Take a heartwarming and hilarious look at the development of horses in The Sims 4!
In case you haven’t heard, The Sims 4 Horse Ranch is the next expansion pack coming to The Sims 4! It releases on July 20th, 2023 on all platforms. Obviously, Sims 4 horses have been a highly requested feature for many years now and the Simming community is hyped! Today’s Behind the Sims stream gave eager players a special behind-the-scenes look at how the horses in The Sims 4 were developed. Of course, they included some hilarious early development glitches for us to laugh at, so let’s take a look!
Table of Contents
The Sims 4 Horses: Behind the Scenes
Look and Feel
The Sims 4 has a very distinct art style and the developers wanted to make sure that horses blended in well with that style. So a lot of time was spent on the art style of the horses, making sure that they had the same textures, colour palette and matte, solid hair that The Sims 4 is known for. The result? Some beautiful stylised horses that blend in effortlessly into the overall look and feel of the game.
As you might imagine, animating an animal as complex as a horse was quite the challenge. Horses have a very unique and graceful way of moving that isn’t always easy for humans to replicate in media. They also have four distinct gaits of speed; walk, trot, canter, and gallop. The developers had to make sure that the horses could maintain all four of these gaits while performing complex manoeuvres such as navigating around tight corners fluidly.
To accomplish this, they created new banking animations for their locomotion which helps them maintain the fluid, graceful movements horses are known for no matter what task they’re performing.
The Sims 4 horses weren’t the only animation challenge. The developers also had to think about how Sims would animate both on and off a horse. Inexperienced riders will look awkward and uncomfortable riding a horse and the horse will react to their rider’s lack of skill. They may buck and test the rider if they sense the rider doesn’t know what they’re doing. A lot of thought also had to be put into figuring out how Sims would interact with a horse on the ground vs. on their back. How would riders interact with each other on horseback? Or with other horses? A lot of variables had to be accounted for with the Sims 4 horses.
In addition to grown Sims 4 horses, foals also needed their own animations. The animators spent a lot of time looking at reference photos and videos of foals stumbling around and learning how to use their legs. They wanted to make sure they captured the wobbliness of a newborn foal perfectly.
But watching videos and looking at pictures just isn’t enough to really grasp all the nuances of horse behaviour, so the developers also made several trips out to an equestrian centre. They got a first hand look at the way horses behave and interact with both humans and other animals to make sure that The Sims 4 horses truly felt lifelike in the game.
Fans have been asking for Sims 4 horses for many years and the team wanted to take their time with it to ensure that this highly anticipated feature lived up to expectations and gave horses the attention to detail that they deserve.
Part of that involves education on responsible horsemanship. This pack dispels outdated notions of using horses as tools and “breaking” them to force them to submit to a rider’s will. The emphasis on on positive training methods that treat the horse as a partner and beloved companion.
Okay, okay. We know you want to see the funny glitches, already, so here they are! We love when The Sims Team shares funny mishaps that happen in early development and they didn’t disappoint this time, either!
Here’s a look at some truly horrifying first attempts at bringing horses into the game. Remember: These are early development glitches. You should (hopefully) not see these in your game when you get the pack.
More Horse Ranch Info
While Sims 4 horses are obviously the main focus of The Sims 4 Horse Ranch, they are not the only new feature coming with this pack. There is plenty to do outside of taking care of and training horses, such as nectar making, taking care of mini goats and sheep, and hosting events where your neighbours can come over to bond with your animals.
But for those who can’t get enough Sims 4 horses info, you’ll be happy to know that children can also ride horses and there are plenty of skills you can build with your horse, such as Agility, which can be improved by barrel racing.
There are over 30 breeds to choose from in CAS and plenty of further customization available for them. Check out the wide range of CAS options in the screens below!
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