In the not too distant past, it was revealed that in the next version of everyone’s favorite life simulator, The Sims 4 would not be giving people access to pools or toddlers out of the box at launch. Sims will skip the toddler phase of development going straight from baby to youngster, and you can’t drown your sims in a way that you’ve been able to since the very first iteration of the game came out in 2000. This resulted in a bit of fan outrage, including a petition that has garnered over 15,000 signatures to date.
Yesterday, Rachel Franklin, VP and Executive Producer for The Sims 4 published a letter on the Sims blog to quell fears that all would be lost without the inclusion of these two pieces.
“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.”
Going on further to state that when they sat down to go over everything they wanted to do for the game, to add in the new technologies they wanted to build in, there would have to be some tradeoffs. The unfortunate part of that is the loss of swimming and learning to walk and talk apparently.
“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.”
However, while those are lost to the base game, what has been added seems like more than a fair tradeoff: there are seven unique walk styles that you can choose from to help your Sims express themselves. Along with the new walk styles comes over 320 emotion-based animations and 600 different reactions to objects, along with, and this may be the most impressive yet seemingly small feature revealed yesterday, sims can now multi-task — for example, a standing sim can now talk with a sitting sim, and they can eat, watch tv, and talk all at the same time together instead of queuing up each task individually, or making a sim go sit next to another sitting sim before they can talk to eachother, for example.
Alongside the explanation on why toddlers and pools won’t be in the game and what will be in the game in its place, came the announcement that they are planning on releasing the Create A Sim as a standalone Demo later this summer so people can get a little taste of how that will work and play around with creating their sims prior to the launch of the game. Additionally, something to look forward to a bit sooner, there will be a 15-minute in-game live mode footage video complete with UI coming within the next two week so everyone can see and perhaps truly appreciate the changes that will be coming to this longstanding franchise when the game releases on September 2nd, 2014.
So, simmers out there, does this announcement from Rachel Franklin quell some of your concerns? Still pissed that there’s no pools or toddlers? Let us know in the comments what you think, was EA’s explanation good enough for you?