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Rene Speculation: Lore and Narrative Design [Creative Direction]

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  • simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 585 Member
    edited October 30
    g01denswan wrote: »
    g01denswan wrote: »
    g01denswan wrote: »
    g01denswan wrote: »
    g01denswan wrote: »
    I too have been playing since The Sims and have never played any pre-made character except for the Newbies. I would rather they spend the money on more interactions and animations instead of on things that are of no use to me.

    I think the Narrative Designer will be working by themself in designing the lore independently of the animators and software engineers.

    The money still comes out of The Sims budget, and I would like it to be spent on things we can’t do ourselves. We’ll be able to create our own sims, or download sims that other simmers create.

    I don't care much for CAS, but I'm not going to suggest that money shouldn't be allocated to that because I know there are other players who care about it.

    Nobody is suggesting that you should suggest that money shouldn’t be allocated to CAS. I just stated my preference for the money to be used for interactions and animations instead since I don’t play with pre-made characters. It’s no different from you hoping for the money to be spent on characters with backstories instead of interactions and animations.

    Okay, thanks for clarifying. It sounded like you were suggesting that you were hoping that the Sims Team doesn't take money out of the budget for things you personally don't care about, like lore, at the expense of everyone else who cares about it. I would not want to subject other fans to that trade-off, which is why I did not say I want money to be spent on characters with backstories instead of interactions and animations and I did make the point to say "I'm not going to suggest that money shouldn't be allocated to that"

    I think we both agree that we all need to be somewhat selfless here as there are many fans with different priorities.

    Unfortunately, there’s always a trade-off as our wants for the game is unlimited while Maxis has a limited budget. So every time we ask for something, we’re being selfish even if we don’t state what we would prefer to be excluded. Let’s not lie to ourselves to feel better about not being selfless. 😀

    Then selfishly I care about them hiring at least a single narrative designer to work on lore. Hardly much of the budget. And they’re already hiring one so I don’t know what else to tell you. If you don’t care about the lore I guess that’s a small part of the budget not being spent on something you want. Just how it works :)

    That’s fine as I’m sure they’ll also add things I want, that you don’t. 😁 They may even omit things you want more than lore, but now won’t as they have spent the money on adding lore. 😜

    This is now getting a little passive aggressive. Let’s get back on topic.
    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Wants-based rotational player | My gameplay rules via PleasantSims | Bring back challenge and depth to the Sims: https://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/comment/17959464/#Comment_17959464
  • simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 585 Member
    edited October 30
    What if they have to choose between lore and build mode? How do they choose which gets the most attention? Hopefully we can influence them as storytelling and lore really needs focusing on.

    Sims 4 has great worlds that are lovely to look at. The build tool is the best. CAS has a lot of elements and clothes.
    What it lacks is the ability to play out stories and consequences. I have to imagine Ralph still remembers Sally beat him at chess so that’s why he’s going to give a mean greeting at the park. Lavania Chopra was forced to retire as mayor to make way for someone younger so she’s plotting her revenge on the villagers of Henford-on-Bagley.

    I love playing Pleasantview in Sims 2 as you can get right into the story of who lives there. I would love that captured in Sims 5 with updated graphics. 😊

    It’s one thing to make each premade family with lore but connecting them to each other is what really makes the town shine.

    I agree with the point about imaging things in your head. A lot of video essays have been made about this topic. Carl’s Sims Guide has a great one with over 100k views:
    Post edited by simmerorigin on
    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Wants-based rotational player | My gameplay rules via PleasantSims | Bring back challenge and depth to the Sims: https://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/comment/17959464/#Comment_17959464
  • g01denswang01denswan Posts: 941 Member
    g01denswan wrote: »
    g01denswan wrote: »
    g01denswan wrote: »
    g01denswan wrote: »
    g01denswan wrote: »
    I too have been playing since The Sims and have never played any pre-made character except for the Newbies. I would rather they spend the money on more interactions and animations instead of on things that are of no use to me.

    I think the Narrative Designer will be working by themself in designing the lore independently of the animators and software engineers.

