The Sims™ 3 Community Blog
: February 2013
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Building in The Sims 3 University Life
Along with all of the amazing gameplay and new objects, The Sims 3 University Life adds several new options for builders to use, mainly in the form of new lot types. These new lot types allow for a huge range of buildings, from dorms to hangouts. Here’s a brief run-down on all of the new tools for you amazing builders out there!

Let’s start with dorms, sorority and fraternity houses. In The Sims 3 University Life world, players can build their own dorms. The sky is the limit as you make a place for your Sims to call home during their stay at university. With the new roommate functionality, Sims will automatically occupy dorms to act as roommates for your household (or you can make and move your own roommates into your dorm via edit town). A dorm can hold up to eight Sims, including your household. Sororities and fraternities act very similarly to dorms and follow most of the same rules. The big difference for these lots is that they are not co-ed – sororities will automatically search for female roommates and fraternities for male roommates. These lot types also have a little bit more of a party atmosphere than regular dorms – juice keggers and dares will happen here more frequently. By the way, dorms, sororities and fraternities are free for Sims to live in while at university!

While dorms are specific to the university world, there are tons of new lot options available for your home worlds as well. With the new social groups come new places for these like-minded Sims to gather. Build your own Rebel hangout where Rebels can relax and graffiti the walls to their hearts content. The Arcade is the place for competitive Jocks. This lot type encourages Sims to play all kinds of games from bowling to pool. And of course, every Nerd needs a Nerd Shop. Place a Roentgen Register in your Nerd Shop to allow your Sims to buy and sell comics! Sims of all types will love the Java Hut – which would not be complete without the new Quick Croissants Coffee Bar. Watch as the barista serves up new food types like bagels and brownies or new organic brews from harvestable coffee beans!

Another option for builders to enjoy in home worlds is the new Apartment lot. Similar to dorms, once you build this lot, the game will automatically pull Sims in to be roommates. Like dormmates, these roommates are not part of your active household, and you can use the new bed and door lock options to set aside areas of the apartment for each roommate to use exclusively. Apartments differ from regular houses. Instead of buying the lot completely when you move in, your Sims will pay rent each week just like paying bills. The rent cost is determined by the overall value of the lot.

As many of you now know, The Sims 3 University Life’s new creature is… PlantSims! PlantSims have special relationships with plants and can converse with harvestable plants just like they can a Sim. PlantSims are unique and have different needs than normal Sims. For instance they don’t need to eat, but do need to stay hydrated. To keep their water need high and prevent drying out, PlantSims absorb water. They can do this by swimming, bathing, absorbing puddles and photosynthesising!

PlantSims have unique ways to socialize with other Sims too. Flower Kisses can cause obsession and Poisonous Kisses can make another Sim sick, ew!  

There are a few ways to add a PlantSim to your family. It is possible (though rare) to meet a PlantSim around town, and Sims brave enough to volunteer as a test subject at the Busche School of Science may have some leafy side effects. My favourite way to make a PlantSim is to grow one of course! Forbidden fruits may become PlantSim babies for you to grow and love.

Fun Facts
Since this is my last blog before The Sims 3 University Life launches on in the UK on 8th March, I thought it would be fun to end with a random assortment of fun facts and info about the game.

  • Sims in the Nerd Social Group can play some sweet new video games: SSX and FIFA on the video game console and computer and SimCity on the computer.

  • With the new Social Networking skill comes the ability to blog! Sims can select a blog theme and attach photos to their blog. The more they blog, the more followers they get, which can help them gain influence with social groups faster, have better attended protests, and get more simoleans for donations and buyouts of their blog!

  • Build Social Networking skill to unlock different smart phone apps. The Sim Finder app helps Sims easily find an unmet NPC Sim and get them to their lot! The coolest app to unlock is the Relationship Transmogrifier which allows Sims to set nearly any relationship status they desire with any Sim!

  • All Commercial Dumpsters placed throughout any world can be used to dumpster dive. You can also place new dumpsters in your world to dumpster dive and find cool items from bugs to TVs!

  • Sims with a high enough computer hacking skill can use a computer to find exam answers the day before an exam.

  • Making friends with The Sims University mascot can lead to an apprenticeship with the mascot to learn their sweet moves!

  • Want to avoid that awkward “it’s not you, it’s me” speech? Send a break up text instead!

  • Ingesting too many herbs at once can cause herb sickness and herb nausea, so experiment with caution.

