Wow, what an amazing couple of weeks! E3 is always a crazy time for us in The Sims Studio – but with a game as big as The Sims 4, that week in Los Angeles was an absolute blur. Over the last 7 years working in The Sims Studio, I can safely say that I’ve never had so much fun showing people a game as I just did with The Sims 4! The Sims demos are always a unique experience – because it’s a real live simulation – and we never quite know exactly how our Sims will react to the stories we’re telling. And this is even more true with our all new Sims in The Sims 4 – their unique personalities and rich emotions produced some absolutely hilarious, sad, and wild moments at E3 that were, quite frankly, unexpected and unplanned. Whether it was when a stinky Sim knocked over the trashcan and started rummaging through the trash while we were trying to show off one of our new Neighborhoods, or when a bride-to-be came into the gym absolutely distressed and crying while we we’re talking about the new Fitness Skill, the game itself showed off its magic without us prompting it.
And to be totally honest, this is why I am so excited about The Sims 4. For me, playing The Sims has always been about those special moments where something unexpected – something sad, hilarious, or intriguing – just happens. In The Sims 4, these moments have been taken to a whole new level! I’ve never felt so compelled to just sit back and watch what Sims are doing out in the neighborhood – they’re extremely expressive and I can’t help but wonder what each of their stories are. Did that bride in the gym get left at the altar? Was the stinky Sim looking for lost treasure in the garbage can? I cannot wait to see the stories you guys tell and encounter when the game launches in September.
Now I know you guys still have TONS of questions, and a few concerns as well, about this brand new Sims experience. I totally get it! Many of you have committed countless hours and feelings to your Sims over the last 14 years and you have the right to feel anxious about how this new game is different. So I wanted to spend some time clarifying some of the smaller (yet still important) details about the game – things that don’t often come out in big interviews or demos, but are still significant to any Sims experience:
• First and foremost, you the player have complete control over your Sims – and now their emotions. Just like in previous Sims games, you’ll have the ability to select different levels of autonomy for your Sims so you get the level of control you’re most comfortable with. And rest assured, we’re doing an absolutely massive amount of tuning to make sure emotion gameplay enhances the experience for you storytellers and machinima artists, rather than creating a new obstacle.
• Build Mode truly is the most powerful, and fun, Build Mode we’ve ever created. While it’s not possible for us to include every single feature and piece of content we added to The Sims 3 over the last 5 years, we’ve added features that you’ve asked for and that offer a whole new intuitive and fun way to build. These are features like Wall Height Adjustment, Dynamic Foundation Sizing, and Smart Windows! And though pool building won’t be available in September, we do have a new Fountain Tool so you can create sophisticated landscapes. Whether you were a novice builder in The Sims 3, or an experienced pro, I really think you’re going to love The Sims 4’s build mode.
• When it comes to connecting with other players online – The Sims 4 is the game you want it to be. You can browse other players’ creations or share your own directly from the game to the all new Gallery, or you can turn it off with a click of a button. While we’d love for you to check out what the world of The Sims community has to offer (you make amazing things!), making the game that you want to play and giving you control is our priority.
• We are also very excited about our new Create A Sim! You probably guess this since we’ve been showing it off everywhere. We’re particularly proud of our new Genetics system, where you can create relatives from any other Sim. It’s like a game in itself! As for ages, we have babies, children, teens, young adults, adults and elders. With our new personalities, you can really feel how their individuality plays out in the gameplay. We can’t wait for you to try it.
• We also have beautiful Neighborhoods! Did you know that for the first time ever in The Sims, your Sims will be able to not only travel between Neighborhoods, but also between entire Worlds without having to start a new game!? This is something that I always wanted in The Sims 3, and I’m so excited to finally have it in The Sims 4. Neighborhoods and Worlds will be separated by a short load screen, but for the first time you’ll be able to live in one world and work (or play) in another! All of your Sim’s personality, accomplishments, and relationships stay with them as they travel around the best play-space we’ve ever created in a The Sims game.
I know that this quick blog can’t possibly answer all of your questions about TS4, but I hope it fills in some of the areas you’ve been wondering about. You can see we’ve made some key decisions to focus on new aspects of the game – things like our all new Sims, vibrant neighborhoods, and powerful creative tools – just a to name a few. And while we recognize that some of you will be disappointed that pools and toddlers won’t be available when The Sims 4 Base Game launches in September, you should know that we’re building an incredibly strong foundation that is capable of fulfilling every one of your desires in the years to come. The future of The Sims 4 is bright!
In the short time between now and September, I look forward to talking to you more and answering as many questions about The Sims 4 as possible. More importantly, I sincerely can’t wait for you to try what we’ve built and play out your stories in this brand new Sims universe.
-Sim Guru Ryan