New information about Maxis developing a brand new Sims Game (or The Sims 5 as we call it) keeps on surfacing!
We’ve already done a few reports about The Sims 5 and what it might include, such as:
- Maxis opening up plenty of job positions for the next Sims Game; will be prototyped in Unreal Engine
- Maxis is preparing development for The Sims 5’s CAS
- Talks about The Sims 5 potentially being Cross-Platform and Subscription Based
- Hints at The Sims 5 having a Competitive Mode
All of this information came directly from plenty of new job listings that have been posted on the official Maxis Careers website. Today, there’s a brand new job opportunity listed on the website searching for a Senior Narrative Designer to develop prototypes and final versions of, what appears to be, a Story Mode for the next Sims game.
Before I dive deeper into the interesting information that was listed in the new job opportunity please note that this is almost certain information regarding the next Sims game. Career opportunities listed on Maxis Careers that are meant for The Sims 4 are marked as such while the opportunities for the next Sims game are marked just as “The Sims” and mention information such as creating a whole new game, prototyping, new software development tools that are outside The Sims 4’s software scope and more. It’s also worth mentioning that none of the talks about the next Sims Game will impact the current development and content release for The Sims 4 considering that Maxis has different teams working on different projects within the studio. It was also confirmed that Packs will continue to be released regularly as before, along with the new Kits that will have a more frequent release schedule compared to Packs.
Now that we have all the disclaimers out of the way let’s talk about what was mentioned in the Senior Narrative Designer opportunity!
The introduction to the Senior Narrative Designer job opportunity briefly explained what the role is all about, mentioning:
As a Senior Narrative Designer on The Sims, you’ll report to the Creative Director and work with a team of enthusiastic industry craftspeople from all walks of life. You will use your passion and knowledge to lead the development of the narrative experience from initial prototypes through final design.
You will work with your engineering, design, XD, UXR and Production partners, along with using feedback and research insights to create experiences that surprise, delight, and invite millions of gamers around the world to Play with Life.
This vaguely confirms that the next Sims game will have a “narrative experience” and that the future Senior Narrative Designer will have to help develop this new experience from initial prototypes through final design. However, this just scratches the surface of what Maxis is planning for this game. The responsibilities of a Senior Narrative Designer talk a lot about the game having a “narrative vision” within a “non-linear simulation experience”. Some of the other key responsibilites have been highlighted below:
Guide the delivery of the following:
- Define and and maintain the narrative vision of the project.
- Explore new ways to bring characters to life and create emotional experiences in a non-linear simulation experience.
- Work with multiple disciplines to direct and implement the characters, settings, goals, and conflicts from drafts in game.
- Work with the tools team to improve workflow and processes.
- Create design documentation to support prototyping efforts.
- Partner with Development Directors to track tasks, identify risk, and clarify changes in work.
- Partner with UX to design, research, and implement features, particularly for introducing narrative elements and decisions.
- Aid team leadership in gathering presentation materials.
- Playtest, attend UXR sessions, and participate in organizing feedback/insights.
- Document findings for future use in Sims development.
Still, that’s not all. The qualifications section of this job opportunity have revealed which knowledge and qualifications should the future Senior Narrative Designer have.
- Significant Narrative Game Genre design experience, especially in the area of creating the production pipeline to integrate story with the gameplay.
- Significant experience writing fictional stories, ideally interactive experiences.
- Capability to lead cross-discipline prototyping and idea iteration, actively participating in the development of a feature from start to finish.
- Experience with young adult fiction, pop-culture stories, in particular romantic narratives.
- Hands-on implementation for an interactive experience or mod.
- Excited by and helping define new business and distribution models like live services through the lens of narrative elements.
- Knowledge of popular interactive story machinima or mod communities a plus (ex: The Sims, Episode, Grand Theft Auto Online).
- Excellent communication and presentation skills required.
All of these qualifications hint heavily at the possibility of the next Sims game having a story-based feature that’s more than just pre-made household lore that we’ve been met with in the past, especially The Sims 2 and The Sims 3.
Considering that they’ve mentioned decision making, interactive narrative experience all within different story types that are popular today could mean that the game will have a whole Story-driven gameplay – something similar to what we’ve had in The Sims Stories spin-off era.
Be aware that none of this is 100% certain on what the final game could turn out to be considering that the new team at Maxis is still prototyping various features. EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson confirmed that the game will stay true to its core while also exploring new ways to play The Sims.
Considering that so far we’ve had clues and information about the next Sims Game including…
- “The game will stay true to its core”
- It’s being prototyped in a massive, Unreal Engine software used by major game developers
- Will have competitive, online and “subscription-based” features
- …and now is planned to have a non-linear Simluation, Narrative, Story-driven experience
…It’s almost certain that the next Sims game will be more than just one thing.
There’s a lot we don’t know about for The Sims 5 and the game is still early in development but it’s definitely interesting to see what Maxis is planning for the game.
If you want to stay in the loop about the next Sims game make sure you check out our The Sims 5 News Category!