September 19, 2007
MySims EA Site Visit
EA games held its first Blogger’s Day Event and I was one of the lucky 7 who got to attend. We all gathered at the headquarters in Redwood City, CA to get a preview of the new MySims game and meet the game developers ... a Sims game unlike any other.
Our day started with a tour of the EA campus and soon we found ourselves in a conference room surrounded by a new breed of Sims. Unlike other versions of The Sims, MySims was created exclusively for the Nintendo platform for release on both the Wii and the DS. With that in mind, the Sims was recreated to appeal to the Nintendo audience while holding on to the hallmark appeal of the original Sims game.
Like other Sims games you start the game playing one Sim which is customizable within the create-a-sim menu. The main head shape stays the same but you can change other unique features to make your Sim all your own. You can change their hair, skin tone, clothing, and even the voice from one of six different options. These little Sims are gender neutral so you can get really crazy with their look. And unlike other Sims games these Sims are cute ... really cute ... like a puppy sitting in a flowerbed holding a rubber toy in its mouth cute.
Of course there are options for additional personal items, such as eye glasses and facial marks. My Sim ended up in a skirt with a beard, a monocle and a spider tattoo on its cheek. There are more than enough options so that you can make your little Sim a mini-version of yourself which was a main goal of the development team (which, of course, they made several versions of themselves and their family members.)
Once your Sim is complete you begin the game within to a rundown town with your main goal to bring the town back to life and earn a "five star "status. You can improve the town by talking to other Sims and completing tasks for them, such as finding items, building things, giving them gifts, and so forth. The happier the Sims the more the town improves and more options become available to you.
As the town improves new Sims will show up (with new tasks for you, of course!). The game supports a total of 80 Sims but you can only have 27 Sims to your town at once so you need to plan your tasks accordingly as well as find and unlock the other Sims.
As for those of you out there who like to kill or torture their Sims, well, you can’t do that. They also don’t Woo Hoo or make babies but you still can mess with them and make them unhappy if you really want. You have four main interactions -- talk, be nice, be mean and give stuff. Each Sim has two likes and one dislike, so using these interactions and some creative responses you can make your Sims quite happy, or very upset. The choice is yours.
But there is so much more which you can do in this game besides making other Sims happy. You can fish, plant trees and prospect for cool new items. You can also unlock assets such clothing and blueprints by making friends with the Town Sims. Next to your house you have a workshop where you use your blueprints to build furniture and other objects. With a blueprint you can create a base object and then mix and match other pieces to create a uniquely different object. The more you play, the more building pieces you will unlock. Of course once you’ve made your creation, you can paint it with various colors and textures to truly make it your own.
There are no "simoleans" currency in version of The Sims but instead uses something called “Essenses”. There are six main Essences -- Cute, Geeky, Studious, Spooky, Tasty and Fun. All the objects are related to one of these essences and they are used to create furniture, paint walls and floors. Part of the fun is mixing and matching essences when creating new objects.
There are small differences between the Wii and DS versions, such as the DS version takes place at a seaside resort. Hence, the game plays slightly differently on each platform. At the resort you get to explore, meet and help the guests, design clothes and furniture and play mini games to earn money. One of the 10 mini games can be downloaded to a friend’s DS so they can play it without having the Sim game but it’s only playable while your DS is running.
The game was a lot of fun to play and all of us were laughing at the creations we made. Though it’s not a multiplayer game, it’s still fun to play with other people around to share the experience. It’s as much fun to watch as it is to play. The music was very pleasant and each location had its own unique tune so you could tell where you were just by listening to the song. Plus there is a ton of unlockable items, including new playable areas including a desert and a forest.
The game shipped today and although MySims is unlike other Sims creations it has enough "Sims flavor" to interest the diehard Sims fan. Hours of fun for the whole family.