The Sims 3 Pets producer Ryan Vaughan talks horses (again)

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Here at Capsule Computers we were lucky enough to shoot off some questions to Sims 3 Pets Producer, Ryan Vaughan who took time out of his schedule of making awesome, addictive games to answer questions about horses, his opinion, and what we can expect in the very soon to be released Sims 3 Pets.

1. Were you one of those kids that wanted to have a horse?

I’ve always loved horses, but never really had space to have one of my own growing up. But, I do have family in Iowa and they owed horses. Every time we’d go back to see them I’d get a chance to go for a ride on a horse and that was always the highlight of my trip. My cousins would show me how to ride properly. It was a blast!

2. Speaking as one of those kids who wanted to have a horse, will you need to have a large lot size to own a horse? Or will those smaller family homes be able to own a horse as well?

Luckily for your Sims, the size of your lot will not prevent you from having a horse. It’s important to make sure you have enough room to place a Box Stall so you can properly care for them, but horses don’t need to be on your lot to fulfill their exercise motive. Running throughout the world or even practicing their racing or jumping skills at the new equestrian training venue will make them quite happy.


3. On the same note, will the horses be as expensive to upkeep as they are in reality?

Making sure your horses are well fed and taken care of is important, and it will come at a cost to you, but it certainly won’t prevent anyone from owning a horse that really wants one. Also, owning a horse can be very financially lucrative to you. It can even offset the cost of caring for a horse! Winning equestrian competitions or even using Box Stall fertilizer on your garden to grow high-quality produce can generate many Simoleons for your household.

4. Do you have your own horse prototype that you worked with in development that you’re attached to?

I worked a lot with a horse I created in-game that I named Firecracker. She was an Appaloosa that just loved to run and race. I was quite sad one day when we updated our development build and I lost my save games, but it was a great chance to start over and dive in to the really powerful tools in Create a Pet to try to rebuild her.

5. Do you think horses are the superior pet? Why or why not? (It’s okay, you can be honest)

The great thing about pets is that everyone has their favorite kind, and they always seem to really, really love that pet. Horses are a great addition to The Sims 3 and provide a lot of really cool new ways to play the game. I personally like to consider myself a dog person at heart and would have a hard time saying that horses are better! Cats, dogs and horses all provide really unique and fun new experiences for players, and it’s really up to your personal preference as to which you think is more fun to play with.

6. What was the thought behind bringing horses to The Sims? Was it simply the fans demand or was there another deciding factor?

We brought horses to The Sims 3 Pets for a few different reasons, and one of them was certainly because we knew players wanted them. They’ve been asking for them since The Sims! We also wanted to add a pet that would work well with The Sims 3’s huge open worlds, and what better animal than one which loves to run?

7. So, Unicorns. Awesome. Did you guys decide to add them in after having the design down for horses and decided to take it to the next step?

Horses in The Sims 3 Pets are a feature that has never been done before – in any Sims game ever – and we wanted to make sure players got the most out of them. When we started designing what the occult creature would be, we thought unicorns would be a great extension of horses, and it fit in well with the overall focus of the expansion pack. But make no mistake, unicorns are not horses! With a lot of really cool magical features – like the ability to spontaneously ignite random objects – they’re tons of fun to play with. That is, if you get lucky enough to catch one!

8. Is there a limit of unicorns per map? Or do they procreate somewhere over the rainbow and continue to appear at random?

There’s no limit to how many appear, and it will be different every time you play. But, if you get lucky enough to convince a unicorn to join your household, you can try and breed one with a horse with the chance of creating a baby unicorn!

9. Were there any points in development when you cursed the entire concept and wanted to scratch horses off the list of pets entirely?

Not really, but there were tons of times when they looked and behaved so funny that we wondered if we’d ever be able to get them working correctly! Luckily we did, and they’re really a lot of fun to play with.

10. Is there any possibility of horses falling in love and having families? Or are they mysteriously asexual with foals appearing when wanted?

As with cats and dogs, you can breed your horses to create foals. So yes, they can definitely fall in love and have families. Breeding can actually be quite fun too, as the game uses the same The Sims 3 genetics technology to pick specific traits from the mother and father to create a whole new breed.


11. Do the horses ever come down with an illness that will lead to a depressing visit to the vet and possible loss of a horse?

They’ll never get really sick, but make sure to keep their box stalls clean! They don’t appreciate stinky surroundings.

12. Are there any career paths related to horses?

There are no formal jobs or careers for horses, but there are the brand new racing and jumping skills for horses and the riding skill for Sims. The higher you build the three of these skills, the better you’ll do when competing in equestrian competitions at the brand new Equestrian Center which can earn you a lot of money!


13. Do you think that the horses will render cars useless in The Sims 3 Pets because you can’t create cars with personalities and they just aren’t as cute?

Horses are fun to ride and are indeed a great form of transportation, but cars are still useful when you need to transport toddlers or other small pets.

So there you have it folks. A day away from release and I feel like it’s still too far away. Thank you again to Ryan Vaughan, it was fun to pick your brain and fuel the fire to my own Sims mania. I mean, baby unicorns? Come on, how freaking awesome is that?

The Sims 3 Pets comes out on PC/Mac, Xbox 360, PS3 and 3DS on October 20. We’ll also have a review on the game after it comes out, so keep an eye out!

BRB, playing games.

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