The Sims™ 3 Community Blog
: October 2012
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Hi everyone, here's the latest blog. It's Assistant Producer Mike Zamora talking all about The Sims 3 Seasons...Enjoy!

Hi Simmers!
Up until now entire seasons such as spring and summer were featured in previous dev blogs and demos. But today I’m thrilled to finally talk in detail about one of the holidays that we’ve added to the game. Before I get started I wanted to clear up some common confusion regarding seasons and holidays that I’ve seen on Twitter and message boards. By default the game has four seasons, each transitioning seamlessly into one another. Within each season there is a single day that the game designates as a special holiday. These are days where Sims all over town are drawn together to congregate and participate in the day’s spirit and activities just as in real life.
I’m really excited to tell you all about the fall exclusive holiday in The Sims 3 Seasons that we call Spooky Day. What’s not to like about a day where you’re encouraged to dress up in a costume and ask for free candy?

Spooky Day has arrived!

While playing in the fall season it will be tough not to notice the visual transformation of your once familiar town. The weather will begin to cool down and rain and fog will often blanket the skies. Red, orange, and yellow becomes a more dominant color in town as deciduous trees begin their transformation for the colder climate. This dark and eerie feel really sets the stage for Spooky Day.

You can expect holidays to occur close to the end of each season. This gives you time to prepare your Sims and decorate your house for the upcoming celebration. Once Spooky Day arrives, more Sims will gather at the town festival. You will notice that Sims in general will be more mischievous; choosing to scare one another over a simple greeting or “hello”.

Go for it, carve that pumpkin!

Pumpkins have been added to The Sims 3 Seasons and it’s the most versatile harvestable to appear in The Sims 3 yet. Pumpkins  can be used to make the delicious new pumpkin pie recipe, used as an ingredient in other meals, or even be used as a fancy home decoration. As mentioned in the fall dev blog, pumpkins can be planted in your garden, picked from the festival’s pumpkin patch or picked up from the town’s store.  But what really sets pumpkins apart from other harvestables is that your Sims will be able to carve them into Jack-O-Lanterns. Whether you fail or succeed in carving out the desired pattern you can choose to light it and put it on display for everyone to see. You’ve always been told to never play with your food but for pumpkins it’s perfectly fine. Unfortunately once you’ve carved up a pumpkin it is no longer valid as food. However, the seeds pulled out of your pumpkin can be planted and used to grow more pumpkins.  Now that you’ve decorated your house let’s move over to get your Sims dressed and ready for Spooky Day’s festivities.


Ah yes, we’ve added new costumes to The Sims 3 Seasons for Sims to dress up in during Spooky Day or any time of year. Costumes are available in the “everyday” category in Create A Sim so if wearing a hot dog suit year-round is what you’re looking to do, you can do it!

Costume Parties

We’ve added four new parties to this pack but there’s one that’s closely tied to the fall season and Spooky Day which are costume parties. With so many fun, new activities to do in fall there’s a chance that you may forget to throw your own party. Don’t worry because there’s usually something going on in town. If you’re lucky you might be invited to a neighbor’s costume party. Accept the invite and go but it’s never too late to arrange your own Spooky Day themed get-together.

Costume parties are like house parties except that your guests will arrive in randomly chosen costumes. There are a good number of costumes available so every party always looks unique and is quick to offer some instant laughs. I threw a party once and saw a chef dancing with a hot dog.

Trick or Treating

The ability to go Trick or Treating is unlocked one day prior to the official start of Spooky Day. For children and teens there will also be an available interaction to quickly switch into a preset costume. You may also go into Create A Sim if you would rather choose your Sim’s costume. Now that you’re dressed for success let’s get to work. To begin, click on a residential lot anywhere in your town. You will have the option to go by yourself or in a group by choosing Sims on your lot. Your Sim or group will now go from house to house gathering treats until they’re too exhausted to continue or until curfew strikes.  Here’s a little tip of advice, have an adult join your group if you want to bypass curfew restrictions.

If you’re lucky enough to visit a house where people are home, you or your group will be greeted at the door and handed a treat. Most of the time your treat will come in the form of candy but there’s always a chance of getting an item such as the ultra-rare and seasonal specific Cracklin Nackerbell gnome.

