The Sims™ 3 Community Blog
: October 2011
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Limited Edition Pet Store

We want The Sims 3 Pets launch to be a celebrated event for our entire community, and a fantastic part of that will be the Limited Edition. When the game releases, the Limited Edition will be sold at the exact same price as the standard version for anyone who pre-ordered the game from a participating retailer ! This package was great fun for the team to brainstorm as we tossed out a variety of ways we could reward our fans with a special thank-you. Ultimately we settled on creating the Pet Store, a brand new venue, filled with unique objects and ready to be placed into the world of your choice. Of course, one of the great things about The Sims is the level of customization, and we know many of you will design and build really cool customized Pet Stores, and you\u2019ll be able to share them with other Limited Edition owners on The Sims 3 Exchange.

We\u2019re thrilled about how the Pet Store really complements the gameplay in The Sims 3 Pets. It\u2019s a great place for Sims to visit, socialize, and shop \u2013 allowing players to let the Sims be the center of attention when it comes to providing for their lovable pets. At the Pet Store, you\u2019ll be able to purchase a variety of exclusive Limited Edition objects. As your Sim strolls to the counter, you\u2019ll find a variety of useful supplies and special toys to enrich your pets\u2019 lives, all free to players with the Limited Edition. We can\u2019t wait to see how you work them into your games!

A Brand New Open World

We\u2019re very excited to bring back a feature our players love and continue to ask for \u2013 a brand new world for their Sims to live and play in! We wanted a world that complemented the new ability to control pets. A neighborhood that made sense for Sims to live in, and provided a lot of excitement when seen through the eyes of a cat, dog, or horse. Horses are big creatures, and they give Sims a new way to explore every hidden nook and cranny of the countryside! Imagine your Sim living on an expansive ranch in the flood plains, scattering hay on the barn floor and then looking up to see a herd of wild horses cresting the ridge in the distance. These are the types of cool moments we set out to create. Whether you\u2019re hunting as a cat or digging for buried treasure as a dog, you\u2019ll come across many of these great moments!

For the first time since the launch of The Sims 3, we\u2019ve created completely new buildings to give this town a look and feel all its own. What was once a sleepy ranching community turned into a bustling hub of activity as city slickers arrived with their money and a taste for country  living. The clash between old and new is clear, with some old hands clinging to the life they knew, alongside dot-com millionaires who think if they throw enough money around, they\u2019ll eventually breed the best horses in town. Appaloosa Plains is the perfect place for Sims and their four-legged companions to settle down and live out their lives.

06:34 PM
Posted by: The_PopTart

Direct Control of Pets

In every expansion pack for The Sims, not  only do we try to give players new content and features, but we strive to deliver brand new experiences for them and their Sims. For The Sims 3 Pets, we decided to give you direct control over the animals in your Sims\u2019 household. For the first time ever in The Sims Franchise, you will be able to explore the world, have relationships, and build skills (to name a few things) as a pet. In other words, you\u2019ll be able to play with life as an animal! We\u2019re really excited about this entirely new way to play The Sims. Not only can you interact with your pets, but you get to be the pets.

In developing this new way to play, we had to imagine what it was like to be an animal. What motivates a dog to fetch a stick? Why do cats like to scratch up the sofa? Do horses actually like jumping? After spending many hours at our local SPCAs, dog pounds, horse ranches, and at home with our own pets, we got together and shared notes on how animals interacted with each other, how they interacted with us, and what we felt were some key moments we wanted to include in the game to make the experience of playing as a pet as authentic as possible. So, in addition to tons of Pet-specific traits, moodlets, and memories, we decided that a pet\u2019s motives also play a big part in creating a pet-centric experience. For instance, when playing as a dog, you can satisfy Dog Hunger \u2013 hungry dogs will behave differently, and be satisfied in different ways, than hungry Sims. As a dog, do you beg a Sim to feed you? Do you go out into the world to forage for food? Perhaps you munch on some kitty litter. You, as the player, get to decide how to be a dog! We also added a completely unique motive for each of the species  to make the experience of playing as a pet special for each pet type.

We also wanted to add a pet that could really take advantage of the vast environments of The Sims 3 open worlds. Horses, with their iconic image of galloping across wide open plains, were the perfect animal to include. As we considered adding them to the game, we realized that not only do horses provide an awesome new visual experience, but they provide a really special pet-to-Sim relationship, one that creates lots of new opportunities for gameplay and storytelling.

We wanted to capture this unique relationship in the game, so whether you\u2019re directly controlling a horse, or controlling a Sim that is interacting with a horse, their relationship means everything. From mounting and riding a horse, to receiving carrots and being brushed, a good relationship between Sim and horse is crucial. In fact, we\u2019ve given horses two brand new skills, jumping and racing, which are directly related to the new riding skill for Sims. Your Sims and horses will have to work together to build these skills \u2013 skills that will be valuable when if you choose to compete at the new Equestrian Center.

Of course, a horse is never really complete without its saddle. In the new Create a Pet, you\u2019ll not only be able to fully customize the appearance and personality of your horse with precise new controls, but you\u2019ll be able to outfit your horses with lots of different saddles, authentic tack, and loads of accessories. We\u2019re excited to see the awesome horses we know you\u2019re going to create!

06:32 PM
Posted by: The_PopTart

Hello, pet lovers! The Sims console team has worked hard on The Sims 3 Pets. We can hardly wait for you to see how fun and cute the cats and dogs are and how they enrich the lives of your Sims. You can take them around town, train them, breed them, raise them from puppies and kittens, and teach them to hunt for treasure. You can even play directly as a cat or dog, so it\'s up to you on whether you want to bring joy, wealth, and adventure into your Sims\' lives or terrorize the neighborhood!


We have more than a hundred breeds to choose from between cats and dogs. Dogs range from the ever-popular Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Beagles to the more exotic Kuvasz guard dog from Hungary and the tri-color Appenzeller Sennenhund from the Swiss Alps. As for cats, we have everything from the pervasive domestic shorthair cat (that\'s what I have in real life!).


If you play on Xbox 360 and have Kinect, you can select breeds as easily as saying, \"Switch to <your favorite breed>\". It\'s a fun way to sample the variety of options. You can also use Kinect to jump between different portions of Create a Pet and Create a Sim. This feature enables you to wield your imagination even more quickly! You can modify all of the breeds to your heart\'s desire and even create your own breeds! I am very much looking forward to seeing the awesome, creative pets you all share on The Exchange!


The Xbox 360 and PS3 limited editions of the game get you started with some rare, off-the-wall breeds. My personal favorites are the Husky with tiger stripes, the Mabari War Terrier (a pint-sized version of a hound you might recognize from another EA game), and the black cat with the stark white skeleton! There\'s nothing quite like asking your Robo Dane to bring in the morning paper or stalking prey as a crazy-colored Aztec cat!


Next time, we\'ll tell you about the adventures that you can go on with your pets and the mysteries behind the history of the town that you can solve. Or would you rather hear more about how you can use Kinect voice commands in the game? Let us know! Thanks for reading and playing!

05:04 PM
Posted by: The_PopTart

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