City Living The Sims 4

The Sims 4 + City Living: DOTsim Interviews SimGuruGrant

UPDATE: DOTsim provided a transcript from an audio recording by DefiFreakyBoo that was made during the interview with Grant’s exact words!

During The Sims 4 City Living Preview Event in Warsaw, Poland, DOTsim had an opportunity to interview Grant Rodiek about the game. Here are the most relevant questions and answers that were published:

Producer SimGuruGrant answered a few questions during the meeting with fans in Warsaw. Some of the questions concerned his experience with The Sims 3, and other approximate the news from The Sims 4 City Living. We have chosen the most interesting answers that may interest you.

  • Do you plan on adding cars to the game?

That actually affects the game and we want to make sure it has a reason, it helps tell stories and has gameplay to it, and so it’s something we think about, but, I don’t know if and when we’ll do it. And just to follow up, I know this sounds like a typical producer answer type thing, but we’ve actually been thinking about things like that for years, and I know it seems to take forever for us to do stuff, we want to make sure that what we do is cool and its actually interesting. We don’t want to just add stuff to just to have it, we try to think through it and have a good reason to add it.

  • Why are the animations with elevators so limited?

So, whenever we make a pack it always comes down to what we want to focus on, what we think we can do very well, and with the elevator, the elevator is actually one of the most complicated objects in The Sims 3, and it sort of scared us because one of the things is it has to both work with what we call shells which are the big structures in the buildings that we build stuff in, as well as it has to work with the build which is dynamic and the players can do it.

We have limited animation budget, and it was one of those things that we chose to spend our time on Karaoke, Video Games, and new interactions, and apartment situations, and we thought that that actually added game play that actually made it fun,  that actually added stories, whereas that elevators…its basically stairs, and so yes we knew that people would ask this and some people would be disappointed, but we though that the other stuff would more than make up for it.

Basically my entire job is, we look at what you guys talk about on the boards, we hear from our international partners about what you want, and we come up with 50 ideas for a pack, and then we can only do like 10 of them. And so we have to cut and not do all the other stuff, but then we think about, well we can still do that later, maybe. And then we have to think about when can we do it, what does the community want. What’s the right pack to do it with, and so, most of my job is that disappointing thing of figuring out what we get now, what we can maybe get later, and it’s always having to pick and choose. It’s like picking your favorite child.

  • Does this expansion work well with other games that have released?

So, first off obviously all the new stuff we add you can use for Get to Work so you can sell those new things, they work at retail. We have new club activities from Get Together, so we’re trying to make sure we have club activities for all of the different packs. We actually made the player lot traits what we call “carry forward” which means that the system will work in all packs, you don’t get all the content you only get some of the content, so if you get future or past games you can have those lot traits that you can apply to different things. Plus all the other things that are compatible, things like, groups so you can travel in groups and go to festivals together and do stuff together there. New interactions to make sure you can do those things together, the club activities. And then you’d be surprised how much time we spent on making sure ghosts can haunt everything, that the transformation ray can transform everything, that Aliens still work, and all those different things are compatible.

  • Why has there been almost a year’s time since the last expansion pack?

So in the past like with The Sims 3, we used to do two expansions at a time, and we…it’s been interesting…we as a team, like to have a little bit more time because it gives us time to try to polish, even just thinking more about the pack and not just developing it, but thinking more about it, doing more prototyping. Having more time to polish also means we don’t have to have so many people crunching all the time. It is a very interesting balance because we sometimes assume that people will get angry if we try to put out too much stuff but the sometimes people get angry if we don’t put out stuff fast enough. And we’re always trying to find the right mix to reach folks, but it has been really important in The Sims 4 that we make sure everything is really well supported, we want to release more polished packs, we’re trying to release more patches, and support the game with more content, and it seem crazy because most games end after just a few months but we’re two years on now. We’re going to keep going, we’re really trying to think about it and plan for the long term to make sure that it’s the right fit for the community and what you guys are looking for. So it’s weird because we’ve been doing it for so long, but we’re always learning new stuff to figure out what the market wants, what you guys want, and what’s the best way for us to develop it. I don’t have a good answer.

  • Do you work from home?

I work, so I live in San Franciso, and every day I drive an hour South, it’s 24 miles, so I guess like 50 or 60 kilometers. It takes an hour because traffic is terrible, but I work in Redwood City and the whole team is there, it’s about 200 of us, and we’re making more stuff than we ever have before, cause we’re working on Game Packs, Stuff Packs, we have a patch team, and then we have the expansion pack team. Plus we have prototype teams for the next stuff, like, it’s always weird because in my head I have to think about things that are coming, that I’ve been working on in the past, and what I’m working on now, and what I’m going to be working on for the next two years. But yea, I work out of Redwood City at the main headquarters.

  • How long was your flight to Poland?

