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Battlefield 4 Review

Issue 50 • December 2013

1 • GameOn Magazine


The Sims 4 will be released: nd September 2 2014 (NA) th September 4 2014 (EU) th September 4 2014 (AUS) th September 5 2014 (UK) on Origin, digital stores, and in shops.


W

elcome dear readers to a very special edition of the GameOn magazine. This time it’s in celebration of The Sims franchise as we approach the release of its fourth incarnation, The Sims 4. It’s been

a while in the making, but Sims fans haven’t been short of content to play as the time has been packed with lots of expansions and stuff packs to keep us happy. We’ve got lots of fans of the series here at GameOn and we were all really excited to get some articles written up for your perusal during this impatient wait before the release date. There are reviews of some of the later expansion packs like University Life which brought us a whole new world of student-y opportunity. We also managed to get some

Contributors Editor-in-Chief - Steve Greenfield Editor - Kris West Editor - Jessica Greenfield

great interviews with both the Executive Producer of The Sims 4, Rachel Franklin and Mr. Carl Ratcliff of Carl’s The Sims 3 Guide fame; the latter of which is featured in our Top 5 Resources for Sims Players article.

Games Critic - Ryan Davies Games Critic - Harrie Bailey

If you’re a fan of articles then you’ll find we have plenty on offer

Games Critic - Andrew Duncan

here, Helen talks about her favourite unrealistic features of The Sims,

Games Critic - Emsey P. Walker

Ryan lists a bunch of expansions that don’t (but should) exist, and

Games Critic - Helen Ashcroft

Harrie tells us all about that time her boyfriend ruined her family.

Games Critic - Ruth Krabacher

That’s not it though, we’ve got articles about diversity in The Sims, a look at the sort of thing we’d like in The Sims 4 as well as a review of the Create-A-Sim Demo that’s currently available for free on Origin.

Graphic Design - Jessica Greenfield Graphic Design - Kris West

We hope there’s plenty to keep you entertained pre and post The Sims 4 release and that you enjoy this

Research & Proofing - Emsey P. Walker

digital magazine. Geelfrob and thanks for reading!

Research & Proofing - Harrie Bailey

The Editor

Research & Proofing - Ruth Krabacher


About Electronic Arts

6

About Maxis

6

About Gameon

7

All the DLC and Expansion Packs for The Sims 3

8

The Five Best Families of The Sims 12 The Sims 3 Ambitions - Game Changer

16

Top 5 Resources for Sims Players

20

Interview with Carl Ratcliff of Carl’s Sims

24

How My Boyfriend Ruined My Family28 The Sims 3: University Life Review 30 The Sims: The Portal of Diversity

34

So I Burgled a Sim...

38

Top Five Unrealistic Features of The Sims

40

The Sims 3: Island Paradise Review 44 What We Want From The Sims 4

46

The Sims Expansions That Never Were, and Probably Never Will Be

50

The Sims 4 Create-a-Sim Preview

56

Interview with Rachel Franklin, Executive Producer of The Sims 4

58

E3 2014 - The Sims 4 Preview

62

4 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


Don’t forget to check out our monthly magazine, The GameOn Magazine! It’s chocked full of fantastic articles, previews and reviews of all the hottest and most recent games! Not only this, but it’s available on tons of devices. Check it out via the links below: Amazon International:

Amazon UK:

Magzter (tablets):


ABOUT ELECTRONIC ARTS E

lectronic Arts is easily one of the most famous names in gaming history. With an astonishing list of award-winning and diverse games under their belt since its establishment in 1982 by Trip Hawkins. The company was a pioneer in its beginnings due to its reputation for promoting the programmers and designers it worked with.

Originally starting out as just a publisher, EA went on to start developing games in the late ‘80s for home computers and then on to games for consoles in the early ‘90s. They have since then acquired many successful developers and become one of the largest third-party publishers in the world.

Since a lot of reshuffling in the company, EA is now split into four main developing houses: EA Games, EA Sports, EA Bioware and EA Maxis and between these they are responsible for some monstrously popular titles. Games like Populus, Dungeon Keeper, the Need for Speed franchise, Medal of Honor, Command & Conquer, SSX, The Sims, Mass Effect, Battlefield and Mirror’s Edge are but a tiny fraction of the incredible work that comes out of the company.

Their headquarters are currently based in Redwood Shores, California but they also have offices based in Canada, France and Sweden as well as another in Florida.

E

ABOUT MAXIS

A Maxis (formerly known as Maxis Software, or simply Maxis), was founded in 1987 as an independent videogame developer by Will Wright and Jeff Braun. It came into being to help get SimCity onto home PCs, as at the time it was only available on the Commodore 64 due to

lack of Publisher interest in the game. Ten years later it was bought by Electronic Arts and is now one of their four major development labels.

Many of the original staff of Maxis have stayed with the company since EA’s acquisition, including Will Wright and it is currently stationed in Redwood Shores after relocating from Walnut Creek, California.

In 2006 The Sims Studio was created and took over the production of The Sims 2 and consequently The Sims 3 so that Maxis could concentrate on Spore. There has been much reshuffling within EA however and as of 2011 The Sims Studio now falls under the EA Maxis umbrella.

The developer is well-known for its many Simulation-based games, including the massive The Sims franchise, SimCity and all its reiterations as well as the aforementioned Spore. There are many others, but these three have really been responsible for engraving EA Maxis’ name in the annals of game developer history. 6 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


ABOUT GAMEON GameOn Networking Ltd was founded in 1997 with the aim of providing “lag free� gaming solutions for dedicated online gamers. Online connectivity in the late 90s was such that realtime gaming was beyond the reach of the average gamer, and so GameOn began hosting LAN parties throughout the UK. To date, GameOn has hosted almost 100 LAN parties.

In August 2008, GameOn began producing GameOn Magazine, an online PDF magazine covering all aspects of gaming including reviews, previews, news and articles. The dedicated magazine staff also provided coverage at high profile gaming events such as E3 and gamescom. In February 2012, GameOn Magazine launched in ebook form on the Amazon Kindle marketplace in both the UK and US and has since developed from strength to strength. With the same quality coverage as always and dedicated writing and research staff the magazine has gained a loyal following and secured its position as one of the best selling gaming magazines on the Kindle store. Later in 2012, GameOn launched the colour version of the magazine via the Magzter store which is avilable on Android, iOS and Windows.

For more information, please visit www.gameonmag.com

The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 7


ALL THE DLC AND EXPANSION PACKS FOR THE SIMS 3

The Sims 3 World Adventures

New vacation Cities: Champs

consoles, and computers, as well

Release date: Nov 17th 2009 (NA)

Les Sims (France), Al Simhara

as sleek designs of bookshelves,

(Egypt), Shang Simla (China)

tables, and chairs. Three items

New life state: Mummy

from The Sims and The Sims 2

Nov 19th 2009 (EU)

Additions: New traits,

were also reintroduced to celebrate

items, clothing. Features: quests, tomb exploration

The Sims 3 High-End Loft Stuff

The Sims 10th Anniversary.

at three new destinations,

Release Date: Feb 2nd 2010 (NA)

Fact: Alternatively named

photography, new build functions

“Design and High-Tech Stuff�.

including the basement tool, nectar,

High-end furnishings, mainly

fireworks, shops, vacation homes.

technology such as TV, video game

Feb 5th 2010 (EU)

The Sims 3 Ambitions Release date: June 1st 2010 (NA)

June 3rd 2010 (EU)

Additions: New careers, skills, traits, and items. Features: control within work (professions and selected careers), laundry, tattoo system, skill-based self-employment. New City: Twinbrook New life state: Simbot New careers included: Architectural Designer, Teacher, Firefighter, Ghost Hunter, Medical, Investigator, Stylist, Self-Employed 8 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


The Sims 3 Fast Lane Stuff

Band, Butler, zodiac signs, increased

The Sims 3 Generations

Release Date: Sept 7th 2010 (NA)

options for swimming pool design,

Release date: May 31st 2011 (NA)

vertical adjustment on wall-

Four all new styles of fashion,

mounted objects and a fountain tool.

Additions: New playground

furnishing, and vehicles: Racing,

New City: Bridgeport

equipment, mid-life crisis

Intrigue, Rockabilly, and Classic

New life state: Vampire

mechanic, new interactions,

Luxury. Opens up the Vehicle

New careers included:

new traits and profession.

Enthusiast trait and lets your Sims

Film, Musician

Features: Pull Pranks on other

Sept 9th 2010 (EU)

June 2nd 2011 (EU)

sims, body hair for males, new

develop relationships with their cars. The Sims 3 Outdoor Living Stuff

types of celebrations (i.e. birthday/

The Sims 3 Late Night

Release Date: Feb 1st 2011 (NA)

teen/bachelor parties, weddings,

Release date: Oct 26th 2010 (NA)

slumber), more memories,

New clothing, furnishings, and

graduation ceremonies, prom,

Additions: New careers, skills,

other items centered around

imaginative play, magic potions,

traits, clothes and accessories,

patio and outdoor activities in two

spiral staircases, water slides,

furniture, and cars.

different styles: “Garden Terrace”

boarding schools, pillow fights,

Features: Bars, night clubs,

features elegant iron pieces, while

strollers and canes for elders.

penthouse suites, hot tubs, subway

“Sunset on the Veranda” focuses

New life state: Imaginary friend

portholes, elevators, breast and

on the warmth of outdoors.

New careers included: Daycare

Oct 28th 2010 (EU)

Feb 3rd 2011 (EU)

muscle definition sliders, Group, The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 9


The Sims 3 Town Life Stuff

interactions, new buyable items,

clothing themed for creating

Release Date: July 26th 2011 (NA)

new venues and community

romantic master suites.

locations, new pet and sim skills.

July 29th 2011 (EU)

New casual outfits, hairstyles, and

Features: Controllable animals

The Sims 3 Showtime

items. Includes newly redesigned

(cats, dogs, horses), non-playable

Release date: March 6th 2012 (NA)

venues such as a school, cafe,

creatures and pet contests.

and grocery store; as well as new

New City: Appaloosa Plains

Additions: New stage performance

community lots including a gym,

New life state: Unicorn

careers (singer, acrobat and

park, laundromat, and library.

