“One of the biggest downsides in The Sims titles has always been their load times. Currently I could fire up my Sims 3 neighborhood and safely go AFK for about 7-15 minutes before I get in-game. During the demo (which was stressed to be played on the alpha version of the same live client that players will have) it was amazing to see the initial load of the game take about 30-60 seconds. Another load into a gym lot took maybe 15 seconds, which was a short load time but much different to experience after playing in The Sims 3’s open world so much recently.
I’d much rather have some 15-60 second load times than a 10-minute wait to get into my game, so I’m completely fine with how this works out! A further Twitter response from Sims 4 Producer Sarah Holding about load times was that ”when you’re traveling between lots you incur a short load. There is only one lot that’s ‘active’ at any single time.“
On The Sims forums, a poster named Cinebar recently inquired whether or not there are loading screens tied to these extra load times. The answer is yes – even though the load times are short, you can expect to see the normal Sims-style loading screens with their silly phrases such as "reticulating splines” and the like!“
Graham Nardone Explains Aging Mechanics on MTS Forums
“Let me help explain aging options a bit more clearly.
First, you can globally set the lifespans of Sims to be short, normal, or long. This applies to all Sims, no matter if you’ve played them or not.
Second, you can choose if unplayed Sims (any Sim that you’ve never taken control over) automatically ages or not.
Third, for Sim families you have played as (for rotational gameplay), you can enable or disable automatic aging and it will apply that setting to all of those families simultaneously. You do also have a third choice for played households to set it so that only the family you’re currently playing automatically ages, and all your other played households will pause their aging until you’re currently playing them again.
Further, in Live Mode, you can use a birthday cake to age up not only your own Sims, but you can use it to age up other unplayed Sims without having to play them, at the time of your choosing.
Someday I would love to expand the aging options so that they can be set per household, but we’re already shipping robust options in the base game that give you a variety of approaches to how you play.”
I don't understand that loading screen thing. Is it like The Sims 2? When you want to visit another household or a community center?
Basically, the town is broken into 5 zones, called neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has 5 lots (a mixture of community and residential). Parks and other public spaces are no longer considered “lots.”
So, an example neighborhood would have three houses, a jazz bar, a comedy club, and public spaces like parks. To enter a neighborhood, you must face a loading screen. Once there, you are cut off from everything outside of the neighborhood. Only one lot can be active at one time, and obviously the active lot must be within the loaded neighborhood. Remember: public spaces do not count as lots, so you can have your house as the active lot and still visit public spaces, which will be populated by Sims.
If you want to visit a neighbor’s house or a community lot like the jazz club, you simply click on one of the lots in your neighborhood. You will have to face another loading screen while you switch active lots. It isn’t exactly like TS2, because you will be able to walk around your neighborhood fully. You only face loading screens when entering a new neighborhood (5 lots and public spaces), or when switching active lots.
We have a world (Willow Creek), and within that world is five distinct neighborhoods that all have a different feel to them.
Within each of those neighborhoods are up to five lots, which can be a residential or a community venue. Via the use of Manage Worlds (which replaces Edit Town), you can freely change any of the lots in any neighborhood to be either residential or community.
We do in fact actually have a sixth neighborhood in Willow Creek, we just don’t refer to it as a “neighborhood” when we’re talking about the game because it has a single large lot in it. You’re free to visit or modify it as you would any other neighborhood, but it was built specifically to be a gorgeous park for Sims to enjoy in the great outdoors.
The unique difference in The Sims 4 is that there is a lot of gameplay in what we’re calling the public spaces of these neighborhoods. Public spaces are the areas that are not part of a lot, and now in The Sims 4 we can place all of our interactive objects out into these public spaces. When Sims are on their lot, they will still consider autonomously using objects that are out in these public spaces - they are no longer confined to their artificial intelligence only thinking about what is on their currently active lot. Consequently, more Sims will want to be out in these public spaces; it makes the neighborhoods come alive with interesting Sims to watch or go out and interact with. It’s a fantastic change that helps our Sims feel more intelligent and lessens the impact of a lot edge as an artificial boundary.
The end result of all of this is that we can pack way more gameplay into these public spaces than you would have seen in the worlds of The Sims 3. They have lots of interactive elements, they’re beautifully decorated and landscaped, and they’re always lively with your neighbors and other various Sims going about their daily lives. It gives us the added benefit of not always needing a lot to fill a particular Sim’s desire…for example, some of the neighborhoods have typical park objects, children’s playground equipment, and bathrooms out in these public spaces for all Sims to enjoy. We do still use community venue lots for certain things (like the Gym for example), because Build Mode tools have to be used on a lot.
Now, when you’re traveling between a world, a neighborhood, or a lot, you will incur a short load. There is only one lot that’s “active” at any single time, meaning if you want to use another lot you will travel there. This allows us to have 20 Sims actively running their full simulation at any time in the neighborhood - that area includes both the public space and your active/loaded lot. When you travel between lots in the same neighborhood, everything that was occurring in those public spaces persists…after the load all of the same Sims will still be where they were, doing what they were doing before you started loading. It’s all feels quite natural when moving around the neighborhood rather than being a disruptive experience.
Counting the number of lots in a single world is a rather arbitrary number in The Sims 4 though, as you can freely travel, move, work, visit, etc, any world, neighborhood, or lot while still retaining the information about who your Sim is, their belongings, their relationships, their family, etc.
