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Snow was always a challenge for The Sims Franchise

The news about snow not having depth in The Sims 4 Seasons Expansion Pack truly disappointed me. I immediately started comparing it in my head to previous Seasons EPs that we got for The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 and wondered why a game developed in 2014 is unable to do something that games from 2004 and 2009 were able to. Yes, it all looked fantastic in my imagination but when it came for me to open The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 for the sake of this comparison article I quickly realized why snow was never perfect in The Sims Franchise in the first place.

The Sims 2 will definitely take the crown when it comes to adding the best version of snow depth in The Sims Franchise. The second, deep version of snow that you see below looks perfect at first sight. However, there are some imperfections…

The Sims 2 has a closed world, meaning that there are no active neighborhoods and no Sims passing around (sidewalk excluded). Because of that everything beyond your lot will look less detailed, which is why snow on your active lot looks like you applied the “Bevel & Emboss” Photoshop effect to it.

The concept of deep layers of snow on the top of your roof was great, however its execution never looked 100% perfect.

All in all, with all its flaws The Sims 2 still takes the crown for best execution of snow. That probably wouldn’t have been the case if The Sims 2 was an open-world game with each neighborhood / world being alive…

The Sims Team had to step up with snow in The Sims 3, considering that each world and every surface in it had to be covered in snow. It sounds promising in theory, but its execution was very, very poor…

Snow is so complex in The Sims 3 Seasons that there’s a chance it will literally break any world that you’re playing. Its addition of gradual snow layers makes things even worse as it gradually opens up holes near each street and corner.

It was always a tricky situation with snow in The Sims 3 Seasons as you might “break the illusion” with the slightest move. One thing that the game definitely did right was the roofs, as they looked perfect with each depth.

Snow in The Sims 4 Seasons will only feature one, flat snow depth that only looks visually striking once you tilt the camera at certain angles.

When it comes to roofs The Sims Team has made some certain efforts to make the snow layers on roofs blend naturally with certain lighting.

The snow looks flat once you tilt the camera at ground levels, but there are enough effects such as snow footprints and gradual transition between the ground and an object placed outside to give you an impression that there’s some depth to it.

The Sims Team had an opportunity to gamble and ship The Sims 4 Seasons with wanted, but potentially buggy snow depth. However, as Grant Rodiek confirmed himself, the team didn’t have the confidence to do it and instead went with the route to make snow without any visual depth.

I’ve read tons of tweets and comments about the lack of snow depth and the opinions are mixed with no certain conclusion if the community likes or dislikes this decision. I myself am not really satisfied with this decision, but if anything, I’m glad that there’s nothing major about snow that could visually break the game.

About the author

Jovan Jovic

Founder of the Sims Community website. I do plenty of things around here including writing articles such as "Top 10 Disney Princesses in The Sims", social media management, video content creation, streaming and more!


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  • I never had any breaks in snow in the sims 3 I always thought it was the best visually. Everyone’s computer handles the game differently

  • I’d be more than fine with just 2 layers of snow: the flat when the snowfall is light and a somewhat thicker for when the snowfall is heavier. It didn’t have to have extreme thick snow, at least I don’t think it did. But some depth would have been nice just to cause the impression that it’s actually layering up.

  • Maybe its because I live in the desert I don’t really care. Also, they had a decision to make and they made it. they decided to take that resource and energy and put into alot of other things which im happy with tbh.

  • where i live we only get a light dusting every decade or so, so flat snow is fine with me!! it’s what im used to lol

    • What? I believe Sims 4 is a completely different game now. And is not comparable to the Sims 3.

      Please note that the sims 4 focused more on “the sims (people), it’s even in the game’s name. Now, the sims have become more lively, having emotions, more details, having not to move in robotic ways like sims 3 does.

      Yes, I guess it’s more on the sims rather than life.

      • They focused too much on the emotions and now the sims’ personalities seem bland. The traits change little to nothing in the gameplay and you can manipulate every sims just as easily. While in TS2 sims have attraction to others or even autonomous dislike without the player having to do anything. Even though it’s an old game I think TS2 was the one that delievered one of the most interesting sims ever on the franchise. But that may change if they decide to implement that kind of system into TS4.

        • grantz did say this was something they overlocked and try to change. They try to make betetr traits and update old ones iif posible or lets say thay make a pack wear it would make sense to simply ubdate an already existion BG trait PLUS a favouritzs and turn off and on systhem is aparently on tehy to do list! the question is just when does it become a priority over a difrent freture

      • I keep hearing that Sims 4 Sims are samey, they’re robotic, and they’re predictable. I don’t agree fully but I definitely like them better in 2/3.

        • It’s not that they are robotic, they just feel…simple. As if it were a TV show and the characters in it had no depth or whatsoever, you know what I mean?

  • I’m satisfied with the decision, myself. I also don’t agree that the Sims 4 snow only looks good at certain angles — we’ve seen screenshots and videos of the snow from various angles and zooms, and except for its undeniable flatness, it definitely looks good. More striking at some angles, maybe; but that’s how real snow behaves, as well. It’s also not going to sparkle as much if the weather is overcast or if it’s dark outside; again, like real life. I also think they’ve done a much better job blending snow objects (like the snow angels) than in the Sims 3, where you could definitely see that it was a separate object sitting on top of the ground versus an object that’s blending into the ground. I could see a definite seam in Sims 3; in the screenshot above, no seam.

    All that being said, we are all of us basing our opinions on screenshots and videos that have been given to us, not on what we have observed ourselves in-game. It could look absolutely stunning in-game; it could look horrible. We won’t know until later this month.

    All in all, though, I’m glad you’ve made this article, because it makes me feel a lot better about the dev team’s decision to not include deep snow.