Sul sul Simmers!
When I heard that Hollie has been creating the challenges for The Sims Spark’d I was super excited!
Some of you might know her as Holliebb () and have seen her awesome challenges before.
Today, finally, the first round of Spark’d challenges comes to the Gallery and you will be able to watch the first episode of Spark’d on TBS at 11PM PT/ET, so this seemed to be the perfect time to have a chat with her.
Now, let’s find out more about what she has been doing!
Leeloo: Hey, Hollie! Thanks so much for taking some time out to answer some of my questions on this super exciting day!
The Sims Spark’d is a new concept we haven’t seen before. So, can you tell us a bit about what you do as part of The Sims Spark’d team?
Hollie: Sure! My position is Challenge Operations Manager, which keeps me pretty busy brainstorming different challenges for our in-game challenges and challenges that would be developed for future seasons of the Spark’d TV show. It’s awesome working collaboratively with the Devs and so many other amazing people on my team. I’ll also be helping to determine our Spark’d Top Creators as I check out the amazing submissions for the challenges (that will be a tough one, I just know it!).
Most importantly I represent the players. As I work on these challenges within my team I am always thinking about the community and making sure that the decisions we make as a team are decisions that I believe in as a Simmer.L: You have a very interesting background - coming from the Sims community, having been an advocate in your position as Game Changer, and having partnered with Twitch before. How has that brought you to where you are now?
H: My Simming journey was definitely a fun and rewarding one. I had started out just wanting to share my creations with the community. I would create challenges for myself and others to participate in, and those became huge passion projects for me. I’ve always been very interested in trying to find new ways to play The Sims. I’m very lucky to continue that work, now in an official capacity with the game I love so much. It really is a huge deal for me. Sometimes I can’t believe where I’ve ended up!L: What a ride! And I’m pretty sure that some of our readers are wondering now: is there an opportunity for our passionate Sims Community members to get involved in the creation of challenges as well?
H: We’re in the process of hiring for our team and are looking in the best place we possibly can: the Simming community! The Challenge Operations team will ideally be filled with Simmers from the community itself. We believe that getting this right means working with real players, so if you’re interested in working with me you can check out our job posting .L: Okay, so what has it been like working on The Sims Spark’d?
H: To work on such an innovative project has been so rewarding. It’s very cool to work alongside the people who create my favourite game, and to be a part of a program that hasn’t been done before is very challenging but super fun. I’ve been playing The Sims 4 almost daily since it launched, so to help add something new to the game is absolutely amazing!L: What is the most challenging part about creating challenges?
H: The in-game challenges are a little tricky. Since there are three main ways to play (CAS, Build, Live) we want to ensure that we have something for everyone. So if you really love creating in CAS, then it’s likely you’ll love our Stylist challenge. Builders will love our Build challenges and, you guessed it, Storytellers for some fun gameplay and storytelling.
I try to make each aspect of the challenge as fun as possible and ensure that it can stand on its own. Sometimes this works well and sometimes I have to go back to the drawing board. It’s a lengthy process but an enjoyable experience.L: That sounds very challenging indeed, coming up with all those different ideas! Where do you get the ideas and inspiration for your challenges from?
H: Since I’m a Simmer myself, I first try to think of things that other Simmers might enjoy doing. There’s a lot of different aspects that go how I theme my challenges; like the time of year, trends in the community, things I’d personally like to experiment with, and also sourcing ideas from my team and collaborative partners.L: Here’s a tricky question: what kind of challenge do you like best? Or do you even have an all-time favourite challenge?
H: I’m so broad in my tastes. I’m someone who really plays all aspects of the game and enjoys doing them equally. I love to create unique Sims in CAS, build crazy structures in Build, and play out some imaginative stories in Live. Although I love all types of challenges, I think I most enjoy build challenges. I think they’re so relaxing!
The great part about working on the Spark’d program is that I get to continually create challenges for others to have fun with. We will be releasing in-game challenges on a frequent basis with many themes and different ways to play - There’s sure to be something for everyone!
We’re also very keen on listening to the community tell us the types of challenges that they would enjoy. We want to encourage players to share their ideas and feedback with us so we can make the in-game challenges as fun as possible!L: So, after all this preparation, today is the first day of The Sims Spark’d adventure! What are you looking forward to the most about Spark’d?
H: I think I look forward to surprising our players the most. The whole Spark’d program is such an innovative and exciting project to unveil. We will have so many fun surprises in store and I can’t wait to share those.L: One last question before we wrap up and dive right into the Spark’d challenges in-game: do you have any tips or advice for Simmers who want to create and share their own challenges with the community?
H: Sharing anything with the community can feel scary and intimidating. My biggest piece of advice for those Simmers is to freely create and have fun. Share because you enjoy what you’ve created. Whether one or one hundred players participate, it shouldn’t matter as long as you enjoy doing it.
These challenges are exciting for me since it’s adding a new way to play the game and I really am hoping that players have fun participating.L: This has been great and thank you so much for your answers, Hollie! I’m sure you are as excited as I am to see all the amazing creations our Simmers will come up with!