This Skype interview was conducted by Hannah Lord, UK Maxis Community Manager, with The Sims 3 Assistant Producer, Argus Hulin, who is based at Electronic Arts at the Salt Lake City studio.
Q1) Is there a choice of Universities your Sims can go to, or is there one University where all the Sims go to study & party?
Argus: There’s just one University but your Sims won’t want to go anywhere else! The university architecture has been designed with European influence so it’s really beautiful.
Q2) Can you go inside the classrooms & lectures with your Sim?
Argus: There are some activities that do and some that don’t. The venues are not all like in The Sims 2 University, in that lectures and other class activities take place outside the rabbit whole.
Q3) What happens at Graduation?
Argus: Graduation is a celebratory moment your Sim has when they finish their studies. There are robes and mortar boards for your Sims to wear for the celebration.
Q4) Do all the Sims graduate together?
Argus: Different Sims graduate University at different times, depending on what they study and when they start attending University.
Q5) While they are at University can Sims use their family’s money or do they have a separate bank balance?
Argus: Whilst your Sim is at University they use their family funds, however thing are paid for upfront, so when you enrol at the University you pay your tuition fees then. These fees also include Halls of Residence costs, so your Sim has somewhere to live straight away. But if they don’t want to live in halls, they can rent a house in the village around the University. When they rent the house they pay rent for the whole length of the term in one go.
Q6) Can you send multiple Sims to University at the same time?
Argus: Yes, you can send as many of your Sims to University as you want at the same time – as long as you have the funds!
Q7) Can Sims live at home and travel to University or do they have to live in dorms? And how do Sims find room mates?
Argus: Your Sims will have to enter into the University world to enrol and attend to the University. They can live in Halls of Residence or they can rent a house near the University. These living spaces are really easy to customise into the way you want your Sims to live whilst a University. Renting a house is more expensive than living in Halls of Residence, but if you want your Sims to live by themselves they can do this. And if there are spare bedrooms in the house these can be sub-let to other students at the University.
Q8) Do Sims at university have assignments with due dates? And how does the level of your Sim’s skills affect their grades at university?
Argus: Whilst at University your Sims will be working on their academic performance as a whole. So they need to keep their whole performance level up rather than completing individual assignments. Different skills your Sim has help them do better at different degrees, so it really depends on the individual Sims skill set.
Q9) Will adults or parents be able to go to University and study as mature students?
Argus: Sims within the life stages Young Adult to Elderly can go to University – it’s never too late to get a degree! Teens and below are not able to go to University.
Q10) Will adults or parents be able to go to University and study as mature students?
Argus: Yes adult Sims can go to University. If they are Parents and have a baby or child, a babysitter will come and look after the children whilst the parent is at University, so you don’t need to worry about them whilst your Sim is having fun at University!
Q11) Can family come and visit Sims at University?
Argus: Other Sims can’t come and visit the University student, but a terms can last as little time as you want, from one to two weeks – you can set this when you enrol at the University. So if they will miss their family, set short terms and they will be back with their family before too long.
Q12) What new things are unlocked by befriending certain social groups or joining a fraternity/sorority?
Argus: The Fraternities and Sororities are more for the social side of your Sims University life, so for parties and living arrangements. Joining the different social groups unlocks different social interactions, traits and dream jobs including video game developer; art appraiser and sports agent.
Q13) What are the degree topics Sims can study?
Argus: There are six degree topics: Communications; Business; Fine Arts; Science and Medicine, Physical Education and Technology.
Q14) How many majors can they study at once, and can they study indefinitely?
Argus: A Sim can only study one degree at any one time, though there is no limit on the number of degrees they do in their life, as long as they have the funds they can keep going to university.
Q15) How long does it take to graduate?
Argus: Completing a degree can take as long as the gamer wants. The length of a degree is 48 credits, and depending on how many classes you decide to take determines whether the Sim spends lots of time at University parting, or studies lots and graduates within two weeks. This is decided when your Sim enrols at University.
Q16) How does study help Sims advance in their career, is it similar to TS2? Are there new careers unlocked by gaining a degree?
Argus: Having a degree gives your Sims an advanced placement in their chosen career. So they are placed at a higher level and get paid more!
Q17) How does the University world work with all the features in Seasons?
Argus: The University building and surroundings look amazing, especially in the snow! University Life works really well with the rest of the expansion packs, though there are no pets at University.
Q18) What are the new study objects? Which degrees are they linked to and what function do they perform?
Argus: There are several new study objects available with the different degree topics. For the Business degree there is a business planner. The Science and Medicine degree has a Anatomy Skeleton. And for Technology there is a Brain Enhancement Machine. These study objects help the Sims build skills and helps boost their grades up!
Q19) What are herbs and what are they used for?
Argus: Herbs have many different uses for University Sims. You can challenge a classmate to do the Cinnamon Challenge, they are used for herbal teas, and they can be thrown on a bonfire to create funny effects!
Q20) Is there a new style of clothing and hairstyles coming for the University students?
Argus: Yes there are loads of new things for the University students. There are different style clothing styles for the different social groups. Your Sims style doesn’t affect which social group they join, so they can dress like a jock but be a nerd!
Q21) Are there any new woohoo spots for Sims?
Argus: The Murphy bed is the new woohoo spot.
Q22) Are there any new tattoos, collectibles, foods or WooHoo spots in University Life?
Argus: There are new University themed tattoos in this expansion pack. And new collectables include coffee beans, herbs and bug types. There are new student themed foods, including quick meals and microwave recipes. You can also use the vending machines in the University, which allow your Sims to get energy drinks and sweets.
Q23) Will Sims have a social networking site for their computers and smart phones, and will online dating & love letters work in University town?
Argus: Yeah, your Sims will be able to use different devices and sites to gain their social networking skill. If they improve this skill they will unlock new social networking interactions. They can use their smart phones to take pictures, which they can then share or print and put on their room wall. They can also make a woohooty call which is a pretty cool feature!
Q24) What is your favourite feature about University life & why?
Argus: I love the new items – they look really cool! And there’s so much customisation which means your Sims can have an individual University experience.
Below are some brand new screenshots, hot off the presses for your viewing pleasure!