New careers included: Equestrian

magician), new objects (pool

March 8th 2012 (EU)

table, golf course), new sim The Sims 3 Pets

The Sims 3 Master Suite Stuff

traits/lifetime wishes; Katy

Release date: Oct 18th 2011 (NA)

Release Date: Jan 24th 2012 (NA)

Perry only: downloadable stage

venue, fruit-themed clothing,

Oct 20th 2011 (EU)

Jan 26th (EU)

Additions: Pets and traits for

Luxurious bedroom and

items, and stage props.

both the animals and your Sims,

bathroom decoration centered

Features: New social features,

Create-A-Pet system, new

around romance and relaxation.

custom stages, singing, gigs, new

lifetime wishes and rewards, new

New furnishings and intimate

‘Achievement System’, Simport which allows importing and exporting of celebrity Sims. New City: Starlight Shores New life state: Genie New careers included: Singer, Acrobat, Magician The Sims 3 Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats Release Date: June 8th 2012 New candy-themed items, outfits, hairstyles, and community lots. Features a simlish version of Katy Perry’s song “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”. Fact: On July 15th 2013, EA confirmed that this DLC is retired and is now no longer available

10 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


New World: Sims University New life state: PlantSim New careers included: Art Appraiser, Sports Agent, Video Game Developer The Sims 3: Island Paradise Release date: June 25th 2013 (NA)

June 27th 2013 (EU)

Adds Houseboats, resort management, island discovery and on Origin (Or Steam). Therefore,

snowboard), new traits, and

new ways of transportation on water

EA will not produce any more

seasonal celebrations, such as

(water skiing, windsurfing, etc).

physical or digital copies of

Spooky Day and Love Day.

New City: Isla Paradiso

Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats.

Features: Weather changes,

New life state: Mermaid

season rotation and new

New careers included: Lifeguard,

The Sims 3: Diesel Stuff

outerwear clothing category.

Resort Manager, Scuba Diver

Release Date: July 10th, 2012

New life state: Alien

New clothing and décor from Diesel.

New careers included: Test

The Sims 3 - Movie Stuff

subject (aliens only)

Release Date: Sept 10th 2013 Clothing and decoration

The Sims 3: Supernatural Release date: Sept 4th 2012 (NA)

The Sims 3 70s, 80s and 90s

inspired from iconic media

Release Date: Jan 22nd 2013

themes and settings. There

Additions: New items (alchemy

Outfits, hairstyles and items inspired

are 3 main categories: Comic

station, rocking chair), new clothing

by the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

Book Heroes/Villains, Gothic

Sept 6th 2012 (EU)

Horror, and Wild West.

options including wings, new traits. New City: Moonlight Falls

The Sims 3: University Life

New life states: Witch,

Release date: March 5th 2013 (NA)

The Sims 3 - Into the Future

Werewolf, Zombie, Fairy

Release date: Oct 22nd 2013 (NA)

New careers included:

Additions: Learn new skills such

Fortune Teller

as Bowling, Photography and

Traveling to the future.

Social Networking, adapt new

Create ‘Plumbots’

The Sims 3: Seasons

traits, discover social groups,

New City: Oasis Landing

Release date: Nov 13th 2012 (NA)

a college sub-neighborhood, a

New life state: Plumbot

smartphone, and a new University

New careers included: Plumbot

world you enter when you enroll.

Dealer, Astronomer, Plumbot Trainer

Nov 15th 2012 (EU)

Additions: New skills (soccer/ The Sims 4 Special Edition

March 7th 2013 (EU)

Oct 24th 2013 (EU)

The GameOn Magazine // 11


THE FIVE BEST FAMILIES OF THE SIMS

By Harrie Bailey Premade families in The Sims were always a good place to start or even to go back to when you became bored of creating your own Sims.

A

s some of you may know,

but still kept me entertained for

used to the mechanics of the

and if not, I am here to clarify

a good few hours back in the day.

game. As one of the first families,

The Newbie Family. This family was

if not THE first family I played,

that The Sims timeline works like this: The Sims 3 -> The Sims -> The Sims 2. Therefore any of the families mentioned in this article would have been youngest in The Sims 3 and oldest in The Sims 2 provided they’re present in more than one

“BOB AND BETTY NEWBIE WERE PARTICULARLY GOOD SIMS TO START THE FRANCHISE OFF WITH”

game. Each family has an individual

playable in The Sims 1, deceased

inevitably my younger teenage

and interesting backstory, most

in The Sims 2 but back as their

self was intrigued by the love and

of which involving other playable

younger selves in The Sims 3, but

relationship between Bob and

Sims, and I’m here to share with

to me, was only really played in

Betty, but after a few forced kisses

you some of my all time favourites.

The Sims due to the overwhelming

and too much affection, we moved

amount of families to chose

on to bigger and better things.

THE NEWBIE FAMILY (SIMS 1)

from in the following games. Bob and Betty Newbie were particularly good Sims to start the

Let’s get the ball rolling with a

THE BROKE FAMILY (SIMS 2)

franchise off with, two characters

family that doesn’t rank too highly in

with a simple backstory, and a

my chart of the best Sims families,

small basic house to get you

12 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

As we’re following on from The Newbie Family, it only seems

The GameOn Magazine


 DID YOU KNOW? fair to cover the Broke Family, as

for Brandi’s new soulmate to help

Brandi Broke was the only child

look after her almost three kids. Of

of The Newbie Family before they

course shit hit the fan when the new

Eating a certain amount of a specific

passed away. (See how all these

baby was born, as the first challenge

fruit will determine whether your

cool interlocking stories happen?!).

to overcome was finding two blocks

Sim baby is born a boy or a girl!

Now as it stands in The Sims 2,

of spare space in the tiny house

Brandi has two sons (Dustin and

to place the crib. The baby ended

Beau), one unborn baby and one

up having to sleep in the hallway -

desperately wanted to explore the

passed away husband, seems like

just in case you were wondering.

inner workings and relationships

this woman really isn’t having a lot of luck with deaths in the family. As the family name probably

THE MONTY FAMILY (SIMS 2)

implies, the Broke family were

both within a household and their relations to other Sims. Let’s move on to my favourite family: The Monty Family, residing

very poor, thus making them the

I regret to admit that most of

best place to start if you wanted

the families included in this article

Sims 2. Now, did the Monty Family

a real challenge: helping Dustin

will be from The Sims 2 as I feel

first catch my eye due to their

obtain good grades so that he

it was in this game that they truly

beautifully designed and decorated

could eventually get a job and start

blossomed, with better graphics,

house? Maybe, but after launching

building up the family funds, looking

houses and neighbourhoods, I

myself into the craziness that

The Sims 4 Special Edition

in Veronaville at the point of The

The GameOn Magazine // 13


was their family, I instantly fell in

couldn’t have made better myself.

love, and it’s fair to say this family

It all worked out in the end.

probably owe me many hours of my life back. But they were fun hours. Teenagers Romeo and Mercutio

THE CAPP FAMILY (SIMS 2)

both live in a luxury house with their grandparents Isabella and Patrizio

As previously mentioned, the

Monty, who, after a long family

secret relationship between

history of interesting stories, are

Juliette Capp and Romeo Monty

in a bit of a dispute with the Capp

was what first got me playing

Family (mentioned later). Of course

the Capps in the first place,

the story wouldn’t be complete

I wanted a more in-depth

had a soft spot for

without Romeo Monty being in a

look at the feud between the two

Puck of the Summerdream family

secret intimate relationship with

families, and it was also fun being

(was it a coincidence that he, as

Juliette Capp despite the unresolved

able to control the relationship

well as Hermias brother, both had

problems between their families.

from Juliette’s point of view too.

weird face paintings?). The fun

In the end I believe I pretty much

Juliette’s sister, Hermia Capp, also

in this family was also all about

killed off Patrizio and Isabella so

got romantically involved with the

getting Hermia to decide which

that Romeo and Juliette could live

brother of Romeo, Mercutio - but

relationship she wanted to pursue.

happily ever after in the house that I

he wasn’t the only one, she also

14 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


THE GOTH FAMILY (SIMS 1 AND 2)

one of the most, if not the most,

base game in here before I came

intriguing and exciting storylines

to the conclusion that by the time

so far. Ensuring the children of

this title was released, Create-A-

the Goth family each had a good

Sim and building had advanced so

favourite, I’ve left one of the most

upbringing was one of my favourite

much from the previous games that

popular families of all time until

developments to be able to control,

I really felt no need to play premade

last - The Goth Family. This family

with houses full of expensive

families, I was far too excited about

is one that has appeared in a LOT

furniture and equipment for hobbies,

jumping in and really personalising

more Sims games than just The

each member of the family had an

everything about my household.

Sims 1, 2 and 3 and as far as we

endless list of skills. The progress

The legacy of certain premade

can tell from gameplay previews, at

of the family tree throughout the

families carries on throughout The

least one of the family (Bella Goth)

franchise has invited fans to carry

Sims 3 and hopefully The Sims 4

is set to make an appearance in The

on playing and living out the story

too, so get playing and don’t forget

Sims 4. The Goth Family is one of the

of the great and famous Goths.

to tell us about YOUR favourite

Although not my personal

families of The Sims franchise!■

only ones I had played in both The Sims 1 and 2. The disappearance of Bella Goth in The Sims 2 is possibly

The Sims 4 Special Edition

As for The Sims 3, I contemplated adding at least one family from the

The GameOn Magazine // 15


THE SIMS 3 AMBITIONS - GAME CHANGER

By Harrie Bailey For those of you lucky enough to own The Sims 3, you’ll know there’s nothing more daunting than the prospect of sending your Sim to work for the best part of their entire day

B

ut you may also know that

into the rabbit hole they call the

alternative for those of you that are a

spamming “motherlode” into

“Police Station” or whichever career

single Sim household: Professions.

the cheat bar the instant you move

path they’ve decided they want to

Professions don’t eliminate

in to your new house can result in

excel in, leaving you with more or

the option of having a regular job,

major boredom and an uninteresting

less nothing to do except stare at

because I admit they are convenient

game, not leaving much to build

some exposed brick on the exterior

in some circumstances, they simply

up or be achieved. Work is a

of a building until the greater part of

enhance your regular 9-5 by adding

necessary step to a prolonged and

the day has passed (which is great if

a lot more flexibility and generally

enjoyable gameplay experience in my opinion, and I’m here to tell you why I believe The Sims 3 Ambitions succeeds in making the working life a feature to revel in. Players that begin with just one

“WORK IS A NECESSARY STEP TO A PROLONGED AND ENJOYABLE GAMEPLAY EXPERIENCE IN MY OPINION”

Sim in their household will recognise

you’re into architecture). Of course a

extending the amount of time you

the aggravating task of smashing

multiple Sim household won’t be the

play The Sims 3 for, and this is what

down on that fast forward button the

victim of this problem, but The Sims

I find so fantastic about this new

second their character is whisked

3 Ambitions provides a fantastic

feature. After selecting a profession

16 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


The Sims 3 Ambitions is for

from either the newspaper or a

your Sim more control over how

computer in Ambitions (no prior

much they want to develop it,

me, by far the most favourable

experience or qualifications needed)

and at home they can complete

expansion, putting a lot of focus

you’re pretty much set. Maxis has

activities related to their chosen

on a core element of the game

included a wide enough range to

profession such as sketching,

and in addition extending each

suit more or less everybody ranging

stakeouts and so on. Putting

game session by a considerable

from Stylist to Ghost Hunter, but

more effort in at home whilst also

amount of time. Giving your Sim a

unfortunately, still leaving some

accomplishing the maximum

new lease of life by making their

professions to be desired.

amount of jobs per day will result

profession important to them will

in climbing the professional ladder

completely transform the way

job after the installation of Ambitions

faster and inevitably, more money

you play and enjoy The Sims 3.■

will allow you to follow your Sim to

and a higher social status.

