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Interview with My Sims Lead Designer:

 

This is the original English version of the interview that Robin Hunicke, MySims' Lead Designer, offered to Revogamers at the game’s official presentation in Spain.

 

Revogamers: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us about your role in the project?

 

Robin Hunicke: My name is Robin Hunicke and I’m the Lead Designer of MySims for the Nintendo Wii.

 

RG: We have to create a place where people want to live, to build houses, the furniture, then we have to make people happy... is this Sims more social or is it still all about getting things and self-interests?

 

RH: I think that MySims is a chance for us to explore some different gameplay than the other Sims games that we have got in the past and in some ways, yeah, it is a more social game. It’s about giving, and the more you give away, the more you get. So it’s a virtuous circle in that… there’s no money and you can recycle everything in the game so if I find a couch that someone doesn’t want and it has plum blossoms on it, I can take those plum blossoms and put them on something else, and give them to someone who it maybe appreciate it some more or keep them for myself, if I want. So you can still have objectives: to collect objects, get costumes, mix them, and explore, but you can also see what is like to build the community and support that community in the way that you like.

 

RG: The Sims has always been a franchise aimed at all audiences. Do you think MySims let’s say “chibified†style will change that? How?

 

RH: I would hope not. I think that if you look at the way The Sims have been received in the past, the core value of the franchise is that it’s about people and MySims are still people; they still have funny behaviors, you know, they do things, they can be mean to each other, they can have fights, and they can also express themselves in the same kind of ways that the regular PC Sims had in the past. So I would hope that because they can stand next to Mario, they appeal to the same kind of players that Mario appeals to, which should be: everyone.

 

RG: Could it work on the other platforms?

 

RH: I would hope so. Just because they look familiar with the Nintendo Universe doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t fit in other places. Nintendo games work on the DS and the Wii… I think if you could make some games for the PC with these characters it would work quite well.

 

RG: Creativity or gameplay focused?

 

RH: MySims is gameplay focused but the gameplay involves creativity. So the focus of the gameplay is to build things and to express yourself with the things that you build and the Sims that you meet and move in. And that way, hopefully we can reach many, many players because lots of different people like to build things. One of the things that makes MySims funny is that you are the designer, you are the player and you can decide what it’s like. You can be in control at the whole world and I hope that that actually appeals to a lot of different people.

 

RG: What is the main purpose and how important are the essences? / How did the idea come up?

 

RH: Essences are one of the core “currencies†of the world so there is no money but you can actually collect and harvest these essences and I hope you progress to the game. So they are very critical to the gameplay and also some essences will only be available when the Sim achieves certain tasks and so in that way they’re a little bit left away but in the gameplay so you have to work to be able to get new things. And hopefully that discovery will be fun. It is a little bit more like pay. So you have to earn your pay. And the idea actually came up in a design conversation with Charles London who is one of the Senior Designers of The Sims franchise. He designed a very interesting system that revolves around this idea of an object that can be built out of blocks and the paint palette. And he is a fantastic designer.

 

RG: Are expansions of any kind being considered for this game? Maybe online updates?

 

RH: I can´t speak about this at this time.

 

RG: Online gaming has officially taken off on the Wii. Did you start the project with any kind of online play/communication in mind?

 

RH: Online play is certainly something that has been featured that I look forward in games. One of my first favorite games was M.U.L.E. which was a multiplayer game for the Commodore 64 and why I loved it was because you could play it with other people so, most certainly online play was a big part of the original design, something that we thought about quite a bit. One of the joys of being a game designer is that you get to think about a lot of different features that you can put into the game, but not all of them always make it! So it’s been interesting to learn -for me especially as this is my first game as the Lead- things that you can think of don’t always get done. So definitely, online play would be fantastic and hopefully we will be able to deliver it in the future.

 

RG: “Small Changes, Big Resultsâ€. We’ve basically talked about those small changes. How big do you think this exclusive “result†will be for the Wii consumer?

 

RH: (laughs) The team has worked really hard to deliver a game that appeals to a broad audience that aloud people at all ages and all walks of life to express themselves and be creative and hopefully we have done our job which is to deliver this on the Wii platform so that it’s approachable and new people will try and play it. Our core experience as developers, as the team, has been that is a fun game to play and that it was fun to make and I hope that it’s just fun for the people that have the opportunity to play it on the Wii. That will be the big result. Joy goes into the game, and joy comes out.

