As you have seen by now The Sims 4 is going to have a much more stylized look instead of realistic that most games go for. Personally I am happy about this because the game is going to keep that “game” feel. What amazed me while it is cartoony how well you can still recreate a real person because there is just so much control!
Disclaimer: what we saw was pre-alpha software, it was absolutely gorgeous and not even finished! What we also had was just a taste of Create-A-Sim, we had limited options in clothes and hair.
In case you have lived in Shang Simla for the last week I will summarize how the controls work: you click the area you want to adjust (for instance the top of the nose) and move your mouse. That changes the shape of the nose.
Before you could change one slider at a time and then had to struggle to find the corresponding slider so that the nose looked right. With the sims 4 there is a pushing/pulling method (direct manipulation) it changes what is now 4-5 slides in tandem (at the same time). It feels very intuitive and is easy to do.
What exactly you can edit on the Sim depends on the angle you are using to look at your Sim. For instance a front view allows you to edit the bosom but not the behind. Then you can also go into detailed mode. On the face in normal mode you can edit the size of the eyes/rotation. In detailed mode you can set the height of the lower or upper lid.
There are going to be many presets that will be like the base of your Sim, from which you can edit and make truly your personal Sim. Including many different ethnicities. What I found is that it is hard to use just 1 preset and completely change it, you need to use a preset that is closest to the finished result that you want.
The only real body sliders I saw were the weight and muscle definition sliders.
New in CAS
For the first time we can now also change the iris, ears and feet. Features I did not even think of wanting and think it is awesome that they gave it. Iris’s you can make as small as you want or really big; you can make huge feet, which is great, I have a big shoesize in Real life.
We did not see sliders for skintones, but there was discussion about having as many options in there that could be done. If possible, including funky colors! What color Sims do you want to make? Tweet it to use at @platinumsimmers
We saw a few tops, trousers and shoe options. What was great here that the game knew when a trouser was skintight or boot-cut. Skintight trousers will go under boots, boot-cuts will go over. We will talk more about emotions in another article but what we were told is that a red dress can have effect on the emotional state of a Sim vs another color.
With color being that important in the game, I wonder how much customization we will have. Will the game recognize something as red when I select the color myself? I’m no expert in game design but wouldn’t it be great if it could?
Disclaimer: there was no talk about picking colors ourselves, there was at most talk about having many pre-set options. Will say here that customization is one of many things that makes us love our The Sims games. Personally I cannot imagine Maxis releasing a game where we cannot go insane with colors. If the game is going to be dependant on Pre-Sets might I suggest a lot of Purple, Black and Fuchsia Pink pre-sets? 😉
You know when I was seeing all the sculpting we can do on the Sims themselves, I almost thought, what if we can do that on the hair too?! Not the case… but I do think the hair is gorgeous, it really makes the Sim have this stylized look. Hair colors are pretty static atm, you pick the main color (remember The Sims 2) and the game has set the highlights/roots for you. It will be a hard change back if we lose our creativity with the roots/tips/etc that we have in The Sims 3.
Rocking the bald look!
I really like you can put hats on any hairstyle nowadays, it is just a great addition that I did not even think of wanting.
Accessories & Makeup
There were buttons for both accessories and Makeup, but they were greyed out and we could not use them.
I love that you can change the walk of the Sim, the Snooty walk makes me laugh. I cannot wait to see how this is going to be in the game. During gameplay we have only seen emotional walks and I think this will be perfect for machinae makers, there is a lot more range in animations.
Ever made a Sim using the the randomize and liked the hair+hair color but not the rest? We can now select what options you want to randomize and what not? We can now do that in the sims 4!! This was #1 on my wishlist for The Sims 4 CAS because I have it in other games. I’m thrilled that this has been added to my Sims game.
There is also a random name generator button! It took Maxis several expansion packs before we got that in The Sims 3.
In the gamescom version we had buttons to show the Sim in animation form, sad, happy and angry. I hope we get to keep these options, having your sim showing a certain animation just works so great in screenshots instead of the static Sim. Also it helps to avoid situations like in neutral mode a Sim looks awesome, then have her/him smile
You want to know about other ages of the Sims in TS4? Me too! We hit the ‘no comment’ wall quite a few times, at this point they are not discussing ages.
We saw this very nice button:
I did not get a reply that secondary aspirations are in the game for sure [or if I did, I may have forgotten/missed it, information overload is an understatement for this week], but that sure does hint at it right? What I got is a ‘you will be very happy with it’ after I explained that I really like the game giving me goals to finish.
Also, notice the random button in the UI?
You can also change the voice, not just the pitch but it really sounds like a different voice, as Jill said the Audio team did a great job at making unique voices.
Female voice options
Male voice options
More randomize buttons! That will be good to have!
I was very curious for the next generation of CAS. The Sims 1 gave us the choice of three basic skin-tones and body-shapes, with hair and clothes fixed to these presets. The Sims 2 allowed us more freedom, with a 3D doll which could change hair, shape and clothes while retaining the same features. The Sims 3 took this one step further, with sliders allowing for more freedom between shapes and colours, and certain options for layering clothes. While we still couldn’t put jacket over a Sim’s jeans and t-shirts, we could now mix and match shoes and accessories.
Each game had a big change but I think the change to sculpting the Sim with the mouse in The Sims 4 is one of the biggest. I really hope we get an early version (like bodyshop) before the Sims 4 is released so that we can already play with it!
A huge thanks to @SimsVIP for allowing me some of her screenshots in this article!
How are genetics going to work?
How will our creativity be satisfied with colours?
Will we get an early version of CAS like Bodyshop and Create-A-Pet?