The Sims 3 Seasons Hands On time!

On Friday, Moza, Blackgarden and Shoeprozac were lucky enough to spend some time at the EA UK offices, exploring Seasons, and particularly what happens in winter. See this album for all the pictures

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We had a preview of some of the winter features, then got to play for a couple of hours. We also got the meet the man behind “Plumbobs are forever” and our Moza was lucky enough to be chosen to have her self Sim created by him! He's been a Sims fan since The Sims 1, and now he works with The Sims 3, creating videos and other assets like screenshots for EA UK – a job I'm sure many Sims fans would envy!

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Winter looks fantastic. As we’ve seen in the other seasons, it’s full of little touches that just add to the game and the overall feel. Footprints appear in the snow as your Sims walk past, and eventually melt away, hail bounces off the water, windows steam up in the cold, and Sims’ breath comes out in frozen little puffs. Lakes and ponds freeze over, too and your Sims might be able to skate on these as well as on the rink!
One noticeable thing with the snow, is it affects how Sims carry out certain actions. We watched a Sim doing half pipes on his snowboard, and as the snow deepened he seemed to find them harder to complete.

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The winter world looks very festive. You can put holiday lights up by clicking on your Sim’s front door, and choosing what style you want. (If you have testing cheats enabled, you can do this on your neighbours’ houses, too, apparently). You can share kisses under the mistletoe, and family and friends gather round for the gifting ceremony, where your Sims receive random gifts. Gifts we saw ranged from mistletoe to bikes, but be aware. If your Sim is on the naughty list, there may be some coal lying around for them, too!

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We were playing in Sunset Valley, and as we all know, the festival lot there is Central Park. All the Seasons festival lots were available in the lot bin, along with their non-festival versions. SimGuruGraham already has a tutorial in the forums if you want to make your own. The Winter festival lot included a skating ring, the skateboarding area, an arena for snowball fights, and the winter kiosks, where you can exchange festival tickets for prizes or buy a range of winter treats. You can also have your picture taken in the seasonal photo booths, which allow you to send holiday greeting cards to your friends. These booths will fit up to 8 Sims so you can get the whole family in there!

If the old-fashioned ways of hooking up in The Sims 3, like having your dog fetch a date, chatting up strangers, and using mysterious potions to make Sims fall in love with you, just don’t do it for you, you’re going to love the new online dating feature.

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To get your Sim started with online dating, you have to set them up with a profile. By default, this is populated with true information about your Sim – their traits and their body type (slim, athletic, or “more to love”). You can tweak this to make yourself more attractive to potential partners… but of course, if you lie on your profile and build a relationship with a Sim based on that, they might not like you so much when they meet you for the first time.
Once your profile is set up, you can start browsing singles in your neighbourhood. If you spot someone you like, send them a message and see if they’re interested too. Then it’s time for the waiting game… check your messages later on the computer. If the Sim has messaged you back, they appear in your relationship panel and you can call them on the phone to build the relationship further.

Whenever you’re ready, you can arrange to meet your online date in person. Hopefully it’ll go smoothly and your Sim can build a great relationship with them. And once you’ve found that ideal date, you can delete your online dating profile so you won’t get any more messages from prospective partners.

However, the part we were most excited about to play with had to be Aliens, we got to see some of their new powers in action like the bio boost you see in this screenshot. It seems to be underestimated how hard it is to add an alien to your household. During the hands on time Blackgarden could not figure out how to add him and eventually just cheated.

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In the screenshot below you will see the alien probing, not what you expected? It is just an amusing (or annoying) interaction. Love the rubberduckie!
Aliens come with a new motive, brainpower, like energy and bladder it’s a bar that you have to keep full for a happy Alien. There are several ways to boost it, trance-like restoration ie meditation, harvesting space rocks. But certain interactions drain it, like the bio boost mentioned earlier. That interaction gives a positive moodlet to the receiving party but drains the brainpower motive.

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Overall, Seasons adds a lot to the game, and does a great job of tying all the packs together – not just with the Weatherstone, which links Seasons and Supernatural – but making weather work in every world and small details like dogs playing in rainpuddles. All 3 of us cannot wait till release day next week!

A huge thanks to EA UK for accommodating all 3 of us, we had a fantastic day and on top of that we got seriously spoiled with goodies. The shirts are the real life versions of the ones you can download here.

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Author: sww

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