Selecting a profession instead of a

their job and benefit from a lot more interaction; you’re given pinpoints all over town to offer makeovers to Sims, both to their appearance and their houses. Maxis has really gone about this the right way, allowing you the freedom to choose which and how many clients you visit per day, making the experience a lot more realistic. Not only does this mean you get to play your Sim while they’re at work, but you also get to do a lot more of what makes The Sims 3 enjoyable. For example: the aspect that excites me the most about The Sims 3 is without a doubt creating beautiful architectures and designing interiors down to the last floor tile or light bulb, by choosing the profession Architectural Designer, I can redesign rooms for clients until my heart is content. Having a profession also gives The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 17


SIMS 4 SCREENSHOTS

18 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


Every month, we release a new issue of the SMITE Community Magazine! It’s a project run by the community, for the community and if you’re interested in taking control of your favourite traditional god from seven differen pantheons, you need to check out SMITE! The best thing about it, it’s completely free! Click anywhere on this page to check it out. Available on PC, Mac, iOS and Android.


TOP 5 RESOURCES FOR SIMS PLAYERS

By Emsey P. Walker The Sims 3 is a huge game, with even larger potential. Creative gamers across the globe have designed some truly incredible custom content for the games to allow others an even more enjoyable experience.

W

hether you’re looking

exchange section does allow users

tattoos, clothes, pets and even pet

for new worlds or new

to upload their creations and make

accessories. The beauty of this site

hairstyles, better user interfaces

them available for other players.

is the ease with which this content

or bug fixes, there’s something

If you’re after premium content

is installed onto your game. You

out there for you. We cut through

made by EA, that’s all there too,

simply click “add to game” and

the masses to list the five best

for a price of course, but if you’re

log in with your origin account,

resources for any Sims player.

happy trying out stuff that people

and the next time you load up The

5: http://www.thesims3.com/

have made themselves then there is

Sims 3, there your content will

This one is a no brainer. While

a real treasure trove here. You can

be, waiting to be installed. There’s

it may not be the most extensive

get new worlds, new households,

also the rather large community

resource for The Sims 3, the

or houses for your families,

on the forums providing help and entertainment to all sims players. 4: http://www.xmsims.com/ If you’re the kind of Sims player that gets bored very quickly of the standard Create-A-Sim content available then this is the site for you. Specialising in skins, hair and other facial features you’ll find you’re never short on new, unique sims to

20 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


make. Even better XMSims supports

just want much more and better

2: http://nraas.wikispaces.com/

the original Sims game, The Sims

quality stuff in our games. Anything

Avid players of The Sims, in

2 and The Sims 3, so no matter

you can think of, you’ll discover in

particular The Sims 3 will know that

which one you play, there’s more

its many, many pages. With a huge

there are a few bugs that can tend to

for you to add to your experience.

community of creators and users,

happen. With so much new content

Some of the hair is absolutely

all downloads can be rated and

being released all the time, some

spectacular and everything is

commented on, meaning you know

things can be overlooked and issues

available for free. Content is easy to

exactly what you’re putting in your

can arise. One of the best resources

install, and while not as simple as

game. The detailed help pages

for bug fixes is NRaas. Also known

the previous site we mentioned, it’s

will guide you through installing

as Twallan, this amazing human

all explained on their help page.

content and soon enough you’ll

being created a huge site full of

3: http://modthesims.info/

have more realistic sims roaming

really well thought out mods for The

Mod the Sims is easily the largest

in their new digs furnished with

Sims 3 that affect the enjoyment of

database of custom content for

the most lavish furniture you

the game. He’s retired now, but the

players of The Sims franchise. It

could dream of. The sheer amount

legacy he’s left behind is undeniable.

covers both The Sims 2 and The

of content here is just amazing,

Overwatch is one mod that fixes

Sims 3 and is for those of us who

definitely a must have resource.

recurring errors that are produced

The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 21


of things you can expect from them. All aspects of the game are explained and if you’re ever stuck then this should absolutely be your first stop. There are so many tips on literally any part of The Sims 3, help with how to have alien babies, how to throw the best parties and even which traits are the best to choose and which are just a waste of your time. It’s not just about the guide though as the site has a HUGE community and forum where you could easily spend hours chatting away with other by the base game, it speeds up gameplay and tidies your town essentially helping everything run

1: http://www.carlssims-3-guide.com/ This wouldn’t be a Sims resource

lovers of the game. The site has also run challenges which add an incredibly creative and exciting new

much, much smoother. NRaas offers

list without Carl’s The Sims 3 Guide.

dimension to the game. Of course

some real game changing mods,

It is focussed wholly on The Sims 3,

now that The Sims 4 is on the way,

helping players to do things like have

but is by far the most extensive guide

Carl (who we got to interview for

all-teen families, or having more

to the game. Every single expansion

this mag) is going to be tackling

than eight sims in your household. It

pack is laid out in black and white,

the new game and will no doubt

truly is an immense resource and all

helping simmers to decide which

be providing help and oodles more

Sims players should be aware of it.

expansion to buy next and the sort

fun to players across the world.■

22 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


SIMS 4 SCREENSHOTS

The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 23


INTERVIEW WITH CARL RATCLIFF OF CARL’S SIMS

By Emsey P. Walker We managed to grab some spare time from the super busy Carl Ratcliff, who is the creator of Carl’s Sims, an online guide for The Sims 3 and our number one resource for Sims players.

G

ameOn: What was it about

Coming off that project and feeling

The Sims that made

burned, I wanted to cover something

GO: How many hours do you think you have spent playing The Sims? CR: Easily thousands, especially

you want to dedicate to making

fun that had potential to create

such a comprehensive guide?

something with dozens or hundreds

if you factor in time that was

of pages. The Sims 3 provided what

spent playtesting for each page

guides about nine years ago,

I was looking for in a new project

I’ve written. With the expansions

and wanted to eventually cover

- an entertaining game with loads

and all they offer, it’s a game you

Carl Ratcliff: I started writing

something really popular for PC. I had played Sims 1 and 2 a bit, and found my PC was finally modernized enough to enjoy The Sims 3 right when it was released, and I loved it. Liking a game was crucial to me

“WITH THE EXPANSIONS AND ALL THEY OFFER, IT’S A GAME YOU CAN EASILY SINK HUNDREDS OF HOURS INTO WITHOUT IT FEELING REPETITIVE.”

being able to stick with it for such a big project. It’s a game with a lot of

of distinct content to write about. I

can easily sink hundreds of hours

systems, and that is important for

wrote a couple of test guides to see if

into without it feeling repetitive.

me as a guide author. You have each

people would read them, and it blew

individual skill, career, trait, etc.

up to the point I realized I’d be doing

game and be one of the pre-

so I found there was a lot to write

the fans and myself a disservice not

made characters in The Sims,

about. I wrote a guide to Spore that

to explore the opportunity and write

who would you be and why?

ended up being all of four big pages.

as much about the game as I could.

24 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

GO: If you could jump into the

CR: Geoffrey Landgraab of

The GameOn Magazine


Sunset Valley, which is still my favorite world. He’s a surgeon with a beautiful wife in the most beautiful home in Sunset Valley. I really love that house and would want to live there. He and Nancy can also afford to buy a vacation home in Champs Les Sims and enjoy the finest Nectar the Sims world has to offer. Really live it up and travel all over Al Simhara and Shang Simla without worrying about the bank, and use that Ambrosia to live the good life forever. Maybe the rich and famous are paying those huge sums for Death Fish, just to use them as an ingredient with Life Fruit. That stuff must taste horrible though. Sure, you put Lemon on some Fish... but Ambrosia is a peculiarly crafted dish. GO: Which has been your favourite variation of the franchise, 1, 2 or 3?

while also making Sims a lot more like real people. We do, in a way, have our own mood bars with things making us happy or dragging us down,

CR: I’m biased toward the

but there are a lot of different emotions you experience as a person

Sims 3, simply because I didn’t

and if Sims is meant to be a people simulator, they needed to bring

get to enjoy all the Expansions

them to life this way. Sims have tended to be stuck experiencing simple

from the first two. I played Livin’

happiness, sadness, and anger without the emotions in between.

Large for the first and University for the second. I can’t believe how much there is to do on the third with every expansion installed. GO: What are you looking forward to most in The Sims 4? CR: Emotions, easily. This

GO: Which Sims 3 expansion (excluding Stuff packs) was your favourite, and why? CR: I used to say Ambitions because I really enjoyed its focus on Skills and Professions, but looking back at how I reacted to each release I’d have to say World Adventures. It capitalized on the open world experience The Sims 3 brought to the franchise the most. I really enjoyed searching through ancient tombs for treasure and having the vacation

is going to bring a new depth

option open for all my future Sims. I wanted that VISA to let me stay

of gameplay for storytelling,

in those destinations longer and find everything there was to find.

The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 25


GO: And which one was your least favourite? CR: Seasons did what we wanted

always cover The Sims

in between expansions that can

franchise on your site?

significantly contribute to gameplay.

CR: I think I would be a fool to

GO: Of all the families in The

and added weather, but it felt like

want to be a professional guide

Sims series’ which do you think is

I was buying a graphical pack with

author and not continue to cover

the most interesting and why?

the then $40 price tag. Some people

The Sims. It has a special place in

paid just to find their PC couldn’t

my heart now. The site has crossed

have a family history, and Bella

handle the weather well. I feel like

milestones I never dreamed it would

and Mortimer are a little creepy. I

the amount of content in that EP was

cross. We’ve got plenty of positive

still remember playing them in the

a disappointment to a lot of people,

feedback, and as a result I’m more

first game. They’ve got this family

myself included. I have to say that I

interested in not only covering

cemetery and ghosts visiting every

wish The Sims 3 had gone out on a

the game but also the Premium

night. They’re apparently not at all

better note than Into the Future. It

Content from The Sims store in

bothered by it, as they can afford

failed to refresh the game much for

the future. Some of it isn’t merely

to move and maintain it. I guess

me, and it was getting a bit harder

decorative, but actually adds new

Bella wasn’t available in the Sims 2

to enjoy after five straight years.

gameplay options - options that

because she got abducted by aliens.

GO: How do you take your

people don’t know about if they

grilled cheese sandwiches?

never pay attention to the shop.