    The money still comes out of The Sims budget, and I would like it to be spent on things we can’t do ourselves. We’ll be able to create our own sims, or download sims that other simmers create.

    I don't care much for CAS, but I'm not going to suggest that money shouldn't be allocated to that because I know there are other players who care about it.

    Nobody is suggesting that you should suggest that money shouldn’t be allocated to CAS. I just stated my preference for the money to be used for interactions and animations instead since I don’t play with pre-made characters. It’s no different from you hoping for the money to be spent on characters with backstories instead of interactions and animations.

    Okay, thanks for clarifying. It sounded like you were suggesting that you were hoping that the Sims Team doesn't take money out of the budget for things you personally don't care about, like lore, at the expense of everyone else who cares about it. I would not want to subject other fans to that trade-off, which is why I did not say I want money to be spent on characters with backstories instead of interactions and animations and I did make the point to say "I'm not going to suggest that money shouldn't be allocated to that"

    I think we both agree that we all need to be somewhat selfless here as there are many fans with different priorities.

    Unfortunately, there’s always a trade-off as our wants for the game is unlimited while Maxis has a limited budget. So every time we ask for something, we’re being selfish even if we don’t state what we would prefer to be excluded. Let’s not lie to ourselves to feel better about not being selfless. 😀

    Then selfishly I care about them hiring at least a single narrative designer to work on lore. Hardly much of the budget. And they’re already hiring one so I don’t know what else to tell you. If you don’t care about the lore I guess that’s a small part of the budget not being spent on something you want. Just how it works :)

    That’s fine as I’m sure they’ll also add things I want, that you don’t. 😁 They may even omit things you want more than lore, but now won’t as they have spent the money on adding lore. 😜

    This is now getting a little passive aggressive. Let’s get back on topic.

    For the record, I wasn’t being passive aggressive. This is way off topic though so I’ll leave you to your thread.
  • simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 585 Member
    Some of the Strangetown families are iconic as well!

    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Wants-based rotational player | My gameplay rules via PleasantSims | Bring back challenge and depth to the Sims: https://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/comment/17959464/#Comment_17959464
  • simgirl1010simgirl1010 Posts: 29,265 Member
    As I mentioned earlier I'm not interested in Sims lore but I certainly don't begrudge anyone wanting that. I can just delete them. I am curious though to see just how dedicated the team is to including some of those iconic sims from the past. Sims that might not hold any nostalgia or interest for the newest generation of simmers.
    💚 TS4
    Things are as they are. Always hope. But never expect.
  • ncisGibbs02ncisGibbs02 Posts: 1,790 Member
    edited October 31
    What if they have to choose between lore and build mode? How do they choose which gets the most attention? Hopefully we can influence them as storytelling and lore really needs focusing on.

    Sims 4 has great worlds that are lovely to look at. The build tool is the best. CAS has a lot of elements and clothes.
    What it lacks is the ability to play out stories and consequences. I have to imagine Ralph still remembers Sally beat him at chess so that’s why he’s going to give a mean greeting at the park. Lavania Chopra was forced to retire as mayor to make way for someone younger so she’s plotting her revenge on the villagers of Henford-on-Bagley.

    I love playing Pleasantview in Sims 2 as you can get right into the story of who lives there. I would love that captured in Sims 5 with updated graphics. 😊

    It’s one thing to make each premade family with lore but connecting them to each other is what really makes the town shine.

    I agree with the point about imaging things in your head. A lot of video essays have been made about this topic. Carl’s Sims Guide has a great one with over 100k views:

    Thanks for the video. Bookmarked! 😊 100% agree that it would be better if Sims engaged in making their own story sometimes. The worlds of Sims 4 don’t feel alive.

    Even the newer Neighbourhood Stories addition has issues.
    Enable adoption and all 8 slots get filled before it stops. It’s not a natural progression. Both pets and kids don’t stop until the set limit. I’m constantly getting rid of the extras and end up unticking adoption. Not everyone would add six or seven extra people constantly!

