It’s The Sims 21st birthday and what better way to celebrate than with 21 presents to discover in game! Find out everything you need to know as well as interviews with each of the creators who contributed content to the 21st birthday patch!
As of February 4, The Sims™ is officially 21 years old (wow!). Sure, we’re remembering 21 years of reticulating splines and WooHooing, of missing pool ladders and neighbors who just walk into your house. But it’s not just about us. It’s about you, our community. You make this game what it is today—sometimes literally—and so, as we celebrate our birthday, we’re also celebrating you!
This year, nine creators from The Sims community pitched in to share their talents in honor of the occasion. Starting now, you can unwrap 21 new presents in The Sims 4*, designed by your fellow players!
Ahead, we’re digging into the stories behind the creations, so grab a Simsmapolitan and let’s party on!
Find all the new creations in the game now! And don’t forget to give your fellow players a shout-out for their wonderful contributions. After all, you make The Sims! Let’s share the love.
Come hang out and celebrate with us on The Sims Forums; share your favorite Simmers with us using #YouMakeTheSims on Twitter and Instagram; like us on Facebook; and subscribe to our YouTube channel. You can also sign up for The Sims 4 newsletter to get all the news as soon as it’s announced.
*REQUIRES THE SIMS 4 (SOLD SEPARATELY) AND ALL GAME UPDATES. FOR PC, SEE MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PACK.
The Sims and You: “The Sims is important to me, as it is my creative design outlet. In real life, it’s impossible to redecorate every week, but in-game, the possibilities are endless. I create furniture pieces that reflect my own personal style, and the game enables me to bring all the elements to life. I have the perfectionist trait, so I just had to create the exact pieces I require to capture my vision to the fullest.”
Why These Creations?: “I created the furniture pieces as part of a wider kitchen set. The tables in particular were created because I really wanted a simple and versatile wooden table to use in builds of all styles. The bouquet of flowers, however, was the last piece I created before submitting my pieces for consideration. I am really happy that this was able to be included, as it is very rare that a bouquet of flowers is added into the game, and I share—like many others in the community—a great love for plants in-game, as they bring a house to life.”
Behind the Scenes: “The content added into the game reflects my design perspective and also my perspective on what The Sims community surrounding me wants more of in their game. My content looks to bring people from all walks of life together and bring a smile to their faces as they create.”
The Sims and You: “The Sims has been an ever-present part of my life since I was a child! I grew up with the game and, when the time came, it helped me explore my own identity free of judgment. It encouraged me to think creatively and eventually make things I wanted to see in my game!”
Why These Creations?: “For a long time, I mainly played the 100 Baby Challenge! Eventually, all those toddlers start to blend together. I loved being able to create more opportunities for them to show their personality through clothes!”
Behind the Scenes: “In real life, I’m a nanny! I spend a lot of time around younger kids. Even toddlers can have such distinct styles and preferences, so it feels right to make sure that’s represented in my own game.”
The Sims and You: “I actually grew up on The Sims! I remember playing Bustin’ Out on the original Xbox when I was, like, 4 or 5. I would occasionally play the Story Mode, and my small little brain couldn’t really understand how to progress past moving into Mimi’s house. When I would play Freeplay—and I know some of you will understand my struggle—there would be SO MANY FIRES. All my Sims would die and come back as ghosts, and I’m not even gonna lie, I would have nightmares. So growing up, it really did have a huge role in my life. Then, in 2013, my passion reignited and I bought The Sims 3, and I would spend hours on that game amid school and extracurriculars. I think I got almost 700 hours in 4-ish years.
“When I found out about custom content, I absolutely fell in love, and once upon a time in 2014, I made a tutorial on how to install CC on The Sims 3. I look back on this and I just have to smile because these years were insanely amazing. I got The Sims 4 in 2017, and I just instantly got addicted to making my own original characters in the game. I would play with them and see how their kids would look, how their lives would go, and just enjoy playing. I ended up getting about 35 GB of CC and found a YouTuber who made video tutorials on how to make CC, so I decided to try my hand at it. I would stay up for hours making the CC, fine-tuning it, and making all the preview images. It was so relaxing, and knowing that I was making content to go in the game? It was wild and made me so happy and proud. I would create stuff that I really wanted to see in the game, such as my ‘go-to’ eyeshadow look and eyebrows that I wished I could have. It was incredible—just the experience itself made me feel so creative and imaginative.”
