Hello, Sims community! My name is Aaron Conners and I’m a senior designer on Showtime.
Our team has been working very hard on this new expansion pack and we’re really excited to get it out there for you to play. We’ve had lots of questions about Showtime’s new features, so we decided to post this Q&A to give you the lowdown on all the great things this expansion pack will offer.
1. Tell us a bit about The Sims 3 Showtime and what features you are most excited about.
We’re very excited about the big world of entertainment that The Sims 3 Showtime brings to The Sims 3. The new town of Starlight Shores is packed with a wide variety of venues where your Sims can see concerts, magic shows and other performances. Or they can just hang out with their friends, buy a round of beverages, play pool, sing karaoke, dance around the jukebox, play games, and even take a wild ride on a mechanical bull! There’s a ton of stuff to do, and that’s not even counting the new active performance careers—singer, magician and performer–or the chance to moonlight as a DJ, complete with your own DJ booth.
These new active careers tell the story of your Sims’ rise to fame, as you successfully navigate through levels in each career. We have to admit that some of the funniest moments happen as you try to progress, and sometimes fail at your acts and tricks. The audience will react to how well or poorly you perform, which is also another great achievement with this pack that fans have been asking for: crowds and audience participation.
You are also going to receive cool rewards and visual pay-offs for progressing and performing, from powerful post-show buffs that allow your Sim to increase their relationships after the show to unlocking incredible new costumes as your Sim climbs the ladder of success.
As you might have also heard, those who purchase The Sims 3 Showtime will have access to an exclusive connected feature called SimPort. If players choose to log-in, they will be able to send their singer, magician and acrobat Sims on tour to their friends’ worlds, and also host their friends’ Sims for performances in their own game.
2. How does this expansion pack differ from The Sims 3 Late Night?
While The Sims 3 Late Night created an exciting world of night-clubbing and celebrities, The Sims 3 Showtime is all about performance and entertainment: from street performing to playing live on club stages, to wowing sold-out crowds in huge arenas, Showtime catapults you and your Sims into a world of entertainment where dreams of superstardom can be realized. Whether your Sim is a singer, magician, acrobat or DJ, you – as the player – get to orchestrate the entire performance, from setting up the stage to choosing the outfits. Then while your Sim is on stage, you choose how the Sim interacts with the audience, from telling jokes to doing shout-outs or even insulting the crowd. Choose the song arrangements for your singer Sim and select any combination of tricks and stunts for your acrobat or magician Sims. You can even invite Sims from the audience to come on stage and assist with an illusion!
And the new active careers are just a part of the new content! There is plenty to enjoy in Starlight Shores even if you don’t pursue the performance careers. There are hundreds of new objects that you can use to customize your home or have fun playing with, including an electro-dance sphere, skeeball game, photo booth, golf driving range, jukebox, portable MP3 player, and more.
3. Can you tell us anything about returning items?
We love that so many fans have spotted the pool table already! You may also see some guest appearances by such fan favorites as the karaoke machine and mechanical bull.
4. How do you live the rags to riches story and can you elaborate more about performing as singers, acrobats, magicians and DJs?
The Sims 3 Showtime’s new world, Starlight Shores, has a look and vibe that was inspired by Southern California locations such as Venice Beach and Hollywood Boulevard. People visit these locations from all over the world to pursue their dreams of making it big in show business, so it’s a great setting to be an aspiring entertainer, as well as being just a cool place to live and have fun. When Sims start out, they have to find odd jobs to support themselves and are only able to perform on the streets, in local talent shows and in competitions. As they get better and more experienced, new opportunities arise along with it and they’ll be able to access new outfits, additional songs and tricks and everything they need to create a spectacular stage show. By the time your Sims reach the highest levels of their careers and get to perform in front of sold-out crowds, it’s a thrilling and satisfying payoff for you and your Sims.
5. What can you tell us about crowds in The Sims 3 Showtime?
For the first time in The Sims 3, you control your Sim’s performance on customized stages in front of crowds. When your Sims reach superstar status, you’ll see them perform in front of the largest audiences ever seen in the The Sims 3! We worked really hard to be able to populate venues with other Sims and to give you a true sold-out feel for your performances as you become a superstar.
