I've been playing with my Sims. Even after days of working on the game I always enjoyed playing with my own Sims. If we were doing a lot of overtime I usually didn't play much but most of the time I played on weekend mornings.
I still play Sims 2. I have a lot of investment in what I've been doing with my community and, although I love a lot of things about Sims 3, the game play changed in ways that I don't love. It's still the Sims. It's still fun in many of the same ways.
I learned a lot about gaming and gamers while I worked at EA. I learned about play style. There was one woman who played as much if not more than I did but played in a different way. I'm always telling a story with my game. The story happens in my head. The plot is a bit weak but the story is always in my head. She was more about setting a goal and accomplishing it. I micro manage my Sims trying to keep their moods met and their aspirations being filled. I would look over at her screen and her Sims would be starving and exhausted because she was pushing them to plant some amount of tomatoes, or something.
I started a community with thirteen families and thirteen romance Sims. I started them in college so they had time to develop relationships and build some skills. College is the only Sims game I really don't enjoy. It just takes too long. But I like having double want clicks. They all graduated and had babies and I paired up those kids. Those kids graduated and had kids. My big game goal is to have all of my original Sims become ghosts, their kid's kids begin to graduate and they become elders. I'm very close to that now. One of my Romance Sims died.
If you don't play the game or ignore the aspirations and needs then none of this will make any sense but this Sim's death demonstrates one of the reasons I love the game. I have my story but the game shapes it in many ways. Things that happen in one Sim house impact Sims in other houses. When this Sim died one of her grandchildren in another house went into aspiration failure. I didn't realize that and I played the kid into college. When she arrived at college she fell on the ground and the aspiration failure animation played. It's very cute. There's a goofy psychiatrist who drops from the sky and helps the Sim pull it together. So she gets out of the taxi with her three new school mates has the big break down, they look at her like she's crazy. It's the kind of thing I try not to let happen. I like happy Sims. But it was really cute and funny. And it adds a whole dynamic to my background story. If the game holds together I could imagine playing for a long time.
I never understand why some Sim families are just more fun than others. It's really the same game play. There are slight differences in aspirations but it's pretty much all the same. But I am so charmed by some of my Sims. I find myself smiling the whole time I'm playing. And some of my Sims annoy me. It's very odd.
I don't really know gamers outside of EA. And no one there really got into my stories. They all thought I was kind of weird. There was one time at EA when I was able to show a producer my home game. He got excited and called other producers to see it. That was fun.
I wished the producers would listen to me more. I never really felt as valued as everyone told me I was. And how valuable could I have been? I did make it through the first two lay offs last year. Sigh. So here I am comforting myself with my dolls.