The Sims™ 3 Community Blog
: August 2012
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Here is a special blog from Designer Alan Copeland introducing the Sauna premium item for Sunlit Tides and the Massage Table premium item for Sunlit Tides Gold.

I’ve always wanted to peer into some of the rabbit holes in The Sims and see what goes on inside. Who wouldn’t want to see all of the dastardly things that happen in the run-down warehouse where the criminals hang out, or get a backstage pass for a glimpse into the actor’s career? One of the rabbit holes that strike me as particularly intriguing is the Day Spa. Usually reserved for Sims with quite a few extra Simoleons, the Day Spa is particularly appealing, since few things in the game boost a Sim’s mood—or present such compelling storytelling opportunities—as this rabbit hole. 

When we started considering premium content that would fit with a tranquil island theme for The Sims 3 Sunlit Tides, the Steam-It-Up Sauna seemed like an ideal fit. Not only can the sauna soothe away those pesky debuff moodlets from exercising or working too much, the moodlets that you get from hydrotherapy or a revitalizing mud bath can also help to prevent those negative effects in the first place! However, we didn’t want the Steam-It-Up Sauna to be just a soothing getaway; we also wanted it to add some fun, socialization and romance to your Sim’s vacation.

One of the fun features that we added (and one of my personal favorites) is the ability to take harvestables into the sauna and quickly make some steamed veggies, adding a bit of random fun that harkens back to The Sims 2. There are a number of fun little Easter eggs to discover in the Steam-It-Up-Sauna. For instance, when a werewolf or a dog enters the sauna, there’s a chance that everybody else might be turned off by the smell of wet dog. Sims can also chat, cuddle or even steam things up with a new type of WooHoo (a premium content first!)  Also, if your Sims wants to try for a baby, the sauna gives you the option to try for a baby boy or girl! At one point, we considered adding walls to the sauna, but when we saw some of the really creative ways that builders were able to modify it, from creating individual rooms to building bathhouses, the customizability was too much fun to pass up. We’re looking forward to seeing what customizations you create! 

Serenity Retreat Venue (available with the Gold edition of Sunlit Tides!)

As we developed The Sims 3 Sunlit Tides, we wanted to ensure we included something to complement the Day Spa career and would allow you to build that experience at home (and make a few Simoleons on the side). The Infinite Zen massage table, which comes exclusively with the new Serenity Retreat venue, allows you to do just that! Sims can gain fun, energy and social all while removing soreness or a number of other negative moodlets from another Sim. The massage table also fulfills wishes you’d normally only be able to fulfill at the Day Spa rabbit hole. There is also the opportunity for some funny and romantic moments, such as failures associated with botched hot stone massages or acupunctures. Sims can also give romantic massages to each other if they are in a relationship, and get the life-changing high fertility buff. 

We love to hear your feedback, and we hope you enjoy playing this new content as much as we enjoyed making it. Be sure to check out it out in The Sims 3 Sunlit Tides, which launches worldwide on Thursday, August 23!

08:17 PM
Posted by: SimGuruTaterTot

Hi Simmers!


Today, I'm talking about another of the four seasons in The Sims 3 Seasons - SUMMER!  Typically, in The Sims, every day is a sunny day. You and your Sims are probably used to clear weather and lots of sunshine. With the introduction of transformative weather effects in The Sims 3 Seasons, now you can play with summer as you never have before - with blisteringly high temperatures and heat waves!


It's Hot in Here!


In The Sims 3 Seasons, the temperature of the world can change over the course of the day, transitioning from a cool, brisk morning to a scorcher by noontime. If your Sim is out in the heat for too long, they’ll start to sweat and may even spontaneously combust! But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to keep cool. Wearing swimwear, holding a parasol, eating an ice cream or just heading indoors are some of the ways you can keep your Sim from overheating. And if you have the new "Immune to Heat" lifetime reward, your Sim can enjoy all the benefits of spending time in the heat without any of the negative side effects!


