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Monday, September 16, 2013

How Maxis is simulating more of what makes us human in The Sims 4


Everybody knows that The Sims expands. It’s one of the most continually iterated series in history, each main title receiving more add-on packs than the last.

What is less obvious about The Sims is that, at key intervals, the series contracts. Next year, Maxis will release The Sims 4 – and all that accrued expansion content will reset back to zero to allow the studio to make fundamental changes to the way its life simulation operates.

Producer Lindsay Pearson has been working on the series since the original game. “We hit a point during The Sims 3 where we wondered where the Sims were going to go next – what was the next evolution of what a ‘Sim’ means?” she says. “For The Sims 4, that was going back to the Sims themselves. [The decision to create a full sequel] is triggered by an idea, and then we have conversations about whether it is the technology that has to change or the content. This time it was both.”

Pearson began work on the sequel almost three years ago. Individual groups of developers move from the previous game to the new one as they become needed, starting with the engineers responsible for the base-level simulation and moving up through concept artists and content designers.


For The Sims 4, work has been done to rebuild the game’s pathfinding and animation engines from scratch. Previous Sims games have given the impression of being tile-based, with characters moving in stiff, fixed patterns between context-specific actions. In The Sims 4, characters dynamically adjust their positioning relative to what they’re doing and the social environment they find themselves in. Maxis has studied footage of crowd behaviour – filmed in EA’s Redwood City headquarters – in order to accurately represent the way, for example, a group of people chatting will respond to a new person approaching their circle. In The Sims 4, a character’s awareness is visible: their head and upper body move to acknowledge the new person, and they smoothly step back to create space in a way that is far more fluid than in the series’ past. The new animation framework has reaped other benefits, too – Sims can now pass each other on the stairs and walk through doorways as a group without causing a logjam.


Read more at Edge-Online
Thanks The Sims Hub

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Developer Q&A: Ryan Vaughan, Producer for The Sims Studio


We unveiled The Sims 4 at our gamescom press briefing – to give you an insider’s look, we sat down with producer Ryan Vaughn to tell us a little more about this PC favorite and what the Sims team will be doing this week here at gamescom.

Q: What is the biggest difference in The Sims 4 compared to The Sims 3?

A: It all starts with the biggest innovation in The Sims 4, the Sims themselves. Our Sims have evolved into emotionally aware beings whose every action is affected by what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling. Now you get to play with the mind, body and heart of the Sims.

Our second big feature is a new set of technologies we’re calling SmartSim. This has allowed us to make the most intelligent and relatable life simulation ever.

And finally, we’ve completely rebuilt our creative tools to be more intuitive, more powerful, and much more fun to play with. For the first time you reach into the world and shape your Sims by hand and build your homes room-by-room with ease.

You’re going to be able to see this in action during The Sims Live Broadcast so check it out! [Airs at 8am Pacific on Thursday, August 22 at www.TheSims.com/live]

Q: Sims have now been around for over a decade. How do you keep it interesting for (very passionate!) fans?

A: It’s funny you ask that, because it’s actually the fans that continue to drive our excitement about The Sims. It is their undying passion that energizes us, and their continued devotion that inspires us to create the kinds of games and content that we want to play. We’re constantly surfing the forums, checking in with them on Twitter via our @SimGuru accounts and looking for their feedback so that we can deliver the experiences they’re looking for. Keep it up, guys, we’re listening!

Q: So, what’s going on at SimsCamp this week? Tell us more!

A: We’ve invited top fans of The Sims from around the world to converge at SimsCamp to get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at The Sims 4. In addition to being amongst the first people in the world to play with Create A Sim, they’re the first to go behind the curtain to see how all of the pieces of our game come together.

Q: What is the feature you’ve waited for the most to show off while at gamescom?

A: The Sims themselves. These are revolutionary new Sims with emotional centers that behave and react more naturally than ever before. Every one of their actions is affected by their emotional states that lead to richer, more meaningful gameplay.

Q: How long have you been a Simmer yourself and what makes you love this franchise?

