David (thesimdeej33) from Dynasty Sunset Valley interviewed Community Q&A interview with the Assistant Producer of The Sims 3 for Console, George Pigula earlier today, and he was extremely kind to allow us to share the answers!  Make sure you visit his Yahoo Group and give him a thanks (or leave a comment)!  It’s a very long read – so jump to the full post to catch it all!

thesimdeej: I am interviewing George Pigula, Assistant Producer of The Sims 3 for Consoles. Welcome!

So George, tell us what your Role is on The Sims 3 team for Consoles?

gpigula: I work on various areas of the game with many talented team members.  The areas of the game I had most influence on were ‘Create A Sim’, ‘Build/Buy’, and the online Exchange experience.

thesimdeej: Nice, How different is the PC version from the Console version and what are some of the newer features that we don’t get in the PC version?

gpigula: I love this question.  I think one of the main concerns from veteran Sims players will be what might be missing.  I’m happy to report that the Sims for the HD consoles really brings that true Sims 3 experience over.  Generational gameplay, a living town, plenty of items to collect, amazing building & editing tools, etc.

gpigula: And there are great new features we were able to add for the consoles.  There are karma powers.  These add a great new way to access powerful events in the Sims.  Drop a firestorm down on a neighbor.  Transform the luck of a Sim who is down on his lucky.  Give a sim a giant jackpot…

gpigula: And the Exchange is integrated directly into the game.  I love the fact that I can be in CAS right now.  See a highly rated new shirt for my Sim, download it, and put it directly on that Sim.  No leaving the game or going to any main menu.

gpigula: There are great challenges to complete.  These really help me improve my Xbox gamerscore.  And you can also unlock new items, karma powers, and outfits through points you earn completing challenges.

thesimdeej: Wow, a hell of a lot of stuff in a product. That thing about Generational Gameplay sparks another question, does that mean our sims can have babies, grow to adults and the process starts all over again? Is that cross the board on all platforms

gpigula: Yes it does!  Which is really excellent.  I’ve seen a lot of people ask about generational gameplay which is why I brought that specific point up but there is much more.  This is no watered down Sims 3 gameplay experience.  This is everything our players have come to love and expect.  I can only speak about The Sims 3 on Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 though.   I’m not an expert on Nintendo Wii or Nintendo DS gameplay.

thesimdeej: Interesting! I am now moving on the Questions from the community now, please be aware that these questions are in no particular order of asking. Here we go; I’ve read there is a loading screen on the ps3/360. Question if you have 2 married Sims and you follow one to work if you switch to the one at home will you get a loading screen?

gpigula: Like every game we will have loading screens.  Following one Sim to work will result in a short loading screen.  You can still switch between all your Sims.  We have also made it easy to direct your Sims from afar.  So you can follow a Sim around downtown and set your Sims at home to work on skills, maintain the house, do homework, and so on.

thesimdeej: Is there an “ask to join” feature for picnic baskets? In the pc version we don’t have an option to call friends over.

gpigula: I don’t remember off hand about the picnic basket.  If it is not in the PC version than I do not think it was added to the console version.

thesimdeej: Are there tents in the console versions?

gpigula: I do not recall any.

thesimdeej: Can we play music from our consoles hard drive in the game particularly the ps3 and 360 versions?

gpigula: That is not a feature that we had implimented.  There is a large library of songs availiable via the in-game radios though.

thesimdeej: I believe I read the Sims 3 console version will have the store, so my question is will the store for consoles be linked with our Sims 3 account here, and can we re-download stuff we already bought for the PC version. (Would rather not have to pay twice!)

gpigula: There haven’t been any details about the Sims 3 console store released yet, but that info is coming soon.

thesimdeej: Would it be possible to add keyboard & Mouse support for the Xbox 360 / PS3 versions for those who also play on the PC?

gpigula: We focused on making sure the gamepad controls for the console were a good as can be. 100% of console owners have a controller, but not all will have keyboard and mouse hooked up.  Veteran users will find a very familiar control scheme set up up the controller.

thesimdeej: I would like to know what graphical sacrifices had to be made to port The Sims 3 onto the 360 and PS3, if any.

gpigula: There are no graphical sacrifices on the console versions of the game.  Both consoles are powerful enough to display great looking gameplay.  There are screenshots and video at www.thesims3console.com to view.

thesimdeej: Any chance we’ll be able to get some stuff from the Dr Pepper promotion into our console games? I’d really like to have the lips of loveseat in the console version. I’ve got them on the pc version.

gpigula: Unfortunatly I don’t know what promotions may be planned at this time.  I do know that when any cool giveaways like that are planned the teams will let the community know about it.