  • Sims who want the benefits of a degree without all the university experience can buy an honorary degree as a lifetime happiness reward.

  • The Movie Theater now comes with different types of movies for your Sims to enjoy. Use the new “Attend Show With” interaction to catch a chick flick or thriller with your friends!

  • Your Sims’ new Smart Phones come with a wide range of new skins to apply. Build your Sims’ Rebel influence and Social Network skills to unlock and apply new skins on their phones, including an exclusive Mass Effect 3 version!

I can’t wait until the game launches! This expansion pack was so much fun to make, and I love all of the great questions, comments, and ideas everyone has posted for us. The Sims 3 fans are amazing! Thank you, and I hope you enjoy The Sims 3 University Life.

Brittany Henry, Associate Producer, The Sims 3 University Life

Posted by: SimGuru_UK

Last week we asked you, and some The Sims 3 fan sites what questions they wanted us to ask Argus Hulin, Assistant Producer on The Sims 3 University Life questions. We got so many really interesting questions, but unfortunately we only had time to ask so many, so here is what Argus has to say. Oh, and there's some cool screens for you to admire in there as well :) We hope you enjoy!


Q1) Is there a choice of Universities your Sims can go to, or is there one University where all the Sims go to study & party?

Argus: There’s just one University but your Sims won’t want to go anywhere else! The university architecture has been designed with European influence so it’s really beautiful.


Q2) Can you go inside the classrooms & lectures with your Sim?

Argus: There are some activities that do and some that don’t. The venues are not all like in The Sims 2 University, in that lectures and other class activities take place outside the rabbit whole.


Q3) What happens at Graduation?

Argus: Graduation is a celebratory moment your Sim has when they finish their studies. There are robes and mortar boards for your Sims to wear for the celebration.


Q4) Do all the Sims graduate together?

Argus: Different Sims graduate University at different times, depending on what they study and when they start attending University.


Q5) While they are at University can Sims use their family’s money or do they have a separate bank balance?

Argus: Whilst your Sim is at University they use their family funds, however thing are paid for upfront, so when you enrol at the University you pay your tuition fees then. These fees also include Halls of Residence costs, so your Sim has somewhere to live straight away. But if they don’t want to live in halls, they can rent a house in the village around the University. When they rent the house they pay rent for the whole length of the term in one go.


Q6) Can you send multiple Sims to University at the same time?

Argus: Yes, you can send as many of your Sims to University as you want at the same time – as long as you have the funds!



Q7) Can Sims live at home and travel to University or do they have to live in dorms? And how do Sims find room mates?

Argus:  Your Sims will have to enter into the University world to enrol and attend to the University. They can live in Halls of Residence or they can rent a house near the University. These living spaces are really easy to customise into the way you want your Sims to live whilst a University. Renting a house is more expensive than living in Halls of Residence, but if you want your Sims to live by themselves they can do this. And if there are spare bedrooms in the house these can be sub-let to other students at the University.


Q8) Do Sims at university have assignments with due dates? And how does the level of your Sim’s skills affect their grades at university?

Argus: Whilst at University your Sims will be working on their academic performance as a whole. So they need to keep their whole performance level up rather than completing individual assignments. Different skills your Sim has help them do better at different degrees, so it really depends on the individual Sims skill set.


Q9) Will adults or parents be able to go to University and study as mature students?

Argus: Sims within the life stages Young Adult to Elderly can go to University – it’s never too late to get a degree! Teens and below are not able to go to University.


Q10) Will adults or parents be able to go to University and study as mature students?

Argus: Yes adult Sims can go to University. If they are Parents and have a baby or child, a babysitter will come and look after the children whilst the parent is at University, so you don’t need to worry about them whilst your Sim is having fun at University!


Q11) Can family come and visit Sims at University?

Argus: Other Sims can’t come and visit the University student, but a terms can last as little time as you want, from one to two weeks – you can set this when you enrol at the University. So if they will miss their family, set short terms and they will be back with their family before too long.


Q12) What new things are unlocked by befriending certain social groups or joining a fraternity/sorority?

Argus: The Fraternities and Sororities are more for the social side of your Sims University life, so for parties and living arrangements. Joining the different social groups unlocks different social interactions, traits and dream jobs including video game developer; art appraiser and sports agent.



Q13) What are the degree topics Sims can study?

Argus: There are six degree topics: Communications; Business; Fine Arts; Science and Medicine, Physical Education and Technology.


