resonated with both traditional and non-traditional gamers. On one hand we have really accessible, creative tools like Build Mode or Create-A-Sim where people can create these incredible homes and amazing characters. We've also tried to make sharing all that creativity very easy with our exchange where we´ ve already seen 36 million downloads go through with The Sims 3! We attract the "gamer" community with deep strategy and an amusing situational game. We also keep our fans engaged and intrigued by supporting a deep and creative modding community. Our dedicated fans and creators are a large part of the reason why the game continues to be so fresh and interesting.