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What’s Out and What’s In

Rachel Franklin

Hello Simmers,

We’re less than 60 days out from the launch of The Sims™ 4, and I have so much I want to talk about. But let me start with a bit more about the decision we made not to include pools and toddlers in The Sims 4, as we’ve seen some of you have concerns about this.

The fact is, we owe you a clearer explanation for why pools and toddlers will not be in The Sims 4 at launch, so here goes. It begins with new technology and systems that we built for this new base game for The Sims – a new AI system, new animation system, new audio positioning tools, new locomotion logic, new routing intelligence and much more are all entirely new in this game. The vision for The Sims 4 is a new experience that brings your Sims to life in deeper and uniquely personal ways – through emotions, personality traits, behaviors and interactions. To do that, our technology base needed a major upgrade.

So the bottom line is that when we sat down and looked at everything we wanted to do for this game, all the new tech we wanted to build into it, the fact was that there would be trade-offs, and these would disappoint some of our fans. Hard pill to swallow, believe me, but delivering on the vision set out for The Sims 4 required focus. Focus on revolutionizing the Sims themselves. So, rather than include toddlers, we chose to go deeper on the features that make Sims come alive: meaningful and often amusing emotions; more believable motion and interactions; more tools in Create A Sim, and more realistic (and sometimes weird!) Sim behavior. Instead of pools, we chose to develop key new features in Build Mode: direct manipulation, building a house room-by-room and being able to exchange your custom rooms easily, to make the immediate environment even more relatable and interactive for your Sim.

But now the upshot: The Sims 4 is a completely new game, and it feels different to play. You’ll notice the new technology base the first time you play.

I’ll give you one example that continually jumps out at me as we talk about how to make The Sims 4 feel uniquely personal to you, our players. I mentioned Create A Sim – which, to me, is still one of the single most impactful features of the entire game. Not only is it hilariously entertaining, now you’re building in real personality. In The Sims 4, there are seven unique walk styles that you can choose from to help your Sims express themselves. To make those walk styles come to life, we had to create around 75 distinct animations. And it doesn’t stop there. Every emotion in The Sims 4 comes with a visible reaction or even another special walk style. No more looking at the UI to figure out how your Sims are feeling – just look at their faces, posture, movements. That’s where you’ll see about 320 new emotion-based animations, as well as over 600 reactions to objects.

There’s so much more depth in The Sims 4. For the first time, the Sims act like real people. They can interact with groups, not just one-to-one. A standing Sim can talk with a sitting Sim. They can multi-task (eating, watching TV and talking? Sounds like my typical evening!). You can even put a hat on any hairstyle or pair boots with any pants… well, maybe that’s just me that cares about that.

That’s the thing about The Sims 4, though – you do care about things like that. Because you can now.  Emotions touch every single system in our game, and every single experience you have inside it. Multi-tasking completely changes how your Sims go through their day and interact with the world around them. The new Create A Sim and Build Mode tools completely changed the way we think about creating Sims and homes.

But let us show you this instead of just talking about it: The Sims 4 Create A Sim Demo will be available later this summer for absolutely everyone to play. We are currently rolling out an early trial experience and invitations are going out very soon to a limited number of fans to help us test it. After that, you’ll all get your hands on it and see firsthand the depth, personality and emotion that are part of your new Sims.

And another thing - we were thrilled that more than 1200 people came through our E3 demo room last month to see The Sims 4 in action, but we want all of you to see it as well. We’ll be releasing over 15 minutes of in-game Live Mode footage (with complete UI) in the next two weeks. We can’t wait to hear what you think.

So from the entire development team here at The Sims Studio, thank you for your feedback and support. Our hearts are being poured into every line of code, every single piece of art, and every single Sim that is created. We’re building a brand new Sims experience with a foundation we can build on and evolve based on your feedback. We think you’re going to love playing with life all over again.

- Rachel

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