Easter Eggs in The Sims, is there

Straight up? Sauce? Maybe some

I’m not out to fill EA’s coffers, but

one you can think of that we

different cheeses in there?

if Simmers will pay $40 for an

should definitely check out?

CR: Straight up, maybe a little

expansion then getting something

CR: The Goths. They actually

GO: There are lots of little

CR: I’m fond of the book titles and

more butter and cheese now and

new that actually adds to gameplay

paintings that are inspired by real

then for a crispy, goopy, cheesy

may interest them. I’d like to do a

novels and works of art. The kids’

delight. You’ve now made me hungry.

better job at making people aware

books are based off of Dr. Seuss

of the good stuff that is released

books - “Bluish Eggs with a Side

GO: Do you think you’ll This will be a relevant comment

26 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


excited to be learning a new game. I’m looking forward to the fun ideas that may come from new gameplay features. Those should lead to some interesting challenges for The Sims 4, once we’ve got the guide written of course! GO: If you could have one This will be a relevant comment

feature added to The Sims in future releases, what would it be? CR: The ability to run different

of Pastrami”, “Frank I’m Not”, and

Man, and our volunteer staff of

kinds of business, right out of

“Oh, the Destinations You’ll Briefly

moderators have been a massive

the gate. Hiring employees if you

Visit” instead of Green Eggs and

help and made the forum end of

get big, and managing it yourself

Ham, Sam I Am and Oh, the Places

things as great as it is today.

when you’re small. Setting prices,

You’ll Go. There are a lot of things in

GO: You run challenges

ordering products, marketing,

the game based on real life. There’s

throughout The Sims 3 for players

and converting visitors to sales. I

also the abandoned mine. I still

to take part in, has that been

think with a subsystem like that

remember when I first discovered it

difficult to say goodbye to them

in the game, you could have true

in Sunset Valley, yet it’s nothing - just

before The Sims 4 release?

businesses, from restaurants to retail stores, and Sims could even

scenery meant to be a little secret.

CR: It has been particularly

GO: How does it feel knowing

surreal for our Challenge Team,

go shopping and get ingredients

that thousands of Sims players

led by Metropolis Man - the guy is

for great meals, or new clothing

go to your site on a daily basis

brilliant. I discovered him when he

while your Sim rakes in the profit.

for guidance with their games?

messaged me and told me he had

GO: Thank you so much for taking

been doing challenges for Diablo

the time to answer these questions,

this much attention - literally tens of

2 for some time and wondered

one last thing - Can you give us

millions of views at this point - but

if I might be interested in using

a Simlish phrase to go out on?

those games didn’t sell as many

his talents on our Sims 3 Forum.

CR: Degdeg! Goodbye! Also

copies nor have as dedicated a

He gradually got more and more

given the grilled cheese question

fanbase as The Sims franchise does.

participants over the years, and

earlier and the time I’m writing my

It’s awesome to me and though I’d

it was very popular in this last

responses, “oh feebee lay!” Time

be completely swamped doing it

season. I think it’s bittersweet

to eat some dinner then work on

alone, I’ve got a great team to help

to him. It’s the end of an era for

the design for the Sims 4 Guide!■

me with the site. Pam, Metropolis

us, while at the same time we’re

CR: Nothing I’d written before got

The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 27


HOW MY BOYFRIEND RUINED MY FAMILY By Harrie Bailey

By Harrie Bailey On my annual launch of The Sims 3, the same routine applies each time: create family, motherlode, motherlode, make out, try for baby.

F

rom this, you can obviously

was time to progress on expanding

from outside the hospital (because

tell that the possibility of your

the Bailey family. This didn’t take

of course we have to keep our

characters being able to search the

long to put into action after my

characters privacy under lock

newspaper for first time jobs and

realisation that I’d forgotten to set

by denying us vision inside the

climb the social scale doesn’t really

my Sims age to “Young Adult” and

hospital), and soon enough my

appeal to me. Decorating and fitting

that they would be turning to elders

sim popped out with a baby girl

my characters mansion with the

in just fourteen Sim days, which

after a somewhat unrealistic

most expensive electronics is the

only accounts to five real life hours.

labour time of one minute.

peak of my Sims 3 experience, this

A few evident occasions of morning

Seeing the joy on my face when

was further heightened when I was

sickness later, I received the heart-

my Sim left the hospital with a baby

confronted with the option to use my

swelling notification that it was

of my desired gender, the boyfriend

new selection of “high end loft stuff”.

time to take my Sim to hospital.

decided to whack his hand down

After an hour and a half of

I called my slightly bored and

on the keyboard and with a not-so-

dedicated renovating (and a not-

unenthusiastic boyfriend over

mutual decision, we had our baby’s

so-happy boyfriend left to fend for

to the computer to watch the

name, srg2346urdfg. (Luckily, EA

himself on The Walking Dead), it

emotional experience unravelling

must have had me in mind when

28 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


integrating the option to change a character’s name via the Town Hall.) A few hours into the delight of being back home with the new-born, my Sim was already suffering from a lack of sleep due to Luna (newly renamed) having a social bar at a constant low. Hunting through each of Luna’s social tabs, I made the shocking discovery that my boyfriend had set the child’s only traits to “Insane” and “Loner”, should have seen that one coming. Unfortunately, this was not something the trusty Town Hall could fix for me. Being the most loving of parents, I made the decision to wait until my child aged up to give her the extra traits that would make her human again, the one good choice made without my incredibly helpful boyfriend. Hopefully this won’t affect the judgement cast on her by fellow students she will encounter in The Sims 3 University.■

The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 29


THE SIMS 3: UNIVERSITY LIFE REVIEW

By Harrie Bailey As far as expansion packs go, University was, without a doubt, my favourite addition to The Sims 2, and for this reason I was eager to get my hands on The Sims 3: University Life!

I

t may sound cliché, but The

adult to elder dominant, giving them

in the clothing department. Most

Sims 3: University Life truly

the largest range of new clothes

of the clothes that you can select

and accessories. It doesn’t come

from the ‘Every day’ section, are

does offer a completely different experience. Apart from the odd holiday, how often are you able to send your Sim off to live a new life? And this is exactly what the University expansion pack provides for your character, a new life. I was ecstatic to get my Sim off to her campus, but not before I had

“ONE OF THE NEW ADDITIONS THAT I FOUND MADE THE EXPERIENCE ALL THAT MORE REALISTIC WAS THE OPTION TO TAKE A ‘UNIVERSITY APTITUDE TEST’. “

created her. The first thing that came

as a surprise to me considering

copied through to the workout gear,

to my attention with the creation of

this is the age range that can

so if you like the idea of your Sims

your family is that Maxis have made

attend university, though I do feel

wearing the same clothes to bed, an

this expansion pack heavily young-

that Maxis have been slightly lazy

important event, or even to go to the

30 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


 DID YOU KNOW? gym in, this would be ideal for you. Onto the exciting stuff, the

set my Sim up for her university life. Once your Sim becomes a young

University Life was the ninth expansion

gameplay! I had jumped to the

adult, you can enrol them into

assumption that I was able to send

university for one to two terms at

pack of a total twelve released over the

my Sim straight off to university,

a time (one term amounts to one

period of four years for The Sims 3.

though luckily a helpful tutorial

in-game week) with a set amount

message advised me otherwise.

of credits earned. These credits will

One of the new additions that I found

then contribute to finishing their

2 and The Sims 3 university

made the experience all that more

degree. A moving car will collect

expansion packs. Dorms contain

realistic was the option to take a

them and take them to the University

larger bedrooms with space for

‘University Aptitude Test’. This test

Town, and from here you will have

up to two people each, but in

does more or less what it says on

the option to live in a new house with

return the number of rooms are

the tin, informs you of whether

possible roommates, a university

limited to around eight, whereas

or not your Sim is apt for their

dorm, or a sorority/fraternity. For

The Sims 2 gave dorms a more

preferred degree, and how they can

the first two terms I played it safe,

realistic feel with many more,

increase their chances of receiving a

and moved my Sim into a dorm.

smaller and identical rooms.

scholarship. I really like this addition

I soon noticed the differences

to the game as it meant I could truly

between the dorms in The Sims

Shortly after decorating my shared room, it was time to explore the town. In University Life there are three ‘Social Groups’, the Nerds, the Rebels and the Jocks. For each of these, your Sim can complete actions (even boast about their gamer skillz) to gain influence within the groups which is displayed on your Sim’s profile, though you can spend your Sim’s lifetime reward points on influence to gain popularity. When you reach the highest point within these groups you will receive career opportunities: Nerds can become video game developers, Rebels can be art appraisers and a sports agent career is available for successful Jocks.

The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 31


buildings that you cannot see into

Maxis have added in the traditional

is provided with a class schedule,

in the town. I was happy to discover

coffee shop where you can meet

the amount of classes per week

that I could watch my Sim in a

up with friends or simply grab a

and per day will be dependent on

lecture, have her ask questions and

muffin before your next class, or

the amount of credits you selected

take notes, or even fall asleep.

bowling alleys if your Sim prefers

in the enrolment process.

Other classes will take you to the

not to attend a student house party

As my Sim attended the first

main square of the campus where

each night but doesn’t want to be

class of the day, I was disappointed

you can take part in class activities

cooped up in their room studying.

that I was denied vision inside one of

dependent on your degree.

Each student at the university

the university buildings, as this left

In your spare time there are

The Sims 3: University Life has put a large focus on social media,

me with nothing to do but hit the fast

plenty of distractions around

with the newly updated smartphone

forward button until finishing time,

campus,

your Sim is equipped with, they can

and once again when my Sim

study, send text messages, blog,

whipped out her bicycle to ride

or even stream video straight from

home (potentially a car if your Sim lives in a Sorority or their own housing), after a while this became a very repetitive gesture. Luckily there aren’t many

This will be a relevant comment

32 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


This will be a relevant comment

life, though to hear the applause from outside the building put the cherry on the cake for me. As soon as the ceremony is finished your Sim has time to linger around and talk to a few friends but is then sent straight home. Aside from your career

their mobile phone, and choose

difference between your university

opportunities within the social

the option of famous blogger

parties and the regular ones. If

groups, when at home your Sim

as their lifetime aspiration.

your Sim is earning any more

can upload their resumé and in

than 12 credits in a term, you will

return receive a specified job offer

an updated version of the mobile

most likely be declining the five

earning a rather large sum of

into their recent expansion pack,

house party invites you receive

simoleons per hour, and is left to

surprisingly your Sim doesn’t have

per day to keep up with studying.

carry on with the rest of adulthood!