It was, I believe, about 10 hours to go from San Francisco to Frankfurt, and then it was 2 hours to go from Frankfurt to Warsaw.  It wasn’t too bad. You fly up and over. You’d think you would go straight, but you fly up and over, so it is the same distance between San Franciso and Frankfurt as it is from New York  to Frankfurt.

  • What is your favorite Sims game to play, and which was our favorite to make?

I liked Ambitions a lot because it was different. We had not done active careers at that time, and it was very fun to make. I worked on the interior designer, I got to work on the private eye…if you guys remember the private eye with the bushes and then he hides behind them when he‘s watching people and then birds fly out? That is actually a guy from San Francisco, he’s called “The World Famous Bushman”. He’s a guy…he actually dies I think…but he hangs out down by the wharf, and then when tourists are walking, they’re like *tootooodooo* and he jumps out of it and freaks them out, so we put him in the game. But to play, I always love Seasons and Generations.

  • So you said you have been working on the team since Open for Business, how has the team evolved over the years?

It’s been really interesting because like I said, I started a month out of college and I used to be a text writer. My very first job was writing the text for The Sims, and doing feature production work which is like “early stuff”. Now I’m more focused on the high level things and I got lots of assistant producers that report to me, and so I’m the old guy now and I used to be the young guy.

It’s interesting, we’re bigger now. I think some of our stuff can be more formal and that’s just do to the fact that we’re trying to get better about what we do. In the past sometimes we’d be a little wild wild west and kind of crazy. It’s really interesting because the community has changed, the software has changed, and its also gone from…back on The Sims 2, a lot of the stuff was still for the first time as the first 3D game, and in The Sims 3 we did a lot of stuff like Ambitions or World Adventure that we had never done before. Now in The Sims 4, we’re trying to figure out ways that, like, we give people your favorite stuff – cause people want Late Night and Apartments and Seasons and Pets and all these crazy things – and we have to figure out how do I do this stuff in a way that’s new and special and not just the same thing.

If we do the same things, we’ll go crazy and then you guys will get mad at us for doing the same thing. Althought, some people want us to do the same thing.There’s so many times where there are several of us who have been there for 10+ years, and one of my animation friends who is our animation director, he started off as an animation junior guy, and then modelers and engineers and stuff, and we’ve been talking about The Sims for so long and “people peeing” and we have arguments about how to use the restroom all the time, or how to have babies, and it’s like these really weird arguments that you have with the designers that I have been having for like 10 years now about some of the weirdest stuff.  It’s very strange.

About the author

Jovan Jovic

Founder of the Sims Community website. I've been a Sims player for over 10 years and counting! My free time is usually spent in writing articles, graphic design and activism.

25 Comments

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  • So once again we are basically getting the same old “takes too much time to develop” response. Im disgusted by that. Im sorry if im being moany but that to me isnt a good enough excuse, they are game developers its their job. It basically sais to me “We cant be bothered”.

    • It’s more the fact that they’ve never had any intention of developing any of what you’re requesting, and they don’t want your feedback, which is why they’ve banned every genuine participant from their forum after presenting it as an official community medium. Their behavior really says “We’re just not educated in any productive field.”

      • blahblahblah they banned you because you’re problematic and you’re always being condescending and treating everyone else like an idiot. You’re banned for ever and that won’t change, deal with it.

        • There’s no possibility that you’ve even read any comments from me so you’re obviously lying. If they ban users for false reasons, they’ll be ordered to cease operation by the federal government for malpractice, so don’t respond to me again unless you can substantiate your assertions.

          • I read your post Forest, I saw your limo avatar and I even replied to some of your post. Stop telling me what I know and what I don’t Forest.Or should I say Sasquatch? 😉

          • Buddy, the logic is easy to follow: If you cannot substantiate your assertion within a federal court of the United States of America, then do not reply to me. End of communication.

          • Go back to your fraudulent forums and don’t attempt your delusional practices in the real world or you’ll find yourselves in federal prison. Your routine is transparent.

          • I’m still not hearing a no though. You keep trying to talk around it, you could just say “no, I am not this person”. Condescension isn’t an argument, it’s a crutch for lazy people. Simply state that Forest is wrong and supply evidence as to why or stop doing….this whole thing. I mean, because THAT routine is insultingly transparent.

          • You’re not referring to anything which is based within reality, and who told you that you were entitled to a response in the first place? Again, you must substantiate your assertions in a manner which would be considered satisfactory in a federal court of The United States of America when arguing against me or not reply at all. Don’t attempt your delusional tactic in the real world or you’ll literally find yourselves in federal prison.

          • See, like that. You’re saying we’re wrong but not why. You’re not supplying evidence to your side of the argument, you’re just lazily attempting to dismiss the opposition without actually thinking it through. Mocking others doesn’t stop what they’re saying from being true. This method of arguing you’re using right now is called a straw man’s fallacy.

            In contrast, I’m stating that your argument is insubstantial with my evidence being your lack of evidence contradicting our argument. Your statements are more of just a lame insult than an actual argument really. I mean, you have to think about the weight of what you say and how it adds to the topic. What about what you just said did anything to disprove my comment above?