Speaking of the benefits of being out in the sun, summer is the perfect time to put on some swimwear and get a nice tan. Just be careful, lying under the hot sun for too long will result in a nasty sunburn instead of a bronze glow.



Other option is to spend a few Simoleons on a tan from the spray tan booth. But even the tanning booth isn't a foolproof way to get an even tan. Results will vary from the successful to the downright hilarious, depending on whether malfunctions or pranking kids are involved.



Your Sims can also cool off by taking a dip in the pool, or better yet, leaping into it off of the brand new diving board! Once in the pool, your Sims can take a leisurely rest on the pool lounger. This floatable cushion of air is not only useful in the pool, but provides a nice way to relax when floating on the waves in the middle of the ocean.



For the first time in The Sims PC/Mac franchise, your Sims can swim in ANY ocean, river or lake that is in the world! For all of you world builders out there, your Sims can swim in the bodies of water you've created as well! As long as the ocean, river or lake is not on a residential or community lot, has a gradual slope into the water, and your Sims can walk to the coast, then they can dive right in!


Here is a Sim swimming during a rainy day in the big lake in Twinbrook...



...and a couple enjoying a romantic dip down the river in China.



After spending a day at the beach, head over to the summer festival. Each season has unique activities for your Sim to enjoy. During the summer, your Sims can get their faces painted, practice shooting soccer goals or even participate in a hot dog eating contest!



Your Sims can also make snow cones at the festival and purchase a machine for the home. The standard snow cone stand is great for outdoor parties, and the smaller one can be placed on kitchen counters for a refreshing mid-day treat.



Once the sun goes down, there's still plenty to do! In addition to new fireworks, we now have firecrackers, including spinners, rockets, smoke bombs and more! Like swimming in the ocean, the firecrackers are also a year-round activity. During the summer, the grocery store will be holding a firecracker sale, so be sure to stock up for the rest of the year.



Since most of the firecrackers are too dangerous for kids to handle, we've added another firecracker option that's safe for nearly all ages: sparklers! They come in two types, white and rainbow.



With tanning, festivals and new activities like swimming in the ocean and playing with fireworks, there's plenty for your Sim to experience in The Sims 3 Seasons. Stay tuned for more information about the fun you can have with seasons in the newest expansion from The Sims 3!

-Charles Murakami, Associate Producer




04:30 PM
Posted by: SimGuruCharles

And only some vampires sparkle…

I have to admit, I’m a big vampire fan and I love a great vampire story. Sparkly or not, there is something  about a good vampire/werewolf rivalry that is just awesome.  As we talked about the Supernatural experience, we decided that you simply couldn’t have werewolves and witches without also having vampires to round out the group. We thought long and hard about the best way to bring vampires into The Sims 3 Supernatural, as The Sims 3 Late Night had already done such a great job. After brainstorming and exploring several different ideas, we decided to hold onto the core of The Sims 3 existing vampire that we all know and love, but to add in a slightly different look and feel of a more intimidating, mesmerizing creature of the night.

Lots of people have asked on the forums and twitter what ‘more intriguing’ really means and how these vampires in The Sims 3 Supernatural will relate to the vamps in The Sims 3 Late Night, so I’m here to tell you, straight from the Guru’s mouth! If you do have vampires in your game from The Sims 3 Late Night, these vampires will be updated to have the new form and functionality of The Sims 3 Supernatural vampires when the game is installed. All the cool things your vampires could do The Sims 3 Late Night will remain, e.g. reduced aging, advanced speed and skill gain, offering to turn people, drinking from Sims and hunting. Plus they will get some cool extras. One point of clarification, if you do not have The Sims 3 Late Night installed, no need to worry, you will still get vampires in your game with the installation of The Sims 3 Supernatural.

In addition to the awesome The Sims 3 Late Night vampire functionality, The Sims 3 Supernatural adds some cool things for your vamps to do. Vampires can now be created and fully customized in CAS from the start of the game. Your Sims no longer have to wait to get bitten by another vampire in town. We’ve also added some new objects for vampires, such as an updated version of the altar bed and the vegetarian plasma orange juice (a yummy quick snack from the fridge).

