World Adventures at Gamescom 2009 (translated)
Sims 3 World Adventures – Köln 21st of August
Friday the 21st of August was the day to see the first gameplay of The Sims 3: World Adventures. I was so excited about it that I felt butterflies in my stomach, days before the event. At first there were some difficulties with my transport, everything got sorted out by itself though. I do want to take a moment here to thank Anita from the Dutch EA Community for her help. Without you I’d probably gave up on going to the event.
Okay, on to the presentation! I was very surprised to see a few people at the presentation. I expected a room full with fansites, like with The Sims 3 presentation a while back. That wasn’t the case though. I did see the German fansite SimTimes and the boss of the German Sims 3 magazine (click here for more info about the magazine). For the rest the place was a bit empty. At the beginning I was told not to make pictures of the screen where you could see the game on, or the cover of the expansion which was placed on a large wall. I thought that was a bit of a shame because I did see SimTimes taking a picture quickly, without anyone telling them they should’t have done that. I always get caught when I do things I shouldn’t do, so I didn’t try taking one as well. Especially because I was the only foreign person at that presentation, so they had their eyes on me. There was one guy who was leading the presentation for the fansites and he was really sweet. He tried to help me out with translating German language into English if someone tried to tell something in German, that was really great of him!
When the producer Azure Abowie wanted to start the game there were some problems acting up. It seemed as if she had some kind hacked version where she had to put some certain files in some certain maps before she could play. It seemed complicated and it made the computer crash, so we had to wait a little while before the presentation could really start. When the computer and game were working again Azure started up the game. It starts with the general Sims 3 loading screen, but instead of the screen being blue it was bright yellow. Around the Sims 3 icon on the screen there was a tiny plane flying around it, which looks very cute. And underneath the loading tab you could read the logical lines we all know from the game. Azure already had a family staying in Egypt, called McDanger. With this comes a question that many people have and that I can answer right here, right now: you can’t create a family in 1 of the 3 lands and you can’t live there permanently either. You will always need Sunset Valley or Riverview to create a family and send them on vacation. It’s up to your Visa level how long the Sims are able to stay. You can build up your Visa level by taking on adventures you can find on the job board, or to take the opportunities to help out local neighbors. For example, a local neighbor could ask you to find a lost family member in 1 of the tombs. If you succeed your reputation/Visa level will rise. Extra information: before your Sims go on holiday it’s possible you might leave some opportunities you got from work, from a general phone call, etc. You don’t have to click that away and you don’t need to finish it before you go on vacation. The game will save it all until your Sims come back again.
As I expected, we only got to see Egypt. My feeling tells me only Egypt is known because the game isn’t done yet. Even the local places in Egypt didn’t have any names. Except for ‘….’. The land was indeed beautiful though. Egypt has at least 4 big Pyramids to explore and 1 large Sphinx statue. It isn’t untrue when people say the lands will probably be as big as Sunset Valley, because they are. Also the styles of the buildings and everything is really in the theme of Egypt. Azure told us, if my brother and I heard it well, you can even find crocodiles in Egypt! Of course you won’t be able to get the crocodiles as a pet, it’s more like a object you can suddenly see walking around.
After we saw every bit of Egypt, Azure send her Sim named Chaz to a tomb. At the entrance Chaz was pushing and moving tiny things on this “wall”. Suddenly a door opened up so Chaz could enter the tomb. As he walked in the tomb he immediately hit the jackpot. He found some treasure chests at the entrance, and when you see the treasure chests you should always empty them. Why? Because it could unlock a switch or a door to move on to the next room. Do you by the way remember the piles of rubbles? You can chop that down with a chopper to find nice items underneath the rubble. Or you could find a hole in the wall. Your Sim can put his hand in the whole to find another nice item, or all kinds of bugs could “attack” the hand of the Sim.
Azure gave an order to Chaz to move on into the basement of the tomb. Even tombs can go on underneath the base floor. When you arrive in the basement of a tomb you will see different room, all colored black. Except for the room you enter at that moment. The producers of the game created it this way so you’re not able to see what else is going on in the other rooms. You can only find that out by entering every room in the basement, so “unlock” that rooms which clears the black color. Chaz wanted to move on to another room and suddenly stood before a fire trap. It came out of nowhere! Of course your Sim can just walk over the fire and get burned. Luckily the makers of the game put a little pool next to the fire trap, so when your Sim gets burned he can cool himself down with water and get soaked. Being soaked it is a solution to the fire trap problem at the same time. Your Sim might not like it, but it will help your Sim get over the fire trap. Extra information: next to the fire trap there was this huge rock which was standing in the middle of a second path. The solution to that problem can only come from China. As you need a special chopper from China to chop down this rock and get the treasure chest that’s behind it. This way the makers want to inspire players to visit every land in the game. Not only you can get fun travel experience, but you can also find nice items which might help you in future adventures.