            Nothing.

            We, or Fons, at least have some form of evidence proving who you are. or were, by use of the name Sasquatch. I’m also assuming that if requested, he could easily check through his Disqus history to prove that he has, in fact talked to you multiple times.

            You, on the other hand, can’t even make the claim that you aren’t who we say you are and have already been proven to be hypocritical by making wild assumptions and baseless claims just to seem smarter.

            “There’s no possibility that you’ve even read any comments from me so you’re obviously lying.”
            (see this, it’s called “evidence”, did you know that buddy?)

            To be honest, you haven’t made a single case for yourself this entire time, I have to come to the conclusion it’s because you don’t have the intelligence or factual evidence to make one that actually has some coherence.
            Well, anyway, Fons can prove himself past this point and really, I can honestly see no point in continuing past here. I’ve said my piece so I’ll just leave you be.

            Please remember in the future the importance of thinking before speaking.

          • All you have to do is collect the references and present them here for all 50,000 members to view, so that they can all see why I’m calling you a liar. Based on your first paragraph, I can see that you don’t even know what a strawman is. There is not even an argument and, therefore, nothing to refute.

            You haven’t presented anything in support of your accusation and you’re not in any position to question me in the first place – that’s called harassment, and if you’re employed by any of the organizations which are related to these communities then the consequence for persistence will be imprisonment.

            Your behavior and style of argumentation reflect mental illness, so stop replying to me immediately since you’re doing nothing more than displaying your malintent in front of the entire community.

          • Let’s review the history from a legal perspective:

            “blahblahblah they banned you because you’re problematic and you’re always being condescending and treating everyone else like an idiot. You’re banned forever and that won’t change, deal with it.”

            You’re lying and you can’t even substantiate your accusation. It’s not even possible for anyone to ban me from product support or official community interfaces without a court order.

            “I read your post Forest, I saw your limo avatar and I even replied to some of your post. Stop telling me what I know and what I don’t Forest.Or should I say Sasquatch? ;)”

            You should never have replied to me since you haven’t substantiated a word. What post?

            “So wait, are you saying that you AREN’T Sasquatch?”

            I’m saying that you’re not in any position to question me, and that you’re not entitled to a response in the first place. Why not provide your references and provide your explanation for all to see and analyze.

            “‘m still not hearing a no though.”

            Again, you’re no one and you haven’t presented anything which deserves a response, therefore, you’re not hearing anything other than “get lost.”

            “You keep trying to talk around it, you could just say “no, I am not this person”. Condescension isn’t an argument, it’s a crutch for lazy people. Simply state that Forest is wrong and supply evidence as to why or stop doing….this whole thing. I mean, because THAT routine is insultingly transparent.” ”

            There have been no such statements. You’re just a liar, and possibly mentally ill. This would be the routine that I’ve referred to elsewhere – isn’t that convenient?

            “See, like that. You’re saying we’re wrong but not why. You’re not supplying evidence to your side of the argument, you’re just lazily attempting to dismiss the opposition without actually thinking it through. Mocking others doesn’t stop what they’re saying from being true. This method of arguing you’re using right now is called a straw man’s fallacy.”

            No, you’re just lying to yourself and attempting to distract everyone from the fact that you haven’t presented anything in support of any argument. That’s called harassment and delusion. There has been no mocking and, again, you’ve provided nothing which requires counter-argument.

            “To be honest, you haven’t made a single case for yourself this entire time, I have to come to the conclusion it’s because you don’t have the intelligence or factual evidence to make one that actually has some coherence.
            Well, anyway, Fons can prove himself past this point and really, I can honestly see no point in continuing past here. I’ve said my piece so I’ll just leave you be.

            Please remember in the future the importance of thinking before speaking.”

            You should have seen that every word of your argument is delusional prior to sending the first message. What you’re doing is lying to yourselves, so please remember to search for verifiable references and information which can be empirically substantiated prior to making accusations.

            Note that this is what real evidence is, rather than self-delusion and strawmen, so stop exposing your illegal practices to the community by attempting to defame me with your erroneous logic.

          • “It’s not even possible for anyone to ban me from product support or official community interfaces without a court order.” LMAO of course it’s possible, you accepted that terms when you registered on the forums.

          • Remember, I said “legal perspective” – no such term is permissible, especially when the reasons provided for restriction of consumer privilege are entirely false. That would be felonious malpractice.

  • this is THE article everyone should read before the purchase CL. Do you really want to give money to a company that treats you this way?
    Also spread this along. Tweet it, share it, post it wherever you can. Make it so that people see these answers.

  • Another confirmation that this is a game made on a very cheap budget. This game will get worse and worse with each pack. It is like a garbage that is wrapped with a nice looking wrap. the more you try to open it up the more you realize that inside is nothing but garbage

  • Are these the same people who made TS3, or a completely new staff? I’m not sure if people who made (almost) everything possible in TS3, are now acting like this.