'The Sims' are back -- with more personality

Jun 01, 2009 by Mehdi Cherifia
File photo of Will Wright, creator of computer game hits such as SimCity and The Sims. US videogame giant Electronic Arts launches this week episode three in the life of multi-billion-dollar franchise "The Sims", this time adding a psychological dimension to the computer game.

US videogame giant Electronic Arts launches this week episode three in the life of multi-billion-dollar franchise "The Sims", this time adding a psychological dimension to the computer game.

Created by computer genius Will Wright, who left EA after letting people play god with his latest brainchild "Spore", "The Sims" video games allow fans to play at real life affairs such as dating, working and raising children.

"The Sims 3", going on sale in the United States on June 2, and June 4 and 5 in Europe, takes the a step further, notably by allowing gamers to give avatars a personality trait that will determine the entirety of their virtual existence.

"The most important thing in this episode is the trait system," said associate producer Mary-Jane Chun.

"You pick up five traits at the beginning and it will really impact the way your Sims will react, especially how well he will get on with other Sims."

Among the 60-odd personality traits available that will stay with characters for the rest of their lives are cowardice, bravery, meanness or artistic talent, as well as favourite colours and foods and music genres.

"Your Sim may have very different goals depending on his personality. If you create a character that has the same personality as Barack Obama, becoming the leader of the free world may be his goal," said Melanie Lam, another associate producer.

Another new feature is neighbourhood exploration, allowing Sims to explore the world outside their homes, interacting increasingly with their neighbours and moving about the town to shop or stop in at the library.

"Having a lively city took us a lot of time," said Lam. "Every character has his own . A Sim can marry or have children."

"It's an open world that evolves constantly and relationships are really important."

Like reality, the world of the Sims comes with social networks evocative of Facebook, and Dailymotion.

"In The Sims 3, all players can have their own Internet page. If someone creates an original object on the page another player can take it and incorporate it for free into their own game on condition the two are friends," said Charlotte Michel of EA Play, the French editor of the video game.

The game also comes with a movie-making tool, enabling players to create and share movies on the game's exchange. "It is very intuitive and accessible to anyone," Michel said.

EA announced last month that Wright was quitting the company, the latest bad news for the former industry leader which at the time had reported a net loss for eight quarters in a row.

EA, which has lost its spot as the world's top videogame maker to Activision Blizzard, also recently announced plans to cut 11 percent of its workforce, or 1,100 jobs, and close 12 facilities.

But PC Gamer last year gave "The Sims 3" a high approval rating.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Linux distrib vendors make patches available for GHOST

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'The Sims' return with more personality quirks

May 22, 2009

(AP) -- Maybe it's neat, childish, lucky, ambitious and insane - just depends on what traits gamers choose for their neighborhood of virtual playthings in "The Sims 3," Electronic Arts and Maxis' popular ...

Will Wright to leave Electronic Arts

Apr 08, 2009

(AP) -- Will Wright, the video game designer behind such hits as "The Sims" and "Spore," is leaving game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. after 12 years.

EA posts smaller 4Q loss as costs decline

May 05, 2009

(AP) -- Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. posted a smaller net loss Tuesday for its fiscal fourth quarter as it further slashed costs in a quarter that had fewer hit game launches.

Making filmmaking a game

Dec 21, 2005

Thanks to technology, independent filmmakers and wannabes have yet another unique way to get discovered. Video-game maker Activision has released a brand new PC game about the film industry called The Movies. Think of it ...

Action video games improve vision

Mar 29, 2009

Video games that involve high levels of action, such as first-person-shooter games, increase a player's real-world vision, according to research in today's Nature Neuroscience.

Recommended for you

Linux distrib vendors make patches available for GHOST

4 hours ago

Qualys said on Tuesday that there was a serious weakness in the Linux glibc library. During a code audit, Qualys researchers discovered a buffer overflow in the __nss_hostname_digits_dots() function of glibc. ...

Sheriffs expand concerns about Waze mobile traffic app

17 hours ago

A law enforcement campaign to compel Google Inc. to disable a feature in its popular Waze traffic app that lets drivers warn others about nearby police activity shifted Wednesday when a sheriffs' organization ...

Mobile apps take students into the laboratory

21 hours ago

Mobile apps have proved to be valuable educational tools, but laboratory instructors thus far have been limited to using mobile devices only for virtual laboratories with simulated experiments. Now, researchers ...

Google's Waze app endangers police: LAPD chief

Jan 28, 2015

Google's newly acquired Waze application poses a danger to police because of its ability to track their locations, the Los Angeles police chief said in a letter to the tech company's CEO.

Catch the northern lights with your mobile

Jan 26, 2015

Updates on the best opportunities to spot the Northern Lights in the UK are now available on a mobile phone app developed in association with scientists at Lancaster University.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.