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Building Anticipation for The Sims 4

2014-06-05
Aaron Houts and John Berges

“Flexible. Fast. Fun. Forgiving.” These are the guiding principles that the design team at Maxis used when we conceived Build Mode for The Sims 4. Everything we’ve added, and everything we adjusted, serves to make the builder’s experience not only easier, but more fulfilling. How did we do it? Here is a quick rundown of what builders have to look forward to with the new Build Mode in The Sims 4.

APPROACHABLE

In The Sims 4, players finally have the Build Mode we’ve always wanted to make. We’ve completely rebuilt the system from the ground up to be both easy to pick up, and non-punishing to experiment in. The whole experience is more powerful, more tactile, and frankly, more fun.

The core difference in this new Build Mode is how quick and easy it is to make changes on the fly. You can pick up any architectural element (such as a wall, staircase, roof, or even an entire room), stretch it, rotate it, and move it without having to delete and start from scratch. Foundations, normally a very tricky element to get right, can be added at any time during the building process; just select one of eight heights and the entire structure adjusts to the change in an instant.

 

JUST A CLICK AWAY

Did designing an entire house from scratch seem intimidating or time consuming in our previous games? The new Build Mode enables players to realize their vision faster than ever before. With a single click of the mouse, you can do things like put windows on an entire room, or change all the fences on a deck. You’ll find numerous new functions just like these which will make the entire building process less repetitive, yet just as powerful.

Want to build even faster? We’re introducing a brand new feature called Styled Rooms. Browse through the Styled Rooms section of the Build Mode catalog and you can find bathrooms, bedrooms, and many other room types that have been pre-built and furnished just for you. Simply select a room out of the catalog, and place it wherever you want it to be. Not only will you see it fully furnished right away, but you will still have complete control of its customization. You can stretch and rotate it, repaint it, or rearrange the furniture yourself. We’ve seen styled rooms used by beginners and advanced users alike; either as a quick way to slap a beautiful house together, or as a starting point for decorative inspiration.

HOME IMPROVEMENT

We’ve done an in-depth study of building in our earlier games (and are avid builders ourselves), and have made it a point to improve as many of the minor inconveniences as possible. We’re sure our expert builders will notice these improvements immediately, while new players will find that the system just does what they want it to!

Object placement is much more intuitive. To give a few examples: chairs can be centered on the sides of tables, even if they don’t line up with the grid, and columns can now be placed directly into fences and walls. You’ll also have increased control of wall object placement. In The Sims 4, you can place wall objects like windows, paintings, and TVs anywhere vertically on the wall (and your Sims will actually crane their necks to look at that TV you cruelly placed near the ceiling)!

We’ve added entirely new architectural features to play with; details such as spandrels, friezes, pilasters, and other fancy sounding words will take your building to the next level. Every part of each roof can be stretched to create a variety of heights, curves, and eaves. There are also three different wall heights to choose from, and you can adjust each floor to have a different wall height! This is a lot of fun to play with, and helps to make buildings much more realistic and unique! Maybe you’ll utilize the high walls on the first floor for a grand entrance, then add a loft on the top floor using the low wall height. The options are endless, and we can’t wait to see where your creativity takes you! Quite simply put, we are ridiculously excited to finally offer this level of detail and control for our players in Build Mode.

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