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The Sims 3 is a strategic life simulation video game in The Sims franchise, originally created by Maxis.It was released on DVD for Microsoft Windows and for Macintosh, using cider emulation, on June 2, 2009 in North America, on June 4, 2009 in Australia and on June 5, 2009 in Europe. A collectors edition of the game containing exclusive downloadable content, a plumbob-shaped USB drive and a Hints and Tips guide created by Prima, was also released. An expansion pack titled The Sims 3: World Adventures has also been released on November 17, 2009. Versions for PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 have been speculated, but have yet to be confirmed.

The Sims 3 is built upon the same concept as its predecessor. Players control their Sims in various activities and form relationships in a manner similar to real life. The Sims 3, like The Sims and The Sims 2, does not have a defined final goal; gameplay is open-ended. This title also features a "living neighborhood" where all Sims age at once.

The Sims 3 proved to be an instant success, selling 1.4 million copies in its first week and dominating the sales charts over a month later. Critics issued mostly positive reviews; The Sims 3 gained an 86% score from aggregator Metacritic.

Gameplay

Sim houses and neighborhoods are entirely in one continuous map, and the developers have stated, "What you do outside your home now matters as much as what you do within." The game includes an optional feature called "Story Progression", which allows all NPC Sims in the neighborhood to autonomously continue as if the player was controlling them, such as grow up, get married, get jobs and promotions, have children, build their dream house or buy a house, and so forth.You can take any chances you like. You are the controller.

In addition to Needs, Sims now have Moodlets, which can be positive or negative. Moodlets involve events such as emotional or physical events, such as a good meal, comfort from sitting in a good chair, and other things. Most Moodlets last for a set duration, whereas some negative Moodlets can be cured and some positive ones rely on the Sim's surroundings.

The previous system of Wants and Fears from Sims 2 has been replaced with a new Wishes system. Fulfilling a Wish contributes to the Sim's Lifetime Happiness score, which can be used to purchase Lifetime Happiness Rewards.

Sims live for a set duration of time (adjustable by the player) and advance through several stages (baby, toddler, child, teen, young adult, adult, and elder). Sims can die of old age or they can die prematurely from causes such as fire, starvation, drowning, and electrocution.

Open World

The city of Sunset Valley during testing phase before it was revamped


On March 19, 2008, EA revealed a new feature to The Sims 3: Open world. Sims can now explore the world outside their homes without having to face strenuous loading times. Every lot is now synchronized with the main neighborhood time. Before, time of day and weather were different in each lot and would continue off from the last time it was played. Players can also interact with every building in a city (gym, art gallery, etc.). Although players are unable to see inside of commercial buildings (grocer, bookstore, theater, police office, school, etc.), they are able to enter and retain limited control over the Sim's actions while in these locations. All occupied residential buildings can be entered in the same manner as the Sim's home lot.

Skills

There are several skill-dependent abilities, such as advanced social interactions available from high charisma, special songs for guitar players and appliance upgrades (self-cleaning, more TV channels, etc.) for high handiness. Painting, writing and guitar are now different skills, instead of the all-encompassing "creativity" skill of The Sims and The Sims 2. Paintings are now more particular to each Sim, based on their traits. Sims can increase their skills by practicing a skill (e.g. playing the guitar, working in the garden, writing a novel, etc.), reading a book about the skill, or taking a class in the skill at a civic building. Sims can begin building their skills as early as their toddler days. While skills do not show up in the meter right away, using skill building objects is rewarded once the toddler grows into a child.

Careers

In The Sims 2, Sims 'disappeared' once they took the carpool to work, and the player had no control of them until they returned, whereas in The Sims 3, each career now takes place in a building in the neighborhood that a Sim travels to. New aspects of careers include part-time jobs, overtime, and salary raises. Sims now have a boss to report to. Each career can yield several different rewards and some can be split into several tracks. A new function is that instead of having just skills to advance in a job, Sims also depend on relationships with co-workers and their boss.While at work, the player has a certain level of control over working Sims through 'Options', adjustable settings that dictate how the Sim should go about their work (e.g. take a break, socialize with co-workers, run errands, etc.)

