Get cuddly with Pets in The Sims Social [Exclusive Interview]

The Sims Social Pets
The Sims Social Pets

The Sims Social is a cool Facebook game in its own right. But sometimes it feels like it's missing something. It's not ... cute enough, it needs more ... cuddliness. What do you know, EA and Playfish are here to fulfill that wonderful set up with just that. A feature that has been a staple in The Sims franchise is finally headed to The Sims Social: Pets.

Yes, The Sims Social is about to see an increase in cute by about 5,000 percent with this new feature. To find out what Pets are all about, we caught up with Playfish designer Emily Newton Dunn and product manager Ian Griffiths. Here's the skinny on what Pets will bring to your home in Littlehaven in an exclusive interview:
Features like Vacation Homes and Careers changed players' routines dramatically in The Sims Social. How will Pets do the same?

Introducing Pets into The Sims Social universe is something we've been looking to do for quite some time. It's something our community has been asking for and it truly felt like a natural progression for your Sim. By introducing Pets we hope to expand our players' routines and provide a deeper more enjoyable experience. Learning to adapt your play-style to take into account these little fur balls will be half the fun.

The Sims Social Pets screens
The Sims Social Pets screens

Will fellow players be able to see and interact with their friends' pets while visiting?

Absolutely. We believe firmly in sharing experiences with your friends in The Sims Social. This means you'll be able to visit your friends and see if they are a cat or a dog lover (I'm a cat lover, for the record.) or perhaps both! Playing with your friends' pets, getting to know their individual personalities and seeing the tricks they've been taught first hand is an integral part of the experience.

Available at launch there will be eight unique pets with eight unique personalities, each of which can be fully customized however you choose (name, breed, color and even accessories). We feel there's never been a better time to visit your friends and meet their new pets.

Aside from bragging rights and a cute critter to play with, what benefit will Pets bring to players to help them advance in the game?

We've designed pets to naturally integrate into your Sim's lifestyle and aid them as such. Pet houses will give additional house value whilst training and playing with your pet will help them gain experience. As your pet gains more and more experience they will obtain 'Pet Stars' which will help unlock exciting new pets (with unique personalities and new tricks) and exclusive items. Once your pet has obtain four 'Pet Stars' they will unlock a special accessory to help them stand out in a crowd.

The Sims Social Pets interview
The Sims Social Pets interview

Is there interest in introducing new pet species down the road? If so, which ones would be interested in seeing?

We'd like to leave the choice of "what pets come next?" to our community. We're always looking for ways to integrate their feedback and this seems like the perfect opportunity to allow them to have the choice of what pets they would like to see in The Sims Social.

Do you see Pets as a way to lure relapsed players back into The Sims Social, or is this more meant for the current fans?

All in all, we're really happy with how Pets has turned out, everyone on the team loves playing with their pet and showing off new tricks. I can say that we as a team loved making this feature and we hope the players love it too. If it brings back lapsed players, then so much the better, as we feel pets should be enjoyed by all.

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