 

RG: That’s all. Thanks a lot for your time.

 

RH: Thank you.

Source: http://revogamers.net/articulos-125-Entrevistamos-a-Robin-Hunicke,-Dise%F1adora-Jefe-de-MySims-1.html

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Cant remember if this was stated before by anyone at EA, but the line about considering online for the future is dissapointing as it surely means there will be nothing in the current version? Yet there is a NO COMMENT section on the online specific question...I'm confused. If its online I'll get this straight away. Offline I'm not so sure ~ As it probably wont last too long...Ala Animal Crossing on the GC compared with AC:WW on the DS

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I really like the look of the game. Not sure if I'll buy it, but I love the graphics.

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Cant remember if this was stated before by anyone at EA, but the line about considering online for the future is dissapointing as it surely means there will be nothing in the current version? Yet there is a NO COMMENT section on the online specific question...I'm confused.

 

No comments on online updates

No online play at the moment.

 

They seem to suggest an online update thay will add some sort of online mode.

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i878636_mysims.jpg

 

Nice one! I like it very much! Even tho i have no intrest in the game, yet.

 

Is that a zombie in the background!?!

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Good man! I seen it on GoNintendo but couldnt be bothered to post it on here, well done.

 

I quite like it and im hoping to see more of the game come E3.

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Im looking forward to it. The "complete" customisation-ness looks fun.

 

We have a running trailer thing of it at work. Didn't realise it was out so soon.

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I know people keep saying it, but i hope this is like Animal Crossing but with even more stuff to do in it!

 

Good box-art as well!

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Just read this on GoNintendo, Im well looking forward to this title.

 

I hope you Europeans are ready for a double dose of MySims action. EA has announced (as you might have caught earlier) that MySims for the Wii and DS are heading in your direction come September 20th. I really have high hopes for the Wii version. If things are handled right, it really could be a big hit all around the world. With the way EA has been treating their Wii games, I have a good feeling the title will provide a good amount of fun.

 

With this, Super Paper Mario, Halo 3 and possibly Heavenly Sword all coming out in September its going to be an expensive but great month for gaming.

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Is that a zombie in the background!?!

 

Looks a bit like Edgeworth from Phoenix wright o0

 

Nice looking Box art though,not really kept up with this though, might have to browse around

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With this, Super Paper Mario, Halo 3 and possibly Heavenly Sword all coming out in March its going to be an expensive but great month for gaming.

 

Well thats what happens when you wait to buy games five months after they come out :p

 

But yay for a date :D

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Awesome, greatly looking forward to this. The cutey japanimation style and playful customisation are a huge draw for me.

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Well thats what happens when you wait to buy games five months after they come out :p

 

But yay for a date :D

 

LMBO. I have no idea why I put March in there. I have edited now :)

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Oh cool, we finally have a date, I went on to Gamespot to check but they still have it listed as Q4. I do love the style in this game, I'll get this anyway, but here's hoping for some good reviews and something with Animal Crossing...ish feel!

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Hmmm...

 

Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it a 58%. :hmm:

 

"Barely recognizable as a "Sims" game, MySims also lacks the compelling variety and randomness of "Crossing" "

 

Let's hope the following reviews are more favourable.

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It's got a great review in ONM - 94%! Seems very generous - can it possibly be that good?

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And once again a Wii-game leaves the critics hopelessly divided. :wink:

 

It really is a Wii-trend to get so much different appreciations. Apart from the undeniably good (Zelda, Metroid, etc.) and bad (GT Pro, Farcry, etc.), a lot of Wii-games get both disgust and praise in equal measure. Mighty odd!

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"Barely recognizable as a "Sims" game

 

Now that is a VERY positive thing.

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I agree. Sims as a format was getting very tired but bringing in elements of Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon could make it very cool. I love the characters - much more fun looking and sounds like there's huge scope for design creativity. I've not read the review through yet but it reminded me of the way you build stuff in Second Life.

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This is definitely on my "intrigued" list, like Excite truck was and that turned out to be a great purchase. I hope its good and has a long play time like animal crossing did. The customisation looks its strongest feature, but i also hope there is a "game" under there too. Sims got boring as I did particularly have a goal of quests etc and there wasn't that much sense of achievement (unlike something like simcity). The addition of the essences seems like a step in the right direction, as well as directly controlling characters. Art style is great.

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