Opportunities

One of the major new additions to gameplay is Opportunities, tasks that Sims can complete to earn rewards. These challenges occur randomly based on aspects of each Sim's lifestyle, such as relationships, skills and job. Career opportunities such as working overtime or completing special tasks can yield a pay raise, cash bonus, or relationship boost. Skill opportunities are requests by neighbors or community members for Sims to solve problems using their acquired skills for cash or relationship rewards.

Create-A-Sim

Create-a-Sim (CAS) is the character (Sim) builder, where the polygon 3-D models of Sims can be modified. New features include the ability to change footwear and head wear separately and to add freckles. Sliders have replaced prior functions in CAS. For instance, muscular and obesity sliders replace The Sims 2 system of three body types (fit, regular, and fat). Skin color, hair, voice pitch, clothing texture, and other things can also be adjusted on sliders.

The original system of percentage bar personality points has been replaced with a system of traits. These traits control the way Sims behave. For example, a clumsy Sim may break items while using them and a hot-headed Sim may annoy another Sim at random. They also open up special interactions which might not be available otherwise.

Build and buy modes

The build and buy modes have received their own makeover. The square tile outlines that appeared on the ground in previous Sims games' build and buy modes are now a quarter their original size to give the player more liberty to place objects (except for doors, windows, and walls) where they want. Players can re-color and re-pattern the furniture and other items to specific shades and patterns with the new Create-a-Style and make multi-story houses with basements. Unlike sims 2 redesigning objects is free instead of a small sum of simoleons.

Create-A-World

On October 29 2009, EA announced "Create-A-World (CAW)", which is an upcoming game world editor that will allow players to create their own custom cities from scratch for use within the game. The editor tool will be offered to players as a separate download (130MB) on the official website. The editor will be released as a beta, in December 2009, and will be available in several languages. EA deduced that they will offer continuous support for the tool and will update and improve the editor accordingly based on the community's feedback and reception. Upon creating the neighborhoods, players will have the option of sharing their creations via the official website's exchange. The tool will allow the player to have the option of either editing an existing neighborhood terrain or creating their own terrain from scratch.

Development

Electronic Arts first announced Sims 3 on March 19, 2008. The game was developed at their studio in Redwood Shores, Californiamarker, whose other titles include Dead Space.On January 15, 2009, EA invited "some of the best" custom content creators to their campus at Redwood Shores where they were hosting a Creator’s Camp. Creators have been invited to spend the week exploring and creating content like Sims, houses and customized content. The Creators' work is used to pre-populate The Sims 3 Exchange.In the seventh expansion pack for The Sims 2, The Sims 2: FreeTime, an event occurs in which a Sim-version of Rod Humble, the head of The Sims franchise, gives the player's Sim family an unopened gift box. When opened, the family gets a computer with The Sims 3 on it. The Sims 3 game cannot be bought in the catalog. Sims can then play The Sims 3 on their computers or console systems. Like all the other games that Sims can play in The Sims 2, The Sims 3 is a looping gameplay video shown on the player's Sim's computer screens when played by a Sim. On July 15, 2008 the first video preview of The Sims 3 appeared on the official website as did seven new screenshots and five Create-A-Sim screens. Four screenshots that appeared on the website and were then taken down soon after, leaked onto the internet by a member of the community.

Copies of the video game Spore also came packaged with fliers advertising the game, with information stating whole-neighborhood accessibility and endless possibilities on character creation. On October 31, 2008, two teaser trailers were released by Electronic Arts featuring a comical view on the 2008 presidential election in the United States. Candidates John McCain and Barack Obama were included along with respective running mates Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. In the eighth expansion pack of The Sims 2, The Sims 2: Apartment Life, new objects were added including logo posters and framed screenshots. The game was shipped with a code and an internet address, where the player could download clothing with The Sims 3 logo on it. Another developer walk through was released on November 6, 2008, featuring in-depth previews of the neighborhood and Create-A-Sim.

On March 23, 2009, the look and feel of The Sims 3 was seamlessly threaded throughout the storyline of an episode of The CW series One Tree Hill. On screen, the episode opens in an idealized Sims version of One Tree Hill and then transitions into the real Tree Hill. As this episode plays out, Sims versions of popular One Tree Hill characters are introduced and then morph into the real-life characters, including Dan (Paul Johansson), Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) and Peyton (Hilarie Burton). The Sims 3 versions of the characters are available for download via CW's official website. On April 19, 2009, Target exclusively released a promotional disc of The Sims 3 that features a Ladytron band poster, The Sims 3 theme song music download, and a $5 off coupon. The main menu includes screensaver downloads, videos, Create-A-Sim, Create-A-House, and much more. There is no actual gameplay involved, but it describes what playing feels like.

