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Players can interact with every building and amenity in a city. Although players are unable to see inside of certain commercial buildings often called rabbitholes grocery, bookstore, theater, police station, school, etc. The player has complete control in some other commercial buildings — such as the gym, library and the beach house. All occupied residential buildings can be entered in the same manner as a Sims' home, provided that the buildings are not empty or it is not too late at night. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox version of the game does not have a seamless open world, and gameplay is interrupted by loading screens when players travel to different parts of the world, but when going to work, the player can choose to stay at home to not have to load a new area.

The build and buy modes have received their own makeover. The square tile outlines that appeared on the ground in previous Sims games' build and buy modes are now a quarter of their original size to give the player more liberty to place objects where they want. Alternatively, it is possible to place objects freely without square tiles, an option that was missing in previous Sims games. Players can re-color and re-pattern the furniture and other items to specific shades and patterns with the new Create-a-Style and make houses with five levels basements of up to four floors deep.


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Build mode is one of three modes in The Sims 3. It is used mainly for construction and architectural work. Some items that would be considered to be in build mode, such as counters and lights, are actually in the buy mode section. Walls and foundations cannot be placed within one tile of the outer limit of the lot. Fences can be placed all the way up to the edge of the lot and all structures built by the players are limited to five above-ground stories as well as four basement levels.

Buildings can be modified to appear to be taller than five stories, either using shells introduced in Late Night or by use of the constrainfloorelevation false cheat, which disables the requirement for above-ground floors to be uniform in height and level. There will, however, still be only a maximum of five usable above-ground floors.

The height of a section of wall is equal to the length of 3-floor squares. It is possible that the length of a game tile is 1 meter, and that the height of a section of wall would then be 3 meters. In some situations, Build mode, as well as Buy mode, may become disabled, such as during a fire, burglary, or other major event.

This is done to prevent modifications to the lot that may impact or prevent a game event from occurring. After the event has ended, Build and Buy modes will be re-activated. This feature has been an annoyance to many players and is disabled in many mods. Depreciation of objects is visible in The Sims 3. This adds realism to the game and gives the player limited tries at building before the costs of building use up too much of the funds intended for furnishing and living expenses.


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  7. When in build mode, players can return items for full value by using the undo tool. In Buy mode, the player may purchase items from the catalog, sell objects that are on the current lot, and arrange objects on the current lot. Construction-related elements such as doors, windows, fences, and stairs are not associated with buy mode, but are in build mode. The descriptions of many of the objects available for purchase in the game namely the least expensive ones involve humor, sarcasm, insults towards the player, and wit, and serves as comic relief in the game.

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    For example, one of the cheapest cars available in The Sims 3, the "Big Lemon", notes that although the car's doors are jammed and its ignition is faulty, it is still worth buying. Another example is the outdoor entertainment item "Foot-and-Hand Ball" used to train the athletic skill, which references and pokes fun at American football, which, despite its name, rarely involves contact with the ball via the feet. A feature that was introduced in The Sims 2 and stays present currently is the eyedropper tool. When the eyedropper tool is pointed at a wall covering, floor covering, or most objects, will show the name of what it's pointed at.

    Clicking on a wall or floor covering will switch to the appropriate area of build mode and select that covering so it can be applied. Clicking on an object will make an exact duplicate of it, and will focus the catalog on that object. Certain opportunities may make an object available in the Family Inventory.

    When a Sim family moves, if "pack furniture" is selected, all objects in the household will be placed in the Family inventory, to be moved and rearranged in the new house. Introduced in patch 42, blueprint mode a subset of the build mode , allows players to choose from pre-made rooms.

    A player can place down blueprints anywhere furniture can go, and after "realizing" them, have the blueprints automatically laid out. On October 29, , Electronic Arts announced "Create a World" CAW , which is a game world editor that allows players to create their own custom cities from scratch for use within the game. Players can customize lots, choose terrain patterns and add roads, vegetation and neighborhood accents such as water towers and lighthouses.

    Users can upload their worlds to The Sims 3 Exchange for download by other players. The editor tool is offered to players as a separate download MB , and was released on December 16, as a beta version. EA will offer technical support and updates. Players are able to share their neighborhoods as with other content. Electronic Arts first announced The Sims 3 on March 19, On January 15, , EA invited "some of the best" custom content creators to their campus at Redwood Shores where they were hosting a Creator's Camp.

    Creators have been invited to spend the week exploring and creating content like Sims, houses and customized content. The Creators' work was used to pre-populate The Sims 3 Exchange. When opened, the family gets a computer with The Sims 3 on it. The Sims 3 game cannot be bought in the catalog. Sims can then play The Sims 3 on their computers or console systems. Like all the other games that Sims can play in The Sims 2 , The Sims 3 is a looping gameplay video shown on the player's Sim's computer screens when played by a Sim.

    On July 15, the first video preview of The Sims 3 appeared on the official website as did seven new screenshots and five Create-A-Sim screens. Four screenshots that appeared on the website and were then taken down soon after, leaked onto the Internet by a member of the community. Copies of the video game Spore also came packaged with fliers advertising the game, with information stating whole-neighborhood accessibility and endless possibilities on character creation.