Audience members are also much more interactive than ever before. They can be called up to participate with a magic illusion. They can make requests and they’ll be thrilled if the performer does the requests. They may react to a bad performance by throwing things at the stage. So get to practicing!
6. Can you tell us what the new creature will be?
As much as we’d like to, we’re going to keep it a secret…for now.
7. We’ve heard that there are other online features coming, can you give an overview on how the online aspects work including the new achievements, the in-game player wall and player updates?
The goal of our new online features, which will be available for all The Sims 3 players when The Sims 3 Showtime launches in March, is to allow you to connect with your The Sims 3 friends -and us – in fun and rewarding ways.
This is entirely optional and is only available should you decide to log-in.
On a regular basis, we’ll be rolling out new achievements and news that you’ll be notified of immediately through these updates. The purpose of the new achievement system is to provide and recognize special achievements that the player accomplishes within The Sims 3 PC Base Game and Expansion Packs. Players who complete challenges will be awarded new badges for their My Pages.
There will be several types of challenges:
• Sim Challenges, which must be completed by a single Sim
• Household Challenges, which must be completed by anyone in a household
• Player Challenges, where players complete an even many times over the course of the long-term game cycle
• Real-time Challenges, where players complete one event, or a series of events, between a real-world start date and end date.
Also for the first time, you can post messages to your friends while in-game, get player updates from The Sims 3 community. You will also be able to make friends with other The Sims 3 Showtime players and see their achievements in-game. The great thing about the new connected features is that they will be familiar to anyone who has created an account on the existing www.TheSims3.com web site.
8. How does the SimPort feature in The Sims 3 Showtime actually work? What is the benefit of sharing my Sims with other players? What if I prefer to play on my own?
SimPort is the new and completely optional feature in The Sims 3 Showtime that allows friends to share their Sims by sending them into each other’s worlds by going on tour. SimPort is brought to you through a fun new menu that looks like a travel journal, allowing you to send your star Sim performers on tour to the venues and stages in your friend’s world to perform special shows. You can also invite a friend to send their Sims in to perform for you. You can customize the stage in your venue with special themed backgrounds, props, lights and special effects before your friend’s Sim arrives to make sure their performance is a hit with your crowd of Sims.
SimPort is a complementary experience that adds value to an already rich offline game. There are special rewards for those who send their Sims on tour through SimPort, such as earning extra Simoleans, gaining skill and experience at a faster rate, getting unique moodlets, and unlocking new stage props, backgrounds and costumes to make even more unique stories possible for your Sims.
Another benefit of SimPort is that you can use it to progress your game even when you’re not playing! Send your Sim off to perform in a friend’s world just before you log off your game; the next time you log on, your Sim will be back with all the goodies earned while “on the road”! Or, if you have multiple Sims in your household, sending one Sim on tour gives you some time (typically, it’s for 12 Sim hours, or 12 minutes in real time) to focus on your other Sim(s).
9. Do the social features relate to The Sims Social in any way?
No, the two are separate social experiences. The Sims Social is a great way to experience The Sims series with your friends on Facebook. The social features we are introducing with The Sims 3 Showtime are focused on connecting The Sims 3 players and community members together in more accessible ways, extending the great community that is already very active on www.TheSims3.com web site into the game. As mentioned earlier, the great thing about the new connected features is that they will be familiar to anyone who has created an account on the existing www.TheSims3.com community web site.
10. How are the social features tied into Facebook and Twitter?
If you like, you can post memories and wall posts (for instance… images of your awesome stage performance) to Facebook and Twitter to share with your friends and followers outside of the game.
11. How are you planning to protect players from any potential viruses, identity theft, or other security issues with the introduction of social features?
The in-game connected features in The Sims 3 Showtime use the very same system and technology that allows community members to post, download and share content on The Sims 3 community web site, including The Sims 3 Store and The Sims 3 Exchange. You can rest assured that we are using the same security measures that keep the www.thesims3.com safe and secure.