On May 8, 2009, EA announced that The Sims 3 had gone gold meaning that the game had finished beta testing stage and was off for manufacturing ahead of its June 2009 Release. On May 15, 2009 EA released some online interactive teaser experiences on The Sims 3 Website, including 'SimFriend', which allows users to choose a virtual Sim Friend who would email them throughout the day. 'SimSocial', which allows users to create their own Sim online, and have an adventure with them. 'SimSidekick', which allows users to surf the web with a sim. Two weeks before the game was scheduled to be released, a pirated version of the digital distribution version of the game leaked onto the Internet. EA later commented the leak was a "buggy, pre-final" version. EA claims that more than half of the game is missing and is susceptible to crashes or worse. Reportedly, the title has seen higher piracy rates than that of the most pirated game of 2008, Spore.

Audio

The music to The Sims 3 was written by composer Steve Jablonsky, who recorded the score with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox.

Software copy restriction

Some of EA's other recent PC titles, such as Spore and Dead Space, have used a SecuROM copy restriction scheme that requires online and offline authentication and limits the number of times a user can install the game to five. While it was speculated that The Sims 3 would use the same system, on March 26, executive producer Rod Humble revealed that The Sims 3 uses traditional disk-based copy protection as Sims 2 did, and does not require online authentication to install. A product key is also required. However, SecuROM based restriction is still present within the "Digital Download" version of the title, limiting users to a total of 5 authorizations for 5 different machines via online activation, each of which can be de-authorized online at any time. A legitimate serial key is required to download custom objects and Sims from the official website. This includes custom designs created by other Sims 3 players as well as additional content from EA.

Delay

On February 3, 2009, it was announced that the release date of The Sims 3 would be delayed from February 20, 2009 to June 2, 2009 in the US, and June 5, 2009 in the UK. John Riccitiello, CEO of EA Redwood Shores, said "In the case of Sims 3, we’re moving this title to June 2 to give us additional time to build the worldwide marketing campaign a title like this deserves". Grant Rodiek, Associate Producer of The Sims 3 said:

Marketing

EA Singapore launched The Sims 3 with a launch party which was held on 2 June, 2009 at the new shopping mall Iluma in Singaporemarker. At the event, The Sims 3 T-shirts were available for purchase. Players who pre-ordered received unlock codes for a Vintage Sports Car and a free The Sims 2 Expansion Pack download. In Sydney, Australiamarker on June 4, 2009 a fashion event to show off the freedom and self-expression in The Sims 3 was held by Electronic Arts Australia, and included a performance by Jessica Mauboy.

The Sims 3 Collector's Edition box design with the 2GB flash drive.


Release

The game was released as both a standard edition and a Collector's Edition. Both the collector's edition and the standard edition of the game comes with a coupon for 1000 Sim Points to spend at The Sims 3 Store. The standard edition contains the first release of the core game, while the Collector's Edition includes the Sims 3 core game, a 2GB The Sims Plumbob USB drive (preloaded with wallpapers and screensavers of the game, and the main theme as an MP3 file) with matching Green Carabiner, an exclusive European-styled Sports Car download, a Prima Tips and Hints Guide (not the actual Sims 3 Prima Guide), and Plumbob stickers. Those that pre-ordered the game also got a Vintage Sports Car download, The Sims 3 Neighborhood Poster, and a quick start reference guide. It is still unknown which countries are / will be able to purchase the Collectors' Edition, but this list definitely includes New Zealand, Australia, Philippines, Israelmarker, the Netherlandsmarker and South Africa. Recently however, a christmas special edition was released in the US and probably more to follow and includes all the stuff in collecters edition. A preview CD with more information about The Sims 3, such as music samples, family descriptions, and career information, was also released. Previous releases of The Sims have rarely been advertised for mobile platforms, although the game is available on the Ovi Store,,iPhone and iPod Touch On August 3, 2009 EA announced that it will release the first expansion pack, World Adventures, on November 17, where Sims can visit different locations around the globe.