    For jobs, Sims are constantly leaving and getting new jobs but it’s random.

    The only thing that adds a bit of spice is the ‘accidental deaths’ but some of the things are too silly for me to enjoy. Cereal catching on fire?! 🙄🤦🏼‍♂️.
    Some of the Strangetown families are iconic as well!


    Great video suggestion! 😂.

    I must play Strangetown again.
    I love building in The Sims 4 👷👨🔧💻
  • CangwenCangwen Posts: 209 Member
    I personally wouldn't mind each game being its own narrative as long as they spend time on lore and world-building. I also wouldn't mind if they take existing sims and give them different narratives.
  • simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 585 Member
    Cangwen wrote: »
    I personally wouldn't mind each game being its own narrative as long as they spend time on lore and world-building. I also wouldn't mind if they take existing sims and give them different narratives.

    That's a fair point. But I would add that continuing on already established lore allows for little error for the team to "screw up" by trying something new. When something new is tried, I notice there's a considerable failure rate.
    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Wants-based rotational player | My gameplay rules via PleasantSims | Bring back challenge and depth to the Sims: https://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/comment/17959464/#Comment_17959464
  • CangwenCangwen Posts: 209 Member
    Cangwen wrote: »
    I personally wouldn't mind each game being its own narrative as long as they spend time on lore and world-building. I also wouldn't mind if they take existing sims and give them different narratives.

    That's a fair point. But I would add that continuing on already established lore allows for little error for the team to "screw up" by trying something new. When something new is tried, I notice there's a considerable failure rate.

    Playing it safe is how we got The Sims 4.
  • simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 585 Member
    Cangwen wrote: »
    Cangwen wrote: »
    I personally wouldn't mind each game being its own narrative as long as they spend time on lore and world-building. I also wouldn't mind if they take existing sims and give them different narratives.

    That's a fair point. But I would add that continuing on already established lore allows for little error for the team to "screw up" by trying something new. When something new is tried, I notice there's a considerable failure rate.

    Playing it safe is how we got The Sims 4.

    Strong disagree. Sims 4 was anything but safe. They went for a online game with Olympus and changed that last minute. Then they cut core features (hardly what I call playing it safe). Like did the team think fans would just accept everything missing?
    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Wants-based rotational player | My gameplay rules via PleasantSims | Bring back challenge and depth to the Sims: https://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/comment/17959464/#Comment_17959464
  • LeGardePourpreLeGardePourpre Posts: 13,796 Member
    edited November 5
    It becomes like Marvel and Star Wars universes with Canon and non-canonical timelines.

    The starting point of The Sims Universe (TSU) was SimCity and Malcolm Landgraab.
  • ThetfordThetford Posts: 406 Member
    It becomes like Marvel and Star Wars universes with Canon and non-canonical timelines.

    The starting point of The Sims Universe (TSU) was SimCity and Malcolm Landgraab.

    The problem is that Sims "lore" is some Frankenstein monster that is made up as they went along.

    Malcolm Landgraab, as you cited, has been through three or four "reboots" by now. First, his debut as the pale skinned, dark haired, bespectacled property developer who has no qualms about bending a city government to his will.

    He makes no appearances in the main Sims 1 outside of references, however in the console version, this is vastly expanded with a compatible introduction of Malcolm's family and personality, including his children Dudley and Mimi. (As an aside, it annoyed me immensely that history graduate and self proclaimed Sims lore advocate Plumbella did an "entire history" of the Landgraab family and had no idea Dudley and Mimi Landgraab existed because she didn't personally didn't play the console games, but decided not to scroll down the Sims Wikia page she was reading off word for word and actually did some research).

    While referenced in the Sims 2 base game, along with other Sims 1 and SimCity references, the concept was completely abandoned any notion of sticking to "lore" after the base game. Malcolm, for example, was changed to a tanned skinned blonde childless playboy who inherited his businesses and saw them more of a burden. You could say the previous Malcolm Landgraabs were one of the previous Malcolms in his family tree, however, none of them have Dudley and Mimi as children.

