GamesRadar had a chance to interview Grant Rodiek, a producer on The Sims 4 Expansion Packs about the upcoming EP – The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs!
GamesRadar+: Have pets been something that fans have been asking to see return to Sims?
Grant Rodiek: Let me put it this way: before we even launched the base game, fans were asking for this expansion. Dogs and cats are the most requested feature in every Sims life cycle and it is our single biggest challenge as a studio, for a couple reasons:
One, we have to add two new species, and if you look ‘under the hood’, it’s actually five: puppies, kittens, small dogs, large dogs, cats. This means we have to do, in some cases, five times the animation we normally do, not to mention we need to animate every permutation of child to puppy, adult to puppy, and so forth (when you think about socials). Basically, from a technical perspective, it requires a massive update to the engine that no other expansion requires.
Two, people are very passionate about pets. Cats and dogs are so meaningful to people’s lives, and they are very focused on what they can do in our game.
GamesRadar+: How will this Sims 4 expansion build on what we saw in Sims 3?
Grant Rodiek: Firstly, the new Create a Pet tool is amazing. It is arguably the best creative tool we have ever made. It is so simple to choose a breed, create mix breeds, paint spots, use our stencil tool, and for the first time ever, add pet clothing (shark fins, helmets, and more). Secondly, we added the ability for Sims to be veterinarians; you can purchase, design, and set up a veterinarian clinic. You can hire staff, train them, and your Sims and their family can be veterinarians. As you build your skills, you’ll be able to diagnose symptoms, treat pets, and even conduct surgery. [As for the pets themselves,] we wanted them to feel, look, and act like living, breathing household pets. They have routines, quirks, and more nuanced behavior. You’ll see cats climb on almost every surface in your house and glare at dogs from the top of the refrigerator. Dogs will sneak on the couch to sleep upside down and snore at night.