A: I started working on The Sims in 2007 when I was lucky enough to land on The Sims 2 team, but I’ve been a Simmer since the beginning. My favorite part about The Sims is that it’s a blank canvas. We give players all of these creative tools and they use them to tell their own unique stories.

For me, I love to build homes. So it actually really excites me that we’ve completely revamped our Build tool. It has all of the power that I want, but it’s tactile and flexible so that I can make great homes with ease.

The Sims 4 Press Release & Screens



REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Life just got better. Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced the first details forThe Sims™ 4, the next-generation of the hit life simulator franchise launching in 2014. The Sims 4 gives fans an entirely new way to experience the excitement and delight of life’s moments. Built on a brand new technology platform, The Sims 4 empowers players to create and control an entirely new generation of Sims like never before. Through powerful new creative tools and dynamic, emotion-rich gameplay, every relationship is interwoven to create a ripple effect that shapes the life journey of the Sims. The world debut gameplay trailer for The Sims 4 is available to view at www.TheSims.com.


“Over 10 years ago, we created a genre, now we’re taking our most revolutionary step forward by focusing on the heart of the franchise, the Sims themselves,” said Rachel Franklin, VP and Executive Producer for The Sims 4. “The magic of The Sims has always come from the combination of the player’s creativity and the Sims’ free will, and in The Sims 4 we’re taking this further by unlocking more possibilities and deeper gameplay opportunities. The Sims 4 is the bold leap for the franchise where each Sim now has a rich emotional center that drives meaningful social interactions. Your ability to affect the mind, body and heart of these new Sims brings your stories to life in a way that is more personal than ever before.”


The Sims 4 brings all new ways to play with life. Built on the foundation of a brand new technology platform, the nuance and delight of being human come together to create more intelligent, more emotionally rich and more relatable Sims. These Sims have evolved into beings whose every action is informed and affected by interactions and emotional states. Because players are in control of life’s triumphs and failures, life’s moments make stories richer, Sims more relatable and their homes more personal. Pair these revolutionary new Sims with brand new creative tools that are powerful, agile and tactile, and the result is a provocative new gameplay experience that powers a new era for The Sims.

The Sims 4 combines revolutionary Sims with powerful creative tools and all-new emotion-based gameplay, to reinvent The Sims experience. Built on the foundation of brand new technologies that Maxis calls SmartSim, The Sims 4 is the most intelligent, relatable and personal life simulation ever. For the first time, player choice shapes not just a single moment, but the entire life journey of the Sims.


For more than a decade, The Sims has entertained millions of people across the globe and has left an indelible footprint on the interactive world. A world-renowned interactive entertainment phenomenon, The Sims has sold 175 million units to date and continues to enhance its rich multi-platform portfolio with offerings that inspire creativity and reach one of the most passionate audiences in interactive entertainment.


Tell Stories That Span a Lifetime – Life is incredibly rich and multifaceted. The Sims offers players personality and aspirations that emulate the beauty of life but, for the first time, in The Sims 4, Sims are now emotionally aware. They are capable of experiencing a range of emotions that have a direct impact on the way the game is played. In The Sims 4, player choices influence the gameplay not just in this moment but down the line. Just like in real life, these choices have a cascading effect that shapes the entire life journey of their Sims.


Connect with Sims on a New Level – Players are in control of a new wave of Sims, brimming over with intelligence and unique characteristics. The result of this enhanced intelligence is new Sims that behave and react more naturally than ever before. Stories unfold dynamically as Sims socialize, multitask, and engage with each other on a new level.


Creativity for All – Rebuilt from the ground up to be more powerful and intuitive, the tools in The Sims 4 will change the way players bring Sims and their homes to life. With Create A Sim, players reach into the game, sculpting Sims by hand; it’s like playing with clay, but less messy.


The new Build Mode gives players all the control they want with new tactile features that allow them to build homes by simply dragging and dropping rooms. It’s easier and faster for players to create the homes they want. These tools have been designed to allow players to create with speed and flexibility.

More at

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Sims 4 Frequently Asked Questions


What is The Sims™ 4?

