The Sims 4

VentureBeat: How entertainment and ‘life’ give life to The Sims



Maxis senior vice president Lucy Bradshaw and Sims Studio GM Rachel Franklin see the voyeuristic side of our society as a wealth of source material when it comes to making The Sims.

Their fireside chat at the GamesBeat 2014 conference, Franklin and Bradshaw cited the ever-changing entertainment media landscape as key inspirations for their long-running franchise. It’s not only about entertainment but also how people consume it.

The pair took this opportunity to share what Sims means to them. Franklin noted that this is a game that relies on little to no consulting with behavioral professionals, “It’s less of a life simulation but more a game about drama.” Bradshaw added that the Sims is a reductionist view of life, influenced by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It’s also a series that combines behavioral tension with user experimentation, were the best possible outcome is drama. Those outcomes are complemented by happy experiences like giving birth to a child or a first kiss.

“We want players to imbue a sense of importance. Create-a-Sim in Sims 4 just became all the more important. …” Bradshaw said. “You can choose traits that reflect real stories, like coming out of the closet or the death of a family member.”

The studios behind The Sims also do not get enough credit for striking that balance between the serious moments in life, while also keeping things lighthearted. A perfect example is the Grim Reaper, the avatar of Death who also uses a tablet. As Franklin put it, “We want to explore all these different facets of life, but it’s still game. … You should have a satisfying journey, but it should still be fun.”

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Thanks SnootySims for the find!

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