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Monday, June 1, 2009
 
Injecting Psychology Into The Sims 3
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Wall Street Journal recently posted an online article about the upcoming return to the Sims frachise with The Sims 3. The article focuses on the efforts and personal background of game designer Rod Humble, who intends to shift the focus of the game from dealing with physical requirements of the Sims to dealing with their psychological needs.

Launched in 2000, The Sims was the next iteration of the SimCity series designed by Mr. Wright. Unlike the action games that still dominate the market, The Sims could be seen as a videogame version of a dollhouse. Players control their “Sims,” finding them jobs, paying their bills and sending them to bed. Critics have praised the game’s interactivity, attention to detail (the first game featured hundreds of in-game items each with their own meticulous description) and novel approach to the simulation genre.

EA has taken out seven ads in Times Square in New York for the new installment as well as advertising during the finales of the American and British versions of “American Idol.” “It’s the biggest campaign we’ve ever done for a Sims release,” says John Buchanan, senior director of marketing for the franchise.

For a long-running franchise, the challenge for Mr. Humble was to create a game that has his personal touches without alienating fans. He has a deep interest in philosophy (Scottish philosopher David Hume is a favorite) and he wanted to shift the game away from the physical needs of the Sims, such as taking a shower or using the bathroom, towards their psychological needs. If your Sim has a touch of obsessive-compulsive disorder as a character trait, for example, he or she will go back to check the water faucet to see if it’s running.
Click over to the link below to read the full article.

WSJ Online: Inside The Making Of The Sims 3
Electronic Arts
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