October 16th, 2013
Each time The Sims 3 design team sits down to discuss the next expansion pack or piece of store content, we often start by talking about what parts of the game could be better. What worked and what didn’t work in previous content? What would we like to do differently if given the chance? With Into the Future, we discussed how well the Visa Points system from World Adventures worked in context with that expansion pack’s content and then talked about how Terms worked with University Life. Would either of those scenarios work with Into the Future?
If there is ever a question on which direction we should take with a design there is always one question I ask myself: “Are we, the design team, providing tools that allow players to tell the story they want, or are we trying to force a specific story onto the player?” To me player freedom is the most important thing I can provide to someone who plays The Sims 3. Once we asked ourselves this question it was apparent the direction we should head, pending any technical restrictions.
Arriving in the Future
Unlike Shang Simla, Champs Les Sims, Al Simhara or Sims University, once a Sim arrives in Oasis Landing they can stay there as long as they like. All ages can travel to the future, but babies, toddlers, children and teens must be accompanied by a responsible adult. When you arrive in the future you’ll arrive at Emit Relevart’s Community Living Center. This lot provides a place for visitors of all ages to relax and recharge after a day out in the town.
Temporary Housing at The Community Living Center
The Community Living Center contains all of the basic essentials you’ll need for future living, from travel objects like the Hoverboard and Jetpack, to everyday necessities. If your sim is famished, walk up to the FoodForge Cuisine Synthesizer and generate some Synthesized Goopy Carbonara. Your Sims will be able to create a full course dinner in the time it would take to make one dish on an old-fashioned stove! After a hearty meal your Sim can freshen up with the Tardisian Well Sonic Shower. With the power of sound and color your Sim will be sonically cleaned in no time, you don’t even need to change your clothes. Cleanse a Sim with their favorite color and they’ll feel extra fresh which is sure to put any Sim in a good mood.
A Sim in a good mood is more inclined to have good dreams in the new Sweet Escape Dream Pod. The Dream Pod allows players to interact with their Sim while they dream to try and influence the outcome. When your Sim wakes up there’s a chance they will receive a temporary benefit that will help them throughout the next day, but if the dream is bad be prepared for some negative side effects. A Sim who dreams about their career, for example, may gain an instant boost in career performance for having a good dream, while a bad dream may decrease their job performance. If your Sim has a good dream about a skill like Handiness, any time they perform a handiness interaction like repairing a TV, they will build the skill at nearly double the rate.
Most of these benefits will last about twelve hours allowing a Sim to fully utilize the newfound benefits of an engineered dream. Players who have other expansion packs installed will have a few additional dreams to help benefit related gameplay. If you have University Life installed and use the Dream about Academics at Sims University you’ll be able to build Academic Performance while you dream. Do you have Late Night installed? Have a good dream about being a celebrity to help increase your celebrity status. With World Adventures installed you can even earn Visa Points in your dreams making it easier to advance to the next level. There are nearly 50 unique dreams to unlock each with 3 different outcomes, offering a wide range of results that are beneficial, fun and sometimes surprising. Try dreaming about Sleeping with the Fishes, Dreaming about Riches, and Dreaming about Rushing Water.
After spending some time in the future you may find yourself a little short on simoleons. You could certainly head back to the past to resume your ‘normal’ job, or you could stay in the future and join one of the careers unique to Oasis Landing. Head to the Modern Arcology Bot Arena to join the Bot Arena Career. You’ll start off as a basic maintenance worker as a member of the Clean Up Crew or the Safety Inspectors, but eventually you’ll be able to specialize as either an Arena Mechanic or an Arena Official. As a mechanic you’ll help keep the Plumbots in top condition ready for the next Bot Arena Competition. As an Arena Official you’ll scout around town to try to find suitable candidates to serve as the competition’s next Plumbot Prospects!
If your Sim just isn’t interested in Plumbots, perhaps you should visit the Mercury Stellar Observatory and look to the stars in a career as an Astronomer. You may start off as a lowly Planetarium Operator, but eventually you’ll work your way into one of two branches, the Astrophysicist or the Space Explorer. As an Astrophysicist you’ll be able to discover new phenomenon when searching for Stellar Activity. As a Space Explorer you’ll be able to take Light Travel to Simulon V. Employees with enough career experience will receive a unique holo sprite; Astrid for Astronomers and Roboid for Bot Arena employees.
Players who would like to earn some money from their Bot Building skill can go to city hall and register as a Self Employed Bot Builder to earn some extra cash. In addition to the careers, there are plenty of other ways to earn money while in the future. Scrounge the world for collectibles unique to Oasis Landing like Crystal Flowers which can be charged with emotion, or wild Nanites which can be used to create bots. Selling these collectibles at the Nuts and Bolts Emporium will help keep your pockets lined with simoleons. Those looking for an easier but riskier route to riches could go to City Hall and Look up Lotto Records, your Sim will receive Insider Tips that they can take back to Sunset Valley for a chance to hit it big by Buying Lotto Tickets from the grocery store.
Stay tuned for Part 2!
SimGuruFont – Senior Designer