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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
 
Discussing The Sims 3
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Fidget has posted a new interview with The Sims 3 producer MJ Chun. The interview covers a variety of topics related to the game including inspirations for some of the game's features, the impact of choosing negative traits for characters, and Chun's favorite moodlets.

TC: A sim can only have five traits. How did you come to the magic number of five traits? Was there a discussion about having fewer or more than five?
MC: You never want to make it so the player doesn't understand why something happened. Whatever happens in the game, the player should be able to deconstruct why their sim all of a sudden cackled or wants to steal candy from a baby or go outside. Too many traits seemed to be giving lots of mixed messages. Too few traits seemed like having a really 2D personality, without a lot of depth. We felt like five is a good number.

b>TC: One of the things I've noticed, and I blame this on RPGs where you can minimize and maximize your characters, is that there doesn't seem to be any incentive to take some of the negative traits, such as unlucky or clumsy. Now I realize that's not a problem for most people, but did you guys anticipate that some gamers like me might sulk about the fact that there's no reason to take those?
MC: We wanted to make sure that different types of players would get something cool out of it. There's a great blog about Kev and Alice. Have you seen it? It's a storytelling-driven game experience where a character happens to be unlucky and clumsy. And we wanted people to be able to tell stories about their friends, or their family, or themselves. Sometimes people consider themselves clumsy. It's one of those things where not all the stats have to benefit you, but they have to impact your game. Even if you choose to be a vegetarian and you force your sim to eat meat, they'll be sick. There are consequences to your decisions. But in terms of min/maxxing, there are still a lot of great traits to choose from.

TC: You mention wanting everything to be very clear to the player. One of the great new things that drives that point home for me are the moodlets. The moodlet system has pushed the needs system from center stage. Almost literally. The moodlets now occupy that spot in the interface, front and center. How did the moodlets system come about?
MC: The team is made of a lot of gamers and we loved the moodlet system because it gives you an understanding of what impacts your sim without focusing on the micro-needs. When I play, I don't have my needs panel open at all.
Read the full interview at the page listed below.

Fidget: The Sims 3 Q&A
Electronic Arts
The Sims 3
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