Let's get seasonal
The Sims 3 Seasons is coming later this year, bringing seasonal change (and everything that comes with it) to your Sims life. But besides the occasional rain and maybe some new items, we didn't know exactly what that change meant for the Sims, so we tapped associate producer Ryan Vaughan to answer some of our questions about the upcoming expansion - and for some cool exclusive screenshots too!
GR: What, visually, differentiates Summer/Spring from the other seasons in Sims 3 Seasons?
Ryan Vaughan: Since all seasons in The Sims 3 Seasons are different, Ill begin with spring. A large part of springs visualization is the rain. Rain will come and Sims will need to dress the part to protect themselves while outdoors. Sims can now carry umbrellas and there will be puddles around town for them to splash in. Rain could also lead to thunderstorms and when one approaches town, Sims will need to use extra caution when outdoors as theres a potential of being struck by lightning. But alas, with the rainy season comes new life! Plants and flowers will begin to bloom and the season will gradually transition from spring to summer. Summer is the time of year to really celebrate the great outdoors. The town will be filled with Sims engaging with new activities, as well as blistering heat waves!
GR: What new activities are available?
RV: We think for spring as a time for new beginnings, and flowers arent the only things in bloom. This is a time young love is at its peak and Sims attending the spring festival can seek out an attractive companion at the kissing booth, meet up with a mate on the dance floor or even try their luck with online dating. In addition, during the spring festival, Sims will be able to get their faces painted with designs such as bunnies or hearts, or visit the concession stand for a taste of seasonal foods like grasshopper pie, fruit punch and adorable freezer bunny pops. Theres even an egg hunt for the kids and the young at heart! Summer is a time to soak up the sun. Sims can visit the beach and for the first time ever on PC take a swim in the ocean! Not to mention, they can throw a pool party, skate around the roller rink or head to the park to kick around a soccer ball. For Sims looking to get out of the sun, they can head to the tanning booth to get a golden glow.
GR: What makes spring and summer different in-game?
RV: There are lots of differences between the two seasons in-game but the two biggest ones are the transformative weather effects and the festivals. Spring will have more clouds, rain and thunderstorms while a large majority of the summer season will showcase blue skies and lots of sun, with the chance of a heat wave that adds visual heat distortions! Additionally, each season has a unique festival filled with new activities and celebrations that relate to that season.
GR: In The Sims 2 Seasons, different seasons affected Sims' moods. Does Sims 3 Seasons do that? If so, how does spring/summer make them feel?
RV: Yes, Sims moods can be affected by the seasons. During spring, Sims may be afflicted with hay fever, which can cause sneezing and lead to grumpy moods. Your Sims can take action to prevent this suffering by getting an allergy shot, as long they arent afraid of needles! Sims will begin to get excited as the temperatures warm up and summer has begun. As Sims head outdoors they better not forget their sunscreen. Sims can get sunburnt which will lead to irritable moods.
GR: Are there any fun new items available in the summer?
RV: One of the fun new objects in The Sims 3 Seasons is the diving board, which allows Sims to make a splash at the pool, whether plunging in with a big cannon ball or slipping into the water with an elegant swan dive. Also new for summer are pool loungers. Sims can take these into their pools or the ocean. Sims can relax on them by floating or reading a book. Additionally new fireworks have been added. These can be used year round but are especially fun for Sims to ignite during the warm summer nights. The additions include firecrackers, spinners, rockets, smoke bombs and more!
GR: Were there any specific features from Sims 2 Seasons that the developers were super excited to get working in The Sims 3?
RV: Definitely! The most exciting thing to get working was certainly the new weather FX in The Sims 3s open world. Like many of our players, weve wanted to get weather and seasons into the game forever. We were thrilled the first time we saw Sunset Valley get distorted by a major summer heat wave!
GR: In general, The Sims 3 looked like it took place in spring/summer - did that make creating this season for the expansion more difficult?
RV: Since the launch of The Sims 3, weve released many different worlds, as well as given players the tools to create their own distinct worlds. Getting transformative weather to look right in every world has been quite a challenge, but one of the best about it is that the weather and seasons system gives players full control over what they experience in their own games. For instance, say your Sims live in the sweltering dessert town of Lucky Palms you can actually turn off the entire winter seasons to prevent snow from falling! As the player, you get to control the seasons the way you want for each world you play in.
Singing in the rain
That certainly quenched our thirst for Sims 3 Seasons info when it comes to the summer and spring, but we still aren't sure how the fall or winter might work. We've already lined up interview with the developers to talk about just that, so let us know in the comments below what you want to know about and we'll be sure to ask them in the coming weeks!
And if you want more Sims 3 news, check out the best places in The Sims to WooHoo and 10 reasons why The Sims world is better than our world.