Hello everyone! My name is Richard. I’m the AI lead on Sims 3, and I’ve been busy working on the Sims’ free-will – what they decide to do when you leave them to their own devices.
One big thing we have insisted on from the start is that the Sims won’t need you to hold their hand every time they need to use the toilet. They are now able to take care of their basic needs on their own, leaving you to focus on more important things: building relationships, expanding your career opportunities, and exploring the world around you.
But perhaps more importantly than solving the base physical needs, our major focus has been getting the Sims to express their individuality. Each Sim has a personality defined from a large array of traits, and these traits have a strong influence on autonomous behavior. A flirty Sim will preen and pose, while an un-flirty Sim will reject all but the most persistent suitor. Some Sims are family-oriented – you will see them playing games with their children and cooing over them; others dislike children, and can be heard complaining about them loudly. All the Sims will express their personalities on their own, without needing constant input from you.
Their personalities affect both what they choose to do, and how they respond to your actions. The pick-up line which worked so well on Pauline may not work quite so well on Bessie Clavell, who has no sense of humor whatsoever! As you socialize with them, you get to learn their personality quirks, and should use this to your advantage.
Sunset Valley is a town full of individuals. If you spend a bit of time watching the Sims’ autonomous behavior, you start to get a feeling for what they’re like. Madison Watson is sweet, but perhaps a little immature. The Frio brothers may have a nice house, but they have personality issues which make them less than ideal as boyfriend material.
Having so many Sims in the town, each with his own individual personality, creates a combinatorial explosion. Sometimes, what looks like a coding problem turns out to be an unexpected side-effect of the Sim’s personality. Recently, a tester had invited another Sim over to her house. Now the AI makes sure that the guest’s autonomous behavior is appropriate based on his relationship level with the host – someone you barely know won’t turn up and start cooking food in your house, but a good friend is allowed to do so. But on this occasion, the guest came straight into the house, walked upstairs and went to sleep! After much debugging and soul-searching, the problem turned out not to be a problem with the code, but with the guest’s personality – she was insane, and therefore impervious to the norms of social propriety!
As well as the individual Sims, the town itself has its own separate needs. It wants people to come to work in the morning; it wants the public spaces to be neither too empty nor too full. And, longer term, as old Sims die out and new Sims are born, the town wants to keep the right sort of population density, and a reasonable ratio of male to female Sims. My colleague Peter Ingebretson has done an amazing job at keeping the world progressing over long periods of time. That’s just a sneak peek at the new level of AI that you’ll find in The Sims 3. We hope you enjoy playing it as much as we enjoyed creating it.
Ulkrhsn created some very unique Sims for The Sims 3 Exchange. From toddlers to children, to adults, this creator used the new CAS tools, along with their own signature style, to create some amazing looking Sims.
Utilizing the Create a Style tool, Ulkrhsn was able to provide each of character with a signature look. The toddler is wearing a pink cardigan with a flower print shirt underneath and both of the children are wearing clothing that matches perfectly with their rain boots. One of Ulkrhsn’s favorite Sims has argyle printed tights matched with a skirt and ballet flats.
While the detail added to the clothing and color choices is clear, the real complexity in Ulkrhsn’s work can be found in the facial features of The Sims. The men especially are very masculine with small touches that make them unique, whether it’s white blond hair, a kind smile, or amber colored eyes. You can download Ulkrhsn’s Sims into your town when the game ships in June.
Babylonia is well known for creating a detailed book series using The Sims as a medium for her art. For The Sims 3 Exchange, she created a few houses that other players can eventually download. With quaint accents and attention to detail, these houses are the perfect addition of any corner of Sunset Valley.
The first home is a green and white country manor with lots of windows and sunflowers out front. There is a tiny lake off the back deck with lounge chairs for relaxing. The second house is delightfully modern with a sculpture in the front, a garage, slanted asymmetrical architecture and a pool/picnic area in the backyard. The modern home is perfect for the bachelor or Computer Whiz in your neighborhood. The interior is partially furnished in warm creams and browns.
The final house Babylonia created for the exchange is a majestic estate with sprawling gardens, three stories and two wings separated by the main core of the home. The interiors feature detailed flooring with intricately colored tiles, sweeping staircases, and plenty of windows with views of the beautiful sun setting over the valley. Babylonia’s creations will be available on the exchange when the game ships in June.
Q&A with Babylonia
What do you love most about The Sims?
I’m also a cartoonist and I love the fact that The Sims gives me the ability to express anything I want.
What is your most memorable experience from The Sims?
I was playing with the characters from my book series (Timy and Mari) and they had a beautiful baby.
What is your favorite Personality Trait from The Sims 3?
I like the bookworm trait.
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