The Sims™ 3 Community Blog
: October 2011
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Here is a community blog entry from lead designer Neil Melville:


\"As Lead Designer for The Sims 3 Pets on the 3DS, I try to put myself in the role of advocate for the player. I want to understand what you, our intended audience for the game, will want from this game.  So, in our team\'s efforts to bring the best possible pet content and gameplay to The Sims 3 Pets on the 3DS, we had  two main goals: \"Usability\" and \"Pets are Sims.\"



The word usability is kind of a funny word that means \"easy to use\"--and the word itself seems to fail at it. I think that usability should be a goal of every game, but it can be hard to make a game like The Sims as deep and robust as users want, but still easy to play.  So we spent a lot of effort designing The Sims 3 Pets  on 3DS to make its complexity as clear and easy to play as possible.


To do that, we focused on users playing with the top screen as their primary focus. The interaction menu and other frequently accessed items appear on the top screen, and all the controls you need for basic gameplay are mapped to buttons so you can stay focused on that top screen. This setup allows you to hold the 3DS stable with both hands, and achieve maximum enjoyment of the stereoscopic 3D functionality of the top screen. We even went so far as to make the interface on the touch screen totally thumb friendly--the stylus is completely optional!


We also really wanted to take advantage of the 3DS\u2019 Pedometer feature, so players who exercise with their 3DS are rewarded with Play Coins to spend within our game. At the same time, we thought that it would be great if the Karma Powers were as easy to access as possible.  So now you can buy the specific Karma Power you want in the game with the Play Coins you have earned. When my little boy discovered this feature, he promptly put the game in his pocket and rode his bike around the block a dozen times. He was thrilled that he was able to unleash a toilet-breaking inferno on his Sims, just by riding his bike!


Pets are Sims


When we say \u201Cpets are Sims\u201D, we mean that they are not just NPCs that you can interact with, but fully controllable, just like the Sim people in the Sim world. They have needs, moods, traits, skills, wishes, and relationships, just like their human Sim counterparts. We knew that making pets as fun to play with as the other Sims was a big undertaking, especially on a handheld platform. In fact, Ben Bell (our executive producer) bet me a burger that we could not make pets feel like full-on Sims. Well, I love me a good burger, so now I had that extra incentive to make pets as fun as possible.


Your first encounter with these alleged full-on Sim pets is in Create-A-Pet . Not only will you find many breeds and fur patterns, colors and markings, but you will find many options for accessories unique to the 3DS, including costume hats and horns, angel and devil wings , and even a monkey and miniature cowboy for the pet\'s back. We really wanted you to be able to create good-looking pets with a lot of personality.


A lot of your Sim\'s daily wishes and experiences are influenced by the Traits and Lifetime Wish you select for your Sim. So we gave pets a variety of Lifetime Wishes based around building relationships, improving skills, and earning a living. Wait, did I say that pets can earn a living? Oh yes, I most certainly did. And I meant it. These Sim pets can join any of their household humans in any career, and actually help earn promotions based on their traits and skills. And speaking of skills, pets have their very own skills of hunting, digging, tricks, and acrobatics that can directly lead to adding funds to your Sim\'s household.


Pets can even eke out a life completely independent of having a human in the family. The 3DS version of the game allows you to start or continue your game without any human Sims. Pets can beg and scrounge for food, wash themselves in sprinklers, and improve their skills on special park toys unique to the 3DS version of the game. And if life without a human in the family is not to your pet\u2019s tastes, it can befriend and adopt a stray person and bring them home. \u201CCan we keep him?\u201D takes on all new meaning!


There is a lot more that we added to The Sims 3 Pets on 3DS to make it fun (and easy) to play with life, but perhaps I should just let you discover the rest for yourself. Give the game a try and let me know if you think Ben owes me that burger.

04:54 PM
Posted by: The_PopTart
Categories: Console Game  Expansion Pack