Although Maxis have incorporated

the ability to catch up with their

After the final exams are over,

Overall The Sims 3: University

parents and relatives via their mobile

your Sim will receive a grade and

Life is a really entertaining

phone (you have to access them

return home, from this point you

expansion pack, it offers a lot

through your Sims relationships

can enrol into university again either

more than a few objects and a few

tab), or even visit. If your Sim

to complete your current degree

new actions to your game. It can

belongs to a family that do not

with some more credits, or start a

also provide your Sim with a lot

attend university, you cannot access

new one. Whatever the reason, the

more in the long-run, whilst giving

their normal household whilst your

university experience will not be

them a university experience to

Sim is at university, which I find a

any different apart from potential

remember in the present. Although

significant let down to this game.

class and accommodation changes.

some features of the game didn’t

University is well-known for its

If your Sim has completed their

parties and nightlife, and this is

degree, it’s time for a graduation

something that your fellow Sims

ceremony! You’re given the option

will not let you miss out on, with the

to invite a few friends and family,

two most popular types of parties

however this ceremony will take

being Juice Keggers and Bonfires.

place in one of those irritating

There aren’t many fascinating

buildings that we only have the

additions to your general party set-

option to wait outside of. I felt

up, a few games and miscellaneous

disappointed that I couldn’t witness

objects won’t spark a significant

the highlight of my Sim’s university

The Sims 4 Special Edition

live up to my expectations, I still found it very enjoyable.■

8/10 The GameOn Magazine // 33


THE SIMS: THE PORTAL OF DIVERSITY

By Jessica Greenfield Many people who know me, know that I am not a confident person; not in the slightest. I have little self esteem, and I am most uncomfortable with my body.

I

HATE the way how I look. Sadly

women) are in the same boat and

of men. Men can be affected by the

enough, I know I am not alone

are not satisfied with who they are

media as well - some men express

and what they look like because

it, others don’t, in fear of being

they are constantly being told how

ridiculed, and some genuinely aren’t

to be the ideal person. You may be

affected - like some women aren’t.

asking why I’m starting an article

Men are taught that they can’t be

with this? Well, as the media grows

sensitive as showing emotion is very

and transforms, it has become more

“feminine”. In particular the likes

apparent how it can influence how

of video games and movies, they

we think about ourselves. TV shows,

are also taught that the ideal man

in this. Many other people (men and

films, adverts, models, some comic

is buff, heroic and a ladies man.

books, and most importantly for

He must be confident and brave

what I’m going to write about, video

and be able to fight off any danger

games. The media is one of the

to protect the damsel in distress.

leading causes of poor self esteem.

Which leads me to another note; I

I’m not just talking about the

don’t see any men seeking the aid

high expectations of being the “ideal

of other men. In fact, I don’t see

woman”, I’m talking about men as

any men who are homosexual, I

well. Expectations for women are

don’t see any women fighting to

plastered everywhere and are

save a man, hell, I don’t see women

less subtle than the expectations

fighting to save another woman.

34 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


whereas in the Sims 4 you can adjust

shapes. Therefore there is a vast

recent exam I was given the question

any part of the body, for example

amount of different ethnicities

of “how are ethnicities represented

the leg and arm width, how broad

showcased in the game. Not only

in the media?”. I sat there, reeling off

the shoulders are and the width

can you have your character as

how there were examples of black

of the waist and hips. This makes

any ethnicity and any look, they

people, especially in films and TV,

the characters more “natural”

can be of any sexual orientation.

but in video games, I was stumped.

and is a better representation

You can make them heterosexual,

Off the top of my head I could think

of the fact that everyone’s body

homosexual, bisexual, or you can

of The Walking Dead series by

is different. It highlights the

not get involved in any relationship

TellTale Games, GTA, and Half Life

uniqueness of humans and that we

at all and it doesn’t affect you.

(Alyx’s father, Eli). But I then realised

are all individual. In a similar sense,

that all these people were black, but

with each relaunch of the Sims,

diversity and maybe, just maybe,

I could not think of one game with

they have gradually expanded on

other videogames and the media

any Asian in it. Aside from Glenn

their

I take a media course, and in a

preset face

The Sims is a specimen of

in general may take note.■

making a cameo role in the Walking Dead, and Sleeping Dogs, I couldn’t think of anyone. I think this is sad, especially with the vast amount of ethnicities in the world and so many different crosses of culture, it’s a shame not to capture how vast and different every person is. This is where the Sims comes in - finally. There is no story, no preset expectation. Originally, the Sims was quite limited on how you could change the characters, but all the slight changes in the character creations have resulted in something absolutely magnificent in Sims 4. Back to my original point of body representation, in original versions of the Sims, in the character creation, you can simply make your character “fat” or “thin”, The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 35


SIMS 4 SCREENSHOTS

36 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


Haven’t picked up The Sims 4 yet? Why not?! Well, let us help you out with that. You can grab the limited edition version by clicking anywhere on this page for only: $49.20/£29.63/€36.99! That’s cheap!


SO I BURGLED A SIM..

By Andrew Duncan So I burgled a Sim the other day - ‘cause that’s my job. I aspired to be a criminal and it’s not like I can go about murdering people.

S

o anyway, I snuck into this guy’s house late one

Invited to the scene of the crime? So I goes around, thinking I’ll nick

whoopie session like I expected - she really is flirty after all. Everyone has some fun, drinks,

night when they was asleep,

something small - maybe the phone

see? They woke up an’ called

or microwave - when she’s busy or

dancing and the like. But then

the cops while I was nicking

in another room. I’ve got to earn

something

their telly.. “Bugger!” right?

a living somehow. Anyway, I goes

Usually I’m hauled off-screen

around, right, and from the off she’s

to prison - but this lady Sim came

flirty with me. Right flirty - laughing

up to me an’ I was set free, while

at everything, flicking ‘er hair and

the copper’s back was turned!

that. “Oh” I thinks “She must be into

Sure it was after the cop beat me

bad boys”. So I plays on her guitar

up, but still... Must’ve felt guilty or

and she was really into it. Said she’d

something, I dunno. Next day, this

like to see me again soon, ‘specially

same Sim calls me up - dunno how

if I was gonna keep entertainin’ ‘er.

she got me number. We chatted a

odd happens.

So I spend some time gettin’

bit about the weather an’ stuff, I

to know her, so much she invites

dunno, then she invited me around

me to a party she’s having. I turn

- I’d heard about returning to the

up late with the party in full swing

scene of the crime but blimey…

- an actual party, not a swinger’s

38 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


Suddenly there’s this wall where it

blighter, but suddenly the new

shouldn’t be, in the middle of the

wall disappears and the missing

room. Nobody else notices, so I

Sim comes fallin’ out dead as

decide to ignore it. Until it turns out

you like! This - I dunno how else

our host, this Sim lass, is missing.

to explain ‘im - personification

I’m sure I can hear a voice behind

of Death goes over an’ does

replaced by a wall. I don’t know if

this new wall, calling for help while

something - then buggers off!

there were any other doors - and

I’m nicking the phone next to it. Next thing I know, this hooded

Then some git tries to cook, not a bloody care in the world,

I didn’t stay around to find out. Day or so later I read the

figure enters the house, holding a

and sets the kitchen on fire! We

paper, find there was a pool out

scythe. A bloody scythe! It weren’t

all lose it, runnin’ about and

back - with no ladder but one

a costume party neither, unless

screamin’ for the fire department

corpse. I don’t know what kind of

everyone went as themselves. The

- but nobody called them. As I

mad house I went into, but I was

air gets kinda chilly too, which

made it outside, I looked back and

damned lucky to get out alive...■

makes everyone try to ignore this

saw the door had disappeared,

The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 39


TOP FIVE UNREALISTIC FEATURES OF THE SIMS

By Helen Ashcroft I love The Sims. I have been playing it off and on since the original game launched back in February 2000. Part of the appeal for me has always been the crazy things that Sims will do. 40 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


M

any times these are

5. APPEARANCE

far more entertaining

than the ever increasing array of realistic things. Over the years as the

no idea what hairspray Maxis are endorsing but it holds like super-

In at number five is appearance. In the most recent Sims incarnations a lot of this has

glue... thinking about it maybe it is super-glue, that would explain a lot. Later incarnations of The Sims

series has developed, Sims

changed but sometimes the

allow you to stand in front of a

have become more aware.

oldest memories are the best.

mirror and change your makeup

You all know how the game

and hairstyle or even haircut in a

Social interactions are more sensible, Sims can actually

begins: open family screen, create

matter of minutes. However this

move furniture themselves

new family, spend an hour trying to

brings in a whole new level of weird

and you can even change your

think of a name then spend even

juju, I mean who is THAT skilled

hairstyle for different occasions.

longer getting their look just perfect.

with a pair of kitchen scissors?

However, I miss some of the

It is always advisable to take your

crazy things my Sims have done

time at this point as, in the earlier

over the years. So, drawing

games at least, that look is yours for

from my experiences with

life. Yes Maybelline has nothing on

all three games to date, here

the makeup of The Sims. This stuff

that is eating and drinking in The

are my top five unrealistic

literally never comes off. Apply once,

Sims. I wish I had a fridge like

features of The Sims.

wear for the rest of your natural life.

my Sims. In earlier games food

The same goes for hairstyles. I have

just magically appears day after

The Sims 4 Special Edition

4. FOOD & DRINK At Number four is the confusion

The GameOn Magazine // 41


day without you spending any money. How amazing is that? You

3. THE MAGIC RUCKSACK

books, a couple of pieces of art, a newspaper, a stereo, an American

can even eat the green looking leftovers without any ill effects (this

has a rucksack containing several

Number three is a newer feature

football and a full size car. Yes that’s

is definitely not recommended in

which always makes me smile.

right, there’s a car in my backpack.

real life)! Speaking of leftovers,

The Sims 3 brought us one of my

The only possible explanation I can

in later games you do have to

favourite unrealistic additions, the

think of involves Hermione Granger

buy your food and you cannot eat

family inventory. This is presented

and a series of enchantments...

green food without a trip to the

as a rucksack which contains things

bathroom. However you can store

you can access at any time. The idea

the leftovers of your meals safely

is that certain things are specific to

in the fridge. Once in there they

your person or family and are always

take on magical properties and not

carried on you, accessible at any

only do they last a month but that

time. This rucksack is one of a kind

which always ends up being fun:

meal for four you cooked will feed

though, Dora and her talking

lack of social awareness. Sims

at least another six people. Bingo!

backpack have nothing on

aren’t all sweetness and light when

this baby. One of my Sims currently

it comes to interacting with each

42 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

2. SOCIAL AWARENESS In at number two is something

The GameOn Magazine


 DID YOU KNOW? other. Sometimes they cross the boundaries of social niceties, other times they just obliterate them

1. LACK OF COMMON SENSE

entirely. Interactions have come a long way since the first Sims game

The Sims ‘needs’ system was inspired by “Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs”.

