House Party Interview

Thursday, March 8, 2001 - 22:00

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The Sims House Party Interview

With the wild success of both The Sims and the Livin' Large expansion pack, it only makes sense that Maxis continues down the same path with more variety. House Party is due for release at the end of this month, so we talked with Producer Tim LeTourneau to find out what would make this latest expansion pack expand the game's appeal even further.

Daily Radar: What is your name and title and what are you doing for this expansion?

Tim LeTourneau: Tim LeTourneau, Producer. I guess that means I'm producing it.

DR: The last expansion pack, Livin' Large, was very successful and very simple at the same time. How will House Party differ from that expansion, or will it?

TL: The beauty of The Sims is that it is completely expandable. Simply by adding new objects you can affect the way that families act and create new and interesting situations. Livin' Large added a variety of objects that resulted in unexpected and often unusual results. House Party gives you many new objects which help players socialize and entertain large groups of Sims at one time.

DR: In addition to the expected new furniture and such, what unexpected features will be included?

TL: House Party is about parties and socializing. The unexpected events are really centered around the social game and the unexpected things that can occur in a party environment - count on some very unusual social dynamics to immerge.

DR: With the concentration this time around on dancing, will the player only be able to get the Sims together and watch, or is it possible to be a DJ of sorts?

TL: One of the new objects is the DJ Booth. Along with allowing Sims to DJ and Scratch, it also contains 5 new music selections - Techno, Rap, Disco, Beach, and Country Dance. By selecting different music you can definitely change the mood on the dance floor.

DR: With all the emotional states that the Sims can go through, how will this affect party goers? Will, for example, someone that's in a bad mood crash a party?

TL: You'll have some interesting people show up at your parties. For those that show up in a bad mood, your job is to make sure don't stay that way.

DR: What sort of music will be incorporated? Is it possible for players to use their own CDs or MP3s in such a music oriented expansion pack?

TL: Well after you hear our new tunes I'll doubt you'll want to change them. I'm not just saying that because I have to, the new music is truly amazing. But yes, just like other versions of the Sims players can add their own music.

DR: Will parties be able to get out of hand? By that, I mean will the SimCops show up if the SimParty gets to SimLoud?

TL: It's definitely possible to disturb the peace.

DR: One of the main features of the original game was watching and to a degree controlling how the Sims interact with each other. A party, though, can easily have a lot more than just 2-3 Sims interacting at a time. How has this been streamlined for handling dozens of Sims at once, if at all?

TL: As I said, House Party is really centered around the idea of socializing. In the original version, the Hot Tub was one of the only objects that allowed 4 Sims to interact together in the same activity. With House Party, you can have up to 8 Sims sitting around the campfire together, singing and telling stories. Play Charades and everyone there can join in.

DR: It's clear that parties can be themed -- for disco or country music, for example -- but once the party is going, is it possible to make scenarios where one Sim is a better dancer than anyone else? By that, I mean can someone's career now be a professional dancer? Will that Sim get special treatment at a party?

TL: Skills will definitely play a part in how effective certain Sims are at certain activities. Let's just say it pays to work out before you climb in the Dance Cage for example.

DR: Is there anything else we can expect from the expansion?

TL: You can expect a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. I haven't shown the game to one person who wasn't smiling and didn't bust out laughing multiple times during the demo. I think players will also be blown away by the quality of the art and the cool new items available to build their homes - I have a feeling bamboo is going to be very big this spring.

- Kevin Rice

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