Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sims 3 Custom Content Creator's Camp: Day 2

On Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, we were back in the labs for most of the morning, then shortly after lunch, we were divided into two groups, and got to watch a voice session with Nicki Rapp. You know Nicki as the child's voice from Sims 2, and she's done voicework for MySims, as well. She is now recording for Sims 3.

I have known Nicki on myspace and we've been in touch for a little over a year, now, and so I was excited to see her in action. That voice is unmistakeable; the first time we heard her giggle into the mic, there was a collective chuckle in the room. She really talks like that! And she's as bubbly and perky as she sounds. Toward the end of the session, they asked for any volunteers to step into the booth with her and try to record something in simlish. I was surprised that Nicki was able to see me and call out "Come on, Val!", but I declined. The camera crew made me a little shy! But teasingmeat stepped forth and did a great job with her. A lot of "Bla bla bla bla..." in a man's voice, set to the animations of a child on a monitor. Pretty funny to see!

I shot a few pictures, and recorded a couple of video clips on my little Canon Powershot. Unfortunately, my memory card was full by the time teasingmeat got behind the mic, so I'm glad others were there with much more professional equipment.

The man standing in front of the glass is EA/Maxis Audio Director Robi Kauker. He gives a good history of simlish, and how the voice acting process has progressed from TS1 through TS3.

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These are the video clips I shot. They are in order, but I kept shutting the camera off, unsure of how much room was left on my card, so it's not a smooth transition from one video to the next!







This is the one you want to watch if you want to really hear Nicki in action!

Sims 3 Custom Content Creator's Camp: Day 1

I have been struggling with my internet connection trying to upload pictures and videos from the Creator's Camp today, but I have a few things to show you.

Day 1 started off with us all arriving at EA at around 8:30 am. The walk from the hotel was less than a mile. The weather was gorgeous the entire week.

We stayed at the beautiful Hotel Sofitel.

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To show how close we were, I stood on the sidewalk and took a picture of EA, which is the building across the street from where I am standing...

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And then, to my right, you can see the hotel.

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And here we are. HELLO, EA!!!

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Walking into the front lobby.

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Inside the front entrance.

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Yup, there's me.

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What a sweet place to work. There are game stations everywhere. EA, are you hiring??

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Before the demos (and before all cameras had to be shut off), we were taken on a tour of the EA campus. A film crew was with us.

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Roxanne from Simcredible:

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There's Kate from Parsimonious in the hat

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A few random shots of the campus (it's HUGE!)

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The building has a gym, a basketball court, a STARBUCKS!

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A little history of EA, showcased inside one of the buildings

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The Road Rash Ducati

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The walls of one hallway is covered in platinum game disks. This is the Sims 2 one, at 5 million sold, March 2005:

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Three of my machinima comrades, TheSidDog, Eggzie, and Decorgal, just before going in to see the demos. Not pictured: Tweety, from Poland. Oh, and me.

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Setting up for the demos, and time to turn the cameras OFF. That's Ben Bell, the Executive Producer for Sims 3, and Sim Guru Drea.

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After demos, we had lunch, then went up to the game labs to begin work. The builders and clothing designers were mostly in the "Brain Training" room, and the machinima artists and bloggers were in the next room. It was FREEZING inside. I was on a computer that was sitting between two desks, so I was straddling the legs of both, and my left foot was up against the harddrive. I had a loose cable that wouldn't let me connect, and my game wouldn't launch. I called my computer "Murphy" because everything that could go wrong did, and I got a much later start than the others!

Later that night, we all met down in the lounge at the Sofitel.

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Back from EA!




Just a quick note: I have so much to tell everyone, so many pictures, videos, the follow-up post from the trip is overwhelming! I am getting ready to do some more traveling, going out of the country on Tuesday, so I am not sure when I'll have everything together. Much of my video was done on a camcorder and the tapes need to be digitized. But I did get some great stuff from the party at the Sofitel hotel our last night there.

I've made many new friends. By the end of the week, it felt like I'd known these folks forever. So nice to meet the people whose custom content I've been using in my game and my videos for years! I have many updates to do on my site links page, now. My wallet is stuffed with business cards from around the world.

It was a great week, and a very busy week. The people at EA were right there with us the whole time, listening to our feedback, taking notes. I have a whole new respect for the people behind the game.

There is already a bunch of information out there about the event. Many sites were out there blogging throughout the event. You can see some great coverage of it on simviponline.

The entire experience was amazing. I feel so honored to have been invited to this event, and I'm looking forward to working with TS3!
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