    By the time Sims 3 rolls around, they decided to reboot him again, this time as a pale skinned blonde kid and essentially a secondary character to his own mother that was newly added to lore, meme-boss Nancy, who the community and content creators seem to view as the main Landgraab.

    The reality is, when it came to lore, the Sims 4 did the same thing as 2 and 3 when it comes to the separate universe thing, just the difference is, they said it out loud and didn't restrict themselves to one loose time period.

    The Sims 2 didn't so much as continue with Sims 1's lore as much as as it did kill everyone with a resemblance of a story and replace them with their trashy soap opera children who have zero concept of a healthy relationship, and pretty much ignored a fair bit of the limited lore the Sims 1 established.

    For example, they gave Jennifer Pleasant's one interest to her brother Daniel, and gave her a desire for a dream job that isn't even in the game (I guess because only boys can like sports, girls like fashion and shoes!).

    Michael, despite being a fresh college graduate and starting his life in the Sims 1, dies of old age 25 years later (I guess Maxis think people in their mid to late 40s are so old they may as well be dead, which I guess tracks with their target audience).

    And speaking of Michael, and Bella, I find the whole whitewashing scandal of the Sims 4 a bit ironic, when the Sims 2 arguably did something worse. While not established as siblings, both of them in the Sims 1 had heads in game files listed as Asian as the textures. Michael even goes one step further and has a head with a mesh labelled Asian, and even with TS1's limited graphics quality, and the distance from the Sims you played the game at, you could clearly tell he was supposed to be Asian. Meanwhile the Sims 2 rolls around and makes Bella a generic tanned European/Latina woman, and since they decided to make Michael her brother, changed his entire ethnic identity to fit Bella's new generic one, giving him a face that is completely different. This was further compounded by the Sims 2's CAS being so limited that you couldn't really deviate from the default face 1 and 2 too much without looking like a distorted inhuman mess (see default faces 3 through 32 that generated NPCs spawned with) that creating a convincing looking Asian sim was extremely difficult.

    And this is before we get into the Sims 3, which abandoned the lore of the previous two games to create its own. In my opinion, the Sims 4 deviates as much as 2 and 3 did, just with the characters they perceived as the most popular (Bella and Mortimer, the Caliente sisters and Don, Nancy Landgraab, the Pleasant sisters, etc) all as young adults even though they exist from different eras, and due to social media being much more present, having to say what practices they have done before out loud. Not to mention being magnified by the Sims 4 other failings at launch.

    I'm going to stop here for now as this topic of lore gets me wound up too much and I get bitter and go on too many tangents that makes my posts unintelligible. It is clear that my personal opinions differ greatly from the wider community's.

    I'd personally wish they'd go back to the TS1 period, perhaps the period in between TS1 and 2 before seemingly the entire neighbourhood collectively kicks the bucket at once.
  • simmeroriginsimmerorigin Posts: 585 Member
    Thetford wrote: »
    It becomes like Marvel and Star Wars universes with Canon and non-canonical timelines.

    The starting point of The Sims Universe (TSU) was SimCity and Malcolm Landgraab.

    The problem is that Sims "lore" is some Frankenstein monster that is made up as they went along.

    Malcolm Landgraab, as you cited, has been through three or four "reboots" by now. First, his debut as the pale skinned, dark haired, bespectacled property developer who has no qualms about bending a city government to his will.

    He makes no appearances in the main Sims 1 outside of references, however in the console version, this is vastly expanded with a compatible introduction of Malcolm's family and personality, including his children Dudley and Mimi. (As an aside, it annoyed me immensely that history graduate and self proclaimed Sims lore advocate Plumbella did an "entire history" of the Landgraab family and had no idea Dudley and Mimi Landgraab existed because she didn't personally didn't play the console games, but decided not to scroll down the Sims Wikia page she was reading off word for word and actually did some research).

