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The Sims goes truly 'open world'

Quote:
The first details on The Sims 3 have been scooped up by PC Gamer UK and can be found in its latest issue, in subscribers' hands now.

What's the first important point about the sequel is that, according to the article, it appears that EA's development team has established the goal of reeling in the hardcore PC gaming fraternity. You know, the one that's previously turned its nose up at what's been perceived as a casual gaming experience that appeals only to girls.

The second important point is that Rod Humble, creative director of the Sims label, wants to break down barriers in the series with The Sims 3.

As reported in the magazine he explains how the team "let Sims wander freely through a town, take in the sights, not be constrained by the prison-like 'lots' of old games. He wants to turn the game into an open world, where Sims can stroll, meet their friends, go to work, interact with each other. And piss themselves in the gym. It's GTA: Pleasantville."

The game is still in the relatively early stages of development, but a view of a neighbourhood in The Sims 3 is described as feeling like a living, open town, a place where stuff happens, where the day-to-day lives of interesting people intersect in infinite ways.

New to the series is an inventory system for your Sim, in addition to the game now providing you with clear objectives to complete. And if that's starting to sound a little RPG, get this - The Sims 3 has what are essentially buffs.

In one example, we're told how a kiss received by a Sim from his "hot wife" puts him in a great mood which means he works quicker, makes more friends and be happy as a pixie for the next five days.

"We've got a design pickle. We need infinitely large metaphysical aspects to your Sim", Rod Humble says. "Instead of having to choose six things that define a person's mood," he continues in reference to The Sims 2, "we wanted an infinite number of ways to say how a Sim was feeling".

He adds, "We looked around for design mechanisms that we could use, and sure enough, we were like 'hey, buffs! that really works.' Now there are buffs for everything. You can be in a bad mood because you just pissed yourself. You could be in a good mood because you like sitting in sofas. You could be sad because your lover died. Or you could be happy because you're pregnant."

In addition to evolving the emotional side of a Sim, physical make-up is much improved in the sequel with sliders for weight and musculature for example leading to a near-infinite range of body types. And character creation is far richer too - rather than assigning numerical values to a Sim, a traits system is now used instead.

"The Sims themselves look better... Their skin is more natural, more real. Their faces move in ever so slightly more real ways. Their hair is different", says PC Gamer.

All that effort put into creating your Sim can be enjoyed by other players as well. You'll be able to upload your character to The Sims 3 website where it can be downloaded by fellow Sim-ians and introduced to their own neighbourhoods. But there's no multiplayer component.

EA is apparently declining to comment further on community features at this stage, and it's taking an identical stance with expansions.

The Sims is famous for its expansion packs and the open-world nature of The Sims 3 is described as having enormous possibility for add-ons.

But although Rod Humble wasn't spilling his guts on any expansion plans, he did have this to say: "The fact that it's a seamless world means that eventually - not to give away too much of our expansion pack strategy, but in theory - The Sims 3 could expand into an entire seamless world. You can imagine a Sims country which you could just live your life in."
Halcyon i7
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Halcyon i7
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7 930 Asus P6T Deluxe OC Palm Edition ATI 1GB XFX 5870 6GB Corsair Dominator DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2 x 1TB WD1002FAEX 2 x Sony Optiarc AD-7241S Lightscribe DVD-RW Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell 23" SP2309W, Daewoo 19", Samsung HDTV 32" 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 Corsair CMPSU-850HXUK Antec 900 Logitech G5 v2 
Mouse Pad
SteelSeries Surface QcK 
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Reply