My favourite unrealistic feature

but those pesky Sims still make

of all time is how Sims react

me laugh. Walking into someone’s

to different situations with an

itself out. This is also the reason you

house uninvited is often frowned

astounding lack of common sense.

should always have a smoke alarm

upon but Sims don’t seem to care.

I know Sims aren’t the brightest of

so it can magically phone the fire

creatures but some of the things

brigade for you when it goes off.

women. They arrive at all times of

they do simply amaze me. Once

This fire shouting isn’t even

the day and night, far more reliably

again some of these crazy antics are

the best thing I ever witnessed

than any tradesman you’ve ever

only present in early games, but they

in game. My absolute favourite

known, and often either keep you

are always the most memorable

lack of common sense moment

talking for hours or start sneaking

things for me. I remember the first

encountered was the day I got

around your house in the dark!

time I set fire to my kitchen in The

off a dining chair on the wrong

Sims. I was cooking – cereal in fact

side. My Sim found herself stood

can turn round to discover a random

– and it set on fire. Yes, my cereal

between the chair and the wall.

neighbour in your house and what’s

set on fire. Even better was the

She had no idea what to do so

worse they are often eating your

Sim’s response to the fire: simply

she did what any sensible person

food, straight from the fridge! The

to stand there and yell at it until

would do: she stood there until

randomness doesn’t stop there

they caught fire themselves and

she died of starvation. Give that

either as they will invariably either

then died. Amazing common sense

woman a membership to Mensa.

tickle you or attempt to flirt with

right there. No running for help, no

you on the subject of toilets. Lack of

calling the fire brigade, they were

five unrealistic things in The Sims.

decent values often makes for fun

just standing there, shouting at the

What are yours? Are you upset that

gameplay as you attempt to see how

fire as if they could scream it into

falling asleep on the floor next to

far you can push the boundaries of

submission. In later games some

your bed didn’t make the list? How

taste and decency before a fellow

of them don’t even scream they just

about refusing a marriage proposal

Sim decides they truly detest you.

stand there waiting for the fire to put

because you were hungry? Head

There are also the repairmen and

In earlier games especially, you

“I KNOW SIMS AREN’T THE BRIGHTEST OF CREATURES BUT SOME OF THE THINGS THEY DO SIMPLY AMAZE ME. “ The Sims 4 Special Edition

So there you go, my list of the top

to the comments and let me know what your best moments are.■

The GameOn Magazine // 43


THE SIMS 3: ISLAND PARADISE REVIEW

By Harrie Bailey EA really pushed the boat out with their 10th expansion pack for The Sims 3: Island Paradise, and made it one of the favourites amongst the community of avid Sims players.

I

sland Paradise, an expansion

beach, intense blue skies and the

my favourite feature - the new

pack that’s pretty much self-

seaside life. Decorated with palm

type of housing that this expansion

explanatory, boasts a new luxury

trees, plants and brightly coloured

offers: houseboats. Unsurprisingly

way of life for your Sim families and

buildings, there isn’t a dull moment

houseboats do exactly what they

a huge additional neighbourhood

to be had, unless of course, you own

say on the tin, a house on a boat.

appropriately named “Isla Paradiso”.

The Sims 3: Seasons, in which the

These come in sizes considerably

Consisting of two large Islands in

whole town can become covered in

smaller than your average house,

addition to many smaller ones and

snow and generally quite gloomy.

but pack a new advantage: mobility!

others which are discoverable later in the game, this neighbourhood is one of the many features that makes this particular expansion so appealing. There aren’t many other neighbourhoods that are comparable in size, so let’s just say that you certainly won’t be stuck for somewhere to live on

The Island Paradise neighbourhood isn’t just a

The upside of choosing a houseboat over a regular one is the chance

“ISLA PARADISO IS POSSIBLY THE PERFECT PLACE TO START YOUR SIM’S ADVENTURE IF YOU’RE A FAN OF THE BEACH, INTENSE BLUE SKIES AND THE SEASIDE LIFE.”

this beautiful tropical island. Isla Paradiso is possibly the

fascinating place to live because of

to drive it around Isla Paradiso’s

perfect place to start your Sim’s

its stunning views and atmosphere,

vast blue oceans or park it up at a

adventure if you’re a fan of the

it’s also the best place to try out

different dock day after day for a

44 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


expansion packs boast different life forms, in Island Paradise you can become a mermaid! There may be a downside to a huge neighbourhood though, as a good few Sims players (including myself) have experienced lagging and freezing problems within Isla Paradiso, even when I can easily run the game on high settings normally - which after an extensive amount of research, would seem hasn’t been change of scenery and a shorter

Business and challenging yourself

fixed yet. There are a few ways to

distance to the upbeat town centre.

to the highest quality and earnings

reduce this after suggestions from

of resorts around the island.

other Sims players, but don’t let this

New Create-A-Sim pieces include a small variety of hairstyles and

The expansion also comes with

put you off as the chances you’ll be stuck with this problem are slim.

tattoo designs but a disappointing

a variety of fun new activities based

lack in clothing department, along

in the sea such as snorkeling and

with other categories, though the

waterskiing, you can also take to

Paradise is an expansion that won’t

new items are all in keeping with

the waters with the new variety

leave you with a moment of boredom

the beachy and summery vibe

of sailboats, paddleboats and

thanks to the endless possibilities,

that Island Paradise radiates.

speedboats available to you. If

achievements and activities to take

your Sim wants to challenge their

advantage of. With a range of new

you can still send your Sim on

inner-explorer, they can find new

areas and opportunities, you can

“vacation” without owning the

collectibles such as seashells and

create houses, resorts, and build

World Adventures expansion pack.

map pieces to aid in the discovery

up your Sim’s career and personal

Isla Paradiso contains two resorts

of secret hidden islands. Aside from

life to your heart’s content. ■

to which you can send your Sim

this you also now (finally) have the

to for a break from work or other

option to host your Sim parties

demanding daily tasks. Resorts are

right on the sandy beaches of Isla

quite a unique addition, as not only

Paradiso, and in terms of work,

can you book your stay for a few

become a lifeguard if you feel your

nights, you can also build and run

regular job just isn’t cutting it for

your very own resort, bringing back

you. And in addition to all these

the feel of The Sims 2: Open For

innovative new features, where other

With The Sims 3: Island Paradise,

The Sims 4 Special Edition

In conclusion, The Sims 3: Island

8.5/10

The GameOn Magazine // 45


WHAT WE WANT FROM THE SIMS 4

By Harrie Bailey & Emsey P. Walker With the release of The Sims 4 coming up fast, Harrie and Emsey take some time to think about what they would like from the next installment of The Sims and why.

NO MORE RABBIT HOLES!

ability to chose what your sim did

reason we think Maxis should

in their university buildings and

incorporate the feature of being able

classrooms. In The Sims 4, we’d like

to drive your own car using a new

to see this happen to all buildings,

range of controls, pay insurance on

saw a few buildings being opened

get rid of those rabbit holes!

it, learn routes around your town,

up to your control, giving you the

Especially if your family consists

pick up and drop off passengers!

In the Sims 3: University Life we

of one Sim, where’s the fun in fast forwarding time while you could

JOBS

be making constructive choices for your character?

DRIVEABLE VEHICLES/ MOTORBIKES

We all know that when your sim goes off to work, you can chose from a range of different work modes, meaning that you can have your character be the best, or simply lazy not to waste any of their

Don’t we all wish we didn’t

precious energy. However we find

have to pay car insurance and not

this would be much more exciting

have to worry about other drivers

if we had the ability to interact with

every time we leave the house in

our Sims jobs. Coming back to

our vehicles? Unfortunately this

our previous point, your sim could

will never be a reality. For this 46 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

take up the profession of a taxi

The GameOn Magazine


driver in which you would have to

actually a lot of fun! Picture this: a

certain levels in their employment

navigate around and ensure your

village/town/city/whatever where all

tree in order to unlock a reward

sim is doing their job properly.

of your friends can set up shop or

or improve a building (medical

house and you can go and visit them.

centre changes into hospital or

the ability to become an architect,

You could have an open city where

park gets a bandstand etc).

builder or interior designer, in

randomers can come and live, or you

which you can control your Sim

could have an invite only system to

as they build the house of their

avoid playing with strangers. A city

dreams, laying bricks, or even

where there are numerous player-

just stripping and painting walls;

controlled families; talk about a

memories in The Sims 2, and

though in an ideal world we would

truly ever-changing environment.

feel like they really made a

A favourite suggestion of ours is

also be able to turn this feature

The Sims community is so

MEMORIES You know what, we loved

mistake cutting it out of The

off and have your Sim work on

huge, and the rubbish “I can kinda

Sims 3. We used to love scrolling

their own, incase you already have

send my friends a gift and let

back through our sims personal

enough characters to care for.

them know what is happening”

histories remembering that

feature that is currently in The

timewhen they had an affair and

Sims 3 just doesn’t cut it. Give us

got caught; ending in divorce

a function where we can really

and a big fight. Good times.

MULTIPLAYER The only time The Sims franchise

interact with others. You could even

There is the scrapbook now of

has been multiplayer was in the

have challenges where you have

course, but it just doesn’t seem

PlayStation 2 version and was

to work together to get sims to

personal enough. Sim A teaches

The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 47


This will be a relevant comment

toddler sim to walk and every

toddlers that climb on

other person in the household

furniture or break

gets a memory in the scrapbook?

the TV by pressing

Hmm okay... either bring back

the buttons, or ones

personal memories or make

that bug the adult sims for

the scrapbook better please!

the food they are eating, or

BABIES AND TODDLERS

kids that follow and copy mum and dad, maybe pretending to hoover or help with the washing up.

