'Sims 4: Get Famous' Lead Producer Talks Side Sims and Reputation

Sims 4: Get Famous is the game's sixth expansion pack, and it's all about living the life of a celebrity. The DLC, which arrives Nov. 16, brings a new acting career, a fame/reputation system and a brand new world to the game. Last week, Get Famous Lead Producer David Miotke walked us through creating our own famous person. During the demo, we learned about the risks of hiding a side Sim, the details behind fame's career integration and the surprises hidden in the new reputation system.

The fame/reputation system

"It's a very open-ended progression system with reward and pushback structure," Miotke said. "What was really important to us is anything that's already in the game now, you should be able to gain fame on that."

This means that writing books, painting masterpieces, and certain careers (like astronaut) will allow you to build fame. Other careers may give you opportunities for fame at the expense of something else. According to Miotke, nearly "300 interactions" tie into fame. "It's a system that will have a high value for a long period of time," he said.

Self-absorbed is the new fame-driven personality trait, and there's two new aspirations: master actor and famous celebrity. Don't want to be famous? Fear not, you can opt in or out of the fame game so your Sim won't be affected by reputation and fame.

sims 4 get famous celebrity
'Sims 4: Get Famous' arrives Nov. 16. EA

Staying in will bring fans, stans and paparazzi. Your Sim will be asked for autographs and pictures. Various perks and quirks may make handling these situations easier or more difficult. You can pay them off, bribe them, fight them — same goes for the bouncers. VIP ropes decide what level of celebrities are allowed at certain venues.

The fame system ties into reputation. "Think of fame as how recognizable you are. Reputation is how do they feel about you," Miotke explained. "There is a lot of variability between famous Sims."

That variability exposes itself via perks and quirks. As you become famous, your life will change. Sometimes those changes are good, and sometimes they're not...for example, you might not want someone to touch you anymore. You may get addicted to your phone and become a "phone fanatic." Perhaps you'll become obsessed with juicing...so react to your fame wisely, for the sake of your reputation.

sims 4 get famous
'Sims 4: Get Famous' arrives Nov. 16. EA

"I think versus the past way that the Sims has dealt with fame — you'd have a five star celebrity and every five star celebrity would essentially act and feel the same — this is all about how you mix and match these perks and quirks. It's close to Vampires," Miotke said. "There's a million types of vampires, how can you make the one that fits for you? Just like real life there is a huge variance of celebrity, what makes them famous or infamous."

Fame and reputation is tracked in the Simology tab, but the reputation progression system is far more obscure than fame. That's the point, according to Miotke. "We didn't make a morality feature. We aren't saying certain interactions are good or bad. What we are saying is how others Sims perceive those actions affect [reputation]."

The best example Miotke gave was case of a celebrity cheating. "I'm a famous celebrity, married, and I have a side Sim. If, I'm making out with them at home and nobody was around, it's like it didn't even happen. But if I'm on the street and someone saw me, my reputation would be hit. If I'm fighting bouncers or paparazzi, I'm going to get a hit with that."

sims 4 get famous
'Sims 4: Get Famous' arrives Nov. 16. EA

Perks and quirks come into play as your reputation increases or decreases, but players will have no control over the quirks. "You don't choose which quirk you want. With Vampires, you could choose which weakness. There are secret triggers under the hood that if you do them enough times in a short period of time, you will get that quirk pushed on you," Miotke explained.

Remember, bad reputation doesn't necessarily have a negative impact on fame. You can still get fame from mischief (be that jerky youtuber), play the villain by being mean to get fame and star celebrity feuds. But anything that plays into the reputation track could have those unexpected downsides by way of quirks.

"The best way to solve all this stuff is to go to the computer and book a celebrity cleanse," Miotke said. "You'll be okay. I will say there is gameplay to get a quirk off you, but we don't call out anything in regards to quirks and reputation. It's up to you to figure out what is happening."

Career

Get Famous comes with the acting career. It's an active, 10 level career that Miotke categorizes as an "agent based career" because it operates differently, outside a regular 9-5 schedule. "The high-level flow for this career is you join the acting career and get an agency. You'll get background roles and commercials, and then you'll be able to choose the gigs you'll want to go after," he said.

sims 4 get famous
'Sims 4: Get Famous' arrives Nov. 16. EA

There are about 30 gigs overall, and you'll go from background roles and commercials to TV and movies. You'll get prep tasks like running lines, meeting a co-star, working out, and auditions. If you pass, you are scheduled for the gig. You go to studio, get in costume, hair and makeup, talk with the director and complete the tasks.

All the sets and objects can be used at home, such as a wardrobe pedestal, hair and makeup station, special effects machines, green screens. (And trust me, you're going to want these sets at home; the pirate ship or apocalyptic zombie movie set will make for an incredible themed party.)

Acting is not the only career integration this pack has to offer. "A couple of stories that felt very modern and true that you couldn't tell in game, and a lot of that revolves around social media," Miotke said. That's where the media production skill comes into play.

sims 4 get famous
'Sims 4: Get Famous' arrives Nov. 16. EA

It's a five-level skill that pairs well with the Simstagram functionality. Three new objects in the pack pair with media production: the video production station, a streaming drone and the music production station. Becoming an online star means searching trends, doing product reviews, streaming videos to gain followers, and editing video. All of this contributes to the fame system. The drones come in handy to follow you around and capture footage — for example, start gardening and have the drone stream you and become the most famous YouTube gardener (lol).

As for the music production station, help your Sim create various elements of a song. Including the bass, the vocals, and use various tools to manipulate the final sound. "It's one that doesn't show off too well, so I think this is one of those features that not a lot of people are aware of right now." Once your done, burn the track and then it goes in your inventory. Release the track, send it to a label, or go to the club and bump it on the DJ booth.

New World

Del Sol Valley is modeled after Los Angeles, with three districts. In the starter area, the freeway becomes your roommate. The downtown district is in the heart of the city among the high rises, and it's also where the celebrity walk of fame is located. And once you can afford the pinnacle, you've made it as a Hollywood Hills resident. But it could take awhile… those lots are designed for mansions, so get used to living near the underpass.

sims 4 get famous
'Sims 4: Get Famous' arrives Nov. 16. EA

"When it comes to living on the outskirts of the city, because that's where housing is cheaper, you don't have the luxury of having a big space," Miotke explained. "We weren't trying to confuse or hide anything, it was really that we wanted the dense, suburban feel—the neighbors right up on you with the boat in the driveway.""

That's all the important stuff from our walkthrough with Miotke. Any thoughts? Sound off in the comments. Get Famous costs $39.99 and arrives Nov. 16.