The day has finally come where we get to speculate about a new Sims title!
Electronic Arts regularly updates their EA Careers website with all the latest job offers that they have and talent that they’re looking for. A few weeks ago the website got updated with loads of new positions. Some of these job positions are very interesting and contain information that very much hint at the development of the new Sims title. Here’s all the positions listed on the website which contain this sort of information:
- Executive Producer / Game GM
- Gameplay Software Engineer
- Software Engineer (Temporary)
- Character Modeler
Why are these roles so important? Let’s break down each one and see why they’re hinting towards the production of a new Sims title:
In case you don’t know The Sims 4 already has its own Executive Producer (SimGuruLyndsay) therefore this makes this listing a lot more interesting. The details that have been mentioned in this job listing confirm the fact that Maxis is looking for a person who can lead their new project. Here are all the interesting facts from this listing:
The Executive Producer will be both the creative ambassador, and the person who builds and motivates the team, while partnering within all of Studio leadership to accomplish the goal of shipping a high quality, hugely entertaining title on time and on budget.
- Develop the creative center of the game and build a fully playable/shippable level demonstrating the key attributes of the game (game play, technology, linkages to outside media)
- Expand the playable/shippable level to produce a full AAA title
- Grow the game into a successful franchise capable of multiple versions
- Work with key reports (Senior Producer, Development Director, Art Director, Audio Director, Creative Director and Producers) to create an organizational structure and processes that allow the team to efficiently produce high quality work on time and on budget
- Passionately articulate goals and team principles to help form a stimulating and fun work environment.
- Be able to represent and manage the game as a successful business within the Maxis portfolio against the competitive landscape externally to EA.
- Articulate and serve the games target audience.
- Ensure the product is positioned appropriately with EAs overall strategy.
- Champion the professional development of your people and ensure that EA continues to attract and retain the very best talent.
- Work with Studio Finance to prepare accurate and reasonable project budgets and develop the game within that budget.
- Sell the value of your game across EA and our industry, including interviews & meetings with the press, partner companies, EA executives, etc.
Gameplay Software Engineer (Both Roles)
This listing takes things to a whole new level and proves that EA is looking for someone who can “architect, implement, and maintain user-facing content for The Sims”.
There are several examples and responsibilities provided in this listing.
As a Software Engineer on The Sims, your job will be to architect, implement, and maintain user-facing content for the Sims using Python and C++.
- Implementing gameplay systems written in Python and C++ that are data driven.:
- Sim behaviors: interaction with the world, other Sims, and objects (how would a Flirty Sim behave differently in a pool club versus a bar).
- Ability to build creative real life archetypes within a simulation game (e.g. romance, careers, postures).
- Runtime optimization for performance and memory usage (scaling a simulation engine to include all aspects of human life).
- Work with the team on continuous improvement of the data driven framework that brings designs to life.
- Write software requirement and technical design documentation.
- Work with franchise leaders to continue building unique content for a game that delivers to a large demographic of simulation player patterns.
Why is this listing so interesting? Well, for starters, they’ve mentioned different Sim behaviours and situations, as well as interactions with other Sims and objects. Why would Maxis be on a lookout for someone to implement a gameplay system for situations that are already present in The Sims 4 unless they’re working on something…entirely new.
The listing also mentions creating real life archetypes and types of people inside a simulation game. In case you don’t know, the early days of The Sims 4 was also a massive portrayal of the new system, game engine and the game concept through different personas and archetypes. Just check out some of the concept arts that have been made during the very early days of The Sims 4:
This job listing is the most interesting one as it confirms several things and that’s the fact that Maxis is working on “an exciting new game in The Sims Franchise” and that this game’s team is small at the moment but is growing rapidly. Both The Sims 4 and The Sims Mobile teams have a lot of people working on the game behind the scenes which only means that there’s a third new Sims project currently in development.
The listing mentions this:
Maxis is looking for an Character Modeler for an exciting new game in the best-selling Sims franchise. Do you have excellent modeling and texturing abilities for games? Do you have a passion for creating real-world fashion in a 3D game? Are you able to take direction but work independently when needed to make the best games you possibly can?
If so, then we may have a job for you. We’re a small team now and are growing rapidly. Apply today and join us!
- Create, model, UV, and texture fashion assets such as t-shirts, jeans, jackets, shoes, etc. in a realistic style to a high level of aesthetic quality.
- Participate in meetings with producers, designers, engineers and animators to understand the functional requirements and constraints of characters and how they need to be created.
- Participate in reviews with the Art Director to improve aesthetic consistency and overall look.
- Should be knowledgeable and comfortable in the creation and use of normal maps, specular maps, and generating AO maps.
- Trouble shoot and problem solve assets that are not functioning properly in game. Coordinate with animators and engineers to resolve issues quickly and efficiently.
- Provide project management team with accurate estimates for scheduling work and deadlines
- Be able to come up with concepts and provide basic concept art for some fashion in conjunction with the Art Director.
You can check out this job listing here!
Huge thanks to @PattonPlays2017 for this job listing find!
Things that we bolded above mention an interesting fact which never has been mentioned before in any listing for The Sims 4, and that’s the fact that Maxis is looking for “a realistic style to a high level of aesthetic quality”. This time around Maxis is shooting for realism for the next Sims title with unique, high quality aesthetics.
Usually with The Sims 4 job listings you would see a responsibility asking you to accomodate to a unique art style that’s already present. But this, this is something entirely different.
So, what is the next The Sims title about? It’s too early to tell. As mentioned in the last listing the team for this new The Sims project is still small (although rapidly expanding) and it could take some time before this project sees the light of day.
The Sims 3 started with production in 2005 and got announced in 2008, while The Sims 4 started with production in 2008 and got announced in 2013. This doesn’t mean that this Sims project is a sequel (and it also doesn’t mean that it isn’t) but it could definitely take a while until this new Sims game gets developed, published and released to the world.
Until that happens, The Sims 4 is still going strong with over 3 years planned with exciting new content.