ConsoleGold Interviews Designer Mike Perry about The Sims Bustin' Out

Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 22:00

“The Sims Bustin' Out provides a new Sims experience on the console. Console players will want to experience the wacky and irreverent humor of The Sims. It is irresistible and a ton of fun to play through the various careers, locations, and unlock the unique content.”

Read the interview.

The Sims Bustin' Out Q&A

We recently got to sit down with Mike Perry, Design Director for The Sims: Bustin' Out, a new multiplatform Sims game coming before the end of the year.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself...
I joined Maxis back in 1992, when I produced and designed SimFarm on the PC. Since then, I've been lucky enough to work on a number of Maxis games, including SimCity, SimTower, and The Sims Exchange on I was the game designer on the first The Sims on console, which launched earlier this year. Currently, I'm the design director for the Maxis console team, where I get to work with a hugely talented team that has a lot of great game design ideas for The Sims Bustin' Out.

Q: What's the difference between The Sims and The Sims Bustin' Out on the consoles?
The Sims Bustin' Out is a whole new version of The Sims on the console. In The Sims Bustin' Out, your Sims can unlock vehicles that, for the first time, will allow them to bust out of the house visit all new locations and meet all new characters, like Bing Bling at Club Rubb, Vaughn Braun at Shiny Things Lab, and Goldie Toane at Toane's Gym. Every new location is an entire gameplay level, with new goals and new unlockable rewards. We've also rebuilt the graphics engine from the ground up to show new lighting effects, new particle effects, closer zooms, and higher resolution Sims.

Q: Will anyone who has The Sims already get any other benefits from Bustin' Out?
The core gameplay of The Sims, taking care of your Sims' needs, feeding them, entertaining them, and getting them to the toilet on time, is as good as it has always been in The Sims Bustin' Out. We also offer level-based gameplay, two-player and unlockable social interactions and objects to give new gameplay to Sims fans and console gamers. So, players who have played the original version of The Sims on the console will feel right at home.

Q: What was the largest transition of the game from the PC to consoles?
When we decided to bring The Sims to the console, our number one priority was to make it much more than just a port of the PC version. To make The Sims a true console gaming experience, we added levels to the game, each with a set of unlockable objects. Adding this console-style gameplay to The Sims meant that for the first time, you could actually win the game. That was a big transition for us, and is something that we've greatly expanded in The Sims Bustin' Out.

Q: How did you decide to invent the sim language (simlish) that is used in the game?
Will Wright created Simlish with the original The Sims on PC in 2000. In The Sims Bustin' Out, we have over 1000 totally new lines of Simlish, all new music, and special new ambient sound effects for each location, like howling coyotes at Dudley's desert trailer, thunderclaps at the haunted Goth Manor, and crashing waves on the shores of Casa Caliente.

Q: Will the different consoles have different features, if so, what are they?
For the PS2 version, your Sims will be able for the first time, to enjoy weekends with no work and all fun by going online. You can invite another player over to check out your customized locations, trade objects, build skills, and exchange tips for getting through the game.
The Xbox version will feature high resolution widescreen support and high-res textures. The graphics of the game are spectacular on the Xbox due to it's native capabilities.
The GameCube version will feature GBA compatibility, and we are placing a lot of effort and development resources behind this. Additional details are explained in the next answer.

Q: I've heard you can use your GBA with The Sims Bustin' Out…how will your GBA Sim interact with your GameCube Sim?
In addition to the GameCube version of The Sims Bustin' Out, we are making a totally new version of The Sims Bustin' Out for the GameBoy Advance. Players can connect these two versions together to unlock a new mini-game cabinet in buy mode on the GameCube. When your Sim uses the mini-game cabinet, you can play 8 different mini-games on the GBA. The mini-games let you earn simoleons that you can bring back to the GameCube! In addition to the unlockable Arcade Cabinet, you can also download your Sim from the GameCube to the GBA and play in the new GBA world.

Q: The Sims seems to be well rooted in 'collecting stuff'. What new stuff can we expect to collect?
We have over a hundred new objects in the game that can be unlocked at over a dozen new locations. Lots of these new objects have cool new effects, like a Tesla Coil that creates Lightning Balls, a High Dive that lets your Sim do a Triple Flip, and a Dance Floor with Strobe Lights.

Q: French Kiss, Towel Snap, and Moon Walk? Tell us about some of these new social moves...
We have lots of new unlockable social moves in The Sims Bustin' Out, like Moonwalk, Hypnotize, and Do Magic Trick. Every character that you meet has a special social move that can be unlocked when you make friends with them. But watch out: Dudley Landgrabb might use Pull My Finger social on your Sim.

Q: I've heard there are some multiplayer aspects to this title... how does that work?
In the original version of The Sims for the console, the level-based game was a single-player experience with unlocked two-player mode. In The Sims Bustin' Out, two players can play the game together in split-screen, and help each other unlock new items. Players can even trade unlockables, and take them home on a memory card.

Q: What should someone who has never played any of the Sims games expect from Bustin' Out? Why should this person pick up the game?
The Sims Bustin' Out provides a new Sims experience on the console. Console players will want to experience the wacky and irreverent humor of The Sims. It is irresistible and a ton of fun to play through the various careers, locations, and unlock the unique content.

Console Gold thanks you for your time... we look forward to the game!

Loren Halek
Lead Reviewer, Console Gold


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