The Sims 4 is the highly anticipated life simulation game that lets you play with life like never before. Create new Sims with intelligence and emotion. Experience all new intuitive and fun creative tools to sculpt your Sims and build unique homes. Control the mind, body, and heart of your Sims, and bring your stories to life.

What platforms is The Sims 4 available on?

The Sims 4 will be available for PC.

Will there be an online component to The Sims 4?

There will be additional fun and social gameplay elements for players who choose to go online (more to come on that later on) but the core game is designed to be played offline. It’s up to the player to choose how they want to play.

Does The Sims 4 require the Origin™ client to play?

You will need an EA/Origin account to install the game. Once installed, you don't need to be online to play.
Will I be able to bring any of my Sims or content from The Sims 3 into The Sims 4?

The Sims 4 is built upon an entirely new technology. The content from The Sims 3 will not be transferable to The Sims 4.
How do I stay up to date with the latest info on The Sims 4?

To stay up to date on all the latest The Sims 4 news, keep visiting our official website at www.TheSims.com, Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheSims, and sign up for our VIP Newsletter at www.TheSims.com.

When will The Sims 4 be available?

The Sims 4 will be available in 2014.

What is the rating for The Sims 4?

The Sims 4 is not yet rated by the ESRB, PEGI or other rating systems. We will update the website once we’ve received our rating.

Will The Sims 4 require a persistent online connection?

You will not require a persistent online connection to play The Sims 4.

What are the minimum hardware requirements for The Sims 4?

We are working to make the game accessible to as many players as possible. We will let you know once we’ve locked in the specs.

Who are some of the people that are making The Sims 4?

The Sims 4 is currently in development at The Sims Studio in Redwood City, and the team making the game is comprised by veterans whose experience dates back to the inception of the franchise. We have folks like Robi Kauker, Lyndsay Pearson and Kevin Gibson who have been with the series since the beginning. We will continue to introduce you to more of the team throughout the development process.

First Look: The Sims 4 Official Gameplay Trailer



The Sims 4 is the highly anticipated life simulation game that lets you play with life like never before. Create new Sims with intelligence and emotion, whose every action is informed and affected by their interactions and emotional states. Experience all new intuitive and fun creative tools. Sculpt your Sims in Create A Sim and construct unique homes with the tactile room-based Build Mode. Control the mind, body, and heart of your Sims with dynamic, emotion-rich gameplay, and bring your stories to life.

KEY FEATURES

New Sims – Create and control more intelligent, more relatable, and e
motionally rich Sims. 

Intelligence – Your Sims move and act more naturally than ever before, from multitasking to expressing their emotions by the way they walk. Choose the personalities of your Sims, select their aspirations, and explore the depth of their lifelong goals through your Sims’ thoughts, social skills, careers, and memories.

Emotional Depth – For the first time, Sims feel and express emotions. Your Sims can experience a diverse range and depth of emotional states and are influenced through other Sims, actions, events, memories, or even by the clothing and objects you choose. Emotions offer you more choice by giving you the opportunity to create richer stories with even more possibilities.

New Creative Tools – Create A Sim and Build are more powerful, intuitive, and fun than ever before. You have the freedom to sculpt Sims with tactile precision. Effortlessly construct the home of your dreams with the all new room-based Build Mode. 

Vibrant Neighborhoods – Chose among brilliant and diverse lots for your Sims to live in. Vivid visuals bring your Sim’s home to life. 

Rich Rewards – Earn new objects, outfits, and traits by completing events, discovering collectables, and unlocking achievements.

Share Your Creations – Share your Sims’ households with your friends and the community. Download community creations for an all-new look. 

The Sims 4 - Trailer (Gamescom 2013)

Friday, August 16, 2013

More Sims 4 Info & Pictures


We’ve also got the first look at The Sims 4 in action! Find out how Maxis is breathing new life into the insanely addictive people simulator by infusing the Sims themselves with lifelike emotions that allow for emergent play. Plus, it’s singleplayer and offline! - PC PowerPlay -


Thanks Sim Soul