March 2010

Sims 3 Tech Support: How To Back Up Sims 3 Files

Back when I was playing The Sims (the first one), it never occurred to me to see if there was a way to back up my files.  If I encountered a major problem with the game, I had to try and work around it as best I could.  If I couldn't work around it, then I had to completely uninstall and reinstall the game.

The third time I did this was the last time I played The Sims.  Every time you uninstall the game, you lose all of your gameplay history.  I had a Sim (Bob Newbie) who was over 100 days old, which was a lot back then.  And when I reinstalled the game, he was right back to being 1 day old!  I couldn't take it, and I quit playing.

Don't let this happen to you!

Why Can't My Sims Get Married?

I have heard this complaint a lot, both in person and online.  "My Sims won't marry!"  Marriage used to be such a straightforward business in The Sims 1 and The Sims 2!  Not only is it more difficult for a Sim to get married, with more factors affecting the proposal, but there are also some known bugs in the game which prevent the marriage options from showing up.

Answer 1: S/He's Just Not That Into You

Time was, the marriage and relationship options would just appear on the Romantic conversational menu after your relationship score was high enough (and it had a romantic component).  This is no longer the case!  In order to get there in Sims 3, you have to do what people are calling "spamming with romance."

Sims 3 World Adventures: Photography Skill

One of the many nifty things that comes with the World Adventures expansion pack is the new Photography skill.  You can buy a cheap Instamatic-style camera in all three worlds, but you can only buy the nice cameras in Egypt.  (Not sure why the nice cameras are only sold in Egypt - is Egypt some kind of bastion of photographic electronics?)  As long as you're in Egypt, be sure to pick up the Photography skill book, which is only sold in the Al Simhara book store.

The cheap cameras will get your Sim started building their skills, but the pictures they take are… pretty terrible.  Which is fine at first, because your Sim's early pictures are going to be bad no matter what!  The Photography skill is a lot like Painting that way.  

Music In The Sims 3

I was recently playing along, minding my own business, when one of my Sims switched their radio to the Pop channel.  I was quite startled to hear a song that I recognized (I liked it enough that I had purchased it on iTunes the week before) but in Simlish, of course!

Ever since the early days, The Sims franchise has gone the extra mile with the music on the available in-game radio stations.  EA tapped some impressive name-brand recording artists to record versions of their songs in Simlish for The Sims 3.  Even more "real" songs were added with the World Adventures expansion pack.

World Adventures is where Esmee Denters' version of "Outta Here" in Simlish came from.  If you listen closely, you may also hear chart topping songs by:

Get Your Sims In Shape!

One thing that many people are finding frustrating about The Sims 3 is that it's surprisingly difficult to change your Sim's body shape.  Sims can now get fat - quite fat, actually! - but it takes a LOT of over-eating to get them there.  And once they are overweight, it takes a LOT of exercise to get the pounds off.  

One of those things is true to real life, and the other is not.  I leave it as an exercise for the reader to decide which is which.

If you want to make your Sim fat, that's easy!  Keep making them eat, even (especially!) when their Hunger bar is not empty.  And don't let them exercise.  The "Couch Potato" trait is a good one for this project!

You have a surprising number of exercise options, several of which are new for Sims 3.  As in Sims 2, your Sim can:

Ambitions: A Closer Look

EA has announced the new expansion pack, and Simmers are getting REALLY excited about it!  (Myself included!)  Called "Ambitions," this expansion pack promises to let you "control your Sim's actions and interactions while they're on the job"; introduces new career tracks like Firefighter, Ghost Hunter, and more; apparently gives you more career track choices; and introduces new skills including tattooing, inventing, and sculpting.