Why These Creations?: “Much of my inspiration behind my pieces was a desire for diversity. I knew that no matter what I created, I wanted it to show that everybody is beautiful, no matter what they may look like. And something that I wanted to do was create items based on my pets… who happen to be rats. Primrose and Yuno were some of my first rats who have sadly passed, and Toby is a rat that is still alive!
“My Yuno highlighter was created because it’s genuinely something that was not in the base game, but I knew it was a necessity in all of my Sims that I created. I also wanted to have a selection for diverse skin tones and the opacity/hue slider is absolutely perfect for that. The two brows that I created, Prim and Toby, were also supposed to highlight a more ‘natural’ brow that’s not well defined. I wanted them to be bushy and beautiful because those are the brows I’m extremely jealous of in my real life, so naturally, all my Sims have to have them.”
Behind the Scenes: “As an LGBTQ+ person living in a very conservative, religious place, creating CC is one of my outlets. I can make things that I want to make and put my heart and soul into it, and at the end of the day, I would have had a great time and something tangible. I believe that everyone should be themselves. There are really no rules to existing. Be who you want to be, believe what you want to believe, and identify however you want. People can be rude about it, people can try and tear you down, but at the end of the day? You’re being yourself, and that’s really all that matters.
“That’s why I love making custom content. The possibilities are really endless. You can do, quite literally, whatever you want. Makeup, hair, clothing, objects? You can do it! That’s what I love about The Sims. It never fails to be a safe place for me. I create Sims that reflect my beliefs, I can make whatever story I want, and nobody can challenge that. My custom content is supposed to show people that you can do whatever you want and people will still be there to support you. I have an amazing family, incredible friends, and I’ve made friends with lots of fellow Simmers who are all so, so talented, it’s unbelievable. The Sims community is just that: a community. A place for everyone to be themselves, and that’s what I love about being a part of it.”
The Sims and You: “The Sims is important as it allows me to express my creativity unlike any other game I play. I have always pursued more scientific or mathematical studies and work, which does appease the logical side of the brain, but doesn’t give me an outlet for the creative side. I used to draw quite a bit, and played with Legos as a child, making what I thought up reality. In a game like The Sims, I can not only have free creative reign with the tools given, but there is also the possibility of adding my own creations to the game and sharing those with the community through the support of third-party mods and custom content.
“I create both original and add-on content for The Sims 4, and the creative process usually starts while playing. It is rooted in the desire to make the game how I envision, whether that is while playing a household or building and decorating a house. The spark of creativity most often comes from those places of desire, rather than just wanting to create for the sake of it. By creating what I want, I put my heart and soul into making it the best I can. I believe that is what makes my content stand out, and I have been told that on many occasions. I pride myself on my content, which I hope speaks to people as much as it does to me. I want them to enjoy it as much as I did making it, and for the most part, I think I achieve that on all my sets. So I would say that the way I approach creating, by making what I desire and not what someone else would want, makes the approach I take unique to myself.”
Why These Creations?: “The items I submitted are pieces I felt best expressed my style, as well as items I felt would be the most useful. My main goal as a creator is to make content that is easy to mix and match with game content and my own creations so I can create a unique game like no other. It’s why my creations have multiple styles, which can give a piece of furniture a different personality.
“The console is a type of furniture I find very versatile. I like to include it in a lot of my sets because of its usability. As hallway tables, TV stands, or placed behind a sofa for storage and decor, they are very useful. I chose that particular design out of the many I have made as it is a take on Mid-Century Modern, which is my all-time favorite style. Simple, functional, but also stylish. If I was to furnish my home in one style, it would be Mid-Century, and I’d have a console table like that.
“The wardrobe was from one of my first bedroom sets. Again, it is in a Mid-Century style. I created it because, at the time, there weren’t many wardrobes in the game, and not many of those were modern. Not having a built-in closet myself, it is a furniture piece I utilize in everyday life. I like that it gives another option to having a dresser, and gives visual interest to a room because of its height. I also loved the leg detail and sliding door design. It’s also a great example of my love of color, adding pops of it throughout a room.
“The cloud mirror, I feel, reflects my more playful side. It was from a children’s room set. I like the idea that kids can enjoy cute and fun things that kinda fade away as you get older, as people expect you to ‘grow up.’ So I wanted items that embraced the idea that kids can still enjoy fun things and not have to grow up too fast. The emoji cloud mirror embraced that idea to its fullest. Everyone needs a happy or sad cloud, even the cheeky one. I also love mirrors as decor, since they have an important function in the game as a source of skill-building, but can also be a great addition to a room by simply making it an interesting design.”