    While referenced in the Sims 2 base game, along with other Sims 1 and SimCity references, the concept was completely abandoned any notion of sticking to "lore" after the base game. Malcolm, for example, was changed to a tanned skinned blonde childless playboy who inherited his businesses and saw them more of a burden. You could say the previous Malcolm Landgraabs were one of the previous Malcolms in his family tree, however, none of them have Dudley and Mimi as children.

    By the time Sims 3 rolls around, they decided to reboot him again, this time as a pale skinned blonde kid and essentially a secondary character to his own mother that was newly added to lore, meme-boss Nancy, who the community and content creators seem to view as the main Landgraab.

    The reality is, when it came to lore, the Sims 4 did the same thing as 2 and 3 when it comes to the separate universe thing, just the difference is, they said it out loud and didn't restrict themselves to one loose time period.

    The Sims 2 didn't so much as continue with Sims 1's lore as much as as it did kill everyone with a resemblance of a story and replace them with their trashy soap opera children who have zero concept of a healthy relationship, and pretty much ignored a fair bit of the limited lore the Sims 1 established.

    For example, they gave Jennifer Pleasant's one interest to her brother Daniel, and gave her a desire for a dream job that isn't even in the game (I guess because only boys can like sports, girls like fashion and shoes!).

    Michael, despite being a fresh college graduate and starting his life in the Sims 1, dies of old age 25 years later (I guess Maxis think people in their mid to late 40s are so old they may as well be dead, which I guess tracks with their target audience).

    And speaking of Michael, and Bella, I find the whole whitewashing scandal of the Sims 4 a bit ironic, when the Sims 2 arguably did something worse. While not established as siblings, both of them in the Sims 1 had heads in game files listed as Asian as the textures. Michael even goes one step further and has a head with a mesh labelled Asian, and even with TS1's limited graphics quality, and the distance from the Sims you played the game at, you could clearly tell he was supposed to be Asian. Meanwhile the Sims 2 rolls around and makes Bella a generic tanned European/Latina woman, and since they decided to make Michael her brother, changed his entire ethnic identity to fit Bella's new generic one, giving him a face that is completely different. This was further compounded by the Sims 2's CAS being so limited that you couldn't really deviate from the default face 1 and 2 too much without looking like a distorted inhuman mess (see default faces 3 through 32 that generated NPCs spawned with) that creating a convincing looking Asian sim was extremely difficult.

    And this is before we get into the Sims 3, which abandoned the lore of the previous two games to create its own. In my opinion, the Sims 4 deviates as much as 2 and 3 did, just with the characters they perceived as the most popular (Bella and Mortimer, the Caliente sisters and Don, Nancy Landgraab, the Pleasant sisters, etc) all as young adults even though they exist from different eras, and due to social media being much more present, having to say what practices they have done before out loud. Not to mention being magnified by the Sims 4 other failings at launch.

    I'm going to stop here for now as this topic of lore gets me wound up too much and I get bitter and go on too many tangents that makes my posts unintelligible. It is clear that my personal opinions differ greatly from the wider community's.

    I'd personally wish they'd go back to the TS1 period, perhaps the period in between TS1 and 2 before seemingly the entire neighbourhood collectively kicks the bucket at once.

    I hear you, BUT I would say lore really starts with the Sims 2 due to foundational technology like family trees and memory. You're right the transition from Sims 1 to 2 isn't perfect, but most of the "lore" people reference goes back to Sims 2, not Sims 1.

    Yes, Sims 3 did not strictly follow the lore and I have issues with it. However, they at least put it on the same timeline in the past.

    Sims 4 is totally left-field. Incomparable. Not even a whiff of pretense that lore was being followed.
    He/him | Simmer since Sims 1 | Wants-based rotational player | My gameplay rules via PleasantSims | Bring back challenge and depth to the Sims: https://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/comment/17959464/#Comment_17959464
  • OnverserOnverser Posts: 3,343 Member
    edited November 14
    I think it'd be cool if they brought back a big collection of iconic townies from all of the games for 5, but as they're most recognisable, no "20 years in the future", or as children thing. The more nostalgic references to old games they add the better really
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