For not-so-nice Sims, visiting an unoccupied house can spark up their inner rage. Lawn decorations, garbage cans, and Jack-O-Lanterns beware when these Sims leave empty handed.

Now that you’ve conquered Spooky Day it’s time to go home to reflect and enjoy the fruits of your labor. After a long night of Trick or Treating you’ll likely have a fair amount of tasty candy to enjoy. Candy is quite irresistible but make sure to practice self-control as eating more than your fair share is likely to end badly. That amount of sugar will have you running around the house for sure.

“Hey quit eating all the candy!”

That wraps up Spooky Day and the fun, new activities your Sims will be able to do. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog and keep a look out for more updates on The Sims 3 Seasons to follow shortly!

-Mike Zamora, Assistant Producer, The Sims 3 Seasons

Posted by: SimGuru_UK

Hi Sim Fans!

Last month we spotted this really awesome YouTube video of fellow fan, Mspurpleshell. It caught the team’s attention so much that we reached out to Mspurpleshell to ask her a few questions for a community spotlight! We’re always excited to see the creativity of our fans and this video really was impressive. In it, you’ll see that Mspurpleshell demonstrates her musical talents in a beautiful cover of Mayzie Grobe, the song that was featured in The Sims 3 Seasons announcement trailer. As Mspurpleshell sings the Simlish vocals exceptionally, she also plays the instrumentals of the song including the guitar and violin. 

SimGuruPopTart:  – How long have you been playing The Sims games?
Answer:  I've been playing The Sims since 2000 so I've been a pretty long-timed fan. I think my sister bought it and I started playing as, of course, the Newbies. That charming bald head, lumberjack beard, and sloppy shirt; Bob is one hell of a memorable guy. Bob and Betty Newbie will always be the classics.

SimGuruPopTart:  – What makes you a fan of The Sims?
Answer:  The gameplay itself is already interesting to make me hooked on it. Sometimes I don't get to do certain things in real life --say, becoming a vampire-- and being able to do so in the world of Sims is pretty cool. I can be many different characters and get to test my creative side in story-telling. Of course, I tend to chicken out and make my Sims life a happy ending.

Also, The Sims have a great team that are all about improving and expanding the game. It's nice to know that the game you're a fan of isn't being neglected and, instead, is continuously being perfected. When comparing the original The Sims series to The Sims 3, it makes me excited to see what other magic tricks they have up their sleeves. 

SimGuruPopTart:  What’s been your favorite The Sims game of all time?
Answer:  Without a doubt, The Sims Unleashed. I thought I was happy just being able to go on dates, and vacations with my Sims, but when Unleashed was, well... unleashed, I was even more in love with the game.

I never had pets as a child, so being able to have one without actually messing up my house and making my mom mad was a dream come true! Weird dream, I know. I started with the nurse with 1 puppy (Charming family I believe?) and it felt nice to be greeted by your dog after a long night shift at the hospital.

I think we were even able to garden in that EP. You see how many exciting new features the EP introduced?! Even though The Sims 3 Pets is also great with the new horse pet choice, but The Sims Unleashed will always have a special place in my heart.

SimGuruPopTart: Where did you learn to sing Simlish?
Answer: Oh, just in my room with headphones on that's playing a great Simlish song.

Since Simlish is an original language, I assumed that the only person that would know the exact lyrics was the writer themselves. So, to avoid using the internet to stalk people, I just listened by ear and tried to make it sound as close as the actual lyrics.
I'm lucky that the singers usually have good annunciation, and the lyrics sometimes closely resembles a real word so I just had to click replay a lot to finally decide what they said. I found that P's and b's were the most difficult to distinguish along with other similar sounding consonants.
Actually at some point, I had another Sims fan offer me a translation service so I didn't have to deal with it. That was pretty cool.

SimGuruPopTart: What’s a funny moment from The Sims that you can share with us?
Answer: I remember my first freak out when I heard Sims sing. It was when you sat around the firewood/camp outside and you had the option to play guitar so you could start singing with everyone around you. I was listening to it and I recognized the tune, but it was sung in Simlish! I started shouting and calling for my sister to check it out.

SimGuruPopTart: Would you like to tell the fans something in Simlish?
Answer: By combining Simlish lyrics and dictionary, I'll say:
Hooba Noobie! Cummuns nala? Abe zor Sims 3, letsigo truplay!