Behind the Scenes: “I feel Australia is laid-back and playful in nature, which I hope I embody, at least most of the time. We are also on the younger side when considering our nation’s age, so we tend to not be weighed down as much by older architectural and design styles. I feel our biggest influence comes from a period of great prosperity for our country, and that was the mid-1900’s, when Mid-Century Modern was at its peak. The style is simple and clean, but also has some fun with color and patterns. It’s not stuffy or weighed down by details, and that is probably why we gravitate toward it. It’s definitely reflective of our age and lifestyle as a country.
“I also value simplicity, ease of use, uniqueness. I believe a little part of me is in every creation, and I hope that is reflective in what has been added. I don’t want my content to have just one use; I want people to be able to freely incorporate it in many unique and surprising ways. It may look simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. I always aim to create content that will stand the test of time and not be gimmicky. I want myself and people to enjoy using it for years to come.”
The Sims and You: “Growing up with The Sims and being a part of The Sims community has enriched my life in many ways. It has been a catalyst for many valuable skills I’ve learned, including 3D modeling and graphic design. Being able to contribute to such an open-minded community has been rewarding and continues to help me gain confidence in myself.”
Why This Creation?: “I created the crow’s feet skin detail because it helps create distinctive-looking adult Sims. Aging in The Sims is an important aspect of storytelling, and having more options to tell that story through Create-a-Sim is always welcome in my game.”
Behind the Scenes: “I like to tell stories with The Oakes—a family that consists of two middle-aged dads and their three children. Being LGBTQ+ myself, it makes me happy to play with Sims that I can relate to and that feel real—like they could be your neighbors. Creating realistic interpretations of unique families and people in The Sims is important to me in a world that is not as accepting of it as it should be. I am thankful that The Sims provides me with an outlet to imagine a perfect world where this is possible.”
The Sims and You: “The Sims for me is all about wish fulfillment. Nothing overly ambitious. Nothing fantastical. Just a dream of peaceful regular life free from stress. I use The Sims to live the life I cannot live in real life… at least, not yet. Sims has been a very big part of life all through my late teens, 20s, and now 30s. It is an oasis of peace and calm in a very hectic and stressful life. It’s like the warm embrace of a lifelong friend.
“I started creating for the game because I wanted my Sims to have a nice garden, nice food, and some engaging hobbies. Whenever I see something I like, be it food, drinks, fruits, vegetables, or crafts, I rush to create it in-game. I get a lot of creating inspiration while playing the game itself. Making stuff for the game is a huge creative outlet for me. I share my creations hoping that it will bring joy to others who have the same play style!
“Frankly, I don’t know what I would do if there was no The Sims or creating for The Sims in my life!”
Why These Creations?: “When I was given the opportunity to create something for The Sims’ 21st birthday, I immediately knew that I would create food. Food is love and food is life. What can be a more appropriate creation than good food for something as monumental as a 21st birthday? In my part of the world, we express love and care by making food for our loved ones. So following that custom, I decided to provide some delicious edible treats for my beloved The Sims. I carefully made a collection of my favorites, and I hope people like them too!”
Behind the Scenes: “While growing up, I had a shortlist of favorite foods. Creamy, flavorful butter chicken with warm basmati rice was one of them. Simple yet delicious. It is a comfort food. Butter, juicy chicken, cream, and a handful of common Indian spices made this a quintessential North Indian dish. When you pair it with fragrant basmati rice or peas rice, the stomach, the mind, and the soul are satiated. It is almost a default favorite dish of a majority of people from North India! Be it homemade butter chicken or butter chicken eaten at a roadside dhaba (Punjabi eatery), it tastes divine.
“As a kid, I used to be obsessed with Popeye and his can of emergency spinach. The message was that if you could just bear eating this green, leafy vegetable, then you would be as strong as Popeye and vanquish all your enemies! But you had to keep on eating it to refill your strength. You just had to ignore the taste of spinach, which could be difficult for some. I used to think us Indian kids had it easy! We had palak paneer! Our secret weapon! The goodness of spinach and the benefits of milk give us endless strength. All together in a delicious dish! Spinach and cottage cheese may not taste good individually, but when combined into palak paneer or spinach cheese, it was heavenly! At home, we ate it with rice or paratha (flatbread), and in the restaurant, we paired it with the delicious butter naan. A freshly made butter naan is perfect to soak up the rich and savory palak paneer gravy.