thesimdeej: Does the wii have lip-gloss in CAS?Any tattoos in CAS?

gpigula: I’m probably not the best person to define the differences between lip gloss and lip stick.  My  knowledge of makeup is limited.  I do know you can change the lip stick colors as you could in the traditional Create a Sim.  There are no tatoos.

thesimdeej: Can you tie Sims together in CAS as boy/girlfriend/fiancée?

gpigula: You can tie Sims together in many ways.  Grandparents, Children, Brothers/Sisters, Roommates, Spouse, etc.  With a boy/girlfriend situation the player would have to have them be roommates and work on the relationship.

thesimdeej: In the pc version we can shift click on a sum with the above cheat and add him to active family and also raise or lower his sliders. Is this possible with the console versions?

gpigula: There are a variety of cheats in the game through a very special object.  Details on that may have to be found by the community.

thesimdeej: Any objects in the console versions that aren’t in the pc especially Christmas trees?

gpigula: There is a huge catalog of objects in The Sims 3 both on the consoles and on the PC. I really couldn’t give you an accurate account of what objects are where.  There are a lot of great items and CAS outfits availiable on the console.

thesimdeej: Will the game keep a steady 30FPS frame rate throughout, basically like ahigh end PC?

gpigula: Yes, I have not seen any framerate slowdown when playing.  And I love to play with multistory houses with lots of Sims.

thesimdeej: Does CAS include the opacity feature for makeup?

gpigula: The color sliders for the makeup are the color, brightness and saturation if I remember the titles correctly.

thesimdeej: Is there an aging option where you can turn off/on or select the length of how many or few days where Sims age?

gpigula: You can set the lifespan of your Sims.  It defaults somewhere in the middle.  I personally love to set my Sims to have epic life spans so I can complete everything I want to.

thesimdeej: What kind of built in store sets is included?

gpigula: You will have to play to find out.  I like to leave some surprises.  Some are unlocked right away.  Some will need to be unlocked by completing challenges and spending points in the challenge shop.

thesimdeej: How close can we zoom into a sim with the camera and is there cameraman mode?

gpigula: You can zoom right down next to your Sims.  The controller allows you to alternate how the camera moves around the world so you can get perfect angles on all the Sims you want to see.

thesimdeej: Will we be able to use testingcheatsenabled true on the consoles?

gpigula: There is a hidden item in the game that allows cheats.  I personally like to build in the game.  So I wanted to make sure that through the use of Karma Powers and cheats I could easily build huge mansions without having to save up first.

thesimdeej: Will there be mouse and keyboard support for the PS3?

gpigula: I think that was already asked up above.

thesimdeej: Is there any DLC in the works?

gpigula: There have not been any details released on DLC yet.

thesimdeej: Any info on bringing EP’s to the console versions? like could a possible Ambitions EP be added to it

gpigula: Right now we are focused on releasing The Sims 3 on console.  There is no info being released about any future ideas.

thesimdeej: How many Residential lots and Community lots are in there in all versions? (PS3/X360/Wii/DS)

gpigula: A lot.  I don’t keep the exact numbers in my head.  I can only speak to the PS3 and X360 games though.

gpigula: I was not on the Nintend Wii or Nintendo DS projects

thesimdeej: Are there new types of deaths?

gpigula: There are no new deaths, but the Karma Powers will allow to trigger those deaths in new ways.  All the classics are in the game.

thesimdeej: Is there a story mode for all versions?

gpigula: The HD Console verison of the game has pre-made households availiable for play in game.  This is similar to the pre-made household availiable in the PC game, but these households are unique to the console.

thesimdeej: Will any of our favourite families from other games make a surprise visit or have a household in game?

thesimdeej: like confirmed families that you could share

gpigula: I suppose that depends on who are your favorites.  There are some very familiar surnames running around town.

thesimdeej: Could you confirm maybe one of them?

thesimdeej: and which console we will find them in

gpigula: My favorites are the landgraab family because I love the big starter house.

thesimdeej: What is the future of Console games for The Sims Division is there any New Surprises coming up?

gpigula: I’m only commenting on current games at this time.  I can’t speculate on future titles.  =)

thesimdeej: Do you have any last words for the Simming Community that you would like to share?

gpigula: I would love everyone to check out the new game coming out next week.  I can’t wait to see the great creations that the console community comes up with and shares with the world.

gpigula: I’m secretly waiting for all my friends to send out their “First WooHoo” facebook updates.

thesimdeej: Thank you George for your time today, and answering these questions for the people that have asked. Hope to do future Community Q&A Sessions for future products.

gpigula: I look forward to it.