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The Sims 3: World Adventures Q&A
EA has announced the first expansion; get the first details here.
by Jason Ocampo
August 3, 2009 - A couple of months ago we charted the history of the expansion packs for The Sims and The Sims 2 to figure out when The Sims 3 expansions would begin and where they might go. Well, EA announced the first expansion this morning, The Sims 3: World Adventures, just a little over two months since the core game stormed shelves worldwide. Of course, an expansion was inevitable, considering the wild success of the series.
World Adventures, which ships on November 16, will let your sims explore France, Egypt, and China. But the announcement left many more questions than answers, so we were able to ask EA Producer Lyndsay Pearson some questions regarding World Adventures late last week.
Is this a Lara sim?
IGN: So here we are with the first expansion pack for The Sims 3. World Adventures seems like a departure from the norm, though, isn't it? Expansions for the first two games were focused on nebulous themes, such as Night Life and Open for Business. But now we've got China, France, and Egypt? Does this represent a new direction for the series?
Lyndsay Pearson: Visiting real world locations has always been a draw for our players. There is a great push in our community to always bring more reality into the game be it through modders making celebrity hairs or recreating famous buildings on the exchange. Taking your Sims to real-world based, but Sim-inspired locations is a natural extension of that desire. Taking your Sim to a generic destination is one thing, but taking your Sims to the Great Pyramids is a big deal for us, and we're really excited about it. When players get into the game they will see that we're utilizing and building upon the innovations offered by The Sims 3 to create situations that would not have been possible before. It doesn't necessarily represent a shift in what the game is about, you'll still find that although your Sim is visiting Egypt, it's a Simified Egypt; we treasure our quirkiness.
IGN: What's the gist of World Adventures? Your Sims can visit these places, but is it a situation where they can build homes in these areas; in other words, they're like new towns? Or do they just visit these areas but they still live in Riverview or Sunset Valley? Or will you be able to temporarily stay in some kind of hotel?
Lyndsay Pearson: The Sims 3: World Adventures isn't really about "visiting" at all; that implies you are an observer of another culture or destination. In this expansion pack, you are directly participating in the places you are travelling to, and it's very different than just being there. Your sims will start out at a kind of "base camp" and will have to earn their way up to being able to have a local home to travel to. While camp will be where your sim starts, it's all about getting out into the world and encountering what experiences are to be had. Your sim might start walking downtown to meet some locals and be asked to help find a lost artifact that will kick them off on an adventure that might lead to a secret nook of the location or into a lost tomb.
IGN: Is there a different philosophy to the expansions for The Sims 3 now that EA can distribute a lot of new content via The Sims 3 Store? It used to be you needed to buy an expansion or a content pack at retail to get new items. Does that mean that you need to focus on different areas for the expansion?
Lyndsay Pearson: We're putting so much clothing and content up on the Store each month that it's a great way to let players pick and choose the elements they would like to use in their game. The Sims 3 World Adventures will offer an entire, whole new experience, something we couldn't deliver through the Store. Our challenge really becomes--with multiple avenues to get items or content to customers--how do we make sure we don't start overlapping too much? The Store also has the flexibility to do bite sized chunks of crazy content if we want to. We would probably never offer a set of moon-base themed furniture in an expansion pack, but we could put it on the Store if it's something people would really enjoy. The Store offers an excellent complement and enhancement resource, but we still plan to have major innovations and systems delivered by the expansion pack. The Sims 3: World Adventures focuses on delivering those along with actual, real-world inspired locations--something we couldn't give players through any other means.
IGN: The press release mentions that exclusive online content will be available for the expansion at launch. Are these exclusive items eventually going to be offered to those who don't buy the expansion?
Lyndsay Pearson: Additional content and SimPoints to be used at the Store are great ways for us to give extra incentives to the players that are out in the forefront and buying the game. That said, we realize there is a lot of value to the things we can offer and we are evaluating how we ultimately make sure it gets out there for everyone to enjoy. Stay tuned for further information on online content.
Will someone make Cleopatra, Queen of Denial?
IGN: The release also mentions that you'll be able to meet new characters in these new places. Will you be able to bring these characters back with you, or transfer them somehow?
Lyndsay Pearson: While visiting any of our new locations your Sims will be able to meet locals and explorers. Just like any Sim in their home town, they can make friends, fall in love or make enemies! After returning home Sims will be able to call these new, foreign friends and invite them to visit or chat to keep up relationships. You can even invite them over, get married, or move in. Maybe your culinary Sim has always longed to learn new French recipes and fall in love with a renowned French chef--that's a story you can tell now.
IGN: Last question. Each expansion for The Sims 2 introduced a new gameplay mechanic. Will there be a new gameplay mechanic in World Adventures? If so, what is it?
Lyndsay Pearson: The Sims 3: World Adventures offers a whole new way to play that we've never done in a Sims game before. We're utilizing the opportunity system introduced in The Sims 3 to take your sims through a whole variety of different adventures. You can start by talking to a local merchant who will send you off to find a keystone that unlocks the treasure chest to get into the secret chamber and so on. You aren't just picking up random tasks--you can follow and participate in a story. Each location offers different back stories and secrets to uncover. We're also working on a much more interactive exploration system in our tombs and catacombs. The player will need to solve puzzles to get from room to room--you can't just click in the treasure room and say "Go Here" anymore. Using your sims' skills, special items and figuring out a puzzle will be how to get through the multitude of areas we've set up for you to explore. The whole team is really excited about these new possibilities and what we can build with them. We look forward to sharing more information as we go along!
IGN: Thank you.