Editions and Add-ons

Editions

Name Release date Includes
The Sims 3 Windows & Mac OS X:

The first release of the core game on one DVD.
The Sims 3 Collector's Edition Windows & Mac OS X:

The core game on one DVD plus bonus material including a European Styled Sports Car download.
The Sims 3 Holiday Collector's Edition Windows & Mac OS X:

The core game on one DVD plus bonus material, such as a new The Sims 3 Xmas Theme Song, 6 Xmas-themed in-game items, and an all new Sims 3 Xmas-Themed Wallpaper. It also includes a European Styled Sports Car download.


Expansion packs

The Sims 3 expansion packs provide additional game features and items.

Name Developed by: Release date Major Additions Cities New NPCs New Playable Creatures New Careers
World Adventures EA Black Box
The Sims Division
Treasure hunting, landmark exploration in different countries, new skills, new traits, no more rabbit holes Sim Countries:
Chinamarker
Egyptmarker
Francemarker


Chinese sims, Egyptian sims, French sims Mummies None


Stuff packs

Stuff packs are add-ons that intend to add only new items (usually in the amount of 60) to the base game.

Name Release date Developed by Includes
High-End Loft Stuff  Windows:

EA Montreal TBA for Everyone. However, the title suggests that there will be lofts and luxury items.


The Sims 3 Store

The Sims 3 Store is an online store where players of The Sims 3 can purchase and download content for their game online for additional fees. To date, unlike its counterpart for The Sims 2, The Sims 3 Store only offers exclusive objects, clothing, skins, and hairstyles not found through any other medium.

The store uses a point system in which players can purchase additional SimPoints using a credit card or other payment system. It was launched on June 4, 2009 to coincide with the launch of the game. Players can use the game launcher to download items that they have purchased with their SimPoints. Sets available for purchase at the store include "Tiki", "Storybook", "Hewnsman", and "Bayside".

Reception

EA reported that in its first week, The Sims 3 sold 1.4 million copies. According to EA, this represents the most successful PC game launch the company has ever had. According to retail data trackers Gfk Australia The Sims 3 has been the top selling game in Australia from release until June 21. Critical response was generally favorable, with Metacritic calculating a metascore of 87% based on 47 reviews. PC Gamer awarded The Sims 3 a 92% and an Editor's Choice badge, calling it "The best Sims game yet". IGN PC awarded The Sims 3 an 8.9/10, stating: "This is simply a better playing Sims experience, and once you experience the freedom to hit the town without hitting a load screen you’ll be hard-pressed to go back to any of the earlier games". The review also said the following: "Blowing up the size of the game was certainly a risk, but it was a sensible and overdue one, and kudos to EA for recognizing that the decade-old formula needed some growth. And while there’s still plenty of room for more innovation, we’ll settle for The Sims 3 for now. It delivers a solid foundation for what should be many more years of Sims sales dominance". GameSpot awarded The Sims 3 a score of 9.0/10, the review praised the game: "The latest Sims game is also the greatest, striking a terrific balance between the fresh and the familiar." To date The Sims 3 has sold 5.9 million copies.

References

  1. http://au.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/thesims3/news.html?sid=6214915&mode=news
  2. http://au.pc.ign.com/articles/100/1003097p1.html
  3. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/sims3?q=Sims%203
  4. Child Care
  5. "All of The Sims 3's Character Traits and Lifetime Wish Goals" from GameSpot
  6. Build and Buy Mode Developer Blog
  7. The Sims 3 visits One Tree Hill on The CW Tonight! from TheSims2.com
  8. The Sims 3 One Tree Hill Downloads page from CWTV.com
  9. Sims 3 goes gold
  10. The Sims 3 Copy Protection, The Sims 3 official website
  11. http://store.ovi.com/content/6C3961494DD115B9E040050A87327928?clickSource=search
  12. http://www.applethoughts.com/news/show/93979/the-sims-3-in-the-app-store.html
  13. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/ea-unveils-first-sims-3-expansion
  14. http://www.gamestop.com/Catalog/ProductDetails.aspx?product_id=76503
  15. |url=http://au.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/thesims3/news.html?sid=6212813&mode=recent | title = Aussie game charts: June 15-21
  16. Dan Stapleton, PC Gamer, July 2009 (Issue #188), p. 69–73


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