“Who doesn’t love chocolate? Chocolate makes the world go round! It’s a favorite all over. It transcends borders, languages, and cultures. Chocolate mousse is a soft, fluffy, and tasty chocolate concoction topped with some sweet whipped cream. A perfect dessert. My favorite dessert!”
The Sims and You: “The Sims is such a massive part of my life. Not only have I been playing the game since I could reach a keyboard and mouse, but it has evolved into something so much more valuable to me than just a game. The friendships I have made as part of the community through playing the game and creating content for it are so special to me. The Sims has given me so many amazing people in my life that all have the same love and passion for this franchise that I do, and it’s truly something special. I love the game, and I’ll be playing it into my 90s, I’m sure, but the relationships I have built as part of the community are what make it so truly special and important.
“My creation process is very much linked to who I am as a person. It’s a bit chaotic and unpredictable, but also incredibly cathartic and fun. I love spending time with my community, brainstorming ideas and thinking of things to make. I am a very creative person, and custom content is my main creative outlet. Whenever I am stressed or moody, creating something new to put out into the world brings me so much joy. It’s an instant +10 happiness moodlet.”
Why These Creations?: “I love makeup. It’s such an incredible form of self-expression, and while I don’t wear it myself, I absolutely love the expression it allows for. The community has always shown such a massive love for all of the makeup that creators make, and I wanted to add just a little drop of that to the game myself. It’s an incredible achievement to be able to say that I contributed to what is one of the most in-depth character creators ever made, a tool that players use to make themselves and represent the world around them. I knew I wanted to add to that in my own way.”
Behind the Scenes: “Growing up as part of the LGBTQ+ community, I struggled to find people I fit in with. The Sims and its massive community were the first places that allowed me to feel really connected to people like me who use the game to express themselves. Every time I release a makeup item, I see it reflected back on every type of person, be it a stunning drag queen character, a makeup artist Sim living in San Myshuno, or just a regular person who has used it to create themselves in the most authentic version they can dream up. It’s an amazing feeling and it brings me such fulfillment. The Sims was the first place that I could unapologetically create a gay character and have them live out their best life. It really holds a special place as part of my own journey in life, and I’d like to think every single item I make, even if it’s not something I’d wear in real life, is helping someone else do the same thing.”
The Sims and You: “I’ve been playing The Sims with my mom since before I could even read! She taught me how to make CC for The Sims 3, so I owe it all to her. I still find it so crazy that something that I made will be in a game that I’ve been playing my whole life!”
Why This Creation?: “The hat is based on an unused concept from the Nifty Knitting Stuff Pack that I really liked and wanted to see if I could recreate myself!”
Behind the Scenes: “For a personal touch, six of the swatches are based on my real cats (I currently have Suki and Daisy, the gray and white/light brown swatches)!”
The Sims and You: “I find The Sims important because it gives the player the ability to create nearly any scenario they desire, with whoever or whatever they desire (human, animal, supernatural creature—nearly endless possibilities are in The Sims). To me specifically, it became important growing up because I was able to use the game as a large distraction from the real world. This grew immensely whenever I became a custom content creator, which I found made playing the game even more of an enjoyable experience for myself. I create content for Create-A-Sim, and being able to play the game and see the Sim that I have created with a hair or outfit on that I have created myself gives a boost to the experience of playing through the game.”
Why These Creations?: “Out of the handful of content submitted for the anniversary update, two pieces of clothing that I have created were those that got into the game. I am usually a hair creator, so when I do make clothes, it is a few times out of the year. Both of these items—the jeans and the top—were created last summer while I was working on a large custom content pack I released later that year. As someone who primarily creates hairstyles, I always get a sort of buzz whenever I create a piece of clothes, as it feels like a new and fresh experience that I haven’t had for a while.”
Behind the Scenes: “Whenever I was growing up, I had two older twin sisters who I adored, and I would play with their dolls a lot of the time. I eventually got my own dolls, and at some point, I decided, ‘Okay I want to make clothes for my dolls. I’m going to start cutting up my sisters’ clothes to do it.’ That obviously did not pan out well for me, as I ended up cutting a red strip off of one of their prom dresses. Oops.
“My point being, I find creating clothing and hair custom content for The Sims similar to a doll maker. I can give my Sims nearly any look or style I want through the game or already released custom content in the community. However, if there is something I can’t come up with or find using available items, I am able to make it myself. The jeans and top added to the anniversary update are both very simple pieces of clothing that I adore using on my Sims, as they look like something you would find in fashion today, and it is the style I personally like best on the Sims I create.”