There is never a load screen when you walk off a lot into public spaces in the neighborhood that you’re in. Every Sim you see at any time when you’re playing can be reached and interacted with without any loading whatsoever. You will need to load when you walk onto a different lot, even in the same neighborhood. When you arrive on a new lot, that lot will become the active/loaded lot with Sims on it doing stuff, and all of the Sims who were in those public spaces in the neighborhood will still be there doing the same thing they were doing before you switched lots. Because time continues to pass while you’re off in different neighborhoods, and Sims continue to simulate even when they aren’t loaded, when you travel to a completely different neighborhood and then return to the first neighborhood, the Sims who were there previously will have changed.”
The sims four sounds worse and worse every day to me.
Actually, it seems now that Graham wasn’t classifying community lots as lots; he kept calling them “areas” around lots. So I think there are five homes and several community areas within each neighborhood.
MaxBacon on MTS Forums Reveals the Content of the TS4 E3 Demo!
According to user MaxBacon, EA has been showing a 30 minute demo featuring Kim Jong-un and his roommate. They are each given the “Bro” trait, and hijinks ensue.
At one point, Kim Jong-un goes to make cupcakes, which starts a fire due his low cooking skill.
Since Kim and his roomie have the “Bro” traits, they start to laugh at the fire, because apparently “Bro” Sims enjoy sad situations. They both end up dying in the fire because they can’t stop laughing. The video ends with, “Cool Story Bro.”
Well, that sure does sound…interesting.
Keep checking our E3 News Round-Up post for live updates!
The Sims 4 to Have a Partially Closed World! (UPDATED)
The town in TS4 will be open, with separately loadable zones.
I think this is an absolutely genius move for EA. We have always played a “would you rather” game with two world options: an empty, open world filled with rabbitholes, or a lively, populated closed world. Finally, we have the best of both options!
Yes, loading screens are a pain, but you don’t have to load every lot outside of your house like in TS1 and TS2. Rather, you have to load large zones that would otherwise have been filled with rabbitholes to make up for the lag. I’m okay with waiting a moment to load an area if it is interactive and populated with Sims.
I know this change might seem like a step backward, but try to think about how much this will improve gameplay. Graham says there are no rabbit holes “the way we know them." No more rabbitholes! No more empty nightclubs! I’ve never been so excited about loading screens in my life!
"Building Anticipation for The Sims 4" (Leaked article I found on TheSims.com servers)
“Flexible. Fast. Fun. Forgiving.” These are the guiding principles that the design team at Maxisused when we conceived Build Mode for The Sims 4. Everything we’ve added, and everything we adjusted, serves to make the builder’s experience not only easier, but more fulfilling. How did we do it? Here is a quick rundown of what builders have to look forward to with the new Build Mode in The Sims 4.
In The Sims 4, players finally have the Build Mode we’ve always wanted to make. We’ve completely rebuilt the system from the ground up to be both easy to pick up, and non-punishing to experiment in. The whole experience is more powerful, more tactile, and frankly, more fun.
The core difference in this new Build Mode is how quick and easy it is to make changes on the fly. You can pick up any architectural element (such as a wall, staircase, roof, or even an entire room), stretch it, rotate it, and move it without having to delete and start from scratch. Foundations, normally a very tricky element to get right, can be added at any time during the building process; just select one of eight heights and the entire structure adjusts to the change in an instant.
JUST A CLICK AWAY
Did designing an entire house from scratch seem intimidating or time consuming in our previous games? The new Build Mode enables players to realize their vision faster than ever before. With a single click of the mouse, you can do things like put windows on an entire room, or change all the fences on a deck. You’ll find numerous new functions just like these which will make the entire building process less repetitive, yet just as powerful.
Want to build even faster? We’re introducing a brand new feature called Styled Rooms. Browse through the Styled Rooms section of the Build Mode catalog and you can find bathrooms, bedrooms, and many other room types that have been pre-built and furnished just for you. Simply select a room out of the catalog, and place it wherever you want it to be. Not only will you see it fully furnished right away, but you will still have complete control of its customization. You can stretch and rotate it, repaint it, or rearrange the furniture yourself. We’ve seen styled rooms used by beginners and advanced users alike; either as a quick way to slap a beautiful house together, or as a starting point for decorative inspiration.
We’ve done an in-depth study of building in our earlier games (and are avid builders ourselves), and have made it a point to improve as many of the minor inconveniences as possible. We’re sure our expert builders will notice these improvements immediately, while new players will find that the system just does what they want it to!
Object placement is much more intuitive. To give a few examples: chairs can be centered on the sides of tables, even if they don’t line up with the grid, and columns can now be placed directly into fences and walls. You’ll also have increased control of wall object placement. In The Sims 4, you can place wall objects like windows, paintings, and TVs anywhere vertically on the wall (and your Sims will actually crane their necks to look at that TV you cruelly placed near the ceiling)!
We’ve added entirely new architectural features to play with; details such as spandrels, friezes, pilasters, and other fancy sounding words will take your building to the next level. Every part of each roof can be stretched to create a variety of heights, curves, and eaves. There are also three different wall heights to choose from, and you can adjust each floor to have a different wall height! This is a lot of fun to play with, and helps to make buildings much more realistic and unique! Maybe you’ll utilize the high walls on the first floor for a grand entrance, then add a loft on the top floor using the low wall height. The options are endless, and we can’t wait to see where your creativity takes you! Quite simply put, we are ridiculously excited to finally offer this level of detail and control for our players in Build Mode.
According to the updated product description for The Sims 4 on Origin, the game will feature a tool called “The Gallery”, which allows players to browse, share, and download new content without leaving the game.