Vampires also have some fun new social interactions to make them feel more mesmerizing and intense. I like Warn Away as it’s great for telling the story of forbidden vampire love. Intimidate is another one of my favorites. It’s a way to scare other Sims, but not all Sims are so easy to push around. Some people think it’s cool to be intimidated by a vampire; others are more willing to take intimidation as in invitation to fight.
Have you ever sent your vampire out for a quick bite, only to be rejected by your chosen victim? With Hypnotic Gaze your vampire can convince strangers that being bitten seems like a great idea.

Sims have some new interesting ways to interact with vampires as well. If you have found a vamp that you really don’t like then Imply their Mother was a Chupacabra or Threaten to Exploit their Weaknesses! Did you fall in love with a creature of the night, but really hate their schedule and constant need to nibble on your neck? Ask them to forsake their powers and see if your love really is true.

In addition, vampires can brew a special elixir to help get them outdoors and in the sunlight. Your vampire will no longer have to worry about passing out due to sun exposure. If you are a fan of sparkly vampires, then try out the Vampiric Sunscreen elixir that will provide your vampire with hours of sparkly outdoor fun!

One last thing to mention, vampires have a new immortal lifetime happiness reward that has a number of effects. Having this reward will completely stop them from aging, allow them to be in the sun without any penalties, will never have them be rejected when taking a drink of blood from another Sim and will need less plasma in order to survive. However, side effects of this reward may include slight sparkles…!

Hopefully this gives you a little more insight into the world of witches and vampires. We had so much fun working on these player types. The animators ran around practicing and filming intimidation. The fx artists studied ice cubes in search of the perfect ice blast. The designers and I dueled furiously around the office to practice wand poses. We hope you have as much fun playing with them in The Sims 3 Supernatural as we did creating them! This is all for now but be sure to stayed tuned for more updates to come as we are just a few weeks away from the launch of the game. Don’t forget to tune in for our third Live Broadcast this Wednesday, August 15 at 8:00 AM PST.



09:01 PM
Posted by: SimGuruBritt

Witches aren’t all wicked and green, you know.

By now you’ve gotten the scoop on werewolves from SimGuruJon, frolicked with fairies and SimGuruArgus, and explored lunacy with SimGuruMegan. Today I’m here to tell you about the ‘real’ power that’s in TheSims 3 Supernatural… witches! From the day we started brainstorming ideas for this expansion pack, I was completely in love with witches and all the possibilities they could introduce to The Sims. To me, playing as a witch offers the ultimate power of choice, “A am I good, evil, or just indifferent? Do I use my spells just to help my family and friends, or do I let my magic run crazy and turn everyone in town to toads?” Mwahahahaha, just talking about it makes me want to rub my hands together in evil glee…

Speaking of evil glee, I know you’re all wondering exactly what being a good witch vs. a bad witch really means. First and foremost are the traits. Witches with the good trait will get more wishes to cast spells that are considered ‘good’ and the same goes for witches with the evil trait, they will get more wishes to cast spells that are ‘evil’. However, being good or evil doesn’t mean you only have access to a certain type of spell. After all, even the friendliest of witches may need to throw a curse every now and then!
Just like the other supernaturals, you can create witches in CAS. Male, female, green skin or golden, you’ll be able to customize your witch to fit the story you want to tell. Witches come in all ages, and some innate witch abilities can even be present in childhood. Hint, keep an eye on your little witch’s toy box as they’re playing, or they just may magically multiply! However, the teenage years are when a witch’s powers really manifest. This is the time when they receive a wand to play with magic.

Wand, wand, it’s all about the wand! Witches need a magical wand in their inventory to channel their special powers. Every witch is given a basic wand, but if your Sim loses it or wants to upgrade it, there are several options available in Buy Mode to purchase. There are numerous wands to choose from and while each one has a distinctive cool look, they more importantly have unique affects to the way your witch will cast spells. If you’re looking for your witch to have a high success rate at casting spells, I’d recommend giving the ivory wand a try.