    On October 31, , two teaser trailers were released by Electronic Arts featuring a comical view on the presidential election in the United States. In the eighth expansion pack of The Sims 2 , The Sims 2: Apartment Life , new objects were added including logo posters and framed screenshots. The game was shipped with a code and an Internet address, where the player could download clothing with The Sims 3 logo on it.

    Another developer walk through was released on November 6, , featuring in-depth previews of the neighborhood and Create-A-Sim. On May 8, , EA announced that The Sims 3 had gone gold meaning that the game had finished beta testing stage and was off for manufacturing ahead of its June release. On May 15, EA released some online interactive teaser experiences on The Sims 3 Website, including 'SimFriend', which allows users to choose a virtual Sim Friend who would email them throughout the day.

    Two weeks before the game was scheduled to be released, an unauthorized copy of the digital distribution version of the game leaked onto the Internet. EA claims that more than half of the game is missing and is susceptible to crashes or worse. The development team was faced with bringing the game to life and pleasing the community of players who were familiar with the original Sims games and wanted something fresh.

    In order to get the community involved and bring life into a programmed world they relied on user feedback and inspiration from the real world to harness into a digital space. This use of real world influence can be seen in the World Adventures where they have three worlds each world represents China, Egypt, and Paris and the Katy Perry branded expansion and stuff packs which feature Katy Perry in Sims form and an array of different items themed to candy and food.

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    The Sims team also brought in music artists to perform some of their songs in the language of Sims, Simlish. The stories that the developers intertwine in the Sims 3, that the players then interact with, is what also makes the Sims feel more like a simulation of life.

    The developers understand that "one of the coolest things about the Sims 3 is that my story is part of a bigger story, the neighborhood is growing and changing around me and my characters and the story I'm telling is affected by that These stories create immersion in the game for the players and those who play the game can start sharing some of their funny experiences in the game with people in the real world; thus bringing in players who have never even considered playing video games before.

    Each character in the game that was specifically created by the developers have their own life story, wishes, dreams, and personalities. The developers spend a lot of time trying to get the world to feel seamless and the characters to feel real [25] but they do not forget about the Sims and homes they populate the game with before release. One of the most well known and even infamous families in The Sims 3 would be The Goths, who have been written into the game's lore since the beginning of The Sims in The players have fallen in love with the mystery and lore of the Goth family and many people have taken it into their own hands to speculate on what really happened to the family.

    The developers want the players to be able to take the game and make their own individual worlds, characters and stories. In April , Electronic Arts began to post billboards in many areas in advertisement for the game.

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    Many of the billboards covered skyscrapers in densely populated areas, most notably Times Square in New York City. This marketing campaign proved successful, as The Sims 3 sold 1. On screen, the episode opens in an idealized Sims version of One Tree Hill and then transitions into the real Tree Hill.

    The Sims 3 versions of the characters are available for download via CW 's official website. There is no actual gameplay involved, but it describes what playing feels like. On October 27, , the download was updated to include the Fiesta Hatchback. Music for The Sims 3 was composed by Steve Jablonsky. Additional music was produced by APM Music. The soundtrack includes theme music and the Stereo Jams album includes music from stereos in game. All songs on Stereo Jams are in Simlish. Some of EA's other PC titles from the same time period, such as Spore and Dead Space , used a SecuROM copy restriction scheme that requires online and offline authentication and limits the number of times a user can install the game to five.

    While it was speculated that The Sims 3 would use the same system, on March 26, , executive producer Rod Humble revealed that The Sims 3 uses traditional disk-based copy protection as Sims 2 did and does not require online authentication to install. A product key is also required. However, SecuROM based restriction is still present within the digital version of the title, limiting users to a total of 5 authorizations for 5 different machines via online activation, each of which can be de-authorized online at any time. A legitimate serial key is required to download custom objects and Sims from the official website.

    This includes custom designs created by other Sims 3 players as well as additional content from EA. John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts, said "In the case of [ The Sims 3 ], we're moving this title to June 2 to give us additional time to build the worldwide marketing campaign a title like this deserves". The Sims 3 June launch gives more time for tuning and polish and the ability to launch the game on PC and Mac platforms simultaneously.


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    These last few months will give us a little more time to tune, tweak, and polish the game. Our players have been waiting for something awesome and that's exactly what we intend to give them. EA Singapore launched The Sims 3 with a large launch party [37] which was held on June 2, at the new shopping mall Iluma in Singapore. At the event, The Sims 3 T-shirts were available for purchase. In Sydney, Australia on June 4, a fashion event to show off the freedom and self-expression in The Sims 3 was held by Electronic Arts Australia, and included a performance by Jessica Mauboy.

    The game was released as both a standard edition and a Collector's Edition. Both the collector's edition and the standard edition of the game comes with a coupon for Sim Points to spend at The Sims 3 Store.