EXCLUSIVE: How to build a band in The Sims 3: Late Night

How EA is making sure it's all about the music in the latest Sims 3 expansion

The Sims 3: Late Night is bursting at the seams with new content and features for your virtual you. It’s going vertical, with a city full of towering skyscrapers. It’s also going dark, adding a brand new vampire system to sink your teeth into. But it’s also going social, with more activities that you can enjoy with other Sims, like barhopping with groups of friends for a night out on the town or even starting your own band.

It looks like Late Night is going to rock, so we were very pleased to have a chance to speak with Melanie Lam, associate producer for The Sims 3: Late Night to find out more about the new Band career in the upcoming expansion. Find out why Late Night will be all about the music - if you want it to be - and learn all the ins and outs of how the new Band career will work.

GamesRadar: Why did the Sims team decide to add the Band career in Late Night?

Melanie Lam: Instruments are a popular and much requested feature in The Sims 3. We had a guitar in The Sims 3 and we wanted to expand the repertoire of instruments that Sims can play. With our Late Night scene, it was a natural choice to have live entertainment like bands performing gigs at our bars and lounges. It offers a cool way for Sims to earn Simoleons either as a career or a side job. Who wouldn’t want to be in a band!

GR: How do you start a band?

Lam: To start a band, just learn to play an instrument to level 1 then get friendly with other Sims and use the “Ask to Form a Band” social on them. You can ask up to three Sims to join the band.

GR: How big (or small) can your band be? Can we start a one-man band?

Lam: The great thing is that an informal jam session can have up to eight Sims playing at a time. If you want to be hired for paying gigs however, this requires a standard four member band. We have a new Lifetime Wish to BE a One Sim Band and to complete that goal, your Sim has to master all four instruments. Of course, there are plenty of solo opportunities that will come up like playing for tips or teaching a music class.

GR: What kind of instruments will be available? Can you band play different styles of music?

Lam: New instruments include the upright bass, drums, piano or keyboard. Additionally, as a celebrity, you have a chance of receiving a new electric guitar as a free gift. New styles like blues, jazz, and rock become available to your Sim as the band improves.

GR: Can you tell us about the sorts of venues your band can play at? Will the band’s style of music have any effect on where you can get booked?

Lam: Your Sim’s band can be asked to play anywhere in town. The local dive bar might need a replacement for a yawn-inducing pianist or perhaps there’s a halftime show at the stadium that has an open slot. There are vampire-themed lounges or VIP rooms full of glitz and glamour. Your band’s style of music is only limited by their skill level and as they practice and perform their way into a primetime band, they can choose to play music that suits each environment.

GR: Does your relationship with your band members have any impact on the band itself? Will there be consequences to thoughtless ‘woohoo-ing’ with your band mates?

Lam: While your relationship does not affect the amount of money you earn or the gigs you get, as the leader of the band, you can ‘manage the band’ by kicking out members you no longer want. This can have a negative effect on your relationship for sure!

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