But if you’re asking, “SimGuruBritt, I don’t want my witch to rely on a wand! I want them to be able to cast spells without that pointy thing in the way!” Don’t worry, we have you covered. The Lifetime Happiness reward Magic Hands enables your witch to cast spells only using their hands, plus their spells will never fail!

Enough about wands, let’s get into the actual spell casting! Witches will become increasingly proficient and learn more magic spells and abilities as they play with magic and cast spells. For instance, witches can learn how to use their wands to upgrade objects around the house – no more wrenches required! Quick tip, my advice would be to magically upgrade your wardrobe for a special surprise. You will get a message when your witch has learned new spells and abilities with hints for how to use them. Magic spells generally fit into one of three categories (with a few exceptions): Charms, curses and rituals. Charms are considered beneficial or ‘good’ spells. They can be cast on oneself or on others and range from simple good luck charms to love charms. Curses are harmful or ‘evil’ spells such as the bladder curse (super funny at parties!) or toadification curse. Rituals are spells that can be cast on objects or lots. They have a wide array of effects from converting collectibles to cleaning the house.

I don’t want to give everything away. (Where’s the fun in that?!) But since so many people have asked about specific spells, I think a quick overview of a few of my personal favorites is in order.

One of the first spells a witch learns is the conversion ritual, which changes a collectible from one type to another.  The conversion ritual is a pretty useful spell, especially if there is an alchemist in the family. If you have a surplus of gems laying around, simply flick your witches wand and transform them into something useful for your alchemist.

Ice Blast is one of those spells that doesn’t really fall under the category of charm or curse (since it is more of an elemental spell), but is super fun to use. Want to break your neighbor’s plumbing? Ice Blast! Want to give a Sim a severe case of chattering teeth and cold toes? Ice Blast! As a bonus, this spell has a chance of encasing a Sim in a solid block of ice, freezing them for a short time.

Sometimes spells can be fun, sometimes they can be useful, and sometimes they can be dark and dangerous. The haunting curse is definitely one of those dark and dangerous spells since your witch can summon a spirit from the netherworld to haunt a victim for days. Once cursed, the only way out for the victim is to wait for time to pass or to become friends with their ghostly tormentor. Be warned, cast this curse with caution! All spells can fail (sometimes with disastrous results for the caster), and the haunting curse does this in the most extreme way. If it fails, it could mean death for the witch that cast it!

I’ll leave you with just one more, the reanimation ritual. Cast this spell on any tombstone with a ghost and watch the dead rise as a gruesome zombie! Better have an exit strategy planned after casting this spell though as zombies make friends in interesting ways…

Like all great power, magic comes with a cost. Witches have to keep an eye on their magic meter as they use their spells and abilities. The lower the magic meter falls, the higher the possibility that a spell will fail. Once the magic meter is depleted, spells will fizzle and fail until the meter has been replenished. Magic power will slowly regenerate over time, or can be instantly replenished with an Essence of Magic elixir. Another, more leisurely way to regenerate magic power is to take a few loops around the magic broom arena on your broom.

Brooms! (You thought I forgot, didn’t you?) Here’s a secret, anyone can use a broom! Since the magic is in the broom, not in the user, even ordinary Sims can get a taste of magic by flying around town on one of these flying objects. Brooms come in several models. There’s even one with training wheels for the kiddies! For those daring Sims who think merely traveling around town by broom isn’t enough, the broom arena is a place to fly high and show-off your witches stunts. Can’t afford to buy one of these arenas for your house? No problem! The citizens of Moonlight Falls have recognized every Sim’s right to practice broom stunts, and built their very own broom arena park for any Sim to use. Any Sim can buy and use a broom, but witches will use brooms automatically when traveling solo, just like a taxi.

(Continued in a second post)

08:57 PM
Posted by: SimGuruBritt