Q14) How many majors can they study at once, and can they study indefinitely?

Argus:  A Sim can only study one degree at any one time, though there is no limit on the number of degrees they do in their life, as long as they have the funds they can keep going to university.


Q15) How long does it take to graduate?

Argus: Completing a degree can take as long as the gamer wants. The length of a degree is 48 credits, and depending on how many classes you decide to take determines whether the Sim spends lots of time at University parting, or studies lots and graduates within two weeks. This is decided when your Sim enrols at University.


Q16) How does study help Sims advance in their career, is it similar to TS2? Are there new careers unlocked by gaining a degree?

Argus: Having a degree gives your Sims an advanced placement in their chosen career. So they are placed at a higher level and get paid more!


Q17) How does the University world work with all the features in Seasons?

Argus: The University building and surroundings look amazing, especially in the snow! University Life works really well with the rest of the expansion packs, though there are no pets at University.


Q18) What are the new study objects? Which degrees are they linked to and what function do they perform?

Argus: There are several new study objects available with the different degree topics. For the Business degree there is a business planner. The Science and Medicine degree has a Anatomy Skeleton. And for Technology there is a Brain Enhancement Machine. These study objects help the Sims build skills and helps boost their grades up!



Q19) What are herbs and what are they used for?  

Argus: Herbs have many different uses for University Sims. You can challenge a classmate to do the Cinnamon Challenge, they are used for herbal teas, and they can be thrown on a bonfire to create funny effects!


Q20) Is there a new style of clothing and hairstyles coming for the University students?

Argus: Yes there are loads of new things for the University students. There are different style clothing styles for the different social groups. Your Sims style doesn’t affect which social group they join, so they can dress like a jock but be a nerd!


Q21) Are there any new woohoo spots for Sims?             

Argus: The Murphy bed is the new woohoo spot.


Q22) Are there any new tattoos, collectibles, foods or woohoo spots in University Life?

Argus: There are new University themed tattoos in this expansion pack. And new collectables include coffee beans, herbs and bug types. There are new student themed foods, including quick meals and microwave recipes. You can also use the vending machines in the University, which allow your Sims to get energy drinks and sweets.


Q23) Will Sims have a social networking site for their computers and smart phones, and will online dating & love letters work in University town?

Argus: Yeah, your Sims will be able to use different devices and sites to gain their social networking skill. If they improve this skill they will unlock new social networking interactions. They can use their smart phones to take pictures, which they can then share or print and put on their room wall. They can also make a woohooty call which is a pretty cool feature!



Q24) What is your favourite feature about University life & why?

Argus: I love the new items - they look really cool! And there’s so much customisation which means your Sims can have an individual University experience.


We'd like to say a big thank you to Argus for answering your questions!


The Sims 3 University Life is out in the UK on Friday 8th March - and if you order on Origin, you'll receive the exclusive School Spirit pack which includes Campus Cruiser vehicle, Head of the Class hairstyle & Spirit Face Paint... so get it here :)


Join the University Life event page



Read about the University Life soundtrack artist Blaise in our blog


We hope you enjoyed reading :)

The Sims 3 UK

Posted by: SimGuru_UK

Earlier this week all of us on the UK Maxis team met the singer/songwriter featured on the sound track for the next Sims 3 Expansion Pack, The Sims™3 University Life. We asked Blaise a few questions and showed her the Sim we’d made of her. Enjoy :)


Q: Are you a fan of The Sims, and have you played it before?     

A: Yeah definitely! I used to play The Sims 2 all the time. I haven’t really played The Sims 3 but I used to play The Sims 2 all the time. I got really into it at one point and had all the expansion packs.


Q: Did you prefer creating the Sims, building the house, or playing with the Sims themselves?

A: I hardly actually used to play with them. I used to like making them, and making the house they lived in. So I used to do that, I like making it all, then I’d play with them for about 10 minutes, and then I just wanted to make a whole new family!


Q: How did you get the opportunity to be on the sound track for The Sims 3 University Life?

A: It’s all down to my great manager, he sorts out all the stuff like that and when he told me I was like ‘oh my gosh’, I couldn’t believe it because I didn’t actually know you could be on the sound track, and then when I heard about it I was like ‘wow!’. I heard about Pixie Lott doing one so it’s great. I’m quite excited, everyone I’ve told had been like ‘oh my  gosh!’ and can’t believe it!