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In light of the music theme of this community spotlight, we thought it would be appropriate today to reveal the full list of new Simlish songs that will appear in The Sims 3 Seasons Expansion Pack. 

Here they are:

Avalanche City – Love Love Love
JJ – Big Hearts, Big Dreams
Lord Huron –- Time To Run
Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks
The Shoaks – Mayzie Grobe

Rita Ora – Shine Ya Light 
Sissie Marie – Paralyzed
Not Piloting – Soma Terra Loon
Becky G – Teen In the City
Erin McCarley – Elevator

As we mentioned, we’re always looking to see the creativity of our fans and will continue to do community spotlights. Keep on posting, sharing and telling us about your experiences with The Sims 3 and we could be interviewing you next! 

Posted by: SimGuru_UK

For the first time ever we have created an object that ties two expansion packs together! Players who have The Sims 3 Supernatural and The Sims 3 Season installed will get a mystical Weather Stone that allows werewolves, fairies, vampires and witches to summon their own mystical weather.

The Weather Stone will appear in new and saved games and will rise up from beneath the ground on a community lot in any of The Sims 3 worlds, expect for the vacation cities from The Sims 3 World Adventure. You can easily find the Weather Stone in your world by searching for the Map Tag in Map View. 

The Weather Stone can only be activated by one of the four different supernatural characters that appear in The Sims 3 Supernatural. Each one will summon their own unique weather effects which will have a variety of differing outcomes ranging from special benefits to complete and utter chaos. These effects vary based on the supernatural character that activates it. Without further delay here they are!

Vampires will be able to summon a cold Eclipsing Fog that puts other Sims under their spell. Sims who are generally unwilling to be turned, or used as a snack, can’t help but fall under the effects of the Eclipsing Fog and allow vampires to turn or drink them.

Fairies are more adept with nature and have their own ability to summon a Reviving Sprinkle. The Reviving Sprinkle turns rain into flowers. Plants will be magically watered and fertilized, killing off weeds and making them disappear. The fairy magic doesn’t end there! At the end of a Reviving Sprinkle, a beautiful rainbow will appear across the sky.

The ferociousness of werewolves allows them to summon their own mystical powers through the Weather Stone. The Hunter’s Storm snows down collectibles onto the ground and increases their chances of finding rare items to increase their hunting skill.

Witches will be able to call forth a Bewitching Rain that showers the world with green precipitation. This will make all Sims start to act a bit crazy. Sims who are under the rain will get a boost to their mood and have an uncontrollable urge to dance. Talk about an easy way to get everyone to participate in a rain dance!

The Weather Stone may only be used once per day but the supernatural summons are not always guaranteed to succeed.  An individual or group of the same supernatural may join in during the summoning to increase the odds of having a successful weather effect take place. But be warned, there is a chance that the Weather Stone may backfire and strike the supernatural (s) with a shocking jolt of lightning!

Posted by: SimGuru_UK

Hey Simmers, here is the latest blog from Seasons producer, Graham Nardone. Enjoy!

Hey everyone, I’m Graham Nardone – one of the producers on The Sims 3 Seasons. Hot on the heels of The Sims 3 Supernatural, we’re bringing another creature to The Sims 3, the frequently requested and mysteriously absent alien! Long-time fans of The Sims will recall that aliens last made an appearance in The Sims franchise way back with the original release of The Sims 2. With The Sims 3 Seasons, we have designed aliens to interact with weather in unique ways, but to be completely honest, all of us here at The Sims Studio were fed up with not having aliens in our games and wanted to include them in this EP! Considering the limited role they played in the past, aliens were the perfect creatures to bring back and dramatically improve. We’re happy to say that aliens in The Sims 3 Seasons will offer great new moments that you’ve never experienced in The Sims before!

So just how do your Sims discover that they aren’t alone in the universe? If your Sim is oblivious to the existence of extraterrestrial life, their day-to-day routine will continue uninterrupted, for the most part. As your Sims sleep, aliens will sometimes visit the world on intelligence gathering missions, scanning objects to record data on your planet and occasionally leaving behind clues of their presence. Should you see sparkling anomalies in the sky and hear a sound akin to shimmering wind chimes, chances are there’s a cloaked UFO hovering above an alien that’s visiting the world.

