To study, or not to study
A proper education is invaluable. At least, that's what your professors say when you're buried under a mound of homework and desperately cramming for finals. It's hard to appreciate all that "knowledge" when all you want to do is hang out with your friends and play League of Legends all night.
We recently conducted an email interview with Sarah Nelson, the producer on the upcoming expansion, The Sims 3 University Life. The latest pack will give your virtual people a chance to explore a new college town and campus, as well as some after-school activities. Studying hard will yield great career opportunities, just like real life...right?
GamesRadar: How did the idea of University Life originate?
Sarah Nelson: The goal of each expansion pack is to offer fun and new ways to enrich Sims lives. There are very few chapters in life more impactful and enriching than attending university. Its where identities are realized, mistakes are made, and life-long loves and friendships are born.
Also, we knew that The Sims 2 University was beloved amongst our fans, and we recognized tremendous opportunity to extend this theme into the rich, deep and diverse gameplay that only The Sims 3 can offer.
GR: What did your team decide to focus on by bringing University Life to the Sims?
Sarah Nelson: First and foremost, it was important for us to authentically simulate the challenge that most university students experience in balancing social life and academic pursuits. With so many fun activities, dorm mates, friends and parties to go to, it can be tough for Sims to find time for study and class. Herb supplements and energy drinks will work in a pinch, but careful not to overdo it and crash! But, if your Sims miss class, they can make up work by studying on their smart phones and interacting with academic objects like the sketchbook for Fine Arts majors and the anatomy skeleton for Science and Medical majors.
We also wanted to focus on providing a contemporary and modern social life for Sims. Associating with social groups has always been an iconic facet of building identity at university. Although the primary groups are still the Jocks, Nerds and Rebels, the kinds of activities they engage in reflect modern life. Your Sims can experiment with all of these groups, creating their own labels and stories around these activities.
GR: Juice pong is just one of the activities you can partake. Anything other fun activities you can share?
Sarah Nelson: There are tons of new objects and activities like bowling, flying disc, juice keg and the ability to do juice kegs stands. We have an updated party system where your Sims can be invited to a juice keg or bonfire party at the Fraternity or Sorority and receive zany dares ala Greek Rush Week!
If youre feeling amorous from too much juice youll have the ability to plant a Heat of the Moment Kiss on nearly any Sim--even those you dont know that well!
GR: For the more focused types who want to further their career, how does this expansion help with that?
Sarah Nelson: Graduating and earning a degree from university will provide plenty of career benefits to your Sim. For example, Sims with a degree in Technology will find better career opportunities in Law Enforcement and Military careers, start at a higher level, earn more pay, and gain an increase in bonus and promotion opportunities! Your Sims grades will directly affect the career benefits they receive; Sims who graduate with higher grades instantly get more bonuses.
We also recognize that making connections and relationships are just as important to post-university success. Gaining maximum influence with each of the social groups will unlock the ability to join all new active careers, including Video Game Developer, Sports Agent and Art Appraiser!
GR: What are some of the highlights on campus and the new town?
Sarah Nelson: The coolest addition to The Sims 3 University Life town is dorms. Having roommates that are not a part of your household brings a whole new dynamic to Sims life. You have the ability to lock them out of your room, change where they sleep, get them to do things for you, or even kick them out!
The Student Union and Quad are the heart of campus activity. There are plenty of opportunities to meet new Sims, participate in protests and attend lectures.
New venues like Keiths Komics and the Roasted Toasted Beans Coffee shop provide opportunities to buy snacks and drinks, and stay out late to meet up for dates, study groups, and even video game tournaments!
GR: Social networking also plays a role in the Sims lives. Can you tell us more about that that includes?
Sarah Nelson: Your Sims phone is now a Smart Phone, with cool apps that help build the social networking skill! Your Sims can text other Sims--you can even send a woohooty text to a romantic interest. If theyre available, theyll come right over! And, if it doesnt go well, you can break up over text.
Sims will also have the ability to blog from their Smart Phone! Sims can select a blog theme and attach photos to their blog. The more they blog, the more followers they get, which can help them gain influence with social groups faster, have better attended protests, and get more simoleans for donations and buyouts of their blog!
The Sim Finder App helps Sims easily find an unmet NPC Sim and get them to their lot! The coolest app to unlock is the Relationship Transmogrifier which allows Sims to set nearly any relationship status they desire with any Sim!!
GR: Other than the Partaeus Maximus statue as a pre-order bonus, are there any others available? Is this only available through EAs store?
Sarah Nelson: Players that pre-order The Sims 3 University Life will get the Limited Edition version of the game with the Party Pack bundle. This bundle not only includes the Partaeus Maximus statue--a new object that can be placed anywhere in the university world and will light up and dress to suit the current party theme--but also includes six new costume party themes for Sims to throw the ultimate bash. Two of the most exciting costumes are toga and masquerade.
Additionally, there is also a special order offering for those that purchase The Sims 3 University Life on Origin.com. Anyone who purchases the game on Origin will get the exclusive School Spirit Pack that includes new outfits, face paints and a sleek motorized scooter for your Sims to zip around town in.
The Limited Edition is available through pre-ordering the game at retailers or on Origin. The School Spirit Pack is available for all pre-orders and orders placed through Origin.com.
There's no shortage of things to do in The Sims 3. After studying and partying hard, you can also relax, unwind, or perhaps take a vacation in another expansion, The Sims 3 Island Paradise.