They kinda made children more

Also breastfeeding should

exciting with the Generations

be introduced, as at the

expansion pack in The Sims 3.

moment there is only a

Interacting with imaginary friends,

bottle-feeding option.

treehouses, and more social

Maternity leave should

interactions with other sims is great

be also be optional, having

but babies and toddlers are still

to stay at home and miss out

absolutely snore-worthy. We have

on that promotion at work

them permanently set onto the

because maternity leave is

minimum amount of days possible

obligatory is a massive

until aging because they are so dull.

pain in the bum. It

How about having realistic

also might be nice to

48 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


develop a skill with children as

a nice part of gardening, but now

solvers. Sims who watch a lot

you raise more. There is already

it only includes stuff you can eat/

of films and tv should become

a nurturing trait, why not have

use. Have lawns that get overgrown,

better at writing review articles,

the option to earn that over time

bushes that need trimming, seeds

or other ideas like this.

when your children age up well?

that grow from seedlings to trees,

Those who take the time to do

making huge shade-giving arbours,

their hair and makeup, or change

and not just apple or lemon ones.

outfits regularly should have a

How about mini herb plants in

bonus to charisma, or a buff that

This brings us nicely onto the

the house that need watering

says they’re looking particularly

next point, traits. It’s great that you

and can be used in cooking?

foxy. You could even have it so Sims

TRAITS

can choose traits for children or

Houseplants should need

that spend a little time on their

your sims but it feels like this aspect

maintaining, giving a boost to

faces before bed have less wrinkles

could be further improved by making

environment (a bigger one to those

upon aging up. The Sims 3 provides

it more realistic. Traits should be

wholove the outdoors) when looked

well on the hobbies front but they

perhaps earnable, or changeable

after and a minus when not. Maybe

should affect social situations and

in certain circumstances. Maybe

trees could grow so big their roots

personalities more, changing how

your sim is shy, but as they gain

threaten the foundations of the

sims react in different situations.

charisma and move up in their

house and need to be chopped

job, it could be nice to have your

down and the wood could be used

some traits into “Interests”, so sims

sim leave their shy ways behind,

in the fireplace in winter or for a

that have a thing for alternative

becoming more sociable.

carpentry profession to furnish

music, or tattoos, or animals find it

the house. You could even chop

easier to spark conversations with

too; a hopeless romantic sim is

down your own christmas tree,

others who are interested inthe

hopelessly in love with their partner

the possibilities are endless.

same things. It might make the

It could work the other way

but comes home one day to find them being unfaithful throwing their

social dynamic a bit more varied.

HOBBIES

HEIGHT

fantasies out the window, leaving them with a suspicious trait. This

It might be worth even changing

Hobbies should have more of

is such an untapped idea and could

an effect on the individual sim.

really do with being exploited.

Sims that read should become

are all sims the same height?

more articulate and charismatic

Give us petite and grande options

as they read more books. Gamer

already. Sometimes you just

sims should become more

wanna make some hobbits.■

GARDENING What happened to being able to prune bushes and hedges? That was The Sims 4 Special Edition

It sounds a bit trivial but why

dextrous and logical making them better engineers and problem

The GameOn Magazine // 49


THE SIMS EXPANSIONS THAT NEVER WERE, AND PROBABLY NEVER WILL BE

By Ryan Davies The Sims, as a series, boasts the biggest collection of expansion packs in the history of gaming. While only three core games have ever been created for PC, those games have been host to a grand total of 45 addons!

T

hat’s including 26 standard

subject. It’s a shame really, because

plenty of fictional elements in the

expansions like Hot Date,

religion is undeniably an important

game already, so we’re surprised

Supernatural and Pets, as well as 16

part of life both historically and

that this idea hasn’t been taken

Stuff packs. So it seems a little crazy

contemporarily. It’s something

up. Who knows, maybe we’ll get a

to propose yet more expansions,

that could be implemented very

Religion expansion for The Sims 4.

but crazy is just how we like it. So

easily and would undoubtedly

it’s all aboard the crazy train then,

be an interesting trait to observe

for a tour of our favorite ideas for

and manage as a player. There’s

The Sims content packs that never

also a lot of scope there for

were and may well never be:

items and building options.

RELIGION:

To get around the issues

VICTORIAN LONDON: The Sims: Medieval is the only real example of the series travelling

surrounding real-life religious

back in time, and that was a bit of

belief, it would be easy enough to

a disaster, really. Who’s to say it

create fictional religions that work

can’t work though, and we think

that this expansion has never

in different ways, having different

we’ve got the perfect time period

existed, it is afterall quite a touchy

effects on the Sims. There are

for a Sims game. Victorian England,

It’s somewhat understandable

50 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


 DID YOU KNOW? London specifically, was a place of

a Traveller’s pack would be ideal.

great social growth and upheaval,

You could travel the Sims world

it’s the perfect place for a Sim

with your own customised caravan,

to go about their daily routine.

horse and family, stopping off to

Collection for free from Origin by using

set-up fairs with bearded ladies and

the Redeem code: “I-LOVE-THE-SIMS”

Of course, that routine would

You can get the entire Sims 2 Ultimate

probably be dominated by 15 hour

lucky heather. Again, I suppose EA

work days, mainly spent shovelling

would be afraid of offending a sub-

coal, and a serious lack of recreation

section of society, but who doesn’t

and various other add-ons have

time. Those Sims would be the lucky

love old fashioned Gypsies? Apart

granted the ability to explore and

ones too, they’d actually make it

from superstitious people and,

live in entirely new locations. So

past their sixth birthday unlike the

erm, mainland Europe, of course.

the DNA is there. Of course, we’re

millions of hapless Sims whose overseers were too busy fetching

SPACE/MOON:

maybe this isn’t such a great idea.

TRAVELLERS:

sort here, it’d be a bit tricky to play The Sims if every Sim involved had

a snack to notice them catching cholera. On second thoughts,

talking about life in a biome of some

Now we’re not saying there

to wear spacesuits permanently

need to be martians or crazy alien

and had living space the size of

technology items, but it would be really cool to see an expansion based on interstellar exploration.

a plane cockpit.

LIFE OF CRIME:

OK, this one has legs. First off,

If not a spaceship version of

we’re not talking about the modern

the previous Traveller idea,

‘travellers’ who have a tendency

then at least a Moon base

to defy their own name and not

expansion. Complete

actually travel anywhere, we’re

with anti-gravity,

talking about the proper Romani

Moon-Cow

Gypsies with horse drawn caravans

ice cream

raising a

and all that jazz. The Sims has

and endless

Sim family

largely been a game about being

numbers of

situated and staying in one place for

national flags

bred to be

a very, very long period of time - I

that don’t blow

the greatest

bet most people build a house for

in the wind.

Now this would be awesome. Imagine

specifically

criminals of all

their Sim and expect them to live

The Into the Future

time! Like the

in it for their ENTIRE LIFETIME.

expansion for The Sims

Incredibles, but

An estate agent expansion doesn’t sound particularly fun, so The Sims 4 Special Edition

3 dabbled in themes

super evil, the...

concerning space travel,

Awfuls. Except

The GameOn Magazine // 51


with a better name. Rather than sending off your family members

GAME OF THRONES:

to their jobs as actors or cleaners, you could send them off to bank heists, assassinations and not paying for parking ticket sprees. Yes, there’s an argument that it doesn’t send the right message to the younger Sims players, but it could easily be

So this, again, probably isn’t one for the kiddies, but we’re more than aware that The Sims has a very large and diverse audience, so one can expect that a fair few have seen or read Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Now, The Sims has always been a game about seeing your little people grow, forming bonds and making waves in their lives. Obviously, a Game of Thrones

turned into the

expansion would probably see more

most useful

murdering and general skullduggery

crime education

than the Life of Crime addon, but

tool around:

we’re willing to work with it.

no matter

It’d be fun, imagine controlling

how good your

a Sim who’s more afraid of his

criminal family

own father than a sneaky burglar.

is, they always

Or a small child who has silky

get caught in the end (remember children, crime

skills with a sword. You could have Dragons and Direwolves for pets, a collection of Valyrian steel blades

doesn’t pay) at which

to impress the neighbours, and

point they have to

wit could be the most important

continue playing while

element of a character. Oh,

their Sim endures

and imagine the weddings!

a miserable life in a maximum security

FARMS:

prison. Essentially reverting back to the

52 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

So from an expansion that’ll

Victorian London

almost definitely never happen, to

idea, really.

one we can’t believe hasn’t already

The GameOn Magazine


been cashed in on. The gentle farm life is ideal for a Sims title, with the focus being on maintaining the farm and all its inhabitants. So yes, that means some proper animals

“LET’S BE HONEST HERE, EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE SIDEACTIVITY IN THE THE SIMS (OR PRIMARY ACTIVITY, FOR THE PSYCHOS) IS KILLING THEIR SIM”

for the first time in the series. No more cats and dogs, we want proper cows, pigs and Dragons (wait, not the last one - we’re still fully sold on

the Game of Thrones idea, sorry). Obviously the only issue could be the lack of social interaction

outside of a core family, but if that family contains something like 100 people, who needs anyone else?

DEATH: Now you probably think we’re joking about this one, and while we’re aware that it’s too Daily Mail friendly for EA to ever actually pick up, it would make them an incredible amount of money. Let’s be honest here, everyone’s favourite side-activity in the The Sims (or primary activity, for the psychos) is killing their Sim in increasingly imaginative ways. How about an expansion that caters to that most primordial of desires? As well as basic stuff like weird and not-so-wonderful execution methods, you could also have an elaborate ‘accident’ mechanic in which you create ‘little mistakes’ for your Sims. Like Mouse Trap with humans, or Home Alone but with less incomprehensible survival. You can roll your eyes all you want, you know you’d buy it.■ The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 53


SIMS 4 SCREENSHOTS

54 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


THE SIMS 4 CREATE-A-SIM PREVIEW

By Harrie Bailey During the EA conference at gamescom it was announced that they were making The Sims 4 Create-A-Sim demo available free to anybody with an Origin account.

T

his meant no more constantly

well-known menus in The Sims 3,

amount of getting used to, and

checking my Origin Library

this is where you can also choose

often it can feel like all of your

to see if I was one of the chosen

the pitch of your Sim’s voice, their

sliding really isn’t making much

to be granted with the CAS demo

aspiration and THREE traits, and

of a difference. I’m also pleased

that EA were giving away. You

have choice of nine different walk

to see that the set skins and eye

best believe I hopped straight out

styles. I can probably only see myself

colors look extremely vibrant

of bed and couldn’t have logged

using about two of them, but it’s nice

and incredibly well done.

in to my Origin account quick

to know the extra customisation

enough upon hearing the news!

options are there for when you really

Sim’s face will take you into the

want to personalise your Sim.

general sliders, allowing you

After a speedy 1GB download it was time to launch the demo, and it looked exactly how it did in each Sims 4 trailer that has been released so far. You can only chose the Young Adult to create, but as far as I can

Now without going any further,

Clicking once on a part of your

to enlarge or decrease sizes in

“YOU CAN EDIT FACES IN A LOT MORE DEPTH AND DETAIL.”

see, that’s the only limitation that the

you can already start changing

proportion, double clicking will

CAS demo has, which is pretty great.

the size and shape of your Sim’s

send you into Detail Edit Mode,

different body parts by using the

where as stated in the title, you

slider, admittedly it takes a fair

can edit faces in a lot more depth

You start off by choosing a name, sex, age, but coming away from the

56 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


and detail. If extreme character creation isn’t your thing, there are more than enough pre-made faces, and other features to chose from. As previously mentioned it definitely takes a few tries, but overall offers a lot more in the way of personalisation than The Sims 3 did. Hairstyle models have really been updated since the previous game, some of them suit and frame the Sims’ faces a lot better, there

also separated into many different

disappointed by after playing the

are plenty more options and the

categories, probably too many for

demo, but hopefully we will see

menus are simplified into short,

my liking. There are about as many

more either with the full game

medium or long hair. Obviously

to choose from as The Sims 3 base

or bundled with future expansion

though, the removal of Create-A-

game but generally they look a lot

packs. Overall I’m relieved that

Style means that hair colours and

better, and as far as I can tell, there

so far, Create-A-Sim has lived

highlights are much more limited.