Moving on with Chaz, as he survived the fire trap with the second try there was a room full of treasure chests. Chaz was busy opening them up, without noticing a mummy walking out of a sarcophagus. The mummy didn’t attack Chaz right away, as I would’ve expected. The mummy actually walked around, doing nothing much, until Chaz was standing behind the mummy. At that moment Azure told us mummies can act nice, but will most likely not act nice at all. Chaz and the mummy started to fight. Chaz didn’t know martial arts at all on that moment, so he was practically doomed by this evil mummy. Knowing that he was doomed he could do 2 things. Or he could go to the Sphinx and try to safe is life, or he could just ignore the curse. When you do ignore the curse or you forget about it the game will leave you hints on what you should do. If you still decide to ignore about the curse then the life of your Sim will not end well..
Unfortunately the game crashed while Chaz and the mummy were fighting, so the game had to be shut down and restarted all over again.
Even though it was a shame the fight got interrupted, it did gave us a chance to ask some questions about the game. This is some information I got to know:
– All ages are allowed to go on vacation, even babies and toddlers so you don’t have to leave them home;
– Even though babies and toddlers can come on vacation, the parents will still need to carry their children on their arms while exploring the lands;
– We are still not able to create new neighborhoods;
– There are 3 new traits (more info on that below these points);
– As you probably know you can see a snake charmer on one of the Sims 3 WA screenshots. Our Sims are able to learn that as well;
– When your Sims go on vacation not only will the opportunities be saved, also the neighborhood will freeze time until your Sims come back. So you can leave some family members at home;
– Even though there might be great opportunities with this expansion, like adding new lands in the feature, that is something they are not thinking of yet. At this moment they are focused on finishing World Adventures;
– Another fun fact: when you visit a tomb with family members you could make a good team. You could have a family of 5 members and give them all another room to explore. Not only can you empty a tomb very quickly this way, but it’s also a fun family activity!
– As far as I know there are 2 new foods created especially made in the theme of the lands. I think I heard Azure saying the Sims can make French waffles now and collect different kind of new grapes. Or where the waffles from China? I’m not sure anymore, but it’s a fact there are new foods especially made for the countries.
The 3 new traits are:
– Discipline; comes in handy when you would like to train martial arts
– Photographers eye; comes in handy if you would like to train photography
– Adventures; this will give your Sim more wishes to go on adventure
After the game got restarted Azure showed us 3 different items you can find in the different countries. Of course she showed us the machine that makes the nectar for your Sims. To be honest, this kind of reminded me that machine from The Sims Making Magic. The Sims go in this thing their selves to turn the grapes into liquid so the machine can put it in a bottle. The sims do this with their shoes on, which is very fresh. It looks very nice though, except for the machine which makes a lot of noise. The different kind of grapes are recognizable as well by the different colors they got. The makers used a lot of different green colors and even some dark red ones. In other words, it looks very real.
Next to the nectar machine Azure showed us 2 other items from China. Of course the practice item for martial arts. But also a new item that I haven’t seen before. It’s called a board breaker. First your Sim will be able to break foam. But when your Sim practice more he will become better and better at it. Azure showed us how you use the board breaker with Chaz. He was very disciplined and was level 10 in martial arts. So he really took his time before he broke the stone in half. Warning: this item can be very dangerous to the Sims, so be careful when using it!
After we saw these items it was unfortunately the end of the presentation. Even though the presentation started later than expected it was too short in my opinion. I felt great being 1 of the first people to see it though. Later on the day there would be a open presentation to everyone, but I couldn’t be a part of that unfortunately. I had to drive back home which would take 2 to 3 hours. Next to that I didn’t think they would reveal more information then I already got. The only new thing I heard later on was that you could make pictures with the afternoon event.
I would like to thank Anita from the Dutch EA Community for all of her help, I feel amazing of being the only Dutch fansite who could be a part of this. It’s another experience I can cherish forever. Hopefully there will be many more in the future!
Patricia – assistent webmaster S3N