Q: What was it like recording your song in Simlish?

A: It was really funny. I picked it up quite quickly though. I didn’t think I was going to pick it up that quickly. But it was crazy, I felt like I was speaking in... I felt like I was making it up as I was going along.


Q: What’s the process of making the song? Do they give you a ?

A: They gave me the lyrics translated, so it had the English and then in Simlish. So I knew the rhythm and everything of what I was singing. So that made it a bit easier, but I had a few mess ups.




We showed Blaise the process our content creator Craig, goes through to Sims someone. She was really please with the Sims and the clothes, but we wanted to give her some choice on Swimwear, so she picked and designed this section herself!



Q: What do you think of the Sim that we’ve made of you?

A: I think it looks so cool! I didn’t expect it to look as much like me as it does. The clothes are great, like how they’ve made the clothes look like the clothes from my photo shoot is great. I think it looks really good. I’m excited to play it and play myself!



Thanks to Blaise for coming to visit! Get the Blaise Sim in your game by downloading it from The Exchange


The Sims™ 3 University Life is out in the UK on 8th March, find out more about this EP and it’s soundtrack by liking our The Sims 3 UK Facebook page and reading Sims 3 blogs.


Check out Blaise's Official Facebook page and listen to her 'Thunderstorm' in Simlish, as featured on the University Life soundtrack, get it here!


Happy Simming,

SimGuru UK

Posted by: SimGuru_UK

Here's a special peek from Producer Megan Myers talking about the Tiny Prodigies Early Learning Center, available a part of the Gold Edition of The Sims 3 Aurora Skies. The Gold Edition will be available on The Sims 3 Store on February 21, 2013

Hi, Simmers!  If you love playing toddlers and children like I do (they’re just so cute!!!), you are really going to love the Tiny Prodigies Early Learning Centre!  This venue is absolutely beautiful, and just looking at it makes me think that this might be my very favourite venue ever.  (Though, of course, the fact that everything is geared towards children certainly helps!)

As soon as you look at the Tiny Prodigies Early Learning Centre, you can tell that it’s going to be a very stimulating environment. There’s just so much going on!  Here’s the view from the front:

Look at all of that crazy architecture! Looking at this makes me want to immediately start exploring the building. And the building certainly doesn’t disappoint!  There are three floors filled with various spaces for your Sims to experience and explore. There is truly something for everyone. Bookworms can enjoy the cozy reading nook on the third floor while Outdoor enthusiasts can play in the play area just outside.

Sims interested in logic can enjoy a space with a chess table and a telescope, while more athletic Sims can get in some exercise in the pool.

The Early Learning Centre also has a space for art if your little ones are so inclined. They can enjoy painting with their peers or try out their writing skills on the computers. (This room is definitely my favourite! I’m already planning stories where my Sim children come to the centre for writing and painting practice with all of their friends!)

Toddlers won’t be left out at the Tiny Prodigies Early Learning Centre.  In fact, there are two new items made especially for toddlers! We knew that we wanted to have add more objects for toddlers… (You guys all loved the Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes set and keep asking for more!  And, really, can you ever have too many objects for toddlers???  I think not!) but we wanted them to be useful objects, too. Something that would make life easier for Sims and their children while also making their lives more fun. Thinking about this, there were two pretty obvious objects to make: a playpen and a toddler walker!  

With the Local Motion Toddler Walker, toddlers with a desire to move can test out their legs and learn to walk on their own! My toddler, Jasper, absolutely loves it!

And then, if your child Sim is a genius like mine (look! He’s thinking about SCIENCE!), place him in the Head Start Playpen to get a head start on learning. Toddlers in the playpen can learn how to talk all by themselves! They can also try to boost their people skills and/or learn some maths. Sure, Jasper looks like he’s just learning to count, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be working on calculus soon! With the playpen, I know my Sims are being set up on a path to success from their earliest years!   

So, maybe your parent Sims are neglectful like mine are, and they don’t want to sit around and watch their darling children struggle to say “Mummy” or learn calculus. Never fear! While your child Sims are getting some quality edutainment, Mummy and Daddy can enjoy the parents’ room upstairs. Complete with bar, tv, radio, and fooseball table, parents are sure to be as entertained as their children! The Tiny Prodigies Early Learning Centre really does have something for everyone. Even a Sim who Hates Children will probably be happy. Probably.  

Posted by: SimGuru_UK