aren’t any problems concerning

up to it’s expectations, as the

overlapping clothes glitches.

release date for The Sims 4 draws

The Sim clothing menu can appear complicated at first, but much like with the hairstyles, they’re

The Sims 4 Special Edition

The lack of accessories is the only aspect that I’m left slightly

closer, I can’t wait to see what the final game has to offer. ■

The GameOn Magazine // 57


INTERVIEW WITH RACHEL FRANKLIN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF THE SIMS 4

By Jessica Greenfield

G

This is an Interview with Rachel Franklin, Executive Producer of The Sims 4. After finding out we were doing a Sims magazine, she quickly came to our aid and allowed us to ask her a few question at the last moment. RF: We’ve taken quite a lot

ameOn: Will there be

we’d put it, but I believe we have

a similar amount of

the right foundation. We’ve got

forward since Sims 3, but we’ve

expansions for The Sims 4 as

Sims with huge personalities, and

taken the Sims Personalities

the rest of the franchise?

that makes for amazing gameplay.

forward the most. I also think

I think our fans know that we wish

how we’ve approached Create-A-

my head down on The Sims 4 base

we could have put in Pools and

Sim and Build-Mode is improved

game and we think we’ve built a

Toddlers, but we wanted to focus

so that people can jump in more

good base foundation, so we’re

on making the gameplay and the

easily. For example, a lot of people

going to wait and see what the

Sims themselves the highest priority

were intimidated by Build Mode;

community would like us to do.

for the design, and I think that will

they wouldn’t even try to build a

Rachel Franklin: Well, I’ve had

“WE’VE TAKEN QUITE A LOT FORWARD SINCE SIMS 3, BUT WE’VE TAKEN THE SIMS PERSONALITIES FORWARD THE MOST.”

house because it was kinda scary for them. You could do some pretty cool things but just the learning curve was too high, and we want everyone to jump in and enjoy it without losing the power that our ‘Super Builders’ have. So I feel like

GO: What did you want to implement but didn’t have time/ permission/budget for? RF: There’s lots of things I wish

reflect on when you play the game. GO: Which feature do you

we’ve really done that, that you’re faster to the fun, and you don’t

feel has been developed

get punished for being creative.

most since The Sims 3?

GO: Did any issues that faced

58 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


SimCity, when it launched and

that people have asked for, and

very differently to an object they

once into its life cycle, affect the

frankly something we would

are handling than an energised

development of this game?

love to do, but it’s hard, because

Sim would. If we were to then try

we have a lot of animation thats

and re-do the animations for every

launch a game, we all take learning

dedicated to making the Sims rich

height, we would end up with,

from it. It’s important for everyone

and believable when they interact

taking into account this version

to celebrate the wins and learn

with objects and have emotionally

of game with this technology, not

from the problems, and I know that

varying, so an angry Sim will behave

have as much of a well-made

RF: I would say everytime EA

EA as a whole has done that, so it certainly makes us think “Okay, how do we make sure that when we launch that we’ve learnt from what we’ve done before and make sure we launch a perfect game”. GO: Are there any plans for multiplayer function in future versions of The Sims? RF: Sims 4 is a singleplayer game, and we have the gallery which is where our players can share Sims, rooms and homes with each other. Bringing in a Sim from your friend actually affects your gameplay and your household, so I think it will be interesting to see how our players use this and tell us what they want to do next, so anything is possible. GO: How do you take your grilled cheese sandwiches? RF: I like mine High Quality, and not spoiled. GO: Will there be a height slider, for those of us who want petite or basketball-ready Sims? RF: Heights have been something The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 59


product then what we have now.

RF: All of us that work on the

RF: The challenging bit about

game, we interactive with the

creating a Sims game is walking the

should be keeping an eye out for?

community, we call ourselves

balance, all of these different areas

Maybe the social bunny or the tragic

‘Sim Guru’s’ and the community,

that we have to balance at once,

GO: Are there any easter eggs we

clown? Go on, give us a hint.

they know our names and

so for example we want our Sims

a little bit about us and we

to be relatable, and believable, but

certainly peppered in some

we don’t want them to be realistic,

things about different Guru’s

because that would be creepy. We

throughout the game, so fans

want the player to have control,

should keep their eyes open.

but at the same time, the Sims

GO: What is the most

should be surprising you with things

challenging aspect of

they do on their own and how they

any new Sims game/

react to things, so there’s balance

expansion to develop?

there, and I think there’s a balance

60 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


between exploring the darker side

RF: I love the emotional gameplay

if you’re in a certain emotion. GO: Do you have plumbob hats

of life; things like fights and things

of The Sims 4 because it allows me

like death. But, keeping it optimistic

to make choices that I didn’t have

on the way we approach that, so

before, that are directly related to

we have things like fight clouds

the emotions, so i can take my Sim

headbands - sometimes we’ll bust

and the Grim Reaper who brings

for an Angry run on the Treadmill.

out our Plumbob headbands and

his iPad and takes your Sim away.

Rage running on a treadmill will

walk around the office, it’s true.■

GO: Which newly introduced

RF: We kinda do actually, we have

actually let you level up your skills

feature from The Sims 4 are

faster. There’s a funny one where

you most excited about?

you can ‘Pee like a Champion’

The Sims 4 Special Edition

that you wear around the office?

The GameOn Magazine // 61


E3 2014 - THE SIMS 4 PREVIEW

By Ruth Krabacher There are few series that are quite as prolific as The Sims and, in a more cynical light, quite as successful a “cash cow” series.

T

EA’s demo of the new game is led

here are few series that

own allowance)—picked because

are quite as prolific as The

it gave me all the expansion packs

by producer Ryan Vaughan, who has

Sims and, in a more cynical light,

without having to convince my

been part of the series since its very

quite as successful a “cash cow”

parents I needed The Sims: Hot

beginning and has already taken

series. And now, with a mere thirty

Date. It’s a series near and dear to

fans through a preview of its build

Sims games and expansions under

my heart, if only because it allows

mode and Create-A-Sim. Introducing

their belt, Maxis has decided to

me to indulge my micromanaging

this demo, Vaughan explains

reinvent the series for a fourth

tendencies and then set the kitchen

what’s been a sneaking suspicion

time in less than fifteen years,

on fire when I get bored. With every

of mine since those first trailers:

and introduce The Sims 4.

new generation of the game, The

the goal of Sims 4 is to return the

Sims seems to introduce a new

focus to the Sims themselves. To

Complete Edition was one of the

aspect for me to control, and it’s

this end, the studio has rebuilt

first video games I ever bought

obvious from right out of the box

most of the game’s design tools

with my own money (or well, my

that The Sims 4 is no different.

from the ground up, making

I’m relatively certain The Sims

62 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine


them more tactile and intuitive,

by a verbal label (“Very

while giving more experienced

Angry”, “Energized”,

players a wider range of options.

etc.) instead of a

As someone who downloaded so much custom content my copy of

coloured gauge. In our demo,

Sims 2 stopped working, it’s nice to

Vaughan’s

see Maxis incorporate fan feedback:

Sim had had

in Sims 4, players have a number

some unpleasant

of new options for build mode

interactions with

especially, which range from being

someone, putting

able to adjust foundation and window

him in a “very

height to being able to add pre-

angry” mood,

designed rooms to an existing house.

which allowed

And because fans will always want

him to do quite

to tweak something, adding custom

a few unique

content (user-designed mods

actions. Aside from

ranging from clothing recolors to

the usual insulting

brand new careers) is now possible

an acquaintance,

without ever leaving your game with

he could also

the addition of the gallery menu.

exercise to

Briefly hinted at in the Create-

work off steam,

A-Sim trailer, aspirations—think

performing

long-term goals for your Sims—now

“peeved push-ups”

have different “tracks” for your Sim

and “sit-ups of rage”.

to pursue, and are shaped by their

While many of the

personality. In their trend of updating

interactions we

old features, personality traits are

see may seem

now divided into three categories—

like old-hat

emotional, lifestyle and social—and

to long-time

players are limited to only three

players, Vaughan’s

for their Sims. As in previous

trip around the

generations of The Sims, personality

new neighbourhood

traits can give Sims unique actions.

Willowbrook gives us a chance

Also affecting your Sim’s behaviour

to see Sims 4’s improved open-

is their mood, which is now indicated

world gameplay, and spy a little on

The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 63


our neighbours—most of whom

kitchen to bake some cupcakes,

hands on), it appears that many of

seemed inexplicably interested

a hobby that calms him down.

the updates in The Sims 4 are of the

in kicking over trashcans. As a finale to EA’s wander through

And in true Sims fashion, he manages to set the kitchen on

“IT’S NICE TO SEE MAXIS LISTEN TO FAN FEEDBACK AND INCORPORATE IT”

more subtle variety, tweaking and improving on pre-existing aspects of the games. Many are subtle enough that I’m not sure I would have ever noticed them had they not been pointed out to me. It’s nice, however, to see Maxis listen to fan feedback and incorporate it into

The Sims 4, Vaughan’s Sim and his

fire and soils himself out of

roommate decide to throw a house

fear, much to the delight

their reboot of the

party, and after a brief tour of the

of Vaughan’s Sim, who

much beloved-series.

game’s Build Mode, their soiree is in

then promptly

full swing, including a star-studded

dies of laughter—

have to wait and see

guest list with the appearance

literally—thus

how much The Sims

of Chuck Norris. But it turns out

ending our demo

4 improves on their

Vaughan may have forgotten to

with a visit from that

gaming experience;

mention his plans to the house’s

most final of NPCs,

although looking at

third roommate, Kim Jong Un—

the Grim Reaper.

the series’ history,

In the end, fans will

who can be glimpsed being eaten

Aside from the

the odds are good the

by the cow plant in the E3 Sims 4

game’s new robust-

game will be a success.

trailer—who’s known for being a

looking Create-A-

bit “dictatorial” around the house.

Sim and Build Mode

Luckily, our guide quickly intervenes

(which I personally

and digital shelves

by sending Kim Jong Un to the

can’t wait to get my

September 2 for the PC.■

64 // The Sims 4 Special Edition

The Sims 4 will hit both real-world

The GameOn Magazine


The Sims 4 Special Edition

The GameOn Magazine // 65


Battlefield 4 Review

The Sims 4 will be released: nd September 2 2014 (NA) th September 4 2014 (EU) th September 4 2014 (AUS) th September 5 2014 (UK) on Origin, digital stores, and in shops. Issue 50 • December 2013

66 • GameOn Magazine

GameOn: The Sims 4 Special Edition  
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