Help Us Pick Gameplay Features For A New Stuff Pack!

2017-06-24
SimGuruGraham

Hello Simmers! We’ve reached the most important moment in the development of this collaborative Stuff Pack project yet. Today you’ll be participating in a vote to determine what new gameplay features could be included within this Stuff Pack.

If you’re new to this project and find yourself wondering what this is all about, I’ll direct you to the welcome post in SimGuruGraham’s Corner on the official forums. There you’ll find information on what this project is, how far into development we are, and the votes that fellow Sims players have already participated in. After you catch up, be sure to come right back here to cast your vote!

In the time since the last vote, where you helped select 29 objects and 17 pieces of clothing for this pack, we’ve been buzzing here in the studio about what potential features we could include. With the Stuff Pack team gathered together in a room with a trusty white board, we brainstormed all the potential gameplay features that came to mind that could work with our theme. In a brainstorm, there are no bad suggestions – just a torrent of ideas for us to sift through.

As you can see, a whole bunch of initial possibilities came to mind. There’s a lot to consider here! Some are tried and true favorites from past Sims titles, while others would be brand new to the series. Unfortunately, these ideas can’t all move forward to the next step in our development process, where we write something that we call “design blurbs”. A design blurb is just a short design that’s only a few sentences in length. They exist to give the most basic idea of what we hope to accomplish. It isn't until later, when we write the full design, where all the little details are added that make each feature truly special. Design blurbs also allow members of various development disciplines to provide a rough estimate of how long they think it will take them to implement their work for a feature. This is vital information that we use to determine what we can add during our development schedule, before work even begins. In the survey today, you’ll be reading design blurbs to determine which group of features you want to cast your vote for.

Before we can write these design blurbs, our designers and producers collaborate to pluck out the ideas we think have the most promise to deliver a great Stuff Pack. Our philosophy for Stuff Packs is to provide features that complement both the overall theme, and each other. We also take into account if our development schedule allows enough time to deliver upon the promise of a proposed feature. Then we consider if what we’re proposing fills a unique niche that’s currently lacking in The Sims 4. It's also important for us to select features in Stuff Packs that can stand on their own - we recognize that there are many small quality of life additions that players request, but they're generally a better fit as a supporting feature in a larger pack. Finally, we try and steer clear of features that we suspect a Game Pack or Expansion Pack may want to tackle in the future.

With that perspective in mind, it was fairly easy to eliminate some features from the brainstorm right off the bat, by knowing that they simply can’t be done within a Stuff Pack. From what remained, we pushed our favorites forward, using a mixture of designer intuition and player feedback to determine what could be compelling additions. Some clear themes stood out to us, and you’ll see those represented here in today’s vote.

Voting ends on June 26, 2017 at 10AM PT.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE SURVEY

When this vote closes on Monday, we’ll know a whole lot more about what this pack will be, but we still won’t have the full picture. It’s important to note that as we write the full designs for the winning features, that things have the potential to change, and they invariably will. We’re confident we can deliver a fun experience no matter what the result in this feature vote, but the majority of work still lies ahead of us. After the votes are tallied we’ll start writing those full designs, which will comprehensively detail the entire experience that these features will offer. A full design means that each discipline on the Stuff Pack team can provide more accurate estimates of how much time they’ll need to work to implement these features. If estimates change, we have to go back and re-evaluate the features that have been approved. When full development of this pack ramps up in August, we’ll finally know if we need to make any cuts, or if we have room for any further additions. I'm certainly hoping for the latter - there are some great ideas from the brainstorm that are small in scope that we'd love to sneak in. As development progresses, we'll be sharing with you every step of the way. You'll not only hear about any changes we make, but the thought process that guided our decisions. Check back regularly in SimGuruGraham’s Corner on our forums to see all of the latest news about this project.

To close, I’ll leave you with dates for the remaining votes for this project. Circle your calendars and come back to make your voice heard!

• Feature Vote (June 23rd – June 26th): Select the top gameplay feature(s) you want to have included in the pack.

• Pack Icon Vote (September 6th– September 8th): Peruse different icons and select the one that will appear in the pack's box art and within the in-game catalog.

• Pack Title Vote (September 13th – September 15th): Select a title that best summarizes the pack's atmosphere and content.

You may find answers to commonly asked questions in the FAQ.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram, Like us on Facebook, and Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

By submitting feedback or material, you expressly grant EA all rights necessary to enable EA to use the feedback or material in any form and for any purpose without attribution, notice, or compensation to you. While your votes will help us determine what we may include in this stuff pack, EA will make the final decision. This pack will be offered for a separate fee standard to our prior stuff pack launches.

 

*Requires The Sims 4 game (sold separately) and all game updates to play.

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