As aliens become bolder in their mission to explore your planet, the time may come for experimentation upon live human subjects. Sims may find themselves awoken in the middle of the night, inexplicably drawn outside, suddenly abducted and taken on an intergalactic flight. Nobody knows exactly what occurs during this time, but subjects find themselves returned home with a foggy memory and an acute case of paranoia. Surely that squirming sensation in your Sim’s tummy will resolve itself after a few days of recovery!

Sims who desire a close encounter of the fourth kind can engage in certain activities that will attract an alien’s attention. Studying the stars through a telescope or collecting space rocks that appear in the world will not go unnoticed as the aliens monitor Earthling activity. Sims who seek out paranormal activity tend to harbor a curiosity for interacting with these beings from the sky, and as aliens continue to visit the world, your Sims can begin to form friendships and possibly even relationships with them. As these bonds strengthen, an alien can ultimately be asked to join your family, allowing them to assimilate further into your society and continue working towards their primary directive.

Of course, data collection goes both ways, and Sims desire to learn more about aliens as well. The military is prepared to spend generously to acquire intelligence from any alien that is willing to betray its own kind. Furthermore, the scientific community is very interested in potential biological advancements that could be developed from examining aliens . Any alien is more than welcome to sign up for a career as a test subject at the Science Facility, which is new to The Sims 3 Seasons.

Once you actually have an alien in your household, you’ll discover that aliens have a wide range of telepathic powers at their disposal! Want to know more about your cute Earthling neighbor? Perform a mental scan on them and learn all about their traits (In the picture above, Gobias is looking especially attractive with his chrome dome). Did an object in your home break? Recombobulate it by using waves of mental energy until it’s as good as new! House looking a bit messy? Why not invite a friend over and make them your mental servant? Command them to tend to the cleaning while you kick up your feet and relax. Running low on cash? Use controlled bursts of mental power to transmute precious metals and gems to increase their value or even completely alter their geological composition, rapidly accelerating the natural process of heat and pressure that typically takes thousands of years. Then there’s my personal favorite; players who have The Sims 3 Ambitions installed will be able to use their aliens to look to the celestial heavens in an exhausting effort of mental fortitude and summon a meteor to fall at their targeted location with devastating results.

Of course, all of these new powers come with a cost; each one requires precious mental energy to perform. Aliens have evolved to the point where they no longer need to replenish their bodies with sleep each night, but they do have a new Brain Power motive to tend to. Thankfully, restoring their gray matter is as simple as taking a moment in any relaxing location to meditate. If an instant shot of power is required, an alien can always keep space rocks on hand to consume for a large boost. Aliens have advanced means for taking care of their other motives as well, and they can establish telepathic links to other nearby Sims – either to drain the Sim of his or her motives, transferring a variety of benefits directly to the alien, or to boost another Sim by sacrificing their own motives.

Clearly, aliens are powerful beings all on their own, but you can unlock some of their more powerful abilities through the use of their UFO. A UFO is an alien’s preferred vehicle for zipping quickly around town, but it’s much more versatile than a simple vehicle. As they pilot the UFO, aliens can abduct their friends as a practical joke, although the abductee may not find it quite as funny (perhaps probing them afterwards would lighten the mood). UFOs can also create violent storms in the world by flying into the atmosphere and seeding clouds to create precipitation. Aliens are still honing this aspect of their technology, so watch out for freak snow storms in the summer.

UFOs can also be upgraded to unlock additional functionality. Strap rockets to your UFO to give it the ability to travel to deep space over the span of mere hours and visit far off planets, zoom through asteroid fields or even take a quick jaunt to the moon. Your alien will return with tales of their adventure and perhaps even some special objects they picked up along the way. Alternatively, you can add laser cannons to your UFO and terrorize the local denizens. Invade various locales in your neighborhood and watch as the Sims below you go from awe-filled to horrified as you fire laser beams in every direction while they run for cover.

Aliens are one of the most packed and intriguing creatures that we’ve ever added to The Sims! On a personal note, this was my first time getting to work directly on one of the creatures and I’m so thrilled that we’re going to blow away players’ expectations and deliver a type of character that has over-the-top fun in spades. This blog was just a taste of what you can expect when you play with aliens; there are more big secrets we’re leaving for all of you to discover when The Sims 3 Seasons blasts off this November!

Posted by: SimGuru_UK