Last week I ventured off to Cologne, Germany to attend my first ever gamescom. I've been to a few trade shows previously but this one was particularly exciting because I was able to meet many of the players. Looking back, it was a crazy (but fun!) few days in Cologne and I thought I could share of few of my top highlights from the event with you all.
Day 1 - Tuesday, August 14th
Prep and practice. In the press behind closed doors area, Producers Ben Bell and Mike Zamora ran through their demos of The Sims 3 Supernatural and The Sims 3 Seasons. I got to be their guinea pig to listen in and provide feedback. I asked them a few questions while they were running through the games but they were being pretty tight-lipped about giving me responses. I did get to experience a roller skating fairy and see Sunset Valley completely blanketed with snow. Oh, and they did tell me that pets will be able to experience weather just like Sims. If your cats or dogs go out in heavy snow, you might only see their tail as they navigate snowdrifts. The Sims 3 Seasons is looking awesome! You are not going to be disappointed.
I asked Mike if he'd be willing to give you all his experience of working on The Sims 3 Seasons and showing it ag gamescom. He said, absolutely!
Here's what he had to say:
"Our players are going to be blown away with how The Sims 3 Seasons transforms their worlds. It's not just the awesome weather effects but the activities that come with each change of seasons as well. Our team worked hard to make sure that the experience is unique for each season. At gamescom, in the midst of 90-degree temperatures, we wanted to take a deeper dive into what a typical hot summer day would be like for your Sims. One of the features that we’re most excited about is the ability to swim in the ocean. It was great to watch our fans' eyes light up when they saw Sims wade into the familiar waters of Sunset Valley for the first time. In addition, we did of course show the summer festival which featured the football (aka soccer) shootout that our European friends were really glad to see. We made sure to refer to it as 'football' while in Germany, not to mistake it with 'American football.'"
While they continued their run-throughs, I was able to stop by and visit SimCity's booth on the show floor. The EA area was huge, and SimCity was a true stand-out, dominating the entire entrance of EA's booth.
Next we took a quick break for lunch and when in Germany, eat as the locals do. We had currywurst and pomme frites!
Then later that night we opted for more traditional German fare. Food tip from Ben Bell, "Make sure you specify what's best for quenching your thirst. All of Germany likes their aqua with gas (fizzy water). If gas waters isn’t for you, be sure to say so!"
Day 2 – Wednesday, August 15th
This was the first day the show opened. Ben Bell and Mike Zamora posed for a quick pic before opening the doors to press in The Sims 3’s behind closed doors area.
Since it was all about press this day, I decided to head out onto the show floor to see what was going on. The noise was almost deafening. Every area was competing with light and sound shows and all of a sudden, there on the big screen, was The Sims 3 Supernatural trailer. The six foot high monitor displaying werewolves, vampires, fairies and witches looks absolutely phenomenal. It gave me goosebumps!
From back in the press behind closed doors area, we received good news from the team was that everyone who saw the demo really enjoyed both games! Some of the favorites included the 'Death by Jelly Beans' ghost in The Sims 3 Supernatural and the Hot Dog Eating competition in The Sims 3 Seasons.
Later on that afternoon, Ben Bell and King Choi ventured over to the EA.com room where they hosted a Live Broadcast from gamescom. They showed-off demos of both The Sims 3 Supernatural and The Sims 3 Seasons and gave a few more tidbits of news, including the announcement of The Sims 3 Sunlit Tides, available on The Sims 3 Store Thursday, August 23rd.
That evening, Italian food and karaoke brought out our team superstars! It was like being in The Sims 3 Showtime for real. Ben Bell did a rousing rendition of Duran Duran's Rio while King Choi asked us to call him maybe.
Day 3 – Thursday, August 16th
By the time Thursday came around, everyone was a bit tired but still really excited for the show. King Choi stopped by The Sims 3 Supernatural's kiosk in the press behind closed doors area and showed us his best Vanna White impersonation.
The SimCity team was inundated with lots of fans wanting to get their hands-on the demo. At one point queues to get hands-on the game were quoted to be two hours long. Show attendees even brought folding chairs to sit on while they wait!
I saw the dancing characters from Plants vs. Zombies and just had to get my photo taken with them! I cannot wait for the Limited Edition of The Sims 3 Supernatural so I can style my zombie Sims with a rag suit and cone hat.
Day 4 – Friday, August 17th
Early in the morning, The Sims 3 behind closed doors area had a surprising visitor! Germany's I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! winner and musical actor, Ross Anthony dropped in to check out The Sims 3 Supernatural and The Sims 3 Seasons. The team had some photo fun posing as their favorite supernatural with Ross.
Then it was the time we had all been waiting for – The Sims 3 Community Lounge! On Friday, excited fans were treated to a hands-on session for The Sims 3 Supernatural! The room opened at 10:00AM and after just one hour, it became a standing room only. Luckily I bagged my comfy spot (in a huge The Sims beanbag) to live blog and take photos.
Everyone was really enthused with the game! Fans spent loads of time in Create A Sim making their very own supernaturals. From werewolves to vampires to human households and fairies living with zombies, we had a ton of fun. I think I even saw some Edward and Jacob look-a-likes.
Ben Bell turned up around 3:00PM to prepare for his Community Lounge presentation. Fans were eager to see and hear what he had to say and were especially ready to embrace the supernatural when Ben greeted them fully clad as a vampire!
During the Q&A portion of the day, fans asked Ben lots of probing questions. He showed off the full elixir menu and a few of their effects. One in particular that stood out was the Tragic Clown. If you happen to be hit with the Tragic Clown elixir, you will automatically make other Sims cry just by talking to them. Ben also told us about supernatural babies. You won't be able to get mixed supernatural children, no 'wearies' or 'zompires', but you can totally customize your supernatural in Create A Sim. Want a werewolf with green skin? Done. Fancy a blue skinned fairy with red hair, your wish is granted. If a werewolf and a fairy have a baby then it will take on the supernatural of one or the other. Personally, I'd be hoping for a werewolf baby, they are super-cute when scratching at the furniture.
After Ben's stop into the Community Lounge, him and King Choi sat down for an on-camera interview. It was the perfect closing to a busy week!
We had a fantastic four days at gamescom! Thanks to all the fans who came to see us, and all of you for following along with our adventures on TheSims3.com, Facebook and Twitter. We have so many exciting things ahead for The Sims 3 and looking forward to hearing about your new adventures in The Sims 3 Supernatural and The Sims 3 Seasons.