EA explains why pools and toddlers excluded in The Sims 4

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Sims in the park

A couple weeks ago, I told you that The Sims 4 wouldn’t include pools or toddlers at launch. Now EA has come out to explain why that is, and their excuses are rather thin.

In the latest blog from The Sims, they explain why The Sims 4 will not include the two aspects – while toddlers I can understand, the lack of pools seems rather strange:

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.

This really does not sound too great to me. First of all, referring to The Sims 4 as a “base game” already terrifies me. If you’re not even making a game that could potentially have all the features in it that someone might like, what are you doing? Sure, I know expansions are fun for people, and I don’t mind expansions that allow Sims to break out of their daily routine and go to school or the future, but I’d like it if they at least pretended that the original game was a complete experience.

Also, I understand that there are tradeoffs in development – you can’t get all the features you want all at once; it’s a balancing act. However, I’m not quite sure how the all-new build mode would have prevented pools from entering the equation. If you can drag and reshape rooms, foundations and ceilings, why not pools? I can’t help but feel like we will see a “Backyard BBQs and Pools” expansion that will make hardcore fans of the franchise want to pull their hair out. Just check out this last line of the excuses blog:

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.

I’m glad that Sims can now eat and talk with friends while watching TV, or can pair any hat on any hairstyle and make a mess of their fashion like normal people. However, it just seems like the excuses are wearing thinner than some of those awful outfits. EA promises to release over 15 minutes of in-game footage in the next couple weeks. Let’s hope that they show something that makes fans happy, because without the option of drowning Sims, they’re gonna have to get a lot more creative when it comes to Sims-ocide.

Last Updated: July 8, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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