The Sims 4: More Guru Tweets!



SimsVIP: Not sure if you can comment or share the reasoning behind it, but here goes it. How does the process of creating life stages begin, and then result in 1 of 7 life stages incomplete? I just can’t comprehend how that happens? Shouldn’t the Sims have all been done “together” so to speak? This isn’t like leaving out pools to prioritize other stuff. This is an actual life stage that’s missing, which in *my own* opinion, feels like something that should have been completed in the early stages of development, or at least with the other life stages. Was there some kind of “technical” reasoning behind it? I’m quite curious.
SimGuruGraham: It’s an interesting design question for sure. From my experiences on Sims 3 and now Sims 4, most of the age groups are fairly isolated from each other and are developed that way. The youngest ages require a bit more design consideration as they rely on other Sims for their care. Obviously younger ages need entirely unique animations and clothing created for them as well. We try and build a different experience for each age, while also considering how what a Sim does at a younger age contributes to the following one. On the subject of adding more ages to an established game, it’s not overly difficult, it’s just very time consuming to generate the necessary amount of content to make a compelling experience. For example, the interactions and activities of a child vs adult should all be inherently different from each other so that you have fun and relatable activities, as well as unexpected moments in each stage in life. When adding each age, you consider what the iconic moments are that define it, and translate that to fun gameplay.

I’m not a tech guy so I’ll give a relatively un-techy answer – I wouldn’t be a good person to comment on the differences in the engine. One of the really big changes with Sims 4 and something that was an early directive for the game was to put powerful tools in designer’s hands so that they could focus on adding content and increasing the depth of the content in the game without needing an engineer to implement or iterate on new functionality and new interactions every time we wanted something. The tool they use – internally it’s called Object Editor – allows them to select from thousands of variables to piece together all of the available assets and churn out content. For example – it’s a big part of why this is easily the most in-depth socialization system in a Sims game to date.